Archive for the ‘Why – yes it *IS* all about me!’ Category

Quick, cozy check-in.

October 10, 2017

I’ve been away. But this morning the temps were in the upper 50s when we woke up and today might only hit 70, and you guys – this counts as Fall down here in hell Tejas!

So I was cozying up to my blanket this morning, snuggling down deep and seriously glaring at my alarm clock because it was a giant. liar. Then I made out with my corduroy pants because I’ve missed them this summer. I put on a long sleeve shirt and yelled at the girls to do the same – or at least grab a sweater – and off into the cool air we went. I know I say jammin’ in the car is always better when it’s warm outside, but we (er, um, I) didn’t have any problems singing along this morning!

So, yes, I’m still alive. We were sweltering under the heat we’ve been having, but I’m hoping this cold front will kick-start my writing. Er, well, I should say my blogging. I’ve been writing up a storm for other writing gigs I’ve gotten lately and that experience has been incredible. It jumpstarted my mood and really helped pull off the gauzy layers of my depression. I don’t know where I summoned the courage to reach for the opportunities, but I’m glad I did. I wish I could do that for all of my friends in similar situations.

For now, I’ll take it. Cool temps for a day, maybe two. Writing away for someone, even if it isn’t here. (Sorry, all.) Reading fanatically, like someone’s going to tell me I can’t anymore. It’s a pretty good place to be, and I’m thankful in the moment each and every hour.

Happy Tuesday, guys. I hope your day is as much of a gift for you as mine is.


New kind of joy.

September 20, 2017

I have this tiny little joy that is sitting in my pocket. It’s cool to the touch and sparkly in the sunshine whenever I take it out to stare at it, to make sure it’s really there…which I have to admit is often. That’s what happens when you’ve had a time of it lately. Something good happens, and you find yourself staring it down. Baffled. Amazed. Joyful.

A lot of hard work has gone into this joyful, happy thing. Honey, don’t even let me hear you say the words “passive tense.” It’s not like kerplunk! Oh, heeeey! Happy fell from the sky and knocked me over the head! I put in a lot of time, looking for just the right spot to stand in. I worked hard on building the right type of lens. When the politics in this country got crazy, and I needed to grieve, I went down hard. I let myself feel my knees and hands prickle where I fell. I let the torpor of the next few months linger. Fighting it off too soon was only going to backfire.

And then, when it was time, I started dusting myself off.

I felt joy in reading again. I wasn’t just adding books to my To Read list; I was crossing off titles and penning reviews. I wrote thinkpieces and journaled and blogged and doodled crafts that ended badly. I sketched pieces that turned out okay, too. I wrote and I read, and I read and I wrote, and by the end of it, I felt like I was the Big Bad Wolf in reverse. Instead of tearing down the sticks and haystacks of everyone around me, I wrote and read myself back into existence.

To quote an old Latin teacher I had in high school, I was happy in my hut. I was happy in a hut of my own making, again.

My tiny little paper hut won’t stay standing without a lot of work. Joy takes a lot of time and energy. But my god it will be worth it, all of these new adventures. They’ll be the interesting parts of the memoirs. Because, hey did you hear – I’m writing again.

What you do when you don’t want today to be today.

September 11, 2017

I am going to have a lot of feels today. Sixteen years worth of feels. Also: I have friends and family who were in Irma’s path who sheltered in place and now aren’t checking in.


I did things. I did lots of things yesterday to try to take my mind off of today.

I made last-minute fudge with my daughter because why the heck not?! Who cares that it’s twenty minutes til bedtime. We. wanted. fudge.

I was a little worried that Bee would expect to be able to have some tonight, but there was no way it would set in time. Her sister wandered through the kitchen when we were almost done, and was all “FUDGE?!!…?” and Bee was all “Yeah, but it won’t be ready til tomorrow.” So that took care of that. And then Gracie left and I gave Bee the pan and the spatula to lick clean. And we were happy and not thinking of today.

