Open House and the Big Fart

I rushed into open house at Squishy’s elementary school last spring with a sense of trepidation.  It was the middle of our March Madness. First, The Captain was one week from the opening of Thoroughly Modern Millie at his high school (he directed, I choreographed).  Also, spring baseball had started for both boys, and finally, all three of the dudes I live with were in rehearsal for the Wizard of Oz.  Needless to say, I was a human taxi cab and the Open House became one of four stops that evening.

After finding a place to park (because this is not easy on Open House evening), I finally had the chance to get a good look at Squishy.  He had chocolate ice cream all down the front of his white Life is Good t-shirt.  Awesome.

“Squishy, did Grandma really have to give you ice cream the second before I picked you up?” I asked as I took his incredibly sticky hand in mine.

“Mom, I wanted it and she gave it to me. Geez.  I was hungry, but now I want a Star Wars book from the book fair and a brownie,” he replied, quite sure of his goals for the Open House.

“I don’t think so,” I said as we continued through the door.

Squishy dropped my hand and ran down the hall like lightening.  I was hustling behind him, bumping into the massive herd of parents in the hallway.

“Wait up,” I called to him, as I tried to put on a very fake “I have everything under control and my life is really a dream” smile for the parents who turned their heads to look at me.

“I am trying to catch up with you, sweetheart!” I stated to him in an as pleasant as I could get, sing-song voice.

“Mom, you are so slow,” he hollered down the hallway, “Oh, and I farted.  Safety!”

Awesome.  Now my kindergartener has yelled “fart” across a crowed hallway.

But it gets better.  It always does.  A guy I dated for a long while BC – Before Captain, Before Children – was standing nearby with his absolutely beautiful, poster-like family.  And he was smirking.  Did I mention it always gets better?

My fake smile turned into gritted teeth.  My posture changed to that of a wild animal.  My hair turned into the snakes of Medusa.  I smirked back while briskly walking by and said, “Hi there.  Gotta catch up with my little man!”

Secretly, I kind of hoped that the fart would linger and bring the idyllic family to its knees.  That would be awesome.

A picture is worth 1,000 words. This photo was taken at the open house.

Chewbacca and the Love of Dogs

Chewbacca was a Wookie.  I think of this every time I think of my dogs.  They remind me of Chewie – brave, loving, loyal and smarter than others give them credit for.

Me circa 1980 with my sister, Perky.

During my entire childhood, we always had dogs.  When I was born, there was a child before me.  Her name was Perky and she was a Shetland Sheepdog.  She was beautiful, and I had the pleasure of having a wise, kind, older dog sibling.

After my brother was born, my parents got another Sheltie.  Her name was Little Bit.  She had a little bit of an under bite, which Crazy Pat (my mom) said disqualified her from being shown around Houston, but she was the sprightliest dog around.  I would dress her up and call her Bitsy, Itsy Bitsy or Nugget.  She was hilarious.

Bitsy (closest to camera) and Perky.

She would follow my brother and I all over the neighborhood as we rode our impressive Big Wheels.  Bitsy would chase us when we moved to bikes and sit longingly on the porch watching us when we left with friends.  We were never without Little Bit.

Growing up with dogs was a must.  Unfortunately, humans usually end up outliving these amazing animals.  Perky passed away when I was 14, and Little Bit soon followed – less than a month later.

We were without dogs for two years.  It was miserable.

CJ, or Cajun. The best dog ever.

Luckily, my grandfather, who was a dog guy himself, sent us the perfect gift.  He put a little Sheltie puppy on a plane from New Orleans to Cleveland.  This was the sweetest little dog – who we fondly named Cajun, or CJ for short.  CJ was, like most Shelties, full of personality, spunk and herding skills.  He was the best dog, and continuously herded me away from some crappy boyfriends. By the time I graduated from high school, CJ was not only a sibling to me, he was my protector.  He was just as smart as most of my guy friends and much more empathetic.  He was a peach.

Romy, post Christmas lights.

