Thursday, February 4, 2016

Long Ago & Far Away

A&P are 19 today.

I have tried to remember everything I could, down to every last tooth and curly piece of little fly away kid hair. However, that's impossible and I'm the sum of many parts and scraps of memory in entirely the wrong order.

There was the time that I looked at the wrong school calendar (wrong year, genius!) and scheduled a trip to Arizona for a week that was decidedly not Spring Break. We went any way. I think this was second grade. Peter may or may not have nearly fallen into the Grand Canyon.

Once they ripped down all the blinds in their room for the third time and I bought a shade. I was feeling super smart. They ripped that down and used the piece along the bottom of the shade to mutilate their faces.  They were two.

Exhibiting early reactive behavior worthy of a talk show, they would stick their fingers down their throats and throw up at the exact same time to watch us race around like idiots trying to save the carpet, or couch, or random Grandparent. They were 10 months old.

Andrew woke up once when he was four to tell us through tears and screams that Jesus wouldn't stop calling his name. Shortly after Peter lamented that he was to blame for the crucifixion by denying Jesus repeatedly. We switched churches after that to find a Sunday school with a less literal curriculum.

We put them on planes to England, France, Spain, Morocco. We put them on trains to New Mexico and watched them hike down the Appalachian Trail. We skipped down trails in Montana and rode bush planes in Alaska.  And they got checking accounts and left for college. Then, I disjointedly remember that time I overfed them saltines on Interstate 69 to Muncie and they erupted- two sleeves, each, of slightly digested flour, salt and gastric juices. We traded that van in shortly thereafter.

The consistent memory is awe that I hadn't left them behind at the grocery store, or forgotten to feed them, or to pay tuition. And awe that I get to be their Mom.

How cool is that?

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Lies: The pig was not buying groceries

I hate car washes. I can't tell you how much I hate them. The cloth tentacles covering your car and the soapy goo are primordial. To get an idea of how much I hate car washes, slam the tips of your fingers in the hinge side of a door while picking up cat vomit. This is how much I hate car washes.

My car was covered in a mixture of road salt and other unidentifiable grime and so it was time, today, sigh, to keep the paint from melting before my eyes in the garage. After pulling into the tunnel of certain death, I immediately started skimming Facebook for something to keep my mind off the sea monster that was eating my Honda.

That's when I saw this: "I'm 28 and I just realized that the first pig was not buying groceries." I'm perplexed. I'm 45 and I don't think her post was age related. I sat there trying not to get motion sick from the incessant rocking of Ursula the evil car eating mermaid and rolling this thought over and over in my head "The pig wasn't buying groceries?"

Then, it hit me.

The pig was not buying groceries.

That pig was a combination of roasts and ribs and lard at the market.


All my life I've had a happy image in my head of a Porky Pig like porcine skipping down the road with a gingham lined basket to fill it with candy corn and figs and maybe a bottle of pig preferred Bordeaux.

Lies. The pig is in the basket. Someone else's gingham lined basket.

I figured out a long time ago that the "Ring around the Rosie, Pocket full of Posey" garbage was about children dying in the London gutters of the plague. For some reason, pox riddled urchins dying in the street is less shocking than my snappily dressed pig friend sliced into easy to fry sections.

Tim says the other pigs were doing happy things and not to fret.

Poor piggy.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Change of Control

If I stare at this boy enhanced log long enough, one of two things will happen. First, I could fall asleep. Second, I'll realize it was long ago on a lake in Montana and there's no going back. What a choice and the first one could be embarrassing.

The plan was easy. Have the children. Raise the children. Throw children out of the nest. Welcome children back for brief periods to ensure that the far reaches of the pantry don't get lonely or that any dish or glass or spoon goes unwashed.

I go to sleep much earlier than the throngs of college students that inhabit our house at various hours of the day. Falling asleep leaves me vulnerable to a few outcomes including numerous awakenings every single time someone opens or closes a door. Those chimes have come in handy to prevent escape from doors and windows, but now I'm not supposed to care that someone is making repeated trips to the garage.

The more acute vulnerability is the super annoying walking in the sleep habit I've had most of my life. Somewhere between numerous door chimes and a half baked dream sequence about needing to cook dinner and lay out towels for a non existent football team passing through at 2 am, I take a stroll.  Sometimes I say things to random teenagers that I encounter. Sometimes I just get water and find myself waking up in the kitchen alone with a box of uncooked pasta in my hands.

Explain that to an unrelated eighteen year old who was just hoping to grab some Oreos from the kitchen, unmolested.

The boys know I do this and are skilled at redirection and sending me back on my way upstairs. Yet something is left undone or uncooked like the pasta.

My nocturnal wanderings are worst when the illusion of control is missing. I never had any control but at one point I was able to get those children to stand somewhat placidly on that log in that Montana lake. For my next trick, I'll try not to scare anyone for the remainder of Christmas break.