My Lovelies…So Sorry For the Moves.

Nomad Parents

Day 2.

Jesus weeps, I have a long way to go.

Inspired by a really cool friend, I have decided to commit to a 365 day blogapalooza. Read it, don’t read it…do your thing. Share with me if you want, no worries if you don’t. I’m up for the challenge. Writing is my therapy and I am always very interested in knowing if or not I am not alone in my chaos. As I sit and think about what the hell I want to write about for a year, I start with something that I have had so much guilt about as a parent. It’s THE thing. The one I wish I could take back. Deep breath…we were nomad parents. And there was damage done.

Our kids are all old souls. I’m still trying to figure that out, because growing up, I was super immature. Total idiot. Insanely social, I spend most of my time flirting with boys, dodging getting grounded and plotting underage drinking with my girls. All three of my children suffer from various degrees of “peer shy.” It’s like it was concentrated with the first one and trickled down. Number two is finally coming out of his shell. Number three is definitely the most social. It took me years to figure it out, but I think it’s because we moved 11 times in ten years. That’s…not an exaggeration. And that…comes with a ton of guilt.

Our Moving history in a nutshell:

  1. Hubby to Lincoln Square: Summer, 1999
  2. Heather to Lincoln Square: Fall, 1999
  3. Hubby, Heather and #1 to Lincoln Square North apartment: Summer 2000
  4. Hubby, Heather and #1 to New Buffalo, Michigan family home: Fall, 2000
  5. Hubby, Heather and #1 to the Mundelein teeny home. Winter 2001
  6. Hubby Heather, #1 and #2 to Chicago Lakeview, apartment one: Summer 2003
  7. Hubby, Heather, #1 and #2 to Chicago Lakeview, apartment two: Fall, 2003
  8. Hubby, Heather, #1 and #2 to Naperville: Don’t remember, 2004
  9. Hubby, Heather, #1, #2 and SURPRISE! #3 to Crystal Lake, home of the orange water: Summer, 2006
  10. Hubby, Heather, #1, #2 and #3 to dream house in Wauconda: Winter, 2007
  11. Hubby, Heather, #1, #2 and #3 to not-dream/current home in Wauconda: Fall, 2009

We were, the entire family, exhausted in every way. We needed to stop and plant.

The relocation motives were mostly job-related. Although one time we moved because the water was disgustingly orange and the kids were getting dyed in the bathtub. Grody to the max. After that, we rented my dream house, but had to move because we couldn’t afford to actually buy it. Probably a blessing in disguise, because there may have been a little problem with the fact that I was deathly allergic to the backyard horse farm. (Note to self: blog about how I almost died from an asthma attack at Medieval Times).

Then there were the city days. We were kicked out of an apartment because the man under us couldn’t stand toddlers running. We tried duct taping them to the couch, but eventually we were forced to make the move to the apartment across the hallway. Our savage running beasts were finally free to do horrible things like…just be children. There were quirky memories that we took away from every place, all adding to the Moran Clan tapestry of chaos.

Looking at the big picture, it was rough, but we loved them so much every step of the way, and I think they will be okay. I really really hope they will be ok.

My oldest son had the hardest time, not only because he was the one who moved around with us the most, but also because he already started out shy. Then every time he started to get close to a kid, we’ed freaking pack up and leave. By the time we really settled here…all the friends were kind of taken. Can I say that? Is that a thing? It seemed like it. We really tried to help him. Groups were established and it is sometimes really HARD to make new friends. Senior year of college, last year to play lacrosse, graduation in May. Next year he finishes up his 5-year Master’s in Criminal Justice. And he’s an RA. He may not be the cool life of the party, but we think he’s a very decent human. He’s kind, happy, has a service heart and he’s also quite charming. Some girl out there someday will be very lucky. We can’t wait to meet her.

My second son, our Irish fighter, is a whole other beautiful, layered story of survival. He is constantly beating adversity, questing to find inner peace and he possesses one of the sweetest hearts made by God. He’s a lovely novel; a book you don’t want to finish reading. I can’t wait to wax poetic about this gorgeous soul.

Our baby, our daughter, our empath: my darling, Dad and I promise you we won’t move. For the next three years… live your life. Make memories with your friends, learn how to drive a car, play your sports, nail your education, jam your guitar, sing like a bird and for Christ’s sake: be a kid. We are not going anywhere. Until you graduate. Then, we will see 🙂

As parents, we try to do our best and we count our blessings. We fail, we apologize, we learn, we hug them, we dust ourselves off and we keep on going. And sometimes, we pack boxes.

