Category: memory of mom

Crunchy Blue Blue and The Early Riser

“It’s better when it’s crunchy” says Jack. He pulls his, now murky blue teddie  through his legs, positions it like a loin cloth. It’s his special thing, his favorite crunchy thing he’s ever seen. I wash it clean and the next day it’s crunchy again, just the way he likes it. Fiona has one too, Tiny. Hers is soft and smells good, she sucks her thumb and kneads Tiny with her hand. I have no reason to take Fiona’s Tiny away. Jacks on the other hand, needs immediate removal but I don’t have the heart. We have a dentist appointment in a few weeks, last time the dentist told us we need to think about letting blue blue go. That was six months ago and since that conversation Jack has only held on tighter to blue blue and made him more crunchy. What’s a mom to do with a special Blue? I told Jack and Fiona last night I would take a picture of their blues and put them in a special box. They both grabbed their blues along with many other stuffies and said, “Don’t give them away, we want them”.  My children will be the forty something year olds with their favorite, deteriorated, blues in their adult beds, or hidden in their bedside table. Who knows what conversations go on between them and their blues? Late at night, early in the morning. They are their best friends. What can a mother do?

I wish I had my child hood favorite stuffy. I had many stuffed animals I kept through the years but they all got moldy in leaky rooms. I threw them all away. I can still smell the mustiness of my old things in my memory. In the darkness of this morning I can feel the mustiness of myself. The insomniac. Every year, between the last of October and the first of November I live through 4:00AM wake ups. It leaves me dark space to remember things. The quiet space where everyone is sleeping but me. When I was a little girl I thought there was someone outside my window during these pre-dawn moments. I was scared, until the sun started to cast light onto the dewy ground outside. I opened the back door and quietly stepped outside to investigate around my window, were there any foot prints? I moved on to look for animal prints, then any interesting changes in the trees, or the dirt, or the old wood the house was built with. I looked at my toy horses in the dirt, did they move since yesterday? No, probably not. My hand grabs the damp plastic body of my favorite Breyer Buckskin mare, moves her through the dirt and cold wet grass gets my pajamas all wet, my feet all dirty. I play until I think it’s safe to go back in the house, until I know my mom is probably awake and I’m not going to disturb her morning slumber.

This morning the sun is taking a long time to come up. My whole house sleeps.  Quietly I write, drink my coffee and eat my toast. I am the early riser. It leaves me today with a soreness and thirst, a slight fatigue. Everyone else in this house will be well rested and full of energy. I will plug along, hopefully I will not disappoint my family with lack of expendable energy, I hope they will understand.


Toast The Ghosts of September

O.K., here I am. Two hours left. Paper laid out. Works in progress. Laid out. Second guessing my decision to NOT bring down a mini bottle of SAKE because it would send the wrong message. Change my mind, two hours, enough time to have a mini glass of SAKE, toast the GHOSTS of the season.  Here’s a toast to the ghosts of the season. May the other side find you well. A Toast to Earth who’s given us LIFE. A toast to paper and paint and wine. To the Wind.  THE FALL. I take a sip; the Sake is strong. Thought it was my imagination. Took more sips, bigger sips. It tastes strong. I look at the label. 14% alcohol. I pour my full glass back into the bottle, leave a sip. Put the Bottle of Sake back in the fridgerator.  Fan on. Put on music, continue to work.

Children lose mothers. Mothers lose children.  light a candle for us tonight. Paint a picture, say a prayer. Pray for mother’s peace.

Time is almost out. Texture, blue, brown, charcoal. Drawing and painting. Tomorrow is another studio day. Ready to work. Cool breeze, leaves a mixture of green and gold on the Sycamore tree. Bay Area Autumn. My favorite time of the year. Balance time between indoors and outdoors. Watch a cartoon with my daughter. Dolls with button eyes talk. Stitched mouths that open. Make dinner. Call it a night.