At the end of my time in college, my best friend Callie gave me a golden retriever puppy.  We named him Romeo because he was such a love.  He showed us how much he cared by eating an entire strand of Christmas lights, and pooping on certain people’s shoes (including one dude I had a huge crush on – had being the operative word here).  After graduation, it was me and Romy (I shorted his name a touch) against the world.  Once, when a boyfriend broke up with me, Romy lifted his leg on the guy’s spanking-new car’s tire.  Ahhh, the good old days.

As Roman (this is what The Captain called him) aged, The Captain gave me an anniversary present – another golden.  We named her Lucy, although secretly I called her (and still do) Lucifer.  She was a maniac.  Of course, by this time, Romy was up in age – almost 9 – and all of his insane youth was well forgotten.

Lucy, aka Lucifer. She is a sweetie. Most days.

Lucy and I would go rounds.  She didn’t want to go to the bathroom outside, she didn’t want to sleep in the crate, she didn’t want to be alone for one minute.  It was quite a nightmare training her.  And she was strong, so taking her to dog training class was a complete and utter horror.  I gained a lot of upper body strength training Lucy.  Finally, Lucy settled down, and Roman, sadly, did not make it past age 11.  Lucy was alone for three years.

My daughter, Maisy.

And then came Maisy.  Here is a link to how I persuaded The Captain to go for another dog.  Maisy is a Havanese.  She is a fluffy, prissy little thing and oh, so charming.  She is my alter-ego.  If I was a dog, I would be Maisy – fuzzy, vocal and right next to whoever would give me a special snack or attention.  She is a doll, as am I.  😉

My dad still has dogs.  Two rescue dogs that are vivacious little critters.  We Facetime and get to speak to the dogs.  It is quite a treat.

The Captain’s family was also a dog family.  They always had a pooch, but usually not by design.  They didn’t visit the breeder or check the newspaper for certain dogs.  They were given dogs that were older or couldn’t be placed in a normal home.  One interesting story is of a toy poodle they were given named Jacques.  Apparently, The Captain and his brother, Coach, were fond of making Jacques crazy.  They would taunt this poor dog, who would growl at them and snap at them.  But the dog closest to the in-laws’ hearts was named Mabel.  The in-laws, let’s call them The Legend and Salt, lost this special dog last year.  Mabel, who we fondly referred to as The Captain’s sister, lived a long life.  The Legend took it hard.  He became the Soup Nazi (Seinfeld) about dogs.  I would ask him, “Hey, how about looking at a new dog?”  His reply, “Grrr, no dogs for you!”

My father believes in getting back on the horse, and this is not just because he lives in Texas.  He has loved and lost animals that were close to his heart, but he always finds room in his heart to accept a new dog – not as a replacement, but as a new companion.  I, too, feel this is important.   So I pushed the issue with my in-laws.

Chewie, the newest dog addition.

The Captain warned me not to do this, but I had to.  They had to have a new dog.  They both could use a special buddy.  They needed a pal to wag their tale and welcome them every morning.  So, I went on a quest to find them a great friend.  And I succeeded.  A male Havanese who looks like Chewbacca.  He could be a miniature Wookie. It was time to get back on the horse, so to speak.  And the best part?  They named him Chewie.  Oh yes.  Han Solo would be proud.

Chewbacca was a Wookie, and the in-laws are happy.  Love those dogs, and may the force be with you.  With dogs, that is.

When Children Learn to Read

Or, what really happens now that my children are reading.

My seven-year-old, Squishy, loves to read.  He is at the point where he reads everything. He will read over my shoulder.  He will read labels.  He will read t-shirts.  He will read basically anything.

There is a fun print my sister-in-law gave The Captain for his birthday.  He likes to make (and drink) martinis.  Squishy now knows how to: 1.  Say martini and 2. Spell martini.

Squishy has become a reading machine.

He also likes to read over my shoulder while I am on my Kindle.

“Mom, what the crap is wrong with this lady?”

“What lady?” I ask, “and don’t say crap.”

“The lady in your book named Anne.  She is a freak.”

I am reading about Anne Boleyn.  “She is not a freak, Squishy, she just had some issues.”

“Like what?” he asks as I wonder briefly how far to take this.

“She was married to a famous king of England and it didn’t end well for her,” I strategically answered.

“Why?  Is his name Henry?”

