Wednesday, May 28, 2014

So basically we've got a lot riding on Will Shortz

Last summer, on Nick's annual work retreat, we were out for dinner with two other couples and one consciously uncoupled friend, and we were talking about relationships and maintaining them and enjoying each other and such.

Specifically, we were talking about the things we all like to do in our leisure time, and the kinds of things they tend to do together as couples.

Someone asked us about sailing, which Nick loves and I do not. I don't begrudge him the boat, and I don't even dislike sailing. In fact, when I was in high school my family took an amazing two-week trip through the Greek isles on a small sailboat. It was spectacular. I would do this again in a second. And this time I wouldn't buy that shameful Disco 69 shirt or wear all that blue eyeliner. (What? Like you made a ton of great fashion choices at 17?)

But back to Nick's boat. Actually, I like the boat. It is old and beautiful and has a lot of wood, and he's put a lot of work into it.

What I dislike are the following: lots of wind; being unable to leave a place when I want to; and being criticized and yelled at. Sailing with Nick for me is all of these, tied up with sailing ropes and topped with a shouty bow.

Now, it is true that that one time while he was trying to put up the sail and I was supposed to be heading straight into the wind, which you can tell if you point your face way up to the sky and keep an eye on the little wind thingy on top of the mast, I was instead sailing us in circles. Which was making his job terribly hard. And it is also true that if he'd gotten knocked into the water we'd have been fucked.

So there may have been good reason to yell and me and tell me that I was doing it all wrong and how fucking hard is it to steer into the wind and couldn't I tell that we were going in circles and what the fuck is wrong with me.

It is further true, as I bellowed back at him, that I don't fucking know how to steer a boat and staring up at that little wind thingy is hard and I'm not even that good at driving a car so shut the fuck up and I am never doing this again.

And so I encourage him to make boat friends. I mean it sincerely and truly. (Although let's be clear: I don't mean like hot young Swedish bikini-clad ones. I mean more like paunchy middle aged men kinds of ones.)

So then, the friends asked, do we play tennis? Because Nick is a good tennis player, and had played that morning.

No, I said. I don't know how. Plus, it turns out that with my astigmatism I have a reason for never having had an accurate idea of where the ball actually was in any of the hand-eye coordination sports I've ever tried to play.

There is more than one reason I am not a team player.

So then, one asked, what kinds of things do we like to do together? What do we have in common?

I could see on Nick's face that he was doing the same mental searching that I was. Yikes. Do we really have nothing in common?

The truth is, not much.

I mean, we have compatible worldviews, and the same values and approach to spending money. We put family first, and our weekends are mainly spent doing things with the kids. We like each other's brains, and we find each other funny. We are coming up on seven years together. And we could not talk or talk forever and still find things to not talk about.

But in terms of activities, well, there's very little we like to do together. Maybe this will be a problem later, when our kids are gone? I don't know, but I don't think so. I certainly hope not.

But that night, at that table, we both shrugged.

So I said, "I think all we've got is sex. And crosswords."

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Memento mori

Much like not knowing that Easter was about Jesus until I was about 25, I wasn't raised understanding that Memorial Day was a day to remember men and women who died serving in our military.

Why, I wonder, why didn't I know this?

My maternal grandmother's older brother was killed on a Navy boat in WWI. I had great-uncles who fought and nearly died in WWII. My mom's brother was in the Army. My parents had a military wedding. My dad was a navigator in the Air Force, and though he went to Vietnam in a non-military capacity, his flight school buddies were flying overhead, dropping bombs. His brother was a career Marine, and his son Mike, named after my dad, followed his Marine footsteps.

It's not like we had no connection to the military. And even if we hadn't, we wouldn't have the country we do and the freedoms we have if countless men and women hadn't fought for them.

Me, I have always technically been American, in that my parents were American and my dad was in the Foreign Service. So even though I was born in India, I had an American passport basically from the get-go.

