Tag Archive | family

Reason To Live Friday #24

This annoying dang holiday season. Are you wondering if I’m giving you whiplash? Do I spin a 180 turn each and every post? First complain, then gush? I know. I know. Try living with me.

Last year I wrote about how the holidays suck for some of you if you’ve lost a loved one. Holidays are like a trigger of emotions. They make you ponder on Christmases past and when life has changed permanently, it can be hard.

But then I thought of something. Maybe those little reminders are like the loved ones past speaking to us. Bear with me.

When my friend Reshma lost her daughter to Siona from Leukemia, she woke up one morning with a pressure point on her chest over her heart in the shape of a butterfly. You know when you sleep hard and the pillow case leaves an imprint on your face? Like that. I know, weird. But butterflies were a favorite of 6 year old Siona and this silhoutte of one was perfectly formed. It lasted several hours before it just faded. Reshma cherished her little butterfly form she had over her heart for the few hours it was there. Like Siona had given her a kiss.

Now don’t get all weird on me. I’m not saying that there’s messages from beyond. I’m not going into paranormal stuff here. You can think that or not. I’m cool with it.

I’m saying that the holidays hold so much hope and joy. That I’m going to hold on to the parts that are dear to me. I’m thinking about my dear, dear old friends who are living through their first holiday without their mom, sister and daughter after she took her own life in May. Their grief is palpable. Their grief is ripped open anew with each box of ornaments.

So here’s my list of what to do to get through:

Ready? Take a deep breath and go into downward dog yoga pose. Just kidding.

But breathe deeply anyway.

Hug the ones that are with you. Yep, just do it. Even if they piss you off. Stephen Stills was right with his song, “Love the one you’re with”.

When you see a reminder of a loved one gone- smile at it. Close your eyes and hold it to your heart. Say, “I miss you and I love you and I know you’re still here with me.”

Take last year’s coat or boots that don’t fit anymore or are hardly used and bring them to a charity. Someone needs those more than you.

Write down your feelings. If you blog or not, write that stuff down. You don’t ever have to read it again, but getting it on paper is helpful.

And one more time, love the ones you’re with. Dang it. Hug them, smush them and tell them you are happy they are with you.

Well, I’m not Dr. Phil. I’m not a trained professional. I’m just trying to lend a hug, and let you know I’m here for you. We can do this together.

Wife Confession: I enjoy the hubs away on business trips. Short ones, of course.

I think the further into marriage and kids you delve, the more you realize how much you like to be alone. Or is that just me?

I love my kids, I love my husband. Blah blah blah. You know this to be true. But come on. I love being alone. I’m the Greta Garbo of my peers. Leave me alone to bask in the glow of the reality TV show from my flat screen. Let me nap with the dog on the couch. Let me go poop by myself and change my maxi pad without interruption.

So when McSweetie had a business trip this week, I felt more sense of me time than just when he’s at work. Why? Maybe because after the kids go to bed, I rule the family room and the remote. Okay, I rule the remote most nights anyway. BUT. I got to sit around, pass gas, drink wine and watch all the Lifetime movies a girl could want. And they were holiday Lifetime movies. Even better.

So hubs comes home in the evening from the airport, kids are happy to see him, yada yada, and I’m moaning on the couch  before it’s time to tuck in the boy. I’ve heated up the hot pad twice and stuffed it in my pajama pants. This my friends, is a clear signal that Aunt Flo has come to town and she’s brought her suitcase. Did McSweetie notice this? Not so much. He asks what’s wrong. I mouth ‘cramps’ and give that all knowing look like, ‘poor me, I has armageddon uterus.’ What does he do? He gives me the exasperated look like, ‘didn’t you just have your period’, and says to me “that’s not what I was expecting.”

I stayed quiet, popped some Aleve and reheated my heat pad. I waited for him to fall asleep on the couch while I concocted this entire speech in my head.

Here goes:

“THAT’S NOT WHAT YOU WERE EXPECTING? REALLY? Yeah, well, newsflash bucko, it’s been 25 days since the last one. I’m sorry I wasn’t greeting you at the door wearing nothing but a trench coat and had the kiddos already tucked in bed sleeping soundly so we could have wild monkey sex on the dining room table. Which if you hadn’t noticed already was cleared off of its crap from the last several months.

