Monday, July 30, 2007

Well, I Was Right...

Yep, the bad follows the good. I got three days of all-out, life-couldn't-BE-any-better bliss before the crap rained down. Well, I can't say it rained down's just that one piece of my elaborate, 458-balls-in-the-air balancing act got jettisoned into outer space unexpectedly, leaving me dumbfounded and perturbed. Doesn't it just plain old stink when you can't orchestrate every detail of your life to your liking? But things could be worse. And I'm nothing if not adaptable! LaLaLa! So, disappointments and annoyances aside...I've just come off a week of child-free bliss. My girls were happily ensconced at Camp Grandma and Grandpa last week. They had a fantastic time swimming, having tea parties, discovering river gems and lizard skeletons and a ton of other happy events while Mommy....that's right, remodeled their playroom. I should have probably spent the week doing something completely unrelated to childhood (and I did a few things -more on that later), but it was actually rather fun! I spent hours and hours painting and putting together furniture and reorganizing stuff (oh the joy!) without having to feel guilty for saying 12 times a day...Hey, go watch another movie and don't you dare stick your hand in that paint can or you will be sorry. And it turned out so cute. I myself would like to play in there now. And I did. Do you realize how relaxing it is to put puzzles together? If it's good enough for a mental patient, it's good enough for me I always say. LaLaLa!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Isn't Life Just Like That?

I've been thinking about two things tonight. Donna Reed and how great life is. Remember the scene from It's a Wonderful Life when Mary is welcoming the Italian family (and their abundant livestock) to their new home in Bailey Park? She gives them bread, salt and wine - the symbolism has something to do with the nourishment, flavor and celebration of life. (I would look it up, but I'm trying to convert a huge file into a PDF in the other window, and it's about to kill me. Adobe, you are on my POOP list. I curse you.) That old fashioned ritual just got me to thinking about the counterbalance we experience every day. Salty and sweet, joy and tears, ups and downs. God gave me a bunch of ups this week, and I am all up in the sweet zone tonight. I'm just sitting her marveling at how really, really GOOD life can be. Of course, because you try to be a realist, or maybe it's the Catholic upbringing in feel a teensy bit guilty and maybe a little bit apprehensive because you just know, without a doubt, that the bitter herbs will be on your plate at the next meal..But you know what I'm thinking? I'm thinking I need to tell my future self - hey, don't lose heart now. Remember yesterday when God was so close that he actually answered a prayer? Well, He didn't go anywhere. He's still right here. So try not to worry. That big piece of cake will be coming out of the kitchen soon. And not only is He here with you, he gave you a whole bunch of angels disguised as best friends and kinfolk and crazy little kids just to cheer you up and keep you company at the table! And that is what you call True Love.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

My Kids Say the Darndest Things - Part Deux

Small Fry was in day camp for two weeks recently, which gave Big Stuff and me the chance to spend a few days alone together doing stuff that her little sister and I often do when she's in school....real quality-time stuff like running errands and having lunch at the Atlanta Bread Company. I'm too tired to be creative right now, ya'll. But even lunch at the ABC yields some good mama-daughter talks sometimes. Like this one:
Her: Mama, was Mema your mama when you were my age?
Me: Yes. She still is.
Her: Was she old then? (Apologies, Mom :-))
The mental wrangling she performs as she tries to understand time is hilarious. I'm pretty sure she was trying, in her mind, to stuff my 36-year-old self into a shorter version of me, because of course, shorter equals 6, and she was trying to figure out where grandmother fit into that line-up. In addition to the time and space continuum, she has also become quite interested in the Chinese. A few days ago, she saw some mundane item around the house and she called Small Fry over, reading out loud. "SF, this says Made in China. That means it's verrrryyyy special." Serious as a heart attack. Small Fry also performs mental gymnastics for our entertainment, and some of her best stuff is word twisting. At the pool, Small Fry kept trying to tell Cutie Pie and me something, and she became more and more frustrated that we couldn't understand her. She kept saying, "I've got an egg cake, mama." I would repeat back, "An egg cake?" And she would say, "Noooooooo, an egg cake! An egg cake!" This was accompanied by a look that told me I am surely the dumbest and deafest mama in all the world. Finally, after 8 or 9 tries, I got it. She needed a Tylenol, you know.....for the HEADACHE!! Sheesh.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

A Little Bit of Knowledge

A little bit of knowledge can be a confusing thing. Especially when your knowledge was acquired in Kindergarten. And especially when you require technically correct answers to all questions, and you are completely colorblind when it comes to shades of gray. So yesterday, I'm watching the fireworks...tear ducts and heart overflowing with pride and gratitude. I'm thinking about bravery and sacrifice and love. I'm looking around me wondering if anyone else is appreciating the "reason for the season," so to speak. And I think to myself (haughtily)... By God, MY kids are going to appreciate the significance of this moment! So I start talking in Big Stuff's ear about why we have fireworks on the 4th of July. It went something like this:

Me: Nice fireworks, huh?
Her: Yep.
Me: Big Stuff, do you know why we have fireworks?
Her: No, why?
Me: Because we want to remember when we became our own country.
Her: You mean Florida?
Me: No, honey, the United States. You know, America.
Her: Does everyone in the world have July 4th? Do they have it in China?
Me: Well, no, only Americans. People in other countries celebrate other stuff. But a long time ago in America, some people wanted us to have our own country instead of being part of Britain.
Her: What's Britain?
Me: (Note to self: Drill it down). That's a country way across the ocean.
Her: What do people in Mexico have?
Me: Cinco de Mayo.
Her: Do they speak Spanish or English?
Me: Yes. Anyway, we wanted to have our own country and be free. A lot of brave people had to fight a war so we could be free.
Her: That's the war B's mommy is in.
Me: No, actually, B's daddy is in that war, but I'm talking about a different war. (Note to self: Avoid talking about wars.) So, remember George Washington?
Her: Yes, he was our first president. Now George Bush is.
Me: (Relieved) Right!!
Her: Mom, does George Bush know George Washington?
Me: You mean personally? No, George Washington lived more than 200 years ago.
Her: That was before I was born.
Me: (Relieved) Yes!
Her: Was he the one who got killed before I was born?
Me: (Ackkkkk!) Killed? No, he died before you were born but he didn't get killed.
Her: Someone shot him.
Me: (Acckkkkk!) No, you're thinking of another president. So anyway..... how do you like being part of the best country on earth?
Her: Good.
Me: (Relieved) Nice fireworks, huh?

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The Best Time of Day

The best time of day was five minutes ago. That's when you get to lay in bed in the finally quiet half-light, with two wet heads resting on each shoulder, two exhausted little bodies cradled in each arm, and say to yourself: I am so lucky.... I am so lucky.... I am so lucky.....