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Bowels on a Rager.

I’ve got diverticulitis. Gross.

It was so much funnier when it was a family joke as an idiotic 14 year old. My brother and I thought it was hilARious to run around the house, whining, “I’ve got diiiivvverticullliiitttiiisss!”

Laugh it up, chuckles.

Now, look. I’m a lady. I do not want to talk about my intestines as much as I am sure you don’t want to hear about them. They are all sorts of pissed off. It started June 30th. I know the exact date because it was the last time I sat down and had an actual meal. Since then, I have lost 15 pounds, orange Jello is my life blood, Desitin isn’t just for babies and I have had labor-like stomach cramps for three literal weeks. Many sleepless nights, crying in the fetal position, while my poor husband felt helpless. Gigs cancelled all over the damn place and way too much energy exuded pretending I was ok, when I was dying in the inside.

One urgent care, two hospital visits (MORPHINE, HOLLA!), one cat scan that also found a monster cyst on my ovaries (WTF. That’s next week’s drama.), one endoscopy, complete with my last words as I was getting the Twilight Saga drug, “I’m a singer; don’t screw it up“, and one incredibly disgusting, gross, intrusive and weird colonoscopy.

Diagnosis: Diverticulitis or Osis….I think it’s more osis, but not sure really yet. The doctor went on vacation hours after he did his photoshoot of my screaming bowels. And Oh my God, dude, this guy deserves that vacation. Why did he, on purpose, choose to be this kind of doctor? Why, why why.

I see him on Monday to talk about my issues. Find out what meds I need, learn what I can eat, reveal if my polyps were scary polyps, discuss how chia seeds almost killed me…until then, I am a Google research machine. I am hunting and gathering information and I am so damn confused. Currently, I choke down broth and hard boiled eggs, I take the weight loss as a big girl win and practice calm meditation. Very needed, because this was all brought on by massive stress, my bum immune system and…Chia.

Freakin’ Chia. I should have known better than to eat anything you spread on a ceramic plant statue of Bob Ross’ head.

Pivot, heal, relax, re-group, re-charge.

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Backstory.

Yesterday I did what I’m sure looked like an obligatory Facebook brag post. Especially to people who probably don’t have school-age children, or …any children. But the ones who had to hands-on watch their children navigate their education through a pandemic every day for the last year, I bet they got it.

I didn’t post that for myself. I already know how neat my kids are; I get to live with them every day. When I posted that, I posted that for her. Whether it helps her read it today or it helps her when she reads in 20 years, she needs a reminder that her mom loved her and what she overcame. She will see what I wrote, remember the lovely comments shared from people who are dear to us and see a picture of what she looked like at that moment.

Just because she did well and got straight A’s, doesn’t mean that she didn’t work. her. ass. off.

It’s not a scenario where things come easy to her, look at how perfect she is, blah, blah, blech. The real truth is that I watched her study and worry and plan and make goals and work really hard to finish them. That’s all on her.

And she did all of this basically sitting on a mattress, on her bedroom floor, surrounded by Cheetos’s, our loyal dog and a teenager amount of dirty laundry.

Please make no mistake, as a mother trying to help my children learn through a pandemic, I’m an idiot and can’t teach them anything, but I can online shop. I transformed the loft and I set up quite the beautiful school area. It had wonderful lighting and it was comfortable, with productive desks and chairs. I tried to give both her and her brother, who was enrolled in some CLC college courses, an environment where they could concentrate when they needed it, and then walk away when they were done.

I’m pretty sure they used it for about a week and a half. And I didn’t push them because this wasn’t about me doing all that work and me getting upset because they didn’t use it. (Truth: It gave me something else to do during the pandemic besides putting booze in my coffee and overeating. ) Nay, nay: It was about them being comfortable when everything around them made no sense.

Her freshman year in high school should’ve been filled with nervous giggles, experimenting with outfits every morning, walking to classes with new friends, sneaking out to get ice cream on her lunch break, walking in the halls and blushing when she passed somebody she had a crush on, laughing with her friends in the locker room about how much swimming class sucks with their period, going to a pep rally…going to a football game….going to Homecoming, going anywhere…with anyone…

Our walls are thin in our cookie cutter home. Her bedroom is next to mine. I know the sound of fear, frustration, angst, anxiety and sadness. Her teachers voices came out of her laptop sounding legit Charlie Brown. I heard late-night heated and passionate conversations, but couldn’t make out the words. Those emotion-filled moments made my tears run all the way down to my pillow.

