taking perfection off the table

I thought this morning about dreaming with assumptions…NOt sure that is the right word.

But it goes something like this.

What would the perfect scenario be if there was one unpleasant but unfixable part?

What would be dream day or life be like if I never left the town I am in?

What would my perfect career be if I knew I would never advance?

What would i do different in my life if I knew I would never lose those 20 pounds?


5 am on the weekend again

Once again she woke us up at 5AM …like she did yesterday.

She was a little better this time, because she was cheerfully loud. Not wailing.

Nevertheless, it remains that the sun rose, and her entire clothing set needed to be changed twice by 6:15

So we are going to go to McDonald’s playland and get some breakfast. And I am going to get some coffee.

Chris is going to sleep.

I wish that i could quietly discover if any other local moms where having a morning like mine and wanted to meet me at the Playland on Foothill.

But i haven’t found a way to do that…Maybe I should find a sort of stealth texting tree mechanism:

‘Psst! Are you having a Morning as well? I’ll be at the playland in 15. And I promise she’ll be in PullUps this time! No puddles.”

Those cinammon chunky muffin thingys they have are tasty

they would NOT leave it hanging down

Their are many many unrealistic things about movies, but one of the things that is bothering me right now.

No way would the girls from “olden times” leave their hair hanging down all the time. Mother would have fixed it for them, and when they got older they would have fixed it for themselves.

They put their hair UP. Especially in olden times. Because they had work to do, and would not be able to do it, or look respectable doing it, with their long and often CURLY locks swinging around and like as not falling in a pile of cow poo.

The movies dont’ seem to have a problem with the American Indians always having their hair in braids. It’s a matter of practicality.

sad = serious and serious = art…except it doesn’t

My friend told me that she made a point of watching all the Oscar nominated movies this year. Only one of them, she said, was one she would watch again if it came on TV.

“They are all so overwhelmingly depressing!” she reported back.

I’ve noticed this problem already. It’s very easy to express sadness and unhappiness. Boy oh boy, we seem to be able to just get down into that mud puddle and hang out FEELING it.

It’s a lot harder to be believable when  you have something happy to say.

But ‘they’ say it’s really hard to do comedy well. And I have to say I agree.

Comedy is a lot more needed too. I have my own mud puddle thank you very much.

Can’t I get the medicine in a spoonful of sugar? Give me something to smile about.

I was talking with Chris about novels, and how I have given up on *literary fiction* lately. That used to be all I read.

But now, the only good stuff is the dead author part of the library. Yes, Dickens and Austen, love you both.

Toni Morrison, can you lighten up? Do we need another past-the-breaking-point story of sorrow?

Chris said that there is a whole category of “It’s hard to be (x)” novels.

It’s hard to be poor

It’s hard to be gay

It’s hard to be black

It’s hard to be poor gay and black


It’s true, and I don’t want to minimize the suffering. But I’m sort of done. I guess that’s why I’m in love with fantasy novels.

It’s hard to be the son of magical parents raised by an unmagical foster family. But golly gee whiz! Look what I can do now!!!

I want a meaty story that I can think about. But how about a story that makes me smile while I’m learning something?

treading water?

Last night Veronica had trouble sleeping. Her tummy is upset.

So, from midnight to two, I was up and down to help her relax.

Except, it didn’t seem like such a big deal. It used to. I used to wonder how I could possibly do this FOREVER. Other parents didn’t help either. They would never say, “You will be stronger, you will be fine after time”

They just roll their eyes and say “Oh you think it gets better? It doesn’t.I haven’t slept since my firstborn, and he’s 40 now!”

Crao, Crap Crap. It’s enough to make you get into your car and drive and not look back.

But I remember one young girl talking to me. She was maybe 12, and the oldest of a large brood. I was pregnant, and she said “I am so scared to be pregnant! I think it would be so hard and it would hurt so much!”

What am I supposed to say to that?

I’m supposed to be the grown up and reassure HER.

“Well,” I said. “You have to be older and then you will be strong enough. THink how much stronger you are than when you were 8! When you are older you will be strong enough to bear it.”

“You think so? Maybe…”

“That is also why you should wait!”

See how clever I was? And how utterly ignorant? I think a 12 year old probably recovers much faster from teh physical injury of childbirth.