I rearranged letters in Target:


Because I will go see this movie, even if I will have nightmares for weeks. It looks amazing, even if they weren’t completely faithful to the book. Somehow marquee letters makes IT seem a lot less nightmarish. And IT certainly distracts me, at least for a little bit, from thinking of today.

There was a mandatory clean-up of Miss Bee’s room, too. I made the mistake of looking in her room after she got home from her dad’s house. Then Bee took it to a new level and cleaned-out and re-organized her closet so it could be more like her friend N’s:


A squishy, laughy (not so) little girl sitting on some pillows in her new closet fort? That definitely makes my heart swell and keeps me from thinking of today.

I tried to fill my night last night with happy things. I tried to remind myself that today would hurt, but the hurt would pass. I can both remember and be okay. Being okay does not betray those who died on 9/11, and those who responded. Because I know I’m going to think of reporters breaking down on-air because of the enormity of what happened. I know I will think of people jumping from high rises because actively killing yourself was better than staying and burning alive. I will think about the firefighters and other first responders – hell, ordinary people even – who went up the Towers, trying to help people.

No matter what I do, I’ll still think about it. I’ll remember.

I heard from my friend just now. The one hit by Irma. He and his are okay. The house isn’t, but they survived. Which is great because I also took this pic this morning:

And sunrises are kind of our thing.


However you have to do it, I hope everyone can be okay today. Be well. Even today.

Five for Friday.

September 8, 2017

You know when you body is tired and doesn’t want to write, but the words are all jumpy and skittery under your skin, and so you do want to write at the same time? Me. Me right now. Thank the sweet heavens Five for Fridays have always felt like satisfying both of those needs.

1 Yeah, yeah, yeah – we lost. I’m sad, but you know – we were being a bit smarmy, which “bit” equals “all of the.” Maybe now that we don’t have “19-0” hanging over our heads, we can embrace the role of the underdog and get down to some real football. I have my Pats tee on today even though everyone is going to rub it in all day. Let ’em.

2 One of my favorite cousins is getting married this weekend and I have to miss it, even though I spent money I didn’t really have to get some tix. Kidney stones LOVE me. And flying doesn’t love kidney stones. Damnitcakes. I was going to have to whirl out of town after work, get in at midnight, wedding away the day (complete with drinking, wedding bingo, all the pranks [behind the aunties’ backs], and all manner of fun and no good), crash with my sisters at another cousin’s place, and then all pile together to go see IT in the theater before flying into town, just in time to go back to work. I know I could have it a lot worse than kidney stones but GOOD GRIEF. I’m thankful I always buy flight insurance, because I’ll get to keep the credit, and I know waiting on hold for hours because of Irma and everything could be worse if I was more tangled up in Irma, but still – not my favorite way to be spending the day.

3 Speaking of Irma, I am very glad it’s not targeting Houston or the Texas coast, but explain again why it couldn’t miraculously just dissipate? If it hits Miami head on – you guys, that will not be good. So, kidney stone or no kidney stone, I’ll be working for most of the weekend. I have packets of information already put together, I’ve created an email chock-a-block stuffed with links to real-time traffic, evacuation routes, shelter locations, and the like. Our phone banks are ready. And I’m while sleeping in this weekend and taking it easy might have been nice, the overtime will help. Also, let’s face it – disaster prep is one of my superpowers. I was going to be tracking the storm’s impact whether I was getting paid for it or not. I have friends and family on both coasts of Florida (Fort Myers and Orlando), throughout Georgia, and in Charleston, South Carolina. I can’t wish Irma to lean in one direction or another because my people get whacked either way. Unless the storm moves backwards! That wouldn’t be good news for the places that have already been devastated. God, why aren’t there any good answers here?!

