Funny for your Friday

by Alicia on September 19, 2014

So this is a short post, but it’s just meant to be a bit of a funny for your Friday.

If you’ve never met Maëlle, I beg you to reconsider. She is hysterical. But the kind of hysterical that just happens without trying. She’s witty and doesn’t even realize what that word means yet.

Case in point: the area where we wait for the bus has a hill. This hill is strangely configured and has a bit of a divot that runs from the top, all the way down the side to the flat grass. The hill ends up looking identical to a butt, is what I’m trying to eloquently get across to you here in adult-like-language. Ahem. This point is not lost on Maëlle. Ahem. (Mostly because I pointed it out to her one day, because I have the brain of a 12yr old boy that sometimes leaks out in real life. Ahem.)

This morning, we were waiting for the bus. About 15 kids and parents, morning rush faces on, checking watches and phones wondering if the bus would be on time. Stress and activity. Maë takes off to the top of the hill about 30 feet away. Screams from the top of her lungs: “LOOKIT MEEE, I’M IN THA BUTTCRACK! IT’S MEEE, WALKIN DOWN THA BUTTCRACK MUMMA!” She’s loud. No one could miss that. All it took was one nervous glance from another mom and I burst out laughing. I mean, come on. That is funny. Delicate, sweet little blonde Junior Kindergarten young lady shouting about inappropriate anatomy before 8:30am? Comedy gold. I shouted back to her, “Oh Maë, I just love you so much!” and reaffirmed my badge of That Mom We’re Not Too Sure About.

I do love that girl so much. Cause 12 minutes later she told me that a snail she found wanted to look at her face but would hide from mine because he was rude. Rude snails. Then she sang me Fancy by Iggy Azalea, and got on the bus without waving. #ohMaë

Mae at the busstop

(I, like, want to be friends with her. She’s the coolest.)

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To know they were here.

by Alicia on September 16, 2014

I have kept close with exactly two friends since kindergarten. They live so close, and yet I only see them like thrice a year. We seem to talk either not for a few months, or a whole whole lot at one time. This past week was one of those latter times. My dear, sweet, strong, steady friend Amie, lost her 30 year old sister Kari to cancer on Thursday, September 11th. (Fuck cancer, though. Fuck.It.) Amie called me on drives to and from the hospital, we had been talking on and off from diagnosis until that horrific morning. Because what else do you do? No, seriously…what else is there at all to do?

Talking and listening seems like you’re standing still. But you know what? Maybe that’s the most comforting part of all. Because Amie and I talked about how when tragedy strikes, your personal world grinds to a halt. Everything urgent on your to-do list takes an immediate backseat, you no longer worry about anything beyond your current circumstance. Yet the world keeps moving around you, Life keeps happening and all the other parts that were spinning before are still spinning it’s just that you’re standing still and trying to remember to breathe. And as simple as that sounds, it is one of the things I find most frustrating about dealing with tragedy, stress and death: you just want the world to pause for one minute and acknowledge the weight of what you’re going through, to stop and give you a minute…but it doesn’t. Emails keep coming in, bills are still delivered to your house, lunches have to get made, people still say “have a nice day” in the drive thru. So perhaps the greatest thing I can do for my friend is stop my time and give it to her. To acknowledge that what she is experiencing defies logic, that her anger and despair and confusion are valid, there are no skills which I possess yet that will make her feel better. Support feels good, true. But better? No. The only thing that would have made her feel better is the impossible. So I can stop my time and make sure she knows that she is all I’m thinking about, while all she is thinking about is Kari.

The hard part now is the emptiness. When Kari’s family feels the unforgiving weight of the empty time that they formerly spent focused on Kari. The loss of her is unfathomable. It came at me in waves during her funeral, the finality of it all, but really I found myself searching for Amie’s face in the massive crowd. But the weight of having loved and lost a sister, a wife, a daughter, a friend, a cousin…I know a little of that.

Kari wore a bracelet that read “No one fights alone”, and oh I love that message so much. It’s so far-reaching. Kari didn’t fight cancer alone one second of her too-short life. Amie won’t fight through grief alone. I don’t fight through my own battles alone…I often need reminding of that. We see our friends, we see those we love. Maybe that’s all you can do, see them. Know they are here, prove that they aren’t alone, that what is happening to them is real and important and you care about it too. Sometimes support can be small in appearance and large in importance.

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Higgy Girls In Glasses“Sweet mother of MERCY Maëlle, if you don’t find that damn blanket in like 2.2 seconds we are leaving without it!” And I watch that beautiful blonde head just roll around her adorably still-somewhat-baby-plump little body and I want to shake her wrap her up in a love hug…(I don’t shake my kids, guys. Put the phone down.)

You see, my children are gloriously now old enough to be responsible for getting themselves ready to leave out the door somewhere. Get dressed, brush your hair and teeth, pee, gather whatever useless belongings you simply must sherpa along with us this time, get your shoes on, get to the vehicle and strap yourself in. I’m not even fabricating when I tell you that the day Maë learned to buckle herself into her carseat, I bought that girl an ice cream cone because FREEEEEDOOOOOMMMM!! However, getting to the point at which she is, in fact, strapped in, the other two are buckled and we are pulling away from the house? ELEVENTY BILLION HOURS.

And this isn’t just limited to Outside The Homestead outings. Oh no. Chores? I defy anyone to get Annika to sweep a 4 foot square radius of linoleum in under 40 minutes. And Isabella will tell you 17 incredibly detailed stories before she can possibly brush her teeth for the night and head to bed. Then she has got to read 4 books and probably draw something and maybe also primp a little in the mirror, and check for 3 stuffed animals she hasn’t seen since she turned five.

No one but me cares about my timelines.

They really don’t know a thing about time anyway. Which suits me very well when I can say things like “you’ve got 10 minutes, and then we’re leaving” and three minutes later I’m calling out that it’s time to go. But when I’m shouting up the stairs “Bella! Can you come down here please?” and 11 minutes pass with me tapping my foot in the kitchen…it burns me good that she strolls in none the wiser and politely asks “yes, Mom?” as if the expectation was just that she grace me with her presence eventually.

The getting-ready-for-school routine and the after-school-but-before-you-can-play routine are getting ironed out right now. All three girls are in school now, we’ve entered a new era. Wherein some of our previous rules work with three of them bustling around the kitchen (because let’s get real, 90% of my life is spent in the kitchen in some way), and some things have to be re-examined 8 bajillion times because welp…that’s just not the way our house works anymore. And I guess there’s my lesson: no one but me cares about my timelines, because they all have their own. Raising fully functioning members of society can really bite me in the ass sometimes…

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I mostly avoid viral videos. (Most especially the ones on Facebook.) This morning I finally watched the Like a Girl video ad from  Always. I was not moved to tears. I think it may juuuust miss the mark for me, like it’s missing a little something. Raising three daughters can be a daunting thing when [...]

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