How To Survive The Toddler Years

Spawn got quiet. He was “brussin my’s teesh, Momma !”

From babies, to toddlers, to preschoolers, to elementary school, the tweens, the teens, and eventually adult children, all stages of development for our offspring have their own unique rewards and challenges. Having finally passed what we call “the toddler years” for our fifth and final child, I now feel compelled to share our biggest and most helpful secrets for survival.

How To Survive The Toddler Years

1. Learn to appreciate noise and to fear silence. It’s a cliche for a reason– because it’s totally true. No matter how many curtain climbers you have littered around your homespot, if your little slice of utopia is generally louder than a stock car rally, and then all of a sudden it gets quiet? Take a deep breath and brace yourself before you go looking. Trust me.
(Also– take a camera with you. You’ll want photographic evidence of this.)

2. Your toilet is as good as a garbage can-slash-toybox. Lock it up. No, seriously. Potty training be damned. You need either a lock on the bathroom door, a lock on the toilet lid, or an emergency contact for a plumber that you don’t mind financing Hawaiian vacations for. If it CAN be stuffed in the toilet, it will be. #FACT

3. Learn the proper rules of sharing. Sharing in toddler terms means that if I want it, it’s mine. Any time, any where, any thing. Give it to me right now or suffer my wrath. And don’t think you’re going to sweet talk your way out of it with some silly trade, either. Toddlers may be small, but they’re sharp. And worse–they’re ruthless.

4. Develop an appreciation for the word “no.” It’s such a beautiful, simple word. Embrace it. You’ll be mumbling it in your sleep soon. And getting it thrown back in your face a lot more often than you’d like.

5. Harden your heart toward puppydog eyes, crocodile tears, and quivering lips. IT’S A TRAP! These tiny little terrorists have been genetically enhanced with super adorable fundamental traits that are so powerful, they can cut you off at the knees with just a look.

6. Embrace the power of a well-timed bribe. Find out your toddler’s currency, and then keep tons of it handy. (Handy, but hidden! Bribes only work when used sparingly.)

7. Stay informed but be flexible. What your toddler likes today might be what he hates tomorrow. Children can be fickle little creatures. All last week, she would eat only white grapes and goldfish. Today, she turns up her nose and shrieks at the mention, and only wants bananas and spaghetti o’s. Just roll with it. You really needed to make another trip to the supermarket anyway.

8. If you have nice things, or sharp things, or breakable things, or really anything that’s not kid-friendly, kiss them goodbye. I always recommend getting a storage unit that you can pay the rent on for at least a decade. If you love it, you need to protect it. That includes protecting your great-grandmother’s vase from your toddler’s demolition training, and protecting your toddler from the all-consuming curiosity of Sharpie markers.

9. Do not buy Legos. There is no rationale for this invention that is worth the pain. Just don’t.

10. Accept and embrace your role as the center of their universe. (For now.) Arrogant, irrational, and self-centered though toddlers may be, they pattern their behaviors on how you react to their shenanigans. That impressively long string of swear words that you ripped out after stepping in a pile of OMG what IS that?! may have been a one-off, but don’t be surprised if you get a call from the preschool about *ahem* language problems. Toddlers can be quite spectacular little mimics, and their timing is usually impeccable. And by ‘impeccable’ I mean repeating the worst things at the absolute worst possible moment. 


How To Survive Your Mother-In-Law

The relationship between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law can be…well…let’s just say that while some are fairly cordial or even downright friendly, some (can I say “most”?) are the things that nightmares, and Xanax prescriptions, are made of. Over the course of two marriages, and two completely different MIL-DIL relationships, I’ve learned a thing or two. Not only about how to get along better with dear ole MIL, but also how Mommy-in-law Dearest could shape up just a tiny bit, and how we both could learn to be better at this whole sharing-her-baby-boy thing, and also some things that I’ll want to remember for when my own children venture off into relationships of their own, lest I become that monster-in-law of legend. (Not that I can avoid my legend-status; I’d just prefer it be for awesomeness, rather than as a boogey story to scare new fiances across the universe.) With that in mind, here are some handy little tips that I’ve learned the hard way.

