February 2013

A Prayer For My Daughter.

by Lori Dwyer on February 27, 2013 · 8 comments

Unashamedly inspired by Tina Fey’s prayer for her daughter. She did it better.


A quick, quiet prayer to whoever may be in charge, regarding my sweet, fairy daughter. If it be within the keeping of your (admittedly skewed) sense of humor…

May my darling little girl always keep her uniqueness, her sweetness, her sense of humor. She may need it.

May she know that, no matter what, she is loved by a great deal of people; and will undoubtedly be loved by many, many more people over her lifetime. And if everyone else seems to have failed; I hope she will know that she always, always has me.

Allow her to be teased, bullied and left out, but only once or twice; just enough to grant her empathy and convince her never to hurt someone else like that. When it happens, may she have enough of those people who love her unconditionally around to break the humiliating impact.

May she feel the simple platonic pleasure of being mates with members of the opposite sex. Let her know, every know and then, how it feels to be ‘one of the boys’, so she might respect them and demand the same in return.

Let her know herself enough that she is able to find interest and hobbies she is passionate in. Let her know, through some divine intervention, that high school, homework and final exams are not the end of the world- six months after her eighteenth birthday they will probably seem insignificant, anyway.

May she be at ease with her body, know herself and how she works; and never think of herself as shameful or dirty or unpleasant. Allow her to know the decadence of food, untainted and untouched by belief her body is not perfect as it has been made.

May she fall in love, hard and fast and blissfully, at least twice. And may the first time break her heart, shatter it to pieces… much as that hurts to ask for. But allow her that so that, the second time, she appreciates and understands what it is to love someone and be loved in return.

Give her the ability to appreciate simple pleasures that come with being female. Allow her to feel the simple fancies of lipstick and high heels, having her hair done and dancing, dressing beautifully and batting her eyelids. Let her enjoy the ripe pleasure of sex. But give her control over herself, and make her at least a little aware of how awesome she is, so she avoids doing the same silly things that I did.

May she be blessed with children, should she want them. May the conception be without the heartbreak of infertility, and childbirth as fast and pleasant as her own entry into the world was.

Give her the blessing of female friendships, of sleep-overs and coffees and play dates- give her sisters in other women that she will not have by blood.

Let her work hard enough that she knows what hard work is; but never to, nor for, desperation. May she find a job where every day is an adventure, where her mind feels stretched and her comfort zones questioned.

Let her live, completely and fully- taste things, feel things, smell things, see things. May her life be peppered with experiences, with happiness and sadness and realities and laughter.  If she is afraid then allow her the strength to see through that and do the things she wants to do anyway. May she see every day as something new, every road as a possibility.

And when things do go wrong- when she loses her favorite toy; when she misses out on something she really wanted; when her best friend hangs out with someone else; when that first love breaks her heart or the pregnancy test comes back positive; or her own daughter won’t stop screaming at her for something undetermined…

May she known that I have been there, done that; and even if she never, ever wants to admit it, I kind of understand. And may she not hesitate to come to me. Without guilt or fear of judgement, though no doubt she will have them.

But may she know that whatever she confesses to, whatever the problem may be; I will always, always love her, and never turn away.

And may she know that’s because she’s beautiful, inside and out. And even if she wasn’t, I hope she knows that I would still be there, anyway. Because that just what mothers are for.


Lori Gets A Nose Job.

by Lori Dwyer on February 26, 2013 · 6 comments

Sometimes, for o other reason than the opportunity presenting itself, I do ridiculous things. Like having my nostrils waxed in a very pubic place, filming it and putting it on YouTube. Enjoy.


The Circus

by Lori Dwyer on February 22, 2013 · 5 comments

I take my children to the circus this weekend, for what I thought was the first time ever. Until I remember that Tony and I took the Chop once a long long time ago, before the Bump was born. I can only just vaguely recall it. The Chop remembers it better than I- it’s him that reminds me, mentioning his dad for the first time in the two weeks since he’s started Big School.

I adore the circus- I always have done. There was very little entertainment in the town where I grew up. The circus was a bi-annual highlight. I love the skill, the music, the colour and sparkles. I love the applause and the laughter. I love the smell of a heavy vinyl tent, buttery popcorn mixed with the faintest whiff of greasepaint.

