Wednesday, December 26, 2012

28 Years, So Far, From the Firsts to the Lasts

Today it has been 28 years since I first met my Husband, The Seamonkey, ( Outside the ladies room of a night club where he could get a good view of the possibilities) and started a string of firsts that we didn't realize were possibilities on that day.

I won't be answering comments this week. I'm still concentrating on and spending most of my time enjoying  a few of our 'Family Lasts' : )

I Wish Everyone a Happy New Year From the First Day To The Last!

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

And They Shall Call His Name

You know how some words strike us as special? They ring pleasantly on our ear for some reason, often regardless of their meaning. When I was a child I heard the word Emmanuel and thought it was the loveliest sounding word. It flowed like living water and emanated warmth and comfort and strength as well. And then I learned what it meant.

God With Us.

And it took on a whole new level of wonder in my heart. It has always been my favorite Word.

I can say, I Hope you have a Happy Holiday, that you had a lovely Hanukkah or will have a Merry Christmas but this year these words don't seem to be enough. They ring like jingle bells and flicker brightly like LED candles but they don't say what I wish for everyone now and in the coming year. Because this Word is not just good one day a year. I Wish You....

Every Day. 

May the Lord Be With You and Yours This Season and Always.
Ms. G

Isaiah 7:14Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel

Matthew 1:23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Maybe a Lemon Pledge Gift Basket?

We are once again on the topic of boys in my house. Now boyfriends have come and gone over the years at my house. Sometimes the same ones more than once. I don't usually consider people being dated a 'part of the family'. I don't think they need to be invited to every family function. I may wish them Happy Birthday but don't find more than that necessary. Last year I did get Mids boyfriend a small Christmas gift because he was going to be at our house on Christmas Eve when we open some gifts, so that was courtesy. Middlest broke up with him a few weeks ago, so, this year obviously a gift for him is not an issue. Um..the fact that he picked her up 5 minutes ago to go Christmas Shopping not withstanding...I don't get it..but..ok.....

Littlest has been dating her boyfriend over a year. I'm going to 'blog name' him Daisy. There's a legitimate reason for this moniker. I'm not making fun of him. Really ; ) He's a nice kid, though I find him sitting on my couch way too often when I wish to be on it myself.  Recently it was getting late and I wandered upstairs to find them on the couch and Lit appeared to be conked out. I asked him, "is she asleep?" he looked down and said, "yeah, she is." I said,"Go Home Daisy." he said, Okay, as soon as my show is over." ??? But in general he's alright and I don't really notice him much. He's kind of like a piece of furniture that I'm used to. The other day he walked in the living room and said, "You turned the light out on me." What? What was he talking about..and where did he come from anyway..? "You went in to use Littlests bathroom", he explained, "and when you came out you turned the light out on me. I was sitting at her desk using her computer." Oh. Sorry. Where the heck is Littlest anyway? I didn't even know she was home..but anyway..

 Yesterday I walked in my living room and found dirty socks sitting in the middle of the floor which is a huge problem at my house and a huge annoyance to me. Both girls are terrible about it and it drives me crazy.  So I immediately yelled out, Littlest! Are these your dirty socks or Middlests? If they're yours come get them right now, they smell! There was a moment of silence and then I heard a deep voice from the kitchen, "Um,  those are mine." He shuffled out to the living room and mumbled, " feet I took them off..."

Mmm Hmm..he obviously feels just like part of the family.

His family, on the other hand, ADORE Littlest. They include her in almost everything they do. His parents are divorced so that's two families claiming her as part of their own. When he has a performance they gather her up to sit with them. They have invited her to go on a traditional family camping trip they take the week before Christmas. She has become Just Like Family to them. His mother Had Her Included In His Senior Pictures. Seriously. WTH? But, if it makes them happy, ok...His Dad actually thanked Littlest for dating him one time. All we can figure is that they were relieved to find out he isn't gay...even if his girlfriend can beat him up...but anyway..

I suppose I  have to get him gift.  Last Christmas he did surprise me by presenting me with Guitar Hero games. And since I'm pretty much Sheldon when it comes to gift giving, I'll be scouting out Batman T shirts and Darth Vader mugs because he's pretty much Stuart.

And after all,
The boy's been around long enough that he's become Just Like Part of  the Furniture to me : )

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Mafia Maid Service?

Yesterday I was in my local 'everything for a dollar store' buying some nifty cookie tins for Littlest to provide baked goods for and 3V fake Tea Light batteries which they were out of and it was really annoying but anyway......

Ahead of me in the checkout line were two kind of scary, shifty acting men. One of them stood off to the side and looked antsy while the other stood in line. They were buying:

4 large rolls of adhesive packing/shipping tape.

2 Lint rollers

2 Swiffer type mops


Carpet Cleaner

The friendly cashier chuckled, 'Doing some cleaning huh'?

"Um, yeah," one of them answered with a blunt laugh, (it sounded like 'Heht' )"we do alot of,  uh, cleaning."

When I left the store I noticed them driving away in a vehicle with out of state tags.

I'm uh, going with, um, a Persian cat. They obviously have a Persian cat. The one I used to have did alot of shedding and couldn't find the litter box to save her life, bless her heart.

And they must be....shipping her to their mother as a Christmas Gift...yeah...that sound plausible...


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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Just Checking In

I haven't had much free time.

I've been a little busy.
I've been doing some overdecorating.
Including my totally artistic, avante garde and individualistic 'one glass shade missing' chandelier.

With a Little help from My Friends, Aragorn and Legolas.
Since they broke it in the first place with a little help from their friends-Littlest and Middlest.
But Aragorn and Legolas are always very helpful with Christmas decorating.

AND cleaning out my dresser because I got a new one. Or, more like, my sister is moving and sold me her dressers which are Way Newer than mine. In the process I found these treasures.

Plastic baggies full of teeth.

Hopefully my kids will never become endangered and the Feds do a raid on my house for poaching in Tooth Fairy territory.

AND playing musical doctor visits with the girls for things like Respiratory Infections and Knee Injuries and a Face Rash that looks like...ok..athletes foot to me. Because my daughters are At least all Biggest needed was a ride home from work, because of a stomach flu. I'm just waiting for the plague to rain down on me.

 More doc visits tomorrow and my library books are overdue and and ah.. ah.. AH CHOO!

Yeah. I'll check back in eventually.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

It Just Isn't a Holiday Without Bad Poetry

So I dug into my archives from 2009 to reproduce this gem originallly entitled:

So I Missed My Calling (As a Greeting Card Writer)

May your turkey be tender
Your stuffing just right.
The corn mellow yellow
And your cranberries ripe.

