Wednesday, July 30, 2008


One warm hug stands out. And the way you sat in English, long lanky limbs folded tight. I was looking for sadness anger and angst; you often were sad. 14 years gone? I always Google you.


I swam. You dove. We wrote notes to each other during classes. I stopped swimming. You seemed only to dive. The closeness sank. Neither now are who we were but we've taught our kids to swim.


Today, I took the kids to Sebago Lake State Park. We've enjoyed the park for the past few years and we've been a few times this summer. Today was great. We went after lunch and stayed until dinner. We were in the water almost the entire time.

My kids are more than comfortable in the water. They are deeply in love with it in all swimable forms. I get that. I love that. I really love that.

We all swam together and the kids each had mini lessons with me individually. Aidan is learning breaststroke, Clay's working on freestyle breathing, and Lucy is figuring out what to do when she's in over her head. I saw things clicking today. They practiced and were feeling good about what they learned. Lucy went too deep 50 times, took a big breath and swam under water until she was able to stand up.

I think the kids learn more in 10 minutes in the water one on one than they do in a series of formal lessons. My kids take lessons, and I hope they'll continue to take lessons until they start swimming on a team. I want them to learn proper techniques and I want them to swim on a team for at least one season.

Rob's grandmother used to say: you can want in one hand and sh*t in the other and see which gets filled first.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Your daughter tricked you, pretending the working Christmas lights were broken so you patiently puttered with each bulb.

We worked together transcribing your patient notes from braille. I learned about broken children. And about sustainable strength.


Joop. I am on day 73 and post 60. Oops. Life.

Summer speeds up each year. When I was eleven the days and weeks were longer.

My favorite summer days are long ones on the beach. In the water and on the shore. Playing and watching. I'm craving more of these days.

What are you going to do before September speeds in?

Monday, July 28, 2008


When you were a boy I babysat for you, and you wrapped your small frame tight around me in unfamiliar situations. Now you have a boy, but it's not as you planned. I am still here.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


I held fast to your waist when I was 15 on your forbidden motorbike. Funny and flirty and confident you weren't quite arrogant and you weren't quite a jock and we weren't quite connected. Simple fun.


Facebook bring people back into focus when your mind blurs them. I still don't know how I feel about re-connecting with these folks who (in some cases) were initially unconnectable.

Jury's out.

So, what's you favorite dessert of all time?

Thursday, July 24, 2008


I supervised your barely contained hostility, and your severe sense of slight. Your longtime boss (and my new one) was deeply afraid of confrontation. We worked unhappily on a carnival ride of dishonesty and undefined expectation.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


You sent a sweet sympathy card when my dad died, although we hadn't spoken in years. I still hold your kindness close and try to remember the living when death comes.

You've found me on Facebook!

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Your skin was dark your sister's milk light, joined in adoption. Your parents divorced and you moved away. When I visited we'd sneak peeks at your mom's "special" book, full of pencil sketches we couldn't understand.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


The weight feels heavy and it's not my child. I imagine your thoughts and prayers as you lie in bed each night and I am scared and sad and lonely for you. I am right here.


Today was stranger than strange. For months I have been occupied by a sad scary personal situation many of the people I love have been working through. I think about them often and worry for them and while I do not know how to help, I try.

Today, I learned of a sad and scary and secretive personal situation that's different and yet peripherally related to the first. I'll try to help ease the burden, if I can.

On a not scary or sad but maybe a little bit bizarre note, there's Rob's long overseas conversation with the ex. (Speaking of which, it's 11:25 pm, in case you were wondering. And, btw, it's relieving to know I was right, because seriously, it's a little freaky to think about who else would be Googling my name? Nice to end the mystery and Nice to know I'm not alone in the curiosity that brings me to the Google page from time to time.)

Any misconceptions of "normal" have been laid to rest today.


Next up: a few photos from the amusement park, in part to explain my absence, in part to lighten my mood:



Disappointing 2

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


You are simply stunning, even more than when you first walked in. You have changed the working title of your book several times in these 15 years. I've read the reviews, your story is complexly compelling.

Monday, July 14, 2008


When my father died you called though we'd never spoken on the phone. The bond was formed and I understood it completely. I'd joined the club that you'd been part of for years. Thanks for calling.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Seventeen years ago I cut your hair with scissors from your desk drawer. No 2 strands were equal. You're a mom across the sea and I haven't seen you in years. Now we exchange Christmas cards.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


We used to "talk" often and share and bounce ideas off each other many times a day. Now we don't but I can't understand or explain why. If I hurt or offended you I am sorry.

Friday, July 11, 2008


Once I knew you well, but was embarrassed at the reunion when you said hi and I stared at you- blank. You became a teacher and lived with our former teacher. What did that teach you?

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Loud and screechy, snuggly and smooth, full of vim. A vital surprise, you made us whole.

Just yesterday I brought you home from the hospital, and painted your mouth purple.

Suddenly, you are 4.


Happy, happy, happy day after your birthday, Punk. I love you dearly.

Monday, July 07, 2008


We partnered at a weird wedding and bonded by being dates of the guests. We laughed and watched and walked together observing them. I didn't see the brokenness that lie beneath, but you chose to die.

Saturday, July 05, 2008


You're softly sweetly squeaky and have found a friend in my babe and she clearly thinks you are the bee's knees. You run to each other and away from the waves dancing jubilantly. Covered in sand.

Friday, July 04, 2008


When your kids were young you left (and compromised) too often.

I watch you with my kids with your grown kids with all of the kids with joy. Pure interest, energy, effort and care.


Vacation officially started today and we spent a long day on the beach. I played with the new camera and got a very different view of my family and their interactions- through a snappy telephoto lens that brings those far away images, glances and sun smacked faces front and center.

A lot of the kids really like each other.
A lot of the medium kids are flexing their muscles with their younger cousins.
A lot of the bigger kids are making time and space for the small ones.
The 2 smallest ones are thoroughly joyful.
A lot of the kids are awkward in their skin.
A lot of the adults don't know how to talk to the not-quite-adult-kids.
A lot of the kids have stories that they want to tell.

These opportunities are meaningful.
They mean different things to me than to my 74 year old mom or to my children. But These Days on the beach or at a back yard BBQ are infused with connections and desires to connect.

It's exhausting and we pay the piper when we tuck our kids in 3 hours passed their bedtimes and we tell each other it's an investment.

I'm deep in processing.

Thursday, July 03, 2008


We don't have much to talk about, but I want to know you again. Ill sit with you tomorrow, on the beach, with our family all around us bocceing and body surfing and screeching about crabs.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


See what happens? You all ignore my plea for a tiny little ity bity comment and I miss a day. By mistake! I still don't believe I didn't post yesterday. I guess it might be because I went to sleep before my kids, but really? I blame YOU for not leaving me a comment. *sigh*


We dated briefly, our lockers side by side. You seemed quietly straight. I was so sick and you brought Pooh videos we sat while my mother futzed in the kitchen.

Once we danced. It was nice.

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Nikki- yes, I was talking about you, email Rob...