Friday, September 30, 2005

Stirring the Sediment

My son called me a few minutes ago from his dad's cell phone and said he was at his dad's girlfriend's house and they were playing ball. Well, that's great, I said. I always make a point of being "up" when he calls because he's the coolest little dude ever and it's not his fault his dad's a prick. So there I was, talking with the kiddo, having a merry time and also processing the information that they were up in L.A., and oh, so that's the reason R. didn't call me back today when I left the message about the open house at the fire station tomorrow in our neighborhood...when I heard a woman's voice ask the kiddo if that was his mom on the phone. He said yes, and then she asked if she could talk to me, and he said NO. Good boy. ;^) She bugged him a bit more until he finally agreed, and there I was, talking with the woman I didn't ever want to talk with. She said she just "had the impulse" to say hi to me, and told me she "just love(s)" the kiddo and thanked me for being such a great mom -- and I interrupted her in the middle of her breathless babbling and asked her to put my son back on the phone, please. She said a couple more things and I was just silent, then she said, "Well, bye..." a little deflatedly and I said goodbye.

And I'm pissed.

Yes, she sounds like a nice person, which I'd already assumed she would be. But what the fuck was that about grabbing the phone to say hi to me when I was talking with MY SON...?? I'm guessing she doesn't totally understand what went on with me and my son's dad, and doesn't know what the emotions are around all this. Plus, even though I don't want to get back together with my son's dad, I didn't want the girlfriend to be real. And I feel like she kind of ambushed me. I mean, if she wanted to tell me what a fucking great mom I am, she could've written me a fucking letter.

And was she expecting we would just click and be friends, just like that, if ever?

I feel like if I were to try to set a boundary after the fact, like if I were to call my son's dad back right now or call the girlfriend right now and say, "Hey, don't ever take the phone away from my boy when he's talking to me. I am not interested in talking with you. Ever," I would just look like a crazy bitch. Still, I guess my terseness set the boundary. I don't suppose she's going to want to talk to me again soon, and that suits me just fine.

I am rattled by this, and I wish I weren't, and I wish I could talk to someone right now.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Random Thoughts on Late-Night Caffeine

- The scent of skunk is wafting in through the open windows, but seeing as it was about 89 degrees F today in the house, I need to leave them open. With any luck, it'll pass quickly.

- I have an article to complete by the end of the day tomorrow. I hope I can do it.

- My son leaves for three days with his dad tomorrow. I'm going to miss him terribly, as always, but at least I'll have some time to do the other assignments I have lined up.

- I desperately want a dog. It has to get along with my son, though, and that's the hard part. Strangely, some dogs just don't like being chased around the house nonstop with a space gun.

- When was the last time I got laid?

- Okay, I just remembered and I'm not telling.

- I thought drinking a humongous Diet Coke at 7:30 p.m. was a good idea, as it would keep me awake for a while so I could get more work done. Now I'm thinking it may keep me awake into tomorrow afternoon.

- I bet I could sand furniture with my rough feet. Must tend to that this weekend. The feet, that is.

- I paid one bill today. Got about three more lined up on my desk.

- Will I ever have enough money so that I can stop worrying so much? Ever?

- The guy who lives across from me has a loud, three-syllable laugh in decreasing accents: HA-ha-ha! I'm trying not to hate him, at least until winter, when we'll all close our windows.

- The same guy used to park in the fire lanes regularly, restricting my access to my own garage, despite my asking him not to a couple of times. Finally, a MAN in our complex asked him not to, and he stopped. Geez.

- I wish it didn't bother me that the Fire Marshal seems to think I'm a bit hysterical.

- I owe so many things to various people: thank-you notes, a plant, a grocery gift card, apologies.

- The neighbor girl hasn't played her bass for about four or five days. At least I haven't heard it.

