Tag Archives: sons

Soft and Broken

I woke up this morning to the weirdest sounds. Muffled and light, soft and broken and released in little batches.

Ok, it’s a bird.


Sure enough, Phoebus, my little red god of light and singing, has found his voice and is in practice mode. I detect a bit of cardinal in his song, too. (that cardinal likes my yard and is always nearby, belting his songs out. I love cardinals, so it’s good). I had put out a large sock feeder for the finches last weekend, hoping their noise would also entice Phoebus a little (canaries are actually finches. Who knew?). He’s young and I’m not sure if they need to be taught. We play some YouTube videos here and there for him.


It seems I’m not allowed to post video. Hmm. I swear I have in the past…. Anyway, meet Phoebus! Five months old now. I found him at a bird fair back in April. A red and black bird. Come on, I couldn’t pass him over. I wanted to name him Nightmare, but the boys vetoed me. The actual Nightmare does not sing and would not have been amused with my sense of humor. It only struck me as more hysterical. Oh well.

It’s been a hot week, but it rained much of yesterday, thankfully. I glanced out my patio door and found that my delphiniums had begun to bloom! I first saw these last year, I think. (It was not a gardening year, though. It was a painting year. Still haven’t finished.)

I saw them again early this year, but could not bring myself to pay $25 per gallon plant. Geeze, with as many as I want, that’s like a mortgage payment in flowers. But I found some hidden in a new nursery, $10 a gallon. Score! I didn’t know why I was so drawn to them at first. The blue-purple of the flowers were just amazing and striking. I looked them up and discovered they are my birth month’s flower. Huh. How about that?


There’s two more waiting to be planted…but there was a forest of ferns to clear out! It’s taken a whole lot longer than I originally planned. My back has decided to do some funky-scary spasming where I go completely numb and partially paralyzed to my toes. Yea, this year has not started out very well, and six months out, hasn’t yet improved. But we’re working on it. Dr just wants me drugged without trying to figure out the whys.

Anyway, it suddenly hit me that I’m a mother of boys. And while this is in the realm of things I wouldn’t have asked them to do, I realized I had to. Accepting that you’re no longer physically able to do something you could have done easily last year is a really difficult thing to come to terms with. Anyway, they’re teenagers. Physical labor and outdoor chores are good for them. They need some muscle and character development.

They got those three large patches of ferns cleared in two days!

I’m a mother of boys. That was a pat on the back moment.

So the humming bird garden got started. The hummingbirds aren’t acknowledging my effort and continue to prefer the feeder. Oh well.


I’m sorry for my silence. I moved in February. Yay…..ay…..ay…..It’s been a much needed move, but so far the absolute worst yet (out of 14).  One of the major issues with the new house- which I didn’t think to look for prior to signing the lease- is the lack of phone jacks. It’s a completely remodeled house! This makes connecting to the internet quite difficult. As I’m super stubborn when principles are involved (I had to buy a mailbox! I refuse to pay for phone installation on a rental house, a house that is not my investment, and as s***y as it’s become, will not be a long-term arrangement……move number 15 coming up…yay…ay….ay)

I wrote a really long, cathartic post about this whole experience. One I will not be posting. (Think happy thoughts, speak happy thoughts….)

I don’t think the boys and I have settled into this yet. It’s been three months, but we’ve been living with family for four years. They’ve forgotten how it was just the three of us before. And they’re four years older than they were when we fled Colorado. That’s my biggest struggle. Four years lost in limbo.

One of the first things unpacked was the photo albums. They’ve been in storage for four years, and I knew that the boys had forgotten a lot about our lives before. The things we did together. Maybe they forgot how much I love them. We lost our foundation coming here. I sacrificied my independence, a home, and it’s been hard. The visual ties to our past were gone and it really tormented me. I’ve taken what jobs I could since coming here, and at some hours were long. I left before they woke up, and sometimes got home in time to say goodnight. They’ve forgotten me- the three of us- during that.

So, first things to come out were those photo albums. The boys poured through them daily for the first month. I’d put them away at night and when I’d come home from work the next day, they’d be all over the couch again. My pictures from when I was a kid, when I was with their dad, and their baby albums, all the way up to five years ago, when I got so bogged down by other things I couldn’t keep up with printing our memories. Ah, I love Shutterfly, though 🙂 Printed up complete albums of our vacations while we’ve been here. Now our history is all together, accessible and allowable to them. Something they can retrace from the beginning to now. They were asking me questions and pointing things out, exclaiming over always believing certain things were dreams and not real, and muttering softly about other things they didn’t remember but that were good.

Just the three of us, no interference, no interruptions, and I have to learn them all over again. And that’s bittersweet. Well, mostly bitter. I was looking through some pictures I found and noticed that in most every picture of the three of us, I’m holding onto them. My hands on their shoulders if we’re standing. My arms around their waists if we’re sitting. Both or one in my lap. But I was always, always holding onto them. Holding them to me. My brother-in-law once yelled at me during a family picture because I had my hands on their shoulders. He didn’t like the way it looked. I don’t like pictures of families standing together and being very careful not to touch each other. (My family is like that. His/my sister’s as well).

But I can’t do that anymore- hold them. How odd and unexpected is that? It just hit me this weekend and I don’t know how to show them: Look. I always held you. When we first arrived here, Kid Number 1 began eating everything in sight. Constantly. I can’t keep him full. He’s thin as a rail but began growing day one here and hasn’t stopped. At twelve, he was 5’9. Officially taller than me. When was the last time he sat in my lap? He’s just about in high school. I need to teach him how to shave. Kid Number 2 is closing in. I look at them and it gets a little foggy: When did they do this? I’ve watched them grow but I couldn’t record it fast enough. Once, I could hold them both in my lap, and suddenly, now, I can fit in their clothes.

We went to the local mall on #1’s birthday a couple weeks ago, and a woman trying to sell me hair products referred to them as my brothers. I was having issues accepting #1 had just turned 13, so she absolutely made my day.

I want them to know, I always held them.

So #2 was digging around the yard yesterday and unearthed a Fu Dog statue. We looked it up and it turns out to be the female one as her paw is on top of a cub; meant to symbolize maternal strength and protection. The house has gotten itself some stars for this.