Saturday, October 11, 2014

Hair my bug bear

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It's mid October and another year nearly over. I can't believe it! Him says that I utter the same thing every year. It's been only 14 years since we've been married, so it can't be too bad. But honestly...the years fly by so fast, and each and every year has had revelations that I've sat with or run with.

The biggest reveal this year has been a bunch of grey hair. My grey hair. The trouble makers were lurking all these years I'll bet, right under my scalp, waiting to spring out when I got too busy to notice. And truly, I have been so busy that the last thing I remember about this year, was the winter from last year. When we were forced to slow down. And now it's nearly winter again! Back to the point, I have never had quite such an explosion of grey hair before. And before you point out the obvious, I've had grey hair since I was 10. A few strands here and there, that my mother tried desperately to cover up. She imagined traumatic recesses when classmates would point at my head and treat themselves to a laugh. She would smear home made pastes, some sort of pencil, and she would comb it artfully so the 4-5 strands would stay hidden.

I grew up not caring, and when I went to college, my hair stayed black with suspicious glints, but never more than the wisdom conferring few that showed only if you really looked. (Just like my supposed wisdom, try hard to see...) It was rather nice looking, not thick, but healthy and bouncy and all those adjectives once ascribes to youth. After Mini-Him was born, things changed. The greys still stayed outta sight. The texture changed, but enough home remedies kept the youthfulness locked in. After Mini-Baby's birth, the nose dive that my hair took could be compared to a swallow's dive...only it wasn't nearly as graceful. In addition to scantily dressed scalp, there were stringy greys and many strands that looked like the thinnest filament of cotton wool. Apparently it was a bad case of telogen effluvium. And it would auto-correct at some point. That particular time line is tricky. Because, as I discovered two years and many stresses and frustrations (not related to hair) later, I had to bring about that point.

Research, hair pulling and many vitamins later, it appears that sleep, exercise, nutrition, low stress, and lots of hair food beats any miracle cure. It's pretty much what my father told me all my life. And what my mother still does.

I began doing what I should have done in the first place. Even as the texture etc got better, the greys won't quit. And so I was at a dilemma. What could I possibly do, short of using one of those deeply moisturizing colors? And make trips every 2-3 weeks to a salon, or DIMyself at home?

Over the weeks that I pondered this, there were worlds falling apart. There was never a day without news that highlighted just how many people's worlds shattered from war, disease and generally something terrifying and unreal at once.

And then, I looked at my household. I have such a loooong way to go. Such a darned looong way when all I really want to do is play a little. And read, and do silly things. But I don't think I'll have that luxury for a long time to come.

I asked Him if it mattered to him that in a couple of years, I'll have more grey than black. He didn't look up from his laptop as he said, "huh? No...why would I mind? Do what you like..."

And so what I'd like is to quit worrying about a natural turn of events. And accept this as who I will be from now on and move on to do what needs to be done. I don't want to be bothered with hair color appointments, and hair changes and skin reactions from using color. No. I'll take care of it, and give it what it needs. I don't think color is it.

Though a really dark brown henna doesn't sound too bad with jet black hair does it???

*Image : "Young Girl Looking At Watch" by iosphere through

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

molten vein

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A mountain headless dread,
nothing to quell the spread
of ash like dead thought
and molten rock with anger fraught.

Fury comes alive
Dare hope thrive,
Craters and mouths that brew
words disconnected from the mind that drew
humanity melding and meeting
a body on earth meant to be fleeting.

Thoughts that resist evolution
a soul's sublimation
a cry for mercy, a heart that cannot process
choices inhumane that apparently lead to largesse
And much like those lost souls
a volcano does explode
to reveal what was bubbling beneath
incinerates, sometimes kindly, cuts off at the knees

The verdant slopes will become once more
hiding what remains in memories of yore
the ash like dead thought
and molten rock with anger fraught.

