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Slow and steady

Otto never tires of telling people the joke about how it was an easy decision for us to have a small, family-only wedding ceremony without all of the traditional hoopla. “We’ve both already been to the wedding where she wore the big white dress,” he’ll deadpan, then sit back and wait for that to sink in.

In a few more months, Otto and will have known each other for 23 years.

Today, we’ve been married for 5 of them. [Aside: OH MY GOD look how tiny the children were!!] Just 5 years; our marriage is only embarking on kindergarten, and in some ways I’m still holding its hand to cross the street, tucking it in at night, and trying to convince it that there are no monsters hiding in the closet.

Make no mistake: for me, our marriage definitely fears there’s a big hairy beast either in the closet or under the bed, just waiting to pounce. Except in this case the hairy beast is “One day Otto wakes up and realizes it’s maybe not supposed to be this hard, this much of a slog, this kind of endless grind,” and then he tells me that he can’t do it anymore. (more…)

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Measured in metric awesome

Our long national nightmare known as the prolonged agony of Science Fair has come to a close for the year.

Not that I’m not a fan of Science Fair. I think it’s great. I just think it’s LONG. From the time the kids start their projects in… I think it’s October?… until the final fair at the end of March is just… a lot of time for a type-A nerdling to worry about her project. Not that I’m naming any names. Not that there was a child threatening to head to the exhibit hall WITH HER PUKE BUCKET if she was still sick, or anything. AHEM.

So you may remember that the Regional Fair was a real nail-biter this year, but ultimately Chickie took home the big prize, and all was well. I figured this would give her some confidence, heading into the State Fair, but that’s only because I forgot who I was dealing with. Because every new level of the Fair is an opportunity to FREAK OUT! (more…)

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It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Supernerd!

The last few days have kind of beaten me down, which you wouldn’t think would be possible, given that I keep (stupidly) thinking to myself, “Well, it’s not like things can get any WORSE.” HAHAHAHA. HA.

Chickadee just scored herself a sports medicine doc and some regular physical therapy, possibly because someone realized there was a doctor we hadn’t seen/needed yet. But I have to say I do like the concrete nature of this particular problem. (“You have iliotibial band syndrome and that is fixed via rest, ice, anti-inflammatories, and physical therapy.” It’s such a nice change from “We don’t really know what’s wrong with you exactly or if this will help.” Refreshing, really.)

And of course in the midst of this, she was gearing up for the final Reading Bowl competition today—State Championship, a.k.a. the end of the line in this particular event, or Bookworm Nirvana—and for some reason really not appreciating my jokes about how it was a good thing Reading Bowl doesn’t require a lot of running. (Whatever. I thought I was hilarious.) (more…)

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This weekend (not about feelings)

“Journaling is stupid,” Chickadee said to me last night, out of nowhere, as we were driving to pick up pizza for dinner.

I blinked at her. “Ummm,” I said, helpfully. “Don’t you have a diary you write in?”

“Yes, but that’s just it. It’s dumb. People keep telling me it’ll help to WRITE ABOUT MY FEELINGS and you know what? It doesn’t. It’s stupid. It just makes me dwell on the stuff I shouldn’t and I never feel better, after.”

“I feel better when I write about stuff,” I offered. Because it’s true. “But… maybe you’re just more of an action-item type. Maybe instead of writing about how you feel, you’d do better writing about what you want, or making a list of the very worst things that could happen, so you could see things are actually sort of okay.”

“No,” she said, resolute in her conviction, “I like to write. I love to write—stories and stuff. But when I try to write about me it either ends up being ‘Today I did this and this and this’ which is totally boring, or it’s ‘Today I hate everyone’ which is, you know, not really useful.” (more…)

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Worth it

I’ve been to hours of rehearsals and have missed hours of rehearsals. I’ve driven to rehearsal and wiped tears off my cheeks the whole way there because it was my only time alone to vent the frustration and sadness I was feeling over my oldest being sick and scared and beyond the fixing I used to be able to do with band-aids and boo-boo kisses.

I’ve laid awake at night while Otto gently snored next to me, my prayers for strength and patience and grace all tangled up with mental repetitions of my lines for the show—lines I could’ve easily learned in an afternoon back when I was in college, but which now eluded me or got twisted up on my tongue as my older, slower brain darted from one worry to the next. I stared at the ceiling in the dark and hoped I wouldn’t make a fool of myself; hoped I hadn’t made the wrong choice, staying with the show, even in the midst of everything else.