1. The first, and most important, item on this list is your husband. If he’s not on board with the priorities, then you are in for one hell of a ride, and it’s best you get that straight right up front. Mom may have been the most important person in his life, and she’s been loving him since he was merely a twinkle in his dad’s eye, BUT…he’s not marrying her. He’s marrying YOU, and you are trying to build a life together. I’m sure that you get the importance of that, but he may not understand all the nuances of the feelings his mom may have of replacement (resentment?) that are bound to take place, or how to deal with it. Mom may have understood it at one time, (after all, she was a young bride herself once), but I’m here to tell you as a mother myself that letting go is fucking HARD. Some women handle it with grace, while some just dig in their heels and turn it into a lifelong game of “Who do you love more? Who are you going to listen to?” 
(This game is also known as “His balls are in a jar on top of MY fridge, not yours.”)
Your man will not enjoy being the pawn in this game of one-upmanship, so if you love him, do him a favor: Don’t play. It’s HIS move; let him make it. Either he establishes the should-be-clear boundary lines, and sticks to it, or he deserves everything he gets. I mean, really. No one actively wants to piss off their mother, but in the Who-Do-I-Make-Happy game, I’d go with whomever I have to sleep next to every night until death do we part, nine and a half times out of ten.

2. Having said all that, it’s also important that you have the self-confidence to stick up for yourself whenever you need to. Preferably with your husband’s 200% support, but even without, you need to make sure that your presence in your marriage is all you, and not just a shadow of her. I’m not saying you should have a lightning round of “Who’s the Bigger Bitch,” every time you’re in the same room, but you don’t have to lay down like a second-hand welcome mat, either. HOWEVER, if you can assert yourself without disrespecting her, do that. If she’s got advice (and she will), what will it hurt to listen to it? It’s a couple of minutes out of your life to let her have her say. Give that to her, at least. You don’t have to throw away all of your own thoughts and take her word as gospel, but who knows? She’s likely got years of experience and hard-won knowledge about life that just might make yours a little easier. It’s worth a listen. Probably. If not, you go on about your business completely disregarding her advice and let her stew in the inevitable I-Told-You-So’s for the next 30 years.

3. Pick your battles. As cliche as it sounds, it’s going to need to be your mantra right up until you’re holding your husband’s hand for the reading of the will, if you happen to land one of the truly heinous MIL’s that you just cannot get along with. Naming your children, buying a house, holiday plans, educating HER grandchildren, when exactly it is (and isn’t) okay for her to pop by unannounced, when it is (and isn’t) okay for her to remark upon the cleanliness of your kitchen (i.e. never), etc… Whether you like it or not, everyone will have an opinion on how you should be making these decisions and conducting your personal affairs, but none more so than dear MIL. You do have choices here, and it’s important to know what they are, so you can decide which one you want to make beforehand, instead of in hindsight. You could

(A.) Not say a damn thing, one way or the other. This includes uttering white lies, like “We haven’t decided yet. We’re still thinking about it.” Or if you’re the more honest and blunt sort, you could go with something like “We decided that we’re not going to talk about [this decision] with anyone else right now.” Or you could just nod absently with a dazed and vacant look in your eyes and then shrug and abruptly change the subject to Cousin Milly’s gallbladder surgery. If you go with that one, she may end up thinking you’re a little off your rocker, especially since Cousin Milly passed on in 1997, but that’s still probably better than entertaining a catfight in the sitting room over naming your first son after your father versus hers. You could also

(B.) Entertain his mother’s ideas and advice, whether you use it or not. If you choose to go with option B, but make different choices than you were advised, be prepared to back up the choice to ignore her wisdom with a well-thought out line. Preferably something beyond “That’s the stupidest damn thing I’ve ever heard.” I’m just saying. That one doesn’t work very well. Or, you could always

(C.) Move far, far away, and correspond only by hand-written letters sent via snail mail. You can say that you’re shunning technology by not having email, or that you prefer the quaintness of more personal hand-written letters. Whatever. And invest in either an old-fashioned answering machine, or a smart phone with an “ignore” feature in the contact setup that sends certain callers straight to voicemail.

