Tag Archives: motherhood

How to swallow a live goldfish and other stories I tell my Son about his Grandfather

My Son is almost two years old. My Father never met him and that’s a goddamn shame. My Father loved babies and kids and they were drawn to him, his warmth and willingness (uncontrollable desire) to be goofy. Despite his constant back pain and substantial 6’4″ frame he would get down on the ground, rolling around, playing along with whatever silly reality existed in that moment.

suicide grief father daughter

A few weeks after his death I was having dinner with a few friends of his who had two small girls. After dessert the 4 year old and I went into my Father’s office to look at photos and she asked me, “are you sad because your Daddy is dead?” It was the most appropriate sentiment anyone had said to me since he had died. Most people gave uncomfortable, almost inaudible grunts of apology and whatnot accompanied by little eye contact and zero honesty. Hers was a simple question devoid of bullshit or uncomfortability and it meant so much to me. I told her, “yes, I am sad because my Daddy is dead.” She then told me, “I’m sad too because Mr. Jerry is dead. I miss him.” She was 4 years old and had summed it all up; he was dead and we missed him. She taught me a very important lesson in mourning, keep it simple. This is especially true when it comes to suicide which can make grief so much more complicated with feelings of anger, confusion, betrayal, abandonment and resentment. Small children haven’t even begun to view the world or their own emotions in these complex terms. Which is exactly why I tell my Son all about his Grandfather, I want his to be a familiar name, face and legend of sorts.

My Father’s presence will be especially missed when my Son gets a little older as his Grandfather could dad father clown prankster goofyhave taught him all sorts of awesomely icky boy tricks like blowing snot rockets, flossing ones nasal cavities with spaghetti, balancing brooms or any other random object on your nose, making lit cigarettes disappear into the palm of your hand and swallowing live goldfish. I grew up thinking it was normal to have a Dad who had a potato gun which we shot off at night just to scare the neighbors, a sport coat with sewn in magic tricks to embarrass me in front of friends, a taser which he once challenged himself to use upon his own arm (there being no one else present to accept such a challenge), a vast collection of knives, swords and other assorted weaponry both decorative and functional as well as a baby octopus in a jar of formaldehyde. Between his weirdness and my Mother’s obsession with The Rolling Stones (her collection so impressive it has won awards at county fairs, and you know that means something) it was kind of like growing up in a twisted amusement park complete with the geek, the freak and the cannibalistic vermin (my very own contribution; hamsters which ate their young).

Our home is much more tame, quite boring actually; no whoopie cushions, no animals in jars and a complete and total lack of Mick Jagger’s skinny ass. We will not be swallowing live fish or putting pasta up our noses but I will tell him all about his eccentrically endearing Grandfather and his wacky antics. Inevitably one day my Son will ask how he died and I will answer him honestly and wherever this conversation takes us I will remind him that a persons death must never define their life.

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Filed under I am a Mother, Memories of Dad

Motherhood becomes me

For the first time in my life I feel content in my own skin. It’s as if my skin needed to be stretched to an uncomfortably pregnant degree then shrunk back down again, a little looser, a little wrinklier. I feel more me than ever before. Maybe I was always meant to be this woman, this Mother. I lived as a reckless, petulant child, a depressed and listless sleepwalker and an unpredictable addict. I never quite felt right, like I was put together sloppily; my limbs loose and awkward, toenails and hair follicles seeming too alive while my intestines contracted and died over and over again.
Today as I pull up my jeans I feel a sense of contentment. My ass might be a little flatter without an hour a day to devote to pilates. My tummy a bit loose and with the faintest of stretch marks. My engorged breats are almost always ridiculously lopsided. My eyes reddened and burdened with a months worth of luggage.
I turn briefly towards a mirror as I walk out of the room. I don’t stand, turn, squat and peek from odd angles obsessing over every square inch of my body the way I used to do every single day. I feel good and fuck it, they were after all my favorite pre-pregnancy jeans. I may fill them out a bit differently than before but I love the differences because they represent the Mother that I have become.

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Filed under Alcoholism and other Assholes, I am a Mother, I am Pregnant

Sundays in December just got dipped in glitter

Well, it took a few months but I found it. I was afraid it fell out along with my placenta; discarded with all the other afterbirths, appendixes, rotten limbs and other bloodied remnants from the floor of the hospital. Or maybe it fell into one of the hundreds (thousands?) of diapers I have wadded into tight neat balls and tossed into the overflowing diaper abyss otherwise known as a landfill. Did it get washed too many times left faded and smelling faintly of Dreft and puke? No, I just misplaced it for a bit. Fuck, give me a break I was figuring out how to be a Mother. Which I am really fucking good at by the way. And the very thing I had laid aside for a while I happened to come upon at a most unusual time, December. Yes, motherfucking shithead of a month, December. I loathe you, I despise you, I dread you like a whore dreads a herpes outbreak. Here it was and I greeted it with two middle fingers and it said “Fuck you too bitch, now go make some goddamn Christmas cards and bake some cookies.” I obliged with spray paint, glitter and sugar sprinkles. Thank you December. The paint, scissors and glue have not been put away for over a week and I have made some very interesting cards this year.