4 I may or may not be hosting teen-a-palooza at my house this weekend. It’s my “off” weekend, so I was kind of thrown when Gracie asked if she could have some friends over. I reminded her she was at her dad’s house, but told her she could host a get-together or sleepover at my house, if she got permission from her dad. And if it was a sleepover, she needed to make sure he was okay with her missing church. I don’t know why she couldn’t just have everyone at her dad’s – she said it’s because his rules for cleaning the house when friends are over are too strict, but I think she wanted space from her sister and niece. Coming from a big, boisterous family myself, I get that. The love and the laughter and the warm fuzzies – that’s all great! But every once in awhile, you need a step back, away from the chaos. I get it. It’ll be quiet at my house, for sure. I just don’t have many snacks, unless they want to descend upon Target with me. Now that would make for some great pictures!

5 My reading has gotten back on track! Nothing hurts my heart so much as when I hit a reading slump. And while the books I’ve come across haven’t been homeruns, at least I’m still excited at the possibility at finding my Next Favorite Read every time I crack a spine. I’ve had several disappointing “scary” thriller reads for RIP XII, and a few disappointing rom-com type YA reads. Right now, I’m in the middle of Listen, Slowly, by Thanhha Lai, about a sarcastic and reluctant 13-year-old girl forced to accompany her grandmother back to Vietnam to make peace with the long-passed death of her grandfather. It’s good, but not a story I’m itching to fall back into when I’ve been away. I should finish it tonight, giving me another checkmark for my tally. My goal for the month is 30 books, and I’m already 9 in – that’s one ahead of schedule. There’s no way I’m going to hit my goal for the year, but I’m not feeling near as hopeless as I did this past spring when my reading motivation (and Trump depression) was at an all-time low. So there’s that to be thankful for!

With that, I hope you all have a nice, relaxing weekend. Do something good for the world if you can. And friends who are in the path of Irma – be safe. We’re all with you, even when we seem to be focusing on trivial little nothings, our thoughts, our worry, and our hearts are with you all the way. Be safe!

No rest for the weary.

September 5, 2017

Everyone who has so much as said hello to me – ever – knows I struggle with anxiety. It’s been a long week, week and a half. I suspected before Hurricane Harvey hit that it was probably going to stall and inundate southeastern Texas (or maybe I just worried that it would, like Tropical Storm Allison a dozen years ago), but I wasn’t sure if it was going to affect us much.

So I stocked up on batteries, flashlights, water, and non-perishables like chocolate and peanut butter. Oh! And wine. Lots of wine.

And then we got maybe a few hours’ worth of rain. I felt silly.

Then the “gas crisis” hit and I was glad I had filled up my tanks. Houston is big, big into oil and even though we get some of our fuel from Oklahoma, we definitely felt the pinch. Not only did gas prices jump from $2.10/gallon to $2.79/gallon overnight, but everyone panicked. Lines were 20 cars deep at their shortest, and two miles long in other places. And I’m not just talking at the popular places to fill up – I mean everywhere. The metroplex has gas stations about every block or so, and every single one was jam-packed. Traffic was snarled. I’m surprised people didn’t get shot! It was truly insane.

And so of course I worried about that, too. What if the panic didn’t sort itself out and there really was a shortage? I made plans to go at midnight and hope stations hadn’t run out (that was happening all over the place, too), which maybe wasn’t the safest idea, but I wasn’t really interested in waiting in a 90-minute line. Would we be able to make another grocery run if gas got low? Two miles is a long way to carry back bags of groceries. Would work be understanding about shifting coverage? Would we still get paid if we had to create an alternative schedule? Even if it didn’t, did I have the right to worry over such things when Houstonians had so much more to worry over? They had lines ten times worse for gas AND food AND water AND clothing AND basic necessities… What in the world was wrong with me?!

Of course since I poured my sweat and anxiety into worrying over the problem, the gas “crisis” sorted itself out in a couple days.

And now I have a new problem to worry over.

Hurricane Irma won’t go away. She worked herself into a Category 3 hurricane, practically overnight, a few days ago. Models had her flipping up the Atlantic side of Florida, but I kept my eye on her. Sure enough, Irma kept on barreling towards us. I’m thrilled for that side of Florida, truly, but Irma skirting between Miami and Cuba isn’t really high up on the list of things that will calm me down. 175 mph sustained winds headed towards Houston? SURE, WHY NOT?! Let’s play chicken! (Dear Weather Gods: that was sarcasm.)(And mild panic.) I know DFW is hours inland. So far inland that they evacuated the NICU babies from area-hospitals to my neighborhood before Hurricane Harvey. That was reassuring, believe it or not. And I know we have a cold front headed our way that is supposed to help shove Irma elsewhere. And it’s not like I want Irma to hit anyone – really, I’d like the whole thing to just go poof!

