Monday, July 27, 2009

To have and to hold. And to put her scissors back where they belong

This is week 3 of our summer in Alabama.  Originally we were supposed to be here for 5 weeks but I cut it a few days short because Buddy and I are missing each other too much.  We'll fly back to Beijing on August 9 instead of on August 15 as originally planned.  

I'd like to say the kids miss Buddy and they do in a way but he's competing with things like fireflies and popsicles and swimming and sunshine and smores and long breezy summer evenings.  Meanwhile Buddy is back in Beijing, which they associate with school and homework and alarm clocks and such.  Very hard to miss those things.

Last weekend we drove up to Nashville to visit my sister and see her new condo and meet her new boyfriend.  She got them both around the same time and it looks like she's going to keep both long term.  

The condo is beautiful.  Let me tell you about her closets - they are color-coded.  It's is a well-organized wardrobe rainbow in there.  It's the kind of thing that makes moms like me stand there and cry.
And she has this little place in her kitchen drawer where the scissors fit just perfectly.  I kept opening the drawer to look at the scissors and every time I did ... 

they were still there!  

I was like Rainman, opening and closing that drawer all throughout the weekend.  Open, scissors are there.  Close.  Open.  Scissors are still there!  

At my house if you want scissors, the last place you would look is the little slot in the kitchen drawer where they fit perfectly.  No, you would be better off following a crafty trail of shredded paper and glitter and sequins and ribbon.  Through the dining room, over the sofas, under the guest bed and out the other side, around the potted plants.  At the end of that trail, that's where you'll find your scissors.  

Glued to the floor, naturally.  

Amanda's boyfriend is even better than the condo.  His name is Jeff and I will tell you one thing about him that will show you what kind of person he is.

He wanted to spend quality time with me.  

That means he and I went out for lunch together, just the two of us, and had an adult conversation.  While Amanda took care of my kids.  

You see Jeff has met everyone in the family except me and before he and Amanda talk about anything serious he wanted to meet everyone in the family.  I thought it was so he could make sure he likes us but Amanda said it's so we can be sure we like him before we consider accepting him as a member of our family.  But either way, I'm so impressed that this guy cares this much about Family in general and about our family in particular.  

Of course before we finalize anything I need to test him and see if he will put the scissors back where they belong.    

Friday, July 24, 2009

If he does that I will change his name to Bubba

While I'm working every day the kids are in day camp at Forest Lake United Methodist Church. They told me they weren't going to pick up Southern accents while they're here but now that they're surrounded by kids their age who are dripping in Southern drawl, Audrey and Grant are picking it up too.

For example this morning when Grant dropped his French toast he said, "Dedgummit!"

And he asked me to put fried catfish and hush puppies in his lunch box today.

I'm just waiting for him to say "y'all", that's all that's missing.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Barack Obama's Reporter's Husband's Backyard's Trampoline!

The kids and I are in Alabama now spending 5 weeks with my parents. My new boss is AWESOME to let me do this and I can say that because she doesn't read my blog, she doesn't even know about it, so this doesn't count as a$$ kissing. She agreed to let me work remotely from Alabama for 3 weeks and then I'll be on vacation for 2 weeks. 

My whole family (mom, dad, 3 sisters, husbands, cousins, etc.) will go to a lake house at Lake Guntersville and we'll celebrate Mom's 70th birthday and Dad's 75th. And someone else had a big milestone birthday this year but that seems to have totally slipped through the cracks. 

Good thing I'm mature enough to handle this without doing something immature like complaining about it on the world wide web.

One sad thing, Buddy's not with us. He just started a new job as a business development director at HP and he can't get any vacation time.  I thought we were going to be able to last 5 weeks without seeing each other but it's just now been 1.5 weeks and I miss him so much already.  

On our way to Alabama the kids and I had an overnight layover in D.C. and we stayed with my sister and her family except my sister was in Africa with Obama at the time.

My kids are so impressed with the President. While at Christi's house I told Audrey she could go outside and jump on the trampoline.

She paused at the door and said, "I am about to play on Obama's Reporter's Husband's Backyard's ... *trampoline*!"  

Friday, July 17, 2009

Bathroom Conference

The other day Grant summoned me to a bathroom conference. He rarely takes time for real conversations but for some reason when he's in the bathroom he transforms from an insanely active 6-year-old into a thoughtful, expressive young man.

I think it's because he's stranded when he's on the toilet, with nothing within reach that can be turned into a sword or a gun.

Grant had a clear agenda for this bathroom conference - he confided in me, "I love my new teacher at school. I told her a lot of stuff about me today. I told her my favorite color, my favorite food, and I told her you are older than Daddy."

At first glance that might seem like a strange collection of facts to share on the first date, or on the first day of school as the case may be, but later it occurred to me why he told her that I'm older than Buddy. He was telegraphing to her that his family is okay with May-September romances and that the two of them wouldn't get any resistance from us.

Now granted my relationship with Buddy is more like a late June-early July romance since I'm just three years older. Just for the record, now.

Grant also told me, "Miss Ma is prettier than you but you're nicer than she is."

"Oh great, you're saying I have a great personality!" I said.

He consoled me by saying, "I want to marry her but I want to marry you more." When I told him that I couldn't marry him because I was already married to Daddy he flippantly said Buddy and I could get divorced.

Naturally I would never let Buddy go for anything in the world, and most definitely not for my son. But at the same time I find myself already resenting Miss Ma for stealing my little boy's heart from me. I will probably be a quintessential monster-in-law one day. Woe be to the little tramp that he one day brings home and introduces as his girlfriend.

I will tell her that the only reason he's not marrying me is because I was already married.