Watch Repair

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I get tired.
I sleep on the job.
I look around
but I do not watch.
I love the trees–
how they dwell in their grassy silent chambers.
And I hate wandering
on the edge of those gardens of knowing
the terror is only just ahead–
but not yet.
I would feel safer in a tower,
walled off and lifted high above the danger.
But I want to be like the trees,
brave and standing and rooted
yet reaching.
I want to be
not far.
A tree is tall.
A tower is tall.
But even if I climb to such papery or stony heights
I do not watch.
Instead,
I kiss you.
I kill you.
I fall asleep in the cool breeze
and in my heavy worries.
I offer you my small things
but I know you don’t really need them.
I’ve seen many towers standing alone.
They offer good vantage points.
They encourage pause.
I think a tree must not like to be alone.
However tall and standing and rooted,
a tree must grow taller with a fellow.
You want to be with me,
want to bring me to where you are
and to see me awake.
Because while I was sleeping,
You were saving me.

gethsemane

How To Be Christina Fishburne On Monday

Find yourself planted for three years in a place people typically stay for only one.
Congratulate yourself on all that personal growth you did in Hawaii.
Think about all the people you know who might have cancer.
Plan a productive day.
Damn the constantly dirty floor to Hell.
Think about writing.
Go to the gym.
Preemptively grieve all the friends who are leaving this summer.
Start crying because people you love might have cancer.
Want another baby.
Vacuum.
Forget to buy more bagels.
Think about writing.
Think about painting.
Think about cancer.
Think about being pregnant.
Damn elliptical machines to Hell.
Vacuum.
Decide not to have another baby.
Wish you cared more about politics.
Wish you cared more about history.
Wish you cared more about Power Rangers.
Damn cancer to Hell.
Vacuum.
Think about writing.
Think about babies.
Think about wine.
Think about the people you know who have survived cancer.
Wish you were Diana Gabaldon.
Wish you were Claire Fraser.
Wish you were taller.
Wish you were better at conversation.
Wish you had a plan for dinner.
Pick up crumbs with a wet napkin.
Hold Malcolm’s hand when he offers it.
Thank Sam for doing the dishes.
Listen to Bella’s detailed plan for her birthday party half a year away.
Laugh at how Auggie says new words wrong.
Think about not wishing for more.

This is not about the election.

They have to leave us.

They try to do it strongly.Version 2Version 2

We have to let them go. We try to do it gracefully.20161110_201110

They have to go far away. 20161110_185628We have to stay put. But it doesn’t always happen fast. Sometimes it drags out over days. Version 2Days of waiting to leave. Days of knowing they are technically still here. But we can’t see them. Then they are gone.img_0605 And they have to do hard things. 20161110_18575720161110_193815They have to live in hard places. 20161110_193857Version 2They miss us and we miss them. 20161110_193734100_2532We try to be brave like them. Version 2Version 2 Things happen to all of us. img_0514100_3275100_2507Version 2100_3056Version 2But they miss our things. 100_2990OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA100_3183100_3403100_2731And we miss their things. 20161110_185713Version 220161110_194029It’s hard for each of us to understand the other’s things.

And then one dayVersion 2 they’re back. img_1387_zps676d09f1And there’s more waiting. img_1519_zpsba00bc47Agonizing minutes and hours of waiting. img_1521_zps2bec4be9We can see them. img_1527_zps1a17229cWe can almost touch them. img_1539_zps152cc91aWe are about to lose what’s left of our minds. And then

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Welcome home. And welcome back. And whatever the world is like, it will always be changing–but the reason we send you and the reason we wait for you is the same as the reason you go and the reason you go again, and again: we love our country and what it was built for and we love each other because we have this in common.

