Monday, January 30, 2017

letters to myself from the before time

  I am very excited to have moved. To provide a fresh start for my children is a godsend, but i am still struggling. Packing up the contents of a house that welcomed your babes home from the hospital, celebrated birthdays, anniversaries, lost teeth, little marks on the wooden trim paying homage to the bitterweetness of time and the growth of your children has proven to be very difficult. Although I have been divorced for years now, it wasn't final until the pictures were put in a box that won't be opened for decades to daughter wasn't officially a middle schooler until the last forgotten stuffed animal and sweet little flowery toddler dress was shipped off to the goodwill. So many ghosts in every corner that must be celebrated or mourned and sent on their way, not to be allowed in the boxes that will decorate the new shelves. We have laughed about the good times, and been brave about the bad ones, but it has been hard on all of us. Zane asked why, if there are ghosts and an afterlife, we can't remember our past lives. As I was packing up baby books enscripted with well wishes from loved ones who are no longer with us, written to babies who are now much tougher little adults, I answered that sometimes the experiences of life, the good and the bad, are just so intense that we might not have the heart to go through it all again if we could remember.

Here's to new beginnings...

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

  I have always wanted to punch people in the throat who say that happiness is a choice. It took me 39 years to succumb to that philosophy. You see, I have this nasty, hissing, hateful voice in my head that tells me, " Not today, Erin. Today you are weak, worthless, hideous. Today you are a failure and you should review each and every one of your shortcomings and hate yourself for them." The guy in my head is a real asshole. Some days he wins. Some days i can barely get out of bed. I don't answer my phone, i hate everyone for existing and doing it better than me. I avoid the mirror so I don't have to see all of the years that I wasted making bad decisions. Like I said, that guy in my head is a dick. Some days, however, I tell him to fuck right off. Out loud, fuck you, go back to your demon's lair and fuck with someone else.
  These are the days that i choose to see the light instead of the dark. My teenager is wearing her makeup like Divine? Let me take a picture so we can have something to laugh about in 5 years. My son looks like he combed his hair with a piece of fried chicken and we're late for school? Fuck it. Let me take a picture so we can go over it again when your balls drop. And those mornings when my baby squeals with joy as he finger paints his crib with poop? I can hardly wait to tell this story at every family gathering from here until I die. On these days I look in the mirror and am pretty impressed that this girl survived. Her body made 3 brand new humans, her heart still loves, and if you squint just right and dim the lights, she's still kinda smokin'.
 I am learning to savor the days. The tiny spaces in between the chaos. I have learned the importance of forgiving myself and everyone else, because all of us are just trying. Some more than others, but we're all paddling up the same shit creek. I have learned the joy that can be had in cooking a meal for someone you love, or having a stiff drink and a hard laugh with someone who has the same battle scars. I have learned that love doesn't always work out. That those halcyon days of new love are as precious as life itself, but they don't last forever. Love is the hardest thing i've ever attempted, and I have mostly failed miserably at it. I am learning that the reward of it is in the struggle. It is the resin that holds you together when you have to move mountains for one another. If you find yourself with a person who's resin doesn't stick, leave them and move your own mountains, and at the end of the day, look around at the space you have carved out for yourself, and take a moment to be thankful for it, because it can all be taken away in a beat of a heart.

Saturday, August 24, 2013


give the knife another twist
grinding in my back
 instead of sliding down your wrist
…and show me how you really feel.

hold my head underneath the waves
not letting go until
that  jesus saves
…and then set me free

wrap your hands around my neck
and watch my eyes bulge from my skull
loosening your grip just as
 the color
 in my face
begins to dull
…and then leave me be

