Wishbone

There is a space right in the center of a woman’s breast,
stretching between her waiting arms,

that craves a baby. It aches to be filled with the
soft bounce of new flesh, the warmth of new life.

It was here that I felt the wishbone break and
suddenly Thanksgiving was over. Celebration was

tossed aside as I snapped apart and became empty.
The hollow of the marrow leaked a plague stain –

bright red between my thighs. The world was silent
noise, all scurrying and rushed, while whispers passed

and the nurse stepped back as I shattered on her table.
She said, “There is no heartbeat.” and I thought instantly

of a washing machine – the steady thwump, thwump, thwump,
and knew that someone had turned it off.

Someone had snapped the wishbone and I was all
hollow marrow and no heartbeat.

© Laura A. Lord, 2016


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On Not Writing

I so rarely take the time anymore to just blog. I always regret it. I mean, the day passes and I sit back and think, Well, at least I wrote.

What a shitty attitude.

I spent most all of my day on this computer: writing, editing, designing, researching, and all other things writing related, and yet I so rarely take the time out from all of that to just simply write about my day.

So today, I’m not “writing” in the work sense of the word.

I couldn’t even if I wanted to…someone I love dearly keeps stealing my mouse.

And pushing my chair down the hallway.

And all manner of annoying cute one year old behavior.

Amazingly enough, I think he left all his good behavior behind at the National Aquarium. We took the kids two weeks ago for their first ever trip to the aquarium. It was a blast and I got some amazing photos.

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@nationalaquarium

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It never ceases to amaze me how much inspiration I can find in the beauty of marine animals and sea life and yet still…

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be totally and completely terrified of big bodies of water.

I mean, these guys are fantastic and fabulous, but I have absolutely no interest in going anywhere near their natural environment.

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Besides, the beach hates people who are as pale as me. It’s best I just stick to the aquarium.

And you can check out more of my awesome aquarium photos…or pictures of my family attempting their ninja picture avoiding skills, over here at my Instagram account. See you there!

1 A.M.

It is 1 a.m.
and you are draped across my body –
the potency of your soap
spreading across my skin.

Sleep is pounding in my skull,
but mutual lust is dripping –
a slow leak
down to my leopard print high heels.

Creative Commons
Creative Commons

Your mouth is pressed against my breast
and I gasp,
head thrown to the side of the bed
and our tiny room is tossed into a prism’s light,

the luminary lighting his small face in the crib
making dark eyes beam hazel
and so I slide out from beneath you.
He is crying and I take him from his bed.

I wrap him in my arms and
sidle down into the bed with him.
He is groping at my breast,
and it is 1 am

and he is draped across my body –
the smell of lavender in his hair
it’s a complete 180
and I’m spinning from woman

to mother
from desire, to nurture
from you to him.
It is 1 a.m.

and I am the light
cut from the prism’s heart.
I am one and all,
wife and mother

in leopard high heels…

© Laura A. Lord 2015


There is something odd, and yet beautiful in being a mother. It seems we always have so many different coats to wear: wife, mother, daughter, friend…Sometimes those coats seem to overlap, we slide from one thing to the other with little thought.

This was written for MindLoveMisery’s prompt.

The Man You Call Dad, Is Not Your Father

The man you call dad, is not your father.

There. I said it.

And one day, I’m going to have to say it out loud, because one day you are going to come to me and you are going to ask. You are going to remember back to when your last name was different and you are going to be old enough to know that it didn’t change just because “mommy and daddy got married.” You are going to notice physical differences. You are going to hear things. You are going to end up in school with your half sister. You have multiple other half siblings out there.

You are half siblings yourselves, and you don’t even know it.

You don’t even know what a step-dad is.

I’m going to have to tell you all of these things.

Creative Commons: Lies Through a Lens, Father and Son
Creative Commons: Lies Through a Lens, Father and Son

I am still trying to piece together the story, the mixture of truth and sugar-coated, cherry-picked lies to give you. I’m going to lie to you. I can’t even pretend I won’t. I’m going to lie to you until you are old enough to read the court documents, until you decide to find out for yourselves, because I’m still your mother and I can’t stand the thought of hurting you.

