Aside

I used shampoo today for the first time since I stopped using it.

I was out of my boiled water/baking soda concoction, and I thought with all of the grime my hair has been encountering every day since I started trying to be a runner, maybe my hair should get a good stripping once every couple of months.

However, two things happened:

One, I have apparently forgotten how to keep stuff out of my eyes, because OH MY GOD, blindness.

Two, I was instantly overwhelmed with regret as I rinsed my hair and heard that squeak that accompanies shampooed hair. My stomach – no joke – spasmed like I had just gone over a big sphincter-tightening hill and I immediately slathered my whole head with conditioner.

I worry about odd things.

untitled

If I never saw  
 
anything at all, if being were only a way  
 
 
of attending the present, 
 
 
could we still be who we are? 
 
 
Would all the wants and ways 
 
 
of staying the same 
 
 
still be available if life were lived in felt? 
 
 
Goals met and attended 
 
 
yet not seen, 
 
 
would they still hold weight? 
 
 
When art and color and rapid strobe feelings 
 
 
are put on hold, 
 
 
does the meaning wane? Do 
 
 
my words cease to mean 
 
 
whatever they meant 
 
 
in the fragile orbs I closed to sleep? 
 
 

Better than second place in the spelling bee

20110528-104523.jpgGuys.
You like me!

Sorry today’s post is late and probably most of you won’t see it until tomorrow.

See, I have this routine where I write the next day0
Ol”
ooh.

O!Lp

Sorry, Lucy decided to type with her toes.

(see what I did there? Most people would have gone back and deleted the toe typing and continued on like nothing ever happened. Me? I leave it and then tell you about it because I’M JUST THAT REAL, YO.)

Anyway, my routine. I write the next day’s post the night before after I’ve gotten Lucy to sleep, and then I schedule it to autopost the next morning. That way I can sleep till noon and none of you are any the wiser.

Not really. Have I mentioned it’s summer now and I have three children?

Lucy, though, hasn’t wanted to cooperate with the routine lately and so Friday night I was exhausted and forgot to write today’s post.

Nay, I didn’t forget. I simply was too tired to do it. There.

Honesty.

I say all that to say, “Here, it’s Saturday’s post!”

And guess what. I’ve received accolades. Well, accolade.

My friend Genevieve has bestowed upon me an award.

I am thrilled.

So the terms of this award are that I tell you seven amazing things about me and then I award this award to 15 (fifteen!!) other bloggers. So it’s like virtual blog award relay, because I don’t get to keep the blog baton.

Or something.

So, seven amazing things:

1. I hate choosing music. Also I almost never know the title and artist of whatever music I’m listening to or song I currently like. I think that’s why I like soundtracks so much. The music gets chosen and chances are if I liked the movie I’ll like the soundtrack. Done.

2. I want to live in weird places. Josh gets annoyed because whenever we drive past abandoned warehouses or factories or the like, I always mention living there. Do you not think that would be awesome? Because I totally do.

3. I am developing various phobias as I age. Spiders, snakes. All that kind of etc.

4. I love pie.

5. I suck at typing.

6. I just made a list kind of like this the other day, so I’m quitting.

7. Plus this post is coming dangerously close to going the way of last night. So. Tired.

Now here’s the thing. I don’t know fifteen blogs and also I have good friends who blog and what if I forgot one?

So if you have a blog, please link it in the comments and then put this lovely photo on your own blog. Pass the baton, YO.

Half a decade

Miracle on 34thI’m a day early, but since tomorrow is Ava’s birthday as well as my anniversary, I decided to go ahead so she can have her own post tomorrow.

So many people said nothing about us would last.

And so many times they’ve almost been right.

We’ve fought and screamed.

Our wedding dayWe’ve forgotten to treasure and respect each other.

We’ve treated one another badly.

There’ve been seizures. Surgeries.

But the good times have so outweighed the bad times.

Being each other’s familiar face when we come out of the fog of those seizures and surgeries.

Realizing passions.

Our baby girl.

Being one another’s best friend.

Each of us knowing that no matter what else happened, someone was always in our corner.

