Imagine a world where happiness during distress is considered a form of intelligence. Because that’s where our society sits. On a cliff. We watch each other knowing it shouldn’t be like this, but it is. We teach ourselves how to be led by the sound of a bell, rather than by our instincts, further dulling our true selves. Imagine if we allowed our teachers to push aside the benchmarks and utilize their love for humanity, which helped guide them to chase a dream to help make a difference in our youth- only to beat them down with regulations and to steal their very voices from their throats. What a shame it is to box up our best minds only to box up more.
I got the dreaded call from Gavin’s school today. He’s the youngest in the entire school. His teacher told us that he’s very smart, has an incredible vocabulary, and is brave.
“Hello is this, Matt? Gavin has been in the nurses office for about an hour. He’s OK, but he did bite his tongue and it won’t stop bleeding.”
While on the way to the ER, Gavin, fell asleep. I watched him in my rear view mirror knowing blood was filling his mouth. Eventually I could hear the blood interfering with his breathing. I asked him to wake up and swallow. He did, while half asleep, swallow the blood.
I parked outside the ER and grabbed paper towel. I reached back toward Gavin. I woke him up, with the paper towel ready to catch the blood. It took a moment for him to wake, but when he did, he wore a worried look and I could see he was active with his tongue inside his mouth. “It’s OK, just spit it into this.” Gavin opened his mouth and a clot was on top of his tongue. He spit the clot, along with more blood, into the paper towel.
He never once cried.
The ER doctors opted not to cauterize the laceration. They didn’t want to cause Gavin trauma. Megan held ice to his tongue all evening and finally the bleeding stopped.
And for some reason unknown to me, Gavin bounced his way up to ‘Alexa’ our digital-voice friend whom many of you might also have and said, “Alexa, play Charles Bukowski.”
How can anyone abuse a child?
I picked Gavin up from daycare.
He told me he was a good boy today
and that means he gets a treat,
and a bath. We always give him
a bath, but he lingers on the thought
about how being good means getting a bath.
Gavin was sound asleep when I pulled
our truck into the garage. I managed
to carry him into the house and lay
him on the couch without waking him.
Gavin being asleep means he didn’t take
a nap. When I took his rain boots off,
sand spilled all over the couch cushions.
I smiled and pet his head. “Gavin, it’s time
to eat dinner and take a bath.” I said sweetly.
It’s easy for me to be sweet to him. I love him.
He didn’t wake. I told myself not to write about
this, but my body walked up the stairs and sat
on my chair to write about it. Now though, I
need to stop the writing and wake Gavin.
He really does need a bath 🙂
“A Strawberry, in my hand. Yea?”
I straight face him – I’m the parent
“A strawberry touching my fingers?”
Uh oh. He’s upped his game
“And on my tongue.”
This was a pure and direct statement
No question about it
I told him no more strawberries
I’m walking to the kitchen
To get two more
My grandfather was orphaned
While in utero
His father committed suicide
Before he was born
His mother gave him,
Along with his siblings
To the state
When he was 18 he joined the Navy
And never looked back
I wish I could have known him
He held me once
When I was six months old
He was 41 when he died
I am told I’m a lot like him
Our neighbor’s husband is moving to Florida
They have a young son and daughter together
And both are now stuck with abandonment’s scar for life
I hope he enjoys his new life
And that he eventually realizes his flesh
It infuriates me to know there are people in this world
So void they rip holes where hearts beat
Hearts held in place by tiny frames
And little feet with little hands
Please little ones, understand you are not their void.
I woke this morning thinking of how somewhere
A mailman will walk the same route
and smile at the same dog in the window-
A diner cook is frying eggs for a woman who’s shaking from grief
The hot coffee was the first warmth she’d been given
A school bus driver swings open the doors and greets two children
One of which didn’t have breakfast but will soon because the doors just opened and the bus always takes them to school where the cafeteria is
And their school teacher thinks
about how some children have parents who make breakfast and some don’t
And about how some children care
And some don’t
All While the mailman walks whistling as he goes saying hello to Spring flowers
It took two and a half years
for me to want to level another parent.
It happened in the suction ball room
at the Children’s Museum in Portland.
Gavin didn’t wait in line.
Instead, he stood directly next to a girl his age
and attempted to share the space.
I immediately intervened.
I told Gavin he needed to wait for his turn
and asked him to apologize to the girl.
Gavin is two and a half. He handled it well.
I stood, turned, and walked away.
The girl’s father walked toward the already handled situation.
I smiled and said hello.
He stared at me and ignored my hello.
But what really pissed me off
was that he attempted to stare me down.
At a Children’s Museum.
I changed my face.
I know this won’t be the last time.
Written by -M. Taggart
For years I opened my closet door to see nothing
but my own jackets, sweatshirts, boots, shoes, crap.
Eventually my closet and I didn’t get along.
Why bother opening a thing that gives back
only the same memory with no hope of progression.
My boots became more worn. My jackets changed
positions and eventually those too become useless to me.
Five years into being a hard core bachelor
-nothing could control me. Not a thing,
except for my fucking closet.
I specifically remember opening my brother’s closet
during a family event. It was the twins birthday.
I was among the last to leave. I had ruffled their hair,
told them I loved them- they ran off into another room
and I opened their closet door to find my jacket.
This was my brother’s home and my brother’s life.
In his closet hung children’s jackets. Some of which
had little ears. And on the back of the closet door
hung shoe and boot holders and in the holders were
little shoes and little boots. I wanted to cry. I wanted
to do more than cry but instead I closed the door and
walked out of my brother’s house and got into my truck.
I shut the door, turned the radio on, and drove. I drove
through farmland and shut the damn music off because I
never listen to music and it was nothing more than a mask
for having looked into another closet that was not a closet
at all, but a life. A home. A real home. I had my four walls
and my closet that I didn’t get along with waiting for me.
-Now though..I sit here thinking of that asshole closet of mine
and about how somehow, someway, it’s still there. And now
It’s the one who is alone because I am no longer alone and haven’t
been for a long, long while. Even before I met Megan. Something
happened. Something that propelled my being into what I was
meant to be, to live, to see. And now when I open my closet, it isn’t
my old boots. It’s life. It’s beautiful life. Megan’s fluffy jacket’s that
I couldn’t possibly understand how to wear, it’s her boots that I couldn’t
possibly walk in, it’s her smile hiding in the hood of her jacket, I open
my closet now and I see my son’s winter jacket puffing out at me, begging
me to put it on him. I see tiny little ears. I see little boots. And little shoes.
This is my closet, and this is my most favorite closet that I have ever had.