Wednesday, February 29, 2012

What I Want From My Mexicana Mama

Yep, that's me, gartered up
with burned buns.
Forgeta bout it.
It has been over two years since I wrote my post Queenpin in the Kitchen. I wrote about my struggle with cooking and how much I used to love to cook, but these days it's more mac-n-cheese than veggies and rice. It's more about opening the box than savoring the food. I eat so fast, I am embarrassed when I am out with adults. Just get-her-done, isn't that what that red-neck boy says? My post was about changing my ways, but I haven't. I'm stuck in a rut of kitchen frustration.

The real Queenpin in the kitchen.
I just had the best dinner. One of those dinners you can tell was made with love, especially because it was made by an exhausted mama with young baby and soon to be five year old. My kids ate it up. There was no whining, there were requests for more. What, more???? When I make the same you little beasts act like I'm asking you to eat sheep shit!? I think the secret ingredients in this mama's food is the love, and the satisfaction that feeding others gives the cook. That what my Mexicana Mama has, and I want to bottle it up and drink it everyday. Pour a little in my 5 o'clock so when it's cooking time, I'm raring to go instead of whining about it and dreading the process. Sigh....

Monday, February 27, 2012

Missing the Kiss

Astronomical Question
By Hafiz

Happen if God leaned down
And gave you a full wet

Doesn't mind answering astronomical questions
Like that:

You would surely start
Reciting all day, inebriated,

Yesterday my man, my beasts, and I went to church, (Yep, like Jesus church) and it was strange, and good, and intense, and not as simple as I had hoped. There are spiritual places where I have gone that when I walked in I have thought, "Yes, this is home. This is where I can find the spirit." But this church did not hold that for me, and I think it was because I am jaded these days on love and God and religion. My heart is still closed to the love of the divine, but my goodness, how I am missing God's, or the Buddha's or any divinity's kiss. The worst part is, is that I know it is me, and I know I need to do some work on this, but it is so hard to open my heart.

I have come to a desperate spiritual place where I will take any divinity that is available and easy. Six years ago I started going to a Buddhist Center. Buddha spoke to my heart. The ritual, the quiet meditation, the turning to the divine in oneself for answers, the sweet and delicious compassion sucked me in and I found joy in religion.  I found happiness in the lessons on giving, the study of the texts, the magic of the Buddhas. After three years at the center, I realized that the dogma of that particular sect did not sit right with me. Like the Buddha suggests I listened to my own truth and I left the center determined to practice on my own until I found another sangha (Buddhist group) that fit better with me. 

Yet with job, graduate school, and single motherhood my spiritual practice fell to the wayside. In my small city there are no Buddhist Sunday service where you can go, drop off the kids in Buddha Sunday School, and practice. It was all up to me. I have had the responsibility of teaching my  beasties about Buddha, I have had the responsibility of my own spiritual study, I have had the responsibility of making myself sit in meditation, and I am just not up to the task.  I'm just a spiritual lazy ass. These days I feel such a profound a spiritual void that I have found myself looking for something ready made and easy because I am desperately aching for the divine. I am aching for God's kiss. 

Don Corleone did not run his organization alone. He believed in the God of Catholicism and the Mafia Code. There were rules he based his life on, there was a community that supported it. His beliefs ran deep and were unshakable. I am so shaky. I need some roots in my faith. I need some consistency in my practice. I feel such a heavy weight of responsibility when it comes to my beasts. When I was younger I always knew I had God's ear. I hated church with a passion because for me it represented conformity, and presenting a face to the world that was false, but God to me, was so much different than church. God was a deep love in my heart that I could access anytime. God was my go-to person in times of pain, sorrow, and joy. My belief in God connected me to the larger world and beyond. It connected me with the infinite. 

I've come to a place in my Buddhist practice where I feel cut off from the world because of it. I have no spiritual community, and though I have gone back to my old Buddhist Center some, and I have taken my beasts, I have not been able to reconnect to the teachings in the same way. There is always the nagging feeling that this is not home, but a temporary place until we find our community, our roots. 

