Monday, May 15, 2017

Time Wounds All Heels

In case you didn't notice, Sunday was Mother's Day. Guess what? It didn't suck for me this year. I was actually able to look at the endless sentimental Facebook posts - mostly adults praising their elderly mothers - and think it was sweet and nice and not get sent into a rage/sadness/jealousy/self-pity downward spiral. 

I'm not sure what the difference was, except the passage of time. It seems like an eternity since my mother re-surfaced, swearing off our old religion and promising to return to the US and start over, only to disappear as soon as my sister refused to financially support her. I remember having an overwhelming urge to break everything in the kitchen, but I'll be darned if I can remember if that was last year or the year before. It's all lost in a miasma of dance world drama, election nightmares and children's tantrums. Time wounds all heels, eh?

The Boyfriend asked what I wanted to do and I asked for a chill day in nature not involving crowded restaurants. He woke me up with flowers and breakfast and an ice cream maker (my request), then we went to the beach to fly kites, came home and had some family time in the hot tub. The day was very enjoyable. Having another adult to look out for things like that for you definitely helps. 

I had an odd moment in Korea. Our final night we did several encores, which are almost always instrumentals. Since it was such a hit last year, though, we threw in a vocal for me, "Georgia On My Mind". As I walked up to the mic, the crowd inhaled and grasped their hands together with anticipation. This is always a little terrifying to me because it's rare that people pay attention - we always play for dancers who could care less if I'm singing or not as long as the beat is good. I naturally shy away from attention - I can only be in this band because the guitar player is really the star, not me. But at that moment I told myself, "it's ok for it to be about you, now." As the child of a narcissist I really struggle with that. Even as I thought it, I felt myself denying it. No, it's not ok for it to be about me, ever. And yet, you get up on stage to sing, or run an event, or Mother's Day rolls around, and you have to let it be about you. Just once. And you have to learn how to be ok with that. 

So I sang my song and everyone cried and applauded and I was gracious as I died a little bit inside, and the children gave me hugs and "I love you"s and cute preschool presents and I was gracious as I died a little bit inside, and it was ok. And next year will be even better. 

 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Korea & things

It's always bizarre to me that you can wake up on one side of the world and go to bed on another. It has the result of making you feel like the trip itself was just a figment of your imagination. That's how I feel right now. I had this crazy dream that I was a singer in a swing band and was flown to Korea to play for a bunch of Lindy Hoppers, treated to incredible food and spoiled rotten by Korean hospitality. Then I woke up and had to strip off two little boys' pee-filled pull ups while they climbed all over me. 

The boys did fine while I was gone - thankfully Theo's potty training stayed on track (he is out of diapers entirely during the day now) and they seem to have had a good time with the nanny. Thank god for the caretakers. I don't know what we'd do without them!


 
 
Here are the boys modeling shirts I bought for them on the trip - a rare occurrence of clothing that can only be bought in Korea! They are the envy of all my dance parent friends!

 

Monday, May 1, 2017

May

Today I had the unsettling experience of discovering my flight to Korea that I thought left late Wednesday night in fact leaves late tomorrow night. Thank God I randomly mentioned my trip on Facebook and my bandleader happened to see the post and tell me I was a day off. Good Lord. All day I've had that "I almost fell off a cliff feeling", imagining lying in bed tomorrow night and getting a frantic text at 1 AM saying the flight is about to take off, where the hell am I? I shudder just thinking about it. The mistake was made because for all my trips I use an app called Trip Case in which you type your flight number, airline, and departure date - which I got wrong because the flight leaves at 1 AM - and normally the app would catch the mistake, but apparently this airline has the same flight leaving at the same time with the same fucking flight number every night. What.The.Fuck. 

Anyway, no harm, no foul - the babysitter can come a day early, I rearranged everything so I could do all the elaborate packing, laundry and grocery shopping today, and off I go tomorrow night. 

I also got Bobby squared away at a local Parks & Rec summer camp today and will try to arrange for Theo to attend their little kids' morning camp tomorrow. Our summer schedule is going to be a bit of a jigsaw puzzle, but I'll be paying a lot less than I'm paying now with two kids in preschool, and I'll get kid-free time for at least a couple of hours every day instead of just three days a week as I do right now. I so hope the kids like this program. I know almost nothing about it except that a lot of neighborhood kids (read: Bobby's future schoolmates) go there and that it's cheap. Worse comes to worst, it's only two months out of our lives. 

Bobby has just six weeks left of preschool. It's hard to believe that phase of our lives is coming to a close, but here we are. Mostly I'm psyched to move on to the next thing - and of course Theo still has two years to go - but I know I'm going to lose it at Bobby's graduation in June.

 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Science is real

Science is real. Indeed, without science my children would be impossible. The odds of my procreating with anyone - much less a skinny red headed student fifteen years my junior - were slim to none. And yet, science and progressive thought - why can't men donate their sperm so that people can anonymously conceive? - made my family possible. For that I am truly grateful. It's not hard to imagine, in the current political environment, a time in which vials of sperm are only allowed for heterosexual married couples. 

