Dreams, shadows, magic and sleep.

Mini blinds as blackboards, winds blew chalk dust around the classroom. The laugh of a bell swung as a child skittled by, sketches glowed like gold stars and sweet shop pink hearts as the teacher rubbed them into powder. Pushed into the light of day stuffed animals coalesced on the sampler Grandmother had used to teach one of seven daughters how to cross stitch roses on. Minnie Mouse from a dear friend holds a card for me. Hubby beamed and bragged happily about it the day before:

It's just so me!

    To My Wife on Mother's Day
    When I see you
    being such a
    patient, loving mom,
    I can't help but think...
    *open the card and a heart springs out*
    What a Babe!
    (of course, I always think that.)
    Happy Mother's Day!
    I love you ! ! !
Ha! Twenty two years of marriage and he still thinks I'm a babe. Who could ask for more ? Putting on my prettiest red dress the boys took me to the Blue Willow Restaurant. So proud. Number One Son opens the door to the Camaro and waits. Lunch is a southwestern earthy cuisine on an outdoor patio. The rest room possesses a bathtub filled with dirt. Green fig leaves, juniper berries and cassias join in a cacophony of fragrance. My card from the boys reads:
    When I think about
    how much love and effort
    you put into being a mother,
    I realize I must be
    one of the luckiest sons
    in the world.
    Happy Mother's Day
Number One Son lets me give him a big smoochies on his cheek, Number Two Son shyly shakes his head no and says later. The artsy gift shop catches our fancies with ceiling fan fobs, painted switch plate covers, and sculptured turtles hanging over the edge of a bowl. The pictures on switch plate covers are copies of ones that have done by the likes of Warhol and Van Gogh. One is The Scream. The boys joke about putting that in their bathroom something about smelly green fogs. Pretending not to hear a smirk makes its brief appearance. We settle on one for the kitchen, painted yellows oranges and and greens it will match the colors I want to paint the walls in the near future. We snapped a few pictures out front and headed home. River Road (don't laugh we do have rivers that rage white water rapids out of no where during flash floods then disappear just as suddenly) runs across town east to west and the new section is an undiscovered; a divine drive for now. One can watch the untamed and frozen ocean of coppery desert stretching across to the horizon where mountains seem to roll on a stormy sea. The scene is irresistible and the little deuce coupe has her top down. Playing the Mother's Day card I charmed the boys into listening my favorite radio station 101.9. Other Sir Lancelots on cell phones squire their mom in a rented limo. Raising my white scarf it flutters hot, fractious under the sun bleached and sexy sky. I salute my sister in motherhood in passing. Corny disco plays. We Oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh oooh along with Mick and Keith familiar pulse of Miss You. Number One Son grins under his ball cap, shakes his head when Mom and Jagger point and sing :
    What's the matter with you boy?
Motherhood is untamed splendor in a land full of song. At times bone shattering heart breakingly bumpy yet composed as strangely beautiful.

The ice will break on the Santa Cruz river sometime this week. That means that the temperature in Tucson will beak 100ยบ F for the first time this year. What I love most about this big bad city are escapes into the desert to let the heat of day wax red. A banded gecko lay stretched on a warm rock beneath a mesquite as dry breezes rained motes of yellow flowers on him and somehow that makes it seem cooler.

Returning Dad's phone call I accidentally told her I had called for Mother's Day. Coldness and fear grew in the pit of my stomach as dirty gray clouds piled. Memories streaked like dry lightning across the bottom edges of their torn curtains. I love you .... I love you too, she replied.

As a mother I waited for a long time to feel the same violent rage for my sons that she had acted out upon her children and grandchildren; it never came. Only anger and brittle silence when I finally understood. There was a detachment in relations, after all if not me who else would protect my children ?

On the back of the light switch plate cover I wrote Mother's Day 2002, collected on the IOU smoochies a few times from Number Two Son, then around nine PM my heart was breaking so I went to bed early to listen to it happen. In bittersweet silence the Panic Monster arrived.

The only hope of ever being loved the way you want to be loved comes from a mother. This is one of the hard truths of my existence. I have emerged from a dark forest of childhood as a hero.

God promises rest in Christ :
Therefore, behold, I will allure her, Bring her into the wilderness And speak kindly to her. Then I will give her her vineyards from there, And the valley of Achor as a door of hope.
Hosea 2:14 (NASB)