Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pizza Night

The Beast

I have a son and he is a beast.
This beast left with his 8th grade class to go the San Juan Islands for a week.
He was beastly the whole morning, nay, the whole day before he left.
Well, actually ...he has been beastly for about a week really.
Alright, he has been beast for a couple of years now.

He wasn't always a beast. He used to be a sweet little bouncing baby boy.  He used to snuggle and read books.  He used to ride his tricycle around with his sister and play policeman giving tickets.  He used to build things with hay bales at preschool.  He used to play chiropractor and give me adjustments.

I guess he always had the beast in him, it was just a work in progress then. Now it is pretty refined and although it still needs work, I think the beast might be at the pinnacle of its beastliness.

For The Beasts 1st birhday,  a friend gave me a book called, How to Raise a Son.  I never did finish that book, I think it is still somewhere in the recesses of my book collection.  I did read some of it.  But I don't remember any of it.  What I do remember is thinking to myself that raising a boy was going to easy.  It was girl that would be hard.  Boys...nothing to it.

Well I vastly underestimated the complexity of the male psyche.  I vastly underestimated testosterone.  Although I can respect it and all its beauty and relevance to the world, I don't really get it.  Not that I think I have to get it to enjoy it.

But how do you mother a beast?  I am not a nicey, nice, lovey dovey, sweet kind of mother.  I never have been.  That is not who I am.  I am also not a believer in hands off, by 14 you should be on your own kind of mother.  I fall somewhere in the 'get over it, life isn't fair' and 'you are brilliant, beautiful and can do anything you set your mind to,'  kind of mother.  I don't coddle.  I don't believe in it.  I don't think it does children good to coddle, or cater .  That is not to say that toss steak on the floor and let my kids fight it out for eating rights.  Or let my kids roam the streets late at night hanging out.  It is a fine balance.

I want my beastly son  to be independent, self sufficient, self reliant.  I also want him to be sensitive, gentle, understanding, compassionate.  I want him to be strong, tough, capable.  I want him to be outspoken, passionate, humble, honest.

I want him to be everything.

At this point I have such little time to perfect him.  I have already done as much as I can on certain fronts, The Beast must make his way into the world on his own.  It is a tricky transition, one that I like to think I have been preparing myself and him for his whole life.  The trick is trusting in him and myself that what we have been doing for the last 14 years has been sufficient. The trick is knowing how far to let him go before going out to get him.  The trick is knowing how far he needs to travel on his own.

I like things to go the way I want them to, my son the beast has from the very moment he came into my life, let me know that he is not to be molded.  I have had to learn the lesson over and over again in my relationship with him that I can have my idea of how it should be, what it should look like, and that he has no intention of trying to make that happen for me.  That all that is my issue not his.  That is something I really respect about him.  That is also something that really makes frustrates me about him.

The Beast goes by the name of Kai.  It used to be Kai David when he was little, but he put an end to that in 3rd grade.  (I still call him Kai David sometimes, he generously lets me.)

Kai The Beast goes around the house these days towering over me, eating everything that isn't nailed down, listening to his ipod so loud he can't hear any one say anything to him, swinging the bat in the house, wearing dirty shoes in the house, leaving his backpack in the middle of the floor, strewing his laundry in the bathroom, down the hall and on to the stairs.  He swears, make dirty jokes, he likes things that are raunchy and crude.   And he also goes around the house growling..."I'm a beast."

Kai The  beast is just that, a beast. But like all beasts, the loud roaring, growling, and rough behavior shells a gentle, loving, and compassionate soul.  And before the world can know the true heart of the beast, he must be tamed.

Let's hope he doesn't eat me alive before the gentlemanly prince can make his way out.  Let's hope there isn't more to the art of mothering a son than I know...it could be dangerous to everyone.  And let's hope that no one ever really tames him.  I mean, it is pretty wonderful to have a beast around sometimes.  Let's hope he learns to tame the beast inside on his own. And let's hope that the beast never really goes away, just learns how to clean up after himself.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Lucky Little Lily

My niece is from Guatemala.  I have never been to Guatemala, but I hope to go some day.  Hopefully with my niece.


