Picky, Picky

We don't get to pick out all the good stuff in life, like my kids pick the pineapple off the pizza, and the carrots out their salad. Dinner, for example. Three kids with stuffy noses chomping and smacking and talking. I could market it as a weight loss program because I eat 50% less every time I let myself listen. And I can't do anything about it. The noses came with their faces and if I tell them to chew with their mouths closed they'll asphyxiate.

Today, though, I was watching the Two Year Old chew. Because I wasn't sitting right next to him, I couldn't hear any gross mastication noises (which is one of my least favorite words, which is why I used it because it's one of my least favorite sounds). His little peach cheeks were happily stuffed and he must have been able to breathe through his nose because his lips were mooshed together like a little strawberry bouncing up and down above his chin that makes you pinch it.
Chew,chew, chew.

I got 31-flavors of happy. Because I love his face. Because he had healthy food in his mouth on the way to his stomach. Because he saw me watching him and started laughing and showed me the healthy chewed food. Because I know in a matter of months it won't be cute to watch him eat anymore. There is some line of demarcation when a child's mouth and drool and general body functions change and become suddenly disgusting, whereas before they had the pixie-dust of babyhood sprinkled upon them that made them somehow a gift. And because I took the moment, grabbed hold of it and appreciated it's brevity, which I don't always do. *small victory!*

So pick the pineapple off your pizza, is the point I'm trying to make. Maybe the trick in this life is to stand back a little, where you can't hear the slurping. Plug your ears when the whiny voices are nagging and just look at that face, how it has you in it, but this little person with strong opinions is NOT you. Amazing! Cover your eyes when you see that mutilated roll of toilet paper streaming down the hall behind a half-naked, crazed caveman in a bulging diaper, and just listen to the sound of the laughter for a second. And I mean a second, 'cause he's headed for the potted plants.


Time Walking Report: Christmas Booty

It's Christmas day, 2011. I'm so happy because not only did my kids believe me at 2 AM when I told them Santa hadn't come yet, but they went back to sleep until 7 and then we had "the best Christmas EVERRRR!" And now we're all dressed up fancy and I get to play the piano for the choir. We choose a pew close to the front so between songs I can sit with my family and feel warm and fuzzy.

You know, it's all Santa's fault, really. And I'm not just picking on him because I think he gets way too much credit for the gift giving. I don't have any elves and I manage. But if he hadn't put those little organza bags full of treats in the kids' stockings, everything would have been fine.

I stand, I walk to the piano for the next number, pleased with this happiest of Christmases. Behind me my family gasps and points at the organza bag clinging to my butt like a little white bow of Christmas cheer. Do they stop me? No. Three generations are rolling in the aisle, attracting the attention of ten surrounding pews who watch me mosey to the front of the chapel with a gift wrapped heiney.

So, my plan is to time walk back to December 25th and delicately pluck the decoration from my booty before anyone notices. But . . . here I am, and there I go, and my family looks so happy, faces burning red with the best kind of don't-laugh-in-church giggling, and the guy behind them leans forward and tells my husband, "Now that's a heck of a gift". And now my mom's wiping her eyes. Aww. Look at that.

Oh, fine. Merry Christmas, congregation. From the heart of my bottom.


Time Walking Report: Free At Last

My mom grew up in California in the 60s (sorry to date you, mamasita) and she's always called it turbulent. Things were changing, people changing. And they still are. There may be discrimination in our country still, but I like to believe that Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream has traveled through time to change the way most Americans see each other.
I only takes 17 minutes to time walk back to August 28, 1963 to be reminded of where we were, and hopefully, where we're going.
Think I'll read Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird again, too. It helped a kid who grew up in a small town without a lot of diversity see a little bit farther.