I’m just thinking as I sit here by the pool, sipping away on my Arnold Palmer with a little, fragile, pink umbrella peeking from a juicy slice of lemon. The kids are playing in the pool, and I’ve just received my fifteenth splash across my ultra grade white-skinned, Old Navy bikini clad mommy body. The reprimands that started with “Please don’t splash mommy, honey” have now become, “g(stutter)damnit, if you splash me one more time, I’ll take all your toys and give them to good children who don’t splash
their mommies!” It’s become ridiculous because I’m pretty sure that although we live against the side of a prickly Phoenix mountain , the sounds will ricochet purely from the many cacti and reverberate through the neighborhood, inciting one of my childless neighbors to call CPS (don’t pretend like you don’t know who that is). Here’s hoping I can pull it together by then. But the kicker is you can’t leave your kids in the pool alone when they’re under—what age is it anyway? 6? 20? And because of the gynormous iron-clad gate that protects the pool day and night from the unswimmingest children, I can’t sit more than 3 feet away. I should just go in, but I’m pissed because my kids got written up at the gym this morning, so I’m not feeling too gracious. In fact, I’m feeling like the interruption of my super zen yoga class has left me a little tense and frazzled. In addition to that, the list of infractions that my children committed in the time I was able to gracefully sweep through 20 or so yoga poses was truly phenomenal. Despite my frustration, I am thinking there should be some sort of award for a brother duo being able to come up with and act out in that many ways during—let’s be precise—50 minutes of my freaking class! Now my neck hurts because I decided to try a new headstand, and I wasn’t able to do the counter pose before I left. Talk about throwing off the “Namaste”. We’re talking zen suicide.
And still in my recent memory is the trip to the doctor. When was that? Oh yeah, yesterday!!! And how many things did they jump off in a 3’x6’ room? One could count the surfaces resembling trampolines on less than one thumb and yet with my children bouncing about, it felt a bit like a playhouse. I stood in the middle while one jumped from the cute little fire truck sit on thingy, while the other rolled about the room on the doctor’s stool. I stood nimbly and stupidly in the middle of the room, simultaneously tugging at one child’s shirt and saying “Sit down RIGHT NOW!” and grabbing the other’s elbow and saying, “Get up RIGHT NOW!”. I am pretty sure that I looked downright pathetic, which is difficult for me on a lot of levels. Besides the fact that I’m a tiny, frail looking creature which provides the opportunity for me to acquire a slight case of Napoleon’s complex, I have a rather unimpressive voice. This means that although I have a great impression of the Exorcist that I pull out sometimes, my kids have no fear of me. Of course we run into a lot of problems with this, but many times I’m planted at home or behind walls when they really whip out the “wild child” routine. So I can yell a lot more effectively, and I at least feel like I put on a great show. Here at the doctor’s office, I’m pretty sure I’ll have to sign a waiver before releasing my eyeballs from their sockets, my neck from my spine and spinning them in different directions, while screaming this low wailing sound. Anyway, some of you might know the move.
Wait, there’s last night too. I spent about half the time in the bedroom while my kids made sure I understood they would NOT be cleaning the snow-like substance spread about their room, resembling the aftermath of a natural disaster. The room was covered in not just Styrofoam but little tiny pieces of almost molecular-sized pieces of styrofoam’s chemical composition. It probably took my kids 5 alternating pick-up and dumps, followed by hilarious bellows of laughter, before they saw my face turn blue—trying not to yell for our friends and neighbors. My children probably owe the gift of life to Taco Tuesdays, the simple meeting of neighbors with food and libation. Their lives were spared, and bonus round—I did not have to share my Italian mafia impression (also very scary) with people I will see again next Tuesday, whether they like it or not. I don’t remember really what I did to convince my children to finish up the cleaning job, but I am clear that MY punishment was the hour and a half it took THEM to clean up. The worst of it was just that I spent more time walking back and forth to my kids’ room then I did visiting.
So this brings us back to the reason I’m sitting by the pool with a martini, eyes blood shot, and I can’t remember what the little floaty thing is in the glass. I still remember martinis usually have olives, but I doubt I had any of those. Here’s to the excitement of tasting it when I get to the bottom of this martini in the next 30 seconds or so. Oh shoot. I think I might have described this in different detail earlier, but I’m a little too foggy to go back—so forgive my journalistic indiscretion and understand that I will do my best to include only facts and “real” details in future writings.
But for now, to my mommy friends, let’s have a toast to summer, the joys, the pains, the ulcers, the unending cleaning. And for all my amazing journeys I have taken with my boys this summer, here’s to knowing that in a couple days they will be safe in a classroom, with people who love children and their quirky ways. Here’s to homework, discipline, structure and all those things of which I truly fall short. Here’s to the memories that we still have in photographs of happy things that occurred. Here’s to my plane flights, grammies and grandpas, water parks, alpine slides, gondola rides, picnics, movies, parties, hugs, kisses, whispers of “mommy, you’re the best” as the lamp behind them falls to pieces on the ground. Here’s to all the things that made this summer the best, all those things that I hardly remember when the last few days of summer hit and my kids become little prickly mites, trying to get my goat. I’m not even sure that made sense. But here’s to revisiting it all next week—when everyone is at school, I’ll curl up with the pictures of this summer and tear up and cry. Because, damnit, I’ll miss those beautiful boys, full of life and love and piss and vinegar, a little bit of me, a little bit of dad, and a lot of reminders of why we’ll be best friends forever—because no one goes through this shit without either killing each other or realizing we’re the luckiest people in the world to know that no matter what happens, we will always love each other more than anyone else. And in 20 years, we’ll laugh and laugh. And when I lose sight of that and get too caught up in what just happened on a week when everyone’s tired and on their “manrags”, I can remember that one day, maybe very soon, I’ll be a hellion, and they will come up to me and hug me and say, “mommy, are you alright?”. Or they’ll make me a card that says “you’re the best mom ever” to add to my growing pile. Man, at the end of the day, it’s all pretty awesome. I’m glad I have those monkeys, and I was gonna invite all you moms over to celebrate, but I think I’ll put together a surprise for the kids when they get home from school instead.