But, there where lovely noises. She taught herself some pretty bitchin’ guitar playing. Her lovely voice, soft and lilting, wafted into the hallway. The strumming was comforting, the sounds of her trying to figure out the Bohemian Rhapsody solo, endless Fleetwood Mac. She had the lonely time to do that. l will cherish those sanguine sounds that seeped through my bedroom wall.

Another sound that didn’t make me feel sad to accidentally overhear: the laughter with her friends. They found a way to make the “pandemic sleepover” work; messy but still with laughter and love.

What one wouldn’t also post on social media is that she battled two significant and private medical issues that most don’t know about, and one very significant dental issue that meant literally 30 doctor and specialized dentist appointments in a year. In one year. In a pandemic.

Could she cry to her friends at the table in the lunch room, where she could get hugs and whispers of support? No. But she could talk to their faces on her small phone screen and at least feel some love, however she could get it. Funny…it’s the one time as a mother I have been grateful for my children’s social media.

Life has gotten slowly back to “normal”. She eventually went back to school, picked out cute outfits, walked the halls, snuck off to The Jewel with friends on her lunch break, met her teachers face-to-face for the first time, played an actual high school lacrosse game, even laughed on a bus with her teammates…normal things started happening again. I think the kid is finally able to realize that she is going to be okay.

My life purpose is to love and protect my family; keep them alive for a life that is worth living. I have two other great kids who are creating their own life journey tapestries, but I celebrate this moment for the little one who won an epic battle this year in her bedroom. Shine on, little diamond.

Moran #3

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Tack Your Map.

Yesterday, I woke up to a text whistle.

My eyes were still trying to focus, failing miserably to recall the details of the very weird dream I just had about going back to college…I was doing the groggy, obligatory reach-over for my glasses and my phone.

A very upset dear friend sent me a text. “…Did you hear about Sammy?…”

No. No no no no no no no. Not Sam. Samsamsamsamsamsam.

What is that thing? What is that thing our minds do at times like this when memories, clips, moments, feelings…they all attack our brains and our heads and our faces…flying at you like a colorful tornado…recollections of the past floating around. You close your eyes and you try to grab ahold of one to steady it for second, and it moves and then you open your eyes. Poof. There they go. You try really hard and they come back again and you struggle to remember them in a not-fuzzy way. For me: a laugh, a look, a rehearsal, a tipsy walk down the street, a striped shirt, a giggle-filled stage kiss, a hi and a hug, a deep talk in a dark bar…reminiscences all chaotic, all fighting, bumping into each other, these memories belligerent and clawing to be seen and competing to be remembered in my mind, just as they were in that memory Polaroid…those memory Polaroids…snapshots of those times, that small moment of many; many and not enough tiny moments that make up the time when I had Sam in my life.

He was just a friend. Not a past lover. Not someone I even truly knew anymore. But my heart aches just the same. Crying for his family, bawling for his loved ones. Then my inner dialogue goes Tasmanian Devil…we do this to ourselves….I’m yelling at me in my car yesterday morning, fists gripping my steering wheel, “Why in the hell didn’t I talk to him anymore?!”

Stop, breathe. Hug ourselves. It’s in this moment that we need to tell us that we are ok because life. simply. moves. It just keeps moving. That time I had with him was there and then life moves so fast…onto the next show, the new circle of pals, the new job, the new husband, the kids, the more kids, the more jobs, the more life. The journey takes us; the road winds and we drive farther on The Map of Life. But it is on that Map that you mark those special tack pins. You take them and stick them in all the locations that you really lived and loved, because you want to remember that time and that spot and those people. They meant so much to you that you saved them for later. You do that, so when you go back to The Map and look at all the beautiful places you have been, you remember what a great journey we are on so far…And Sam, my friends, was definitely a tack.

I love Facebook. I fucking hate Facebook. But most importantly, I NEED Facebook. Not just to promote my music career, but I need Facebook so I can look back on all my connected tacks. I go on my feed page so I can laugh at a ridiculous cow meme that was posted by an old theater professor, or admire a neighbor’s summer garden or feel happy for the old middle school friend who found great love, or I can even just send a virtual hug to a long-distant cousin who just needs a freaking hug. It’s not the same. It’s not in person, it’s virtual, but it’s the best I can do right now and I MEAN it. It’s me saying to everyone, “I am busy on my path, but I am still so glad that you were on one of mine.”

