Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Statues

For the most part, I keep politics off this blog. I prefer to annoy my friends on Facebook in that regard.
But sometimes, a few words are necessary.


Confederates fired on a U.S. fort.

Confederates seceded from our country.

Confederates were at war with the U.S.

Therefore...

Monuments to Confederate generals are not monuments to American heroes. They are statues glorifying people who fought against our country.

In many cases these monuments were erected decades after the war, while legislation such as the Day Law was instituted. The Day Law directly targeted my alma mater, Berea College, for educating black and white students together. Some of those monuments were built on or near grounds where slaves were sold.

My home town of Berea, KY, was founded on principles that those statues were built to disavow.

The removal of these statues is not revisionist history.

The only revisionist history is the statues themselves.

Astronomy Lesson

Things overheard while watching the Perseid meteor shower:

1. Can I borrow your phone to download an app to call coyotes?

2. Is that a rocket ship or an airplane? IT'S TOTALLY A ROCKET SHIP!

3. Did you see that one? No, you didn't! Yes I did!

4. If aliens abduct us, would they kill us right away?

5. Did you see that one? Where? Right there! Are you making this up?

6. Can we go fishing?

7. What's the Illuminati? (!)

8. Why didn't we bring the dog?

9. *If* I could call coyotes, do you think wolves would come, too?

10. Do wolves live in Texas?

11. OMG, did you see that one?

12. I'm itchy, are you?

13. WHY CAN'T I GO FISHING?

14. Did you know I can teleport?

And finally...

15. Can we go home now?

And this is why I torment my children by waking them at 345 a.m. Because memories.

They'll thank me later.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Crowns & Cocktails: Miss Texas 2017

Carrie: Hey, Deirdre…
Me: What, Carrie?
Carrie: The Miss Texas pageant is next week.
Pause….
Me: Are you thinking what I’m thinking?
Carrie: Do you think it would be as much fun the second time, or would the magic be gone?
Me: Hmm. Will there be batons?
Carrie: Of course.
Deirdre: And commemorative champagne flutes?
Carrie: I hope so!
Deirdre: I guess a dramatic reading of Gone With the Wind would be too much to ask for this time…
Carrie: Probably – I think that was a once-in-lifetime occurrence. But … I bet there’ll be puppets.
Me: I'M IN

And this is how it began, once again. #MissTexas2017 #Becausepuppets

########

Last year, my neighbor and I made our first trip to the Miss Texas pageant. Don’t judge; we’ve got five boys between the ages of 11 and 6 between us – who we love, obviously – but that’s a lot of socks and underwear left on the floor … or the front yard … or each other’s front yard. Even our dogs are male. And yes, the whole concept of a beauty pageant might seem a little weird given the times we live in … let’s just say we like our sequins with a healthy side of sarcasm.

This year, we toyed with hitting another competition. But after concluding the Lone Star Classic probably didn't sell commemorative glasssware, we bought tickets once again for Miss Texas. After an endless Saturday of "OMG MOM, he won't let me play Madden 17" or whatever nonsense they were yelling at us all day, escape arrived in the form of a Lyft driver. Who, it must be said, had lovely manners and only laughed at us once for taking a selfie in the car.




We had reservations for an actual grownup dinner (you know, the kind where nobody spits a straw wrapper at his brother or complains because the grilled cheese is made with real cheese) at Urbano Cafe. Of course, we started off with a proper toast. Because A) we are not philistines and B) pageant prep demands a sparkly pink drink



I'm not much of a restaurant reviewer, but that redfish freaking rocked.


As did Carrie's duck.




We finished with creme brulee, because the waiter, who up till this point had looked at us with the teensiest bit of disdain (fair enough, we were taking selfies with sparkling wine) told us it was so good he ate it for dinner. We figured if he was that amped up about a dessert, it was worth trying .. and we were right. Usually I think creme brulee tastes like carmelized suntan lotion, but this stuff was really good. "Maybe you should get a blowtorch," Carrie suggested. For half a second, I agreed. Till I realized my kids would just torch the kitchen. Ah, well.



