Tuesday, February 22, 2011
I like to remind you each birthday how we worried the night you were born because it was snowing hard, and we didn’t know how we were going to get Grandma so she could watch Evan because Grandpa was stuck in a snowbank. (in his Bruno Magli shoes!) And when we were finally able to get going, we slipped and slid all the way to the hospital. And then you were ready to meet us, and I was pushing so so hard but you were sunny-side up, you wanted to come into the world face first, looking at it all, instead of looking down at the floor. But gosh darn it hurt, with your hard forehead banging my pelvis.
I cursed a lot. Sorry about that.
But I finally did it and you were out and in my arms. And despite the traumatic birth, you were so perfect looking. Such a beautiful little face. No conehead at all. Daddy and I like to say you’ve always had a hard head. You don’t give in easily, which I secretly love. You fight for what you believe in. I love that you laugh really hard and you also cry really hard. You embrace every moment of life like it was your last. That is an admirable quality, even when it drives me insane. I have learned so much from you. And that personality will get you through many tough times--it is enormous. You live your life out loud, and I know it sounds cliche, but you draw people to you like moths to a flame.
I am honored and humbled to be the person in your life you call Mom. I treasure the rest of your days and can’t wait to meet the man you become.
Happy 10th birthday, Charlie Boo.
I love you.
Mrs. Pontrella sang it to you the other day when I brought cupcakes to school, but you know the truth, you are my sunshine.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
All I Have to Do Is Dream
Sometimes I imagine I am still sitting
in my lemon yellow room on Alberta Avenue
dressing paper dolls in their fancy clothing--
two-dimensional Betsy McCall visits Pollyanna
under the bright lights of an imaginary Victorian circus tent
or I am slowly sifting through a shiny tin of glass buttons
letting them drop jewel-like through my fingers
as my grandmother pushes her foot down hard
on the sewing machine pedal
speeding through her stitches like a race car driver
laughing at me and my cousins,
the girls all prancing with abandon
dancing in our underwear and Nan’s fancy hats and pearly beads
to Sheb Wooley’s “Flying Purple People Eater”
and The Everley Bros. “All I Have to Do Is Dream”, side B.
Lifting the lid on that little black box
carefully, as if it were a treasure chest,
to flip the record, change the 45, push the needle back again.
Giggling while we switch positions, fall
into the beanbag cushions of each other’s laps
sure of our bodies, our nimble limbs
skin on skin, hands, feet, bellies, intertwined
unafraid of warm human touch, soft caresses,
proud of our budding breasts
and bloodless thighs.
We have not yet met the snake charmer
working at the corner store, the one with oil-stained hands,
and the sickening smell of Wild Turkey and Merit 100s on his breath.