I just can’t with all this (self-created) stress and anxiety. There aren’t enough coloring books in the world to keep my blood pressure in the green this week.

So! Keep your fingers crossed that my selfish, ridiculous self makes it through this week in one piece, pretty please. And if you have any elephant tranquilizers, I’d be much obliged if you could send them my way. …Maybe priority mail. Heh.


August 8, 2017

1,000 emails of work on the wall,

1,000 emails of work!

Take one down,

pass it around…

999 emails of work on the wall.

Okay, yeah, not quite how the song goes, but I think I might have something there. It goes very nicely with the case of very itchy, very wheezy hives that suffocated me last night and nearly sent me to the emergency room. I was hoping those, at least, would be gone by morning, but not so much luck.

But it’s okay. The day will pass one way or another. So! Ready or not, here I go! Vacation stories will wait for a bit. They’ll be a good reward for making it through this day.

Supermama mode is exhausting!

July 24, 2017

The poor girls and I didn’t get much of a weekend. I mean, it was AWESOME, because we were in PACK EVERYTHING! mode. But you know what? Packing is exhausting!

We spent Friday night picking out clothes and getting that mostly situated. It also involved about 193 loads of laundry. Clothes, towels, bedsheets, blankets – I want everything clean, clean, clean when I come home!

Saturday while Bee-girl was picking up the mess of toys in the front room that I’ve let her ignore for three week…ahem…Gracie and I went to the store to get a toilet kit. The guts had stopped working and the toilet wouldn’t shut off after it filled with water. The water just constantly trickled down the overflow pipe. Unless you held the weight above the water for about five minutes to trick it, and then it would shut off. I was so sick of doing that, I had handed the job to Gracie. Gracie was beyond sick of it, and both kids were tired of ignoring their toilet and using mine (unless there were guests over)(uh, besides Gracie’s bestie Em who might as well be my third daughter), so it was beyond time to just get that toilet fixed.

We went to Home Depot, with Gracie mutter under her breath the entire time that she was busy and she didn’t want to fix a toilet and blah blah blah. She listened to the man explain to me that I probably just needed this $3 piece to replace in the top of thing inside, and assured me that I had picked out the correct mechanism if I needed to replace the entire thing. The mechanism was only $7, so I got them both and figured I’d return whatever one I didn’t need. Since Gracie did such a good job listening to the guy (this will matter when she has her own toilets and has to fix them – she thinks she’s not retaining anything, but she is!), so I bought her a brat from the Hot Dog Guy on the way out. The way to bribe Gracie to do anything is with food!

Now that we had a happy Gracie, she was very helpful in helping me drain the toilet tank and fetching dry rags to catch any drips and run off. She learned how to shut off the water to the toilet (and I told her where the water to the house was, just in case), how to unscrew the guts’ master screw under the tank and the seal inside the tank. And then she learned how to put a new one in, working backwards from all the steps we had employed. She even spotted my mistake when I accidentally connected the water tubing to spray into the overflow pipe instead of the toilet tank. “See?” I told her. “You are going to be so happy later when you have a toilet issue and you know how to fix it.” Gracie just rolled her eyes.

So it was a luxury to use the girls’ bathroom once again, and while Gracie was cleaning that mess up, I was fixing something else. I mean, hey – if we’re cleaning so we can come home from vacation to a clean house, we might as well make it a working and functional one, too, right?

That’s why there were boxes of sandwich bags and saran wrap and tin foil and waxed paper scattered all over the floor in the corner of the kitchen. The drawer that holds clips and elastics, pens and scissors, playing cards – it’s not a junk drawer, because everything in there is a thing of necessity! – and the drawer was off the track.