May your blessings be numbered
That when you behold
How many you've Thanked for
Your food has gone cold.

Mom of the Perpetually Grounded
Inflicting bad poetry on others since around 1979
( when she was usually grounded )

Have A Happy Thanksgiving!

Now does anyone know the measurements to make green bean casserole? Because the worst has happened and the recipe is not on the cans for the green beans, mushroom soup or onions.

Yes. I'm serious.

; )

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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Life Is Good Whether I Like It Or Not

Thanksgiving is coming up and of course this is the time of year when we all look around and find things to be Thankful and Grateful for. Now, sometimes it’s hard to be thankful because things are, well, hard. Sometimes it’s hard to be thankful because they are..good. Doesn’t seem like it should make sense but it does. In the past months I have been inspired by several blog posts I've read which were done so much more articulately and succinctly than I can manage but please bear with me as I try to make my point in 2000 words or more, as usual,  while others can do it in 500 or less : ). 

You see, I do appreciate and give thanks for my blessings. I also feel guilty for them. Because things are bad. In a lot of ways and a lot of places. And part two, which I’ve mentioned here before, is that I often have trouble enjoying the good that comes in my life because of,

BUT-what happens next?

Because I have had bad times. I have had my ass kicked. And I know it can happen again.
 And I don't like that.

Let’s take a detour for a minute to talk about faith. I have faith. I have absolute faith in God and am also absolutely certain that faith has nothing to do with preventing bad circumstances. If I am blessed it is by Grace not because I deserve it or have been singled out. I feel it is not so much given as allowed. The same goes for difficulty and strife. It is not what we are given. Faith is maintaining love and belief throughout it. So faith, is what it is. It doesn’t rely on anything else. We have it regardless. Otherwise what would be the point? If everything was perfect imagine what self involved shallow creatures human beings would be. We already are. Without some empathy and the circumstances to feel it we would be insufferable.

Now here is a fact. We, as a family, have had a very good year. No huge disasters. We are even financially stronger than we have been in some time. I feel guilty. I felt guilty the other day when I was on a job location and a janitor came very close to me and quietly asked if we were hiring. He quickly slipped in that he used to do the same type of work we do for a very large company. And I had to say no. He said it kind of sucks having to be a janitor after being what he was before. He’s right. I felt really bad about it. But we are a small company. We can’t afford more employees. And the reason we are doing well is because we work our asses off.  I truly worked my ass of this year. I don’t feel bad for having this blessing. I feel bad that others don’t have it as well. But he did have some work. He had an imperfect way to survive but a way all the same. And I know,

“There, but for the Grace…you know the rest…

There is something else too. I know many bloggers who write about this but I have not.

Since I was a child I have suffered from generalized anxiety that creates a mild form of OCD and cyclical depression that fluctuates approximately on a 2 to 3 year basis. When I was fifteen my parents took me took a psychologist who taught me some basic skills to deal with these problems and they actually helped. I never used medication until my late twenties and have only used them sporadically over the years when absolutely necessary. Most of the time the clues are so small you would never know. Though at some point my children did notice the six dots I make in the condensation on a bottle every time I pour soda and my husband occasionally will ask, “why are you clicking, what’s wrong?”

 Now I am the one in my family who holds everyone else together. I reassure and calm. I keep the faith. When things seem to be falling apart I’m the one chasing them around with a needle and thread saying, it will be fine, it will work out in the end.”

The strangest part about this is that when things do seem to be going well, that is when I fall apart. Because of the " BUT-what happens next.”

Earlier this year the bigger signs started. The sudden need for organization. The hand washing. The fear of pulling out in intersections, the constantly checking and rechecking my paperwork and still panicking that I missed a mistake.  The not wanting to go out. The feeling that just getting through my normal life was an overwhelming ordeal and dealing with the people around me was a crushing weight I couldn't shake off. I ignored it..cause..that's what I do..and then, a couple months ago, the tears. The despair. The knowing that even though everything was fine it will not stay that way and I couldn’t bear the thought of it. Houston, we had meltdown. Which leads my family to questions along the line of; “But you always say…”. I know, I know, but this is genetic and chemical apparently and can’t be helped.
The gist of this is, I had to get back on my medications. The depression seems to be under control. The anxiety is reduced-as long as I don’t think about anything very hard or very long. If I focus on my family and keep my faith I’ll be alright. If I acknowledge the blessings I have been given this year and accept that, yes, I should enjoy them when I can because they are what I have right now and we don’t know the future. BUT-that’s ok. Because my faith teaches me that love is all that is enduring. That life is not always pretty and I may have to get out my needle thread and patch things up again. It teaches me to be thankful for whatever comes my way, no matter how small or inconsequential it may seem. It teaches me that faith is not found in Big and Beautiful and Perfect. Sometimes it is found in imperfection and making do and inferiority. That Life Is Good even when it's not exactly what we would wish for.

This Thanksgiving I am Thankful that I have my family and that we will all be together for the Holidays because there is a good chance that will not happen next year. I have my faith and had some icing on my cake and a doctor to help me remember that. Plus it’s been cold and gray and drizzly all week which puts me in a wonderful mood.

 And ‘whatever happens next’ will happen, whether I like it or not. With my imperfect family I will make do with whatever inferior materials life gives me to patch things together. I still have Love and Faith for added strength and It's All Good.

Life will always show us good, even if it's hidden in unlikely places, if we recognize it and accept it for what it is.

 I think a text message from my Middlest this week sums it perfectly:

Mid: I just found God and I’m feeling pretty good about it.

Me: Most Awesome. Where was he?

Mid: taco bell

Have a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving Everyone.

You know what comes next!

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Monday, November 12, 2012

i Didn't Do That

Ok. My last trip away was not business. It was pleasure. Not just pleasure but purely decadent, throw all cares and serious issues of this world and particularly financial issues, to the winds pleasure.

We went to Disney World.

If I'm shopping for cardboard boxes to live in next year, so be it, our kids are almost all old enough to take us in ; )

Besides, this is the year of Last and we haven't been there since Littlest was 4. It may be our last chance. So we threw senior year to the wind as well and took our baby to see Mickey. And our Biggest. Because she will never grow up and is a Disney Freak and she and DecentGuy own season tickets so we didn't have to pay for them. Our poor Middlest had to stay home and work because she is a grown up, which sucked all manner of eggs, but what can ya do?

Now, most of the time when people show off their photo's of vacations to Disney they give you a run down of all the fun activities and wonderful things they experienced. Yay!... Right?
First of all, I don't take that many pictures. I'm too busy 'doing'. And Second of all, half the ones I take don't turn out.  So I'm not gonna do that.

