Friday, October 3, 2008

In the Flesh

The Matron doesn't just get dressed in the morning.

She snaps on the heavy artillery.

Now, the padded bra has changed her life. She went from appearing a washboard with two nipples attached to a woman with actual female breasts. Men routinely now tell her she looks 'fit.' Try fitted, darlings.

While picking up her offspring at the elementary school today, the Matron ran into a dear friend who was working her assets. Cleavage. And this mama was hot!

But wait. Merrick gave the Matron pause. He seemed to have undue fascination with the forementioned chest, his little head a tennis ball, back and forth, between the Matron and Hot Mama. He was not reading lips or otherwise following the conversation.

Could her kindergartener also be a breast man? Already?!

The Matron waved good-bye to her friend -- and while walking to the van was thus enlightened by Merrick (w = r in his world which makes it cuter).


Matron: "Yes?"

Merrick: "How come hews move?"

Matron: "What? Whose what?"

Merrick: "How come hew nuwsews move? I didn't know they could move! Youws don't, do they?"

No, honey, your Mama's nursers (as the very young in her household call them) don't move. But real ones do.

Sigh. Just wait till y'all hear about how the Matronly uterus is now sitting atop of her bladder. Remember those bladder infections? Weren't. That's right, folks. Small surgery in store next summer and the Matronly apparati are literally, headed all down hill and artificial!

Puts being "a piece of work" into a whole new context.

The Apocalypse?

The Matron wants to ask Sarah Palin some questions. Don't you?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Thoroughbred

The Matron peered at her daughter's frizzled ends and decided that the annual traumatic Hair Trim was due. And before she could schedule that simple hair cut for her child, she had to call three theater companies and get somebody else's permission to cut her kid's hair.

Great debate was held by all, particularly for role of Ramona. Speed was discussed. Quality and duration of hair shaft and shine.

In the end? Scarlett could part with half an inch. And directed to a specific salon.

My goodness! The Matron is awaiting shower and bath instruction, just ahead.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Sarah Palin Reads Even More Than the Matron

Why, perhaps our intrepid potential President is even reading the Matronly blog, which would fall into that category of Everything.

(And is Katie Couric trying not to burst out laughing?)

Irretuable, Final Proof that God Exists

The Matron pushed the button on the home phone answering machine.

"Hi there! John and Mary, my name is Angel and I play Frau Schmidt in The Sound of Music. I see by the cast list that you live just a few blocks from where I work and your house is right on my way home, too. I remember how hard it was to juggle all the driving and games and lessons when my children were young--they're 22 and 24 now--so I thought I would offer to drive Scarlett. I can drive her to and from most of the actual performances, and I can drive her to and from the rehearsals that we share -- which look like will be quite a few, soon. I also can come over early the first day, so you can meet me and be sure you're completely comfortable entrusting your child to my care. Scarlett and I have already chatted quite a bit during rehearsal, so you can check with her too. Children have fabulous instincts, I think, don't they? Anyway, my contact information is all on the cast list. Look forward to chatting soon!"

Entrust her child to a total stranger?! The Matron fell to her knees and wept while speed dialing before the stranger could change her mind.

Tonight, rehearsal for the entire cast ends at 10 pm. And the Matron won't be there! Thank you, God-Buddha-Allah-Oprah. And Frau Schmidt. The Matron is once again astounded at the depth and complexity of mama-love.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tooth Fairy, Redux

Now, the fact that Stryker remains among the fairy faithful has a special poignancy for the Matron. She's here to tell you the backstory -- and that narrative?

Suckified Mothering 101

When Stryker lost his first tooth at seven, the Tooth Fairy--full of wine and emotion on her first EVER visit to this family--gave that boy a crisp $5 bill! Now, what hapless T.F. considered a one-time blowout, Stryker perceived (of course) as Precedent.

So when a single dollar rolled in for the next couple of teeth, he was less than impressed. Annoyed, even. (she knows that buck probably already makes her a spendthrift but she is loose with money when she's giving it away, whether she has sufficient cash or not)

But the next loose tooth? He methodically presented this analsyis to the Matron and her husband.