Standing in that church yesterday, I was so uptight, afraid to sing, afraid to open my heart. Though I was aching as I watched others do it. Aching as I watched a community come together and worship something larger than themselves. I was afraid to share that intimacy with my man, and not sure I could subscribe to the beliefs of this church. The message was very Buddhist, renunciation of what takes you away from the divine. Not getting sucked into The Wants.  The beasts came out of their classrooms beaming, and when they came into the chapel to take communion with us, my heart opened a crack thinking about the impact of having a divine power in their lives could have. A divine power that a community teaches them about, not just their crazy Queenpin Mama. 

So the search is on for God's kiss, and what will open me up to it. The search is on for a spiritual community for the beasts.  The search is on for the hammer and chisel that will uncover the fossil of my heart. And you know if its Queenpin style, when the kiss arrives that smooch is gonna be profound, a big slobbery, ecstasy kiss, like a Saint Bernard's greeting after a year vacation. Watch out, you might even get a little spittle on you. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Mama Said There Would Be Days Like This

This has been my week: return home exhausted from a week away from school, find nits on a beast, laundry, side pain, CAT scan, interesting findings (spoiler alert! I'm not dying), quit smoking, start smoking again, laundry, fall behind at work, house a mess, find nits again, laundry, quit smoking, start smoking again, out of town with family, more nits, more interesting findings, take pregnancy test (negative - yee haw!), decide to quit being a Buddhist because it's just too damn hard to find time to meditate, stress, obsess, quit smoking, start smoking again, stress, obsess, stress, worry, breath deep, breath deep, stress.

I've been a little nuts this week. I can't believe it has only been eight days and I've packed all this craziness into it. This week it's been hard to be a single mom, I've ached a little for someone to crawl into bed with at the end of the day and say, "Well, that sucked." You're probably not going to want to read this whole post because it is just one long rant about my week, but I have to write about it. I just have to spew all this stress, or I might pull out my inner gangster and then things get really bloody.

The Queenpin's Week: Play by Play

Day one: Pick up kids from school Monday. Decide I should check kids heads, since they had been exposed to lice two weeks ago. I've had about 2 hours of sleep. Check big beast and, yes, there are some white little fuckers right there on the crown of his sweet head. Call the OSQ, and ask for help.  Hold my shit together while big beast has crying fit over homework and sore throat and I make dinner. Treat both kids with olive oil. Decorate freezer bags with stickers and stick on all of our heads. OSQ swoops in with wine and lice brushes. She also takes half of the laundry. I call each person the beasts stays with. My favorite reaction was the woman who takes them part of the time when I'm at school. My kids had stayed at her house that weekend, and been with her kids, I would have been freaking out, but she said, "Oh, that's okay, no big deal. Don't worry about it, Sugah. We'll be fine." God bless you, sweet girl. I couldn't add guilt to my stress. I think my head would've popped off.

Day two: Wake up to comb kids. Their hair, though washed, is still matted from olive oil treatment. Decide to keep them both home from school. Big beast, sick and nitty, little beast just oily. I have doctor's appointment to see why my side still aches from car wreck in October. Doctor orders CAT scan and chest x-ray to be done next day. Kids nit free, big beast just has a cold, not strep. Drop kids off at their dad's. Head to work, happy to be distracted by apartments and spreadsheets.

Day three: Go in for CAT scan. Get poked and prodded. I am afraid, but keep trying to breath and stay in the moment. Please don't be my kidneys. My dad died from kidney cancer. Please don't be big ole' tumors all over my body. My Sweet Escape sends me a zillion texts reassuring me and bringing me back to earth. After work I go the the OSQ's for dinner, check big beast's head, find damn white sticky nits. Freak out. We treat everyone again, and stay at OSQ's overnight. I just can't deal with those fucking bugs on my own.

Day four: Don't hear from doctor. I know she has passed tests on for someone else to look at. She always calls quickly when there is nothing going on.  I receive a zillion more reassuring texts from My Sweet Escape, "Don't worry, baby. You are fine. She would call quickly if there was something going on. Breath." I try to parent like I'm dying, which means be in the moment, and not yell every two seconds because I'm friggin' stressed. Have I mentioned I quit smoking? No? It's because I keep starting again.