Instead this is a list of some of the things I Did Not Do at Disney World and I don't suggest them to you either.

We went to Hollywood Studio's and

I didn't do This
Rockin Roller Coaster
Or This
Tower of Terror

Though I spent a lot of time sitting outside them waiting for other people.
Off to Animal Kingdom where
I didn't do this either. Expedition Everest
I actually was going to, after much reassuring and coaxing from my family,
and was waiting for our turn. If you look closely you can see all the little people going up

But then something happened.

And I watched them walk all the little people off the top

So I went and looked at a duck instead.
My family accused me of cursing the ride so I wouldn't have to go.
I told them if that was so it was totally inadvertent.  : )
I also didn't go on Mission Space at Epcot but I forgot to take a picture of it because I was too busy looking through the brochure of delightful international cuisine to be found at World Village, to find out where I could get a cheeseburger.
All in all this is the type of attraction I visited most.
The Restroom Ride.
Which is where I was when everyone was on Splash Mountain and I don't have a picture.
Because I didn't do that either.
Just for traditions sake though, here is an obligatory picture of a parade.

And of the castle

Which was transformed into the Christmas Decorations unexpectedly while we were there.
That was pretty cool.
And, well, I hate to admit it, but it was magical. Because we were sprinkled with Pixie Dust and my daughters were able to go inside this; The Be Our Guest Restaurant at the Beast's Castle, which is gorgeous and not open yet and so was completely empty, and wander all around it without a crowd. Which will never happen again. And sit in The Beast's chair without a line.
Which will never happen again.
And Biggest cried.

Last of all,
 Littlest got to see the fireworks from in front of the castle.
 Which is what she wanted most.
And we got to have a vacation with Biggest, which hasn't happened in years.
And we were able to spend the time there with Littlest.
Which might not ever happen again.
Because she is almost grown up.
So I DID do that. 
And it was all totally worth the cardboard box.

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Sunday, November 11, 2012

For Those Most Deserving

Of Honor
Of our Respect and Our Pride and Gratitude

Salute and Thank
our military veterans of all generations
 for their
Service and Sacrifice
to the
People of the United States
Our Freedom
 Freedom of others across the world.

Including my Daddy : )

Never forget the sacrifices made by our soldiers to uphold Liberty.
From missing families and missing limbs to losing their lives.
For Freedom.

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Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Day Harry Didn't Come.

She came to me, asking, "Can you help me with my hair?"

"Of course."

She looked very neat and pretty in a striped blouse and slacks. Her makeup was lightly and neatly applied. Just a whisper of blush, a slip a frosted peach lipstick. I pulled out the brush and helped turn her bob under using a curling iron. She fussed and picked until it fell just right and I sprayed it all down with Final Net. Then she fussed and picked some more and I wandered away to let her finish. After awhile she appeared in the kitchen with her purse on her shoulder.

Have you seen Harry, she asked?
Um, no,why?

He's supposed to pick me up.
I don't know. I haven't heard anything. I didn't think he was coming today.

He was supposed to come and now he's late.
I can't help but be curious, so I ask,

Where were you going?

Oh, you know, what's it called? A touch of frustration wrinkles her forehead.
That place. That place we always go.

Oh yeah, I answer, well as far as I know he isn't coming today. Maybe we'll hear from him later.
I'm sorry.

He's probably with that woman.

I'm shocked for a moment by that brow raising statement and ask,

What woman?

You know. That one. That floozy! He's probably off traipsing around having a grand old time with that tramp!

She flops on the kitchen chair, slapping her purse down, her brow furrowed and mouth set in an angry staright line.

Oh my. This is injustice. I feel it keenly in my heart. This is not fair. It is untrue. But I can't say what's true. I can't tell her why Harry will not be arriving. She is too fragile for this news. This is something she cannot handle at this point in her life. It isn't the right time. It will never be the right time. But I can't bring myself to cause her this pain. Harry would not be coming. Harry was dead.

My husband had come in the room and was listening.

What's wrong,? he asked her.

She started to cry. Harry was supposed to come get me. We were going out and now he's not coming and I got all dressed and ready to go for nothing.

I look at my husband, helpless, I don't know what to do. I don't know what to say.

He stood you up? he asked her.

Yes, she smacked her fist on the table. I was looking forward to it all week.

What a jerk, my husband exclaimed, telling you you were going out and then standing you up!

My eyes widened in shock. What on earth was he doing?

Yeah, you're right she replied angrily. He is a jerk. I bet he's with some other girl.

Seems to me you don't need a jerk like that, he said. There's plenty of other guys. Why should you care about going out with someone who would treat you that way. Forget him!

 I guess you're right, she sighed. But I really wanted to go.

Would you like to go out to the store with me in a little while, my kind husband asked my 80 year old mother, since you're already dressed?

She smiled, Sure, let's go!

Good, he smiled back, who needs Harry anyway?

 Puzzled, her face scrunched with confusion, she looked at him like he was nuts and asked,

Who the Hell is Harry?
Just one day in our life and one of the funny moments from the time we spent with my mother and Alzheimer's. My father, Harry, had been dead for seven years - and was never known to run around with floozies either. What he didn't know was that, for all her fussing, sometimes she would have a date with somebody else ; ) They never showed up either. Despite the  delusions  caused by her illness, she loved my father very much

My mother passed away in 2008 just two days before what would have been their 59th wedding anniversary.  I'm pretty sure he was there to pick her up : )

November is National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month.

For information or to help you can visit here:

Another great place for information is here:

Offer support however you can. Donate. Participate. Hug an Alzheimer's patient-even have a chat with them-it's an interesting place to visit ; ) And if you know a Caregiver please offer your support, and Hugs...and Chocolate....

If I don't reply to comments right away, I didn't forget you! I'll be going out of town for a little while. I'll be able to read comments but may not be able to reply, if not, I'll catch you when I get back.
Don't forget me some blueberries or something...

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Boo..and stuff..

First Of All-  For everyone enduring the awful storm on the East Coast. I hope everyone comes through safely and with minimal damage. No one was expecting that kind of scary this week and we could do without it.  My Thoughts and Prayers Are With You!

In other news I'm getting ready for Halloween:

I bought the candy.

You just don't get what you pay for anymore.

Red ones? They make red ones?


As always I didn't have to pay alot of money for decorations because nature supplies them for me.
These spider webs are all over the outside of the house. They obviously are spooky and from another planet because whenever you try to photograph them they GLOW.

