Monday, October 31, 2005

Sweet Oblivion

While going through Frankie's school planner (the teacher makes us check off that he's done his homework and sign it - in blue ink only, please!) a couple of pieces of paper fell out. One was a field trip waiver for a field trip he had long ago been on(hmmm, apparently school liability wasn't a problem), and the other was a note from a girl. There was a cute drawing of her and him holding hands with two little kids. She had helpfully labeled the people: "Me", "Frankie", "Ashley" and "Frankie Jr.". It was signed XOXO P. + Frankie forever!

I nearly laughed out loud.

I asked Frankie about it. He said that P. had given it to him. I asked if he had read it. He said no. I asked him to. A look of shock and horror crossed his face. I suggested that maybe 10 was too young to have a girlfriend.

His reply?

"But, Mom! I didn't KNOW she was my girlfriend!"

Good grief! When do boys become less oblivious?

Monday, October 17, 2005

The Uncontestable NonContest

Here's my entry in Dean's Uncontestable NonContest. I've also reprinted (with permission from the Author below). It won't make any sense unless you understand the Contest Rules (there are blessedly few).

I left her, well, them really, when she was only 12. That's the truth, although I don't admit it out loud. She and her mother just up and left one day – I don't know why. That's what I say when people ask. And technically, it's true. They did do the leaving. But only after I didn't come home for a few days. Maybe it was weeks. I don't remember everything from back then. Most of it is a sweet, amber haze.

I don't blame her mother, really. It was no life. She's better off. I wished they'd left some of my things, though. Some of my memories. All I have is this old photo. Of her. Of happier days. Of a trip I don't really remember. It's funny how a picture can lie. She loved me then. She did. Before she understood what a disappointment and embarrassment I am. Before I left them with no food, no money, while I drank my way to happiness. Oh, pictures lie.

She grew up. Found a man she could depend on. She forgot me. I can't forget her, though. I can't forget the way she looked up at me with childish faith. The way she believed I would take care of her. And later, the distrustful glances. The looks of an innocent betrayed. The unreturned phone calls. The unopened letters, returned. I can't take that back. But I can ease the pain with a nip or two.

She doesn't think I know what she's doing. But I do. She got married. She didn't tell me. I've got a couple of grandkids, too. Never seen them. But I saw her last summer, when I could still travel. Before my liver finally betrayed me. I came to say I was wrong. To tell her I'm sorry I let her down. She doesn't know. I couldn't tell her. To say it means admitting it. I just can't.

She knows. She must know. I hope she knows. She doesn't know. And I can't tell her.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

I'm Still Alive

Sorry for not posting for a while. I'm still alive, just crazy busy as I've recently changed jobs. I've gone back to project management. Silly girl. I'm climbing the learning curve right now. When I get to the other side, I'll start posting again.