Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Monsters be here

Rob and I went out Saturday night.

We needed it.

There has been no work for film and television workers in our city since the writers’ strike last winter and there is little on the horizon. It has been a bitter last several months for a million and one reasons and occasional nights out help keep our spirits up.

Rob's mom called just as we sat down to dinner.

Graham had thrown up and his nose was running – did I know where his cold medicine was?

There was no need to come home, she assured us. He was going back to sleep. He would be fine.

We didn’t need much convincing, to be honest and so we stayed and enjoyed a lovely, if rushed, meal. We called again as we settled up, hoping to get the all-clear to catch the first set of a band at a local bar.

“I don’t know what to do,” she said. “He hasn't gone to sleep. He’s really miserable and calling for his mother.”

We rushed right home of course. And I burst through the door and swept up my tired, whimpering boy into my arms and into our spare room where we settled. He clung to me even as I shimmied out of my funky dress and kicked off my heels.

It was 10:15 p.m. I wasn’t the least bit tired. I was in full makeup and my earrings dug in as I struggled to get comfortable with him sprawled across my chest. It was going to be a long night.

We lay together like that for long while. Gradually Graham’s whimpering subsided and his breathing grew more and more rhythmic.

But similar relaxation eluded me. There in the dark it wasn’t long before the worries I had been hoping to avoid that evening began to crowd my mind and fill my chest with a familiar heaviness: the unpaid bills, the stress, the future viability of our livelihood.

And then Graham suddenly awoke with a start.

“Monsters mama!” he cried, his voice thick with sleep and fear. “They scary! They scary monsters mama!”

I pulled him close to me and rubbed his back.

“No, no sweetie, there are no monsters here,” I said, pressing my lips to his head and tasting his salty dampness. “Mama is here and she’s stronger than any monster in the world.”

I felt him relax slightly. “Monsters?” he whimpered.

“No Graham. There are no monsters here, your mama is here.”

He sighed, flopped over with a contented gurgle and promptly fell back asleep.

But I lay there awake late into the night, listening to the rise and fall of his breath and the ticking of the clock. And as the darkness deepened I couldn't help but contemplate life and fear and whether I was indeed strong enough to keep the monsters at bay.

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75 comments:

OHmommy said...

Sometimes I call out for my mama... and realize that now I am someone's mom and it scares me.

It is scary and exhausting fighting off monsters all the time.

Hope he is feeling better today.

Perfect Post Kelly!

Frances said...

Thanks for this post..

I am fighting my own monsters right now and almost feel like I am losing. I thank God my mom is still there when I cry out.. She still knows what to say to help keep those monsters at bay, even if it is only for a little while.

Susiewearsthepants said...

Hope he is feeling better.....hope you are too.

Mary Lynn said...

So sorry you missed out on a much-needed chance to unwind. I totally understand how much the occasional night out is needed.

Hope that Graham is all better now. There's a stomach flu making the rounds all over the GTA. My kids have both had it in the last week, too. Thankfully, flu bugs are easily remedied with a few mommy hugs and the passing of time. If only life's other monsters were so easy to deal with.

womaninawindow said...

Is it horrible? I'm so glad I take sleeping medication now. I hate those sleepless nights. How hard it must be to derive a living from the arts. Here I was envying you the heading, "film industry". But in Canada, not all lights and fast cars, I guess. HOWEVER, since I've been over to your site I think you've been out 2 nights. TWO NIGHTS! Who's counting, right. With high heals and makeup and all that! Geesh! Kinda makes my once a year all that more pathetic...(and even then it's sans the heals and more like big flat clown shoes!) I'm glad your son found refuge on your chest...good times...

Are You Serious! said...

♡ Poor baby it always kills me when my kids are sick and miserable!

Rachel said...

You are absolutely strong enough to keep the monsters at bay.
You are truly fabulous darlin' and Graham knows it, thus the only being okay when mommy is there.

Mighty Morphin' Mama said...

Sounds like your struggles and mine have been following similar awful paths. I am thinking of you guys and pray things get easier really soon. We are starting to see some light at the end of our tunnel, with God
s grace, and I hope that is the case for you soon as well.
Hang in there

Dawn said...

Somehow I believe that you will fight off those monsters. Poor Graham..I hope he's feeling better. I'm sorry this has been such a rough past few months for you.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Of course you are. You're a mother.

Mandy said...

It sounds like you're going through a tough time recently. I hope that the monsters stay at bay.

flutter said...

I am sitting here, with a quivery lip.

You are such a good mama

moldingyoungminds said...

All I know is....in a fight between monsters and you? My money's on you!

I feel for ya, mamacita. Being the grownup can definitely be scary.

Let me know if you need me to come up there and give those monsters a good ole fashioned Texas but-whoopin'...Okay?

Kat said...

What a struggle. Just like you I am a worrier and I wish I had someone to keep the monsters at bay.

oda41143 Missy said...

That's sad. Try not to worry too much, you are a brilliant woman and everything will work itself out. I love that you said that you were stronger than any monster. I'm stealing that line!!

