Thursday, August 21, 2008

Deep Dark Secrets

We all have them. Things about ourselves, or our past, that we don't want others to know. Things we'd rather not admit to anyone, not even ourselves. Hidden parts of our soul. Before you get all excited and start thinking I'm gonna get deep and reveal something about myself, let me clarify. No. This post isn't about one of MY deep dark secrets. Oh no. This is about The Greatest.

The other day I discovered one of his deep dark secrets. Something I had never known about him. Information I can now use against him. Information I will bring up in arguments that have nothing what-so-ever to do with the secret, but hearing it said out loud will fluster him, turn the conversation off-track and allow me to get my way (yes, sometimes I fight dirty, now you do know a deep dark secret about me). And of course, like a good wife, I'm going to splash it all over the Internet.

There had always been signs. He saved the Burger King Kids Meal figurines of Darth Vader and his Storm Troopers. They've sat on his desk for several years now. Despite being a cop, The Greatest has always like the bad guys better than the good guys (they have more fun), so I thought this was just an off-shoot of that obsession.

When my Little Brother introduced us to M.C. Chris and The Greatest's favorite song was Fetts's Vette I should have suspected. But I was clueless, I thought it was a fun song too.

And the other day when we were walking in Wal-Mart, and I saw a Star Wars display and make a joke about it, and he very tersely informed me that we owned all the "good" Star Wars movies, I only briefly wondered when we'd purchased so many Star Wars movies. I didn't ponder the fact that we owned four, and that The Greatest had given the movies enough thought to actually classify some as good and others as not good.

I was so clueless. The signs were all there. Surely you can put the pieces together. But I was in denial. Either too busy to see, or perhaps too much in denial to admit what was right before my eyes.

But I can no longer deny it no longer. Yesterday the truth was thrown in my face.

We're decorating Meaty's room. He's growing into such a big boy, and it is time for a big boy room. Our new house has terrible olive green carpet.


Just look at it. If our appraisal hadn't clearly stated that our house was built in 2005 I would have thought this carpet was original from the 70s. We knew we wouldn't be able to replace the carpet for several years, so we've decided to make it work for us. We're going with an army sort of theme in Meaty's room. Blue walls with olive green carpet. We've got a framed poster of Master Chief on his wall and I'm scouring the Internet for some camo bedding (none of that new pixalated junk, I'm looking for some old school color blobs). We decided it would be cool to hang airplanes and helicopters from his ceiling with fishing line. And wouldn't you know it, we've got a box in the garage just full of The Greatest's childhood toys. He swore the box contained old G.I. Joe airplanes we could use.

So we pull this box out of the garage and open it to discover that there were indeed several G.I. Joe airplanes and helicopters and every last one of them was broken and missing pieces. Junk. So glad we hauled this box across the country on a moving truck that was packed to the gills and where every box counted. I'm so glad we gave all our baby clothes to Goodwill so we could bring this box with us instead. But I'm not bitter. I'm really not, well, mostly I'm not. For the things that were also contained within the box made it all worth it.

First he pulled out this


Then this


And this


And these


And finally came the...

Are you ready for it?



At first I was stunned, running a mental tally of how much we could make if we sold them on ebay. But when The Greatest reacted with horror to the idea of selling them I realized the truth. With frightening clarity I realized the aweful horrible truth.


He has saved all his Star Wars toys from his childhood, and unlike the G.I. Joe things, these were all intact, not a tiny plastic piece out of place. I teased him, calling him a geek, telling him I would have to blog this, taking pictures of it all. Normally he can take some teasing, he doesn't take himself too seriously. But he got all (to quote his favorite phrase) "butt-hurt" and was strangely defensive, informing that he was only five years old when he played with these toys.

Yet he had saved them all these years, carted them all over the country, refused to part with them.

Then he turned his back on me and proceeded to take out all his "action figures" and line them up on the counter according to their alliance with the light or the dark side. Then when he was done, while I was putting the baby down for a nap, he took pictures for me. I guess the one I took


weren't good enough to document them for posterity.

