And The Winner Is. . .

ME!

Some Fine Print:  Some super kickass things happened to me this week, and I want to do this right.  This is a long one.  Grab your snacks and beverages, find your comfy spot.  You might want to take a run to the restroom before you start.  It’s OK, I’ll wait. . .

Deflection and deprecation are my default settings when given a compliment.  Today, I shall hike up my big girl panties, and say a proper thank you like a proper grown-up should.  Today I shall acknowledge the kickass head-on, give sincere, heartfelt thanks in return, and pay it forward.  Sure, there’s probably more to a proper acknowledgment of wonderfulness than the tossed salad I’ll be plating here for you, but my inner self is DYING to default and insist this is a series of errors, because come on, seriously, me?

It’s been a few weeks since I began Blogging U.  In this time, I’ve read blogs by terrific people writing on topics I never knew existed.  I get that my blog serves a fairly niche market–there aren’t a great many parents whose children were diagnosed with MD driven to launch a blog immediately after that diagnosis.  I wasn’t expecting to find others chasing quite the same thing I was after.  I wasn’t expecting to learn about the myriad topics my classmates hold extremely close and dear.  And I sure wasn’t expecting this:

The Liebster Award is a newcomer award given by bloggers to other bloggers.  It creates a great platform for new blogs to be discovered and build communications. The best thing about this award is, it creates a lot of encouragement and support within our blogging community.

liebster

 

OR THIS:

Bloggers are a cool lot.  Most people I’ve “met” in my class aren’t professional writers.  Many are like me, and just have a story to tell.  I was nominated for the Liebster Award, by Ioana, a music teacher in Romania who writes at Music Teacher Lifestyle.  Check her out!  I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by two different and lovely examples of humanity, Pointless & Prosaic and  Joanne at Beyond Mummy.  Check them out too.  Seriously you guys????   Thank you.  Thank you.  And thank you some more.  It’s true that it is an honor to be nominated.  I’d like to nominate you right back (can I do that?).

There are rules to follow upon acceptance, and I’m probably breaking them by co-mingling them here, so don’t hate on me, dear readers.  I am full up to overflowing with happy.  So here’s whatcha gotta do-

  • Thank your nominator.  (Of course!)
  • Share the award on your blog.  (Of course!  Can I wear it on a t-shirt?)
  • Answer the 10 questions asked to you for the Liebster, or state 7 things about yourself for the Versatile Blogger.
  • Ask 10 questions to 10 new nominees who have fewer than 300 followers
  • Notify them via social media

So for the Versatile Blogger Award, here are seven factoids about me.  A few of them have been recycled from a a post I developed last summer when I was feeling pretty cheeky and still ring true.

  1.  I’m ashamed to admit my iPhone is more a distraction than I’d ever have thought.  I might be one of those people.  Crushing candy is a poor excuse for a life, but its brainless distraction provides a balm for my oft-times melting mom-wife-professional brain.  Pinging off sassy text messages to a couple of friends and groups who get me is a lot of fun too!  I think I am funny in my text exchanges.  Sometimes I am.
  2. I love to travel, but don’t travel much if I have to be the travel organizer.  I’m responsible in all aspects of my personal/professional life and for pretty much everything for my family, but I don’t always want that “honor.”  I love travelling when someone else is planning.  I’d go anywhere, but the reality is that I stay pretty close to home.
  3. I will never play Bingo because the thought of yelling “bingo” is so ridiculous and horrifying that I will never even buy into the game.  Bingoers do not screw around, people, and they frighten me a little.  Maybe more than a little.  I can get up in front of an audience to talk with no problem whatsoever, but never is enough times for me to play Bingo.
  4. It was terrifying to reveal to others that I blog, and I wish more than anything I hadn’t a reason to feel I needed to get it out, write it out, work it out. Who cares about me and my tale though?  You.  What a gift.
  5. I almost never react to anything appropriately.  I over- or under-react much of the time.  French fries soggy?  WHAT?  WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS INJUSTICE?  Tornado zip through the center of my house?  Meh, we’ll figure it out. . .
  6. I joke and squawk about my Yahoos–my boys–yes, all three of them, but I love them beyond measure and would do anything to protect them.  The moment I knew I was pregnant with each of my sons, I knew they were boys.  The universe had a plan for me, and the plan was that I would not be the mother of girly-girls.  I do find fart jokes and potty humor funny, thank you very much.  I’m kind of an adolescent boy trapped in a middle-aged woman’s body humor-wise.
  7. I am ferociously loyal–to people, institutions, geographic sites, you name it.  I do believe that change is good and all, but my heart is torn when I turn the page.  Some things earn and deserve my loyalty, while others do not.  Doesn’t mean I won’t remain loyal, and loyalty is sometimes my undoing.

