An Indulgent Day

01.17.12

Who doesn’t love a three day weekend? I had little to do these last three days with the exception of one very important audition yesterday. Yes, I said it, an audition for a radtastic docuseries that I can’t tell you anything about because I don’t know anything about it except that I want to host it and they should want me to host it too because… because I said so.

Of course it went well because all Hollywood meetings go well. Everyone loves you and is sweet and wonderful and kind because they want you to not look like holy hell on camera. I loved the casting director. He was the opposite of of what a casting director usually is. There were no scented candles and I didn’t offer to shake his hand (because everyone knows you never actually touch a casting director). When he put out his hand to shake mine I almost went Big Love and asked him to marry me and Mr. G. I was flattered.

After the audition we dropped Jane off for a little shopping at The Grove and then Mr. G and I took Alexander to lunch at the Laurel Tavern, which has one of my favorite salads and the worlds worst ambience. People were wearing heavy coats indoors, but no one who worked there thought to close the windows.

We ran through Sports Authority on the way home so that I could get a watch for running (I’m back to running, but oh so slowly). I think I’ll return the watch because a $5 iPhone app seems to be doing a better job for me.

When we got home at 2 I was totally emotionally drained. Alexander had three boys waiting at the front door for him and an afternoon of playing outside. I went upstairs to the big white chair in my bedroom to close my eyes for a half hour. It was a treat that I knew I would enjoy.

For two hours I slept lightly waking often to the sounds of my son’s laughter. I can hear his laugh over the laugh of the other three boys. He’s mine, and I know his particular sound, it’s a song in my heart.

I laid on my oversized chair dozing with my dog and being serenaded by the song of my son’s joy.

It was one of those afternoons when I knew that my life is, in fact, perfect.

I Hate Bringing the Kids to School

11.28.11

It’s been a wonderful four days, five really, home with the kids. Certainly there were early mornings during the Thanksgiving break, but we were waking up early to take Jane to soccer knowing that the afternoon would be spent napping. Alexander woke up bright and early to spend some quality time with Madden and the Playstation. It was the good kind of waking up early.

This morning’s waking up early wasn’t the good sort. Jane’s alarm clock is just too complicated and has never worked very well, Alexander relies on me to set his alarm clock, which I did when I tucked him in last night, and my alarm clock needed to be reset as I’d changed the time for the weekend soccer tournament.

This morning Jane’s alarm clock didn’t go off, it never does. Alexander’s buzzed at us and woke everyone up promptly at 7, which was confusing because mine should have been set for ten minutes earlier. Of course I had the am/pm thing all wrong.

So now I’m popping all over the web for cyber Monday shopping which succeeds only in making me happy that we’re Jewish and that we don’t have to buy excessive gifts for every adult who wanders into our lives. I find this little guy at Gilt.

Nanda_Home_Clocks_Clocky_Aqua

It’s called Clocky. You’re supposed to set the time and then if you hit snooze the Clocky starts rolling all around the room so you are forced to get out of bed to find it and hit the snooze button again. I’m trying to decide if this is the best gift in the world or if it’s torture for my children.

Mostly I want to go to the school and pull the kids out. I want to grab Mr. G. and bring everyone home. I loved having my family home with me. The house today feels a little lonely and empty.

Unintended Benefits of a Shared Bedroom

08.30.11

This is the seventh night in a hotel, which means that this is the seventh night of Jane and Alexander having no playmates but each other other and sharing a room most nights.

One of the things I’m quite certain I got wrong was not having the kids share a room. I know that at this age they’d have to be split up already. If I could go back in time there isn’t a ton of parenting I’d like to change but this is a big one. I’d have taken my boy and my girl and I’d have put them in the same room until they asked for their own. I wouldn’t care if I had three bedrooms of thirteen.

On this vacation (like so many others we’ve taken) we all take turns running around with Alexander. Jane and Mr. G play football with him in the park, then Jane sits and reads a book while Mr. G and Alexander throw a baseball for eightybazillion hours. I rest under a tree or check out San Francisco’s Dahlia Garden, and then we buy some street food and head over to Union Square.

Jane Reading Pretty Little Liars under a tree in San Francisco

Jane and Mr. G are exhausted so I drag Alexander around for three more hours and wait for him to fade. It doesn’t happen quickly, but he does get a little tired of motion.

As Jane approaches thirteen she has left Alexander a bit. It used to be two kids and two adults trying to find activities, and now it’s sometimes three of us wanting to do something and then Jane is sent like a scout to convince Alexander to go along with it. She’s neither fish nor foul, certainly not an adult, certainly not a child (in her own eyes at least).

Jane and Alexander don’t seem to fight and bicker on vacation. In fact they enjoy each other more than ever, for this and this alone I’d pack up everything and become a nomad. The two people I love most in the world loving each other makes my heart swell and my eyes water.

He asks a lot of questions and he remembers the answers. Alexander is a smart little boy, sponge-like in his need to gather information. Unlike a sponge he is never full, and everything seems to be retained. At night when we put the kids to bed and over the whispers and giggles the constant that we hear is Alexander querying Jane. Her name is always part of a question, Jane? Can you… Do you… Would you…? And she dispenses information that may or may not be correct, but delights her brother. From the foyer that connects the rooms Mr. G and I eavesdrop and delight in our children. Both of them, for very different reasons.