Lest you think we only discussed kitchen appliances, there was a sweet-looking, very young couple at a nearby table, who appeared to be on a first date. So of course we had to speculate on a back story. Carrie decided they'd met at church, and she was probably a teacher. On the other hand, he was drinking a beer and she wasn't, so ... maybe not a profession that involved working with children. I wondered if they'd kiss after the date, but Carrie thought that might be moving just a wee bit too fast. Alas, we will never know, because Miss Texas beckoned.

When we stepped inside the Eisemann Center, we were at first ... underwhelmed. Last year, it was like the color pink had exploded as soon as we walked in the door. This year, we were a little early and the crowd seemed slightly more subdued. Don't worry; this lasted all of five seconds, until we found the first tiara-wearers milling around, and then, of course, had to take a selfie.



On closer look, I think the difference was that last year there was more glitter. This year there were more jump suits. Lots and lots of jumpsuits. Black, strapless, cut-out midriffs, all of them paired with skyscraper-height heels. A. When did heels get so high? I was wearing 4-inch sandals (because when will I learn?) and felt like I was in flats by comparison. B. The jumpsuits were kinda badass, in a 70s glam sort of way. (Note to self: totally need excuse to buy a jump suit).



(We are totally NOT stalking past contestants at all here)

Once we'd arrived and taken the obligatory photo with crowns in the background, we headed for the bar. Because nothing starts off your night like cocktails in a commemorative Miss Texas flute. "Do you have a special drink tonight?" Carrie asked. The bartender said sure and started pouring champagne and peach "essence" -- which sounded a bit more like something that belonged in bubble bath, but what do I know?

We toasted each other and took a sip. If you've ever wondered whether Hawaiian Punch and sparkling wine would make a good drink, let me end that speculation for you. It doesn't. We took a few more sips, though, because hello ... Miss Texas cocktail. Finally we had to admit we couldn't do it, Miss Texas, be damned. We took our glasses back to the bar, asked if we could possibly get them wrapped up and just ordered red wine instead. Which the bartender did without blinking an eye. I suspect we were not the first to "not quite finish" the concoction.



That's when we spotted the Lone Star Princesses ... aka, First Communion on crack. I kid, I kid. I'll keep my mouth zipped on this one, except to say my hats off to any ten-year-old who can put up with that much chiffon.



After our selfie with the LSPs (because yeah, we did that), the doors to the theater opened. We high-fived, and made our way down to our seats. I *may* have splashed a bit of red wine en route, because stairs + hideously uncomfortable shoes = gravity is not in my favor (again, when will I learn?)

We took our seats, imagining what talents we might see this year...


Would we be wowed by ventriloquism, musical talent, or ... dare we think there might be a new talent to eclipse last year's glow-in-the-dark 90-second painting of Elvis? The possibilities made us giddy. And finally, the lights went up, the music started and hello Miss Texas ...



The first to take the stage were previous winners, many of whom, I might add, were wearing... you guessed it; jump suits. We met our MC, another past Miss Texas (PMT) of course. The next hour was a blur of choreography and contestants.
In other words...
A lot.
Of.
Dancing.
Which was a hint of things to come, but more on that later.

Carrie and I had a very intense discussion about how they kept their legs and teeth so shiny. Spoiler alert; it's Vaseline. Which is both fascinating and disgusting.

Then Madonna's "Vogue" came on to kick off the swimsuit portion. Ahem, I'm sorry, the "lifestyle and fitness swimsuit competition." Because nothing screams "fitness" like contestants strutting down the runway, whipping off their wraps and parading around in a skimpy bikini. Fitness, my a**. (Or, more accurately, their a**es) This is when Carrie and I looked each other and at our empty wine glasses and decided, even if the pageant wasn't ready yet for intermission, we were.

We hit the bar for chocolate, because that is what we do when faced with body-shaming disguised as fitness.
Also because M&Ms and red wine pair beautifully.



"OMG Carrie, peanut M&Ms are SO GOOD!"

Out of the corner of my eye, I spied someone doing what appeared to be a dance routine on stage. "OMG it's the talent competition!" I shoved the rest of my M&Ms in my clutch and we ran (Ok, I hobbled. Because shoes) for our seats.

Joke was on us, though, because it wasn't the talent portion after all. It was Miss Texas Outstanding Teen.
Followed by a video tribute to the host city. (Shout out to Richardson! Look, it's wildflowers! Look it's a DART train! Look, it's technical-looking people wearing lab coats and hairnets...wait, what? What tech corridor job requires hairnets? Is that even a thing?)
Then the mayor.
Then the evening gowns. Lot of trains this year. And capes, which I kind of love. Because to me, capes suggest that sure, you *might* be a pageant contestant...or you might be hiding superhero powers, and bound off the stage with a sword.