Here are seven new-ish or new-to-me blogs I’ve really enjoyed getting to know.  You might too–

The Road to There

It’s About Time 22

SpinningHead

Amy Morris Jones

Pointless & Prosaic

Schmaltz and Menudo

Finding Joy Again


The Liebster posed these 10 questions.  I liked them, so will ask the same of you–

  1. If you had the awesome opportunity to live anywhere else than where you are now, where would you want to live and why?  During the last year, my husband I have been (not entirely) joking about moving to Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  Hogtown is a beautiful metropolis with incredible parks and natural beauty to boot.  I would like to live in a place that values education and educators and the greater good.  Plus if Trump wins this election?  I can’t even. . .
  2. What kind of music do you like to listen to – your favourite singer/composer?  Easy one for anyone who knows me.  I live and die by the band Barenaked Ladies.  Ed Robertson writes words and melodies that make my head spin.  Kevin Hearn and Jim Creeggan are insanely talented musicians whose songwriting is honest and heartfelt, and the backbone Tyler Stewart provides beats a rhythm alongside my own heart.  On top of their talent, individually and collectively, they are each decent, kind, generous men.  I have met the band several times, and they have made ME feel like the rock star.  I love them.  BUT I do listen to lots of other genres and artists–I enjoy styles ranging from classical to swing to jazz to disco to pop.  I still get a kick from my hair bands, and their oh-so-sweet 90 MPH guitar licks too.  I don’t much care for country or hip-hop and I can’t do rap.
  3. What is your favourite blog to read? The Bloggess.  Jenny Lawson.  I so admire her. Someone once said that my writing style reminds her of hers, and I was knocked out.  Then in the next breath I was terrified that Jenny Lawson would read something I wrote (hahahahahahaha) and think I was copying her.  I’m not.  I’m my own special brand of goof.  I’m the one without taxidermy.
  4. What’s your favourite activity on a weekend?  Ummm. . .  Honestly?  My favorite part of any old weekend is the part where I don’t have to set an alarm.  I still rise with the birdies, but I don’t HAVE to, and therein lies the difference.
  5. What is you favourite book?  Jane Eyre is one of my faves.  Wonder by RJ Palacio is another; The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon still another.  I never know how to answer this.  Read Wonder, and always be kinder than is necessary.
  6. Why did you decide to blog?  My older son was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy last year. That day marked an after for me. For the first few days after the day, I could manage little more than crying.  Sitting at a computer forced me to do something else long enough to stop crying once in awhile.  It was also an easy way out–if people asked how I was or what was new, I could say, “Here, read this,” and not have to talk about it.  I write like I talk, and the format fit.  Writing has always helped me organize my thoughts.
  7. What is your favourite movie?  Not sure I have one absolute fave, but here are a few movies I can never shut off once I stumble upon them:  Singin’ In The Rain, The Princess Bride, Shrek, The Hangover (yes, really–some of the best lines are Bradley Cooper’s facial expressions and pauses–if it’s on, I am IN for at least the first fifty-four minutes), The Replacements, Sixteen Candles is 80s perfection.  I’ll think of ten more as soon as I post this.
  8. If you could give only one wise advice to a 15 year-old, what would it be?  PLEASE know that it’ll take at least another lifetime before you are wise enough to know better.  You will love your future self, trust me.  OR Don’t be a dick.  I know it says one, but they’re both really important.
  9. Who is your best friend and what are his/her biggest qualities?  My best friend, Deb, and I were new girls in Mrs. Peterson’s fourth grade class.  We were close friends and we weren’t close friends for periods, and it took til college for us to understand we were best friends.  Deb is brilliant, wise, funny, silly, unfalteringly fierce and loyal.  Our long, shared history and my deep affection for her makes her the closest thing to a sister I’ll know.
  10. How long did it take you to finish this post?  First run through, about 40 minutes.  Don’t even ask about the edits.