I’m going to tell you, my daughter, that your father was there for me when I was in need. That there are people in this world who need to love broken things, and that he is that kind of person. That he will ignore his own life in an effort to fix those around him, and that when I was broken he wanted to do that for me. I will tell you that it didn’t work, and that we tried so hard to be good parents for you, but that he found someone else who needed him and moved on, as people like that do. I’m going to tell you that he chose your step-dad for you. That he looked at our piecemeal family and said, “Yes. He can adopt her.”

I’m not going to tell you how he stopped showing up. How he stopped calling. How he had a million and one excuses for why he couldn’t come see you. I’m not going to tell you that he had other children, that the woman in his life wanted you and I out of it, that he chose that. I’m not going to tell you any of that and I’m going to pray that you continue to forget any of it happened.

I’m going to tell you, my son, that your father and I were two live grenades bouncing around a room, waiting to blow. I’m going to tell you that we loved fiercely and burnt ourselves out. I’m going to tell you that he was a brave man, who served his country again and again, and became a little less of himself each time he did. I’m going to tell you that he was good enough to step back from your life when he knew that he couldn’t be the kind of father you needed. I’m going to tell you that he called me, he asked for your step-dad to adopt you, to make our family whole.

I’m not going to tell you about all the nasty pieces of our relationship. I’m not going to tell you about the cheating and the drugs, the alcohol and the fights. I’m not going to tell you about being poor and how the church brought us Christmas in big black trash bags. I’m not going to tell you that the last time you saw him you were just learning to walk.

The only father you two know is the one who has raised you.

But I dread the day that I have to tell you the truth, when last names no longer make up for DNA, when you want to find them, to meet them, to discover family you didn’t know you had.

I wish we would be enough, but I know it is coming.

I know we won’t be.


Domesticated Momster

Your Bullet

pen-and-ink-drawing-the-gun-creativity-carnival-shafaliI suppose He tore another page from The Book today. . .
let is slide between sweaty fingers,
slice the tip,
right there under the nail,
so the pain would ebb and flow,
waves of electricity with each
thump-thump –
a heartbeat set to leap into
break-neck pace,
as the blood dripped like heavy sealing wax.
Gifts unwrapped and
His will is a shiny, sparkling,
death trap.
It’s fully loaded and
set to go
right through the forehead
with the little blonde curl.
It’s His will,
His gift. . .
but your bullet.


You can join in this prompt at the Creativity Carnival, here.


To Watch Him Love

I went through a year of horrendous online dating before I met the man who became my husband. I wasn’t exactly a poster girl for the most eligible bachelorette, but none of my hold-ups were much excuse for the sort of men I met. I was 24 years old and a full time student. I worked part time, lived with my parents, was divorced, and had two children under the age of five. I’m not an unattractive woman, but men weren’t exactly beating down my door to date me. More so, I knew that I needed a companion, not just a boyfriend.

I couldn’t seem to even meet a normal, down to earth man. Things became enough of a joke around the house that my mother would sit up at night and wait for me to get home, collapse on her bed and giggle while sharing all the terrible details of my odd nights out.

There was the man who was allergic to everything. I gave him an innocent kiss after our date, forgetting that I had eaten a piece of chicken, and almost killed him.

Then there was the guy who asked me to hold his belt while in the mall so I wouldn’t get lost.

The man who took the menu out of my hand and ordered food for me like I was three.

The guy who took me to a movie and proceeded to move down to the front row where there was only one open seat to “see better,” leaving me alone.

The man who figured out where I worked and spent an hour walking around the store trying out different women’s lotions before finally admitting he was one of the men I had denied a date request from on an online site.

The guy who took me shopping and then proceeded to tell me how I should dress.

The gentleman who stripped naked in his parent’s living room while I used their restroom.

The dude who attempted to suffocate me on my parent’s couch.

By the time I got around to talking to Mak, I was pretty wary of dates. A whole year of these kinds of dates will do that to a woman. I had a whole safety set-up – complete with emergency friend phone calls lined up and pepper spray.

Mak invited me over for dinner. I had such a good time that I ended up coming home and looking him up on Google and the case search program to see if he had some shady criminal past hiding. There had to be something wrong, considering my past history with online dating. He had a speeding ticket. That was it. Needless to say, I was impressed.

The next morning we had a quick conversation.

“I’m not really interested in playing around,” he said. “I like you. Let’s make this serious.”

If any other man I’d gone on a date with had said that to me I’d have gone running for the hills.

“Okay,” I said.

I don’t know why. I’d hate to chalk it up to some sort of fate thing, but maybe part of me knew he wasn’t a psycho killer. Maybe there was some deeper connection. Maybe I was just really brave.