OK, nobody did that -- but I like to think it was a possibility.

After evening gowns, we met the Outstanding Teen (OT) whose platform was about smiles. I am not going to say anything snarky about this, because I mean, come on -- she's a kid. Which means she can have a platform about smiles if she damn well wants to.

At this point, you might be wondering when the hell intermission was.
Or the talent competition.
WHAT'S A MOM GOTTA DO TO GET A LITTLE BATON TWIRLING AROUND HERE?

Instead we got a triple play of PMTs performing their winning talents. There was a tap dancing PMT, wearing a jump suit, because of course she was. Another PMT fiddled (pretty good job, btw), and finally a singing PMT. Surely talent must be next?

Nope. Eliminations. Followed by a pretty killer baton routine from last year's Miss Texas. I still don't understand how she did that thing with her neck and shoulders. FINALLY this year's talent began. Which was...

Lyrical Dance.

More Lyrical Dance.

Lyrical Dance with gymnastics.

PUPPETS! Not just any puppets, but SINGING puppets! Carrie and I high-fived as only women who've watched too much lyrical dance can do. Miss Midland-Odessa, I salute your ventriloquism.

Singing -- something stirring about a battle, with a name I can't spell.

...And more Lyrical Dance.

I don't know who put the word out this year on pageant trends, but I liked the jump suits a lot more than the lyrical dance. Don't get me wrong; they were talented and athletic and obviously put a lot of thought into their choices, but ... if I'm gonna watch that much dance, there better be sugar plum fairies and nutcrackers involved.

The two standouts (apart from puppets, obviously) for me were:
- Miss San Antonio, who sang John Lennon's "Imagine" and played the guitar ... and did I mention she was hearing-impaired? Yeah. She pretty much rocked it.
- Also Miss Park Cities, who clogged. Which I had to admire not only because I'm from KY, where I know people who actually do that but also because -- in a sea of lyrical dancers, be a clogger.

After the talent ended .. 2 hours in, by the way ... that's when they called intermission. Two hours is a looooong time to sit through dance routines. Glass half full, perhaps it's good I am unlikely to ever be a dance mom, since this is clearly not my calling. Glass half empty?
Mine.

When intermission ended, there was a final elimination and then the interview portion began. I *might* have whispered to Carrie, "If somebody says anything good about Trump, I'm totally booing." I was kidding, of course. I do not boo; that's tacky and I was raised right. Also? You don't get to the Miss Texas finals without learning how to deftly dodge an interview question, even when the topics included hate crime, jail penalties for adolescents, the 1st amendment, war and equality.

Highlights:
Miss Park Cities nailed the question about equality by saying we should all pay attention to how we treat each other. Ahem. Just gonna leave that right there.
The interviewer, PMT 1992 (shout out to the year I graduated college!), wore a fabulous off-the-shoulder jumpsuit.

There were some other awards given out -- Miss San Antonio won the Quality of Life award, Miss Dallas won Community Service and Miss Allen won the Miracle Maker award. Which ... I have no idea what that meant, but it did come with a plaque.

Miss Texas 2016 had a final video tribute, where we learned she skinned a rattlesnake on Facebook. Wonder if she hit it first with her baton.

Then finally, THREE HOURS IN, the crowning. And the winner is...

4th Runner Up: Miss San Antonio
3rd Runner Up: Miss Park Cities
2nd Runner Up: Miss Plano
1st Runner Up: Miss Midland-Odessa (#becausepuppets)
Winner: Miss Travis County, who was immediately mobbed by the other contestants, all of whom (except the 5 finalists) were wearing red. Which, on second watching, was very Handmaids Tale-esque. Irony, thy name is Miss Texas.

Last year we ended the evening with a post-show drink at the Renaissance, which we skipped this time around, because #tootired and #winesleepy. Also #toomuchlyricaldance and #notenoughbatons.

But ... there's always next year. And this time, we may be bringing a crowd. Carrie posted a few pics from the pageant on FB and seems we've got enough friends interested to fill an entire row of seats.

