Tuesday, December 4, 2012

It's more than a feeling....

You never know when the moment is going to happen, it is just one of those seconds in time that you dream about, waiting for that particular day that everything just seems to fall in line. Yesterday was that day. It was my first day back to work after Thanksgiving break, I had just picked Senia Mae up from preschool and we were heading back to the house for lunch. Typical day, nothing unusual about it.

As I pulled into the driveway "the song" came on the radio. Every parent has certain rites of passage they want to pass down to their kids, things that really make the difference, allowing you to view life from another perspective. As a die hard rocker and lifelong musician, certain songs set the tone in my life, creating mile markers on the blueprint of my particular story, shaping who I am today. A good song is one that everyone can relate to at some point in their life, really get it, feel it, know it. This was one of those songs...power chords ...rhythm...timing...emotion...yes! Just picture someone standing in the dust watching the taillights slowly fade into the distance as they realize the car they are chasing contains "the one that got away". You know what I am talking about...

I quickly turned my head to look at her sitting patiently in her car seat, as if she were waiting for my cue. Her eyes caught mine instantly with that certain look of understanding that said without words, "Yes, Mom, I get it..." and the pre-chorus started playing. I raised my hands above my head clapping with vigor in the rhythm of 1,2,3,4 as my head bowed in synch with each beat. It was not Wayne and Garth, it was us, me and my kid, and at this moment we were livin' the dream! Out of the corner of my eye I saw her raise her hands over her head in the same fashion, trying to mimic the intensity of my clapping, but not really sure of herself just yet but willing enough to be a noble apprentice.

I took in a deep breath steadying my diaphragm, letting the smooth muscles relax so the tone would be released with perfection. Grabbing her left knee with my right hand I squeeze to the rhythm gently as I belt out "Its more than a feeling....(more than a feelen)...when I hear that old song they used to play...I think its really..(more than a feelen)...till I see Mary Ann walk away...I see that Mary Ann walkin' away.." (Just so that you know, every other girl in Massachusetts is named Mary Ann or Anne Marie, so it gives the song that much more importance!)

Peering into the eyes of my child I notice her eyes are glistening with absolute glee as she is bobbing her head, trying to hit the two high notes that follow Mary Ann walking away right before the guitar solo. YES! This is it! The moment has happened and she gets it!! This, Senia Mae, is one of the most important guitar riffs in rock and roll history, and we just shared that moment together...passing down the knowledge of the sacred trust right here in the confines of our family automobile. We clapped loudly and sang high notes together, bobbing our heads in unison, completely together in that moment. Will she remember it twenty years from know.. I don't know. Will I remember this life changing moment of truth until the day that I leave this earth? Most definitely...YES!!! You passed the test, kid, and I am proud of ya'!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Our little princess re-peat!

