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The Secrets We Keep

I don't know why we thought we could keep it from her. She is too smart--too aware--not to attune to the silent dirge within the nation's requiem.We know she knows, but we can't talk about it because of the reverb in our cathedral of lies.


"Sometimes I see things in my head. Bad things happening to my family or friends. And I get scared I'm going to lose you," she said on the way home from school earlier this week.

I looked at her in the rear view mirror. "Bad things? Like what?"

"Like they're getting shot. Or...or some kind of violence."

"That's an interesting way to put it. 'Violence.' Did you hear that somewhere recently?"

"No," she said.


Several weeks ago the house next to The Boss's school was gutted by a fire. Black window sockets still stare at the children every day. There's a tarp on the roof and the remnants of yellow police tape around the yard. One night The Boss cried in bed and said sh…

The Mustang

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The convertibles were out in force. There was a gasping sense of exhilaration as the New England fall meted out what promised to be the last of the warmth. It was like opening one's mouth in the wind--breathtaking in a way you could taste.

I was driving my own non-open vehicle to a birthday party with The Boss when I saw a 60s era Mustang in the distance. It was as red as an apple and ten times as shiny. Chrome accents gleamed in response to the fine-grained sun that only October optimism could produce. I saw a driver and three passengers. The two in the back were fidgety, their heads bobbing with excess energy and the wind.


As I pulled up alongside the rolling piece of Americana, I tried to steal a closer glance. There was a middle aged man--late 40s, maybe--in the driver's seat and an elderly one to his right. Two teenagers sat behind them. I was quickly found out; the driver looked over almost as soon as I did. I considered waving or giving the thumbs-up sign but ended up tur…

Separation

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The Boss is Montessori educated. Every so often, bits of the methodology will come home either through the the weekly newsletter, the monthly magazine, or a parent education evening. Only what I deem directly relevant to me and my family, at that moment in time, sticks to my gray matter.
Here's relevant for you: Maria Montessori's careful study tells us that children begin to eschew parental attachment in favor of peer interaction at a certain age (around 6 or 7). What I’ve learned for myself is that the estrangement is not one-sided. 
I’ve relied on my daughter’s dependency for the first six years of her life. She put me in context. I was The Boss's mother because that's what she needed me to be. Now that she is exhibiting the first signs of social self-sufficiency, I’ve taken it, on some level, as permission for a subtle shift in my own identity. I'm still heavy on the mom thing--and I always will be--but the psychic weight of the first few years of motherhood is …

On Movie Criticism, or Maybe Just On a Movie

I've always been fascinated by the things I love without knowing why. It's a weak-willed fascination, to be sure. I don't search for answers. I am satisfied with ambiguity. It seems as if, maybe, I thrive on it.

Take the move "Friends With Money."Jennifer Aniston is in it, and that's the type of movie it is.

Ode to the Crows Upon My Mid-life Crisis

I have crow's feet now. They weren't there when I started this blog. I don't know exactly when they showed up, those subtle footprints of age, but I know when I noticed. It was Tuesday.

Since then, I've been scouring the Internet and store shelves for eye serum to fill in the "fine lines and wrinkles." I've been staring in the mirror, watching the tiny claws dig deeper with each manufactured smile. Maybe I laugh too much. Or maybe I only noticed the lines in the first place because I haven't been laughing enough.

The birds, though: I've attuned to the them for awhile, those harbingers of doom and death. I've seen them on the wires and wondered what's coming. But omens are subtler than that. Crows don't denote imminent destruction--not usually, not in real life. They're a reminder only that it's always in the wings.

Nothing is Simple

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Number Two is full of love. He spews it unconditionally. When I donned a bikini top yesterday in preparation for some power washing, he told me he loves my boobies. When we read a Cars book before bed, he looked at an illustration of Mack and said "I love that trailer." Should we pass by a farm on the way to drop off The Boss at school, I can count on him expressing his devotion to "that cow."

He loves colors, friends, and tasty food. He loves breezes and puddle splashing. He loves planes, trains and automobiles. He loves shooting "hoots," which is his word for basketball.

Sometimes when I think of Number Two, I think of Lynyrd Skynyrd's Simple Man. He's only three, but I can't help pondering the person he is poised to become.

Mama told me when I was young
Come sit beside me, my only son,
And listen closely to what I say.
And if you do this
It'll help you some sunny day.
Oh, take your time...Don't live too fast,
Troubles will come and they wil…

Bababooey

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There was nothing to do while Number Two dawdled over his dinner plate but look at him. I studied a face that had thinned out in the pattern following babies to boyhood. He ate sweetly. He's the only one who makes chewing sounds I don't mind listening to.

He watched me watching him. "I love your eyes," he said, his mouth a green gape of broccoli.

The unexpected compliment drew a smile from my lips. I laughed a little, my grin growing.

"And your big teeth," he added.