Friday, January 30, 2009

Affirmation for the Florida Manifesto

The stars have aligned and the migratory paths of the North American birds have shifted to prove my point. Minor exaggeration, but here is a fabulous story to illustrate my Florida Manifesto, nonetheless. Blue Light Special - Aisle 8 - It’s true.

Today my beautiful partner finally told her ex-husband’s aunt about our relationship. (This is the pause for you to get clear in your head what the relationships are. Do not proceed until you have it straight. I swear the pun is unintended.) She, my great love, has always been really close with the aunt. By “close”, I mean that they use the words, “Best Friend” to describe each other. By “close”, I mean that Dawn chose Happy to help her birth her daughter. By “close”, I mean that Happy will have the thickest chapter in our book honoring great women in our lives. Dawn’s folks still don’t know about us, and Dawn doesn’t care. They are little more than replaceable players in this production.

But telling Happy has been an undertaking, a script in near constant vision and revision. The love that Dawn and Happy share is important enough and big enough to be cemented with nothing but truth. Dawn struggled with how to tell her and grieved for the loss she feared she may suffer. But fear not! Happy showed herself true blue. Happy confessed that she had always suspected that we were in love, way back when we were clearly oblivious to the fact. She admitted to sitting back and waiting for it all to be revealed. She professed love and acceptance and the willingness to press the rest of the family towards good tidings for Dawn. For her part, Dawn was totally affirmed and relieved and jubilant.

Just when Dawn thought her conversation couldn’t get better, Happy said, “I‘m going to tell you something that I never told you before. Do you remember that I had a baby that died?” Dawn reminded her that, of course, she remembered the story of her first baby girl. Happy said, “But I never told you the name of the baby’s father.” Dawn thought about it and agreed that no, Happy had not shared his name. Happy took a deep breath and said, “His name is William Ray.”
I know it seems incredibly anti-climatic to you at this point. The mind-blowing truth is that William and Ray are the names of MY children, the ones that I grew and pushed from MY body, before I ever knew Dawn and WAY before I knew Happy. She has known my boys for years now, but held this precious secret until today.

Dawn caught her breath and said, “That means something. I’m not sure what it is, but it’s really something.” Happy confidently replied, “It means they are my nephews, and I love them.”


Again, I'm just so damned pleased with my blog. I don't think I've felt this way since I finally figured out how to keep my newborn son's pee in the diaper. (Strategic wing-wang placement, incidentally.) I still don't think anyone but me is reading it, but I've figured out that I don't mind so much. Yet.

Today I'm giddy about the National Geographic POD. (It took me WAY too long to figure that abbreviation out yesterday.) It's a photo of an alligator in the everglades, just down the road, you know. I think that's a good sign. Second day on the blogging wagon and already a vote of confidence from the local reptiles.

I do this. I take encouragement from ridiculous happenings and coincidences (Blasphemy! It's Meant to Be!) I also revel in silver linings, minuscule though they may be. For instance, if I mistakenly get a Sprite instead of my coveted Diet Coke in a drive-thru line, I will mourn the loss of the Diet and stick the Sprite in the fridge. Later when one of my kids throws up in the middle of the floor of my galley kitchen (speaking of minuscule), I'll reach in and triumphantly pull out the Sprite to settle his or her belly. I'll tell everyone that I know about the good fortune of a mis-delivered beverage. I'll secretly take it as a sign that God/the Fates/the Kennedys are on my side.

So shine on, Sunshine State! I'm going to need all the help I can get!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Chop Chop Chop

My 5 year-old just got caught feeding the fish. I said, "Is is time to feed the fish?" She said, "No." I said, "What is the quickest way to kill our fish?" She said, "Feeding them too much." I said, "OK, so cut it out." She thought for a second and said, "Actually the quickest way to kill them is to scoop them out, put them on a cutting board and Chop Chop Chop them up."

