Thursday, August 31, 2006

Good Memories on a Sad Day.

My grandmother, a woman who made up a sizeable chunk of the center of my universe, passed away a year ago today. It’s making me a little blue, but mostly it’s that same feeling that I’ve had repeatedly over the last year. How is it possible that the world kept turning without her in it? I mean, really. I spent most of my life not thinking that was possible. And I suppose, in little ways, it doesn’t spin quite the same anymore.

My grandma, Ethel Baby, was a force. It occurred to me just the other day that even though I always thought of her as a married woman and mother, I only ever knew her as a widow with grown children. And so, she seemed very…exciting. And free spirited. And fun. She traveled all over the world when I was young. I especially remember a cruise to Greece, and a trip with girlfriends to New Orleans. Man was I bent that she didn’t take me on that NOLA trip. Then there were the frequent trips in her RV with her Good Sam group. She drove that little motor home until she was almost 90. And I got to go with her so often, the group just seemed like add-on grandparents to me. Ethel Baby was an excellent driver (according to her), and fantastic camper cook (according to everyone), and a veritable fishing sensei (according to me.)

She had a great group of girlfriends who played cards and drank highballs. Sometimes they would have grown up slumber parties, and I would always get to go. We would stay up until the wee hours playing hand after hand of spite and malice. If Ethel lost too many times she would denounce the deck of cards as unlucky and throw it in the trash. She taught me how to play gin rummy as soon as my hands were big enough to hold three cards. She never. Not once. Let me win.

I have cousins, all boys. And I know that my grandmother loved them all. Esp. the youngest three. But I also know that I was probably her favorite person in the whole universe, and that is just the way it is. Sorry boys.  When Sweet Pea was born, I think she may have nearly edged me out of favored human status. But not by much.

Ethel Baby was in good health for most of her 96 years. It really wasn’t until the last couple of days that she was out of it more than she was with it. But on the last morning, she woke up for about 20 minutes. Just long enough to share a snack with Sweet Pea and tell me how much she loved me. I told her how much I loved her too. We didn’t need to say it, but the fact that we got to will always be one of my most treasured and special memories.

Damnit I miss her. Every single day. Anyway, here’s a kiss for you Grandma. I love you! XOXO


Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A list of things I'd like to remember about my daughter at two.

1) You love boogers. I mean, you L-O-V-E them. You spend so much time picking your nose, your nostrils are becoming index finger shaped. I feel like the only things I say to you are, “Get your finger out of your nose.” And, “Stop picking your nose.” You just roll your eyes at me and dig deeper. The other day in the car you said sweetly, “Mamma? I eat it?” And I said, “Eat what honey?” And you said, “Booger on my finger.”

2) Second only to your love of boogers, is your love of eating sand. Sand at the coast was especially tasty, I think because of the salt and marine life. I will be flossing sand out of your teeth and wiping it out of your butt crack until you start kindergarten and discover the joys of paste.

3) You are totally and delightfully random. Case in point, the other day as I was unbuckling you from your car seat you passionately and gleefully shouted, “COME BACK MEATBALL!!” And the next afternoon you put your little hands on my face in order to get my full attention and said seriously, “Mamma, watch my lips…Marshmellow.”

4) You would rather die a painful death than wear shoes not of your choosing. You are especially fond of a pair of too-big blue moon boots that I have now had to hide in 3 different places. This morning – August 29th, 2006 – you spied a blue moon boot peeking out from it’s hiding place and were winding up to pitch an I-must-wear-those-blue-moon-boots-to-school-today-or-die-trying fit, when I was somehow able to distract you with some Teletubby sandals. If it’s the Dora slippers that you simply MUST wear, I usually let you. It’s just not worth fighting that battle.

5) You also prefer to have a purse with you at all times. So I’m thinking that you’ve just got it bad for accessories.

6) You have dubbed yourself the official announcer of all things flatulent. Which means that you not only announce any time you toot with an exuberant, “Mamma – I TOOT.” But you also announce the toots of others. I feel like I should warn people. Because it’s a little spooky how good you are at outing people. Don’t try to cover your toot with a cough or sneeze. Sweet Pea will know, and she will tell the world.

