Wednesday, December 25, 2013


grow where you're planted. 

you are a new seed. despite your years.

grow, they say. here. where you are. now. 

reach up and up. stretch over there. now over that way. 

face the sun. arms open: take what's yours: the moment.

grow here and now. all the tomorrows will thank you. (believe that, against your will if you must.)

if you must, climb the nearest mountain and scream MORE!

and let anyone resent you for it.

cry if you must.

let them not understand. or misunderstand. or tire of you if they must.


until you're hoarse. 

descend the mountain: all is not the same. even though it seems so.

prune yourself, you weed! it's up to you. 

pluck away the withered days. the weight.

let things fall away, too. keepsakes? not for your sake.

put aside a few shes and hes and thems. if you'll be still, the choice will choose itself.

don't forget: you're growing! here. now.

down and down and beyond, your roots will explore the earth where it's cool and damp. 

your roots know the way: listen.

don't forget: the sun. yours for the taking. 

grow, planted seed. be the miracle you are.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

i'm dreaming of a fight christmas.

that title is stretching it. on purpose. because i like the way it sounds. sometimes the sound of words is better than the meaning. <—that's why onomatopoeia is so neato.

i'm not interested in engaging in fisticuffs with anyone. this doesn't mean i'm full of free love for all. there is a very, very small list of undesirables, my distaste for whom is like snot: even after you think you've rid yourself of it, it reappears, and no matter how hard you try to blow it off it keeps coming back. if i'm a pugilist at all, my weapon is words. i throw not curse-laden punches but insightful jabs. and an indiscriminate warrior at that: i'll word-fight anyone, from the foul-mouthed, pre-teen mom-phenomena teen mom spitting profanities at her small child outside the mall; to the napoleon-complex-having guy insulting the overworked cashier at the deli; to myself (which could involve me cursing, for example, my moronic belief that i can do anything, because the mirror doesn't lie: i cannot cut hair). 

i'm a mom. i'm unmarried. i do not live with a man. unless you count my dad. yes, i'm 37 and living with the parents. i'm almost like that demographic you hear about on the news—those late-blooming crazy kids trying to figure life out at a pace much slower than generations before them—except not really because i'm a decade older than those 20-somethings. i never thought i'd be a decade older than anybody worth talking about. and then time ran past me, giggling maniacally while plastering its hand across the width of my face, screeching "FACE THE MUSIC!" the way my brother did when we were kids. so it seems i'm part of a yet-to-be-labeled demographic: the late-30s single mom who had it together and then had to de-awesome her life because of circumstances (whose ouch factor surpassed that of the evening i was dressed up and feeling like hot stuff walking toward the house of an ex-boyfriend, only to slam face-first into his glass door).

the flip side of the above flip-you-the-finger stuff is this: i was gifted a miraculous little boy. he's not even two and can spell his name, count to ten, and sing the alphabet (fyi: i rewrote that phrase from "spell his abcs" because occasionally typing in all lowercase presents me with a grammatical quandary). his off-key singing is better than anything— even cupcakes and pizza. he gives huggies and kissies with a generosity that i hope is a precursor to the sweet man he'll become. he's bestowed with impressive equanimity—with one exception: BEDTIME. not every night. just some nights.

it goes like this: we read a book in the rocking chair (like every night); i carry him to bed (like every night); he lies down quietly (like every night); and shortly thereafter he transforms into an inconsolable banshee who cannot be picked up or moved against his will because the distress of being touched at such a fragile time apparently renders his joints immobile, thus he must be allowed to continue his tearful, high-decibel tirade until some inestimable moment arrives, at which i hold him until he falls asleep. then i return him to his bed, where i realize that his sheets must contain acid—either of the skin-incinerating or psychotropic variety, both of which would elicit a similar response—because upon touching them he immediately awakens into full-on banshee insanity again.

at this point, i continue to try to hold him despite his again-immobile joints; i try to sit next to him, despite my inclination to be anywhere but; i try to talk to him, despite his acute-onset inability to hear or speak words; and i walk out of the room for a breather, despite my mother in the background saying i'm too inflexible (huh? i think i'm being pretty darn flexible, considering i'm trying to calm down a child who must've ingested a case of red bull and an 8-ball while i wasn't looking) and that i should cherish moments with him because they'll go by too quickly. (a parenthetical aside doesn't nearly do justice to what i'm about to say, so commit it to memory like it's the name of a new starbucks drink or imagine it being tattooed on the inside of your eyelids: when a person is in a stressful situation, the last thing you should do is tell them they should enjoy it.) of course, my mom is just being meemaw. she can't help herself. in her world, grandsons never turn into screaming banshees, and if they do, it's because their mammas have been parenting a la mommy dearest when not under the watchful eyes of meemaws. in her world, grandsons should be rocked to sleep by their mammas until their wives threaten to divorce them. in her world, the fatigue of single motherhood must cease to exist in the most inopportune moments, like when sleep, thus sanity, is at stake.

