Did I tell you I love you?

He sauntered over, slumped into a chair and asked me. Without reply, he knew the effect.

“There is that smile. I love it when you smile. You and dad should smile more often. You’d be happier. ”

I’m reminded, then, of overwhelming obligations that hinder such a simple expression. But despite the pressure to catch up, to overcome,  I need to remember to live in the “now.”

He’s older, a teenager with a desire for independence and personal space. The countdown to graduation and adulthood is quick. And yet he’s here. In this moment. He has chosen to linger at the table with mom.

I sip my coffee. And we two survey the crowded cafeteria. Families with many little children create a cacophony of conversation. Dishes rattle.

“I hope we play you guys early in the season,” he says, voice rising and cracking as he builds enthusiasm about this sophomore endeavor. 

“Coach says… ” he rattles on about his pending football season. This year, we’re on junior varsity – later games and tougher expectations. He’s changed positions, too. Now he’s on the field with offense and could score with some plays.  The anticipation of the first scrimmage hovers in his thoughts, his dreams.  He’s ready.

I still have his jersey from last year, the jagged cut reminding me of the ambulance,  the neck brace,  the danger of this sport he loves.  I’m supposed to ‘upcycle’ the uniform into a cheer jersey for Ri. And she’s probably going to be his favorite cheerleader in the early minutes of his games.

He smiles and shoves a finger into the bridge of his glasses to push them into place. They slide right back, the red electrical tape showing on the side despite his efforts to color it black.

He surveys our neighboring tables discreetly,  noting no new patrons in his age bracket. And he rambles on.

One

It’s cold inside this old house
Empty, save the spiders who weave
They create connections in open space
Keeping me company without making contact
Alone, I brood over lost opportunity
Many a moment slipped through unnoticed
My grasp on success too loose
In the darkness, candlelight dances around
Welcome motion in this wicked silence
I imagine joining the soiree myself
Shaking out these aching, mistreated bones
Willing myself a pirouette,  petite jete
Humming melodies of memory, swiveling hips
Once upon a time I was
And, perhaps, I still can be
Something inside awakens, renewing forgotten passion
Arachnid eyes peer at sudden movement
Creeping deeper into corners in surprise
Life is not over, not yet
This one isn’t ready to stop.
Fervently continuing my twirl and twist
Feeling the heat of renewal build.
Leaping out of thoughts, I begin
Determining to make dreams my reality.

Inspired by the Six Word Fridays meme. The focus is “one.”

Mini Vaykay

Williamsburg, we couldn’t stay away.
w wmbg1
w wmbg2

w wmbg3

Love me when it hurts

“If we really want this thing to work we gotta go to war….” Avant, ‘When It Hurts

I better start asking “will you love me when it hurts,” because it’s hurting more and more. This blended family thing is an experiment in futility ; or at least it seems so sometimes. Inevitably,  no matter how much we profess to be all about “ours,” the “mine mentality ” seems to be underlying every decision.

If I thought children were unwilling pawns in relationship chess before, I’m certain of it now. Except I forgot to figure in the other pieces playing the board. The castle, or career and financial dealings . The Knights, our siblings. The bishops, in-laws and family elders. And though there’s only one king and one queen on this board, they often play on opposing sides instead of as a ruling, supporting pair.

Frankly,  I’m not sure I want to spend life in a game of strategic action. I’ve got apps for that. But honestly,  if the extended family is constantly invited in to cause strife and further divide, there’s no winning.  It’s one thing to confide in someone – to seek a listening ear that doesn’t connect to a wagging tongue. It’s another to entertain intrusion,  confusion and, ultimately isolation.

I’m ready to lay my piece down and declare game over. I can’t see putting children through an endless, destructive game.

Pull out

It’s been hard to write lately; not because I’m uninspired,  but because I worry who might hold my thoughts expressed against me.  I’ve learned I’m not liked by some – and the dislike is so intense that it’s vicious and overwhelming.

I’m reminded often that impressions (however false) are made quickly and they don’t dispell. I suppose I can’t please everyone. I can’t imagine trying. But it’s so hard to know – to have it made painfully obvious – that I’m the target of rage.

I try. I’m a genuine person. I’m practiced in tact. I care. I never want to make others uncomfortable,  to make them feel less worth. So it hurts when I’m falsely accused of errors.

My outlet suffers. I’ve no desire to add fuel to foolishness. I’m guarding myself against criticism. Lord knows I’ve had so much scrutinized, picked apart. I just need to pause, separate and move on.

The mermaid

mermaid RiCerulean shimmers amidst shocked white spray
Undulating, stirring the constant changing tides
The crash of salt and sea
Rocks jutting just above scream “halt!”
She baths atop this surfaced throne
Watching the waves churn about her
Head turning heaven-ward, she is still
Sunkissed skin merges with iridescent drops
Whilst pearls and shells modestly adorn

*inspired by the word ‘wave’ from Six Word Fridays

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