Thursday said...

Seems to me you saw worse times in Arizona. Things may be different now, with more responsibilities but I suspect those responsibilities will be the reason to get you through.

Sass E-mum said...

Unpaid bills? But I don't understand. I thought you were making $400k a year out of blogging? ;)

Laura said...

Hugs and love - the best defence and offence for dealing with monsters.

Momma said...

I'm so glad you were able to calm him down again. There's nothing worse, though, than having date night interrupted with a crisis. It makes it hard to even want to go the next time, but you definitely should.

I'm going to post something this morning that I think will make you feel better. Check it out.

Peace - D

SciFi Dad said...

Life can be scary and difficult sometimes, for kids as well as for grownups. The key is to remember that fear is something we control, that we give it the power and we take its power away.

You controlled his fear of monsters; enjoy that ability while you can.

Now, you just have to remember to control your own. Everything will be fine; the strike is over, and the industry is recovering (albeit slowly).

Mental P Mama said...

I don't know what to say to you, mommy, other than I wish you no monsters either. Blessings to all of you.

Karen said...

What a great post. So many of us struggle with those monsters. Hope that things turn around soon for you guys!

mamatulip said...

I love reading about you and Graham. I can feel the love, see it, right on the screen, in your words.

You are lucky to have each other.

I hope he's on the mend. We're all sick over here and it's horrible, seeing your child sick like that.

sky girl said...

May you keep your monsters at bay.

xo

Tracey said...

You're stronger than you know...

Isn't it amazing that YOU are the one who can make the monsters magically disappear? That YOU are the one he must have to feel complete and safe?

Maureen said...

Oh, yeah.... You're strong enough. There will always be monsters in one form or another, and you'll slay them one by one.

Hope your little guy is better today.

Girl said...

Those monsters and their many shapes sure make life hard on us Moms... hope kidlet's feeling better.

jakelliesmom said...

You are strong enough. You are a mom, that makes you the best kind of monster warrior.

GoMommy said...

There are so many times when I just want my mommy!
Hang in there-you're strong enough!

anne said...

It's be nice to have someone fighting off our monsters, too. I hope things look up soon.

Lisa said...

You're such a good, sweet mama....and it will all work out in the long run.

Victoria said...

Such a sweet vision. Stay away from Diva, Monsters. There's a whole bunch of moms who have her back.

shay said...

Not even moms are strong enough to keep some monsters away BUT braving them together as a family makes them seem smaller.

Hugs! We're right there with you if it makes you feel any beter:)

angie said...

This one gave me chills!

InTheFastLane said...

You can only do your best to keep fighting the monsters. We have had to reassure Jack Jack that we do not let monsters in our house, sometimes. Luckily, when they are small, it is easier to keep the monsters out.

Cee said...

It would be great if our moms still had the power to make our monsters go away.

Abbie said...

OH how we have all been there as mommys, Kelly. You are such a great one, and little Graham is so incredibly lucky to have such an awesome monster-fightin' mama!

Corey~living and loving said...

You did it again....you amazed me with your creative ways.
thank you.

Just Janice said...

You're stronger than you think - the bills will be paid eventually, all that matters is your sweet little boy and that you're there for him now.

Barrie said...

One of my kids used to be afraid of monsters. I had a teeny tiny drawstring bag. I put some powdered laundry soap in it. Then before turning out the lights I'd sprinkle "monster dust" around the room to keep the monsters away. Worked like a charm. I haven't thought about "monster dust" in a while. Not until reading your post! Thank you! Hope all is well.

Blessings From Above said...

Hang in there...your in my thoughts and prayers.

Vered said...

OMG, this brought tears to my eyes.

You write beautifully.

Don't you sometimes wish someone would hold YOU tight and reassure you that everything is going to be okay?

I hope everything IS going to be OK for you and your family.

Elaine A. said...

I am so glad they are too young to know about the "monsters" that we have to deal with sometimes. Sending some virtual (((hugs)))...

Indy said...

You are such a great writer! Mamas seem to always make everything better.

Karen MEG said...

I hope little Graham is feeling better ... and Mommy too.
There are some things that only Mommies can take care of. Lucky little boy.

Amy said...

Whether you can or can't actually keep them away, right now Graham will think you can. That's all that matters. I love the innoncence of children and how they really believe their mommy's (and daddy's) can make EVERYTHING all better. I wish it were true but enjoy it while it lasts.

Cheri said...

He called for you BECAUSE he KNOWS that you can keep the monsters at bay. Of course you can. You're a mom. That superpower is stored in the uterus.

E said...

We have all, anybody over 12, been there.
Here's what I know for sure, nothing stays the same. The good stuff passes and so does the bad. More good stuf will come and so will some new problem that we always manage to find.
You cannot wait to enjoy things when the money worries or the job worries are whatever are behind you. Or else you'll miss the stuff right in front of you today.
Hang in there Diva. You are plenty strong. It comes and it goes. Only you stay in the picture. So enjoy the scenery. The bad stuff has lessons too. And I know from reading here that you already know all of this and that you and your little tribe will be strong and thrive....

