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I saw it in his eyes – a brief glimpse of deep sorrow – before he began dictating to his nurse the clamps and implants he’d need to fix the encephalocele atop my daughter’s head. It was the same deep sorrow I saw in the eyes of every person in the waiting room at the neurosurgeon’s office realized that Amelia Harks was, in fact, not me, but a tiny baby in a carseat, no bigger than my arm.

In that brief moment, the neurosurgeon became human, not some arrogant doctor, about to saw into my daughter’s tiny head.

Now that tiny baby, no bigger than my arm, is a toddler with an attitude so reminiscent of my own that it’s hard for me to remember that they are one and the same.

As she grows, the scar does too. What once looked relatively small now encompasses much of head. Her curls, always in a halo, cover it, so I don’t receive the same sorrowful looks I once did. For that, I am grateful. For if I did, if I had to explain those turbulent first years of her life, I don’t know if I could stop the sobs.

People, well-meaning people, tell me the scar is “barely noticeable” that they can “hardly see it,” and I always thank them on her behalf. Inwardly, however, I wonder if they know how that hurts.

It would not matter to me if the scar somehow became invisible – although she might appreciate it some day – because it’s always there for me. The scar haunts me.

Most days, I am able to work through it, reminding myself that she, my warrior daughter, is here and that she is perfect – scars and all.

There are other days, though, that the limitless well of deep sorrow I once saw reflected in the neurosurgeon’s eyes, threatens to swallow me whole. The tears, hot and fast, course down my face and I am powerless.

I scoop that toddler, once a baby no bigger than my arm, up into my arms and I weep. Confused, she touches my tears with her tiny finger and asks, “Mama sad?”

“Yes, Baby,” I choke out. “Mama’s sad.”

And the three of them – flesh of my flesh, blood of my blood – climb atop me to squeeze the Sads out. It’s only then, with the pressure of three squirmy bodies on my chest, all elbows and knees now, that I finally feel whole again.

And I wonder, as they scamper down, screaming and chasing each other about the house, my tears drying to a hard crust on my face, the well of sorrow closing for the moment, how I got to be so lucky.


It’s taken me four years of painstaking work to get my house to look as though we’re not a family of squatters who just happened upon a house and moved in. Hell, I’m just now trying to get my downstairs painted from the hideous green that our previous owners decided was “soothing.”

It’s not fucking soothing. It’s INFURIATING.

(I’m also colorblind, so while it may APPEAR a nice color to you, it looks like cat shit smeared on the walls)

Anyhow, one of the first things I did, beyond repair our hideous downstairs bathroom was to start work on the landscaping.

Now you probably don’t think “landscaping” and “Aunt Becky” should appear in the same sentence, and you would be right. I nearly broke both ankles using a pickaxe last summer, to a chorus of laughter from everyone else involved.

(shut your whore mouth)


See what I had to work with here?

This summer has, thus far, been devoted to watching cat videos and replacing the stuff I ripped out last summer. So I’m outside a lot.

Last week, before I left for Assville, I was outside, planting some roses in the rain, humming the Pina Colada song (I always replace “pina” with “penis” because I am a classy broad) and I remembered something stored previously in the dark, dank recesses of my mind.

Those Geese.

Well, okay, I thought they were ducks, until The Twitter pointed out I was wrong. The Twitter is good for that.

But anyway, I was all, “self, whatever HAPPENED to those stupid ducks that people used to dress up in wee clothing? The ones that I may or may not have stolen clothing off of when I was an asshole teenager.”

I honestly couldn’t recall the last time I’d seen a goose in wee rainboots and that made me fairly stabbity. Not because I wanted to see one, mind you, but because geese are Of The Devil. Had they been otters – which rate high on the cuteness scale – I’d never have stolen their clothes.

But since the plaster geese seem to be extinct, I think it’s high time for something to replace it. ANOTHER animal for (old) people to dress up for the seasons.

And Pranksters, I’m thinking that what would sell like hotcakes are one of two items that I should probably get started on crafting immediately, if not sooner.

Don’t you want to PREORDER this guy in statue form?


Not convinced? Let me show you his wee clothes:



Perfect for the holidays, Pranksters.

Now, Option Two is this Bad Boy:


You MAY have to include a note that says, “no this is not a vicious showerhead.”

But let’s see him in his clothes!

Oui! Oui! Oui! You can see the BASTILLE DAY Sea Lamprey has busted out the wine AND the adorability.

These motherfuckers are going to be selling like HOTCAKES. We should start preordering them IMMEDIATELY, if not sooner.

So that, perhaps Pranksters, will be how I finance the landscaping (and subsequent hospitalizations) I must do this summer. THAT is the way I can leave MY MARK on the world.


Who wants in on this, Pranksters?

I was entirely shocked to find not a single Mountain Folk in Assville, NC, where I spent the weekend. I’d been hoping for some banjos, a dog named Blue, or perhaps, a fuckton of toothless yokels.

I saw none. I was mildly distressed by this.

In fact, Assville, NC, is a HIPPIE town. An EXPENSIVE Hippie Town. Who knew? My parents would have felt right at home.

(I did, however, eventually see a guy playing a banjo)

(that pretty much ruled)

Anyhow, I woke up Sunday morning and checked my email because I cannot possibly function if my email remains unchecked. I mean, what if TODAY is the day that House, MD calls me and begs me to write for his show?

My email was, as per usual, full of stupid sites whose email lists I cannot manage to remove myself from, and a curious thing. I had at least fifty new posts for Band Back Together. That’s, um, out of the ordinary. But, I congratulated myself, perhaps it was all the people I’d just MET. Maybe I had, in fact, strong-armed into writing for us and/or working WITH us.

So I clicked to see what the title of one of the posts was:

“The Many Benefits Related To Obtaining Superior Mortgages.”


I clicked through and saw that all of the fifty new posts were, in fact, spam. Well, that’s not so fancy. Spam users I’m used to. Spam posts? That’s a whole ‘nother ball game.

That put me in a not-so-sparkly mood.

As bloggers, we’re all familiar with spam. I currently have 500 spam comments that are awaiting my glistening eyes to sort through. That’s just from yesterday.

But Band Back Together is different than a personal blog because it’s not just my ass blathering away at you. See, everyone who posts must first create their own account – email, username, password – so really, it’s their blog too. Same goes for Mushroom Printing.

Spam users: I expect. Spam posts? Not so much. But these posts just kept rolling in. I deleted over a hundred and thirty of them before installing a simple capcha for anyone registering. (It’s a math problem, not those stupid letters, because those letters are BULLSHIT.)

I was Furious George until I came across this gem in my inbox:


And then I felt my life was, in a word, complete.

Perhaps I should publish it. I’d bet that would help MORE than a few people.


I wrote this about Special Needs Parenting, over at Cafe Mom. You should read it.


What are you feeling ranty about, Pranksters?

(you can publish any snarky rants over at Mushroom Printing, too)

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