Sam was just this stunning human. Strikingly good-looking, yes, but that wasn’t even the best part. First and foremost, he was a deep and true listener for all. When you spoke to Sam, he concentrated on your words with his warm puddly eyes and his beautifully enormous heart. All of this greatness was surrounded by a unique and rare talent for performing. I have a funny Polaroid in my head that reminds me I had a little crush on Sam. I was playing Chris Hargensen and he was my Billy in a hilarious Chicago musical called “sCarrie the Musical”. We were the mean kids and made out a lot. Which wasn’t horrible. We had this rather rated-R musical number where I had to sing to him while I was performing….well…let’s just say, that the entire cast could barely get through it every time because we were all laughing so hard. Best of times.

I don’t know how we lost Sam. What I pray for is that he didn’t feel one ounce of pain. What I wish for is that his legacy will live on for all days, by the people who loved him. What I know is that all of it is a complete tragedy.

Pray for his family. Hug everyone you can. Love everyone you love. Go hang your Map.

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The Circle Game, Unhinged.

Life have a funny way of coming around full circle.  (The most annoying thing about cliches is that they are true.)  Yes, life is funny; it is bittersweet and…it is also a touch unforgiving.

Thirty-two years ago, I was the proud recipient of a full life ahead of me.  I was cast as Mabel, the lead in Pirates of Penzance my senior year at New Trier High School.  I was accepted into the prestigious opera program at Carnegie-Mellon University and I had hopes of Broadway and beyond.  I was cute, rambunctious and shined like a, albeit rough, diamond.  And then…not so suddenly, over the course of thirty-two colorful years; I slowly blew it.

Yeah. The one in white.

I could say, “Wow…how the mighty have fallen.”  Actually, I think I have self-said that a few times.  I can even bet that a few people who hated me in high school probably still love saying that about me. Well, (insert throw-away laugh) so be it.

But I can’t say that I haven’t tried to put up the good fight.  In my early twenties, after some lost roaming years of searching to find myself, the dreams of being on the big stages seemed to slowly evaporate.  I wandered messily through my collegiate years, not quite able to find my place.  Even after my third or fourth school, after I squeaked out a BA in Theater “just to get done”, I still sang.  I continued vocal lessons. I kept up my acting chops being in a Chicago storefront theater for years, I made a half-living singing with some of the finest Chicago jazz musicians….I fell in love with the art of Cabaret.  I met some fabulously amazing people along he way.  Then, after getting married to a very supportive man and having three kids, I still kept my toes in the water and I made an album.  I continued on the relentless pursuit to do the thing that I was born and trained to do.  “I was never meant to work behind a desk,” I told myself.  “I’m convinced that was in God’s plan for me, otherwise he wouldn’t have given me a voice.” I said.  It was always a struggle, with many ups and downs, but I felt lucky enough to be one of the small percentage of the world that actually loved their job.  I faced adversity the entire time doing it; some passing judgement on me that I didn’t have a “real” job; I was wasting my time on a hobby; I was not prioritizing correctly.

Today I sat through a first performance of our local high school’s production of Pirates of Penzance. I have some home vocal students in the cast, including the girl playing my former role and my cousin playing The Pirate King.  I also have been honored with the task of doing a bit of vocal coaching for the cast.  The production is beautiful. This school is blessed to have a magnificent and talented man running their program. As the curtain rose, I was overwhelmed.  I was witnessing these amazing kids at the very start of their performing careers, singing with joy and pride. I was rushed with many emotions; the first one being pride. I was filled with nostalgia listening to the very notes I once sang.  I was inspired by the culmination of a team of musical directors, choreographers, crew and all of the people that can make such magic come alive.  And then, after the curtain closed, I felt something else very strong. I was sad to remember that I once held that in my hands and…where I am now.

Where am I now?  I am still eeking out a dwindling career in music.  I have a wonderful set of musicians that I am honored to make music with on a weekly basis.  I have scores of students who have enriched my life just by letting me vocally-guide them.

