About Me

My photo
...over-educated and under-experienced, or so they say...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Hope -- My Best Little Friend

She leaves for her dad's tomorrow. It's summer break now, and this is how it goes. She'll be gone until August, and my heart hurts.

She's my best little friend. I tell her that all the time. I think the first time I said it to her she wasn't quite three. She was making me laugh as I tucked her into bed and she was just so cute and so much fun to be with, I hugged her and kissed her and said, "You're my best little friend," and she responded, "you're my best big friend."

In my card, this past Mother's Day, she wrote, "I love you more than anyone on Earth! I know you will always be there for me in the hard times, and I will be there for you too! I love you, Mom!" After I read it, I held her tight and held in a few tears. To some, reading that may evoke little more than an "Oh, how sweet," but for me, knowing all we've been through over the past ten years, I couldn't help but wonder if that little mind of hers knows or understands how many hard times she's already helped me through.

At a time when I thought I had lost it all and sat in my own mother's living room crying, I remember my 15 month old daughter, seeing my tears, gave me her blanky because she knew it would comfort me. And I remember a smile coming to my face through the tears, not because of the blanky but because of the love and concern she showed me at that moment. And some months later, when she had learned to talk a bit more, I stood in the kitchen talking to my mother about some of the things that troubled me, paying no mind to the toddler in the high chair who suddenly reached out for me and said, "Don't worry, Mimi. Don't worry..." And I remember looking at her sweet little face, dumb founded, and trying to convince myself there was no possible way a child that young could make enough sense of what I was saying to know that I needed assurance that all would be well. (Obviously, I've never forgotten that moment.)

I'm not sure she realizes that it was her little face in the window, watching me walk out to the car as I left her at Papa's and Grandma's to go to school and finish my degree, that drove me to succeed. And I doubt she knows that every night when she ran to me, smiling and laughing out of sheer joy for my return home, made every drop of blood, sweat, and tears worth it.

As cool as she thinks it is, I'm pretty sure she has no idea that she was the main reason I ever set foot in a martial arts school -- because everywhere I went, I was a young woman alone with a baby and a vulnerable target for predators of all shapes and sizes, and I wanted to be confident in my ability to defend her precious little life, as well as my own (which is precious to her), and these small little spaces we've called home.

I'm absolutely certain she has no idea that the reason I sat down in that therapist's office and bore my soul, exposing every wound, every dark and hideous corner of my mind, and placed them directly in front of me so I could see clearly, call it like it is, and heal and change myself is because she deserved nothing but the best from me.

And in the most difficult times of them all, when I felt completely broken and unable to move, it was her fresh eyes looking at the world around her and the life she was so excited to live that gave me purpose and a reason to rise above.

I'm sure she has no idea.

A few months back we were driving home from school and talking about her future -- college and graduate school (yes, we talk about that "already" and we've been talking about that since she was five), and the sweet little one said, "If you didn't have me, maybe you'd have your PhD right now." I simply looked at her and said, "If I didn't have you, I'm not sure I'd be alive right now." She looked at me as if to gauge my level of sincerity. I smiled at her and said, "I'm not lying. I don't miss the PhD. I'm happy with who Ive become, who I continue to become, and if I didn't have you I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be the woman I am right now. And, like I said, I'm not sure I'd be alive either." I could see the wheels turning in her head, but she finally smiled and took my hand as I told her, "I mean it. You're my best little friend." She squeezed my hand and replied, "And you're my best big friend, Mama."

I will miss her this summer... my best little friend. I already do.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Impromptu Politcal Rant, Opus 1

“So,” she said, “you haven’t blogged lately and I really miss reading it.”

“I know,” I said, “I don’t know what’s wrong with me but I haven’t been able to write. I can’t tell you how many times I sit down, write two paragraphs, decide it’s crap, and then stop. I just can’t seem to make it work right now. And it isn’t because I have no material, it’s almost that I have too much material and all of the thoughts are flying around in my head like some kind of intellectual pot-luck and every time I sit down to write something I get nothing but green bean casserole with those crunchy onion things that came from a can.”

She chuckled a bit and said, “What about the politics over there right now? Surely you have something to say about that! That seems like something you’d jump all over.”

