19 January, 2024

...28 (in days gone by)...

  In Days Gone By:

While the kitchen tile project was ongoing, I'd the chance to reorganize all the file folder storage that "lives" beneath one of our sideboards and came across paperwork dating back to before I was married. Tax docs, our marriage license and copies of checks to all the wedding vendors, my ex's student loan repayment receipts, multiple certified copies of the restraining order (now expired) against him, etc... Enclosed in one were childhood photos of him that I had carefully placed in an envelope for Johannes at least 15 years ago. So while Henri napped (praise!), Johannes and I briefly sat down and looked through the photos, before he decided to dispose of them.

(As someone who takes a few photos (I kid, I kid) here and there, looking at these was...interesting...)

There's promise~possibility~potential, in those sweet little shots of baby and toddler...in those early teen/peak of athleticism track shots...even in the student and work i.d. cards. But to see them now, it's naught but illusion...a sort-of "alternate reality".

He's been spiraling for years...a vicious cycle of peaks and valleys that damages everyone involved.

From all accounts, he's been off his meds and is back to "self-medicating" with increasingly dangerous substance abuse.
From all accounts, his grasp on reality is in the wind right now.
From all accounts, his health is failing. It's terrible, and it's tragic, and it's...karmic? All that pain he's caused finding it's way back...

Tomorrow, his birthday...yet another year gone and nothing but wreckage to show for it. All the good advice and assistance and flat-out-doing-for-him-what-he-won't-do-for-himself by SO MANY people (myself included) just wasted effort.

And soon enough, a month away, Johannes turns 18. Despite his throwing away those photos and rejecting any "leftovers" (papers, photos, sentimental items), he'll carry this as part of his legacy his whole life. Nothing I have done, can do or want to do has ever erased the damage done by both action and inaction, threatening presence and dismissive absence.

If only it were as easy as tossing photos in the garbage, or shredding old files. If only it were as simple as shutting the door and ending the chapter.

But, you see...one chapter bleeds into the next. One door leads into another space. Everything gets carried on...

16 January, 2024

...27 (in days gone by)...

 In Days Gone By:

Two nights ago, after staring into the fridge and contemplating dinner prep, I declared it date night.
Mami/J-Bug "date" night.
(Yes, I know, he's more likely to take a Transformer out to see 'Bumblebee' than actually ask a girl out...err...yeah..that first thing...totally happened IRL already this past weekend.)

We hit up the local mall for a window-shopping stroll, and a long non-stroll in the Lego store, before dinner. Light banter, school and peer related, kept things lively as J-Bug wittily described the cast and characters of his weekday life. This kid's got a way with words!

By request (ok, maybe a little bit more demand than request!) we did serious damage to a trio of gluten-free crepes...hello Dulce de Leche...and giggled outrageously the whole while, much to the irritation of our dour, newspaper reading table-neighbor.

Then off we marched, answering the siren call of those massage chairs located at the other end of the mall. (There may have been a teeny tiny footrace involved...and I may have totally lost by not quite hurdling over a planter...but I'm not telling!) So there we sat, while the mechanics got "handsy" with us, and talked grand plans, silly schemes and all things Terminus Industries. Finally, wallet empty of singles and backs made of mush, we called it a night and headed back out into the frigid cold.

I thought to myself, as we headed home, of my newsfeed chock full of my 'Girl-Mom' friends and their shopping trips, hair appointments, mani-pedis...of all the photos that I see stream across my screen of all those precious Mother-Daughter moments.

I thought of them, and of this night and of my own contentment.

It's likely there will never be a little girl with my dark eyes and sharp tongue. It's likely that my dreams of more children will never come to fruition. And there's peace to be found in even that impossibility.

Because this...this life with this son...
That "date" night with Legos and crepes and massage chairs...
Totally. Perfect.

(*and let's be real...mani-pedis? for this control freak? ha! ain't no way I'm sitting down all zen-like while someone manhandles my fingers and toes! #nofomohere)

11 December, 2023

...26 (in days gone by)...

