Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Good Life

I cried on the way home today. Feeling sulky and miserable, missing my girlies. Unbelievable grateful for my usual, although currently interrupted "peanut butter & jelly" existence.

Having to work the past couple weeks (lots of changes with Pop's business...hence I'm needed a lot more in the office...temporarily....) leaves me feeling achy and itching to be back to the good life.

With you...





And you...





Until then, you'll continue your daily adventures with Ga'ma and your aunties, and I'll keep missing you until we return to our usual routine. My good life is our good life.


I love you.


Mommy

Monday, August 25, 2008

Goodbyes

Wind blows in the first cool taste of the coming fall, gently nudging the edge of the summer's heat aside. As the sun sets, we gather. The cyclical turn of calendar year weathers you. Year after year, step after step, the polish fades. Feet up, chairs gathered for conversation. The wood once firm and smooth to the touch begins to slowly peel, creak, bend. You stand. Still and steady and comforting, soaking in the fading gatherings, the increasingly distant sounds of laughter and debate, stories and children, dinners and summer thunderstorm viewings.

"Hey everyone! Come sit out on the porch...it's such a nice evening. There's a breeze..."

"Hey Dad! Come watch me do this jump off the porch in my roller blades..."

"Let's play pioneers, you'll live on the front part, and I will be in the back..."

"Be careful of standing on those railings, you could fall..."

"It's okay, we're watching the game from the porch..."

"Happy birthday to youuuuuu..."

"No more jumping off! You could get hurt..."

"First day of school! Everyone out for pictures on the porch!..."

"Pop sees you Miss Lily! You be careful on that trampoline..."

"I love a good steak. There's nothing like a summer meal on the porch..."

"Come, sit, listen to the rain..."

I tell myself it's just a silly bunch of boards. Nailed together here, sloppily stained there. An old mess really. Wood...nothing but lifeless trees without consciousness or reciprocal feelings. And yet I want to take you with me. I feel like I'm abandoning you...the soul we breathed into your shoddy beams. Nothing feels more like home than hurriedly skipping the two front steps to your creaking surface...

But I can't. And we can't stay anymore. And it's ridiculous that it is so hard to let go. I tell myself that I'm taking what's most important with me, so tears are unnecessary. But they'll still fall heavily on your soon to be lonely wooden mantle, the host of so many years of memories and happy times.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Girls, let's think about this...

I'm geniunely perplexed as to how many readers actually subscribe to magazines splashed with cover lines like:

How to get him to REALLY like you....

478594875 billion ways to please your man...

How to get him to commit...

How to know if he's into you...

What guys REALLY want...


Obviously, given the currently nauseating plethora of women's self-love-help books/articles/podcasts/blogs/blah blah blah, I'm inclined to think there is a healthy, or unhealthy, demand.

Seriously? Do you really need an article to tell you if he's into you? Do you need a self-help cheat sheet to navigate the treacherous waters of simple biology, primarily revolving around that ever present single organ of male anatomy too often confused as a substitute for the brain? Are you honestly cuddling up with your reading glasses at night, tucked in with the latest issue of advice on how to continually feed the never ending vacuum of, "You're just not good enough...yet."

It might surprise, even shock, those who aren't too familiar with my typical rants that while I may be a content stay-at-home mother, proud enlistee of the Mormon faith, card carrying member of the happy-to-make-my-man-a-good-meal wives' club...I am a true feminist at heart. I wear it on my sleeve happily, right along with an apron, occasionally parading around the house barefoot and pregnant.

I love women. I love womanhood. I still toss and turn at night, racked with confusion as to why it took us approx 8,000 or so years to realize we actually deserved the right to vote. Baffled that in today's age we still OBSESS over getting men to realize how "priceless" we really are. Irritated that the word "feminine", when called into comparison with its counterpart adjective "masculine", still carries connotations of weakness or inadequacy. There is nothing weak about me. Or my daughters.