I rolled my eyes and heaved a sigh, “One would think, yes, but I haven’t been able to say anything about it at all. The way things are with this one, I can’t really talk about it without going on some kind of 100% political rant. And ranting about this or that is definitely a style of mine, but I do my best to just hint at political issues and hint at social issues. It’s my goal to entertain my reader, to make them laugh or make them cry or perhaps even piss them off a bit, but to do it in a manner that makes them think. This topic around here isn’t really going to make anyone think because there’s nothing I can say to make anyone laugh about it. I can’t even really laugh about it. I get angry just thinking about it because it annoys the hell out of me. It’s everywhere right now. From the day this thing started it was ridiculously annoying – the governor was about to sign a bill and suddenly a bunch of ignorant high school kids who probably don’t know how to properly count change from their place behind the register at the local McDonald's (let alone what the hell’s going on in the economy over here) are outside the capital building protesting. Then, to counteract that impressive show of intelligence, there's suddenly a group of Tea Party Activists out protesting the group of pubescent protesters. Really? We have to out protest the high school kids about this?? Um... what??? And then one night I come home to watch the Suns game, because they made it to the playoffs, and I turn on the TV to see them running up and down the court in jerseys that say Los Suns. Are you fucking kidding me??? Los Suns??? Seriously??? Steve Nash, one of my favorites, is down there running back and forth in a Los Suns jersey because even he has to protest the bill that requires people to be in this state legally? Is this some kind of joke, Mr. Canada Dry? I’m pretty sure his stupid ass is here legally. I’m pretty sure his overpaid pro-ball playing ass is here legally. You bet that idiot’s carrying his papers around everywhere he goes as he’s living it up as a celebrity in this country of ours, but he’s trolling around in a Los Suns jersey? What??? And then that stupid idiot Al Sharpton was out here with a bunch of wackoes protesting somewhere downtown, and… for God’s sake! Who the hell listens to Al Sharpton??? Really??? When is that idiot going to disappear??? Every time I think I’m safe, Al Sharpton shows up again like a recurring "reverse racism" nightmare. Holy cow… And it’s all over the stupid mainstream media all the time, and the right wing media is all about it too and there’s no sign of stopping it. It’s nothing but poison tongue all over the screen and it makes me puke. And then California, my home state, decides it’s a good idea to boycott us. Are you kidding me??? That’s nice. An entire state puts out a boycott against us. Pfft… that’s just fabulous… you know, because California’s the epitome of economic stability and all states in the Union should admire and emulate bankrupt California. Idiots… I wonder how long it will take them to realize that a major portion of their economic failures stem from illegal immigrants. Dumb asses… And I can’t tell you how many of my PhD buddies, you excluded (thank you for that, by the way), have been posting article after article about Arizona and its bigotry and bla bla fucking bla. But do any of them live here? Have any of them even read the bill? Doubtful. And the other day I hop on there and see that so-and-so has posted some stupid article about how the major league baseball players are actively protesting the bill that was recently passed in Arizona, and bla bla bla, and I finally couldn’t take it anymore and so I wrote a comment under his stupid post and said something like yes, yes… and I’d like to know where these big hearted ball players were for the ‘little people’ when they went on strike a few years ago because their multi-million dollar contracts weren’t enough to help them pay the bills and suit their lifestyle. Give me a break! These guys aren’t holding up the torch for anyone or any cause but their own. They think if they jump on the mainstream liberal media bandwagon, it will boost their popularity and increase ticket sales in an economic downturn. I mean, come on people! Where are your heads??? Since when do we just bow down to the appearance and a fa├žade of the “do gooder” without thinking??? Really?!?!?! Where is critical thinking here??? Where has it gone??? ooOOoo… look at these outstanding citizen baseball players with millions of dollars and Publicity Representatives telling them every move to make in front of the press so the average man can be duped by their glory and buy their baseball cards, and jerseys, and hats, and shoes, and season tickets. Come on… really!?!?!? I mean… is it too much to ask my entertainment industry to do JUST THAT – entertain me? Could I please sit through a movie without having some stupid political agenda preached at me? Please??? Is it so wrong if I believe the only reason those people should make millions is because their sole purpose in this life is to give me a little bit of escapism? Really? Is that too much to ask from these idiots? Am I so wrong and wicked because I actually dream of a world where politics is politics and entertainment is entertainment? Really??? And then, to top it all off, that same guy that posted that stupid article about the stupid baseball players, popped back on and started spewing something about all of “the bigots” here in Arizona. And right about now I just can’t take it anymore. I live in a 750 square foot two bedroom apartment surrounded by cuckoo’s nest neighbors and cars that sound like broken time machines. I get up every morning and I feed my daughter a bowl of cereal and get her ready and off to school right before I leave for my own job. I do my job and I come home. I live here. I live in Arizona and I happen to love it here. I’m not responsible for this stupid bill. I had nothing to do with it. And for the most part I guess I try not to think about it because ultimately all I’m concerned about is the well being of my child and whether or not I have the means to get by on a day to day basis. But dude… call me a bigot one more fucking time and I’m going to get myself on a plane and get to Philadelphia, or wherever the hell it is that you live, and I’m going to throw a tomato at your stupid ass!!! ...good grief..."

“Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!” she laughed, “That was awesome! I should’ve recorded that shit! There’s your blog post, honey. Now get off the phone and go write that down. And don’t forget the part about the tomato.”