Friday, August 28, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
The Matron thinks the above actually came from your eighth birthday! (Isn't she adorable?!) Your brothers should thank their good lives for your existence. Why? When your Mama was a Youngish Miss and newly pg with your big brother, she decided to find out the baby's gender.
You know what THAT answer was! Look at that boy glare at his Mama! The big red forehead tattoo would be his suction cup marque. The child decide to deform himself before the first day of school. But see how sweetly the daughter is smiling on her first day of first grade!
Way back, when the ultrasound technician innocently told her that her firstborn was to be a boy, Youngish Miss tried hard for repose. She burst into tears. Because she wanted, this!
Not even necessarily Annie --
Or Ramona or Helen or any of the roles or an actor. Sure, Scarlett, the Matron can thank you for some stupendous-can't-beat-em cocktail party lines: "My 11-year old has agents in L.A. and Minneapolis." But she knows that's pretty much smoke on the water.
She's happy you know that, too.
No, your Mama simply wanted a daughter--a girl who would be kind to animals and brothers (sorta related). Your Mama harbored dreams of a reader, a girl with books permanently stashed in the leather pouch she carries everywhere. She wanted to meet a fierce spirit--a girl more fearless and confident than she was when young. Your Mama dreamed of the kind of girl who would, gracefully, set aside her plans for her 11th birthday because another family needed a great big helping hand-- a real emergency -- and suddenly there was a surprise overnight and two tiny tots in the house on the actual bona fide anniversary of your BIRTH and instead of complaining? This daughter would play stuffed animals, tag, and help - - all day.
That's exactly the daughter she got.
Matron: "Scarlett, who would you like to invite to your birthday party?"
Scarlett: "Instead of a party, can we bring toys to sick children in a hospital and then go volunteer at a homeless shelter. Instead of presents, can we buy toys for the sick children and clothes for the kids in homeless shelters?"
Monday, in honor of your birthday -- and the dizzying potential your big beautiful life holds-- your family and the families of four of your friends will be packing food, here, instead of the regular partying.
But your Mama promises there will be cake and candles involved, as well.
Happy Birthday, Scarlett! It's quite a ride.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Growing up in a small town,
we didn't notice
the background figures of our lives,
gray men, gnarled women,
dropping from us silently
like straightpins to a dressmaker's floor.
The old did not die
but simply vanished
like discs of snow on our tongues.
We knew nothing then of nothingness
or pain or loss—
our days filled with open fields,
turtles and cows.
One day we noticed
Death has a musty breath,
that some we loved
sometimes takes time.
Now, standing in a supermarket line
or easing out of a parking lot,
we've become the hazy backgrounds
of younger lives.
How long has it been,
we ask no one in particular,
since we've seen a turtle
or a cow?
"Straightpins" by Jo McDougall, from Satisfied with Havoc. © Autumn House Press, 2004
Woman: "My husband. He was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer on Thanksgiving Day."