I love this picture because we are absolutely laughing because we are laughing. Ever have that moment?
There is a picture of my mom and I just like this that was taken at Edisto beach when I was about 12 years old. While M was brushing my hair, I had one of Y’s twins snap this shot. Ah, the circle of life.
Last night I dreamt I was renovating my basement. It was not the basement from my current house, but the basement from the house I grew up in in Rock Hill, SC. A polite, bright eyed, pudgy African American woman was the potential architect of this project. I kept worrying that her all white suit was going to get soot or black mold on it from the basement. The basement was mostly as I consciously remember it, dark, damp and full of treasures in boxes. Upon remembering the washer and dryer were down there I got very excited about the promise of a new laundry room with a space for a table to fold my laundry.
A huge pot of food to feed our many bellies.
All excuses aside…Twyla Tharpe would be disappointed in me. Ive been on habit vacation. Which is like exercise vacation. Oh I’ll just skip this one day because I’m traveling, ill skip this day because I’m tired after traveling, then it’s been a week and exercise seems hard. So I’m back, ill do better.
But what I notice most is the person who is being missed. The recently passed matriarch has left an empty space that no one seems able to fill. Mom was the reason they all got together. This is her party. Her ghost lays heavy. But people eat their potato salad and their too many slices of cake. They talk of heart troubles and kid troubles, play badminton and occasionally feel the wind blow through the party. Mom’s still here. A pair of wedding rings hang from Dad’s neck on a long, thin, silver chain. He touches them periodically, “she’s here”, he says. And she is, but even as an outsider at this party I feel her missing much more than I feel her here. Her smile is missing, her hand to squeeze, the dish she made. There’s a hole she’s left behind.
I watched Bully last night. If you haven’t seen it, see it.
Be prepared,it’s heart wrenching. It’s a documentary that follows several junior high school students who are being bullied. The situations are tragic, but the real travesty is the responses of the adults in charge. “Boys will be boys”, ” school buses are notoriously dangerous places”. I actually grew to feel sorry for the school administrators because they clearly did not have a clue what to do. So they did very little, or nothing at all. There were a couple of Mississippi police men that I’d like to encourage towards retirement. Nice to reaffirm that not too much had changed since 1960 there.
My kids love me like crazy sauce. Good right? Well yes and no. Of course I’m grateful that my kids have no issue expressing that they love me. The fact that my 13 year old wants to hold my hand when we are in public is proof enough for me that there is a God. They are all very dear, loving and expressive kids. However its a little like dating Glenn Close from Fatal Attraction. I can only imagine being down to one parent must make a kid feel like they need to keep the remaining parent in a mason jar that is sewn into their skin, but some days I can barely breathe. To me, I’m here basically every hour of every day. When I’m not actively engaged with my kids I’m washing their clothes, buying them food, or just engaged with the exhausting process of worrying about them. Which leads me to this point. I’m a terrible parent when I make decisions based on my guilt. I spend a lot of my parenting time wishing I could say yes to candy for dinner enough times that it would make up for losing their father.
Sometimes the beautiful things in life are big and showy and sometimes they are small and hidden. Either way you’ll only see them if you’re looking for beauty.