Monday, May 30, 2011

Both kids had friends over yesterday. As soon as the sun came out they burst outside into the front yard and made the most of the one hour reprieve from the doom and gloom we experienced this past weekend. Buoyed by their good spirits I went to the freezer and dug out some freezies to pass around, which put even bigger smiles on their faces. Warm fuzzies all around! (Oh, by the way, you can pretty much blame the Ottawa dandelion infestation on Edie – she is obsessed with scattering the little fluffy dead dandelion heads around in any way possible – via blowing, twirling, throwing, kicking – my neighbours must haaaaaate us). Anyhooo, they were loud. Their voices carried. Simultaneous games of tag/bubble blowing/ball/chalk drawing/scooter riding/dandelion spawning/hide and go seek/freezie headache competitions (yeah, odd) were underway. I became mother bear and initiated a mass killing of mosquitoes so they wouldn’t bite my charges (Edie of course welts up at the mere sight of a mosquito. Grace, ever in control, has somehow negotiated with the Don Mosquio that she doesn’t get bitten at all).

There was a sudden hush to all the activity. I stopped my mosquito whacking to see why the kid-commotion had all but stopped. There, at the end of the driveway was a mother, two daughters and son. They are a new family down our street who have just arrived from Kenya. I have said hello to them before, but we haven’t had much chance to interact because our kids go to different schools. I smiled and said hello, and the Mom, in her killer-amazing-you-are-so-much-more-exotic-than-me accent said, point-blank: Your kids are having so much fun. My youngest daughter is terribly lonely since moving here and I would like her to play with your children – please, is this okay.

Oh my god, all at once I wanted to cry, I wanted to hug this lonely little girl and tell her everything was going to be okay, that she would make lots of friends and it’s so hard starting over and that she has a beautiful smile and and and and......

Instead I stay composed and smiled and said of course she could join the girls and play, and said “Right, girls?” in that way only Mom’s can do. The mom said thank you, we exchanged information, and she said she would be back in an hour to collect her. The girls asked her if she wanted a freezie and that was that. Games resumed. Unfortunately the rain resumed as well, so they tumbled back down to the basement, with the new girl fully integrated within minutes, actually seconds, into their little group.

I’m not sure why this made me so emotional. I think it has something to do with me having some profoundly lonely moments as a little girl, and it just breaks my heart to see any child feeling that way. I think I was also extremely touched that this woman sensed that our family would be approachable enough to make such a, well, let’s face it - such a bold request in this day and age and to trust us with her daughter. I was also feeling all mushy inside knowing that we have the kind of kids that we can count on to make this little gal feel completely comfortable and include her in all the nonsense they were getting up to that afternoon.

So awesome.

I still feel a little choked up.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Awesome trip memory.

I'm a pretty big Elvis fan - I sort of worked backwards to get here. When
I was younger I had a crush on a rockabilly boy; when I had a crush back in
the day, I would commit myself, rather pathetically, to learning everything about the
individuals' likes and dislikes (stalker, right? - shut up, it's endearing when you are 14) Anyhoooo, originally entrenched in punk music at the time, this rockabilly boy opened my world to the world of, well, rockabilly music. Starting with 80's rockabilly, I worked my way back, and after few years, long after the crush was over, I made my way to the King. He is one of the only singers who gives me goosebumps, makes me cry and tap my toes, and this is just after listening to one side of an album (oh yeah, we're talking vinyl here).

Anyhooooo, in 2001 Jo and I went on a trip to New Orleans, and thought it
would be fun to rent a car and take a little road trip to Memphis. I was
pregnant at the time, and the allure of flashing my boobies in the French
Quarter was non-existent. So, on an impulse, we packed up and hit the road (heh heh, Jo might have wanted to stick around with those boobs everywhere). It became obvious we were heading in the right direction as the closer we got, the more garish the ads for Elvis Everything became. We decided to hit Graceland at night and see what it looked like lit up in the late evening. What we did not know was that it was the 25th anniversary of his death. As we approached Graceland, we saw literally thousands of white, tinkly lights. As we got closer, we realized that there was a candlelight vigil going on in honour of him. There were thousands upon thousands of people, snaking their way to Graceland, to pay homage to the King. There were babies and toddlers with grease in their hair, slicked back into pompadours. There were impersonators gallore, whole families gathered together and many a fan had glistening, tear streaked cheeks. I remember at one point I laughed out loud, pretty much out of the shock of what I was witnessing. I wasn't laughing out of disrespect, but rather it was a reaction to something I just never, ever dreamed of bearing witness too. Close to me, a man was quite agitated by my laugh, and told me to have a little respect. He looked a combination of mad and sad. We spent the next couple of quiet hours there, lining up with everyone else in the dark, staring up at the former home of Elvis Presley, flooded with light.