Of course, I already know what I'm wearing in 2018.

A jump suit.



Tickets: $80
Commemorative flutes filled with sickly sweet cocktail: $14
Finding M&Ms in my purse the morning after: priceless

#MissTexas2017








Friday, December 23, 2016

'Twas the Night Before Ratmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house,

The creatures were stirring – dear God, please, not a mouse.

The children were nestled … in my bed, stealing the covers.

Because uninterrupted sleep? Yeah right, I’m a mother.

When from somewhere below, I heard a strange sound.

Like something was dragging and scratching the ground.

A ghost? Or a burglar? Maybe Santa was near?

But deep down, I had a more hideous fear.

I crept down the stairs to see what was the matter,

As a body slammed into the hearth with a clatter.

When his tail hit the floor with a sickening splat,

I knew in a moment – it must be St. Rat.

He was hairy and gray, a nasty old gent.

But what else do you expect from a giant rodent?

His claws, how they glistened, his teeth were quite shocking.

And he spied me, as he flung bits of trash in our stockings.

“Hey Deirdre,” he hissed, his voice scratchy and low,

“Glad we've met – you’re big in the rat world, you know.”

“Yeah, I’ve noticed the attention,” I sighed with a groan.

“What can I say, we can’t leave you alone.”

“But you ate my car's wiring, I had to buy new.”

“Oh, we feasted like kings on your Subaru.”

“I tried mothballs, I called Geico -- you don't know what it took!”

“Yes we read all about it...from your posts on Facebook.”

Defeated, I looked St Rat right in the eye.

And was tempted, I’ll admit, to sit down and cry.

“We’re rats, D,” he said. “Wreck and ruin’s what we do.

But there’s nobody we like messing with more than you."

And here’s where my revulsion dwindled to almost affection,

I asked, “St Rat, did you by chance rig the election?”

He spoke not a word, but gave me a wink.

“We once wiped out Europe… what do you think?”

Then, extending his paw, he said, “I want to be friends.”

And shook my hand (as I wondered if the world was at end).

"Just remember," he urged, "next time all hope is fallen,"

"Ignore those sounds in the walls -- watch a movie with Colin."

Then he squealed to the air, “Come rats and come mice,

Let’s leave her alone, boys, it’s time to be nice.”

And as he rose up the chimney and into the sky,

He called, “Merry Christmas to all – and yes, rats really can fly!”

Friday, December 16, 2016

All I want for Christmas is ten minutes

Dear Santa,

It's that time again. You know. When good intentions turn quickly into panic as I can't remember what I did with those @#$$ football-printed sheets I bought for Luke over Thanksgiving. I'd like to say something lovely about peace and love and goodwill toward man, but we both know better. I mean, between the puppy and the election, I was already screwed. And then came The Elf. Here's a thought -- next year, how 'bout the Elf and me trade gigs? I'd gladly sit on a shelf for a month, hang out, wait for people to move me in adorable, ironically whimsical locations inspired by Pinterest and wine. #momonthemantel #boxwineonashelf #theelfdrinksincarpool

No? In that case, there is one thing you could get me. The ten minutes back that somebody shaved off the start time for school. I don't know if you heard, Santa, but this year, they changed it -- and making it to school by 7:50 instead of 8 is KILLING US. Really. I realize ten minutes should not make such a difference, but Santa, it does, and I'm sure I'm not alone in this.

I know this is a big ask. So, to help make my case, I've put together a little snapshot of my morning schedule. I think it might help explain why those ten minutes are so important to me ... and pretty much every other parent I know.

Here's how my morning goes:

4:30 am: First alarm goes off. Hit dismiss.

4:45 am: Second alarm goes off. Hit dismiss. Have internal argument over gym vs walking the dog. If walking, can sleep in till 5:15. Except won't. And will instead sleep till 5:30 and then decide screw it, and skip exercise altogether.

4:50 am: Cursing, drag self out of bed. Get dressed, hopefully remembering to remove night mouthguard before leaving (TMJ is sooo sexy).

5:00 am: Start to pull out of garage.

5:01 am: Realize have forgotten towel. Stop car. Run back in house. Because getting out of the pool with no towel during winter? Hells no.

5:11 am: Walk into gym. See that three out of four pool lanes are already occupied. Practically fling off clothing while running into locker room in attempt to score last lane. Make it. Phew. #winning. Except. OMG THIS WATER IS FREEZING.

