The Brood: On First Communions, Maybe

Tons of families don’t bring their kids to church regularly and yet manage to wrestle them through the whole first communion rigamarole for the sake of tradition, or to appease Grandma, or for the photo op, or, I don’t know, because it’s just what you do? Somehow, though, despite my worst best efforts, I am not those people.

The Brood: Meltdowns, Magic Mushrooms, and Stuff Going On

A mom collapses in the midst of a Boy Scout hike. Tween boys don’t notice and continue frolicking. Mom begins tripping on the mushrooms she ate earlier. Tween boys continue frolicking. Mom delivers a high-key Shakespearean death soliloquy about how she wishes to return to the nurturing mother earth. Boys argue amongst themselves about the terms of the game they are playing, failing to observe that their parent is keening, eating wood chips, and attempting to bury herself in fallen leaves so she can be reabsorbed into the earth like the twin placentae she buried years before.

The Brood: Nothing Has Happened (Again)(and Again)

A shooting at a Christian school in a conservative state belies everything I was once taught about the nature of these violent acts. You see, I was told that locked doors would stop the shootings. I was told armed school staff would stop the shootings. I was told prayer in schools would stop the shootings. I was even told that overturning Roe v. Wade would stop the shootings.

The Brood: Silent Night, Restless Night

My conscious mind never stops running scenarios, trying to use this relatively peaceful time to somehow get ahead of any incoming disaster. I organize and re-organize the house. I make plans for how to earn more, to save more money. When I can’t stay on my feet a moment longer, I restlessly read the news, trying to identify where the next threat is coming from. Even my worries about sleep are part of this…I worry that when the shit goes down again (and how could it not?), I won’t have enough energy, enough focus, enough health to take care of the people I love.

The Brood: On Careers, Currency, and Catholic Guilt

In terms of career goals, in the words of Lloyd Dobler (imaginary boyfriend of all sensitive children born between 1976 and 1984), “I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career.  I don’t want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed.  You know, as a career, I don’t want to do that.”

The Brood: On Self-Help, Dreams, and Crying at the Gynocologist

I crush my latte cup in one hand. This is stupid. I don’t know what my dreams are. How does a person know what their dreams are after forty? Is having dreams even appropriate once you start using night cream and getting yearly mammograms?