Within a few weeks he had met my children and included them in our outings.

541497_397525856932511_2036391058_nA few months later was Easter and I was scrawling ‘I love you’ onto an egg and hiding it in the fridge.

“Go get the orange egg out of the fridge,” I told him.

He got up and I heard the fridge door open. After a moment it closed again and he came back to the couch.

Silence.

“Well…” I started.

“Well what?” He asked.

“What did you think?” I asked. It was the first time I’d attempted to tell the man I loved him and he was being completely stubborn about the whole thing.

“It’s cute,” he said.

“And…” I lead him.

“I love you, too,” he said. “You know that.”

By the end of the year he had moved in. We were blessed in our relationship. There hadn’t been many of the big challenging moments. His father passed a few weeks before our wedding, but it was expected, and while we mourned it hadn’t surprised us. Their relationship had been so strained, for so long. It was the first time though that I ever saw him cry – a moment that I think is imprinted in my memory. There is something about seeing a strong man mourn, something heartbreaking and frightening and so real it hurts that one simply doesn’t forget it.

I remember standing by his father’s bed. He sat in a chair across the room from me. I went to him, but he didn’t reach for me. I stepped back – gave him space. I didn’t know how to handle his grief. He took a few moments to himself and I watched him. I watched the years, the pain, the neglect from that relationship wash away. For those few moments there was love.

There hadn’t been many of those bring-you-to-your-knees moments. We didn’t even really fight or argue. We were thankful to have found a companion in one another that shared a similar sense of humor. Laughter got us through any time things seemed to be getting dark.

He stepped into the role of father as if it were all he’d ever known. It was never a look-at-me exercise, but came naturally. There was a gaping hole in our little family25248_108453875839712_7044406_n and he saw it, stepped into it, and never looked back. It was in the quiet way he made that transition that still never fails to amaze me.

He has a silent strength in him. A code of ethics that can’t be argued or even discussed. They simply are.

Perhaps it’s because of his quiet nature that people find him intimidating. Combining that with the sleeves of tattoos and long dark hair, it’s quite understandable. However, anyone watching him drink tea from a tiny porcelain cup with my daughter would realize how wrong they are.

Four years after that first date and I was talking to my brother in California, planning his trip home to visit.

“When is he coming home?” Mak asked.

“The end of June,” I said.

“Good,” he said. “We’ll get married then.”

Proposal. Date set. End of discussion.

I had a month to get everything planned and ready.

I love you, too. You know that.

After our wedding we decided to have a baby. A few short months later and I was excitedly waving those little pink lines around in the air. We were so excited we told everyone.

We were at his mother’s for a belated Thanksgiving dinner when I started miscarrying. My husband had the kids in the car while I stood white knuckled on the phone with the emergency room and watched my father-in-law toss the kids’ toys into their book bags. Hours and many tests later the doctor gave us the news.

“There’s no heartbeat.”

I’d known when I saw her face. I’d been crying since she came into the room. I looked across the room at my husband. I expected him to get up, to come to me. The doctor left and he still sat there for a few moments. In that space between us I watched him break, hit his emotional knees, mourn, and grieve. I watched him as he cared for himself and then he came to me. He put himself behind and cared for me.

For the following days he held me while I cried and found whatever ways he could to make me smile. We found laughter in the darkest moments. We suffered. We healed.

We spent months talking back and forth about whether or not to try again. The entire process had frightened him so badly. I learned to appreciate what pregnancy can do to a man. It’s a terrifying situation, especially for one who tends to like to be in control of things. There is no control with pregnancy.

He couldn’t see what was happening inside my body.

He couldn’t control what was happening.

He couldn’t stop me from being in pain, from hurting.

All he could do was be there and hope that I would heal.

“I’m not sure we should try again,” Mak said.

We were lying in bed, the lights off and waiting for one or both of us to become too tired to keep talking.

481829_525481010803661_775093643_n“We’ve got a girl and a boy,” he started. “You know? Maybe that’s enough.”

“You don’t want one of your own?” I asked.

“They are my own,” he said.

A few nights later we were repeating this whole thing again. It was like a record skipping, playing backwards, flinging all over the place. I never knew where we’d end up.

“We could try again,” he said.

“We’re not doing anything to stop it from happening,” I answered.

