Monday, September 21, 2009

"This is MY mom!"

Yesterday morning I had procured all the necessary books off the library shelves: Disney Princesses, Tinkerbell, A Princess and Her Horse, The Princess and the Pea, and Rapunzel. The munchkin and I sat at a small table in even smaller chairs and I read the tales to her two-year-old heart's content.

A boy, not much older than this daughter of mine, hoisted himself into a chair beside us and laid his offerings on the table: Marvel Superheros. He sat and listened to all the tales politely, though they were clearly not his forte'. He would interject facts such as "Have you seen this movie?" pointing to Wolverine, and "I like this movie," indicating The Incredible Hulk.

And all the while the clock continued it's circular cycle until an hour had passed and no one had come to claim this precious boy. It was time to leave and I was beginning to wonder if I needed to find his caregiver and who that could be who would abandon him with books they were not reading to him and answers they were withholding from his endless questions.

I held my little girl's hand and the boy toddled beside us and I must admit my feisty daughter scowled at him and said, "This is MY mom!" The little boy fell out of step with us and I ran off chasing down my long haired thundercloud as she stormed around the library.

As I approached the front desk, I saw him again. Growing tired, he was laying beside the checkout. A woman was walking toward the computers and he got up and stood beside her. She did not look at him, she did not speak to him, and he did not mention Wolverine and The Incredible Hulk to her. The last hour of his life was unknown to her and I admit I wanted to shake her as I walked by and shout, "WAKE UP!!"

I wish I had read a non princess story. I wish I had read him his Wolverine book or that he had said to my offspring, "This is MY mom!", but he didn't. He just looked at me and I clung to my girl, grateful that she is grateful (or at least possessive) that I am her mother.

I learned a valuable lesson. I am not just a mother when my two kids are with me. I am a mother in whatever circumstance I find myself in. As a woman, I have been blessed with compassion and empathy, but there are so many times I am guarded and careful. I've never regretted being too kind and in the moment I had an opportunity to mother a child who needed some time.

I'm hoping that someone somewhere is reading that little one a story. And I hope it's his mother...

And now for something completely different:

I was invited by my friend Melissa to play a blog game kind of like the old slumber party game “Telephone.”
One blogger starts a story and passes it on. Each blogger adds a part. It should be interesting to see where it goes.
So here it is:
A Writer-Mama’s Tale –
The Seduction of Vintage Grapes

Even the crickets had rested their legs when she sat back in her chair and sighed with a final sip of vintage grapes. Darkness swallowed……..

the sob that threatened to tear from throat as she watched her only child drive away. What did he know about the world outside of….

our small town. Was he ready for what laid ahead of him? Her lip quivered as she thought back to the days when….

Jason toddled behind his father through the vineyards and copied his every movement. Mark was young and full of hope and desire then. His face…..

,now lined from time and stress, still shined with pride for their son. As Jason's car drove away, they…

embraced as the breeze, pregnant with the scent of ripe grapes, swirled around them. Their eyes remained transfixed on the car until....

Mark cleared the emotional phlegm from his throat and held his faded blue goblet aloft. “Here’s to new beginnings.” Her first instinct was…

You can click on any of the sentences above to go to the author's original post then head on over to Mindi's blog on Wednesday to see what happens next!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


The breeze catches my skin as I gaze at your retreating form

Your back is a scrawny gazelle

The t-shirt clings like a doey hide

Your legs pump the pedals with all the intensity of my maternal heart

You aren’t moving very fast.

Over asphalt refuse and destination’s allure

Your red bicycle carries you from my person

And my organs weep

I can feel my soul, my purpose

Clatter, shatter, dare to hope.

I am only a silhouette in a lonely doorway

You are riding away from me

It is what I long for you to do

What I spend my time preparing you to do

And I miss you before I say goodbye.

I miss you as I halt, stiff and unnerved in the glare of your horizon eyes

Your toffee face slightly melted in the red tired sun

Reflecting the particles of hair that I long to brush aside

Tufts of which salute me when I’m the mom I should be

And flip me off when I am less than I know I could be.

Your cheeks shift over the black bicycle seat

You dangle your foot until your momentum is stifled

Your hat hides your face as you look over your shoulder at me

The mere mortal who gave you birth

“Tell my sister I love her.”

I attempt to form a word

My brain unable to render my tongue muscles useful

So overcome am I

But my arm escapes its jailer

Finally free of inept uncertainty it waves at you.

And you unsullied, unburdened continue on

Further and further past the scarlet octagon

That flashes the word I so often mutter

And which I long to cry out at this moment

But I won’t.

I can no longer see you

Though my heart is still holding on to yours like a hand

Fingers entwined and I glimpse the future

The curb where you will exit stage right for two years

Where every respiration will conjure your reality to my remembrance.

You are the embodiment of my divinity

You are the bearer of my guilt

The reminder of my potential

You are the reason that mothers and sons are wrapped up together in knots

Twiny, impossible, frayed, woven, intricate.

You slay me and I die over and over again

Into the inferno that is motherhood

A searing heat which burns out all that is unnecessary, impure

And you my son rake aside the carnage and cradle what is left:

My soul.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Poo Post- First Thoughts

Potty training's a messy endeavor. There's a lot of naked 'bum'ness and doing one's business becomes the highlight of the day. "YAY! Poo poo in the potty!" I've started to sing this to myself, truthfully.
Life comes full circle: We begin in diapers, we end in diapers and in between those times we just try to excrete with a locked door and a mere five minutes of peace. No one claps for me when I get that...but they should.
Truly the highlight to potty training is teaching our children that there's nothing more rewarding than a 'job' well done...ahem.
But in the transition time between diapers and cloth there's a few other perks as well:
The extra coinage that will jangle in our purses.
The diaper bag being put out to pasture.
The retirement of hogtying and holding down the child as we maneuver wipes with delicate aversion.
Yes my friends, this is a poo post. My daughter is on her way and has been using the potty for the past three days...mostly. So remember, life's not just about what happens to you, it's about what you leave behind.

Just remember to flush it when it's appropriate.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Cheap Therapy

So I took a sabbatical from my blog.

I thought that by pulling myself back and re prioritizing my life I would find everything I was seeking. I immersed myself in Isaiah, I wrote less, I still didn't eat sugar, cheese, and I was trying to do everything just so, being who I thought I should be, being who I thought He would have me be.
And you know, so much has been better. I feel a lot of peace, but here's the thing: I haven't been happy. I've forgotten how and in all my restylization (did you miss my made-up words?), I forgot that somewhere in all this crazy life, there needs to be room for joy. And you know what brings me joy???? Writing this blog. I need this outlet to express my giant "YAWP" to the world (okay maybe 10 people)
My name is Rachel Benjamin and I am not going to hide; I'm not going to be someone I'm not anymore. I'm not going to share my second or third thoughts, but my first thoughts. I'm not going to place my value on how many followers I have, or comments, or if some of my posts are crap and some might be...I know...
I'm not perfect, I am fantastically flawed. I beat myself up severely for every weakness I perceive in myself while holding the rest of the world up on the pedestals I have carved for them.
Do you know what I am going to do tomorrow? I am going to my darling friend Lyndy's (I owe you one, my friend) and we are going to sing at the top of our lungs and I am going to write and write and I am going to follow and embrace the light inside of me and be who I you know how healing it is for me to finally say this? I have been terrified my entire life that if I'm not the person everyone else needs me to be, I will end up alone. It is my deepest fear. I am afraid of being, I admitted it.. I'm not though. There are so many people in my life who I adore.

So here I am. I've missed you all terribly. I'm back in the saddle...