- I miss my harbor walks that I used to take back home. Yes, the beach isn't far from here, but it's an entirely different environment, and kind of yucky or unsafe, depending. And yes, there's a lake nearby, and I walk there sometimes, but it just isn't the same and I miss my favorite place.

- If I have seven or eight inches cut off my hair, will I instantly regret it?

- I wonder if my son's dad ever really loved me, or if he was just working out his issues and I came along at the right time.

- I have several items of wooden furniture in the garage. I need to paint/sell them...or get a bigger garage.

- Why does my DSL line occasionally disconnect?

- Will I ever get married?

- Will I ever have more kids? And does the fact that I want more just like my son make me greedy?

- Will I always be just a teensy bit bitter about relationships?

- I'm good at editing/proofreading (not that I always proof this blog!), and I like doing those things. I'm also good at writing articles, but I don't enjoy that so much. It probably has something to do with varying levels of responsibility for subject matter I haven't chosen. Or maybe I'm worried that the client won't like the work. I feel like my saying I don't much like something I'm good at makes me sound arrogant, though, as I thought Kristin Scott Thomas sounded when she once said she didn't really like acting.

- I wish my old college roommate would tell me it's okay to come over. I've asked a couple of times and gotten no response. I hope it's just an oversight on her part, and not her lack of faith in my ability to be with someone dealing with a serious health issue.

- The skunk smell has gone away, thank goodness, and the temperature is starting to drop a bit. Thank goodness again.

- Am I an overprotective mother because I stand near my son when he's climbing ladders at the playground? Or am I practical in that I just don't want to have to deal with any broken teeth?

- The numbers on my scale are going in the wrong direction. Time to act.

- How will I ever trust a man again?

- My car needs new brake pads.

- We're almost out of milk.

- I should get something done tonight on this article, if only an outline. Then maybe I can go to bed.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

When I was 14 and a freshman in high school, I was on the drill team. I didn't feel like I fit in all that well, but damn, I loved to dance, and dance I did. We had a very rigorous schedule, performing at football games (halftime show with the band, tall flags, rifles, etc.) in the fall, and competing in halftime show competitions, then designing an entirely new indoor show for spring competitions. These events were fraught with tension and excitement, with girls spraying each other's hair and trying to apply large amounts of eyeliner while bouncing around on the bus.

We had lots of costume elements to manage -- boots, dresses, fringy vests, hats, tons of makeup, pantyhose, hairpins, etc. One time I forgot my hat for a competition, so I called my mom and asked her to bring it. Eventually we were taking our places on the sidelines, getting ready to go on, and my mom had not yet arrived, and my rank leader was flipping out because if I didn't have my hat, I wouldn't be allowed to perform, and the team would have to "dance a hole," basically dancing around my empty spot, and the performance would look less polished. Although I wanted to go on, and felt bad about forgetting my hat, I was pretty calm about it. "Aren't you worried about this??" my rank leader, Debbie, asked as we waited. "Well," I replied, "there's pretty much nothing I can do about it at this point."

I'm trying to cultivate that type of attitude toward a lot of things these days, although it's definitely an effort. Such an effort! As I look at my calendar, filled with things to do and commitments to fulfill, I find myself panicking and thinking I'll never get everything done. But the thing is...deadlines will arrive regardless of how I feel about them, and my attitude about them determines the quality of my days. I can spend my time worrying myself silly, or I can take some deep breaths and get on with things. It's a lesson I have to teach myself every day, and I don't always remember it. I hope I get better at this with time.


In other news, I was on the computer yesterday and my son was climbing on me for a minute when he fell on the floor. I guess his foot had gotten hooked on my chair, although one never knows with that kid. Anyway, I looked over at him and asked him if he was okay, and he got up, thought about it, and indignantly replied, "I did NOT give my leg permission to do that!" I must have laughed for about a minute. Funniest thing I'd heard all day. :-)

[Note: My mom did bring my hat in time, and no child-legs were harmed in the writing of this post.]

Saturday, September 24, 2005

I'm a music lover, but come on!