Perfectly Imperfect

When we first heard that Harper Lee was publishing another novel, my brother and I  immediately started text-exchanging potential titles: To Revive A Mockingbird; Scout’s Honor; The Lawyer, The Bitch, and the Chifforobe; Yule Tide: Vengeance Is His… I was so excited. Nothing quite glorified sibling alliance like To Kill A Mockingbird and I was pumped to hear the rest of the story. That it was written first intrigued me to no end.

I refused to read any reviews before I read the book, so afterwards, finding out that pretty much everyone vehemently hated Go Set A Watchman made me feel like a tool for liking it. I feel pedestrian for loving the “string of anecdotes,” as one review called it, so much that it made me actually MISS the romanticized oppressive heat of the Alabama summertime. I feel like a chump for latching onto Jean Louise so intensely from the first page and letting her drag me around, clinging to her ferociously, through the book. She is MY Scout. How dare anyone speak a word against her?

~

Bella reminds me of Scout. I have always loved the movie version of To Kill A Mockingbird— Those kids are perfect. I identified with them as a child. I identify my own kids with them now. Malcolm is a gentle soul with the huge imagination but talks big and has an underlying protective streak. Bella…one night she announced, while standing on a chair with her hands on her hips, that she wanted to live by herself because I always tell her what to do, and then proceeded to eat her Cheerios topless. Malcolm has his moments, but he’s happiest humming to himself while building Lego creations. Bella… Let’s just look at this photo, shall we?

Auggies dedication

The only photographic documentation of my baby’s church dedication

She exasperates me to no end. But she’s exactly the kind of character I adore in books. Which delights me.

~

I savored the first page of Go Set A Watchman, positively GLEEFUL at being reunited with Scout and Jem. I loved them in the book. Pretended to BE them in the movie. I couldn’t wait to see them grown up. I had it all planned out: Jem would have been to the war and back. He’d have a couple of kids who’d be adorably similar to him and Scout, but with even better one-liners. Scout would have this awesome relationship with them and would banter with and rank on Jem as they did when they were children. Stuff would happen in the story, but for me, it was all about Jem and Scout.

Silver-Linings-Playbook

Me, finding out Jem is dead

Unceremoniously Dead. It took me quite sometime to get over that. I couldn’t even concentrate on what was going on because I was so shattered. Cuz, Jem wasn’t Jem. He was my brother. He was my son. Scout wasn’t Scout–she was me. She was Bella.
The fact that Atticus is not Gregory-Peck-Awesome-Atticus bothered me. Of course. But honestly, Dead Jem is more disturbing. I had wanted to name my baby Jem or Atticus. Seriously. I’m glad now that Sam shot me down on those. The names have been a bit ruined for me with now with disappointment and grief.

~

A childhood friend passed away unexpectedly. I hadn’t seen him in many years, so he remains 12 years old in my memory. It still sneaks up on me and I tear up and can’t breathe right. He’s not my brother or my son, but I can imagine how I would feel if he was. Photographs are both treasures and weapons. Memories are comforting but unspeakably painful. On intense days I’ll look at a shoe or a toy and have to suck oxygen into my lungs as if I’d been underwater for too long. And my kids are only at school. I can pick them up soon.
And then when I do pick them up, more often than not, all I do is yell at them or make them do homework or tell them no, they can’t have another snack cuz it’s almost dinner time.

~

I love the beginning of stories. The possibility, the “anything can happen-ness,” but I also love the excellent twists.

Not seeing something coming, bsg_s3e20_crossroads_2

the pleasant surprises, the redemption of chaos, the puzzle coming together. Love it.

Not so much the unpleasant surprises…

Siggy-Dying

NOT. COOL.

But that’s life, right? You can’t have an excellent twist if there is no set up to begin with. So we have to risk the unexcellent twists. The disappointments. The griefs. People aren’t who we thought they were. Good guys die.

Should Go Set A Watchman ever have been published? Did she really want it to be? Is To Kill A Mockingbird ruined now? It happened first, but with this taste left in my mouth, does it change who they were that summer? I loved that Harper Lee wrote the perfect story and then stopped. It was If On A Winter’s Night A Traveler perfection. Cuz it ended.

