Friday, July 30, 2010

The Dead Mouse

When I was a child, I adored field mice. I would rescue them from the cat and doctor them up. ICU was our bathroom and the recovery room was a shoebox in my bedroom. I would put fluffed up cotton balls in there for a comfy bed, and milk-soaked white bread in an upsidedown jar cover for nourishment. Many a mouse had nine lives in our house.

One morning I found the cutest mouse ever, already dead, in the driveway. This mouse was a chocolatey brown color with soft fur. He had something really special about him I had never seen before... the most amazing black wings fitted right to his little arms. He must have been an angel mouse.

I scooped him up and ran him right to the front door to show my mother. To say that she screamed would be an understatement. You would think I had delivered the devil to her. “Get rid of it, don’t touch it, drop it.... It’s a BAAAAAT!!!”

I have no idea what my six or seven year old self did with that dead bat... the memory ends there on the cement steps with me trying to understand why my darling dead mouse was so horrible.

Fast forward many years... I found another “mouse with wings” in my driveway...


Ahhhh, I get it now.

I have been trying to figure out if the mouse/bat in my memory really did look like this one. How could I have thought he was adorable? Sometimes I really miss that schema-less little girl.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Whose Blog Is This?

Earlier this month I wrote a post about honesty and writing, trying to decide for myself if it matters that the blogger’s truth is usually blurry. I left off thinking it probably doesn’t matter.

But what about when the blogger’s truth is silenced, subjugated by the fact that readers might be hurt, or pissed. When a blog is anonymous, the you isn’t you reader, and so the author can talk about you all she wants.

But this blog isn’t really anonymous anymore, so if I use your marriage, my job, or something you said, did, or didn’t do as fodder, well then reader, I might actually be talking about you, and you would know that, and you would probably not like it.

And then I would be in trouble.

Over the last week I have written posts, and then not posted them. I’ve written about things that I am struggling with, things that are hurting me... For the first time since I started blogging I have written in blood and then decided that I cannot publish my words.

My blog is not my own anymore. In a way it belongs to its readers... it is held captive by their feelings, their judgements, their sensibilities... You stranger are not a stranger anymore, and now I just can’t talk to you the way I used to.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Angel Sleeps


There are times when I just want to eat her up. I mean really, doesn’t she just look delicious?

Saturday, July 10, 2010


What does it mean to say that I accept that Kimani has Down syndrome, or that I accept her as is? And, is acceptance the same as being “over it”?

First I contemplate the definition of acceptance...

1. the act of taking or receiving something offered.
2. favorable reception; approval; favor.
3. the act of assenting or believing: acceptance of a theory.
4. the fact or state of being accepted or acceptable.

Well, I didn’t abort her or give her away, so I would say number one is a go. Seeing how I adore her, and think she is an interesting and fun child, 2 is good. I knew the second I saw her that she has Down syndrome, and an unnecessary blood test performed by the hospital proved this, so clearly I believe and accept that she has Down syndrome.

Number 4... hmmm.

My husband and I were driving along one day last Fall when I told him that the dentist said Kimani is missing teeth. I was surprised that he was bothered by this. I pointed out that it isn’t like she was missing a ventricle or something, I mean it’s just teeth. You can buy those. And he was quickly assuaged. Missing teeth... acceptable.

beautyBut what about the delays? Our Baby’s First Year calendar is now a first three years notebook. I can handle that. In fact, there is a certain thrill and rush of pride that comes every time she does something new. You know how you feel when your kid scores the winning goal at the soccer game? I feel like that each time she uses a new sign or says a new word, or shows off a new motor skill.

So far so good. Now I will take a deep breath and go one step further.

Eventually time will show that delays are no longer just delays, that there are other things missing... things that cannot be bought. If she is at the top of her class those things may be minor and not so painful. But if she is a typical design, then there will be things... bigger things... things I don’t even want to put into words right now.

Oh, I know there are a lot of years between here and there, and that when it goes day by day it is easier to find these things about her “acceptable”. I have faith that I will always find her to be acceptable to me in the present.

Acceptance... I think I’ve got it covered and can safely say I am there. But am I over it? When she is grown, and she is who she is, and I make peace with that, then I guess I’ll be sure that I’m over it. But for now, I just don’t know.

(Moms of older kids... are you out there? Talk to me.)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Honesty, Authenticity, and the Pursuit of Truth

“I love your honesty.”

I like that comment, and I have gotten it a couple times after I left some blood and guts on a post or two. When I read that type of comment, I think maybe, just maybe, I successfully reached a place in myself that is the most authentic part of me. The writer in me would like to go there more often.

One time a person commented on my “We’re Not in Kansas Anymore, Toto” post and told me that maybe I wasn’t being honest. That person had read around this blog and felt what I like to refer to as the undertow of a blog. The undertow, the part I didn’t know that I wrote, or perhaps left out, and the supporting pieces that often have their own unintended message. That person was very perceptive, and challenged a belief I have that isn’t set in stone.

Starrlife just wrote a post titled, Blogging is Not Journalism 2
about another blog author’s post titled Truth in Blogging...

Does it matter if truth creeps into fiction or fiction creeps into truth?”

I like blogs that have that authentic feel, that grain of truth that is universal and transcend this issue. I like to think I can perceive those blogs. Do I? Can you?”

I am guessing that many of us have different motives for blogging, but most of those motives likely have something to do with authenticity, honesty, or truth... all different birds indeed. We have something to say, something we believe to be true, and we want to share this truth in order to have some effect in our sphere of influence.

But what if something in your blog’s undertow tells a story that is different from the one you are intentionally writing? What if you hear “I love your honesty” and “I don’t quite believe you” after the same post? What if someone questions the truth of some of your personal claims? Can one be honest and authentic but perhaps blind to certain truths? And does it even matter what is personally true and what isn’t, so long as the writer is being genuine and having a positive impact?

Most of the time I don’t think it matters that a writer is rarely able to completely pull off Shakespeare's “To thine own self be true” advice on a personal blog. As long as you mystify me, rock me, make me think, or drown me in beauty... I am happy to have visited you.

But what if your undertow is beginning to separate a group of people that I am very plugged into and proud of? I guess I then become one of those commenters who asks you to dive into it and see where it takes you.

(I would love for this to be a conversation but no unsigned anons for this one please.)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Little Boys and Fireworks

Yesterday I blew up the baby pool. Well, I started to, and then felt woozy so I went to the neighbor’s and borrowed an air pump. I couldn’t wait to get in the pool with Kimani.


What a cute little pool... the roof makes hanging out in it bearable for Kimani. I was looking forward to delightful days with the little ones splashing around... and chewing on it.


And then my husband spent the evening igniting fireworks while the boys ran around with sparklers. “Stay away from the pool!” I warned once, twice, at least five times.

Have you ever seen two little boys jacked up on explosives? No? Well, let me show you what the results look like...


Thursday, July 1, 2010

In The Moment

“Be in the moment,” Anonymous said, and I listened.

So now maybe this...


will remind me of this...