Wednesday I take B up to his new school to be properly registered (I had a mountain of paperwork to fill out, dental and doctor check ups, and fishing out birth certificates and proof of address to do first); hopefully I'll get them both settled in their summer programs before I leave for Korea next week (a reprise of last year's wonderful singing gig in Seoul). 

My friends that wanted us to join them at a Swing camp in Sweden this summer have flaked out as I half suspected they might; I took the liberty of booking a Hawaii trip similar to last years' for my birthday in July. This time it'll be Kauai and with the BF. Hopefully I can fix my Kauai Curse - the first trip that my aunt died during; the second with a new baby and toddler that was so stressful I had to cut it short and come home. As long as the BF and I manage to not break up right before it like we did last time-! We had a good laugh about that. 

I survived a chaotic birthday party of the class bully and his Trump supporting parents at the local Chuck E Cheese. God that place is awful. But at least with all the distraction of trying to help a five year old play complex arcade games I didn't get to - or have to - interact with any of the parents. It's kind of a drag we got through one child's entire preschool experience without ever getting to know anyone, but oh well. The elementary school is very parent involvement heavy, so I see that trend reversing in the near future! 

 

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Yard egg hunt 2.0

Yesterday I participated in the "show us your taxes" anti-Trump march. Here is the sign the BF made for me: 


As with all marches, it was awesome. Next week is the science march. I wish I could do this every weekend. Every. Frickin. Weekend.

Unfortunately after a cold, a Friday night shouting over a loud band (our drummer's solo project), and marching Saturday and talking and shouting, I have now completely lost my voice. Have you ever tried to be a parent to two small children with no voice? It fucking sucks. Still, we survived another yard egg hunt and a long day at a national park with some aplomb. Now I would like to collapse in a pile of peanut butter cups, s'il vous plait.

 


 
 
 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Big boys

A delightful development has happened since the time change - every day after school (we get home at 6 PM), the boys insist on playing outside until dinner. It's something I always dreamed about - children frolicking in the yard, me pushing open a screen door to yell, "dinner!" and children scampering in to wash up and devour. Yes, that moment is here. I have two boys who can talk, play, and (kind of) use the potty on their own accord (after weeks of accidents, yesterday Theo started using the potty on his own without prompting).

The yard playing is not without peril. The front yard is on a steep slope and full of pointy cacti and succulents; we live on a busy street with a seemingly endless stream of homeless sauntering by to pick through our garbage. There are sharp drops into concrete stairs. The back is no better - a dirty strip of concrete next to a very climbable wall next to a pool. In short, my yards are pretty much the most non-kid friendly imaginable. However, so far so good (except that one time the kids pushed furniture up to the wall and played around the pool after I told them not to - let's just pretend that never happened). Being hyper vigilant, every time they're out there I run and check on them every two seconds. I might even re purpose my baby monitor to keep an eye on them more effectively. But, they love it, it's good for them to have little adventures in nature (or yard is teeming with native plants, humming birds, lizards, citrus fruits and trees), and I feel like this is one of those times I need to give them a little freedom. And it doesn't hurt that them expelling energy outside is way better than inside.

I performed in DC this weekend, the same event that marked my return to "the road" this time last year. I had a lot of anxiety around it - intimidating ballroom, big crowd, singing with our big band which I rarely do, new songs, one song with a scary high note that could have gone either way. But I got through it, met up with a blog reader friend one day and my old mommy & me friend who moved away two years ago on the next day. Damn, I miss her. She was my compatriot from when Bobby was just a baby, providing solace and commiseration and support and friendship when I needed it most. And she's really fucking cool. Sigh. Well, at least if we keep this gig going I'll get to see both of these ladies once a year!

 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Joint birthday in the bag

We celebrated Bobby and Theo's joint 3rd and 5th birthdays on Saturday. I'm not sure how much longer I can get away with joint birthdays - but boy is it convenient! I used the same indoor play space as last year, which meant a quick in and out with minimal effort other than making the cake (which this year I made from scratch using a 1930s devil's food cake recipe) and assembling the goody bags. Bobby requested a Nightmare Before Christmas theme which was a huge hit among my artsy friends' kids.

 

My sister came to visit for a few days. The boys were so excited about her visiting and the party that it was a bit like having two Tasmanian devils in the house all weekend. After we dropped her off at the airport they were a mess of torturing each other in the car - stealing toys from their car seats, crying, screaming. It was awful. Finally taking Theo to school he broke down in sobs, and I asked if he was sad because his aunt went home, and he pitifully nodded yes as tears rolled down his cheeks. Oh, these little kids. It's so easy to forget that they can't regulate their emotions yet. In my better moments I remember this and am kind and gentle; in my worse moments I bark at them to stop driving me crazy. Sigh. And so it goes. 

In other news, despite my decision not to invite any preschool friends to the party, Bobby has received an invitation...from his "frenemy", the class bully who's parents voted for Trump. What to do? Do I really want to spend the day in the presence of these a-holes and their rotten kid? No, but I must, because it's not about me, it's about Bobby, and he wants to go, and so we will. Can't say I won't wear my Uppity Women Unite pin, though.