“How do you know that?” I asked.

“I read it over your shoulder,” he grinned triumphantly, “See ya, I am going outside, OK Mom?”

“Sounds like a plan,” I answered.

Yesterday, heading for a quick grocery store stop, Squishy said, “Mom, the truck next to us has a bad word on a sticker.”

“What does it say?” I asked, trying to navigate through the zillion traffic lights in our small town.

“Will I get in trouble if I say it?” he asked.

“Just read it to me,” I said, with the patience and kindness of a women with mild road rage.

“Bad ass,” he said, “It says bad ass.  Why is he a bad ass, Mom?  He doesn’t look like a bad ass.”

“OK,” I said, using the mom voice, “You can stop saying it now.”

“Well, he doesn’t look like one anyway…Hey, Mom, the sign over there says not to text and drive.  And that one says the service begins at 10, and that one says…”  And so on, and so on.

I think I may need that martini.  Stat.

Just a Ukulele, Please

Sometimes a small, silly suggestion makes perfect sense down the road.  Here is a tale of goofy present with fun results.

For Christmas 2010, I didn’t want anything.  Nada.  Zip, zero, nothing.  Many asked.  Everyone got the same answer.  Nothing.  It was one of those years.

Lots o' Legos.

Once I had children, the holidays changed.  It was all about what I could find for them, what Santa would bring, what batteries I needed to buy to make sure their toys lit up, played music and had motion.  As my boys have gotten a little older, holiday shopping turned into finding the perfect Lego sets and Nintendo DS games.  Christmas wasn’t about me anymore, and that was perfectly OK with me.

Unfortunately, my personal philosophy about the holidays didn’t stop everyone from asking what I wanted for Christmas.  Some members in my family were not to the point where they understood how one could not even care less about what they are getting for the highly over-commercialized holiday.  The Captain, my husband, was frustrated because usually every year I give him an idea of something that I would like him to buy for me – i.e. a print-out with the exact item, store, size and price.  I kept telling him that I needed nothing. Nada. Zero. Zilch.  He wouldn’t let up.  So, after being exhausted from being asked, I told him, “Just a ukulele, please.”

He thought I was kidding.  Maybe because a ukulele is an uncommon thing for someone like me who has absolutely no musical talent whatsoever.  For some reason, at his staff holiday party, it became the story of the night.  His principal walked me around the room to retell the story about what I wanted for Christmas.  I tried to explain to her it wasn’t really much of a funny story at all, I just told my husband to get me a ukulele.  She thought this was hilarious.

On Christmas morning, after the boys tore into their gifts, The Captain surprised me with a big box.  I opened it, and voila, there was a real, genuine, no-bones-about-it ukulele.  I was surprisingly ecstatic with the gift.  I couldn’t believe he actually got me a uke.  Hilarious – yes!  A proud ukulele owner am I!

Since then, I have written a few songs for the ukulele.  Most are in reference to what my little dudes are up to.  Mind you, I have no idea how to play the thing, besides strumming randomly, so the songs don’t really count.  But, it turns out, that creating a silly song on the uke is very motivating (and somewhat embarrassing) for two boys.  Phoebe from Friends knew it all along!  Here are a few of the titles to further explain my point:

Sleepover, Yeah, I Better Sleep

Don’t Eat Your Boogers ‘Cause It’s Gross

The Homework Blues

Put the Seat Down or Mommy May Drown

Nine-Year-Old Crankie Pants

Little Brothers Sure Make Me Fart

Don’t Tell Daddy

Not Gonna Buy It

and last, but not least,

Livin’ on Chicken Nuggets and Chips.

A few weeks ago, I ran into my husband’s principal.  She introduced me to her friend as “the one who asked for a ukulele last year for Christmas and writes silly songs for it.”  I chuckled and asked her why she even thought of the ukulele.  She replied, “I think it is so funny, cool and unique.”  Mmmm.   Maybe next year I will ask for an oboe.

The Uke of 2010. A Holiday Hitmaster.