“If it does, it does,” he’d agree.

Three months of this back and forth indecision plagued us.

Finally he said, “I don’t think we should try again.”

“I’m pregnant,” I said.

We collapsed against one another laughing. For weeks we were quiet. We were so careful not to tell people too early. We went to each appointment with our heart in our throats. Every test was a negative, dangerous thing. Every symptom I had was cause to worry. We struggled to find joy.

Mak kept warning me not to get my hopes up.

I kept countering that he needed to not think so negatively.

We flew past each other, both of us on separate ends of our own emotional roller-coasters.

“Are you happy about the baby?” I finally asked him.

“Of course,” he said. “You know that.”

I love you, too. You know that.

I am five months pregnant today. A few weeks ago we went to the doctor and we got to hear the heartbeat. The tiny whomp whomp whomp sound filled the room. I was942205_603602919658136_1585711832_n laid back on the bed watching my husband. He didn’t stand up and come to me. For a few moments, he sat there and smiled. I watched him in this moment of joy and excitement and relief. I watched him take that moment for himself and then he came to me.

He kisses me every morning before he leaves for work. He tells me he loves me before we fall asleep. He doesn’t have to say that he loves me. I know he does. All I need are those few moments, where there is space between us and I have the chance to really see my husband. It is in those moments that I get to watch him love.

The Stranger That Took Me

stranger“You dreamed about it again?” He asked.

I nodded. “I dream about it all the time now. I remember that woman from the beach. I can see myself sitting there…watching it all happen…”

The beach was hot and hazy, the sand liquid fire on my feet. I spread my towel out and jumped onto it, thankful for the barrier between my skin and the burning sand. I hadn’t been there but a moment, when little feet ran by my towel kicking sand up onto my legs as two kids drug their mother out toward the water. I brushed the sand off me and watched them, caution making them slow down at the wet sand’s edge. They held tight to their mother’s hands as she guided them towards the water.

The waves were big and frothing white. They fell and swept in like the rows of white teeth in a shark’s jaw. Salty water sprayed up over the children cold enough to make them gasp and squeal. They bent and slapped at the water as it receded and then braced themselves against their mother as the wave came back. Slowly their feet sunk into the sand like the beach itself was eating them.  

It could have been hours of this, or five minutes. I don’t know. Everything happened so quickly. I heard a scream. The mother’s hand was empty. Beside her stood the small girl, but on the other side the boy was missing.

I watched her look, from her daughter to the ocean.

I watched the choice. A split second decision.

She let go of her daughter’s hand, and dove into the water.

People began to gather. The crowd grew so thick, that I was forced to stand to see. I watched others getting into the water. I watched them point and dive towards something I couldn’t see.

I watched a man in blue swim trunks and a grey shirt walk up to the little girl. I watched him bend down and talk to her.

He took her hand and walked away with her across the beach, towards the boardwalk.

I never saw the mother come out of the ocean. I never saw if they found the boy, if they pulled him in safe. I don’t know if they laid his body on the beach and pumped the water from his lungs.

I don’t know what happened after that man walked me off the beach, and put me in his car, and drove away.

“I think it’s time we call the police to investigate this,” he said.

I looked over at my doctor – the man who had been working with me the last two years while pieces of this dream surfaced. My father was in the waiting room.

The father who had raised me for 13 years.

The father who had once walked with me across the beach in blue swim trunks and a grey shirt.

The stranger who took me.

*****
prompted-buttonWord Count: 491

The prompt this week for Tipsy Lit was an impossible choice. One of the things I experience most during pregnancy is an unusual amount of nightmares. The terrible part is that most of these revolve around my children. Sandy, my brilliant friend from Mother of Imperfection, told me this morning that it probably had something to do with all the hormones raging and my protective instincts soaring. Last year around this time we took our children to the beach for the first time ever. I wrote about it briefly here. This Sunday we are taking them again, which probably is what spurred the horrible dream that brought this bit of fiction out. I suppose this not sleeping well thing does do wonders for my creativity. Silver linings…

Copyright Laura A. Lord ©2014

Princesses, Belly Dancers, and Boo-Boos

The snow has taken its toll on all of us here. We’re ready for Spring. We’re ready for full school weeks. We’re ready for not freezing our butts off and being stuck in the house together and sniffly noses and all that crap that comes along with it. According to the daughter, “We need Spring, because my Winter coat is tired.”