4. Try to remember that she’s a mother, too. As interfering, out-of-touch, or flat out psycho as she may seem, she’s also a woman, just like you, and a mother, just like you. You could very well be staring into your own future every time she graces you with a visit or a phone call. Your own kids will at some point grow up, move away, and then show up at your door one day with some know-it-all interloper trying to usurp your place in their heart. Probably making bad decision, after bad decision, after bad decision, and ignoring all your years of experience at every turn, no matter how sweetly you try to “help.” Can you imagine how that will feel? You can try, but you won’t know it until it happens. All I’m saying is try to cut her a little slack, and try to understand where she’s coming from. And if that’s too hard, or she’s just too much, then take notes and use them as a “What NOT To Do” study guide for the future.

Mom, Will You Marry Me?

“Mama, will you mawwy me?” Is there anything that squeezes your heart more? My squiggly little man is growing up faster than I can draw breath, but he’s still got that sweet little toddler lisp that makes his “r’s” a little blurry, and he still has that deep abiding love for his mama that I pray he never loses. Earlier in the year, he picked up this idea that we were going to get married, and since then, he’s just taken it and RUN with it.

“Let’s go get you a dwess, Mama, and we’ll go to the church.”
It’s not Sunday, baby, you can go to church with Nonna on Sunday.
“No, we got to go to the church so we can get mawwied.”
“Let’s go do that tomahwoe!”

He’s not a discriminate lover of the idea of marriage, either, and it doesn’t appear that he’s geared up quite yet to be a one-woman kinda man. So far, he’s said that he intends to marry not only me, but also his sister, his Nonna, and my best friend (whom he calls Aunt Shona).

While I think it’s hilarious and sweet, I know that one day, there will need to be a short little discussion as to why none of that is actually possible, but for now, who am I to crush his dreams of happily ever after? The only thing that would make him happier, right this second, than getting to be in a wedding with the most important and favorite women in his life, is maybe to get to meet SpongeBob in person or to sit down and play Minecraft in the same room as Tobuscus.

One day last week, though, we hit a little snag. His dad, my husband, asked, “Who’s your best friend?” expecting, I’m sure, the sweet little “YOU ARE, Deddy!” that should have come tumbling out of his grape popsicle-stained lips. Instead, what he got was “MAMA IS. Her’s my best fwend, and we’re gonna get mawwied.” Never one to be outdone, his dad feigned a pout, and said, “What? You mean you don’t want to marry me too??” I’m a little embarrassed to tell you the rest of this conversation now that I’ve started it. But what my son replied to that was “No, Deddy, we can’t get mawwied. You a boy.”

That gave me pause. My Kindergartener thinks straight marriages are the only ones there are? MY son? What the what?! [Insert needless ranting here about how I’m a huge ally and advocate, and so are our teens.] My friends told me later that since it’s all he sees, of course that’s all he knows, and that as he gets older and sees a little more diversity among our friends, and with his friends’ parents, that he’ll understand it a little better. For now, all I said was “Boys can marry boys if they want to, honey. Sure they can,” as my husband groused from across the room under his breath, “Not here, they can’t.” But a political discussion about state’s rights versus common human decency and how far behind our state is in the human rights struggle for equality is not really a discussion I want to have with my five-year-old right now, so I left it at that. “Boys can marry boys if they want to.”

“Now,” says his dad, “so are me and you getting married tomorrow?”

“No,” my son shoots back, “you got pokeys on your chin. You should go shave and then mawwy Mama again tonight.”