Kim and I are feminine, but not exactly what you would call "girly" girls, although I can step it up when I really want to get a point across. That being said, somehow we have created this little darling who was obviously birthed directly from the princess patch, gracefully gliding over rose petals as she sachets through life wearing her ruby red sparkling slippers and I absolutely love it. Sometimes she is so cute I could just eat her right up!
Just to fill you in, she's growing up at an astronomical pace, much too fast for my psyche to be able to handle it with complete rationale. I see now why certain women want to have 19 kids....you never have to give up the goody! Several weeks ago she was still standing at my knees with her arms extended in my direction asking "Hold you", because I would always ask "Do you want me to hold you?". I wanted to freeze her in time, never correcting her grammar because it was just so preciously endearing. Every time she would say it like that I could feel my heart fill with a love that is like no other and anything else that happened to be in my world at that particular time came to an absolute stop. Little did she know that at those moments she could have anything her little heart desired, not just comfort in my arms. Since then she has begun two mornings of preschool and suddenly has learned the different phraseology between hold me and hold you. Darn it. It is still sweet and I am thankful every day that she still is finding comfort with her Mommy, but its not quite as gripping.
With her new found sense of maturity, she is becoming quite taken with bags, purses, satchels, you name it, anything that will help her tote more stuff from here to there. Recently she had been given a little yellow purse, similar to a tot's version of a Vera Bradley, a zipper topped petite quilted mini duffel with matching ring hand grips and a stripe of red daisies vertically around the midriff. She thinks it is actually better than sliced bread and shoves everything she can into it: keys, scarfs, toy food, even those little 2"x 2" cardboard princess books...you know...everything she's going to need for the day.
The other day we went on a short walk after work pushing her in the jogging stroller down our usual route on the dirt road. Of course she came equipped with her purse, a blanket, one naked baby, and the ruby red slippers. Everything you need for a walk on a dirt road. If we let her walk too soon, we don't get much exercise, therefore we have a rule that she can get out of the carriage at the stop sign, because she likes to "run"...it's more like this heavenly prancing...similar to a deer gliding over a fence...very funny. So we get to the stop sign and let her out to do her thing. This time we decided to park the stroller because we were going to check out another route and double around, grabbing it on the way back.
We hadn't gone more than thirty steps before Senia Mae was screeching "Wait, wait, my purse!" sprinting back to the stroller and snatching her bag from the seat. She skipped happily back to us and went no more than twenty feet before she said, "Mommy, hold this", handing the pocketbook to Kim in her Reebok basketball shorts, T shirt, and running shoes, as she runs off to play with Birdie the dog. This is what is so hilarious, Kim who wouldn't be caught dead with a purse, is strolling happily down the road in her full sporting gear toting a mini Vera Bradley. Priceless!
On the way back the purse made it back into the stroller as I pushed and the two girls walked aside of me. Kim eventually got ahead of us as we were reaching the final stretch. Suddenly Senia Mae shouts "Mommy stop!". With honest concern, I bring the stroller to an abrupt stop, skidding in the gravel, wondering if I had accidentally run over her toe. She runs to the front of the stroller, grabs her purse and hurriedly unzips it, pulling out the scarf and the pretend bottle of soda, spouting off, "I need a coke!" I almost died with laughter, trying to hold it in so she would not become self conscious about her current task at hand. We would start up again and she forced me to stop several more times, about every five feet to repeat the same procedure. It was absolutely hilarious!!!
Apparently she is mimicking someone, possibly us, possibly someone else, but it makes me realize that our every word and action is being stored in her little Rolodex of memorized words and actions, things that adults do, things we are completely unaware that we say and do! YIKES!! Just when you think you are getting away with something sneaky....something as simple as eating a few M&M's while hiding behind the refrigerator...little eyes are watching!! Watch out!!!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The REAL meaning of dos equis!

For those of you that don't know, we live on lovely Lake Lanier. Lovely, that is, when they are not draining the lake to send water down south to the Apalachicola River Basin so that the oysters can have enough brackish water to thrive. I am an animal lover, heck I've got seven rescue cats, but enough is enough. My dock has been on the ground four out of the last seven summers...aarg!

Since there is basically nothing I can do to change the water situation or my frustration levels, I decided that this year we would take our family vacation to the beach near Apalachicola, so that we could at least enjoy some of the world's best oysters living lavishly off of the excess of my backyard!

It was mid afternoon on a Sunday, the temperature was in the nineties with humidity so high that you could almost taste the salt in the moist air. It was the perfect atmosphere for beer and oysters. Driving along a side road we came across a raw bar that looked as if it was a weathered old wooden shack that someone had forgotten about several hurricanes ago. It donned three 8x20 foot shutters that clipped to the ceiling, providing bar seating as well as exposing an inner bar made of an old surfboard where the headlining selection was Pabst Blue Ribbon on draft. If you felt satisfied you were more than welcome to write your comments on the graffiti covered walls. Picnic tables were scattered under a rusted tin covered porch area that was graveled with crushed oyster shells. It was perfect.

We grabbed a picnic table and placed our order with the waitress, waiting patiently for our treasures to arrive. That particular morning I had eaten extra sparingly, knowing full well that we would be finding fresh ocean vittles for lunch and I wanted to make sure that I was good and hungry. The beer came cold and fast, going down easy in the sticky, salt air. Anxious, hungry, and now a little bit buzzed I started fiddling with the hot sauce bottles on the table, wishing our food would come quicker. Hmmm, there was a bottle I didn't recognize. I picked it up and rolled it between my fingers noticing that the label read that it was made by a local named Ed Creamer out of Port St. Joe, FL. "Hot Damn!" I laughed to myself as I whipped out my phone snapping a picture of the bottle and quickly sending it via instant message to my old friend Amanda, who happens to have a father with the same name, Ed Creamer.

