Miss A

The Day the Earth Stood Still

Friday afternoon I answered a call. From a number I didn’t recognize.

It was a man whose name I neither knew or recognized.

He asked my name. I said yes, I was she.

He asked if my daughter’s name was Miss A. I said yes, it was.

He began to speak.

My heart stopped.

My breath caught in my throat.

The earth stood still.

I listened carefully.

Then I began to move.

I gathered my things and ran for the door and my car. Phone still pressed to my ear.

Listening to the man I didn’t know and will never meet describe my second-worst nightmare.

Miss A had been in an accident. She was being transported to the hospital.

The extent of her injuries was unknown.

And she was 2&1/2 hours away.

I called TWH. When he answered, I yelled “I’m going to Jackson!!”

He didn’t even need to ask. He told me to come to his office.

I told him to meet me at the house, I was already on the interstate.

Then I went into crisis mode.

I work well there.

I plan. I organize.

I think.

20 minutes later, I’d pulled into my driveway and I had a plan of action.

Pack clothes. TB with friends. Dogs to groomers.

30 minutes later, we were on the road and my phone was busy.

I spoke with police officers.

I spoke with EMT’s.

I spoke with my child.

We both cried.

I finally get to Jackson.

I walk in to the trauma room and see Miss A.

On a gurney with an oxygen mask, a cervical collar, and covered in blood.

Worse than I thought.

So much worse.

The earth paused again.

I take it all in.

Then I move.

I kiss my child.

I hold her hand.

I ask questions.

I start to clean off the blood.

It’s not as bad as it looks.

But it’s bad enough.

She is bruised and broken.

But she is alive.

And she needs me.

She asks me not to leave her.

I promise I won’t.

And she sleeps.

Just for a minute.

She wakes up and calls for me.

“I’m here Baby. I’ll always be here.”

She is alive. She is whole. She will heal.

I see pictures of the car later.

I realize what a miracle this is.

And I weep.

I weep because she is alive.

I weep because she is whole.

I weep because she will heal.

I weep because she came so very close to not.

I weep because my world will continue as it was.

With both my children to hold and love.

But I will ALWAYS remember the day the earth stood still.

And I will pray it never happens again.

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Aaaaahhh Springtime. We meet again.

Okay, so. As I’ve mentioned before, I have a love/hate relationship with the Spring. It makes me simultaneously joyful and sad for a multitude of reasons. But I try every day to chose the joy. Some days I fake it. Some days I find it. Every day I try.

 

This year has already surpassed last year in the joy category. I’ve surrounded myself with an absolutely amazing group of people who make my heart sing. I’ve deepened relationships that already meant a lot to me. I’ve created new ones that bring me laughter and joy.

 

I should, by all accounts, have no complaints. But then things happen like my trip to SAMS yesterday.

 

Yesterday I realized that Miss A is really and truly going off to college in the fall.  I realized it when I saw an ottoman and looked closer to see if it had storage in it because it had a cute pattern on it and I was going to snap it up to put in Miss A’s dorm room.

 

OMIGAWD MY KID IS GOING TO COLLEGE!!!  When in the fuck did this happen!?!?  Cue the funk.  Cue the tears.  Cue the wallowing and the worry.

 

She’ll be 18 in a little over two weeks.  In a few months, she’ll leave her Dad’s house and go on to carve out her own space in the world.

 

I worry that she’s not ready.

 

I worry that she’s enough like me that she’ll be too stubborn or proud to ask for help when she needs it.

 

I worry that she still leaves wet towels on her bed.

 

And wears mis-matched socks on the regular.

 

I worry because she’s my Baby Girl.

 

And I want the world to be kind to her. Even though I know some days it won’t be.

 

I worry, and I hope.  The world is a big, scary, wonderful, amazing place.

 

I hope she experiences it all and comes out all the better for it.

 

Some days this Momma gig kicks you right in the ass.

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A Break (And a Throwback Post)

Okay, so. As you all know. We got shoved into Cancertown this weekend. Totally against our will and looking kinda shell shocked. It was a long, Love-Filled, Fambly-filled, Sad, Scary, Laughter-filled, Exhausting weekend and we’re home for now. Whether it’s for a few days or until the weekend we don’t know yet.