*Image - "Bromo Volcano Form East Java" by TeddyBear[Picnic] through

Monday, October 6, 2014

Mini-Him and Mini-battles

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Him and I have been hounding Mini-Him. That's the word for it. Hounding...

It didn't seem that way initially...and we were so certain of our parental insight, that we took away a whole bunch of things that he loves, unconsciously forgot our usual endearments for him, and really, made the almighty "grade" the sole focus of our collective existence.

He is a good kid, and with a touch of ADD, his days can be slightly challenging. He has nearly always had straight A's. His problem lies in the ability to listen and follow directions. Unless you were to observe it first hand, you would not know exactly how difficult a task this is for Mini-Him. You can see his eyes glaze over the minute instructions are can see the fidget in his bones, his eyes looking for another focus...and when you finally say, "Repeat what I just said..."
the panicked guilt cross his face.

Then comes the mistimed chatter. He almost always has something interesting to say. Only, the timing is off. It could be in the middle of someone's conversation, in the middle of a prayer meet, or just when he has been asked to be quiet. He used to be on meds for a few things and I am convinced that they left traces of themselves behind in a restless Mini-Him.

And yet, on remorse filled weekend mornings of the past few weeks, I wonder what exactly we are doing to him. As I watch him sleep, utter innocence and peace on his face, I wonder why I cannot give him this. This sense of peace, and complete acceptance.

I've been trying very hard, with an alternately upset and sad Him, to understand what drives us to drive him this way. Is it because his ill-timed comments reflect on our parenting? Or perhaps his grades reflect on the collective IQ of our collective families? Or his intolerance for any kind of "serious" conveys some special dead beat status? What is it that bothers us so?

He is certainly different from the kids that Him and I were. And he has been through so much more than us. For all of this, he is a large hearted boy. And he never fails to stand up for me. Ever. Why can I not do the same for him? Show him that I love him and accept him?

I do want him to blend seamlessly into society. I don't want him to suffer from rough edges that will cause judgemental others to push him to the periphery. I most desperately want him to be able to hold a non controversial conversation intelligently, and handle controversy with grace. And yet, I don't know if we are all that well equipped. I guess I am saying, to my shock, that I don't want him to stand out.

Perhaps I don't want him to stand out in a bad way. But who am I to choose? And force? He is not me. Or his Dad.

He is quite simply, only himself.

His grades, his behavior, his choices of conversation, his motivation etc are a function of his thoughts and feelings. And so it seems that my boy is not feeling too good. And his thoughts and mine are far apart.

He has a special delight in little things, and an awe of achievement, fast cars (only Lamborghinis, no other manufacturers need apply), space and physics, good food, wonderful music, basketball and although he is 12, Curious George.

He dislikes having to work at anything that he creates....he writes very deep poetry, and refuses to accept that anything could be expressed differently (and why I would try to change something like that is a matter for another post potentially titled "helicopter mom"), he sketches scenery and does not want instruction on depth and perception, and writes lovely essays that he will not rearrange to improve flow.

And did I mention that he is allergic to direction?

I really only want for him to live a struggle free existence. To enjoy certain aspects of life easily because who needs to deal with comments about table manners at 25? Yet my boy seems unteachable.

But he accepts me does he not? I still get asked what flavor I would like when he goes to the local ice cream shop with Him. He will still ask me if I want a bit if his favorite Lays Chile-Limon on the rare occasions that he gets treated to it. And he still opens up to me. I get to hear about every single thing that goes on in his little life. This could be about half an hour after he has been yelled at for something legit I'm sure.

I'm trying to back off now. I think he is going to set his own trajectory that has nothing to do with me. And the more I try to reset it, and direct him and his future, the harder things are going to get.

That's just it...I need to back off. My little poet/artist/wannabe astrophysicist musician is going to have to figure things out on his own. He can continue to spill his guts to me in the mean while.

*Image - "Holding Hands Represents Paint Colors and Bonding" by Stuart Miles through