Saturday, October 31, 2009

Wild Thing

So last night I was out walking in the dark,
in the warm, wet night,
and I was feeling soooo sad about nothing in particular.

Maybe I was feeling sorry for myself
because the wind was whipping my hair everywhere,
and the rain was falling on my face
and I was all alone.

Who knows where these mysterious moods originate?
Usually a nice long walk zaps them.
But this time, the more I walked,
the worse I felt.

Coming back home,
seeing the house all lit up,
I didn't want to go back in,
and that is a very, very bad sign.

Emergency measures must be taken
when one is reluctant to go back home.

Three children inside,
in their jammies,
late getting to bed
because mama is walking way too long...

So I opened the front door and hollered.

"Get your shoes on!"

The older one recognized the drill and
helped monitor the confusion of the twins,
who were concerned with unimportant details
like whether they had to wear a jacket,
change into real clothes
or whether slippers counted as shoes (they do).

Once they appeared - more or less clothed -
I said, "Ready-set-go!" faster than they could process
and dashed toward the backyard.
They tailed me, not wanting to get left behind
in the creepy pre-Halloween black of night.

We tore for the back field and cut through
Gillespie's backyard for the subdivision.

We ran down the road with our arms held straight up in the air
for absolutely positively no reason except that
we were wearing pajamas and slippers in October
at 10pm and it seemed like a crazy thing to do.

Then we came back and played Popowitch in the yard,
hiding behind trees and screaming.

The warm wind was glorious,
the rain and the dark felt dangerous
and when we fell in the front door laughing,
it felt so good to be home.


Friday, October 30, 2009


Last night on an emergency run to the grocery store,
I walked by the display of Halloween cupcakes from the bakery.

Then I walked back to them.

I looked at the cool green witch's finger on the top of each one.

I looked in my cart
at the cake mix,
the frosting,
the baking cups,
the decorations.

I did math in my head.

And I realized with sudden clarity
that $15 for 36 cupcakes,
the night before the school Halloween party
is really money well-spent.


Thursday, October 29, 2009


Uncontrollable laughter...
the kind where you can feel it coming, and you know it's going to be bad.
The kind where at some point you might worry that you are going to pee your pants.
The kind where you make loud noises and tears come to your eyes, and you know you're embarassing yourself, but it's just out of your control.

It started last night at the choir concert when Twin Boy fell asleep.
It just struck me as so funny, because he is SUCH an animated being, and seconds before he was asking to go run around with his friends, talking a mile a minute.
One slow song in and he was OUT.

I looked over and it was a sudden burst of hilarity.
I felt it coming, I was shaking, trying not to snort,
doing the silent laugh that hurts your stomach.
I could feel the people behind me wondering. It was just not THAT funny.
But looking over at him, with his head lolled to the side and his mouth open, just - boom - asleep. It just flipped a switch in me.

That's the way it is with that kind of funny moment. It doesn't really make sense.
It triggers some nonsensical part of you that nobody else understands, and that's part of what makes it so funny.
To you.

Maybe it's hormonal.
I remember attending my first Lamaze class, and going through the motions of breathing.
I looked around and all of the couples were so SO serious.
It just struck me that we were all sitting there pretending to have a baby.

Like, acting it out.

I don't know why, but it just threw me and I started giggling.
At the first glance toward me from some dour serious parent-to-be, I knew it was over.
The look that said, "Rude. You are rude to laugh." It put me over the edge. I snorted.
I tried to stop. The husband shushed me and smiled apologetically to the others.
By then I was in full out laughter - loud, long, gasping for breath and what made it even more funny is that the whole class was silent, continuing on with their exercises,
completely ignoring the maniacal laughter from the one lady who was now lying prone on the floor, hiccuping and not even trying to stop anymore.

I mean, wouldn't you stop, sit back on your heels and try to catch the joke?
Nope. They wrote me off. And I laughed all the harder.

So twice now the Teenager has joined me in an "episode".
The first was when he had to get pictures taken of his mouth just before getting braces.
We had no idea what was going to happen.

I was sitting supportively opposite him.
I was smiling encouragingly as the technician fitted his mouth with.....a medieval torture device.
When she backed away, I was staring at my poor son, who was looking at me questioningly, his lips peeled back away from his teeth with some sort of metal clamping gear - top and bottom.

It was the most hideous grimace I had ever seen. And I just burst out laughing.
Then he did too, and we both went through the whole gamut - the tears, the loss of breath, the guffaws.

