Tuesday, January 22, 2013


I'm writing this post not to make people feel guilty or forgetful or rude.  I'm writing this because each of us will encounter this in our lifetime.  It is a crappy right-of-passage that no one talks about.  But, I think it is important for everyone to know that they are not alone.

There is going to come a point in time, after you've lost someone significant in your life, that people are going to forget the "important" dates.  They will not acknowledge birthday and anniversary dates and even the date your loved one passed away.

No one will do this intentionally.
No one will do it to hurt you.

But it will hurt.

Frankly, it is awkward to bring up the elephant in the room, namely the memory of the person who passed.  It puts others in the bizarre position of trying to recover from feeling like a jerk for not asking mixed with incredible, sincere compassion for you.  So, over time, you will just determine how much awkward you can stand.

Reality number one, I've discovered, is that people are going to forget.  And you have to learn to be OK with that. 

Mom died three years ago this past Sunday.  I placed flowers on the altar in her memory and sent a message to the person responsible for ensuring the columbarium where her ashes will eventually be placed remembered we are still waiting.  I shed a few tears and went to a movie/dessert with a friend and had an argument with Mike.  Even I would have to admit that it was a pretty typical day, save the disagreement with Mike (which, honestly, was probably caused by the stress of the day.)

No one called to acknowledge the day, not even family.  And I returned the favor by staying silent, too.

I just wonder if we were all suffering in silence, thinking all the others had forgotten and we were the only one left with a hole in our heart.

This is tricky territory.  Like parenthood, it doesn't come with a manual.  No one can tell you how to handle the grief that comes with another year passing.  And no two people respond the same, which makes it even harder.

This is my lame attempt at acknowledging that I haven't forgotten, Mom.  I'm sure others haven't either, but it is important for me to quietly speak into the void that was created when you died and let you know that you are missed.  I'm still fighting for you, trying to get that "proper" burial that has eluded us for years.

Your little badger misses you.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Babe, the Entrepreneur

The Babe has had his share of diarrhea of the mouth moments coming home from school lately.  If you have children, you completely get what I'm talking about.  It goes something like this:


I have no frickin' idea who this kid could possibly be.  And I readily admit it.  And remind The Babe to BREATHE.  It doesn't help a lick.  He just keeps going, all diarrhea rolling down a very steep mountain, not-breathing, like.


So, he had one of those moments in the car explaining the business he and his buddies are putting together.  And, may I be struck by lightning and die on the spot if any of the following is untrue.  'Cause this is the gospel, people:

"You know my friends really like the Army?  We really think the Army is cool.  And we want to show the Army guys how much we like them."

I'm just swooning at the sound of my son being patriotic.  And planning for a little party before he goes and votes in his first Republican primary, my little Alex P. Keaton.....

"So we decided to make a business that is all about the Army and will help the Army and will make money we can share with the Army."

Now, I'm expecting that a group of these intelligent, learning different, ADD-riddled kids got together on the playground and probably thought up an idea they will take to The Shark Tank in a few years, present to "Mr. Wonderful", an idea that will make him cry red white and blue as he offers them copious amounts of money, which they will promptly use to tithe to their local churches and set the Army up on a fat, non-government-supported budget and will also be used to support each of their parents as we sip umbrella-drinks on a small, private island as we laugh at how hard life used to be, before our children became entrepreneurial at the tender age of seven, and offset the college-tuition-prices of their LD school of our choice.

POP.  That was me realizing that diarrhea mouth started with his Mother.  OR, maybe it was the sound of my bubble being burst back into reality because of this:

"We are making hamster toys for the Army."

Told you I couldn't make this up.

He said "hamster toys".  For rodents.  Rodents with 1,000 day life-spans.


Seems those little whipper-snappers think that hamsters should have tanks and helicopters and gatling guns, among other things, which he immediately devoted 3/4 of his afternoon to, drawing prototypes and showing them to me, with great bravado and detail, after we arrived home. 

I guess that is because hamsters have lives that really stink.  They get fed daily, have water at their disposal, get to exercise on their own equipment (no yucky cross-contamination with other hamsters like I would get at the gym on the treadmill, if I actually went sometime in 2013) and, basically, get spoken to in baby voice several times a day.  TOUGH life, fuzzy, big-brown-eyed rodents that I adore.

So, for the last several days, we've been knee-deep in plans and discussions and play dates to support said Army project.

I feel like this might, how do I say, BOMB?  But, I'm keeping my opinions to myself. For now.  Until they actually decide they need to go beyond jawboning and using too much copy paper and ink. 

Then, maybe, just maybe, I'll try to draw their attention to something more appropriate.

Hamster trampolines, anyone?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

No Where but Up

Our 2012 ended with illness. 

I got sick the week before Christmas.  Mike got sick as we were about to leave for Galveston for Christmas with my family.  Nickels got sick two days into Galveston.  Hoo started praying to the porcelain god on New Year's Eve Eve.

Once the up-chucking started, I threw in the towel and Mike agreed that checking out early was our best defense.  That and a pile of plastic bags to keep the car barf-proof.

Today, we slept late.  Not late because we partied hard last night, but because we all fell asleep at various times of the evening watching various countdown parties.  And we all ended up in the wrong room in the wrong bed with the wrong partner.  For some reason, Hoo's single bed was like a well ingested sleeping pill to me.

We are all sitting around together, four of us (me excluded) coughing and complaining about a) stomach aches 2) head aches and 3) achiness/fever.  And about once every minute, someone starts into a coughing jag that ends with "uuuuhhhhhhh".

We start 2013 a bit under the weather, but not completely defeated.  We will eat our black-eyed peas and will catch up on DVR'd TV until we feel like peeling ourselves off the couch.  At least we are together, not infecting anybody else.

2013 has no place to go but up from here.  So, we are already counting this as a good year.

Happy '13 y'all!