Friday, May 07, 2010

Happy Mother's Day, Neva.

Dear Neva,

Someday, you may choose to have children and fulfill my dreams of being a grandmother. You’ll think being pregnant is really difficult, and then you’ll have the baby and realize you just wasted your last chance ever to sleep through the night.

But do not despair, my love, because someday your child will be seven, and this will be the best year of your lives.

You are seven years old right now as I’m writing this to you. Just to put things in perspective, your daddy has been home from the Army for eight months, and sometimes I am still amazed at how wonderful it is to split all the parenting jobs between two people instead of doing them all so poorly by myself. I hope I didn’t mess you up too much, but there’s a chance I did, and if that’s the case I assume you’ll be reading this letter in the midst of a therapy session. Sorry. Anyhow, Daddy is home, and your favorite thing about having him here is so that you have someone to shoot Nerf guns at (since I am off-limits) and someone to bicker with (much to my eternal eye-rolling dismay) and someone else to call a Poop Face when I am at work. Today is May 7th, technically, and I am about to graduate from college. I should be studying or sleeping, especially considering that it is 12:33 in the morning and I am a very, very old college senior, but what I really want to do right now is wake you up so we can go jump on the bed. It seems suddenly very important to me that we jump on the bed immediately if not sooner, because maybe I haven’t let you do that before, and it is a VERY IMPORTANT PART OF BEING A CHILD! My second inclination is to crawl into your tiny bed and hug you until I fall asleep, only to wake up with you snoring and/or drooling into my ear while you violently kick me out of the bed. If you become a mother, this will make perfect sense to you. If you don’t, there is no way I can possibly ever explain the strange ache that a mother feels when she wants to hold her baby and, for some reason, is unable to at this very second.

I suppose one reason I am feeling so very sentimental is that it is spring, and by (finally) graduating from college I am sort of leaving the very last shred of my youth behind me. Also, Mother’s Day is two days from now, and I am lucky enough to be a Mom two times over. That empty arm feeling I was trying to explain earlier is very common for me this time of year, because your brother’s birthday should have been around April 9th. He would have been five this year. Someday when my tears are not threatening to blur the monitor, I will write you a letter that attempts, and fails, to thank you for all the hugs and kisses and headaches and comforts and Fecal-Related-Nicknames you have given to me on his behalf, and how having you around was (and still is) the biggest comfort for me in going through the horrible grieving process that is losing a baby. I hope you never understand that.

What’s so great about seven? You are really getting the hang of this reading thing, which is great because Mom and Dad are also really into words. Just ahead on the horizon, I can see the two of us sitting snug in some pretentious coffee shop reading our books and sharing a scone.

Even better than that idyllic future is the present. My favorite thing to do with you recently is trick you into believing that we have some terribly boring chore to accomplish, and then totally blindsiding you with a cheap-as-can-be Mama/Neva date. (For example, last weekend I told you we needed to go buy toothpaste. While that was true, and we did actually buy toothpaste, the real purpose of the outing was to let you illegally ride up front in the passenger seat and hold hands with me while we drove to McDonald’s to buy vanilla ice cream cones. You’re old enough to eat them without getting drippy ice cream everywhere, but your permanent teeth are still very sensitive to the cold ice cream when you get down to the cone, so I had to bite the cone into pieces and feed them to you by hand in the Walmart parking lot before we went to buy the toothpaste.)

Another favorite activity recently involves us cooing at each other, because you are my baby bird and I am your Mama bird. You often remember this game in public, and I am often too embarrassed by my cooing companion to play along, but sometimes you overwhelm me and we dance around like a pair of brain dead pigeons in the middle of the produce section, and I am certain that the people staring at us are EATING THEIR HEARTS OUT with jealousy. And that’s probably mostly because their children are eight, or something, and the magic that is seven is nothing but a distant memory.

You are old enough to sleep through the entire night in your room 99 out of 100 days, but young enough to wake me up and tell me that you had a nightmare where you sucked a giant red spider down your throat through a straw last night. You are young enough to crawl into bed with me in the morning and tell me you want me to snuggle you without using any words, but you are old enough to crawl back out of bed and get dressed when we give up trying to make time stand still. You are old enough to decide how you would like to wear your hair every day, but you are young enough to wince your way through my incompetent styling. You are young enough to call me Mama, but old enough to know you only do that because I prefer it to Mom.

I don’t anticipate any more babies in my future, beautiful girl, at least not until you’re the one who has to change most of their diapers. But between now and then, I want you to know that you are the best gift I could have ever been given. Thank you for making me your Mama Bird; you are my Happy Mother’s Day card.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Oh, lovelies

It has been more than two years since I have posted, which is so very, very weak of me. If it weren't for Jill, I probably wouldn't ever write at all. Amusingly enough, since my last post, my Darling Husband has (as promised long ago, he's never been a jerk about this) opted for birth control of the delightfully permanent variety. For those of you who haven't already clicked that link, you should know that it's probably NSFW. For those of you who did -- sorry. (: That'll learn ya!