There are many, many ways I’ve failed you over the past five years, and I’m sure there will be many more.

But right now, today, I want you to know that I will spend the rest of my life making sure that yours is better because I’m in it.

For my failures, I’m so sorry.

For the way you’ve taught me that family is forever, thank you.

For the love you have for me. For Max. For Ava. For Lucy.

Thank you for my life, and for the way you’ve saved me. And for being my perpetual Words With Friends partner.

Family Schmamily

I really need to know why the people you love the most can drive you the craziest. Is it just me? Am I the only one who gets the crazies from relatives?

Every week we spend Tuesday night with my parents. We eat supper, we sit and talk, my dad and I drink Diet Coke. It’s good times.

Except, as everyone in the family is getting older (adults included), some Tuesdays I’d rather shove corncobs in unmentionable places than go to my parents’.

And it’s not because I don’t love my family. I do. My family kicks ass.

It’s because my mother’s house is spotless, and I always feel guilty about my family, the five tornados, who swirl through and leave category 12 disasters in our wake.
It’s because all three of my kids compete for attention because they’re not swimming in attention or anything.
It’s because cell service at my parents’ isn’t great, and I am always reminded how technology addicted I am when my service is spotty.
It’s because if there is anything annoying to be accomplished, my children will surely seek it out.

Take this week: we were celebrating Ava’s birthday, albeit a week early. Tradition dictates that the birthday honoree picks the evening’s menu, so it was Ava’s choice.
We had: deer kebabs, spaghetti, and macaroni and cheese. And pink birthday cake.
She narrated the placing of the candles.
She raked her fingers through the frosting on the cake.

Max spent most of his time hiding in random places, even though no one was looking for him.

Lucy carted around whatever inappropriate container she could find (the frosting tub, an empty Pringles can) and repeatedly snuck into the living room, where she’d play a single note on the piano, giggle, and run away.

I was tired after about five minutes.

But as soon as I start having these thoughts, as soon as the frustration makes me just want to stay at home, I remember living in Jackson, pregnant and tired, with no Tuesday nights at mom’s.

My kids ate waffles and Josh worked late. I was lonely and everyone seemed so far away.

So, from now until eternity, we spend Tuesday nights on the hill where I grew up. And I cannot imagine a better time to be had.

Problems with [redacted]

Normally this is not a “mom blog,” but today…today we make an exception.

In the name of not being exploitative of my family, I will not name any names.

I will, however, say that a certain almost-nine-year-old fruit of my loins who lives in the house with my family is having some issues.

He can be a total dream. Sweet, loving, sensitive, and so, so smart. Sometimes he’s even funny.

One day last week he came into the kitchen to get an after-bedtime-putting-off-sleep drink of water, wearing nothing but his striped briefs. The ones he outgrew, oh, last year sometime.

“So, son, don’t you think you should put on some pajamas?”
“I’M WEARING UNDERWEAR.”

Nothing with my son is calm or serene. He is constantly on caps lock, ALL. THE. TIME.

“Well, it’s more like the underwear is wearing you, but I meant really you should put on at least a shirt or something if you’re going to be dancing around the house.”
“I’M NOT DANCING, AND WHAT DOES THAT MEAN, MY UNDERWEAR IS WEARING ME?”
“Don’t worry about it. Good night.”
“WELL GOOD NIGHT, I GUESS.”

Things like this I love. His quirky personality and his absolute certainty in himself, it’s priceless and I treasure it.

What I don’t treasure are nights like Sunday night, when he floored the gas and went from quirky kid to scary ass monster child in about six seconds.

I don’t want to get into fine details, but basically what happened was:

Milk was left out. Neither kid claimed it.
Said milk was subsequently knocked over, and after further investigation, its ownership was determined to be of the almost-nine-year-old male variety. Not before he was completely content to let his always-guilty-acting sister get punished for it, though.

He was punished, and oh em gee.

Screams. Fury. Huffing and puffing and sent to take a shower.
In the shower, he was banging something – a fist, a shampoo bottle, his head, a dismantled chair leg – against the wall to demonstrate his anger.

The fact that he was angry isn’t what worries me. Every kid gets angry when they’re punished.

