Monday, January 31, 2011


At 3 am, Chloe knocked on my bedroom door, she was obeying my wishes and saying goodbye. She pleaded with me through the thick dark wood, telling me to hurry, she had to leave, as I raced around my newly inhabited room trying to locate my keys. My body shook with nerves as I opened the door to bid my baby sister adieu. The same sister who wanted to be princess Jasmine when she was 4, who's striking blue eyes express more emotion than her voice ever will and sparsely shed tears, only to burn right through your heart when they do. She was standing there, amply more awake than me and less sullen. She wore the uncomfortable smirk that always falls across her face when she expects I might cry, and I delivered. My nose began to burn and my chest ached as I hugged her goodbye. 

2 months pregnant and in the throes of 1st trimester nausea, I abandoned my bed and endured a 2 hour car ride in the middle of the night, choking back vomit all the while. After waiting for her delayed flight to arrive, her thin frame and lovely face passed through the sliding glass doors of the airport. It was as if she had been sent on a 3 month boomerang as we fell instantly back into the embrace that parted us. Everything was right again. The missing piece was fitted to the puzzle and the discontentment that it caused was forgotten. For 10 days I soaked up every drop of my previously absent sister, we laughed, and cooked, and snuggled. Her second time leaving was as heart-breaking as the first and I counted the days until her return a month later.

Though she isn't a permanent resident of Casa Montana, she is indefinitely fixed in our hearts. Each time she leaves is less difficult as I become accustomed to the lull that her absence provides and our time spent together is sweeter for having grown separately. Over the last year and a half she has stayed here for time spanning a week to nearly three months. She paid witness to the birth of Tallulah and slept with me the months following, waking in the middle of the night to change her and rock her to sleep. She, unfortunately for me, bakes the best chocolate chip cookies in the world and never fails to leave her drawers hanging wide open. Even so I can't complain for the oodles of unfolded garments emerging from their temporary storage space signify Chloe's presence and inevitably bring a smile to my face.

In the years since our childhood I have watched her develop from a skinny, spunky little girl who refused to shave her legs and answered questions regarding astronomy by saying "I dunno, I'm not a moonologist." To a stunning and creative young woman with just a little of that sass reserved for whenever I take of sip of water, sure to make it come shooting out of my nose. I can't rightly express how excited I am for her adventure to Greece, a journey that I am positive is but the beginning of great things to come. Her ability to manifest confidently is unparalleled and her talent is beautifully rare. She is my sister and my best friend, and though sadness fills me at the prospect of her leaving, I am endlessly grateful to have such a unique, brilliant, hilariously funny person in my life.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Dancing Elephant

The reason I am posting this highly embarrassing video of myself trying to put myself into labor is three fold:

1) It is proof that losing pregnancy weight is possible.
2) To show that dancing won't make your water break but it is fun way to distract yourself from how miserable you are. (If you are desperate and full term, use castor oil.)
3) It is funny.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


The main battlefeild for good is not the open ground of the public arena but the small clearing of each heart.
-Yann Martel Life of Pi

Much of my formative years were spent trying to control the people and situations present in my life. As a result many of my important relationships fizzled out due to my intolerance and inability to allow. The fact that Mom loved to relocate made me anxious and irritated, and every time she declared "We're moving!" I refused to get on board. In my rigidity all I wanted was for things to stay the same, no matter that I wasn't happy, I just desired to be surrounded by the familiar. As the years passed and many friendships diminished, I became increasingly unhappy. I chastised one of my best friends for dropping out of college because I couldn't fathom a life without strict adherence to society's rules. I observed in disbelief my peers having babies, wondering how they could be so irresponsible. Though I fancied studying abroad, I was too consumed with fear of the uknown to even take the first step in that direction. Every fiber of my being was filled with judgement and hence I was terrified that other were judging me equally as harshly, my fear forcing me to outfit myself with a facade, never showing my true self. So much of my life was spent hiding because of my need to control my surroundings. 

What I was grossly underestimating was the power of removing myself from my comfort zone. In moving away from everything I knew, I became vulnerable which forced me on the other side of the wall of judgement I had erected against everyone. In being immersed in a different culture and observing their ways, I was pushed to look inward as well. I found that it is that very vulnerability inherent in voyaging to foreign places that provokes our spiritual and intellectual development. I found that true happiness comes from within, that traveling to run from your problems will only give them a head start, and you will find them on the doorstep of your destination saying "It took you long enough." I learned that if you can find an inner peace that stays with you regardless of your surroundings, travel can inform you on a visceral level as you will be able to soak up every taste, smell, and sight to the fullest, and those experiences will be worth much more than any formal education.