I think that’s the only thing I miss about going to an animal-free circus, like this one was. Without the heady, fermenting stink of a fantasy barnyard- straw mixed with elephant dung, contrasting against the burnt sugar smell of fairy floss…. It’s not quite the same, not quite as exotic.

That’s OK. The smell is all I miss. I remember, a smoke-like apparition becoming more solid as the Chop mentions our last circus visit. There were one or two performing elephants there last time. A herded handful of sad, dusty, shaggy lions. Watching them slink through a caged entrance to the ring, looking distrusting and p*ssed off and depressed enough to be spiteful… it was just sad. I can still remember their growling, somewhat pathetic and desperate, only just audible under the pumping techno music, the sweltering stage lights of the Big Top.

“Will there be lions at this circus?” asks the Chop, and I tell him no, and explain why- it’s cruel and unnecessary and lions like to be where they can run around and play.

I’m disappointed for him, slightly, but I’m relieved as well. For my kids, for myself, for my conscious. The older I grow the less I am able to stomach the idea of seemingly proud creatures cowed and coerced before cheering, paying crowds.

And a circus is sad enough with exotic animals, really. I don’t know if it’s just me; if a traveling circus simply pings at my romantic, dark side. Maybe it’s a result of those movies I used to watch with my Gran, black and white films filled with melodrama, where beautiful women had knives thrown at their broken heart by the dashing, dark magician they assisted.

It’s possible that was it, the reason seeing a circus performance always left me somewhat pensive as a child, in ways (weltschmertz) I didn’t even understand. But I think the older I am, the more it’s the reality of a circus life that makes me sad, rather than the romanticism of it. I’ve always wanted to run away and join the circus– who hasn’t? It’s all those things I mentioned- the lights and costumes and make up. The excitement. The applause.

But then you look at the reality of it… the constant traveling. The damn hard work. Once I realised, probably in my early teens, that all the performers did double-duty before, during and after the show; working as roustabouts, ticket-takers, riggers and carnies, people-watching became my favorite element of any circus. Spotting who did what while they weren’t in the ring. And pointing it out to my fascinated, wide-eyed son today was all the awesome bits of parenting, rolled into one.

The man who released balls into a turning clown-head game for us was, in fact, the circus clown and an expert at slapstick, at mimed audience participation. The lady who sold us popcorn later appeared on stage with a troupe of trained dogs, much to my daughter’s delight. Twin acrobats showed us to our seats. And the crowd’s roving photographer- who then sold over-exposed family photos for ten dollars a pop at intermission- re-appeared at the end of the show on the Wheel Of Death. Which was one of the damn coolest, scariest circus acts I’ve ever seen.

Our circus photo. Check out the kid photo-bombing us in the background.

Our circus photo. Check out the kid photo-bombing us in the background.

The photos must be a new money-spinner for traveling circuses, introduced with the advent of cheap digital technology. And after watching the amateur photographer perform his day job- skipping with a rope atop a metal cylinder that’s rotating fifty foot high in the air- it was kind of difficult to say ‘no’. Of course. I guess that’s part of that sadness of it, too- with insurance and equipment and training and costumes and travel costs, would this place make a profit at all? Or be just struggling to break even?

I don’t know, and I suppose it doesn’t really matter. My kids- my son especially- loved the circus as much as I do. I watch my emotional little boy closely for signs of that same melancholy that overcomes me at the circus, and see none. Only once does he react, and that’s when a man- a dad, at the show with his wife and two small children- is called up on stage and pleasantly ridiculed by the circus clown.

“I wish that was you, Dad!!” chimes in a little girl in the row behind us… and I feel a wave of sadness and longing roll of my son, who snuggles in closer to my side.

But that’s OK. It’s nothing like the huge, gaping hole of a year ago; when we felt the absence of a fourth person in our family like a missing limb. Today, we did the circus. Just the three of us. And it was fun. It never occurred to me, at any point, that I needed another pair of hands, that it was just too difficult to do this by myself.

We are family, and today we went out like families should.

Just we three. And that’s just fine.