His photos look like this





The best G.I. Joe plane was given to Meaty to play with and finish destroying as only a five year old boy can. The Star Wars toys were all lovingly re-packed and returned to the garage.

I still love the man. I now know one of the darker corners of his soul and can over look, maybe even forgive this new facet of who he is. It's possible I might love him even more for this. But what's truly frightening? The kind of frightening that keeps you awake at night? My FATHER is an admitted Star Wars geek. Does anyone remember this post? Scary!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Connected at last

These past ten days without Internet or phone have been torture! Pure Torture! I have so few vices left. I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't snort drugs. I don't even drink caffeinated soda anymore, it's caffeine-free diet coke with a shot of lime juice for me these days (although honestly, if I'm going to drink something with no calories, and no caffeine, I should just grow up and drink water). Really my Internet addiction is all I've got. And man, I needed a fix. I was ready to go to the public library just to use the Internet. But all my websites are saved in my favorites, so without my favorite bar I was afraid I'd end up wandering the Internet helplessly, sobbing over the keyboard because I couldn't find my friends. Rather than make a spectacle of myself, sobbing in the library, I did without. I'm so glad that blip in my life is over. The Greatest and I did discover two things about ourselves.

1. That we really don't have much to say to one another after ten years of marriage. We NEED TV to fill the silence and

2. We really need to buy some new movies. We couldn't find a DVD to watch after the kids went to bed that we hadn't already memorized.

But we survived to tell the tale! The moving day went fairly well. It didn't rain, and the tree was miraculously gone from our driveway Saturday morning. There was one rather large glitch. Due to circumstances beyond our control we ended up with no moving truck. We moved our entire house with a Ford Expedition. Which means it was slow going. We moved furniture over the course of an entire week. There are still a few odds and ends at the rental house, and a ton of dust bunnies. I thought I was a fairly decent housekeeper, yet I was still disgusted by what we found behind the TV stand. As soon as I clean the rental house and turn the keys back in this mess will officially be over. But I'm so unmotivated to clean. I've got a very large, very wet, distraction in the backyard.

We're getting settled in our house, mostly unpacked, finding places for all our things. Our computer is now tucked in a corner in the dining room. It overlooks the dining room, the family room, and the kitchen. I can simultaneously keep an eye on the children AND completely neglect them. I thought it was going to be perfect. I was so anxious to blog once our Internet was finally connected, but I hit a new obstacle. Sweet Pea is teething. She refuses to be set down or she sobs like her heart is broken and shall never be whole again. So no blogging until nap time. No problem. Since the computer is no longer in the baby's room I CAN blog during nap time. It was going to be perfect. Teething baby got sleepy. I took her upstairs for a rock-and-cuddle, and slipped her peacefully into her crib. I returned downstairs with my head full of blogging ideas, only to find this (and I've tried four times to rotate the picture, stupid photobucket, you know the drill, turn your head to the side).


This might be problematic. The girl is a computer genius. She's got mad skillz with a mouse. She hogged the computer all day long yesterday. I couldn't even entice her to let go of the mouse and go for a dip in the pool. She spent the entire day on Noggin. She is truly my child. I fear someday soon I shall find her hunched over the keyboard muttering and hissing at anyone foolish enough to make a grab for the mouse. Wonder if I can distract her from the keyboard by teaching her how to knit?

As I type she stands by my side informing me that my turn is over and it is now her turn. I have so much to share. It will have to wait until tomorrow.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

It's Moving Day!!!!!

And here in the desert it is predicted to rain today!

Of course it is!

It wouldn't be moving day without rain!

In fact we had a terrible storm the other night and it blew over the little tree in the front yard of our rental. It is now residing in our driveway. I've called our property management company and they have promised to send over a landscaper to remove it. In the meantime we get to carry our furniture out of the house, around the tree, and then into a truck. Possibly in the rain. Should be a fun day!

And the cable company's system was down when I called to move our services (phone, Internet, cable). So I might be out of touch for quite a while.