Yeah, and another thing. You probably thought, ‘oh bummer, looks like the wifey isn’t up for some lovin’ tonight. Whoa is me, I won’t get some.’ But did you ever think- ‘Awww, poor thing. Look at her. She’s done all the chores and even scrubbed the base boards (I did actually, can you believe it?!) and she has an achy uterus and feels poorly.’

But did you think that? Hmm, did you?? NO. Of course you didn’t.

You don’t care that the pain I feel in my baby box slightly resembles that of the first few hours of labor. Where my endometrial lining is screaming at me and I have pain spasms all the way down my butt. Yeah. So there.

Don’t mind me. I just dropped off your dry cleaning, kept the children alive, washed the sheets, scrubbed the base boards (Did I mention I scrubbed the baseboards?) and cleaned up some crap from forever ago, and am sitting here being miserable in my female-ness that I have NO CONTROL over!

So yeah. Go fall asleep on the couch. No nookie for you.

Men.

I’m thankful for vaginas. My kids are too.

So last year when we gathered around the table for Thanksgiving at my parent’s house, Owen did a tear-filled thankful sharing that made my heart burst with gladness. I wrote about it here. It’s pretty damn special.

Well, this year, I got choked up at the dinner table again, but it was my mom talking about my dad and how very grateful we are that all went well last week with his procedure. You can read about THAT here.

I was really hoping for another zinger from my Boy. You know one that REALLY pulled on the heart strings. I mean, I had already had 2 glasses of wine, so I was pretty well greased for some sappy stuff to bring me to tears.

His turn comes. He’s sitting next to me. I’m waiting in anticipation. This is going to be good, I’m thinking in my head, I’m putting this in my journal.
He says, “I’m thankful for my mom.” He touches me on the shoulder…. wait for it….. here it comes….”I’m thankful that she pooped me out.”

Hmmm. That’s not what I was expecting. What? I pooped you out? That’s the best you got?  Well?

So then Emma chimes in, “It wasn’t her butt, it was her VAGINA.”

To this, I think I groan. Loudly. And lay my head in my plate of mashed potatoes. Thank goodness, my father, who is sitting right next to Emma, is pretty much deaf. So he doesn’t hear any of this. And he’s chewing his food, so that probably drowns out some of what we are saying.

My mother let’s out a howl of laughter. James rolls his eyes, like, “who are these people?”

My father chimes in, “what’s so funny?”

To which my mother responds, “Oh nothing, we’re just having some gyno conversation.”
We continue on.

There were no more references to either bodily functions or gyno occurrences. So I had some more wine.

I’m so grateful for pooping you out Owen, and you too Emma! And more grateful you came out of my vagina like you were supposed to.

Comfort in the Mundane

Who would have thought I would want a day doing laundry, dishes and PTA activities?

Well, when life throws a curve ball at you, the ordinary and dull become comforting.

My dad had an emergency heart procedure on Friday and it freaked the hell out of me. Sitting in the uncomfortable, unfashionable hospital, made me homesick for the cat box.

You probably know already that my parents mean the world to me. They are my favorite people. Other than my spouse and offspring, they are my rock. As Emma said to my mom, “Oma, you are the cup to my tea.” Yep. That pretty much sums it up.

My father is 81 years old and healthy as a horse. Well, he’s even healthier now that two of his arteries are cleared and working properly! He never complained of pain. We don’t have a history of heart disease. All of a sudden he felt fatigue sooner in the day than normal. Trips to the mail box winded him. The man never sits still and still climbs a ladder to the roof, despite my mother’s protests. But lately, he just didn’t have his zip.

Thank goodness he went to the doctor. My parents are very proactive about their health. They know these things after going through a lot with my sister, who is disabled and in their care. And they know from experience having their own health glitches along the way of life.

Last week I even blogged how thankful I was things were looking well for my folks and their ‘old people’ tests they had. At first, all seemed well with my dad.

Then Thursday, after a battery of tests, my mom called me at 4 in the afternoon as I’m driving Owen to soccer practice. I knew something was wrong. You know these things by your loved one’s voice. Her voice quavered as she told me dad needed to go first thing in the morning to the hospital for a stent procedure and because of the severity, possible bypass.

Whoa.

Hold. the. phone. I did not expect this.

