Like last year, the year before that, and the year prior to that and so on, it rained on Easter here.
I did manage to click some pretty terrible photos with my iPhone for you.
Behold! The creepiest bunny in the history of all bunnies!
As we prepared to set out the goods for the children the night before Easter, we discovered some mice pellets in our pantry. Let me rephrase that, WE FOUND OUT WE HAVE MICE IN OUR PANTRY. As in EATING OUR FOOD.
Easter mice: Trumps creepy bunny.
Instead of leaving the candy and goodies on the table for the children, we decided (in a quick act of awesome by yours truly) to write a little riddle and have the children hunt for their Easter Basket Innards. Brilliant, right? (nod yes.)
I wrote the following, clever, did I mention awesom, riddle:
“If you were hot
And looked like gold
You might hide
In someplace cold.”
Oh, how clever I am. CLEVER I SAY. So we hid the stuff in the fridge. That’s all “making lemons from mice pellets” or something. I was oh so proud of myself.
I even signed it “From T.E. Bunny.”
T.E. Get it? T(he) E(aster) Bunny?
I tell you, though, the apple does not fall from the overly-prideful tree. The minute my 6 year old read the note she runs to the fridge, opens it up and exclaims:
“THIS IS IT?!”
Actually, I don’t remember what she said but I think it was pretty condescending coming from a 6 year old who failed to even notice the awesome cleverness of her clever clever mother. Or Bunny. Whatever.
In tradition, we hunted for eggs in the rain.
The secret is to run REALLY REALLY FAST and the rain can’t catch you.
My children are masters at this.
(See from 2009)
In another tradition, there was the mandatory egg shot with the siblings.
See circa 1985:
And now: Circa 2008.
All together now? Ahhhhh.
May your week continue to be filled with chocolate and sun.
And then invite me over.
I have these sticky notes. They line my computer background, they clutter my virtual desktop, the travel in my portable office. They are text files I keep open to remind myself of my goals, todo lists, small notes. I have one that I keep open nearly all day, every day. It is titled, “People I want to emulate.”
On this text file I keep a very short list of people I admire and dare to imitate. It’s like my own version of the, “What Would Jesus Do” bracelet.
What would Amanda say to this quest I’m on?
Would Scott Berkun forget to submit a speaking proposal?
I bet Emily Lewis would take the time to code this correctly, without shortcuts.
These are the people that keep me in check. They may or may not even know how often I think about their strength, their wisdom, their spirit. They are leaders by example and in ASCHII all day to someone striving to find her own space, to be her own person, one that someone else might list on a sticky note one day. Perhaps one day I’ll have someone who will want to be like me.
Maybe even my daughter.
It’s been one of those weeks. The kind that I blame my parents for setting my expectations of life too high.
Why the hell did they tell me I could be anything I wanted?
That I could achieve! And that I was smart! And OH SO ABLE TO DO ANYTHING I WANT!
‘Cause that’s just a mid-life crisis waiting to happen. And here I am: mid-life. crisising.
I enjoy my work. I enjoy my children. I enjoy the sunshine. But I can’t figure out where I want to live. I still don’t know exactly what I want to be when I grow up. (A woman who codes! AWESOME CODE! But .. but.. I can also do marketing! MARKETING? Wait, write a book. I’m WRITING A BOOK IN ALL CAPS!)
So as a favor to my children I’ve decided to be very very realistic with them.
“Honey, you’re very pretty. You would make a great pole dancer. You won’t have to put out any money for education AND you’ll make three times what your father and I make in a year.”
“Sweetie, yes, you very funny. Not funny enough to be a comedian, say, but maybe funny enough to work as an accountant. You might lose all your hair and drink a lot of beer. I’m just sayin’, you might want to marry early…”
1. When your priorities are all effed up.
2. Pondering ways to move the earth’s orbit so days are 31 hours each.
3. I have a blog??!?!?!?!?!!11111!?!?
Years ago Mr. Flinger and I found a book called “Burnt Toast” while dragging our new 3 month old daughter around Powells in Portland. Forgetting that it was written by a pretty famous actress who probably never struggled with baby weight five, no six, years after her first child was born or had to wander the bookstores at 10PM because HEY WHY NOT WE ARE ALL AWAKE, the book made an impression on us both. Having only read the excerpt of the book from the flap, we still talk about how easy it is to give your priorities to things other than what you find important: your family, your health, maybe, I dunno, breathing deeply every so often. The book’s premise is that while you are giving the best parts of the loaf to everyone else, you’re taking the burnt toast for yourself.
Throughout the years we find ourselves saying, “I’m not going to be all burnt toast about this.” About a week ago we decided to spontaneously give our family three entire days together. We’ve been working insane hours, never seeing each other, hardly ever in the same house more than 2 hours aside from sleeping time. The children see us both, but never together. The four of us spending time together is as mystical as Santa or that damn Tooth Fairy that always forgets to put money under the pillow. Three entire days to be a family, while ridiculously short, is more than we’ve experienced in months.
And so we went to Wenatchee. Why? Well, why not?
I joked with friends that we could pick Disney Land or Great Wolf Lodge but my children are just as happy going to a HOTEL! with A POOL!
It’s the simple things, really: A pool, a park, the sun, flying kites, bubbles, snow, and more junk food than you are ever allowed to eat at home.
By the end of the trip the children were exhausted and happy playing small games with stuffed animals in the back seat. We all had a small glow from the sun and hours of swimming. For all intensive purposes, we were, what’s the word? Happy.
How fleeting that feeling is in the wake of deadlines and taxes and bills and commitments.
There are a million blogs, a few dozen more posts, and thousands of books about the topic “Balance.” How do you achieve a career that gives your family the resources it needs while maintaining a close relationship with each other? How do you prevent placing all your energy in work when your children are begging for just an hour to play trains?
I don’t know and I’m not even going to pretend to.
The thing I do know is that a few days, a small card slipped in a school lunch, an hour at a preschool tea, provides the children with the confidence that we are here. We work, we have a strong work ethic, but we still love them even more than the biggest tree (as my daughter always declares). We love them bigger than the sun, higher than the Sponge Bob kite can fly, taller than the entire universe. In the end it’s about being ok with feeling like a failure at work some days knowing the face that lights up the brightest when you walk in to school will be the one that matters most.
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