Thursday, March 21, 2013

The trouble with twins

Our neighbor is pregnant. I didn't realize this because apparently I live on my own planet, but she is.

Somehow this came up last weekend when she said to my daughter, "We don't know if it's a boy or a girl, but we do know it's just one baby. It's not twins, thank God!"

My girl was more than a little bit miffed by that statement and said to me, annoyed,  "What's wrong with twins anyway?"

Fifteen years ago, today, I became a mother. Two babies. A boy and a girl. Although I didn't know it at the time, it was a one-shot deal. It took me much longer to realize how okay that was.

I had absolutely no idea what I was doing that day. Some days, I still feel that way. Especially as they catapult at lightening speed toward adulthood.

Some days, most days, I feel like I'm doing okay.

It's better now, I guess. It was always expensive, starting with the $75,000 hospital bill (a bargain, I'm sure) that arrived in a box on my doorstep. There really is double everything, and that part is no joke. Ten school uniforms, ten teachers to remember (I have trouble with that part). They mostly have one set of friends, which is both good and bad. There are two very distinct and very different personalities at play. They are two people. Two very, very different people.

The only thing that didn't double was time.

That's the most unfair part of all of this, I suppose. I just wish we had more time. I blinked my eyes and today they are fifteen. I've started thinking about drivers ed, dating, college. I said the other day, "We have the perfect amount of chairs in our dining room for when the Boy and Girl get married!" and Jason looked at me like I have three heads. I should note that Jason still thinks the children are six or something and said something about flash cards the other day. He doesn't see what I see.

That what you get when you have twins is double everything...except time.

From where I'm sitting? That's the only thing "wrong" with twins. The only, only thing.

So Happy, Happy Birthday (Birthday) to my sweet little troublemakers.

Thank God for you.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Dear Everyone in the fashion industry,

This right here? Is my daughter.

Gorgeous, right?
I know.

She'll be fifteen in a few days. She's more than halfway through her freshman year of high school. This is what she wears: khaki pants, collared shirt, cardigan. The collared shirt and khakis are required at her school, but this would be what she would typically wear even if it wasn't required. She might wear jeans instead of khakis, but other that that? This is pretty much her.

I think I went to six different stores to find her a pair of khaki pants which did not show off everything she had. During the summer when she tried on shorts, she was horrified that she couldn't find even one pair that was long enough. Cardigans? Forget about it. I found them at a store that caters to a decidedly older demographic. Even her plain shirts are cut smaller than the similar ones I buy for her brother.

I appreciate my modest daughter. Why can't you?

Not every girl wants to show off her body, and that's okay. It's more than okay by me.

She's almost fifteen. She's figuring out who she is. She's taking classes that interest her. She reads everything she can get her hands on. She dreams of college. She writes amazing stories. She acts. Several days a week she slaps on her tennis shoes and walks for exercise. She can kick my butt in several video games. She has tons of friends, both male and female, but decided on her own that she didn't want to get serious with any boyfriends for a good long while so she can focus on school and get into the college of her choosing. She loves old reruns of Family Ties. Her favorite boy band is The Beatles.

Yes, she has boobs. She has hips. She has pretty much a perfect size five figure.

She doesn't want to show it to you.

She is the most kind-hearted, loving, sweet, giving person I've ever met. She's hysterically funny. She's brilliant. She's incredibly self-aware...far more than I was at her age. Far more than I am now, frequently.

She wears not one drop of make-up. She inherited my good hair. She bemoans the pimples that appear on her chin and dutifully scrubs on medication in the morning and at night.

Boys ask her out, write their phone numbers on her hand. She doesn't even have to try. She doesn't even want to try.

Right now? She doesn't even care.

I make her watch Sixteen and Pregnant with me. She's horrified, which is my goal. We talk frankly about most everything, because that is important. It's important for her to know that she's loved and it's important for her to feel like she has someone she can tell anything.

She's not ashamed of herself, not in any way. She's careful and appropriate. She does what she feels is right.

She's amazing.

She's not a little girl anymore. I know that. She knows it too.

But she's not a grown-up either.

