An Ice Cream Playdate with Bo

Mary Bullock had a big girl playdate today, so Bo and I had a date of our own. First we hit up the grocery store.

Here’s what I needed to buy: trash bags. Q-tips. Goldfish.

Here’s what I bought: ice cream.

I really went in to get chocolate, but then I considered: the only thing that makes chocolate better is being snuzzled up next to some strawbaby [that’s strawberry, to you]. So that is what I did.

Now, the thing about Bo and ice cream is that if there is ice cream in the vicinity and it’s not in or en route to his mouth, he gets a little testy.

Hold out on me again, lady, and I WILL CUT YOU.

What? Was that impolite?

 

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Notes from Under a Rock

I have been six (6) days without facebook, people.

The first day, I was panicky. I hovered my mouse over http://www.facebook.com for more minutes than I care to recount. I’m going to be honest and tell you that, on that first day, if I thought that there were a way for me to just check once and have no one know about it, I probably would have.

I’m weak like that.

But just the thought of my name popping up on the little roll to the right, announcing my weakness to all of the facebook friends who cared to check, was enough to keep me away. I hate being called out, and I know at least a dozen people who would line up to do it.

So here I am, six days later, still in detox, only without the shakes. I feel totally out of the loop, but I’m caring less about the loop.

I wish I could tell you that with my newfound time I have finished by babies’ baby books. Or organized my closets. Or read an actual, you know, book-book, instead of the book of faces.

I’m working up to it, I swear. I have like…34 more days for all of that.

So far, I have read years‘ worth of Date Lab archives, pinned some new recipes and oddities on Pinterest, and read an awful lot about the Koran burnings in Afghanistan [Dear Lord, keep my Kirby safe], but not much else.

I haven’t written much on the blog, as you can see. But that’s ok, because no one’s reading, either.

So that’s the update. What did you give up for Lent? Are you following through?

SOMEONE TALK TO ME!!!

Ahem. Clearly, it’s going to take all of the next 34 days to clear my system.

Mary Bullock’s Valentines

Last Valentine’s Day, Mary Bullock came home with a bag full of treats from school. Although she’d definitely had candy before, she’d never been in possession of such a large quantity that was unquestionably hers. She was only two and half, and we’d filtered her Halloween candy down to about two Snickers and one piece of candy corn. So I found myself completely unprepared for how demanding she was over her Valentine’s candy.  She was totally cracked out for several days.

It wasn’t so much the desire for the candy that surprised me– I mean, I have been known to take down a bag of miniature Reese’s cups in one or two sittings– as much as the whining that she used to get it. It was enough to make me want to just throw the candy directly in trash can, which is what I eventually did.

So this year I thought I’d join the ranks of the meanie parents who don’t do candy for Valentine’s Day. But I still wanted to do something sweet.

So this is what we came up with. It was touch and go there for a few days– I was so tempted to go to Target and buy back up Tinkerbell Valentines just in case Mary Bullock balked at the last minute. At one point she had torn out fifteen pages from her pink panda notebook and declared she had done all her Valentines herself.

Of course, then she left them all over the floor and they mysteriously disappeared, so Cutie Valentines it was!

In the end she was very proud of them and told everyone they weren’t oranges they were cwemintimes.

And the sweetest part of all of this was that we got through Valentine’s Day with zero candy crackcidents!

Sippy Cup

Do you ever find that you have been singing one song for days and days without even realizing you’ve been singing it? Does it then bubble up in your consciousness only to make you think: Wow. I might be nuts?

That happens to me.

This week I have been singing about Sippy Cups to the tune of Smelly Cat.

Sippy Cup,

Siii-iipy Cup,

Why are you killing me?

Sippy Cup,

Siii-iipy Cup,

It’s not my fault.

 

What do you think? Do I need professional help? Or a songwriting contract?

Epilogue: Crazy Love

PrologueChapter 1Chapter 2Chapter 3Chapter 4

Remember in Back to the Future, when Marty McFly goes back to 1955 and starts poking around, changing the past? Then he looks at the picture of himself and his siblings that he keeps in his back pocket, and they start disappearing one by one?

I think about that often when I start thinking how nice it might be to go back and re-write history. Wouldn’t it have been so much better, I sometimes think, if Lee and I had just met in a bar? In an elevator? Both chasing the same cab? Anything, really, would have been easier than what actually happened.

