Lawd, what a writer. This woman.
I am so unbelievably fortunate to have a tribe of women in my life that are loving, supportive, kind, and good. And smart. And creative.
Janie is a kindred soul and I long ago nicknamed her my Boho Mamma. She is a tiny sprite of a thing with a seemingly endless supply of goodness and energy. She wears her heart on her sleeve and she's passionate and because of those traits, she just makes the world a better place.
When I asked Janie to write a guest post for this series, I had no idea that she doesn't typically write about her children because of the sacredness of that topic and I am more than indebted to her for writing this. It is beautiful. I read it to my sister just a few days before she had Little Papoose, over tea, over breakfast, and she had tears rolling down her face by the end of it because it is that true.
Thank you, my BoHo Mamma. All my love.
When Ashley asked me to write a post for the Mama Anthologies, my heart tripped over my Adam’s apple. I do not write about my children. I have never written about my children. This topic is sacred. Ashley does not know this about me.
Even when the flagpole is frozen, I cannot withstand the double-dog dare.
The problem is, my parenting TRUTH is not easily articulated. It comes to me in flashes, like fireflies on a summer night or distant lightning before a July rain. I cannot mix metaphors and I cannot cluster together unrelated images. This is all I can do.
What I Will Remember When I Have Forgotten All Else (Part One)
Steve’s mother has Alzheimer’s disease. She has forgotten the difference between her siblings in family portraits. She has lost the ability to start her car. She does not realize the ring on her left hand is missing a large pearl, or that the “trousers” she is wearing do not match her top. Not much of her is left, but when she sees our grandson, she pulls him to her breast in the rocker and instinctively calls him Steve. In her moments of mottled clarity, I see my future, and I know what I will remember when I have forgotten all else.
I will remember the night I swaddled him beside his oxygen tent, his first round of croup, and I prayed with every fiber of my being.
I will remember the scent of his auburn curls when sweat beads huddled on his nose.
I will remember the strap of his blue terrycloth jumper framing his perfectly turned bicep, ivory, and smoother than my grandmother’s chin.
I will remember that he was only four when he discovered that twenty-four cupcakes are equal to two-dozen.
I will remember that he once confused the word testicles with spectacles.
I will remember that he wore an orange towel for a cape with his Batman underoos.
I will tell strangers that he made me stand on the step and sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" before he started his whiffle ball games.
When he comes to visit, I will search the closets for his Dukes of Hazard pillowcase, because I want tell the story about his flipping it over to the Daisy side before he went to sleep.
I will remember the shape and size of the moon on the night he asked me if he could change his middle name to Steven.
I will remember the musk of chronic THC seeping from his pores when he was twenty.
I will relive the time he sat across from me at the green wicker table, and I told him he would quit drugs or he would leave my house.
I will hold my breath until I also remember that he agreed to go.
I will remember the time I opened my email and he’d sent me an mp.4 of Justin Townes Earle singing “Mama’s Eyes.”
I will remember that his eyes matched his scrub top the night his son was born--that two tears slid down his cheek as I helped him force his tennis shoes into the pants.
I will remember that it was he who raised me.
Sites I Dig
The Road is Home
The Seed & Plate
Sharon Covert Photography
The Define School
The Noisy Plume
Sarah Gee Photography
Fox & Owl Studio
The Stork and The Beanstalk
Mellow Yellow Photography
A Simple Little Journal
What I've Been Reading
The Girls by Emma Cline
A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
Never Broken by Jewel
Hold Still by Sally Mann