Yes, I am the Tooth Fairy

Spoiler alert:  If you still believe in the tooth fairy, stop reading now.  This may come as a shock to you, and I want you to be OK and not to worry your pretty little head about anything.   Go back, visit Freshly Pressed and wait for the Easter Bunny and Santa.  And remember to brush your teeth because the Tooth Fairy really appreciates it. 😉

This is me! Ready for anything to come my way - involving teeth!

Now, let’s begin.  I am the Tooth Fairy.  I provide the almighty cash when teeth are lost in my home.  I collect the teeth and put them in a special “place” in my secret container located in my bathroom.  I could make a glorious necklace of teeth shed from the children, but I am not creepy so I won’t.

I am the Tooth Fairy.  I have made stealth missions under pillows to find the tooth in the porcelain holder.  I plan my missions with ease and expertise.  I begin planning as soon as the tooth becomes visibly loose.  I show many ways the tooth can be wiggled, prodded, twisted and pulled.  After all, the goal is to lose the tooth.  I patiently wait for the tooth to be placed under the pillow.  Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible has nothing on me.  I am ready.  Bring one the tooth!

I am the Tooth Fairy.  I have made mistakes.  Once, hunting for a particularly difficult tooth under a pillow in a bed surrounded by over fifty stuffed animals, I woke up the sleeping darling.  He looked at me and asked if it was morning yet.  I told him no, that I heard him coughing and I was checking on him.  The Tooth Fairy must think quickly on her feet.  Another disaster was when the sleeping angel woke up and asked me why I had the tooth holder in my hands.  I said I was checking to see if the Tooth Fairy had visited because I knew I would not be home to see if she came.  This answer was acceptable, and the little man drifted back to sleep.  As the Tooth Fairy, I am ready for anything.

I am the Tooth Fairy.  For some reason, my sidekick, The Captain, conveniently never has any cash on the precious Tooth Fairy visits.  “With great power, comes great responsibility.”  Being the Tooth Fairy carries a high threshold of organization and duty, and, obviously, The Captain cannot handle the extreme elements of the task.  For some unknown reason, he does not worry if the Tooth Fairy forgets.  This has happened on his watch and, in Tooth Fairy land, is unacceptable. On my watch it won’t ever occur again.  In retrospect, The Captain makes an awful Tooth Fairy.  He is fired from ever being the Tooth Fairy again.  He may have to do double duty as Santa next year.

I am the Tooth Fairy.  It is a hard job.  It is demanding, does not come with rewards or benefits.  But there is one thing it does – it keeps the belief alive.  So, I will stay the faithful Tooth Fairy until my services are no longer required.

After all, I am the Tooth Fairy.

A happy customer.

The Thinks You Can Think

This past weekend, The Captain and both of my dudes wrapped up a three-weekend run of the musical Seussical at our community theater.  In a word, it was “adorable.”  I really wanted to be clever and put a Seuss word in there, but, alas, none come to me.  Yet…

“I meant what I said, and I said what I meant. An elephant’s faithful, one hundred percent.”  The musical is actually the story of Horton Hears a Who and Horton Hatches the Egg.  There are also references to The Lorax, The Grinch, Oh, The Places You’ll Go, The Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham.  The Cat is the “narrator” of the musical, and the characters are all the Seuss favorites.  In a word, it was “magical.”

Both of my dudes are in this photo.

My little guys were Whos.  They had to wear stuffed suits and wild wigs.  They were adorable.

String Bean had to hold the roast beast so the Grinch could carve it.  His face was priceless!  In a word, it was “precious.”

The Captain played one of the three monkeys who torment Horton.  His song was called, “Monkey Around” and the main lyric was, “You wanna monkey, monkey around?!”  Is it bad that I completely burst out laughing during this song?  Well, I did.  Thank goodness I was sitting by one of my friends, who also was laughing.  Not sure why this song would be included – adult humor?

A monkey…I am so proud.

It was pretty difficult keeping a straight face while my husband, in orange and white striped bib overalls, orange Chuck Taylor’s and an orange beanie is bouncing around the stage, like a monkey, asking the audience to “monkey around” with him.  So wrong on so many levels.  In a word, it was “goofy.”

“Don’t give up! I believe in you all. A person’s a person, no matter how small!”  The musical itself carries this message throughout, and it is one to always remember.  I don’t know how the good Dr. Seuss did it – but he made his work immortal. Move over vampires, read some Seuss.