Day five: Finally the doctor calls. No tumors, no kidney problems. It seems my small intestine has retracted like a telescope. No biggie. It will work itself out, she says. The other finding? The lining of the lungs has thickened. WTF is that from? She will order CAT scan of lungs. All is okay really, don't worry, she says. I worry. I do internet research. Bad idea. That night Sweet Escape comes over and gives me the talk, "Baby, you've got to stop worrying. What's going on in your body is because of your worry. You're missing out on life because you worry all the time. Get back to meditating." He holds me. He lets me freak out.

Day six: As I'm packing to go to my sister's for her big surprise birthday party I decide to check big beast's head again. 2 hours to go, house is a mess, not done packing, FRIGGIN' NITS. I call OSQ freaking out and then immediately head over to Single Mama Savior's for a cigarette. I dump all my freak outs on her, and she relates. How can you not worry single mama? When you're a Queenpin, you're the one in charge. I then head home for two hours of lice treatment and nit combing. I get in the car for the party looking like something the cat dragged in. While having we're drinks that night at a perfect family's house I see all these nice Christian family mags, and devotions. I start yearning for God and Buddha so deeply I decide I need to go to church. I drink too much at party, but am charming. My room at the bed and breakfast has a down comforter and a working fire place. I light a fire and crawl into bed.

Day seven: I am hung over and have not had enough sleep. We head home, de-nit again, and I send beasties to their dad's. NAP. Go to Sweet Escapes to.....well, escape.

Day eight: I am a non-smoker. I breath purely and freely. I have freaky hormonal stuff going on. I call my doctor and go in for blood work. She suggests a pregnancy test. I search Internet for medical information. Stupid, stupid, mistake. After work I pick kids up. We attempt to focus on homework, valen-friggin'-tines. I have bought two pregnancy tests to take later. Take the first test. Doesn't work. I immediately start drinking wine. I steal cigarettes of Savior Single Mama's porch. Then I start making dinner. I take the other test. Doesn't work. I continue with prescription of wine and cigarettes. I Facebook message two of my neighbors freaking out. We Can Do It Mama offers to go get me more test, but  Single Mama Savior is already out. We Can Do It Mama drinks wine at her house as a show of solidarity. Miracuously I finish making dinner. I read to my beasts and put them to bed. I drink more wine. Single Mama Savior rolls in with 3 tests. "Let's take them now," she says. I pee on stick, look up in horror and say, "Holy shit, I'm pregnant!" My stomach drops into the toilet (splash) as two blue lines show up.

"Let me see that", my sweet friend says, and I hand her test dripping with pee. "No silly, it has to have a plus sign for pregnant." I am giddy with relief. We smoke and wait to make sure. She goes in mid-cigarette, to check again, and no plus sign has shown up. Praise all that is holy. I am not pregnant. I fall asleep exhausted on the couch, and wake up to beautiful Valentines from my Sweet Escape.

I am done with this week. I am done with the stress, the overdrive, the worry. Today is a new day, and my Valentines present to myself is to STOP for a few minutes, vent to my readers, and move on. I am happy, I am alive, and, man, I have such amazing people in my life. When I look back over the week, all I can see is how many times people have stepped in and stepped up to help me. If I was still married to the wusband, I would never have asked for so much help, expecting him to provide what I needed, and in reality,  I would have never have received so much comfort. The wusband was good at some stuff, but comfort? He really sucked at that, and when I was in crisis with him, I was never more alone.

This week I have not felt alone, but surrounded. I have felt comforted, and cared for. I have felt nurtured. My support system has brought me back to earth when I was floating away. They have stepped in and helped me when I needed it, and given me space to figure stuff out.
Once again I awake from a week from hell and feel profound gratitude for all my peeps. The peeps mentioned here, and the ones who aren't. The ones who have given hugs and wisdom on the fly. Each person giving freely, expecting nothing in return. Today I'll go visit SheBear to get wisdom and acupuncture. Time to get my healing on. Happy Valentines Day to me, and to my goombas. You make my world go round. You hold the crown on this crazy Queenpin's head, and steady the ground beneath my feet.