The Boyds Family said...

Beautiful Post!

I hope Graham is feeling better now.

I know your worries well; we're struggling here too. Just keep praying - this too shall pass.

Take care!
Yvette

Tootsie Farklepants said...

Of course! You're the mommy!

crazymumma said...

This was really really beautiful.

Elaine A. said...

Hey again! I've left you something over at my blog... : )

painted maypole said...

Being a parent can be scary sometimes. life may change, but i think you'll over come the monsters.

Aunt Becky said...

Hi, um, can you remove my monsters? I hear from a reliable source that you're good at it.

Queen of My Domain said...

Kind of scary when we realize we are supposed to keep the monsters at bay. The problem is that there are some really big monsters out there.

Hairline Fracture said...

Those kinds of monsters are really scary, aren't they? I'm sure you can defeat them--you definitely have a lot of people who believe in you!

common mom said...

Too bad that bottle of monster spray doesn't work on the adult monsters :-( I hope your little dude is feeling better, and I hope you find a way to fend of your monsters soon. Now that I'm a mom, I often wonder how many nights my mom spent worrying about where the money for lunch tomorrow would come from. Or how she'd pay for the dentist. It's amazing how good mothers are at keeping their children from knowing all their worries and fears - or even knowing they have any worries and fears at all. Moms definitely are a special kind of person.

Thinkin' about you!

kittenpie said...

Of course you are, at least the dream variety. Poor little guy, it sucks being sick, and bad dreams on top of it.

In our house, I leave a nightlight on, and have convinced pumpkinpie (who sleeps with at least five stuffed doggies) that monsters are scraed of dogs. I've also heard of people filling a msall mister with water, telling their child it's monster repellant, and putting it on a nighttable for use as needed. Soemtimes, these little tricks help.

Jennifer said...

Oh, I know. I know.

But you're strong enough. Mommies always are, even when, especially when, we think we're not.

kgirl said...

oh you are. don't doubt it for a second, because truly, your son doesn't.

Kimmylyn said...

Teary eyed. I sit hear teary eyed again. You have a way with your writing that gets me invovled deeper than I expect.

What a beautiful post. You are strong enough, though I know as a mom myself there are days I doubt it too.

Kimmylyn said...

Teary eyed. I sit hear teary eyed again. You have a way with your writing that gets me invovled deeper than I expect.

What a beautiful post. You are strong enough, though I know as a mom myself there are days I doubt it too.

Kathryn said...

This was such a fabulous post. I think about this often when I am reassuring my boys that there are no monsters. I think about the real monsters out there and how much scarier they are than the imagined. I wonder how I will always keep my boys safe from these monsters and how to shield them from all the worlds woes.

Such a fabulous post.

Kathy said...

I hate being home at night with the kids when hubby is out of town. I never fail to scare myself thinking about the "what ifs". And then I realize how safe and secure my kids feel because I am there. I have to force myself to be the mom they think I am...

April said...

Unfortunately, here in L.A, they're prepping for an actor's strike as well :(
I know what you mean about how scary it can be. But as scary as it is, you are not one to accept failure as an option. You'll get through this.

Magpie said...

Of course you're strong enough. Of course you are.

Casey's trio said...

I hope you are both feeling better and kicking the monster's butt!

Christina said...

I saw you linked over at Elaine's and came by to check out your blog...I will definitely be back. Sweet stuff! My girl is going through a monster-fear stage too, and it's amazing how my simple presence calms her.

Kami said...

This is such a wonderful memory for you Kelly, you will treasure it so dearly when he's older.

I dread the day that I can't make the monsters go away anymore....

Thanks so much for the b-day wishes. And you are so not 38! YOU are one hot mama!

skiplovey said...

Sounds like you guys really needed a night off, hope you get another one. And hope the filming picks up soon over there.

HRH said...

Beautiful post. You are strong enough...

petite gourmand said...

sorry your date night ended that way.
and sorry about what's happening in the industry.
I do understand completely.
highs & lows indeed.
I hope your little guy is feeling better..

Nicki said...

Poor little guy! Its definitely sort of overwhelming that they have such complete faith in us to protect them from everything bad!

caramama said...

You are a wonderful, and you will be able to keep the monsters at bay. I'm so sure of it.

Poor little guy. I hope he's okay. My little one has been sick, too and we have had some similar nights and days to what you describe. It's tough, but an amazing feeling to be able to be there for them. Hope he's better soon.

Anonymous said...

Lived in Don Mills the better part of my life, stumbled over your column as it was about Don Mills and I always feel protective about what people say about the area. I think so many people really don't understand Don Mills, what it was intended to be. I find your column is more about your experiences (which is fine), really nothing about the experience in Don Mills. Makes me wonder other than using the area name in a catchy Blog title why you bother dragging DM into the subject?