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Full of Grace, The Lord Is With Thee

And I’ll take any risk to tie back the hands of time
And stay with you here tonight

–From Styx, 1981

Tonight, we stole away to a small Oklahoma City restaurant, Cheever’s, that some would say was in the ghetto. This is exactly what makes it a destination, and so painfully trendy. But, this is our neighborhood eatery, a circa 1940s flower shop some very cool couple bought and transformed. It is a gift to this old Street, as it bookends colossal mounds of yuck0 save for the purple neon pierce-your body-up store. What I have always loved is that they store the wine where some florist once stored his Birds of Paradise and cheap carnations.

We live up the street, and tonight, we try to ignore the fact I am wearing flip flops, and that they have put linen and candle on all the tables. I have a lot of memories of this place. Some private and wrapped up in the psychotic lyrics of Sophie B. Hawkins. (Don’t listen to her until you are 40, or how ‘bout never?) It just so happens that over five years ago, this was the site of the wedding reception. You, my little beloved, were just 5-years-old. You wore a long white dress, and you – YOU – were the pure one; the flower girl to the divorced mommy who was trying to start a new life.

Tonight, you are 10. I look at you from across our little table and think of all the miles we have journeyed together, and how very much I have missed you. Between a new marriage and increasing job responsibilities; very trying pregnancies (horrible, really) and taking care of subsequent little babies – we’ve had too little time for “us.”

In every way you are still my baby. I tuck you into bed each night and we say our prayers. You beg me to stay just a little while longer, but not as much you once did. You walk hand-in-hand with me through the mall, searching for the perfect backpack. We kill a seven-layer carrot cake with our fancy, heavy forks. You take little sips of my sugary, creamy coffee. You giggle as you tell me all the funny lines from Nacho Libre. We belly laugh.

The memoirist must guard against idealizing the past. Of course, I would like to go back and be with you when you were three. I’d love to go back to the happiest moment of my life: the day you were born. But, I wouldn’t miss the future for a chance to relive the past. Your journey into womanhood has begun.

Just remember, I’m your momma. I’ll always let you have the biggest piece of cake and the last bite. And sometimes, as you grow older, the last word.

Gen X Blog Jennifer Chronicles

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12 Comments

  1. Rev_DeanL

    JenX67,
    I found your blog thru genxrising and I will be checking back to continue reading your thoughts.

    I had a hard time not sobbing while reading your post because I couldn’t stop thinking about my own daughter. She will be 3 in October, but I already feel like I have not spent enough time with her due to my work and travel schedules.

    Thanks for helping me see just how important priorities are in life!

    Dean (’78)

  2. JenX67

    Thanks BK_! I didn’t know u were reading my blog! Hey – where’s your blog?

  3. Brandon

    Hey Aunt Jen!

    I cannot tell you how much I enjoy reading your writing. It draws you in like one of those rare books that you cannot put down!

  4. Ferocious Kitty

    I love your stalking, Jen!

    Annnnnnnnd…I just might have another blogger for your consideration. She recently moved from MN to IN. Or it could be the other way around…I’m checking on that, and on her age. Will keep you posted.

  5. JenX67

    I agree – Deesha is on her way to stardom. She is just fantastic. I discovered her first in B—- Magazine and stalked her.

  6. soulmoxie

    Your writing always amazes me. Loved this piece!

    you’ve lost 40 pounds in the past few months? Damn girl.

  7. Lorrie Veasey

    Beautiful post! I love that she will have this to read when she gets older.

    I LOVE your blog selections. I am a fan of all you’ve chosen, but I have to say, in particular, that Deesha’s blog is just amazingly well written and one I feel lucky to have stumbled upon because of you. Thanks for doing this project and for including me in it. I’m a ’63 baby myself.

  8. Ferocious Kitty

    You are going to hate me. 😉

    I’ll be 37 next month, and was born in 1971.

    Pretty please don’t give me the ax!

    ~Deesha

  9. JenX67

    I’m glad to hear from you, Vermont. Yes, I did delete your blog b/c I couldn’t find the comment I left you about being one of the 50 and I didn’t want to offend you. THen, when I got that last comment I didn’t publish, I thought it was from a blogger in New York I left a comment for. I thought they were confused – thinking I’d selected them, when I already had a blogger from New York. Your “names” were similar. Anyway, I am so glad to hear from you, b/c I love your blog. I will repost it!

  10. KSV Woolfoot

    Just checking back in and wondering if my blog was one you dropped from your list of favorites, for whatever reason. No hard feelings but I was wondering if you found a Vermont blog you liked better and what that might be. Although I write for my own reasons we all like to know what the audience thinks.

  11. Steph

    Sorry you’ve had problems with the comments on Xanga! I hate when I write out a long “something” and the computer eats it. I wish Xanga’s set-up for comments was a bit more like Blogger.

    I enjoy your blog too, and keep coming back to see what you have going on…

    Funny that you mention The Firm, because I have a new video segment to share, lol.

  12. Just like me ...

    Very touching piece … my eldest turns six in December and I look at him – like for the first time – last night while cleaning teeth and I wonder where have those six years gone … mainly to my hips I thing 🙂

    thanks Jen for the new labels down the side – or maybe only new as I never saw them before … I am having fun stealing moments to know your work …

    BTW – what are you using to create your mast heads … I scrape but have not ventured onto the digital medium … but yours look fabbo ! lovely work … my best le

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