Separation Devastation and The Greatest Day Ever

“I want Fiona” Jack cries, next to me holding my leg as I wave at the school bus, driving Fiona to Preschool. Fiona gets on the bus happy, greeting her driver, Louie, getting into her seat with a smile on her face, excited to pick up her classmate at the next bus stop. In the past two weeks Fiona has gained a new life, an independent life from Jack, from me. She has new friends, a new school especially designed for children with hearing loss. I’ve watched Fiona blossom in the past two weeks, she’s confident, creative, self-assured right now. Jack has been sad, unpredictable moods, lonely for Fiona. Between this he has been extremely brave and fearlessness on his scooter! He wants a skateboard now, but I think he’s too young still. Jack and I have spent the past two weeks together 24/7. We got tennis rackets and played on the tennis wall at the park a few times. I roller bladed and he scootered a few times. We hung out at the mall got hot cocoas and chocolate candy and road the train. I witnessed Jack go through the most difficult period of his life so far; being separated from his twin sister for the first time. There were always three of us, now there are periods with only two. From having three days a week with a guaranteed 3 hour break I had none.  Today, as I got Jack dressed to go to the jumpy house with Alan and Fiona I started to see he was over the worst part. He wore his new checkered vans I got him on sale, they are still too big, he had his new shorts and top on, regular kid sizes, no more toddler clothes, he had his green sunglasses and his mutant ninja turtle hat on. Last night we watched a Lego batman cartoon, and this morning Jack wanted to talk about his Super Hero’s.  He’s starting his preschool program on Monday and I was imagining what “boy” he’ll be? What kind of guys will he want to play with, what “group?”. My biggest fear for Jack is he is so sensitive, buts he’s big and strong. He’s smart, always thinking, and daring. He doesn’t like to play rough, he’s doesn’t like teasing. He’s both introverted and extroverted. I don’t want him getting sucked in by the mean kids or bullies. That’s my fear.

It was a hard couple of weeks, and Sunday is my birthday! I’ll be 46 years old! It’s a fine age, I am grateful to be here. I sit here in quiet, a dog barks outside, a crow is cawing and the California Red Bud are blooming like never before. I walk out to view them up close, bee’s buzz around my head, the flowers are thick, I can feel the pollen in the air. It’s Spring. I was born in Spring, in San Diego. I probably laid around naked all the time. My dad was in the Navy. My mom was 21 years old. The outdoors was revered by our family, we spent most of our time outside. “Go outside and play” mine and my brothers lives as kids. We rode ponies and picked pomegranates off trees. Our fingernails were always dirty and we were always barefoot. The other day Jack, Fiona, and I were at the park. I was talking to my friend, didn’t have eyes on Jack and Fiona. I went to check on them and they both hand their pants off and said, “Mom, we peed, we peed over there behind the tree.” I have to admit, I started laughing. It was the first real warm day we’ve had and they wanted to be naked and play and go to the bathroom outside.  But I said, “You have to wear your underwear at least!”. I had to search for Jacks underwear. “Do you know wear his underwear are?” I asked this other little boy, he was laughing too, he pointed towards the trees. His nanny was in there are handed me the underwear smiling. I wondered if she also let the other little boy to go pee there? But there’s a bathroom at that park. I guess that proves it, humans would rather go to the bathroom outdoors!

Anyhow, I need to clean my closet. I told Alan I need to clean my closet so he should take the babies to the bouncy house. I probably have approximately two hours left. This is the greatest day ever.

White Rabbit

I pull off a book from the shelf in my studio, looking for something to use in my new notebook project. It’s an old Sunset Vegetable Gardening book. At first I want to use it for collage.  I flip through and on the last page there is a sketch and a list of winter vegetables to plant: beets, brussel sprouts, carrots, lettuce, and spinach. I recognize the hand writing, it’s my mom’s.  I can’t use this. I think about the garden in “Jennifer’s Walk”, a book from my childhood I read to Jack and Fiona. The garden in “Jennifers Walk” always reminds me of the garden my mom planted in our back yard. Now I am looking at a sketch of her vegetable plot, the one imbedded in my memories. I remember walking outside with her, “Jenny, a rabbit ate my carrots”. I imagine a white rabbit. Every time I read Jack and Fiona “Jennifer’s walk” I think of the white rabbit. I am reminded of my mom, my life as a child. My body yearns to be that little girl, to feel that way. The way my body felt today when I opened the page and saw my mom’s writing. I take the books into Jack and Fiona’s room when they wake from their nap; “Vegetable Garden” and “Woodland Animals” another one of my childhood favorites. I tell them the story of the books, they watch me in earnest. Fiona doesn’t have her hearing aids on yet, but Jack hears every word. He doesn’t interrupt, he processes. I flip the pages, he sees a picture of a turtle, “I don’t like turtles, they bite” he says. I look at him and giggle, he smiles.

