Friday, January 30, 2015

Sibling rivalry

Christmas 2014
The day started on a harmonious note:
Okay, I both love and hate this picture.  I love it because, well, matching PJs!  On the animals, even!  However, it is not the most flattering picture I've ever taken.  Also?  Kendall, the cat in my lap (did you know there was a cat in my lap?) is making my shape look a whole lot weirder than it normally is.  Do I need to lose a few pounds? Yes?  But my abdomen isn't DEFORMED, yall.)

No really, everyone was pretty much diggin' their duds.  Some of the cats more than others.  Maxx (the gray I'm holding) always likes dressing up.  It makes him feel pretty.  Izby (in the Daughter's lap) didn't mind was a cold morning & he's cold natured.  Kendall, the one who's melded into my lap, hated her PJs.  She slunk around like she was partially paralyzed/had a broken spine until we took hers off.
Anywho, after we posed for our Christmas picture, we opened our gifts to one another and had our Christmas brunch.  All felt good and right with the world.
That lasted about an hour, and then this:
I don't know if the battle raged because of the box itself, because Daisy was jealous that Izby still had on his PJs, or if it was just that time of day when, as a cat, you try to rip your brother's head off.  Glad I was able to catch it on video.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Dark and Light

“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.”
William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

I'm going to be honest with you guys...this month has sucked, and it has sucked hard.
I never have been a big January fan (well, except for that time that I got that really, great, fantastic wonderful kid and all...but even she came with an episiotomy).  You've got you're post-holiday blues.  You've got crappy, gray weather.  You don't have another holiday off work until Memorial Day.  In MAY.
This particular January has been especially bad.  A classmate of mine died.  TWO ex-co-workers (both really great guys) died.  I got the flu.  And it rained...and rained...and rained.  I have been really, really bummed.

Which is why I so very much enjoyed a picture that one of my daughter's friends tagged me in on Facebook...
Wait, let me back up a sec.
Back in early November, when Daughter was home from college on fall break, she was driving across an old Army Fort when she saw this little girl:

This sweet little thing had obviously been dumped by some asshole running around masquerading as a human.  She was skin and bones...but so FRIENDLY.
Daughter knew we were already way over quota on our pet count, but she also knew that she couldn't leave this girl out there like she was.  She figured we could find her a least get her fed until we could maybe find a foster home or no-kill shelter.
She took a couple of pictures of her and posted them on Facebook and Twitter.
Before this puppy could even finish her bowl of dog food (and she was INHALING it), one of Daughter's friends was on her way over to adopt her.  She had taken one look at her and fell in love.
I ran into this friend in Target and asked how the puppy (now named Maggie) was doing.  Beaming, Daughter's friend answered, "She's PERFECT!! I love her so much!"  And the next day, she posted a picture and tagged me in it:
I can't tell you how much this lifted my heart.  I'd say it made my day...but truth be told, it made my month.  What an angel. Er...angels.

Monday, January 19, 2015


On January 19, 1996 at 2:32 p.m. my life changed forever.  In fact, every facet of my life changed forever.  Physically, I felt a mess (4th degree episiotomy is the medical term. "Frankengina" or "the perineal disaster" was more descriptive.  Probably too descriptive, but there we are). Emotionally, I was both high as a kite (I had never felt such love for anything, ever.  I didn't even know I had the capacity for such love until that moment.) and terrified beyond belief (this tiny wee thing that I loved so much?  was utterly defenseless.  HO-LY shit!  Anything could happen!  Anything!).
I was so proud (Because, guys?  She was the most beautiful baby you ever did see.  Honestly, just look:)
I was so humbled. (Because on the other hand, guys? Jeff and I were going to be THE MAIN influence on what got put between those precious little ears.  We were going to be the base that everything she knew, and felt, and believed was built upon.  And we SUCKED at a lot of things. We were 25 and 26 for crying out loud!  What did we know?!?)
This parenting gig??  It's been amazing. And scary. And wonderful. And awful. NOTHING could have prepared me for what was to come...the highs of watching my daughter learn and grow and mature, indescribable.  She was SO. DANG. SMART. At one time Jeff told me, "I don't even tell daughter stories at work anymore.  It doesn't seem fair to the other dads...their kid just remembered the dog's name...ours can do rudimentary physics." (True story.  At two, she asked me how far it was to Birmingham (about 60 miles)...then said, "Oh, so if we go 60 mph, we'll be there in an hour.")
But then there were the lows of seeing her heart get broken (kids are mean little shits sometimes)...of seeing my own heart get broken as she grew and distanced herself from me.
All in all, she turned out mighty fine.  I was reminded of this the other day...
Kiddo was home from college and we had decided to go get pedicures together. We settled in to our pedicure chairs...the Daughter chatting it up with a boy she had graduated with, who worked at the nail salon.  He was cute as a button and very obviously gay (he had waxed eyebrows, eyeliner and high-heeled, knee-high boots on).  As Daughter wandered over to pick out her color of nail polish, he leaned towards me and whispered, "Do you know how amazing your daughter is?"  Of course, I DO think I know how amazing she is, but I always enjoy hearing it from others.

Pedi-dude proceeded to tell me how my daughter had come to his defense time and again after he came out in high school...both in person and on social media.
How she made it a point to sit by him at lunch if he was ever alone.
How she COMPLETELY dressed down someone who was bullying him on Facebook by throwing Bible verses at him and telling him he was going to Hell.  She had fired right back at this "Christian" about how a follower of Christ should ACT and put him in his place about what his actual JOB was (to love one another and to lead people to God) and what it was NOT(to be judge-y and hateful and run people off the whole idea of God).  

My pedicurist said to me, "You'll never know what her support has meant to me over these past couple of years.  You don't expect it from the popular, smart, cheerleader types.  I just wanted to tell you "Thank you" for raising her like you did."

It's those kinds of moments that let me know that Jeff and I did a pretty decent job.