And yet it took me until I was in my 30s to feel American. To feel good living here, to feel like I fit in, and to appreciate the positives of being from this country.

(And for the longest time, what I knew about the military consisted of what I'd learned from the cute Marines posted in Delhi.)

And this brings me to Memorial Day, which for any non-Americans reading, was yesterday.

America is a flawed country, because humans are flawed. We have some terrible laws, and some terrible politicians spouting lies that many in this country believe. Internationally, we poke our nose in everyone else's business, and we throw our weight around.  Domestically, we regularly see tragedies such as the recent one in Santa Barbara. After Connecticut, after all those children - little, innocent children - were killed, nothing changed in terms of gun control.

And so we beat on...

Post-Santa Barbara, people are once again angry and upset. The problem is that we have a culture of misogyny that promotes violence against women. The problem is that guns are too accessible and the NRA lobby is too strong. The problem is that we don't spend enough money on mental illness.

There are very public debates on social media about what the problem is, and what needs to change.

And here is the thing about the US, and one of the things that makes it such an amazing country: we have these debates in public, without fear of retribution. Journalists are not going to be persecuted by the government for things they write. We believe that we can effect change. Sometimes we do.

We do not have wage equality. Sexism abounds. Racism abounds. Groups such as the KKK and Westboro Baptist Church are free to promote hate.

And even if we loathe what they are pushing, and I personally wouldn't mind if all of their members were rounded up by terrorists and taken to the woods, never to be seen again, that freedom is huge and it is rare.

We have public schools - not all of them great, I admit, but still - free and available to all.  Not only are your girls not going to be abducted for going to school, it is mandatory for them to attend.

We don't have paid maternity leave, and yes, this is a travesty, and it puts us behind quite a number of other countries. But we do have professional opportunities for women that you don't find in many other countries.

We all expect potable water to come out of our taps. We expect electricity. We expect not just passable, but well-maintained roads. We expect a government that can not only regulate its currency, but will respond immediately and effectively in the wake of an emergency.

We expect them because, as far as we know, we've always had them. When there is a disruption, we are up in arms.

What I'm saying, perhaps not well, is that there are so many things in America that are so easy to take for granted. But as a woman, I still feel lucky to be American. I don't know about now, but even 10 years ago in Italy you could still put "attractive young woman" as part of your criteria in a job advertisement. I don't know that it was different in France.

War has existed as long as humans, and I'm not so naive as to think we will get to a place where we can all coexist. I was opposed to going into Iraq, but even so, I thank members of the military for their service.

If you believe in something enough to be willing to die for it, and that something is keeping your country safe, I believe you deserve to be thanked and remembered.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

I need some help with this

This thing happened with another parent at Jordan's school yesterday afternoon, and it left me upset and not sure how to think about it.

There are two things. One, I wish I'd responded better yesterday, and two, I'm not sure what to do when I see this man again, which is likely.

OK.  So here's the story.

Several other parents and I pick our kids up after school and then hang out with them either on the playground or on the soccer field.  We've been doing so for months, and  we've become friends. We share snacks, we bring extra water or toys, we watch each other's kids if one parent has to go to the bathroom, etc.

The little boys in the group love love love to pee outdoors. If they can get away with it, they do.

Initially I tried sprinting over to Jordan if I saw him, but really, by then he'd be mid-pee and you cannot stop at that point.

And a couple times I've asked Jordan if he has to pee and taken him to the men's room in the school and he's come out immediately and said, "I can't go in there. It smells like poo-poo."

But usually he says he doesn't have to. And then he and one of two of his friends will take the opportunity when they are far from us.

If he can avoid the poo-poo bathroom, he does. (The bathroom back where his classroom is is not an issue.)

Usually when we are there it's pretty empty.  So if they occasionally pee behind a tree, the other parents and I are not bothered. I've told Jordan that it doesn't actually make me upset, but if other people are around, they might get upset.

Yesterday I myself had to go to the bathroom, and being a grown woman, excused myself to head inside.