So I had to look for another source. This is what they look like:
One look at those when the trick or treaters approach and I might not need all that candy after all ; )
Spiny Backed Orb Weaver.
Photo courtesy of the University of Florida.

Speaking of scary things in Florida, I took on a nightmare for everyone and recently went to Miami for you. Now you never have to go there to see it for yourself.

Thanks aren't necessary. I do it because I care.

Because this is the year of last, I've been reminiscing about the old days. Right about now my sewing machine would be out-and so would the glue ; ). My dining room table would be covered with colorful fabrics being transformed into kimono's and gypsy skirts and princess frocks. Fairy wings sparkling with jewels and sequins. Glitter sprinkled wands or occasionally the makings for a swashbuckling lady pirate. A couple of times there were green felt tunics for Robin Hood or Peter Pan. And of course we had a few witches and the Hogwarts years. But now, they are grown. Does this stop the grounded girls? Of course not. They just do it themselves. And Littlest is now at my dining room table creating her own costume.

...on my dining room table...

She's going to be a Zombie Hunter. Her boyfriend is the Zombie.
She finally found a way to literally drag that poor boy around with a chain ; )

For the Last Halloween, Zombie Moon Music.

Be Safe Everyone!

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

She Said What?

That is the question that has most represented life with Littlest.

Since October is the month I originally began my blog and I'm lazy tired busy burnt out I thought it might be fun to look back a do a re-post from my earliest days and tell a story that No One Read, because I hadn't found any blog friends yet- I was so thrilled when I found Nicole at Help Mama Remote and she had a teenager too-even though her daughter wasn't grounded, and she returned my visit on Halloween becoming my first Blog Friend : )! At this time I think I was a better blogger. I was more tight, concise, and to the point. Why? Because no one knew about it in real life either and trying to do something privately at my house takes great powers of speed and precision.
 They still found out about it because they are just that nosy stealthy important in my life and I want to share everything with them.

But anyway, it's a back in time both on my blog and with Littlest story, about when she was actually still pretty Little.
This week we have a RE-RUN of a post from October 2009

 My Littlest was a child who wouldn't stand up for herself. This is not true anymore. Nowadays she could fill a resume with moments like this. In 5th grade her teachers didn't seem to like her much. She could be a little abrasive & perhaps was not worshipful enough. She seemed to be particularly annoying to her gifted class teacher,  which makes this even sweeter. The class was assigned to work in groups and create a "TV" show using fairy tale characters, that they would perform for parents of the class. These kids can be really clever so this is usually a lot of fun. My child was assigned with a partner to write commercials. "Glittery", we'll call her,  told Littlest that she wasn't allowed to give out her phone # so they couldn't work that way or meet up. This assignment had several weeks to be completed. Littlest worked on it. Every week "Glittery" didn't have anything to contribute.
 Just to clarify, I try to teach my kids responsibility by making them deal with situations themselves instead of Mom rushing in to save them.
Littlest wrote a couple of outstanding & hilarious commercials. I told her to tell her gifted teacher that the work was all hers. She kept putting it off. She was waiting to see if "Glittery" had something to add. I think she also sensed the teacher wasn't fond of her & avoided dealing with her. She turned the work in but didn't say a word about Glittery not participating, just complained to ME. I repeatedly told her that if she wanted the credit for the work she needed to speak up. Littlest didn't want to be the "kid who tells". She asked "Glittery" to admit that she hadn't helped. Yeah, Right.
 The day of the show arrived. The acts were introduced. Including: Commercials by; Littlest & "Glittery". After a very entertaining show it was time for a curtain call. The MC announced:   Commercials brought to you by.... Littlest, who stomps up on stage with arms crossed & PO'ed look on face and "Glittery", who floats up, smiling wide, her arms akimbo as she gracefully plunges into a curtsy, her long hair streaming forward to touch the stage as her forehead is bowed to the ground in humble appreciation of the applause of her fans.... And then a voice is heard above the din of parental clapping... SHE DIDN'T WRITE IT! I DID ALL OF IT. SHE DIDN'T DO ANYTHING! Glittery's curtsy wobbled a bit & her eyes widened. Confused parents looked relieved as the next kids were called up. Glittery's mom appeared frozen for a moment, then ignored the situation.  The teacher looked like she wanted to smack Littlest. I had my first Littlest experience of 'Oh My God what did my kid just do?' But I maintained my dignity.
 Immediately afterward I told Littlest and her teacher, "She could have picked a better time for that." "Yes, she could have ", answered her plainly annoyed teacher.
 But to be honest,
 I was Awed by her Beauty in that moment & Forever became her Biggest Fan!
(And laughed my butt off as soon as I got in the car)

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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Chapter 4. The Book of Last.

Over the past few weeks, while I have been gone...I've actually been coming and going some. When I was home my time was exclusively filled with 'what's been going on around here.' It's really a shame because I could have told a multitude of stories but I don't know if I can round up enough details now to flesh them out. But just for the record here is a rundown;

I turned 47. On my birthday we were working out of town. When we arrived at our hotel our room overlooked the cemetary. I found this amusing. Also while traveling, I saw a sign that said:

New Life Cremation and Burial Society
....walk ins welcome...

I found that amusing too : )

while at the same time wondering if I'm getting some kind of metaphoric messages about endings of one phase of life and moving into another, from the cosmos, or beyond, or God or whatever you believe in..because I think they are all the same ...anyway..

Mid quit her job, moved home, talked about going to school for illustration for a couple days, was offered a job working with Biggest, came home the first day with a fever and pain in her abdomen and back, spent 8 hours in an emergency room in the middle of the night to be told she had a kidney infection, is now saving money to get a car and move out again. She fell in love with her new job and loves to discuss every moment of it in detail and it's a possibility I will now be responsible for 2 crazy cat ladies.

Biggest is very pleased because now if Mid tells her, "You're not the boss of me." she factually can reply, "Yes. I am. "

The Littlest has been very busy. She stepped aside from her usual sense of responsibility and borrowed a page from Middlest, for a morning,  by arriving to take the SAT without a calculator. What's 60 bucks and a college future mom? At least she stayed and winged it. Her writing and reading score usually save her from the math when it's all averaged but this one would have to be a miracle. Luckily her ACT score was alright. All she really cares about is the ASVAB and that's next week. She joined the boys wrestling team at school-which we all find amusing- She was Grounded from going to her jiu jitsu class for a short time due to charges of 'aggravated mouthiness' but we put her on probation and she went on to win three first place medals at her last Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournament. We will be taking her out of town next weekend for another event, in order to support her in her quest for the girl or woman in her division who can seriously kick her ass. Haven't found her yet.
 Her father finally agreed to talk to her recruiter and we had a long and very interesting meeting with him. From time to time I hear a voice softly crooning a rendition of the Marine Corp Hymn wafting through my house. It flutters in my ear for a second and passes on. Sometimes I follow it and stand nearby, unseen, just listening. Sometimes I think someone left the TV on and I run in hoping Gomer Pyle is on...but it isn't. Because though it sometimes feels like one, this isn't a TV show.