It’s impossible to short-list my blog loves here–so many good writers telling stories about subjects you’d never dream demand to be read.  Please keep writing, so I can keep reading!  Non-bloggers and fellow bloggers alike, read down and see who strikes your fancy.

Now you’re up:  If you choose to accept the nominations, please pay it forward.  At minimum, I guarantee you will add joy to someone’s day, and it won’t cost so much as a penny.

Not Your Average Jen

Barenaked Ladies Fans

The Psycho Mother

The Wheel World 91

Music & Words

Journal Entry 356

Diary of an Inspiration Junkie

Ameena’s Musings

Successful Strategies

Mindful Lifter

 

 

Would You Rather?

2016mw-logo

There’s probably published, peer-reviewed research about stages of grief and all that when families receive news like our son’s.  I cannot liken my son’s diagnosis to the grief that accompanies a loved one’s death, but I can say with surety that anger and depression were/are the real deal.  I never experienced denial though, not even for one minute.  As soon as my kid’s neurologist (although at that moment, he was not yet my kid’s neurologist, merely the neurologist) said he was certain my kid had muscular dystrophy, I was like, “Well, yeah.  Of course he does.  How did we not recognize this?”  I also never went through the bargaining deal.  I mean, yeah, I’d do anything to take it from him if I could, how I wish I could, but I wasn’t bargaining with anyone’s higher power about it.  Never saw the point.

I’ve not gone through prescribed stages, and not strictly grief-related, but as I read older blog posts, there has definitely been some type of progression in the way I approach the world as an MD Mom.  Coming out of the closet as an MD Mom last spring took some time.  Our family signed up for the 2015 MDA Muscle Walk, a fund raising event last April, but I was sooooooo loath to publicize it.  Acknowledging our participation meant that people would ask me why.  Why are you supporting the MDA all of the sudden, Wendy?  People did ask, and that internet invisibility cloak I referred to before, provided a comfortable (as if) vehicle to make it official.  Asking for donations for the MDA allowed me to begin conversations I never wished to have, still never want to have, on my own terms.  I reread a post I’d written last year about it, and I can physically feel my tummy butterflies, the tremor of my index finger as I hesitantly clicked publish last year.

I received an email from our local chapter’s MDA fund-raising leader Thursday reminding me that the walk was coming up.  She thanked me for getting our fundraising page up and getting some early donors already.  I wanted to puke less than I did last year, but still, pukey remains an apt descriptor for my stomach right now.  I think last year I got a huge pity push of funds.  Being a first-timer and all, friends who knew shared some intensity of grief or sadness or whatever it was I felt at that time for and/or with me.  They coughed up BIG BUCKS on my son’s and my behalf because my friends are freaking A-mazing, captial A A-mazing.  It’s not new this year, well the diagnosis still feels new for me, but it’s not the first time we’re walking, but the thought of asking for donations. . .  Ugh.

There are a million billion things I’d rather do than ask for money.  Any fundraiser my kids have had for school or baseball or when they were in Scouts?  BUY OUT!  Sure, I’m broke, but at least I avoided having to ask for financial aid.

I’d rather scrub the kitchen floor.  And I’ve been known to say that I’d rather scrub the toilet bowl with my tongue than clean the kitchen floor.  Jesus, Wendy.  I’ve been saying that for years, but seeing that analogy in writing is just gross.  I’ve even managed to gross myself out here, and my stomach is already wobbly.  Eeeeewww.

I’d rather run a 10K.  HA!  Who am I kidding?  I’ve never run a 10K in my life.  Keepin’ it real, I’d rather run a 5K than ask for money.

I’d rather sit in the second row for a Barenaked Ladies concert.  And THAT is saying something, people, because if I’ve taught you nothing, I’ve taught you that second row is NOT the front row.

I’d rather get up in front of 180 speech-language pathologists and give a one hour lecture on ethics.  I’ve done that once already, and it sucks.  There is simply no way to make an ethics presentation engaging or exciting, and I’ve already been trashed for my “cavalier” approach to it.  No one else is willing to step up and do it though, so default-setting Wendy is on call.  Still, I’d rather do this than ask for donations.