My self, it’s still here, intact and stronger than ever.

shiny?

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Filed under Fashionably Unreasonable, I am a Mother, Something that happened

The dread and the light

Sunday again. This day must take on a new meaning for me, a new feeling. I can’t keep waking up with the same sense of dread and melancholy as I have for years, for forever, since before I even knew what Sunday was. I think My Son feels it as well or maybe he just feels my discontentment. We are so ridiculously attached, his mouth an almost permanent fixture upon my breast, his eyes search my face in wonderment without a bit of judgement, my arms wrapped around his warm body, my hair tangled around his tiny fingers. He deserves Sundays free of this stigma of mine. He deserves his own story.

I could write so much more, I am dying to write and write but my Son demands my attention and goddamn he is a powerful commander. I am…..

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Smells like Dreft

Used up and sucked dry,

my inhibitions discarded along with my placenta.

Who is this shirtless woman, carelessly loading a washing machine,

no consideration for mismatched colors.

Fabrics in need of special care must now fend for themselves.

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The slow night

Sleepless nights slowly fade into a waking dream called daytime

I carry my child from room to room, his cries rising and falling like a desperate tide

Cradled in my arms he searches for my breast, for sustenance, comfort

We fall asleep side by side, warm soft skin against my chest

Slow cries give in to calm

Breath steadies and falls into place

Sleep comes slow, lingers briefly and without patience

Is it Monday?

 

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It’s tits or shits these days

I sit with a moment, a first it seems. The past few weeks a blur, a waking dream, a challenge like I never could have imagined, a challenge I took on and fucking conquered as only a Mother can. I haven’t slept more than an hour in over 3 weeks yet I haven’t gone a day without makeup. I haven’t sat down to eat a meal in weeks but who the fuck am I kidding, like I have ever wanted to sit and enjoy a meal. Eating the occasional protein bar while changing a diaper suits me just fine. Cleaning my house with one arm hasn’t been too difficult an adjustment nor has breastfeeding while doing paperwork or pumping breast milk while typing this very sentence. My baby sleeps next to me, quietly contemplating his next uproarious complaint. It’s tits or shits, that’s about it these days. Kinda boring actually. I am looking forward to the days of chasing him around the yard, cleaning scraped knees and learning everything there is to know about this gorgeous little man.

I unapologetically would like to state that I will not be sharing any pictures of my kid. Some shit is just too precious to send out into this “world”

P.S. (I will be writing more regularly from now on)

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Shut your mouth and be patient

I have been feeling a bit more private these days. As the day approaches when this kid will be all out in the open, exposed to the world, I am becoming more hesitant, a little more careful with my words. A calmness has come over me, a quiet still air surrounds me. Preparing, physically and mentally for the arrival.

I keep having dreams about a flat stomach, I reach down and feel my pliable skin, loose and empty. Soon enough….soon enough.

I want to be alone, alone with my thoughts and my emotions. I speak and I instantly want to snatch the words from the air, pull them back and shove them down my throat. Any part of me that gets out in the open is like a little piece of the kid inside getting out as well and he’s just not ready yet. Can anyone ever really be ready to face this world, these people?

My dislike for people ebbs and flows, right now, it’s fucking flowing strong and steady, no ebb in sight. Everything feels like a threat, to my safety and my sanity. Everyone makes me uncomfortable, situations take on a life of their own and I am carried along, arms flailing and skirt swept up in the wind, I am exposed and vulnerable.

Pregnancy feels like a weakness, I imagine motherhood feeling very strong and powerful. Be patient, be calm, just a few more weeks.

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Filed under Feels like Sunday, I am Pregnant

Listen

Last nights dream-

I was deaf, or at least very close to deaf, I could faintly hear voices, far away and mumbled voices. I was installing a helium tank to some kind of large mechanical device. Every time I turned a lever or knob, steam escaped from the machine in violent spurts and billows. A big man was giving me instructions from about 12 feet away but I couldn’t hear him. I kept screaming “what”?! He became frustrated with me and I could tell he was yelling at me but I couldn’t make out what he was saying. As soon as steam came out of the machine I would turn the levers back to stop it. I was getting the idea that this is exactly what I was not supposed to be doing but I was so frightened by the steam that I couldn’t help myself. The big man was irate and I was becoming afraid of him as well as the steam. I was screaming, trying to explain to him that I was deaf but he didn’t believe me.

Interpretation-

Well, I actually do have hearing loss in my right ear due to years of espresso grinders always being on my right side and yesterday I was especially annoyed by this slight handicap. However I think the dream meant much more than being annoyed by mumbled conversation.

While I am making a great effort at informing myself as much as possible about my pregnancy and what to expect with labor and the caring of a newborn I need to accept the fact that things will not turn out the way I am so carefully planning in my own head. This shit will be scary. I am not the tough guy I pretend to be all the time. It’s OK to admit fear, to open the valves a little and share what I am really feeling. Opening up emotionally may even be more frightening than the challenges I am facing as a new Mother.

