Friday, November 22, 2013

The picture above of Senator Kennedy was taken on October 16th, 1960 at the airport in Wilmington Delaware.  He was campaigning for the election he was just about to win that would make him the 35th President of the United States. 

Years before I knew the man in the picture was a Senator, a President, a Father a Husband or that he had been assassinated and certainly before I knew enough about him to decide whether I would have voted for him had I ever been given the chance, I only knew that he was what I considered to be a handsome man that for some reason would occasionally show up on magazines and in newspapers.  I asked my mother who he was and she told me.  She also told me his story in OUR history and made information readily available so that I might learn more about him on my own.  Like so many others, I became completely fascinated with him and all things Kennedy.  Not because I agreed or disagreed with his politics(I was far to young for any of this and not even studying Presidents in school) but because his family seemed to be the closest thing to royalty that we Americans had.  Charismatic, wealthy and attractive people that seem to have it all are often times people we admire and this family seemed to have it all.  I learned about his huge family, his rise into politics and his beautifully young and vibrant wife.  I also fell into fascination with her and their children.  Over the years I would read anything and everything I could get my hands on about the Kennedy family, their Camelot, their politics and the assassination of the 35th President of the United States.  Whether you agree with him, his politics or anything about him really, you should agree that the assassination of a President is a sad thing, a terrible thing and a failure for a country.  I remember being devastated at the thought of someone hating a person or their beliefs SO badly that they would be willing to kill them.  It just did not add up for me.  Maybe I was to young to comprehend but, this is when I first remember realizing that the world in which we lived was not always a wonderful place.

The story behind the picture

I was working for a Chemical company in research and development of Polymers.  I was traveling to visit chemical plants to watch the product I made go into scale up.  After a long morning in the plant I was to have a meeting with the plant manager.  I arrived early and he was not there so I sat and talked with his secretary for what was one of the most interesting conversations of my life.  I was walking around her office drinking a cup of chemical plant coffee (left ALOT to be desired) when I began to notice pictures of John Kennedy all over her wall.  She had pictures from so many different places and times in his life that it was like I was in a library or inside a book itself.  I came to a picture of a girl shaking the hand of Senator Kennedy.  She came up behind me and said, "That young girl is me."  I knew this was a story I wanted to hear.  We sat down at her desk and she pulled a folder out of her bottom drawer and we started to talk.  Together we riffled through pictures and newspaper clippings for well over an hour.  She looked at me and started telling me that she was the girl in the picture with him because she and several other girls from her class were chosen to present a globe to Senator Kennedy right before he made his speech.  She said they presented it to him on behalf of themselves, their school and the State of Delaware.  He thanked them and began his speech.  

The girls went to their seats and listened to him make his speech.  When he was finished he thanked and shook the hands of the necessary people and then walked over to the girls.  Her face lit up as she explained the rest.  She said, "He walked over to me, bent down and asked me if he could interview me back on the airplane."  "I was so shy and could not figure out why he would want to interview me but I was so excited that I do not remember the walk to the airplane."  She told me then that once they got to the airplane that Senator Kennedy told his staff, the press core and everyone else that he was going to interview this young lady and that he did not want to be interrupted.  They explained to him that if he took the time to speak with her that the remainder of the day would be thrown off and something would have to be moved.  He said, be that as it may, I am going to interview this young woman and I do not wish to be interrupted.  At this point in her story her eyes began to well up with tears.  She said, "He sat me down and asked me if I would like anything to drink."  "I told him no thank you."  She then said that he asked her questions about herself, her town, her school, what it was like to grow up there and wanted to know all about her family.  He asked her what she wanted to do when she grew up and if she had given any thoughts to college.  This is when she began to actually cry.  She said, "He sat with me for over 30 minutes and we just talked, we were the only ones in the room and I felt like the only person on the planet."  "This man, Senator Kennedy that was the husband of Jacqueline Kennedy and a busy father and politician who was running for President. Her voice weak and cracking, she said, "He took his time to interview me, without interruption or concern for anything else and I was not even old enough to vote for him."  Now we are both crying.  She then told me that he walked her back to where her class and the other girls were waiting, he shook her hand and told her it was a great pleasure to meet her and thanked her for taking time out of her day to speak with him.  He thanked the girls again and he turned and headed towards the airplane.  She said, "That was the greatest memory of my life and something I will never forget."  "It was 1960, I was 13 years old and he was elected President the next month."  