So that night I made arrangements to change my PTA volunteer duties. Delegating is a beautiful thing people. I sent emails and kind souls offered to pitch in for our Book Fair to cover the cash register and supervise the kids.

Friends came to my call for help with Owen after school.

McSweetie had interviews and meetings or I know he would’ve worked from home. Emma came along with me because she wears her heart on her sleeve and couldn’t manage being in school not knowing what was going on. Being near to her Oma was what she needed. And my mom was grateful to have our company.

Hospitals are weird, horrible, wonderful places. Miracles happen in them. Doctors perform acts of God in them. But then, they can be awful, pain-filled places of death and sadness.

When I got off the elevator with Emma and we walked around the corner, I saw my dad and his shiny bald head sitting in one of the waiting room chairs. He was cool as a cucumber. Takes a lot to rattle this guy. Those English have a way of staying calm. We got some good hugs, and then the nurse came in to get him ready.

They moved the procedure back a couple hours to the afternoon. I hate that. You’ve already fasted for a procedure at a certain time, then you have to wait even longer? That is always so messed up.

The doctor came around and talked to us. We went to lunch and then waited.

Several hours later, the doctor returned after he was done and said the words, “everything went well.”

I love those words in a hospital. He explained the severity of the situation, that there were two blockages instead of one and that the angioplasty worked in the first one, and a stent was put in place in the second. Blood flow was back to normal and everything looked fine.

AHHHHH.

Serious sighs of relief and hugs and praises to God between my mom and I.

We started making our Thanksgiving plans and being so happy for the status quo to return.

And that’s when I thought how much I love the ordinary. I don’t like events that rattle my world. That shake up my routine. Routine is good. Creatures of habit we are.

We saw my dad soon after. He was awake and sipping juice. He looked pink and healthy. He was tired, but pleased.

He will, I’m sure, be glad to be home tomorrow to get back in his routine. To do what he does every day. The little things, how grateful we are to just get up in the morning, make the tea and oatmeal and go about our day.

When Emma and I were on our way home, it had been just over 24 hours my mom had called me with the news. How grateful I was for the turn of events.

And then I went home to do what I do. Make tea, dinner and put the load of clothes from the washer to the dryer. And scoop the blessed cat box.

Self love. Yes, THAT kind.

Please be advised this is no pervy, whack-off post. Any of you who found this by Google or other key words, just go elsewhere. This is about parenting. If you’re looking for anything otherwise, move along.

Masturbation.

Yep. That word. It’s a doozy. What comes to mind when I hear that? That character on Family Guy, was it Master Bates from the Morning Wood Academy?  Ha ha. Insert frat humor here.

Okay. Have you had THAT talk with your kids? I’ve had that talk with my kids. But I’m talking about this talk. The other talk. You know, where you tell them that if they touch themselves they will go blind. Or their hand will shrivel up and fall off. I’m kidding! I just said that small puppies will die. Okay, seriously.

I have NOT had this talk with my kids. We’ve talked about sex and how a baby is made. Emma is pretty clear on most things between a man and a woman. I mean, you know, the basics. She’s had family life in school, she knows about STDs and drugs and alcohol. She’s got it covered.

Okay, well maybe I did have THIS talk about Master Bates with Emma. But it was not on purpose.

My children have always been, uhm, you know, precocious. They are big farters and announcers about their farts. They talk about their privates. ALL. THE. TIME. We’re pretty comfortable talking about pretty much anything.

And then, the other day, Owen asks me if it’s true that when you rub your nuts your penis gets hard. Well, I said, I don’t have that equipment so I can’t say from experience. (Yeah, I know, easy way out.) But that if at any time you want to touch your privates, it’s totally fine to do as long as you are by yourself and privately at home. And then I asked him where he heard this bit of information. And he said a kid at school said that rubbing your junk makes it hard. Lovely.
AWKWARD. So I just casually said that if he had any questions he should probably ask his father. And that if he ever feels like touching himself, it’s totally not a big deal and again, reiterate that it is to be done in seclusion. And to please not talk about it with anyone outside our family, like at school or the playground.  It’s best to just come to me or dad with questions.

I think I handled that pretty well.