When I came out and was heading down the steps, I saw my son and another little friend of his behind a tree, but basically in plain sight, pants down around their knees, about to pee. I mean, these are kids without great fine motor yet. When they pull their pants down, it's just about all the way down.

They also aren't self-conscious about it.  But they do know that they technically are not supposed to be peeing outside. They just aren't astute enough to be sneaky about it.

By this point, there were a bunch of kids playing on the field and I said, "You guys, pull your pants up! Right now! You're going to get in trouble!"

This man said, "Are those boys yours?"

I said, "Yes."

He said, "You'd better stop them right now! There are girls on the field! My daughter is one of them!"

All I could manage was, "Huh." And then I turned my attention back to the kids and getting them to pull up their shorts and come down the hill.

He was furious. He glowered at me. He glowered at the boys. He stomped past the other boy's mother. He was SO ANGRY.

He kept glaring at us for as long as we were there, which coincidentally was not long, as we'd been about to leave.  I ignored him the whole time, but out of the corner of my eye could see he was still fuming and giving us the stinkeye.

Now, here's my thing.  One, I could see if you're mad because it's in public, and you believe nobody should pee in public.

But his reason - that his daughter might, from far away, see two four-year-olds' penises? Seriously?

I kind of wish I'd said that. But then probably better I said nothing. I don't know.

But it's not a huge school, and we're on the field every day. Odds are good I will run into him. Should I say something? If so, what?

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Welcome to your life...

Time and age can be cruel. Gravity seems like a good idea in general, but it is not actually your friend.

But, oh they can also be so generous.

Well, not gravity. Although I suppose it does keep us attached to God's green earth.

OK, they're all generous in their own way. Just maybe not to your cheeks (at both ends) and boobs and things.

One of my younger friends sent a tweet yesterday asking people's opinions on older guys "like 45+ and/or with gray hair" wearing Chuck Taylors.

I read it and laughed out loud. 

(I myself favor Jack Purcells, but don't have a pair. What I really want is a pair of Stan Smiths just like the ones I had in high school when I copied my friend Nicole. They were the best sneaks ever. But I cannot seem to find little ones. But I digress.)

I didn't respond because I thought the question itself was funny. And also, that's now my age bracket. And also also, I myself occasionally judge the shit out of young hipsters.

But most importantly: by this age, I wear what makes me happy, or what amuses me, or what's comfortable, or what was nearest when we were all running late and had to get out the door.

I know I've looked ridiculous before, in the name of amusement or comfort or ease. I do not mind. I am sure I will again.

When I was in high school my dad would wear white athletic or black office socks with clogs and shorts. I thought I was going to die of mortification when other people saw him, but he did not care. In fact, he may have enjoyed it more because of my horror.

He would also silly-walk down the halls of the embassy just to make me squirm. Or maybe it wasn't actually about me?

So you know I had this high school reunion a couple weeks ago.

And ever since I have been texting and emailing with friends about how much we love and miss each other. I've been looking at these reunion pictures like my children look at photos of themselves.

Ohh, so awesome! So beautiful! So funny! So pretty shiny sparkly!


Some of the hottest boys in high school. The upperclassmen to swoon over. Never in a million years when I was younger could I have imagined embracing them as real, whole, flawed and perfect, beautiful human beings and telling them I loved them, now and forever.

Never could I have imagined that they would see me as an entire person and love me right back. (Although truthfully, I think it took me longer than most to realize I was an entire person.)

So I've been chatting with one friend about how we didn't really know each other in Delhi. I mean, we were friends and he was gorgeous and oh, wow, but I didn't actually know him as a real person. And as we're developing this adult friendship, I realize how much more we had and have in common than I'd have guessed.

We are fucked up and we are perfect.  We are just like everyone else and we are unique. We are all amazing. Most important of all, we are loved.

And this is what I keep coming back to: love.

I am generous with love. Well, selectively generous. But generous nonetheless.