Argh. My condo next-door neighbors' teenage daughter just got a bass guitar. The other night, she was playing around 9:00 p.m. and my son couldn't sleep because her playing sounded like "ghost music" and, despite my reassurances, he was completely freaked out. I wound up calling my neighbor and explaining the ghost music issue, and she told her daughter not to play that late at night.

So today, on a Saturday afternoon, I can hear her playing. Granted, it's not late at night, but I work from home (even on weekends), and although I like my neighbors and want to get along with them, I often hear their karaoke machine and electric keyboard, and the bass guitar is really annoying. I've never said anything to them about the karaoke or keyboard, and I'm sure my son makes our share of noise during the week, but I honestly am starting to hate the bass.

I wonder if it's possible for her to play the bass guitar with headphones or something. Hmm. I hate to get into a bitch thing with the neighbors, but we do have to share a wall, and I sort of think amplified musical instruments are over the line.

How to keep the peace and get some quiet?

(I just tapped gently on the wall -- "shave and haircut, two bits" style -- and the music has stopped for a minute. I hope they don't hate me now (or start back up!). Our condo complex already has its share of conflict, and I've managed to stay out of it (as far as I know) for the two years I've lived here. We shall see. Oh, it's just started again, although a tad quieter. Hrm.)

Friday, September 23, 2005

Lasting Laughter

He Asked to Be Tickled

When I was pregnant, I slept on the couch quite a lot, as it was the only place I could truly get comfortable (and pull my giant-bellied self up on the back of the couch each morning!). One night, I was lying on the couch in the wee hours and could've sworn I'd heard a child giggling. This actually happened twice during my pregnancy. It wasn't a sound outside myself. Rather, it was as if I'd heard it in my heart. I don't typically believe in mystical happenings (although I tend to believe more as I learn from my son), and have long considered myself mostly practical. I fully realize my mind could well have been playing tricks on me at that late hour, but the sound was as clear as anything I'd ever heard, and I strongly remember a lovely feeling of having connected with my unborn son's spirit that night.

I often talked to my son before he was born, reciting the list of people who loved the baby, and on the day he was born, I said these same names to him and he looked right at me. Why shouldn't it work the other way around, strict biology aside? ;^) My son's dad, who does believe in mystical occurrences (ghosts, ESP, magical intuition [instead of intuition based on perception of subtle cues]), totally discounts my interpretation of events. Perhaps he was envious, or trying to retaliate against past perceived slights, such as the time I'd said perhaps his niece had guessed I was pregnant, not because she was psychic, but because I wasn't drinking at dinner that night and my son's dad and I were exchanging meaningful looks at the table. Maybe it was a little of both; maybe it's a mother thing. Regardless, I will always fondly remember the sound of giggles that autumn night; I am reminded daily, as my son's laughter sounds the same today.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Conversations With My Son, #597

In other news, last night the kiddo and I went to dinner and to the bookstore afterward. I wasn't wearing my watch, so I totally missed the bedtime window and fell into the Preschooler Grumpiness Trap. Uh-oh. On the way out of the store, before the grumpiness hit, I saw a piece of paper on the floor and offhandedly asked the kiddo to be a good citizen and pick it up. He told me he wasn't picking up that dirty piece of paper (which he'd just stepped on), and that someone else should pick it up. I asked him two more times (thinking maybe I should stand my ground, although wondering if I should cut my losses at that late hour) and he said no, so I picked it up myself. Then all hell broke loose: "I wanted to pick it up!! Why don't you ever give me a chance to do things?? Don't you know I have to think about it first?? I want to go back and pick up that paper!!"

By this point, we were in the parking lot, he was sobbing hysterically and I was NOT walking all the way back into the store to put the paper on the floor so he could pick it up. I told him that bookstores always have little papers or subscription cards on the floor, and he could pick one up next time (thinking I sounded crazy as I said this). "But it won't be THAT SAME PIECE OF PAPER!!" he wailed.

