A Gift Guide, Of Sorts

My dear children, all I ask for this year is that you freeze this moment in our lives together. I am weary from trying to hold onto something that is not mine to keep.

Wrap me the things you define as treasures and place them under our tree with care. A soda pop lid from your collection, one of those cards I'm always screaming at you to pick up, that sock exactly the way it smells at this moment, the ringing of your laughter when you don't think I am listening.

I am always listening, my little loves, even when I am not there. You resonate through the marrow in my bones. There is nothing else in the world that I can hear but you.

Today you are perfect, as you were every yesterday and will be every tomorrow. Please, package yourselves for me with ribbons and bows, each exactly the person you are at this moment, because tomorrow you will be different and I cannot bear the losing of one more you to a new day's promise. 

Promise me you'll continue to believe in magic you know for certain doesn't exist. Try your hardest to have faith where there ought be none. Know something in this life to be true simply because you decided one Tuesday morning that it should be. Myths are simply dreams we refuse to forget because they make us happy, nothing more. Remember how to believe, though belief is never sensible and rarely probable, but is almost always red and white and pepperminty. There is no reason why.

Algebra and faith are the most important things you will ever learn. 

That, and that your mother loves you. You are my sun, my moon, and my star, and I could never ask for anything else as long as we all shall live. 

Would you be mine, could you be mine, won't you be my village?

::ties shoelaces::

Dear Internet, 

Meet 2of3. 2of3 is, by every definition of the word, my middle child. He is silly and outlandish and hysterical and he feels *everything* and he needs validation on a constant basis and absolutely must be accepted into social circles and is in no way, shape of form afraid of color.

While every other jr high school boy is wearing enough black that they, themselves, become matter-sucking holes in the universe, with emovers, my 2of3 is wearing purple t-shirts or pink polos with these.

He is the kind of person who isn't able to bring himself to actually *do* silly things, but he sure as shit will wear them. I have no idea where he gets this from, but I love it about him. In a world of carbon-copied mediocrity, my son has a style that is all his own, and he rocks the shit out of it. 

Rocked. 

Jr High School has done what Jr High School does to all of us eventually. My son spent the better part of the day listening to people point and laugh at his *girl* shoes. GIRL SHOES, INTERNETS. 

And just like that, he doesn't want to wear his shoes to school anymore. Just like that, his power animal inhaled a Marlboro red and was all, "Slide, bitch." 

If Jr High School sucks the originality out of the one child in this school zone who has any, I just won't be able to go on. I need him to be able to confidently walk into school tomorrow being the person he is, the Greyscaled Axe mafia be damned. 

Of course, I just want to go punch them all in their throats, so I need you, internet, to help me fight pre-pubescence with fire. He needs a comeback line, one great line to say that will give him his mojo back. Preferably one that won't also get him suspended. 

::buttons up cardigan::

27 8X10 Color Glossy Pictures

I love Thanksgiving. It's my #1 favorite holiday ever. Here's why

In a nutshell, that link takes you to the story of the very first holiday turkey I ever cooked, which was kind of significant because we didn't exactly celebrate holidays, or have money for food. Oh, and that I was eleven, cooking a turkey. My son is eleven right now, and I simply cannot imagine.  

Basically, the food bank people know who the relgious crazies are and don't bother bringing them the bags of food that people donate at the grocery stores and the food drives. One year, someone accidentally left our family on the list, and two white people showed up at my doorstep with dinner.

The fact that two white people came into my neighborhood is story enough, really.

The other important fact to note is that the canned goods and groceries and money you donate actually do end up going to people, and you can be a Judgey McDickerson  all you want about grown-ups not being able to feed their kids, but it's no child's fault they are born into poverty. That bag of food changed my life. Without it, I wouldn't be writing this post right now about fancy-pants Thankgiving turkey, this much I guarantee you. Tis the season, and stuff

Moving on...

This is the year I figured out how to clean as I go with the cooking. It's reassuring to know that I'm not the only late bloomer. Because of this, I was able to take 27 8X10 color glossies with the circles and the arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one, explainin what each one was, to be used as evidence against my Thanksgiving dinner, but of course I took most of them on my phone, and of course the day after Thanksgiving my phone's memory card decided to reformat itself. Because fuck my life. 

Bygones. 

I can still tell you what I made, and how I made it, pictures be damned...and it's all after the jump.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre

There is a reason I go to bed hours before my husband does, and this right here is exactly it.

It is 1:06 am and I am sitting on the couch with that exhilarated feeling you get in your head and your forearm for exactly 1.37 seconds when you just *know* that this time, the lawn mower is going to start. 

My father will tell you with no hesitation that my first step-mother attempted to murder him in his sleep one night. He woke up in the middle of the night to find her straddling him (easy, tiger, it's a family blog) with one hand over his mouth and the other pinching his nose shut. 

They say we all marry our fathers. I guess I married my father's sinuses. 

When I was very, very little, we lived in a house made of stucco and mud. The walls were ridiculously thin and my bunkbeds shared a wall with my father's headboard. Knowing this fact, you think they wouldn't have let me watch hour after hour of The Incredible Hulk, but no one ever said my parents were smart and more nights than not I ended up wedged in between them in their bed where I could confirm with deafening certainty that the source of that horrible, wall-shaking noise was my father's face. 

I guess it's not until you're married for a few years that snoring goes from lullabyish soothing to force-choke worthy.

Tonight I laid in my bed, counting chain saws, trying to figure out why I let him go to bed first and how much duct tape it would take to remedy the situation. I tried to channel my inner four year old and find a way to be comforted by the audio reenactments of the book of Revelations on the pillow next to mine, but it turns out that pretending your husband is your father, even for a second, it just a terrible, rotten, no good very bad idea, indeed.