Our Anniversary

A bunch of years ago today (April 29, 2006), my husband and I were wedded. (Edited for future reading!)
Let me tell you about our day:
It was a lovely ceremony, even though it wasn’t quite what we had planned. 
The place where we had contracted to have the ceremony was a lovely old antebellum home, that had been refurbished and preserved, for special occasions. The grounds were lush and gorgeous, and there was a lake, with a curved wooden bridge, and extensive rose gardens, with multiple trellises and swings and benches and whatnot… We had arranged to have our ceremony out in the rose gardens, and then our reception dinner inside.

And then … it rained. And rained. And rained.

Cue the moving of 200 white folding chairs, ALL the flowers and ribbons and tulle and bows and tables and everything…

So instead of walking across the (straight, and even) bridge over the lake, all my bridesmaids and I got to trip and clipity-clop down 2 flights of a winding staircase in our heels, from the dressing rooms above, to the extremely small staging area, where we’d been forced to move.
My Momma, God love her, for some reason wore a barely-off-white dress, (Well, YOU are hardly one to talk about a white dress, honey!) and couldn’t stop crying. Not even long enough for pictures.

My daughter, who was 3 at the time, had long-since discarded her sweet little dress shoes, and presented herself as my maid of honor in her bare feet. 
My son, the ring-bearer, who was four at the time, decided as we were exchanging rings, to cover his face with his hands, as if the sight of our ring ceremony was more than his poor little heart could take. 
Thankfully, that was the extent of the kid-crises of the day, though, and all four of our sweet babies were as good as gold the rest of the time. 
We included vows to our children within our ceremony, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house as we recited those vows.

We had decided before-hand that we’d not have any music during the actual ceremony… no song dedications, neither of us would sing, etc… 
So after the vows, our official (who had not only a perm, but also a mullet, AND an earring!) 
said, “By the power vested in me,” etc… 

and THEN he said “And as Eric’s first act of love, he’d like to dedicated this song…”

and I thought I might actually die on the spot. 


You might think that sounds a little bit mean-spirited, but trust me when I tell you that although my man can tear UP a guitar, the boy could not carry a tune in a bucket with a handle even if you paid him in gold.
Thankfully, my impending panic attack was averted as Eric pointed toward the staircase, where our friend Chad sat with his guitar, and began to sing a song they had written for the occasion. 
If I thought that the children’s vows were tear-jerking, the song moment was a sob-fest, for me. Thank God for waterproof mascara!

And then, sooner than you could blink, it was over!

And where normally, you’d have a meandering walk though to the reception…um…we had a tiny problem: Since it rained, our ceremony area had to be in the dining hall, and the chairs were set up for the ceremony, so we all had to vacate so that the staff could rearrange for the reception seating, which included dining tables, and the buffet tables, etc.
And where did we vacate TO?
Oh yeah. Outside. In the rain. 
Half of our guests chose to wish us well and be on their way, opting not to hang around (in the rain) waiting for the reception hall to be cleared. The other half milled around, chatting, hanging out in the parking lot, trying to squeeze onto the porch. The wedding party itself got to go upstairs to the dressing rooms.
Half an hour later, and we were ready to roll. We cut the cake, we made our toasts, I kicked off my shoes, and then we pounded tequila like Congress was about to pass a ban on it.
We finished up the night with reservations at the bar in town where we’d met the very first time, where the waitstaff had a couple bottles of champagne on ice, and the band played slow songs all night for us to dance to. (Our wedding band had been cancelled, as soon as it looked like it might rain.)
We spent the night at our friend’s apartment —the same friend, and the same bed, as the night we met,  and then we drove to Memphis for our honeymoon. We tripped around Beale Street for two days, and it was two totally glorious days, full of greasy, delicious food, and soulful bluesy rocking music.
To this day, I can’t smell tequila, or hear a Stevie Ray Vaughn song, without remembering our wedding/honeymoon. 
And even though we had so much go crazy that day, there’s not a single thing about it that I’d change.

You can hear the original song written for our wedding here.

