Warning: not so mild language.
It’s that time – short family vacation, camping, after we drop the boys off to their father. See outside the walnut grained vinyl veneer station wagon? That’s our camping reservations forecast for the duration. Lucy is not a fan of thunderstorms when in the house. I wonder how she’ll fair in a tent?
We should be back in four days. Glub glub.
And then we’ll do it again with the boys when we get them back in August.
Tears start now.
Not because I’m sad, not because so much of my life has passed in that time, not because I mourn the passing of his childhood.
But because I am very proud of the child becoming a man before my eyes, as only a mother can know. Love keeps cracking me open to my own vulnerabilities and strengths that I discovered through growing him inside sixteen years ago and watching him grow, as best as I can without interfering with his fully realizing himself.
16 on 16:
1. He’s a very old soul, and a very old soul is he.
2. He sneezes a lot.
3. He plays a mean electric bass.
4. He’s teaching himself guitar.
5. He smirks, always.
6. He sings, really really well, competitively well.
7. He writes songs.
8. He writes books, has since he was in kindergarten.
9. He’s fragile, in good ways.
10. He’s strong, of spirit, not so much in body.
11. He is very very protective of those he loves.
12. He oozes into furniture, merges, becomes one.
13. He’s kind of a space cadet.
14. He has a very dry wit. (Hence calling him Mr. Cynic here)
15. He has good hair.
16. The girls think he’s cute, kind of like a pocket rock star.
I love him very much, and I like him, too. He’s pretty darn cool. And speaking as his mother, I’m kind of glad he’s still a pipsqueak.
First, I have been neglecting the front flower patch’s needs for a while and second, I really needed to redo the driveway pots. Captain Comic has picked all the leaves off of two sets of small evergreens, first juniper, then vertical japanese boxwoods. Some of the storms we’ve had did the final damages. We have flower pots with something tall in them so Grandma and I can navigate around the brick borders of the ‘bridge’ over the culvert. We can’t see them from our five foot two and three perspectives as we back out of the driveway.
Easter with my in-laws is full of pie. On Friday, Grandma stood at the stove and stirred Italian cream in the double boiler by the batch. She got a workout and a half stirring homemade sweet Italian cream, at least three batches of vanilla and one chocolate. She also made two ricotta pies. Her sister from the DC area brought pies galore, and her sister who lives down the street made quite a few, too.
Let me see if I can catalog them all:
1 Vanilla cream pie
1 Pineapple cream pie
1 Chocolate cream pie
2 Ricotta pies
4 Easter Breads
Auntie L made:
1 Vanilla cream pie
2 Barley pies
Auntie B made:
6 Ham pies
Easter Breads (haven’t seen hers yet, can’t count them)
1 Veggie lasagna with homemade pasta (Thank you!)
1 vat of “Manest” (here’s Rachael Rae’s recipe for reference)
and a heck of a lot of other food.
I think her plan is for 2 more sweet pies, too.
I made the Good Friday vat of Pasta e Fagiola. The one day of the weekend that the rest of the family will join me in the vegetarian realm.
There is a ton of more food to be had over the course of Easter and time with all of my in-laws. All of it is made from scratch, and there are only twelve people to feed, one weighing in at a whopping 26 pounds.
Gotta love a family where food equals love – especially in pie form.
The tenth anniversary of the publication of American Gods is bringing with it a new audiobook edition. With that on the horizon, there is a contest to be a reader for it – a chance for his myriad fans to play a character in my favorite novel. Of course you realize, I am utterly enthused about the prospect of playing a Neil Gaiman character.
Here’s where you come in. Anyone can vote once per day until mid May. Please vote for me. I am ‘cathysea’ in the voting gallery. And then, please go back and vote for me again tomorrow, and the next day and so on.
I would be immensely grateful to you for furthering my opportunity to be a part of a book I’ve read nearly as many times as I’ve read To Kill a Mockingbird, in about one quarter of the years I’ve been reading my other favorite book, which I have read nearly annually since 1974. I always find something new in American Gods each time I read it. It’s very nuanced and a great old fashioned murder mystery, too. I think what I love about the book the most though is how it shows the transplanted author’s genuine love for the expansive landscape and character of his adopted home and all of our influences.
Please click on the link above, vote for me, and spread the word via blog, twitter and facebook, etc so that I may have a chance to be a part of my favorite book in the UNIVERSE.
Yesterday at writing group, I did what I hadn’t been doing as I rewrote this draft - a pretty thorough read through of what I have so far, and I took care of minor corrections I missed along the way. I made it to the nurse scene. The scene I had stopped at three days before. The one I had trouble rewriting because it will change things down the line in the manuscript and I don’t know quite how to rewite those yet. I mean I do, but you know, I don’t. I know what needs to happen, but haven’t actually put it in the document yet. I just have my list of things to change.
So today I will rewrite the nurse scene in which the main character’s mom previously rescued him from further embarrassment by picking him up. Now he’s going to have to go back to class in the embarrassing borrowed sweatpants and shirt. As if things weren’t bad enough for the kid there already.
I had a bad habit of protecting my main character in prior drafts, finding outs for him rather than writing the tough scene that would progress the plot forward.
But this rewrite is going to change a couple of other threads I’ll need to deal with another day. Hence the avoidance yesterday. Okay, my breakfast is almost finished, so, time to get to it! Thanks for ‘listening to my thinking aloud’.
Saturday, I took Mr. Cynic out for a driving lesson, not in the high school parking lot, but on actual roads.
I nearly died. The boy panicked as we approached a main road and started veering off to ‘pull over’ to avoid it by having me drive us back into a subdivision from the main road.
Because we live in a coastal plain, the roadsides here have culverts for flood control. He nearly drove us into one, a near barrel-roll, passenger side – me - first.
I can hit some pretty high notes as a soprano. Never this high, except maybe while I was giving birth to him.
My driving lessons with him do not generally involve screaming, but I had said “Don’t!” about seventeen times in quick succession before screaming “Stop!” in an operatic fashion.
Think the Queen of the Night Aria from Mozart’s The Magic Flute – without the surrounding tune. Just that flute-like high note near the end.
I suggest when you get to this stage of parenting to take a few more trips around the big parking lot in your area.
Eventually, I got a pretty good laugh from it. After I stopped shaking violently. He’s generally a cautious kid, hard to get him to drive over 20mph. I taught his father to drive with him and his brother strapped in toddler and infant seats in the backseat, way back when. So I know I can do this, and survive to tell more tales.