Moving on to a different day and Emma makes a joke about rubbing the cats balls while she was petting his belly. Technically he doesn’t have any balls, since he is neutered, which is also more fodder for discussion and jokes in this house. We like to talk in funny cat voices and talk about his missing balls. It’s a whole ‘nother story.  I said to please not molest the cat, it invades his privacy. One should only rub their own privates not anyone else’s or any animal’s for that matter. (Seriously, I need to have these conversations? WTF?) So she says, “Why on earth would anyone ever want to rub their privates?!”

Uhm. Well. Uhm. No reason.

Is what I should have said.

But instead, I start to pontificate on the benefits of self pleasure. Well, not exactly. But I said that masturbation is totally normal and nothing to be ashamed or afraid of. It is perfectly common for when you start to reach adulthood and sexual maturity to want to touch yourself only with the means of making it ‘feel good’.

Insert big shocked face from Emma here.

“Oh my gosh!! There is NO WAY that I’m just going to stick my hand down to my vagina because I WANT to! Do I just start flapping around my labias and clitoris for fun? NO!” (okay, this girl knows her parts and it kinda freaks me out every time she uses them in context!)

Me- “Well, your brother was discussing that boys at school talked about rubbing their privates and it felt good, so I was just making sure you were clear on the whole parameters on that kind of thing.”

Her- “DISGUSTING! So dad rubbed his junk when he was a teenager? Like I want to think about that!! EWWW!!! No thank you!”

Me- (Totally not trying to crack up and make her think I think this is a joke. She makes Taylor Lautner pectoral jokes all the time, now she goes all prude on me?) “Hey, that’s fine sweetie, whatever you are comfortable with. And if you have any questions, feel free to ask.” (please, please, please, don’t have any questions.)

Her- “Okay, well thank you for that mom. I’ll just go to bed now and try not to have nightmares about this sort of thing.”

Drama queen much?

So there you go. If you ever need any advice on how to talk to your kids about anything sexual, feel free to ask me. No, actually, I’m kidding. You’re on your own.

But I have said this- as much as we parents squirm and dance around this stuff- if your kids can come to YOU about it, Elle Woods finger snaps to you.

Because parenting is about being there. And then blogging about it after they walk away.

RTLF #23 – So many things!

This week is chock full of things to be grateful for. Remember, this is my list. If it doesn’t coincide with yours, just kindly move along. I’m grateful we can agree to disagree. There.

Big election week. Duh. So I’m grateful for some outcomes. But most in particular is the Washington State referendum that allows same sex couples to marry. It doesn’t redefine marriage. It allows all people to have the same civil rights when it comes to marriage.

Anyway, we need to get over the definition of marriage. Over the centuries it has meant many different things. Such as:

In the Old Testament men had many wives. Women were property. Even in the 1800s women couldn’t own property, yet they were married off like it. In the south, first cousins married each other in arranged marriages.

Inter racial marriages were illegal up until the 1960s. Slavery had been outlawed for a hundred years but folks couldn’t marry outside their race. And it’s pretty obvious, you couldn’t marry a slave either, it says so in the Bible.

Let’s include all the non religious people have weddings all the time. Nobody makes a stink about that. So to say it’s a religious, biblical sacrament, just isn’t cutting it for me.

I have many gay friends. Some don’t want to get married. Hey, I get that. But those that do, now can. I think it’s wonderful. They aren’t clamoring for rights to kill puppies people. They are fighting for rights to love openly. How can that be bad?

I’m grateful for my mommy and daddy being well. They are getting old. We all are. But this week they had more Old People tests than normal. Mom had to have a second mammogram to check things out. Dad had some heart tests to confirm a few things.

But the news at the end of the week was good and all their tests came back clear. So I can breathe a little easier. And they can too. Which makes me happy knowing they are happy.

I love that my husband works his butt off for this family. We both do. But his working butt gets a paycheck. You could say my butt spends it. Okay, that was weird. But yeah, I’m so very grateful for the two checks a month we get to pay the bills, buy the food and maybe even a little extra for some treats. Not much extra. But that’s okay.

With the holidays coming it’s always stressful stretching the paycheck out over extra extra stuff. I love the festivity, I love feeling generous and grabbing as many giving tree tags as I can. But then I need to remember to budget myself. I’m grateful for the ability to take some of those giving tree tags to help other people in what little way I can.

So there you go. My list, my gratitude. My cup runneth over not just with tea, but with so much warm fuzzy love. I know, it’s disgusting.

Namaste.

