Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Backwards Day

I can picture him, coming down the stairs, quiet because he's always up before the sun, giggling to himself because he's already decided to mess with my stuff.  Giggling as he makes the switch, wondering how long it will take me...thinking he's so clever...

"What's this?" I ask him, seeing that my "Welcome" now says "Emoclew".
"I don't know what you're talking about..." but he's grinning.
"Your shirt's on backwards."
"What?  No it isn't."
"Yes it is, check the tag."
So he pulls it out in front and sees that I am right.
"I guess it's just a backwards kind of day!"

Monday, January 30, 2012


The beef sizzles in the frying pan, spitting angry spots onto the cook top as I boil the water and add the pasta.  My hair is piled high and messy and I still feel the flush from the Sunday afternoon bath that was too hot but so good.  I drain the meat and it's juices splash on my sweatshirt.  I wipe cook-fingers on my jogging pants.  I am the cliche of house-wife-slob.  There is no glamour, surrounded in these kitchen walls.  No make-up, hidden here from outside.  My flip-flops are lime green and I can see dust bunnies under the refrigerator.  If you knocked on the door, I would duck beneath the table and pretend no one is home.

He watches me from his perch in the living room, there on the sofa we loved so much that the children have destroyed beyond recognition of the hundreds of dollars spent.  He watches me with a silly grin.  I slip the garlic bread in the oven and stir the sauce.  "What?" I demand of his staring.

His eyebrow rises, grin rises with it.  "You look beautiful."

I blow out a puff of air and roll my eyes but I can't help the rise of my own grin, there surrounded in the mess that is me.  Because while his grin says teasing his eyes deny any lying and I don't know how he does it.  I don't know how he can look at me as if he's seeing me for the first time, seeing that fresh-faced sixteen-year-old struggling to strum a G chord and singing harmony to his "Pour Out My Heart". 

Is that the nature of love?  To hold forever captured that first moment that caught your breath and rushed your heart?  

How extraordinary that a moment could stand the lasting of fifteen years.  How extraordinary, the way he sees the messy me, here in this kitchen with it's dirty dishes and Cranberry Zing red walls.  How extraordinary that it isn't extraordinary at all - the way he looks at me - it's actually quite ordinary, because that's the way he always looks at me.  Every time.  So maybe I have romance after all.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


"I totally didn't get your last blog, hon - I mean, I didn't read the whole thing because I was at work but I didn't get what it was about...was it an excerpt from your new book or something?"

"Seriously?  The whole thing was a rant about you...mom came over to help in the basement this week..."

"Oh, I'll have to read that again."


"I think that's the funniest thing you've ever written," he says, grinning - obviously not moved to change or apologize.

"What's so funny?"  Zander asks.

"Mommy called me a pansy."

"What's a pansy?"

"A chicken!" I say.  "Daddy's scared to go in the basement."

"Hon, I'm not scared, it's just the dirtiest, grossest job ever and I don't want to do it."

Right.  Pansy.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Where Angels Fear To Tread - Part Two (or 'Maybe He Should Grow A Pair' or 'To Make Amy Really Mad')

I feel them - violent pieces of tiny glass - poking and itching and mocking the descent back into the earth.

Ah, here you are again...not surprised to see you...I knew the reality of his "I'll do it next Tuesday" - five Tuesday's ago - before you did, foolish, foolish, girl...welcome to The Belly, The Dungeon, The Solitary Confinement.

Only this time, I'm not alone.  I slither behind my mother, fogging up my goggles, feeling the fibreglass eating at my wrists and eyebrows as I stuff the old in garbage bags and she fills the space between the studs with new.  "I wish you came when he was home so he'd feel like a dummy," I tell her.

"Who's going to do it if we don't?" she asks.

Right.  "I think he's scared."  And he probably is.  Visions of the roof caving in and all that jazz. Whatever.  I'm pretty sure the dust of disintegrated rat bones is lining my nostrils right now - you don't see me peeing my pants and panicking in a corner, do you?

The worst of it is, when we sell the house, no one will appreciate what we're doing - they'll only notice if we don't - so here we are.

It's hard to talk with hoods tied tight around out heads and masks covering our mouths and noses, so we don't really.  But it's better down here with someone - just to look over and see a pair of boots through the dancing dust.  I'm having visions of spraying a graffiti *PANSY* on the underbelly of our home...you know why...

"Make sure you rub it in," she tells me with a grin as she says goodbye.

"I think I'll write a mean blog," I say.

