Sunday, April 29, 2012

Karma

I believe in karma. truly. I recognize that there are people out there who should believe in karma. I believe anyone who would hurt a child is pathetic. I believe in the heart and strength of a child to rise above the darkness of abuse. I believe in the bravery of a child to say that hurting them is not okay, and I admire that bravery even as I am a little awed by it. I believe in others who recognize the inescapable truth that it is wrong to hurl hurt at a child and will choose to protect the children. I believe that karma can be wonderfully full of goodness and grace. I also believe that karma can be a nasty nasty bitch when one chooses to hurt those that they have power over. That is all I have tonight, friends. Hugs and kisses and gentleness and grace.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Miss Poverty

Poverty is a wily little bitch. She doesn't always have her hand out in welfare lines, like the pundits would have us believe. She doesn't take over your life because of cascading bad decisions. Sometimes poverty sneaks in and plops down on your couch before you even know it. Sometimes, you can be trying your damnedest, working your fingers til they are raw, and she will still plop her dirty shoes up on your coffee table and settle in for a long visit.

Sometimes, sometimes, poverty is the guest of (dis)honor in your home. She is so in your face that you worry about even having a home. She colors every decision you make with fear and panic, that heaviness in the pit of your stomach that never goes away. 

And sometimes, you can push her out the front door and lock your deadbolt. She'll sit on your porch, waiting for the door to open, but you will figure out how to put your weight against it, because there is nothing worse than that guest coming back in.

Then, you are left with the scars of poverty and the way she has changed you. You don't wake up in cold sweats anymore but you still think like she is in your living room. Your decisions still tend to be based on fear- the lack of versus the abundances that are there.

You still buy the one little bar of soap because it is less right now at a dollar than the six pack of soap that is actually far less in the long run but more in the here and now. You weigh every decision through the lens of cost versus the intangible values- your monkey wanting to go to a birthday party entails presents and cards and wrapping paper and ... You fight the panic every time you see an envelope from anything in your box. 

But you are getting better about pushing her further away. You start to think big picture versus getting mired in the 'right this second.' You realize that you have enough, maybe just barely enough, to keep her out of your home. You start putting a little aside for the next scary day. You start buying the good yogurt for your monkeys because you can. You take the kids to a movie and you buy the popcorn and sodas, because you are in the moment versus worrying about what that shaves off of paying your gas bill. You start calling the people you used to dread hearing from, knowing that you can pay them and hold your head high. You start looking at things for what they are, not fear of what they cost. You stop letting money, or the sheer lack of, control your every move. You start letting the important things matter in your decision making skills. You start to pull your power back a little every day.

And possibly, you will be able to start to open your door and tell Poverty to get the hell off your porch. 

Poor


Poor. Poor isn’t just the old homeless men standing in line at the Marion House Soup Kitchen. It isn’t only the dreadlocked kids off the interstate with cardboard signs.
Poor walks amongst us. Poor can work forty and fifty and sixty hours a week and still come up short at every turn. Poor knows how much everything costs, down to the penny. Poor wakes up in cold sweats because she remembers yet another expense to pile on top of the ever-growing mountain. Poor has a never-ending list of wants and needs ticking in her head- “If I make fifty extra dollars, I can buy new shoes for the kids and put a little extra towards groceries.” Poor pays for her gas in five and ten dollar increments- a full tank is a rare luxury. Poor picks and chooses what to pay every week- Poor knows that the gas company charges criminally high fees to turn back on while the Electric company will work with you. Poor knows that if you take bills to the Post Office at 3:44 PM, they will date them but put off sorting until the next day. Poor knows that pasta and milk and apples go a very long way, while blackberries are a bittersweet luxury. Poor knows where each and every clearance rack in every grocery store is. Poor knows that lemon yogurts cost sixteen cents less than key lime, so Poor talks her kiddo into a love of lemon.
Poor laughs when she hears people talk about money being tight as they get pedicures and sushi. Money isn’t tight when you are eating salmon and roe with wasabi. Poor knows money is tight when you try to stretch a can of tuna to two meals. Poor knows that if you can afford massages and movies, you don’t know the chill that hangs around on sleepless nights.
Poor can feel utterly hopeless, but there are glimmers of good even in the darkness. Poor knows where her library card is. Poor knows how to entertain her kids for nothing. Poor can make the meanest pancakes around because little stomachs can be fat and happy on short stacks. Poor believes that eventually, if she works hard enough and keeps the faith, being destitute will pass like a bad dream.