Mine, too. Mine, too.

Thankfully they are getting to the age where they are starting to be capable of playing nicely together. Sometimes for hours on end I have the peace of not being hollared/screamed for every two seconds. It’s quite liberating. Then you hear things like this:

The daughter:  Help! Save me! I’m a Princess that needs to be rescued!

The son: -Silence-

The daughter: Help! Help! If someone could please rescue me when they have time. . .

The son: -Continued silence-

The daughter: Please, if you’d like to rescue me, I’m back here. Help! Help!

The son: -Silence that makes me think I need to get out of bed and make sure he’s still in the general vicinity and not doing something extremely dangerous-

Me:  Dude! Go save your sister!

The son: I’ll save you ’cause you asked, but you could do it yourself. Just try.

And. . .my son understands feminism better than the daughter and I combined. Figures. Eventually, the daughter started saving herself. It wasn’t a good day for rescuers. The son has been feeling a little rough. He sounds like he’s doing his best I’m-a-grown-man-with-a-gravelly-voice impression, except it’s all high-pitched since he’s five. His cheeks have bright red flags from the constant swipe of a forearm under the nose.

His Venom costume probably needs to be handled with a hazmat suit at this point.

Gross.

download (1)

He’s learning how to write, too. This would be great if he’d write nice things. However, while the husband and I were away on our little vacation, the daughter brought a note to my mom that he’d written. In the jumble of letters it was sorta noticeable that the words ‘Dallas’ and ‘hate’ were there. Not spelled well, but you got the idea. Of course, my daughter had figured it out easily. . .

He’d been repeating the words, “I hate Dallas” while he wrote it. With her in the room. And then he gave it to her. Like a little I-don’t-like-you gift.

Kids are cruel sometimes.

I can’t get the daughter into reading at all, and then her brother’s like, “Hey sis, read this.” Meanie. My mother dealt with the issue. I dealt with it when we got home. They made up pretty quickly and now I just keep getting notes that involve the word “but” on them. I really thought about telling him that there are two T’s in that word, but I’m not sure I want him scrawling “butt” on everything.

download (2)

We’re also back to doing search and seizure every morning before school. The son has a thing for the Victoria Secret models right now. Well, honestly, he’s got a thing for belly dancers. I let him watch a Shakira video and so technically, it’s all my fault.

images

His little eyes followed every move of those hips and he was hooked. I mean, so was the husband and my uncle. Even I was a little mesmerized and spent entirely too long trying to figure out how to get my body to do that.

So when Victoria’s Secret sent a catalog to the house, the son obviously thought it was an entire book of belly dancers and decided to keep it on his book shelf.

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They do sorta look like belly dancers.

Sorta.

I don’t care that he confiscated my catalog. I care that he’s trying to take it to school to show all his buddies. I’d rather not be called in for that parent teacher conference. No thank you.

The fascination with belly dancers has caused numerous moments of uncontrollable laughter over here. It’s led to conversations like this:

The son:  Do you have a belly dancer costume? (in other words, lingerie like in the catalog) 

Me:  It’s underwear, bud. I have underwear.

The son:  Does it look like this?

Me:  Doesn’t matter. It’s my underwear and you don’t need to see it.

The son:  How come we can’t touch your boo-boos? (Their word for boobs. Not sure where it came from, but that’s what they call them)

Me:  Because they are mine and you don’t need to touch them. It’s my body.

The son:  Okay. -Tries to lay back against me while sitting on the couch. Keeps bouncing around.-

Me:  What are you doing?

The son: I can’t lay back without touching your boo-boos.

Me: It’s fine. Just lay back!

The son: -Lays back and starts giggling- 

Me: What?!

The son: I’m touching your boo-boos. 

Sweet lord. Ladies. . .I’d like to apologize in advance for my son. I promise. I’ll at least try to get him to the place where he calls them breasts. He may still be burping and farting loud enough to shake the shingles, but he’ll know the right name for anatomy. It’s the best I can offer at this point.

Weekly Writing Challenge: 1000 Words

fort-point-arches

I have fears. Very real fears. They are mine and I keep them, because I don’t like to share. When the temperatures soar and I’m lying in bed sweating, I suffer in silence. The other option is to open my window, but that terrifies me. I cannot fall asleep with the window open. I will spend my evening staring out of it, wondering what is looking back in.

I’d rather sweat.