I think I am nearing the “those who can’t do anymore, teach” portion in my life.  But I can’t even do that right now.  Boo. I find myself in a low spot.  It’s a quiet depression because it’s easy to misunderstand, so I try to keep it to myself.  I have painful vocal nodes now.  I suffer to sing every note.  I struggle to teach the kids who need me and sing for the musicians that depend on me.  I work too much, I sing too much and I talk too much.  My body is feeling the effects of not taking good enough care of me.  I’m tired for the kind husband and beautiful children who need me and I am worn down for my own self, who needs me to keep on going.  I’m too busy for the friends who miss me and I can’t help but feel that I’ve made a mess of it all.  Life so far, fifty years later, has been filled with joyous memories of being a mom and a wife; a friend and a daughter; a mentor and a coach.  But still a mess, nonetheless.

How do I pull myself out of it?  That’s the million dollar question.

Career-wise, I am at a fork-roads.  Changes have to be made and soon.  I’m closing down my vocal studio until at the very least, I can heal my voice.  I am finishing up my resume to try to enter the corporate world.  I will fight tooth and nail to still keep singing a part of my world.

I can only take my memories and my experiences and push forward, hoping that everyday, I continue to try to be a good and loving person.  One who can lift others with song and strive to comfort all who I love.  Continue to make sure my kids are ok to go out into the world and maybe even help them learn from the mistakes that I have made.

These include my music kids.  My greatest wish for them is that they keep that shining light in their eyes, that light which twinkles with dreams and promises of happy and fulfilling times ahead.  It would indeed be everything, if life could only stay as happy as in the tender, brief stage moments, when we all held each other’s hands and took that final bow.

 

Too Sad To Title.

I really want to scream.

I wake up this morning, dragging myself out of bed. I’m yawny and blurry and dreading my 8:30am workout.  I roll over, grab my glasses and pick up my phone to see what I missed on social media. God forbid, I miss something important, since it’s been a whole four hours when I last tried to sleep. And then I see a text from one of my dear friends, to tell me that someone we love died last night.

Fuck.  Fucking fuck.  I can’t.  Shock is weird.  It’s like someone took out my brain and hung it on the ceiling right above my head and it’s throbbing.  I’m feeling so many things, but I don’t actually know one thing I’m feeling.  I can toss out the usual reactions: disbelief, shock, sadness.  I can’t think or type the right words to even describe what that feels like…I can only explain that it was more like I’m slouching on the side of my bed, with an elephant sitting on my chest and I just can’t find a breath to take.

First thoughts….first thoughts…it’s not real.  I think of his life partner. I think of his family.  I pray that he didn’t feel pain.  I angry-cry about him being too fucking YOUNG.  Warning: I’m going to spill the beans and share all the crazy shit that was going on in my head.  It’s embarrassing, but maybe something relatable. Or maybe it’s just thoughts that prove that I need professional help.  But it’s real, it’s raw and it’s the truth. And it all comes from me hoping that in our very last days, we know how much we are loved.

My mind is a Rolodex, flipping to the last time I talked to him. Flip, flip, flip…when was that? I just had an email exchange with him a week ago…two weeks ago…was it a month ago?  It could have been six.  It was business.  About a booking? Was I loving, responsive and kind?   Or was I curt, short and to the point?  Is that the last impression he got from me?  Did he know how much he meant to me?  Did I tell him how much he meant to me?  Fuck.  No, I didn’t. We, as humans, don’t do that all day, every day. It was business about a booking…it was…normal day stuff.

More thoughts are spewing: why didn’t I tell him how much he meant to me on one of the last times I saw him.  That time recently at a show.  When I saw him looking up at me,  smiling at me, watching me from off-stage. Why didn’t I scream out to him, “I love you and I am grateful for you in my life, my friend?”  He deserved to hear that every day.  We all do.   But we don’t think that every time we say goodbye to someone…that it might be the very last time.

I want time back.  I want the early days with my old pal, when we were jamming in his family room in the first band I was ever in, when I was in the best times of my life and I didn’t know it, and he was teaching me Chaka Khan tunes and we were drinking PBR; underage and unforgiving, I want to go back to that and take his face in my hands and say, thank you for being in my life.

And then when we re-connected through music in the last few years…he found out that, even though I’m an old Golden Girl now,  I’m still musically at it, kicking around on stages and still fighting the old gal fight.  He heard I was still singing, and he reached out to me with that beautifully gargantuan smile and said, “Hey.  Let’s do something with your music,” Then again, I should have taken his face in my hands and said thank you for again for still being in my life.