I remember feeling very deeply, not one feeling in particular, but an overwhelming crush of emotions. I remember rubbing my fluttery belly, my first daughter trying out her legs in utero, thinking about the story I would tell her, what she was kind of present for. Of course that little gal's name is Grace, and yes, she knows the story, I have oft repeated it to her, and as the years go by, I feel like she is putting more and more importance to the story. She complains about a lot of my music, but never about Elvis, and for a recent school project she had to create an imaginary country, which she called Las Gracie. The national anthem of this little
town is Viva Las Gracie. If she doesn't get a good grade on this project I will kick her teacher's ass whilst blasting Hound Dog through the school speakers (note to self, that would be a great scene for the movie-script in my head. Yes, there is a movie about my life in my head, shut-up).

Just a neat little memory I thought I would share - you like?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ugh, I've been so delinquent as of late when it comes to blogging.

Sometimes I'll have moments of inspiration, writing a new post in my head, then never getting to the keyboard to pound it out. I could have written about the Royal Wedding, how I didn't tell Edie it was happening the night before for fear she wouldn't sleep because of the excitement of it all, and then my disappointment when I woke her to watch it she was more than unimpressed. Not sparkly enough, not enough colours, boring boring boring. Errrr, not everyone can get married under the sea with singing lobsters and grinning sea anenomes, Sunshine. So that was a little deflating. And on the topic of the Royal Wedding, I swear I have almost gotten into fistacuffs with people because, I'll say it, I liked Beatrice's fascinator. So the freak what? Leave me alone.

I am also perilously distracted by Keeping Up with the Kardashians. This is my new crack. And they put back to back episodes on E!, so I'll be all like I'll turn it off at 10:00, for sure I'll turn it off at 10:00, and then they show a teaser of Bruce Jenner looking aghast (haha he actually always looks like that) at something that happened, something that could possibly have global implications, so I can't turn it off. I have to watch the next show, and throughout the night after watching episode upon episode I slowly convince myself that I only really need 4 hours sleep anyway. I mean look how busy Kim is and she remains gorgeous, so I can too, right? Ugh. Spoken and justified like a true addict. Other lesser drugs include It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Raising Hope, two very funny shows. The reason Jo and I need to get the girls to bed at a reasonable hour is because of Six Feet Under - this is Our show. We are watching the entire series on DVD and we are both addicted, co-dependents. So good.

I also stopped blogging because I really really really hurt my neck and arm/shoulder. I'm fixed now, but I went to see a chiro, physiotherapist and massage therapist simultaneously so I don't know what fixed me, which stresses me out to no end because next time it happens I'll have to do the whole three ring circus again because I don't know who was miracle worker! Stress!

I also bought two new pairs of shoes. One of which is beige-ish. Jo said "you have a pair just like that", and I said "no I don't, these have an almond toe. I don't have any beige shoes with an almond toe". I went to work the other day and lo and behold, under my desk, a pair of beige-ish shoes with an almond toe. See how distracted I've been as of late? Even my material desires are being compromised.
I could make up a bajillion excuses to my legions of readers, but I guess I'm just going through a dry spell. Well, dry at writing. My wine consumption has not taken a hit at all. Maybe I should blog tipsy.

Oh, but something positive, very very positive. I ran 15K this past weekend. But even better than that the girls are into it. The signed up for the 1K and will be doing the 2K in May. They are very sassy with their little visors on, sneaks little capri leggings, doing exagerrated stretches. All kinds of girl awesome.

Jesus, next time I get frustrated at Edie's inability to focus on anything, please direct me to this blog post.