I knew he was just tired and would be fine if I could just get him into the car, so I waited it out and finally he got in without too much of a struggle. Then, on the way home, he started sobbing again and said, "I don't know how I'll ever get through this! I'll never get through this!" That scared me a little because I don't know where he heard that, and since depression runs in both sides of the family (his dad and I both have dealt with depression, as have plenty of others in our families), I've been a bit on the lookout for it in my son. I told him that usually when people feel sad, they think they'll never feel better, but that magically, after they get some rest or food or some time passes, they start feeling better, and he would, too, although I knew (I told him) that it was hard for him right now and I was sorry he was sad.

After we drove a little while, he said, sniffling, "Hey, you know what, Mommy? I'm starting to feel a little better." HALLELUJAH! Then: "Mommy? I love you. I love you because you take such good care of me when I'm sad."

Well, golly.

After we arrived at home, I helped him get ready for bed and gave him a kid-size shirt bearing my high school logo to wear. (We're not really pajama people.) "I really like this shirt from your preschool, Mommy," he said, smiling. I told him it was actually from my high school, where teenagers go. "Oh," he said. "Teenagers get pimples." I asked him where he'd heard that. "From you!" he told me. Oh, yeah. Then he asked me, "Mommy, do you ever get pimples?" I told him I was [muffled] years old and said the only way I get pimples these days is if I forget to wash my face before I go to bed. "Well," he said, "I'll try to remind you to wash your face, but if I forget, well, you'll just have to get the pimple."


Monday, September 19, 2005

Dog Out, Mosquitoes In

Woody Hiding Under Desk
Woody hiding in his usual spot under my desk.

Well, my sister's dog has gone home after spending the past eight days with me. I found it strange tonight not to be able to look over and see him keeping an eye on me every time I shifted or got up to move to another room. I miss that little guy. On my way to the dog park on Friday night, missing my son and knowing the doggie would soon be going home, I decided I need to get a dog again. It will take some serious shopping to find a dog that gets along with the kiddo and tolerates his silly behavior. My son chased Woody around all week, but I noticed that whenever the kiddo would stop, the dog would run back and wait for him to start up again, so he obviously liked the activity. Tonight when I took the dog home from the dog park, I actually shed a few tears, thinking about missing his company. Well, golly.


In other news, in the "I feel like a jerk even thinking about this with the whole Katrina thing going on" category, I seem to have some sort of mosquito thing going on in the house. We live within yards of a bigole lake, which has its pros and cons. The mosquitoes appear to be on the con side. I always saw them outside in large groups in the evenings, but I think some have gotten into the house and taken up residence. I first noticed them on Wednesday or Thursday and killed at least 10 in a 24-hour period. In the past three days or so I've killed maybe three a day. Although it sounds gross, I think probably a couple got in during our regular comings and goings, and they set up shop in the side of the kitchen sink that I rarely use that probably had a little water in it (the side with the garbage disposal -- can you tell there's not a lot of real cooking going on here?).

I dumped some counter cleaner with bleach down that drain and hoped that would take care of the problem. I've read online that mosquitoes can live for one to three weeks, though, and tonight I've already killed two and one has escaped me just now. (Note: Just killed the third one this hour.) I'm hoping, since I poured bleach in the drain and have since been flushing it out regularly, even when I'm not using that side of the sink, that the mosquitoes will run their course and not reappear before the nights start getting a lot colder. Either that, or I'm going to have to use some indoor foggers, although I'm not sure if the pilot light in my clothes dryer poses a danger with that. Must check with someone on that.

