Resolution

There's so much I've managed to not say here over the past few weeks. I've started and stopped my Retrospectively Introspective New Year's post like seven times so far. The long and short of it was that everything I had dreaded on New Year's Eve 2012 hadn't even crossed my mind on New Year's Eve of 2013 until I went and read the former year's post, because (I think) I have finally chosen to walk towards something rather than run from something. The running sure did make my butt look great, but it wasn't so great on the person I was. My butt looks like shit now, but I'm a better person. I am unafraid. I am happy. I am so stupidly in love. I am so stupidly loved in return.  I feel like an adult. The end.

Speaking of feeling like an adult, I got halfway through the 22nd anniversary of the last day I would be my mother's daughter/the first day of the rest of my life before I decided that 21 years had been exactly long enough for me to helicopter-parenting myself, and I just didn't need to check in with me anymore. I am past the drinking age, and have gotten most of my rebellious shenanigans out of my own system. I'm ready to wear sensible foundation garments and have a job to get up for in the morning, you know? It was what it was. I had a mother, I lost her on January 9th, and that was partly my own doing. Bygones and shit, yo.

I didn't write that post, for the first time in the nine years and two days I've been writing this blog.

I just now realized I missed my blog's 9th anniversary. On January 19th, I was staring out over the edge of the world, teaching little girls how to jump over the endlessness of eternity, gently lapping at their ankles, and teaching not so little boys how to make good sand balls and how get seagulls to actually eat the alka-seltzer. (They didn't.) (Yet.) It was lovely. I can't think of a single better way to ring in the birth of the thing that I couldn't have known would eventually lead me to this life on this coast with these people -- even if it was a completely unintentional celebration.

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Every January, I mark my own death and subsequent rebirth. I mark beginnings, I mark ends. I used to wallow in the ending and dread the beginning, and now I am in this new space where I can see them both right there in front of me, I can regard them, I can even be grateful for them, but I don't need them to hold me up anymore. I have new bookends in the story of my life; arms wrapped around me, binding the pages of my life together into something that makes sense, has an arc, and resolves.

Behind the Wheel of a Large Automobile

32.9 miles exactly how far I will walk, and by walk I mean drive, just to be the mom to keep the magic of Christmas alive in this house. 

I've been procrastinating buying my son the one and only gift he has asked for this year, the one that makes his eyes 15 year old completely-over-it-emo eyes go all -

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because I don't even know why. There is no reason. I just haven't bought it because, and now it's sold out across like America and I didn't find that out until I tried to buy it online today, 17,204 months after he told me Santa bringing it to him would make his life

Yes, Santa is still bringing him presents. The first rule of Christmas Club is we don't talk about Christmas Club. When you stop believing in Santa, he stops believing in you. Santa brings you what your heart wants the most and what his heart wants the most isn't available at a single online retailer until the Ides of March and oh my god, I don't even know what to DO.  

So what I did was start pretending that I don't know how The Internet works and I called (like, with my phone and everything) (I KNOW) every (the) Best Buy in town, and they searched every Best Buy in the city, and then I did the same thing with Target, and then I did the same thing again with Gamestop and by the power of Greyskull, it WORKED. They found one for me at a Gamestop 32.9 miles from my house. Guess how long 32.9 miles from my house takes to drive? Oh, you know, an hour and a half.

The Far East Bay giveth, the Far East Bay taketh away. 

I know it's probably not smart to be hyperfocused on one child's Christmas gift when there are five children waking up on December 25th under my roof this year, but in three years this one is off to college and he'll spend one of the two Christmases I get with him before then with his father, so this is the 2nd to last round for him and me and Santa.

This is not my beautiful wife. 

I think I'd drive a lot further than 32.9 miles if it meant I got a few more years to torment him with Christmas pictures on Santa's lap, of baking cookies to leave out, of truths we dare not speak aloud lest we break the spell of childhood magic. We've never once, not beyond his very elementary years, talked about the existence of Santa Claus - we believe unitedly in the notion that someone out there delights in delighting us, and making sure he knows that that is worth all the tanks of gas on earth. 

This Week in Gratitude

After barely-squeaking through a week of being too sick to do much more than work and sleep - and neither of those things to any real degree of effectiveness - i have never been more grateful than I am right now for Platex Purple Plastic Dish Gloves

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I try to keep the a/c off as much as possible when the kids aren't home, because (like pimpin') a/c ain't easy. When my March electric bill, with no ramp up or warning or anything, leaps straight for the clitoris and exactly doubles itself, I find myself willing to endure a little more in-home sauna experience than usual. Which you'd know is really saying something, if you've ever smelled me in the summer.

Sex Education aside, because you totally forgot about this, didn't you? You're welcome:

My kids have pretty much been left to their own devices this week, because my skin, something inside and under both my right rib cage and right hip bone, and all the glands from my belly button up declared mutiny this week, and so there has been a lot of breakfast-cereal-with-a-side-of-Xbox for dinner which is great in an air-conditioned college dormroom, but isn't so idea inside the tandoor ovens they try to pass off as Real Estate in the Sun Valley. 

Lucky-Charms-milk left out on the counter for just two or three hours in the desert heat turns was the inspriration for The Leprechaun. Fact*. You should probably just take my word for that.

And so now it's Mother's Day, I'm off the Lance Armstrong dose of predanose, and I have a week of dishes to catch up on. Because nothing says Happy Mother's Day like opening up your dishwasher and finding all your good mugs stained damn near black from tea, and probably your mother in law's soul. 

You see, my mother in law, who I've managed to say pretty close to not a single word to since her son and I broke up once and for all, came to spend some quality grandma time with 3of3 while the boys and I hit the road for Mom 2.013. Which was very nice of her. I kind of thought the giant super fancy dishrack on the counter, the purple dish gloves hanging over the faucet, and the utter lack of dishwasher detergent in the cabinet would have been clue enough that we don't really use the dishwasher in this house, and if you leave all of your dishes in there, I'm going to find them a week later having just come off of Autoimmunopocalypse and you are going to cease being my best friend. 

It wasn't.

Maybe I should stop talking to her in smoke signals and hints and grow the fuck up.

Nah.

And so I'll be spending most of Mother's Day wearing a scrunchie and Playtex Plastic Purple Dish Gloves, scorching the last week's yuck off of our dishes, then our floors, then the laundry, and bleaching my ex-mother in law out of my Starbucks Architectural Mug collection while my not-so-little one spend the day with their father going to see Iron Man and swimming and yard-saling and doing whatever it is they do on his days with them that don't have anything to do with me anymore - so that when they get home tonight, we can just be. Together. With no distractions. Because the only Mother's Day present I need or want is to be theirs**. 

*ish.

**That, and I have the a/c set to 76 today. And I have the whole house to myself. #rebel