You probably know Poor. She might be the one who has a kiddo in your kid’s class. She doesn’t have to be toothless and dressed like Little Orphan Annie. She might have a Northface vest or a string of pearls around her neck. You just don’t see that the vest is a coup from Goodwill and the pearls are the one token of dignity from a life past that she refuses to relinquish at a pawn shop. She might appear to join in your conversations about how expensive Central America is for Spring Break and you might not notice that she listens quietly but never says a word. She might volunteer in the classroom but not pony up the endless fees for teacher’s gifts and parties and all of the endless little needs. She might look pained when you ask what she does, because she feels like what she is and what she will be matter more than what she does. She might look pained when she answers you because she knows what look she will get from you when you realize she doesn’t have a career but rather a j-o-b.

Yep, you probably know Poor. And she is usually a lot closer to home than you ever want to admit.


(I wrote this last year for a couple of different blogs, one of which is my oldie, www.everydayjillwentupthehill.blogspot.com. Just revisiting it and what I thought now. XOXO)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Just keepin it real...

Timesboy- "Dear God, thank you for everything. Please watch over Hannah and Ruby and Sammy in heaven. And please watch over all of the fish that Mom killed and the hermit crabs that Grace has killed. Amen."

Superteen- " Grrr. Thanks for food. Amen."

Me- "Thanks for my blessings. Please watch over my monkeys and make sure the peeps don't rot their insides out."



Saturday, April 7, 2012

Hot Pursuit...

I have Timesboy and one of his best friends in my car last night, coming home for a sleepover.

Boy Genius Friend- "You should run this light. There's no one around."

Me- "Hmmm. What if I run it and there is someone? Like the policeman behind us?!"

Boy Genius Friend- "Well, then you just make a speedy getaway. You have a car that is built for speed. Not really for crushing and rolling over things, but speed. Run it!!!!"

Timesboy- "Yeah, Mom. Built for speed- do it!!!"

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you a 2007 Toyota Corolla, that I love and adore. Built for speed, baby.






Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Don't Bite


Just a little viewing pleasure on this cold day, friends.
(courtesy of one of the funniest, wonkiest shows evva, Raising Hope)

You are welcome! XOXOXOXO

Monday, April 2, 2012

Cricket Bowchickawowow

Things I learned from my move....

  1. Moving sucks. It doesn't matter if you have movers, if you don't, it still bites. Movers make it a bit less painful for your back, but you are still going to be searching for your dinner plates and your son's box o'underwear a week later.
  2. Never cut with the boxcutter coming towards you. I know, I know, you may think you are smart enough to do it for convenience's sake, but one wrong wrist move and you are going to be  in the Urgent Care, sitting next to the dumbass who thought he could use a staple gun while on a shaky ladder or the woman who was ironing naked.  
  3. You may be successful moving your son's gecko, but if you drop the cricket container, it is going to get nasty. You will be finding creepily silent white crickets for weeks throughout your house. You will be googling them to find out their mating habits. Because some cricket bowchickawowow is obviously going on amongst the boxes.
  4. Hanging pictures helps. Boxes and little piles seem to recede a little when the familiar lovies are on walls. Pictures of Pepa, baby pictures, and monkey art all make any house feel like a home.
  5. Your kids are resilient. They might actually have an easier time with the move than you will. 'specially if there is an ice cream shoppe and a library within walking distance.
  6. You'll start to love the new place too. The bigger closets, the master suite, the freedom that you and you alone picked it, paid for it, and did it all on your own- these things will all make the new place a good thing.
If you wanna fly,
You gotta give up the
Shit that weighs you down.
               -Toni Morrison