It Happened One Sticky Afternoon

A few days ago I read a hilarious post by a blogging friend. Here’s the link for her “I May Have Clothestraphobia” post:

Reading the blogs of others is one of my favorite things, not only because they make me cry, or laugh, or think, but because they often remind me of events in my own life that might be blog worthy. Ellen’s post above took me back to a bout of “clothestraphobia” of my own.

There was a time when I was very slender. Indeed, I was Twiggy before there was a Twiggy. Well, I wasn’t that cute, and I had no major modeling contracts, but otherwise, we could’ve been twins. Maybe not, but trust me, I was skinny.

I’m fairly sure this is Twiggy, but it could’ve been me.

Then I had two children two years apart, and I wasn’t so skinny anymore, but part of me still thought, and to this day still somehow believes, that I was/am skinny. I have a really bad case of backwards body dysmorphia that often affects my choices in clothing.

When our kids were in elementary school and junior high Studly Doright and I were heavily involved in their youth activities. We coached both in various sports, but mainly focused on coaching Little League softball and baseball. On some summer evenings we’d barely see each other as we’d run in from our respective jobs, and change clothes before running back out the door to take our daughter and/or son to practice or a game. On top of that, Studly coached an older girls’ softball team that our daughter wasn’t even old enough to play on. We were busy and having a blast.

“Now what does all that have to do with your clothestraphobia?” you might ask. I’ll tell you.

On one hot, sticky summer afternoon I hurried home to change clothes so I could be at our son’s baseball game. Studly had called me at work saying he’d be late, so I needed to be at the field within the next 30 minutes to get the lineups ready and corral the kids. He promised he’d be there before the umpire called “Play Ball!”

No problem. We lived in a small town and I had plenty of time to change, pick up the kids from the sitter, and get the ball rolling at the ball field. I hurried to the bedroom, discarding my button down top as I went. Halfway done, I now only had to take off the matching pull-on skirt. I loved this set. It was light blue with little flecks and the full skirt made me feel so feminine. So the waist might’ve been a little snug, (I still thought I was skinny, you know), but the skirt had deep pockets. I adore skirts with deep pockets.

Remember I mentioned that the day was hot and sticky. We did live in the Texas panhandle, after all. And also recall that I said the skirt was of the pull-on variety. There was no zipper, just a fixed waistband with a tiny bit of elastic on each side.

I first attempted to step out of the skirt, but it refused to go over my hips. Hmmm. Hadn’t I stepped into it just that morning? Maybe not. I scootched it up in an attempt to pull the skirt over my chest, but it wasn’t having that either. Perhaps, I thought, I could lower it a bit and get one arm inside the waistband. By this time I was perspiring profusely as I watched my time slip away.

There was no way my arm was fitting inside the now constricting waistband, but I did manage to get one breast out so now the whole shebang was hanging lopsided, and I couldn’t get it to move up or down. Now I couldn’t even consider just wearing the damned skirt to the game. I did the only thing I could think of with time running out. I fetched the scissors and awkwardly cut myself out of the skirt.

I cried as I did so, but I sacrificed the skirt I loved to be at my child’s baseball game. Statues may never be erected in my honor, but I took one for the team that day. I’ll bet Twiggy never did that.

Peace, people.

Dominique’s Day

Twelve years ago today Studly Doright and I became grandparents for the first time when our son’s daughter, Dominique Grace, entered the world. She was incredibly beautiful, a perfectly round porcelain-like face with wide open blue eyes that seemed to say, “Hey, I know you!”

From the first moment I saw her, the moment I first held her, I felt love beyond any I’d ever experienced. This tiny human, this connection to the future made my life complete in ways it had never been before. Ok, I was smitten. I didn’t want to put her down. I guess I would still be holding her if someone else hadn’t insisted that they wanted a turn.

As an infant she gave her parents fits. She didn’t much like to sleep, so many hours were spent trying to find ways to soothe her. I didn’t live close enough to help, and I felt pretty helpless listening to their woes. We might chalk their troubles up to payback, though. Her dad wasn’t the easiest infant to care for either.

As she became more autonomous, there was nothing that didn’t interest our Dominique. She loved, and still loves art and animals and kind people. When she was three the highest compliment she could pay a person was that they were so nice they even liked ants. She’s become quite an avid reader, as well, (that makes her Nana incredibly happy) and she can run like the wind. Have I mentioned that Dominique is still quite beautiful?

I cannot believe that she is twelve and a sixth grader. It seems like just a heartbeat ago that I cradled her in my arms and told her how much I loved her. She doesn’t really go for that mushy stuff these days, and that’s okay. Grandmothers have really good memories.

Since I’m not a grandmother who knits or bakes or sews, I’ve written stories for my grandchildren. Here is Dominique’s. It’s all true, except maybe the last line. Happy birthday, Dominique Grace. We love you more every day.

“The Girl and the Butterfly”

One little butterfly, orange and black
Circled the flowers in the summer garden.

One little girl, in red, white, and blue
Danced around the flowers in the summer garden.

“Here, little butterfly!” called the girl.

But the butterfly flew higher than the girl could jump,
And faster than the girl could run.

“Please!” said the girl.

No matter how hard she tried, the girl could not catch the butterfly.

“You must let the butterfly come to you when he is ready,” said Mama.

“I don’t think he will ever be ready,” sighed the little girl.

“Here, sweetheart, I have an idea,” said Mama. “Hold out your hand.”

Mama poured a drop of orange juice into the girl’s hand.

“Now hold out your hand and stay very still.”

The girl did just that.

She waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And would you believe it? The butterfly landed ever so lightly onto the girl’s hand.

The girl smiled at the butterfly.

And after sipping the juice, the butterfly smiled back.

Peace, a People!