Aug 19 2010

And here we are, ten years later. Happy Birthday, Saint James!

santi10It hardly seems possible. It hardly seems possible that today Saint James turns ten and in a few days I turn ten times four. Always the good boy, he was born just in time to distract me from the (relative) angst of turning 30. It seems incredible that I even batted an eyelash about stepping out of my twenties into my thirties, but I suppose milestones are milestones and you feel what you feel.

Now I have a boy in double digits with long arms and legs, flopped against me on the couch with his book as I type, ready, once again, to soften the brunt of crossing into another decade. We’re having a big party to celebrate Dash and my birthdays because to turn 40 is actually a really good thing. Perhaps the last really good thing, but good nevertheless. But the real celebration, my heart’s celebration, is today, right now, for my boy. He’s requested bacon for breakfast, Chinese food for dinner, new soccer cleats and a couple of African Dwarf Frogs – such small requests when I take into account all he gives to me, day to day, every day: peace, quiet companionship, near constant physical contact, and pure, simple, unfiltered and abundant little boy love. A true blue mama’s boy and friend.

Happy Birthday, Saint James. Happy Birthday to us. May our next decade be as wondrous as this past one, and may it pass as slowly and sweetly as honey poured from a jar. I love you, buddy.

Aug 11 2010

Spicy Moroccan Tomato Soup

soupSo can we all agree it’s hot? So hot. So so so so hot. I posted a recipe for a delicious cold soup over at Simple Good and Tasty. It’s a great way to use up all those bodacious tomatoes we’re about to be rolling around in any day now. Any day now.

Aug 10 2010

And the teeth, they just keep flying.

toothIt’s funny how you can go years and years and years and never once think about the fact that as humans, we go through two entire sets of teeth. But then you have a couple of elementary school-age kids and woah, all of a sudden, it’s ALL ABOUT wiggly teeth, triumphant extractions, bloody smiles, the tooth fairy and let’s be frank, cashola.

A couple days ago Saint James lost a tooth, one of his eye teeth, when biting into a sausage sandwich. Blame it on that crusty French bread. He dutifully tucked it into the shirt pocket of the mouse on the tooth pillow and under his pillow. The Tooth Fairy managed to show up, but she’s wondering, as the number of teeth rattling around in her jewelry box increases by the day, is this just getting gross? It seems so cruel to toss them, yet, aside from their almost unbelievably teensy wheensy size, they aren’t all that attractive to keep around. And will they really want these when they are older? Like, would I want my baby teeth? I’m thinking no. And aside from throwing them out or stashing them, what else could you do? Bury them? Yikes, that has scandalous murder investigation and false imprisonment written all over it! For the love of God! Do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT bury any teeth in your backyard! I keep thinking about that service that turns your cremated loved one into a diamond, but I have no time for the size of the diamond I’d scrape out of these tiny teeth. Now if that Arkansas woman with the 17 kids saved all the teeth, she might just be able to cobble together something worth flashing around the neighborhood Walmart. And not for nothing, but once you get beyond the front teeth, they actually do get bigger. It’s starting to feel a little ritualistic, even Jeffrey Dahmerish to keep collecting all these teeth. If I was some freaky potter, I would make an abstract sculpture representing the yin and yang of motherhood and I would stud it with all the baby teeth, but, alas, I am not. What do you do with the baby teeth?

Aug 7 2010

All’s well in summerland

flowers2So, I’d say it took me until about mid-July to hit my stride this summer. It took that long to find a way to be at peace with the level of activity (high), to embrace the heat and sweatiness of summer (moderate), to figure out a way to carve out a wee bit of time on my own (low). I figured out a few things as I was racing around in the minivan or cooling my heels at the pool, just in time for hazy, lazy August.

First of all, I need to consolidate these kids next summer. Getting them each to their own separate activities is hair raising and severely taxing on my temporal and spacial reasoning skills. So next year, for one week, they’ll all be doing ONE camp in ONE place. Even if they all have to go to a My Little Pony camp at Southwest High, I will kill 3 birds with one stone if it’s the last thing I do.

I also realized I don’t always have to go somewhere. I’m an out-of-the-house kinda girl. I never ever ever ever manage to just hang at home (which, I think, goes a long way toward explaining why the syrup bottle is still on the dining room table at 5:00 in the evening.) Most of the time we’ve got somewhere to go, but just as often, the exodus, the springing forth into the world, it’s completely self imposed by the ants in the pants mother who pretends her kids have ants in their pants and that’s why she’s dragging them out of the house all the time when really, let’s be honest, she’s totally the one with the ants in her pants.

Rain is good. Rain forces us to stay put and catch our breath. It soothes our parched nerves and grass. I love rain in the summer – even if it does catch me with all my beach towels hanging out to dry (grrr).

Dinner can be bread and cheese. We have a strange air conditioning system that cools half the house – a Phantom of the Opera air conditioner, if you will (but hopefully you won’t because that is terrible. Apologies!) Fortunately the half with air includes Dash and my bedroom. Unfortunately, it doesn’t include the kitchen. And most of the time, we don’t even bother with it during the day since we’re not home, so hanging out in my steamy kitchen is not high on the list of things I like to do. I really haven’t been cooking as much as assembling meals this summer and you know what? That works just fine.

famI can’t write for shit in the summer. I just have to accept it. It’s as if my words are stuck in a big pot of warm honey and pulling them out is too messy and laborious an endeavor to attempt. I’m busy, yes, but also, I may be getting my fill of words out in the world. Catching up with our families in Michigan and Massachusetts, talking, talking, chatting with neighbors at a block party, friends at the farmers market, bored ladies at the pool, people standing with their bikes waiting for the light to change, talking, talking, talking. We are out of hibernation for a few shimmering months and there is much doing to be done. Our heavy humid air is thick with words, more than usual, and that’s enough for me right now.

Summer is flying, just like I knew it would, just as it always does. Every day, I will notice something, really notice something, in an montiboots effort to slow it down. This morning. Devil Baby. Tousled swimming pool bed hair, eyes still puffy from a heavy summer sleep, puts on her rainboots and contemplates saving her forgotten stuffed dog and blankie from the rain. I watch her realize and accept. It’s too late.

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