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Will swap sourdough for bubble wrap

So much has happened since I was last here!

Hahahahaaaaaaaa. Just a little bit of shelter-in-place humor for you. I’M HILARIOUS.

Actually, a few things have happened. First of all, our moron governor decided that certain businesses could open back up again. This is measured and sensible, yes? Of course! But then you find out that these essential businesses of which he speaks are… salons, nail places, and bowling alleys. And even if you don’t live in Georgia, you’ve heard about this, because we’re now The State That Spawned a Hundred Memes, starting with a few dozen riffs on how it’s time to go get your nails did and hit the bowling alley. Needless to say, we are still sheltering in place, because 1) I couldn’t tell you the last time we went bowling, 2) everyone here who wants a haircut can get one from me, 3) no one here goes to nail salons, and 4) evidently the governor is trying to strategically kill off low-wage workers (or at least get them off the unemployment roll) but we’d prefer not to get sick, thanks.

Nope, we’re still at home, still doing a once-every-two-weeks coordinated grocery shop which involves wiping everything down with bleach before it gets put away, still bored out of our minds, still glad to be safe and healthy and fed but wondering if it will ever be safe to venture out again. (more…)

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1, 2, 3, 4, I declare a worm war

I think I mentioned that Chickadee moved back home with allllll her stuff, and the idea is that she’s taking this semester she should’ve still been in school to kind of decompress and tend to her health (HAAAAAAAHAHAHAHA because 20-somethings are notorious for taking good care of themselves, amirite?) and figure out what’s next, and then around May or maybe before (she said, trying not to sound too eager), she’ll move back out to another apartment, taking all of this stuff with her. We’d cleaned out the attic, some, but let’s just say that organization is not my darling daughter’s strong suit, and as a result, her entire bedroom is filled with various boxes and bins and her closet is a hazard zone and she regularly has to go into the attic for something we stored which she needs, etc.

This is all fine, by the way. First world problems, for sure. It will all get sorted. Eventually.

Approximately once a day when I’m feeling content and loving, I offer to help her go through her stacks and piles and get organized, and every time she tells me “later” or “tomorrow” or “not yet.” (Conversely, approximately three times a day when she’s driving me nuts, I ask when she’s moving out.) And so here we are, nearly two months after graduation, and everything is still a huge mess and I don’t know about you, but I am TOTALLY SHOCKED by this state of affairs. (more…)

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Tales from the un-emptied nest

It’s a weird thing, having everyone back at home again. And not just because I will periodically look around and yell “Who ARE all you people? Don’t you have adult lives to pursue elsewhere??” There’s some driveway Jenga to be done with everyone’s cars here. There are more dishes (OMG SO MANY DISHES) lying around. It’s both louder (at times) and quieter (at times; turns out that young adults like to nap an awful lot) than I expected. The dogs are delighted. Otto is… resigned, I’d say. And once again I’ve taken out the step basket that lives on the stairs so that I can toss things into it which belong up in the kids’ rooms so that they can… ignore those items on their way up the stairs. Old habits die hard, it seems.

I am learning to let things go, though. For example, there was a time when I would’ve lovingly prepared a dinner acceptable to everyone in the house (harder than it might sound, with three picky eaters and various dietary restrictions) and then gotten my feelings hurt if it wasn’t consumed and appreciated by everyone as planned. Last night I made one of our family favorites and… Otto ended up coming home very late, Monkey went and ate at a friend’s house, and Chickadee “napped” and then went to bed for the night. You know what? No biggie. The leftovers are in the fridge. Someone will eat them. Eventually. Maybe I’ll slip them under someone’s pillow. (New more-mature me still has some odd fantasies, but whatever.) (more…)

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In further weird news

First: Thank you all for the kind responses to my last post. It warms my cold, dead heart to know there are so many folks out there who were, in a way, walking along with me for so many years while we ushered my oldest through All The Scary Things all the way to (theoretical) adulthood. It’s lovely to have a virtual army on call. (One especially generous longtime reader—and I am not suggesting anyone should feel they should do the same, or that it wasn’t a huge surprise—actually contacted me about getting an incredible gift to Chickie. While the gift itself is awesome and much appreciated no matter how much the giver tried to minimize it, the inclination and thought is what left me on the verge of grateful tears. You people are just the NICEST, and that’s all there is to it.)

