The Reminders

October 26, 2011 - One Response

A few notes:

“Write what you know,” they say. I am knee-deep in motherhood and I seem to have a lot to say. Still, I am more than a mother. I’m waiting for that other voice to creep forth. Until then my daughter is an endless muse.

NaNoWriMo is almost here. I’ve thought about participating in the past, but life always got in the way. Writing a 50,000 word novel in one month—that’s approximately 1,666 words a day—doesn’t sound fun to me. But it does sound like a goal I’d be proud of finishing. The mental debate continues…

The writing community is amazingly open and inviting. I love that.

My daughter will be turning one in less than two weeks, and I’m having a hard time wrapping my mind around it. Let alone writing anything worthy.

Did I mention NaNoWriMo?

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The Costume

October 25, 2011 - 14 Responses

I didn’t have a store bought costume. I wasn’t dressed as a princess. I stood out, and I didn’t want to be different. I wanted to slink around meowing in a leotard or cackle funny in a tall, black, pointed hat.

There was a school parade for all the elementary kids, and everyone would see me in my orange fuzzy legs and wide rounded butt. They would stare at my white, downy body and made-to-squawk beak. A pink shirt and matching purple shoes and bow meant nothing to me. A duck is still a duck no matter what you dress her as, and Daisy Duck was the wrong Disney Princess.

My Grandma had made the costume for me. She was a maid here, but in El Salvador she had been a talented seamstress. Both jobs paid low, but she spoiled me with what she could; and she could sew anything she thought of or anything she was asked to. I don’t know if the Daisy Duck costume was my idea or her own invention. It’s possible I wanted to be Donald’s perky and saucy wife. But I changed my mind, embarrassed and defeated by homemade couture.

I put the outfit on and my teacher told me she loved it. My best friend said it was cute. I couldn’t hear them. That Halloween day I was a third grader wanting desperately to fit in. Even though I had liked it at home, I couldn’t bring myself to wear it. I took it off.

Now I appreciate the unique and search out the one-of-a-kind. I wish I had held my head high as Daisy Duck. I wish there were pictures.

My grandmother passed away two years ago, three months before I found out I was pregnant. She will never meet her first great-granddaughter or spoil her with dresses and outfits. But she left me with an understanding of the heart that goes into the handcrafted. And she left my mom with her sewing skills and creativity. My daughter already has a closet full of homemade and a Halloween costume sewn by her grandma. This year, she’s dressing up as Snow White.

Today I’m linking up to RemembeRed, a memoir meme for Write on Edge. The prompt this week was to write about a memorable Halloween costume in 400 words.

Write on Edge: RemembeRED

The Vent

October 24, 2011 - 2 Responses

Nursing isn’t natural,
I don’t care what they say.
Nursing isn’t natural,
Though they shove it in my face.
My boobies hurt, they’re sore all day, my shirt is soaked down front.
Nursing just ‘aint natural,
Nipples aren’t designed to chafe.

Nursing isn’t natural,
With this leechling on for hours.
Nursing isn’t natural,
Leaving me no time for showers.
My bra don’t fit, I want a beer, but no alcohol for me.
Nursing can’t be natural,
And believe me I’m no coward.

Nursing isn’t natural,
Lactation is such a stupid word.
Nursing isn’t natural,
My breast size is absurd.
It isn’t fun, but nonetheless when I look down at babe.
Nursing don’t come natural,
But I’ll keep going just for her.

There are some women whose nursing experience is positive from day one. I am not that woman. Nursing my baby was hard. I took it day by day, and it wan’t until three months had passed that it started getting easier. Now I can pop a cover on and feed her wherever, whenever. But I still remember those days of frustration and crying—exhaustion and pain.

The me now would love to go back and give the me then a hug. Instead I wrote this poem, poking fun at myself and injecting humor into a situation that wasn’t funny at the time. I don’t write poetry, or even read it much, and I know my style is juvenile. What can I say, I’ve read a lot of Shel Silverstein (my stab at poetry does not compare.)

The Journey

October 23, 2011 - 4 Responses

I am from arroz con leche, the creamy and sweet milk dessert that could replace ambrosia as the food for you-know-who. From Royal Dansk Danish cookies in the blue tin for Christmas and Micheal Jackson records danced to behind locked doors.

I am from telenovelas and a bar where everybody knew my name, both languages lacing together and peppering my vocabulary. From many houses turned into many homes, always with the same TV background noise.

I am from purple honeysuckle and sour grasses, the sweet and bitter tastes often co-mingling on my tongue.

I am from a long line of strong women who loved loudly and gave their all to their children. I am from my abuelita Digna and great grandmother Mama Lola, but most of all from my own enduring mama.

From being loved as high as the sky and as big as the world; and from spankings designed to give me something to cry about.

I am from Lucky, our German Shepard bought at the San Jose flea market for $25, and quickly surpassing his net-worth. No other pets could live up to him, although we loved each and every one, even the tadpoles.

I am from visits to the library and visits to the bookstore, a love affair with words gifted to me from my family.

From God. From the Catholic church, the Episcopal church, Christianity, and moments of doubt.

I am from the cliche of two worlds, raised on hot dog in my scrambled eggs and pupusas from the corner Salvadorean market.

I am from albums with fading pictures and dried out glue, closets full of forgotten mementos, and memories from lives long lived. I am stories told to my future children in the hopes of giving them more than just my blood.

I had a lot of fun with this Writing Me prompt, found on the Bigger Pictures Blog. It’s part of their Simple Moments, Bigger Picture weekly exercises and the template can be found here.

The Moment

October 22, 2011 - 6 Responses

There is a moment before she wakes, when the sun begins creeping through the blinds and the dog hasn’t yet found his voice whining to be let out. It’s the few seconds she allows me to hold her in my arms as I lean in and smell the scent of her hair, perfume to a mother’s nose.

In that morning spell my heart breaks for the girl I know, the woman I will one day meet. Everything I want for her sits in my heart and the weight of motherhood feeds into my anxiety. I close my eyes and send up a prayer for the both of us, willing myself to stillness.

Her eyes open. Our day begins.

ETA 10-26-11: I’m linking up with One Month of MOMents at My 3 Little Birds Blog.