Love & Loss

The dance of motherhood.

I dream at night of being a ballerina.

suzanne farrell holding onto air

I am lithe and long as I glide across the non-existent stage. My arms slender and pale, ethereal. I am so thin and so very strong and there is no shame; everything is exquisite. The arch of my foot tells the story. The the soft folds of my ballet dress float as I turn, pirouetting. I am Suzanne Farrell. I am Gelsey Kirkland. Long dark hair trailing behind me as I spin and jump, so free. It is my ascension to heaven.

I wake drenched in postpartum sweat, feet aching from unconsciously pointing in slumber to nurse the new baby.

My great grandfather was a bit of a scum. He was run out of town and went on to have an entirely different and separate family. My great grandmother, not one to suffer fools, bravely filed for divorce in a time when that simply was not done. She had four children and worked so hard, standing such long hours her uterus prolapsed at work. She was strong, but she was not lithe.

We met this other family once. A meet up of my grandmother and her half-sisters, one thrilled to have more family and one very put out that Daddy’s Girl has a girl before her. Never mind that he walked away and abandoned that very girl. I myself was always desperate for family and wanted to know them. Wanted to be with them. Wanted them to love me.

They didn’t.

They shared stories of my grandmother’s absent father and of his other grandchildren. I had cousins, they said. And they danced. I love to dance! I told them, all of 13 and full of dreams not yet unrealized. I thought we are the same, those cousins and me. Scoffing I was told no they dance. Ballet. With Balanchine and Baryshnikov, who’s poster hung on my wall above my bed. My heart soared. Maybe I could meet them? Maybe I could just glean a touch of that world from them. They had both left NYC Ballet and moved on to be Ballet Mistresses of their own companies by then. We never saw my grandmother’s half sisters again. One meeting was all. I don’t know if they kept in touch, perhaps my mother does.

I saw a ballet once in San Francisco listing my cousin’s name as Mistress. Was she in the building? Were we close? I imagined her perfect, strong.

The baby has violent hiccups and I dance my own dance of bounces, sways, and rhythmic pats until she quiets, giving a shuddering sigh and relaxes her wisp of a body fully into my arms. Gingerly I kiss her cheek, she still smells of heaven. She settles into her bed and I crawl back beneath the covers and try to rest.

I am not thin. I am not strong. I am not even a success anymore. I feel sad for myself that I haven’t accomplished anything of great worth. No real goals achieved. When you are small years seem to take forever to pass and suddenly you blink and your thirties are gone. And here I still am, tied to the ground. Heavy. I miss the theatre. I miss my old friends who smoked on the fire escape at intermission. I miss the stories they told. It’s as if I missing a limb.

But truly I am happy here and now. There is no music more beautiful than my children’s laughter. There is no ballet as intricate as their play, beautiful and painful.

The sun rises, as it always does and things look brighter. My sons and I pour love over their new sister, kissing her head to toe while we wonder what she will like. Princesses they say assuredly. And baseball. I hold her impossibly tiny foot and she points. A good arch. I smile and wonder will she want to dance too? Will she want to act? Whatever she chooses I envision her strong and ascending upwards to her dream.

Perhaps motherhood is it’s own version of Ballet Mistress. My company my brood of babes. Warm ups are Yo Gabba  and the Wiggles. The music the Beatles and Green Day and Sophia The First. The steps are wild and unpredictable. More Twyla Tharp than Balanchine.


Friday I’m in Love

1. He loves Boss so much. 2. SpderBoss in trouble again. 3. try to do something good and the closet door Gods smite ya! also? OUCH 4. Backyard fun 5.. Rainy Day walk Boss "Ill keep puppy dry" 6. post-bath warm baby snuggles. One of the best things in the world.

1. He loves Boss so much. 2. SpderBoss in trouble again. 3. try to do something good and the closet door Gods smite ya! also? OUCH 4. Backyard fun 5.. Rainy Day walk Boss “Ill keep puppy dry” 6. post-bath warm baby snuggles. One of the best things in the world.

We started swim classes this week and my timid boy went from not putting his face in the water to jumping in to jumping off the diving board. Yes, I cried. I was just so dang proud! I believe we are going to have to do one of those paper ring count downs to class because he asks constantly if today is his swim class. And it’s not. And Boss? Boss’ sad face  makes sad people sad. It’s sad you guys. SAD.

That’s a big deal you guys!
Huckleberry has been in rare adorable-non two year old tantrum mode this week. Nothing but snuggles and adoration for big brother. It’s been heaven. I can’t get enough of those snuggles. This morning as I lifted him out of his crib it seemed as if he had a growth spurt over night. He just seems so big!


When I was a little girl we would always go to Monterrey House in Galveston Texas and they had this candy, it’s been closed for decades but I never forgot it and according to the internet, I was not alone! Iput together about two recipes..fiddled with them and made candy you guys. And it is just as I remembered it! Problem: I’m spinning like a top from all the sugar! (recipe to come becase OMG you guys, so good)

I kind of went on a statement necklace binge. But I don’t CARE! So cheap. So love.

I’ve never been a girl crush before! But Heather calls me just that, and I blush.

This picture from 1947. Men and cats. Never change. 