Her story continues, "I was in school three years later on November 22nd when he was killed and so many things for me stood still that day and have not yet moved."  "Like everyone else I cried."  "I cried for what felt like the loss of my moment, the loss of the President that I met before he was President, the loss of a husband, a father and the terrible loss for a country."  The next thing she said broke my heart and is something I think of each and every time I vote.  She said, "A piece of me stopped being an American that day and as a result of that, I have never voted and I never will."  I had tears rolling down my face and I was shaking from how spellbound I was at her story and how shaken she was at telling it 38 years later.  For her it was as if it was new and I was so touched by this.  I did not agree with her decision not to vote but I respected it.  The story finished with her telling me that many people over the years have disagreed with her regarding her decision not to vote.  She said, "I have never told anyone other than my husband, my children and now you why I made that decision."  She said, "I guess you CAN say that it is not only my right but my civic duty to vote, but there is nothing civic about the assassination of a President and he was my President and I still want no part of any of it."  

I asked her why she decided to tell me the story when she barley knew me.  She said,  "Because when I saw you looking at those pictures I could see the wonder and the fascination in your eyes and in your body language and it reminded me of how I felt."  "I thought you would be interested to know and I guess I sort of felt like talking about it."  She then reached into the folder and handed me the picture above.  "Would you like to have this, it is an actual picture taken from that day?"  I was so touched that all I could do was take a deep breath and try to push back tears as I nodded yes.  I have this picture in a frame in a small room like a library inside my house.  It sits on a shelf with books by passed Presidents, books about Presidents and countless books about The Kennedy family and Jacqueline Kennedy.  To date, I still am not sure what kind of President I think he was or would have been but I know he should not have been taken from this earth in the time or the manner in which he was.

“Don’t let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief shining moment that was known as Camelot.”

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

OK bitches, I retired early

I am no longer working

Maybe now....

I can take up twerking?

A needed break in my career

I am a stay at home mom

I can finally sleep late

It is gonna be THA BOMB

Its gonna be G R E A T!  I’ll bake cookies

And volunteer in their class

Then a friend reminds me

Other kids are a pain in the ass.

Quickly learning rest is for the wicked

And the righteous don’t need it

my yard needs work….

Maybe I will try to seed it?!?!

So I gave up my job

And fired my maid

I am going to clean, work out and diet

Be a shadow of what I once weighed

Hmmm mmmm free time for me

That ain’t right

It takes more than one mommy

To keep a house tight!

I have never worked harder

Or worked for less dollars

But they tell me it is rewarding

To be raising a couple of scholars.

Who the hell are THEY

Sister wives no doubt

Cause there is no other way

To bust all this shit OUT!

Rewarding it is

So not to be lessened or diminished

But nothing ever seems

To be completed.  Done.  Finished.

The clock goes off

Let the whining begin

Boom!  I am on trial

I feel like Ann Boleyn

They go for the jugular

Fresh out of bed

No visions of sugarplums

Up in THEIR heads!

Turn off the lights NOW mommy

It is just too bright

Who made them vampires

In the middle of the night!

My cereal is soggy

Make me pancakes instead!!

It is only soggy cause you’ve been bitching

Since you crawled out of bed!?!?!

I have nothing to wear

Can you PLEASE wash some clothes???

If I don’t get these czars out of my house

It’s gon come to blows.

It is STILL TOO bright mommy

SWEETIE, I need the light to make lunches

Yea well you SHOULD make them at night

Damn girl child is throwing low punches!

Really? Starting tomorrow

You can make them yourself!

Cause my ass is TIRED

Of playing the lunch elf!

Great start to the day

Hugs and kisses at the door

Can y'all get the hell out please?

