Joy: Revisited For Mothers Day

*This was my first ever post, almost a year ago. It’s one of my favorites.*

As the lucky mother of a six-year-old son, I have had the great fortune of experiencing joy on a daily basis. This often happens during the most mundane and private moments of my life when I am least expecting it. And I am thankful every time.

Sitting on the pot and having small son fly into the bathroom with a Nerf gun shrieking “Gunfight, Mummy!” After the initial physical terror of being bombarded with soft projectiles in the midst of my morning constitutional and when my heart rate has slowed, I take a moment, and realize that having Son in my life has made even my toilet time a place where instead of being alone and bored, I now feel excitement. Also empathy for all our men in combat.

Having a bath and attacking the jungle that nature has given me for a bikini line, and in the middle of dangerous contortions with a razor, the young joy spreader flings open the door in all his urgency to share. The cute little look of horror and shock on his precious face as he looked at me and whispered “Mum, you cut your penis off.” Wow. Just, wow. I cannot describe what I felt looking at this little person and thinking of the adult he’ll become because of this moment. Almost breathtaking.

Giving the beautiful soul a kiss while he is sobbing. And with God’s perfect timing, having him sneeze a boat load of warm gooey snot at the exact second my mouth was aligned with his nose. Oh, the peals of laughter as he watched me gag and run for a towel! I knew then I had made his day.

Joy. Being a mother has opened me to joy. Plus a few nervous tics and a small drinking problem, but mostly joy.

Happy Mothers Day. Have fun!

Grade One For The Only

I feel like someone punched me in the heart.

How did this

become this?

Where has the time gone?

I am so happy for him to be able to go to school. See his friends. Have teachers that are excited to lead him. People I’ve gotten to know and trust. And I am grateful that my husband has a job that has allowed me to stay home with our son in these important years. Grateful I will be able to greet him at the end of his day and say “How was school?”

I am lucky. So is he.

But he’s our only. And this tough old duck has a lump in her throat the size of a basketball.

I’ve tried my best to be a mother, not a smother. I’ve had to set him free into the arms of the world and believe that he’d be okay.

We almost lost him twice before he was born, were told that if he did make it, he would be dead within three months at best. When I had him, he couldn’t breathe and his heartrate would’t stabilize. He was in the NICU for a week. After that, there was no way we’d try for another. Too scary.

We are lucky. I know.

I know I can’t stay at his school all day waiting for him. I know I can’t park out front with binoculars hoping for a glimpse. But Damnit, I’d sure like to!

Last year, I had this same feeling over kindergarten. My husband bought me this:

This year, I’ve enrolled in University and College. Yes. You read that right. And today, he bought me a laptop. It was that or another dog.

I’ll be okay. And my boy will soar. It’s all good. Right?

He just called me to his room. He can’t sleep cause he’s too excited.

Yeah, it’s all good.

Stubby

One of the tough parts of being an only child is the loneliness. We live in the country, and most of the kids in our subdivision are somewhere between nine and thirteen years old. My kid is six and a half. That’s a bit of an age difference, but boys can always seem to find a common play interest. Gotta bike? Cool, c’mon. Hockey stick? You’re in. Wanna see a dead gopher my Dad shot that the crows have eaten the eyeballs out of? DO I! It seems the movie ‘Stand By Me’ rings wholly true when it comes to boys. Anything gross, tricky or dangerous to the point just shy of death can bring them together regardless of age or economic standing. Just as long as you are not a cry baby. Then you suck.

The local boys have started to include my boy. He’s old enough now. And he doesn’t cry.

Great by me. But, they have to come here or be in my yard. I make them fries, give them juice. I don’t hover but am always within proximity. They are respectful, say please and thank you and clean up when they are done. I’m the mom in the ‘hood the others can trust.

My neighbour’s kid came over for a couple of hours. He’s twelve. His folks aren’t together, they work a lot, and he seems to have spent too much time with games and computers. I think he likes our family and he’s kind to my boy. He asked for some paper to play Dungeons and Dragons. I know it’s a fantasy game and I just assumed it was about dungeons and dragons. Apparently, I am stupid and do not know what those words mean.

When I went to tidy up, I found this:

What. The. Fuck?

First off, I  have to give this kid a shout out for artistic merit. This boy has one hell of an imagination, although, granted, a bit violent. Okay, really fucking violent but whatever. They were never alone and after this never will be. I don’t think he’s dangerous but I think he’s had free reign over the remote.

I want to go through this picture a bit.

First off, why is this rogue named ‘Stubby’? That’s not a scary name! Stubby’s the short guy from high school whose folks bought him a car so you’d hang out with him. He’s the guy who always had cash and beer. He’s the guy who took the leisure of an extra three years in grade ten just to get to the top of the social scene. Your parents always liked Stubby, even though they watched him.

‘Who drove you home?’ ‘Stubby.’

‘Who helped you clean the garage?’ ‘Stubby.’

‘Who drove your mom home from the bar?’ ‘Stubby.’

‘Who took your virginity?’ ‘Stubby. Oh, wait…’

Maybe Stubby does have a secret homicidal streak I’m just not aware of, but for chrissake! Look at him! He’s got a goddamn curling rock for a hat!!! That’s got to hurt. And piss a guy off.( The rock hat may explain the lack of stature. Those things are heavy!!!)

