just the necessities

Add this to the No Matter How Old And Independent Your Children Are…or maybe think they are….They Will Still Need You files.

Abby had surgery today. Not a big deal, really. Except for her it was a big deal because she has never, ever had surgery…or an IV…ever.

Definitely a big deal then.

That’s what mom is for, I assure her. Mom is here to go with her to see the doctor pre-operatively, to help her ask the questions she needs to ask. Mom is there to help her figure out the scheduling so that she can be able to take off time from work and school during the busiest time of the year at work and the start of the semester. Mom, of course, will nag  remind her the night before to make sure all the consents are signed and that she has not and will not eat or drink anything after 8 PM. Actually she tells me that my nagging gentle reminding isn’t necessary at all because the pre-op instructions are literally in large font, bold-faced capital letters which most certainly tells her that she will likely die if she eats or drinks anything after 8 PM the night before.

The nurse in me tries to explain the rationale for nothing by mouth before a surgical procedure with anesthesia; but right now that’s not what she wants.

Fine.

I will be the mom. The mom who takes her to the ambulatory surgery center. The mom who waits until she is taken back into the OR to go get some coffee because how cruel would it be for me to be enjoying coffee when she has not eaten or drank anything since 8 PM last night? Random guy in the waiting room offers that he wouldn’t and couldn’t wait. I smile an think to myself that he is weak. More proof that males are truly, truly the weaker sex.

Waiting with her in recovery, I assure her that she looks just fine…my little girl looking small and pale and maybe a little scared all wrapped up in blankets. She might be a grown, young woman but right now she is my little girl; my little girl who needs me.

We get back to The Big Top where I get her settled and tucked in before I pick up her prescriptions.

What do you need?

My Baby, my cheetah blanket and my iPad.

The necessities, but of course.

Oh, and mom, because mom brings the ice packs and pain pills and antibiotics and all the favorite soft foods including a double order of miso soup from the favorite sushi place.

See?

No matter how grown and independent they are they still will need their mom.

Yeah, my heart is kind of full.

Don’t worry, Abby is just fine now.

possibly the end

Years ago during what was maybe an El Pequeño Niño, I gave birth on a windy, rainy, blustery evening. Having as many kids as I do the odds had to be in my favor at least once that this would happen. And because it was the days of drive-thru deliveries, baby Abigael and I found ourselves coming home scarcely 24 hours after we met face to face for the first time…on another dark and stormy night. My darling husband easily stepped over the giant 3 foot puddle that he parked my new minivan in front of to get our new baby safely buckled in for her first ride. Naturally, I stepped right into the middle of that puddle of cold, brackish rainwater with my fuzzy socks and Birkenstocks because I had just pushed a 7 pound baby out of my vagina just 24 hours before and I was still bruised and swollen enough to not be as flexible as my darling husband imagined that I must be because

weren’t you doing all kinds of crazy downward doggie-warrior kind of yoga-y stretches right before we went to the hospital yesterday morning?

Because I was in labor, BACK LABOR and I might have hurt you were it not for that distraction!

Oh. So I guess puddle jumping is hard for you right now.

Just a little.

Maybe rain boots would have been better than Birkenstocks then.

Maybe.

Somedays he’s lucky that I love him so. That day was one of those days.

Looks like we are having a proper winter finally here in our neck of the woods. Yes, Jonas had his way with the Eastern part of the United States which many have yet to dig out from. I’ve seen all the Facebook posts. Hang in there y’all. I grew up in Western Pennsylvania and I promise you that I had experienced more than my fair share of epic snow storms of the century to dig out from whether or not the snow ploughs came by to clear the main road and block our street and driveway…and of course school was not cancelled because as long as the school superintendent can get out of his driveway it’s all good. Still I am thankful for winds and the rains and the snow piling up in the Sierra because we need all the precipitation, all of it.

So while the rains came down, down, down in and all over Northern Cali this past week I set about to be prepared because El Niño finally is here!

This just might bring on the end of El Niño.

God I hope not because I want nothing more than to jump in some puddles while wearing these sweet boots.

Peeking ahead at the extended forecast I just might get my wish.

the one that matters the most

Apparently today is a great day to be born because there are literally over 19 million birthdays today.

This gift bag tells me so.

Facebook kind of backs this truth up reminding me to wish six people a “Happy Birthday” today.

