Keeping it Real (When you’re a Vampire and a Parent)

“You can hide yourself away. Wrap yourself in a cocoon of spider webs and blood, and let yourself fester and dry up for years and become a husk, or you can move forward. Hiding is easy. But Vampires who hide get lost, or never wake up, or, or, or, or, are so completely out of touch with what it is to be a real Vampire.” 

I could hear 2,200 year old (approximately, I’m not sure what his real age is. He isn’t even sure.) Tellias talking to my twenty-one year old son. Yes, Garrett turned twenty-one on April 1st. I didn’t have the heart to blog about it. My time as a mom of youngsters is quickly waning, and unlike the moon isn’t coming back.

I listen and wonder what it is like to be “real” anything.

Despite his age Tellias isn’t a dried up husk by any means. He looks like he is nineteen, or maybe twenty at the very most.

The two could be just best friends if one just looked at them. A dark haired young man with his perfect trendy hair (long on top, short on the sides), and one with his pale blonde hair brushing his shoulders, both wearing jeans and tee shirts.

I had to smile seeing them together. I look at Garrett with all the hope and wonder in his eyes and heart. Tellias looks at me and locks his eyes with mine for a fraction of a second. I see decades of joy and pain, love and loss that goes beyond any known grief, and unknown dark coordores, regrets, and a million songs, and memories of standing under the stars for a thousand years with the warm summer breeze on his face.

I know you Juliette he says without speaking. You’ve always taught them to fly, and now that they can fly on their own your heart is breaking. 

Luckily the 85 pound puppy came blasting through the room and demanded to go outside. I went out to the deck and stood in the drizzle of rain and took in the smell of orange blossoms and rosemary from my yard.

You have to raise your kids to be adults, but when they suddenly become adults… I had no idea it would be this hard. I can’t let them know how I feel. I just keep doing what I’ve been doing and smile and encourage them. I listen to their thoughts, dreams, monologues, and stories. I will forever be here for them. Even if for some reason I won’t be here physically, I will still always be with them.

I put my hands on the deck rail and looked down into the oak forest behind my house. There were no ghosts that night except my own. I felt an arm go around my shoulder. A cool finger wiped a tear from my cheek. Tellias stood with me, not saying a word. He didn’t have to.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

 

 

 

Fear and the Creative Soul

I opened the door and imagined I was on the coast.

This morning brought in cool air and overcast skies. It was one of those “at the ocean” days. Granted I’m more by a lake and a river, but the ugly mood the drought has brought was lifted for a few hours.

Today I was also feeling inspired then had a boost from my muse. Yes I have a muse, in the form of a dear friend who has encouraged my creative endeavors for the past 140 years.

Yes, there are friendships that endure and last. Now I feel guilty for letting so many years of fear and confusion hold me back when she and others have told me to keep going and to never hold back. Sometimes I wish their gentle encouragements would have been hard swift kicks.

Yes, I have had wonderful and lucrative success in the past as a creative professional but now it is time for a new chapter. It is time for everything to finally come together and for me to be where I want to be. Where I need to be.

So yes, my dear friend I heard you loud and clear. I am listening. Finally. I mean, I listened before but now I’m DOING.

I’m the Princess of saying I’m going to do something and then not coming through. Fear. Yes, Vampires do sense fear. Not fear of the dark or of things that go bump in the night or a terror in a dark alley or crypt. It is the fear that all creative creatures have. You know what I’m talking about. I dare not express it.

It isn’t just rejection. I can handle that. I’m an expert at rejection. It is much much much more. It is terror deep down inside of every cold icy pore of your existence.

Orchids

The Orchid Show (with Vampires)

The past weekend my teenage daughter Clara and I took the elders, Eleora and Tellias to an orchid show. Yes, a garden show.

From time to time we take the ancient pair out in public, least they sit around at home getting into trouble, or worse, wandering off on their own. They don’t look much older than my own teens (15 and 19) but they were born before the birth of Christ.

A young girl, college age, with long blonde hair and cheerleader looks was pushing an old woman in a wheel chair up and down the isles of flowers. They would pause and discuss the plants, heads close with smiles on their faces. The girl would take the older woman’s knotted arthritic hands in hers as they discussed the plants and took notes. Another woman, the girl’s mother walked ahead, then walked back to the other two, obviously glad for her few moments alone. Three generations of women all together, but one a little apart, by choice.

Orchid Orchids are amazing flowers. They come in every shape and size. Some look like they have fallen from the gowns of angels, while others look like deadly spiders of the night. I love them all, as do those who grow them. My own mother grows them and I’ve only started to collect (I have two.) Eleora and Tellias have grown orchids in their greenhouse at least a hundred years.

Like I said before, Tellias and Eleora look young. Tellias with his white blonde hair pulled back in a pony tail and Eleora with her brown waist long curls and 1950’s wiggle dress looked like just another hip young couple. They were cute and exceptionally well-behaved. I’d warned Eleora that she was not to take anyone to back rooms of the Masonic temple where the orchid show took lace. She was not to act like the Vampire she is. We were here for flowers and flowers only. We would have lunch later, with someone else.

Orchids

Tellias turned and looked at the three women I mentioned early. He took my arm.

“I know her Juliette. She was just a child, but would know her anywhere.” He let go and went to the old woman in the wheel chair.

They spoke, then hugged, then he kissed her cheek. They held hands and went to a quiet corner of the hall. The young woman, her granddaughter went with them. At first the women thought Tellias was the grandson or great grandson of someone she once knew. Then she realized that it was her parent’s old friend, the man who had given her drawing lessons during a summer at a beach house during the 1930’s when she was a child. He and his wife (Eleora) had the house next door. He’d spend a lot of time with the children, telling them fantastic stories – stories that only she knew where real. The last time she saw him she was only twelve but they recognized each other right away. She never questioned that he still looked the same because she obviously knew. Some people just know.

She had been an artist and still painted when she could. Now she said her art was her flowers. The younger women, her daughter and granddaughter were also her flowers in a way. She’d nurtured them until they both blossomed into beauties and thrived.

Eleora, in her sometimes shy way, went over and said hello as well. It was a sweet moment.

I stood back, not to make things uncomfortable. Too many Vampires can do that to people, even people who know what we are. As you know very few people do know we’re different (as in Vampires.)

My eye met the eyes of the middle-aged daughter. We both knew that bond of once being the child and now being the adult – but still in a way, always the child.

Back at the farmhouse of Tellias and Eleora we brought the new orchid plants to the greenhouse. It was a good day. A rare daytime outing for the ancient Vampires.

I thought about all of the stories I have yet to pry out of those two. I’ve yet to find the secrets of their origins and centuries of … centuries of everything they have done and seen. In the meantime I just enjoy them for the silly old Vampires they are and for their weird wisdom and the joy they bring.

And I can appreciate the way they nurtured me the way they nurture their orchids – with care and love.

Sure we’re Vampires, but sometimes we come out of the shadows and bloom and grow and remember.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Orchid

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orchid Show, Sacramento 2015