"Ms. Margaret, I... I...i'm sorry. Some...some words. They hard to get. I tried real hard but I failed the test...again."
The self-disappointment in his voice fell heavy on my heart.
I immediately drew up the adoption papers. I welcomed him into Mama MAZ's Home For Individuals that Live Life Hard.
I lost count years ago, but I have adopted many.
1. The boy that slept in my class every day because he wandered the streets at night. His "loving" mother worked out of their home, as a prostitute. He was not allowed in the house during work hours.
I stayed after school to make sure he, at the least, learned to read.
2. The girl in my class, at the mental health center, that was in isolation, at the age of four, because she was sexually aggressive. It took me two days to read her files. Her short 4 year history was so horrific, painful tears obstructed my vision and I could not physically read the accounts of her life.
3. The boy that was being neglected by his parents. They were so busy "keeping up appearances" and social status, they did not notice the pain that was swallowing their son.
4. The young man that had been in and out of juvenile detention so many times, it was the joke of the high school. His eyes were a window straight to an empty, dead soul. Nobody noticed because the badly burned scar tissue wrapping his face was a distraction. His father gave him that gift on his 10th Christmas, in a drunk rage.
5. The 6 year old boy that was trapped in his body and his very young mom, a user. His premature birth left him in a body active with seizures, eyes with no vision, and brain stuck at 9 months development. I would sit next to his mother in thousands of meetings over two years. I would hold her hand and encourage her to stay sober, discuss parenting responsibilities, and the desperate need for her to change her habits. I would hold her hand one last time at his funeral. He was free at last, leaving her here on earth, to live life hard and enter adulthood.
Of course, all these adoptions were in my head. They all have parents and families, and legally don't need to be adopted.
But if I could, I would gain 200 pounds, throw on a moo moo dress, and sit on the front porch, welcoming all those who need love and teaching at Mama MAZs house.
After several nights without sleep, I got 4 hours uninterrupted dream time, resulting in 2 dreams.
The first, I got lost going to a job site and ended up in Mound City, AR, a "community" of gypsies by the river. I loved it and, forgetting why I had traveled that way, decided to stay.
The second and longer dream:
I was the only one that bought a lottery ticket last week, so I won! The check read, "$28 billion 300 and .98 cents".
As I walked to the bank, with giant check in tow, I passed Alanis Morrissette, at the bus stop, singing "isn't it Ironic".
I wrote a check to the youth group. I fully funded and pre-paid all World Mission Trips, for each teen
I wrote a check and bought Jeff his own woodworking business with the best woodshop
.......on an abandoned oil rig in the middle of the ocean.
I wrote a check that fully funded Su Casa ESL Ministry for Hispanics
I wrote a check and bought the island and house from one of my earlier posts.
.......it had no bathrooms.
My bladder woke me up
I like analyzing people, their actions, reactions, the way they process information, and their problem solving skills.
"There is such a thing as TOO MUCH psychoanalysis", one of my victims often tells me.
Yes, I agree.
But my involuntary hobby has discovered a breakthrough that will make MAZ a household name.
Ok, not really. But if you care to hear my thoughts, here they are:
I have found that "common sense" is changing. What my generation and older feels is "common sense" is not what the younger generations will consider "common sense".
When your kids "clean" and you find they have stacked large, bulky items on top of small, thin items, you think "use your common sense, dang it!"
In defense of the new world,
When an adult vocalizes a comment like "I'm tapping the button, but nothing is happening", the kids are thinking "you swipe it, moron."
Even those of us that spent years at home forcing our children to play outside, encouraging creativity, and limiting technology time....
Are finding that our children still lack a thought process like ours.
Now, I am never home and my boys are on a road with college in sight.
So, I have become a weekend warrior.
I still encourage (physically push) them to play outside.
I ask them to do pointless things so they can use "common sense" from "the old world".
Throw that rope into the tree, so you can climb it.
Use this old, rotten deck banister as a ladder.
Stack these bricks, balance this wood, and run across it.
This is broken. How do you fix it?