I had the pleasure of getting to take pictures for the show, and that was a blast, but very challenging, too!  I hope I captured the heart of the show.  In a word, it was “memorable.”

So, here are some of my favorite “magical, precious, goofy and memorable” Seussisms:

“Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!”

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”

“From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere!”

“I know it is wet and the sun is not sunny, but we can have lots of good fun that is funny.”

“Be who you are and say what you feel,
because those who mind don’t matter,
and those who matter don’t mind”

“Today is your day, your mountain is waiting. So get on your way.”

In a word, Seuss is “Seusstacular.”  And a happy belated birthday to Dr. Seuss.

Oh, the thinks you can think!

Pooh are You?

To the tune of The Who’s Who Are You:  Pooh are you?  Pooh, Pooh, Pooh, Pooh.  I really want to know…

What Pooh Are You?  This question was posed to brainvomit40 and I during the school day last week.  I was going on and on about a certain student acting like Eeyore, and Suz was talking about one who was like Pooh.  It was a perfect question and ideal for a manic Monday’s blog entry.

"Say, I'm so happy I feel like bouncing!"

Over the weekend, it was posted on my Facebook saying that I would be Tigger.  OK, I thought, I can handle Tigger.  Tigger is cute – he has stripes, he’s a tiger, he is bouncy.  I am sure that sometimes I really could be a little like Tigger.  Bounce, bounce, bounce.

But the real question is, what Pooh are you?  High school students can easily be put into Pooh categories.  As I mentioned earlier, I have an Eeyore, but I also have all of the other Pooh characters as students.  There is always at least one of each of Christopher Robin’s friends every school year.

I have an Eeyore during my first period class.  In their mind, nothing goes well for them.  The Eeyores never have a good day, and are frequently seen visiting the counseling office because they can’t find their tail.  Again. The Eeyores mumble, and physically show their feelings.  When disciplining an Eeyore, it may require chocolate or some other incentive so they don’t droop down to the floor and give up all hope.

I have a Rabbit.  He knows all and doesn’t hesitate to share it with everyone.  He firmly believes he is smarter than everyone around him – including me.  He, however, does not want people to think he is pushy or a know-it-all and will defend, defend, defend until the cows (or his Pooh friends) come home.

I have a Piglet.  This is a student who gets very excited, eager, basically thrilled about everything.  They have a thousand questions, always needing constant reinforcement and encouragement. Yet, this student is timid with the Rabbit and doesn’t understand the Eeyore.  This student will not voice how very excited, eager, basically thrilled he is because that is not in his nature.  He is a usually a sweetheart.

I have an Owl.  Owls are special because they always know the right thing to say at the right time.  Sometimes, the owls keep talking and don’t know when to stop.  This student will speak until they realize their audience is totally gone.  Then, they will fluff their wings and move on to another group.  The owl is friends with many, however many stop listening soon after the owl starts talking.

I have many Kangas.  This student is the mommy figure who takes some of the Poohs, Eeyores, Piglets and Tiggers under their wings (or in their pouch).  Kangas are special because they are not afraid of the Rabbits and will basically stick up for all of the characters, not just the ones they hold closest to their chests.

I have some Roos.  Roo is a cute little guy who will always want to play.  Roo students are easily distracted and can run with the Tiggers of the world.  Roos also get along with Rabbit, which says a lot considering the Rabbit students are, well, you know, bossy!

I have a Tigger (and apparently I am a Tigger according to our school counselor who knows best).  Tiggers have tons of energy and want to make people feel happy.  They are confident, “The wonderful thing about Tiggers is that Tiggers are a wonderful thing.”  They are proud to be their own person.  They may be entirely too enthusiastic for some.  Like my former boss, for example.

I have a Pooh.  The curious student, who really is concerned with the simple things like, “When is lunch?” or “Do you think we will have a snow day tomorrow?”  Pooh always has random questions that come out of left field.  The Poohs are always thinking about something simple.  Like how many minutes until the bell rings.

So, what Pooh are you?

My own Tigger and Pooh.