7) You strip your clothes off so often in the front yard that the neighbors are starting to talk about us. The other day someone asked me if you got that trait from me. As if.

8) You said your first swear word a couple of months ago when I missed a turn. But your daddy thinks it was the other day when he smashed his finger. I’ll never tell.

9) I am fairly certain that you have a crush on a little boy named Mason. You talk about Mason constantly and ask me really important questions like, “What color is Mason’s car?” Mason has big brown eyes and a buzz cut. He seems to share his toys, and always says goodbye to you when you leave. So I guess in toddler land, he’s a good egg. He is not quite as excited to see you each morning as little Coulter. But I guess you have to follow your heart.

10) I love you enough to remember all of this stuff and tell your friends about it when you are old enough for it to be really embarrassing.


Sunday, August 06, 2006

The Dress

My husband swears that I am totally willing to throw myself under the bus for the sake of a good story. No matter how selfish, ignorant, trashy or cheap it makes me sound, if it’s a good story I will tell it. This one falls into the cheap category.

Whilst on vacation last week, I was keeping my eyes peeled for a new dress. I needed one to wear to a very chi chi fundraiser that we attended a few nights ago. I checked the sale racks at a couple of boutiques, suffered a mild case of sticker shock, and was ready to throw in the towel. Then my mom found this darling little shabby chic wrap marked down to $72.00. (Which is about what I was willing to spend on something new. See, I’m cheap.)

Anyway, it fits like a dream and is supercute, so I make my way to the register with my find. The er…sales girl? Sales Associate? Boutique Frou? The chick who rang me up was all, “OH MAH GAWD!! This is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO on sale.” Don’t get me wrong, I am a proud bargain shopper. I consider finding a cool dress on super sale to be worthy of public praise, but she was like hyperventilating. I nodded and said politely, “Yes, it’s a great price.”

And her face literally fell. I mean, it was clear that this woman did not think I was grasping the gravity of the situation at hand. “No,” she said, “I mean, like this is TOTALLY on sale. Stella Forrest is a really fancy French designer.” So important she is lavished with adjectives like, “fancy”. What was I thinking? So I nodded and smiled again, this time sharing my attention between the fashion maven behind the cash register and the much shorter one pulling at my shorts. And then there was this pause. You could even say it was a pregnant pause. And when I looked up into that woman’s eyes it hit me that she was debating not letting me have that dress. My blasé attitude had proved me unworthy. She looked downright scary.

So I faked a retail orgasm, packed up my dress and made for the door.

I wore it to the fundraiser on Thursday night and was the best dressed cheapskate in the room. Yea me.


Friday, August 04, 2006

I swear this to be true.

Tonight on the way home from the pool my daughter sang out gleefully, "The baby on the bus is intoxicated, all through the town."

Baaahahahahahaha. Heh.


Thursday, August 03, 2006

Hold You.

Have you ever felt like you just needed to take a really deep breath and exhale a bunch of bullshit? Right now I feel like if I blew out hard enough it might become visible – like an inky black cloud. Or millions of tiny black bugs rushing out of my lungs.

It sorta sucks. I mean, I’m not used to this. I guess I’m one of those blessed few who doesn’t deal with dark days very often. Maybe I’m supposed to be learning a cosmic lesson about depression or something…anyway. I’m tired of feeling like this and just haven’t yet found the right pressure valve to let it all out.

I think I soaked up someone else’s sadness. Which is fine. That was the right thing to do. The least I could do really. I would do it again. It’s just that I’m a fixer by nature. And when someone I love has a problem that I can’t help fix…well, inky black cloud.

I could do without the insomnia however.

Two year olds are such intuitive little creatures. Aren’t they? Since all this began about a week ago, mine has hardly left my side. And in that way that she has, where she can be maddeningly clingy and at the same time the only calming force in my life, she has been begging me to pick her up and carry her around all the time. But what she says with little arms outstretched is, “Mamma, hold you.”

And I reply, “Yeah Baby. I would love for you to hold me right now.”