17 November 2007

Let There Be Peace on Earth (And Let it Begin in the Kingdom)

This picture was taken:

A.) Five minutes after arrival arriving home.

B.) After a night of cotton candy and a violent sugar crash

C.) Never. It was photo-shopped by an evil elf who is jealous that outbreaks such as thus never occur in the Kingdom.

In this picture, Little A is:

A.) Going for the jugular

B.) Learning the basics of CPR by testing for Big A's pulse

C.) Practicing the under-rated art form of quashing an opponent by striking a particular nerve in their neck

The most appalling part of this photo is:

A.) The Servant is genuinely laughing hysterically while watching the Queens attack each other

B.) See above

If you've ever read my blog, you should know that I'm too lazy to be creative. The correct answers are all "A".

15 November 2007

Help Wanted

Victim Volunteer-minded individual needed to help serve the charming queens shown above.

Must have the following traits, philosophies and qualifications:

  • Must value the under-appreciated art of laundry folding.
  • Must subscribe to the philosophy that yes, if you wear a shirt for one nano-second, it is dirty, and thereby must be laundered. Also, if you insist that since you collect, wash, dry, sort and fold the laundry, you shouldn't also have to take care of it, you probably aren't the person for this position.
  • Must possess a good sense of potty humor. (As in: you find humor in fishing the few valuables you have out of the toilet)
  • Must have enough social grace not to stare, mouth agape, at excellent exhibitions of temper tantrums, nor chase the offender with a wooden spoon following one of those exhibitions in which, oh, for example, chocolate milk has been spewed across freshly mopped floors. (PS: When we say "mopped", we mean, scrubbed, on your hands and knees)
  • Must be able to function at maximum capability on less than four hours of sleep.
  • Should be able to appreciate the small joys in life, such as getting to run to the bathroom every ten minutes for false potty alarms.
  • Must have the humility to admit your errors when you ignore one of the potty alarms and then have to clean up potty-ily fluids from the floor.
  • Should not insist upon getting hearing checks scheduled for the Queens just because they appear, on most occasions, not to hear you.
  • Must be able to sustain constant criticism and little positive feedback. Being able to make killer oatmeal/raisin/chocolate chip/walnut cookies can help in that department.
  • Should not be the sort to ponder where a child learns to yell, but rather the type that is grateful that your children have functioning lungs.
  • Should laugh hysterically at all farts, burps, mashed potatoes ground into the crevices of your hardwood flooring, food hidden in bedrooms, water dumped from the tub and onto the floor, despite twice daily preachings that one should not do that.
  • Additionally, when we said "volunteer minded", we specifically were referring to the wages we are willing to offer.
All interested applicants, please contact the castle IMMEDIATELY.

09 November 2007


Little A calls Big A's dad "Daddy".

"Hi Daddy", she says when he walks in to pick up Big A.
"Bye Daddy", she says when they are leaving. Sometimes she even tosses in an "I love you", when she doesn't say, "Peace out".

It was awkward, the first few times, but now it's just something we laugh off when she says it. I personally have a habit of laughing or smiling even when I feel as though my heart is being wrenched from within my chest.

Big A is happy to share, to an extent. I believe above the extent that a nine year old who has been thrust into that position would be. She'll show Little A pictures, talk about her daddy, and hug her a little tighter when they are sitting on the couch and she says, "No, Little A, he's my daddy. You don't have a daddy". I smile sweetly and get up and go into the bathroom off the kitchen and look in the mirror and say, "You will not cry" until I don't.

She's getting so much bigger and smarter now, Little A is, and I feel that as she does, I'm getting smaller and more scared.

I'm unsure of what to say to Big A when she expresses her anger at Little A's father. Her face turns to stone when she speaks of him, her eyes raging with an inferno of hurt and loss and not understanding. Mine wasn't the only heart he broke.

"Who wouldn't want to see their kid"? She'll ask, angrily. "I wish I could see him, because I'd tell him. Tell him what I think of him". Other times, she'll lay her head on my chest and cry for Little A. "What's life going to be like for her? To not even have a dad"?

"She has us", I'll say, and smile, and then Big A will tell me that I'm squeezing her hand too hard.

She's wise beyond her years, Big A, and she has a dad that is amazingly good to her. He coaches her ball teams, helps her with homework and genuinely enjoys her. I don't ever feel as though I'm a single parent to Big A. He knows her in and out, to the point that at times, I'm jealous.

They have the same demeanor and views on how life looks to them. If there are issues with Big A, I can call him at anytime of the day or night to discuss them; there is nothing more important than his child, and she knows that. I have to think that the security in that knowledge gives her things that Little A will not have, and somehow, intrinsically, Big A knows it, too.

I've been thinking of sending a letter and photos to his family, to let them know that his lack of acknowledgement of her hasn't bolted the door on their opportunity to know her, to be sure that they are aware that they are welcome in her life. I don't know what he's told them, but I cannot imagine my parents or siblings not wanting to know an extension of themselves, so it makes it hard (perhaps delusionally so) for me to envision them being that way.

I suppose I haven't sent them in fear of what they would or wouldn't respond. In fear that someday, I'll have to tell Little A that I did try, that her grandparents and aunt and uncle do know, but they didn't want to know her. I don't think I'm capable of saying those things to her.

