Happy Mother’s Day to Mothers everywhere.
My Mom, my sister and myself.
My sister and her son.
Great Grandma holding my oldest for the first time.
Great Grandma holding my oldest for the first time.
Day Five of Christmas Horse Pictures!
Christmas Day! Ring in the Happiness! Good Cheer! Presents…..
At my house, sort of.
I didn’t wrap anything until this morning, Christmased out by decorating the living room and Tree on Christmas Eve. Normally, all the presents for my kids are wrapped and under the tree by the week before. Not so this year, but maybe that is okay. It is okay not to try so hard?
It wasn’t like they were up at the crack of dawn.
So, I wrapped for them, then the rest of the my family. After opening presents at home, under the newly decorated Christmas Tree, my oldest mixed up Mac and Cheese and some oatmeal cookies for the Family Gathering later that morning.
This was at my asking, mind you. No, not asking. Telling. This wasn’t some bright insight on her part.
They both did an excellent job with my gifts. My son got me a neat black and white drawing of a barn scene with a bright-orange/red fox in the foreground. My oldest got me an agenda and a GC to B&N. Her gifts surprised me. Usually, it’s a DVD.
I was just about to start my “Great Agenda Hunt” for 2018 and this saves me so much time. It isn’t one I would have picked, but she did and it will work fine.
The we drove down to my parent’s house for Christmas with my Dad, sister and her son.
Truthfully, everything felt odd and awkward. Maybe it was just me, but usually I am pretty good about reading such things.
We handed out presents. My sister asked if I had purchased Dad’s gifts to my kids. I said no, I hadn’t been asked to put that on my agenda. Strike one, thought my Dad did write them each a check before we left.
Strike two, we took the dog. I am not yet comfortable leaving her home alone (well with the cats) for long periods of time. She has abandonment issues due to being dumped on our street. We didn’t take her inside my Dad’s house, because she had not been invited. She wasn’t even mentioned until we were getting ready to leave.
We ate and rushed home so my youngest could go to work. Christmas was over.
It was a good Christmas, I guess. At least, an okay one. I don’t do well with holidays on a whole – they overwhelm me – and the same with family gatherings.
Could it have been better? Could I have made it better? Yes and yes, but I’m not sure faking the emotions was the needed ingredient. I don’t want to fake and pretend. I just want Christmas to mean something more again.
That said, Christmas really isn’t for adults, not the Christmas Tree/Santa Claus side anyway. Christmas is for children, those who haven’t forgotten the world of Christmas magic.
I can remember being that child, but can I ever be that child again?
Maybe if I had gotten that pony under the Christmas Tree……
The challenge for Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner will open early Thursday morning, August 24th. Allow the prompt to take you anywhere you want to go! (Limit your stories to 200 words.)
This challenge is open until 11:00 pm Friday night, August 31st, 2017.
“It’s there again!” he said, peering out beyond the window shade.
“The green bicycle.” Whispered.
“Oh for God’s sake, Sam, grow up.”
“But it’s a spy bike,” he assured his mother. “Really.”
“It’s a bike, nothing more.” She swished back into the kitchen.
“It’s not,” he whispered, still watching.
A window above the bike opened and a boy dropped to the sidewalk. He jumped on the bike and pedaled quickly away.
Sam ran to the door. He was just about to step outside, when his mother called.
“Sam! Come back and finish your supper!”
Sulking, he slunk back to the table. “Spies don’t eat peas.”
“Of course they do, Sam. That’s what makes them so sneaky!”
The idea of Sunday Photo Fiction is to create a story / poem or something using around about 200 words with the photo as a guide. Please try to keep it as close to the 200 words as possible.
They sat quiet, button eyes staring, fur smooth beneath her stroking hand. They hadn’t been loved enough to show the caress of a child’s grubby hand. The tight hugs of comfort. The bare patches, the shifted stuffing, the lost eyes, hadn’t yet touched them in their casual yet honest lounge against the pillows.
She picked them up, kissing each lightly before settling them down, arranging teddy bear limbs just so. Her own bear lay in the bottom of a drawer, patches holding him together for one more day. Button eye lost but still smiling.
Mandy would never hug a bear, whisper secrets into cloth ears late into the night. Still, she liked to think that maybe, in her dreams, Mandy had whispered her hopes and fears. She needed to know something remained of her baby. Something in these three bears, some love, some hope, some unknowing happiness. Something tiny tucked deep inside.