Nick chose me and I chose him back because I felt so good with him. I felt safe in being the real me. Not the me that I used to feel like I ought to be so that someone would love me.

And this is what I am slowly slowly working towards. In case you're wondering WHAT my point might be.

I am sorry to get all Bridget Jones on you. But here you go:

You are perfect just as you are. You do not have to be anyone but who you are for the right people.

The right people will embrace you because you wear your sparkly silver sneakers, or have cheesy taste in music, or have madly curly hair that will not be tamed, or blush a little too easily. Not in spite of these things.

I am writing this to the 20-somethings and 30-somethings. And perhaps the one teen (hi Carm!) who may read this. Aging is scary in some ways. But aging is beautiful and delicious and freeing.

Some of you are there already - so very far ahead of where I was. But if you aren't, I suspect you're in plenty of company. You are enough, and you are awesome. You are flawed and you are perfect.

You are amazing. We all are.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Well, yes, I suppose it is fancy, now that you mention it

As you may have heard, we have quite a bit of penis talk around this house.

That is to say, we call a penis a penis and not a wee-wee or a tallywhacker or a wing-wang or anything else one might call it.

(Oh, who are we kidding? We've always had a lot of penis talk, since way before having kids. It's one of my favorite things to talk about, it seems.)

Anyway, Jordan has become rather fascinated with this particular appendage. If he's home, he's very likely naked. And if he's naked, he's holding his penis.

"I'm just holding my penis, Mama."

I don't want to make him feel ashamed of being interested in his penis, you know? So I've just made this rule that when we have company over we need to at least have underwear on.

But he and India still have plenty of nakey time.

The other day he was telling India once again that when she grows up she'll be a big boy and then she'll have a penis. And I said, "Actually, India is a girl. She's not going to turn into a boy."

"Not even when she gets bigger?"

(I opted not to go into the possibility of gender reassignment surgery, because while yes, technically she could be a male when she grows up if she chooses to, I'm just going to operate on the assumption that she's happy being female and go forward with that.)

"Nope. Girls are girls. She's never going to have a penis."

"What does she have?"

"A vagina. Girls have vaginas."

"VAH-GI-NAH! Well! That sounds fancy!"

Thursday, May 15, 2014

We've got five years, stuck on my eyes. We've got five years, what a surprise...

My daddy loved me
So on this day, the Ides of May, five years ago, my dad very quietly walked out of their front door for the last time.

None of us knew it was the last time until my mom woke up and called me in a panic. I was at the office, and I started to cry. I knew it would be very, very bad.

I had a miniscule spark of hope that once again we would find him and he wouldn't be dead, although he'd barely survived his attempt the month prior. He was frail, and he was joyless. He moved stiffly, and his smile, when he forced it, was a baring of teeth, nothing more.

That morning five years ago he took a bottle of pills and he took a rope and we never saw him again. Even at the morgue, they showed Nick and my mom a picture of his face, so as to minimize the trauma.

Apparently they'd had some very bad experiences with family members getting hysterical.

Many times I'd lived through days and nights of terror, of holding my dad's hand in the emergency room or ICU and making bargains with God. But there had always been that shred of hope to hold onto.

And suddenly, there was no more hope, and also no more fearing the worst. The worst had happened.

Some friends asked me afterwards if I felt some sense of relief - a release from the constant fear. I didn't. I think it was a gradual process, getting used to a life without fear of losing him. It took a while not to flinch when I heard an ambulance.

For quite a while I was hung up on whether he died on the 15th or the 16th. And I could know but I've decided I don't want to. It's now OK either way. He was ready to go and he went.

In the five years since he left us, I've gone through anger, despair, sadness, rage. I've cried until my entire body was raw, inside and out. I've laughed at completely inappropriate moments. (I still cannot say cremains with a straight face.) I've questioned years and years of my growing up.

And I've learned a tremendous amount about life and humanity. And myself.

