What did those kids do to that nice lady?

Friday, November 20, 2015

Fight Club

You know that rare opportunity when you have just one of your Children (or maybe just two…or three; however many you have divided by how many less make you more of a sane person. Work with me)…and you’re all…oh…I really miss The Other Kid. Which is sweet and most likely true. But if you’re anything like me, that sweet little thought of missing The Other Kid is immediately followed with:  Why is it so quiet? Why am I so relaxed? Did I just laugh? WHAT’S HAPPENING TO ME? And then it hits you:


Nobody is fighting! No.Fighting. OhMyGodHallelujah! There is no fighting.  There is no fighting!  HOT DAMN! HOLY SHIT! THERE IS NO FIGHTING!!  THIS JOY MUST BE SPREAD!  TELL EVERYONE! GO! GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN!  SHOUT IT FROM THE HEAVENS! THE WORLD NEEDS TO KNOW! QUICK BEFORE THIS ENDS! MY MESSAGE OF PEACE MUST BE SPREAD!  (I think a tear just escaped from my duct recounting such joy.)

I’m pretty sure the equivalent to no fighting in the house has to be flying. Like a bird. I literally feel like I could soar across the sky shouting the news down to the Good Parents of The Earth. And while I’m up there flying over your homes, I will have magic fairy dust to sprinkle over the land that turns all Children into peaceful, loving creatures who speak in hushed tones together and put their laundry away without being asked 67 times all while saying please and thank you and oh my gosh, this dinner again? How did you know I loved chicken so much, Mother? Thank you, Mother. Not only are you beautiful and kind, you have oh so many ways of turning chicken into a wholesome, delicious meal for us. Why don’t you sit down while we do the dishes? Oh and here-don’t forget your wine. Oh look, here’s Ben Affleck circa ‘ The Town’  to rub your feet…..


Sometimes a fantasy takes over and you just go with it.

But seriously, nothing makes me feel like a failed parent quite like the unrelenting, unending, steadfast fighting that goes on between The Children. Sometimes it is fun and games. Sometimes it is not. All times it is annoying. I have a lot of brothers and sisters and we would also fight on a regular basis and I think to my now Grown Ass Mom Self-where was my mom while we were beating the shit out of each other? Was she crying in the bathroom like I do? Was she at work?  Was she some kind of super hero who’s power was the ability to just…ignore us? Or wait. I know what she did. She told us to go outside and not come back until dinner. Then she locked the door. You could do during the 80’s in Iowa. One of it’s many charms. 

Seeing as I have a close relationship with all my siblings, I do have hope that one day Son’s perpetual habit of sticking his foot out to trip his Sister will be seen as a sign of love, not just an opportunity to hear her cry and then scream at him WHY DID YOU DO THAT in that special shrill voice reserved for Dramatic 6 Year Old Girls, then lunge at him and have a wrestling match commence which will result in someone crying (me) and yelling WHY CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?

But that day is not today.

But I think it will be eventually.  I mean, I still love my brother today even though his favorite thing was to do was to hold me down and fart on my head. And if I can overcome that…well, then…anything is possible. Perhaps even flying.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Good Stuff

It’s dark. It’s chaotic. You are surrounded by Sugar-Crazed Maniacs and glossy solo cups. Every few feet, a familiar face appears and the small talk must be UNBEARABLE to said Sugar-Crazed Maniacs because, after all, there are countless lit-up houses waiting to unload their sugar stash to eager, small hands and sweet-toothed parents, eyeing the good stuff. Young eyes grow big at the mounting pile of lollipops, licorice and peanut butter cups and, feeling overwhelmed by darkened chaos, you look at the time and realize it’s only been a paltry 45 minutes since the first “trick or treat” left the lips of the Children. The urge to encourage your little ones to start making their way home is overwhelming; after all-they have more candy than they will ever possibly consume and also-that glossy solo cup is feeling light. And it’s not just home and then to bed. No, no, no. There will be the ritual dumping of candy and trading and fighting over who gets what followed by the desire of The Children to sit on the porch and pass out treats to Oddly Older Teenagers still out and about because it’s almost as much fun to pass out the candy as it is to collect the candy and the prospect of a quiet house after a big night feels hours and hours and hours away….

But somewhere along the path of darkened chaos, it is The Children who are bumping into familiar faces. Friends and neighbors alike, they run off in packs, promising to stay together, to be right back. And they do. And they are. A glossy solo cup is suddenly feeling a bit heavier, thanks to a friendly neighbor with a bottle to share and a wall to lean against. As your eyes dart back and forth, trusting-but verifying-The Children’s presence, the time doesn’t seem to matter so much anymore for the magic of Childhood is wildly in play right before your very eyes. Will it be this Halloween they remember so poignantly as they grow older? Maybe it will be this moment, this very one, that they look back on and smile about in some 20, 30, 50 years. It certainly isn’t going to be the candy they remember the most fondly. It will be this. It will be a dark night with friends swirling all around them, feeling free and happy. It will be the rebellious fun of staying up way too late as your parents tell you, Sure. We can stay out later. Grab a friend. Let’s walk together. After all….look at all these lit up houses just waiting for you and your small, eager hands. We’ve still got a few trick or treats left in us. 

Hope they’re giving out the good stuff.