5:12 - 5:40: Contemplate all of life's problems while swimming laps. Solve none of them. Try to take mind off fact am still FREEZING by pretending am in awesome winter spa somewhere and that a dip in a hot tub and a mimosa awaits me. Doesn't work. As last-ditch effort, imagine am meeting Colin Farrell. Only not in stupid lap swimming suit. Obviously. Would be wearing something infinitely more flattering and fabulous. Look at clock because have been so occupied envisioning the outfit one would wear to a totally ridiculous imaginary meeting that will never take place, have lost track of time. Realize that if I get out in next 5 minutes, could have enough time to dip in jacuzzi really quickly. Except. Pool guy walks in. Dumps chemicals in jacuzzi. There goes the hot tub. Then begins skimming pool. Really? Imagine texting boss, "Hi, can't come to work today, have concussion from pool skimmer."

5:41: Get out of pool, conceding defeat. You win this time, pool guy.

5:55: Get home, turn on coffee maker, let out dog, feed dog while attempting not to get licked, scratched or otherwise molested by family pet.

5:58: Unable to wait for coffee maker to stop, pour quick cup, spilling half of it on counter. Imagine sitting on couch to drink. Ha. No.

6:00: The "omg I overslept" alarm goes off. Be grateful that today is not one of those days. Pour juice and milk. Bring milk to Child #2 huddled under afghan in den. Child attempts to engage in discussion of legendary Pokemon, then asks where the Elf is. OMG THE ELF!!!!!!!!!!! Distract by promising to make breakfast after shower, back quickly out of room, close door and find where you put Elf last. Try to come up with some clever pose. Fail. Prop Elf on top of bourbon bottle. Again. The Elf likes his Knob Creek.

6:05: Bring juice to Child #1 who is playing video game in the office. Child attempts to simulate symptoms of Ebola/tuberculosis and says he cannot possibly go to school. Do not engage, as this will only end in "you don't care about me because you are the WORST MOM EVER" conversation. Smile. Promise breakfast after shower. Child asks for Golden Chik for breakfast, which is not even remotely possible at this point. Say no. He hates you now. It's official.

6:10: Shower. Almost trip over matchbox cars lined up in shower. Because of course there are matchbox cars in your shower. Duh. Move tiny metal death traps to ledge, where they will probably fall on toe. With luck, the toe that appears to have sustained a stress fracture due to last June's half marathon. Because that is what happens when you do a half marathon without training, and who has time for that?

6:12: Remember have forgotten to buy more conditioner. Again.

6:25: Get dressed to the tune of incessant barking by the dog, who is not happy to be outside right at this moment. Remember there are bobcats in the neighborhood who eat family pets. But apparently not at your house, where rats eat cars and dogs eat the back yard. Sigh. Slap on mascara in attempt to look awake.

6:30: Breakfast. Child #1 wants a bagel with cream cheese. Which would be great. Except. Forgot to buy bagels. Offer English muffin instead. Fine, child sighs, as though you offered chopped liver. Run downstairs to pop muffin in toaster, then ask Child #2 in den same question. Bacon. Which is actually in fridge. Microwave bacon while smearing cream cheese on muffin.

6:45: Dog goes berserk, flinging self against patio door. Apologize to dog, but at this point, you'd have to be suicidal, masochistic or both to let dog in while bacon is cooking. Deliver breakfast to Child #2 in den, closing door to establish bacon barrier between child and dog, in case he gets in. Dilemma: let dog in and put in crate. Which seems cruel, but will allow you to finish getting ready and children to eat their food. Or, let dog in and don't put in crate, which seems nicer but will require mad dash to ensure all doors closed and breakfast secured. Pick the crate. Apologize to dog again. Deliver breakfast to Child #1 in office.

6:50: Warn Child #1 he'd better get dressed and no, you don't mean the same shirt he wore yesterday and yes, it is too cold for shorts... oh fine, just not shorts he wore yesterday or retrieved from dirty clothes hamper. He claims he has no clean clothes. Which is not strictly speaking, the truth. There are clean clothes, but no magical laundry fairy has transported them from the dryer to his drawers.