Muppets and Hope

Growing up, the Muppets were always there.  My mom would shuffle my brother and I to each and every Muppet movie.  We would sit in the dark theater for two hours with Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie and the entire crazy gang, and for those couple of hours, they were family.

Right before I started seventh grade,  my dad was transferred from St. Louis, Missouri to Red Bank, New Jersey.  My parents, brother and I sadly left the city of the Arch, Cardinals and the mighty Mississippi river and headed East toward the city that never sleeps (Red Bank is nestled within an hour or so train ride to NYC.)  It was a whole new, and scary, world.

Starting school in a new place is daunting.  Believe me – I know this from experience.  As a naive, shy and nervous junior high kid, I was not ready to embark on this journey.  A week after we arrived and two short days before starting a new school, in a new state with zero new friends, my mom hunted down the nearest movie theater.  She rounded up my ten-year-old brother, and put us both in the car.  She didn’t, however, inform us of our destination.  But when she pulled into the theater’s parking lot, we were excited.  It was a good move on my mom’s part.  She knew we all needed an escape from our new environment, and took us to the mecca of escapism – the movie theater.  Guess what was playing?  Ironically it was The Muppets Take Manhattan.

The Muppets in this film were just like us: fish out of water.  They had to overcome the challenges of being and living somewhere new, readjusting to the hardships and confusion of a big move to a big city – a big change if you will.   Thanks to that film in 1984, we knew we could make it with determination and the willpower of Miss Piggy and the gang.  All I can say is thank goodness for the Muppets.

Today, my husband and I took String Bean and Squishy to see the new Muppet Movie.  My mom met us at the theater and we all sat together, heavily buttered popcorn in hand, not quite knowing what to expect.  I mean, it has been a long time since 1984, and my kids are really not too familiar with the Muppets.  The film started, and I was transported back.  I looked over at all three of my dudes and they were mesmerized.  I looked at my mom and was so happy to share yet another Muppet memory with her. I thought about how everything turned out pretty OK in 1984, and how lucky I was to be sitting here with my boys (String Bean is 10 – like my brother was in 1984) enjoying the Muppet show again.

“Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection, the lovers, the dreamers and me.”  Thanks again, Kermit and gang, for once again bringing laughter, and a little hope, into our lives.  Thanks for coming back and allowing my dudes to appreciate you as much as I do.  I look forward to seeing you all again soon.  Wocka, wocka!

Miss Piggy at Hollywood Studios.

New Year’s Resolutions are for the Angry Birds Part 2

For the 2012, instead of doing a January 1 resolution, which is totally insane because how can one really commit to a resolution when coming down off of a total booze-filled festival of celebration, a total Christmas cookie sugar rush high?  How can one (me) be realistic about a goal and actually make it happen for the new year?

So this year, I have decided to make some realistic goals instead of solid resolutions.  (No pigs laughing just yet!)

Goal 1: Stick with something.  Anything.  So, if I write a day a week, or actually send out a real card once a month, that is good.  Maybe I will just organize photos, or even just take more pictures.  I might actually learn to play the ukelele I received for Christmas in 2010. I guess I will be more like the little blue birds in Angry Birds.  They can split into threes and do three different tasks, and still be OK even if they aren’t perfect at them.

Goal 2: Try not to eat like it is the Last Supper.  Food will be there and I need to refocus my thinking about it and savor it.  I do not live in a trough nor am I green.  (Oink oink sounds go here).

Goal 3: Give others the feedback that they need.  If I see something good, I need to say something.  I sometimes think, “I will have to let them know,” and then it is six months later and they have moved to Siberia like the white bird who lays an egg but you never see the bird again.  I need to give out lots of helpful eggs.

Goal 4: Get off the land of denial. I am old enough to be able to look at my bank balance, the scale, my closet, etc., and not be in denial.  This is real. It is here and now.  Everything is not a black “bomb” bird.  Nothing will blow up in my face, unless I keep denying things.

Goal 5: Share how much I value and appreciate others.  I think everyone can try to be better on this.  I know I need to be.  I may thank my boss for paying so I can have all of the Angry Bird games on my iPad.  😉

Goal 6: Try to accomplish some of the items on my 40 by 40 list.  Although many are unrealistic, I can try and hit some of them this year.  Maybe with a little bit of the yellow bird’s speed, I can accomplish more than I think.