I’d rather do my taxes.  Really.  And I have been putting this off. . .

I’d rather watch a Wiggles or Teletubbies marathon.  I would!

I’d rather drink a beer.  I hate beer.  I know.  I live in Brew City, home of Laverne and Shirley and Miller and Pabst, but I cannot abide the beverage.  I want to like it, but nope.  When I was in high school and beer was the only illegal beverage any of us could score, I told friends that I was allergic to beer–you can understand that I didn’t want my friends to think I was uncool.  Really I just didn’t want to drink because beer grossed me out, plus I signed a code saying I wouldn’t, but I was a high schooler, so I lied. Apparently lying wasn’t in the athletic code.  A few days after graduation I threw back a beer, promptly vomited, and broke out in hives.  True story.

I’d rather watch Eyes Wide Shut again.  Wait.  I take that one back.  A bridge too far, y’all.

I will never find a comfort zone as it relates to soliciting for even the most worthy of causes.  The MDA is a great stinkin’ cause, friends, but I hate asking.  Hate.  I will never want to, but I will.  And I will want to throw up as I hit publish or share or tweet.  Every.  Single.  Time.

I Actually Said These Words in This Order

This morning’s installment of “Conversations I’d Previously Never Even Remotely Imagined,” alternately known as, “Sentence Constructions Never Thought Possible Until I Had Children”, began with a 7:08 AM news blast from my smirky big kid:

Big Kid:  “Hey mom,  E (little bro) came up with a name for a new baseball team, the Detroit Dildos. Hee hee hee hee hee hee.  What do you think?”

Me: “Do you have any idea what that means?” (Please read with tone of incredulity here)

Big Kid: “Uh, ummm, no, not really.”  (Less smirky now)

Me (to my little kid): “Do you know what that means?”

Little kid: “Cameron told me it had something to do with human growth and development.”

Me: (to both)  “I would suggest not using that word until you have at least passing acquaintance with its meaning.”

Little Kid (intoned as a challenge):  “Well, what do you think it means, Mom?”

And right here is where you get about two seconds, little more, to weigh every, single possible angle, point and counterpoint, truth and gradation of truth, just enough vs. too much information, and oh-shit-they’re-gonna-tell-their-friends-as-soon-as-they-hit-the-playground. . .  But you’re a parent who believes in facts over vaguery with just enough science sprinkled on top.  So you say:  “You really want to know?”

Big and Little Kid (loudly, in unison, eyes agog):  “Yeeeaaaah.”

Me:  “It’s a large, plastic or rubber replica of a penis.”

Little Kid: “What?  Who would want that?  What do you do with that?”

Me:  “Right?”  (Sometimes adding little means adding exactly enough to propel the conversation.)

Little Kid:  “I know that girls have different private parts than boys do because girls don’t have penises.”

Me:  “That is true.”

Little Kid:  “Yeah, girls also have these (waving his hand over his chest), and sometimes they’re super big, but sometimes they’re not, like yours.”

Me:  “Thanks for noticing.” (Really, my tone here was Oscar-worthy)

Little Kid:  “I know what girl private parts are called.  But I’ll get in trouble for saying it. But I won’t name my baseball team for it.”

Me:  “Solid choice there, Elvis.  You won’t get in trouble for saying it.  It’s not a naughty word, it’s a body word, it’s science, but sometimes kids feel weird talking about it, so they make stuff up and giggle a lot.”  PS–Elvis is not his real name, just a nickname.  I’m a music girl, but yeah, no.

Little Kid:  Bwaaaaaahahahahahaha

Me:  “You want to say it?”

Little Kid:  Bwaaaaaaaahahahahaha

Me:  “Are you having cold lunch today?”

I’m not quite sure this goes in the win column, but this morning’s outing sure doesn’t count as a loss either, people.  I feel like I packed in a full day’s work before I even applied mascara.  This life actually happens to me, and not infrequently.  Sometimes being the only girl in a houseful of boys is lonely, and sometimes it’s deliriously funny.  It’s almost always exhausting.  And joyful.  And heartbreaking.  And euphoric.  And perfectly imperfect.  No matter what, you keep your shit together though because you’re the only one who can–you’re the mom!