Because, you know, a completed suicide is all about the people left behind. We are the survivors. We are the wreckage.

The dead, one hopes, are at peace.

And so these years - like all the years, I suppose, it just took me a long time to realize it - have been about me. I make them about my dad, and there are so many things I'd still like to know. But life is about us, we who are alive.

I still have abandonment dreams pretty regularly. It's never my dad, however, who is leaving me. That would be too straightforward, right? It's always an old boyfriend who stays just out of reach, no matter how hard I try, or Nick, who flat-out tells me this just isn't going to work.

In these dreams, I am traumatized; I am alone forever. Never, in my dreams, am I able to remind myself that actually, we're married and have kids, which is not the case in the dreams.

(And in reality, what I wouldn't give to be alone for a stretch of time!)

But I get it, I get the abandonment. When I think about my dad's suicide, when I think about his death, I don't think "He died." so much as "He left us."

While he was alive, our lives all revolved around him, to the extent we allowed it. He was like a magnet, like the sun, like a black hole pulling.

When we were younger, that was just how our household functioned. It wasn't explicit, but I can look back and that's just how it always was. As an adult my brother cut him - and then ultimately all of us - out. But my mom was always all about my dad. And I was very much so as well.

Sometimes now I still grieve, and of course I still wish he were here with us. I hate that he never got to meet my kids, that they never experienced the joy he could bring. He had a terrific laugh, and when he was fun, oh, he was fun.

But I think there's enough distance for me to be honest with myself about him as well, and I realize that I don't have to feel disloyal when I think about some of the negatives of life with my dad. Life with crazy - and that's what it always was - is hard.

It can be charming and exciting and fun and exhilarating. But the crazy is always in charge, not you. You are on that bus and you don't know if it's going to barrel forward or slide over the edge.

I miss my dad so much, the dad I like to remember. I miss who he could be for my kids. But I believe he needed to go, and he'd almost entirely killed his spark before he took his own life.

I don't know what I think happens when people die, but I recently read this quote by Mandy Patinkin - who I will always associate with my dad, because he was Che in Evita, to which my dad brought three pillows for me to be able to see.  It is from this page of his quotes, touted to change your life, which may or may not, and it resonates with me:
My sense of religion is Einstein's sense of relativity. I don't believe in God. I believe that energy never dies. So the possibility exists that you might be breathing in some other form of Moses or Buddha or Muhammad or Bobby Kennedy or Roosevelt or Martin Luther King or Jesus.
At Lou's memorial service, our friend Ania said that after my wedding, Lou had told her that my dad wasn't doing well, and she knew that he felt so good that I was with Nick. He knew I had found someone who would treasure and care for me. So he could stop worrying about me.

As a parent, he was looking forward into a future for me that wouldn't necessarily include him. But he knew that I was loved. And isn't that what we want most for our children?

Moving forward, at this five-year point, I'd like to be able to focus on celebrating who my dad was, and on the good things in our lives together. Because there were lots of them.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Airing of grievances

When your mother leaves Giraffe somewhere and your only good option is to sleep with Less Preferred Giraffe - even though they are exactly the same giraffe, it's just that Giraffe has been so much more loved and as such is grimier and more worn - it is basically the worst thing that has ever happened to you.

I mean, since the other day when your mother made you wear shoes to leave the house. I mean really. Shoes. The hell?

And speaking of things she makes you wear, what is the deal with pajamas at bedtime? In fact, what's the story with bedtime? When it is sooo obvious that you'd like to stay up and party nakey-nakey all night. No pajamas! No sleep till Brooklyn!

Plus, sometimes she wants to use the TV to exercise, when you have made it abundantly clear that it is exclusively your property, only to be used for Frozen and sometimes Little Mermaid or Princess Bride or Ninjago. Preferably Frozen, but sometimes you like to appease your brother.

Also, there was that indignity on the playground when Daddy said, "Did you poo-poo?" You told him no and then he came over to feel your bottom anyway and then announced, loudly enough for everyone to hear, that you did have a poo-poo! And then he whisked you away to change your diaper.