6:55: Warn Child #2 same thing. He claims not to have any pants that fit, because if they are long enough to fit his legs, they are too big in the waist and fall down. This is actually the truth. Point out they might fit better if, say, he wore underwear.

6:58: Warn everyone in vague shout that you are about to dry hair, please be ready and please, please, please -- DO NOT FIGHT.

7:12: Finish hair to the tune of loud screaming from office, where Child #2 has joined Child #1 and a massive fight (quel surpris!) has broken out because Child #2 is "not making good plays" in Madden 17.

7:15: Yell that you are leaving in ten minutes with or without them. Go downstairs, load up backpacks with lunches and water bottles. No sign of life from upstairs. Yell again. And again. March back upstairs and threaten that this time you really mean it. Child #2 stirs and races to room for last-minute wardrobe change. Child #1 is unmoved at first, then asks how can you be so mean to make him go to school when he is clearly sick. "DO YOU EVEN CARE MOM?" Tell him you care about his brain and his use of it, so yes, in fact you do care. And you can discuss this more in the car. He says "you're just going to make me go to school." Yes, son. Yes I am. Change topic by asking if he has seen the Elf yet this morning. "I don't care about the stupid Elf. He's not even real Mom, he has a COPYRIGHT." Explain to your son that of course he does because the other elves who made him copyrighted him. What are you even saying? Realize you are just trapping yourself further in a web of lies and tell him you're leaving in 10 minutes and go downstairs

7:20: Agree to help Child #2 find the Elf if he will put on shoes.

7:22: "Mom, why is the Elf always sitting on that bottle?"

7:25 Holler at Child #1 who finally comes down, still dressed in yesterday's shirt. Give up. Tell him to put on shoes. Which of course he can't find.

7:27: Mad dash through entire house. Find Child #1's shoes in Child #2's room. Throw them at Child #1, while shouting, "Everyone into the car!"

7:29: Realize you are still wearing house shoes.

7:30 Shoo children into car, run back into house, race upstairs and into closet, shove on shoes, run back down, go through garage. Child #2 is in car with seatbelt on. Child #1 is shooting baskets. Screech something you shouldn't repeat.

7:34: Once everyone is finally in car with seatbelts, back out of garage in splendid 45 point turn because by now all hope of calm is completely shot and you're lucky not to hit the retaining wall. Child #1, once captive in car, announces that he hates how he looks. Tell him he looks fine. He insists he looks dumb. Child #2 pipes up with, "actually he's right, he does look dumb." Tell Child #2 that isn't very nice and tell Child #1 that "actually, you look a lot like me."

"Exactly," he says.

7:36: Turn up radio.

7:40: Referee an argument over who the better soccer player is: Neymar or Messi. Doesn't matter what you say; you're wrong. Turn radio up a little more.

7:44: Both children ask if you can pick them up from school... you can't. They then ask if you can tell dad to pick them up "early." Ask if there is a test today. Child #1 denies this, instead bringing up Ebola/TB symptoms. And "how can you make me go to school, Mom, I'm sick! I'm going to make everyone sick? DON'T YOU EVEN CARE ABOUT EVERYONE ELSE AT SCHOOL, MOM?" Child #2 just says school is boring. (At this point, you begin to think "boring" sounds like a spa day compared to this insanity)

7:46: Arrive at school

7:47: Child #2 exits vehicle.

7:49: Child #1 slooooooowly gets out of car, casting backward, sullen glare that shoots guilt daggers into your tiny "worst mom ever" heart.

7:50: Final tardy bell rings. Resist temptation to lay head on steering wheel. Instead, paint your nails in the school parking lot.

7:53: Pull out of school zone. Drive to work. And breathe.

So you see, Santa... those ten minutes could make a difference. I could maybe have a couple extra minutes to actually hug one of my kids before practically tossing them from the car. Maybe I'd yell a little less. Maybe we'd have more time to find shoes. Maybe I'd remember to change mine.

I know it's pretty unlikely that you could grant me this wish. And I get that it's pretty low on the priority list. You know, the kids and all. But thanks anyway, Santa, for listening. Good luck next weekend. And just in case you get a little thirsty, I'll leave some bourbon out for you.

After all, the Elf sure seems to like it.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

'Twas the Day After Thanksgiving

Twas the day after Thanksgiving and through the post-turkey fog,

Not a creature was stirring…except obviously the dog.

