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Archive for August, 2011

Alakazuddle the Pup made a Puddle

Alaka-zuddle the pup made a puddle                 

Right on the kitchen floor.                     

Alaka-zink, peed in front of the sink                 

On the way to the mudroom door.                             

Alaka-zanny, right down on her fanny              

Sister slid with a startled grunt.                       

Alaka-zop, she screeched out a loud “Stop!”    

As she grabbed for pup’s trailing leash.           

Alaka-zash, he knocked over the trash            

Then hungrily surveyed the heap.                    

Alaka-zeet, tumbling out at pup’s feet              

Scattered chunks of chicken pot pie.               

Alaka-zail, with a wig-wagging tail                    

Pup dove in the pile of spilled food                  

Alaka-zunks, he gulped several chunks           

Smeared his snout in garbage and grease.      

Alaka-zite, can the kids make it right?              

“If Mom sees the mess pup has made,  

Alaka-zaw, it’ll be the last straw.                      

Mom will drag him back to the pound.”              

Alaka-zope, sister reached for the soap           

And gave it a powerful squeeze.                      

Alaka-zubbles, all covered in bubbles              

They had twice the mess to clean now.           

Alaka-zop, brother got out the mop.                

Together they scooped and they wiped.           

Alaka-zeem, they worked well as a team                   

Then flopped in a heap of relief.                        

Alaka-zakes, they’d washed up pup’s mistakes.         

With barely a minute to spare.                         

Alaka-zin, when their mother came in              

She peered ‘round the room looking pleased.   

Alaka-zinkle she said, eyes a-twinkle                 

 “I’m proud of you and your wee pup.”

Alaka-zob, you’ve each done a great job          

Of learning to care for your pet.”                     

Alaka-zirk, they both started to smirk               

Rememb’ring the trouble pup caused.             

Alaka-zanks, licking slobbery thanks,                 

Pup rolled belly-up for a rub

Alaka-zoo, in their hearts they all knew

Pup made the best family pet.

Alaka-zomiss, they each spoke a promise

To care for him and teach him well.

“Alaka-zeal, you are making a deal

That guarantees pup gets to stay.”

Alaka-zated, they all celebrated

Pup zigged and he zagged, then uh oh.

Alaka-zuddle the pup made a puddle                 

Right on the kitchen floor.


Hanging on and Hanging In

Parenthood, With its roller-coaster adventure of twists and turns, shocking drops and blind curves, is not for the faint of heart. If you have been in the trenches with teens or are “on the ground” with them now, you know this is an absolute truth. Rapid reversals yank parental hearts from the crest of joy and fling them to stomach-churning lows of frantic worry. Brief interludes along the straightaway are distractions that lull parental vigilence and set them up for the sucker-punch of the unexpected. (If the truth be told, oftentimes, it isn’t entirely unexpected.)

Nurturing kids to adulthood is the most rewarding and the most difficult task one can shoulder. A child’s safe debut into independence is an accomplishment greeted with relief and exhaustion. Every gray hair and wrinkle is well-earned.

The phrase, “It takes a village” is often heard and I accept its truth. I also believe that the village doesn’t feel the searing pain of heartache when a mis-step threatens to careen a teen off the tracks into drugs, alcohol or other black holes. Nor does the village understand the depth of exultation when a prodigal child inches back from the brink and returns to the family and embraces life-affirming values. While there is breath, there is hope for change and celebration. It is this optimism that keeps me in the theme park of parenthood.

Drip, Drip, Drip–Persist, Persist, Persist

 Unless our kitchen faucet is nudged to the correct point–one which requires the precision of a NASA Space Lab docking–a steady pulse of drip, drip, drip drones in unrelenting regularity. Contrary to the laws of physics, the sound increases in volume and intensity the more I attend to it. The annoyance factor skyrockets and is paired with a twinge of guilty conscience over the waste of a valued resource. This morning as I struggled to carve out some writing time before heading off to the gym, the silence was punctuated with the familiar plip, plip, plip sound. Must stick to the plan. Knock out that blog post before the distractions of the day consume all your energy and time. Plip, plip, plip swelled to gong, gong, gong.

I paused to refocus and found myself abandoning my original topic to attend to what had fallen in my lap–or more accurately on my frustrated ears. Water. What did it have to teach me in this moment?

I’m an Aquarian, so there’s some subliminal connection to water that resonates with me. H2O has such a chameleon character; it soothes, heals, cleanses, nourishes and refreshes. Water also has a contrary aspect; it erodes, destroys, realigns and drowns. As I wrestle with conscience, inertia and sheer laziness, a novel viewpoint sprang to mind: persistence. As it courses towards its destination, water overcomes barriers large and small, lengthy and brief.

The process of connecting to a reading audience presents challenges to my resolve as a writer. Sometimes the impediments are small–ideas elude me and the page remains blank. At other times the story is written but publications remains out of reach. Only rejection slips arrive in my mailbox. Just as water faces obstacles and swirls over, around or under to continue undeterred on its intended journey, I must commit the same dedication to my writing. To bring a message of understanding and healing, I accept that rejection slips bring me closer to the goal and improve the product along the way.

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