I gotta mop the floor!

Why do we bother?

Because once they come back

They whole entire house

Will be a dirt track.

I sit to have coffee

Maybe it will warm my black heart

Damn this morning was awful

Can I get a fresh start?

Speaking of start

I have a date with the laundry

Wash clothes or clean bathrooms

My my, what a quandary!

                                                              (what people think we look like)

(what we actually look like)

I feel like Cinderella

But look more like Maxine

There is a pile on the island

Containing 4 new magazines

Who has time to read?

This place is a mess

I go to the pantry

And begin to assess

The damage done there

By the pillage and plunder

Of kids after school

Who roll in like thunder.

When they come home they are starving

And grunt like cavemen

Sigh, I could use a wife like me

Every now and then.

I sit for a second

In my chair that rocks

What is that smell??

Damn, the litter box!

Clean that box of nasty

So it’s fresh for the cat

I can tell you right NOW

Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Off to the store

Then back to pay bills

I am organizing this hizzle

With all my mad skillz!

In a  flurry of activity

The school calls, how nice

Stop what you are doing

We have a breakout of LICE!

Oh hell NO…!

We had those last year!!

If everyone THERE has them

Why bring them HERE?!?!?!

Oh yea, damn they are mine

I gotta go pick um up.

still drinking coffee

but now there is scotch in my cup!

Nothing strikes fear

In the heart of a mommy

Like the words HEAD LICE!!!

Seriously, I would prefer a tsunami!

The things you must do now

Make you cry, cuss and frown

I swear it would be easier

To just burn your house down!

Now washing blankets, stuffed animals

Bedding, pillows and hair

I find myself sniveling, catatonic

And babbling the Lords prayer.

My poor kids are clean now

But have been put through the ringer

I think they finally understand

Why mommy is a drinker.

I am tired and hungry

Bedraggled and wet

My knuckles are bleeding

Is this day over yet?

Now chance! onto dinner

Can we please just eat cake?

Seriously??  With all this drama??

Do you think I had time to bake?

This is all in a day

And it doesn’t come close

To being anywhere near over

And it is just one fifth of the dose.

There are five of these suckers

A whole damn week

Being a stay at home mom

Is not for the meek.

This shit is serious

Always something to do

I need to find another job

Before I become a shrew.

The worst of the story

And much to my horror

I have to wake up

And do it again tomorrow.

You will get into your groove

That is what my friends say

What I NEED is a friend

With cigarettes and an ashtray!

I don’t even smoke

But I swear it sounds good

I would smoke one as long as my arm

Right now if I could!

After dinner its bath time

Then books and to bed

Would y’all stop messing around

And just do as I said?

please go to sleep

because tomorrow comes early

Don’t you want mommy happy

Instead of surly?

Some time before dawn

My husband arrives

Says how was your day dear?

Looks like you survived.

I start from the beginning

Imma tell him the whole story

Wait, what is that noise??

Hhmmff that motha fucka is snoring!

I will follow my own damn advice

And just go to sleep

Then in the morning start on the laundry

That is still in a heap.

SAHM for a few days

And my ass is ready to drop

To all stay at home moms…

You got it, props!

The next one to ask “What do y'all do all day,

Meet friends and have lunch”??????

Gets a kick in the nads

And a massive throat punch!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The shitter is full Clark!

Watching TV late one Sunday night my daughter comes downstairs and into the den. She points to her tummy and says, “mommy my tummy hurts right here!”  Figuring it was an attempt to stay up and read I told her to just go get into my bed and when I came to bed I would move her back to her room.  Satisfied because sleeping in mommy and daddy’s bed is always a win, she scampered off to my bed.  Approximately 30 minutes later I went into the kitchen for some water.  I leaned over to the left to look around the refrigerator because I could see into my room and I wanted to check on her without bothering her. 

I heard her cough.

