We went to a party last night. It was thrown by a friend who has a teenage daughter, and both adults and kids were welcome. So when we rolled up to the party, we were met by a large pack of teenage girls standing on the front lawn. We parked, and before we got out of the car, I answered a text I'd gotten from another friend who was on her way. As we were sitting there, Gibson leaned up and said "Uh.. Mom? They're all staring at us...."
"I know." I said.
"WHY are they all just staring at us?" he asked.
"Because they're teenage girls" I replied. "And that's what teenage girls do."
Gibson contemplated this for a minute and then he looked at me and said "Mom...? Do they also hunt in prides?"
And after I collected myself from my hysterical fit of laughter I said "Yes they do, honey. Yes they do..."
A few weeks ago I ran into someone I hadn't seen in a long time, and she told me that she missed my blog. And I thought, you know what? I miss my blog too. There's something cathartic - and fun, too - about sitting down and documenting the antics of our household. It's lack of time - not lack of material - that keeps me from posting. So I got back on here, and HOLY COW, people! It's been a year. A full YEAR - almost to the day - since I wrote anything in this space. And that blows my mind because...honestly? WHERE has that time gone? Sheesh....
So....let's get up to speed here.
I guess I'll start with Sam, our family dog of 12 years that we had to put down in January. He was a big old dopey hundred-and-seven pound lovable yellow lab who was riddled with arthritis and fatty tumors. He shed all over the house, had horrible gas (like the "this might suffocate you in your sleep" kind), bulldozed down any unsuspecting person who had the unfortunate luck to ring our doorbell, ate your food when you weren't looking, and was generally a giant pain in the ass. And I loved him. And I suppose because we loved him so much, it seemed the kindest thing to do for him when he couldn't really walk, get up or down, was in obvious pain, and was losing control of his bowels. But that didn't make it any easier.
We held a "service" for him the in backyard that included a small bonfire, each of us taking turns reading our own individual "letters to Sam" and a song that Gibson spent days composing all by himself. His solo was tender and heartfelt and atrociously off-key. It was hard to keep a straight face and be really serious as he poured out his feelings through his *melody*. We manged though, because it truly was touching and sweet, even if it did hurt your ears.
And you know what's crazy? Even though it's been 4 months, I still pull into the driveway every day and get out of the car thinking I better hurry up and let the dog out before he shits on the floor. It's like my tires hit the driveway and that motion somehow automatically triggers the thought that slides unconsciously across the front of my brain so that I have to consciously remind myself that "No....I don't." I guess 12 years of habits are hard to break.
Well...... that was uplifting, no? I had a few more "life events" that I was going to fill you in, but you know what? As I was writing them out I realized that they aren't altogether very happy ones. So perhaps I'll wait for another time. Break them up a bit. Give them to you in smaller doses. And that way when you're done reading you won't be so overwhelmed with all things sad that you feel inclined to wash down a few Valium with a bottle of wine and go lay down on the couch. Deal?
Instead, I'll tell you the story that I told Sarah Beth who, in turn, reminded me that I needed to get my butt back to this blog.
A few weekends ago, when it was warm and sunny and wonderfully beautiful outside, the boys spent an entire day digging a hole in the back yard. While I think it's general purpose was pure entertainment, and later determined to be a trap for the random bunny traversing our property, what they've actually constructed is the perfect Parent trap. I like to refer to it as "The Ankle Breaker." It's about two and half feet deep, nice and narrow, and in just the right spot (read: completely random) for an unsuspecting 40 year old to fall right into it while preoccupied with something else. Because who in their right mind - besides any male child between the ages of 6 and 11 - would expect that HOLE to be RIGHT THERE?! (In case you think - with good reason - that a broken bone is the direction I'm headed with this story, rest assured that this has not yet taken place. But it no doubt will, because we haven't actually gotten around to filling that "rabbit trap" in. And the longer it lays in wait out there, the more likely we are to forget about it, so...you know.... stay tuned.)
No, instead I'm going to tell you about what happened as the hole digging was in progress. Because hole digging requires overturning dirt, and you know what you can find in dirt, don't you?
WORMS! And when you come across approximately four big old juicy earthworms, and you're out in the backyard with your little brother, the next logical thing to do is to dare him to eat them. All four. And tell him that you'll pay him $2.00. Fifty cents a worm! What a deal!
Now according to Gibson, this was all Landis's idea. That he got an eye-full of these worms and was all "Hey Gibson! Dare me to eat these?" And Gibson was all "HECK YES I DO! AND I'll even give you $2.00 so you don't have to do it for nuthin'!" Or something of the sort.... I don't really know how it went down, or whose brain the idea originated in first. All I know is that Gibson came into the house and announced that Landis was about to eat worms. And I said OK and went back to what I was doing in the first place -- which I think was laundry, because I can NEVER climb out from under THAT mountain. Anway... I've been momming-it to little boys for almost a decade now, so I was generally unruffled by the worm eating proposal. I mean, look y'all.... I eat sushi, which let's be honest, probably isn't really any better. And these worms? They were obviously organic. Free-range. No hormones or antibiotics, right? I'd even wager that they're lean protein. Doesn't that make them some kind of certified health food? Anyway, like I said.......Unruffled. (Though mildly grossed out when I found out that part of the deal was that he could dip them in ketchup. I don't know why that makes it worse, but somehow it does.)
So the worm eating event went down without fanfare, Landis earned his $2.00, and they eventually got back to the business of digging. And for the record (because I know you're wondering) worms apparently taste mostly like "nothing". And I should also note here that I suspect Gibson may have also nibbled a few just, you know, to see.....
But my favorite part of the story comes in here: At the diner table after Mike got home for the evening. Gibson was practically bursting at the seams to tell his father that LANDIS ATE WORMS that day! And Mike, who has a weaker stomach than I do, but realizing that we were way past the point in which he could do anything about it just sighed and said "Well Landis...? Did you at least wash them off before you ate them?" In response, Landis curled his lip, furrowed his brow, and peered at Mike out of the top of his eyeballs like Mike just asked him the MOST ASININE question he has ever been asked in his short life and -- I'm telling you the straight up truth here -- said this: "Of COURSE I did! I wouldn't eat dirt! That's GROSS!"
Until I started writing this little blog-here-thingy, I never really realized how much I like to write. Well you know what? I like to write. And I like to write about the crazy shit that happens in my household. A little humor goes a long way in helping me maintain my grip, You know? Can I get a "Holla'!"?