You probably noticed (or you didn’t, and you know what? I hate you, too) that I’ve been absent. I was pretty absent from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc for the duration of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. And? It was actually kind of lovely.
Friday morning, I got up at ASS-CRACK OF DAWN to get ready for the big day: submittal. I don’t talk about work and all that other crap that I always say, but the big project that’s been sucking me dry finally came to fruition on Friday morning, leaving our doorstep around 7:00 a.m., and it was glorious to have it gone. My boss and I sat there, proudly staring at these rather cold-looking boxes of paper and he said, “Well, Sarah, it’s like we’ve birthed a baby together.” I told him it was ALMOST as painful, but just to take my word that it wasn’t quite as fun as birthing a baby.
After a morning of hanging around with giddy people who are suddenly free from the shackles of our proposal center, I joined my husband for a lunch date in Florence, Alabama. I had never been to Florence, and he had some work stuff to do out there, so there we were. And we had, literally, the most disgusting and foul meal I’ve had in YEARS.
I wish I was exaggerating. But the vile nature of that meal seriously stuck with us all weekend, tweeking our tastebuds so that every bite thereafter was met with FEAR. So, so bad.
But still! I was out! In DAYLIGHT! I felt both exhilirated and nervous at the same time, as if I had suddenly forgotten how to be with other people. What do people TALK about in real life? We both just stared off into the distance over the other’s right shoulder and wondered about the tables around us. What are they talking about? Was their food this awful? Why is no one spontaneously vomiting right now?
Saturday was a gift of immeasurable proportions. The boys all rose in a great mood, and the weather — I shit you not — was a balmy 71°. Gorgeous streams of sunshine and a light breeze and suddenly, we were all STRIP YOUR CLOTHES OFF AND BRING OUT THE SUNTAN LOTION CAUSE IT’S OUTSIDE TIME! and we did just that, heading to our local mountain park for a picnic and a romp on the huge playfort up there.
It was also an odd thing for me to be home with the boys, both of whom seemed to have grown years in the short time I was working. Jack suddenly is .. well, there is another conversation entirely to be had about Jack, what with his sudden fascination of girls and his randomly baritone vocals. Tony’s vocabulary blossomed, and he stuck to me like glue all weekend, showering me with random kisses – both traditional and eskimo – and hugs to show me how missed I truly was.
At the playground, I had another Marlin moment as Tony begged over and over again to climb a ribcage-like ladder to the upper level of the playfort. I thought the rungs were spaced too far apart for him to traverse it safely and would find other ways to get there. (“See, Tony? Here’s some .. Adventure Stairs! See how adventuresome this wheelchair accessible ramp is?”) Finally, I realized I was all You think you can do these things, but you CAN’T, Nemo! and said, “Alright, Tone. You think you can climb it? Go ahead.” (As I nervously hovered, hands outstretched from a non-hovering distance.)(Okay, they were RIGHT UNDER HIM THE WHOLE TIME BECAUSE MY BABEH!)
This child, showing that he may have 99% of his father’s genes, got halfway up and said, “See, Momma? I TOLD YOU I CAN DO IT.” And he did. About six times, without needing assistance from me, ever. Although my heart caught in my throat every time. And, of course, the seventh time, I relaxed and kept a five foot distance from him. That’s when he misstepped, as if you didn’t see this coming, and caught his jaw on a rung on his way down.
Bleeding and shaken, I took him to a bench to clean him up. I swallowed my I told you so reaction (clearly, the 1% the child did get from me) and instead said, “I’m very proud of you for trying that, by the way. Very proud.”
He nodded, tears spilling over his chipmunk cheeks. “Stuff happens,” he said between sobs. Alright, 2% from me. He’s adopted my language skills as well.
“That’s right,” I said. “Stuff happens, but you tried. And I’m very proud of you.”
“I just need to do it,” he said, looking over his shoulder.
“.. what?” I asked. Oh, Jesus God, if he’s gotten this resillience from his father too, I swear I’ll..
“I need to do it again, Momma. I not fall this time.” Well, shit. CURSE YOU, BRYAN.
And he didn’t. He made it to the top not only that way, but many others. He played with kids twice his size, not realizing that they could be bullies or that they might push him down or at the very least play too rough. He came down slides that were entirely too fast and too curvy and he skitted down a rock-climbing wall that’s made for children at least three years older than himself.
As if we’re just shoving our kids down their childhood, Bryan had The Talk with Jack this weekend. Of course, we had some miscommunication (i.e. HE SAID HE ALREADY HAD THE TALK or something and I wasn’t listening but PROBABLY THE FORMER) about Jack already having had The Talk, so when Jack asked a question concerning maxi pads during America’s Funniest Home videos I answered him clinically and he looked confused and OH GOD, WHY AM I A STEPMOTHER? I GET IT ALL WRONG.
So Bryan and he had The Talk because I threatened Bryan within an inch of his life so there’s that and it’s done and I swear, I’m going to talk about ALL VAGINAS ALL THE TIME at our house now. I figure there is no method of birth control as compelling as always thinking about your stepmom when vaginas are present.