Recently, he hired me to sing in a place, and there was a random hole in the floor.  He quietly, yet deftly remembered that I am, and always will be, a ditz.  AKA: a girl who will always fall into holes.  He pointed down and said, “Heather, don’t fall in that hole.”  I walked past that hole in the floor without incident, turning back at him with a smirk on my face and simultaneously patting myself on my own back.  Then he pointed to a door in the back of the room and gave me a warning look. “Walk through here.  It’s cool behind there, but be careful.”  Obviously, I strutted through that door and I immediately fell way down into a much bigger hole.  But it was a fun fall, because I got to hear that old laugh.  It was lovely; ringing robust and true just like those good old days.

What now.  I feel too many things.  Mostly I feel so deeply sad for his amazing partner and his loved ones; all the people who will feel the loss every day.  I’m feeling again so much sadness for those who will now have to walk around everything and everyday without him.

Now it’s the wee small hours.  What to do now?  Gradually all day,  I was checking Facebook, watching how so many people were grasping to mourn such a tragedy.  Share how much they loved this man by posting pictures and stories and dedications.  I did the same, trying to to connect and grieve together. There were so many loved ones, yearning helplessly to write to him and tell this magnificent person one more time how much they loved him…hoping so hard that he can hear all of us from up above.  It’s so desperate and yet so very needed for many of those left behind.  All so overwhelming and heartbreaking and scary and final.

I once had this kind friend in high school and he asked me to be in a band. He taught me things about music that I still sing out of my mouth today.  Lately, he found me again and I got to see that wide, electric smile and share some laughs and a great love for music.  Then, we lost him too soon and I wish I had more. I wish I did more.

Ferris nailed it: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Life is, indeed, gorgeous. It’s work.  It’s tiring, yet so rewarding.  It’s filled will so many layers and it is enveloped with all the different kinds of love.  It fills your heart and it breaks your heart and then it’s over way too soon.  My old friend, thank you for your friendship.  Heaven is jamming to your serious super-funk tonight and for always. How lucky are they up there? How lucky were we down here. XO MT.

 

 

 

 

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“This is only a drill.”

Last year, I was helping out in my youngest daughter’s classroom. We had a surprise lockdown drill.
I.LOST.MY.SHIT.
First, this is embarrassing, but…yeah, I’ll share.  Because I know that I’m not the only one who has felt like this and it needs to be talked about because it’s actually ok for us to say out loud, “this is scary.”  I am scared for my children, for my friends’ children, for my teacher friends.  I’m scared for everyone.  Even everyone I don’t know.  The whole package.  And also, I wish I was braver and not so scared. 

Let’s all agree that if you know me well, I’m a little…let’s say…hyper-empathic, to a fault….badly coupled with an overactive imagination that is way too big for it’s britches.  
But here I am….excited to help out in class…the last year that I can before my youngest moves to middle school. Cry! Weep! Take a selfie with her…post! I adore the teacher and the kids and we are doing cool things with planets and rockets and cereal boxes and cotton and….

Surprise lockdown drill? 

That…was not on my volunteer agenda. But here I am.  I’ve got this.

The alarm goes off and the teacher locks the door, turns off the lights and starts to huddle the kids under the desks. I look at her quizzically and she smiles and tells everyone it’s a drill. Or did they announce it?? I don’t recall.  I do remember feeling my blood boiling and my face getting hot and I put my hands on my cheeks and my stomach starts to hurt.  I follow her lead and pretend like I’m even an 1/8 of the superhuman she; as all teachers are in situations like this.  I am trying to calm the kids, who’s levels of fright are somewhere probably ranging anywhere from a 1-3 out of ten….I was lingering at somewhere around 149 out of five. While I’m smiling, winking and making funny cool-mom faces, inside I’m dying. Kind of literally.  All replayed out in different scenarios in my over-active absurd mind. I’m legitimately scared and there is no valid reason for it.  It’s a practice drill.  But I’m not 100% sure.  They don’t tell you that before it starts because….it’s a DRILL

Some of my thoughts…that I can vividly remember…that were pounding in my head, flying and whipping around like lights at a Floyd laser show:

(1)WHERE IS MY DAUGHTER. She’s literally right next to you.  Where are my other kids? Safe at school.  Safe?  Safe. These kids are safe.  I’m mom to all of them right now.   Count the kids. one, two, three…I don’t even know how many kids there are but still count..four, five, six….smile.

(2) What is that look in the teacher’s face? She looks scared.  This isn’t real.  Could this be real?  This isn’t real.  I’m listening so hard with my ears for every.little.thing.