Upon further review, ending the conversation abruptly with the day’s lunch options might not have been an optimal closing, given how we started.  I would have loved to crawl back into bed, snuggle up with my goofball for either a serious mother-son talk about well-chosen, scholarly vocab choices vs. potty-talk (he doesn’t know what sex is, so I wouldn’t mess him up for life with sexual euphemisms quite yet, I mean he’s in fourth grade with a lexicon bursting with fart and burp references) or a semi-to-not-very-serious “let’s come up with other more appropriate inappropriate team names” giggle-fest.  I hear the Burlington Buttcracks have a real up-and-comer ace reliever in their bullpen.

#hindsight

Hiding Out

One of my recently assigned Blogging 101 tasks was to develop a post from a comment or feedback I’d left for another blogger, to expand my response to their post and/or link back to it.  Something like that.  I’ve discovered some super slick, talented writers in the two weeks I’ve been at it here, but I’m going rogue on the assignment.  I know, right?  I’m usually such an obedient little student.  

I received feedback, game-changer feedback from fellow bloggers. I giggled.  I teared up.  I yelled “holy crap!” out loud.  I sighed in deep, grateful contemplation.  But it’s not them to whom I will respond here, though they’ve inspired me to be sure.  I’ve responded to their unbelievably generous comments, but my responses will never adequately convey the depth of my gratitude.  And why do I type “convery” EVERY SINGLE TIME I attempt to type “convey?”  Same goes for langauge (NEVER, EVER get it right) and reiumbursement (just once, please?).  Ahem.

Instead, I’m going at this in reverse.  A comment that resonated with me in a big way was left by one of my Barenaked Ladies tribemates, who wrote this:

I don’t share on any social media like I once did, and people said that they missed me. I guess the reason I don’t share any more is that I am so concerned about the image my extended family has of me. Once I became Facebook friends with all my brothers and sisters in law and my husband, I don’t want to share my feelings. I feel too exposed. It’s funny how I can share with my BNL friends or theater friends, but I can’t share with the ones I care most about.

She is not alone. She got me to wondering, why do we show only pieces of ourselves to others?  Why do we hide from, or if not hide, not reveal our whole selves to those who allegedly know and love us best?  Why does the blogosphere know more about my feelings on MD than my own mother?  How is it that my tribe of #Ladiesladies (yes, the hashtag is necessary as #Ladiesladies is a real thing–check Twitter if  you doubt me, go ahead, I’ll wait) knows me better than some of the friends I spend time with routinely?

My husband knows I’ve been blogging over a year now, but he only recently asked me for my web address.  I’ve sent links to my parents, but have received not one syllable of feedback from them.  I have a huge passel of in-laws who have read a post here and there, but I don’t talk much to them about my son’s muscular dystrophy.  I don’t talk about it much at all to the people who should be most invested.  That’s weird, right?  My family doesn’t find me inspirational or funny or especially interesting–just Wendy, and this blog?  It doesn’t exist or is deemed self-serving or folly.  Maybe both.  It’s also not that they don’t care, let me be clear, I know they care deeply about us.  It’s not that I need to fulfill a role as the “MD mom” or have that define me within my family or friend groups, I mean, I’m the only one, so obviously the role is no one else’s. It’s not essentially me, but it has become a facet of my essential being.  Why don’t they know it?   Why don’t they know how my kid’s status has changed every, single thing for me?  They do. Do they?

Is it the blissful anonymity the internet affords?  Is the internet invisibility cloak why I can share so openly online?  Where I can drop a comment with my keyboard but not have to speak the words?  I can put something out there, but not have to respond NOW or ever really should I elect not to, as a traditional conversation would demand.  

Online we get to pick. Online I get to share what I want, on my terms. I geek about music with my music people, because they GET ME musically. I geek about writing with writers because they GET ME as a blogger. I geek about MD with, well no one, ’cause well, who would celebrate that?  So I drop my MD ruminations right here, neatly packaged and mostly grammatically correct, and I move onto tasks like laundry.  Maybe that’s it–we seek validation and celebration from sources we are sure to find it. My nearest and dearest don’t spend hours selecting vocabulary words or parsing grammar; they don’t care to discuss why the bass/piano outro closing Brian Wilson is mesmerizing (but they totally should, come on!).  It’s not that they don’t care, they don’t care like I do.  And that’s OK. Right?  Right??