It's very real.

Time is ticking fast. And this is the year of Last.

The 15th is my Three Year mark for beginning this blog. My blog that is mostly about raising these girls. I have 10 1/2 months left to get the last one to adulthood. This is my last year as the mother of minor children/teenagers. The last year of teenagers and high school, ever. The last year of supplies and signing forms, teacher conferences and report cards.  The last checks for yearbooks, photo's and shopping for prom. The last year of homework, check ups, and of course, senior year activities and graduation. This will be the year of the Last High School Graduation.
Last year of rules, curfews and of course, Groundings ; )
The last year I Ever Have To Deal With The PTA!!!!

The last year I have any say or control. This is strangely frustrating and liberating at the same time.

So, all of you who have joined and stayed on this journey with me, thank you for hanging in there. I still haven't figured it out yet and apparently never will. But knowing you're out there somewhere has helped me make this trip and I will be thankful for you over the fourth year too.

So. Are we there yet? Not yet. But this is the last mile. Fasten your seatbelts please. Snacks will not be provided but you're welcome to bring your own. Hopefully oxygen masks won't be needed. But, these are the Grounded Girls. And I'm not finished.....not yet.

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Sunday, September 30, 2012

I'm Back

But I'm just checking in. Because I have to leave again today. I've been back a few days but my work and personal schedule are on severe overload and I don't have time to complete a thought much less write a post. It will be about 2 more weeks until things level we'll consider this an extended blog break. I'm going to take my next-and last- free 20 minutes this morning and visit some of you-as many as I have a chance to get to! Be back in October.
Yay! October! My favorite month of all.
 Except for the 'I get older' part ; )

In the meantime enjoy some awesome Moon Music courtesy of Littlests playlist.

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Sunday, September 16, 2012

And I'm Still Not Packed

I have to leave on a business trip in a couple hours. I was hoping to write a fresh post and do a little visiting before I left but some unexpected circumstances borrowed my time and now I'm fresh out. Work calls and I'm off. This month is racing by, but while I'm gone please enjoy one of my favorite poems from one of my favorite poets, MacNeiece, before September is gone as well.


September has come, it is hers
Whose vitality leaps in the autumn,
Whose nature prefers
Trees without leaves and a fire in the fire-place;
So I give her this month and the next
Though the whole of my year should be hers who has
rendered already
So many of its days intolerable or perplexed
But so many more so happy;
Who has left a scent on my life and left my walls
Dancing over and over with her shadow,
Whose hair is twined in all my waterfalls
And all of London littered with remembered kisses.

Louis MacNeice
From Autumn Journal

See ya soon! Well not really...but maybe when I get back I will share the adventures of the ER on a Friday night : ) P.S. Everyone is fine.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Who Needs Wednesday and Wordless

When you have a New Grandbaby?

Feeding Time with Mama Biggest

Quality Time with Aunt Mid

DecentGuy found this little squirt under a building, curled up with a deceased sibling and no mama in sight. He was about 48 hours old but weak and wet and muddy, so it was pretty clear she wasn't coming back. This was certainly fate because he is married to Biggest, also known as, Furry Foster Mama of the Universe and he scooped the tiny cutie up and brought him directly to her. This might be the only type of grandkid I ever get from these two and that's ok with me. After all,  it's Kittens! (Yeah Yeah Biggest, Eugene counts too) but kittens!

Biggest wants to name him Osiris.

DecentGuy wants to name him Jebediah Mayhem.

I'm with him!

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Shine On

The Miracle of Birth, Drama, Spiritual Light..and **WARNING some bad language.

The Biggest and Middlest were born at a hospital with one of the best maternity wards in our area. Not just state of the art, the rooms were comfy and pretty and private.  My obstetricians experienced and from a well respected group. And that is what was paid for. In 1994 the company The SeaMonkey worked for went under and we decided to take a risk and start our own. It paid off in the end but in then beginning, we were in tight circumstances and uninsured. Without making this story longer, yes I knew how babies were made but still unexpectedly became pregnant again when Mid was about 13 months old. I had to make some changes. For prenatal care I learned to make use of a clinic that would work with our income and the birth would have to be at an associated teaching hospital that would do the same. No frills, no familiar obstetrician, no warm fuzzies. It was a deeply stressful time in our lives. But that was ok. I prayed and I wished and sometimes wonder if possibly I Willed another girl. This was fulfilled. I was having another daughter.

I was a month away from turning thirty and had two kids already so when the pain came I knew what was up. So we packed up and headed out about 5 PM. It being labor day weekend I figured they would be prepared ; ) After they checked me and told me to go back home I was pretty annoyed. But, they didn't seem to think it was time yet.  I usually would dilate very slowly and then very suddenly-wide open. I also had a tendency to develop inconsistent double contractions that didn't really even out. I would just suddenly be ready to go. I told them this but they just nodded. I went home and laid in bed in agony until my water broke and I knew they couldn't shuffle me off. When I arrived, as always the first thing I made clear was that I wanted an epidural. I have  a credit card. I'll pay for it now. Just get it. I told this to every person I came in contact with and they all nodded, mmm hmmm, ok. And I waited. I was there an hour and dilating. My epidural? Mmm Hmm, she'll be here. Two hours? We just called because you're getting close. You what? Don't worry. Needless to say when the anesthesiologist showed up I was having hard contractions and couldn't stay in place. And she said, " I can't do this if you can't stay still. Then she said to the nurse in charge, "We can't do it at this late stage, she won't be still." Like I wasn't even there and marched out. Which is when the 'Nurse in Charge' said, "You should have said something sooner.." And I said Fuck You I mean I said, "I Did."