(3) Can the kids see me crying a little bit?  Stop.  Stop.  Breathe. Smile.  

(4) Wall of windows.  How do those windows open? How fast can I get there and open one to get the kids out before something happens and I can’t make it? Omg STOP.

(5) Can the kids even fit out the window? How far do they open? Stop.  

(6) Where is my cellphone?  Where is my purse? It’s across the room.  I don’t need it.  Why the FUCK is my cell phone not in my pocket?  Smile.

(7) Re-lax. This is a drill.

(8) Almost done.

(9) Is the teacher scared? Wait? Is that a scared look? No, she’s fine. No wait, she’s acting like she’s fine, but she’s losing her shit.  No, she’s annoyed that her parent helper keeps staring at her and is losing her shit.  I’m so sorry.
(10) This could NOT be a drill.

(11) Keep smiling.  Keep making silly faces.  Keep winking.  Hide fright.  

(12) Why doesn’t Mike ever volunteer?

(13) I want Mike.

(Smile at Lulu, wink, squeeze her hand…make funny face)

(Turn away so she doesn’t see me crying again)

I hear footsteps.  Then the door jiggles. They are checking the locked doors. The principal and the police officers.  I know this.

It’s just a cop.

It’s just a cop.

It’s just a cop.

Omg. Is this real? Staring at windows. Starting at teacher. Staring at windows.

The next 5 minutes felt like 5 hours.

*Announcement: Drill over.

As I non-challantly blow a kiss to my daughter, make a lackadaisical eye-roll laugh and wave at the teacher, after I sign out at the front desk, tossing out some witty repartee about how “I always pick the best days to volunteer” and as I saunter out of the building… I am choking…CHOKING back the tears and the sobs that I finally let out all the way home.  I should have just taken her home with me.  I want to take the entire school home with me.

There wasn’t enough bottles of Chardonnay for me when I got home that day.  Why yes, I did day drink that day.  Sue me.

That experience wasn’t the real thing.  The vile thing.  Nothing I felt or thought that day could ever even TOUCH what all these children and teachers have had to experience and are continuing to experience.  The HORROR.  The REALITY.  

NO ONE. No child, no teacher, no parent, no law enforcement, no rescue teams should EVER have to go through any of it. Those children were helpless in a war they didn’t ask to fight in, in an unmarked war zone they called school and without any way to defend themselves. This is the worst kind of war ever.

Fallopian Send-Off Countdown…and Go!

I just scheduled my appointment to get gutted.

This moment only took me four years.   But alas, I am here.  I have officially been put in a vaginal timeout by my Lady Doctor and there is no going back.  My last check-up a few weeks ago with him went a little something like this:

(Scene: Doctor’s office follow-up with results, after complete biopsy under the hood.)

Lady Doctor: Besides your endometriosis, your fibroid is growing.

Me: I’m an overachiever.

Lady Doctor: (Not amused.  I start to think: when you look up chee-chaws all day long, I guess humor slowly erodes away like lining of a vaginal cavity.)

Lady Doctor: Last year your fibroid was a lime.  Right now it’s an orange.  It’s time.

Me: Hm.  Ok.  Now, would you classify that as a clementine? I love those little guys.

Lady Doctor:  (Not amused.) Not at all.  The big one.  It’s time.

Me: That doesn’t sound apPEALing!

Lady Doctor: (Literally no expression.)

Me: K.

*****

Fallopian-Tube-1

My Trunk Junk.

Friends, meet cervix.  Cervix, meet friends.  In 2 short months, all of these once-overactive baby maker tools will be Jack-the-Rippered out of me.  Sayanara, sweeties!

The saddest part is all the excuses I have made.  I can say that I put these shenanigans off because of “work”. I book our gigs months in advance and I don’t want to screw my musical partner out of months of work=valid.

I can say that I can’t afford to stop teaching and singing for two months=valid.

I can say that I don’t want to leave my students voice teacher-less in the heart of high school spring musical audition season=valid.

I can say that I am scared to get all the weird and non-glamorous side-effects I will adopt, after they rip out my woman bits=valid.

I can even say that I am not sure what I am going to do with myself for two months, because I literally have watched the absolute and complete entire collection of Netflix=VALID TO ME.  And also embarrassing.

But the real truth…the one that festers and bubbles…the one I dare not whisper to anyone, even sometimes to myself…is that I am dreading the pain=The most valid.

