Dear Vagina


SO maybe my great blog networking plan can wait seeing as this is the subject I've been compelled to write about today. I just have to wonder what the hell is going on down there. Honestly, over the last 10 years the poor thing has been steadily going down hill (Thank you kids. Lovely.) but this isn't about that, this is something else.

I wake up this morning and take my regular sleep tinkle, or "slinkle". All is well. I wipe.

"HOLY FUCK! What was that?!"

It feels like a scratch. A long scratch. Maybe a big ass paper cut. In my vag. Where did it come from? Why is it there?

Why oh why is it that as I get older these happenings, well, happen? I should KNOW how, when and where this occurred. It's not like in my 20's when after a night of heavy drinking and chandelier-swinging sex a few black eyes and somebody else's underwear would have been filed under "weird but acceptable". Is this mom brain? A "senior moment"? Do I have a tumor? Who doesn't know how they injured their vagina?

Me. That's who.

Bloggy Newness

I have a confession to make. I'm a totally blog newb. That's right, I said it. I have had them in the past and posted frequently but like so many others out there I've been primarily talking to myself. Good for some old fashioned therapy but not so great for someone who hopes to connect with others through her blog. So, I'm creating some goals for myself as suggested over at Mama Blogga. (If you're pretty much a blogging virgin like myself I check out her site for some super helpful tips.)

  • Put myself out there by connecting with other bloggers through comments. I'll set my goal at 20 for the rest of the week and this weekend.
  • Try to come up with posts that will be interesting as well as relevant to those who may be reading my blog.
  • Use my blog as a platform to support the causes that are nearest and dearest to my heart.

So, there you have it. A few goals to use this puppy to it's fullest advantage. For now.

No, I'm not okay. Thanks for asking.

Ah yes, an even deeper foray into the life of yours truly. You see, my 8 year old son has Muscular Dystrophy. This isn't usually a conversation starter for me but this is a blog, and it seems that as a blogger, it's my duty to peel back the layers and expose these bits of my life. So there you have it. My 8 year old son has Muscular Dystrophy. Infantile Onset Facioscalpialhumoral Muscular Dystrophy actually. This means that my young child over the last 2 years has lost much of his ability to walk, see, hear and has a complete palsy of the face. This means that because of about 100 doctor's appointments this year I've had to remove him from school to save him the embarrassment of failing the second grade. (However, this has turned out to be a boon for us. I'll blog more on this later.) This means that he must wear, on a daily basis; glasses, hearing aids, AFO's (leg braces) and let us not forget the oh-so-stylish gauze dressing on his feeding tube. Then of course there is the ultimate accessory, the wheel chairs.
It's a funny thing when you have a child with issues like these who can't leave the house without a truck load of equipment and who, everyone knows, will never get better. People ask the same thing over and over. "Are you okay?" Funnier still is the reaction we parents are expected to give. "Yes, I'm fine!" and "there's a reason for everything", or "I was only given the challenge because I could handle it". Most people don't ask you this question expecting to hear the truth. My truth? My truth is that no, I'm not fine. I'm pissed off. I'm pissed off that my child is being given such a raw deal. I'm pissed off that he has the grace to except it and that I don't. I'm pissed off that I worry every day about him and I wonder relentlessly if he'll ever be able to live on his own, have a lover, travel somewhere fabulous, father a child, live in a dorm, kiss someone, and and...
I'm coming to understand that it's okay to not be fine. I am always fine when I'm with him. I'm always together when we see his doctors, I rarely let myself not be "fine". But every once in awhile, when I'm all alone, I give in. I let go. I cry, I scream, I throw things and at those times I yell to no one and to everyone, "NO! I am NOT okay!" and you know what? I'm okay with that.
Here's the thing. I'll never be "okay" with this. I have, however, learned so much from this child and from this disease. I have learned patience, righteous anger, the true meaning of beauty, I have learned that I can be a kick-ass mom and that I have more strength than I ever though possible. That John is a fantastic father and that together, we can handle anything. I have come to understand that my son is incredible. He is the most adaptable being I have ever met and my heart bursts with pride when I think of how he has come to live with his ever-weakening body with acceptance, grace and with just enough of a stubborn streak to refuse to take this lying down.
Am I okay? No. Am I getting there. You bet your ass.