I was completely tickled, reveling in the strange coincidence, enjoying the island atmosphere, drinking beer with my family and friends, texting back and forth to Amanda "It says it's an oyster's best friend!" as I fed yet another packet of saltines to my two year old. The one thing I wasn't doing was noticing the two red XX symbols underneath Ed Creamer's signature on the label.

The oysters arrived and we dove into them, spreading their sweet, raw flesh on crackers, topping them off with horseradish, Tabasco, and lemon. Of course I opted for Ed Creamer's sauce...for it proclaimed right on the label that it was an oyster's best friend and at this particular time, so was I. I smiled readily as I doused my cracker creation with the hot sauce and shoved it in my mouth eagerly. What happened next I will remember for the rest of my life.

My mouth was closed because the oyster and cracker together was a rather large bite. I was chewing and suddenly felt my eyes begin to water as they blinked rapidly. Looking around the porch I spotted the old black and white sketch of an oyster eating pirate with smoke coming out of his ears as he rose from the sea. Yes, that was exactly what was happening! This had to stop! I was sure my head was about to blow off. I scanned the table for some sort of relief as I tapped my hand nervously wishing I could locate a fire extinguisher to put a damper on the flames that were rapidly scorching my lips. My close friends were unable to offer any consolation because they were too busy falling off their seats with explosive laughter as they pointed their fingers in my direction, covering their mouths with their other hands to muffle their obnoxious, unsupportive noises.

Suddenly my little two year old angel reached across the table, handing me her cup of ice water, spouting, "Here you go, Mommy". My heart stopped. I am not sure if it was my tears that got her or the smoke coming out of my ears, but she empathized with me, and I grabbed hold of that water cup, sticking my tongue deep down into the ice cubes quicker than you could say Jack Robinson. My lips, tongue, and entire gastro intestinal tract ached deeply for the next twenty minutes and although the ice water probably acted more as a placebo effect, it was the most sweet, thoughtful, and appreciated offering and I loved her for it. I suddenly realized that in one brief second she had just made up for the fifteen hours of un-medicated labor. That's my kid!

So the moral of the story is that the REAL meaning of dos equis, XX, is PROCEED WITH CAUTION! There are Habaneros in that sucker!!!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Precious moments

This morning, my cute little angel pulled on my shirt, looking up at me asking if I could tell her again what happened this morning. "Of course" I said squatting down to her level, allowing her to perch on my left knee. I began to whisper softly...

"This morning you ran into our bed while you were having a bad dream. I wrapped you up in my arms but you were still squirming and making noise, so I whispered softly in your ear, "Mommy's here", and your body relaxed, forgetting about the bad dream and turning into a good rest."

She looked up at me as she wrapped her arms around my neck and nuzzled her nose into my left ear, sighing with that sound of relief that led me to believe that the words "Mommy's here" could fix even the worst dilemmas in her world. How I treasure those kind of precious moments, wishing I could be that to her forever. I grab my heart and hold it, knowing this too is for a limited time only. I am going to soak it all up while I still can:)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Eating my own words!!!

This morning is a great Sunday morning. We sat in the hot tub, I'm drinking my morning coffee, the air outside is still cool before it gets sweltering, and I have a rare chance to pick up my guitar and just let it rip.

In my head, I'm reliving the glory days as I feel the old familiar burning sensation in the tips of my fingers. I am thinking that I am sounding really good as I harmoniously wail Michael Penn's "No Myth". The feeling builds and I stand up automatically taking on the guitar stance, as if the music itself is coming from the inner depths of my soul.

I'm going through my old list of favorites, ending up on Melissa Etheridge's "No Souveniers". There is a really powerful bridge in the middle inundated with slow, meaningful power chords where she belts out, "No shirt...no shoes...no jacket...no blues...your car's for sale...you forward your mail...your cutting your hair... you don't wanna know where I'm calling you from...or how come..." I am really feeling it, in the moment, livin' the dream for that one second ...until Senia Mae walks up to me and says "OK, Mommy, that's enough," as she turns and walks away, completely unimpressed.

