A friend of mine called me early this morning to tell me to look at the front page of our local paper. I found this… odd. But I did as she said, and then I understood.
My divorce attorney—whom I had hired both because he was a friend of a friend and because he seemed very genuine—is, um, well… he’s in jail. Like, actually locked up, behind bars, being held on some ridiculous sum of cash-only bail. He is charged with embezzlement of a huge chunk of money, as well as tax evasion.
Gah. I guess I should just be glad this didn’t happen a couple of years ago while he was working for me.
Of course, my friend and I discussed how it’s simply not possible that the charges are true. Surely it’s a mix-up of some kind. Surely he’ll be found innocent. Unless he’s not. Because I guess sometimes people are capable of terrible things, even when you think they’re not.
It wasn’t really the way I wanted to start my day.
So there I was, having hung up the phone and gotten back to the business of packing lunches, and I felt like there was a cartoon rain cloud over my head. The kids were regarding me with suspicion, as kids will do when they know you’re upset and you can’t explain to them why.
Suddenly I realized that I hadn’t grabbed the mail yesterday… and that there was something in the mail that would distract us all.
So I went out and looked, and… yes! There it was! “Hey guys,” I said, “come look at this, I want to show you something.”
They crowded around me as I opened the pages and creased them carefully. Monkey looked expectant, but confused. “There we go,” I said with a final smoothing of the page, “Chickadee. See anything good about this?” She scanned the page, glanced back my way, scanned the page again. “Who WROTE this article?” I prompted, trying to stay casual. Her eyes scanned the page again, then locked onto the byline. A gigantic grin accompanied a widening of her eyes.
“Mama! Monkey, LOOK! Mama, you’re FAMOUS!” I had to laugh. I hope she’s always so easily impressed. Between giggles I explained that no, I wasn’t famous, but I had been paid to write that piece and it was being read by a lot of people, now. They were both so excited, and I couldn’t stop laughing.
“Can I take it to school for show and tell? PLEASE? I want to show EVERYONE!” And then I stopped laughing and started crying, because that? That was better than seeing my name in print. Someday (probably someday SOON) I am going to be the most embarrassing person in the world, in my daughter’s eyes. But today, I’m cool. And famous.
But WAIT, there’s MORE! I’m in such a state of euphoria, you also get the following BONUS KIDISMS!
Monkey went on a field trip today to a nature reserve where they discussed (among other things) owls. We all know how thrilled I was when the dissected owl pellet came home, but here we see yet another way in which my children are very different from one another. Chickadee brings home bones. Monkey merely goes about his business, casually interjecting his newfound knowledge here and there.
As I was closing the car door for him: Wait, Mama… did you know that barn owls have three sets of eyelids? It’s true.
During dinner: This spaghetti is yummy. Owls are birds of prey, also known as predators.
After his shower: Owls eyes are stuck, you know. They have to turn their heads all the way around.
I feel quite owlriffic, now.
Before bed tonight, I caught Chickadee in a really dumb lie. I gave her every opportunity to correct it, herself, before finally pointing out that I knew she was lying and she wasn’t fooling me. She apologized (as she does) and I expressed frustration and disappointment (as I do), and I found myself demanding, “Chickadee, WHY do you lie like this? What is with you and the lying??” Usually she has no answer for me.
Tonight she sprang to reassure me. “It’s just a STAGE of LIFE, Mama.”
I tried not to let her see me laugh. I failed.
But I’m still famous, and not the sort of famous where you have to post bail. So there.