RTLF #22 – my kids

Way back when, before there was Owen, we considered Emma might be an only child. My pregnancy was tough with her. My post partum was no picnic either. Unless it’s a picnic where fire ants crawl in your pants, sting your crotch and wild honey badgers shred your nipples. Not pretty.

James probably had a coronary five times over stressing about the health of his wife and unborn child in a time span of 3 months. He figured we were done in the baby gestating department.

But once the baby-nesia set in, and I was ready for another, I convinced James that Emma needed a sibling. That she wasn’t going to be the token child of some sweet, middle class couple who doted on her and was totally whipped because she was the center of our universe. It was important for her to have a sibling, a counterpart in the family. And if we could grow that little cabbage patch kid ourselves, let’s give it a go.

After Emma’s second birthday, the idea of being pregnant again didn’t seem like a horrible  idea anymore. So sure enough, I got knocked up, and that baby turned out to be Owen. She had just turned 3 when he was born.

Despite the early years of whining, bickering, throttling, and basic sibling rivalry between them, we’ve turned a corner.

Every now and then the uterus spawn will do something to shock and awe you into thinking that maybe they won’t kill and hate each other forever.

This week, Emma wrote an essay on how her favorite thing to do is spend time with her brother. I think the earth stopped spinning for just a milisecond there out of shear WTFness.

The following is her words, and yes, I melted reading this.

“I have had many memories, but my favorite ones are with my brother. My most cherished moment in my life happened when I was three years old. My Oma and Opa woke me up early in the morning with smiles on their faces to tell me my brother was born.  We drove to the hospital to see the new addition to my family.  When we arrived to our destination I remember being filled with glee.  With my baby doll in my arms that I named Owen to prepare for holding the real Owen, I sat down in the big hospital chair and my father placed my brother in my arms. With the amount of tears and cameras out I knew that it was an important moment. Today, there are small moments that I cling to such as beating my brother at Mario Kart, him saying I look pretty, or even when he laughs at my joke.

Another reason why spending time with my brother is important is he has always been there for me. Two years ago I had a back injury that had me in bed for a week. During the bed rest period I was helpless and scared because I didn’t know what was wrong with me and I couldn’t even walk to the bathroom by myself.  One of the hard days I was really emotional and I needed cheering up. My brother, being the cute little boy he is, came up to me and handed me one of his stuffed animals. It was a giant, blue cookie monster from Sesame Street. He told me to get better soon and he loved me. His words of encouragement were just what I needed. The days of hurt went by faster and I was soon fully recovered. That was one of the many examples of Owen being by my side and helping me get through something. I loved every second of my brother’s words of wisdom.

In conclusion, spending time with my brother, Owen is my favorite thing to do because of amazing memories we have had, him always having my back and life lessons we have had together.”

 
Emma is turning this essay in today and I needed a copy of it to prove to her she did once write this. My work here is done people.

Mom on Strike

Dear Family,

This is not the NFL. No replacement refs here. No SCABS.

When you wake up in the morning, get your own damn waffle. You can reach the toaster.

Pack your lunch.

When you can’t find your socks, look in the drawer. Or the dryer, or the hamper. Have you ran the washing machine? It’s not magic, it doesn’t run on its own. Oh and don’t just load the blasted thing, put that shit in the dryer, then FOLD. IT. Yep. Guess what? Folding and putting the laundry away is THE BORING part. Uh huh. You may think ‘you’re all that’, putting them dirty clothes in the machine. But that don’t make you a hero.
The battle is in the taking those socks, making them into sock balls. Taking t-shirts that are inside out and putting them right side in.  Or out. Whatever. Oh dear GOD how does every motha fuckin’ shirt get inside out in the wash??? I don’t take off my shirts and put them over my head like that. Is that necessary?

Okay, moving on.

Garbage on the floor. Throw away your own furkin’ wrappers, kleenexes, band-aids, used ones especially, popsicle sticks, gogurt tubes…. oh my gads, is this a frat house??? Throw away all toe nail clippings. I shouldn’t have to ask you twice.

After dinner, if I’m at a PTA meeting, you know one of the many things I do for free, don’t just pile up the dishes on the counter over the dishwasher. Put them IN it. Put the pans in the sink. Put away any leftover food in the refrigerator. Oh, and this is big, WIPE. OFF. THE. COUNTERS. I know it’s hard. It can be yucky. What, all those crumbs and spills. Yeah, disgusting.

