Life has been uneventful here, of late. Yep. Nothing’s happening. Booooring. In the last month:
1) I got laid off.
2) School ended, and I now have a senior and a junior and SHUT YOUR MOUTH I DO NOT.
3) Chickadee got a job.
4) Monkey continues to insist he does NOT need to learn how to drive, despite a deadline of this week for our trip to the DMV to test for his permit.
5) We sold our camper.
6) We opened the pool and paid the children each a dollar to plunge into the cold water, as is our custom.
7) It rained a bunch and my garden is going berserk.
8) My dad and stepmom came to visit.
9) My dad and stepmom brought us the plague, which frankly was a shitty hostess gift, I have to say.
10) The dogs continue to be ridiculous and gross but we still love them.
Because I know each of these things is SUPER EXCITING, I shall elaborate. Lucky you! I’ll even spray this entire post with Lysol, because I’m still sick and I would hate to give it to you.
1) Laid off.
In the wide world of freelancing, generally the end of one job is not a huge deal because you have half-a-dozen others and it all kind of balances out. Over the last 18 months, I worked increasing hours for a really cool start-up company and eventually went on board as a regular employee, which meant I cut down on my freelancing quite a lot. I don’t regret this decision at all; I weighed the pros and cons and knew that start-up life brings no guarantees. It was a really great job while it lasted. And once it ended I looked around and went OH CRAP WHAT DO I DO NOW?? because that was a big chunk of income and time and I don’t have nearly as many irons in the fire as I used to, but after an initial period of panic I realized this is actually GREAT. I’ve been freelancing for a decade. I have been working full-time (or more) even on vacations and over holidays for ten years straight. I have enough work right now that I can coast for a little while. It’s summer. I’m learning how to relax. It might even be good for me. IMAGINE.
2) School’s out.
Both kids finished the year strong, albeit with an expected number of mini nervous breakdowns. The last month of school is ridiculously stressful for everyone. Add in the “fun” of teachers who aren’t always on board with those pesky IEPs (plan motto: NOT ACTUALLY OPTIONAL!), and I spend a lot of time being a pain in the ass to a lot of people in the name of advocacy. One teacher in particular seemed determined to carry a grudge right to the bitter end, and working that situation out was disheartening and exhausting for all involved. Everything was resolved, but trust me when I tell you we celebrated heartily when the last day was over.
3) Employed teens are the best!
Last year Chickadee applied for about a dozen (maybe more) menial jobs and didn’t so much as get an interview. I had mixed feelings at the time; I think working summers is a good idea, but I also doubted her ability to, say, sling burgers as a vegetarian. This year she started the hunt earlier, branched out in what she applied for, and ultimately landed herself a crazy good job requiring actual creative skills she possesses. She’s using her brain, making money, and learning how-to-conduct-yourself-in-an-office skills. Plus it will look awesome on her resume. It’s pretty much perfection. AND she did it all on her own—she’s come a long way, baby. (Furthermore, when we refused to order pizza for dinner last night, I suggested she do it herself as she has real money now. This was a revelation to her, and she went and conferred with her brother and then they ordered their very own pizza with their very own money. Magic!)
4) You’re not Sheldon, kid.
WHYYYYYY does my son remain convinced that he will never have to learn to drive? I do not understand. I’ve already told him we’re just getting his permit so that he has a valid form of ID and so that we’re starting that one-year “clock” that has to run down before he can test for his license. I’ve already told him that this summer we’re letting Chickadee drive so that she can test for her license before school starts, and the very earliest he’d start driving will probably be around Christmas. And still, the very mention of it sets him off. “I HAVE TO WASH MY CAT!” he declares, dancing away from wherever I am. “VERY BUSY! CAN’T DO IT!” Parenting: always weird.
5) A moment of silence, please.
After a few rounds of anticipated Craigslist hijinks, a very nice family with an entire herd of small children came to our house one day to check out Tweetie The Trailer. Otto and the dad spent about an hour walking around every inch of it while four small children roamed around our lawn and ultimately tried to fling themselves into our pool despite their mother half-heartedly encouraging them to please stop. It was… entertaining. And they came back the next day and towed the camper away, and now my husband is in mourning and I feel guilty about being somewhat relieved.
6) Dollars for dives.
If you plunge into the pool the first day it’s ready to go, you get a dollar. That’s in the bible, right? Pretty sure it is. Honestly, the water isn’t even that cold. (Not that I went in. I already have a dollar.)
7) I’m ready for tomatoes.
The only harvestable goodies from the garden so far have been green beans (and none have even made them inside; we just eat them all raw out there), but then we had a ton of rain and I have about a bajillion green tomatoes and some tiny squash and a bunch of eggplant blossoms. I don’t know why the garden is so thrilling to me EVERY SINGLE YEAR (I am easily amused?), but it is. I cannot wait for fresh veggies every day. Also the blueberries will be ripe soon, so basically everything is wonderful.
8) Yay, parentals!
So my folks had a wedding to go to in Virginia and we suckered them into driving down here, first, to stay with us for a few days beforehand. As per usual, there was a lot of food and merriment, and just a tiny built of guilt-tripping about our lack of journeying up north in the last few years. It is always wonderful to get to spend some time together. BUT…
9) … next time, leave the typhoid at home.
My dad arrived with a bad cold which he immediately gave to my stepmom, Chickie, and me. (Monkey and Otto have so far escaped it; knocking on wood.) Summer colds are the absolute WORST. My throat hurts and my face hurts and my nose won’t stop running and everything is terrible. WAAAAHHHH. I am drinking tea like it’s going out of style and looking forward to the day when I can breathe freely again.
10) Dogs are gross.
I don’t know if Licorice felt left out, what with Duncan’s myriad health issues, or what. But this morning Chickadee came downstairs and said, “Um, Licorice pooped on my floor last night.” This was an understatement. I will spare you the details. Just know that it’s a GOOD THING I’M UNDEREMPLOYED RIGHT NOW because I’ve spent a significant portion of time cleaning carpet instead of working today, and also Licorice’s new nickname is Exploding Hindquarters. (Chickie slept through the whole thing. Because of course she did.) Here’s hoping that rotten dog ate something disgusting unbeknownst to us, yesterday, and this was a one-time deal.
In conclusion: Life. You know. It just keeps going.