What have the eyes of my china doll seen?
What does the smile on her painted face mean?
How many aunts has she charmed with her grace?
How many tea guests have saved her place?
Where is her dress that is lost to the past?
How many years will her new outfit last?
How many whispers are stored in her head?
What are the secrets she best leaves unsaid?
Will she give comfort to my daughter too?
What will the two of them think up to do?
Today I go to a Red Sox-Orioles game at Fenway! I lived in Boston from 1987 or so until 1991 and then again in 1996 or so, and I have lived in the Northeast since then. This is my first Fenway experience.
That’s just wrong.
It is a birthday present for my daughter’s boyfriend. She and he, my son, and I are going and then I leave my son and daughter in Boston. My daughter starts her camp counselor job and my son goes on to a wedding in Philadelphia.
Hello empty nest…you terrify me and please me all at the same time, which all good things in life do!
bitches… (too much?)…No. Wire. Parentheses!!
We were eating dinner together. I confessed that I could see, under a very particular set of circumstances, hurting their father. Of course I would regret it. Of course I couldn’t believe I could say something like that, but this particular brand of hurt has caused me to do many “arrestable” things, as they say. So, I just will never drink too much and have access to weapons while fighting with their father.
The expressions on their faces drained into their throats. The younger adult child offered to take plates into the house. The older adult child suggested I wasn’t getting enough, or maybe the right kind, of treatment.
I doubled down. No one understood the depth of is pain but me, the scorned wife. I told him it was worse than being raped in college and contracting an STD that took two courses of antibiotics to get rid of and that most certainly, irreparably compromised my immune system.
You were raped in college?
My dreams were of the kids wandering around carrying empty picture frames, searching the ground for pieces of an old portrait of me, to piece back together an acceptable image of their mother.
I got through four big events for my daughter this week.
1) I sat at her awards night with her grandmother and her dad. Grandma was happy to be the buffer between him and me and it worked well. He thanked me for being civil — something I haven’t been since the very beginning — before all the rage and ill will set in. And thank you Ativan.
2) That made both of us taking pre-prom pictures at the same event better. He always goes with humor, but it upsets me. There’s nothing going on in my life I think calls for flippancy, which is what his humor seems like to me. He went with humor anyway, and I tried not to be outwardly vicious. My daughter, her friends, and her date were adorable. It made her happy to see us cordial. And thank you Ativan.
3) Our son was the buffer at graduation. I couldn’t help conducting an experiment I had been cooking up for several months since my daughter got a tattoo, which upset her dad. I put a few small, black, stick-on star tattoos around my ankle to see if he would notice. After graduation he said to me, “Did you get your tattoos at the same time she did?” I just said no. To cap off this very childish expression of independence, I said in my head, “Ne ner ne ner ne ner…made you look!” And thank you Ativan.
4) I threw a graduation brunch to really thank my friends for being so supportive. My daughter’s boyfriend and family were there and a few other kids, but the guests were mostly my friends. My daughter was gracious and engaging with them — something she sometimes has a hard time making herself do. I invited some friends of hers and mine that we have been on the outs with as an olive branch and they all came! No need to take or thank Ativan for that event.
5) After everyone went home and I was doing dishes, my sink backed up. This is one of its worst pranks, and it pulls it at the most inopportune times. When the kids’ dad came to take them for a Father’s Day movie, I went outside where he was waiting for them and told him, and he came in to check it out. The last time it happened, my husband had just had a heart attack. He asked me if I put vegetables down the disposal and I said yes, I thought I had done it slowly enough, but I was wrong. He pulled out one of his classic disapproving looks from our marriage. I had not relied on Ativan that day and I was caught with my pants down. But I’m glad to report that I didn’t melt down, and after all the positive strides I made this week for my daughter’s sake, and my own, the sink and my estranged husband can go suck it with their stupid funeral after my four weddings. And I didn’t even say that out loud!
This is the first day of writing my blog that an idea or theme wasn’t composing itself in my mind beforehand. I am feeling a little bit good, a little bit scared. My fascinating daughter is graduating from high school Saturday so I have lots of logistics to work out. I love my cat. She seems to have some kind of watery eye issue at the moment.
I think what I’ve got going on today is…regular life. No hate, no chip, no ax to grind. A life to live. It’s about time. I’m going to be deliberate about enjoying today. Work, setbacks, errands, come my way. You shall not pass my budding hopeful attitude.
My daughter also has her prom tonight. We had her try on the whole business last night…stunning…I can’t wait to see her there with the great boyfriend she chose for herself a little over a year ago.
Squint to Find a Focus
In the close air of bedtime I skim
your velvet cheek with my raspy
finger. You’re dozing your way toward
dreaming in skin like mine.
Your front teeth, pigeoned together,
are Grannie’s. And your
puppy feet. And your cinnamon eyes.
But the shape of your eyes
is Dad’s. Hands down. Evolved
to blink at ancient sand, they abide
now, devoid a desert.
By hazy morning, you startle me there
in the rearview mirror, with your
pouty mouth and lifted chin.
Just last night I was sure
you were mine. But the cast
of day refracts my resolve, and I
squint to find a focus.