Posts Tagged ‘Money’

Dogwood Girl Fears Few Things

Friday, October 10th, 2008

But, I admit it. I am scared of looking at my investments. I have not even peeked at them this month. I am an ostrich, head in the sand. Just the thought of it makes me feel weak in the knees, and sick to my stomach.

Have you looked at yours? What was your reaction?

The Things We Don’t Say to Our Children

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006

I went to pick up Rollie today from Mommies’ Morning Out. When I got there, he was pouting, and when I told him it was time to go, he threw a fit. Both the teacher and the aide looked concerned, and the aide said, “We have Lunch Bunch today and he heard the kids talking about it and then saw them pull out their lunches, and he got really upset.” Lunch Bunch is this thing where you pay extra for your kid to stay there from noon til 1pm, thus giving moms an extra hour of freedom. I told Rollie he needed to put on his jacket, so that we could go see the doggie in the car (Quint always rides with Matilda and I to pick up Rollie). He began crying pitiful, tortured tears of sorrow at not being able to eat with his classmates.

I felt the heat of tears welling up in my own eyes, and struggling to fight them back, I clutched Rollie to me with one arm (the other occuped with Tiller) and held him to me as he struggled. I managed to get his jacket on him, and grabbed his hand to take him to the car, Matilda still in my other arm, and Rollie struggling all the while. He managed to break free, screaming “I want Miss M____” (his teacher) and threw himself into her legs. She picked him up and offered to take him to the car, but i declined and said it was okay, he needed to learn that he couldn’t stay.

I knew that i had about five seconds to make my way out of that classroom before I burst into tears, and I managed to make it out the door and around the corner before the dam burst. Tears began flowing freely down my face as I struggled to get the keys out of my pocket and open the van doors. I fought them back and then realized it was no use and began angrily wiping them away as soon as they fell, finished strapping both kids into their carseats, and got into the driver’s seat. There is a point when tears come, at least for me, when I know there is no turning back, that once i give in to them, they will not stop. Everything in me wanted to lay my arm across the steering wheel and sob my guts out right there in the church parking lot, with all the well-meaning do-gooders coming in and out with kids in tow, but for a proud non-cryer like me, there is nothing more horrific than the thought of being comforted by church ladies with their well-meaning pats on the back, and their concerned looks, and, God forbid, their attempts at giving me a hug.

I had to get the hell out of there.

I drove to the end of the parking lot, and knew I was in the clear, as it is one way during pickup time. As I rounded the corner out of the lot, the tears came on full force, and Rollie said wonderingly from the back:

“Mama, what happened?”

“Mama’s sad.”

“Why you sad?”

“Because I love you.”

Great, i think to myself. Now he thinks it’s his fault.

The tears came harder, and became sobs, with my voice sounding to me like someone else’s, coming forth of its own volition. I just gave in to it, and I cried the whole way to the light, where I sat and sobbed and snuffled and sniffled, and wiped snot on my sleeve and rubbed my eyes roughly, and did all sorts of undignified shit until I got the left turn signal, where I wiped away the tears, turned left and headed straight for McDonald’s drive-thru. Sometimes your son just deserves the chicken nuggets, with the fries rather than the fucking killjoy apple slices, and with chocolate milk instead of white milk (the annoying term for regular milk that drive-thru employees in the ‘hood call it. Those of us with an education call it “regular milk.”) Sometimes his Mama deserves to say, “FUCK WEIGHT WATCHERS. I WANT A NUMBER 2 VALUE MEAL, PLEASE.” That’s just the way of the world.

Rollie says, “Mama, you like chicken?”

“Yes, Rollie, I like chicken, but i am going to have a hamburger.”

“Tiller badiller likes chicken. She not like chocolate milk. She likes regular (yes!) milk.”

“Yes, Rollie, she likes regular milk and chicken and french fries.”

“Mama, french fries make you happy?”

“Yes, Rollie, they make me very happy.”

“Mama?”

“Yes, Rollie.”

“Why you cry in the car?”

“Because I’m happy. Sometimes mamas get sad. Sometimes they are happy.”

Sometimes you don’t tell little boys that you are crying because you are sorry that the house hasn’t sold, so we live 30 minutes from the school and if he stayed for Lunch bunch, he and matilda would fall asleep in the car, and then there would be no nap, and how could i have the silence necessary to figure out the budget in a vain attempt to find some miraculous way of allowing me to stay home with them longer? Sometimes you don’t tell him that even if we lived five minutes from the school, we probably couldn’t afford the Lunch Bunch, and that he is never going to get to do Lunch Bunch with his new friends, because in less than two months, we are going to have to yank him out of that school and put him somewhere that will take him all day, and hopefully it will be somewhere that will also be able to take his sister, but it probably won’t, and so they won’t see each other all day long, and we will have to figure out how to get him to one place, and her to another and me to an office, and I fucking hate offices and their fucking fluorescent lights, and I hate that i will have to get up two hours or more earlier than I do now and that I hate that I won’t be able to see him at lunchtime, or drive him through McDonald’s, or yell at him to stop trying to hold hands with his sister, because she doesn’t want to hold hands right now and that is why she is crying. I hate that I will get back two tired, over-stimulated kids, who will argue and cry over dinner, and I will be tired and not even have time to play with them or just sit and watch a cartoon on the couch with both of them in my lap. That I hate that now I have them from 7:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. every day and that the times that I don’t have them are like magic, not torture, but that will change, and it will all be torture and the maybe two hours i have with them every day will be sweet torture, too. I don’t tell him that I will think a hundred times a day how much i miss him annoying the shit out of me with wanting me to build the choochoo tracks and give him snacks, and how much i will fucking hate those people who give him his snacks every day when he should be trying to get them out of my fridge at home with me trying to stop him. I don’t tell him that I feel like Tiller is completely getting the shaft, that he got me for over three years, and she barely got me for over one year. I don’t tell him that I am scared of the people who will be talking to my baby, who is just learning to speak, and who knows what kind of frightening grammar they might teach her? Or that I read to her in the morning, and before quiet time, and before bedtime, and it is our special time, and we have a routine and she is warm and she laughs when I nuzzle her ear as I whisper into them some of the words.

“Mama,” Rollie says, “why are you crying?”

“Because I love you, and I am happy, and I am sad.”

I don’t tell him that it is because my heart feels like it is about to break.