I wish I could go back in time and give him many more years of rickety data and a shared bedroom.

Spring Broken at Spring Break

04.5.11

Last week was our first week of spring break. I love having my kids home. I love watching them play, hanging out with them for hours with no schedule. I love just being with them. The first week of spring break was fabulous.

This second week is going to break me.

I was up at seven this morning and I had to get reasonably cute so that I could tape for Momversation. Then I had to tape again, in the meantime the kids were making themselves breakfast and somehwhat destroying the house. They seem totally incapable of rinsing their own cereal bowls, which is not that much of an issue now that I have a new dishwasher, but it is an issue because Sparky the hired assassin will jump on the counter, lick the bowl clean and promptly throw up.

Which is disgusting, but not nearly as disgusting as when Junior comes loping around the corner for the delicacy known as cat vomit. This is all before 10am.

By 10am Alexander’s friend has come over to play, they are undecided if they want to be inside or out. This can only mean they leave the sliding door to the back yard open 800 times, and I’m constantly yelling, “there are bugs coming in.” And now I’m that yelling mom and Alexander turns into that kid who ignores the mom who always yells and I’m not living the life I want to live.

We leave the house at quarter to twelve, well, we leave three times actually because we keep getting to the corner and remembering what we forgot. We drop Jane off at volleyball practice where the girls are happy to see each other, except a few who can’t get along. I feel for the coach.

The two boys and I run to the bank and then to two open houses. Remember the move? One is a mistake because I’m too frazzled to bother using the navigation so I’m all buggy with my realtor but in reality I’m two blocks away from the house I’m supposed to be at. I pull up to the house that Doug recommended I see, get out of the car and start to walk up the hilly driveway. I realize I don’t want to walk up a hilly driveway today or any other day. I skip looking at the house.

The boys want Subway for lunch and since it’s a playdate I agree to take them there, but we pass Carneys on the way. They want to eat in that godforsaken train. Defeated before I begin, I say yes, and one has two hamburgers, one has two hot dogs, and they each have an order of fries. They ask me for thirds but I tell them they aren’t hungry. They believe me, and I pray that I’m not starving them but instead putting off an eating contest where one is bound to vomit, like the cat.

We race from Carneys to the park where Alexander has a pitching lesson, the friend and I drop him off and run back to fetch Jane from volleyball, it’s been two hours. From volleyball we see another house and I think I like it. I don’t love it because I see flaws, but I see flaws in everything. The bones are good, it’s a U Shaped house with nice floors and new kitchens and bathrooms. They’re pretty, but they’ll look dated in 10 years. They’ll be like my mother’s avocado refrigerator in 1982. My realtor tells me I look good. I thank him and silently congratulate myself on finding a realtor who compliments me.

We leave the house, and run to Alexander, it’s been almost an hour, his pitching lesson should be over. Alexander hops in the car and the kids start arguing. It’s an old argument. Alexander things the Ferrari Enzo is an instant classic. Jane thinks it will be passe by the time Alexander is allowed to drive. I drive humming along to the horrible music they’ve forced me to endure on Hits 1. Pink tells me that I’m Fucking Perfect and a tiny part of me actually believes her.

3pm. All that activity puts me at 3pm.

I miss school, I don’t work this hard when they’re in school.

 

Colorado Ski Vacation: Where I Finally Ski

01.9.09

As the antibiotics kick in and Alexander’s fever subsides we start having a little fun. The kids disappear into the snow and build forts. We caution them to stick together, but there is no lecture about the homeless guy on Ventura or the speed of cars. Instead we worry about boots falling off or spats between children.

The kids go to daycare ski school for a few hours and Robert and I take a few runs together. It’s fun, but it’s pretty tame and I’m needing just a little more.

I stand at the top of Outhouse and my brain clicks off. I haven’t a thought in my head other than can I do this? Has it been too long? I cannot think about Robert, the kids, pediatricians, Kasey. I can’t think of anything as I’m planning my route.

At some strange moment before my brain catches up to my gut, I’m headed downhill and carving a path between the bumps. I know it’s stupid, I know I promised Robert I wouldn’t do anything dumb, like ski double diamonds, but I’ve got one life and I’m capable.

Halfway down the run I stop for breath.

Let me tell you the number one rule of skiing the small tight bumps? Don’t stop. Restarting part way down a steep pitch is near impossible, now my arms are flapping like chicken wings and I’m the asshole in pink pants that should’ve stayed in Los Angeles.

And then it comes together. Miraculously, I’m back in control. My hips are swivels, my legs are charged, my arms glide effortlessly and my head is three bumps ahead of my body.

It’s why I ski. Any amount of travel is worth one perfect run.

The afternoons were peppered with physical challenges on the top of the mountain, the mornings came with parenting challenges and the evening alternated between perfect family fun, healing hugs and overwhelming sadness. It was a good trip. It was the right trip to take.

In the midst of it all, the reason I needed to be there was Kasey. There wasn’t a moment that we forgot him. Not even on the bumps.