If I make the danged dinner, least you can do is clean up after it.

All your clothes and random belongings need to go up to your room. That means all of you. I’m tired of looking at your thermals, hoodies and soccer shoes. Why are there always socks in the family room? Hair accessories are the same. Do they multiply like bunnies? Why are there always bobby pins and hair elastics in every room of the house?

If you have a dish in a room of the house, other than the kitchen, put it away. I don’t want to find your milk glass in your bedroom two weeks later.

Toilet paper needs to be replaced on the roll. How many times do I have to say this? If you are using the last roll, go get several more from the bathroom cupboard.

If you use the last milk, go into the garage fridge, and get the next carton.

All tools need to be returned to their proper place. That means a roll of tape goes back in the office. A hammer goes back in the garage.

Please don’t leave Nerf weapons randomly on the stairs. Someone will trip over them. Okay, I will trip over them.

Now that we have that established, I think I’ll go to the spa, and then eat bonbons watching an entire season of Boardwalk Empire on DVD from the library.

Someone call for pizza.

Sky rocket’s in flight….afternoon delight.

Wait a minute. This isn’t going to be a post about…..about…. sex is it? Actually, it’s a post on the fact that it’s time to clean my shower and marital relations under running water can be dangerous.

It was a Saturday just after lunch. Both kids were out of the house and me and the hubby were just home alone. <eyebrow raises> Yeah. Alone. Now I don’t know about you, but after the kids are in bed, one of us, is usually snoring on the couch. There’s drool involved and the dog curled up next to that person. We are just SO tired by the evening. If we don’t figure out a way for any interludes during daylight, there’s usually a long spell of no relations.

So I go upstairs to take a shower. I casually mentioned, “oh, what do you know- we’re alone and the kids aren’t home. Excuse me while I go take a shower.” Hint hint.  Eventually, I’m in the midst of deep conditioning my hair when the bathroom door opens.

Dialogue exchanged:

Me- “What took you so long stud? (in my best Mae West voice) Are you serious about this? (changing immediately to my own worried voice) One of the kids could be home any minute.” (Emma is far too aware of things that go on behind closed doors.)

Him- “It’s okay, I’ll lock the door. We’ll be quick.”

(yeah, that’s true actually.)

Me- “You sure? We kind of suck at shower sex. One of us could get hurt. Like me.”

Him- “Hey, might as well try, I’ve got to shower anyway.”

He walks into the shower and wraps his arms around my waist.

Me- “OH MY GOD YOUR HANDS ARE LIKE ICE!!! WARM THEM UP FIRST!!!”

Him- “Sorry, I’ll put them under the hot water.”

Me-“AAAAAH….THERE’S WATER IN MY EAR….. YOUR DRIBBLING WATER IN MY EAR WITH YOUR HANDS UP AGAINST THE SHOWER HEAD LIKE THAT!” (I hate water in my ears, just so you know.)

Him-“Sorry, I was just trying to warm them up.”

Me- “Here, let me suds you up ala Christian Grey style.”

Him- “Who’s Christian Grey?”

Me- “nevermind, I’ll just wash you down like all sexy, ‘kay?”

Me- “OH SOAP! THERE’S SOAP IN MY EYE! I THINK IT’S FROM MY CONDITIONER! Wait a minute….Okay…. that’s better.”

Him-“Let me get your back.”

Me-“Yeah, here’s a loofah, I’ve got some black heads I can’t reach back there. It’d be so great if you could scrub them for me.”

Me-“Oooh, your hands are warmer…. so is the rest of you… AAAAAHHH WATER IN MY EAR AGAIN! COULD YOU MOVE SO THIS DOESN’T KEEP HAPPENING?”

Him- “Sorry, it’s kind of cold out here not under the shower. We need a two person shower one of these days.”

Me- “We need a whole new bathroom one of these days. These gold fixtures are the worst in tackiness and the grout is coming apart.”

Him-“Yeah, tell me about it.”

Some kissing and smoochy stuff ensues. Trying to be uber sexy while my hair is piled on my head in a deep conditioning mask and not slipping on the shave foam residue, is a little tricky.

Eventually I try to take things to the next level.