Are there points to doing any of these things?
Are there "common sense" lessons to be taught?
There is not one piece of technology to aide them in processing:
Is this a good idea?
Is this safe?
Could I break a bone?
Could I die?
Except the good ole CNS.
.....you are in pain
......don't listen to your mom, think for yourself.
Planet Earth tweeted this picture and sent me into fantasy MAZ island:
I am in my hammock, surrounded by woods, listening to the water lapping at the edge of my yard, and writing about the sarcastic bird that built a nest on my porch because I placed my hammock in its tree.
In the winter, I watch the snow use my giant picture window to make me feel I am in a snow globe.
In the summer, my shoulders turn pink as I lay in my boat, late into the afternoon, hoping to finish one more chapter before the sun begins to set.
I get a weekly delivery of mail and groceries.
This week brought a $500,000 bonus check for my newest novel. I row into the mainland to visit my students, at MAZ School For Special Needs.
I got so excited about this little island that will give me everything I love.
I look back at the tweet.
I drifted back to fantasy MAZ island and found myself frantically cutting the island roots to float my island to American waters.
What is a valentine?
Anyone that chooses to love you when you are at your worst.....
a friend, a spouse, family
I chose the above picture to represent LOVE because I had just birthed Max, Jeff was in zombie state and Jack was being so naughty. I remember thinking "what have I done..."
I really don't care for valentines day.
I want to be shown love because a sunrise was inspiration or I said something funny, not because you ran in Walgreens and an aisle of pink and red crap commanded you to love me.
I haven't always felt this way..
I loved it in elementary school!
The class party!
The 43 valentine cards in a shoebox!
(I went to public school=challenging student/teacher ratio)
As you can see, I was the same at age 8.
Hungry and not so girly....
Then, when I entered junior high, there was no shoebox.
I quickly realized my classmates were forced to love me in elementary.
Not so in junior high.
And therefore, I never received a pink, yellow, or red carnation....not even the friendly white.
High school.... I was never asked to the dance....or given a dang cupidgram.
But despite the many movies, books and TV shows confirming my feelings in my teen years..."I am not the girl they want to love"
I learned what "I love you" means:
Being disappointed but not leaving
Disagreeing but willing to agree to disagree
Hurting feelings but feeling the need to repair them
Enjoying silence without anxiety
Enjoying conversation on any topic because it is conversation with the one you love
Making an effort to let the other "feel" loved
Knowing that you both like each other even in the worst fight
Showing love to them on Valentines Day, as well as "you're gettin on my nerves" day.
I arrived at Chik Fil A as they unlocked the door.
I sat in my car and watched the 8 men, in their 70s and 80s, file in the door with their newspapers under their arms.
I noted that I, a 40 year old lady, was about to match the 65 and over boy's club.
I tucked my newspaper under my arm and headed inside.
I never see the old ladies in the fast food breakfast clubs that I have observed from Jonesboro to Nashville. Where are they? In 30 years, I guess I will be alone in my early morning, coffee/biscuit/paper, time.
I chose a corner spot to read, eat, and observe. The men sat at a large table in the center, laughing, harassing, noting the weather, and sharing medical updates.
"Heeeeey!" All the men raised a hand to wave and greet an 80 year old lady walking in the door. She nodded her head and flashed a smile.
"We are surprised you are out in this weather." Then one man mimicked in a silly lady voice, "this weather makes my hair curly." The men chuckled and she shot them a grumpy look.
I felt like my future was being played out in front of me.
Future MAZ ordered, then chose a table off to the side.
The men would take turns passing sections of the paper to her and either laughing or arguing with her comments on what they had pointed to her attention.
Then my day was made when two men were discussing their cinnamon rolls:
"That is disappointing. It is so small."
The lady kept her head in the paper and never cracked a smile when she slightly raised her volume and said
"that's what she said"
The men recognized her burn with moans and laughter.
She looked up, fixed an unruly curl, shot a look at the men's table, put on her glasses and raised the paper higher.
I hope I am that awesome at 80.
You will find future MAZ behind the flowers.