Archive for May, 2010


Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

He’s getting ready mentally.

It Was Totally Me

Monday, May 24th, 2010

First of all, why do i always start my period when I am going to the beach??? WHY?!

Secondly, the movie Whip It was fucking awesome and I want to make out with Drew Barrymore for producing awesome chick movies.

Thirdly, Yes. That was me. The one who tried to smush down the recycling in the blue recycling bin in the garage? By stepping on the pile? Then bouncing up and down, wearing flip flops? Whose flip flop then got caught, neighborhood kids looking on, as she pitched backwards to fall on her ass in the driveway, a cardboard 12-pack box still stuck on her foot?

Yeah. It was totally me.

A Song For Daddy, In New York

Monday, May 24th, 2010

Tiller asked me today, when we were laying on the bed reading after a day of waterlogging ourselves at the pool, “Mama? Where is Daddy? Is he lost?” He is out of town on business. So, we texted back and forth with Daddy for a while, and then she wanted to send him a song.

So, she sang this , on the fly, for me to record for him. First and only take.

Tiller at Music Program

Friday, May 21st, 2010

Tiller had her music program today. I was on the verge of tears the whole time. I sat over on the side, but about three rows back from the altar, and she ended up standing on the very end, closest to me, and she knew exactly where I was, because i happened to sit right by the area reserved for her class.

She towers over all the other kids in her class, like a Bowie-haired, silk-purse-out-of-a-sow’s-ear little tomboy. Her hair is growing out, but it is taking it’s sweet time, and as my own friend and hairdresser put it so succinctly, she is “looking like a little lesbian.” So, we actually stuck a bow in her hair this morning (we even brushed it!) and stuck her in her pretty Shank hand-me-down dress, and she picked out her little sandals, and she looked half girlie.

They sang three songs. One was about being a pizza (?), one about a dog named “Rag.” But one, it was called, “I love my home” or something like that? The verses included I love my dad, I love my mom, I love my dog, and I love my cat.

It absolutely fucking tore me up.

She can’t say “L”s very well, so she makes the “W” sound instead. “Love” sounds like “Wuv.” I could hear it over the other kids. She sang with this sweet little smile on her face, “I wuv my Mom,” watching her teacher do the hand signs for cues, and then ever five seconds, she would look straight over at me, and her smile would get just a little bigger when she saw me looking back at her, and she would sing, looking me right in the eyes, and then turn back to her teacher to stay on track, and then turn back to me to light up when she realized i was still watching her.

It was one of those priceless parenting moments that you know you will never forget, no matter how old she gets.

And in an odd twist, I would never have gotten to have the moment if I had remembered my camera or my video camera, and had one of them stuck in my face the whole time.

So, all i have is these couple of iPhone pics, and my sweet memory.

Nim’s Island

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

For some reason my kids barely make a peep during this whole movie. I mean, I know why I don’t make a peep: Two words- Gerard Butler. But what is it that they love about it? Anyway, this is how they looked when I came upstairs to see why it was so quiet.

Tough Questions from Tiller

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

Tough questions this morning from Tiller.

Tiller: Mom, where did Quint come from?
Me [distractedly, and before coffee]: The pound.
I realize what’s coming.
Tiller: What’s the pound?
Me: It’s a place where the government puts dogs and cats who live on the street, so they won’t starve and they won’t bite anyone. Then, people can come look at them and adopt them. [should have stopped there.] If they don’t adopt them, they put them to sleep.
Tiller stares at me.
Me: Do you know what that means? To put them to sleep?
Tiller: [still staring, but now slowly shaking her head no]
Me: Well, they give them a shot that puts them to sleep forever. They go to heaven.
Tiller: [looking sad for a moment, then gets an idea] But we saved Quint! And he’s the best one!
Me: Yes, Tiller. Yes, he is. I wish we could save all of them.
Tiller: But we can’t.
Me: No, baby, we can’t.

And then, while i was watching the news and CNN was covering Immigration.

[The TV is showing footage of people trying to make it over the border, and police dogs, and officers with guns.]

Tiller: What are those people doing?
Me: Well, they live in a country that is having a lot of violence problems, and it is right next door to the U.S. and they want to come to the U.S. to make their lives better.
Tiller: So they come here?
Me: Yes.
Tiller: What’s that fence for?
[Wow. Good question.]
Me: [Sigh] Well, when they come over, they are supposed to get permission first, but because they are desperate to help their families, some people just come over without permission.
Tiller: What’s desperate mean?
Me: It means they are poor and can’t feed their families and they are probably scared of the violence. So, when they come over without permission, it can cause a lot of problems for the hospitals and schools because they get overcrowded and don’t have enough money to pay for everything, so some folks in our country get mad about it, and so they put up a fence to try and keep them out.
Tiller looks at me kind of scared.
Me: They aren’t bad people. They are just trying to help their families. There’s nothing to be scared of, but it is a very complex subject. That was a very good question, Tiller.
[she sits in thought, then looks up quickly at me]
Tiller: Can we watch Dora, now?

Full House

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Not sure how this happened, but I have six kids this afternoon. They just crack me up, with all the sibling, gender, age, and birth order dynamics. Also all the funny faces.