In fact, it is through the only truly monopolized capacity of my sex - motherhood - that my deepest strengths lie. Give me a corporate ladder, I can climb it. Introduce me to a sport, I could master it. Give me an education, I'll pass your test. Keep me on a strict diet and exercise regime, I'll be the next PussyCat doll (as long as legs approximately 23 inches in length can be considered "the new sexy").

Give me life, to grow within my own, and I'm a little scared. Give me the responsibility of being that life's center of existence during its most formative years, and I feel intimidated. Give me the burden of sacrifice, of unfortunate physical postpartum alteration, and I'll whimper a prayer. Give me this title of mother, or woman, in a world that still often views it as sub-manhood. Let my battle scars (ie stretch marks, sagging boobs, incoherent premenstrual tirades) be considered unattractive or indicative of "used" goods. I'll do it. Because, let's face it, I am feminine. I am strong.

Besides, somebody's got to be able to sit and have a good, saggy-old-cancerous boob cry with Elizabeth Edwards after her husband planted his pecker in "greener" pastures.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Necessity : Mother of My Invention

Or my new dining room hutch.

I hate poverty. Der, uh, I mean quasi-poverty, as I am a firm believer that no American knows what true poverty is. However, with that being said... we can't really afford to furnish this oh-so-beautiful shell of a home. But I want a dining room hutch. I take that back, I need a dining room hutch. I am suffocating from wanting one so badly, and hence physiologically speaking, my continued well-being now requires that I own one. Something that would jump out of Real Simple magazine, or Pottery Barn. One that looks black and polished with a hint of antique. One to display beautiful crisp, white china.

AND. I. WANT. NO, NEED. IT. NOW.

So, what's a girl to do?

CRAIGLIST. EIGHTY BUCKS. PURCHASE SOMETHING THAT THE 1970'S VOMITED.

Taaaa ddaaaa:




Gotta love the brassy hardware. But, it is real wood. Walnut, to be precise.

Yes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I liked the straight lines. So I thought, remove the doors. Sand the wood. Paint the wood. Polish the wood. Sand the edges. Just like Paige Davis, with a smile.

Yeah right, NOT THAT EASY. I could strangle those designers in the TLC Do-it-yourself programs who deceitfully make you believe you can tackle any at home project in your stilettos. I won't lie. It wasn't easy. After FOUR trips to home depot in one day, and one very disturbing phone conversation with the store manager:

"Excuse me, I'd like to speak to the manager."

"Hello, this is Clint, how can I help you?"

"Ah yeah, Clint...I just came into your store for the fourth time today. I am covered from head to toe in paint and polyacrylic spray...polyacrylic spray recommended to me from your guy in the paint department. The same polyacrylic spray that splattered all over my painted hutch, the hutch I've been working on for hours, only to now be completely destroyed because the spray can spit giant polyacrylic CHUNKS all over my wood! It has be sanded off, and hence is destroying my paint. I came back, and Mr. guy in the paint department gave me a new can of the same spray...which is now also spitting chunks AGAIN. So Clint, I have two babysitters and 7 hours wasted in this blasted and heaven forsaken "project" that was only SUPPOSED to take me a couple of hours! I can't seem to get anything done. And what I do get done gets ruined. How is it possible to have two children and get anything done around here!? I have black spray paint in my hair follicles. What am I gonna do now, Clinster? Huh? What?! Whaaaaaat?!!"

" Um, (stutter stutter...obviously trembling fear of crazy customer on the other line, poor man) I'm very sorry Ma'am, what can I do to make this better for you?"

"Oh, I don't know, nothing really.
I guess I just needed someone to talk to."

"Would a fifty dollar store credit help?"

"Well, I suppose it couldn't hurt."


There is NOTHING easy about this stuff. But, I am finished....

Ready for the big reveal....

Keep scrolling....

Keep scrolling....

Keep scrolling....

Drum roll please....

Drum still rolling...

Okay okay okay....



Taaa daaaaa! Finished product.





Add new hardware, a dash of white china ($2-7 finds from TJ Maxx), a couple of baskets, and whaaa laaa:




Do you like it (if you don't, please lie, or else you might get a phone call as well)???