~

A few weeks ago I noticed a suspicious looking freckle on Bella’s jaw. I thought it should be checked out. Then preemptively stifled any panic that might even be THINKING about rising. To prove a point (to myself), I did not take any action. After a week, at which point the freckle was the only thing I could see when I looked at my daughter, I released the hounds. There was all kinds of panic. So much so that from the time I decided to terrify myself as I gave her the plate of frozen waffles at around 6:30 to the time I left her at school and was driving home at 7:40, I was crying, bargaining with God, FREAKING out because as I was wheeling and dealing with the Almighty an ad for Queen’s Medical Center’s new CANCER WARD came on the radio, and had already resolved to shave my own head so that we would look the same after her chemo. I anticipated that Sam and Malcolm would be on board as well. That’d either be a damn inspiring sight or

Alien_Nation

This

 

I had taken a picture of the freckle and emailed it to our doctor as soon as I got home. Then proceeded to wait for the response. It’s a good thing Bella’s powers of perception have not quite reached telepathy (though they are close). She could have had ANYTHING. I was all over her. Hugs, crafts, snacks, tv shows. The next day I heard from our doctor. It was a very common discoloration. Watch it, but no cause for alarm.
She was in time-out for insubordination a few hours later. All was right with the world.
On very introspective days I wonder why I did this to myself. Why did I want children if all I’m going to do is worry about them and perhaps grieve the loss of them one day? What if I’d never had them? Would I necessarily miss them if I’d never known them? Is it easier to go through life wondering what it’d be like to have something, able to invent emotions and investments, or is it less painful to actually have the thing, experience the love, humor, fulfillment, all the good things, but risk losing it at some point?

~

I’m pretty ticked that “everyone” seems to have hated the book. Questioning “Nell’s” wish to publish it at all. Judgement on her skill as a young writer. Yeah, there are long diatribe-y parts, and the characters make choices that we don’t like. But good grief, did anyone read The Finkler Question? I want to scream just thinking about it. SO BORING. And “everyone” sang its praises. Anyway. All the anticipation and expectation put on Go Set A Watchman was possibly unfair. I’d still read it again. It’s not perfect. Nothing is. No one is. And that doesn’t change the fact that she’s MY Scout.

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Surf’s Up. Time’s Up.

So I had a dream the other night.
I was out in the ocean, catchin’ some waves…on a boogie board. Sam was with me. The waves were really REALLY huge. Like, Hollywood-cataclysmic-natural-disaster-movie huge. Sam was trying to teach me how to “do it right”—where to catch the wave to ride the greatest distance. I wasn’t doing well. Then this huge scary tidal wave rose up underneath me and I knew it was going to be bad. I was going up too high. I could see the cities in the distance. The beach was way way below me. But I was not afraid. Just mildly apprehensive.

This summer has been great. Nobody broke their back. Nobody was dry heaving into the toilet every morning. There were planned activities and whatnot. There was moderately good parenting. It’s been an absolute delight not rocketing out the front door at 7am in a flurry of backpacks, lunch boxes, mewling infants, and armfuls of stuffed animals that MUST NOT BE LEFT BEHIND. I’ve had no extra curricular responsibilities. I’ve had assistance. But all that is about to change. School is starting.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing. I think we’ve all had our fill of quality time together. But it means Real Life is happening again.
Yes, Yes, I’ve had real life for the past 3 1/2 months. But in my mind, (which is apparently still 12 years old) Summer kind of doesn’t count. If I feel stress, it somehow doesn’t register at full strength. It doesn’t make sense. Much like my believing every time that growing my eyebrows out WILL INDEED make me look younger–just like the magazines say. In my mind I see this:
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In the mirror I see this:
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But somehow the months June, July, and August still trigger a big fat forcefield around my brain, rejecting all logical argument that I am accountable to long term consequences.