I know who will care though, and I gotta go tell ’em!  Right now.  When you find your tribe, love them hard.  

  

The First Last

Since his diagnosis, my son has demonstrated tenacity we’d never before known existed.  My big kid, he of the one word answers, is not much one for talking about feelings, especially about things he perceives as difficult. He keeps things close, leaving us at times to wonder 1) Anybody in there??, or (or maybe and/or) 2) Does he not emote much because he’s disinterested in whatever the subject matter happens to be or is he adverse to sharing his feelings?  Your mother’s heart pulls to feel like you don’t know your own child’s inner workings very well, but I understand that we all, each and every one of us, do things the way we are meant to do and experience them. I get all pissy when people tell me how I am supposed to feel or react, so I try not to place communicative demands or restraints on my son.  I am a speech-language pathologist, so you can imagine how much a challenge it is for me to keep my mouth shut!

The kids did not have school yesterday, so I arranged to meet a friend and her son at a local pizza place to celebrate mid-semester break. Apparently we don’t celebrate actual holidays anymore, so it wasn’t that they were off for Valentine’s Day (as if) or President’s Day, no, just the middle of the semester, which is also wholly inaccurate because now the kids’ school years run in trimesters not semesters, so it’s not mid-anything really. Math is hard and all, but even I understand that the math does not work on this one.  Sorry, wrong turn, I’m back. Ahem. The pizza place. . . It’s one of those warehouse joints with a buffet line a half-mile long, and a warehouse full of overpriced arcade games and attractions luring your kid in with the promise of tickets and the certainty of bankrupting his parents.

Upon our entry, the restaurant was selling MDA shamrocks. If you’re unfamiliar, the shamrock sale is one of those deals where retailers hit you up at point of purchase, asking if you are willing to spend an extra dollar or ten or hundred in support of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. You sign your name on a themed tagboard cut-out the restaurant posts, acknowledging your donation and heralding your status as a benevolent human being.  If you are us, you sign on the side that acknowledges the donation as being on your behalf. There were a couple toddlers crying at the pizza place yesterday, but probably just the one adult who misted up at the cash register.  Well, the only one who misted up about MD shamrocks anyway. It cost us nearly 70 bucks to walk in the door, so probably there were some tears shed by other moms blowing the dust out of their wallets to pony up the pizza ransom.

Naturally my kid wanted more than the VIP experience–life would simply not be worth living were he not to get on the climbing wall.  So because I am a good mom, and by good I mean guilt-ridden and crushed that my kid has this disease, I ponied up for the climb. I’m a sucker when my son wants to try something–anything–and I wonder sometimes if whichever activity he chooses will the be the last time, so I nearly always cave.  My friend says she always goes for the upgrades too because her kids are nice and not into drugs and stuff, so go ahead, you just-say-no-ers! Live it up!  I really like this friend.

He attempted two of the fixed walls, but could gain purchase no higher than four handholds or footholds up.  He tried so hard, but in the end his shoulders and hips and arms and legs lost the battle.  Breathing heavily, gripping with all his might, he fell.  It wasn’t a hard fall and it was onto a mat, but even from a relatively low height, he fell off the wall then crumpled to the floor upon hitting the mat.  His legs didn’t even have the strength to sustain his weight by this point.  *sigh*  You just don’t even know how fast the center of my chest raced before it collapsed in on itself.  My boy’s first last time he’ll ever. . .  I wondered about this last summer when our family went ice skating, but this time I know the first last is real.

Because the ropes are less fixed and allow for his feet to slide in and balance a tad more sturdily, he was able to hit the top of the ropes. Well, almost.  It took way longer than the other kids in line, the other brats who huffed because they had to wait that much longer for my son to complete his turn, but he did it.  He did it.

A Two-Nap Kind of Valentine’s Day Celebration

I don’t succumb to sick often; I am a warrior.  Except when I’m not, and then I get my Vick’s Vapo-Rub on with the best of them.  I don’t.  But after three weeks of a highly-scheduled life, I waved the white flag and allowed the dark side to win.  There’s probably a Star Wars metaphor in there, but I don’t have it in me to work it through.  I’m really dumb when I’m sick.  I’m dumb but I’m HILARIOUS, and by hilarious I mean slap happy, entertaining (yet again) a very small audience:  myself.  I’m funny, just ask me.

