Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Great Adventure

     On Saturday I took Chase and his friend to Great Adventure. It was one of the best days I have had in a long time, and I have some great days, so that's saying a lot.

     Our day started with a trip to through the safari. We've gone through this before. Many times. Here, in Florida at Disney World, all sorts of animal sightings. For some reason seeing animals right up close is fascinating to us. Zoos I don't do. They upset me. This safari trip was different though. Maybe it was the energy of those two little boys, or that it was just me as the adult this time, or the day, or the pull of the moon. I don't know why I loved it so much. I just did.

     The first animals we saw were these big ostriches. Big huge feathered birds that walk around like they own the place. Tapping their big beaks on people's car windows. Poking their necks back and forth. Standing in the middle of the road. They reminded me of the moose at Yellowstone Park. The first one you see is exciting. You stop, admire, take a few pictures. By the third or fourth, you are just zooming by, jaded by the previous sightings. On to more interesting, more elusive animals.

    Next animal, the elephant. Big, gorgeous, wrinkled, grey animals.
"I feel sorry for them," Vinnie said.
"Me too...."
This why seeing animals in captivity is hard. I always try to justify my sadness by the fact that my money for the tickets might be helping them somehow.

"What's next, Boys?" I ask.
Chase looks at the map. "I think we've got some zebras coming up," he told me.
The zebras are my absolute favorite. Right? I think they are so gorgeous. We took some pictures.

The whole ride through the safari were various animals with big antlers. I wasn't allowed to stop or pull over for them because apparently they look to much like deers and deers are a dime a dozen and we've got a big day here. No time for boring deer like looking animals.

We went through the rest. The lions and tigers made me the saddest. There homes weren't that nice and watching that pacing of a lion in a small area makes me feel claustrophobic. We saw bears that were so cute, big black ones, brown bears, all of them reminded us of dogs. The way their snouts looked and their head movements. I loved them. The baboons were cool too. One baby baboon was apparently upset about something and pouting. An older one, we thought the mother was trying to "talk" to it. She kept putting her arms up with a "I don't know what's wrong with you," gesture. It was so human like. I just don't know where they came up with that whole evolution thing? ;) That's a joke, I know we evolved from Flannery.

So we were nearing the end and Chase says, "Don't you think that the geese just ruin everything?" Now this made me laugh from the moment it came out of his mouth because I knew exactly what he was talking about but I wanted to hear what he had to say. "What do you mean they ruin everything?" I prompted. "You know, they're everywhere. I have to see them all the time," he answered, slightly disgusted. I have been laughing about it ever since.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Locked In Target

"If by accident you got locked in Target, you could live... forever."
That's what Saige said to me on our way in tonight.
Target to me is like cell phones. I know there was a time that it/they weren't around. I just don't really remember it all that clearly. Kind of like my life before marriage. I know it existed. It's all just very unclear how we got from there to here.
So as we walk in to get Chase the freshly made twice baked potatoes that I can only get at Target we continue her thought.
"No, really Mom. They have everything. They have groceries and clothes and tv's!"
"I bet there's a shower around here somewhere too, if not, I guess you could just wash up in the sink." I add.
"Right! They have shampoo and conditioner and even hair straighteners," she says happily.
"Yes, you could live in Target and look good doing it!" I add.
She ignores me.
We are walking down the aisle going for that grocery section at 7.30 on a Thursday night. It's dark outside and rainy and a damp and really we should be home.
"Hey look! That's Aunt Sarah over there!" she says.
Of course it is. It's friggin' Target, why wouldn't we run into someone?
Where did I used to shop for nonsense and twice baked potatoes? I can't even vaguely remember. I think one time when I need a garden hose I went to K-Mart but there was no Wegmans those days so I don't know where those potatoes could have come from. They had to come from somewhere.
Maybe I made them. Maybe I pulled out my big kitchen aid mixer thing (that I got as a wedding present from that foggy but really happened event) and I put it on the counter and I peeled some potatoes while I chatted on the phone with the long curly cord that was attached to the wall and I made some of those twice baked potatoes. Maybe. Unlikely but I can't think of a better explanation.
After we got through our Target get together with Aunt Sarah, Viv and Jude we hurried down the aisle because by this point Chase was calling from his Iphone to Saige's Iphone wondering where we were. Just like I used to do back in 1979 when I was a ten year old kid and my mom was out shopping. Not.
"On our way," Saige lied way to skillfully for my liking.
"Oh my God! Oh no! Oh my God!" I yelled.
"Are there none left?" Saige asked as we stared at the spot where the potatoes should have been.
"Oh man, he's going to be mad. That was all he wanted. What can I get him that he would like as much?" I asked as I scanned the other pre made foods for something he liked.
"Sushi?" Saige said.
"They don't have that here," I said.
" That's the one thing Target doesn't have!" she said, "I guess you couldn't live here long, Mom," she added knowing my great love for the chance of mercury poisoning.
I guess she's right on point cause I don't see a wine list sitting around anywhere either.
Target needs to step it up if they want me squatting there anytime soon.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Reason Number Five Hundred And Sixty Three

that I bow down and pray every time my son walks in the room.

