Not an hour after yesterday’s post was finished I caught a case of the rainy day blues. And promptly burst in to tears while cooking diner. Ever my knight in shining armor MQD left immediately to get wine.
The wine improved my mood here and there . I was not crying but still cranky. Cranky enough to be less than pleased with Emily as she goofed off while we were supposed to be cleaning up her room prior to bedtime. She spilled her glass of water, “Dammit, Emily” I said, to myself, or so I thought. She burst in to tears. “You called me a name! It breaks my heart when you call me names!” Sigh… I did NOT call you a name, and what the fuck do you mean “it breaks my heart” like I do this all of the time!! This flair for the dramatic, where does THAT come from? Heh. We addressed these points, calmly and finished picking up her room.
All was right in the world, and glass of wine in hand we read a few “days” worth of The Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I leaned over to give her a kiss good night, and her hands on either side of my face, they always feel so small. She seems so big to me, until she is kissing me good night and I can feel her tiny, warm hands against my cheeks, her kisses just as sweet as when she was so very small. “Mom, I love to kiss you… when you have wine your breath tastes so good.”
I learned two things last night. The first – it is a far greater wrongdoing in my house to name-call than it is to swear. The second – Wine breath is perceived as novel. I think both of these things stand as a testament to my superior parenting.
*Special thanks to my mom for making this miracle happen… Solo time at a bar, mid day. There is nothing sweeter. And yes, that is my smile reflected in the brass of a beer tap.
Day 81: Celebrate Nature :Lure a fly on to this page and swat it here.
I can’t find anything celebratory about killing a fly. And I think this is actually the second time in this book they have asked you to kill an insect. Hrrmph.
In an effort to “celebrate nature” today I did snap a quick picture out my office door. But a picture can’t capture the sound of the thunderstorm that is rolling through Chapel Hill right now, or the way the thunder claps combine with Simon & Garfunkel’s 59th Street Bridge Song to make for a beautiful morning.
I put a fair amount of effort in to enjoying an average rainy day. Rainy days are not my favorite. I am a sunshine fan, but without the rainy days you can’t appreciate the days with the sun on your face quite the same way.
But a thunderstorm? I have no trouble enjoying a thunderstorm. The way the air is warmer and cooler all at once. Early to mid 1980s – Sitting in the trunk of our car, the seats folded down, the scent of sleeping bags and popcorn combine with the smell of the rain. My parents would pull the car up to the very edge of our garage, our steep driveway allowing it to feel like we would fall off the edge of the universe if we jumped from the car’s warm, dry trunk in to the rain.
I learned to appreciate a thunderstorm on those summer evenings. More often than not by the time we got our sleeping bags arranged just so, our stuffed animals lined up, our pillows fluffed up, our popcorn popped… the storm would be nearly passing. But we enjoyed the process, the process of getting ready to enjoy the storm that pulled us in from the back yard, or off of our bicycles early that evening. Similarly, anyone with small children knows that if the lights go out, simply bring in wood for the fireplace, gather around the hearth and get ready to roast marshmallows with a favorite book. Your power will come back on as soon as you get settled. I think I learned a lot about embracing the unexpected, finding the joy in the small moments, from those evenings sitting in the trunk of that shitty station wagon.
Like so much of my adult life… it’s balance. I’ll take a rainy day. Because the sunshine is always right around the corner.
You say I am repeating
Something I have said before. I shall say it again.
Shall I say it again? In order to arrive there,
To arrive where you are, to get from where you are not,
You must go by a way wherein there is no ecstasy.
In order to arrive at what you do not know
You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance.
In order to possess what you do not possess
You must go by the way of dispossession.
In order to arrive at what you are not
You must go through the way in which you are not.
And what you do not know is the only thing you know
And what you own is what you do not own
And where you are is where you are not.