My Virtual Kingdom

I’m taking a break from admiring my newly created blog. I’m so pleased with myself. I’ve strategically altered the layout and colors and added “gadgets” to the sidebars - National Geographic Picture of the Day and Useless Knowledge that changes every half hour. So far I’ve seen some folks looking into a huge crater and learned that the first stoplight was in Cleveland at the corner of Euclid and 105th . I’ve posted my first entry, and watched for longer than I’m comfortable with admitting to see how many eager readers flood into my fledgling site (zero in said (unsaid) time period).
Not until now did I understand the addictive nature of Facebook and MySpace and the like. When asked by countless people why I don’t have a Facebook or MySpace account, I’ve always replied (because everything is funnier the 57th or so time that you say it), “I don’t think I have enough friends to warrant it.” What I have learned today though, is that this worldwide fascination is not about keeping or getting in touch with friends dear and lost. This is about control! It’s about ruling your own little kingdom, virtual though it may be. Change the landscape and regal banners at your every whim! Banish trouble-making blasts from the past! Play on repeat your favorite (most annoying) one-hit wonder from the rooftops, your highness! The world (contained to your monitor) is your oyster*! Life (in cyber-space) is a bowl of cherries*! *Both images available in wallpaper.
I have exercised intense will power today. Do all new bloggers have to restrain themselves from using their new site for marathon bitching sessions? In my everyday real life world, I try very hard to not complain. I don’t get irritated with slow cashiers at Target. I don’t ask to speak to a manager when an overworked and underpaid waitress forgets my iced tea. I don’t even honk in traffic preferring instead to leave that to people who truly need outlets for anger. It sounds like I think I deserve a cookie for this. I know I don’t. My point is why did I instantly think of complaining once my blog was established? Is it the confessional nature of the blog - near anonymous and near consequence-free? Is being unsatisfied a bigger part of my nature than I cared to admit? Or maybe again, this is part of the monarchy phenomenon. Maybe I wanted to complain in my little corner of the world for the same reason that a dog licks his balls - because he can.
And still I’m not giving in to the dark and brooding crevice of my soul. “Spread Good Vibes” is part of the Life is Good Company’s mantra. I have truly taken this to heart. Acting responsibly and with kindness in regard to myself and my surroundings and the people who bless me with their company is the cornerstone of my life plan. I will do my dead level best to remember that in days to come. I will remember that my virtual subjects will respect me more for what I can build than what I can tear down. (Thanks, Mr. President.) I will remember my higher self and demand that she wear yellow. (Thank you, Sarah.) I will remember that my best and most important audience is just in the next room and likes Mommy Happy much more than Mommy Blue.


I have a skinny kid. He’s 2 and perfectly healthy, but skinny. Mothers of butterballs look at me with a superior air and look at him with pity. I can almost hear them thinking, “If he was MY child, I would feed him. I could fatten him right up. What kind of mother doesn’t feed her baby?” Doctors, too look at his perfectly visible ribs and request intake charts. Each has been to surprised to see that he routinely takes in more calories than necessary to support continued growth. “He’s just skinny!” I persist. I’m of course, also privy to the fact that his dad and grandfathers and both sets of uncles are all tall and most are thin. I also know that his daily routine includes climbing everything more than 12 inches off of the ground, swinging from anything stable and some things that aren’t, running circles around brothers and playmates, and jumping to and from most locations. The boy simply burns up the calories as soon as I can get them in his mouth. Thankfully, he is a good sleeper.

I did come up with a way to get him to eat a few more bites, though. We call it “Jumpstarting.” I give him his plate full of the best things about the meal. By best, I mean most nutritious and calorie-rich. When he indicates that he is all done eating, it’s time for the Jumpstart. I offer him one more thing that I know he totally loves and could never resist, like strawberries. Very often, he eats the strawberries and then goes back to the rest of his original food, as if he forgot that he was all done before. It doesn’t always work, but when it does it soothes the heart of the mother of the skinny baby.