Now, as a mommy you KNOW to well the sounds your child makes in the night and you know the distinction between all of them. Enter the part where I kind of wish I could sleep like the daddy sleeps.  You know, that kind of sleep where a bomb could go off next to his head and he would never be the wiser?  I swear the hate I feel towards my husband because of how hard he sleeps is purely unnatural.  I could change the sheets around him and redecorate the entire room with him sleeping and he would have no clue until morning.  Not the most comforting of feelings but as his wife this is just one of the crosses I bear.  J

So this cough did not sound like a normal cough.  It sounding like a holy shit she is holding something down cough.  I walked to the bedroom and floundering for the light on the wall while my eyes were also adjusting, I could see that she was sitting up.  Right before I found the light she said, mommy I think I am going to, so I moved to the light by the bed and as I touched it she puked, Linda Blair style.

Trying faster to turn the light on she puked again, and again.  At this point I only needed to turn the light on so I could see where NOT to walk when I moved her to the bathroom.  When I did turn the light on, OH MY DAMN!  Poor little thing looked like a human blueberry pie sitting in the middle of my bed!  Why is it that every time my house gets sick, the adults have had something with meat sauce and the children have overdosed on blueberries?!?!?!?!  This child, my girl child does nothing that is just sufficient, she is the mistress of all she surveys.  When she does something it is 110%.  Poor thing had thrown up all over herself, the sheets (white sheets) the down comforter (white comforter) and the duvet folded at the foot of the bed. (White with red flowers that now had a bit of a patriotic look to it).  She hit the nightstand, the lamp, the side of the bed, the wall beside the bed, my favorite rug on the floor and she had covered me from lip to knees.  The look on her face was a cross between motherfuckingsonofabitch and mommy please make it stop!  I picked her up and carried her to the bathroom while screaming my husbands name at the top of my lungs.  Even though he sleeps like a daddy, when he is awake and I scream like a crazed Indian he hears like a mommy.  He came flying in, quickly assessed the situation and started cleaning it up.  I was in the bathroom with the girl child reenacting scenes from the Exorcist but with blueberries.  Daddy got the bed changed and the room all clean just in time for round 2.  Another set of 1000 thread count sheets bites the dust.  This is pretty much how the rest of the night went.  We washed load upon load of bedding, sheets and towels.  She was sick a few times the next day but seemed to have the worst of it out of her and rested somewhat peacefully.  I as the nurse maid and mommy did not sleep AT ALL.  Also as a mommy I would not have it any other way for reasons all mommies know without explanation.  The next morning my husband came in, looked at me and asked the words equivalent to him taking the bullet for the day.  I told him no, go to work I got this and it will all pass soon.  The look that went between us next was one much like the scene in Indiana Jones when the bridge was about to be cut down and the kid said, “hold on lady, we goin for a ride!!!”  The feeling we both had was like being at the top of a roller coaster you were scared shitless to get on anyway and knowing you were about to plunge down the drop and there was nothing you could do to reverse it.  You had to just ride it out.  See, in our family the girl child is the bulletproof one.  We can all be sick with the plague of biblical proportions, locusts and frogs flying about and ALL and she will breeze through unscathed and never suffer the first symptom.  We can be puking our heads off and she is just eyeballing us with disdain, pondering the joys of living with another family, one that actually has good intestinal fortitude.  Her being the first one to go down is a game changer.  It means the rest of us are screwed and it is just a matter of time! Yep we were officially in the eye of the hurricane.

                                              The Calm


                                       The Storm

Monday was hell.  Tuesday was better with some symptoms (but no real sleep yet for the mommy) and the girl decided she felt well enough to go to school on Wednesday.  We all woke up Wednesday morning and were easing through the morning rituals as normal.  Just then the boy comes up to me and says, “mommy my tummy hurts right here.”  My husband looked at me but this time offered no bullet taking words.  I almost started to cry out of shear exhaustion!  I quickly put him in my bed and started preparing the house for the next onslaught of pukefest 2013!  I knew I had about a half an hour before all hell broke loose.  The range of emotion was off the charts.  I was tired, happy the girl felt better, irritated that having a uterus meant I had to be the one to take care of all this, worried about the boy getting sick, wondering when it was going to hit me, feverishly making sure all the sheets and towels were clean because God knows I was going to need them and checking the pantry for supplies that would ultimately not matter anyway because none of them stayed down!

