Monday, July 21, 2014

Thoughts and Actions After Leaving Your Heart at LAX


  1. Thought: Does my life have a purpose outside of the beautiful boys and girl that I've brought into the world, the children who order my days and nights?
  2. Thought: What will I do if a missile hits their plane, and it goes down? Will I become a vengeful, crazy woman intent on destruction? Will I be a domestic jihadist, maybe even a conservative? I know this sounds insane, but I'm nothing if not honest. Notice that the above photo is a selfie when the boys landed in Atlanta, so you can disregard any thought of your yellow dog becoming a member of the armed forces. You can tell they were thrilled when I placed my order via text.
  3. Action: Try the new bakery on the way home and around the corner from the empty house. Order an incredible croissant with roasted tomato, bacon and Gruyere and some coffee for there and a Paris-Brest to take home. Sit down at a long table and pour coffee into beautiful mug from a silver carafe. Drink coffee, eat croissant, page through an actual copy of The New York Times, which feels good in the hands but is so filled with horror that you must push it aside. Gaze at the to-go box with Paris-Brest inside. 
  4. Action: Decide that it can't wait and eat Paris-Brest -- all of it.
  5. Thought: Know that some friends would call this taking care of yourself and others' emotional eating. As you lick the insides of the box, where the hazelnut cream is smeared, think I don't give a damn about anything in this moment.
  6. Action: Get home and wander aimlessly about the quiet house, waiting for Sophie to get home from a bike ride with her father. Straighten up boys' room, make beds lovingly, still mournful of their inhabitants' absence. Notice, suddenly, that elder son's clear retainer is lying in the folds of the navy bean-bag chair. 
  7. Thought: I wonder if he's been wearing this thing at all over the last month or so? What the hell? Where is the case? Those $5,000 teeth are probably getting crooked as we speak. Decide to have a few words with the kid as soon as he lands.
  8. Action: Work for a couple of hours on the project that my friend M gave me. I am so grateful for this work, and it's something so worthy that the work is a pleasure.
  9. Action: Make barbecue chicken for a friend in the hospital using the broiler in my 1928 oven for the first time. 
  10. Thought: Who knew the broiler worked and was so great? I've raised three children and never made barbecue chicken with the broiler. What the hey?
  11. Thought: Are we as a culture evolving into persons who will all have breast cancer and autism? It seems that way as five people I know have recently been diagnosed, and I know countless children with autism.
  12. Thought: I don't make a big deal about the womanly cycles, menstruation, or The Change, but really -- I'm nearly 51, and there don't seem to be signs of it, and I definitely don't need to have any more children, and -- let's face it -- buying feminine hygiene products for 38 years is a drag.
  13. Action: Take Sophie for a long walk to fend off the blues which are associated, I guess, with the two boys being gone and #12 above.
  14. Action: Send the elder son a text about the left-behind retainers that were found in the folds of the bean-bag chair.




Reader, tell me what sort of thoughts and actions you're having and doing today.

16 comments:

  1. Bought a bathing suit. Horror. Got new glasses. Horror at the price. I did not buy any feminine hygiene products. And haven't for quite a while since I am an aged crone. That is not horror at all. It's really quite wonderful.

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  2. I had to have a surgical procedure to make my menses stop. Each month was like a scene from Dexter in my bathroom. I'm not kidding. So. I think you'll be fine. Almost 51 is okay, that's average. And, yes, not having to buy feminine hygiene products feels like it saves a boatload of money every month. Your boys are breathtaking, even in their traveling annoyance. Henry and Sophie look so alike. I understand about personal meanings and all. I'm still, after 34 years, trying to understand what it means not to be someone's wife. And what to do with him happily gone off to the beach with his new lovie and still trying to contact me. Ugh. I've gone through times of thinking the kids are my sole joy in life. I don't know. I'm 62 and some days I absolutely don't know what I'm doing. I guess that's okay. Keeps me open to surprises...

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  3. Actions- not much. Went to the grocery store. Cooked beans and rice for supper. Have done things with and for the boys. Have been reading the New Yorker on and off. Can't take most of the articles. Reading the short story. It's sort of horrible.
    Thoughts- dull, pathetic, achey mind. Hoping that tomorrow I'll feel better about all of it.
    Texting a friend which makes me smile.