As I felt the wave cresting and I started to come down I thought, “huh, this one will surely take me all the way in! Good job, me!” but then immediately in front of me another tidal wave began to rise up—over me—and started cresting toward me. I had a Han Solo very bad feeling about this. Yet wasn’t terrified. Just disappointed that my epic ride to the shore was about to be ruined. The second wave was tipping on top of me. I knew I was going to be pounded. Was going to have to go underwater. Which I can’t do comfortably without holding my nose. There would be no time to hold my nose. And I’d need both arms to get back to the surface. There was nervousness, but no real fear.

School– with all the taxiing, homework, and afterschool schedules. School, where my son will be expected to have made significant progress in reading and math because I was supposed to have him tutored and work extra hard at home to get him ready for the next level.
Photo on 8-18-15 at 12.50 PM

Bible Study will be starting again as well, with all the phone calling angst and pleasant yet time-consuming preparation and emotional energy expenditure.
So, clearly, now is the time to start an online business venture! Yes! One that requires much monitoring and tallying and keeping track of different groups and people and orders. And math. Definitely. Let’s do THAT.
And let’s join a book club! Cuz, ya know, IDLE TIME.
What’s that noise? Oh it’s the BABY crying. Good thing he doesn’t require much attention…
I am not even remotely as busy as my friends. But this small list is debilitating to me when I stop and think about it. And because I feel incapacitated at the thought of any additional responsibility, I assume that it’s probably necessary to do it–all of it– in order to be a Grown Up.
I want to be a grown up. But I also really REALLY want to sit on the couch for hours and hours at a time looking out the window, listening to the chimes, daydreaming, and eating cake. With no expectations of me to do anything else. Do grown ups do that?

other than her…?

other than her…?

My parents visited for a gloriously long yet not long enough time this summer. I got a taste of the good life again. That life where my mama does my laundry, gives kids a bath, puts them to bed, brings me snacks, etc. And tv. Oh, the TV! I got to watch my Korean Dramas again. And they are just as brilliant as I remember. I blame Misaeng (Incomplete Life) for my sudden interest in being employed. It’s a show about an office full of business people. That’s really all it’s about. Except it’s also about LIFE and the SOUL. Anyway– my parents are not here now. I have to be the parent again.

My dreams

My dreams

Just as I felt myself simultaneously rising up and being covered under the shadow of this enormous second wave, I closed my eyes. Then for some reason I was moved smoothly from the first rising wave right onto the top of the second one. I had a Leonardo DiCaprio Top of the World moment. I could see everything. I was rapidly approaching the shore. And then I was on the beach. With my boogie board.

The reality of the situation is: I love my life. I love it so much and am so grateful for every syrup covered, crumb coated, vaguely diaper smelling aspect of it. Forcing myself to do grown up things is hard. And by “grown up things” I mean, interacting with adults who have mature expectations of me and upon whom I cannot unload a laundry basket filled with excuses as to why I’m late, in a bad mood, and un-showered. But it’s like exercise. It gets easier the more you do it and the more you do it, the stronger you are.
I have not exercised since May 21st.

I looked back at the surging water and could see Sam still out there. I knew he was fine but was worried about me. With telescopic vision I could see him or feel him asking with his shoulders or arms if I was ok. I tucked my boogieboard under my arm and gave him a thumbs up.

In Which I Paint A Bull’s-Eye On My Face

I am terrified. TERRIFIED.
Which is acceptable because I am a big fat coward. This is what I do. I will crush your cowardice with my cowardice. I fear many things and find myself having my face rubbed in those fears: drowning (I live on an island), pain (never have gotten the epidural in time), responsibility, being honest about my feelings, conflict, hurting people I love–

***

In preparation for the 4th of July, I ‘ve taken out the patriotic tablecloth, identified the clothing my kids will wear for the BBQ, and read a book to them about how the “Star Spangled Banner” was written. It could be the hormones or it could be the images of inspiring movies it brings to mind, but as I was reading about the rockets and the battle smoke and the flag being still there I got all choked up and crap. At the end of the book there’s a huge flag background with a line of silhouetted folks: kids, soldiers, regular people, etc. Unsolicited, Bella pointed to one of them, pulled her thumb out of her mouth, and said, “I want to be one of them.” Malcolm then said, “And I would salute the flag.” I was America’s Favorite Mother.