Anyhow, I've managed to accomplish a little bit more in the past two years than just insure my child's sole inheritance of all my worldly goods. I moved closer to my folks, went back to school, went back to work, bought a home, moved again, and then was finally reunited with my husband when he came home from Iraq by way of Texas, and got out of the Army.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Birth Control to Major Tom

What an awesome year it's been for weaktoast. I've not written a single word, and the only person who's missed my rampant, senseless blogging is IDK, my BFF Jill.
As Jill knows, my computer is broken and I don't have internet access and I don't care enough about her blog-reading needs to blog from the library. Today, however, I am babysitting my friend Bex's baby, the world's cutest boy-child, Mikey. He's lovely. He's sleeping. I am certain that any moment he will sprout horns and the wings of a demon, leap out of his bouncy chair, and circle the ceiling, breathing fire and raining down showers of acid-drool.

I suck at babies.

Allow me to be clear: I do not suck babies, nor do I suck[le] at them the way mosquitoes withdraw from my bank of sweet life-giving blood. I suck at babies the way some people suck at surgery. Unfortunately, there is no school to weed people like me out of the birthing pool, so I am free to reproduce at will--or in this case, to watch after someone else's, produce. It doesn't help that I got no more than four hours of sleep last night. Also, my loinfruit climbed into bed with me at some point, suffering from a nightmare. This morning she confessed that said nightmare was nothing more than a fabricated excuse to come interrupt my sleep and smack me about the face while she slept.

Immediately upon waking, I shuffled to the kitchen to take my Lexapro. Perhaps I ought to have taken two.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Laundromat Awards

Tonight, like half of the world, my family watched The Grammys. I did not watch all of it, nor did I even pay close attention to what was on the screen. What I did get a kick out of was the way my child suddenly gave up her life as Anna Sewell's Black Beauty in favor of a singing career. Apparently, any genre of music will do, so long as she can be holding a microphone. When Carrie Underwood sang, my child tugged the dirty sock off her foot and held it up to her mouth. She closed her eyes and furrowed her small brow and even swayed left and right to the music. Best of all, she contorted her mouth into some amazing shapes. If I had been on top of things, I'd have taken some pictures for you. When Gnarls Barkley played Crazy, she recognized it as the song that plays on my phone whenever my husband calls.
"Mom, we have this one, don't we?"
"Yes, honey, we do."
My husband cast me a slightly disparaging look.
"Well I think you're craaaaaaazy! I think you're craaaaaazzzyyyyyyy!" et cetera. She could use a little pitch correction, but ladies and gentlemen that is what Pro Tools is for!
At one point, she even bravely exclaimed,
"Mom, I am a star!" Yes you are, baby, yes you are. I love you.
As per usual, the Grammys were otherwise a festival of sadness for me. The highlight of the evening was getting to see the lovely, incredibly beautiful and talented Imogen Heap with a delicious salad in her hair. I haven't been able to find any pictures of it with Google Images yet, but in all seriousness I thought it was beautiful, even though this will probably go down with the infamous Swan Dress.
Next year, when Neva performs at the Grammys, she is going to go dressed in papier-mâché helmet shaped like a cuttlefish. Her elegant gown will be designed by Karl Lagerfeld. When she stands up to accept her award, she will be more than a star.

She will be thanking me for making sure her socks were clean.

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Weaktoast Rides Again

We live in Texas, and my child loves horses with a fervor nothing short of that of the Ebola virus. Thanks to this, and also to the fact that we just bought the movie Flicka, horses are a regular topic of conversation at our house, that is when we are not galloping around the kitchen table and whinnying. This weekend, my husband got to work an extra shift to babysit some Privates (that rank never, ever gets un-funny) who made the mistake of getting caught while being intoxicated and under the legal age. Having taken him some dinner (fifteen dollars worth of food from Taco Bell), my daughter and I drove home to enjoy an evening roll in the paddock and maybe a nice graze before heading to our respective stalls to stand up and sleep all night long. On the way we traveled for about a half mile behind a truck hauling a horse trailer. This is not rare. Even on days when I do not leave the house I see about thirteen of these. We had the following conversation.
"Look, mommy, a horse thing!"
"Yes, honey, a horse trailer."
"Horses go in there!"
"Yes, very good! You're a very smart girl."
This particular horse trailer was empty, and though it was dark we were close enough for her to use her supernatural night vision and see that for herself.
"I guess somebody wants a horse."
"Oh yeah? Who's that?"
"That guy," and she motioned toward the truck. Even at the tender age of three, she has already associated huge trucks hauling trailers with masculinity. I'm half concerned and half excited because maybe in eighteen or thirty years she will marry someone with a ranch and I will finally get to ride horses and fall off them and break my hip because I will be eighty-two.
"Oh, he does?"
"Well," there's a tone in her voice that betrays she is giving this topic extra consideration and is probably about to tell the truth about something. "I guess I do."
"Oh, you do. Well I want a horse, too, but we don't have one."
"We could build a trap to catch one!"
I politely refrained from laughter and coughed into my shoulder. She continued.
"Yeah! We could be cowgirls and daddy could be a cowboy!"
I can just picture it, a shoebox propped up on a stick with a carrot inside and my daughter hiding six feet away with a piece of string waiting for her horse to come along and be caught. All in all, I am very proud of her for this pattern of thinking, she's an excellent problem solver.