The immunity to ice? Wrong, wrong, wrong! NO ONE is immune to ice. Ice is awesome. Cools your drink, makes boo-boo’s better. If this kid thinks ice is a weapon, he needs my motherly touch more than I know.

The ‘shiv’.

I was 39 years old before I knew what a shiv was. I know, I’m sheltered. Every prison show I watched, when they talked about a shiv, I truly thought they were just saying knife wrong. I felt so sorry for the guards. I was all like, “Listen to them! They’re illiterate! They’re just making a guess at the word knife and fucking it up! So sad.” My husband finally explained it to me. I said something like, “Ohhhhhhh. I get it. Still doesn’t make sense, but I get it. Want a sandwich?”

Now I want a sandwich. I digress.

The order of the violent “talents” for this rogue ? All wrong. To be most effective, it should read like this:

1. Sap the guy. (To knock him down.)

2. Stab him. (So he doesn’t get back up.)

3. Backstab.(Only if he tries to get up.)

4. Double backstab.(Fuck me, why won’t this guy stay down HOLY JESUS! HE’S A ZOMBIE! I FUCKING KNEW IT WHEN HE WOULDN’T STAY DOWN!!!)

5. Agility.(Obviously. Jump fences, dodge cars to get away from said zombie.)

6. Thow shiv. (It can’t help you anymore. Don’t get weighed down.)

Where has common sense in kids gone?  If you are going to slaughter, do it right.

I always knew I’d find horrible things in son’s room one day, but I thought it’d be more along the lines of  garter snakes and dirty magazines. And yes, the neighbour kid needs me a lot more than I thought. He needs me to teach him what the words dungeon and dragon mean. He needs to learn it’s only okay to draw people like this only if they are going to kill zombies. He needs to learn a less angry, scary and stab-filled form of play.

To that end, today I bought a big puzzle for the boys to do. It has ducks on it. I may not be able to help him, but perhaps I’ll bore him to the point he won’t come over anymore. I’ll let you know how it goes.

I Live in the Shadow of Depression

I think one of the worst things I’ve done is to use my( kind of) real name on this blog. I have friends and family, madly reading away, many of them judging. And as I am a thinking feeling individual, who really doesn’t want my parents to hurt for any reason, now I wish I’d used a pseudonym. Because I want to be honest here. I want to be safe here. And yet I find myself censoring my words and trying to keep everything pretty and middle of the road, so you won’t feel the need to discuss it with my mother, who then phones me embarrassed because you’ve given her your unwanted opinion on my writing. So this is for you: If you feel in the least sensitive, don’t read it anymore. If you feel like you could do better, start your own blog. If you think I am only writing this for you, think again. And if you feel the need to comment to someone, comment to me, not my mother. Or fuck off. I really don’t care. And if you think I’m not doing your name justice, no one knows we’re related, and again, fuck off. You don’t own it.

This is mine. I own these words. This is my knowledge. This is not politics. I do not get paid to write this. This is creation. All of it is me. And today I am tired. Tired of hiding.

The gloves are off. The mask is off.

It’s time to talk honestly about that sneaky little bitch that is my depression. I’ve been toodling along, hiding all my shit in happiness and humour, and she has reared her ugly head and tried to cover me her blackness. My kid’s been gone a week, should be time for me to refresh, but as I’ve realized, yet again, my days are formless without him. I don’t have much to do, keep me going. He does indeed, give me a reason to live. I have to get this out. At times, I have been so depressed I’ve thought about ending it, just  not being anymore. It’s been that bad. There was a time in Montreal, where the tube rail looked so inviting. I started taking the bus. A time when I was with an abusive cop up north (more on that nightmare later) where I thought a bridge may do. Sometimes all I can do is weep. Like, for hours. In my head, all I’m telling myself is “It’s too hard. This is so hard.”  Mostly, like this week, I just feel apathetic and confused. And I want to hide. Not come out of my house. Not let anyone ‘know’.

Stupid. I guess now everyone knows. Well, okay. Good. Glad that’s out in the open. Phew. I am relieved.

So what I need to do is force myself out of my comfort zone as much as possible. If I have any advice for anyone else who is depressive, it’s just do one thing. Doesn’t matter what. A walk, clean house, see a friend. That one thing leads to more things. Keep doing them. Don’t sit there, like I do and get worse til it’s too difficult even to bathe. Do it. I am. 

I’m starting with yoga again tomorrow. You may not believe this, but I was one of those yoga bitches. Like heavy into last fall. Reading the Sutras, trying to learn Sanskrit(!) so I could become an instructor. And yes, I even did hand stands and arm balances. Proud! But, I fell off my mat. Haven’t been able to climb on yet. Depression does funny things. Strange part is, yoga helped. A lot. Took me out of my head. Took me to spirit. Not too sure why I quit.

But, I’ll start again where I am at. Ten pounds heavier, a bit sadder. I’ll get there.

I do all the other things I’m supposed to. I take my pills. I do what I can. But she is sneaky. This life is tricky business, happiness is even more so.

The mask, well, it’s off. No more hiding.

I’ll keep you posted.

Yo! Yoga! Here I come.

p.s. If you want to talk, contact me at lgmoffat@gmail.com. I’ll help as much as I can. I’ll listen. I know. And any advice, oh yeah, fire it my way!