For those of you who live in mosquito-crazy climates -- what do you do during mosquito season? Anything in particular to keep them at bay? I don't run my air conditioner much, but my windows have screens. We do go in and out of the house at dusk quite often, and this is probably how the mosquitoes got in -- they're *always* out there in the evenings! Obviously this is all nothing compared to the mosquito presence (and presence of other yuckier bugs) in other geographical areas, I know. The thought of these things flitting around inside my house really creeps me out, though, and I don't even want to go to sleep with these things in the house. Also, of course, there's the West Nile virus thing on my mind, so I'd like to keep the kiddo (and myself) from getting bitten. (I have one bite, but I don't know if I got it in the house or at the dog park at dusk.)

What I can't figure out is why we never had mosquitoes in the house until now, after living here for two years! I think I'd rather have spiders -- and speaking of these, there are *none* to be seen right now! Maybe this is what I get for killing spiders over the past few months. :-)

Suggestions welcome. And yes, I know I should just be grateful I don't have flying cockroaches.

Thursday, September 15, 2005


Last night we took my sister's dog (we have him for a week) to the dog park, where we've taken him many times before. Woody is a good-natured little guy, about 20 pounds or so, and can run like the wind. At home, he mostly lies around or tries to get away from the scorpion Beanie Baby that my son has decided is his and must "sting" the doggie. [Thanks, Stacia! :-) We've named him "Scorp" because we're just that original.]

Anyway, after our walk, we went straight to the pizza place to pick up a birthday pizza, since yesterday was my birthday and I was definitely not cooking. I mean, we made a cake together. Isn't that enough? ;^) I think I'd just gotten really accustomed to the dog's good behavior -- he doesn't touch our food or the trash -- so I didn't think much about leaving him alone with the pizza when the kiddo and I hit the grocery store for some milk afterward. When we came back out to the car, the doggie had opened the side of the pizza box (hidden in the back seat) and was in a pizza trance, gobbling pepperoni and cheese off two slices he'd pulled onto the floor.

And yes, as we monitored the dog for post-pizza incidents (thankfully there were none) we ate some of the remaining pizza that the dog hadn't touched, as it was still in the box and seemed fine. But I will never again trust a dog with a pizza. I've learned my lesson.

Now the kiddo is chasing the dog nonstop with a pair of plastic pliers. If I had balls (which the dog indeed does), I guess I wouldn't like that, either. ;^)

Note for anyone concerned about the dog's balls: My son isn't actually after the dog's balls. Going by the sounds he makes, I have reason to believe he is using the plastic pliers as a laser gun or something. Besides, the dog is much faster than my son and has never been caught. In fact, he just runs under my desk and falls asleep. need to worry. :-)

Monday, September 12, 2005

I Swear I Do Not Know Where He Learned This

Recently I filled out a couple of applications to foster dogs for rescue organizations. So this week we're dogsitting for my sister's dog, a cheerful, easygoing little Danish-Swedish Farmdog, and my son has been chasing the dog around and around the second floor, despite my threats and cajoling.

Finally I told him, "Look, when the dog wants to hide from you, LET HIM. Don't scare him out of his safe place. He just wants to take a break from you. Besides, if you can't be nice to this dog, we won't be able to be a foster family for dogs. The lady from the dog rescue is going to come over in a couple of weeks and see if you're nice to dogs or not, and if you're not nice, she's going to say we can't take care of any dogs. So be nice."

"Well," he said after a moment of thought, "we can just trick the lady."


Friday, September 09, 2005

Guiding the Wee One Through Life's Grocery Store

Last night I was lying down with my son, aimlessly chitchatting with him before bedtime, as is our custom. We've been doing some version of this since he was born, from that first night when I placed him in his cradle and then checked his lightly rising and falling chest about 4,801 times before just picking him up and placing him next to me on my bed, where I curled myself around him in case he miraculously learned how to roll over at two days of age. His dad had already moved into the second bedroom, and in the early days my son and I had many nightly "conversations" about love, poop, little dreams and the elusive power of baby giggles.

So last night my son said to me, "Mommy, when you and Daddy get really old and die, who's going to be my mommy and daddy?"