It’s happened before. the track attaches to a flimsy white bracket, which has broken a couple times. I nail in something in a different one of the holes, secure it to the wood, and we’re good to go again. So I had a nail, a hammer, and I had smooshed myself into the cabinet, head, shoulders, boobs, and all.

That drawer did not want to attach.

Seven nails, the bruised feelings of one 11-year-old, eleventy new curse-words, and I don’t know HOW I kept dropping the nails just before they caught and held up on their own, but I did! It’s because I have my own special brand of awesome. Eventually, after my entire upper body had disappeared into the cabinet, I somehow got the nail in. The drawer doesn’t open and close perfectly, but it’s good enough for me!

Then, because mama wasn’t done getting the house in ship-shape and Bristol fashion, we tackled smoke detector batters. ALWAYS CHANGE YOUR SMOKE ALARM BATTERIES TWICE A YEAR! New Year’s Day and 4th of July is how I remember. And I’m a little late, but don’t tell!

It was easy enough: I grabbed the ladder and a new pack of 9volt batteries (it’s important to have a new package to ensure the batteries aren’t run down at all), and I dragged that ladder all over the house, swapping out batteries and hoping we didn’t get that quick “BEEP!” right after, meaning either the battery was bad, or I had goobered something up. Mostly it went just fine. In less than an hour, I had fresh batteries in all of my smoke detectors and that means: peace of mind.

So I slayed toilet monsters, drawer dragons, battery ding-a-lings, and…the mall?

Yes, The Mall. Because Gracie owns only one pair of sweatpants and has outgrown all of her long-sleeved shirts. So we stopped by Old Navy (conveniently next to the library so we could return our books), and then walked half the mall. Bee-girl was amazingly patient and helped keep up the goofy mischief. I wouldn’t survive a mall trip without it.

We didn’t find any long-sleeve shirts, but Gracie girl did find a cute hoodie and sweatpants combo for the plane. The hoodie was really good quality, too. And PINK! Gracie-girl never wears pink! Well…unless its emblazoned with the word PINK somewhere on the front. So that felt like a triple win!  Gracie will just have to shop for her long-sleeve shirts from my closet.

Or not. Because I’ve lost three of my favorite tshirts that way. And no amount of dragon-slayin’ tactics is going to work getting those back – once my girlie has ’em? THEY GONE.

[Shhh….Don’t tell Gracie, but…. I love when she shops my closet and steals my clothes. Not just that we’re close enough in sizes, and fashion taste, but because…well, it just makes me feel close to her. I love the idea of sharing clothes with my daughter. It’s peak!]

And that was that! Nothing tops that. A productive weekend, but one with still SO MUCH to do!


July 12, 2017

“Why are you smiling?” Gracie asked. Barely asked – it was very early this morning and we were driving from our house to her dad’s, so I could drop them off before I continued on to work. Verrrrry early for smiling.

“Because I was thinking of how my hands just moved on the steering wheel, and how it was like I just handed someone some toll money. And how very soon I will be home and my sisters and I will over such silly things as tolls.” [But not in Mass – they just did away with human toll takers.]

It’s true. We’ll laugh about the silliest things. Me and Kim and Rhi and the girls and Liza and Hillary and everyone else. At godawfulearly in the morning and hilariouslylate at night.

Sixteen more sleeps!

It’s going to be a very long month.

July 11, 2017

It’s only been three days. Wait, no – scratch that. Two days. I saw the girls the day before yesterday. But two days feels like three days; it feels a long longer than even “just” three! The girls are spending their month of summer visitation with their dad, and it feels like an eternity.