Guitars, Guitars, Guitars, and more Guitars

My husband is a guitar guy. 
I know. I know. Guitars are sexy. I agree. 
But if you’ve never lived with a guitar guy, then you.have.NO.idea how omfg it can get.
I looooove to hear him play. I do. I really do. But not only does he play guitar, he builds them too. And he always has a “project” going.
“Hey, do you think this pickup would do better in this one, or maybe that pickup would be the way to go here? I wonder if an alder body would give a better tone for this model, or should I stick with pine, because the original was pine, and I’d like to make it as close to the original as possible… If I go with the brown sunburst, and gold knobs, then the hardware for the headstock blahblahblahblahblahblahblahblahblah blah and more blah.”
I swear to God, I’m trying here, but he may as well be speaking Czechoslovakian for all I can understand of it. And nothing I say (I don’t know what you mean. What is this you’re saying to me? I don’t understand. I don’t care. Stop talking to me.) will deter him from providing me with every last detail. And not only details regarding the guitar and its parts and pieces, but also the history of each part and piece, and where it came from, and who made/built it, and who all uses similar things in their guitars, and why this piece is the right piece, and etc. etc. etc.
He says “But I don’t know anything about art, but I still listen when you talk about your paintings!” 
Well, yeah, score one for you. But the extent of my painting conversations with dear hubs proceeds like so: 

“Hey are you busy?” Yeah, I’m painting. “Whatchu painting?” Meh, it’s hard to describe. It’s kind of–interrupted– “Ok, did my Mini-Humbucker come in with the mail? I ordered that Fralin, but I need to replace it.” (and sadly, yes, I know what those terms mean.)

Literally, just this second, he’s YouTube’ing a BareKnuckle pickup, trying to decide whether or not to use it in an upcoming project. “You like this one? Or did the first one sound better?” Well. Hell. I don’t know. It’s a different guitar, and a different song! How am I supposed to tell which one sounds better???
I appreciate being kept in the loop with projects, glad that we have something to talk about other than bills and grades and potty training, and very flattered that my opinion holds weight. But the bare fact is I am guitar illiterate. And after six years, I know just enough to know when to nod and Mmm-Hmm! at the appropriate parts in the conversation. And you would think that after six years, he would know enough to know that I don’t have a clue regarding the words streaming from his mouth, but God love him, he’s still trying! 
I am still trying, too, to pay attention, hoping by sheer osmosis, I’ll pick something up that might aid me in being more that a mute audience in these conversations.
Maybe tomorrow I’ll ask him if he thinks Cerulean Blue is too cool to use for the mix for the background on the neo-expressionist painting project I’m working on… 

Am I Too Old For This?

So, I was waking up Sunday morning, hung over, and as I fumbled and stumbled my way through the bedroom, (thankfully my own bedroom this time), I had one of those thoughts.
You know the ones I mean.
They come usually on the heels of a hangover, as a plea to the porcelain gods,
“If I make it through this, I’m never doing this shit again!”
Thankfully, it wasn’t quite all that, this time, but it was enough nausea to make me wonder:
How old is too old to be out partying???

I am married with children.
That does not make me dead to the world outside my living room.
Nor does it lessen my love for all things music, nor my affinity for all things alcohol.
If anything, it makes me appreciate those things more.
I seriously doubt that two Saturday nights a month of the kids having a movie night with their favorite cousin (our sitter is my niece) will negatively impact our children, or cause them to question our undying love of them being up under my armpits every second of every day.

All that having been said, I’ll be 35 this year. I have more gray than EmmyLou Harris, which you’d know, if my stylist wasn’t so highly paid.
My knees creak, my knuckles crack, my boobs sag, and so does my ass.
Fine lines radiate outward from both my eyes and lips, early indicators of the deep creases they will one day become, and a sure sign of a lifetime of laughter and love…

I don’t mind aging. It happens to everyone, right?
(Well…everyone that doesn’t go for weekly botox and annual face lifts.)
What I mind is the effect aging may have on my quality of life as I know it.
The simple fact is, my body is trying to tell me something:
HEY YOU! We’re not 22 anymore.
If you want to be able to play with your grandkids, you need to make some changes.
Drink  less  in better moderation.
Eat a salad now and then.
Stop smoking!
Get some exercise.
(And no, dancing all night at the bar once a month does NOT count.)