I’m sitting in my living room with a stress pimple eating the side of my face, in sweats I picked up off the floor of my closet this morning watching Maroon 5 Takeover (Adam Levine is pretty) and thinking about what I have to say this morning.

It ain’t much. I’m exhausted and just trying to keep up with life at this point.

However, I DO have a Miss A story for you. It’s one of my favorite Miss A stories and I tell it A LOT.

Wanna hear it?? Here it goes….

I’m a swearer. I swear A LOT. Every swear word my kids know, they learned from me. Probably in the car going up & down I-12 in Baton Rouge. I swear, these folks drive with their heads wedged firmly up their asses.

Anyway, one day we’re all in the car going merrily on our way to who-knows-where. Miss A was about 3 at the time and was a sponge. She absorbed EVERYTHING. Y’know, like little kids do. So we’re tooling along when some asshat comes out of nowhere and changes lanes without looking or signalling causing TWH to slam on the brakes because the guy was trying to change lanes where we were currently driving. I yelled out “OH!! You SCHMUCK!!” as we continued on our way unscathed. From the backseat, Miss A pipes up: “Mommy!! You know what you forgot to call him??”

I cringed. I had NO idea what was about to come out of my sweet baby’s mouth. I said “No Baby. What??”

Miss A says “A JERK!!”

WHEW!! She said JERK!! I dodged a bullet there!! Relief washes over me. “Yes baby. He’s a Jerk.”

Miss A, however, is not QUITE finished with her assessment of the offensive drivers character. “Mommy!! You know what ELSE you forgot to call him??”

I’m thinking I’m in the clear at this point and am feeling pretty awesome. I ask innocently “No Doodle. What ELSE did I for get to call him??”

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh…. Y’all. I was SO naieve.

Miss A replies with all the gusto a 3 year old sitting in her car seat clutching a teddy bear can muster “A FUCKING ASSHOLE!!”

I realize, at this point that I will NEVER be Mother of the Year. Partly because my 3 year old just said “Fuck”.

And partly because I was laughing so hard I got a cramp and had tears streaming down my face.

Mother of the Year is overrated anyways.

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2012 Wasn’t So Bad. Bring On the New Year

I’m sitting here in the relative quiet of my living room, freshly showered from my morning walk/run, listening to the dishwasher take care of the breakfast dishes and I’m thinking about how 2012 didn’t suck. As a whole, it may have been a banner year.

We traveled most of the summer. Granted, they were only weekend trips but, hey, we had fun doing it.

I went to my first Blogger conference. Aiming Low Non Con was the perfect Conference Newbie experience. Yes, I had a meltdown (or two) but once I got over myself I had a ball. I met some of the Bloggers I adore in person and met some other kick-ass bloggers to stalk. I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat.

I’ve forged new friendships. Some here on the interwebz and some in real life. There’s a good bit of overlap & that makes me happy.

I’ve re-connected with some of my extended family. We’d lost touch over the years but finding them (and my roots) again has been a blessing beyond compare.

I’ve opened up about my mentally ill daughter. You guys have no idea how hard that was to “Put DOWN” as my friend Scott says. I did though. I put it down. I put it out there and it was, perhaps, the most freeing thing I’d done for myself in a long while. It’s allowed me to come out from under that burden and BREATHE. I will never be able to properly articulate my gratitude for all the pure LOVE you guys gave me after that. I can only cry happy tears all over my laptop and say THANK YOU.

I got to celebrate my ECB’s birthday with her in Washington, DC. Spending time with my oldest friend(s), people who have seen me through quite a bit in the last 20 years, was something I couldn’t have done (for financial reasons) even five years ago. That was so good for my soul.

Like I said, 2012 didn’t suck.

2013 isn’t looking so bad either. So far I have The Parade, my very FIRST 5K, and another trip to Washington, DC in the works so I can watch Miss A march in the Cherry Blossom Parade.

Here’s hoping for another kick-ass year.