When the girls were little – those late toddler years and early school years – July was a much needed respite from broken nights of sleep and exhausted late evening hours filled with whining and bickering. I could sleep in sometimes as much as 45 whole minutes on work mornings if I didn’t need to drop the girls off at daycare, or, later, twenty minutes if I didn’t need to drop them off at Stepmom’s. I could spend evenings hanging at Crisanna’s pool, or on my own patio in a lounge chair reading a book. I could cook grown-up meals with herb-crusted chicken and asparagus or mac&cheese that didn’t involve shapes. It was a delirious month-long staycation, even though there was still work and responsibility. I still got to see Bee and Gracie for dinner two nights a week, and I still got to keep my weekends, and that was just enough time to enjoy fun summer activities, but take a break from each other so we could leap into each others’ arms and finish off the summer with gusto and renewed appreciation for one another’s company. And that’s just how it worked out.

But then this thing happened when my daughters morphed from little kids with all the trappings of early childhood (tantrums, stubbornness, grouchies, minds of their own, the Up And Down Bedtime Brigade, , vivid imaginations in the middle of the night, picky appetites…) into imaginative and delightful kids in the thick of middle childhood, and then Young Adults and burgeoning Actual People who I would be honored to call my friends. Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m their mama, not their friend. I am not afraid to pull rank or put my foot down. I set the rules, and I expect them to be followed. Without fail. There are consequences for rule-breakage. And there are rewards when toes stay on the right side of the line. And for the most part, that’s how it goes, generally. I have good kids. Kids I enjoy spending time with. Kids I like watching – and discussing – movies with, or participating in readathons with, or going adventuring with. It’s fun! It’s not fun all the time, but enough of the times.

Enough of the time for me to feel it keenly this year. More this year than other years. Because my house is really empty this year. This year there is no boyfriend or boyfriend’s extremely willful kindergardner-who-acts-like-a-toddler. This year there is no puppy-dog to hang out with, or cuddle with, or talk to, or go on runs with. It was more than two years ago when I picked out the boyfriend, and more than three years ago when I adopted the puppy-dog, and that long ago the girls were still in the blossoming stages of middle childhood. Young enough that I still needed the break. Long enough ago that things were different.

And so July is passing by turtle slow. There are 90 minutes left before I’ll see the girls again and enjoy my mid-week sleepover. A week-and-a-half before my next weekend with them. Seventeen more sleeps before vacation. And after vacation, July will be over and I will have survived it for one more year! And, if my memory serves, almost immediately after that, there will some sort of incident that comes with an inevitable rock re-entry that will make me wish we were still back in July.

But that, like July, will pass. My girls will be home and all will be well.

All will be well, all will be well, and all manner of things will be well.

Or, so I’ve been told.

5 for Friday.

June 16, 2017

Itttttt’s Friday!

Hunh. I thought just saying that would make streamers and balloons fly up everyone’s screens like on Facebook when you get a little reaction tornado.

Oh, well. Just being Friday is good enough. So what do we have going on today? Let’s see.

1. We had another incredibly fun week at Casa de Katie! Last weekend we went to the pool with one of Bee’s friends and Gracie and I sat and played Magic: The Gathering for a few hours, then we went swimming for an hour, and then the four of us cleaned out The Snack Shack of all the food. ALL of it. (Swimming is hungry work!) We were there probably half the day. It’s always fun being able to grab friends last minute and go do fun things!

2. Gracie and I have been Magicking up a storm. I ordered about 6,000 (not really) basic lands for only $10 so we can have actual multiple decks going. And Bee has started showing an interest, too, so we can all play. It’s funny – it went from Bee not-watching as we played and watched West Wing to Bee asking questions about what and why we were doing, and then Bee asking if she could be on my “team”, to holding my hand and helping me make decisions, to me being totally superfluous! And because she’s Bee, I let her.

3. I also ordered a box of baseball card sleeves so I could organize our Magic cards in binders, by color, and then by spell type. (Just like the old days!) While I was organizing them, I sat and watching the documentary “Tower”, directed by Keith Maitland, on Netflix. It’s based on the Pamela Colloff article “96 Minutes” about the 1966 shootings on the University of Texas campus, where a lunatic sniped at people from the clock tower. The film was mesmerizing and terrible, and I’ve never consciously felt so pulled in by direction choices as I sat and watched a movie – Maitland chose to tell the story in an animated format (think the kind of animation style they used to tell the story of the three brothers in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows). He said animation allowed him to tell the story with so much more intimacy, and he was successful – I used the terms “mesmerizing” and “terrible” for a reason! In any case, it was very well done and I recommend it if you have an interest in true crime. The film is short, just 82 minutes, but it will feel much shorter.

