Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Case of You

I remember that time you told me you said
"Love is touching souls"
Surely you touched mine
'Cause part of you pours out of me
In these lines from time to time
Oh, you're in my blood like holy wine
You taste so bitter and so sweet
Oh I could drink a case of you darling
And I would still be on my feet
I would still be on my feet

I  remember when my children were first born - being crazy intoxicated by their sweet newborn scent- not being able to get enough of them.

My NICU baby- Almost 19 years later,
and I could still drink a case of you!
Tiny Dancer being Tiny Dancer wouldn't let me put her down. She demanded to be held, carried and catered to from day one (not much has changed) Of course the three of us, since we had all waited on her for so long, were happy to oblige her every whim. In the early months, dad slept on the couch, endured back pain and practically got bedsores from non-movement while all the while TD slept peacefully on his chest.  The Boy Child held her in his lap while watching cartoons so I could get dinner on the table. I invested in a baby hammock and learned to do everything from dishes to sweeping with a baby tied to my hip.

The Boy was different. He didn't demand to be held. He was quite content to play with his hands at four in the morning and then fall back asleep until a more reasonable hour with no assistance from me, but he also spent 17 days in the "grower and feeder" section of the NICU.

Being a young mother I was petrified, even as all the doctors and nurses kept telling me he would be just fine once he learned to take a bottle, which of course he ultimately did and then 16 years later attempted to eat me out of house and home. Until that time, however, there was absolutely nothing I could do for him. I couldn't even feed him - unless you count holding a bottle while it delivers formula through a tube stuck up his nose down to his stomach, feeding, which I didn't. So I held him, wrapped up in my arms like a gift, and I rocked him. And I sang to him. I sang him country songs from the radio, hymns I learned in church and Joni Mitchell songs - sending each song up as a prayer - and then I held, sang and rocked some more.

The nurses encouraged me to go home and sleep, but every time  I left I was sure he was feeling frightened, alone and abandoned, and since there was absolutely nothing else I could do for him, I stayed. What nobody except Joni Mitchell seemed to understand was, "I could drink a case of you-and still be on my feet."

Almost nineteen years have passed and last week I had the amazing privilege of visiting this fully grown, amazing MAN - who I am proud to call "son" at college. As he sat across from me and gushed about college life, new found friends and new found freedom Joni's words floated between us, "I could drink a case of you..." when you were a newborn; when you were a precocious four year old; and yes, even when I wasn't sure either one of us was going to make it out of those teenage years alive- "and still be on my feet."  That will never ever change, and as he patted my back and whispered "I know Momma" when I burst into tears at the sight of him and sobbed, "I missed you soooo much" I know he gets it and I'm thankful for him letting me drink a case of him.  I love you, Son, and I couldn't be prouder!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

So Close!

Let Me Tell You Why That's Bullshit
So close…
I seem to have lived my life one step behind:  just a little slower than I wanted to be; just a little less smart; just a little less…well, everything it seems.
Almost there but not quite.
 I guess you could say I am an A minus kind of person. I have never been able to cross that invisible line to A plus, no matter how long I studied, how much I ran, how much I proofread a paper.   In grad school I got all A minuses. That minus cut me to the core. I always read it as:  “nope, not quite good enough to be one of the cool kids.”
Close but no cigar. 
In running, I have great turnover, but because I’m only 4’9” My short stubbly little legs  will never generate any speed, no matter how hard I try. I will run a 5k all day, but always be a step behind and never for the win or even top ten finish.
 I took voice lessons for almost three years. Yes, I got better. Did I get good?  Yeah, no.
So it didn’t surprise me that when I began working on arm balances in yoga and my yoga teacher tells me, “you’re sooooooooo close. You’ve almost got it.” Well, of course I do. Being “this close” is what I do. I’ll never get there though.  I can get into crow, but my toes are about one (okay maybe two) millimeters off the ground, and only for about half a second. Again, close, but not really, and if history is any indication, that is as good as it is going to get.
 I hate being so close. I hate “almost” having it. It feels like I’m destined to always be just a step behind-never quite making it, and it pisses me the hell off.  In fact, I’m getting pissed again just writing about all those A minuses and  that 3.85 GPA (NOT 4.0!).  It makes me want to cry and give up and just accept that I am and will always be,  a “close but not cigar” kinda gal. 
There are worse things to be I suppose. I try to tell myself, and so does my amazing yoga teacher, that I will get it. I try to remember what another yoga teacher told me, “there are no steps to be taken. You are already there; you just don’t know it yet. 
 Let me tell you why that’s bullshit!
After we worked on arm balances and again I was told “sooo close.” I was lying there in Shavasana trying to breathe the frustration and tears away a small still voice said, “all you have to do is not give up.” I so want to believe that voice and know, deep down,  that if I just keep at it I will get it, but it is so hard.  My yoga teacher realizes, probably better than I do, that it is all in my head and if I will just get out of my head, I will get there; that I’m already there I just don’t know it.  I’m trying.  I even told her that I need to find another word rather than “stuck” because that has so many negative connotations.  I haven’t found a new word-YET! But it is my goal before out next session on Tues.
I’m going to find a new word
I’m going to start telling myself that the past does not dictate the future
I’m going to listen to my yoga teacher’s sweet voice when she tells me I can do it.
I’m going to choose to believe her
I’m NOT going to give up
I’m treating myself to a big bowl of ice cream when I get that arm balance.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Break Free

That last half mile. You know the one.
The one you do because the previous miles felt good and strong and you know you it is time to push yourself.
The one where every inch of your legs is screaming while your head alternately shouts, "don't you DARE quit!!" and " you've got this."
The one where you shamelessly have that bubblegum pop song on repeat-though you'd never admit it.
The one  you scream, "hell, yeah I did!" at the finish and relish in the sweat pouring off you.
Yeah, that's the one.
That is the one where you break free.