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Happy Thursday! It’s girl’s night again. Girl’s night is the only reason I won’t switch my schedule with my husband’s. He works late tonight, and I don’t. Tonight was interesting. We made chocolate chips pancakes and they tried mint chocolate chip ice cream, which is their dad’s fav, and didn’t really like it. Mae actually asked me for more, telling me that, “it’s not my favorite, but it is still ice cream”. That’s my girl. My youngest asked me if the ice cream “gots chockit chips in dem”. “No”, I replied. “Do they got pancakes in them?” “Nope”, but what a brilliant idea. Pancake ice cream? She’s clearly a genius.

So, I forgot to write last night that I actually saw the inspirational bug last night, that cruel insect muse, on a bench at a gazebo at my school. Yes, I teach in fairyland. It was during my prep time, and it was the strongest sun I’d seen all year, so I sat in it. I had a pile of paper in my lap, so clearly I was working. No camera, so I don’t have a picture, but what happened was I was sitting on the bench, trying to find a poem, and feeling the sun on my face. It was lovely, until I looked down and saw the creature inches from my thigh. The wasp was vertical, stuck by a stinger or carapace between the boards. It’s mouth was open, and it’s little feeler-arm things were slowly, slowly rubbing together. Who knew they even had mouths? Not me. Here’s a wasp face:

111201-WaspPhoto-hmed-1225p.grid-6x2

Gross, huh? Imagine it with a gaping mouth and little teeth.

There are these weird moments in my life, usually on Thursday nights, when I’m able to look at my daughters and see myself so clearly, after the skaddle of the week, and I don’t think I can give up this night with them.  My oldest daughter, who is five and going to kindergarten this year, looked at me tonight and said, with tear in her eyes, that she is “nervous and very scared of going to kindergarten because there will be people there who I don’t know and who don’t know me”. Ah ha! It is hereditary! She’s the most sociable introvert, just like me.  Her pint-sized panic attack (and it was that, lasted nearly ten minutes, and she enumerated every little fear, from riding the bus to having her own desk to saying the pledge), made me realize that I have passed along my own irrational fears to my sweet little one.

Here is a poem about that:

Irrational Fears

I used to imagine, in strong winds, that a trunk would snap and fall, crushing the crib. Locked the doors in a remote town because a student might come along and steal her, she was that pretty. At her first babysitter’s they had a cow, and she never got crushed, but in my daymares. I left her in the car at the post office, but I locked the doors and looked out the window the whole time. On the beach I was fairly sure that a bird of prey would grab her off the sandproof blanket. Wary of the most gentleman of dogs, I knew of the dangers of little feet trodding upon dog balls. Now in the mean mornings I am complicit in a sick conjuring,  of stitches and of the language of psychiatry and of boys with fast cars and stereo systems. And when she tells me she’s nervous about kindergarten, I tell her it’s a long way away. “Nuh uh,” she says, “It’s only three seasons”.  Only three seasons, seasons of imaginary broken glass and bee stings, of avalanches and make-belive emergency rooms, and lightening illnesses, of every wrong thing I choose to feed her, of every lesson imparted sideways, of threatening bodies of water, of each slight impatience sliding into the catalog of future weaponry, of finger tips upon finger tips slipping out of grasp,

but now, now, each little sprite has ice cream,

and I am awake,

and they are smiling.

************************

On another note, my brother dropped off six lbs of cheese and three dozen eggs today! Souffle party, any one? Maybe tomorrow I’ll write a souffle poem. One that starts out all rich and fluffy but collapse into goo…yes. Happy Thursday, poem friends.

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