4. On a much less morose note, I get to introduce Gracie’s friend Em to Bahama Mama Bucks today! Em got to come over and spend the night last night (and we had a wonderful conversation, the three of us, about boys and growing up and drinking and drugs and what junior high is like – I have great confidence that our girls are making good choices and growing up the way we want them to) and we watched Twister and somehow got on the topic of Bahama Mama’s. I think because we got Em from her dad’s house, which is almost all the way over by my work. And I told the girls that to get everyone back where they belong today – it’s everyone’s weekends at their dads’ – I would bring Em back to her dad’s house after work and then drop Gracie and Bee off at their dad’s house on the way back. And I was thinking about stopping at Bahama Mama’s and Em casually mentioned she hadn’t ever been. Well! Gracie and I maybe lost our shit and screeched and screamed and shouted and were generally ecstatic because we get to introduce Em to the deliciousness that is Bahama Mama’s. So! for the rest of today I will be drooling over their menu, changing the flavor of my snow cone from one kind of red to another!

5. The week hasn’t been without drama. (That would be too much to ask for, wouldn’t it?) On Wednesday night – late Wednesday night – Bee’s friend Tammy invited Bee to spend Thursday with her. Her mama had the day off and was going to take Tammy and her cousins and her aunt out and about and have a fun day, and Tammy got to pick a friend to come along. I talked to Tammy’s mom (who is a dear heart – I got a giant hug at Bee’s party when she dropped T off and she just seemed like our kind of people) and it all sounded good. They were going to the Mint, and then to the arcades, and maybe to Tammy’s aunt’s apartment to go swimming in their pool. All Bee would need was money for the gift shop at the Mint, and a bathing suit in case they went swimming. I loaded Bee up and off they went! Tammy’s mom asked what time she needed to be back, and I said 8:30. I know they were planning on stuffing a lot into the day, but that would give me time to get Bee wound back down before bed, and hey – I still had work the next morning! I couldn’t sleep in like the kids! Keep in mind I had this conversation at lunch time when she was picking the kids up. So Bee went off with her friend, Gracie went to Top Golf with her step-sister and niece, and I was monitoring everything from work. Gracie missed curfew coming home and I was annoyed about that (see: teaching lessons about time management), but that kind of got lost in the shuffle of the drama around Bee. Tammy’s mom called to ask (and Bee texted to ask too) if Bee could stay out until 9 because they were headed to go swim and they wanted to stay at least an hour. It was against my judgement because I knew they were going to be late if they hadn’t even hit the pool yet, but I said yes. I don’t do well with peer pressure when it comes to Bee and her friends. She didn’t make her group of really good friends until much later in elementary school and so I feel like the kid is playing catch up and I need to do my part. So I said yes. And sure enough, ten minutes before she was supposed to be home, she texted to say she was leaving. And then Tammy’s mom called to say she knew they were going to be late, but could they stop for a pizza on the way to put some food in the kids bellies after swimming. Uh – no!!!!! I told her again that I really had to get into bed, because I had to go into work early, and she could stop for pizza after she dropped off Bee. Bee would live with cereal or a sandwich from home. I know Tammy’s mom was taken aback by my answer, but I was taken aback by how cavalier she was with my curfew, especially since it was the first time she took my kid out. Bee walked in the door 30+ minutes late. She had a blast and kept telling me about all the fun things, but she knew that she wasn’t gonna get to do them again. Tammy is more than welcome to come with us anywhere we go – but no more weekday wanderings for Bee and Tammy’s mama. That’s an important lesson to learn too.

Wow, that was a lot longer than I meant for it to be! Sometimes a story just spills out, once you start writing the words on the page. I hope you all have fun stories to live out this weekend! I can’t wait to hear all about them, come Monday!