"Look, on one hand, I'm pretty sure you guys are the Tooth Fairy. But on the other hand, if the Tooth Fairy really exists, then she knows that this is special: I need FIVE DOLLARS again because then I'll have enough money to buy a pokemon game for my GameBoy. PLEASE GIVE ME $5!!"

The Matron could fill cyberspace with the amount of time Stryker spent on that simple narrative -- either way, magic or Matron, Fairy or father, he deserved five bucks. He pitched this up and down, in the bathrub, through dinner, dancing back and forth between the poles of "you're the Tooth Fairy" and "if she exists, then, surely."

Late that night, the Tooth Fairy, far more sober in all respects, left the darling boy the standard single dollar bill--with a well-crafted Fairy note and magic Fairy dust, to ease the blow. She kissed his sweet blonde head, too, just for a bonus.


Screaming, crying, ranting and raving ensued.

And the Matron? Startled out of her sleep, such? Why she was as cool as a cucumber. She did what she sometimes remembers to do during Behavior Emergencies-- she consciously made the decision to pretend to be somebody else. Yes! She imagined herself actually being her Early Childhood and Education teacher, Beth.

Far from suckified mothering, the Matron rocked. Channeling Beth, she felt nothing but compassion and clear boundaries.

"I see you have strong feelings about that, Stryker."

"Oh honey. I bet you're disappointed!"

"It's okay to be angry, but please do scream in your bedroom."

"It's good that you're expressing your sadness, but remember to do it respectfully. Please take the wailing to the other room."

The marathon tantrum began just before 6 am, giving Stryker a full two and a half hours to rage. And friends? Rage, he did. And he was clever. Relentless. You see, once he stopped screaming (oh, like hour two) his new strategy was to follow the Matron, dogged her like gum on a shoe.

He followed her with this, alternating between despair, sobs and anger; the tone varied between the sigh of death and volcanic rage: "I can't believe you did that!" "I know you're the tooth fairy!!" "You must hate me!!" "If this is what real fairies do, well, I'm done with fairies!!."

"There is no tooth fairy. I can't believe you did that.!!! YOU're the Tooth Fairy and I wanted five dollars!" He didn't stop for a second, screaming from the bathroom when he had to pee.

And the Matron? She was all calm and groovy and like "boy, you have strong feelings, babe" for just over 2.5 hours. But that last half hour, she felt something great planetary shifting in her belly. Deep cracks and rumbles and shakes. "Beth" began suffering from Headache. Supressed Rage. Exhaustion. Strong Dislike.

On the walk to the van, "Beth" gasped one last good-parenting breath and died.

The three children piled into the van and Stryker wailed: "I know there's no Tooth Fairy! I wanted that five bucks. You did it!"

And the Matron?

Even she of wit and verve cannot adequately describe her rage--she was Jack Nicholson in The Shining. Every inch of her body shook and shimmied and threw itself into this SCREAMING presentation:


And with that, she laughed manically!! Felt the pure raw joy of the righteous flush through her, was swept up in the sweetness of pure relief. She might have even panted at that steering wheel, a little bit. Damn, that felt good.

Until she started noticing the steady hum of sobs behind her. Sniff, sob, weep. Merrick was the loudest, just over one and surprised to discover that his mother was actually a demon. Scarlett was a close two -- she added moaning. Stryker just wept. Cried and cried.

That's what she listened to, all the way to school. Suckified mothering, indeed. The Matron is the woman who actually said "There is no f#%cking Tooth Fairy" to her children. And meant it.

The nail in her heart? When they arrived at school and she turned to assess the damage, Scarlett turned a soggy red face toward her mother and said: "But Mama! I haven't even lost a tooth yet!"

Oh! Mortal blow!

The Matron got down on bended knee and begged for mercy with the single strategy she had.