Next month she is going to tackle our budget.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

When I was your age, television was called books.

As an eager book-devourer in my youth and as an aspiring writer now, I've always appreciated that quote from The Princess Bride. We are a culture that no longer reads anything longer than a myspace comment. The sorts of books that get any readership are laughable at best to any academic community (Yes I'm talking about Dan Brown) and quality writing is rarely rewarded with any amount of readership (a recent exception with Susannah Clarke's success). As a me-driven society we are obsessed by anyone else as selfish as ourselves. We are enthralled by the concept of an egocentric existence (allow me to point out the James Frey fiasco).

Book Clubs are becoming something chic. They read Made for Television novels and all go see the film together when it gets to the dollar theatre. A good book should stand well on its own without a movie deal. This is not to say that good books do not yield good films. This does argue that maybe you shouldn't buy your next book from the same place you buy low fat yogurt and tampons/diapers/condoms what-have-you. Maybe bookstores have better selections of books. Maybe independent bookstores have better books by unheard-of-authors. Maybe the future is in internet-based self-publishing.

Having finished my diatribe, I'd like to recommend some further reading for you, my brave readers. Up-and-coming writer Todd Keisling (myspace, lulu, deviantArt) has released his second self-published book entitled A Life Transparent. You should pick it up. For a modest price you can grab a signed copy as proof that you were onto him when he was still indie rock. The proceeds go toward his wedding, which I plan on crashing. I promise to let you know if he spent your money wisely.

Honestly, I'm reading this book right now and it's excellent. It's not stuffy and scholarly but it is very well written. It's fast-paced and exciting and I'll be a bit pissy when it's ended. If you're my mother, I've already purchased a copy for you--but if you're not, you should buy a copy. If you're my brother, you should buy a copy because there's a surprise at the end. Everyone else, you should buy a copy because it's damn excellent reading, and lets be honest. You don't read a lot now that college/high school/Reading Rainbow is behind you.

Go on, get a move on it.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, December 04, 2006

Just when things were getting boring.

I've been gone because we've spent the last two weeks in Arizona, for Thanksgiving. It was a deliciously uneventful time, and even the drive home was mostly relaxing. I spent a good deal of it composing new, hilarious blogs for you to read. Here's the first:

I'm driving through Texas (flat) after sunset (dark) and listening to Sigur Rós's geniuswork Takk. Every time I see the name 'Sigur Rós' I cannot help but think of 'Suge Knight'--I realise this is a pretty screwed up association, but there's no stopping it. It makes me wish I had sweet deejaying skills, you know? I'd mix clips of Takk with clips of all the people Knight has been accused of killing, a la Danger Mouse, and make myself Internetally famous. I'd call the album 'Gatt'. And then I'd be shot.

The second was a hilarious rant about the disproportionately high roadkill statistics in Texas versus those of other states. I'd have produced witty images and clever remarks about how Texans barbeque so much in order to mask the odor of dead animals cooking under solar unfluence on an asphalt griddle.

Instead, about an hour before we got home, our landlady called my husband. Our duplex had caught fire. Right now, we're staying in a hotel courtesy of The Red Cross and our animals are stuck at the (burnt out) house because the hotel wouldn't let us bring them here. Long story short, we have to move again.
Here's the tally so far for 2006:

1 fried television set
1 pair of broken glasses
1 cancer scare
1 poetry rejection
2 counseling sessions
lots of dirty panties
lots of dog piddles
3 moves, 1 pending
3 car accidents, 1 totalled vehicle
2 friendships lost (a lesson in not living with your financially burdened friends)
1 house burnt down

I cry Uncle. Mercy. You win, 2006. All I ask is that you give me a rest for the next 27 days and then go quietly into the past. Don't say terrible things to 2007 about me, please, because I'm really hoping the two of us will get along just fine.

The moral of the story: Please don't give your seven year old a lighter.