See you when this mess is mercifully over.

Thursday, August 07, 2008


I look forward to this time of year every year. In fact I have declared it to be BETTER THAN CHRISTMAS. But this year it just kinda snuck up on me. I mean it was only August 6th for goodness sakes. Isn't this supposed to take place closer to Labor Day?

I suspect some of my gentle readers are a bit mystified. What could I be talking about that takes place near Labor Day and is better than Christmas? Labor day is possibly one of the worst holidays of the year. Sure it's a day off work for those who are gainfully employed, but there's no barbeque's like Memorial Day. No fireworks like the Fourth of July. There's no special food or candy like all the "big" holidays. There isn't even the expectation of the exchange of meaningless cards like Valentine's day. No Labor Day is a useless holiday good only for sleeping-in (which in itself makes the day worthwhile but certainly not better than Christmas). But the event to which I refer is not Labor Day itself, but usually takes place NEAR Labor Day. I am of course referring to *dun,dun, duuuuuummmmmmm*


That glorious day where Parents scrub three months of dirt off their children, put them in new clothes that are presentable and slightly too big, and send them off for someone else to deal with for eight hours of the day. It is a glorious day that signals the end of the endless months of bickering that are the summer. Or at least when they bicker they're doing it somewhere else. *sigh* I love the first day of school.


In the past I have only had to scrub down Pork Chop and send her on her merry way. She loves school. She loves books, and music classes, and learning. She loves recess, and gym, and lunch with her friends. She loves everything about it. At school she shines. I send her forth into the world with confidence that she will brighten what ever corner she lands in.

But this year was different. I sent my little man as well.


I was not as prepared to send him forth into the world. The kindergarten questionnaire asked what your child does not like. I wrote "sharing." The Greatest and I are quite certain we will get to know the Principal on a first name basis this year, and it won't be at the awards ceremony (which is the only time we see the Principal with Pork Chop).

So with great trepidation we took Meaty to buy a new shirt for the first day of school. We stood in the aisle for ten minutes while he painfully selected the perfect backpack (because you know, the earth might implode if he makes the wrong decision). We gave him the traditional going-to-school shearing. After five years with him we had done all we could to prepare him to go forth into the world of academics.

Yesterday was the first day of school. Since it was the first day of school I walked Meaty to his classroom. The kindergartners have their own fenced playground. They swarmed around it in their striped polo shirts and neatly-pressed dressed. They weren't playing together, but they were nervously eye-ing one another. Meaty had been dying to play on the equipment. I gave my consent, he handed me his most-perfect-of-perfect backpacks, and with nary a backwards glance he was gone. I watched him disappear in the sea of shiny-faced little ones and something in my chest broke. Possibly an apron string? A connection I had with my little man that was mine and mine alone. He is no longer mine. He is his own.

I am excited for him. All the things he will learn, the friends he will make, the adventures he will have. I know he will grow and blossom and shine, like his sister but also not like his sister, he'll shine in his own special way. I'm excited to watch him grown and continue to be part of creating who he will be when he is all done. But as I watched him go, for a minute, just for a minute, I want to fold his long little boy legs up in my lap and keep him there forever, smelling his sweet puppy dog scent (side note, why does he smell like a wet puppy after he's had a bath?).

When the bell rang the Principal did make an appearance on the playground. He told us all to go home. He assured us that the school had our phone number on file and would call us if there was a problem. I spent the day anxiously awaiting a phone call. But no call came. At 1:15 (it was early release) I went to the school to pick up my children. Aside from one little snag where school was over and Meaty just left instead of staying in the kindergarten fence to wait for me (imagine my surprise when I found him down past the parking lot by the road) we all survived the first day of school. Pork Chop declared her teacher to be the best teacher EVER. And Meaty has consented to return (which is really all I was hoping for at this point).

So the first day of school was surprisingly bitter sweet this year. Exciting for all they'll learn and do. Melancholy to watch them grow. The paradox of being a parent.