"Oh, don't be mean - just make us seem like Super Women."

And with a swirl of her red cape she disappears into the night.

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Noa Serenade

"Hel-lo...is dis ting even on?"  She's sitting at the grand piano while I get all the gear set up for practice.  "Ten you hear me, Mommeeeee?"

I turn on the sound system and the buzz of the overhead lights is overpowered by her blowing into the microphone.  "Mommeeeee?  Ten you hear me now?"  She's booming out the mains and the monitors.  "Whoa!"  She pulls back just slightly.  "Did you hear dat big sound?"

"You're pretty loud," I tell her.

She grins.  "I know!" Yelling right into the mic again.

"Why don't you sing me a song while I set up."

"Um, o-tay.  Now how do you pway dis ting again?"  She settles her little fingers on the keys and plays a strange dissonant tinkle, lips pressed against the mic, breathing like Vader.  "You want a song, Mommeeee?"

"Yup, I want a song," I call from the equipment room.

"O-tay.  Here it goes...Sfinkle, sfinkle, wittol tar...how I wonder what you awre" And she's playing every note that isn't a note she's singing and it's beyond adorable and it will be devastating - that moment when she can finally pronounce "Twinkle".

"Did you wike dat, Mommeeee?  Did you hear me?"

"It was beautiful, Noa."

"Do you want me to tewl you a doke?"


"Knock knock."

"Who's there?"


"Boo who?"

"Don't cwy, it's dust me."

"That's a good joke, Noa."

"Did you wike it?"

"Yup.  How about another song?"

"O-tay, sur!  Now let me see..."  She taps her cheek..."Think, think, think...Awre you rweady, Mommeee?"

"I'm ready!" I assure her.

 "O-tay, here we go...La lee la lee la, it's a bootfuwl day fowr Elmo, OW, OW, boom bidda bom bom POW!"  And she slams down on the keys in a huge discordant clamour, pounding out her encore like she doesn't give a hoot - in a rock-n-roll is here to stay kind of way.  "Did you wike it?  Did you wike my song, Mommeee?"

"I loved it!"

She sighs big, eyes flashing around the room trying the catch the sound as it bounces out of various speakers.

"You tired?"  I ask.

"Hmmm, I'm dust tired of dis old pee-yano thing.  I'm gonna dust play da drums for a minute."  So off she goes to drum solo me to a headache and a hope that at least one of my children will have an ear for music.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Making Plans

"Someday you're going to leave me," I tell him as I tuck him in and tickle dream angels into his scalp.  "Some day you're going to meet a girl and fall in love and kiss her and get married and have babies."

Liam screws up his face.  "I don't kiss guwls!"

"I'm a girl," I tell him and I lean over to kiss him goodnight.

"No you're not.  You're dust my mom.  And I don't wanna maywee a guwl."

"Why not?"

"I'm dust gonna maywee a mermaid!"

Friday, January 6, 2012

My Vow

It is my intention to be a sweetheart of an old lady.  I will call people 'Love'.  I will be sugar and spice and everything nice.  I will braid my grey hair and have a rocking chair on the deck.  I will bake pies and cool them in the window.  I will wear an apron.  I will drink Earl Grey and knit mittens for my grandchildren.

I WILL NOT leak my pestilence onto what could have been someone's perfectly lovely day.

I WILL NOT rain down unmerited accusations because I WILL NOT be selfish and entitled.

I WILL NOT sneer and mock and poke snide remarks just because I don't get my way immediately.

I WILL NOT cause the poor girl behind the desk to sputter apology and feel small and want to hide beneath said desk until I finally get my way after telling someone else off.

It is my VOW to be a sweetheart of an old lady.  It is my VOW to be nothing like you who attacked me and my integrity when I was doing nothing but exactly what I was supposed to be doing.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Gurl Fwends

There's a girl at the skating rink that I don't know.  I ask Zander who she is because they're skating together for a couple laps.  She's in his grade at school.

"You're friends?"
"Yeah, why?"
"You've just never talked about her."
"Oh, she was in my class last year."
"Yeah," Liam pipes in, "well I have two guwl-fwends!" because he always has to best his brother.
"Really?" I ask him.  "Two?"
"Well, not guwl-fwends...."
"You mean friends who are girls?"
"I know about Skylar but who's the other one?"
"Um, dust Annemijn."
"Do you play together?"
"Um, no, not weally."
"Well, what do you do then?"
He shrugs, "I don't know, we dust chat, I guess."