 While I waited the 'nurse in charge' bustled about my room. A tall young woman in her twenties, she was loud, bossy, falsely cheery and condescending and extremely curt with the other nurse in the room, A short, older woman with caramel skin, wise dark eyes and a rich island accent, though she was very compassionate with the SeaMonkey. Now the poor SeaMonkey wasn't much help on this trip. He was used to me being all numb and happy and even though we took Lamaze classes all three times, he was lost. I know many people endure natural childbirth with grace and pride. I am not one of them. It was horrifying and even though I was breathing it didn't help. "Don't Scream", bossed the charge nurse, "You need to stop that screaming", she admonished, standing at the foot of the bed looking exasperated. I told The SeaMonkey, "if she doesn't shut up I'm going to slap her." He said, she's just doing her job, she's trying to help." I said, Fuck You Both "I want her to go away." I turned my back on him and lay on my side. The older nurse left the papers she was filling out and came to stand beside my bed. When we asked about her accent she told us she had come here recently from the Caribbean islands where she had been a midwife. She spoke low and soft, her melodic accent flowing over me like warm water. I looked into her eyes, her brow lightly lined, her mouth a straight line of consternation, but her dark eyes soft with compassion.  As the next contraction swelled she reached out and I grasped her hand tight. Lightly wrinkled and powder soft skin padded the tiny bones that took my grip without a flinch as she whispered. Her eyes held mine with each slow deep breath, her calm flowed into me. I felt anchored. I felt safe. She stayed there the whole time and I held on to her gaze and to her hand until the end.

Which was when the obstetrician was hurried in.. I assume she was finished with medical school but I'm not sure. She looked about 20 and she was very sweet, and pretty, tucking her long brown ponytail under her cap, and reassuring, at least she seemed to know where everything was. The SeaMonkey was back up helping and with him on one side and my hand holding angel on the other, I finally pushed and I had a baby. The sweet young doctor was ready, hands in place and caught my little shooting star firmly in her grip. She didn't lift her up right away but I could see the doctors smile as she was turning her around head up to look in her face , "a girl" and then without any prompting my Littlest took her first gasping breath of life..and at the moment I hemorrhaged. The blood and fluid flowed down into the face and mouth of my baby girl as she sucked in her first breath of life, and she drowned. The first breath was the last. She stopped breathing. They cut the umbilical cord rapidly and rushed her a table and began trying to revive her. The pediatric emergency team was called in. There are no words to describe the feeling of helplessness. No way to describe seeing the obstetrician back away from the table as pediatrics took over, her hand held against her mouth, her eyes terrified as she turned to me and said, "I'm so sorry." The SeaMonkey and I were frozen in shock watching the team work over her tiny body, pumping air into her lungs. All I could see was the top curve of her forehead..and her little calves and feet, still as a doll, lifeless. It was only minutes but felt like infinity, while the obstetrician returned to finish delivering the placenta with the contractions still waving through me to finish the job. The 'nurse in charge' was busy being important somewhere but the little nurse remained by my side, holding tight to my hand, her eyes closed. When I looked her way I knew she prayed and I continued to cling to that anchor.

 Finally I saw the shoulders of the pediatric team relax, an unheard but deeply felt sigh of relief in the room. She was breathing. She would have to be observed because of the fluid that had been aspirated but I could hold her just for a few moments before they took her away. Her eyes were round and dark squinting up at me. I tried to nurse her a bit as I had the others, gently wiping at flecks of dried blood in the corners of her mouth. but the 'nurse in charge' hovered expectantly, ready to snatch her back and send her to the nursery for whatever it was they still had to do, I'm still not sure. But I relinquished her to their care. The nurses began the cleanup process.  With annoyance I heard the 'charge nurse' snottily and loudly reprimanding the older nurse about something with the paperwork. The older women stood quietly listening and nodded her head. When she looked my way again, a tinge of embarrassment on her face I was furious. I don't know how I would have made it that day without her.  Someone arrived to wheel me to my room and suddenly it was just too much. I sat in the chair and my throat constricted. I had held it together all the way through. I burst into tears. I couldn't stop the stream from my eyes. I was so exhausted I didn't even lift my hand to wipe them away, letting them flow across my chest and seep into my hospital gown. As I passed the older nurse I told her thank you, so much, and The Seamonkey thanked her too. The 'nurse in charge' was ready, smiling at the door, to say you're welcome and wave goodbye. When she saw my tears, she asked in a peppy voice full of surprise and concern, "Oh! What's wrong?" What's.Wrong. ? Fuck You, I smiled, "Nothing, nothing at all."

 I lay in a gray blue cubicle of a double room, curtained off. I can't recall the actually color of the curtain but in my mind it is black. I lay alone in a black hole that suited my mood perfectly.  The SeaMonkey was sent home to the other girls. They kept her in observation for several hours, so I lay in my pit of frustration, fear and sadness. I still didn't know how she was doing or what damage this could have done to her. I kept asking when she would be brought in. I breast feed, I told them. Should she be going without this long? I was patted and condescended to some more. They wouldn't give me details. The assumption seemed to be that if you were there because of financial reasons, you were obviously ignorant and uneducated and wouldn't understand anyway so it was best to keep it simple and keep you in the dark so you wouldn't kick up a fuss. But finally, they brought me My Littlest.

And she was my Littlest. 7lb.8oz. The other girls had been over 8 lbs. Her head was round and what little hair there was downy white. Oh look! I got a blonde this time! But her eyes were deep deep gray and foretold the brown eyes to come. When she looked up at me, instead of helplessness and newness in her eyes I thought I saw knowledge. I felt I looked into full and complete comprehension. A disconcerting wisdom in her face that threw me off balance. An old soul? Did I believe in such things? I didn't know. But from that moment I recognized and watched the strength. The independence, the inner compass automatically guiding right and wrong. I saw indomitable will and a sense of purpose that self directed and did not falter. I saw a Star. Shining with Power from within. Shining with Promise. Shining with Purpose. With Destiny. With Love and Empathy. Vulnerability laced With Strength

My Littlest has turned Seventeen. When I look in her eyes I see a Star. Bright with Promise. Shining with Purpose, with Power, with Destiny, with Love and Empathy, with Strength. I remember the day she was born with mixed feelings. A frightening day. A miraculous one. And I have to ponder how she may have been affected by these moments of her birth. Are these things possible? Could the moment of life being snatched away have returned a soul with deeper strength and created a fighter? As I lay there holding the hand of the nurse and pulling my strength and calm from her, could the wisdom of years and perseverance have seeped through my skin and into my child, giving her a sense of self and maturity way beyond her years? And most of all...could all of the F words I swallowed during labor have passed through the bloodstream and circulated within her for years only to burst out of her mouth in unexpected public explosions as a teenager? As you can find HERE and HERE. ; )
But I can overlook that because she is a great kid in every other way.

Happy Birthday to My Star Light.

 Shine On. You have a purpose in this world.
To meet your destiny head on..... and apparently tell it where to go. ; )


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Friday, August 31, 2012

Lost Mind. Send Sleep.

This has been a very long month.

This has been a very long week.

I have 3 unfinished posts.

