Rush Hour

This morning, when my husband was kind enough to drop me off at work since my car is having surgery, he got a little confused as I slid in between the dashboard and the passenger seat instead of getting out.

‘Oh baby, in front of our local PD?’ He joked, and I had to punch him in the shins.

‘Look in my bag, I think I have a spare bra in there.’

‘Why would you keep a spare bra in your b- You know what, I’m not going to ask.’

Here’s the answer to that question, though:

I need more hours in my mornings. Seriously. A lot more. At least one for each child, I’d say, plus a few extra minutes for the dogs.

This morning I had to take a shower with an audience, because Thing 1 decided she’d much rather enjoy a steam with mommy in the bathroom than sleep past 5.30am, while The Boy decided that this was an excellent time to get up and discuss some wardrobe choices with me. Which was fine, untill…

‘Ahw NO, don’t poop in here!’

… My dog decided she’d waited long enough and joined us in the bathroom, making her point by attempting to take a gigantic dump on the mat. My time was limited.

‘NO!’ I told her while toweling off so fast that I nearly set myself on fire. ‘WAIT!’

So I threw my clothes on and – well, I forgot to put on a bra.

Because these are our mornings when Max is coming of a 24-hour shift. It’s chaotic, loud, and apparently bra-less. Since it’s not the first time this has happened, and it probably won’t be the last, I keep a spare one in my bag just in case.

Which I then have to put on in the car right before I go into work, because that’s usually when I realize I’m feeling a little too free.

Trade, anyone?

The One Where History Doesn’t Repeat

When I was six years old, my father came home early one night and walked in on me having a tea party with my brothers. It was a royal affair, this one, organized by Yours Truly, the Royal King Your Highness the Third. During this event, peasants from the neighboring villages (four of my brothers who refused to bathe regularly) presented me with offerings such as candy necklaces and stuffed animals. It was up to my wife (my second oldest brother) to decide if their offerings were worth a cup of air.

To be or not to be worthy of tea; that was the question.

It was upon seeing his second oldest son with make-up on, and in a pink princess gown, that my father lost his shit. He yanked him up by the arm and nearly tore the dress off his skinny 9-year-old frame before practically drowning him in the sink as he made him wash the make-up off. The whole scene was tied in with a smack on the ear. Everyone was screaming at that point, me loudest of all.

‘You ruined it!’ I snot-cried, hurling gifts the peasants graced upon me at the ogre manhandling my wife. It earned me a smack on the bottom and a trip to bed without dinner.

Fast-forward twenty years, and I’m at our local pancake shack accompanied by my husband and two oldest children, celebrating a job well done. The Boy made it through his first ballet recital with minimal damage; only one child was accidentally elbowed in the face. He might have gone left where he should have gone right a couple of times, but considering he is seven years old it was all very high-five worthy.

All of us are plowing our way through a platter of pancakes when a woman in the booth next to ours leans across the aisle and practically into Max’s food.

‘Why is your son wearing make-up?’ She asks in a hushed tone that is still clearly audible to anyone and everyone. Heads pop up all around us, and The Boy practically buries his face in his food. My heart sinks.

‘Because he wants to.’ Max responds coldly, moving his plate away from her. It’s the only true answer – he wants to, and on special occasions (because I’m not a fan of make-up on any child), he gets to.

Just as he’s about to resume his dinner, the woman leans in even closer. ‘But he’s a boy,’ she hisses disapprovingly.

As I open my mouth to speak, Max turns towards her so fast that he knocks the hand she used to steady herself off our table. She has to grab his arm to keep from crashing to the ground.

‘Well no fucking shit, Sherlock. Get off me.’ He barks, literally shielding off his son with one arm. And then, in the same breath, to his children: ‘Don’t ever let me hear you talk to anyone like that, unless they’re really rude and disrespectful. Got it?’

Two children nod their head, and I grin into my napkin.

So here’s to you, potty mouth. Happy father’s day – we love you!

… And here’s to me, for not marrying my father.

And not a single fish was caught

Because my husband has to get up super duper early for work, he celebrates on Sundays by getting up even earlier to go fishing with his Dad. It’s a whole father-son bonding thing that I will probably never understand because

a. There are gators in the bayou, and
b. They stink when they get back

My son, however, got the appeal rather quickly when Max announced he wouldn’t be back in time for church.

‘Can I come?’ The Boy asked a millisecond after Max was done speaking.

‘That would be fun!’ My husband cheered.

That was Saturday.

On Sunday, Max learned once again that fun is a very relative term.

At 4am, he had a hard time getting his son out of bed. The Boy slept right through the car ride and dream-cursed at him when they had to hoist his comatose body onto the boat. By the time he fully woke up, they were in the middle of the swamp in pitch-black darkness. Naturally, he freaked out like only a 7-year-old can freak out and… fell overboard trying to run away.

They were home by 7am; one of them biting his lip and teary-eyed with the effort of holding back laughter, the other one sopping wet, hysterical and missing his left shoe.

I’ll let you figure out who was who.

 

What is broken can’t be reforged

At breakfast, my daughter announced that she no longer has fond feelings for my husband. I believe the word ‘hate’ was used, but since by that point she was in the midst of a double duck fit, one can’t be too sure.

The reason for all this? When she bit into her cracker, it broke in two. She then walked up to the counter with said ruined cracker and demanded a new one.

‘Forget it.’ Max said.

Cue pandemonium, and a bit of a power struggle.

