On Wednesday I took my oldest son to the orthodontist where I signed away all my vital organs, my blood, and then emptied my pocketbook upside down on the desk. They did allow me to leave with my actual pocketbook and for that I suppose I should be grateful.
I had asked if they would just take my first born as payment, but they declined. As they also declined any and all sexual favors.
He had the spacers put in between his teeth to make room for the actual braces that will go on next week.
He has not stopped complaining.
It is going to be a long 15 months of listening to him. Or a long 18 months if you count how long I will be paying for them. Yes, how is that for a kick. I get to pay for the braces longer than he will be wearing them. Awesome!
But for the rest of his life I get to nag him to brush and floss, “Not only did I GROW YOU in my body from a single cell and give birth to you and your huge head, bidding adieu to bladder control for the rest of my natural life, but I am now poor and missing all my vital organs! You will take care of those teeth. Or I will tear them out of your head and give them to someone more thankful!”
Last night, when I probably should have been putting my children to bed instead of letting them stay up late watching television, I was reading this over at The Silicon Valley Moms Blog.
Worst of all, you are being a terrible mother, forcing your young children, who should be in SCHOOL, to ride in buses and talk to the press when they obviously don’t want to. This election is NOT ABOUT THEM. They deserve some peace, not time with nannies and campaign-trail daycare providers, since, as the Times article describes, you don’t have time to see them when you are busy campaigning too.
Do I sound callous? Perhaps. I am truly, seriously, sorry that you are sick and that you are dying. But let this be your parting gift to the world: give your children some actual QUALITY time with you, which they are not having on the bus or in senatorial-aide-nannycare. Help give your children a next new Democratic president, who is NOT going to be your husband.
It has been rolling around in my head all night. The attack on Mrs. Edwards as if John Edwards has no part in the decision to bring their children on the road with them. The Mommy War makes my blood boil. The insinuating that she is doing her children, and the COUNTRY!, a disservice is maddening. Don’t people take their children out of school for year long cross country trips or around the world trips all the time? How much will these children see while they are traveling? How precious will this year be, whether their father wins or not, when their mother is gone?
And that is what really bothers me the most. The implication that she would be a better mother somehow by waiting patiently at home, baking cookies, wearing her apron and waiting to die. And she should do this for YEARS. Push down her own will and desires so her children could have proper memories of her. As if there is some good parent manual of how to die and leave your children behind.
We all say, or think, if I were dying I would do this, whatever this might be, in a heartbeat. I’d quit my job, stay home with my kids, travel the world, bake cookies, never yell, always smile, sing songs all day. I’d be perfect. So that my kids could have a perfect memory of the perfect me. I would live my last years out to the fullest. Like that insipid country western song that was popular a few years ago.
Which always causes me to wonder, well why aren’t you doing those things now? And the most simplistic answer is because it isn’t you.
Elizabeth and John Edwards have built their lives in the public eye. Have built a life around public service. Why wouldn’t they want to share this with their children? Why wouldn’t she want her children to see that even when she was terminal, that this was what was important to her? Why wouldn’t she want to impart this legacy onto her children? To not share this with her children would be to deny who she is.
Sure if I were dying I have a vision of how I would my children to remember me. Perfectly patient. Perfectly happy. The singer of songs, player of games, skipper of ropes. The mother who served up perfect meals, that were always enjoyed, and did so with a smile on her face. The mother who always had a dessert to put on the table. A home made one, not tossing a box of Little Debbie snack cakes in the center and yelling, “Every man for himself.”
Apparently I want them to remember someone else. Because I have no plans to actually become that new person.
Instead if I were to suddenly drop dead they will be stuck with the memory of the authentic me. A mother who yelled more than she would have liked, who hated cooking, who could be selfish and short tempered. A mother who loved her children more than anything else in the world, but often wanted them to get the hell away from her and for the love of god to stop talking for five minutes. A mother who spent more time typing her feelings than talking about them.
A mother who should be making her children breakfast right now, but instead told them to eat a granola bar and watch Scooby Doo until I finish typing this. Thank God there is no NYT reporter here at my house.
A mother who would love to type up a fabulous and insightful conclusion to this post, but alas will not be able to because her children are fighting over the tivo remote. And yelling, “Knock it off!” has sapped her of any ability to form coherent sentences. But that’s okay. Elizabeth Edwards is living in a bus with two little kids. I am sure that she more than understands.
Over at Parenting I have a post up in a similar vein, about trying to merge the life imagined with the life we find ourself living.
I will never be cellulite, wrinkle, or grey hair free.
I will never backpack around Europe staying in hostels and trying to eat off of only $2 a day, collecting stamps in my passport the way other people collect Precious Moments figurines. Because in my spoiled old age I require the luxury of clean linens and having a bathroom in my room.
I will never fall in love for the first time again.
I am on my way right now to bring my 11 yr old to baseball practice. The Fall baseball season has begun.
And I just removed and threw away the toilet seat to the downstairs bathroom the kids use the most. It smelled in there no matter what I did because the pee had soaked into the hinges and couldn’t be washed out. Heather B will remember that my 6 yr old came out of there and proclaimed, “It smells like a public restroom in there.” My lovely lilac scented Method air freshener was fooling no one apparently.
After I threw it out the door next to the garbage cans, where it broke, I realized that the new seat Rob bought didn’t fit. Because I bought a “special toilet” that actually flushes everything down in one flush and never clogs (touch wood) And they don’t sell the fancy toilets at Home Depot. Ergo, they do not sell the fancy seats either. So if you stop by, be forewarned that you will be squatting over the toilet like you are in a porta potty. And with the Method air freshener, it should smell like one too.
I have only threatened to toss it into the firepit and burn it twice. Which considering the amount of bickering over the door open, door shut, window open, window shut, decorations, pillows, crown wearing, who is breathing on whom… considering all that, I should be up for sainthood.
Early this morning my phone rang. It was a good friend of mine telling me that she was going to have to cancel our plans for today. That was all well and good, except that I thought we had plans for next Friday. I checked my calendar while on the phone and said, “Yup, I have it written down for next week.”
Then I looked on my second calendar to confirm and said, “Oh, but my new kitchen cabinets are being delivered next Friday, so let’s reschedule to another time.”
We are both free again some time in mid October. These damn kids interfering in our social lives. I wrote the date down on all three of my calendars. Yes, I have a sickness. But I am not the only one.
We chatted some more and hung up. Not 10 minutes later a huge truck pulls up in front of my house with my new cabinets. That is really weird I thought. And I told the delivery guy, “Good thing I am here, you told me NEXT week.” Not that I really ever go anywhere. I have no idea why I said that. Maybe it is just Be An Ass day. I should consult my calendar.
They deliver the cabinets. Complain about the size of my front door, which seems perfectly normal sized to me. But what do I know. I will now commence being anxious about the inadequacies of my front door.
After crafting the first of what I am sure will be numerous cardboard clubhouses, I suddenly realized that I am a week behind on my calendar. For the past I don’t know how many weeks I have been behind and not known it.
Apparently you can have every type of calendar in Staples and still not have a clue about what is going on in your life.