I’d rather walk all the way out the front door and around to the side door to avoid a spider hanging in my hallway.

I drive past houses that have burned down and refuse to look at them. I get up and check the heaters every night, multiple times. I check the stove. I sniff the air. I dread that I’ll smell smoke.

I am terrified of house fires.

I stare at the lines on the road whenever we cross a big bridge. I hate the way the water looks, lapping at the supports. It looks hungry. It looks like something that wants to rise and rise and swallow me whole.

I am convinced the ocean is an evil thing.

I have fears. Very real fears.

I thought I was keeping them to myself, but then I realized my daughter screamed when she saw a spider. She didn’t when she was younger, so why now? Why is she afraid of it now?

Because I am.

She is following in my example, and my very real fears, have become hers. I realized she got panicked when we drove across the bridge, or that she checks the heater in her own room every night before bed. She never asks to open her window.

She has my fear.

And she has no damn reason to have it.

So I got angry. I got angry with me and with this world that breeds things to scare us. I got angry about spiders and open windows and house fires and oceans. I got angry with the weakness that fear brings along and that I thought I was being selfish, but I’d been passing them along.

Like I’d passed along the scattering of freckles that crossed her cheeks. Like I passed along the cowlick in her bangs.

I’d helped to form a child afraid.

And I was so damn angry.

I wanted to sweep in and erase them all. I wanted to tell her there was nothing to fear, that she was okay, that the world wasn’t such a frightening place. I wanted to put on a brave face and show her how strong I was, so she would know she could be strong too.

I want her to be strong.

There are so many things in life that are worse than spiders. The world is a much more frightening place than behind an open window. I needed her to know that she didn’t have to be afraid.

We went to the beach. My children were seven and five and it was the first time at the beach. I had avoided it like the plague. I had blamed the sun and their very pale skin. I had complained of the high temperatures and how easily children get sunstroke. I had fussed over the cost and the sheer amount of crap we’d have to haul down there to make the day survivable.

We went to the beach.

It was crowded and so we skirted groups of families and sunbathing women. We passed men playing Frisbee and a few lumps of what might have once been sandcastles.

We approached the ocean and the sand was moist under my toes and my heart dropped straight into my stomach. It filled so much space and everything else shoved up into my throat and I stood there choking while I watched the ocean’s angry fingers come crashing down.

There was laughter and yelling and there I was standing, frozen while my son pulled on my hand in anxious excitement. He wanted to get into that water and all I could picture was the wave coming. Gripping him tight. Pulling him from my hands. Him sliding away.

I can’t swim.

I’d never get to him.

When my daughter stood there by my side, unflinching, unmoving, it hit me.

She was seven. She should be pulling my hand just as hard as her brother. She should be excited. But she wasn’t, and it was my fault.

I let my son go with my husband. I couldn’t do it with two of them. I’m only a woman. I’m only so strong. So brave. There’s a limit to how far I can go with things, and tackling this alone would have been bad enough.

Tackling this with my entire team of supportive friends and loved ones would have been just as frightening.

Trying to do it with my seven year old daughter was hell.

She had her little hand wrapped in mine, and I explained how it would feel. We stepped forward bit by bit and the water began to lap at our feet. I made myself keep walking. I made myself move.

When the sands moved under our feet and she felt the pull, she yelled. I looked down and saw her laughter, her smile. She bent, digging her hands into the sand to feel it slip between her fingers.

Within moments she was pulling me in further and further. She fell to her knees and let the water wash across her chest and arms. She slid on her knees as the tide pushed her in towards the sand.

She lost her fear, and with her, I found some bravery.

Motherhood is a scary, scary thing. It’s full of adventures I’d never take on my own. I looked at this image and thought, I’d never go down there. It’s dark and I can’t see in the dark. It’s scary.

But you know what, if my daughter was down there, or my son, hiding in the shadows, I’d go.

I would touch the ocean.

********

Word Count: 1,000

Out of all the pictures this week, this one gave me the most emotional reaction the fastest.

And yes…I’m still afraid of spiders.

Herstory Lesson: Being a mother means you get to face your fears head on, whether you want to or not.

Life Hacks for My Daughter

I was sitting here thinking today about all the things I wanted to make sure I tell my daughter at some point. I’m not talking the ooie-gooey things like, “I love you” or “You’re beautiful”. I’m talking the real, down and dirty tricks that I’ve picked up over the years.

