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Interrupting the Shame Tape

Find me now at Lucid Renewal
As I almost hit that deer earlier this fall, my oldest son screamed from the back seat. It was a baby-like squeal similar to other sounds he makes. This is done for no articulated reason. I sense he is wishing to remain a child and cute in addition to trying to be funny.

Because he has a prefrontal cortex more closely resembling a cat than an adult human, he makes poor decisions about what is appropriate for his age and what might be humorous. The cuteness has dissolved into a blend of pre-adolescent awkwardness and obnoxiousness.

He has developed the habit of growling, hissing, cooing like a baby, or my favorite—doing all three at once. To say that it annoys me is to say that I need air to breathe. I am desperate for the day he finally stops, and I fear it will never come. And, no, I won’t miss it when it’s gone just like I still don’t miss the diaper stage or the tantrum stage.

Inappropriate Behavior All of this may explain, though not justify, why on that…

Everyday Habits

Find me now atLucid Renewal
A few days ago, we almost hit a deer. That's pretty common on country roads, but this time I felt it was a closer call than others. This deer emerged from our left side, and it seemed inevitable we would collide as it leaped across the highway. In a rare moment of good instinctual driving, I steered into the opposite lane and pumped on the brakes. It turned out to be the correct choice. We just missed the deer by two or three feet. If I had not swerved and hit the brakes, we would have crashed for sure.

Driving in All the Wrong Ways Frankly, as a new driver all those years ago I was just plain bad at driving, plus I was not responsible for keeping everything up to date. My dad loves to tell about the time he was teaching me to drive a stick shift on a country road, and I ran over a culvert. In addition, in my teens and early twenties, innumerable officers pulled me over for such offenses as an illegal u-turn, outdated stickers, suspicion of drunk driving…

Please Just Don't Be a Serial Killer

Find me now at Lucid Renewal
I am a single mom. That sentence holds a lot of weight for me. I feel its heaviness, its sin and sadness and shame. However, I do not associate all of that loaded statement as a painful burden. Perhaps it is blind confidence or irrational optimism, but I feel my job, and the fact that I do it alone during 95% of my week, is monumental and heroic. It may be that egoism plays a part in the latter assessment.

Nonetheless, I will admit my heroism leans more toward the Iron Man or Dare Devil side of the spectrum. I can be a real jackass, and this is not conducive for parenting two boys, especially when you’re going solo. Every Tony Stark needs a Pepper Potts, but not everyone gets one.

Indeed, I am alone. There is no one there late at night to tell me to get over the pee on the bathroom floor because it’s normal my kids to take a leak everywhere but actually in the toilet. There is no hand on my side as I lie in bed crying and cussing about my child’s hurts and…

To Hear One More Laugh

Find me now atLucid Renewal
We buried my grandmother in July. The photo above is my last of her. I took it to show family members who needed to know she was feeling better on this particular day. These final weeks were spent in the hospital — well over a month of needles and meds and ups and downs. On this day, I happened to be up on the 3rd floor with her, and so my dad, ever her companion, took the chance to stretch his legs. On his return, he brought back coffee for each of us. Meema was so happy about it; nonetheless, I didn't put this photo in her slide show at the funeral. When someone has suffered a chronic illness like congenital heart disease, you don't want to show them at their worst. Now, after over a month, I don't know if it is her at her worst. Perhaps it is her best. The pain and the discomfort at the end made her so mad, and sometimes not like her usual self, but in this photo, her hair may be sticking out a bit, but I can see the beginnings of a smile as…

In Praise of Noses on Screen Doors

Find me now atLucid Renewal
When a smell of freshly turned earth or the fiddle in an 80s country song plays on the radio, I sometimes travel back to long drives with my mom and sister. Across highways and sailing past cotton fields and mesquite trees, I remember distant storms and in my ears, an Alabama tune plays, “Sometimes her morning coffee’s way too strong, and sometimes what she says, she says all wrong.”

I spent hours on these trips simply staring out the window. I used my time to think and create stories, a whole helluva lot of them. They were never written down.  The same thing happened at bedtime as I lay awake waiting for sleep to overtake me. Boredom did not scare me. What looked like idleness from afar was my mind burning through dreamt up novels, screenplays, bits of essays. I remember being initially aghast when I heard the old saying, “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” Doing nothing on the outside meant stories on the inside.

I understand the fear of loafing more n…

Slothful Intentions

Find me now atLucid Renewal
I sat for hours today reading an apocalyptic, sci-fi thriller. The book is my kind of beach reading, or as some of my teacher friends call such a novel, a bubble gum book. No matter, I’m halfway through and counting down the time until I can return to it.
Only a special kind of slob sits for 6+ hours to read a book. I dotted that time with making meals and doing laundry. I’m not sure if that counts as something useful as I was really stretching my legs, so I could get the blood going and thereby read more.
The day before held a similar pattern, but the day before that I actually followed a schedule. I segmented my day based on my goals, everything from house cleaning to an activity with my boys to writing. I used ideas from authors who write about not procrastinating, so you can write your next novel, blog, etc. That day was productive if I judge by what I accomplished—clothes hung, a blog posted, the start of a model gunship, etc. It would seem the experime…