Have a dressed up day!

Monday, February 11, 2013


I wait until they are finished shopping for their dresses before I bite the bullet - because they make me- and shop for mine.

Yes, yes, yes, I was going to lose twenty pounds before the wedding and no, no, no I didn't.

I am not wanting to do this.  I don't remember ever needing such a fancy dress since the day I said I do.  Not that I don't want the dress or to look lovely on my baby girl's day - it's the process of finding the dress when gravity and chocolate have been living here for soooo long.

I just don't understand why they put fluorescent lighting in dressing rooms.  Why would a woman buy anything if it looks like her thighs were hit by a meteor shower?
                                                                                                        - quick, name that movie.

And I wish we were only talking about thighs here.
Yep, we women who know better and know our worth is not in our looks and teach our children to believe in themselves no matter what the mirror says are the same women who can't take our clothes off in the dressing room.  'Cause we all have our most hated body part, right?
Where did the captain hide his armies?
In his sleevies.
And the conversation with my girls goes something like this -
No, not that one.
No, not that one.
I can't wear that.
Look at these arms.  Seriously?
You know I'm not gonna wear that, don't you?
But they still manage to drag me into the dressing room with more choices than my armies can carry.
So, here I am.  In the dressing room with my daughter-bride. 
Mama, you don't have the right bra or the right underwear on.  It'll look better when you put some spanx on.
Spanx?  Who said anything about spanx? 
Then she walks over and grabs the top of my bra straps and pulls up - way, way up. 
See, you need some lift and then some spanx to suck it all in. 
Time to high-tail it out of there. 

Nope, didn't buy the mother of the bride gown that night.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Dearest Blubird,

It is New Year's Eve, around six, and we're getting ready our normal way - you sitting criss-cross applesauce at the hall mirror and me at the bathroom mirror. I'm in on another little secret - and you are not.

You walk to the doorway and flash that great big beautiful smile and tell me you are really trying not to get your hopes up because you don't want to be upset if he doesn't ask. You say you know he's not going to tonight, and you know he's trying hard to earn the money for the ring, but you were disappointed last year and you don't want to be this year. You are waving a brush around.

You laugh.

You say it all with that smile on your face. That little wall you build up. The one you have when you smile big so it doesn't look like it's a big deal but it really is.

I've got your number.

I say all the good motherly stuff. Like it will happen when it happens and time will fly and all that good stuff. You laugh again and wave the brush around.

I try to let enough time pass before I tell you to look pretty. Do your hair good and put make-up on 'cause I'm going to blog about the party and I want some good pictures. You don't really believe me about the blogging part with my track record and you say you just want to wear your sweats, but I insist on my pictures.

And I've seen your ring and it looks just like mine with silver instead of gold.

But I can't tell you that.

And I can't tell you he wanted to ask you on the ice but there's rain. And that he texted me earlier that he was nervous and I teased you might say no and he texted back quickly, WHAT? That he typed he is crazy about you and he'd probably be sweating by midnight.

That I commented on my future red-haired cajun grandbabies when he showed up at the door after he had talked to your daddy. When he showed up to ask me to give you to him.

Like that's ever gonna happen.

I'll only do what I'm required to do - no matter how much I love the fella' - and I'll never give any of you away.

You're just on loan - for a lifetime.

So you powder your nose and color those lips and I watch you walk out the door to your future - knowing you'll come home never the same.

Me, too.

Happy New Years Eve 2013 Blubird,

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


I thought it was morning and I had slept through the alarm and baby beau was here. 

When I heard the music of the phone it took me waking seconds to realize it was her song.  And there it was - in only the time it takes a heart to beat or a breath to leave - that knowledge.  That fear.  It comes so quick and it has come so often it surprises me that it startles anew each time.  But it does.  Startles me into awareness of fragile things. 

Her number was above 400 and I remain calm and we talk each other through a few moments while we wait for it to come down.
Can I tell you a secret? 
I used to practice staying calm.  When I was alone I would practice words out loud.  Rehearse the words that would assure her while I was near to a panic but practice out loud so she wouldn't see.

But I don't think it worked. 

I think she saw and sees through me.

It seems silly.  To practice staying calm. To sit in bed at night and practice words out loud because that was the only time quiet all day and I couldn't sleep anyway.

And I sit here tonight watching the clock tick time away.  Four more minutes before I can call again for the third fifteen minutes and see what sugar is.  Sugar.  What a strange word for what could take my child any day at any time.
Bring it down Jesus bring it down Jesus bring it down Jesus.

Two more minutes.

One more minute.

There's a little hole in the wall at the children's clinic.  Not very big, just big enough for a phone on a tiny shelf and a seat for mamas whose knees aren't holding.  He took me to it and told me to call her daddy so he could come.  And holding that phone, wetness between the receiver and my face, I said the word for the first time. 

And that began what was another first day of the rest of my life.

I just waited an extra four minutes.  Made myself keep typing while eyes kept shifting to that little clock at the corner of the screen and made myself believe she had fallen asleep and that is why her song wasn't playing.