The technician just stood there, kind of taken aback.
The more I laughed the more he laughed, and the funnier he looked and the more he drooled.
He had tears streaming down his face - his little Joker face - and I....could....not....stop....

Fast forward to today.
This is SO not that funny.
I hadn't eaten yet and was on my third cup of coffee and I could feel the tremors beginning.
The inner quivering of my stomach. The woozy head. It was coming.

We were sitting in the oral surgeon's office, waiting for the doctor to come in and consult about his wayward wisdom teeth. I told the Teenager of how my brother had posted a question on Facebook: Which would you rather have, a head twice its normal size, or half its normal size?

It set us both off, and we could barely talk, laughing at the question and then laughing at the other person laughing, egging each other on, topping each other with just one more layer of stupidity, just one more silly "what if"....

We were crying by the time I said,
"When that doctor walks in, all I'm going to be able to see is whether his head is proportionate to his body."
Again with the gasping, the falling out of the chair, the wiping of the eyes.

Then he walked in and he was so normal looking it was a let down.

All this to say....

I have no idea why I said all of this.

It's just....sometimes, it feels really really good to laugh.
I highly recommend just letting go. Letting it rip.
Life is funny.
There is laughter to be had.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Math Balloon

After an hour of stressful mathematics,
feelings of failure,
twin girl disappeared upstairs.

She came back down and stood half behind a door
to tell me she was making something.

"It's to help with my math facts,"
she said with a grin.

"Show me!" I said.

She pulled out a balloon from the Teenager's
birthday celebration this afternoon,
and said that while she is lying in bed,
she can toss it up in the air.

When she catches it, she looks at whatever fact
is facing her,
and she says it aloud three times.

Then she throws it up again.


We may not be good at math in this house,
but we are good at shaking off the bad stuff
and trying to make it into something happy.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Life is Short, Wear the Dress

This summer I bought a dress on impulse.
It was completely unrealistic.
But I came out of the dressing room with it over my arm,
and I marched up to the register.
My girlfriends raised their eyebrows with pleasure.

I said,
"I know. I'm never going to wear this.
But I'm going to buy it.
Because it makes me feel like a Princess when I put it on."

It hung in my closet for months.

Then early this month I had a wedding to attend.
Sadly, the husband had to back out.
I was depressed about attending alone.

I was standing in my closet in my underwear,
getting even more depressed because I couldn't find anything to wear,
and it was getting late.

Middle child walked in and innocently fingered the Princess Dress.
"Why don't you wear this?"

I explained to her that it was October,
and that dress was too skimpy,
and I'd have to wear sandals with it,
and it was just not the right dress for an October wedding.

The pile of castoff outfits on the bed started to grow.
I kept looking at the clock and getting more manic in my search
for something right.
I was growing more and more depressed about going to the wedding alone.
I got that familiar weepy feeling, sort of a
"boo-hoo I don't have anything to wear" thing
that only girls understand.

Middle child came in again and it felt like she was the grown-up.

"Mom, please, why don't you just wear the dress?"

I stopped and looked at the dress.
I thought about how I bought it
knowing I'd never have any reason to wear it.
I thought about how it felt when I put it on,
the soft fabric, the slinky feel of the skirt.

Something in me just kind of relaxed in one second.
I grabbed the dress and I put it on.
I strapped on the sandals.
I draped a black cover-up over my shoulders.

Middle child oohed and ahhed, and grinned at me.

The thought that had gone through my head,
is one that keeps returning to me since that night
when I swirled into the wedding, late,
slipped into the back row and crossed my legs.

Life is short,
Wear the dress.


Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Pickin' and Grinnin'

So I was on my way to rehearsal last night and
I looked in the rearview mirror to check my nose
because something was tickling it,
and I was driving and checking, and kind of wiping,
NOT picking,
and I look down and there is a couple walking their dog
and the man is looking right at me.

I made a left turn and I'm thinking,
"SHOOT! That guy thinks I picked my nose!"

Well I am here to state emphatically that I
was NOT picking my nose last night at 6:55pm on Grand River
just before turning onto Elm.

Checking your nose in the rearview mirror
just before meeting with people is a long-standing
practice and should be encouraged in my opinion.

It doesn't have anything to do with picking your nose.
When people pick their noses, they lean their head DOWN.
Think about it.
They do not angle their noses upward,
which is proper nose-checking procedure.

Nose-checking: acceptable, desirable behavior.
Nose-picking: completely different and I was not doing it.

Thank you.