The Other Shoe

First off, THANK YOU for the comments on my last post… I so appreciate knowing that ya’ll didn’t think I was crazy for my reaction to the Popped Pool Toy situation. In fact, I felt so good after reading all of those that I was able to quit thinking about the whole situation altogether! So thank you, thank you.

Now on to something much less controversial, and, in my opinion, a much bigger thing to think about. I’m pretty much an optimist, first and foremost. I think about the worst thing that could happen, as many people probably do, but I don’t sit around waiting for the other shoe to drop. When things are good, I try to feel lucky and not dwell on the negatives, though I’m certainly guilty of that more than I’d like.

I’m not sure how many of you follow Jennifer Perillo on Twitter or via her blog, but she unexpectedly lost her husband last week. With no warning, she not only lost the love of her life but also the father of her two daughters. One Sunday morning, she woke up with her family intact, and when she went to bed that night, her family was changed forever.

I’m married to the love of my life, and I have two daughters. I haven’t stopped thinking about Jennifer, and though I don’t know her personally, I suspect she’ll be on my mind and in my prayers often and for a long time to come.

And then today, my mom called. Her cousin, the father of two middle-school aged daughters whom my daughters ADORE, had a completely unexpected heart attack and died yesterday. His wife is now a widow. His daughters have lost their daddy. He won’t see them graduate high school, go to college, get married, have children. He and his wife won’t grow old together. They lost him. LOST him. I can’t wrap my mind around it.

So, for Jennifer and for my cousins, I’m going to remember that the little things, the bothersome things, the daily annoyances pale in comparison to the fact that I HAVE my loves. I’m going to try to remember this often, and regularly, and be thankful.

Jennifer, my condolences for your terrible loss. I’ll be thinking of you and of Mikey and your beautiful girls, with much love.


There’s a Reason I Only Have Two

Given that it’s still so hot, we pretty much make it to a pool every day. We’re lucky to have lots of free city pools, and when I’m by myself I almost always end up taking the girls to one of the shallower wading pools. I can sit and cool off, and it’s shallow enough that the girls can fling themselves around and can still stand up on their own. I don’t usually take them to regular pools by myself because there’s a lot of “Mama! Watch THIS!” and sometimes I’m not fast enough to get there to stop one or both of the girls from doing themselves bodily harm. Adele has a slightly chipped front tooth which resulted from this very situation, so I usually just stick to the little pools. In any case, though, we were meeting another adult yesterday for a swim, so we went to a big pool. Extra adult eyes FTW!

At the big pool, there were a few other parents with kids; one was a mom with four children. Four children is fine! Four children is lovely! Four children is too many for one person to watch easily IN A POOL.

We showed up with our little inflatable monkey inner tube, which Adele likes to use even though she’s pretty comfortable swimming on her own or being held by an adult in the water. We brought it in the pool with us at first, but then just left it on the side as she didn’t feel like using it at that moment. An older boy of about 8, the oldest of the four aforementioned kids, came along an grabbed it to play with it. I have NO problem with this; whenever we bring toys to the pool, other people wind up playing with them, and it’s totally fine. If we’re leaving, I ask for them back and it’s no big deal. Sharing! It’s a good thing!

So this boy was being pretty rough with the monkey and I asked him to please be careful with it, since it’s really for babies and not really meant for older kids. His mom was within earshot, but said nothing; I wasn’t being rude, just matter-of-fact. Side note: I REALLY don’t like disciplining other people’s kids. Like, EVER.

He calmed down a little, but then I saw him sitting on it again and submerging it a few minutes later; Adele saw him too and asked for me to get it back, so I did. (Politely.) May I also make note of the fact that he’s said nothing to me during all of this? Not an “ok, I’ll be careful” or anything along those lines. No big deal, but worth noting.

She used it for a few minutes and was finished with it, so I put it back on the side of the pool and the boy’s little sister (maybe 2 years old?) grabbed it. Again, TOTALLY FINE until he came back up, grabbed it from her and started jumping in to the pool while sitting on it. Again, mom is within earshot; she can see he grabbed it away from his sister (who is now wailing) and has done nothing. I go up, politely let him know that his sister was using it, that it’s REALLY FOR LITTLE BABIES, and I put it under our swim bag, up on the deck away from the pool. We go back to swimming.

Then the little sister sees it, takes it from under our bag and puts it on. Again, FINE. I’m really just trying to keep it from her brother at this point. He runs up to grab it from her, yanks it off her body and POPS IT. Adele sees and starts shrieking because hello, she is TWO and it’s HER TOY.

The mom (finally) comes over and says “Oh, did they pop your toy?” I say yes, because they did, but I’m also holding Adele and trying to calm her down because she’s really upset. And the mom says “Did they apologize to you?”

OKAY. Here is where I need input. Had it been me, I would have had the child apologize to Adele. And probably to me, since I had already tried to keep the toy from him SEVERAL times without input from his mother. The mother, however, did not do this. I said that they had not apologized (really, it was just the boy who needed to) and she… did not do anything. She did not reprimand him other than to say “that really wasn’t nice” and people? SHE did not apologize to me or to Adele.