The child in me says “Noooooooooo! I’m not this old! This can’t be happening!”
The child in me would plug her ears and close her eyes and say “Lalalalalalalalala I can’t hear you!”

The child in front of me says “Please. Grow up and hang around for a while. I may need you to babysit one day when I want to go out.”

The Trash Fairy

It is 1:05 a.m. and as I sit here, mindlessly surfing the net out of boredom and insomnia, what should catch my eye? 
The trash can in the kitchen…. its gleaming stainless steel exterior mocking me with its sticky fingerprints and overflowing refuse.

Yeah, I see you. Now shut up.

Am I the only person in this house who knows the mechanics involved in changing out the trash bag?
It seems like a simple enough process.

Pick the full one up and out.
Give ‘er a spin and tie it up. 
Insert new bag. 
Boom. Done. 

But no.
That is apparently just too complicated and time-consuming for this household.
Better to keep packing it in, until it flows over the top and tumbles to the floor.

That’s ok, dears. 
Momma will pick it up. 
I have nothing better to do. 
I need the excercise anyway, right? 

Maybe, if I ignore it, and wish hard enough, the housecleaning fairy will come tonight.
Please, oh please, come visit me!

Oh, and if you could hit the bathroom with your magic wand on the way out, I’ll be much obliged.


On The Woes of a Short Attention Span

  • Do you loooove projects?
  • Are you just full of awesome ideas?
  • Are you, dear one, a Pinterest whore?
  • Is the thought constantly spinning through your head that you could do this, that, or the other, and in fact, you should be doing exactly that right now?
  • A perpetual and habitual list-maker, perhaps?

Yeah, well, me too. All of the above, for $500 Alex !
For all of about 5 to 20 minutes … which is about as long as my attention span will hold onto an idea.

I am sure that there is a medical diagnosis for this condition, and that it probably has letters, and they probably make pills for it. I just can’t seem to remember to care long enough to have ever looked into it. 

So, I keep making my lists. 
And losing my lists. 
And starting new lists. 
And augmenting those lists with other lists inside those lists. 
And then losing that list, too. 
It’s a vicious cycle, that list-making.

I can’t count the number of unfinished stuff around this house. 
Things I was soooo gung-ho and excited about, for all of about 3 minutes, until—Oh look ! A squirrel !


If I start something, and don’t finish it right then — I may as well just toss it in the trash. 
I will never come back and finish it. 
Even if it were to be hanging in front of the bathroom mirror with a sign that says MUST COMPLETE TODAY ! 

But, see, I know this about myself. 
I own it. 
I have no illusions of grandeur about all the things I will one day accomplish.

I will accomplish the damn thing today, or just never mind.

Christmas in Dixie

For those of you not in the loop, and I know you’re all just dying to hear…
THIS is how Christmas happened at OUR house: 
Our kids, all but Spawn, were at their other parents’ houses on Christmas morning, so we decided to sleep in, because Spawn doesn’t know any better anyway, and we needed the rest.

I was awakened around 8 a.m. by my SMOKE ALARM going nuts, and Eric shouting from the other end of the house: 
Get out of the house! 
Get out of the house! 
The house is on fire! 
Get out! 
The house is on fire!

I got up, naked, quickly pulled on a nightgown and my boots, and ran up the hall. The living room and kitchen were under a thick cloud of black BLACK smoke, and Eric was out on the porch with Spawn, hopping around foot to foot, hollaring: The house is on fire!

I looked in the kitchen, where I could see there were flames coming out of the oven. I went to the kitchen, filled a glass with water, and threw it in the oven. Pssssshhhhhhhhooosh! 
Fire out. 
More smoke. 
Turned on the vent hood, the air conditioners, and opened the windows.

