As a young boy, I did not know what was going on in the classroom. There was no such thing as ADHD or LD back then. It was dismissed as laziness or stupidity. Participles, logarithms, declension, reading, speed, memorization, and athletic coordination – I was always on shaky ground.

My handwriting was neanderthal and my study habits avoidant. I spent my school days furtively staring out big windows. Birds were my envy as they flew across the ever changing sky. On dreary wet days I turned to my pencil (missile) and pen (rocket ship).

I was the oldest of two, then three, then four, then five, then six, and later seven. It became progressively easier to underachieve in this burgeoning post war blue collar Catholic family.

My dad worked three jobs. Mom cooked, sewed, scrubbed, ironed, washed, mopped, and all the while monitored an ever expanding gaggle of robust strong willed children . We eventually overwhelmed her resources. We were like big fleshy ants.

Play and television were my refuge. The tube allowed me to escape instantly. Far away places, adventure, and fame were my fantasies. I would spend hours in bed before sleep concocting gallant stories in my mind with me as the intrepid hero.

My favorite thing of all was Boy Scouts. It allowed me to go camping and play with fire – to go away and have adventure – to take on whatever nature could dish out. It taught me I could do things well. I learned stuff like Morse code and survival skills. I became Order of the Arrow and attended National Leadership Camp. Too bad I let my buddies talk me into quitting.  They thought boy scouts was uncool.

I traded confidence and growth for “cool”.   It was like trading hiking boots for hair gel.

the woman
who decides
to bear
no children

bears love
to all humanity

wemagine

January 8, 2008

I am a person
this is precious
because you are

no hard feelings

December 7, 2007

Saw a man jogging…
he looked like dad.

I tried not to wish
it was him.

I tried.

A Mom Like You

May 13, 2006

The world needs more moms like you:
A mother to speak softly
about how special a child is.
A mom to look up to and feel sure about.

I wish I could send you to those
who need a mom like you
to embrace them in fragrant warmth
while you sing away the loneliness.