I love my country. I love everything it originally stood for. I love people. I’m extremely empathetic; I can’t look at someone and not imagine what they’re feeling. I don’t always take action when I know I should. Which makes me feel bad. Knowing what I should do and choosing not to do it because I’m afraid of whatever consequence I determine would be visited on me makes my heart beat faster and floods me with shame. I operate under these conditions often.

I will lose friends today. And those I don’t lose will look at me differently, think of me differently, and I’m already hurting about that. When I’m afraid I get very quiet. My heart pounds harder. When I feel I’m supposed to say something in front of a group of people, my heart pounds harder. So what we have here is me, feeling my chest about to explode.

***

Every day I’m asked a question, multiple times: “How are you going to react to this? What are you going to do?” This ranges from How are you going to spend this Sephora gift card? to How are you going to handle this blatant act of cruelty?
(I finally used that Sephora gift card I got for my birthday. The plan was to buy all these hot glossy makeup items, but who are we kidding–I blew it all on anti-aging and hair thickening products.)
For the more serious stuff the answer is always intense, never comfortable, and no matter how many detours I take, remains unavoidable.
I love my family, I love my friends, I love my country, and I love my God. We like to say “God is love.” He tells us that He is love. It is super comfortable to tell people God is love. Because He is.

***

Back in El Paso, I was at the kitchen table one day. Bella was two and a half, Malcolm was five. I was trying to tell them the story of Noah’s Ark, complete with voices, grand sweeping hand gestures, and inspiring facial expressions. When I got to the third day with the dove being sent out again, anticipating the return with evidence of land, I asked my enraptured children, “And what do you think he saw?!”
My darling cherub-faced Bella leaned over her plate and widened her eyes like mine, “The Debil…” she whispered.
This was neither the correct answer nor the expected one. But I had to laugh and at least give myself props for trying.

There’s been a blanket of rainbows over my computer. Rainbows over my friends’ faces, over the White House, over news feeds. And it is beautiful. It’s love. It’s acceptance. It’s support. Encouragement. Celebration. Relief. I want to feel all those things for all the people who have suffered so much and endured such frustration and hate and hopelessness. I want my friends to be safe and loved and supported and happy.
So this is hard for me. I cannot reconcile my desire to be tolerant, or to be tolerated and accepted myself, with my knowledge of and belief in the lines that were drawn. Both by the Constitution and by the definition of love in which I believe. I am not without sin. Clearly. So I do my best not to cast stones. I am also very ignorant of politics and avoid conversations involving them as I would a foaming rabid beast. But I see where the lines are and I cannot cross them. Yet, I love. I love so much.
I believe things that are not popular. Things that get twisted and malformed and thrown back at me when I speak them. So I don’t speak.
I am between a Rock and a Hard Place.

***

I can’t in all honesty say this was not expected, but I will say that I do not think it is correct. And as I have pretty successfully avoided making any stance on any argument up until now, and have deliberated for days on whether or not I will even publish this, I am afraid. What good does it do to declare this? If nothing else I think I have to do it for myself to prove that I believe it enough. But if I can accept what others believe and still be friends, I have to assume that’s a two-way thing.
When I think of rainbows I think of Noah’s Ark. Noah’s rainbow is my rainbow. My God’s promise. In the fog of what feels very much like a battlefield, it is my answer to the question, Are You still there?

