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Guest Posts, No Bullshit Motherhood, parenting

Love Is a Hot Glue Gun

October 13, 2016

By Nancy Slavin

Love is me snipping at light blue tulle and a thin elastic strap and then reattaching both difficult fabrics onto the front of the ballet costume. I had to get out my reading glasses to thread this needle. Even after paying fifty-five bucks for this costume, I’m doing all this reworking because the dance teacher said if I don’t, the feathery tulle will obscure the little purple pixie wings. And we cannot obscure the pixie wings.

Unlike my daughter, I was a basketball player. When my own mother took me to ballet class as a young girl, I lasted the whole of a minute before I died of boredom. The ballet teacher even told my mother “your daughter does not want to be a ballerina.” I wanted to run and pass and steal a ball and shoot a three pointer. I ran into things like a Mack Truck. As an adult, I’ve worked as a rafting guide and a loud-mouthed feminist activist. I’ve never leapt daintily or pirouetted without wiping out in my life.

I’ve sewn a clump of tulle together by accident. I cut the thread and start again. And now I cannot find the hot glue gun, which I bought earlier this year because my daughter does crafts on top of ballet. She crafts all things tiny and delicate – beads, small clay bunnies wet with paint lined up on our dining room table, fairy houses made of moss and grass and small flowers. But the hot glue gun is not where it goes, and I know my daughter put it somewhere obvious to her but inscrutable to me. And she needs this costume today for rehearsal, and I cannot glue on the pixie wings without the hot glue gun. My Mack Truck compulsion to destroy rears up in me as I storm the house looking for the gun. I scream out loud to no one “put shit back where it belongs!” until my voice goes raspy. These wings, made of glitter and fairy dust – I’m going to stomp on them like an ogre, like a horrible mother.

But, I do not stomp. Later, when volunteering at my daughter’s school, I ask her, “child where the gun is so I can finish this costume?” She tells me where it is, and I chide her for making a mess. When I get home, I plug in the glue gun and I press the wings in place. They sparkle with a million glittery flecks, just like my love.

Nancy Slavin has been a long term English literature and writing instructor for a community college and as well as a violence-prevention educator. She’s authored a collection of poems, Oregon Pacific (2015), and a novel, Moorings, (2013). More of her work can be found in Rain Magazine, Barrelhouse, hip mama, Literary Mama, and Oregon Humanities Magazine. Her website is www.nancyslavin.com.

Join founder Jen Pastiloff for a weekend retreat at Kripalu Center in Western Massachusetts Feb 19-21, 2016. Get ready to connect to your joy, manifest the life of your dreams, and tell the truth about who you are. This program is an excavation of the self, a deep and fun journey into questions such as: If I wasn’t afraid, what would I do? Who would I be if no one told me who I was? Jennifer Pastiloff, creator of Manifestation Yoga and author of the forthcoming Girl Power: You Are Enough, invites you beyond your comfort zone to explore what it means to be creative, human, and free—through writing, asana, and maybe a dance party or two! Jennifer’s focus is less on yoga postures and more on diving into life in all its unpredictable, messy beauty. Note Bring a journal, an open heart, and a sense of humor. Click the photo to sign up.

Join Jen Pastiloff at her Manifestation Workshop: On Being Human in Dallas Oct 22. Click the link above to book. No yoga experience needed- just be a human being! Bring a journal and a sense of humor. See why People Magazine did a whole feature on Jen.


Check out Jen Pastiloff in People Magazine!

Check out Jen in People Magazine!

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  • Reply Debby October 17, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    Funny piece! I’ve certainly had my borderline “Ogre” moments. Thanks for the laugh.

    • Reply Nancy October 18, 2016 at 1:53 pm

      Thanks Debby! I’m glad you thought it was funny – sometimes no bullshit motherhood is both funny and not-so-funny at the same time, as I’m sure you know!

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