Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Shopping and Family Secrets

My mom came to visit the other day for approximately seven hours. I think it's a sign of good mental health that I used to spend weeks freaking out about a visit from her, but this time I only had a short amount of stress the morning of the event. A 9am Bloody Mary took care of it. She is, by the way, a lovely person, but I always feel judged in categories that I cannot compete in: cleanliness and godliness (mostly the first one). The woman, as I may have said before, makes Donna Reed look like a crack whore while I make Roseanne look like a domestic goddess.

She wanted to come and shop for the boys' Christmas presents with me. I could have just called her and given her a list, but in the back of my nefarious head, I knew that we could finish that task pretty quickly and move on to a free (for me) lunch and some boot shopping.

She was shocked that we have shopping in Fort Collins becuase I apparently never mention it. Uh, that's because I never shop save for the odd trip to the GoodWill or a one item trip to some place like Kohl's. It took about two seconds to buy the boys a Wii (Yeah, now I can get a WiFi modem and let them watch Netflix documentaries on the TV) which left plenty of time for my first trip to Panera and my first trip to a shoe store in over 2 years. There will be a beautiful pair of brown boots for me under the Christmas tree. Then, she wanted me to pick out something in the $50 range which ended up being a great new bedspread for $120 and a pair of yoga pants for $25, but that's close to $50.

Then, we found the boys who delighted in telling the woman that I smoke when I drink (jerks). Allegedly I deserve this becuase I spilled all of my mother's secrets when I was little. Then, they told her about Toby's 22 naked laps around the backyard in the 19 degree snow the other day. Luckily, they didn't tell her about his nude face front snow angel. And she told them about a little kid who was being taken away from his mother on negligence charges because he was found wandering around barefoot in the snow. Of course, I could see a few holes in that story, and a couple of questions revealed that the kid was a toddler who didn't know where he was. The boys assured her that they were not three and that they were in their backyard barefoot and completely aware of where they lived not lost miles away.

I've always been more impressed with their logic than annoyed by the fact that they argue (about everything), and I'm glad to see that they can break down her story as well.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Good Moods, Amazing Friends and notes to Old Almost Lovers

Once again, I cannot shake this good mood. All the happiness is starting to wear on me as it chips away at my snarky veneer, but what's a girl to do when she has such a fabulous life, amazing friends and amusing children.

One of my friends called me the other day to tell me that she was so wrapped up in the acid scene that I had written that she wondered away from the coffee bar and completely forget about the mocha she ordered. That's one of the sweeter things anyone has ever said to me, but probably, in reality, I need someone a little meaner and less mutually enamoured with me to read my stuff.

In the back of the journal I kept during that same acid trip, I found the name of a boy. Thanks to the power of the internet, I was able to send the following note to this chap after I searched for him on FaceBook: "Hi. I found your name scrolled in the back of a blue journal that I wrote after a four day acid trip and after not sleeping for seven days. I think we spooned on a ferry while you were on your way to Crete and I was leaving Greece. Hope you're having a lovely life."

And with that note, those friends, and these hilarious kids, this fat housewife is duly sated and amused.


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Santa: To Lie or not to Lie

So I never told my kids that Santa was real. The first time that Santa visited them, it was actually Father Christmas as we were in England, they were three and one. They got an orange and a piece of chocolate shoved into their socks which were left by the fire, but by the next year, they had re-imagined Santa into hero status.

Over the years, I have never lied to them, but they have occasionally of their own wit decided to believe in him (just as they have believed in Batman and Jesus and Zeus). "If Santa's not real, who drives those flying reindeer." --Boy One when he was Age 5.

As a non-Christian, I can't tell them that Santa's real while also telling them that I don't think that the baby Jesus is a god. I certainly don't want to push the gross-Santa stuff over the great-Baby Jesus stuff. I love the nativity story. It's so sweet, and all of the Jesus metaphors resonate so well with the light traditions that have been carried on for thousands of years by people during this time of the year when the world is the darkest. Santa, on the other hand, mostly represents consumeristic crappy bullshit, and I'm not going to push that story.

I like talking about it the Santa myth though. The other day, we were talking about when flying reindeer where added to the myth (probably about 200 years ago when The Night Before Christmas was written and the author described the reindeer flying to the roof). Boy One added that Santa did not fly in the Christmas scene in the Little House in The Prairie books. "Christmas was a lot different then. First of all, Santa was real," he said, and then, he went on and said a lot of other adorable things.

However, it's pointless to lie. Kid's brains aren't like ours--they're more fluid and less locked in dualism like fake and real. They can completely believe and completely not believe. When the stockings are found on Christmas morning, they completely believe in him. (even though they really know that it was me that slipped in the thrift store book, the deck of playing cards, and the candy).

I'm not ruining childhood by not lying to them about Santa. I'm just recognizing childhood for what it's capable of which is a hell of a lot of magic.