As It Is

I hear my daughter say “Where did my Mommy go?
She never sings anymore.”
If I could reach out to you,
I would.
If it was possible to see beyond the lid that presses down my heart,
I would look to you.
But as it is, I stay a petulant, spoiled child who refuses comfort in the arms of the most cherished.
As it is…
Are you here anyway?
Can you see into my barren soul, if I don’t ask you to look?
Will you continue to see the me you first loved
if I stay in this pit without you?
Will you still hold my mind in the palm of your hand even though every thought is being held captive by someone else?
How long will you love me?
Beyond my shame,
is there room for the purveyor of grace?
Is your grace boundless enough to release the tentacles of my demons?
No, so it seems.
You are silent.
I don’t reach my hand out to you because I can’t.
I don’t have to seek you.
I stay here in my hell, because you love me anyway and always and as it is,
I’m relying on that.
As it is, you already know the way – out.
As it is and always will be – the only way out is, regrettably,
Please, get me through.
I want to sing.
Please, lead me back to your voice.
Eleven years later. I reached out my hand and the barren soul is mostly healed… But, now my daughters actually ask me not to sing quite so loud, or quite so often, or in the middle of “What Not to Wear.” Which by the way, they keep submitting me for. I guess there’s no middle ground. You are either silent – or singing at the top of your lungs. In or out. Stuck or through. As of today…I got through!

Who Am I First?

A mother’s identity lost in the first cry of her child.
A mother’s identity found in the first smile of her child.
But years later when the novelty has worn off,
who does Mom become above all?
Someone’s wife?
A Maid.
A Musician.
A Dancer.
A Storyteller.
An Actress.
A Puppeteer.
All Smiles.
A stand-up commedian.
A human baby-wipe.
No…microwave operator.
A grateful observer.
A joyful recipient.
A miss being alone.
Endlessly patient.
By husband.
By children.
By friends I never see.
But mostly by the cat.
I was someone else before I had all this laundry to do.
I just don’t remember who that was.
Who am I first?
I don’t know.
It changes everyday.
And everyday brings something else to be.
And everyday brings someone into my arms,
no matter who I am first.
Or what I end up to be at last.

Only in Innocence

Only in childhood can we don a fuzzy yellow Tweedy Bird snow cap in July…in L.A. and walk into a Hallmark store to do a little browsing. Only in innocence can we wear what peaks our fancy and be thrilled with only our perception of how we look.

Tea parties and princess dreams. Rhinestones and mom’s shoes. It doesn’t matter that nothing fits, only that we know we are beautiful and special. Only in innocence is the mirror our friend, a magical insight into who we think we are and who we will become.

Now my life is with daughters who are “becoming.” Clearly, innocence had its place. A place we are leaving behind. To survive, innocence must go. You can’t be a grown woman in a Tweedy Bird hat. Although, I’m pretty sure Hannah would still walk into a Hallmark store in that hat, just because she would know that  it’s funny and, thankfully, she can trust her perception of how she looks. The mirror is still her friend. I wonder when that changes?

Coffee Break

“Mommy, why do you drink so much coffee?”

“In a word…you.”