"Hmm," I stalled, not wanting to keep him on the topic of death for too long, not wanting to scare him...or myself. "You know, you're going to grow up to be a big man and you'll know how to do everything all by yourself."

"I will?"

"Yes. You'll know how to drive a car, and go grocery shopping all by yourself, and cook food, and you're going to buy a house," I said.

"I'm going to buy a house?" he asked.

"Yes, and after you buy a house, do you know what you're going to do?"


"You're going to invite Mommy and Daddy over for dinner!" I said. "What do you think you'll fix for us when we come to your new house for dinner?"

"Oh, probably roast beef or chicken..." he said, although to my knowledge he's never tasted roast beef or even seen it.

"That sounds really nice," I said. "And what will you give us to drink?"

"Well, I think I'll fix you some milk or water or apple juice," he told me.

"That sounds great. What if I want a Diet Coke, though? Will you buy me one?" I asked.

"Sure, Mommy," he said, "but you'll have to show me where the Diet Coke aisle is at the store."

You bet I will, kiddo. You bet.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Breaking to Become Whole

Bill Murray in Broken Flowers.

Wednesday night is the kiddo's midweek overnight with his dad, so while he's away I sometimes go to a movie. Last night I saw Broken Flowers, starring Bill Murray. I could watch that man for a long time. A long, long time.

It's possible the fact that Bill Murray reminds me of my son's dad has a little to do with this. Or maybe that fact is what attracted me to my son's dad in the first place. Then again, they both remind me of my inner self at times.

In the story -- and this isn't spoiling anything -- Murray's character, Don, a lifelong bachelor, receives an anonymous note stating he has a 19-year-old son who may be trying to find him. Don narrows down the possible mothers to five women he dated approximately 20 years ago, and sets out to find them and see which one sent the note.

Don isn't sure at first whether he wants to find out who sent the note. He's not sure whether he wants to meet his son. He's not sure whether he wants kids at all (although Murray's scenes with the neighbor children are wonderful in an understated kind of way). He's not sure what he wants in a relationship. He's not sure about a lot of things. And so he sits. And sits. And sits some more.

Anyone who saw Lost in Translation knows Murray can play passive with an intensity that makes you want to see what he might do next. He makes you want to see what is causing his pain, his depression, his uncertainty, his loss...or maybe his passivity allows us to project onto him our own similar feelings. It's hard to say.

I loved Broken Flowers. It's the kind of movie that leaves me thinking for days afterward.

The theater was almost empty; I think there were about seven people in the audience. As we watched the film, I thought maybe we were all part of the "in" crowd -- the crowd that knows a good film when we see one. I thought maybe everyone was feeling the same way I was as we watched the film. I thought we were all similarly moved.


When I see movies on my own, which is most of the time, I like to eavesdrop on people's conversations afterward. Two women who looked like they were in their late fifties were discussing the film as they exited the theater.

"That Jessica Lange's plastic surgery looked like hell," one said. "She didn't even look like herself."

"I know," said the other. "She's had cheek implants and God-know-what. But I'm trying to decide what I hated the most about that movie..."

"So you didn't like the movie?" I asked them, although they obviously didn't.

"Ugh! Like what was the deal with that girl??" said the first one. "And why was she always _____??" She shook her head.

"Right. And why was he always just sitting there??" said the other.

They looked at me. "Did you like the movie?"

I murmured something about liking "a lot of things" about the film, about liking Bill Murray -- just throwaway comments. I wished we could sit down for coffee and I could explain to them why the movie was so...perfect.

But their minds were obviously made up. "I'm just glad we didn't drive out to Hillcrest to see this!" one exclaimed.

It would've been futile anyway. I didn't know how to explain the way a process changes someone no matter what, the way small actions and moments convey more than a million words, how it's so hard to say what you're aching to say, how it's too easy to wander through life not knowing exactly what you want until you don't have it...or until circumstance forces you to choose.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

At Last, Someone Recognizes This

A client sent me a nice message yesterday:

"I've got another pretty long chapter for you. I could afford another two hours of your editorial genius, and I could mail you a CD with the chapter on it. Let me know if you are interested."

