Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Random Thoughts

My sweet Elle with her current mission companion at the levee in New Orleans. When we got to talk with her on Christmas I asked her if they drove a Chevy there and she immediately answered, "Yeah, but it was dry." That's my girl.

I am 42. Do you know what that means? I am currently the age that is the answer to life, the universe and everything!! (Those who are familiar with The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy will understand.) I am now two months shy of 43 years on this planet and I haven't been using this past year in the phenomenal way that is implied in the magical number of 42. So I better get on it! And I will, right after I finish some laundry and help Little X build a toast robot out of giant Legos.

I have no idea what a toast robot is, so I might be a while.

Little X talks in his sleep more than any of our kids ever have. This morning he rolled over in his sleep and said, "I want the teeny elephant and a cookie". I wish I could watch a movie of his dreams.

Speaking of dreams, this year on Christmas Eve I had the best dream in my life. Like, so great it was a Christmas gift in itself. Here's what went down in the dream: Allen and I were flying to New York and on the plane he told me, "I got tickets to Jimmy Fallon." I could not contain my excitement. We went right to the show when we arrived in New York City. As we were waiting in line, some of the people who run the show came and announced that they were holding auditions for an audience member to be in a lip sync battle with Jimmy. WHAT? I auditioned with Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go and then went to find Allen at our (pretty much front row!) seats. When the show started Jimmy came out and announced that this was a show about making dreams come true. The he asked, "Where's Gerberta?" Since I'm pretty much the only Gerberta I know of besides an Asian girl I found on Facebook once, I ran down to the stage. He tells me that Allen wrote him a letter letting him know how much I love his show and asks if it's true that Allen calls Jimmy my boyfriend. (He does.) He then says, "I hear you have other boyfriends, too?  Michael Buble, Josh Groban, Jeremy Jordan and Christian Bale?" And as he's saying their names, they all walk out onto the stage. I get to sing a song with each of them, do the lip sync battle with Jimmy (which he let me win) and then some kid in the audience starts whispering, can we open presents now? Which wakes me up, because it's actually Little O at my bedside on Christmas morning. I tried to go back to sleep to finish the dream, but it didn't happen. Still? Best. Dream. Ever.

The winter weather has been strange this year. We didn't get our first real snowfall until Christmas Day, which was magical. It just rained a lot before that. And don't get me wrong, I love rain. But I really wanted snow for Christmas. As is our tradition, we made it snow inside despite the lack of snow outside.

And then it snowed for real and now I just want rain again. Yesterday it did rain, all day long. By the time we went to bed the rain had become snow and I grumbled a little bit about that. Which brought on the following conversation:

Little O: Why do grownups hate snow so much?
Me: Because we don't get to play in it, we have to shovel it and drive in it.
Little O: Well, why don't you just play in it then?
Me: Because I don't like the cold.
Little O: Well, why don't you dress up all toasty and then have hot chocolate afterwards?

He had a solution to everything. And he's right, why don't I play in the snow? Because I'm 42 and I think I have something to prove? I'm just a teenager living in a middle-aged body and dressing in middle-aged clothes. I need to make more time for fun. And also for getting dressed before 2 pm.

While Julia was home from college for Christmas we all went sledding up the canyon late one afternoon. The snow was powdery and made the sledding kind of lame, but everyone had a lot of fun. I think the best part was when we hiked up to a huge open field on the mountain. It was starting to get dark, and the moon was shining down on the snow. All we could hear was the crunch of the snow beneath our boots and the sound of the sleds dragging through the snow with the littler kids riding inside. When we had reached the field we all lay down in the snow on our backs, looking up at that big moon, shining bright even behind a cover of clouds. I remember feeling like I was a part of something huge right then. Being a mother to all of these kids who are each a bit of all the best parts of Allen and I and then some, having a husband who is happy to deal with my imperfections and still love me when I'm in my pajamas at 2 in the afternoon or making pancakes for dinner for the third time this week. In that moment I felt like I was enough and didn't need to worry about anything else. I also had a "An American Tail" moment where I thought, even though Elle is in Louisiana right now, and even though I know how very far apart we are, it helps to think we might be looking at the same bright... moon. And it's almost like a part of her is here with us and we're all together. And then, before I could start busting out the chorus to Somewhere Out There, someone said they were cold and someone else asked when we were going home and someone was making snow angels and throwing snow in someone else's face, so we loaded little ones back into the sleds and all made the trek back down to the van.

Well, I'm off to make a toast robot.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Random Kindness

This happened over a year ago, but I was transferring some pictures off of my camera and found this one and had to write about it.

When we were in California for Spring Break, Julia and my mother-in-law and I were searching the thrift stores in hopes of finding some possibilities for a prom dress. As we searched through the racks at one store a woman, I think her name was Lorena, started a conversation with me about how great it was to get dresses at the thrift stores instead of paying full price for one. She asked if Julia was trying to find a prom dress and offered the dresses she had at home, from when her daughters were in high school. We exchanged phone numbers and met up later, close to her home, to pick up the dresses.

There were well over 20 dresses that she gave us. Here we were, total strangers from out of state, and she was more than happy to share what she no longer needed. She insisted that Julia take ALL of the dresses, not just one or two, and share them with her friends at home.

People like Lorena make me happy.