Don’t forget about the dog poop- I warned you  
If things got bad
And they got bad
There would be repercussions.
Scoop it, bag it, sneak it into the Starbucks dumpster.

And the dog.
Walk the dog- 
not around the block-
The pavement burns her paws,
Take her to the park.
It’s not soccer season yet,
Bring a bag in case someone sees.
Use it
Even if 
nobody’s watching.

Check the website for your summer work, 
Do it.

Email your coach,
Tell him what he wants to hear
and do that too.

Brush your teeth, 
Floss,
Don’t only eat food flavored 
Buffalo
Or from a bag
Or orange.

Respond to all the girls that sent you
Snapchats.

Be kind to everyone that asks to 
Follow you.
(I haven’t asked but I know
Better.)

I remind you 
to empty dishes, 
walk the dog,
Sweep a floor.

I don’t ask you
To follow or accept or friend me.

I keep our conversations about
The dishes in the sink.

I update you 
About what 
The world expects.

I text instead of call.

You talk to friends on FaceTime.
You laugh 
And ignore everybody else.

I read books, 
Solicit prayers from strangers,
And send you bullet points 
so what I need from you
Is clear 
And listed by
By priority.

-Call me.
-Do your homework.
-Clean the yard.

I check my phone
For your response
All night.

(Sent from my iPhone

which is well aware

The iPhone

to which the message

has been sent

Is currently quite busy.)

 

Today was Monday, a big Monday in our world.

Big day at work, not really. I work in Mission Support at Quincy College. I was calling prospective nurses who had been accepted into our Nursing program to confirm that they planned on beginning our Nursing program. It couldn’t get much simpler. These people really, really wanted to be in our Nursing program. I heard “of course” most of the time. Or if they called me back, they led with “is something wrong with my application?”

I like talking to prospective Nurses. I love their clarity, their sense of purpose. Not once have I heard someone say “I’m thinking about the Nursing program, but I’m also considering being a Vet or going into law school like my dad.” Many students come into Nursing after trying other things out, so by the time they are applying, I guess they pretty much have seen what their alternative lives look like.

I work for Mission Support. Nobody really knows what that means, except me and my boss. Not even people that work at the College. The Director of Finance told me I actually work in IT. Some people think I do some kind of outreach, students like to ask for my help figuring out if they should take Math or English in their first semester and the people in IT would tell you I work on the second floor.

After work, I raced home to switch costume from aspiring Mission Support/IT/Outreach Coordinator trying to climb up the ladder to a job title people have heard of, to Football Mom. Skirt off. Jeans over tights. Some kind of workout long sleeve sleeved fleece thing in black to hide too many lunches and office parties.  Uggs. Scarf. Sunglasses. Old Starbucks cup filled up with this mornings coffee that left on the burner for 7 hours. Dog on leash, keys in hand, phone charged, I made it ten minutes before half time.

Afterwards, Colin says it wasn’t a good game and he sucked. I spent my time talking to friends and walking the dog back and forth. It was lovely.Occasionally there are advantages to being totally without a clue.

Home again, my 12 year old daughter had a band concert. She plays the flute. A friend had picked her up early, so I had the luxury of switching again,*this time to low heeled leather boots, a flannel shirt from Bass Pro shop and a blazer. Little lip gloss, little mascara, should have done something about the hair but my friend was saving me a seat and I didn’t want to be presumptuous. Or have to park on the sidewalk. Which I had to do. (Milton moms, and most of us have full time jobs, are usually groomed. Especially at concerts, school plays and sporting events. I am not usually groomed and am certainly not the sort to wear three different outfits in one day, but for some reason, especially when there a whole of them gathered together, I really, really want to look like one.)

Great concert. They were 12.  There was a chorus, a orchestra, a string band, and a cello group. The singing was lovely. My daughter and her friends were brilliant. All the different interpretations of black pants, white shirt, black shoes was fascinating. My daughter wore Converse. My daughter is so much cooler than I will ever be.

I picked up my son. He didn’t want to talk, you know, sucky game and all. Katy wanted to know when I was going to her a phone. I asked both of them when they were going to put their clean clothes away. We should have put it on YouTube.

I pulled into the grocery store. I needed meat. I needed salad. I just started Atkins again, and all I’d eaten all day was peanut granola bars with nougat.

I went into CVS, a hungry mom of two, worried about my weight and my job and whether or not the  Colin and Katy’s clothes were going to rot on the stairway while I grew out of mine, and I looked around. I looked for Diet Root beer and snacks on sale for after school that I wouldn’t be tempted to demolish and nail polish remover and thought about lipstick.

I decided to buy the root beer and go home.

I’ve known the cashier who rang me up for a while. She is an English student, crazy smart and she uses words the way I do. We have lightning conversations about everything but the Kardashians, under the glare of the Kardashians, every time I shop there.

While I was ringing out, she mentioned that in her senior year she’d be doing some teaching. I offered to introduce her to a friend of mine, a math teacher, suggested we have coffee.

She grinned at me. “You know what, here’s my number. Give me a call some time. I’d love to go to coffee with you. You seem like you’d be a cool person to talk to.”

Do you know how long it’s been since I thought of myself as a cool person to talk to?

I define myself as a middle aged mom, good for advice about what to do when puberty hits or whether or not a family should get a dog.

I’m an employee of Quincy College- I can talk to anyone about financial aid, pathways to careers, and how to get into UMass.

