Thursday, February 25, 2010

Some Things That Have Happened


Indy has stopped grabbing my cheeks, pulling me towards her, and kissing me full on the mouth. Something has ended.

Last night I lay in bed thinking about how I can't bear to look at Ayla's preschool pictures. (I haven't given you one because I can't look at them). I have unresolved grief about Ayla leaving preschool when we moved. I try not to think about Miss Isa and Miss Kim, and the kids with all the wonderful technicolor dream names--Tsinat and Jesus, Yuliana and Calan, Rinoa and Armon and Max and PawLawLah.I try not to think about what they're all doing without her.

I believe that the way to deal with sadness is to acknowledge and let yourself feel the sadness, without becoming embittered or trying to place blame. But I am not willing to let myself feel this sadness.

I shut it away again, just now.

I think about our old life, on Birch street. Walking to preschool. Walking to the park. Walking to the grocery store. Walking to Petsmart and Starbucks and Sunflower and Einstein Bros. All the lights off and the fans roaring and the smell of rain in the summer. The house chock full of spiders. The dryer in the garage. Waking to the smell of meat smoking on a bright morning. The terrible claustrophobia of winter, with a dirty carpet and no playroom and mud all over the floors.

I guess the goal is to get to the end of your children's childhood without totaling up a list of all the things you never gave them, you couldn't give them, you could have but chose not to, you should have but weren't capable, in your own messiness and imperfection. I should keep a running total of all the things I do give them, instead.

A list that should not focus heavily on treats and toys, but more on time and support, encouragement, recognition.

I see you, Ayla. Thoughtful and intelligent, my lover of words who tells me, when you're hungry, that you're 'wasting' and when you get pins and needles, your leg is 'sparkling'. I see you are like me, but not me.

I see you, Indy. I see that you are charming and stubborn. That you will always do just exactly as you please. I see that you are like your dad, but not your dad. Don't worry. You're not me either.

I tell you both this so that maybe, when you're fifteen, you can scream "I'm not you!" at me only once a week instead of once a day.

The other day Ayla pressed her bony shoulder into my chest, her version of a hug. I told her,

"Don't grow up, ok?"


But even if I could, I wouldn't hold her to it.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Bryce is Nice and Will Suffice

Dear Bryce Davison,

I'm really good under pressure.

I just thought you might like to know this, because. . . Well. You and Jessica skated so beautifully together. You made me. . . feel things. It was weird. I'm not English, or particularly cold, but my sentimentality fires tend to stay at a low burn. Embers, really. I rarely blaze, ok?

But you and Jessica, out there. It was so bizarre. It was like. . . emotion? Is that what one calls it? The way you gazed at her. They way your bodies longed for one another. The intense heightened awareness of each other's physicality. I think I love pairs skating--I think I find it so romantic--because it is a celebration of the strength and athleticism of both the female and the male body in equal measure. And it's wonderful to see the male body used to create beauty rather than--let's face it, Bryce, ok?--brutality.

And you and Jessica, I don't know what you're thinking when you're out there on the ice, but to us watching, it doesn't look just like skating.

It looks like passion. Like exquisite yearning. It looks like a tender union of body with soul. (Which maybe is what making art with one's body is). It looks like something rather Divine.

But, um, I don't know if you noticed that Jessica. . . well. Look, she fell, ok? I don't think I'm the only one that noticed.

So Bryce, listen, because it's true: The only two times in my entire life that I have ever been good at sports were under extreme pressure. Once in basketball, 7th or 8th grade, and once in High School volleyball, I--yes, me--won the game for us at the last minute. Because you know what, Bryce Davison? I arose to it like a winged goddess. Maybe it is the theater blood. I sense a moment in the making, and I am no longer playing sports.

I am performing.

(So, you might want to start lifting some weights? Because it's a safe bet that I weigh more than Jessica Dube? But trust me. This is going to pay off in the long run)

(In case you don't know, Bryce Davison: ending sentences in question marks is the type-print equivalent of tossing my hair.) (Look, I've always been bad at flirting, ok? I only ever do it unintentionally. Which has lead to some very uncomfortable situations.)