It's so hard to play it cool when you have shit like this going down.

And then there's Mama's photo obsession. I mean, why is she always pulling out her phone and saying, "Say cheese!"

Cheese. When she already has 50 fucking million photos of you and really, all you want is to be able to play with her phone so you can forward old emails and and post cryptic status updates like x**NDrs#~!~ on Facebook.

And then, then there's the perpetual and infuriating delay between you issuing a command and your parents complying with it. Because when you say, "Milk!" they must know you mean I NEED MY MILK THIS INSTANT STAT ASAP WHAT ARE YOU AN IMBECILE I MEAN NOW CHOP CHOP!

It's so hard to get good help these days.

Friday, May 09, 2014

What are the odds?

Sometimes if I'm worried about a character in a book, I will skip to the end to make sure they're still alive. If not, I decide whether or not to keep reading.

With books and films, I like a happy ending, no matter how implausible.

I don't want to be pulled down. I rarely want to be made to cry, even though one of my favorite movies is still The English Patient - definitely lacking a happy ending. But for the most part, I want it all to work out OK. I want children to grow and flourish. I want lovers to head off into the sunset holding hands.

My view is, reality is often rough. I want my entertainment soft and happy.

And yet it is just recently, with Frozen, which we have now watched an embarrassing number of times, that I realized the following about myself: I suspend disbelief in one hot second.

I get easily immersed in stories. You hook me with a character and I am yours and you can basically take me anywhere.


So I was watching Frozen, and there's Princess Anna, who has been so lonely and isolated for so long, and then she bumps into Prince Hans (who we now refer to as the Lying Liar Who Lies) and they're smitten with each other. I mean, they finish each other's sandwiches!

And I was all, "Wow! What are the odds?!"


Monday, May 05, 2014

Let the music play on (play on, play on)

You are 16 and at a party with all the cool kids, which is pretty much everyone you know.  You are young, beautiful, goofy, and in love with life and with your friends.

You are all 16 and amazing, in love and loved. But now you are secure in the knowledge that you are amazing and you are loved. You're not thinking about the size of your thighs or if you're wearing the right pants or if everyone is going to think the thing you just said was stupid.


Because now you have the added benefit of decades of life experience and self-confidence. And you know that sometimes you have it good, and when you do, you need to live it big, hold tight to every single moment of it, toss your joy high up in the air and see it sprinkle around.

You know that time is fleeting and love is not to be taken for granted, and so you throw your arms wide and embrace it all.

This is all of you.

Sound like magic?

It was. For one whole weekend, we were our high school selves in a grown-up world and everything was sprinkled with fairy dust and rainbows and kissed by unicorns.

I mean, really. It had poured almost all week. Cold, grey, and grim. Thursday was warm and muggy. But starting Friday the sun was lovely and clear and the air was bright and sparkly. The flowers beamed. And so did we.

I don't want to say it was like a Disney film and the birds were chirping around helping us get dressed for the ball...but sort of.

My friend Nicole (pictured above in kissing pose) arrived on Monday, and we were giddy for an entire week. Nick told me last night that he had been worried that the weekend wouldn't live up to our expectations, because we were so excited.

Beyond excited.

He said, "I don't want to compare you to children, but you were like kids on Christmas. You were squealing and squeaking and shaking with excitement on Friday morning. You were counting the hours."

And that's exactly how it was. Friday morning felt like Christmas was upon us.

One friend flew from Sweden. Another from Costa Rica. And Greg, who was hosting the Saturday brunch, had just gotten back from Delhi Friday morning. Saturday night he said, "I'm just going to keep going until I physically cannot go any more."

That's how it was.

We spent Friday evening at Roofers Union (which was fantastic) and as each person arrived, we hugged and cried and laughed. And then the next person! Oh, and the next! It was like one gift after another!