Fight or Flight or Zzzzzzz…

It’s the story of my life: I’m perfectly fine. Until I’m not.
I was driving the kids to school, inching through traffic on the H1 a little after 7am and just about to get off at my exit. We were listening to music, war-gaming occasional strategies to facilitate the making of “good choices” and avoiding boo-boos. I was to drop them off and then head straight over to Kalihi for my very first week of leading a small group in Bible study. I was vaguely nervous, but assumed all would be well and that, as when I taught the composition classes in grad school, as soon as I got in there (many times after putting together a lesson plan literally 10 minutes beforehand in the bathroom) I’d manifest, The Persona: I’d magically come up with confidence I didn’t feel, trains of throughout I’d not prepared in the least, and an extroverted personality that exuded charm, inclusion, and the appearance of intelligence and authority on the subject on which I was supposed to be well-versed. (At least, that’s how I always felt. The students’ impressions of my charm and intelligence are irrelevant.) However, I fully expected to feel ill the few moments before going in. Every time.
But I was still on the H1 exit ramp. I hadn’t even completed Phase 1 of the morning. I was not supposed to be ill yet–this was still prime denial of responsibility time.
Yet, there I was, now at the stop light before the first of four ridiculously long stops, sandwiched between cars with nowhere to pull over, and feeling I had to go to the bathroom, throw up, and dump a bucket of water over my body at the same time. And the prickling… Son of a…I was going to pass out. Soon.
I drank from my water bottle. I bounced my legs up and down. Cranked up the AC full blast. Placed my wrists against any cool surface. No dice. I prayed to make it around the corner to the extremely sketchy road with several abandoned residences and overgrown parking “lots” of various failed businesses. LONG feeling story short, I was able to jerk the minivan across oncoming traffic to get off the road.
Raise your hand if you’ve been nearly 7 months pregnant and tried to put your head between your knees…

A celebration of life... Dralion
I managed to stay conscious and get the kids to school, where I had to put my head again between-ish my knees before calling my people to tell them I didn’t’ think I could make it to Bible study. I was going to the hospital.
And why not? Since Sam’s surgery and my last appointment it had been nearly nine days since I drove around the Tripler parking lots cussing like an HBO character that there were no places left. I almost missed it.
Still feeling distinctly “off” but considerably less likely of killing anyone due to unconsciousness, I set off for the H1 again. This was not my first rodeo–I’ve fainted more than a few times in my day, in several exotic locales ranging from a Dominican marketplace to Heidelberg Castle’s ballroom, and at least once during each pregnancy–so I wasn’t so worried about that. It was the other sensation I had. One that I remember being present each time I went into labor. As I was driving I was struck by how freakishly calm I was. I even, purely as a social experiment, tried to spin myself up:
The baby isn’t ready. If this is labor, we’re in trouble, Precious.
It’s going to be ok.
You’re bailing on your very first week as a leader. That’s a great first impression. We told you last year you weren’t able to do this. See? This is what happens when you overextend yourself.
I’m not overextending. It’s the only thing I’m doing and both kids are in school now. It’s fine.
You’re not calling Sam. Why? Is it because you know something is wrong and you can’t handle seeing it confirmed on his face? It is, isn’t’ it.
I’ll call him when I know for sure. I don’t want to scare him for no reason.
You’re scared, aren’t you? You should be. This is the same feeling and it’s too soon. Something is wrong. You’re going to lose him too. Accept it now and then it won’t be so bad later.
I’m not scared. I’m really not. I don’t know why, but I’m really not.