Goal 7: Be me.  It is OK for me to be the everyday red bird.  People like me for me and I need not change for anyone else.  I am still reliable, trustworthy and fun. Besides, red is my color.

Hmmm.  I think Mark Twain (see yesterday’s post) would be OK with my goal list.  I guess I don’t need that cement mixer just yet.

Me, the red bird. 🙂

Hey kids. Mommy wants a sports car.

I think I may be headed into a mid-life crisis.  I seem to be drooling over any car that doesn’t scream “Mommy Mobile!”

I didn’t realize I was in this tragic time period until I got into a fender bender and my rocking Honda Odyssey mini-van was in the shop for over a week.  I skeptically went into the rental car agency knowing that somehow I would end up in a Ford Focus or Taurus to drive as my van underwent surgery.  The guy looked at me, smiled, and handed me keys.  I followed him outside and he said, “Ya know, I was going to put you in this new Buick.  But then I saw you and thought that you don’t look like the Buick type.  So, here ya go.”

I stepped beside him next to the gold Chevy Malibu and was ready to say something sarcastic (but true) to the guy like, “Thanks. My mom drives one of these.” When he said, “Hey, it is over here.”

I turned and there was this sweet black car. I thought, “Hot diggigity, it’s a Lexus.  I am gonna rock out to school in this!”  I asked the dude what kind of car it was and he said a Mazda 6.  Hmm.  It was promising.

Jumping in and finding a good spot for my purse (you know it has to be close enough to get into, but it can’t really ride on my lap because that is just odd), I put the key into the ignition.  It purred.  Mmmm.  It is promising indeed.

I turned out of the parking lot and felt five years younger.  I shot down the Boulevard (it is really called that) and felt another five years younger.  By the time I pulled into my driveway, I was 21 again and ready to scrap my van forever, grab a wine cooler and embrace the life of a non-mommy mobile.

I couldn’t stop thinking about this car.  It handled like a dream, it was fun to drive and it got great gas mileage.  I started telling everyone about my “borrowed” car.  I told my husband that I had to keep it.  I stomped my foot for emphasis.  After a few of these discussions, he actually noticed my ongoing ramblings about the car and began to talk to me about maybe trading the van in soon and getting something else.  Once that door was opened, I was on it like fleas on a dog.  Every moment we were hanging out, I would suggest different non-mommy type wheels.  He kept steering back to an SUV or a smaller SUV.  He wasn’t getting it.  I loved this sweet car.  It even had a perfect place for my purse. Sigh.

Today I had to give it back.  It was gut-wrenching.  I took my oldest, String Bean, with me.  With his DS in hand, he was eerily quiet the entire drive there.  I put on somber music – The Cure – and drove slowly.  I gently rubbed the steering wheel, sweetly accelerated when the light turned green and completely drove straight past the rental place.  I managed a slick u-turn in a non u-turn area, but it didn’t matter (and, damn, that car can turn on a dime!)  I was the King of the World and had only a mere three minutes left.  Soon, I would go back to the mommy car with ground french fries in the door jams.  Soon I would be driving a small barge through town.  Soon I would be using my key fob alarm to find my van out of the million silver mini-vans at the mall.  *sniff sniff.

Luckily, the rental car guy was really busy and he gave me the option (hooray) of driving the rental over to the body shop.  I grabbed String Bean and we jumped back into the ride and took our time making our way there.  As we waited inside, I looked out the small window at the sweet car sitting right smack next to the van.  It was almost like a movie trailer.  Narrator with amazing low voice, “She struggles with her identity.  Not that she wants to lose her precious life she has now, but she somehow wants to combine it with the one of yesteryear.  Tune in for the finale entitled – The Car That Got Away, and the sequel, Don’t Cry, It’s Only a Petrified French Fry.”

Yeah.  It’s like that sometimes.  The mom thing is cool and all, but there are days when maybe it would be nice to have a sweet, sporty car and feel 21 again – even just for a little while.  🙂