Have you ever wondered where you went? I mean, you, the one who wrote poetry and sipped away half a dozen glasses of wine every night; the one who looked in the mirror and never did a double take and wondered, is that me? Sometimes when I’m knee-deep in finger paints and dinosaurs and peanut butter and jelly bran muffins it will hit me. Who am I? Am I mom, am I lover, am I poetess, am I housekeeper, cook, dutiful wife…? Or am I artist, writer, vixen, girlfriend, scatterbrained girl…? In the place of my Arcade Fire and ToriAmos is the “My Friends Tigger and Pooh” theme song. In the place of my favorite leopard print skyscraper, fuck-me heels and kiss-me-so-it-shows-red lipstick is yoga pants and chapstick and bare feet with a smattering of clear polished toes. French press to Folgers in a plug-in and lovely artichokes to frozen carrots.
Eleven years of motherhood and I’m still seeking this elusive balance. I find it difficult not to turn my whole self over to the job of motherhood and surrender all that makes me myself to my children. Like so many other mothers out there I find I’ve given some of the best parts of myself up to be what I think they need me to be. But at what cost? Is it really better for them to have a shadow of me than ME? Perhaps I can’t be this “mom” in my head but should I even have tried? Looking back I wonder if I had more to offer children than I thought. I mean really, this is a sacrificial practice we mothers commit. We bleed our former selves dry at the alter of perfect parenthood. Somehow, our kids will suffer if we don’t implode a little, learn to love fish sticks, give our beauty and youth over to dirty diapers and homework and our sexuality to bathrobes and exhaustion.
My question is this, what does all of this leave us to give them?
I love Ginsberg, I love the way he weaves words together and the first time I read Sunflower Sutra it left a tattoo on my heart. At 16, just discovering how powerful a person’s words can be I was left awe-struck by how someone who lived as his whole self could affect the way I would think and live and imagine. Forever. Someone I didn’t and wouldn’t ever know. Just the words he shared have shaped so much of me. Here I am, in charge of helping to shape the minds and souls of my children and I’ve come up short. I truly believe that to be happy you must be yourself. I tell my son all the time that he has everything in the world to offer, simply by being him and I’ve dropped the ball by example.
So what to do? Maybe the time has come to evaluate myself and who I’ve become. Why can’t I wear my heels and share my love of roasted brusselsprouts and shark-fin soup and poetry and Frida and put on my lipstick to home school and help them to be themselves completely. By being myself.

The First

So, here is my commitment to myself. I promise to update Manic Mama at least once a week. I promise to be honest, not to gloss things over or make them less or more than what they are. Lastly, I promise to try and use this blog to learn more about myself. That out of the way, first things first yes? A small introduction for blogland. I am Mellissa, 30 years old, mom to four kidlettes; 11 year old Aryanna, 10 year old Aoghdan, (that's Aiden for those who are going "wha?...") Ian-Michael who is 8 and Katrine aka "Kitty" who's 2nd birthday is rapidly approaching. I have been with the love of my life, John, for going on ten years now. Yes, I know, people say that a lot in these things don't they? "Loving husband, soul mate, snoochy boochy cupcake" but I promised to be honest and so you see, it's the truth. He is my truest love and "the Missing Piece" to my rolling circle. (Any other Shel Silverstien lovers out there? I tell you, he was a prophet, that man.) We are a military family and after having been stationed in beautiful Wiesbaden, Germany for years, we now live in small town(ish) Tennessee. Now remember, I promised to be honest. I hate it here. It's god-awful boring and most days I feel as if I'm living in some sort intelligence suck. I miss museums that don't deal with quilts, military memorabilia or trains. I miss the walkplatz, the Christmas Mart, walking all weekend while seeing castles, graves that are hundreds of years old, duck at the Mayflower, Danny Boys, yes, blah blah blah. The plus to being here is that we bought our first home and hey, that's nothing to sniff at. Good with the bad and all that. So there it is. Me in a very small nutshell, as I stand right this moment. Bummed about where I live, diggin' my man and loving my kiddos. More to come.