these are the ways of love, you see
these are the ways you care for me




Sunday, February 12, 2012

the incredible, edible egg

Last night I passed the “biggest balls in the family” torch to my 6 year old son. I did so with a beaming sense of pride, but it was accompanied by that tinge of fear you get when you know you are about to be served. It's similar to the feeling I got when I went back to school at 33 and realized I still had a VHS and records, and these kids were talking into little ear robots between classes. Or the feeling a momma monkey gets the first time she sees her little monkey boy nestled up in the lap of another monkey girl, eating the mites out of each others' back hair. proud because that is one hot, bug-laden monkey girl, but sad because her baby is growing up, and she is getting left in the dirts of time.
One of our favorite things to do as a family is to visit the huge saigon asian market and shop for new adventures in dinner. We have 2 rules: we have to try a new drink and drink it all (yes, even if it has those nasty jelly grass things in it that taste like squid eyes), and we have to try something new that is definitely going to suck. we found curries and sauces and veggies and spices that made our mouths water with anticipation. We picked out our drinks like champs and choked down the nastiness that seems to be squiggling in all of them (what is up with the JELLY fascination?!) We made plans to return to buy the shiny, red, plasticine looking smoked duck that was staring down at us from his lofty meat hook, and then we decided to try the preserved and salted duck eggs. The ingredient listed “eggs and salt”. How bad could it be? I put a six pack of them in the cart, beautifully wrapped in red and gold foils, and we set off back home to create our masterpiece.
Let me preface this next part by saying that I will eat ANYTHING once. Chittlins at a chicago thanksgiving...done. Pig's feet at a friends mom's house for dinner...choked it down. Alligator and rattlesnake are child's play, and I dream of eating guinea pig in paraguay. That being said, these eggs were just on another level. I can only describe the taste as “imagine you were on dauphin island in august, and a hard boiled egg washed up on shore, which you then dug out of the pile of sun baked seaweed and sand, and popped it in your mouth. No rinsing allowed.” I immediately blew my chunk in the trashcan and dry heaved, temporarily hating all things asian. (I soon got over that, but not the unnatural affection for all things gelatinous OR brightly painted honda lowriders. You can't make me.) Seeing agony and anguish on my face has always brought euphoria inducing joy to the hearts of my children, and at the same time brings out zane's uncanny need to one up me. Without even asking me if that was blood I was puking up, he popped the very large remainder of the algae colored egg in his mouth, and went to masticating... BALLS... There were tears, and a few moments when his frantically darting eyes told me I might need to break out the mop momentarily, but, out of sheer competitive glory, he made that golf ball sized, rancid, salty, jelly-bag-of-an-egg his bitch, and I have no doubt of his ability to roll with all of life's punches from here on out. (I still have 5 left, if anyone wants to contend for the “balls” torch.)

squid mom zombie talk

For several years now, I have had some requests to start my own blog. I have always blown it off as false flattery, but recently all that all changed. I had a comment on facebook from a person who thought i aired too much of my family laundry, and this morning I woke up with the sun with one thing on my can I continue to do this in a bigger forum? How can I reach even more people and offend them with my inane day to day goings on? So here it is, folks. I'll try to explain the importance of this in a very long, drawn out, completely off the mark way. Bear with me.
When my kids were still in larval form, entirely too young for nice gifts, my mom began sending those awesome $50 pop up books for all occasions. The kind you so hopefully label as an heirloom, with visions of it living on forever in the long line of awesome mom's you will create. Our favorite one by far had pictures of animals on every page, but was split in the middle, so the tops and bottoms of different creatures could be morphed with the tops and bottoms of others. The joys of seeing your 9 month old when they first create a crabtopus, or octorus, is truly joyful, and, coincidentally, began our life long fascination with name morphing.
this book was also one of my first brushes with death. You see, before you have kids, you are invincible. You can stay out all night riding an eight ball and slurping down rusty nails. You can show up for work , ON TIME, fueled with krystal's and gas station coffee, and you can do it in the same eyelashes you had on the night before. Then you can wash, rinse repeat, and refill the 10 gallon bowl of cat food in the middle of the kitchen floor before you head out to do it again. Nothing can slow your roll. Then, in an instant, that 18 hour, painkiller free, only-time-in-your-life-you-ever-consciously-decided-to-stay-sober instant, when you bowels are being ripped open and strewn on the operating room floor...that moment when a tiny, blue, uterine cheese covered, taker-of--all -things- financial, pterodactyl-like-screaming CHILD OF PERFECTION finally rips through your never-to-be-the-same-vagina (is there anyone else in this ward that feels the need to fist me? Cuz I am about to go ninja on aaaaalll ya'll) begin to die. Your heart begins to feel things you never thought possible, and you develop the ability to assign greatness to the most insignificant of actions, all at the same time blaming yourself for all that is bad in the world. You see, that book that really belonged to my great grand kids, got taken into the bathtub, and drawn on by hidden markers under the bed, squoctopus was secretly taped together the wrong way when I wasn't looking. It got smeared with pb&j and boogers, it got slept with and drooled on. It was supposed to sit on the shelf with back lighting, and be taken down at supervised bed readings. It was supposed to last as a testament to how great childhood was. But instead, it got shredded and ripped and used up for everything it was got loved. And every time I realize how off the mark my intentions are, and how much I am truly pulling this parenthood thing out of my ass, I die a little. So this blog will be a testament to all things that are killing me. Killing me gloriously...with love. And if all goes right, it will be peppered with farts, and shit talkin', and zane's wiener jokes.