Merry Christmas

Why did they leave these stupid, delicious, star shaped, yogurt covered, white with red and green frosting, pretzels here? I should have double checked to make sure my brother and his girlfriend took them for their treacherous, tedious, drive down south. I would die if I had to drive to LA with Jack and Fiona today, Christmas eve, (for some) but traffic doesn’t care what holiday someone celebrates. The stores don’t care, craziness infiltrates every corner of life this time of the year. There’s no avoiding it. But there is avoiding the roads, that is what I choose. It just sucks that I can’t see all the people I love.  I feel more connected to the people I love dead and alive today. Right now, And myself. It’s almost time to put the babies to bed for a nap. But will they go to sleep? They are so excited and so spoiled. But still sweet and love giving presents too. They may not want to sleep. They’ve been singing “Santa Claus is coming to town” constantly. Jack rocks out (Rock and Roll baby) Fiona sings Santa Claus is Not coming to town”, and Alan and I argue about what to tell the babies about Santa, Is he coming or not? I think Jack and Fiona already know that adults give presents, Santa is pretend, but Alan thinks we can fool them and I’m always the one to let it slip. It’s pretty funny. The luxuries. Christmas is all about indulging. Last night the waiter asks us if we want a bucket. I thought he meant something to throw up in, but he meant to say a booster seat. All is good.  Babies definitely not taking a nap, “Mickey Mouse Once Upon Christmas” again!

Murky Waters

Murky Waters. Today. Loss. Death. Strange quiet highways. Nap Time. Jack and Fiona will be up soon. House still quiet. Today is the anniversary of my mom’s death. Paintings Murky and dark. Mind murky and dark. News not good. It’s impossible to remove myself from politics and what’s happening in the world. I try to not get affected by it and think, “Maybe it’s going to be O.K.” But then I hear another piece of the puzzle. The picture on the puzzle says War. I hung out with some friends the other day, people I don’t know super well. I started picking up on some things so I asked them who they voted for. “Trump”, my legs get weak. I turn pale.  So many thoughts are running through my head. They are nice people and they said they did it for fiscal reasons. They are two out of three people I know who voted for Trump. I’m stumped up on Trump. I think what’s going on in politics is frightening and extremely sad. Today I thought about a conversation I had with my friend’s Israeli mom, she told me Trump was her pick for US president. I asked her why, she said “He will protect Israel.” When I heard the news today about David Friedman becoming the US ambassador to Israel, I realized Palestine was the next Target. It’s sad. We are in a War, and America’s not the good guy. A lot of people around the world are dying and suffering because of us. Trumps agenda will have lots of collateral damage. He’ll align himself with the most powerful, most rich men of the world. They are power hungry, they do not care who they take down along the way. Guns and money always win.

Process of Greif

Process of Grief. “I feel so depressed” I say to myself. “I’m so tired” I say as I yawn a big mouth yawn. Trying to exercise, to eat, to stay up past 7:30pm, to not snap at my children. Take a deep breath. In the nose, out  the mouth. “Why am I saying these things to myself, about myself?” It’s not normal? Is it just PMS? Is it just not having enough free time to myself? Or am I this way? Is the world the way I think it is? What’s true? What’s not? What matters? What doesn’t? I find myself several times picking up my phone to check Facebook , to see if anyone posted anything, to read about what horrors are going on in America and around the world. To be reminded of scum or told to just forget about it, don’t think about it. I forget that I deleted my Facebook account. And then I feel relieved I am not part of that right now.  My heart is starting to beat fast, this was supposed to be a time of relaxation. Jack and Fiona are taking their nap; the house is quiet. I’ve worked in my studio, taken a shower, and here my mind goes again, in the loop. I think, “I should be happy.” Why am I so down? The election has taken a real toll on me, the Trump presidency and the Bannon appointment. I feel like I’m panicking. I could try to make myself believe I’ll be fine so I shouldn’t worry so much. I don’t want to put my head in the sand like an ostrich. I don’t want to become a medicated zombie. I don’t want to go crazy. Where is there balance? I remember growing up and hearing my mom and her boyfriend talk about Carter and Reagan. They said Reagan was bad.  I didn’t know what that meant, I just Knew our house didn’t like Reagan. When I became old enough to vote my mom had stopped voting. “Why mom? How can you not vote?” I asked her. She told me it didn’t matter anymore, that everyone was corrupt. Around this same time she told me she “Hated white people”. I wonder what my mom would say if she were alive today. Maybe she wouldn’t be as surprised as me. I was naïve. I thought things were getting better, but they were festering. Now I’m festering, trying to keep a grip. I am in the midst of raising twins in the heart of a dramatic developmental stage. During the breaking apart of mother and baby, I still want Jack and Fiona to be my little babies, they still want me to baby them. But they are getting bigger and finding their own independence and individuality. I am also changing, some by choice, some not. I must be more stern now, Jack and Fiona are heavy, strong, loud. They need direction and supervision almost all the time. The only time it’s easier now is at the park. I can sit and eat my lunch while they run off and play on the structures. It’s relaxing. There’s just a dark cloud hanging over my heart and mind. I feel like my mom died all over again, that type of shock. I feel like crying.