Chase is in the art room of my studio. I am out front in the store, about 10 feet away from him. He calls his friend Matt on the phone. They discuss who is going to sleep over at who's house. Chase doesn't even bother asking me because he knows for a fact, like he knows his own hand, that I will say, "Yes," to whatever he asks of me. He knows that I will probably even go so far as to say, "Of course Sweet and Precious Angel." That's just how we roll.

So he's on the phone with Matt and Matt has to ask his mom something. I hear through the phone, "Mooooooooooommmmmmmmmmm. MMMMOOOOooooooooommmmm. MMMMMMMOOOOOOMMMMM."
All of the sudden it starts to get louder... "MMMMMMMOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMM."
I realize I can hear it more because he has put it on speaker and now he's walking towards me with this big grin on his face. He says to me, "Can you hear him?"
I smile and shake my head yes.
"What??" Matt demands.
"Nothing," Chase says as he looks at me again and shakes his head.

It was a thing of great beauty. He totally got why it was so obnoxious and funny at the same time and he wanted to share the love with me.

That was really probably number like one million gazillion but I thought five hundred and sixty three had a nice ring to it.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Just Plain Scary

So I'm driving my child to his father's house and on the street corner are the Crazy Pro Lifer Wacknutters. Yup, that's what they are. Crazy. You have to be crazy to hold up a sign of a bloody fetus in the car window directly where a child is sitting. Only a stone cold freak would do that. That's not opinion, that's plain fact. Be pro life all you want. Sing song's about it. Read books. Pray for it. But keep your disgusting posters out of my car window. It's weird and gross. I am wondering when they will start just bringing actual real live dead fetus's to the street corner and parading them around. Maybe they could build them a float. Maybe the float could be a big big pregnant woman on her back with her legs up in the air and a broken hanger by the crotch. They could hang all the dead fetus's from the side and thumb tack pictures of real woman who have had abortions to the side of the pregnant lady. That's a thought.

So I was driving home thinking about this, getting more and more irritated. And I thought, I should get out and talk to them. I totally want to take some pictures for my friend who referenced their existence last night and was the one that actually started me wondering where I could get my hands on some dead fetus's to share with them. So it was odd that they were out there in such full force this morning. I guess all the soup kitchens where they usually volunteer are closed. I was all ready to go when I got a txt from my precious angel of a friend that lives down in Florida. He said, "Good morning Gorgeous. Have a spectacular day." It stopped me from ruining it by bothering with the crazies.

I got home and called him to thank him for pulling me out of that rat trap and we started talking about abortion and a documentary he had seen called 12th and Delaware that was produced by the same women that did "Jesus Camp." I youtubed them both. Scary.

Wait, is youtubed not a word?

"Jesus Camp," is the most disturbing thing I have seen since, well, since that fetus poster. I'm just going to say it. People are nuts. In it the woman that runs the camp actually says, "There are two kinds of people in this world, those who love Jesus and those who don't." Really? Is that all the kinds of people there are? What about those that don't know for sure, or those that just like him, or those that think, "well... he's kinda cute, maybe I love him...," what about Jews for Jesus (do they count for the "for" or "against" side), what about people that love Jesus but are gay, do they fit in? What about those people that like sprinkles on their ice cream? Whose side are they on?

Two kinds of people in the world...
No wonder there are so many wars.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Judge Me

Or not.
Judgement.  Judgmental. Mental. Mental case. Case study. Nobody wants to be a case study. Just like no one wants to be in the system. Right? Maybe...
Here's the bottom line. Who are you to judge?
I have a gay brother. A long time ago I started feeling really sorry for people who judge other people. My brother is the most amazing, kind, understanding, loving, person on the face of the earth (cept you). There were certain people, who I will not name now because who really cares who they are, who judged him. Judged him for who he found attractive, for who he loved, for who he chose to spend his time with. It made no sense to me at all. For real. As a very young person I just couldn't wrap my head around why one person would care who another person loved. And who they had sex with? Who cares? What business is it of anyone's?

So I had these kids of my own. I worked my ass for their entire lives for them to see people for who they are. To not discriminate for color or religion (unless they're catholic, cause frankly the catholics scare me) :). Their father and I have all sorts of characters for friends. Some are black, some are white, we've got a few Chinese ones in there, some gay, some straight, a bipolar or two, some tattoos, perhaps a piercing here or there, a couple super rich ones, a few that don't have a penny to their name, some crazies, some straight up Republicans too! We accept all kinds. Not the mean ones though. We try to quietly squeeze them out. I can handle just about anything but cruel.

So this has been my mission in life for the past 12 years. I'm not kidding about that. I have told my kids from the start, "You don't have to be the smartest, you don't have to be the fastest, the richest, the most popular, or the one with the best eyes (although they are), you do have to be the nicest though. Even when the other person is mean. Just be nice. It will take you so far."

