I got an email the other day that immediately set off my guilt alarm. It was a sweet and gentle reminder from my friend Lynn that she had “missed” me at last Saturday’s Weight Watcher’s meeting. We had been going for the past few weeks and I had dutifully slogged my way through 6 weeks of chipping away at the weight that had been creeping up and taunting me on the scale. A growling stomach and a grumpy disposition accompanied the paltry pound a week that I had lost.
The day started like any other, with chaos as the boys rolled out of bed, into the shower and grabbed breakfast off the counter to eat in the car. Seven am is much too early for much more than general pleasantries, but the hour doesn’t usually interrupt my younger son’s incessant ramblings. This annoys my older son to no end, usually resulting in him bellowing at his brother to SHUT UP, multiple times. It is such a happy start to the day.
My parents came to visit for my birthday weekend. We had some plans to go to festivals and a porch-side dinner on Saturday, but terrible weather delayed those adventures to the next day (see Art Appreciation http://www.fallingdowntherabbithole.com/2010/04/art-appreciation/ ). So I ran to the store to pick up Avatar for the family to watch as my parents hadn’t seen it when it came through the theaters. To be honest, I didn’t want to see it either when the hype started last Christmas. I took my son Eric to watch Avatar on our New Year’s Eve date, and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the movie. I plugged the dvd player into the TV and popped in the disc. I squeezed myself between Eric, the dog and my mom, tugging a corner of the shared blanket over my legs and dug into the community bowl of popcorn.
Saturday was miserable in Atlanta. Rain, wind and tornado watches ruined any outdoor activities for the day. So when Sunday dawned with blue skies and sunshine, I knew it was time to head to the great outdoors. My parents, Eric and I drove to downtown Alpharetta after lunch to stroll among the Streetfest booths. Eric, my youngest, was in a cranky mood and the art show didn’t help. He whined that we were walking too slow. He sighed, loudly and often, when my mom and I would stop to look at jewelry for more than five minutes. I don’t think my dad was too happy to be there either, but he was smart enough not to complain out loud.
Today is my birthday. I have been told that I am older than dirt. It started Friday at school when I walked into a teacher’s class at the end of the day. The kids were watching “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” and snacking on popcorn to celebrate the end of CRCT testing week. One of the little boys brightly told me that Mrs. Robinson, their teacher, had mentioned that her mom loved this movie when she was a little girl. He then went on to say, in a loud voice, that the movie came out four years after Mrs. Robinson’s mom was born, in 1968. Mrs. Robinson’s mom was only four years older than ME???? While I was reeling from that little tidbit, the chatty little boy put the nail in the coffin, “1968! That is really, really old.”
I walked in the door breathing hard, sweaty and feeling just slightly smug. I had run, almost a half of a mile. It’s not very far by anyone’s measure, but it is a running milestone for me. You see, I am not a runner. I don’t do half marathons, 5Ks or even jog up the driveway to get the mail. The only exception to this rule would be if I was being chased by a large, rabid animal or a psychopath wielding a knife. And even then, if they chase me for more than ten minutes, I would probably just fall down and let the dingoes or Freddie Krueger do me in. The thought of running for fun (or even my life) just isn’t that appealing to me. Maybe if I could just figure out a way to run downhill the whole way, I might enjoy running a whole lot more.
I am an avid reader and I recently started receiving a magazine entitled ”Body +Soul”. I had meant to order People, but checked the wrong box. Anyway, as I thumbed through “Body +Soul” I noticed pretty quickly the articles surrounding green living were interrupted only by suggested yoga retreats and three thousand dollar, lavender infused Egyptian cotton sheet sets deemed”necessary” for a good night’s sleep. If I spent three thousand dollars on sheets, I wouldn’t be able to sleep at all. But I did read the articles on the alarming use of pesticides on foods and their negative impact on children. I immediately felt terrible for purchasing apples from the local grocery and wouldn’t ever admit, even when threatened with water boarding, to taking my boys to eat at McDonalds. What kind of mother would that make me?! According to this magazine, unfit was probably the kindest adjective they would consider.
I saw an add for a new twist on every mom’s favorite go to pants the other day. No they weren’t the horrifying skinny jeans (and really, anyone over 40 probably couldn’t fit one toe into a leg, much less a whole thigh) or the oh- so -last- year, low rider versions. No, these echoed back to the dark days of mom jeans but with a higher comfy value. Pajamajeans are just that, pajamas and jeans IN ONE ( http://www.pajamajeans.com/ ) !! The add shows a model type sashaying around her daily activities in her (wink, wink) jeans that feel like pajamas! They look like dark blue sweatpants to my untrained eyes, replete with faux stitching on the seams and back pockets. I think I can hear Clinton and Stacey from What Not To Wear crying right now.
My backyard has been woefully neglected over the past few years. The grass has been growing sparser as the Georgia red clay reclaims what used to be sod. So this spring I resolved to stop bemoaning the mess it was and do something. Off to Home Depot I went with a list in hand to create a backyard haven of cool green grass and well-tended garden space, with visions of a fire pit and a shade garden forming for the distant future. An order was placed and the date set for my version of Pimp Your Backyard (coming soon to HGTV) to begin.
I think all kids go through the stage of believing if they can’t see you, you can’t see them. One of my favorite memories of Eric was from a time when he was about three years old. We had a friend living with us for about six weeks as she was going through the process of moving into a new home following her divorce. Erica and her little girl Allie were staying with us and Allie’s favorite snack was Disney Princess Gummies. Eric had spied a bag lying on the floor of the room they were staying in, next to his, and surreptiously slipped the bag into the waistband of his pjs to sneak them back to his room. As I was putting towels into the guest bath, I passed his bedroom and glanced in the doorway to see him sitting on the bed, quiet as could be. I paused to watch and began to smile as he very carefully had placed a blanket over his head and upper body, like the invisibility cloak in Harry Potter, and was savoring each of those contraband purple Snow Whites and yellow Cinderellas. He couldn’t see me, so apparently he had became invisible to the world in his little mind.