Saturday, January 1, 2011

the one where we stay in our pajamas

2:38 p.m. on Jan. 1, 2011.

(random line from paper journal: I love that today is gray and depressing. It makes me feel less crazy.)

Today, this auspicious, potential-infested, audacious day, first day of a new decade, my daughter and I seem to have decided to live in our pajamas.

In the background (which really isn't the background. it is three feet away on my daughter's laptop. We both sit on the living room floor, backs against sofa), I hear Samantha Who, which my girl watches on


I miss poetry.

This morning, I received an email from Alan Cohen in response to my request to be added to his newsletter subscribers list. In my email to him, I told him I hadn't been able to attend his Hocking Hills Festival of Poetry in the past few years because of my daughter's busy schedule.

"Bring her along!" he wrote. "One of our 2011 presenters is a very handsome slam poet from L.A." (Andres Rivera)

I wish I could tell him that the idea of mingling with slam poets was on my daughter's "bucket list" (I really hate that term), but she laughed at me when I suggested it this afternoon.

She's a excellent writer, my girl, probably an innately better writer than I am. Every year when I start squealing with excitement about National Novel Writing Month, she gets this wistful look on her face. "I feel like writing, but no, no, I have too many other things...."

She is artist.
She is musician.
She seems to think it would be too much to be writer, too.

Really. Impossible to focus.

"I'm going to fall asleep with my face in the couch," my Girl says.

This post, this Jan. 1 post, is my love letter to myself. I don't make resolutions, though I have ideas of things I want to complete or start in the next months. Ongoing plans, not new plans. I don't feel obliged to make a fresh start today just because it's Jan. 1 of a new year. I give myself permission to sit here on the living room floor, back against sofa, close to my child who isn't going to fall asleep with her face in the couch after all; she's going to finish her Algebra 2 homework (while she continues to watch Samantha Who).

"I don't know where everyone is today," she says as she checks Facebook one more time. "Maybe they're all off doing things with their families, you know, since it's New Year's Day."

"That's what you're doing," I say. "Doing things with your family."

"Hey, it is what I'm doing. This is nice. We're bonding," she says, with only a tinge of sarcasm.

(and kill me now. she's asking me questions about the difference between "discrete functions and continuous functions," like I'd know. I'm a mathophobe. But holy crap, I think I helped her bullshit her way to a definition. Google, I love you.

"I don't know what I'm talking about," she says. "I don't know what any of this means. I'm just going to copy from the book." pause, read, scribble. "What's function notation? AAAAAAHHHHH! I don't know. I'm going to look it up." pause, read, pause. "Arrow???"

my girl claims none of the answers are in the book.

"What's a vertical line test?!? Uhhhhhh! Whup, I found it.")


  1. Reading this makes me feel contented. :-)

  2. yes. contented is an excellent word for how i felt while reading this one. i have a friend who's the poet laureate of kansas, and there's some big whooptedo happening in march that i just read about on her blog. perhaps you and your daughter would be interested: and my friend's name is caryn mirriam-goldberg. she's a treasure. a real treasure.

  3. How funny, Jeanne. I read Caryn's blog. She is affiliated with Goddard, and I've been toying with applying to their transformative language arts program. Alas, I can't afford school right now (saving for daughter's schooling) and can't quite afford to get myself and/or my daughter to Kansas, but it looks like an amazing line up of wonderful poets! I, of course, live in a state with no current poet laureate (Ohio).