Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Barricade

"Your pony tails are WEIRD!!!!!!"

Uttered the little girl at the playground.

"What?!!", I thought, as I watched Lily pause for a moment in front of the little five year old, completely and thankfully unaware of the meaning to this snooty little sentence. Lily skipped away to play, and I plotted my way behind the swings, ready to invite the little snooty sucker over to meet Mommy's clever new hand puppet:
Mr. FistinYourFace.

Lily has these little hair clippies. Turtle clippies. Hair clippies that perfectly adorn her very wild piggy tails- piggy tails that shoot out in the opposite and most darling directions. Turtle clippies that go with her green turtle shorts, that match perfectly with her striped turtle shirt, that complement her sparkly green flip flops. An outfit that makes me want to squeeze, eat, hug, devour, kiss, and freeze in time her little turtle clippy, two year-old self. Couple her toddler piggy turtle tails with London's matching turtle theme shorts, and I am sent into love induced kissfest with my two very matching, very squishy girls. I have an obsession with all themes Gymboree (we are particularly into the fishy theme that is currently on sale as well, and awaiting the pending discount of the flamingo fancy coming soon). Consequently, my credit card also has an obsession with a hefty balance. Oh well, I only have a two little hair clippy sisters once, right?

See, the thing is: turtles and flamingos and fishies are just so indicative of my little girls. How you ask? They are colorful and pure and so completely interesting. Complex and intricate and yet magically simple and unique. Silly. Comical. Full of profound lessons on the beauty of existence and yet humble in their own presence. Humble and beautiful like a... well...a turtle. See!...they are just soooo Lily and London!

I gathered my injured motherly baring as I repeated, "I'm no good to Lily if I'm in prison, I'm no good to Lily if I'm in prison, I'm no good to Lily if I'm in prison" and decided to forgo the current plan of hanging above mentioned snooty five year-old from her toes in the nearest tree.

And it struck...that feeling...again.
I just want to run away. Build a giant cement wall around our home. Homeschool forever. Live off of quick oats and fiddle music and corn cakes (although I have no idea what a corn cake is...).
I want to protect her.

I want to protect me so I don't hurt so bad from not being able to protect her. I want to protect her from a world of turtle clippy teasing bru-hahs, peer pressured moments of self destructive insanity, and rising oil prices. The world won't appreciate my turtle Lily and London the way I do! And if I let them go out into it...they will realize that as well. They will diet and love and be hurt and not win the fourth grade spelling bee. They will be afraid, and unsure, and occasionally sad. They will judge and be judged. One day... they will tell me they don't want to wear turtle clippies anymore.

What have I signed up for? Sometimes I want to find the little weasel who spoke the infamous "It is better to have loved and lost, than to never have loved at all" and twist the ears off of their obnoxious, optimistically inflated head. I can never let sadness and momentarily tampered self esteem devour a little girl who hugs my neck and says, "Chowy Mom! Chowy Mom! Chowy Mom!" ("Sorry Mom!") when she's trying to avoid the naughty chair. The little girl who says, "I laa you ta peeeces. ("I love you to pieces")" or "Cuz ets sa annaying!" ("cuz it's so annoying!") when asked to why she won't say hi to Grandma on the phone. The little girl who screams in sheer delight every time she sees an "Aiipane!!" (airplane!) or asks to wear "Peety Peety" (Pretties= makeup) anytime she sees Mommy applying cosmetic damage control. It seems perfectly justifiable to build a barricade, and lock her in it. No more parks, no more people, no more pain.

Then again, no more living either.

So, for now, I guess my fortress can only serve as a place for her and London to arrive home to... long enough to lick their wounds, recover their losses, and head back out into the crazy, and very lively world...again.

As I sulk over the heavy aching of my heart, I notice Lily squealing as she rushes down the slide. She smiles and giggles as she tromps around her favorite place, running in and out of the crowds of little children she says "Hi!" and "Love ya!" to...some who respond and some who don't.

She runs to me and says:
"Owwie. Owwie! Choo." as she points to her sandal. I remove the little piece of bark that is wedged under her foot.

"All better. Now go try the big girl slide!" I tell her. And she turns, and runs, smiling as she plays.


