Peering Into The Crystal Ball

I am a warrior fearlessly peering down danger and death everyday.

Well, the reality is I'm actually a giant pansy who hides under the bed and sucks her thumb is afraid of any sort of physical confrontations but in my mind I'm the long lost sister of Braveheart.

Facing grief and wrestling with it every damn day tends to toughen an old bird up. At least in my mind.

I sometimes forget that I'm not the only soldier out on this battlefield; that my loss wasn't strictly my own. It was also my husband's and my children's. I try to remember this, but to be honest, sometimes the rawness of their emotions takes me by surprise and feels like an imaginary cast iron frying pan whacked upside my noggin.

The other day, out of the blue, my lovely daughter was staring out into space with a faraway look on her face.

Thinking she was drooling over some boy at school or envisioning herself as the future wife of some teenaged heart throb, I poked her and asked what was running through that pretty little head of hers.

"I was just wondering what Shale would have looked like when he was a grown up."

THWACK! That'd be the sound of the ole frying pan up against my head.

"I mean, I also wonder what I'm gonna look like when I'm a grown up, but all I have to do is wait and see. But there is no waiting and seeing with Bug. He's gone. I miss him so much Mom. And, well, I just was wondering what he'd look like right now, or when he was grown up."

I swear I heard imaginary birds twittering around my head like in the cartoons and I blinked back the stars I suddenly saw.

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Bug's hair always makes me smile.

I gave her a big hug and told her there wasn't a day that didn't go by where I didn't wonder if he'd grow up to look like his father or like me or some weird hybrid of both of us. I wondered all the time if his hair would have stayed curly and blonde, if he would have been tall like his father and my brother Stretch or if he would have been vertically challenged like both his grandfathers.

Satisfied that she wasn't alone in her grief, she bounced back into happy form like a damn rubberband and went to find her living brother to go fart on him or push him down a flight of stairs.

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Even at an early age, Fric had to endure her mother's fascination with tattoos.

Leaving me of course, gasping for breath and wondering. Would he look like Boo? What if he grew up ugly with a big nose and a big bald spot? Would he have been thin? Or one of those potbellied drooling dudes who wheel themselves around asking for spare change to buy smokes with that you see downtown.

I snapped out of it eventually. I mean, this was my child I was thinking of, not some random disabled homeless dude on the street. Even if he was, he'd have been the best looking beggar out there. He's got his daddy's genes.

The truth is, all I have to do is look at the photos snapped through the years to get a clear idea of how he would have looked as he grew up. He really didn't change much, he was very much like his siblings. Cute from the get go.

Well, maybe not, but love will blind a mommy to even the most hideous imperfections. Right?

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Frac popped out of the womb a cool dude.

I remember being Fric's age and staring at myself and hoping I'd mutate into some beautiful swan. I was desperate to look into the future and find out if I'd be pretty, or thin or tall. I didn't care much about whether I succeeded in life or had a nourishing career, I just wanted to know if any boys would finally like me.

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How I miss the spiral perm. And apparently I've always macked out with dogs.

Hell, I just wanted to know if I was ever gonna grow boobs.

It's a good thing I didn't know back then that I wouldn't sprout a pair until well into my late teens and that even after popping out three babies I still would have a rather small set of girls.

It's a good thing I didn't know then that by the time I turned fifteen my twelve year old little sister would be wearing a bra that I could only dream of wearing. The only thing of mine that would fit into my younger sister's cups was my head. Not so good for the pubescent ego.

It's probably for the best that I couldn't have seen myself in the future, slouching about in yoga pants and a ratty teeshirt, still without a bra, not wearing any makeup and my hair in a pony tail, doing my best impersonation as a soccer mom. If I had known then I never would have been a supermodel I may not have had the fortitude to endure all those years of teenaged teasing about my being 'flat as a board and never been nailed.'

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If I knew I'd grew up to be a geek who routinely pretends her dog is a baby and kisses his germ infested face, I may have been a tad disillusioned as a youth.

But a small adolescent part of me still wonders what the future will hold for me. I have faith in my children's gene pool to know they will grow up to be strong, happy, beautiful people. At least in the eyes of those who love them. But what of me?

Will I be a graceful elegant older lady who embraces every wrinkle, every liver spot and still manage to look striking?

Will I lose my height and become a shrunken version of who I am now, stooped over and hobbling around chasing the neighbourhood children with my cane?

Will I be a pleasantly plump elderly woman, the type children love to bury themselves in with hugs, handing out sugar the way crack dealers pimp out their drugs?

Will I keep my hair or will it grow so thin and fine that you can see my skull from underneath? Will I start dying it hideous shades of orange or start wearing a lot of ugly hats?

Will I develop a sudden love of orange lipstick that makes me look like a bad drag queen?

I guess, like my daughter, I will have to wait to find out. And pray that my friends and family keep me away from anything orange in the cosmetic's departments in the mean time.

Then I found this.

Suddenly my future self flashed before my very eyes.

Not bad. Not bad. At least I have hair and I'm not wearing any funky coloured lipstick.

I always knew I'd be hot stuff.