I forgot what I was going to write next.

I am tired.

There have been two full moons this month.

That might explain alot.

I'll catch up shortly.

Middlest sends Moon Music.



Who's The Boss?

The Boss Lady That's Who! And she's asked me to help spread the word.

Is on the job-or otherwise- crazy making you reach for the Valium because there is no place else to turn without fear of reprisal? Missing out on that raise? Even getting fired?  Not to mention not being invited to the Mary Kay Party in the break room. Do you need a place to safely and discretely vent on the sneaky, creepy or just plain incompetent?

Well there's a new boss in the corner office and she's here to help!

Just past the sign up sheet for the motivational conference and a quick duck behind the cubicle of the co-worker waving a wrapping paper order form for her kids school fundraiser, you will find

The Only Water Cooler In Hell

Pay the Boss Lady a visit and find out how it works. You don't even need an appointment : )

Thursday, August 23, 2012

As Usual I Didn't Do Well With Plants This Year

 After I saw the cute movie previews for Timothy Green I thought
 maybe if I planted my favorite cat
I would grow kittens in the spring.
What do you think?

He's a crotchety 14 year old male cat and he said
 this is his opinion of kittens.
(Click Photo For a Closeup)

But I can dream can't I?  ; )

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Monday, August 13, 2012

What Do I Say Now?

When I was 19 I had a decent job and I moved in with my boyfriend (later know as my husband The SeaMonkey) My parents weren't much on pushing, or directing, or even guiding. They would encourage. That was ok. I didn't have to argue with them because when I made my choices I was sure that I knew everything and I was always right. Many things I didn't give up on, I just never got around to them...yet. It worked out just fine. I have no regrets about my decisions. I also never had any doubt that if I had chosen a different path I would have succeeded as well.

But always at the back of my mind I wondered if I had been enouraged, pushed, or guided, or even directed, I would have chosen a different way. This put me in a conundrum, because if that had happened, I wouldn't be here and I wouldn't have......yeah.

So when I had my daughters I decided it would be best to encourage, of course, and absolutely to guide and to sometimes direct but not to push. That way I would know that they knew they had carefully considered all of their possibilities and followed the right path. Because I know everything and I am always right I knew that this would work beautifully.

On my very first post on this blog I wrote that the main thing I had learned as a parent is that in Nature verses Nurture; Nature Wins. I began the blog because having survived my oldest daughters decisions I was now dealing with The Middlests decisions. And still trying to encourage, direct and guide.

Long ago on this blog I also wrote a post called The Letter.

When Biggest was 19 she wrote her father and me a letter. While at that time she didn't use the words "you were right." She did use these:

"I know I've pulled a lot of stunts and I'm sure I'll have more, but thanx for always being there, and I'm sorry for those stunts. I know I put Ya'll through a lot"
"If I apologize for everything it will take a book so I hope you know all the things I did I'm sorry for and thankful that Ya'll still talk to me, and most of all I love you very much".

 Thank You. You're a good girl and I love you.

My Middlest is turning 19 this week.

She called me and said;

I've had an epiphany. I saw what I have lost. Everything I threw away. I'm so sorry mom. I screwed up. I made so many mistakes and I screwed everything up. You were right.  And I will listen to everything you tell me from now on because:

"You Do Know Everything."
"You Are Always Right."

Well. Yeah.

But what do I say now? I have talked till I'm blue in the face, talked till I'm hoarse, talked to a wall, talked to myself. At this point what else is there to say?

I said, Thank You. Later, when she was here I told her, "you're a good girl and I love you." I also told her that it's not too late. It's never too late. Things may be harder. There are no quarantees. But. You never know unless you try. And only try if YOU want to. I say focus. Pick one thing to stick to. Then do it. That's all that's left for me to say. She does. For a day or so. Then more ideas come or return. She shoves them in her basket too. She'll get around to them. It's never too late. These are her decisions. I cannot choose them for her.

Over the past year Middlest has gone through a plethora of ideas. Her thoughts float out in all directions and waft away. They roll in and suck out like the tide only to roll back again. Become full and round then dwindle to crescents and swell full again.

She is turning nineteen. She hasn't given up on school. She has a decent job. Her boyfriend is in the process of buying a house and she's moving in with him. ( Any resemblance to her mother is purely a coincidence and means nothing ; )

I say: As long as you believe in it that is all that matters. As long as YOU are happy with the decisions that is all that matters. As long as you can feed yourself that is Really all that matters. Whatever you do will be alright, as long as you carry on.

I say Happy Birthday to My Moonlight!

...because my Moonshine don't sound quite right....

Middlest Music

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

She said, Let's do it today....

And I said, ok.
What should I wear, she asks?
You don't have to get dressed up. Just look neat.

She's been researching and trying to garner information for over a year. Her first attempts result in a letter to me: This is to inform you your child is attempting to......we cannot ....until she is seventeen.

That is still a month away.

So we get in the car and I drive. She is questions all the way. What should I say? What do I tell them?

That you are considering and want to know the options. That's all you need to do right now.

We pull up outside the offices, set in the corner of an older, gold stuccoed, strip mall. The windows tinted black with a different insignia on each door. Doors. Choices.

The story of The Lady or the Tiger comes to mind.

We sit in the parking lot with the summer heat already creeping around us at ten thirty in the morning. She stares at the windows. "In a minute", she says. "Not yet".

We sit.  A couple of young men walk up and we watch to see which door they will approach. . One, small and wiry, short dreadlocks, wife beater T,  drooping shorts and drooping posture, skulks on. His friend, with short hair, dressed casually but neatly in t shirt and jeans, reaches for the door on the right. A tall figure comes out the door on the left and we silently stalk him as he stands on the sidewalk for a quick smoke. "When he goes in" she says.

He goes in. Let's go, I say, "it's hot and I have stuff to do. They'll probably just give you some information." You aren't old enough to do anything yet so there's nothing to be nervous about, says mom,with my stomach sinking. She sits, very still, then suddenly bangs her head on the dashboard twice. She grabs the door handle. She says, "Let's go."

We cross the short distance, I'm smiling and chatting like we're relaxed.  It's all bravado. I'm so uncertain. What am I doing? I don't know if I'm doing the right thing or not.
I reach for the handle and we enter the door on the left.

Inside it's cramped and cool. The same tall young man greets us, "Hello, can we help you?"

I wanted to get some information, she stutters, for after I graduate next year.

