Monday, October 10, 2011


Saturday 6:45 a.m.: Car broke down seconds before pulling in to the parking lot at work. Not broke-down-wouldn't-move, broke-down-probably-shouldn't-drive-it-home. That's kind of what you get when you drive a 20 year old car and the only thing classic about it is how old it is.

Saturday 12:15 p.m.: Decide 2 minutes into drive home that it's not probably-shouldn't-drive-home, but definitely-shouldn't-drive-home. Since this particular part-time job is 35 minutes from home, I call my in-laws who live nearby to come get me and take me home. My daughter's birthday party was to commence less than 5 hours hence and they were coming anyway. I'll pick up my car the following day, when we come back for a birthday party of their own.

Saturday 9:30 p.m.: Party went well. Food was good, house somehow got clean. I hear Scott outside playing hide-and-seek with the girls in the dark. They have faux but sometimes real screams. It would make me smile if I weren't so tired.

Saturday 11:00 p.m.: Bed is beckoning. In spite of the happiness, it's been a long and tiring day. Husband and I still manage to roll around together. We're newlyweds, after all. I sleep well, in spite of the giggling girls.

Sunday 9:00 a.m.: Making waffles and bacon for the girls and husband. Turn phone on. Text from my mom that my cousin died sometime while I slept soundly. Call her.

I call. And she tells me all.

Such a sad, sad story all by itself.

But sadder when she tells me that she can't come home because she had surgery two days prior to remove melanoma spots on her back. Spots I didn't know she had. Spots she probably wouldn't have told me about if she didn't feel like she'd better have a good excuse for not coming home at a time like this. Spots I shouldn't tell anyone else about.

She probably didn't think it was a big deal. Or she didn't want us to think it was until it was a big deal. Two things about that:

1) When you keep a secret, it's pretty hard to come clean, because then you have to be honest about the secret in the first place.

2) It is a big deal because two years ago, there were spots on her face. And there was chemotherapy. A topical chemotherapy that hurt to look at.

And so there's a history.

And she wasn't going to tell anyone. And I can't tell anyone.

Only I'm angry. And I did tell someone. I told two someones. I told my brother and I told my sister. I told them because, no matter what my mother, my beautiful, smart, wise, hard-working mother thinks, it isn't only her business to tell or not tell. It's our business, too. Even if we didn't love her as much as we do, it's our business. But we do love her as much as we do.
So, I told them.
That's what I want to say tonight.
Monday 8:09 p.m. The Tigers are on. The Lions are on. Both are big deals. But the biggest deal is for me to say to my mom that it is my business and it is my brother's business and it is my sister's business. It belongs to us and all of her friends and to everyone who loves her just as much as it belongs to her. She doesn't get to pick. And honesty hurts so much less in the long run than secrets. That's what I want to say tonight.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Grown Up

This year, my son started 3rd grade. He's going to take the MEAP for the first time (a test in which, contrary to what I'll ever admit to publicly, I do believe in). He is halfway to middle school. He has 100% on all of his spelling tests thus far. He gets himself ready in the morning for the first time.

At 6:45, before I leave to drop my daughter off at her grandma's on my way to work, I wake him up. I make him wake up enough for him to to kiss me goodbye. I'm not sure what happens after that but, based upon what my husband says, my son goes back to sleep.

He forgets what I told him about making sure he puts his homework in his backpack. He forgets that his light is on and he has to get up. He forgets that I squeezed him and told him I love him the most. He goes back to sleep.

And then my husband walks by and wakes him again. He gets up. He gets dressed. He eats breakfast and watches cartoons.

His step-father leaves for work. He puts his bowl by the sink. He watches cartoons some more until his alarm goes off.

He puts his phone in his back pack. He goes to the bus stop. He kicks around at the storm drain until the bus comes.

That little boy is the love of my life.

And I don't have to do everything for him anymore because he can do it and when I get home he doesn't run to hug me because he's too busy getting ready to go outside and play with his friends and he doesn't want to come in until dinner and then he wants to go back out until all his friends are beckoned by their parents who love them the most and then he wants to bathe and watch Disney.

Last and maybe least, he wants to cuddle just 5 minutes before bedtime.

And I miss the time when the first thing he did when he saw me was jump on me like I was the best thing he ever saw.