smile and shrug

…what else can I do?

Archive for the category “Shrugs”

Be There

I am talking to my son on the phone.  “What can I do buddy?” I ask.  His voice is not the teen-man deep I’ve finally gotten accustomed to but the broken tearful child I long to hold on my lap and comfort.  “Just stay on the phone with me mom…” and of course I do.

What else can I do?  I am 70 miles away from him with an empty gas tank and not even the legal right to go to him and pick him up.  It’s 20* outside, almost 10pm, and he is alone on the jungle gym at a school playground a few blocks from the house where he lives with his dad.  He is broken, crying, angry, confused, and he has big big issues to deal with, big big decisions to make.  And I can’t offer anything but my voice on the phone.  God how my heart aches.

“You know my friend A?” he says.  I murmur softly and he continues.  “We have a theory that rough patches are just that, just patches and sometimes though it’s like God takes a great big dump on you and then hands you a miniature pooper scooper and it’s really hard.”  I laugh a little and then say, “remember that movie where the guy is buried up to his neck and a passerby puts a chopstick in his mouth and tells him to dig? it’s like that right?” He laughs and agrees.  It is, it is like that indeed.  And sometimes digging your way out takes a really long time.  I’ve been digging for 3 years now and I don’t feel any closer to freedom now than I did to begin with.  But I have this: a son who calls me and the ability to offer him love from a cell phone on a cold dark night.  You can’t really bury love.

I need to share that old 12-step poem with him next time I see him, remind him that he has the choice to change things, to accept things, and that he is indeed smart enough to know when to change it or when to accept it.  He is a good kid, will be a good man.  He made a few mistakes, but they aren’t mistakes that every teenager hasn’t already made.  They aren’t terrible horrible character defining mistakes, they are normal stupid teenager mistakes and he is still good, wonderful, and loved.  I tell him this, over and over, “you are good, you are wonderful, you are loved!  It was a mistake, but a normal everyday one, you are fine, you are good, you are wonderful, I love you…”  I thank him for telling me the truth, and I beg him to always tell me the truth because I couldn’t bear it if I had to doubt him.  There may still be parts he isn’t telling me, but given the detail he DID tell me, I’m pretty sure he told me all there was.  He is brave, my son, my brave good wonderful loveable son.  I’m so glad I was there to get that phone call from him.

I wanted to go, get in my car and drive, to go and pick him up, make him hot tea and wrap a blanket around his thin shoulders, to tuck him in like a little boy, to hold as much of his 6ft tall body as my little self can and rock him back and forth.  I couldn’t do any of that, but yet I was there anyway, in the way I could be, which was better than not being there at all.

Please God, isn’t it time for me to be there yet?




I’m not sure why, but that is just the word/name we use when speaking of him.  As in, “where’s the doof?” or “look at the doof!” or “doooof, doooooof, c’mere doof!”

His real name is Wilson.  Wilson Francisco to be exact.  But you have to say it in a certain way – emphasize Francisco ala Buddy the Elf (Will Farrell).

He brings us joy.

He was found in a dumpster when he was just a few weeks old – let’s just skip that part though and move him along to when he lived with a nice lady and her young son for most of his first year after that.  Then they suddenly needed to be “doof-free” and we found him and brought him home to be our very own.

They said he was Chihuahua.  While he looks enough like a Chi to be called one, he has a varied blend of breeds that leave us with the sure knowledge he is NOT a Chi.  He is Jack Russell terrier.  He is Chi.  He is Feline.  He is Clown.  He is Human. He is  a variety of other terrier types with all their charms and none of their annoying characteristics, and surely there is a hint of Rottweiler or Doberman for he is as sure and cocky and fierce as any dog of that size – all 6 lbs of him.

He is handsome, a great tri-color with fabulous markings, bat-like radar ears, happy upright tail, deer shaped head, and the most amusing bowlegged way of walking.  He lays so pretentiously with his little tiny front paws crossed and has a hot and heavy love affair going on with the space heater in the bathroom – he spends hours laying in front of it basking in the glow of it’s warm love.  And he is ours.  Correction, he is MINE.  He tolerates all others, expresses joy in other family members, but belongs heart, soul, and all 6lbs of devotion to ME.  My little Wilson.

If ever there is an ad campaign for owning a pet, for adopting one that is already grown,  it shouldn’t be a famous musician and a montage of sad starved abused animals, but a divorcee and her lonely bed and a dog whose current owner just doesn’t “get” him.  Because bringing Wilson and I together has been more delightful and fulfilling and life-saving than any other form of therapy or mediation.  We belong together, my little handful of dog and I.

I worry what his reaction will be to the impending baby…  I know he senses the pregnancy in whatever way dogs sense that.  He has been more protective,  more concerned in nature – but also very clingy.  I don’t feel he’ll be aggressive to the baby, only that he’ll feel left out, dismissed, displaced.  Like a true jealous sibling I expect I’ll need to give him extra attention, take him on all our walks, and even coach him through appropriate behavior.  I’m sure it will work out, like everything else in life things always work themselves out.


The 17th

If all calculations are correct (and, pfft, really? are they ever?) I believe this marks the beginning of my 17th week of pregnancy.  Huh.  That’s about all the reaction I can muster: a rather self satisfied-slash-bewildered-slash-shoulder shrug- kind of “huh”.

Though I still appear mostly in that weird stage of  “is she pregnant or just fat?” I can clearly feel my firm round baby-containing uterus rising up under my belly button, and can feel faint rolling/swooping movements when I lie very still in the early morning hours, and I”m definitely wearing ONLY maternity type clothing these days (as it appears that it’s not my belly that’s expanding so much as my hind end!) but the one thought that seems first and foremost in my mind these days (aside from money oh god money!) is this: What the Heck am I going to wear to my daughters wedding?

Nope, not a typo or a weird future projection, I mean the wedding of my 22 year old who is tying the knot at the end of March when I will likely be a large lumbering OLD pregnant lady… what will I wear THEN?

17 weeks now – my baby is a little tiny smidge of skinny alien-like fragility should I wear a dress?  My baby can wave it’s arms and legs freely and even might suck it’s thumb or should I wear pants?  I will have an ultrasound soon and find out if this baby is a boy or a girl and I wonder if I have to wear pantyhose and do they make maternity pantyhose?  I can’t believe how much weight I’ve already gained and oh geez I’ll never find anything to wear that is pretty if I keep gaining weight like this!  I’m so glad that I didn’t have any morning sickness should I wear a vee-neck to detract from my soooo round face or should I go with a square neckline?

Is it any wonder it’s hard to focus on work?

I can’t wait to be holding this baby in my arms… and to finally decide on what to wear to my daughters wedding.

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