The “big man” who is angry with me may symbolize my rational side. He is frustrated because I am being so hesitant, he doesn’t understand the fear behind honest, the strength it takes to reveal the truth. He is a basic thinking man, a mechanical man. I have a hard time hearing him because I am locked in my fear. The “big man” (rational thought) is far away, demanding me to behave correctly, to listen. This man also reminded me of my Father. He often comes to me in dreams and many times he has given me this exact advice, “listen”.

I am listening.

 

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Filed under Feels like Sunday, I dreamed..., Memories of Dad

Shamu sneaks into my bed

I have been writing for 8 hours, my back aches and my head is pounding. A pot and a half of coffee has kept the kid active all day. I feel like he is keeping me company, his kicks almost as rhythmic as my typing. I look back on what I have accomplished. Only 10 fucking pages. Seriously? I have been writing my entire life but I never really sat down and took it this seriously with a  goal in mind.

I am committed to finishing my novel before I give birth because I certainly won’t have the time to write for 8 hours straight once he pops out and demands every ounce of energy from me. My days will be consumed with breast-feeding and changing diapers and not much else. Any writing I do will most likely be a sleep deprived mess of words, lacking much sense or creativity. Or maybe I will be so inspired by my new role in life that I will start writing fuzzy childrens books with mice that wear purple underwear and ride bicycles while knitting hats for friendly whales.

Speaking of whales, I am going to have to face my all time biggest fear; motherfucking orca whales. Yep, Shamu is the absolute scariest thing in the entire world. I can’t even look at them on television without screaming and throwing my hands over my face. Those damn Sea World commercials get me every time. They show the fucking things flying, literally flying through the sky and I am supposed to act normal?

Well, I am going to have to start acting normal because I don’t want the kid to be afraid of something as stupid as a whale. I mean, in what situation am I ever going to find myself alone in the open water surrounded by killer whales? Which actually is not my real fear. I have dreams where killer whales are no longer confined to the sea or swimming pools at theme parks. They slither up and down city streets and make their way into my home, their giant black and white slimy bodies hovering above my bed, that giant eyeball staring right at me. Oh god, they are so fucking disgusting. But, I have to get over it. I cannot react to a Sea World commercial with a hysterical yelp once the kid is here, only encouraging other such irrational fears in him.

I’m not saying that I ever intend on going to Sea World with the kid. His Father can take him and they will have a lovely time while I stay home, far away from that big eye pressed up against the glass. If he brings home a giant stuffed Shamu I must smile pleasantly even if I am screaming on the inside. So, I guess this is just one more sacrifice I am going to have to make for the sake of a healthy, happy child. Pretending to like Shamu, I can handle that one.

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Filed under I am Pregnant, I dreamed..., Something that happened

Selfish

My greatest desires are for solitude and anonymity. Neither of which are possible especially now that I am bringing a new life into this overwhelmingly intrusive world.

I am a selfish ass bitch, always have been, mostly with my self. I am an only child which automatically gives a person the right to be selfish but I have taken selfishness to an entirely new level. I am not talking about the kind of “no, you can’t have a cookie, they are mine” kind of selfishness but the much more destructive kind that causes a person to withdraw from reality without any consideration for those who still reside in a world where people say “hello”.

I am secretive and sneaky as shit when I need to be. I became an amazing liar, mostly to myself. I faked a life and almost succeeded at death before I realized I was so full of shit that I could barely breathe. Terrible way to die, suffocating on your own stinking shit.

Opening myself up, airing out my rotting cavities, hanging my bloody panties out on the fence, staring into my own asshole just to see what’s in there. Offending my senses, arousing my curiosities, I peered further and found that I am not just a selfish alcoholic on the verge of collapse, that I am flesh and blood, that I am real.

Now that I am pregnant and feeling more “real” than I ever could have imagined, I would hope that I would lose some of my selfish ways and see shit from some entirely new plane of Motherhood consciousness that I should somehow have gained access to. No such luck. I am feeling even more selfish, more reserved and less communicative than ever. But I am remaining positive that the destructive nature of these emotions are being put to good use and with all hopes of a positive outcome for the kid. I am positive because now the basis of my selfishness is founded solely on love. Love and a huge amount of “get the fuck away from my kid or I will kill you” sort of emotions.

Fuck, all I do is contradict myself. In one afternoon I address and mail about 100 invitations to a baby shower that I am halfheartedly committed to and then suddenly and belligerently swear off all human contact simply because I couldn’t fit into my fluorescent Hawaiian gown.

As I resign myself to black stretchy yoga pants I realize what I am really feeling (besides the kids knees pounding into my ribs). I am afraid. Afraid of the moment when the kid is no longer just “mine”. He is going to come out and be a part of the world. He will be held by other people, cuddled by family and friends, stared and cooed at by strangers and licked by my dogs. His toes which once tickled my insides will soon be kissed by lips that are not mine. My selfish ass bitch self is fucking angry about this. I want to scream out, “He is mine motherfuckers, back the fuck off!”

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Filed under Alcoholism and other Assholes, Fashionably Unreasonable, I am Pregnant, Something that happened