As Labor and Delivery is on the opposite side of the hospital, and it was a special occasion, I paid for valet parking. That, my friends, is money well spent.
They (the doctors, not the valets) did all manner of tests on my blood pressure, blood, heart, baby–all perfectly fine. And despite my not being dehydrated, over the next couple of hours I was obliged to drink an inexplicable amount of water, just for kicks. Surprisingly,the extra gallon or so of water did improve my levels of whatever they were monitoring. Next they had me lie down and then stand up at several intervals. Again, blood pressure was fine, but my pulse was too high. There was an impressive sounding medical term for it, but the doctor explained it as my “fight or flight reflexes are very sensitive.” I was instantly ready to go. Now–apparently this isn’t as awesome as it sounds. My first thought was, “Great! Maybe I WOULD survive the zombie apocalypse!” because my current plan for any sudden plummet into a dystopian society is to shoot MYSELF in the head simply to avoid the stress of having to figure out how to survive…

I would much rather run away from something, or better yet, hide somewhere in a manner requiring no physical or mental exertion, than fight it. Public Speaking. Leadership of any kind. Confrontation. Expression of true feelings to someone’s actual FACE…no thanks.
Hawaii has had other plans for me. For the past six years I’ve been day-dreaming about the day when both kids are in school and it will finally be All About Me again during the day. Reading! Painting! Writing! K-Dramas! Haircuts! Shopping in stores full of breakable objects without anxiety!
Since they’ve entered school, my days could not have been less about me. I still have chores to do. I still run the same errands. Sam was still at home for the first month to make me feel a bit guilty about going out to do fun things on my own. Friends have been in crisis. Little old ladies have literally needed rides home from the doctor. I’ve become a leader of a group and have responsibilities associated with grown-up stuff which include making PHONE CALLS.

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And I’m just so hella tired all the time that after I do the things that need to be done, I’m too drained to pull out old stories I’ve never finished or set up the paints.

It’s ok to be a coward. As long as nobody can see me, right? As long as nobody calls me on being a coward. If I can foist it off on, “Oh, I’ve got WAY too much going on right now.” “I think I need to just take it easier on myself, ya know?” “Well, with the kids at home/at school/breathing, and Sam being injured/recovering injury/just getting back on his feet, and (ace in the hole) being pregnant…”
It’s ok to have it be All About Me. Just for a little while, see, not forever.
I’d convinced myself it was fine. It was more than OK to focus on myself. I deserved it, dammit. It wasn’t so much selfishness as it was self-nurturing.
I convinced myself it wasn’t an ugly thing. It would look ok–much like this designer maternity dress I’m wearing today. It was marked down from 190.00 to 7.00. I ask you–how could I NOT buy it!? Well, the fact that it isn’t really my size, is a bit risqué on the top, rubeun-esque from behind, and has a pretty significant, though faint, stain down the entire left side could have factored into the decision-making process. But if I just wear it around the house… The problem comes when I have to leave the house to pick up the kids. Am I going to change? I honestly haven’t decided yet.
If it ever IS All About Me, that would be fantastic. But then when it stops being All About Me I will be quite resentful. And, if I really think about it, when it was truly All About Me before we had kids, Sam was in Iraq, and I didn’t have to work, it got old pretty quick. Alone with my thoughts. Perfectly lovely, as long as they were good thoughts. It was fine. Until it wasn’t.
So, I’ll probably have to leave the house at some point and decide how I’ll be dressed when I get out there.

We have been in Hawaii for one year. They’ve closed the main gate we use to get off the housing area and funneled everyone allllllll the way around the reservation, adding more precious traffic-battling minutes to an already frustratingly long drive. And when that one re-opens, they’ll close the back gate–my secret passageway to the Commissary, PX, and God help us all, Target. I’m going to have to work harder to get places for a while. Commies.
Being forced to go this new way puts me smack in front Tripler Army Medical Center, resplendent in its pink facade on the mountainside as I come down one of the hills. Yesterday was a dark and overcast morning. I came up that hill and saw Tripler as we coasted down, and as I always do, immediately associated it with our first two months living in the lodging there. Which, if you might recall, sucked.
Next week will be one year since the second miscarriage. I remember thinking then that in a year everything would be different. We’d live in a house. We’d have friends. We’d have a life. We might even have another baby or close to it.
As I saw Tripler on that dark morning mountainside I also saw a huge arching rainbow right over the building. Perfectly centered. Perfectly symmetrical. Almost like it had been put there on purpose or something.