“I’ll never be married,” mused the middle-aged woman as she sipped on free champagne and watched with shameful bitterness as a toddler in a tuxedo chased a group of newborn ducks. “I’m going to become one of those angry spinsters who’s mean to children and gives her cats people names.”
I wished, the crying in the middle of the night would stop and it did. The laughter stopped too, but the scent of baby powder still clings to my arms.
When Jim and I broke up, I had my portrait painted in the foyer of the mall. A little girl yelled, “Look, he’s painting that beautiful woman,” and watched until the painting was finished.
Eight-year-old Amanda isn’t writing a letter to Santa Claus this year — she already has what she wants. She smears a message on the wall of her room, with unsteady hands covered in blood and mutters, “Daddy won’t ever touch me again.”
Lifting up, up, up off of the crinkly papered bed, she floated aboard the majestic, wooden air ship, where she slow-danced with Prince Charming’s handsome son, wearing a flowing ball gown that sparkled like diamonds in the melting lip-gloss gold sunset that the circus animal crew – elephants and zebras wearing colorful hats and silly shirts – was working to sail into, paddling their oars rhythmically against tufts of cumulonimbus clouds as if silently marking the beat of her dance. This was her favorite place to go whenever Mommy and the doctor started talking about her cancer.
“Sweetie, what on EARTH are you doing?” Claire asked, beyond surprised to see Chelsea, her pig-tailed, freckle-cheeked, pink-shorts-wearing four year-old daughter, hopping repeatedly on one foot for balance while jamming the other down the toilet, two dandelions grasped in one hand while the other worked the flushing lever.
“Well we bringed flowers to Grampa in the hospital yesterday, so now I’m gonna bring flowers to Bubbles,” Chelsea answered matter-of-factly, of course referring to her comrade who had, several weeks ago after a violent incident involving one of his (larger and more aggressive) bowl-mates, been sent via toilet flush to the fishy hospital.
I am lead by former friends.
I am followed by tiny children.
Little blond me appeared in a flash and wanted to know what the fuck was going on.
Answering to yourself from the past is far harder than you’d think.
No one believed seven-year-old Scotty Schmekmeier, that kindly old Dr. Krappendorf was in reality an evil son of a bitch who visited unspeakable horrors on the children of Phfiffenburg. No one did, until a search for the missing doctor revealed the contents of his root cellar, and what was stored in those dozens of jars of formaldehyde.
The Airline says to secure the airbag on yourself before your children. The Airline was wrong.
I’m going to lie to my kids and tell them there are many worthwhile things in life apart from drinking.
And then I’m going to have another drink, hooray!
Sometimes I think the only point of us being together was for me to give you a word and a little game that you’ll play with your kids.
And that will be the only thing I contribute to the world.
My nieces loved the bit in Hotel for Dogs where Lisa Kudrow falls in deep do do. Otherwise it was crap.
All the dead pets of the world frolic in the afterlife with all the dead children.
It makes me happy to know my brother and Blackie aren’t alone.
The kids you raise may one day choose your nursing home.
That is why I deserve an iPod for my birthday.
Writing children’s books was beautiful and I loved it.
I fear I peaked too soon.
They thought it was a good idea to sneak into the school at night and change their grades until muffled laughter came down from the dark classrooms in the empty hallways. The laughter sounded way too young to be the school’s current students.
I tried to get into the house the ‘legal’ way–do the knock and talk thing before serving my warrant. Finally, I had to use a shotgun on the deadbolt…at the exact moment that six year old was struggling to open the door.
My parents feed my sister through a hole she cut in the door to her room, which she has bolted shut from the inside, because, according to them, she doesn’t want to eat with us anymore.
When I ask why not, my mother said, “She doesn’t like what happened to your other sister.”
My twins, Mary Lou and Priscilla, were adopted as newborns and over the past five years I’ve watched them learn to walk, talk, ride bikes and otherwise blossom into beautiful, thriving children. The only problem I have is that the irritating people they call Mom and Dad always tell everyone their ‘birth mother’ died in the hospital.