We didn’t end up getting the hunky-dory ending that we thought we’d lucked into that night in Raleigh. The outcome we feared, the one where Steve doesn’t speak to us for the rest of our lives, has pretty much come true. I’m not sure what changed from the initial conversation, and I wouldn’t dare speak for him. I’m not sure I even blame him– I would have been mad if I were in his shoes.

Still, it sucked.

But I wouldn’t change it. Not in a hundred million years. Not if it changed one hair on my babies’ heads, one stick in this tiny old house we’ve loved and hated, one minute of the life we’ve built.

We’ve asked ourselves many times over the last eleven years: do you think we’re meant to be together? I always struggle with that sort of question. I believe in God, and I believe that God can lead a broken person like me [and wow I was a fixer-upper] to another broken person, and with time, He can make something whole out of it.  But staying together while you wait for that wholeness to take shape is a choice you make every day.

It’s more of a commitment than a destiny.

***

I wrote Lee a letter once, which he still has, and in it I quoted a passage from The Sun Also Rises, our mutual favorite book.

He smiled again. He always smiled as though bull-fighting were a very special secret between the two of us; a rather shocking but really very deep secret that we knew about. He always smiled as though there were something lewd about the secret to outsiders, but that it was something that we understood. It would not do to expose it to people who would not understand.

“Your friend, is he aficianado, too?” Montoya smiled at Bill.

Aficion is passion, something Lee and I share. Sometimes this translates into fierce tempers, unfortunately. Once [not too long ago, actually] we got into a fight over whether or not something we were arguing about was worth the effort to argue. Apparently it was.

But more often, our aficion is put towards fiercely protecting what we have. I can’t imagine what would happen to make me decide I wanted out of my marriage, but as my friend Laura and I are fond of saying, I would BURN DOWN THIS HOUSE before I gave up on us.

So this might be the longest Valentine EVER, but really, all of this is just to say:

Dear Lee,

Thanks for putting up with me. But if you ever think you’ve had enough, [and I hope that never happens]

call the fire department first.

Love,

Suz

Chapter 4: Hoping for Raleigh

PrologueChapter 1Chapter 2Chapter 3 Epilogue

We’d made plans for Lee to come back the next weekend for a party my best friends were throwing in Raleigh. But first things first: we had to tell my ex-boyfriend [let’s call him Steve] who, if you remember, was one of Lee’s two best friends from college.

To say that we struggled with this is putting it mildly. Although we dreaded telling him, we both wanted to be the one to tell him. I wanted to do it because I was certain that if I could just pick the right words, I could make him understand. Lee wanted to do it because, of the two of us, he actually still had an existing friendship to lose. I just had the hope of a one-day-in-the-distant-future friendship, when he would eventually forgive me for how horrible I had been to him. This news would obviously make that reconciliation less likely, so again Lee had the most to lose, and therefore, the most to gain by being the one to break the news.

What are you going to say if he says no? I asked Lee, nervous.  But we weren’t really asking his permission, after all. Because Steve and I were broken up, had been for a while, and weren’t getting back together. We were just telling him what was already happening. Regardless, it was terrifying for me to let Lee handle it.

Here’s where the story gets fuzzy, because Lee doesn’t remember parts of their conversation and is loathe to publish the parts he does remember.  But he did come to Raleigh on Friday, he’d definitely had The Talk, and whatever details he provided me at the time made us think that everything was going to be ok, despite all of our worry.

We were relieved, elated, hopeful.

So when we finally had a chance to sit down at the party, it’s no wonder my lips were a little loose.

Someone took our picture, and afterwards I turned to him, still smiling.

I love you is what I said.

What I meant to say was I love that you’re here. As in, I love that you’re here and not on the phone. I love that you’re here and not in Richmond or Jacksonville. I love that you’re here and not with anyone else.

But I did love him, so I let him have it anyway.

[Should I mention that he didn’t say it back?

And leave you with another cliffhanger?

No, I won’t do that to you.]

But he didn’t say it back. Not right away. I didn’t mind though. He took a week to think it over and told me then. And he’s told me every day in the eleven years since.

I think I’ll let it slide.