Also, you look like Simon from Firefly. And I've never really had a thing for Simon. But Simon never-- well:


Or this:


So here's the thing, Bryce Davison. The absolute truth: If I am every going to land a triple-toe loop sow cal quadruple axle with cheese what-have you? It's going to be at the Olympics. Pressure is what makes me shine.

Really. If there was an Olympics for writing, I'd make the other wordsmiths cry. There would be Neil Gaiman, over at desk one, unable to come up with anything other than "One grey morning Cthulhu woke up and decided to eat tea and toast". And Jane Austen would be stuck after "It's a truth some people agree on. . . ". And Melville would be like, "My name is Fitzeroy". Nabokov would be thinking about a pretty girl and decide to call her Lurlene. And Margaret Mitchell would be making Scarlett O'Hara say how she really hopes, god willing,she can find something good to eat later because she's a mite peckish now. And me?

I would be making the muses weep, Bryce Davison. Weep, I tell you. I would be setting the page to flames.

So. I just thought you might want to consider. Make use of this information. There is no way in heaven or hell I could ever do this:


Unless we were in the moment when it really counted. And then? I'm your woman.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Lovely Things

On Friday, I discovered a cafe.

It has already been quite discovered by other Fort Collinsans, but on Friday, it was discovered by me.

I'm telling you, after discovering my cozy corner of hand pulled lattes and fresh baked goods {lovely things} in Old Town Fort Collins, I don't know if I want to go back to Starbucks.

I'm sure I'll have to, because my little love cafe only has a few tables, and, as I said, was quite popular.

But I sat in a table by the window and watched people walk by and the milkman deliver the milk and I read from my book of Native American mythology and I drank the most delicious latte I believe I have ever had. And I was most, most happy.

On Saturday, a valentine arrived for me. Be still my heart! From my lovely sister. {Lovely thing}. If I could take a picture, I could show you how sweet it was, but instead I will direct you to her blog.

It is especially lovely of her because Vesuvius is out of money and will be most appreciative of the Starbucks card when next weekend rolls around.

On Sunday, my amazing mother made a lovely feast of American tapas.

For the Superbowl.

It included:
Grapefruit mimosas
Deviled eggs
Barbecue Buffalo weenies (because my dad swears they don't mistreat the buffalo and I have yet to look into it)
Spicy Bean Dip
Spanish Fondue
Artichoke Dip
Buffaloes in a Blanket
I know I am forgetting something. . .
Hmmm. And Noah's jalapeno poppers with mango.

Yum. {Lovely things}.

Except for Martha Stewart, who lied to us, the fascist, and directed us to make a fondue out of Manchego cheese and Monterey Jack cheese and sherry and paprika and cumin. (Sounds good, no?)

Martha: It wasn't great. It wasn't bad. It just wasn't great. It's ok. Admit failure. Go sip a Mai Tai and take a load off. Somewhere in the world, some woman will sense you cooling your laurels and miraculously start to feel less guilty about the fact that she buys Dial instead of hand-pouring her own soaps. Ok?

Martha {makes lovely things} but Martha {I could live without}.

We watched the Super Bowl by the fire and ate delicious food and Indy lay across my lap playing with her Wizard of Oz toys, and I think that must have been a cozy little world for her, all wrapped up with mom and the fire and a blanket and imaginary worlds. {Lovely thing}.

On Sunday night we skated our car across a downhill ice rink and managed not to hit or get hit {lovely thing}.

On Sunday, we learned Noah's day off this week was Monday. On Monday, Grammy took the girls {lovely things} out for a few hours so Noah and I could be alone and do nothing {sacred thing}, and the girls came back with some sweet new kicks.

Fur lined crocs, to be specific, with the little doo-dads shaped like Disney characters that fit into the holes.

Indy picked Cinderella, Zero (Jack's dog from Nightmare Before Christmas), a blue gem, and Malificient.

Ayla picked the frogs from The Princess and The Frog.

It is snowing and the girls think that means Christmas is coming again. Idiots.

