Thursday, October 3, 2013

Stop It I'm Awesome

You had RSV when you were 8 weeks old.
You fell off the bed.
Took a can of spaghetti sauce to the forehead.
Stitches, to the face.
You crashed your bike into a cemetery fence.
A shiner that one Valentine's Day.
Fat lip. Teeth jarred loose.
Cut your own bangs.
You tasted hot salsa and screamed.
Once, I let you slip a little out of your bath towel and you smashed your head on tile.
Drank chlorine by the bucketfuls.

You were burned, bloodied, blistered, bruised, and now ... bullied.

I just can't protect you.

The above summarizes that and it kills me more than anything in my life. Heart walking around outside my body-type-thing. I've tried. I'm trying. To always protect you.

You came home today in tears. Said some second graders were mean to you, that you were pushed. You ran to me and starfished-me right in the rainy driveway.

And my first reaction was anger. I didn't cry. It wasn't even a fleeting emotion.

Which is amazing, given my natural tendencies to cry no matter the actual emotion I'm experiencing. Pride. Hurt. Depression. Anger. Audacity. Joy. Relief. Frustration. I'm a crier, so I cry.

But today? I think today I became a Mom. I wanted to rip some people apart, starting with second graders.

That's so awesome of me. Not the people-ripping, of course, but the fact that I handled the shitty situation with some sort of aplomb and Momness.

But- like I told you the night before school started, look out for your people. You simply have to be kind to everyone. And so do I, and you and I covered that topic today in the rain. Simply put, there are going to be mean little people in this world, just like there are mean big people. It's just how some people are. All you need to do is know when to find help, and just to tell them this:

Seriously. I "Liked" this Instagram post a week ago, and today, it was the first thing that came to mind. So thanks for that, Bruno. It's ... sad and unfortunate we need to arm our kids with this mantra, but it's what Mama's do.

I really don't want to have to rip off any tiny appendages today. It's been a long week.

So- Kid Rock. You got this, and I always got you. I can't always protect you, and even if I could, I probably wouldn't want to. Uphill both ways and all, the only way to get to the other side is to go through it, character building, etc.

I'll be waiting for you. A million always and forevers.

Mama loves.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A Big Bag of Love

This week's Show & Tell assignment included a gallon-sized Ziploc bag.

You were to include five items that define who you are as a person, and fit inside the bag. You brought the bag home six days ago; so you've had plenty of time to determine what five things you wanted to represent you. You gave this assignment critical attention and focus. For kids, who sometimes completely change in an entire hour, five is a pretty small number. Your choices, however, are rock solid. That's my girl ... Mama loves.

1. A Plastic Horse

No-brainer. You were a horse for Halloween two years ago. You've had an affinity for everything equestrian forever. I daresay horse was one of your first words. You have a horse from American Girl on your list for Santa this year, and I recently scoured the Internet for the perfect horse-print scarf to gift you. Your favoritism carries over to your people ... it's so fun to share your obsession and foster it, too. And, you've even went as far as learning the different breeds- you're constantly pointing out the difference between Appaloosas, Shetlands, Saddlebred, Thoroughbred, Clydesdales, and Quarter Horses. And, you just corrected me when I called one a Palomino- that is not a breed, rather a distinctive coat color in which the body is white with irregular brown or black patches. My bad, kid, my bad.

2. An iTunes Logo

That's. My. Jam. Literally. And the fact that it's your jam, too, makes my life. It really does. I'd spend my last $5 bill on songs. (I mean, it's a tie between that and Starbucks, but music crosses the finish line 1/100th of second before coffee) I'm not artistic, and I can't sing. I have zero rhythm, even less dancing coordination or ability, but I view music as my only art form. My full-time gig. It serves all those purposes for me, and I know it will for you. I wonder if you'll be 16 in Germany on a three-week class trip, at a Discotheque with your host sister who is uber-cool, albeit terrifying, and smoking, quite possibly drunk, and you can't understand any of the impossibly loud lyrics coming from the dingy club basement or anyone around you and you should be scared shitless, instead the baseline ... the way it reverberates in your chest and makes your entire body come alive ... well, I wonder if that single experience will change your life the way it changed mine.

3. A Photo of The Beagle

There was that one time I took you go the grocery store so you could buy the ingredients to make your dog a real-live birthday cake for his 6th birthday. As you put all the items on the conveyor belt at checkout, the super-old cashier lady said in her super-old voice, "OH! I bet some little girl is having a birthday!" while clasping her hands under her chin. Nope! you told her. I am baking a cake for my brother, The Beagle. He's a dog, like a real one. He's SIX! I mean ... there were party hats involved. Your connection to him is other-levelly. In the weeks leading up to Kindergarten, I felt the need to go on a tour of iPhoto beginning in December of 2007 ... and without exaggeration, the Beagle is in nearly every single photo of you. You saw how he reacted to you boarding the bus this year. Epic sadness! I am so glad you have him. I still worry about you being an only child, and I know he takes the edge off that for me ... and likely you. It's not silly. It's perfect. And laying the groundwork for you to be an animal lover your entire life. When you're my age, you'll realize that petting zoos are inhumane, and ponies should never be glittered or pink for parades, and you'll wring your hands at the prospect of either. And you'll have goats on your Christmas list.

4. A Paintbrush

If I can claim music, your Dad can claim this one. If you give a girl a box of colors ... she'll always have a story to tell and place to do so. And it's not about the end product, it's about what it means to you. It's about how you process the world around you and find joy and beauty in everyday items. I have an antique dresser in the guestroom, 5-drawers tall, and it's filled completely with artwork. I struggle mightily with what can stay, and what can go. Sometimes, I'll admit, I throw pieces away. I know. I KNOW. It's hideous and horrendous and I pay penance when you bust me. I feel a little like a drug lord trying to smuggle contraband across the border via the trash. Your fury, disbelief, and sadness pierce my heart. But in the name of hoarding, I'm going to need more antique dressers.

5. Star

Yes, who? It's new, it's a stuffy. And it's small enough to fit in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag, so it makes the cut. I just told the story of Coconut, your current It-Bear, and he was so three bears ago. Star is what the packaging called a Pocket Monster ... an art kit your Grandma G. gave you and we made together. Basically a generic version of Ugly Dolls. I'd say Star is a true representation of how easily you fall in love ... and I kinda like that about you. It's never good to be too regimented when it comes to who or what you let in your life. You just never know what you might be missing out on. I can't wait to see what you secretly include in your boxes bound for the dorms, some relic of your childhood you just couldn't let go. Hell, maybe it'll be Star ... but he has already endured two rounds of hot glue, just sayin'. And your infinite love of stuffies reminds me you're really still a little girl, and not all grown up just yet.