Hear that? I'm a GENIUS!

It's about time someone just came out and said it. ;^)

And Then...the Questions

My son tried to make sense of death.

On the day my son's paternal grandfather died, he asked where Grandpa J had gone, and I told him he'd gone to heaven. "With angels?" he asked. "Yes, with angels," I told him. "Grandpa J can play with all the angels and he won't even get tired or sick any more, and he's probably smiling a lot." The kiddo seemed to like this explanation, but he had a hard time expressing his feelings about Grandpa J's passing. When I asked him if he wanted to talk about his feelings, he told me he hated me. He was also frustrated to tears by things that usually aren't a big deal. So...okay.

In the afternoon, he put himself down for a bigole nap and slept so long that I wondered if I should wake him for dinner or just let him sleep until the next morning. Eventually he woke up, I made dinner for him and things were fine. We sat on the couch and snuggled, then out of the blue he said, "One of my nicknames is _____." I said, "Yes, and who calls you that?"

"Grandpa K!" [my dad] he said. A minute passed, and I was wondering if he would think of Grandpa J. Then the kiddo said, "I thought 'chest pains' was when you have worms inside your chest or something." I said, "Well, that's something else that dogs can get, but are you thinking about Grandpa J?" "Yes," he said.

Then he asked me about heaven. "What's the heaven place, anyway?" he said. "It's where you can play all the time and do anything you want to do and you never get sick and you never even feel tired if you don't want to," I answered. He said, "I want to go to that place, but I don't want to die." I told him he wasn't going to die. "Everybody dies!" he yelled. "I'm going to die!" he said. I told him people usually die only when they get really, really old, and that he would be alive for a long, long, long time to do whatever he wants. "But I'm still going to die," he said. I told him that even after people die, they kind of keep living in a way, in heaven. "But they still die," he said.

I wasn't afraid of his questions, but I also was mindful of wanting not to scare him. I can still remember my mother telling me the details of childbirth when I was about eight, and that has haunted me for life. Somehow I changed the subject, and we played various games for a while. When it was time to go (back) to sleep, I was gently tickling his feet and cuddling him and he said once more, "Mommy, I don't want to die." I told him, "You're going to get up tomorrow morning and we're going to play, and the next day we're going to get up and play, and the next day we're going to play, and the next day and the next day, and we're going to keep doing that, okay? Everything is going to be fine and we're going to have a lot of fun." That seemed to satisfy him.

"What do you think angels look like?" he asked. I asked him what he thought. "Oh, I think they're guys that fly around and stuff," he said.

"What do you think angels' faces look like?" he asked. I asked him what he thought. "Well, I think their faces are probably kinda sparkly," he said.

"What color are the beds in heaven?" he asked. I asked him what he thought. "I think maybe they're gold...or silver...or purple...or blue...or red..." he said.

Finally he was ready to go to sleep.

The day after my son's grandfather died, the kiddo ran around clutching a tote bag and told me there was a baby oyster in it, that he was the oyster's daddy and I wasn't in charge of him. So basically things returned to normal, at least for the time being.

When I took him to see March of the Penguins a few weeks ago, I found myself in the position of having to explain death when the penguin's egg froze, the female penguin was eaten by the leopard seal, and a chick froze. Explaining about human death is a little different, I'm finding, and I'm sure we'll always be trying to make sense of it.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Please Help

I've been watching a lot of Hurricane Katrina coverage. Such a pretty name for such an ugly and devastating event. I imagine what it would be like for us if our town were flattened and under water...and the next town over...and the next town over...nowhere to go for relief...and I feel sick.

As I understand it, the Red Cross can't use donations of goods, but needs money, so we're sending a donation today. If you can donate any amount, please do. Even a little amount counts if everyone chips in. We all matter. Thanks.