Max: ‘Stop it. Eat your cracker.’
The Girl: ‘NO! IT’S GROSS!’
Max: ‘Eat. Your. Cracker.’
The Girl: ‘I WANT CEREAL!’
Max: ‘Nope.’
The Girl: *Incoherent screaming*
Max: *Unimpressed laughter*

She was losing, she knew it. I could tell by the way her eyes darted around the kitchen. Then, she tipped her plate and let her cracker pieces fall onto the floor.

Still unimpressed, my husband took a bite of his own delicious, unbroken cracker. He chewed, he swallowed, and they were staring each other down as he did. Then…

Max: ‘You’re still going to eat that cracker.’

And then more incoherent screaming and the recantation of love.

Kids, man. They bring such peace and serenity into your life.

She did, however, eat the cracker. Eventually.

 

 

Liquid Courage

envymeIt was money we didn’t have, but I spent it anyway; counting out handfuls of coins on a glass counter and receiving a small pink bottle in return. I had wandered into a perfumery tucked away in one of the city’s forgotten corners to escape the rain and fell in love with a scent. The woman behind the counter, she didn’t even blink when I emptied out my purse and revealed my share of the tip jar, handed to me by my boss only an hour before. Instead, she put her hand over mine when my coins didn’t even add up to half the price yet, and insisted on gift wrapping my treasure in delicate, gold-striped foil. I chose to give her a genuine smile and a thank you, accepting her act of kindness and refusing to feel embarrassed.

It smells like bravery, I had laughed when she asked me if I liked it, because to me it did. This fragrance, it made me feel like a million dollars. Bold, and sexy. Confident. I could fake it like any nineteen year old girl could and wear it on my skin, but this scent… It made it sink in deeper.

When I made it home to him at a whisper to twilight, I woke him up from some much needed sleep with kisses and wandering hands, coaxing until he was heavy on top of me and trembling with the effort of holding back. I want to try again, I whispered when he was fully awake, and he kissed me.

I was still scared it would hurt too much, just like it hurt too much the last time. And the time before that. And the two years before that. And yet this time the fear didn’t cancel out my desire to get caught underneath him, to feel his weight pressing me down. I wanted to hear his breath catch in his throat and feel his mouth stain his desire all the way down my stomach and back up again. Yes, I was scared. But you can’t be brave without being scared.

Fast forward about seven years. I haven’t smelled that perfume in years, until today. As we wander around our local department store to kill some time before our therapy session, I spot the pink bottle – my liquid bravery. Smiling slightly, I spray a bit on my wrist and let it air for a bit before holding it under his nose. His grin his instant, genuine and Cheshire-like.

And I feel brave all over again.

All is well that ends well?

At midnight, 2013 blew up with a bang and bled colorfully into the night. Max held my hand firmly in his, rubbing his thumb over mine as I leaned my head against his strong shoulder. We watched the fireworks with smiling faces, and I thought about endings.

Everyone tells you about first impressions; your parents, your friends, your teachers. You should look your best. Be polite. Be kind. Be warm. Be welcoming.

But what about last impressions? Because I was standing there with my head on my husband’s shoulder saying bye, 2013, you’ve been good to us and my husband gave me that look. The one that translates to do you hear yourself right now?

I heard myself right then. And I realized it hadn’t been good to us at all. If anything, it had been extremely cruel. We lost one of our dearest friends to a heartbreaking disease, and spent the larger part of 2013 helping his children grieve while we worked through our own loss. Badly. Him and I, we split right down the middle and the blow knocked us in opposite directions. For the first time in nine years, we had to take a break. Take a breather. Go to counseling to learn how to fight right. Fight fair. Then, without warning, I was pregnant. And then, with even less warning, I miscarried. Go directly to jail; do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars.

2013. It sucked. But the ending, it had tricked me into believing it had only meant well. Because the ending had looked its best; him with his weekend bag on our front porch, ready to come home. It gave us a polite smile as we dug through the wreckage that was our marriage. It was kind to us by granting us a last-minute trip to Africa. It warmed us by a fire at Christmas, surrounded by our loved ones. And ultimately, we felt welcome once more whenever we walked through the front door of our own home.

Endings can be deceiving, tainting your perception of all that came before. If you let them, the endings can start defining the ‘whole’.

I have yet to decide if this is a good thing or a bad one.

Hellos and Introductions

I do realize most (if not all) of you followed me here from my former blogging home, but just in case I have new readers stumbling around; Hi, you can call me Rory! It’s not my real name, but a recycled pseudonym I still feel very attached to. So instead of coming up with a random new one, I decided to dig this one out of the trash. If you are one of the lucky bastards that does know my real name, I would very much appreciate it if you respected my privacy on here.

I’m a 25-year-old former military brat and married to a marine-gone-firefighter/paramedic who’s also a former military brat. Let’s call him Max. We’ve been together since 2005, married since 2012 and will be celebrating both our 9th and 2nd anniversary this year. You know, just for kicks.

Together we parent four children, two of which I gave birth to (at the same time) and two of which I did not. Because my life is filled with irony, the only kids that look even remotely like both Max and myself are the ones that aren’t biologically ours. The Twins are 15 months old, The Girl is 4 and The Boy is 7. People frequently assume that I am the babysitter or that I simply don’t understand how condoms work. I’m cool with that.

As for this blog, it’ll be nothing more than a glorified online journal. I mostly write about life, love and everything that comes with it, but would never in a million years call myself a writer. I’m a journaler, and always will be. Because Max frequently comes home from work with some fantastic stories, he might drop a post here and there as well.

If you followed me here, please drop me a line in the comments to let me know you’re here!

(Love),

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