Thursday, March 13, 2008


The Matron considers herself occasionally courageous.

She gave birth three times--the last two, sans medication (although not for lack of begging with the third).

Every day, she walks in Scarlett's room.

She enjoys the thrill of tottering on these:

See these three young figures, innocently off to school? Sweetness itself?!

Do not be deceived. They are dangerous. One is too smart for his own good. This morning, The Very Smart One held up The Baby's stuffed Grinch doll and said: "Wanna have some fun? All we need is a waffle iron and some lighter fluid!"

Which he went in search of.

Remember The Baby's birthday party? Well, Merrick's most recent acquisition and cherished possession is a defused hand grenade.

And the Girl is, quite frankly, insane. Between May 2007 and May 2008 she will have one week--this one-- without being in production for a show or on stage. What is she doing with her free time?

She is writing a research paper on the history of theater, developing a script for The Little Princess, and starting preproduction for her private backyard summer theater event.

Her room? This would be Wardrobe, Central Casting, Hair and Make-up and an actual cattle call with real live cattle. The Matron is certain that small wildlife seek refuge there.

Yet the Matron? She signed on for this high-stake, fast-paced, exotic adventure!

She has also bravely belly-crawled through the most dangerous territory of all--family dynamics--and shouldered the weight of her own complicity and participation in dysfunction throughout her formative years.

That's courage.

Yet the other day, the Matron had a panic attack on this:

While bouncing toward a field trip with 75 children, the Matron and the Matron alone was somehow suddenly provided with the certainty that the driver was not a kindly capable retiree, but a terrorist (of the benign looking but really White Supremacist Conservative Sort) who was planning to drive the bus off of the bridge and into the Mississippi River.

She mourned all that loss of life (especially her own) the entire way to the Minneapolis Museum of Art. Only fear of furthering damaging the already insane Girl kept her from kissing that ground.

This makes the Matronly stomach church:

Because the drive to Minneapolis-- or down the block, could end like this:

In sum, the Matron fears Transportation, all sort. She is very aware of hurtling, in general. For example, the Matron doesn't drive to Duluth. No. She hurtles down the freeway at 70 miles per hour in a shaking hull of steel.

How primal is this to the Matron, how foundational?

Occasionally, the Matron will find herself at some innocuous task--dishes, laundry, groceries--only to be suddenly overcome by the awareness that she is standing on a planet that is hurtling at millions of miles per hour, through space!!

This seems very dangerous!

So she will oh so ever slightly steady herself, or grip the counter, just so. Just for a second.

Soon, the Matron and Stryker will visit her brother and his family. They will be going in this:

Did she mention that if Transportation doesn't do her in, Height-in-general is standing by to take over the job?

When the Matron was a Young Miss and her family drove through the mountains, she read a book. Because she couldn't look out the window. Escalators actually carry you upward so that you can magically fall off them at the top -- and die. The view from the top floor of anything? Well, she would just rather not have to go so high in order to see that.

But friends, that Matron, she is brave.

She drives every day. Everywhere. All the time. When the shaky scary panic attack threatens, she tells herself: if my baby brother can be the senior vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank and conduct global business, I can drive on a freeway. Goddammit.

It's good to inspire in utterly orginal and unanticipated ways.

(oh. that belly-crawl through family dynamics? she's not still doing that, is she?)

She lives in a house with a panoramic view of the city skyline, takes strollers on escalators (risky!), and once, even peeked down from the third floor railing at the Mall of America. If someone else is paying, she will dine fine--in the kind of restaurants that perch atop tall buildings and beg you to take in that view. She does. And looks down.

The Matron is all about living life to its fullest. Complexly, this requires staying alive.

But despite her best efforts, she is currently haunted by this:

So our intrepid Matron -- who wants to be psychologically available to her son while traveling which will be impossible while she is cowering in the bathroom, panicked-- is going to the doctor next week for some of this:

And because she has never had these little helpers before, The Matron is going to practice. She wants adverse side effect, should it emerge, to do so in the safety of her own home instead of on a plane with The Very Smart One whose Emotional IQ falls quite short of the brain's.

She also wants to make damn sure that it works.

After the past couple of weeks, the Matron is eagerly anticipating this preseason game. She is certain she will just float on into that classroom next time.


Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

My thing is bridges and mountain roads. I can fly and do freeways no problem, but the twisty, windy roads with the steep drop-offs, and the bridges, they do get me.

Xanax comes in very handy in these situations. But do test-drive (haha) it around the house before you start operating heavy machinery!

Anonymous said...

Oh, I staying tuned for this one!

