Monday, April 21, 2014

On Sacred Spaces

When I was a girl, I was never in my parents' bedroom.
It wasn't a policy- there wasn't a keep-out sign on their door.
It was just a space that was all theirs. I never pajama-footed my way to their bed early mornings. Never begged to sleep between them stormy nights. Never had girls' night slumber parties with Mama-daughter in that bedroom.

That's why when we visit their house and you have access to their bedroom- where you play Legos in front of Grandma G's armoire for hours, or watch YouTube videos on the laptop in their bed in the dark, I secretly smile. Those grandparents and their knack for bending, or altogether dismissing, the rules between one generation and the next. They all do it. My grandparents were no different. My Grandma S. let me swim (in a RIVER and chlorinated pool) in my cast the (second) summer I broke my arm. Our little secret, she said. Until that bad boy started to smell. Then it was everyone's damn secret. And my Grandpa R. ... the man who did not believe in delaying gratitude, would let me pour a brand new box of Lucky Charms straight out into a mixing bowl until the toy came tumbling out into my waiting hands. When Grandma wasn't looking, of course.

Over the weekend you were camping out in their bedroom. Papa came in for something, and opened his closet door. His and Grandma G's are connected internally, but have separate doors on the exterior. When you shut either of the doors, it acts like a vacuum, pushing open the adjacent door. So when he shut his door, hers opened.

You came out to the kitchen where we were all congregated on Saturday night. You whispered you needed Grandma to come here. She went with you.

Out you came arms full of Easter eggs and miniature stuffed crap intended for their insides.

Look, you showed us. The Easter Bunny left all his eggs and stuff RIGHT IN GRANDMA'S CLOSET, and he did it A DAY EARLY!
"Yes," deadpanned Grandma. "That stupid Easter Bunny just left them right on my closet shelf. He must have needed the extra time and storage space to drop them off before Easter morning," she continued.

Hook, line, and an absolute believer at age six, sunk.

Later that night as I tucked you into your own bed and space downstairs, you whispered, what if Grandma G. is the Easter Bunny? 

I perched on the edge of your bed, brushed your bangs back from your forehead and admitted that yes, Grandma G. is many, many things. Wickedly talented. Relentlessly stubborn. Effortlessly low-maintenance. The best gift-giver ever. Incredible mojito-mixer and baker extraordinaire. A no-nonsense, honest feedback-giver. Beautiful flower-growing green thumber, and most selfless human I have ever met, but she is not the Easter Bunny.

I promise.

The next morning, you woke up to the dining room table set beautifully for a tea party with new Peter Rabbit porcelain dishes. There was a colorful note from the Easter Bunny with instructions to look for a giant basket inside and 12 eggs outside. The little kitchen chair where you left him a plate full of Jelly Bellies, baby carrots, romaine, and Dove dark chocolate eggs and a handwritten note depicting his likeness you sketched had been well-attended; there wasn't much left save for a few crumbs, pieces of candy wrapper tinfoil, and the tiniest, dirtiest little set of bunny footprints you ever did see, right there on the dishcloth you left him for such purpose. You know Grandma G. doesn't care for her floors to get dirty from the animals ... and that Bunny will have wet feet when he comes hoppin' in!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Because Someone Else Said It Best

101 Things I Will Teach My Daughter

By Leah Froehle
1. Chocolate is only a temporary fix.
2. A properly-fitting bra is not a luxury. It is a necessity.
3. Your happiness is your happiness and yours alone.
4. How to apply red lipstick.
5. How to wear the crap out of red lipstick.
6. A boyfriend does not validate your existence.
7. Eat the extra slice of pizza.
8. Wear what makes you feel gracefully at ease.
9. Love the world unconditionally.
10. Seek beauty in all things.
11. Buy your friends dinner when you can.
12. Wear sunscreen like it’s your second job.
13. Try with all your might to keep in contact with far-away friends.
14. Make the world feel at ease around you.
15. Walk with your head up.
16. Order a cheeseburger on the first date if you want to.
17. Never, ever bite your nails.
18. Swipe on some lipstick, put on your leather jacket, and sneak into a bar somewhere.
19. Learn from your mistakes that night.
20. Dental hygiene is not multiple choice.
21. Your GPA is not a confession of your character.
22. There is strength in breaking down.
23. You don’t have to like yoga.
24. Pick a tea.
25. Take care of your feet.
26. Pick a perfume.
27. Even if you’re tall, wear the heels anyway.
28. Classy is a relative term.
29. Drink whiskey if you like whiskey.
30. Drink wine if you like wine.
31. Like what you like.
32. Offer no explanation.
33. Advil and Gatorade.
34. You are no less of a woman when you’re in sweats and gym shoes than a woman in stilettos and a pencil skirt.
35. A woman is a woman is a woman.
36. Love your fellow woman with all your heart and soul.
37. Cry, uninhibited, with your friends.
38. Laugh until you can’t breathe with your friends.
39. Tell me everything.
40. Exercise to be strong and healthy. A beautiful soul needs a sturdy vessel.
41. There is no shame in hoping for love.
42. My cooking is the best cooking.
43. Do not take sex lightly.
44. I mean it.
45. Anna Karenina. I’d like it if you read it.
46. The world spins on the principle of inherent tragedy.
47. Do not be blind to it.
48. Men are effectively idiots until the age of 26.
49. Carbohydrates are not the enemy.
50. Involve yourself in an organized activity of your choosing.
51. Listen to classical music occasionally.
52. Take hot baths.
53. Do not use bath salts.
54. You are more than capable.
55. I promise.
56. Don’t smile if you don’t mean it.
57. Mean your anger. Mean your sadness. Mean your pain.
58. I am always, always listening.
59. Travel.
60. Get stuck in a foreign country with $4.67 in your account.
61. Make me furious.
62. Make me worry.
63. Come home smelly, tired, and with a good story.
64. Your story isn’t really yours.
65. You are a compilation of others’ stories.
66. Well-fitting and modest is ALWAYS sexier than too small and tight.
67. Who cares if glitter isn’t tasteful?
68. It’s too much eyeliner if you have to ask.
69. Learn to bake for when you’re sad and I’m not there.
70. Humility and subservience are not synonyms.
71. Wash your face twice per day.
72. Be gentle with your skin.
73. Science is really cool.
74. So is literature.
75. And history.
76. And math.
77. There is no substitute for fresh air.
78. Carry your weight.
79. Make up for it later if you can’t.
80. That salad is not better than pasta and it never will be.
81. You’re fooling no one.
82. Find at least three green vegetables you can tolerate.
83. A smoothie is not a meal.
84. Expect the best from everyone.
85. People will let you down.
86. Bask in the sun (wearing a sunhat and SPF 90).
87. There is a certain kind of man you need to avoid at all costs.
88. You’ll know it when you meet him.
89. What other people say is right doesn’t always feel right.
90. What feels right is where your happiness is.
91. Give thoughtful gifts.
92. Form an opinion.
93. Stick to it.
94. Exfoliation in moderation.
95. Argue with people when you need to.
96. If it’s worth fighting for, fight fiercely.
97. Don’t fight for acceptance.
98. You shouldn’t have to.
99. Take pictures, but not too many.
100. Follow your bliss at all costs. (I’m cutting you off at 22, though).
101. Chocolate ice cream, however, might just be a permanent fix.