The Tug of Fur

Two furry beasts had graced our abode for thirteen years. After our furriest beast broke her heart and then ours, we started the furry tug of war.

We would pause the tug of war for a few brief moments. First a hamster hiatus. Then a guinea pig break. No dice.

We commence the push and pull.

Dog, cat, dog, cat, dog, cat, dog, cat.

dog and cat?!?! Oh, hay no! 

Cat, dog, cat, dog, cat, dog, cat, dog.

Well. Hopefully the tug of war finally has a victor.

Today we aim to travel to the South and return with a tiny furry beast to add to our family.

Who won?

You’ll have to wait and see.

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Always Prepared

I saw a Facebook post the other day that contained a photo of a drawer. Its poster claimed that across countries, cultures, and class, we all have this drawer in common. I speak, of course, of the junk drawer. I had one growing up, we have one in our house now. I bet you have one too. If you don’t, you just keep your judgment to yourself, please and thank you. 

Our junk drawer has migrated to different drawers in our house. Always in the kitchen. Always one of the larger drawers. In remodeling our kitchen, I PLANNED for it. There’s a panic in not having it around. Like where on earth would we put our randomness?!?!

Currently, our junk drawer is housing:

What I think is a tire pressure thingy, random strips of paper cause why not, picture hangers, a stray lighbulb that does not fit any base in our house, an incomplete set of little screwdrivers, an empty prescription bottle, Neosporin because it makes sense to go there in the middle of the house cause when we try to keep it elsewhere we can never find the damn thing, electrical tape, a rare glue stick that actually still has glue, some receipts for obviously really important purchases, one of eighty sets of headphones that are scattered around the house, a large collection of questionable quality writing utensils although you’d be hard pressed to find a god blessed pen in there, napkins cause maybe we will run out of paper towels and need some in a pinch, a plastic blue horse, some dead post it pads that are too small to be out in the world but too valuable to get rid of, and a host of other gems under that top layer.

Yep.

There are times I look at it and swear I am going to eradicate it from our lives. Heck, there are times I sort it and make it look like it serves a very important purpose in our lives. It always come back looking like this:

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But you know you what? I can grab Neosporin whenever I need it and I’m primed for my fortune cookie writing career with those strips there. Not to mention I am pretty sure I can test my tire pressure (or maybe it’s a wine opener, either way…win!)

So, the junk drawer lives to see another day.

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My Pseudo Social Butterfly

As a homebody and general hermit, I don’t think I’ve been the best mom for an only child. She can rock the time alone, but as an eight year old, certainly needs the company of other peeps. Even knowing this, the full time teacher/hermit in me just doesn’t reach out as often as I should. I know this.

So thankfully, I have been blessed. She’s an even keel and likable kid, according to the pings that come through my phone:

Is Maddie available tomorrow for a playdate?
Hi, this is C’s mom. Can Maddie get together with C one day this week?
Hey, does Maddie want to come to the movies this week with us?
So, what does Maddie’s schedule look like for break?
Can Maddie come over to dye eggs and spend the night Friday?

Can Maddie come over and help with the dogs one day?

Okay, those last two are the grandmas. But still. I am the secretary to my very own Social Butterfly. It’s amazing.

What strikes me most is her ability to balance what she needs for herself, as an eight year old, navigating the friend world via her mom.

I don’t schedule her, she schedules herself. She balances days with friends, with downtime for herself. It’s pretty cool. She’s as equally unapologetic about her desire to be with friends as she is about her desire to stay home.

I can only wish that in this world of over scheduled and stressed out kiddos that she will hold on this awareness about herself.

My pseudo social butterfly is perfect just the way she is.

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The Sheen of the Thief

We were watching one of those vet shows. The black lab with the thief in his bones. The bunny with the thief in his toes. One long journey to an inevitable end. One hopeful.

Both halt the world on its axis.

The bunny lost a leg, thus losing the thief. The lab lost a leg, but the thief, unknowingly to his owner, disguised himself and traveled to other parts. Doesn’t matter the species.

The thief transcends.

There’s a section of my heart that is owned by the thief.  Some of the people in that section there are shining bright spirits. It’s sad to say I have to sit and think about who is there. There’s too many.

There are three people on the fringe of that section. They have a slight sheen to them. The thief has visited and much like the black lab and bunny, lost a part of themselves, thus losing the thief.

But.

He sticks around. He’s like super fine craft glitter. You think you’ve got it all cleaned up and just when you put away the lint roller, broom, and vacuum cleaner, you spot some sparkle left behind. You sigh, and begin the battle again.

We deal with the thief and we go about our days. Experiencing life and loving it. Grateful for each day, week, month, and year we can tack on. Even going the distance in forgetting he’s been around.

But every ache, every tinge, every pang, every “this doesn’t seem right, we should check it out” brings with it a heart shattering fear. It makes that sheen start to glow a little brighter. It’s that tiny speck of sparkle that stops the world on its axis.

We sigh. We don’t want to battle again.

We sigh. We will begin to battle again if we need to.

It’s what we do.

But I still hope with  all my hopes we don’t have to.

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The Stinky Feet Tell

I reached into the closet for a pair of pants to throw on. A trip to the store was needed and I’ve drawn the line at going in my pajamas. No pants. Crud, I’ll have to do laundry.

Where’s the laundry?

