April Blues

April 30, 2018




You know what, just screw April. I’m glad we only have hours until it’s over.

We are still deep in the thick of Teenage Wrenching Things over here, and while I am trying to be patient, calm and sympathetic, I am, to put it mildly, so damn over it. Could my child just pick a mood and stay there for, I dunno, 15 minutes?

Apparently not.

I realize that sophomore year of high school sucks, I do. When I was a high school teacher, nobody wanted to teach sophomores. I ended up teaching a lot of them, because I was fresh and green (new teachers get the bottom of the barrel, class-wise) and all of the veteran teachers delighted in regaling me with horror stories of hormonal and surly sophomores.

“Sophomores hate everything and everyone. They will especially hate you, your class, and everything you ask them to do.”

“Plus, they stink. I mean, for real. There is some special kind of reek that blows off sophomores. Keep the windows cracked.”

“There’s good reason why Catcher in the Rye, The Chocolate War, Animal Farm and Lord of the Flies are all suggested sophomore reading. It’s life for them.”

It’s a little more complicated than that over here. While there’s no issue with friends/girlfriends per se, D. has a friend group of people with divergent interests and memberships in different clubs, and as they get older, the activities demand more time. Just being smart, nice, nerdy kids isn’t enough to glue them together anymore. In short, my square peg is having a hard time figuring where she fits in this changing landscape.

“I feel like I ought to know who I am by now,” she said tearfully this weekend. “And I don’t. I feel weird in my body. I feel like I’m getting left behind.”

I can point out how crazy ridiculous it is to feel like you ought to have the world figured out at 16 years of age. I can point out that it’s not something she needs to shoulder yet. I can point out that she’s not a joiner, but maybe stretching her wings and trying some new activities on for size might be a good idea. I can point out that her friends still love her and they get along and hang out plenty at school; she’s really not alone. I can tell her how lost I felt at that age, too. I can tell her how my perspective at that age was way off: others saw a brainy, funny, theatre-clubby, smiling girl but I felt like none of those things.

I can point out those things.

I have pointed out those things.

But when your kid is in a dark place inside, are they in a position to hear the words out of your mouth?


April also brings the 2 year anniversary of losing my mother, and the emotional sludge grabs me by the gullet and squeezes. Yet. I honestly feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface of dealing with the loss of her. I don’t feel I’ve grown, or accepted things, or put anything of significance behind me. I don’t feel I’ve learned one damn useful thing about myself or my life from the experience.

Two years later, shouldn’t I have made some progress?

I’ve spent all month trying to write about her, but my mind’s clouded and chaotic and not capable of stringing a sentence together. I have about fifteen drafts of things that I’ve had to pull the ripcord on. I just can’t talk about her–or my life without her–yet.

Turns out, my daughter isn’t the only one who’s stuck.


So maybe I should be/some kind of laundry line

Hang their things on me/and I’ll swing them dry

-Spring Awakening








{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy April 30, 2018 at 9:19 am

Ah, Dana, April is always a weird month for me. It is my birthday month and I treasure it because of that but is also the month that I lost my mother thirty-eight years ago on the 15th. It is a wound that never completely heals. It becomes bearable but is always there, underneath, waiting to burble to the surface. Much like the emotions of sophomore. And April is a chaotic, wild, blowzy month. She batters us about, beautiful and wild and bright one day, dark and glum and clammy and dreary the next. And yet, those April stirs up so much for I love it because all that unknown is a strange balm for. You and Miss D. will get there. Pinky swear.


Dana Talusani May 1, 2018 at 8:37 am


I had no idea you lost your mother at such an early age. I’m so sorry. And thank you for the kind words and encouragement. xo


Annie April 30, 2018 at 10:44 am

April is a month where all the growth is below the surface. The ground warms and softens. Roots are awakened and begin to deepen their hold- preparing to balance the beauty and vibrant life that is coming next.

You both will pull through and break out into the lightness of spirit and sunshine that is coming. Hang in there – you’ve almost made it. Much love to you both.


Dana Talusani May 1, 2018 at 8:36 am


I love this analogy. Thank you so much.


Papa Guy May 3, 2018 at 8:07 pm



Adrienne May 7, 2018 at 6:25 pm

I wish I had magic words for you. Just know that I love you!


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