Certainly,  I'll be with you in a moment, have a seat. I glance at the black leather love seat covered in toy cars from a basket nearby.  He swoops down and gathers the them. Thomas the Tank Engine catches my eye just before the hand sweeps him up and away.  She loved him when she was little.
I smile at her, "look it's Thomas", and sit down awkwardly. Don't cry, I think. She stands. Stiff. Her arms crossed,  her face inscrutable. And waits. A small child wanders the office while his mother chats with another young woman at her desk. I'm afraid to make eye contact with anyone. I think, "he said to sit, she's not following directions."  "You should sit down," I begin to tell her, but then he is back. Shaking hands, introducing himself, asking her age.
 I'll be seventeen in a few weeks, she answers.  Her school? Hey, I was just assigned there he grins! I'll be starting this year. How do you like it? It's alright, she answers, uncertain. He leads her to a small desk against the wall and turns to face us.  I hang back until he says, you come over too mom, pulling up another  black metal chair. We sit facing him with our backs to the room which is a relief. I don't know where to look. The cold edge of the metal chair is an anchor I cling to. I don't know what to do with my hands. He asks questions. When she will graduate? What does she want to do? What are her interests? Why? Why is she here? She sits up straight and rigid on the edge of her chair, a posture I never see her use. In response to a question, words come out of her mouth,
"Yes Sir."

I blink. Seriously? Who are you? I wonder to myself.

 They latch on to her Brazilian jiu jitsu training, as I knew they would, bringing up their extensive martial arts program. She tells them being an instructor would be her ultimate goal but we all know she would be used where they say she is needed most. She asks which path would be most likely to take her in that direction. He can't discuss that in detail, just yet,  but lets her know everyone is trained in martial arts. She may have a chance someday at this dream job. He finds out she is writer. We are both a little taken aback when he begins to recite Robert Frost. A piece of The Road Less Traveled. She could have finished it for him. She's too shy to presume to.

I listen and watch. With certain answers I see him sit up, a touch more alert. I know she is hitting it right. I know, because I have read and researched along with her. And I know they aren't just words. She is not saying what they want to hear. She is saying what is in her heart.

I tell myself, Don't Cry.

 To my surprise they send her into another room for a reading and math test. A preview of what would be on the real test. I thought maybe they would give her some pamphlets. Tell her they would see her at school and would talk some more over the coming year.

I watch her walk away, she is nervous. She wasn't expecting this either.

 The young mother has collected her child and left. I realize she was there casually. She knows them. She is one of them. I'm not sure what to do with myself. I feel disheveled and messy with my loose pony tail and crumpled linen jacket.  I feel like I've come for a job interview unprepared. I ask if I should go back to the couch. Oh no, he says, you can stay there.
 He begins to ask me questions about why I think she wants this and how we feel about it. I tell him we are hoping she will attempt the scholarship and go that route. He explains that she can also go that route at a later date with a recommendation or even just have tuition paid for whatever career she pursues. I tell him I stand behind her and her decision. I explain that her Dad is very upset and worried and that I am worried too. My pride is immeasurable but all it takes is to turn on a tv to set the fear in motion.

 Don't cry, I think.

But I am honest. I tell them she is very physical. That she enjoys being challenged and reaching a goal that she has to really work hard for.  That she is disciplined and focused when she has a goal. I tell them about how long she has been researching and what is important to her. Her values. The tiny young woman sitting at the other desk is listening intently. She asks questions too. She tells me,

"I think the writings on the wall, Mama."

I say, "I know."  I think, don't cry.

This young woman is small, with a round face sprinkled with pale freckles, her hair haphazardly pulled back in a ponytail. She seems benign. Calm. Down to earth and casual she feels like home compared the the starched and polished young man.  She seems very self assure. She tells me about herself. What she wanted. How she came there. Why she did.

I know this.

When she gets up to leave I notice the slogan on her t-shirt, Pain Is Weakness Leaving the Body.

When the test is over he checks her score and returns to announce that she blew it out of the water and it was about 45 points higher than the average. He is more alert than ever.
 He hands her a stack of plastic cards with writing on them. Some things, he says, some estimable people have stated were what they gained from being a part of this. Which, he asks her, best represent what you are looking for?

I read the cards as she shuffles through them and feel a little confused as she discards:

  • Physical fitness
  • Financial security, advancement, and benefits
  • Educational opportunities
  • Travel and adventure
  • Professional Development and opportunities

  • He stares for a moment silently at the cards she laid out:

  • Challenge
  • Pride of Belonging
  • Leadership and Management Skills
  • Self direction, self reliance, self discipline
  • Courage, poise, self confidence

  • My heart swells. I bite my lip. Don't Cry!

    His eyes are more alert than ever as he points out the purpose of this exercise.
    These things are Tangibles: Physical fitness, Technical skills, Financial security, advancement, and benefits, Educational opportunities, Travel and adventure.

    They are things that you can accomplish through myriad avenues in life.

    These things are Intangibles: Challenge, Pride of Belonging; Leadership and Management Skills;
    Self direction, self reliance, self discipline; Courage, poise, self confidence; Professional Development and opportunities.

    She laid down no Tangibles. She left one Intangible out: Professional Development and opportunities. One that can certainly be done in the regular workforce.
    The other Intangibles can also be accomplished with many avenues in life but she isn't concerned with education and training for a job or career. She wants to fulfill these things for herself in the way she feels irresistibly called to do them.

    She just wants to be a Marine.

    By the time we leave she is ready to come back in six weeks and sign on the line for the moment she graduates. His face falls ever so slightly when I explain that we won't be allowing her to sign anything while she is still seventeen. It will be a year before this final decision is made. I would prefer she wait another year beyond that. I still don't know if I'm doing the right thing. I should support my daughter. I do. I also feel like Abraham offering her as a sacrifice.

    On the way home we discuss once again what has been gone over dozens of times before. The fact that nothing is guaranteed. Not that you will ever be a martial arts trainer. Not that you won't be a paper pusher counting supplies. You do what they want. Not what you want. She says she knows she will probably get screwed over. She says she should just get a T Shirt that says, I'm about to be screwed over,  and then she laughs.  Horrible things can happen. I know that, she says. And she does know. And just like being screwed over she doesn't care.

    When we get home the NROTC scholarship brochure she sent for has arrived in the mail along with a letter telling her, not that she was too young to get information, but that they were preparing the packet to send her when she turned seventeen. I would prefer this. She wants to do it the hard way.

    I don't know how to describe the feeling this creates inside me. Inexhaustible Pride. Absolute Terror. They are intertwined and deeply rooted in my heart. My tears are always just at the rim of my eye only dammed by the depth of her desire.

    She just wants to be a Marine.

    Pride and Fear ask me..."What's that I see in your eye?"

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