15 feels like shit.

February 22, 2016

Let’s just say a friend of mine has a teenage son.

And this friend’s been having to deal with a lot of teenage angst.

This friend has been on edge, which is a nice way of saying she’s ready to pull all her hair out. My friend likes her hair.

Then my friend took a moment to remember how it feels to be miserable and left out and scared and angry at the whole world.

She remembered what 15 felt like.

It felt like wearing jeans two sizes too small- uncomfortable and embarrassing, or being lost in a shirt a shirt 2 sizes too big, that your mom swore looked great, knowing everyone thinks you look ridiculous. It smelled like Clearasil and blackberry brandy, anger and old kleenex. It tasted like tears, flat beer and words that couldn’t be taken back, no matter what. It felt like regret and fear and rock n’roll and springtime and the heart when the phone started ringing and the heart when it realized the phone was never going to ring again. It felt like all these things every single day, every single hour. Just thinking about this made my friend very tired.

My friend is thankful she is not 15.

My friend is going to try to use a combination of breath, empathy and attending her “kickit” kickboxing twice a week to help her not make his misery all about her.

My friend is going to try to be a little more understanding of what he’s going thru.

She is not going to let her sympathies turn her into a doormat.

It is going to be a process.

I wish my friend a lot of luck.




Part I Thursday Night

Sitting on the edge of a holiday weekend-. There will be cook outs and Mexican food and swimming at the Y, and catching up with Girls, and long, long walks with the dogs, and arguments over who has to feed the pets, and discussions over whether it counts as “family time” just because a certain teenager spent time in the house. With six of his friends.

I will zumba and read and look out in our back yard and spend at least fifteen minutes thinking about the need to landscape. I will dance with Katy to the radio, I will applaud Colin’s jump shot. I will scratch Sophie’s belly and kill 30 minutes looking for her damned leash. I will give up and take her to Cunningham. I will call friends and see friends and miss friends that are far away.
Happy Memorial Day weekend!

Part II

Saturday Morning

Not on the brink anymore, now I’m sprawled on the sofa in the middle of a holiday weekend. Just near enough, there lay two weary dogs, two well fed kids, and one glass of cold wine in easy reach. It’s Saturday night. But instead of Monday looming large with lunches to be packed and homework to be done, I’m thinking a day at the beach. Or a trip to the pond. Or a long, long hike thru the Greatest of Hills with the Greatest of Dogs.
I love post horrible-winter, late spring, long, and lazy, afternoons.

Part III

Monday Night

It’s done. Monday night. Backpacks lined up. Cereal bought, milk in the fridge. I think they did their homework. I think they have clean socks. I think there is money in their lunch account.

No beach. No trips to the pond. Or long hikes thru the Greatest of Hills.

But I finished a book. I made whipped cream from scratch. I snuck up to their bedrooms yesterday morning and held them close and didn’t remind them that clean clothes don’t go on the floor.

I sat in the back yard with the dogs and watched people drive by with places to go.

I was a little bit jealous. And then I was a little bit lonely.

And then, the sun wamed my shoulders, the breeze touched my hair, and the radio started playing “Tupelo Honey”.

And by the time the song was over, and the sun had slipped behind clouds, I didn’t have time to be sad the weekend was over.
Tomorrow they will kiss me goodbye on their way on out the door.

I can’t imagine “empty nest syndrome.”

I will need to start thinking about hobbies, updating my profile on LinkedIn, or adopting three or four children from overseas.

It’s My Party

July 28, 2013

My family threw me a surprise party today. There were hamburgers and hotdogs, grilled chicken and pickles, vanilla cake with strawberry filling, ice cream. I got a candle holder in the shape of an owl and some candles scented like apple pie to nestle inside the owl, approximately where the owls digestive tract would be. My daughter gave me  a designer contact lens case, my neighbor gave me a bracelet, my brother in law cooked for hours.

I had plans for this evening; my friends at church were holding a pot luck to meet the candidate for the position of Director of Congregational Life. But when I got home from the surprise party, I was a little drunk. My sister in law’s gift was a really good bottle of Chardonnay. And I wanted to wait for my son to get home from an afternoon with his basketball coach. Mostly, I was a little drunk, and overfed on chips and cheese.

I gathered the dogs. Sophie, the Magnificent, Wondrous Creature and Coco, the Almost As Magnificent and Wondrous Creature, who lives next door. I found the last of the headphones that work. I poured a cup of this mornings coffee into a go cup. I sprayed on bug spray, I stuffed my bare feet into a pair of Colin’s sneakers.

I went to the woods. I was alone. I put Warren Zevon on my phone, placed my head phones over my ears, and followed the dogs. They raced thru the woods. Coco hops, he’s a mini  Doberman Pinscher. Sophie bounds on three legs; she might have Lyme, she might have arthritis, we can’t afford another trip to the vet.

The dogs laughed, and ran, and wrestled. I sang along to songs about Carmelita and headless gunners. There was no one else there, it was almost dark and the clouds promised rain.

I was probably still a little drunk from earlier, I don’t drink much these days. So it felt like a party, walking in the woods with the dogs, some songs and my own self.

Second time round, and I guess at my age it’s ok; happy birthday to me. And thanks to all of those in my life that make me incredibly so happy.