The search for normal

We drive our grandkids to the boardwalk.  Lights and rides and cheap stuffed animals surround us — then a young man runs out of a storefront — “Stay the F— out of my store, you hear?”

We search for normal.

We sit poolside, toucan floats and cheesy pizza at our side.  I check twitter, only to learn of another shooting in our home town.

We reach for normal.

We run to the ocean edge, scooping shells and searching for sand crabs for bait.  I hear an elderly couple speaking of the newest health care changes being considered.

We yearn for normal.

I can not help but worry that my grandchildren, aged 8 to 2, will never really understand this normal that I look for.  They are growing up without peaches with a quarter inch of fuzz, without open doors and barbecues.  They hear of shootings and presidential “tweets”.  Will they be able to sit on their front step, a half hour before sunrise and smell that sweet morning nectar, see the golden rays jump up behind the neighbors house?  More and more I doubt it.  And more and more I search for pieces of light to share with them, pictures and memories of days gone by when the ocean was clean, the rivers and creeks safe to swim in, woods were for exploring and friends spent the night.

I cry for normal.

the cool girls

I wish I was one of the cool girls.  I have always been about 3 degrees of separation away from them, I know them.  They smile when they see me, if I can catch their eye.  They may say hi, if its unavoidable, in a store or at a restaurant.  But they never call me.  They don’t invite me to the luncheons, or the weddings, or, way back in 6th. grade, Vee Jame’s birthday party — to be held at the pavilion.  (“Sorry Cindy, I have a limit of people I can invite.  You just didn’t make the cut”). 

I see their children’s cookie cutter  weddings on facebook.  Why do I even look?  These drippy, saggy armed women in their polyester dresses — women whose kids went to school with my kids.  Women who have been friends for God only knows how long, who drink cocktails and embrace each other.  I resent them, their comraderie, but I wish I was one of them..no, that’s not true.  I wish they wanted to be like me…

My daughters had wonderful weddings.  My three best friends and their husbands were at both of them.  I have friends.  I have a good life.  But, man, just once, I’d like to be one of the cool girls…