Recently when I was cleaning out a drawer, I opened an envelope from one of my friends, expecting to find a letter from her. Instead, I found a handful of photos of Little A's dad. My intake of breath was audible and one of my hands rose to my chest, a reflex of the human body, to draw our hands to the spot that aches; to attempt to cover the wound that slowly seeps.

I wasn't sure what to do with them, those photos, for I'm in most of them as well, and we look very happy in those images. I want her to have the truth, but I don't know what the truth is. I know that the night that I told him over the phone (he was states away, snowboarding), he told me we'd get through it and that he loved me and he'd see me the next day.

I know when he left my house the next night, he said he'd be back, we'd go talk to my parents, he'd be moving in. There was no way in hell he was going to let me do this alone. I know I believed him.

I know that when I looked at those pictures, I recognized that I still don't understand. He was one of my best friends. He did love me. I have no doubt of that. Sadly, I have no doubt that if Little A were not to have existed, we would still be those friends, those people in those pictures. And that makes me angry, beyond words.

I'm angry that I spend so much time preparing for the explanation of his departure. Big A has committed to memory the events; she will undoubtedly chronicle what she witnessed to her sister one day, and the recollection won't be kind to him.

He doesn't deserve kindness; that isn't my worry. My worry is what scar his cowardice will leave upon Little A.

My worry is that someday, Little A will pick up those photos of her father, and her hand will rise to her chest, a small sob escaping her as she tries to cover the wound that lies beneath, and that I will be completely unable to help her, my own hands covering hers, frantically trying to ebb the bleeding.

08 November 2007

Bedtime at the Castle

Time: Dark. It doesn't matter what time it is, it's dark, therefore, time for bed. You don't need to look at a clock, now quit asking.

Location: The Castle

Cast: The Queens, The Servant

Setting: The upstairs quarters, cast snuggled into respective beds

Little A: (off stage) "Hi".

Cut to Servant, putting down book, mystified look on her face, thinking, "Did I just hear Little A"?

Big A: (off stage) Mom! Little A is up!

Servant: Sigh. (Puts down book, swings legs out of bed, notes to self she needs to paint her toenails)

Little A: NO!! (Sound of pattering feet running as fast as they can down the hall, door slamming)

The Servant opens Little A's door just in time to see her diving into her bed and actually pretending to be asleep.

Servant: Little A, it's time for night-night (trying to maintain straight face)

Little A: I sleeping (shuts eyes, begins to pretend snore)

Servant: It's probably a good night for all of us to sleep together.

After getting the one hundred items needed to ensure a good night's sleep for The Queens, the cast settles into the servant's bed, snuggled up and exchanging "I love you's".


This isn't a Disney movie folks, the scene ended with The Queens hitting each other and everyone back in their respective beds for the night.

But still, for one minute.....

05 November 2007


My sister is turning thirty in about a week. It's odd, and for some reason, emotional for me.

"Thirty" was always the number that as a child, I figured I'd be an adult at. I figured at thirty, I'd be my prettiest, happiest, smartest and most wise. Even as the end of my twenties ebbed slowly into my thirties, still, I feel that way--the same way that I did in my youth; waiting for the becoming of an adult.

Outwardly, yes, I suppose I am one. By all appearances children, mortgages, car payments, parent-teacher conferences--those denote the activities of an adult. It's just that when I lie down at night, I still wonder when I'll actually begin to feel like one.

Many of the insecurities of my youth are still lodged within me and speak to me. "What if they don't like me? What if they laugh? What if when I walk away, they are talking about me?" I know that many times, I'm still perceived as the snobby child, reading on the playground, too good to talk to anyone, when honestly, I'm so unsure of myself at times, I can't even begin to think of how to interact with someone else.

Of course, I know that thirty is just a number. How can I so fiercely still feel and recall my youth--as though it were just a blink away--when in reality, it becomes further removed each day?

Is this how it will be then, always? Even when wrinkles line my face and hands and there is no longer any semblance of the girl in my tattered photo albums compared to the woman before the mirror? I'll still smell and feel and live in my youth, while to everyone else, I'm old? So perhaps it's not just my imagination, the sadness I think I see behind the eyes of so many elderly?

When I recall my family, we are young. We are unbroken and innocent and laugh freely; the way that we did before we realized that sometimes, our laughter was too loud or distinct; before we began repressing it--taking for granted that we'd want to laugh that way later.

My mom recently said to my aunt, "It's scary, isn't it, coming upon sixty and still feeling like a teenager"? And I felt her then: the girl in the photo, holding the hands of the man that she'd marry, her head tilted back and happiness so obviously written upon her face. I'm not sure that I knew her before that moment, for I'd been so busy calling her "mom", I'd never devoted much time to thinking that she hadn't always answered to that name. Once upon a time, perhaps she, too, looked at thirty as a million years away and then wrestled with the passing of it when it arrived upon her doorstep when she had only closed her eyes for a moment.

Thirty, when so very clearly, I recall her "three", and her "three" feels closer in time than the celebration planned for next week. Is that possible, really, for time to pass so quickly and yet remain so still within? How is it that I'll hug an amazing woman and wish her "Happy Thirtieth" and yet still see before me a flaxen-haired child, aged around six, thirty a lifetime away?

What are these things? What do they mean? Do we ever know?