I am baking sugar cookies and Noah is making curry (though he might not know that, yet), and we are safe and sound and rested. And we enjoyed the people we love and they pretended, for a little while, to enjoy us.

And my sister sent me a coffee valentine because she loves me a latte!

{I love you sis}.

And these are all

my lovely things.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Today is our Friday.

Tonight I am making Elise's chilaquiles.

I used to be married to a husband who cooked. Now I am married to a husband who leaves at 5 am and returns home at 7 pm exhausted.

Too exhausted to cook.

The other husband had more energy at night, but this husband works four day weeks.

Tonight the girls are having a slumber party in the basement with daddy.

Tomorrow we are going to go see The Frog Princess at the dollar theater. Don't tell Ayla, or all we will hear about for the next 32 hours is when are we going to see the Frog Princess, tomorrow, not tomorrow, that takes too long!

Ayla had a dream that I got stuck in quicksand and had a 'moldy bottom'. I feel terrible for her. What an image to have in one's head! Horrifying.

Ayla was confused and thought Sophie left because Ginger died. "If Josh had died instead of Ginger, maybe Ophie wouldn't have left."

Indy spent five minutes wandering around the house yesterday saying, "Where's Ophie's boyfriend? Where's my friend? Ophie, where are you?"

The girls miss Ophie.

Today I have no content and no interesting thoughts. Sunday I will be rooting for the Saints and hopefully eating something cheesy and warm.

I also have no pictures because my camera took a swim in the pacific and hasn't been the same since.

Let's see.

Here is a picture from February 2009. I had woken up early to go out to Caribou coffee to write. The girls were already up with Noah, snuggled on the couch. Love Ayla's sly smile.


This is pretty close to Indy's Starbuck look. Which is not a look that means she wants Starbucks, but a look that reminds us she looks a little like Starbuck.


Oh, how I love Starbuck.

And Starbucks.

Have a lovely weekend. Get a Starbucks and go watch Battlestar Galactica.

You won't regret it.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Some Things I Should Have Shared By Now, But Haven't

Mr. Hanky, crafted by Ayla, upper right-hand corner:


If you don't know. . . don't ask.

Beauties at Christmastime:




Indy and Ayla's new robes went so well with Zach and Suzy's beautiful beach-near duplex.


(So did the trappings of Old Fashioneds they left there).

Sorry if the Christmas stuff makes you feel kind of weird. I know it's a bit wrong, like a wool sweater in May. Like chili in July (sick!). Like pina coladas in January. . .

yech. I am making my skin all itchy.

Quick. Look at these instead:




This weekend I wrote a little and read a lot at Starbucks.

I decided I can't wait for Daz Bog to open here.

Dear fellow Fort Collinsians,

Please do not
visit Daz Bog.
Please keep packing
every Starbucks in town
to the gills.
Daz Bog and I
won't mind.


And also, Dear Fellow Fort Collinites,

You people drive me crazy at green turn arrows, but man.
Do you dress nice.
You are beautiful, women!
(you men I don't notice as much, but
I'm sure you're quite good looking
However, I am not sure
about the boyfriend jean look
you all are rocking.
It works on Katie Holmes, kind of.
But on the rest of us?
Not yet convinced.

Dear Coopersmiths,
My beloved, my darling, rester of my heart and
soother of my soul
Thank you, from the
depths of my being for
your 'pubside regular' discount AND
the waitress who gives it to us,
whose name we

Dear Barb*,
I said it before you did, actually.
Nikki is a sociopath.

Dear Margene*,
When can we get coffee?

Dear Nikki*,
It's never too late to
start anew.

Dear Husband,
Thank you for your
kitchenly glory.
And for cooking me white fish when only
is on the menu.

Dear Indy,
Thank you for this exchange:
Mommy: "No, you can't have Sabrecitos. They aren't good for your body."
Indy: "But they're good for my mouth!"

And, Dearest Ayla,
Thank you for doing Josh's voice, and,
while he was crawling on his belly, making him say:
"I'm going to crawl over here on my tummy like a tiger! But
I'm going to try not to lick because
tigers don't lick."

Over and out.


***Hendrickson, that is.

link within

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