Tuesday, April 16, 2019


Kiera kindly subbed my Sunday and Monday classes a few weeks ago. When I got back, more than one student asked me, “Really? Disneyland? Kiera said you were at Disneyland, and that doesn’t seem like your thing.” It so is not.

It’s important to me that I live clearly. I try to be the same person all the time. I don’t want my words and actions to be misleading. I strive for transparency with my emotions and preferences. Success! Evidently. People who only know me as their yoga teacher were incredulous that I would take time off work to go to Disneyland. It made sense though when I said I was there for my mom’s 60th. People who only know me as their yoga teacher know that I adore my family, and that I’d do all the things for them.

For my birthday last year, Hilary asked my people to say nice things about me, typed up those bits, and put it all in a jar that sits on my desk. Feeling low? Read a love note. One of the many snips from my mom said that she loves that she knows that I would happily kill someone if they harmed or offended my family. 20 years ago, I would happily have killed my family. Now, if you merely look sideways at one of my nephews, I’ll slash your tires, smear your name, and eat your pets. I appreciate that my family permitted me to grow. They didn’t paint me into a box after my parent-and-sibling-scarring adolescence. Despite years of hurt, something soft in my mom and dad left me room to evolve, and—intentionally—I did. I suspect the rest of them followed that example. Or they were too young to remember the more hurtful details of my growing up.

That is how I ended up in Disneyland earlier this month. Mama Sue was turning 60 and her great dream was to go to The Happiest Place on Earth with her six adult daughters. My five little sisters and I agree that we’ve really never seen Sue happier. She mentioned more than once on the trip that when we were growing up she never let herself imagine something like this could happen. Raising her SixChix was rocky AF.

We were in the parks during the whole of America’s Spring Break, and, with great sympathy, many of our friends have asked if the ride lines were atrocious. We didn’t care. I’m not sure we really knew. We didn’t have any children with us. As a non-Disney person, I wasn’t excited to spend time there, but, Dear Reader, going anywhere at all with my family is so entertaining. I’d spend the weekend in an STD-splattered truck stop bathroom if it was with my sissies.

At one of the very few serious moments on the trip, Sue said that she was grateful to watch us with each other. “I’m not always going to be here,” she said, “and I know that when I’m gone, you’ll take care of each other.” We will. Whitney will have special relationships with each of the nieces and nephews. She’ll steal them from school to go for salad. She’ll keep them for the weekend. Caitlyn will be the unrelenting comic relief. She will lighten the mood with perpetual silliness that we will never not find hilarious. Haley will have all the asides, rushing to smooth out disagreements so relationships don’t deteriorate over stupid shit. Mally will be a locked-down, judgment-free zone to share secrets and fears. Lola will be auntie-on-the-spot. She will always make it to family events and give the best hugs when it’s time to leave. My five little sisters will do those things and more for us all. I’ll be there too, making myself useful from time to time but mostly just trying not to be underfoot.

Did we wear matching shirts? On Susie’s birthday, we sure did. (I think I was the only one kicking and screaming over that one; my sisters are better sports than I am.) Did we go to Star Wars land? Well, no, we did not, as we missed the opening by a couple months. Going on Star Tours over and over wasn’t a sufficient salve for that particular sting, so with a catch in my throat and a sink in my gut I say here: I guess we’ll have to go back.

1 comment:

Tia said...

I love this. I have missed reading your blog posts, which are spattered with good words and humor. I hope you're well, dear Megan.