Friday night was the kids’ school dance.  I learned that my little kid has got some moves, for reals, and that he really loves to explore his space (insert visual of Will Ferrell doing “more cowbell” at Christopher Walken’s behest).  I learned that my little kid knows the words and moves to such (quotes intended for effect here) “classics” as Gangnam Style, The Macarena, Watch me Whip (and in the name of all that’s dear, don’t you forget the Nae Nae) and the Chicken Dance.  Super.  My role in the neighborhood edition of elementary school Dance Fever was as concessionaire, which is now my favorite word of the week.  The middle school kids were selling concessions to support their class trip to our nation’s capitol next year, so our family “volunteered” (yes, the quotes) to supply and vend highly sugared food and beverages to the 5th grade and under set.  My big kid enjoyed the dance less than the little guy, but that’s because he was employed in actual work which is NEVER fun for apathetic middle schoolers.  He’s not a super coordinated dancer, but I did catch some killer chair-dance moves during the Cha-Cha Slide.  I am a badass chair dancer, and I was delighted to get visual confirmation that my son IS MINE, he IS!!  I knew like I knew the sun would rise on Saturday, that the dance was the wall, and that as soon as we would arrive home, I’d hit that wall.  Oh, but I did.  Hard.

I wanted to do something fun with the boys this weekend to celebrate love.  Not a fine dining kind of celebration, but some outing somewhere fun just to spend time together to acknowledge the love I feel for these yahoos.  That’s Valentine’s Day enough for this girl.  When you forego showering and brushing your teeth for thirty-four hours though, it’s hard to get down with love.  Because getting off the couch to change the channel felt tantamount to running a marathon, I watched the Los Angeles Marathon, the Olympic qualifier–it was on, who was I to question?  Who was I to move even?  I watched men and women run balls out for several hours in a row, when I couldn’t work the remote control, so complex and challenging it was in my ague.  Those marathoners wore me out, man they took it out of me, so I fell asleep (the first nap I’ve taken in I can’t tell you how long!), and naturally those freaks of physical and physiological perfection were still running when I awoke.  At 4:30 yesterday, I undertook a major task of my own–I took a shower.  And then I took another nap, ’cause holy crap, that shower was E-X-H-A-U-S-T-I-N-G.

I’ve never been a Valentine’s Day fool.  I get it, but I don’t really get why girls lose their heads over it.  I’m not such a cynic that I think it’s all BS–I LOVE love, but I don’t need overpriced roses or enormous mylar balloons on the day to know that my husband loves me.  I always get him a card and some token of recognition, because why?  Because I LOVE love, pay attention!  But I’m OK with lunch at Five Guys or Kopps (custard, bitches!) or even breakfast at home.  I am not a creative person, so Pinterest and Etsy make me feel alternately murderous and envious around the holidays.  I realized this morning that one of the ways I show my family I love them is through food.  I am a decent cook, and I very much enjoy cooking for my family.  I feel slightly more among the living so far today, so I put together a (I think) lovely breakfast for my three boys.  It’s the best way I know how to demonstrate my love for them.  There’s no way I’ll paint a cute sign or sew a cute Valentine’s Day blanket or wall canvas–I’m SO singularly bad at arts and crafts–but I can cook you something from my heart.  THAT I can do.  Food = love.  There’s math I can get behind.  I love you, my family.

My little kid, he of the dancing fame, and I think a pretty darn funny kid in development, gave me this valentine, which probably affected his teacher’s opinion of me in one of two distinct ways:  I’m either the least responsible mother of the year, or the one she wants to have margaritas with.  Probably the second.  I mean my kid’s totally cool, and that has to come from somewhere, right?  His valentine contained lyrics and movie lines that we giggle conspiratorially together over.  And because I was feeling crappy, he gave it to me a day early to cheer me up.  I am doing something right, and here’s evidence:

Seriously love this kid

 

Keepin’ it classy

Since I don’t have the budget or husband quite willing enough to take me to Florida for a Valentine’s Day Barenaked Ladies concert tonight, what I’m most in love with doing this Valentine’s Day is watching the season premiere of The Walking Dead. Because nothing says love like zombies, y’all.