 In Days Gone By:

 Quiet home.

J-bug is still asleep, his faithful companions Katja and Henry tucked up close. When he's fast asleep, I can so easily fall back in time and remember those days when he was so young and so tiny. All curled up and covered from toe to top, with just a sliver of face out to breathe, he looks no different to me now than when he was 5. And in these moments, I feel no different...no older...and certainly no wiser, than I did when he and I were young.

From where I'm sitting, I can see all the small things I've done to "holiday-ify" our postage stamp apartment. And I can see where his Transformers bleed into the decorations...a mini con left in front of the nativity, autobots and decepticons battling it out amidst my wooden christmas trees.
I'll clean them up later, I always do...
And they'll find their way back, they always do...
Henry will show up in my chair right before I go to sit down. A dinobot will suddenly appear in front of my breakfast.
J-bug will clamber his way onto me, seeking sensory stimulation, all 145 pounds of him clawing his way into attention at the very moment I was going to start something else.
He's still asleep. We've missed church once again. I can't bear to wake him, he needs this rest...the demands of the week are exhasuting for him. And tomorrow, we'll be up by 4:30.
In the silence, my mind whirrs...creating and planning and backing up...forever trying to fill his day with joy, forever trying to anticipate every need.
My coffee's gone cold...again. I'll pop it in the microwave and burn the tip of my tongue on that first hot sip, then set it on the windowsill once more, forgotten. Back in the micro...once, twice, eventually I'll get it right.
I worry, as I sit here, over all the things I can't control and all the things I can. I worry about the moments of failure today, when I answer too sharply or don't respond just right...when he needs me to listen and I don't even hear him...when he needs a friend or a father, but only has me. I worry that we should have already gotten a Christmas tree. I worry that he won't understand why Santa didn't bring him the 3d printer he's obsessed with. I worry that someone at his school full of upper middle class and higher will actually get a 3d printer for Christmas.
And I wait. Wait for him to wake up so the day can start. Wait, quietly reading, quietly typing... Wait. Quietly. As though I only turn on when he has need of me.
So he sleeps on.
My home is quiet.

02 November, 2023

...halloween 2023: from Neverland...

"But mother, I don't want to grow up.”

 "You know, you look exactly the way I thought you would.
A little taller perhaps.”

“It is not in doing what you like,
but in liking what you do that is the secret of happiness.”

“Now, think of the happiest things.
It's the same as having wings!”

“Oh, but, mother, it was a such a wonderful adventure!”

 “It is the nightly custom of every good mother
after her children are asleep to rummage in their minds
and put things straight for the next morning,
repacking into their proper places the
many articles that have wandered during the day.”

Wendy: "But what were you doing there?"
Peter: " I came to listen to your stories. "
Wendy: "My stories? But they're all about you!"
Peter: "I know! That's why I like 'em!"

"I'm Youth! I'm Joy!"

"Oh, the cleverness of me!"

“Children have the strangest adventures without being troubled by them."

“I'm so happy, I think I'll give you a kiss.”

“After all, one can’t leave his shadow lying about
and not miss it sooner or later, don’t you agree?”

“Stop playing and help me find my shadow!
Shadow … shadow …”

“Just always be waiting for me.”

 “All of this has happened before,
and it will all happen again.”

“Well, a mother, a real mother,
is the most wonderful person in the world.
She's the angel voice that bids you goodnight,
kisses your cheek, whispers ‘sleep tight.’”

“Go on!
Go back and grow up!
But I’m warning you,
once you’re grown up you can never come back.”

31 October, 2023


Just a quick pop-in from over here at Crafter's Chaos,
where last minute Costume Catastrophes
have this mami running around like a headless chicken!

Over on the margin, you'll find that the "shareables" have been updated with this year's
"Spooky Poem Lunchnotes" 
(the step-children edition!)
so give it a look and be inspired!

Hope you are all enjoying your Halloween festivities, and that the weather complies with Us All for a frightfully fantastic night of Trick-or-Treating!


...Happy Halloween...