Thursday, July 4, 2013

Freedom Rings


It was our first 4th of July in our new town, which just happens to rock out hard for America a short walk from our condo. This year, it was just me and my girls in our rocking-out party of three.

 
 
 



I made Daisy go in the petting zoo with her younger sister and the school friend we ran into. Daisy thought she was too old, but I'll have none of that. Nine is the perfect age to pet farm animals. As I was watching my kids take their turn in the pen, this random boy stood next to me, all wiggly and excited, announcing, "There is a pig all up in he-yah!"










We walked home after the stache pic then returned for the fireworks at dusk. As we waited on a blanket on the lawn for it to get pitch dark, Violet, who really should consider a career in whatever allows her to criticize things as much as possible, made statements like "This is the worst 4th of July ever" and "I hate to say this, but I'm bored." Really? You hate to complain?



Then, Tammi Brown sang the National Anthem and I was thankful it was dark, because, yeah, still dealing with the sentimental cries. (What if it doesn't go away?!)



Violet was bored no longer and sat just in front of Daisy who leaned on me for the fireworks show with a soundtrack designed to appeal to a diverse cross-section of America-heads. There was Violet's timely assessment that they really should play Katy Perry's "Firework"  seconds before it came on. Daisy sang every word of the song while Violet oohed and aahed. And, there was the impromptu shout out from the audience during the Pledge of Allegiance recording, emphasizing the whole "equality for all" concept (thank you, Supreme Court!).



Even Violet was a fan of our 4th, especially as we walked back home through traffic gridlock, proving that mama was right in making us walk a mile uphill, then back, twice.



The kids leave for Hawaii in the early morning with their dad and his family. These videos of our 4th are little mementos of our quality time before the lucky vacation/forced separation, depending on who you talk to and when. The yearly Hawaiian vacay with the other side of the family started the year of our divorce, which has made it more of a trigger for my kids' stress than it would be normally. I have hope that there is less stress this year ~aloha!



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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

aMAZing


So, my ladies were aMAZing last weekend.
 
 
That's for Tabitha who was forced into watching late night recorded Bachelorette with me. It was 2 hours of everyone saying how amazing everything was with nothing even really happening. Still, we’re not going to grow out of bad reality TV – got it, Tabitha? It’s our thing.
 
 
And it's true that I took a vacation day to hang out with a few of my best friends to do stuff like watch TV together. I was desperate for the big girl time and pummeled my friends with stories and advice and whatever else came out of my mouth as the steam shot out of my ears and eyeballs.
 
 
I certainly gave Bindy a good talking to Friday night during one of our hello-forties health talks, perhaps a preview of the long and detailed medical narratives we will scream at each other over the limits of our hearing aids someday, god willing. I shared about my Zoloft withdrawals that have almost disappeared completely, but how emotionally, I’m still a little off kilter. I can actually handle meanness more calmly right now than I can genuine kindness. Give me hope for humanity, and I fall apart.
 
 
Like that Maclamore “Same Love” song totally chokes me up. After many years of working with teenagers, I've heard more evidence of sensitivity and maturity around differences in sexual orientation and equality for all since that song became popular that it astounds me. Suddenly, kids of different belief systems and backgrounds are referencing that song like it invented civil rights yesterday. Go pop culture.
 
 
As I was telling Bin all about it, I started sobbing. Literally. There's the off-kilterness. In a world that appears so unexpectedly harsh to me these days, partially because I started reading the paper again, progress as a society is amazing. The real amazing that actually amazes when it hits the amaze censors in your brain.
 
 
Bindy’s feeling a social issue as well lately, another in her series of bumper sticker don'ts. Years back, Bindy used to become visibly angry when she came across one of those Support Our Troops bumper stickers. Actually, it wasn’t the sticker version that made her mad – it was the ribbon magnets a lot of people used to have on their cars. As she would exclaim, “If you really support our troops, why wouldn’t you put an actual sticker on your car?! How committed are you if you only use a magnet?!” You can say a lot of things about Bindy, but she’s not half-assed about bumper stickers.
 
 
This visit, she announced, “You know what I hate? When people have those little stickers representing their families. I mean, I don’t need to know who is in your family, OK?!”

Yeah, totally (gulp).

 

But that’s why I love my 20+ year friends. They accept however you need to act and respond with a lot of advice. No one gets offended, or actually we do, but if all else fails, we can make fun of each other until it passes.

Like when Corina’s man, who we were meeting for the second time, came to pick her up last weekend and stayed for a beer. At some point in the conversation, I suggested that instead of Corina stressing about her somewhat lame cooking skills, cook naked and boyfriend can be happy with grilled cheese. We all saw something fly out of boyfriend’s mouth when he choked on his beer, but I’m pretty sure that’s guy talk for “you know it, sister!”

Or, if not, I am sure Corina can explain she can’t really get rid of us.