We don't ask for much, really. It's hot here. She needs shorts that are long enough so that she doesn't feel embarrassed while she's riding her bike. She needs dresses that aren't so short she's afraid to bend over. She needs tops that aren't so low cut they show everything, so tight that she asks me to buy a larger size for her because of the cut.

She doesn't want to be a kid. She's not a baby. She's just not a grown-up yet either. There has to be something in-between.

My daughter is more than I ever dreamed she would be. She is more than I deserve.

Please. Just let her be her.


Monday, March 11, 2013

To the people who were backing out of their driveway while I was on my evening walk

Who felt the need to honk at me and then shout out the car window,"Hurry up and move your fat ass...we're going to be late for church"?

Great job representing Christianity. I'm so sorry that the six seconds that it took me to cross the street in front of driveway kept you from your desperately needed worship. Also, extra points for saying that crap in front of your kids. I'm sure you are setting an excellent example.


To me:

You are getting good use of the phrase "They aren't worth your tears".

They aren't.

Just keep going.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The first rule of high school

"There was a fight at school today!" my daughter said breathlessly as soon as she burst through the door yesterday afternoon.

I was on the phone, as I often am. I held up one finger to indicate "give me a minute", and she retreated upstairs.

I like to be off the phone when they get home, but it doesn't always work out that way. They understand. I prefer to have ten minutes to ask about their day, make sure they have a snack, and get them started on their homework. They're almost fifteen now, so they can do these things themselves. They don't need me. Maybe I need them, but they don't need me. I get that. I just like that time.

After my call I went upstairs where the Girl and the Boy were eating their snack while working on their homework.

"What were you saying about a fight?" I asked my daughter, but before she could even speak the Boy jumped in.

"I saw that! They were wailing on each other."

I asked what happened and the gist of it was, one kid kept picking on the other kid until the other kid snapped, stood up in class, and started beating the living crap out the kid who was picking on him. It appeared unprovoked to the teachers, I'm sure, but according to the Boy the kid who started throwing punches has been picked on the entire school year.

It made me sad.

This morning as the Boy Child was microwaving himself a Hot Pocket for breakfast he said to me, casually, "I hope there aren't any fights at school today."

"Me too," I agreed. "If there is one, just steer clear of it."

I'm, of course, thinking of the times that the news shows me pictures of children streaming out of high schools with tears in their eyes and their hands on their heads because some gunman has opened fire in the school. Because some kid snapped, for a million different reasons. It's scary. I don't say any of this to them,'s scary.

"We watched a movie about bullies not long ago," the Boy told me.

"What was the movie?"

"I don't remember," he said. Shocking. "It was this one kid who kept picking on this other kid? And finally? The kid who kept getting picked on just beat the living crap out the other kid."

"Yeah, that happens sometimes."

"I think it messed up his spine! He was walking really weird!"

"Huh. So...what was the overall message of this movie?"

We're big on "overall messages" in this house.

"The message was, 'Don't pick on someone because you never know when they'll fight back'."


"That was the message mom," The Girl chimed in. "People might fight back."

"So...the message wasn't 'Tell the teacher if you're getting picked on'? Or 'Stand up for your friends if they are being bullied'?"

"Nope!" The Boy said gleefully. "It was pretty much 'Don't pick on people because they might turn around and beat the mess out of you'."

"Well. Okay then."

High school is hard y'all. It's really, really hard.

Monday, March 4, 2013

I can't believe it either

So this? Is what my kids were spreading on their cornbread last night:

This means I'm just a fairly okay Southern mama. I made the cornbread. I did not cover it in real butter made from angel tears. Or whatever. I don't care. The fact that I made the cornbread after the week I just had should qualify me for Sainthood.

As to be expected, the name of this particular product did not escape notice.

"Isn't it butter? Is that like 'Butter it's not' The generic of 'I can't believe it's not butter'?"

"Yes, but that one was only at Kroger. We don't have Kroger here, so I had to get it from Food Lion."

"Isn't 'I can't believe it's not butter' just the generic of ACTUAL BUTTER?"

"Hey. How about you hush your face and eat your delicious cornbread now?"

The Girl Child snorted. "Isn't it Butter? No fools, it's a big sack of unicorn crap. With glitter."

"We are entirely too sarcastic for generic products."

It's true you know. We are.