How To Find Forgiveness

Monday, May 17th, 2010

There is a reason i haven’t posted much on Dogwood Girl lately. I have been heartbroken. I barely managed to brush my teeth and get the kids where they need to be and hold up my end of meaningless conversations.

I went for a run the other day. It was the worst one i have ever had. It was only supposed to be about 30 minutes and an easy run, but my heart wasn’t in it. Usually, when I run, it helps me de-stress. I think about the things that are bringing me down, or frustrating me, and I come away with a plan for fixing them, or put them in perspective and realize that they just aren’t that important. This problem? This problem just beat me down. I just wanted to cry and scream and lay down in the road. I was just so tired of feeling raw and angry and sad, that I just wanted to lay down and have someone come pick me up so i could sit on my couch, watch Joan of Arcadia (a world of order and obvious purpose), drink wine, and eat peanut butter Bowls of Shame all day.

The things that have been getting me down won’t be so easily put aside by a run.

I am hurt. I am angry. I am resentful and feeling betrayed. I don’t think this is what I was meant to feel in response to the actions of someone else, someone that I love very much. I don’t think that they set out to hurt me. They are just doing their thing, being themselves. But their actions have caused me no small amount of pain, anger, depression, and a very twisted feeling of shame – A sense of “How could i have let someone make me feel this way?” The only thing i can compare this feeling to is the first time you have your heart broken. There is a hopelessness and a sense that nothing will ever be the same again. You vow to yourself that you will never. let it. happen. again.

I should point out here, that this post has nothing to do with my marriage, or romantic love. Things are wonderful with me and Todd. He is everything I ever wanted in a husband (minus the snoring, and maybe could be improved if he enjoyed giving nightly back rubs). This post has to do with trusting someone to be honest, fair and sensitive to the feelings of other. It has to do with being able to put your heart in someone’s hands for years on end, and knowing that they will not crush you. It has to do with having faith in another person that they will do the right thing and then having them live up to that.
It has to do with giving someone your all for 30 + years, buying into something – an idea of honor and tradition and loyalty – because you thought you were some kind of team and you had the same values. It has to do with the fallout when that person turns out to not be who you thought they were, and does not have the same respect for you that you have always given them. It’s about what it feels like when the majority of your life feels like one big huge lie, perpetrated against you in some sick, sick cruel joke.

This is a post about what would have happened if Gone With the Wind had ended differently. What if Gerald O’Hara said, “Why, land is the only thing in the world worth workin’ for, worth fightin’ for, worth dyin’ for, because it’s the only thing that lasts,” to Scarlett her whole sixteen years, and then everyone went to the BBQ and found out the war had started and Gerald had pulled Scarlett aside and said, “Sweetie, I know you aren’t going to like this, but there’s a war comin’ and we better just go ahead and sell Tara now.”

The thing is, though, there is no way out of this situation that will end well. When you are 20 years old and a boy breaks your heart, you can move on. Cutting a person out of your life is not that hard. There is no collateral damage in that situation. You have no responsibilities and can spend every waking moment on a couch in a bar with friends, drinking until the pain is just a blur and then one day you sober up and realize the pain is only a distant memory, and you really didn’t need that person to give you an identity, to help make you who you are.

But what do you do if it’s your family? If you can’t just cut people out of your life like dead weight? This is a post about finding a place for yourself, and your relationships, that you can live with.

Mostly, it is a post about finding forgiveness. How do you find forgiveness when your heart is like a stone in your chest, and the thought of forgiving someone who has so grievously wronged you makes you feel physically ill? How do you heal a sorrow that feels like it will never, ever go away?

Have you ever forgiven someone when you thought you never could? How did you do it? Is there a roadmap for forgiveness? Is there a practical method for finding your way to a place where you don’t feel like a walking, gaping, open fucking wound?

Because I am so not there yet.

Tiller Style

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

Todd and I have decided that Tiller’s style is decidedly Betsey Johnson. I am a little concerned that Todd referenced Betsey Johnson in the first place.

Single Parent Saturday

Monday, May 10th, 2010

Todd went to Tybee with the boys for the weekend. No comment on Mother’s Day. He’s working off the misdemeanor.

Saturday, I had quite a time with the kiddos. T-ball game at 9:30 a.m. Lunch with Lisa and Dash afterwards. Went to buy a birthday gift for Rollie’s friend Emily. Left there. Came home to check on the neighbor’s since the alarm company called and their alarm was going off. Let dog out. Went back out to Tucker Day. That’s our annual small-town festival. The kids love it. I like it. Would be better with beer. (Isn’t everything?) Left there. Went home for an hour. Dropped Tiller off at neighbors’ for dinner and a playdate (thanks, Shanks!) and then took Rollie to HELL, a.k.a. Stevie B’s Pizza. You might be thinking, how can this be worse than Chuck E. Cheese’s? It doesn’t have alcohol. The mouse? He has beer.

Rollie had a blast, and I actually enjoyed talking to parents of kids in his class and getting to know them better.

Much fun had by all and boy did we sleep well that night.