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Alone

When you're born into a herd, you instinctively hate to be alone. It should come as no surprise to myself, and yet I am surprised, that I have an unnecessary and all consuming aversion to being alone. Surprise at being so pathetic. Surprise at failing to be independent and self sufficient and "I am woman, hear me roar". Surprise at being scared. Surprise at feeling vulnerable.

Solitude is beautiful, really. Revealing and poetic. Melancholy, peaceful. Confusing and insane if applied too liberally and for too long of periods. Refreshing in small doses and after long bouts of occasionally monotonous motherhood. So why, in blessed tarnation, does it bother me so?

It's the single thing I fear most about dying. Not that I have to die. Not that I won't live once I'm gone. It's that I have to take that last and first step solo.

Today, before I went to pick up the girls, I paused for a moment to take note of the sparkling clean house I managed to whip up...courtesy of Ga'mas ever so affordable free babysitting tab. Clean vacuum lines, disinfected counters, folded laundry...Adios...because when I return with the darling hoodlums you will be toast. Then I became weirded out by the silence, creeped out by this noise or that, and bolted.

And although I am very much a beggar, I am still more or less a chooser. I think you've even phrased it, "Rae, you're kind of anti-social." I want company. But not just anyone's company. You can be surrounded by company and still be alone. I love the presence of your voice, and the comfort of knowing you are there. I still can't sleep without you. If you are gone, I lie awake...upset with myself for allowing worry and anxiety to infiltrate my much needed sleep. In the solitude of our bedroom, I honestly pray in gratitude for you. For your laugh and your boyishness and your amazing ability to be a father. For your warm, comfy body next to mine in bed. For your pillow talk and unbelievably silly and often stupid jokes. For your ability to rock the late night ice cream sundae and laugh out loud at Wipeout with me. For the fact that as I am typing this right now, you are in the kitchen singing out loud to Metro's "I'd swim the ocean for you". Wrapped in the revealing emptiness of the room that is currently devoid of you is when I really know, despite my attempts at looking tough and independently strong....I have staked everything on you. A prayer of gratitude turns into a plea. Come back safely. Grow old with me. And someday, let's just lie there, holding each other with our musty, ranky breath as we gaze into each other's fading futures. Okay?

My dear, what would I do without you?

I don't even entertain the question.
So please, try to understand...if I whine or complain or pout about any extracurricular activity that takes you away from us for a time...it is just that question I am trying to avoid. I like you. I have this silly crush, a woozy addiction. I'd swim the ocean for you...

Friday, August 1, 2008

Liar Liar pants on fire....

I told Lily today that if she eats her boogies, spiders could start growing in her tummy.

I've warned her that if she doesn't immediately follow London and I (and my arm full of groceries) into the house from the car, instead of bolting immediately for the street through the open garage door, the car alarm will sound off.

She also thinks that there is an invisible man at every retail store or restaurant, ready to come over and scold her if she begins misbehaving. "Lily, you better stop screaming...or else The Man is going to come." Hmmmm, wonder who told her that?

I can see it in her questioning eyes too, as she stares back at me intently - her eyes a mixture of half defiance, half fearful with a hint of "Sometimes this lady knows what she's talking about."

And then comes the shame. The shame of being such a liar of a parent.
Is this wrong? What am I teaching?
As I've mentioned before in previous posts, my mother always said, "She lies for the greater good of her children."
(Clarification: She will lie to her children, not to others, for the greater good...such as the time she swore up and down she didn't know where my little shorts went, only to find them years later stuffed in the back corner of her closet. Or another time, as a child, when I asked about a certain aspect of the male anatomy after hearing a particular term coined from a peer, to which she responded that the term had something to do with a broken ankle. Seriously?! A broken ankle!? This is admittedly embarrassing on two fronts as it is a true testament of the inherent simplicity of her daughter's brain and her ridiculously cunning ability to relate nothing to almost anything)

While I shrivel with a solid swallow of self pride to admit it, I think she may be....just may be right. Or not.

But by golly, I'll do anything to keep my kid from eating boogers. It's one of those things you swear as a parent your child will never do.