25 January 2010

The short order cook visits a confessional, raids the "attic" and more

A short story by Sherri? Not really. So - like any other day, I made dinner (after making a surreal appointment with a boarding school for my daughter... yeah...:-0) - twice-baked potatoes for Olivia, pasta for Enzo, bacon for Milo, cereal and apples for Lilliana - Marcello poked around and found pasta, garlic bread, tea, ice cream.... I was in a hurry....

I had to attend a prayer and reflection ceremony for Olivia's upcoming confirmation this evening. As the honored stand-in sponsor (this is cool for me - I've never been maid of honor - never a Godparent... this is a first - albeit a "stand-in" first) for a friend of hers, I sat with the confirmation class. As a result... and....after watching other sponsors go to "confession" (we Catholics know it as the sacrament of Reconciliation - nerve-racking meetings with priests in which we confess our sins), I decided to go. I've never actually thought it was that bad - AND, oddly, I prefer face to face with the priest - none of this behind the screen nonsense. I've had some interesting conversations in my day - a brief encounter with becoming a complete non-believer as a teenager trying to come to terms with a horrific plane crash that took the lives of people we knew - kids who rode my school bus - resulted in a long, warm, enlightening conversation with an elderly Irish priest who did make me feel better. There have been other moments - a referral to a feminist writer from another priest, sorry that I felt so bad (read: angry) that my mother discounted the good grades and independence of girls (you'll just end up doing what your husband tells you - brains or not - and, please, this is how my college-age self heard all that my mom, my aunts, etc. were trying to impart on me - I'm sure it wasn't REALLY that harsh). Anyway, this time, I had to say it had been a long time - as I put it, before my father died. I talked honestly, as I always do, about impatience, my frustration and subsequent anger over the fact that some close to the family appear to intensely dislike me. Hurts. My penance was to think about my fears and my desires. What I want / don't want - basically. I shouldn't be talking about this.... I CAN say that I felt very vulnerable - and I think I needed to.

At home, I began the ugly business of signing the paperwork to declare my poor Jetta a goner. I had to find the title, and .... in the process, stumbled onto Olivia's baby ultrasound pictures; the guy in the Kinko's I took them to got so excited when he saw them that he turned them into a laminated like poster thing - which was fine because, at the time, I was in a lonely relationship, and I was the only one who cared - and he made me happy, photo negatives from a long ago trip to Europe (I have one of a field of endless sunflowers in the Loire Valley), my college diploma, some old journals with sappy, sappy thoughts in them, a booklet from my beautiful friend, Audrey's, memorial service. She died way too young - of breast cancer. I found the invitation to my baby shower when I was pregnant with Enzo; my sister-in-laws didn't want my name on it - Lilliana's social security card that is currently incorrect and... I've been meaning to change it for almost two years..... Wow... the juxtaposition of all these "THINGS".

I have this little key that opens my "safe" - have had it for years - a little beaded girl on a chain (I love beads - oh and colored stones) - and... I lost her today, after having her for years (did I say that?) - lost the keeper to all my secrets - still have the key - the little beaded girl is gone. Anyway, weirded me out enough to make me wary of everything. Like... the cap on the milk that I bought on the way home cracked and made the milk spill a bit tonight. Right away - I thought - should I check it for poison? Yeah - weird. Like my world turned upside down due to a series of inconsequential occurrences. Gotta get my bearings.

The photo? Lil turning her camera on us for once :-). Should help me get my bearings. I can tell you this - the fact that my little guys missed me helps too. When I got home, my Milo was full of stories of how his stuffed tiger, Rintu, from Cai-lan, makes him sleep better - and Enzo hugged me and told me how he loves watching Shrek with me and how the bird blows up while he's singing and we all laugh. I did laugh a lot with Olivia tonight too.

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