It was the INTENSITY. The sheer instant takeover. He was immediately, completely, inconsolably angry.

So I’m at a loss.

Do we beat him? Sell him? Medicate him?

Someone please tell me this is a passing phase.

I’m asking for a friend.

This is a recording.

Today’s her birthday

My best friend’s birthday is today, and in honor of that, I’m reposting a post from almost 6 years ago. I love you, J.

She had paint splatters on her wall. Paint splatters and a Garfield© phone. I thought that was the coolest thing I’d ever seen. Remember when there was an option with your phone lines to get individual numbers so that each person had a distinctive ring? She had that. I still remember the number. The family dog was a dalmation – a purebred. I was dazzled.

I’d always had friends, that was nothing new. Here in the Bible Belt you grow up in a church with a group of people — those people are your friends. It’s just a given. But this, this was different. This was a friend that I chose before I thought I was supposed to choose my own friends. She didn’t go to church with me, and amazingly enough the gates of hell did not threaten to swallow her household on Sunday morning. Not only was I a daredevil, I was a maverick.

She made me watch the X-Files on VHS, over and over, knowing that it scared the piss out of me. Her mother was into health food and we made brown rice and chicken for after-school snacks…but when her mom wasn’t looking we’d devour whole boxes of fat free cookies. We made huge messes. Huge. Once we made a JellO No Bake Cheesecake, and in some twisted “Upside down thick/JellO stays in the same place” confusion, it ended up on the kitchen floor. It was still good.

I’d never ridden a go-cart. Somewhere on video she has my first ride. We borrowed clothes and mine always looked better on her. When we started wearing makeup she always did mine for me if it was important.

We got drivers’ licenses together, went on dates. Went to band camp and shared crushes. Limopooled to the prom.

College. We grew apart. I missed her. She was in music, I was in English. Different circles of friends.

I married. She wore a flower at the wedding and I felt like I hadn’t seen her in years.

He proposed to her. I didn’t like him, he told her what to wear and where not to go. I made it to the wedding and sat on the edge of the crowd. She looked beautiful, he looked handsome.

She moved away. I mourned the friendship that had been part of my identity. I got second and third-hand updates.

One day, an errant email crossed my inbox and I thought of her. I sent it to her, an old address that I figured probably didn’t work. Within a few hours I had a response. She was home. Left him. She was true to herself as I’d always known she would be.

She moved into our spare room. I had my friend back and she was rebuilding her life. I liked the next guy. He fit. He loved her. I stood nine months pregnant in heels for her June wedding, proud of what she’d become.

Moved away again, this time closer. I stood with my second child wrapped to my chest as her first was born. I look back now on what we’ve accomplished. Together. Apart.

I’m so thankful.

Writing prompt #68

It was Erica Jong who said, “If you don’t risk anything, you risk more.” Write about what this means to you.

I’ve always been kind of withdrawn.

Sometimes loudly withdrawn, but that was usually just to hide any insecurities I had.

I’m not good at making new friends, grasping new opportunities. I’m usually not much of a risk taker.

But sometimes it’s worth the chances you can take, because if you let the chance pass you by, you spend the rest of forever what might have been.

And that can drive you crazy for real.

I still wonder what my high school years might have been like if I hadn’t wasted so much time and energy on feeling inadequate. If I had cared less what everyone else thought and more about what I thought of myself.

It’s cliche, I know. Everyone says it, how they wish they’d been more outgoing and more assertive.

Everyone says it because it’s TRUE.

It’s so easy to put yourself on the back burner, to let everyone else have the fun or opportunity that you can’t have because you are too busy being self conscious.

I didn’t dance at my senior prom. I felt gorgeous and I was with people I’d known forever, but I was too worried about looking foolish.

I can never ever get that back.

True, there are other examples throughout my life, and there are also times when I did what needed to be done.

It’s just, the one side SO outweighs the other.

Looking foolish for a minute only lasts for a little while. Wondering what would have happened if you’d had some balls can haunt you forever.

20110505-110219.jpg
(see that? Hole in one. Just thought you should see that.)