As the evening wore on, people trickled away - back to the hotel or home. A couple people left to go dancing. And somewhere around midnight a band of us stopped for empanadas and then trip-trapped back to my house.

Nicole led some elevator rides. The next day one of my friends told Betty he hoped we hadn't woken her, and frankly, she was disappointed that we hadn't. She'd have come down and hung out.

There was laughter and snorting and talk of keeping one's maple syrup in one's sporran and it was really all kind of perfect until suddenly it was 4:00 am and why did it seem like a good idea to continue opening those bottles of wine?

Nicole and I staggered out onto the front steps around 11:00 am to check the temperature and saw a neighbor who asked how the festivities had been. We said, "Amazing. Difficult morning, and we need to be at the next event at noon."

"Yeah. You look terrible. I mean pained. Not terrible."

His advice: Advil, water, coffee, food, and a hot shower. Oh, and a poop. Preferably all before the brunch, but certainly before night.

It seems a sound strategy.

We all congregated at a friend's house for brunch and volleyball (ha).  Our friend Richard and his wife hadn't been able to fly till that morning, and when they arrived it was another celebration. Whee!

I will say that I felt significantly better once I'd had a beer and danced to Thriller. Hair of the dog and Michael Jackson will fix a lot.

And then...then it was time to head home and get ready for the Big Indian Dinner! We'd managed to fill Himalayan Heritage and I have to say, they were spectacular. The staff is lovely and kind and accommodating, and the food is terrific.

After dinner they moved tables and the staff tried to get the hanging lamps (hung low for table dining, not expecting dance parties) out of the way for the dancing that we proceeded to do for the next five hours. In the end, we danced around them. The lamps, I mean. Not the staff.
Wendy and Richard had made amazing 80s playlists, and every song that came on was the Best! Song! Ever!

I mean, did Wham! have a bad song? I think not.

I'd warned them that we needed a lot of beer. A lot. So they ordered 150 of those large Indian beers. Just to be sure.

I'm not sure if we finished them, but I do know we made a good dent. We all did our best. (Cheers, Wendy!)
At 3:00 am the managers said that legally, they had to ask us to go. Otherwise, we could stay all night. They are gems, they truly are.

My friend since birth Jordan, (seen below and brewer extraordinaire) spent the night, and in the morning he and my Jordan introduced themselves to each other. My son's mind was kind of blown. Jordan? I'm Jordan! Whoa!
And then a few other friends came by for a bit, and as we said goodbye we said, "We'll text. Maybe we can get together this afternoon."

Sometimes when I leave, my kids will sit on one of my feet and wrap their arms and legs around my leg. This is exactly what I wanted to do. Noooo! Don't gooo!

Because spending time with these people for me is what I imagine drugs to be like. Because as soon as it is about to end, I immediately want more. And when it is really over and they are gone, I crash. If I could get another fix, I would.

(So while I regret not having doing the drugs while I was young, it's probably for the best, you know?)

Late, late into the night on Saturday, or rather in the wee small hours of Sunday morning, there we were, dancing to Lionel Richie in a circle. All Night Long. A number of us may have wept a little.

You are young, you are beautiful, you are in love with life and everyone around you.
You dance to all the songs. You spread your arms and your heart wide open. You dance with everyone.

You laugh until you snort and you cry and you hug and you kiss and you dance.

Oh, you dance.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Conversations in our household

Jordan: Mama, how did Daddy survive and marry you in all that crowd?

Me: Um?


Nick: At this point in my life I have handled so many of my children's bodily excretions: vomit, poop, urine, mucus, blood...

Me: You know, I don't prefer the poop, but I can handle all of it except the vomit.

Nick: I know. It really gets you.

Me: I don't even think urine is a big deal. You could pee all over me and I wouldn't care.

Nick: ?

Me: It's not an invitation.


Me: Jordan, do you have to pee-pee?

Jordan: No.

Me: Then why are you holding your penis?

Jordan: I'm not holding it. I'm scratching it.