My own words were used against me in the meanest, cruelest way! I pick up my poor, deflated ego as I retreat back onto the couch to watch another episode of Max and Ruby with my two year old, who sits happy and content at my side. I know your not cool when your kids are teenagers but I thought at this stage I could still be a little bit cool...next she'll probably blurt out..."Not today, Mommy!" AARG!! Yes this IS what my life has come to!! How funny is that? :)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Time to eat the Donuts

My memory has been jarred lately with dreams of funny stories from long ago. This one took place probably fifteen years ago when we took Gram on a trip to visit Tennessee. I vowed to stop at as many Dunkin' Donuts as it took to find her favorite morning vittles, lemon filled crullers, along the three and a half hour drive from Atlanta to Knoxville.

Just outside of Knoxville on a small side road we spotted an old fashioned Dunkin' Donuts (you cold tell because they had the old curvy counter and the sign was the old brown logo). They didn't carry her exact choice but did have lemon filled donut holes and since this discovery was so rare we ordered about 50 of them to go.

We drove happily for the next couple of miles, munching on a donut hole or two, chatting easily and enjoying our time together. Later on we decided to stop in at Dillard's to check the sales, not even considering that we had my 7 year old Pomeranian, Russell, in the car who was also a lover of donuts (or any type of food for that matter, you would think we never fed him by the way he scarfed things down).

Upon returning to the car, before we even opened the door, Russell sat up on the armrest between the two front seats with his ears back. This was always an instant giveaway that he felt remorse over something he had done. Opening the door we saw a thick layer of powdered sugar masking his whiskers and realized that he had eaten about forty five donut holes! We laughed heartily as we reprimanded, "Russell, bad dog", but it was hard to be mad because we knew that they were hard to resist! The ride home was slow without any donut holes, but our hurt feelings were not anything compared to Russell's upset tummy!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Dancing Queens

Before we decided to get pregnant I told Kim I wanted to go dancing one last time, a final hurrah, so to speak.  I love to dance and at one time I lived to dance....one more night of pounding music and spinning glamour wasn't too much to wish for.  

The last night of carefree club hopping never became a reality, but lately our living room has become the family dance floor where we mingle together shaking our groove thangs!

Tonight I arrived home from work and Kim had the iPod plugged into the surround sound.  Senia Mae was prancing around like a proud peacock in nothing but her pink, polka dotted big girl panties and red glitter ballerina shoes as Katy Perry wailed "In another life...I would be your girl..." at the exact time I walked over the threshold.  Club Paradise was apparently calling my name.

Smiling, my girls led me by hand to the dance floor and we swayed and swirled to the thunderous rhythms, until Senia Mae was so dizzy she almost fell over.  We all held hands and moved in a circle together, watching as our little girl just beamed with pride and joy, she was in her element.  It seemed so amazing that something so simple and spur of the moment could make her so happy and I remembered how it also made me so happy, realizing that it doesn't matter where you receive your joy, as long as you still allow yourself to feel it.  This nightclub was just as entertaining as any I had ever paid to get into and it was also close to my heart!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

No shoes, No pants, No Problem!!

Many of you probably know this, but if you do not, having a two year old means lots of singing, not that it matters here because we would sing anyway. Our home echoes with melodies from the soundtrack to Annie, happy theme songs to the Wonder Pets, an occasional hip hop hit, and of course, the boots on the table feel of Kenney Chesney.

It is not uncommon for me to break out the six string as the three of us sit on the porch singing our hearts out to anything played in the key of G, and just when we think the little one isn't listening, she comes out with a zinger!  It was all I could do to keep it together!

We were walking up the stairs to the driveway on our way to a play date and I hear Senia Mae humming something softly to herself.  She's just at the age where she is starting to speak in full sentences, but they don't always make sense and sometimes she adds her own words in as well. Her high pitched voice was cute I listened a little harder trying to make out the melody of what she was singing.  It was Kenney Chesney's "No shoes, no shirt, No problem", but instead of the humming the correct lyrics she was singing...no shoes, no pants, no problem!  I contained my laughter so I would not embarrass her, but could not stop thinking that her version of the song is what we all secretly wish we could do!  If Gram were still around she would have smiled, shaking her head spouting, "From the mouths of Babes..."