But it turns out that I’m recovering from the shock of the definite possibility of never sleeping a solid 8 hours for the next 5 years.

It can be done. And, if you make sure to leave room in your life for breathing it doesnt’ have to be that bad.

But here I am, talking about it some more. Talking about the unrelenting shock of parenting


I’m not thinking new original thoughts. I’m sleepy. I’m just mostly churning old thoughts. Treading water.

But at least I’m still afloat.

the dresses are so beautiful

The Internet has done a fine job of serving up generous portions of costume dramas.

I’ve been watching a lot of 70s era Masterpiece theater.

It’s funny how the 70s interpreted late victorian costume in a particularly 70s sort of way. The clothes, but also the situations.

Right now, the daughter has just run away to live with a free-love commune.

Those were common in the teens. But they were pretty common in American (and english?) 1970s

Round like a circle in a spiral like a wheel within a wheel…

it turns out it takes time

There was a thing a while ago about big snakes that got ambitious and tried  to eat alligators. The alligators were often bigger than the snakes. The real definition of trying to  it off more than you can chew–or more accurately, swallowing whole was you cannot chew or even digest.

My daughter turned 3. And that has brought some new things into my life.  Things like a much diminished nap schedule. And things like frequent sleeping through the night. Not regular sleeping through the night, but frequent.

and potty training. and the even bigger deal of PreSchool. She doesn’t need me quite so bad all the freaking time.

she hasn’t got the memo that she doesnt need me. She’s super clingy.

But she doesn’t need me. She wants me and she doesn’t know what to do with herself now that she doesn’t need me quite so much. BUt she doesn’t need me.

And I get to figure out what to do with myself again.

I have this problem of thinking “…and NOW I can get back to NORMAL.”

Like there was ever any kind of normal. As if all the raising of my daughter was a small distraction on the REAL track I was following.

I feel stupid to realize I was thinking that way. And then sort of amazed that I managed to do as much as I have managed to do while I was keeping track of this not-yet-three-year-old

I do care about her, and I want…I am committed…to making her life good. But I cannot be exclusively commited to that. My life requires some things of its own to be good.

I’m getting to the part where I will be done with the bulk of digesting this alligator and maybe I can start to slowly slither again instead of just roll.

Some people have more than one kid. I have so much admiration for that. I always wanted that, but now that i”m in the middle of just the one, I am pretty sure I could not manage it.

Because it takes so much time, And I foolishly didn’t really expect that.

i think we’re alone now- me myself and i

It seems funny, a tree falling in the forest, to realize how fully I always had the property rights to myself.

I fought very hard a number of times to have it.

I wonder, really, what I was fighting for?

but then, once you have a thing and you don’t have to struggle for it

if you can just leave that thing lying around anywhere and come back to it because nobody would take it because they weren’t interested

Then maybe its not precious.

Maybe it didn’t matter


I don’t think that’s the right metaphor. I think instead, that the trick is like this. It’s MY magic wand. Only I can use it. Nobody else can make it work. So, nobody else wants it. But it is invaluable to me.

Yes, I fought for me many a time

and I won me. And i guess I still have to keep winning me.

Magic wands will go dormant if they are never used.

Yesterday, I spent some time playing the piano. I miss playing the piano. Naturally, I couldn’t play the upright piano. I had to play the keyboard because Veronica was asleeping. But i was trying to noodle out a jazz song that had been running through my head.

I was rusty.

But I still had it.

And i guess it’s part of the magic wand to keep waving it.

“Remembering you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” -Steve Jobs

there are reasons, Jobs. But I guess there are very few excuses.

Sometimes the heart is not so clear.

This post was a true note-to-self. I think it was as personal as a shopping list. But my heart says “write!”

I suppose that I am waving my wand by doing this. It’s my wand after all.

the best valentine song- by Mr. Rogers

Because I want to remember it:

It’s you I like,
It’s not the things you wear,
It’s not the way you do your hair–
But it’s you I like.
The way you are right now,
The way down deep inside you–
Not the things that hide you,
Not your toys–
They’re just beside you.

But it’s you I like–
Every part of you,
Your skin, your eyes, your feelings
Whether old or new.
I hope that you’ll remember
Even when you’re feeling blue
That it’s you I like,
It’s you yourself,
It’s you, it’s you I like.