Bare Blue

Today, when I take off my  mask, I am blue. For the first time ever, I am going to miss the August96 Moms annual reunion. My dearest Internet mom friends are leaving home today and making their way to Savannah, Georgia for the weekend. They’ll hang out, eat, drink, shop, chat, and gossip about the rest of us, and I can’t be there. SDMom can’t go either, and I know she’s terribly disappointed, too. You see, we all started getting together in 1998, when our babes were barely 2 years old. Each Columbus Day weekend for the last fourteen years our  sorority — shall I call it Mu Omicron Mu (MOM)? — has met to commiserate, collaborate, coordinate, and command each other’s lives. We’re great at it; we love it; and, “it’s cheaper than therapy,” according to MaineMom’s wise husband. I’m hoping the girls will Skype or FaceTime SDMom and me in one night, so we can join the chat from afar; if not maybe CTMom will call me and leave the line open so I can hear.

I am more blue because Moose’s teacher continues to report struggles at school — more personal than academic. Moose is brilliant, far smarter than Wizard, but Moose is having trouble coping with with his own anger and frustration. Who can blame him? Life at home is hell; there are daily fights and battles with Wizard over the dumbest things. Moose’s refuge is fantasy fiction; he loves to read it and write it. As a result, Moose doesn’t like to read classics (required in his reading class) or write personal narratives (required in the writing class). So, Moose is acting out in school and has been unkind to his new friend, J. I feel badly for J. I feel badly for Moose. It’s clear that I’m not spending enough time with Moose; there’s no question that WineGuy is not spending any time alone with any of the boys. I am blue for my baby boy.

Even bluer still as the anniversary of my father’s death approaches next week. In the last five years, I and my brothers have come to realize how much our dad buffered our mother’s negativity. Listening to my mother’s endless litany of complaints about her pending move to independent living, I consider my father a saint for putting up with that harangue for nearly 60 years.


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