So, Em has decided she wants to call Mike “Dad” after we get married. Daddy will stay Daddy and Mike can be Dad. It’s pretty cute. The other night I asked her if that was still her plan. She says “yup.” Mike says “You can try it out if you want, see how it sounds.” She rolls her eyes and says “Well, what would I say?” Mike says “Whatever you want…”
She pauses for dramatic effect…. “Dad, can I get a tattoo?”
I almost fell out of my chair.
He is in so much trouble.
Day 80: Start eating a piece of furniture. Frequently you hear a parent say that there is nothing their children can do that they haven’t already done. Em is exceptional in many ways. And today’s challenge is a reminder of one of them. I have never eaten a chair, or at least not that I can recall. She has.
These chairs were originally in my grandmother’s kitchen. Then they were in the house I grew up in. I believe there were originally six. Then there were four. Now I have two of them in my bedroom. They serve as a reminder of time gone by.
I hope someday Em has that gnawed on chair in a corner of her bedroom. And I hope her children ask her if it’s really true what their grandmother says… that she was the one that chewed it.
Day 78: How politically correct is your circle of friends?
Not very. Some of them are not even particularly well behaved. Very few of them ever bite their tongues. But they are mine. And they’ve known me since before I had the good sense to censor myself. And they love me anyway.
I am happy. For a lot of reasons, but mostly for a few very small ones.
I pulled in to the driveway this morning on my way back from the gym and a smile spread across my face. That kind of smile you can’t possibly contain. All because I saw Mike’s car. I walked inside and told him that while I was aware that one day he’d get a new car, the idea of it kind of makes me sad. Something about seeing his big old grandfather car… it makes me smile. Deep inside. That kind of smile you get when you see the boy you like. Or that your favorite dessert is the dessert special at the restaurant where you decided to have dinner. That kind of smile that makes you feel like you are the Winner. I walked inside to see my sweet little lady, all dressed, hair brushed, matching headband and all. “I’m awake, Mike just got up,” she reported. I looked past her to the kitchen and saw Mike all sleepyfaced in his pajama pants. I tried to tell him about that smile, the smile that was so big. “I spent so many evenings sitting on my front porch, pretending I wasn’t waiting to see if you’d stop by, and you always came… you always did. And as soon as I’d see your car…” I think I trailed off there, my face buried in his shoulder, as if he couldn’t hear the sappy HolyShitWeAre GettingMarriedinLessThanTwoMonthsAndIAmSoExcited tears in my voice.
I usually jump right in the shower in the morning when I get home. I lingered in the kitchen. We laughed a lot this morning. About SALAD. Because we love to say SALAD! We tried to tell Em for the zillionth time that she was doomed to be a “crazy person,” too, one day. Her words for when she is less than amused with our antics. She cut us off. With a wave of her hand and an”I’ve heard this all before” face. We laughed some more.
It’s raining today. Not a reason to be happy by most folk’s standards. But not everyone has these ass-kicking rain boots, either.
I took my time this morning. I stopped to laugh in the kitchen. I stole a real, grown-up kiss from MQD before the interloper barged in to the bathroom. I helped Em pick out her job at school today, and she showed me a picture she had made. I walked through three puddles on my way in to the office. I chased Fisher down the driveway at work. I took my time. And I was at my desk only eight minutes later than average.
Day 77: Design your own logo!
I am not certain I could get away with calling it as logo, but have spent a fair amount of time in the last week manipulating an image in an effort to create a cohesive look between various parts of our wedding nonsense. Not too long after we got engaged Mike and I worked up a design for a tattoo to celebrate our engagement. We are both really happy with the way it turned out. I still feel like mine is “new.” It has been cold and given its location it has not really seen much daylight. The actual tattoos might not have seen a lot of daylight, but I have seen an awful lot of the image in the last week.
After a little digital manipulating we turned our tattoos…
into both a design to use as the watermark for our invitations and a design for use on our wedding favors. What the design will be placed on shall remain a secret for now! In an effort not to spoil the surprise, this is all you get for now, the basis of our “Wedding Logo.”