then again, who am i to have any emotions? like one of my friends' oblique remarks indicated, i could've prevented this whole single motherhood thing (how friendly of that friend, right?). by not having premarital sex, i assume. if you've ever had premarital sex, raise your hand. now, dip it in raw meat drippings and wave it in front of a rabid, starving dog. someone will rescue your appendage from cujo once you realize your judgment is flawed, cause hey: when you were getting it on, you were THIS CLOSE to becoming a parent. even if you used protection. ain't nothin' foolproof but abstinence, kiddos. so remember your manners when assessing the lives of people you are not.

by the way: i'm not complaining. i'm describing. there is a difference, and if you can't discern it, raise your hand. that rabid dog is still hungry.

psst! listen: fighting is counterproductive. i just want to talk like i want to fight. because i like the way the words sound. like onomatopoeia, the sound is indirectly related to the thing it describes. that "thing" being certain aspects of parenting alone. and what is that like? it's hard. like walking barefoot on gravel (which i did last summer, in the spirit of revisiting my childhood, only to realize it hurts a lot). and it's alternately soft. like a baby's fat, pillow-y lips. and sweet as the honeysuckle you sucked straight from the flower as a kid. and worth it.

you know what? i am sincerely dreaming of a white christmas. a heaping layer of fluffy snow is a cure-all. at least for a day—and isn't that the dose by which we're supposed to take life?

happy holidays, you jerks.

huggies and kissies,

mamma d.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

under-stimulated; over-rained.

this blog is accompanied by my second cup of decaf today. my desire to drink decaf is never wavering, thus proof that a taste for coffee is the draw; caffeine is merely an option—and one not worth the THUMPTHUMPTHUMPETYSKIPTHUMPTHUMPETYSKIP of my arrhythmic heart. i do suspect my heart—much like my dog, according to the trainer, and my hair, according to the piles of it in the bathtub and everywhere else—reacts to my stress levels. i close my eyes and imagine myself unwinding, literally. spinning away the sticky, threadbare layers of ick and then being the purest form of me that ever was since birth. or since the last time life was butter-smooth, which was around 15 years ago.

in bed the other night i thought of my travels from the age of 18 to 36: sitting next to the cheese-wheel wielding hare krishna on the train to portland; next to the mike tyson lookalike on the bus from nyc to wv; next to my boss from the modeling agency in my convertible with the duct-taped slash on the way to nyc from miami; next to no one as i smiled for marcie snapping my photo before i boarded the plane back to wv from pensacola, fl; next to my part-pit bull copilot, kaiser, on the way to our first night living in memphis, tn.; next to various space-invading strangers on the l train from the upper east side to a stop somewhere on the lower east side a short walk from gansevoort street.

i do much more traveling in my mind than i do on turf. i'm in contingent acceptance of that. as in, it's okay for now, assuming i'll make it happen one day. as a rule (of being me), the latter is always assumed. i believe i'll make it (in its manifold forms) happen even when no one else does. an alchemist of circumstance, i am. my believing, however, doesn't come without a hefty lot of lamenting, pondering, and occasional outright despair—but those are just coughs and sneezes. they ought not be suppressed. because where do suppressed sneezes and coughs go? shoved up somewhere in your brain, i'd guess. infiltrating all your pleasant thoughts with their bacteria-laden yuck. i will never suppress one again<—call it an experiment in How To Increase The Happy. overall, i'm a creature of faith. i believe in belief. belief is like time: unstoppable.

i am, too, a creature of inspiration, the dearth of which in my current surroundings leads me to upcycle former muses. and why was i thinking of travel? my desire to leave, i guess. a natural reaction to the downside of the upside of the past two months. for weeks, my life was the sound of an old typewriter: clinkclinkclinckclinkclinkCHING. repeat. i was busy. a single mom-writer-editor-sorta runner-dog trainer-in-training. making it happen. freelancing, in my experience, has a life cycle that repeats itself over and over. and so this month it grew from vibrant youth to sluggish middle age. and so i wait, ever so impatiently, for the golden years. and in my sky-high threshold of hope, i endeavor to eventually find the freelancer fountain of youth. or some assurance of continued flow. movement. progress.

the clouds are inconsolable. decaf is cold, old. thoughts are warm. child is soon to awaken. hugs and kisses are free. travels on the calendar marked "one day" ...