So here I am, a college drop out single mother living in Mexico and everyday I am reminded that though we may find other's paths funny or frivolous, it isn't ours to decide. That judgment and control of another person won't fulfill us, and in our efforts in running our will, we may potentially squash the expression or faith in another. In the end everyone has to make their own way, and it is our job to decide ours in a way that makes us truly happy, and allow for others to do the same. Though I still am tested with the same feelings that plagued my youth on a daily basis, I make conscious decisions to breathe and question my motives before I proceed. And sometimes I fail and have Mom shout at me "Choose your battles!" 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

On Being A Mom

All living things contain a measure of madness that moves them in strange, sometimes inexplicable ways. This madness can be saving; it is part and parcel of the ability to adapt. Without it, no species would survive.
-Yann Martel Life of Pi

There are few words that can explain the intricacies of being a mother. I could describe the pain felt in labor, the exhaustion of being awake night after night, or the pleasure in my little one resting her perfect head against my chest or smiling a gummy smile, but I can't get at that feeling, the core of motherhood. I could say how when I leave her, even if only for 20 minutes,  I feel as though I am in the wrong place. I can divulge the frustration in not being able to sleep with her, but not being able to sleep without her as well. Anecdotes regarding poopy mishaps and runny noses could be exchanged, but still none of those things encapsulate what it is to be a mom. It gets more difficult everyday, and I have a feeling women who have raised teenagers would say I have reached but the tip of the iceberg, yet every iota of hard is rewarded a million times multiplied by wonder. Wonder that I was able to give life to this amazing person. Wonder that I am fortunate enough to witness her grow. Wonder at the bounds of developments she experiences everyday. Wonder at attempting to imagine the world through her eyes; huge and exciting and perfect. Though there are times when I reach a precipice, all of the missed hours of sleep and dirty diapers piled high, and I need a bit of time to breathe in a quiet space, it only makes me love her more. For in my time spent in solitary silence, I realize how empty my world would be without her, now that she has graced us with her docile sweetness. When asked what it feels like to be a mom, I could express all of these things, but in the end only one word can do it justice: Love.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


She worked all day, went school, took care of the baby. He laid on the couch, smoked weed, talked shit. They told me he beat her.

They went to the hospital, she was 8 months pregnant, the bruises spoke for themselves.

Great, you're leaving me just when you're starting to look good again.

Uncomfortable. Florescent green stuffed into her ears to drown out the noise of the TV. He refused to turn it down.

What do you call the useless skin around the vagina? A woman. 12 year olds. 

Man, wrongly misconstrued through music and media as a pussy-getting, violence-doing, money-making bag of supressed feelings. Respect isn't deserved, it is earned, by a man who is kind, passionate, and respectful. Who is able to comprehend the wisdom inherent in the woman, not just in her body; the breast that feed, the hips that bare the child, but in the mind and the senses, the sensitivity and the intuition. A man who can listen not only to her words but to her silence. Appreciates her right to decline a sexual advance as she is not a dumping ground for sperm and emotional challenges, but a person with the right to say no. Knows that, yes, she will always love her children more than him, and not be threatened rather grateful for her sacrifice of body and well being to birth the fruit of their combined genetics. Chooses her with the same criteria he would apply to a best friend; honesty, intelligence, sense of humor. Doesn't use words he can't take back, because no apology can admonish the sting of sentences meant to damage. Measures himself against himself, not against her. Respect her right to work and have passion outside of their relationship, no one can make him feel like a man but him. Inherent in that definition of man lay humanity, the values of peacably living among other people, men and women alike, despite the subliminal and intentional messages inherent in religion, television, and schooling. 

Though I have failed in the past, lowered myself to accepting abuse, made myself smaller to boost their egos, I have not lost faith, I believe one exists. One who's spirituality precedes his sexuality. Who values the word too much to dishonor it with the use of  bitch, cunt. His love is not in the form of gifts and empty promises, but is shaped by the every day idiosyncrasies, the small gestures and mutual obedience to our shared happiness.

If he is a man, he is nothing less.