Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thank you notes

Dear Artist,
Happy Birthday! Enjoy the next six weeks. I love it when I am your younger woman and I only get it for a few fun weeks a year.
I love it when your birthday rolls around because there is nothing I would rather celebrate than you. You are just one jolly good fellow.
If I could sum up your life in one sentence I would say "to know him is to love him." I sure do!
You make me laugh every day. Sometimes when I am in a room I just start snickering to myself remembering what you said three days ago.
You are my favorite part of the day. When I put those rascals to bed all I want is to curl up under your arm and let the world dissolve. No one but me and you.
In the middle of Lowes yesterday I was missing you. It might have been that new steel, new paint, freshly cut wood smell that reminds me of you but I just stood there and thought how much I would love it if I could look up and see your smiling face coming down the hardware aisle.
And ten daydream bonus points if you had grabbed my face and kissed me slow right in front of the wrench gift sets.
Yeah, who knew? I'm surprised, too.
I will never get used to you.
I will never outgrow that seventeen year old crazy in love can't get enough of you feeling.
I guess young love just never, never gets old.
Even when we do. (Yikes! I found my first grey hair this week!)
I know you're blushing now and thinking, "Oh brother, Tapper, people will read this."
You are so cute when you're modest. You have taught me so many wonderful things in the past thirteen years. And one of them is discretion. I'm seriously better now, don't you think?
Ten years ago I would have gushed a lot more.
But no one would blame me. I've got a lot to gush about.
I've got you.
Lucky, lucky me.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Chinese take out and confessions

Don't be fooled by the cuteness . . .

We had really good Chinese take out for dinner tonight. Mine was a little too salty to eat, however.
Probably due to the copious amount of tears I was shedding on it.
Just don't give me bad news right before dinner because it totally wrecks food.
And I like food.

So what's the emergency this time, you ask?
What's so terrible, Tapper?
I'll tell ya.
I am officially that mother.
I was blissfully unaware that I was that mother a few hours ago.

The Dancer came home and told me that little blonde girl was mean to her today.
And I asked what little blonde girl did.
And the Dancer told me that little blonde girl said she hated her.
Insert mommy gasp, please.

So I sat at my computer and penned a very judicious inquiry letter to the teacher.

Dear wonderful teacher,
The Dancer came home worried today. I know that things can get lost in translation when children are four, but she is under the impression that little blonde girl said she hated her.
I am very concerned. Please let me know if you know anything about the situation.

Or thereabouts. You get the jist.
Then I got the email reply.

Dear Tapper, (AKA that mother)
I am unaware that little blonde girl said anything of the sort. They were in separate groups all day. However, while we are communicating, we had to talk to the Dancer about how she treats her friends today. She would not let a friend pass by her even when he said excuse me. She uncrossed her legs and got off her mat three times at circle time. We are discussing how to be kind and loving.
Thank you for communicating.
Wonderful Teacher

Sniffle sniffle. Good bye teryaki and honey-seared chicken. Hello Kleenex.
My child is that kid! They had to discuss how to be kind and loving!!!
Quick side note to teacher: I haven't stopped discussing being kind and loving since they cut the umbilical cord. This is not a neglected subject in my home.
But apparently it is not a successful subject in my home.
I can live with the poor girl forgetting to sit criss cross apple sauce (that is the stupidest thing. Can't we just call it Indian Style like we used to?) but being mean... really? Really?

Seeing the teacher tomorrow should be barrels and barrels of fun.
I think home school just sounded good to me for the first time ever.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Confessions! Let it go.

Today's question is what do you know you have to do, but just can't do?

I'm just going to pick one thing because this could be a loooong list.

I need to let it go.
I need to stop feeling like I have to protect people who don't need protecting.
All my life I've had a keen (razor-sharp) sense of "fairness" and "justice".
I've had a Tigress attitude toward anyone trying to hurt someone I love.
I can forgive anything done to me, but I will fight to the death for someone I love.
And when somebody hurts someone I love, it eats me.
I hate them.
My toes curl and blood pressure goes up and I am ready to fight.
If somebody insulted me, I would cry, stumble, feel embarrassed and retreat.
If somebody insulted my friend or family member I turn into an amazon woman.
I am a warrior who takes no prisoners. Seriously, you want me on your side. :)

And long after the person who was hurt or insulted is feeling fine, I am still boiling.
I am staring at the ceiling late at night.
I am wondering what I can do to make things right.
And there's the rub.
I can't make it right. I can't fix those wrongs. No matter how I twist my brain or pool my resources I cannot change how one human being treats another.
And I have to learn to love the people I love, without hating the people who hurt them.
I have to learn to be a safe place where they can retreat instead of a warrior on the hunt.
And that is really hard.

Because when you love, as any mother knows, you feel the pain of the person you love more than they do. You multiply it. You enhance it. You refine it. You magnify it.
Until discomfort is agony, and sadness is anguish. And it doesn't really help anyone.
So I have to learn to let people hurt a little. Without hating a lot. Without fighting the world.
I have to let the pain go.
And not the person.
But when they are all tied up together, it is a hard skill to master.

When I lay my burdens of revenge and indignation and anger at the feet of the Lord, I have to learn to leave them there.
Because I have a habit of showing him all my smelly garbage, and then packing it back up and taking it with me.
And He keeps raising His eyebrows and waiting for me to figure it out.
I'm so grateful He is patient.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Three minutes with the Dancer

Today is dance class day.
For the last half hour the Dancer has been hanging on me in various stages of collapse saying, "Is it time to go yet? I want to go. Can we go now?"
I even bought her a cartoon about patience.
Can you believe that didn't work? I want my money back.
The following is approximately 57 seconds with the Dancer:

Look what I can do...
Wanna see me run?
Is it time to go now?
I'll put my shoes on.
Did I mess up my hair?

Let's go. Can we go? I want to go.
Are these on the right feet?

And I spared you the other 28 minutes and three seconds. Just loop this seven hundred times, okay? Because that's what it felt like.

I would write more, but I have to go. We are almost not early for dance class...

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Where have you been, Tapper?!

I totally dropped the ball and haven't written in weeks.

I am so sorry.

I am still alive. I am not facing any major crisis. (Halloween doesn't count as a crisis, does it? Because I think putting together costumes and being invited to 6 separate halloween parties might be somewhere in the crisis spectrum. What a crazy two weeks I've been living!)
The truth is that I don't want to tell you why I haven't been writing because it sounds really stupid.
But that is nothing new on this blog, is it?

All of my writing energy has been going elsewhere. A few weeks ago I picked up a manuscript for a book that I gave up on a year ago. I literally dusted it off and thought, Okay, girl. Let's do this. Good, bad or ugly. We will whip this story into shape. You are not going to abandon this project.

Somewhere between halloween parties and endless stops at stores to get one more thing for a costume or a class party or a halloween craft, I've been typing. And reading and typing. And pulling my hair and chewing up my lips and typing.
And I finally, finally, finished.
Don't ask me why I wracked up over 46,000 minutes of editing. (did you know that microsoft word keeps track of how long you spend on a document? I found it on accident when I was doing word count and I almost passed out) Don't ask me why I've written and re-written a story.

I don't really know. I wanted to see if I could do it. I wanted to present this book to the cowgirl when she turned sixteen. I kept thinking of a better way to say something and I had to try.

There is no financial pay off. There is no reclaiming those hours or days.
I did it because these three people believe I have something to say.

And when I look at those faces, and know they are proud of me for putting my shoulder to the wheel and doing my best, I am compensated.

The artist took some family pictures this month and I will post my favorites, just so you know we are really still here. Thanks for being patient with me.