I have a lot of friends, and I know they think I’m interesting, but most of my friendships have taken a long time to take hold. I figured I kind of grow on people, or wear them down, or they just appreciate that I like to take their kids to the gym.

I’m a cool person to talk to, says a college student named Alexandria.

Of course, I lost her number.

But I always need stuff from CVS.

It’s where the cool people shop.

Big, big football game today.

As a huge fan, well, actually a mom of a boy that plays for the Junior Varsity team, I am compelled to announce, loudly, and with vigor-

Go, Wildcats!!!!!

Crush the Wellesley, um, whatever creature or thing they are called.

Crush the Wellesley Varsity football team!!!!

While I’m on the subject, Crush the Wellesley Junior Varsity team on Monday too!wildcat-logo

Well, crushing is kind of strong word, makes me think of bloodlust. I think everyone agrees that bloodlust is too extreme an emotion for high school sports. Or for professional sports, even, for that matter, in the course of our day to day life.
I hope we can pretty much agree that bloodlust is not terrifically productive.

Boys get hurt in some games, and of course I don’t wish that on anyone, even on one of those Wellesley people.

I really hope those Wellesley players aren’t planning on crushing, maiming or in any literal way, injuring, any of the Milton Wildcats. 

FYI- our football team is not, in fact made up of actual Wildcats, though there are times in the morning that my son is quite surly and his behavior is that of animal raised in the woods.

I’d also like to make it clear- I wouldn’t be in favor of doing any harm to actual wild cats, real ones or surly creatures at the breakfast table. I like cats, I have two cats. Even wild cats are kind of cute, unless they have eaten one your pets but that might just be an urban myth.

Wildcats, play really, really well today.
Winning would be really nice, but know I support each and every one of you. Even if you suck.
Which you totally don’t. You guys are football magic.
Unless the use of the word magic offends you.
You’re really, really good!
Go, Wildcats!!!!!
Play better than the Wellesley team!
(But don’t be smug about it.)

Remember to have fun because everyone knows that’s all that matters.

Love,


From a woman without a clue.

cute-wildcat-baby-25580157

I love you.

(Just want to make this clear, I am, by nature a very loving person. It’s safe to say I love almost everyone. Well, like almost everyone. If I’m having a good day. You get the point- as I write these words, love is in my heart.)

Even though I love you, it is not a good time when I go to the store at 8:30 at night to buy you earbuds so that you can get pumped on the way to the game tomorrow.

It is not a barrel of laughs standing in the middle of your bedroom trying to figure out how, in 36 hours, every piece of clothing you have ever warn, in your entire life, seems to be scattered on your floor, draped on over sized pillows, dangling from your music stand, or stuffed under your bed.

I understand that you regard it as a kind gesture on your part to accept my help cleaning it up, but this process, well, also not a day at the beach. Or a day at the dog park. Or even an hour in the dentists office reading People.

I’ve established I’m a pretty nice person to the people in my life. And I don’t regret the late night shopping, or the early morning to mid Saturday afternoon attempts to return order. I didn’t even mind the late nights spent with glue and poster board, a map of Ecuador and your friend with the allergies, whose mom made me move every single piece of food that might have been exposed to peanuts or peanut dust out to our shed. Which meant transporting everything in our cupboards, except the spice rack, outside.

Why did we do the project at our house? Because you wanted my help. I think. (Looking back, it was probably because your friends mom wouldn’t let you listen to the radio, but I’m going to choose, for my purposes here, to go with you wanted my help.

And both of you, or all of you, you all out there- Still want my help on a daily frigging basis.

So why you gotta be so rude? (I can hear the eyeballs rolling as I type.)

How can you act like sitting down to dinner of barbecued chicken, corn on the cob, and rice, is a favor? And that I should be thankful to you to eat the barbecued chicken and rice, the corn is too labor intensive, while sitting next to me. And that I shouldn’t complain when after four minutes you get up to leave. After all, you sat next to me. You didn’t point out that you prefer legs, and mashed potatoes. You didn’t even try to bring it down to the tv room. I got to spend four minutes with you, and you even put your dish somewhere near the sink.

Let me point out, I didn’t even serve a real vegetable in honor of your presence. And that I attempted to look wide awake and interested while you explained, for the 89th times, what “special teams” are in terms of football.

And that just sitting next to me for four minutes isn’t enough.

This is what I want from the people in my life- I would like you to be nice to me.

I would like you to ask about my day before you start walking upstairs to bed.

I would like you to laugh at my jokes. Ok, maybe about a quarter of my jokes. We can work out a signal so that you know that a joke is coming, so that you can laugh. Or chuckle softly. Or even not roll your eyes.

I would like you to say thank you and please when I hand you your laundry instead of pointing out that when Michael’s mom washed your socks, they came back “white, actually, white!!! Can you call her and find out how she did it?”

I would like you to know that sometimes you hurt my feelings.

I know that my feelings are the last things on your mind, and I accept that orchestra, and algebra, and going for a bike ride with Amanda, and procuring money for another trip to Milton House of Pizza, that all of these things are probably a little more on the forefront of your mind than my feelings.

I would like you to know that your friends won’t think you are a complete loser if you say hi to me after the game. And that I will rent Spiderman two if you’ll hold my hand when it gets scary.

And I’d like you to know that even when you hurt my feelings, I get over it pretty quick.

And I start thinking about what it would be like if I stopped driving you to practice, or making sure you have enough money for snacks, or reminding you about the project due on Monday.

Sometimes I have a lot of free time. To think.

I’m just sayin”