5 minutes before 8am, my husband left for work and at  2 minutes after 8am the boy started puking.  It was much the same as his sister did for about 3 hours and then HE raised the bar.  Sweet Mary Mother of God he raised the bar and I helped.  I changed the first set of sheets and settled in beside him.  I was tired and feeling weak from lack of sleep and he seemed like he may have a break in the action so maybe we could both rest.  WRONG.  He sat up in the bed and in a tired and sickly voice said, MOMMYYY it is coming and I don’t think I am going to be able to trust my farts anymore.”  I was SO shocked that this, coming from a 7 year old did not even make me giggle.  I got up, scooped him up and headed for the bathroom.  Half way there he started exploding and I mean EXPLODING from both ends of his body.  He threw up and it looked like a fountain…tasted like stomach acid (for any who were wondering if it hit me in the face) and what came out of the business end of this kid was thick, hot and smelled like major sickness and was all over him and running down my arms and legs.  I mean that shit did not even smell normal.  What could be IN this beautiful child causing THAT???   The rest of what happened that day was none other than epic! 

Holding a child in my arms spewing nastiness out of both ends of his body and quickly trying to make it to the bathroom to clean both of us up, I slip up in the slimy mess and fall with him.  Not a good moment as a mommy let me tell you.  I finally get there and sit down on the edge of the tub with him in my arms.  I lean over to turn on the water so I can clean him/us up and when I do…. NO WATER!!!  It spits and sputters like a smoker with bronchitis and then there was dead silence.  Screaming, YOU HAVE GOT TO BE FRICKIN KIDDING ME????  I set him down on the toilet.  He poops and throws up all over himself (and the bathroom) while I try to figure out what is wrong.  I know my bills are paid so let me go call the water company and figure out what the hell is going on.  I do so and am immediately given the particulars of a water main break in my area with a 6-hour window of when it will be fixed!!  OMG you are kidding me.  Feeling flush I sit on the edge of the bed and as I am looking around the war zone I realize…oh holy hell, mommies tummy doesn’t feel so good right hererererererere!  I make a mad dash to the bathroom and proceed to destroy the tub because the boy is still sitting on the toilet!


Yep you guessed it! It is coming out of both ends now and the only way I can accommodate this level of hell is by getting into the tub!  The pain was unbelievable and I was pretty sure my ass was on fire!!!   I look over at my son still sitting on the toilet with his head in his hands, now I start to laugh, HARD!  Through tears he asks me what I am laughing about because clearly this shit is no laughing matter.  I tell him that sometimes the kind of luck we have just makes me laugh and that no one is going to believe this is actually happening to us.  He, 7 years old, through tears, shitting and puking his little brains out says, well knock it off MOMMY because it IS happening and it IS NOT funny.  I agree and continue on with the episodes until there is a break in which I can get up and get some towels.  I flush the toilet but have nothing to clean him up with.  What the HELL am I going to do???  I start smuggling towels out of the closet like a Colombian drug lord!  I grab a towel and run upstairs to the other bathroom.  I was going to put the towel into the tank of the toilet and suck up as much of that water as I could.  Nice try home fly because all the jostling around made me sick and I destroyed that toilet twice and used up all the water in the tank to get rid of it! 

When I was able to move I crawled downstairs to remove my son from the toilet. I wiped him down as best I could and placed him in bed and laid down beside him for a little bit.  My sweet mom was texting because she was worried and felt terrible that she was in another city while I was home dealing with this.  She got sick of texting so she called.  When she heard my voice she began to cry and said, oh honey please throw that baby in the car and come here so I can help you.  I did not even have the energy to lift my head and she was asking me to move him, clean us up with no water and drive for 1 hour and 45 minutes?!?!?!?  The only thing I could muster to say that would let her know how dire the situation was that I was in was, “Mother, how do you want me to drive...FOR GOD SAKE, WE ARE NOT WEARING PANTS!!!!!!”  She quietly said, “oh” and that pretty much summed it up!!  We spent the next hour racing each other to the bathroom turned Turkish prison.  Think escape tunnel used by Andy Dufresne in The shawshank Redemption!  When you crash landed into this bathroom IF all you had to do was shit, the appearance and the shear volume of puke and excrement combined with the smell would drive you to puking! Turrible just turrible!!  Let me just tell you that the competitive edge I developed due to having to race my son to the shitter for part of an afternoon and losing to him still haunts me today.  But worse, what also haunts me is that the images he saw what he considers to be his perfect mother doing that day, will cause him to need extensive therapy at some point in his life when the flashbacks arrive!