Problem solved.

Apparently, Eric and Spawn had gotten up earlier. Spawn had thrown a toy in the oven, at some point previously. And then Eric went to put corn dogs in the oven for himself, and didn’t notice the toy laying there below the rack.

The day had nowhere to go, but UP, from there.

p.s. Don’t YOU do that. I have been informed since this happened that you should use salt to put out kitchen fires, since most kitchen fires are caused by grease, and water would just exacerbate a grease fire.


Where’s YOUR Willie?

Spawn is busy lately learning his body parts, top down, by pointing at each one on me and then himself. And by pointing, I of course mean poking, prodding, and pinching.
My eyezsh
My nozsh

My mouf
My goozle

My teefs
Behyee butten
My pangers (fingers)
My piggies (toes)
Hey … Where my goobah go ??
*Sigh* … Yes, I am aware that I should probably be teaching him the correct terminology (penis, instead of goober). But I’m not. So there. 

He has plenty of time to increase his vocabulary, but for now, ‘goober’ is the word we use.


… What his fascination is with his wee little willie is just beyond me.
He’s a nudist by nature, and the dangly bits I suppose just cry out for attention. 
And let me tell ya, he heeds the call. A lot.
I have older boys, so I know this particular tendency will only grow (*cough*cough*) as time goes by.
I just don’t recall any of them starting quite this soon.
And my boobs! What the effity-eff is so damn fascinating about my boobs??? 
He was breastfed for about two and a half seconds, so this has to be some sort of genetic predisposition that has been passed down to him through his dad’s (or my) DNA.
At this rate, I’d say he’s well on his way to growing up to be just like every other guy on the planet.

Little Disappointments…

My daughter is in the fourth grade this year, and now, in addition to normal spelling and grammar, they also have creative writing. These exercises take the form of journal entries in a standard composition notebook with a pre-suggested subject. 
I’m thinking that since I was soooo inspired to start a blog, and then hit a wall with what to write about, I might take some of her ‘suggestions’ and use them for myself! Writing is cathartic, right?

So, her very first one reads like this: 

Write about a time you were disappointed.

What happened?

Who disappointed you?

How did you overcome this?
Ok, excuse me. This child is NINE. A time she might have been disappointed might be when Santa didn’t bring her what she wanted for Christmas. “And I was very sad. But I got a lot of other cool stuff, so I guess it was ok.” 

Or maybe “Once, I wanted to spend the night with my friend, but my mom said no and that made me very sad and disappointed, but then we rented movies and stayed up late and we had fun, so it all turned out ok.”  
I mean, really. Not that she’s spoiled or anything, but hell. 
I’m VERY interested in reading her response to this one.  Maybe I’m underestimating the trauma she has endured.  Pffffft!

***Just as an aside, I read one of hers from last week. 
Who is your favorite heroine?
“My favorite heroine is my mom. She is ausm.” 
Yes. Yes, I AM AUSM. 
This will be a whole new well of entertainment for me. I find my children’s thought process completely fascinating. I’ll be sure and keep yall updated, too. Who knows the kind of deep, mind-blowing thoughts that might come out of a 9 year old!

Love Letters on Wet Paper

Dear E~

I miss you when you’re not here, although I don’t always say it.

I miss being able to lay my head in your lap while you stroke my hair. 

I miss the way your eyes crinkle in the corners when you laugh. 

I miss the way you’ll do anything, say anything, no matter how ridiculous, just to make me smile.

I miss the smell of you. I use one of your t-shirts as a pillowcase, just to have something to hold. The smell of your cologne comforts me in the night when I can’t sleep.

I miss the way your body feels so warm snuggled up against my back.

I miss bumping into you in the kitchen every time I turn around, because you only need something when I’m in there trying to do something already.

I miss sitting next to you on the couch, staring at the TV, laughing at the same stupid thing at the same stupid time.

I just miss you.

Come home soon,


**written during a deployment