Jacob Hansen said...

way to go rae. I was having funny until your tales of cute lily and london ripped my heart out with homesickness for them. maybe it was good that lily was born while i was gone otherwise the mission would have been a lot tougher. They seriously are the two people i miss most from home. uggg. Also more pictures especially of london because I dont want to miss her getting bigger and fatter. Also your writing ability smashes mine. Amazing. Miss u rae rae. And tell Tyler i miss him to but am gonna beat his ASS in the triathalon


Amy said...

Again and again I am amazed at your writing Rae. Not just the actual writing -- the descriptions and metaphors and symbolism etc. -- but your topics. They hit home with me even though our lives are so different. Love!

jenniferoharra said...

I don't even have kids yet but know that I will feel the same way. If someone looks at them wrong I know I will want to beat them up! But kids are tough just like we were and they will get through it - especially with such an awesome mom like you!

Anonymous said...


Although I do not know you personally I have been reading your blogs for quite some time.

I have 4 older children -- 2 boys and 2 girls and have worked really hard to be the best mom ever-- many times being told I was "too involved" or "too protective". Can we ever be? I suppose there is a fine line in there somewhere....

The need to protect has not gone away for me despite the fact that my husband and I have taught our children well and they are GREAT kids! It seems as though these passionate feelings only grow more intense as your children grow older. A girl breaking your son's heart or as I discovered even worse.... watching your daughter's heart shatter into a zillion peices. Knowing you have to let go and watch as they work through their own feelings only able to offer bits of advice and lots of warm tight hugs! Yes!.... I have considered learning to use a gun just in case I feel compelled to put the "fear of God" into the mind of a young man. :)

So Rae.... continue on as you are -- you are doing an AMAZING job! I am inspired by you in so many ways and I share many of your blogs with my daughter as an example of a young mom who is a loving, appreciative, passionate wife and mother doing the greatest and most important job in the world!!!!!

Thank you for sharing your "real life" experiences with us -- young and old!

Daniel said...

Wow! The anonymous comment is cool! Rachel has secret admirers! And bravo to the anonymous poster--a friendly compliment.

And Lily rocks--tell the little 5-year-old brat that I've got Lily's back!

And as our new friend said, keep up the great parenting. The girls are dolls. You are a great mom.

Joan Koplin said...

So...(sigh) you caught me in a super sentimental mood. The rain is gently tapping the windows, I'm listening to "Wild Horses" by the Sundays, and my boys are both cozy in their sweet little beds.
I couldn't agree more with your feelings about protecting our darlings from the cold, vicious world. A world that will beat every good thing out of them or at least pound them until they feel like they can't get back up again. And as a Mother we are required to stand by and watch...and not only watch but embrace all the painful moments that make up this life. Because without them we would be left unmarked...less human, less able to love and empathize.
With every moment: good, bad, or somewhere in between we learn to open our eyes a little see things with more clarity and a perspective that allows us to see beyond this moment.
With all of that being said. It is worth it. All of it. Playground brats and all. Their squishy, sweet, slobber covered faces make every last ounce of life so, So, SO good.

Joan Koplin said...

ps: The "Twilight" series by Stephenie Meyer is bubble gum for the brain. Don't set your sights on literary genius...just go into them hoping for some harmless entertainment (mostly a love story...with a touch of suspense/horror). I think the teenager in you will appreciate the books, though. I am mildly obsessed. Wait, can you use the word "mildly" when describing an obsession?

Rae's Corner said...

Thanks for the comments everyone...but I just had to tell my Anony-commentor that I was absolutely thrilled and flattered to my fingertips to have someone who enjoys my blog! Thank you so much for stopping by and please come again!


Lori said...

Oh Rachel, It has been awhile since I have been on your page. I have been laughing uncontrollably for the last 20 minutes! Don keeps asking me what is so funny…I didn’t bother to explain because only a mother can understand the weird pony tale comment from that little brat on the playground! Did you let that playground snot know that Lily has a Ga-Ma and a Nonna that might not be very nice to someone that picks on our first granddaughter? Keep the laughs coming…Love Nonna


Oh Rae! Not only are you an amazing writer and leave everyone wanting more, but only you could write a whole blog on fish hair clippies!! Keep it coming!!