The bears sat on the bed for the rest of her life, accepting the kisses she would never give her child.
Show us someone or something you admire (and tell us about them, too)!
I admire my mother for all she did for my sister and me, all she sacrificed so we could have wonderful childhoods.
Solitude didn’t both him, that wasn’t it, but his brother, Silence, was a different story. Nights when he was the only person alive and the vast silent expanse of the sky cupped over him like a giant’s hand. Those nights he curled up in his blankets and shivered, eyes tight closed, not wanting to see the Nightly Things creeping up on him. If he didn’t see them, they couldn’t see him, no matter how close they crept. Nightly Things couldn’t peer inside closed eyelids, that was the rule.
The Doctor didn’t look over at Mrs. Marshall as he spoke. “As you can see, he hasn’t gotten any better.”
“Do you know why?”
“The workings of the mind are still mostly a mystery. There is so much we don’t know about mental illness.”
“He isn’t mentally ill.”
“Look at him, Mrs. Marshall. He has no connection nor concept of the world.” He paused, feigning sympathy and patience. “He isn’t going to get better. The best thing for him is to put him into an institution so he gets the care he needs…” Droning on until his words turned into blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
Care for him yes, but not love him. Not like a mother.
Mrs. Marshall stared through the window at her son. She knew so little about him, his world, but one thing she did know was he was not mentally ill. Those words he scribbling over and over – Nightly Things – scared her. What did he mean? What was he trying to tell her, his mother, the one person who loved him unconditionally?
She thought his words were a cry for help, for protection; to be heard. Something somewhere terrified him. Something, real or not, chased him in his silent world.
On the drive home, she thought about being a mother. Mothers didn’t give up. They didn’t leave their child behind. She stroked his hair, silky even at ten. Mother’s protected against Nightly Things, whatever they were. Mothers loved. Mothers listened even to the silence.
Mothers didn’t walk away.
The opening sentence for the February 26th Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner:
“Nothing is ever as easy as it looks…”
Children weren’t easy no matter what they said. She’d found out the hard way – by having a child. It would have been easier with a partner, a marriage, and not just going it on her own, but she hadn’t wanted a partner. It wasn’t she didn’t trust men, but she didn’t trust men. She’d been hurt too many times to take the chance, must less expose her child to the possibility of divorce. She might have done things different if she’d known, but she hadn’t.
Her eyes drifted to the toys on the shelf above her dresser. It all seemed so long ago. He’d called last night to say hello, he loved her, but he couldn’t come for her birthday. One of the kids was sick. The other was on her first sleepover.
She understood. She’d never wanted to leave him when he was sick. Now, she was the sick one. She’d taken the move to the facility as well as possible. He’d agonized over the decision as had she, but in the end, she’d made the final decision, removed the burden from his shoulders.
Just like they’d said, you never stopped behind a mother. That, after all, was what mothers were for.
The opening sentence for the February 12th, Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: “……. For the thousandth time, I promise you, it wasn’t me!” (Permission for this NOT be be the opening sentence, but only a sentence included somewhere in your story…. granted.) 200
……. For the thousandth time, I promise you, it wasn’t me!….
“Ah, puppy,” I sighed, sinking down onto rough floor, wrapping an arm around his sudden wiggling body. Rough tongue kissed pale skin, low whines of happiness pouring from his entire being.
I ran crooked hands over soft fur, unable to stop the smile. Puppies made me smile, especially this chocolate-eyed angel. It had been years since I’d lived with a dog, but when I saw his face, the hopelovejoy in those eyes, how could I walk away?
How was I to know? Would I have done the same had I known? Behind us sat his red bowl, his leash, squeaky toy, a carefully chosen bed, all packed carefully in a box.
“Ah puppy,” I whispered again, breathing in sweet puppy scent, hands growing translucent against fur. What would happen to him now? My daughter? on? Grandchild? “It wasn’t me, puppy. I didn’t choose this….
“I never even got the chance to name you.”
“My mother says that pain is hidden in everyone you see. She says try to imagine it like big bunches of flowers that everyone is carrying around with them. Think of your pain like a big bunch of red roses, a beautiful thorn necklace. Everyone has one.”
― Francesca Lia Block, Witch Baby