Not in my room, not in her room, not in the hall, not already in the washer.

At least I didn’t forget doing that.

The quiet house kicks me in the rear and I text my mom.

Did you by chance take my laundry?

Her reply came quickly, like she was waiting for me to notice, that she did, in fact take it to help us out.

She asked if we switched detergent recently.

How did she know?

Well she couldn’t tell if the basket was dirty or just out of the wash. The first few things she sniffed smelled like laundry detergent so she thought it just needed to be folded. Until she reached the stinky feet tell.

Not even the power of Gain can stomp out the stinky feet stench of the eight year old, so she just loaded that  basket with her and the stinky feet offender whom she was watching for a day or so.

My mom is the best.

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Poemy Monday the Fourth

So many slices, so many titles. So many connections to bring together.

The list

Keeping the magic alive,
lest we forget:

The polka dotted pillow,
Johnny Snapshot,
beast hammie say bye bye,
a neighborhood erased.

Too. Much. Heart.

Plan almost achieved,
tap out.

When things get real.

Book heart,
snippets of a reading life.

Where the %&*# is the colander,
rock love,
the dent in the wall,
basement babysitter,
backward seasonal deflation,
having a name doesn’t make it better,

What have I become?

The hard hat end.

What’s it gonna be?

Restart.

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Restart

She had landed in her bed. She’s got a cold with a side of vicious cough, so it’s possible she’s still sleeping.

He landed in the basement. He came in late and probably took one step into my snore and turned heel to put his snore down there. I’m sure he’s still sleeping.

The cat landed next to my head. I know she’s still sleeping.

I need coffee. But it’s 8 am and everyone is still asleep.

So I meander through slices and take the required stops at Instagram and Facebook, fall into the “awwww” moments at Timehop, and find some teacher spirit fuel on Twitter.

It’s 9:00. Complete silence. The cat has rolled over but is still all in on this sleep gig. I don’t hear a peep elsewhere. It’s even too cold outside so there aren’t even any bird sounds.

I decide to send a message just to check. Are you still sleeping? I type.

“Nope!” comes the Bitmoji Maddie. I hear her door open and her feet come bouncing down the hall.

I leave the cat behind as my day begins again.

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Having a Name Doesn’t Make it Better

Oh my gosh, this is you! Came the tagged Facebook post. It’s called Misophonia. So your crazy has a name! 

Having a name doesn’t make it any better.

Clicking pens, cracking gum, cackling birds.

Having a name doesn’t make it any better.

Bouncing basketballs, barking dogs, breathing husbands in bed.

Having a name doesn’t make it any better.

Thumping bass, smacking jaws, dripping water.

Having a name doesn’t make it any better.

The repetitive repetition crawls over my skin and gets in my head and becomes the worst ear worm in the history of all time. There’s a real life apartment with rooms for rent up there. They keep building new wings for up and coming occupants.

Tapping fingers, whistling lips, and sniffing noses move right on in.

Having a name doesn’t make it any better.

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Backward Seasonal Deflation

I stretched out on the couch and muttered to Maddie, “Can you please close the second blind? The sun is killing me softly.”

She’s very accommodating to my affliction, even though she doesn’t understand it. As I glanced at the clock and read 6:17, I groaned and tried to bury myself under the pillow.

I am most definitely the only person in my corner of the world that permanently despises this time change. This is far beyond the “I’m so tired,” slow walking peeps with circles under their eyes and giagantor coffees in tow. They last all of a week or so before bouncing back to their bright eyed and bushy tailed cheery selves.

Besides signaling the arrival of spring and stupid birds and then summer and stupid heat, the days are so much longer.

Yes, I know that I’m supposed to enjoy it because I can accomplish so much more and the sun is shining and it’s beautiful and yada, yada, yada.

And yet, that sun beaming straight into my eye socket at 6:17 p.m. tells me otherwise.

There is no slow transition at this time of year. You’re going about your day and then glance at the time and it’s 7:30 pm and bright as noon in our living room cursed with facing west. It’s 8:00 and just starting to simmer down out there.

My family and friends often tell me I am nuts.

In the minority I shall remain with my closed blinds and dreams of shorter days, colder temperatures, and blessed cloudy atmospheres.

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Basement Babysitter

I’m fairly certain that we will never find ourselves as honorees at any parent of the year banquet. Nor shall we ever be highlighted in a “take a look at this mom’s genius” article.

Yet somehow the only child in this household is coming out just fine. Pretty damn stellar in fact. She readily opens her heart. She’s empathetic in the best way that will change the world. She gets along with pretty much everyone. She’s recently become an art machine, churning out pieces for all her besties every night.

So as we celebrate a recent milestone, please keep all the above in mind. Our kid is pretty great. That means we have to be pretty great parents on some level right?

Even if we are clinking glasses in celebration as we watch some made for adults television while our offspring is chillin like a villain by herself in the basement?

See, we’ve been on a steady diet of Bunk’d, Descendants, and Teen Titans Go as of late. The upstairs has been a Nickelodeon and Disney Channel mecca.

So a basement banishment that she thinks is the coolest thing ever?

A celebration that after eight long years, she’s finally cool with hanging by her lonesome down there, and dare I say even relishing it?

A wonderfully cleared out of almost every sign of a child being around, living room?

Don’t worry, we’ll check on her eventually.

Who knows? The basement babysitter may get a full-time gig.