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  4. Lunch with a friend, someone I've known for almost 30 years. We say out loud how much we appreciate each other for not being exciting. But we're never bored. Wrote a blog post about quiet conversation and resulting insight. Went to Whole Foods and bought ingredients for a strange and wonderful dish: watermelon, lemon, pine nuts, flat-leaf parsley, and feta. Thank you for Thoughts and Actions. May menopause come upon you like a silk scarf.

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  5. I painted my family room. My house is quiet as well. We dropped my daughter at camp for the week. Trying to fill up the space and keep busy, so I'' probably bake something and walk the dog - again.

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  6. Oh man, my mind is not a pretty place right now. It's running something like this: one piece of my heart is about 37,000 feet over Japan right now; I just hope she really is remembering to take her Onfi EXACTLY every 12 hours; the dog got into a bag of chocolate oh s**t now we need to call the vet; make the dog throw up; oh no how did we miss the neurologists call? why did he call the home number not the cell?; now she's 37,000 feet in the air over the middle of the Pacific; I hope she's ok of course she'll be ok; damn I wish I'd gotten to talk to her doctor . . . I could go on, but it gets pretty boring after a while. I wish I could just turn it off sometimes.

    Thanks for this. It's like a cleanse, or maybe more like a purge.

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  7. Thought: How responsible am I for my 13 year old daughter's depression?
    Action: Got to Trader Joe's when it opens to load up on food she can eat on her new vegetarian diet.
    Action: Felt sorry for myself that I didn't have a clue that I could mess it up for her by not insisting that she 'master' something by age 12 (this according to the pile of books on the subject that are on my desk).
    Action: Got her to her weekly therapist appointment.
    Action: Got a little weepy when she got in the car, grabbed my hand, and said "I'm going to be OK mom".

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  8. Picked up my soon to be off to college daughter from her boyfriend's dad's house around 10am thinking we will have a lovely girl morning, one of our last few before she leaves home, but she was in a pissy mood and then so was I and I hated myself for wanting to slap her and say snap out of it, so we tried to soldier on but it never clicked and I wanted to cry because I will miss her so and will be left with two guys in the house who can't relate at all. Stupid really but heartfelt none the less. I love to read your insights, they are so cogent, heart wrenching and provocative. Thanks

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  9. Such a rich post and rich comments too. Thought: I miss my kids who are out in the world doing their lives, son in Denver with friends, daughter in Chicago where her bf visited her this weekend. I was glad she wasn't alone for the news of her grandfather passing. Son took it hard, his namesake. They are both coming home soon and we will travel together as a family to say our goodbyes. You never stop missing them when they leave, dear Elizabeth. But they always come back and that is joy. Your boys are stunningly handsome. You all haves these deep soulful eyes. One could drown in Sophie's dark beautiful pools of eyes. Thought: my life's greatest purpose are my children and I am fine with that. They are the best thing I have ever had any part in. Action: be with my husband in his grief. Just be there. Resist the thought that I need to fix things. Just be.

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  10. At age 69, there are portions, or the whole, of every day in which I have no idea what I'm doing until the moment I do it. Thought: is it possible to eliminate any habit or action that creates shame and what would that feel like. Action: have ordered postcards of some of my art. Thought: perhaps I can sell them in sets. I love that you ate the dessert as I would have, part of my umbrella thought today of being extravagantly kind. Am reading children's book, The Incredible Journey, for the first time. Animals know everything. Took a long nap. xo

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  11. We put our girls on a plane to send them to Denver. It was just like this, only I wasn't melancholy. I felt freedom. Your French food experience was much better than the one I had in Charleston, which turned out to be a total flop. I want a do-over with you in L.A.

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  12. It's wedding planning central around here as my daughter is finally doing the deed.

    also an email from my cousin with a link, for you

    http://altacaliforniabotanicals.com/news-and-sharing/brookes-story-success-battling-seizures-with-medical-marijuana/

    you will miss those boys SO BAD! I'm weepy just reading this.
    xxoo

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  13. My 17 year-old is in Thailand this summer. Thankfully, when she wakes up and does stuff I don't want to know about; I am asleep. When I wake up, my comfort is that she is sleeping soundly just like she did as my little girl. So thought/action are all about sleep/worry/denial :-) My other 2 (12/15) are home and sleeping late. I am also baking a lot as we run a B&B on the side...lots of action that way. You may enjoy her blog: http://reillyinthailand.blogspot.com

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  14. LOL @ "I forgot where I put them" like the beanbag chair is a legit place for retainers.

    Thank you. It's not just my teenager.

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  16. #7 is particularly irksome. Do not wish you had menopausal symptoms. Believe me.

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