I guess today is a good day to be born.

Truth be told, only one of those 19 million people celebrating a birthday today matters to me more than any other. Today is our third child’s birthday…the one everyone forgets…today Abigael Rose is 22!

And yeah, everything will be alright.

NaPhoPoMo

because your friends it can wait

MAJOR pet peeve of mine….MAJOR…guaranteed to set my teeth to grind and mutter an expletive or two…perhaps more…MAJOR pet peeve of mine is distracted driving.

OH.

MY

GAWD.

IT CAN WAIT!!!!

We all see it. Perhaps some of us are guilty of it. Certain family members and friends I am looking at you. Lady at the school drop off yesterday morning I tapped my horn at you. Redneck Bubba in the pickup truck driving up 99, I glared at you when I changed lanes to pass you and you were in the fast lane. Lady in the ‘cedes sitting at the GREEN light this morning, yes, I was yelling at you.

IT!

CAN!

WAIT!

As I write this, one of my daughters is preparing to attend a memorial service.

It can wait.

For those who might be keeping score, this will be the second funeral for a friend that she must attend within the last three months. Yes, she agrees that this is two more funerals for people in their 20s too many for her to be attending. Today she will be saying goodbye to a friend who died three days before his 25th birthday.

It can wait.

Her friend was a father, a fiancé, a hard working business owner. He was a good friend to many and someone not afraid to show kindness to anyone and everyone.

It can wait.

My daughter’s friend died while working, traveling in a car with a business partner. The car he was traveling in was T-boned by a pickup truck driver….a distracted driver.

It can wait.

So today a gentle giant of a young man is dead. His little girl will grow up without her daddy. The love of his life is no longer planning a wedding but is preparing to bury her love. Parents, siblings, friends and business partners are saying goodbye to a much loved and respected human being who has inspired all to live like him.

It can wait.

I look at one of the many pictures my daughter posted in remembrance of her friend and all I can think as I see these bright, shiny, happy young faces is so much promise of so much life to live…so much life to live.

People, put the god damn phone away.

It can wait.

shifted revolutions

Late one August night in 2001, I had an emotional crisis which my darling husband had to talk me down from and hug it out. My then youngest child, my sunshine-y, happy baby girl who was slumbering peacefully in the room next door was going to be starting kindergarten the next morning. No doubt she was having happy, sweet, sunshine-y dreams about her very first day of kindergarten because that was all that she chirped about as I bathed her, brushed her golden hair and tucked her into bed with kisses and hugs. She could not wait.

But me? I had resolved that she wouldn’t be starting kindergarten after all. That’s right. It was settled, I told my darling husband. Jodie would not be going to school.

But…Bill countered…she has to go to school.

No. No she does not. School will ruin her. Look what it has done to our 14 year old first born…a perfectly normal adolescent who would rather chew ground glass than hang out with mom and dad because

Oh my gawd! Mom! Dad! No!!

She used to love and adore us like the sun and the moon that rose and set for her every day. The she went to school.. It’s too late for her and Zoë and Abby but we can save this one. No school for her. I am the center of her universe. She is Mommy’s baby girl. She even still calls me Mommy. School willI ruin it all. No school for her.

I told you it was a crisis.

Bill obviously talked me out of it because Jodie did happily skip off to Miss Smith’s bright classroom the next morning. Our then teenager continued to put us through the paces but we all survived…as we have survived three more teenagers. And yes, the center of Jodie’s universe did shift as it did with all of my children.

Dammit school!

So now I start to adjust to the fact that my third circus clown has left The Big Top…and her empty room…and the even quieter circus tent…and remembering not to set a place for her at the table…and on and on… I’m going to be okay…I think…and then Laurie shares I was the sun, and the kids were my planets and…

Dammit!

:::SOB!!!:::

I’m a mess all over again because Beverly Beckham is right. When Hollie left the first time and then left the second time with Hazel and when Zoë left and now Jodie it has been the end.

I was the sun and they were the planets. And there was life on those planets, whirling, nonstop plans and parties and friends coming and going, and ideas and dreams and the phone ringing and doors slamming.

And I got to beam down on them. To watch. To glow.

And then they were gone, one after the other.

Yes, they do come back but it is never the same, noisy, chaotic, busy circus that was life under The Big Top when I was the sun and they were my planets.