I'm almost sorry I have been so insistent about that now. Cause here's the thing. My son has this friend who's parents are going through a divorce. The father in the divorce is one of the most judgmental people I have ever had the misfortune of meeting. He is passing this trait along to his children. They make fun of other people. They disparage gay people. They look down upon people with piercings or  tattoos. That just about rules out my entire family. (My son got his cartilage pierced the other day, it's his third piercing, he's twelve). So the kid from the other family says mean things to my son. He makes fun of people, he is basically taking after his father who acts like a complete asshole. My son has listened to his nonsense and carrying on and said repeatedly, "I'm sorry you feel that way. I will always be your friend." That's how he was brought up. On one hand, I am so glad that his heart works that way. His compassion is endless, his friendship forever. On the other hand, I am teetering on the edge of telling him to say, "I'm sorry you feel that way. Go f yourself."
So this is my dilemma. To collapse into my ego and let my child fight a battle that he has no place in or to stick with what I have always believed and tell him to only be kind.
I chose the middle ground. I told him to send out good thoughts to his friend but for the time being they wouldn't be hanging out anymore. There was going to be some space in between.
I love that term.
Space in between.
We were driving in the car yesterday when I told him that. I felt bad cause this kid used to be his best friend. He just looked at me and nodded.
Cause he gets "it."
Three earrings and all.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ha Ha Omg

The appropriateness of things often eludes me if I find them funny. My kids are the ripe old ages of 11 1/2 and 12 1/2 now. They seem more like friends at times than my children. They are extremely polite and are so aware of other people and what is right and wrong that I have no problem talking to them about anything and sharing things that others might not get. They are my children after all. I get to decide. I have this friend. He's gay. He's my buddy. My kids call him Gaddy as in Gay Daddy. They don't find this the slightest bit odd, or if they do, they like it. 

On Sunday I took my kids to the beach for a few days. We spent the car ride down listening to music and talking. They had been at camp for two weeks and so much to say. Unfortunately a lot of it revolved around a very disturbed friend they have whose parents are going through a divorce. My kids are living through this divorce and have more pain than they had from the break down of their own family. The little boy at camp told them how he was planning on buying a gun when he was 18 and shooting his mother. My kids might be mature but they are still kids. In the past year they have lived through the death of their grandfather, the separation of their parents, the death of their dog, and one of their friends mother and her 21 year old boyfriend murdering her father. It's enough already. They don't need to hear about their good friend planning the death of his mother. It's to much. So we talked and talked and talked. The more they talked and shared the more I was so proud of them and frankly so proud of their father and I. Our marriage might not have worked out but we did something right because my kids are so beyond their years in understanding and compassion that we couldn't have screwed them up that bad.

So we got to the beach after this very intense car ride and were welcomed by my kookiest of friends. She was all ready with a new Ludacris song for me called Sexting. It's now Saige's ring tone on her phone. Just the "Ha ha, omg, lol, kit, smiley faces, x and o's, lmfao." It was so unbelievably inappropriate. A song about Tiger Woods but we laughed about it for two days. Whenever there was the slightest bit of quiet someone would start singing those lines to themselves quietly. "Ha ha, o m g, l o l, k i t, smiley faces, x and o's, l m f a o!"  Either that or the old favorite, "My Chick Bad." Mother of the Year.

                                                        I am insanely in love with them.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I Just Want Them To Have Purpose

So here's the dealio, friends (if anyone is still listening, which I doubt). I moved. You (Kathy and maybe Twist) know this. I moved into town. There is hustle and bustle, there are work men and early morning joggers, there are the lawyers that are rushing into the courthouse, the men selling newspapers in the middle of traffic, the bus drivers, the kids walking to school and of course the woman next door diligently watering her plants daily.

And then there are the people that stand on the corner of my block holding up posters of bloody fetus's.

 It's not a pretty thought but it's the truth. And the thing is... I just don't get it. I mean, of course I get they are not for women choosing what to do with their own bodies. I totally get that. And surprisingly enough, it doesn't bother me. I don't care what they think. I actually don't even care that there are standing there with odd looks on their faces and bizarre posters looking like they belong in the land of the misfit toys from that Christmas special with the heat miser.

The thing I don't quite understand is what there purpose is? Is it to shove their views down others throats at the crack of dawn when people are starting their days? Is it to harass young people who are in want of an abortion? Is it cause they have nothing else to do?

Here's what I think (and we all know that I control all of God's creatures, just ask Crazydave) I think instead of coming to my corner they should go volunteer at a woman's shelter and help people in need, maybe at a soup kitchen? Or, or, or... they could be actually working at a paying job to earn money to help pregnant teens that don't want an abortion to pay for their medical bills. They could help old people run errands, they could help old people across the street, they could clean up our parks, they could pick up recycling.
They could do something other than slow down traffic in rush hour.
Let's all think "greater good."