Second: As of this morning, I am no longer the mother of teenagers. This is, if possible, even weirder than Chickadee graduating from college. But here we are! If you ask me now how old my children are, I will pause, suffer a small coronary, and tell you the truth: 20 and 21. Mah BAYYYBEEE is 20, and no amount of incredulity will turn back the clock. (more…)

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Would you believe

Would you believe that my first entry here on ye olde blog was written when my oldest was six years old, tiny and sassy and chirpy and endlessly chatty, and on Saturday that little bird of a girl graduated from college, tall and lovely and grown and measured and oh, lord (this is no time for humility, right?), loaded down with cords and medals and other symbols of how she rocked the last three and a half years like the utter boss she is?

Would you believe that for years I prayed every day, multiple times a day, that she would just make it through one more day, please, God, I don’t know if I even believe in you but IF YOU EXIST or if there is some sort of overarching protective force in the universe, whatever it is or you are, please, please please please, just keep her safe and whole for one more day so we can get closer to figuring out what she needs and how to help her?

Would you believe that Saturday felt like a dream and a miracle, and that watching her friends and her professors swarm around her with the same pride and exhilaration Otto and I were feeling made it somehow both more and less real, and that for the first time in a very long time, I believed down to my bones that she really is going to be okay—better than okay, even—and that while I will always worry, it’s a Normal Worry or no longer a Panicked Dread Worry? (more…)

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Mama Grizzly mode, activated

I wanted to share a picture of Chickadee’s shoes on her first day of the semester, because for those of you who’ve stuck around for a long time, shoe pictures and the first day of school are a tradition ’round here, and this would’ve been a very significant picture, because… it will be the last one (at least for a good long while, anyway). Because—I hope you’re sitting down, people who started reading here when my darling Chickie-pie was 6 years old and sassy beyond her years—my once tiny and chirpy firstborn is graduating from college in just a few months. Graduating. From. College.

It’s okay, take a minute. I know I need to, every single time I say it out loud.

Anyway, that was… a month ago, and it never happened, because first she was all “Why?” and “You’re the worst” and “Fine, LATER” and then eventually when she texted me a picture she also told me I had to edit it before I could use it. You see, she was wearing booties and a pair of cropped pants and you could see a few specks of rash (remember The Rash Chronicles? GOOD TIMES THAT NEVER END) between the two and eventually I just gave up and never posted the picture. But trust me, she’s adorable. Except I have begged her to throw those shoes away multiple times because they’re falling apart, and I even bought her a replacement pair, which is sitting in her room upstairs here instead of in her apartment, so I guess that’s why she’s not wearing them. Whatever. Now it’s mid-September and no one cares about my kid’s shoes, I know. Which is fine, because that’s not even what I want to tell you about. (more…)

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And then we went on vacation

You may or may not recall that every few years my father and stepmother gather up their collective children and grandchildren and take us all somewhere to sit around eating ourselves silly and telling embarrassing stories about the past. It’s magical. My little nuclear family missed the last trip (which was three years ago) for Reasons and so this is our first time all together in five years. In preparation I went back and read my posts from the very first trip, which was a cruise, so it was fresh in my mind that when the cousins first met, Gerber had just turned one, Banana was a painfully shy preschooler, Chickadee was in middle school, and Monkey was—though we didn’t know it at the time—ten and about to have a really tough year. (And if you’ve been reading here forever, allow me to blow your mind by pointing out that now when we sit around and play cards at night, Chickadee drinks with us—legally!—and Monkey had to request time off from work and also trim his beard before we left. Yeah.) So when we arrived this time, Banana remembered us but is now a nearly-13-year-old gazelle who is entirely unaware of how beautiful she is and huffs and rolls her eyes at everything her mother dares to say or do, and Gerber is now the age Monkey was on the first trip, tall and enthusiastic and impish and remembering us not at all. I told Gerber that the first time we met, he wasn’t even walking yet and Chickie carried him all over the cruise ship with a pocket full of Cheerios, popping them into his mouth whenever he got fussy, and his eyes got big and he laughed and laughed.