Her name is Lily like the flower, but I like to think of her as Ruby, her middle name.  If I were her parents I would have given her that name first. I like to control things.  Even things that have nothing to do with me at all.

She is four. I don't live anywhere near her, she is 500 miles away.  That makes me sad.  When my oldest graduates high school, she will only be eight.  My youngest, Sophia loves her,  but doesn't get to see her very often.  That make me sad too.  Sophia would be the perfect baby sitter, and role model.

Even though it was her birth mother who brought her physical body into this world, I am pretty sure these people were destined to be her parents.

It is funny how the world works like that.  You can come all the way from heaven, and travel thousands of miles just to find your soul parents, the ones that were meant for us.  I am pretty sure that I just traveled down I-80 from  Auburn to Sacramento to find mine.

Her journey was very different.  Her journey was special.

None of us know our destiny when we get to this planet, that is part of what we do while we are here.  But to have traveled thousands of miles, have not one but two mamas and two daddy's, that is lucky.  That is special.  That is one blessed little girl.  One lucky little girl.

  When I write a book about her, that is what I am going to call it.

                                                          Lucky Little Lily

She is so much luckier than my kids.  I beat them.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


I have a really good friend.  Well, I have more than one.  But this one is different.  She is unconditionally supportive and takes care of me.  I try to do the same for her.

She loves  me so much, she let me paint on her walls.  She trusted me so much she said, "I don't care what you paint, do whatever feels right." She took care of me by supplying an endless stream of ice cold gin and tonics with a slice of lime.   And if you have ever lived through an Arizona summer, you know how those hit the spot like nothing else.

It has been about five years since I splattered paint on her walls and about three since I up and moved my whole life two states away.  And even though we are far apart, nothing changes, distance means nothing.

Good friendships are ones that encourage and support us to be better people and do better things in the world.  This friendship is one of those.    Good friendships allow us to spill everything out without fear of judgement.  This friendship is one of those. Some friendships are infinite.  This friendship is one of those.  And while all our friendships are special in different ways and for different reasons, some are just special.

I am grafetul for all this friend has done for me.  I am grateful for the support, the encouragement, the kicks in the pants, the gin, and the laughter.

I wouldn't be the mother, artist or person I am today without her and all she has done for me.

Maybe she will let me put paint on her walls...again.  And pay me in gin...again.  Who knows...something like this might happen...again.


My other really good friend Tami, (I really do have more than one friend) took these pictures for me.  We never really had gin and tonics together.  We worked with little kids together, almost as intoxicating.  Our girls were friends in kindergarten.  We ate fish tacos from Rubio's together.  And we once flung manure water from branches under a harvest moon together.    My son said to after our moonlit manure evening, "I think she is magical.  She creates magic."  She summons life from the earth with grace and artistry.  She is magical. She is the Garden Goddess.  And I think she is pretty special.  She holds a special place in my world, even from far away.


So now you know I have more than one friend. I have two.

Viva Los Amigos!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I made this little treat a few months ago and my family loved it.

All the goodness of pizza rolled up and hand held.

Hope you get to making it one day...it's yummy!

Gather your favorite pizza stuff.

Take the time to really get to know them.

Make a good pizza dough, a store bought one would do just fine here.

But I like to make things hard on myself.

And put my tools to good use.

Ahh...just right.

Night, night...time for a little rest.

Cover up to keep warm.

This little jar of  scarlet gold I made last summer when the tomatoes we ripe and juicy,  for just such an occasion.

Bring everyone together.

Spread the love.

Lay it on thick!



Be still my beating heart.

In Joy!

Keeping the Magic Alive

The first buds of spring move me.
When the weather starts to warm and things begin to come to life again after a long cold winter, I find new life within myself.  I am inspired, excited, and grateful for the cyclical nature of life and the universe.
That time has come and gone here in my neck of the woods.
This year it was again magnificent.  I am not sad it's over, because other wonderful things are happening and getting ready to happen.  But none the less, that time has passed.
This year I decided to capture it so that I could be reminded of it all year round.