Tag Archives: Mothers

April Showers Bring May Showers


This month has been a meteorological cat fight in Rhode Island. Rain and more rain. Hot humid scorcher of a day where you show those pale legs because who cares in this heat, followed by why did I put all the sweaters away, followed by a shit load of grey rainy dreary damp my-whole-body-aches days.

And for someone who already hates the spring (don’t judge), this weather is reeking havoc. The smell of wet grass and things growing and the sound of birds crazily chirping and neighbors hammering and mowing and greeting one another and the density of it all. The thick labor of coming back to life then retreating then coming back again. I’m exhausted.

April is supposed to be the cruelest month but May’s been vicious as far as I’m concerned. I feel slow and fat and foggy and nervous and hesitant and insecure and just not up for it all. Coming out of the cave. Jumping through metamorphic hoops to face sunlight and cookouts and mosquitos and overgrown tomatoes that burst on the vine and tics on the dogs and my ugly bare toes and vacations I never take.

And then there are days when I catch a whiff of childhood so strong it takes my breath away. And there’s Mother’s Day, and my mother’s birthday, and the fuchsia rhododendron blooming in my yard that I know she would love. She loved spring. She loved planting and pruning and coaxing the dead back to unruly brilliant life.

May will always be my mother’s month, and while some will be rainier or hit me harder than others, I know I will get through it. I know May will end and June will begin and I will start over, planting, pruning, coaxing, in this blog or a notebook or some ratty old short story, tweaking and cutting and adding words. We didn’t always have a lot in common, but we both needed something to quell the demons, self-made and otherwise.

There are only a few days left – it’s Memorial Day weekend and that has certainly taken on new meaning for me. They are promising sun and warmer weather. They are promising that this too shall pass. Am I ready? Never. But it’s okay because I face it anyway. Come. Get me. Spring.

“In the motion of the very leaves of spring in the blue air there is then found a secret correspondence with our heart.”  -Taken from Mary Oliver’s Upstream who took it from Shelly’s On Love


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Oh, Joseph, I’m So Tired

mangerDo you think that Mary-the-Virgin-Mother-of-God ever looked to the heavens after traveling a million miles through desert and bumpy terrain on the back of a saggy-ass donkey passing Inn after Inn with No Vacancy signs but Joseph insisting they can’t ask anyone where the next empty Inn is because he’ll find it himself then they finally end up in a filthy freezing cold manger and she has to give birth without an epidural or even a friendly female face who gets that she’s going through the most painful and terrifying thing in the world and instead there’s bloody straw and a nosy shepherd and three old men with ridiculous gifts when she really needs something useful like a baby wipe warmer or a binky and she says, I hate my life?

Or was it later, with Jesus sneaking off to the market hanging out with hookers and heading up a gang of Apostles and busting up temples and telling everyone he was the son of God and Joseph always working working working fixing other people’s houses while their kitchen cabinets looked like shit and she could never get the utensil drawer open without a fight and her health was going to hell in a handbasket because of stress and poor diet and she was always the one hosting the Seder taking Jesus to play practice making the dentist appointments and putting the toilet paper in the holder and not just sitting out on the sink. Do you think she sat down at the end of the day with a glass of Mogen David and said dear God give me strength?

Christmas. The mother of all holidays. Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas there is this eerie residual affect, a dusting of angst that coats your skin and makes you sneeze. So much tinsel and jingling and debt and old wounds. Enormous sighs of disappointment. Frenzied sugar highs and lows. Tender hopes and dreams bruised and buried deep inside. Impossible expectations and global jealousy and utter fatigue. We love it, we hate it, we wrestle it to the ground and strangle every ounce of beauty from it year after year trying, forever trying, to get it right.

I made it through in the usual condition. Gained weight, landfill of trash from wrapping paper and packaging, cookies sitting in tins still not delivered to neighbors, a few spot on gifts and lots of pajamas, missing friends and family who live too far away, didn’t send out cards, feeling hollow and tired, wondering if I’ll ever get it right. How did you do this year?

PS  I stole the title for this post from Richard Yates. Read this short story if you get the chance.


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