Tag Archives: South Carolina

Fractured after spring break

Standard

Spring break, that silky oasis sandwiched between the crackling of ink-smeared paper flashed by during the first week of April. It was toward the end of March my 15-year-old son began acting like he’d been sweating in the gulag for 5 years and the only thing that would relieve his prison’s pressure was … sand, sun and sleep.

“I really need a break,” he moaned one day. He sounded like a 45-year-old CEO of an underwater company with a family to support.

My daughter in California and my son here in North Carolina both landed beach vacations this year, and both in South Carolina.

Myrtle Beach, SC Spring Break 2007

Myrtle Beach, SC Spring Break 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Different coastal town, different friends but still … there they were. Each was the guest of a generous friend as well. Sometimes things work out like that. Alone and with a move looming the house mocked me with its mess. Lucky for me the Dude was able to fly over and help organize the house a little. HRD waylaid her flight to join us for a few days after her vacation so she could save some mementos from the moving wrecking ball.

Our lives lurk in every corner of every room. I could easily be a hoarder and unfortunately I understand the initial drive that pushes people to accumulate junk. How can I throw away that block-lettered paper EJD wrote in second grade? Or the pictures he drew when he was 3 years old? What about the books I read to my kids when they were toddlers? I wouldn’t be saying good-bye to the books, I’d be throwing away the memory of their joy and our snuggling when reading.

That old camera box? Might need that. Cause someday I might want to mail something small and I might need its sturdy construction. I might find the matching earring laying unused on my dresser; those earrings used to look really good on me when I wore the black dress that no longer fits. I might forget how pretty I felt if I throw away my earring.

We had a garage sale while the Dude visited and one crawler brought her tiny son with her. He looked about 2 years old. I quietly went to our bookcase on the driveway and grabbed a favored book about an old woman on her birthday and all the relatives who come to see her. The little boy grabbed the book and carried it triumphantly. He couldn’t read yet, but at least for a second he loved that book and I hoped his mom would read it to him someday.

I need to realize my memories are not gone when my flotsam is gone. My kids seem better at saying good-bye to their stuff than I am, but their memories are not alive with such happiness, sadness or regret as mine. I guess it’s time to just carry all that inside me and not store it in physical form for eternity.

Advertisements

Pain is the new black

Standard

The interesting and artful disorder (some would just call it a mess) in my daughter’s room is shifting. Her yellow, pink and green walls are becoming more visible as I pull posters down, pack her books and cd’s and sweep away the dust. I can’t bear to remove the large posters of the mother animals kissing their babies, even now I tear up as I write. In one picture a long-necked giraffe mom bends down to nuzzle her new clothes-stick legged baby. The other picture is even larger – a close up of a baby elephant, so innocent, standing protected between its mother’s feet.

How dare my daughter grow up and leave me.

Mother and daughter, Urawa, Japan

Mother and daughter, Urawa, Japan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I met her at the airport recently as she stopped here in North Carolina on a trip from Los Angeles to South Carolina to visit a friend’s family. In the name of über security I couldn’t enter the airport so she walked to greet me and we hugged on the marked border of Exit and Enter. As we came together in our mother/daughter embrace our tears burst forth and wracked our faces and bodies. My bunny shook she cried so hard. I got to kiss her puffy cheek, my favorite thing to do with both my children.

Then it was over.

“Oh mom,” she said.

Oh, my sweet girl. Oh my walking heart.

The ever alert security fellow would not allow HRD to renter from whence she’d just come so she had to stand in line again for another sweep. Glad they are doing their jobs. But, oh gosh, my husband was one of the many who made it through airport security within the last year carrying a knife. He’d forgotten it was in his carry-on and even though his carry-on went through the X-ray machine and on to the plane it escaped everyone’s notice. Dude held the little knife up, amazed, when he got home.

“We should call the media,” I said.

TSA Passenger Screening

TSA Passenger Screening (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“I don’t want the attention,” he replied. Understandable in this world of competitive headline saturation.

So I, a mother who brought her identification, a print-out of her daughter’s itinerary, a letter from the government bearing her daughter’s name and our home address (the same address on my driver’s license) could not get a pass to enter the airport and eat breakfast with my older teenaged daughter.

There needs to be some sort of visitor security check-in line for people who don’t want to board a plane but want to visit with someone passing through, or just walk a close family member to a plane. Just one woman’s opinion but it’s a good one.

Meanwhile, the interesting assortment of flotsam in HRD’s room awaits. Usually I cry as I clean. It’s hard to raise your babies  – hug them, squeeze them, feed them and clean them – so they can leave. In the world no one will ever love our babies more than we do, no one will care so much about them in quite the same way. Give it up, give it over, let it go.

It’s really hard.