Heather said...

Well, you know after the bridge in Mpls, I kept having panic attacks anytime we crossed a bridge...especially bridges over water. Thank goodness we don't live near any big rivers in our city.

Let us know how the anti-anxiety meds work...I know of some situations that they'd come in handy for me but I've been too chicken (panicked?) to ask about them.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm with you on this one - but you don't need those pills - just get some Bach Flower Rescue Remedy.

I swear by it, well that's a big fat lie - I chill out by it!

It's pretty strong stuff, so you only need a few drops, apparently it's for use in moments of stress, shock or emergency - I think flying jolly well counts!!

Anonymous said...

Fear of flight, one of my worst fears and one of my worst flights was when we took the kids... I turned into someone else, somewhat hysterical and quite unhappy... and I had Xanax! But, the last flight I took with just my husband I had the Xanax and took a half tab, but Tom upgraded us to
1st class... and that is a whole different world. I was not completely relaxed but close, especially after the cocktail I was served before the plane even took off! Xanax helps but 1st class is the best! - be sure to take one of the pills some night before you fly to see how it affects you.

Wow, just you and Stryker :)

laurie said...

you already know how i feel about freeways.

bridges? if i'm walking across one, as i did at noon today (the stone arch bridge) i always think about jumping. always.

but my biggest fear? THOSE SHOES. matron, those shoes!!!

laurie said...

ps i've tried rescue remedy on my dogs. it doesn't help.

can't speak for humans.

Suburban Correspondent said...

Yeah, I know that "70 mph in a fragile steel hull" feeling. And if I really let my mind wander, I start imagining that the brakes won't work when I step on them.

And bridges? With kids in the car? A nightmare - I always beg my husband to drive in the middle lane (and being a patient man, he does)...

Cheri @ Blog This Mom!® said...

Dear Matron & Jenn,

My thing is mountain roads too. But I don't do Xanax. No. I do the driving.


Control Freak

Jocelyn said...

I am clearly utterly lacking in compassion because I CAN'T WAIT FOR YOUR "MATRON ON MEDS" POSTS.

Oh, and, um, way to go, Tiger!

And stuff.

Mrs. G. said...

Good for you for tackling this one head on. I am terrified of flying. So is Mr. G. Luckily, it doesn't seem to have affected the kids. I will have to resort to xanax if my daughter goes far away college.

My sister-in-law took a class where the final was to successfully fly somewhere.

Susan Carlin said...

Gulp. I was just going to drop in and let you know I did that painting from your photo of your son and your cat (can't seem to find your email address...sorry!) and stepped right into a scene from Scary Movie. I send you great calming waves of peace and well being. Everything's going to be alright.

Anonymous said...

How do you bear such creative children? Wow! They are remarkable!
Good luck with your meds and your travels. I'm okay with short bridges, but not long ones and I believe if I lived in the Twin Cities, I'd have bridge fear too.

Peggy Sez.. said...

The Matron NEEDS a vacation so she can write all this in her memoirs.Then Insane Girl can turn it into a screenplay with The Smart One and The Baby doing all the FX..I would so go to that movie,and then rent it on Netflix. I'm your biggest fan...LOL

Anonymous said...

Valium. Or ativan as a #2. I am popular among my family for my muscle relaxants cum anxiety pills. Mmm. Valium.

And... those shoes are RED.HOT.

Minnesota Matron said...

My dear friends! So many of us share the same phobias. How fun! I have an ample supply of Rescue Remedy and find it insufficient for this! Sorry Domesticallychallenged. But I love it for much else. . . Okay, I will request valium. The appointment is Tuesday and I'm anticipating that taste test :-)

Anonymous said...

I am terrified of heights, yet I don't mind flying too much and even all our bridges don't bother me-even after last August. But for some reason, the Mall of America makes me absolutely queasy. When the kids get near the rails on the second and third floor, I actually feel like crying and throwing up at the same time. I literally have to stifle my screams of fear.

Oh-our house looks out over the Minneapolis skyline and the river valley.

JCK said...

I wish you peace with Valium or some such. ;) Bach Flower Rescue Remedy sounds interesting.

You ARE brave. I'm like Jenn, have a hard time with mountain roads.

Caro said...

I now understand why you wouldn't be mad on skiing - great blog by the way!

Murphy's Mom said...

I use a patch when I fly. Transderm Scope (scopamine?) I suffer with severe motion sickness and it has saved my traveling life. I too recommend xanax for the anxiety but I have not taken it with the patch...Talk to your doc about options. YOU ARE BRAVE!