Me- “Uhm, maybe you should like, squat. You’re too tall. Our privates don’t match up when we stand.”

Him- “You could bend over.”

Me- “You could fly off a bridge. What’s that smell? Ew. Do you smell that? Oh yuck! It’s this mildewey shampoo bottle. Look at the bottom of it. It’s all black and it stinks.”

Him- “Could we focus on the reason we’re in here.”

Me- “What’s that sound?”

<From the hall> – “MOM, I’m home!”

And scene.

Shower sex just isn’t what it’s cracked up to be in the movies or romance novels.

Reason To Live Friday #20

My dad!

Yesterday was my dad’s 81st birthday. I gushed about him all over Facebook and folks were so sweet to share their admiration. It made me all mushy and weepy inside. Even Daniel Craig played second fiddle to him yesterday.

We went out for dinner to the same fancy place Owen and I have had high tea at. It’s the Fairmont Hotel in Seattle and they have this beautiful dining room called The Georgian room. Owen feels like he’s in Hogwarts when we come to this place.

It does kind of play into our Anglo hearts. They have a Jaguar car parked in front of their valet that they use for their guests AND they have an Omega watch store adjacent to their lobby with Daniel Craig’s poster hanging in the window. It really is a win-win situation.

I’m grateful for my dad because he is loving, tidy, respectful, and funny.

My dad didn’t fit the mold of the sappy dad in Father of the Bride, or Ward Cleaver, or Charles Ingalls even. In fact, I would say that he has become softer since becoming a grandfather. I mentioned in last year’s post dedicated to my dad’s birthday, Ode to My Dad, that he would sometimes yell things like ‘bloody hell’, or get cross with me over tracking mud in the house. He came off as brusk to my friends. But honestly, he is the most warm-hearted, no judgement fellow you could meet.

He wears his Church’s shoes from  30 years ago. They look brand new because he polishes them regularly. He has a sport coat from 20 years ago, a watch from 50 years ago. He takes very good care of his things. He never had much as a boy, so he knows to be grateful for something in case he won’t get another one again.

Heck, we live in a disposable society where we know we can just go buy something new if we change our minds. Not my dad. He doesn’t feel the need to have ‘things’ around. It’s me and my mom that shop for shirts, sweater vests and ties any chance we get. He tells us, no more shirts please. But then, for Father’s Day, I’ll find the perfect plaid Faconnable shirt at Nordstrom, and get it for him. And then he puts it on and looks like he could go hunting with Prince Phillip and I smile with pride. Then he gets a twinkle in his eye and knows he looks pretty good, so he keeps the shirt anyway.

When I was a little girl, heck, when I was in college even, if I had a bad day, he would sit me on his lap and wipe my tears with his handkerchief. There’s a soft handkerchief in his pocket at all times. So much has this habit made an impression, that when Owen has a cold, he has his own collection of cotton handkerchiefs to keep in his pocket. Owen admires his grandfather, who we call Odaddy for short, very much. He prides his British heritage, he has a pocket comb and handkerchief just like his Odaddy, and he takes great interest in the car my dad is rebuilding.

For more than 10 years my dad has been rebuilding a super fancy, vintage 1960s E-type Jaguar. I’m horrible for not remembering exactly what kind, but it’s from the 60s, they are very rare, and it’s a coupe. In it’s day, it was, The Shit. With a limited budget, and aging hands and a tired worn out back, he has rebuilt every square inch with the most immaculate attention to detail. It was just a metal shell when he first got it.

My dream is that some fancy uber rich, car collector will pay him thousands of dollars for it and take it off his hands. That is the ultimate goal. He can’t afford to keep it or drive it. But someone out there will cherish the craftsmanship he has put into it, and give him what he deserves for it.

Gorgeous, isn’t she?

So back to dinner and his birthday. I know that things don’t last forever. I know that getting in your 80s is reaching a place in your life where you don’t know how many years there might be more of on this earth. 5? 20? The latter I hope. He’s healthy, fit and takes good care of himself. And of course, my mom takes good care of him too.

I always get so sappy and teary writing about him. I know not everyone has a perfect father. Or even a father figure in their life to look up to that they can count on. But I am so very grateful for mine. And for my children to have that in their grandfather, I am even more grateful.

Happy Birthday Dad. I love you.

Me, with mom and dad. Gosh I love these two so HARD!!