release

’tis wrestling season, my eyes close for 2 months


I listened last night
cresting waves
you
a ship
the gymnasium floor
covered in ocean blue and harvesting gold
home advantage
there you were
every time I closed my eyes
imagining the sea
rather than watching you twist and be twisted

my heart opened them
I must be like you
brave
put myself out there
on the mat
face my fear, my folly, my foe, my friend
when did you become so you

my son

the little boy
I must one day
release into a hard world
with no soft wrestling mat beneath
should you fall
maxmy max is on the right, gold-stripe
so very difficult watching these wrestling matches
hoping none of these kids get hurt
but they do
must keep my eyes open

winning and losing

there was a dual wrestling meet last night
all these boys, young men really
hoping their practiced discipline and best efforts
would place them on this side of glory
a raised arm at third period’s end
a personal win
points for their team

quick food, hot coffee and school spirit
we bought an event tee for the big son
I didn’t look at the shirt ’til later
against the black cotton weave
was the image of a handsome, young man
135 pounds
his chiseled arm raised in victory

it was then I realized
the tournament was named after this wrestler
he’d died in a car accident two years ago

and I knew
whether the big son
won or lost
we’d been winning all along

at this time of year
when the magnifying glass
boxes in our hearts
may thoughts of warmth
go out to those
whose children are no longer here
but live on in their souls

Baby Elf

Baby Elf

illustration previously published

Birthdays and Band-Aids

We cannot protect our children anymore than we can make ourselves less vulnerable to life. The best we can do is arm them with self-confidence so when their young, conflicted minds step into those ‘precarious’ fields the mantra, “I’m better than this…,” whispers like a gentle school bell, muffled beneath piles of internal clothing.
maxThe big son is still young. He turns fifteen this week. Like many others of his ilk, he enjoys sports. ‘We’ made it through another wrestling season uninjured and now it’s on to football. The big son is a gentle soul by nature–a pacifist at heart. I know it’s impossible to ask for such a divine favor as to keep one’s child completely safe while playing competitive sports, so I’ll just ask that he has fun and only requires a Band-Aid from time to time. And of course, I also ask that every child participating in sports this year remains safe. I know it is a tall order and a selfish prayer.

Last year the big son said to me, “I’ll feel bad if I hurt anyone, mom.”

I responded quite motherly, “Then tackle your opponents with love, son.”

I glanced up at the sky and prayed, “And God, I hope my son is tackled with love too.”
Love TackleLove Tackle, created last year with Prisma pencil.
Partial post previously published around this time last year.

Happy Birthday, Max!

selling crap is worth every penny

rabbits need foster homes
bunny butts need to be supported or they fear predators are eating them
Mary’s husband was a Vietnam Vet
for years he tumbled out of their bed with the shakes in the middle of the night
an elderly gentleman named Joe believes men know they’re officially old
when lovely young women ask if they need assistance carrying boxes
young kids who enjoy reading Harry Potter
will most likely enjoy reading Percy Jackson
if you put Marilyn Monroe’s image on anything
even garage sale signs, she will be stolen
putting Marilyn Monroe’s image on garage sale signs
works
if you say free coffee
people still think they have to pay
kids eat free cookies with joy
adults eat them sheepishly
many drivers of luxury cars
relish finding great deals
a five dollar chair that you bought for $200 long ago
will be sold for one dollar paid in quarters and pennies
people will give twenties when you don’t have change
people will give change from plastic snack bags
a horse working for less than three minutes on Saturday made a hell of a lot more money
than I did this weekend
giving stuff away for free that others can use
is the best feeling in the world
taking a break from WordPress
reminds one that it’s not Mac wearing the pants
learned more this weekend at my silly garage sale
than I have in a long time
PINK MMpart of my silly garage sale sign sans boring info

Tackle With Love, Son

Dear Friends,
The big son decided this year he’d like to give football a try. He’s a gentle soul by nature – a pacifist at heart – but, he’s discovered a love for mannish sports. I look at him, smiling with his gigantic football gear on and pray it keeps him safe from injury. Though, I know it’s impossible to ask for such a divine favor – so I’ll just ask that he has fun and that he’ll only require a bandaid from time to time.

max footballWe can’t protect our children anymore than we can make ourselves less vulnerable to life. What we can do is arm them with self-confidence. So when their young minds are conflicted or they find themselves in a precarious situation, they can remember the mantra, “I’m better than this…”

After I took this silly-faced picture of the big son, he said, “I’ll feel bad if I hurt anyone, mom.”

I responded quite motherly, “Then tackle them with love, my son.” Then I glanced up at the sky and thought, I hope you’re tackled with love too.

Love Tackle

Love Tackle

On the way to the big son’s 5 and 1/2 hour practice today, we saw the sun’s rays peeking through. We both took this as a good sign…

sunraysThank you. May you dream this evening of the world’s children being safe from harm.

Big Son with Goofy Face photo taken August 14, 2014
Blue Footballer drawn August 18, 2014 with Prism and fingers crossed (right hand only, needed left to draw)
Sun rays taken this AM, August 19, 2014

The Quiet Humble of a Role Model

Dear Friends,
I’m a floating sideline spectator whenever the giant husband and big son are entertained by crunching helmets, leaping high-tops or cracking bats. Once in a while, I’ll land on the couch and observe the action up close. Above the din, there is one echo I listen for. A sound one must hear with both ears open these days – the quite humble of a role model. It’s a rare combination of platinum ethics and golden athletic prowess. The man donning pinstripes No.2 possesses this treasured combination. Each time Derek Jeter tips his cap, he lifts a young fan’s heart.

Throughout Derek Jeter’s prolific career, his on – but more importantly – his off-field image has gleamed. One sometimes wonders the plausibility of such a feat anymore when ridiculous entitlement breeds contempt. Derek Jeter has exhibited with grace and class how to be outrageously talented yet quietly humble. And now I’ll wait for a few more superstars to step up to the plate and shine for all those watching, including my children…

max wrestlingPerhaps in the end, I admire Derek Jeter most for his endearing sentiments-
“You try to carry yourself the right way. I’ve always tried to do that. Then again I am who I am. I don’t try to be any different. If people respect you for the way that you carry yourself, it means a lot to me and it means a lot to my family. It makes you feel good.”  -Derek Jeter as quoted by the Associated Press

upside down carolineThank you and goodnight. May you dream of the world’s children playing ball happily together.

Photo of the big son at age 12, taken during last year’s wrestling season
Acrylic painting, Delicate Daughter & Big Son, 4′ x 2′ on canvas, 2008