All of this is to say: It is a Very Good Thing we’re doing this now, because I think I didn’t even know how much I needed it. (more…)

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This post is covered in pollen

Hello! Sorry it’s been so long. In my defense, I was busy dying. I mean, OKAY, not DYING dying, just dying a little bit. Dying in the “dear God, I have woken up with a massive headache every day this week” and the “do I have a cold? a sinus infection? BUBONIC PLAGUE IN MY NOSE??” sense, which is to say: it’s springtime in the south! The whole world is covered in a grainy yellow coating, my eyes are itchy, etc. Everyone is making the same joke about how meth dealers are trying to turn their product back into Sudafed, and we all laugh every single time, because what else can you do?

Well, I guess you can wash your car a couple of times and switch allergy meds. I mean, that’s what I did. Not telling YOU what to do, of course, but I seem to have lived. So far.

Before I dive into all the RIVETING new news (yes, truly, my life is a wonderland of excitement, I know), I did want to follow up on a few previous items just in case anyone cares. And even if you don’t! Don’t like it? Fine. Go sit on the porch until you’re covered in pollen. (Don’t worry, you’ll only be out there about 10 minutes, I promise.) (more…)

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Our healthcare dollars at work

Before I begin, let me just say 1) I didn’t mean to leave you hanging on that last post, I swear, and 2) THANK YOU for all the nice comments and emails. February/March (Farch, as one commenter called it, which I shall use forevermore) is hard on a lot of us, huh? I’m really glad it’s almost April. Also I am (finally) feeling somewhat better, so do not fret.

But that is not why I am here today. OH HO HO HO, no. I am here today to tell you the story of why for-profit health insurance companies do not work and why when politicians start wringing their hands about how EXPENSIVE universal healthcare will be, I have vivid fantasies of setting living, breathing humans on fire. Also—in case you don’t live in Georgia or follow the news—I find it beyond ironic (like, we need a new word that means mega-ironic, please) that the state legislature here has just passed a so-called “heartbeat bill” aimed at criminalizing all abortion, because they care so damn much about LIFE, but in the meantime, everything I’m about to tell you is just fine and dandy by them because it’s not pertaining to a fetus, just my 20-year-old daughter.

Related: My favorite thing about me is how calm and collected and not at all hyberbole-prone I am in the face of dumbfuckery. (more…)

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You’re gonna be so sorry you asked

Hey, Mir, how’s your week been?

OH WELL I HOPE YOU HAVE SOME TIME TO SPEND! Pull up a chair! Grab a cup of tea, and maybe a few benzodiazepines. Whatever.

Let’s start last Saturday, because why not? Monkey has had a cold which has morphed into a sinus infection, and Otto has remained healthy because 1) Otto never gets sick and 2) Otto is rarely actually home, and I spent most of my spare time since the first sniffle washing my hands every ten seconds. Because I would NOT get sick, damnit! I have no time! And this time, I would escape it! So:

SATURDAY
Otto and I puttered around the house for a while, and then headed out to run various errands. I enjoy forcing Otto to do things like go to the supermarket with me, because then we can engage in romantic activities like arguing over what kind of lettuce to buy. It’s an exercise in resilience. We hit the drug store, big box home improvement store, two different grocery stores, and concluded our fascinating afternoon with actual plans for me to cook an Actual Planned Meal™ the next night, so that was my reward for standing my ground about the unacceptability of Iceberg. Also, we picked up a giant take-n-bake pizza so that Otto and Monkey could have an easy meal after I headed out to work at the theater that night. (more…)

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