I apologized to my girl for leaving her so much, especially this last week. “I would’ve been mad at you if you dropped out,” she said, simply. “It’s okay. I’m glad you’re doing it.” (more…)

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Actually, right now it’s delighted

So remember how I was all “Grrrrr, people make me mad and we need more girl power in the world!” and so I was going to go audition for The Vagina Monologues basically because my daughter asked me to? And then I didn’t say anything else about it and several of you emailed me and were all “Oh hey, whatever happened with that?” And I sort of did the email equivalent of “Hmmm, yeah, I dunno, OH LOOK, SOMETHING SHINY!” and didn’t really tell you?

I was waiting, see.

The audition itself was quite brief—surprisingly so, I thought—and I was left wondering if I was so awful they cut me off to save themselves or if I was so awesome that they decided to cast me on the spot and no further reading was necessary. (I have NO IDEA where my son gets that whole black/white assessment of the world from. Curious.) I went away and agonized for a few days, then later got a general “welcome to the cast, more info to follow” email.

More info arrived this evening. I read for the Angry Vagina monologue and that’s what I got! Apparently I am totally believable as cranky genitalia. I choose to take this as a compliment.

[Related: HOLY SHIT I haven’t acted in two decades and I thought a good way to reacquaint myself with the stage would be to get up in front of a bunch of people and bitch about tampons and pap smears?! Of course I did.]

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Just a busy Sunday

So my to-do list for today is about six miles long; I got up early (which I almost never do on Sunday, because sleeping late is easily in my top 5 favorite activities) and did some work and picked up the house a little and went out for groceries and was back before I’m usually even awake on the weekend.

The plan was to have a couple of families from Monkey’s new school come over to swim, so everyone could meet everyone else and the boys could play and—hopefully—Monkey would not refuse to get in the car when carpool time came.

So I baked some muffins (when in doubt: bake) and made some iced tea and threw some lemonade pouches in the fridge for the kids. I put on my swimsuit and slathered Monkey in sunblock and truthfully, I was nervous, and also thinking about all of the other things I needed to be doing, or would have to rush to do after our guests left. (more…)

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Hip hip, hippie-hoo-ray!

“I want to study chemistry,” he said. “Do you do that here?”

“Sure,” she said. “If you come here, you get to choose a lot of what you do. What do you like about chemistry?”

“I don’t really know, yet, I just think it would be neat.” He was playing with Legos in the middle of the floor, happily chatting, a far cry from his refusal to look at the new parapro the day before.

“Well, you can maybe choose that for some independent study, or when it’s time to do a group project you can pitch that to the other students and see if other people want to do it, too.” For the past half hour she had gamely jumped from topic to topic along with him, unperturbed by his non-sequitors and occasional lack of manners.

“I want to learn how to blow things up!” he said, sweeping his arms wide. As I barked his name and dropped my face into my hands, he laughed. “Just kidding!” he added. (more…)

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Lucky 13, in a milestone way

Monkey claims that 13 is his lucky number, in large part, because it’s mine. He still thinks I’m cool; he still wants to like what I like and do as I do.

You, on the other hand, suffer under no such delusions. If I say it’s black, you are all but legally obligated to say that it’s white. If I dance to a song, you roll your eyes and make a mental note of the song’s now inherent uncoolness. If I remind you to thank me for something, you deadpan, “Thank you so much, Mom, you’re are quite simply the very greatest,” and don’t even crack a smile until I start laughing.

But you also curl up with me on the couch to watch television; plunk yourself down in my lap as if you were still a preschooler instead of just a few inches shorter than I am; demand I join you in jazz hands or link arms and skip with you; and rest your head on my shoulder and catch your breath when you’re trying not to cry. Because I am yours and you are mine, and today you are a teenager, even though you’re still my baby. (more…)

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Special Guest Post: It’s Mir’s Dad!

You asked (over on Facebook) for the famous Mir’s Dad to come and write so, while my lovely bride (oh, hey – this is Otto tapping at you now) is off getting lovelier, he was ordered to hunt and peck his way through writer’s block (hard, when you’re an architect by trade and nature, to problem solve in your kid’s realm) and create the following missive.

So, some rules:

  • We love Mir’s dad. He’s awesome. You must agree to this before clicking through to his post.
  • No nasty comments or he’ll leave mean ones on your blog.
  • The chances of him registering “mirsdad.com” are pretty slim, but you can ask.
  • He has kids already and, while he’s sure you’re a perfectly nice person, probably won’t adopt you. Sorry.

That’s it, click on through to read …
(more…)

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