Thursday, September 13, 2007

My father was a free spirit. My mother was too, in her younger days, I have been told. I had a wonderful, albeit unconventional childhood. My mother, however, lost her free spirit when I was born. Perhaps she knew I would be her only child or perhaps the reality of the responsibility of nurturing another individual was overwhelming. Perhaps it was the polio outbreak that brought out a new dimension of my mother's personality. Whatever the cause, my mother's fun loving personality was now replaced with worry -- worry over germs, freak accidents and bad behavior (mine, not hers). Her worry over germs didn't keep me from contracting everything contagious that childhood had to offer. Her worry over freak accidents made me try so hard to be careful and not get hurt that I was the clumsiest child in San Antonio. Her expectations of my behavior needn't have been a concern at all because my mother had a magic weapon -- guilt. Now, I was a very compassionate child that wouldn't have hurt another person knowingly for any reason. That included my mother, yet her best parenting advice for anybody was "make her ashamed of herself" for whatever offense was commited whether it was stealing the tiny little padlock from Handy Andy when I was three or not wanting to dance with Charlotte at the dancing school Christmas party. I grew up thinking the worse thing I could do in life was be or do something shameful in my mother's eyes. I still carry the guilt of all the things I could have done, should have done, shouldn't have done -- whatever. As as result, I am a sad person. Things have always made me sad. A good example is the 20 Mule Team Borax commercial that used to come on on Sunday nights sponsoring some show. I cried every week because, in my mind, those poor people didn't have a home and that was a sad thing. Another example of my thought process involved a day out shopping. My mother was always proud of me because I never asked for anything or threw tantrums when we would go shopping and I would want something that I couldn't have. I was a good girl. Well, I did slip every once in awhile. This one particular shopping trip we were looking at shoes. I wanted a new pair of sandals. I think Joy Lynn got sandals and I wanted some too. It wasn't on the list for that day. I cried. I didn't fuss, I just cried. Mother wasn't pleased and told me so when we got home. I decided to run away, which meant going across the street to my aunt's house and when I ran, I broke the sandals I already had. I was sure I was being punished for wanting the new ones. I still feel guilty over that.

So, can you imagine what happened to me when I went to the grocery store a couple of days ago and brought home the bag with THIS written on the side of it?

"I am a brown paper bag. More than likely, I'll end up under your sink with a few of my friends. I might get cut up and wrapped around an old textbook, or just stuck under something messy. It would be nice if someone made me into a kite. I'd like to be a kite. But whatever happens, I will never forget the day I carried groceries home from Central Market"

If you need me you will probably find me in the yard flying a kite made from a brown paper bag as I shed tears for all the sad, sad paper bags in the world.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Two years ago we moved to our new dwelling. One of the appealing features of the new house was the ten acre field behind the property. It was full of scrubby trees, weeds, vines and wildflowers. At times it was a scary place -- a person could envision all sort of mysterious, dangerous, or unsavory activities going on back there. But in the light of day, more the soft glow of dusk, there were the Bunnies. The Bunnies lived in the field and would often escape to our back yard under the fence and help eat the birdfood and an occasional piece of carrot that found its way from my kitchen. The raccoons lived there, too, and the hawks perched high in the cottonwood trees. All of them visited our yard at one time or another.

Our cat, Trevor, used to love the field. Everyday she would leave the comfort of her place on our patio and venture into the wilds where she would practice her feline skills of hunting and stalking. She was an amazing hunter and was so proud of herself. She must have loved us very much because she would bring us gifts almost daily. Most times it would be mice or rats but once she captured a snake and her biggest catch of all was a bunny that was bigger than her. The field took her, however, the day she disappeared. I always looked into that field and knew she was there, somewhere, in her beloved field.

The field is gone. I don't know where the Bunnies are but I will keep a close watch near nightfall. I know now that Trevor isn't in the field anymore. The trees are gone along with all the wild growing things and the mystery and beauty of something natural, untouched and doing what God intended for it to do.

Something else will replace the field. We have known for months what it will be. It will be a parking lot. I think they should erect a small memorial for the Bunnies.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Today is my daughter's birthday. She is 28. When I was 28, the concept of another baby was just forming in my mind. I had an adorable three year old son that took up more time than I had in a day -- what would I do with another one. What would another one be like? What would another one look like? What would another one represent to me? The "what's" took over and she became a reality.

Did she look like I thought? No. I was expecting a mimime. Sort of short/tall, stocky in built, brunette. Instead she is tall, lean, with the most gorgeous head of strawberry blond curly hair I have ever seen.

Did she act like I thought? No. Again, I was thinking something quiet and subdued. She is not. She is outgoing, animated, and driven.

Did I figure out what to do with her? Yep. I protected her from rough, brotherly play. I taught her as best as I knew how. I loved her for what she was and in spite of what she wasn't.

What does she represent to me? A family complete. I see much of myself in her -- some I like, some I don't. I see much of what I wanted to be in her. I admire her spunk and I worry over her vulnerability. She represents the future to me, the carrying on of our family -- a link so to speak. As time marches on and roles are reversing, I see a little heroine in the making. She will always be my child but she is so much more than that -- she is strong and honest and faithful and I am so thankful that God sent her to me.

She doesn't want a cake for her birthday, she wants brownies. So, brownies she will have.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

I haven't blogged in a long time -- since the cat went missing. Since then the dog has died and I have a new cat. He would be G. Rollie White Kittykat but he isn't white, that is the name of the football stadium at Texas A&M that he was named after. We call him Rollie. He is nearly a year old now. He is a classic grey tabby and my husband likes him which makes him sort of a miracle cat.