***WARNING***

This post may be full of generalizations, profanity, and of course sex. We’ll rate it “R” for Ridiculously Awesome.

1. Ignore every commercial you see for those fancy women’s razors. Skip that department completely and go straight for the men’s. Regardless of what they say, men’s razors always work better.

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Also, it is perfectly acceptable to go without shaving your legs, as long as you are wearing pants and/or the hair is short enough to not poke through your pantyhose.

2. Speaking of pantyhose…it will never be comfortable. Ever. You can save yourself a bit of pain and buy one size up from what the little box-from-hell says you need. Doing this will not, however, pull in nice and tight all the areas you may be wanting nice and tight. For that, you’re going to need Spanx.

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No need to be afraid. Spanx are basically like packing your own sausage.

3. Oh yes, home-made sausage and fresh pasta and God only know what else his mother makes that you never quite manage to get right. Give up. Give up now. He will always compare your cooking to his mother’s, and she will win in almost every category. There is something inside a man’s head that makes him nostalgic for the meals he had growing up (even if his mother could barely manage Kraft in the blue box). There are ways to combat the feelings of anger this will cause you.

– Do not ask for your mother-in-law’s recipes, or to teach you how to make a certain dish. In fact, compliment her always on her food (Wine helps). This will do two things: irritate her and confuse the balance that she expects to be in place.

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– Take comfort in knowing that if you have a son, somewhere out there is a woman who will feel exactly like you when your son says, “It’s not like my mother’s makes”.

– Offer to house-sit for your in-laws and have sex with your husband in their kitchen. Then when you are over for dinner, just think back on that experience and smile. (Pass the wine.)

4. Instead of worrying about his mother’s cooking, focus on learning one meal really well. I’m talking entree, at least two sides, salad, soup, bread, and desert. Master that meal. Work at it until it is perfect. This will be your go-to meal. Your company is coming over meal. Your his mother is visiting meal. Your time to give the husband the credit card statement meal.

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5. Learn to walk in heels. Go out and buy six inch stiletto platform hooker shoes. Put them on and walk on them until you have nailed those monsters. This way you will be prepared for whenever the husband (or anyone else) gives you a pair of heels. If you can master those, you can handle any, and are therefore less likely to spend weeks walking around in your new gift like a drunken flamingo.

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6. Your children will hit an age where they practically become a parrot. And like any wild animal, you either muzzle them or toss food bits at them until they shut up.

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7. Your body is your own, guard it. Until you have children, then anything you might be delirious enough to believe is still yours, isn’t.

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8. At some point, someone in your life is going to offer you drugs. There are certain steps I want you to take before you accept them.

– Look at the person giving them to you…very carefully. Pay attention to detail here.

– Imagine yourself having sex with them in the next hour.

– Imagine your having sex with them without protection.

– Imagine getting pregnant with them.

– Imagine them 50, balding, and changing the diaper of your sixth child on the ripped couch in your trailer, while the rest of your kids are in the backyard shooting BB guns and attempting to tie each other up with duct tape. Oh, and you’re in a floral moo-moo.

– Turn around and walk away very quickly.

* The same applies to alcohol in excess. Except when you grow up. Then flip the image and imagine all your housework. Drink wine until the image disappears.

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9. Finally, before you ever consider some life-long venture with a man, consider these things:

– Sex sucks the first time.

– Sex sometimes sucks the first couple of times. There’s a reason one-night stands normally stay that way. It takes a bit of time to actually learn one another well enough to have amazing sex.

– That didn’t apply to your father and I…and yes, we were a one-night stand turned marriage.

– Your father and I are NOT the role model in this situation.

– All the sex stuff aside, if they aren’t the kind of man you’d want to introduce to your father…best to just let that one go.

– If they don’t treat you the way you see your father treat me, run.

– If they put their hands on you, experience tells me crock-pots can be dangerous as hell. Make your way to a kitchen and it’ll be like running into the Matrix armory.

– If they cheat on you, they will do it again. If you’re the girl they cheated on someone with, they’ll cheat on you, too.

– If their pants sag, I WILL make them a soprano for life. You’ve been warned.

Most importantly…

– If you can’t laugh with them, lose them.

– If you can’t laugh at them, trip them 😀

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And finally, let me just say…

You are not allowed to look at your body and say, “I don’t like -insert body part here-“.

I made that.

With my body.

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You don’t get to not like it.

Love you.