And she had.  Number now 385 an hour later and why does it take so long to come down? 

I tell her I love her and she says I love you, Mama.  Instinct causes my other hand to reach for my phone as if I could touch her face through it.  Shouldn't a mama's touch heal?

I hang up and there it is.  That nagging little thought I fight to pray aside. 
Don't let it go too low Jesus don't let it go too low Jesus don't let it go too low Jesus.

Now I'll go to bed and resist the urge to call several more times and sleepless nights were easier when her head lay only feet from mine.

Thank you, Jesus, that she calls.  Thank you that she still needs me.  Thank you that I could call my mama right now if I needed to.  Thank you for each day of the last fourteen years and for the gift that is Delia.  I realize it.  I recognize it. And I thank you.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

When You Watch Their Moment Unfold . . .

I don't remember everything about my children clearly.  I don't remember the moment Delia was born and I don't remember her first steps.  I do remember how her finger curled around mine when she slept and how she ended all her first words on a high octave note - sing-song style. 

I planned her first birthday party for weeks, probably months.  She wasn't walking yet and when she held my finger and toddled in the room - birthday crown perched on top of that silk blondness - I think I felt like the most important person in the world - being her mama. Oh, the pride.

What followed were birthdays at the park and the pool and the western ranch and with each one I could close my eyes and remember how hair silk felt each time I tied ribbon.

But with all that goodness I will never need to ask her favorite birthday.  Because I love a man, so I know exactly what she would say.

Concerns are natural for a mama at a time like this.  It's not personal or protection or hovering or any of the adjectives one could give it.  It's just natural.  But there is something about harboring a secret that your baby love is moments away from experiencing one of the happiest moments of her life that pushes that back into the far corners of the mind.

Everyone was pretty much giddy all night trying to keep the secret.  Her birthday was celebrated in its normal grand style - at Nana's house side by side with whom she had always shared birthdays with.  Sometimes it's easy for her to forget he's her uncle because he's always her friend.  And to me, he's always ten.

With a Chick-fil-a diet coke and seeing a new house seperating her from us we all hid in the bushes.  Yes.  Yes. We. Did.  We hid in the bushes.  And I prayed.  In those moments I prayed for that young man I love that will be my son.  I watched him pace the deck and knew seconds must be feeling like minutes and minutes like hours and knew that he knew she'd say yes but what does that feel like?  To already have lost your heart but still feel it quickly beating while you wait to do what makes you a man?

And I knew she had been trying to wait patiently until the moment was perfect for him.  And I was in on this little secret and I tried not to close my eyes and feel the silk and tie the ribbon because I'm still not sure they know that tears don't always come because of what my darlins' are doing in the moment - tears sometimes come just because of the moment. No one understands bittersweet more than a Mama.

He made it lovely for her and I watched the moment unfold and didn't need to see her face to know her joy.

And in that moment there were no flashbacks of ribbons and crowns and candles and hair that felt like silk. 

For in that moment I was back to before baby girl.  I was sitting on the floor of my childhood home when laughter turned into the moment he pulled me close and asked words I didn't expect.  Back to when I laughed and asked him if he was serious.  Back to when I wasn't in on the secret and our moment was spontaneous and beautiful and I asked him to ask me again.  Back to when I said yes and kissed a smile I'll never forget and began a life that led me to here.

And here is beautiful.  And the pride, oh my.

Friday, February 1, 2013

When I Absolutely Must Travel Back In Time

I've really messed up.  I can blame it on this medication taken for over a year that I think has completely zapped me of my creativity. Found out today it's even been called the dumb pill.

But, whatever the reason whatever the cause my writing on this white space has suffered from a bad case of nothing.

I know how angry I'm going to be with myself, when I cannot look back on the planning of this wedding and the announcement of another and the police being called on my baby boy and not remember.  Though I doubt I'll forget the last one.

I'm going to be doing a little rewinding. 

He's Too Good To Me has a remote control the girls gave him for Christmas a few years ago that cost sixty dollars.  Be still my heart I remember thinking.  A sixty dollar remote?  But right now I'd pay whatever I could get my hands on for a remote that would rewind and fill this space for the last year.

So, I'm going to be doing a little rewinding.

Last night she stood in front of her daddy with the dress on.  All the altering done and the last payment made and the first time he had seen.  I felt his knee press against me a little bit but I dared not look his way.  Everytime she puts it on I pinch the bridge of my nose to stop the tears.  I tell them - Mamas just get teary sometimes, they don't have to have a reason. But there is a reason and it has wound itself around my heart.  I know this is the beginning of a new life and a new relationship and I'm so proud of her and happy for her and I do remember how it feels and I wouldn't take that feeling from her for the world - breathe - but where did the days go?

So I'll be rewinding to catch back the last six months.  Tomorrow it will be July and he'll be down on one knee.  Travel back with me, okay?  Hold my hand while I squeeze my nose - k?

Drawing of me losing my cool courtesy of budding artist, Izzy.

Have a dressed up day!

. . . put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Colossians 3:12