"You know when someone is really really mad and they think of the meanest thing they could possibly say -- like Scarlett how you told Stryker you were going to throw his GameBoy off the balcony but you really weren't? -- well, I was that mad. The WORST lie I could think of was that the Tooth Fairy didn't exist. She does! She does!"

And the Matron made more explanatory dance until the big kids went to school and she crept home.

Stryker probably still believes in the Tooth Fairy because he is afraid not to. Perhaps this shining track record is why the Matron has concerns over that whole conversation about Santa. . . .

Monday, September 29, 2008


This morning at 6:23 am, as Stryker was nibbling his breakfast nugget, he complained about the gaping hole his tooth left behind.

"Ouch, Mom. That molar was huge and so is this empty spot."

A few minutes later, the Matron casually mentioned she needed to run upstairs and get 'something.' She sauntered off until hitting the stairs where she high-tailed it to her bedroom to frantically scrounge through pockets in the dark until nailing a handful of change which she raced upstairs to Stryker's room and deposited under his pillow.

Just in case he hadn't already checked. Just in case he believed. Still?

The deed then done, she flew downstairs just as he was heading up. When he came back down, he had that handful of change in his hand.

Stryker: "Look what the Tooth Fairy left, Mom. Change."

Matron: "How much?" she had no idea--it was dark!

Stryker: "Just over a dollar. I bet I know why it was change and not a real bill."

Matron: "Why?"

Stryker: "The tooth had a cavity. I bet you get less for those."

Oh, how she loves that child!

But man, oh man. How to break the news? When? Sigh. . . don't even get her going on Santa.

Because he really does exist.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Meditation, Sunday

Today, this boy would've turned 21. This is his birthday. Here, the Matron updates his story. She's corrected an error in the narrative below. More importantly, she has an addendum. (that would be at the end - get a tissue and read on)

April 14th: The Longer Journey

When the Matron confronts this hill on her daily 4 mile run, weariness overtakes her. Worse? See that slight bend ahead? This is what is on the other side:

More hill. Lots of this.

She lives in a neighborhood nestled high above the city, full of 100 year old houses with million dollar views. Did she say high above the city?

Very. Every day, the Matron follows the city park path that runs right along a river bluff.

Sometimes she feels sorry for herself and a just little bit whiney. Oh, about everything.

The job interview, the wrinkle that is not a flexible laugh line but a permanent entity, the economy, Stryker's disdain for hygiene, the weather, that stupid hill she must climb one more time, Satan's Familiar, Scarlett's inability to fold a sock or close a drawer, the way her husband wipes his mouth with the back of his hand instead of a napkin (only when eating cereal).

The Matron frets and whines and puffs but then she eventually goes down the same hill and sees this, every day:

This is where a boy the Matron does not know but read about in the newspaper fell off the cliff and onto the railroad tracks next to the river, hundreds and hundreds of feet below.

You can see, his name was Georgie.

Because the Matron's neighborhood is high above the city and boasts a spectacular view, he was here with thousands and thousands of other people to watch fireworks on the 4th of July.

Being a teenager and and immortal, he crossed the little wimpy one foot safety chain and got as close as he could.

His mother was standing behind him and got worried: "Be careful!"

He laughed: "I am not going to fall."

Mother: "Really! Step back!"

And being a teenager and immortal, and seeing the tiniest ledge below, he decided to play a little joke on his mother.

"I'm fine! See?"

He jumped. But missed the ledge.

This is what the Matron read in the paper, nearly five years ago.

But every day she runs past that wooden cross. Sometimes there are new flowers. Sometimes a rosary or poem.

Every day she runs past that wooden cross and thinks about that mother and that boy and those few seconds.

She stops whining, usually because she has to cry. Again.



Near the July 3rd anniversary of that child's death the cross was removed for several days. When it was replaced, there was a woman's name on the cross instead and a little card sat by the cross for about a week that read:

"Because a big part of me went with you. Love, Mom."

Friends, the Matron believes there's something bigger than each of us at work in this world. Please give a piece of yourself--a prayer, a good wish, a little love --to this mother today, on the day she gave birth to the boy she lost.