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I Am a Bad Example

Okay, so. This weekend we went up to North Mississippi for Miss A’s Sixteenth Birthday Party. Of course, there were BOYS there. Oh how I miss the days of Barbie birthday parties where all the little girls came in their little dresses. They were so much easier.
But I digress. Most of the boys there were part of a COUPLE. Fine, whatever. How bad can it be?? Right??
Stop snickering at my ignorance please.
Oh. Dear. Lawd!!  Who told these children it was okay to hang all over each other like a cheap sweater??  Every time we stood in line for something, they were pressed up against one another like they were STUCK THAT WAY!! Jebus. Something had to be done.
I finally go up to the group and announce “Alright. We’re about to go all Old School Catholic Dance here. Leave Room for The Holy Ghost.”  Of course, they listened and jumped a respectful distance apart….  NOT.
They did what teens do. They argued. Even TB who, as far as I know, doesn’t even HAVE a girlfriend yet decided to join the fray.  I, of course, did what every good parent would do. I explained our stand on the issue.  “Look. Hanging all over each other is just TACKY. You look low class. You’re together, great. You wanna hold hands, great. You wanna act like someone stuck your privates together with glue. Not. Great.”  Then I decided to give them a visual. “How would it be if I ran over to Dad and was all (insert squinchy faced air grabby bump & grind here)”. They were all mortified. Poor Miss A.  She looked at all her friends and said “Sooooo…  You met my Mom….”
It. Worked. Like. A. Charm.   For the rest of the night, whenever I saw two kids look like they were about to go all PDA I’d yell “Do you need to see exhibit A again??”. They’d jump like someone poured cold water all over them.
This just goes to prove, you can listen to me the FIRST time, or I can go that ONE step further to make my point. I’m obviously willing to.

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And Then The Boy Said “Shit”

Okay, so.  This afternoon I had to drive to Jackson, MS to pick up Miss A.  As we were heading back to the interstate, we passed a horse trailer with an honest-to-God CAMEL in it.  I immediately jumped on Twitter and posted “Jackson, Mississippi. Where you can see a guy pulling a horse trailer with a CAMEL in it. I am NOT making this shit up…”. Let’s face it, it’s not everyday you see a camel outside a zoo.  Now, recently, TB created a Twitter account and started following me. He saw my post and read it ALOUD. Verbatim.  TWH & I began laughing like crazy. Mostly because TB swore. TB is vehemently opposed to swearing. He tells me this often as he chastises me about my language.  TB was mortified. He SWEARS he said SHUT.  I of course, jumped on twitter to tell everyone my son said “Shit”.  Then to tell everyone he was mortified and SWORE he said SHUT.  Then he saw the Tweets about the language “snafu” and was DOUBLY mortified.  He usually begs to be Tweeted about. I didn’t realize he wanted to approve the Tweets about him first.  Little freakin’ diva.



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I’m Amazed

Okay so. I don’t brag about my kids on here much. I don’t brag about my kids nearly enough. I don’t want to be THAT MOM. Having said that, I’m amazed at their artistic talents.  Miss A is 15 and her talents fall into the visual arts. She can draw. She can work with colored paper & make pictures (I have no idea what that’s called) and she can even make art with FOOD.  Here’s a sample of my beautiful girl’s work:

Attachment

It’s different colored tissue paper and maybe some construction paper. It went up immediately in my bedroom so I can see it every morning. I also have a massive collection of things drawn by Miss A in a box. There’s just not enough wall space…

TB is 12 and has his own talents. He can draw a little but his gift lies in his words. He is a storyteller, and obviously, a poet. Here’s something he did for a school assignment:

Attachment The poem is entitled “I Am From”

I am from the cassette player with my hand inside of it
the soft fur of my stuffed monkey
and the slight feeling of claustrophobia in my pillow fort
From wiffle ball in the backyard
I am from my first bike, the unexpected meeting with the ground on my first turn
From scars made by my cousins steel toed boots
I am from crepe myrtle and the stab of stickers in my bare feet
and the sweet nectar of honeysuckle
I am from the occasional trip to Minden
to visit Grandma and Grandpa
I am from hot bacon and boudin
and the steaming taste of melted chocolate in waffles
I am from “No No” and “Catch”
I am from “T is for tookie and tookie is for me”
and “I would’ve gotten away with it if it weren’t for those meddling kids”
I am from the little red locker on top of my dresser that holds all my trinkets
I am from the south, the Gulf, the Mississippi River, and the tallest state capitol
I am from home

I am so lucky to be the caretaker of these two Smart, Funny, Wise, Beautiful children.  I almost never feel worthy.  They love me anyway.

I. Am. Amazed.

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