The leftovers were stashed in the too-crowded fridge

There was no room for pie, not even a smidge.

The children were nestled with snacks in between

On the couch, where since 5 am they’d played Madden ’17.

And I in my bed, the covers pulled up tight,

Sighed, wondering how to avoid a political fight.

What on earth could we do to spend another day,

Without all our opinions getting in the way?

Suddenly a magical idea took shape.

A movie… one written by the one who made Snape.

I leapt out bed, shouting,“Y’all, we survived the feast,”

“So let’s go to the movies and see Fantastic Beasts!”

“Away to the movies?” my kids grumbled. “No way.That sucks!”

“We’re playing football, we don’t want to; we’re stuck.”

But the sun from the window on this cool autumn day,

Gave me strength to fake a smile, and reply, “Oh, kids? Yes way.”

With a movie review so much like Harry Potter,

I knew in a second… we really just oughter.

More rapid than quarterbacks we flung into the car,

(While my husband calculated when he could escape to the bar)

Now Parker! Now Luke! We don’t want to be late!

For the love of God, someone put that dog in the crate!

To the top of the theater, to our assigned seats!

Shut up everyone, I swear to God, this is a treat.

So up to the chairs, the kids, how they flew…

We want popcorn, we want soda, we want pizza, too!

And then, in a twinkling, I heard from the screen,

About 20 minutes worth of ads, which made us all a bit mean.

As I sucked in my breath and said “yeah, guys, I know,”

The sound blared and FINALLY the lights turned down low.

The film started with music that I knew in my heart

Hello Harry soundtrack, my, what a good start!

The characters how clever, the bad guys so scary

(Though Colin Farrell, I confess, always makes me so merry)

On Colin, On Eddie, on Tina and Queenie,

On Jacob, on Grunewald … my God, what a meanie.

The effects were amazing, couldn’t pick which was best

And they put all thoughts of politics to bed for a rest.

The story was sweeping, it took me away.

Until Luke said, “I need the bathroom, where is it, which way?”

I pointed to the exit, my eyes on the screen,

My mind consumed with each riveting scene.

The prancing and pawing of all magical creatures,

Obliterated the election in this fabulous feature.

Hours (and bathroom breaks) later, the movie scrolled to an end.

And I wiped away tears … yeah, I know, just pretend.

But as we rose from our chairs and half my family complained,

Luke whispered, “I liked it,” and I winked, no agreement feigned.

So from my house to yours I send this silly Christmas carol,

And remember, in a pinch, we've still got Colin Farrell.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Top 3 Things my kids Learned from this election

Because it's Monday....Top 3 things my kids have learned from this election:

1. That you can’t respect women if you call them names on live television. Parker watched the last debate with me. I did not talk to him during the debate, I wasn’t trying to color his views, and it was too hard to explain issues while trying to listen. But the next morning, I asked if he had any questions. Just one, he said. “Mom, is Donald Trump a liar?” I told him that I thought both candidates probably said some things that weren’t 100% true and it wouldn’t be fair to pretend that one was totally honest and the other was not. Then he said, “But he said likes women…and then he said ‘such a nasty woman.’” Yep, son. There’s that.

2. That you don’t touch people without permission. We’ve had a version of this conversation before, only it was me warning them about pervy pedophiles or creepy older kids. This went a little differently. You don’t really imagine, when you have a baby boy, one day explaining how you don’t touch girls in certain ways without their permission and that if you do, A. that’s totally wrong and B. you could go to jail. Glass half full – if my sons learn nothing else from me, EVER, I hope that lesson sticks.

3. That these things matter enough that I made them get out of bed, get out of the house at the unholy hour of 6:45 am, so that I could get in line on the 2nd day of early voting. And then, when it was my turn, I made them put down their fast food picnic on the floor of the civic center (because yes, I bribed them with breakfast, how else do you think I got them out of the house??) and I made them stand with me while I showed them how and who I was voting for. And that whether you like Hillary Clinton or not, it was a big deal that for the first time ever, a woman was on the ballot.

Of course, my kids being kids, they were all “OMG MOM, this is so boring.” But, I like to think one day they’ll have learned something from this election.
Because glass half empty: that dude could win tomorrow.
But glass half full: even if he does, I can still do everything in my power to ensure my boys turn into better men than that.

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