February 8, 2012

Remember to Remember

I remember. I remember so much from 1982 it hurts. 
I remember thinking I was in love. 
I remember sneaking Judy Blume's Forever to and from school every day and reading about teenage sex. 
I remember two classmates fighting in our classroom. 
I remember my first dance, my first kiss in a basement dancing to Journey. 
I remember being alone with a boy. I remember when he told everyone about it. 
I remember riding on the back of my 'boyfriend's' brother's motorcycle. I was 12 and I was riding on the back of a motorcycle with a teenager. 
I remember mean girl drama. I remember laughing. I remember crying. I remember healing.
I remember getting straight A's.
I remember sleep overs and seances and talking on the phone. 
I remember riding my bike all over River Grove, across busy streets, through the woods and over rail road tracks. 
I remember loving my parents and loving/hating my little brother. 
I remember feeling safe in my bed at night. 
I remember talking to God while listening to Joan Jett on the radio. 
I don't remember if I told my mother about any of these memories.

I remember all this, and shake my head back to the present moment, back to 2012, back to my 12 year old daughter. The challenge, now, is to remember all I remember, and let her live her life, have her own experiences, good and bad, so she can learn and grow from each success, failure and choice. I can only hope she'll share some of her 'remembers' with me.

February 6, 2012

Coyotes Make Me Ugly

It’s official. The coyotes have driven me to madness. When the smarmy, (and might I add healthy looking) predators began sauntering across driveways and walkways with an air of entitlement, I became slightly alarmed, proceeding with caution by monitoring my dog closely while she sniffed around the backyard. 
And then, like white on rice, they were everywhere. All I see are coyotes. All I hear are people talking about coyotes. IN FACT, just last week, a friend mentioned she went to a lecture,YES a lecture on Urban Coyotes. 
It’s shocking really., what I’ve been reduced to.  I used to loathe animals of all kind. I would smile politely at friends’ pets while cringing internally as they sniffed my boots. Since becoming a dog owner, that’s all changed. 
Unintentionally, I became some sort of crazy lady coyote cop. That’s right, my normally pleasant demeanor turned demonic due to myriad coyote sightings. Call me Neen, the wild-eyed dog vigilante. “There she is,” you might say, ‘waiting, hoping to catch one on her land!” Land?
I called neighbors informing them their dogs were spotted off-leash chasing down coyotes through yonder yards. I found others like me. Formerly calm, collected men and women are out there, watching, slingin’ baseball bats, wielding sticks and honking horns to protect themselves from our “Urban Coyotes.” I hear the coyotes howling at night behind my house across the creek and wonder when the madness will end. I’m losing sleep because of these villains. What the shit is going on?!
After witnessing a nasty coyote/dog fight on Westleigh Avenue, I pulled my car over and started honking and screaming at the creatures hoping to separate them (utterly mortifying my middle schooler in the process.) I realized I finally snapped. The sneaky beasts got the best of me. Heavy breaths and a heavy dose of ‘you really need to get out more,’ I decided to be more productive.
Since these creatures are part of our urban habitat, we need to protect ourselves, civilly, as this is not the wild west, and I, am fortunately not Annie Oakley. While the idea of a pellet gun, a beer and a small wound to scare these critters off my property sounds DANDY, I do realize I need to at least act as though I am a dignified human being and handle this properly.
So, I’ve done my research, and this is what we need to do:
Especially while its coyote mating season in February - Keep your dogs on leash - don’t let them run free at the park or down the paths.
Keep an eye on your pets, even in your backyard.
If you come across a coyote, DO NOT run from it. Educate him to be afraid of you. That’s right - educate him. Make loud noises, appear bigger (I wouldn’t use stilettos, but that’s just me) by raising your arms in the air and shouting loudly. I don’t see the dignity in this, but at least maiming isn’t involved.
So today, I say goodbye to Crazy Lady Coyote Cop. I will heed the aforementioned instructions and will mind my own business, my own dog and plan a girls night this week with the hopes of returning to my former self.
For more information about our new neighbors, go to http://urbancoyoteresearch.com/