This bullshit continued for a couple of hours and in the process I threw away no less than 15 towels, 3 sets of sheets and boiled down the only two bags of ice I had just to have enough water to clean up self and child (and that clean up job would win me a visit from social services for sure).  At this point we were lying on beach towels draped over plastic mattress covers.  No energy, keeping nothing in and every toilet in the house was full and gross, every trash can was full and I was saving 5 towels just in case we got sick again or so we would have something to clean up with if the fucking water ever came back on.  I am not kidding at all when I say that the sick bay section of my house would have given a Turkish prison a run for its money.   

At exactly 4pm I went into the bathroom and prayed as I turned on the faucet.  The water came on it actually came on!!!  I cleaned the tub and then scooped up my son and took a shower with him so that we could both be clean..Best shower EVER!!!  After putting him back to bed, it took me 30 minutes to clean the bathroom from top to bottom.  It took me equally as long to clean the bedroom and in an additional 15 minutes we had clean sheets.  I am pretty sure that I ruined all my taste buds and the possibility to ever smell properly because I used two bottles of Clorox.  I think I also rid myself of fingerprints but who the hell cares, at least the house smelled like something other than shit and puke.  I crawled back into bed with my son and fell immediately to sleep.  We were so sick and there was so much going on that I didn’t even think to call my husband for help for several hours.  When I did think of calling for help I decided against it because I knew if I called him he would rush home and that would put him at risk of getting sick also and dammit I needed him to take care of me tonight.  He also runs the risk of infecting a ton of people that also have kids given his I left him alone.  No sleep since Sunday night at 11:30, no food or drink and I was worn OUT.  I did not need another wounded soldier on my hands.  Not to mention that I DID NOT want him to see what the house looked like because Jesus Mary and Joseph it was something I have never seen in a movie!

He got home shortly after 6pm and brought us a coke then kissed me on the forehead, closed the door and left us alone.  I had posted a bit onto Facebook in the beginning of this debacle but then had only communicated with my mother via text and phone.  He read Facebook and then called my mother who filled him in of all the happenings.  He came in and with tears in his eyes said, “OH MY GOD, I had no idea what you were going through…why didn’t you call me honey I could have at least brought you some damn water????”  I leaned up and looked at him and whispered, “I needed you well and wanted to spare you the disgusting way this house looked…trust me if you don't get this, you will thank me.”  He shook his head and left the room.

We woke up the next morning with high fevers and stayed in bed all day and night.  By Friday we were able to eat toast and realized that not only would we live, we actually wanted to.  My daughter was well, my husband never got sick and my son and I still shiver and shake when we talk about that day. 

So now when my friends talk tongue in cheek about winning the mommy of the year award I just think to myself, look bitches here is what it takes to win that prestigious award.  Puke on yourself, puke on your sons head, puke in the tub, shit in the tub, shit in the bed.  Shit in the floor getting out of bed on the way to the tub.  Race your son to the bathroom because neither of you can trust a fart, shit in the floor, slip and fall in the shit and still lose to your 7 year old son.  Wipe your face with the same towel you have wiped your ass with.  Do the same to your son. Crawl on your hands and knees cleaning up after your son who not only has watched YOU his mother do all the things listed above but done them himself and with more grace than YOU his mother did.  Live without water for 5 hours during the stomach virus of all viruses.  When you can say you have done all this then you can say you have won the mommy of the year award.  Until then, quit fucking whining cause I shored that sucker up in one week!