But it’s going to hurt me so badly.  Not so much from the relinquishment of my reproductive whozits and whatzits galore, but my actual BODY will pulse and vibrate with breath-taking pain from not being medicated.  I have to go off of my Humira 10 days before and I can’t start up again until 6 weeks after.  During that time, my rheumatoid arthritis will unleash from the very gates of the seventh circle of hell to attack every joint in my body.  It’s a dark place, brother.

I could be all Pollyanna and pretend that it will “not be as bad as I think”, but fuck glasshalffull.  I know it will suck hard, because it happened to me unexpectedly last year.  (Please refer to the past WOUND posts.  It wasn’t pretty.)  It freaking hurt.  I’d rather have 5 more babies, all popping out at the same time.  Oxycodin from my surgery will help, but eventually I will have to stop, to prevent me from being an addict looking for a fix in the parking lot of Mariano’s, Zumba and all the other popular mom-addict drug spots in the surrounding Lake County area.

But it’s time.  Now I have 51 days to really show my ovaries a rockin’ good time.  I’m taking them to Florida.  I am definitely not going to neglect them from any opportunity to enjoy a tall Tito’s and soda.  They can help me decorate my Cubbie Christmas tree this season.  I’m even going to dress them up in flapper sequins and let them sing with me at my big closeout NYE gig this year.  They will want for nothing…..these bitches will be spoiled, but they are going out in style, yo!

Word.

 

 

 

 

 

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Heatherevent: A Definition.

 Heatherevent [spelled phonetically, in case you are truly the biggest idiot on the planet: HEH-THER-EE-VENT]: an annoying and stupid occurrence or event that happens to me on a daily basis.

The Goofball in Question.

Here are some past Heatherevent posts from Facebook.  Stupid random shit happens to me.  It’s a wonder that I make it through the day.

 “Today’s Heathervent: I just walked into the laundry room to change out the clothes and an entire industrial strength ginormous jug of detergent was thrown off the washer during the rinse cycle, shattering the top and emptying the entire contents of new bottle onto whole floor of room. Cocktail, please.”

Could Have Been Worse.

“Heathervent of the day: not only were [Thor] and I stupid enough to be the only people to go out to movie and dinner in a snowstorm last night for my birthday; I insisted on wearing high heeled-boots.  Eventually, I slipped two times coming into house and busted finger. Nice.”

Disclaimer. This is not me. I am totally hotter.

“Medieval Heatherevent: what NOT to do when you have a massive horse allergy – forget to move inhaler to new purse and then completely have huge asthma attack in enclosed space with fog and horses running around. Otherwise you may end up outside missing the whole show with about six really cute fireman and paramedics giving you a neb treatment in the parking lot. *sigh*”

“Beach Heatherevent: Great day at the beach with my cousin [Apricot] and friend [Volly].  See that line from the cooler??? You know how hard is is to drag a cooler with wheels on sand? [Alpha] was pulling it and getting a workout so I tried to help him pull. He grabbed a chair I was carrying off of my arm and when it whipped around, he whacked me right on my face…then two seconds later, [Apricot] bent down to help me and whacked me right across the head. True live stooges action. In other news, [Apricot] just took a day full of gorgeous beach pictures with no memory card. Livin’ la vida loca, bitches!”

Image

“The Heatherevent of the day already happened and it’s a doozy. This was back when the guys and I were performing in NYC.   You know the hair iron that TSA stole at the Dullas airport and I practically launched a nationwide Facebook smear campaign because of the erroneous theft? [PianoMan] and [BassMan], remember how I berated every poor employee we ran into at the airport, warning them to not steal ANOTHER $200 hair iron from me? [Nana Toad], remember when I cried and said that nice guys finished last and called the hotel 100 times to check if they found it? Well, looky looky, check out cookie: I just found it. In the side pocket of the garment bag that I just took to NY. It was sitting in there for 7 months. I suck.”

THOSE AREN’T PILLOWS!

“Coffee Heatherevent: I spilled my Starbucks DOWN the front of my dress walking into work tonight. TWICE. Like, right down through the boob canal. I smell like a grande decaf americano. And roses, thanktoyouverymuch. But I don’t think you should buy below above shirt for $85. (REEDONKULOUS) Instead, I will happily sell you my cute baby doll dress for $8.50.   People are suckers. “

Sadly, there are a million more Heatherevents occurring by the second.  Already this morning, [Thor] had to wake me up because I had both my phone charger and ear phones wrapped around my neck like a fetus.  Weeeeee!

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