This weekend we are having a yard sale and I came across some Sweet Valley High books and was like aw hell yeah! And then Kristin from Said Kristin sent me this link. YOU ARE WELCOME SVH fans. Also? I still want to be Jessica.

I mentioned earlier that I grew up without a dad. He passed away when I was very young but through the beauty of facebook I get to see pictures of him as my aunt and especscialluy my Uncle go through and scan the family archives. This week I saw this picture, of my father, age 2. I see some Boss, I see some Huck and I see some of myself. Photos are best, aren’t they?


Tonight I am off to see White House Down and walk the red Carpet with Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx. We are turning it into Date Night as well. Zach wants to see the movie so badly I was pretty sure he would divorce me if I went without him!

What did you fall in love with this week? I hope you have a great weekend!

My Sister’s tale of love and loss.

My sister, Heather is taking over my blog today. She recently suffered a loss and dealt with it by writing. It’s full of heart and lost dreams, and I think it is too beautiful not to share. Please give her some love.


This morning I was feeling solid euphoria. I cleaned the entire house. I was in awe of the power and effectiveness of my Goddess body. I felt clear and relieved and okay. And I wanted to scream at myself “DO NOT BELIEVE THIS!! IT IS A LIE!” I remember this elation after my first child was born. I felt beautiful and sexy and strong. And then post partum kicked in and my life went into crazy land. I am getting ready for this loony ride. I know it is coming. But this time, there is no baby at the end. No sweet baby girl. For years I have meditated on the words “I will have a healthy, happy, smart, baby girl”. For weeks I believed it was time. I dreamed of my sweet girl. I had names. I couldn’t help it. I had names picked out for her. I know this was not the time. Ammar and I did not make a conscious decision to have this baby. We have not even yet made complete, conscious, decisions to be together. My engagement ring still sits in my bedside table. Waiting.

So this baby girl, perhaps knew this was not the time. She jumped in, an eager soul to be with this lovely family. And we are a lovely family. We love each other, we play together and Isaiah is the happiest, sweetest boy I could ever have dreamed up. But perhaps my smart, baby girl realized this was not the time. We were scared of money. We were scared of being able to provide for a family with two children at this time. We were scared of losing each other, caring for a baby before we were ready to care for ourselves. This perfect soul decided to give us some more time. I knew something was wrong. I felt a burning for weeks. The doctor said it all looked good, but I felt the difference. So I stopped having morning sickness. My breasts stopped swelling as they did last time when they gave me a brief moment of Barbie doll status. My last pregnancy I felt like a rock star. I knew this one was different. At nearly 10 weeks, I went into work. I did not feel like moving, so I was working at my desk. Coloring an activity for a future lesson plan. Meditative work. Then I started bleeding. Just a little bit but I knew something was wrong.

I showed up at the OBGYN. Could have been just a normal check-up where she told me I was being over anxious and that everything was just fine. They set me up with an ultrasound. Laying there, I saw it. I saw her. I knew. I knew before my  doctor  said a word. My clinical but gentle Dr. stated, “ I am not seeing movement…like I should… and… I don’t feel a heartbeat.” This took a life-time to say. Slowly it sunk in. No sweet baby girl. No more dreaming and planning for a future baby to snuggle and love, with all of my mommy heart. I love being a mommy. Nothing has made me happier. I feel so perfectly right as a mommy. Of course I make mistakes and feel at a loss much of the time. But I am supposed to be doing this. Before Isaiah, I had never felt so overcome with love. Every cell in my body loves… no worships this boy of mine. I dote on his smell, his words, his laugh, his very being. I can watch him for hours and I miss him when he goes to sleep. I am meant to be a mommy.

I also always pictured myself with a baby girl. Don’t get me wrong, I love having a boy. There is nothing like the feeling of being the sun and the moon and the stars to a little boy. We are connected like no one else. We make perfect sense. He grabs my hand, and checks if it is cold or warm, and I swoon. He tells me I smell like glitter and he always wants me to put him to bed at night. I love my boy. But I also have an image of my girl. We will probably fight. She will probably think I have bad taste in everything and I will never be cool enough for her. But she will be my legacy. She will be the one who pours over who I was after I am gone. She is the one I will have tea parties with and then years later, glasses of wine and chats at midnight. She will get my diamond ring and my special “sweet 16” necklace given to me by my mommy. To me, she will be the most beautiful person who has ever walked the earth. She will be more than anything I can presently imagine. Some day I might tell her about my miscarriage. The baby who was not meant to be. I will hold her and hug her through her downs and tell her how powerful she can be. The power of a woman’s body. How we can create life. How we can take care of ourselves through all kinds of trauma. How we are survivors. Maybe I will help her shop for a prom dress or hold her hand when puts the tiara on her head as a final touch before she walks down the isle. Or maybe not. Maybe I will support her decision to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro or fight fires. Who knows, but I will always be my children’s mommy and love them. No matter what.

But for now, I will live through this miscarriage. I will bleed and bleed and bleed. I will live through this cramping, through this extreme pain. This broken heart. Thank you for showing me a strength I never thought possible. Good-bye for now, my baby dream. Until we meet again.