This is something, as a parent, that I do. If my child is behaving in a manner that justifies apology, I apologize FOR them. I then handle it with my child on my own, after having my child ALSO apologize. And, had my child broken someone else’s toy, I would certainly have offered to pay for it. (That’s really not at all the issue, though… it’s more the principle of the thing in this situation.)

I was really irritated with the whole thing, and we left not long after.

So my question is… am I wrong to be irritated? Should I just write it off? It takes a lot to get me hot under the collar, but for some reason I’m still annoyed when I think about this.

Thirty Three

As of Saturday last, I am thirty-three years old. (Side note: I’m not suddenly British, what with the order of that sentence. I would normally say “last Saturday” but I am feeling fancy, what with being THIRTY THREE and all.) Thirty three, in case you were wondering, feels an awful lot like thirty-two. I suspect that at thirty-five I’ll have some sort of seismic shift wherein my face will proclaim to the world “I feel MIDDLE AGED!” but so far I’m not there. I’m also discovering that the older I get, the less willing I would be to go back and relive the previous decade again. For example, when I was twenty-three, I was living in a New York city fourth floor walkup apartment that contained a bathroom with no sink. I… enjoy that my current bathroom has a sink. I wish it was a LARGER bathroom, as it is roughly the size of 3 bathmats stitched together, but hey, it has a sink, and I like to brush my teeth. Hoorah for sinks!

So. Thirty-three. Or, 33, because I’m getting ever closer to 34 as I type out “thirty-three” since it’s taking forever.

I’d like to accomplish a few things this year. This is no Mighty Branded Lifely Type List, but I’m starting a new year, dammit, and I am going to stop biting my nails if it KILLS ME SO HELP ME. I’m not the kind of biter who nibbles fingernails down to the quick… I do find that to be pretty gross, and that’s not my issue. No, my issue is nerves. I nibble out of habit, or stress, or during scary movies or TV shows that make me uncomfortable. This is why I cannot watch reality TV. Toddler and Tiaras? My fingers would be shredded to NUBS, I tell you.

Also, I’m going to improve my posture. (I know. Pass the Dentugrip.) I feel like I would FEEL taller if I stood up and didn’t stoop or hunch or slump, as I am wont to do. I’m slumping right now, in fact! As I type! Must stop this.

And now, for the Internet resolution.

The internet, people, is a great place, but I fear it’s taking over. There’s blogging. Twitter. Facebook. Google+. Pinterest. Spotify. Goodreads. So on. Et cetera. Add in any others you might wish to.

Not everyone needs or wants to know what I’m up to in every arena of my life. In fact, my internet life is fairly separate from my actual life in that I only have a few friends who read here. I have lots of friends who check in over at Style Lush (and you should too because it’s fabulous) but for the most part, the internet and real life don’t seem to overlap too often. Also, I think that the tendency to “check in” with the internet in case we missed something is becoming a phenomenon as well. I don’t want my kids to think that I live life with my phone in front of my face, but I KNOW that there are some days when that happens, for whatever reason. (Usually that reason involves lots of whining, and not by me.) So, an achievable balance with the internet is a third thing I’d like to do in this, my 33rd year. (See? British again.)

Since I’ve established that this year will include posture (good), biting (bad) and internet balance (achievable), I think it can happen. Now! Let us speak no more of the internet ON the internet, because if a tree falls on the internet and no one’s around to write about it on Twitter… WELL. You know.

Let’s talk about the weather instead! Everyone loves that! Seriously, I’ve never wanted to leave Texas so much during my time here. It is supremely boiling hot outside. I am, actually and literally, going to try to fry an egg on the sidewalk tomorrow, because I want to see what will happen. It is so, so hot, y’all. As in, over 105 degrees for more than 28 consecutive days hot.

Part 2 of our road trip involved a stop in North Carolina. I grew up going to summer camp in North Carolina, and I love it so much I can’t even put it in to words. A lot of my love for the state comes from the fact that I loved summer camp so much (LOVED IT. Even now I can sing you songs, should you desire. Look out, Blathering attendees!) but MAN, is that state beautiful. And green! Because it rains there! We have no such moisture here. We just sit around roasting in our own juices and complaining about the heat. The cold water runs tepid from the taps; I haven’t done a load of warm water laundry in weeks because why fire up the ol’ hot water heater when ALL THE WATER IS HOT ALREADY?

Anyway, North Carolina. I want to move there. And look at my camp!

We got to wander around a little, since it was rest time and we weren’t scaring any unsuspecting campers, and it was just the best thing in the world to be able to show Casey and my girls a place that means so much to me.

And Adele is totally considering jumping off that diving board.

In any case, it is cool there, and green, and rains regularly, and BY GOLLY if I can get Casey on board with this, we’re out of here. I cannot take it anymore. So if you’ve ever felt the urge to come visit Austin, come soon and you can stay with us. After that, you’re on your own.

Also, and apropos of nothing, is 33 too old for a nose piercing? Because I kind of really want one.