June 23, 2014

The Dating Game

Sassy doesn't have her own phone. According to her, she is the only person her age who doesn't have one, but we still aren't giving in. However, she does have friends she would like to talk to sometimes and so I've let her give out my number before so they can call and text on my phone. Apparently I should have been more specific as to how and to whom she gives my number to.

Yesterday, I received a "hey" text from a number I didn't recognize. Those are generally from Sassy's friends as they only communicate in one word phrases:
"Hi"
"S'up"
"Nuthin'"
"K"
"You?"
"Same"
"Cool"
But since I didn't know who it was, I didn't respond. At least, not until I'd received 12 "hey"s. Then I got a little annoyed. So I answered...

I saved the number in my phone as "Markus", but according to Sassy, she doesn't know a Markus. She does know a Shemarcus but she says she's never given him our number--and they aren't currently friends. She also claims to not have a boyfriend but that could be more from self-preservation and not wanting to see mom flip her lid than the actual truth. Either way, I do not handle the idea of my not-yet-teenage daughter having a boyfriend so well. The conversation continued...

I ignored the fact that he used the wrong spelling of "allowed" since he's probably only 11 (even though my daughter can spell it just fine) and focused on the fact that he doesn't seem to have a problem with 11 year olds dating. I know dating at that age means something completely different than dating at 17 or 21, but I still have a problem with it. In fact, at this point I was now picturing some miniature, mack daddy-wannabe showing up at my house on his Huffy and offering to give Sassy a ride on his handlebars.

You're willing to wait? Yes, Sassy is absolutely worth waiting for but she's not allowed to date until she's older...MUCH older. You're going to wait a few years? What kind of stalker are you? And what exactly is it you think you are waiting for? At this point, according to MC, I went a little TOO Mama Bear...

After I explained that Sassy says she doesn't know a Markus and asked his last name, he informed me that his "common" name (his quotations, not mine) is Mark. Sassy was even more lost when I asked if she knew anyone named Mark. And so I asked again for his last name.

Haven't heard back from him since.

I'm really hoping this was just someone messing with me. Otherwise I have to keep my eye out for the little lothario who has turned me into a rabid wolverine protecting her young while MC tries to reign me in. What will I do during the teenage years???




June 16, 2014

Dear Daddy

I realize it's the day AFTER Father's Day, but is there ever a bad time to praise your daddy?

I'm not close enough to hug on my dad on Father's Day, too far away to enjoy a nice dinner with him or offer him a present, and he will never be on Facebook, but what I can do is share with everyone all that he's done for me as I've grown up.

There's something different about fathers and daughters. As a little girl I loved my daddy and wanted to grow up to marry him. I grew up with 2 sisters so that means my dad--the man who lives for hot rods, racing, and rock'n'roll music--was surrounded by females. He was never a have-a-fake-tea-party-with-the-girls kind of guy (although he's mellowed out quite a bit with age and grandkids), but there was never any doubt that he loved us.

Some of my best memories of my dad are the two of us curling up in his puke green vinyl recliner to watch Star Trek, Kung Fu, or Mutual of Omaha's Animal Kingdom together. I would sit through the most mind-numbing shows or watch animals being slaughtered and eaten on the Savannah because it meant I got to snuggle with my daddy. Sometimes us girls would pull out the sleeping bag and he would let us take turns sitting on it while he pulled us around the house for a crazed, bouncing off the walls roller coaster ride.

My dad always made sure there was plenty of room in the animal graveyard for our deceased pets (and there were plenty). He gave us rides on his scooter that, to us, felt like a daring motorcycle ride. He never failed to try to cheer us up when we were crying over the latest break-up--no matter how awkward that may have been. Because he worked at home, he was the one we called to pick us up from school when we were sick, bring us lunch money, or even bring up an emergency stash of "girl supplies" when we weren't prepared. He's the kind of guy that will give you backhanded compliments that you just accept in the way they were meant because you know that his heart was in the right place.

One year on Valentine's Day, my dad brought me and my younger sister (my older sister was already out of the house) a plastic heart-shaped box filled with tiny, heart-shaped Red Hots. I can't stand cinnamon candies but that remains in my list of Top 10 gifts I've received because it was a Valentine from my daddy. I actually pick up a present for CJ to present to Sassy on Valentine's Day each year because of how special that one little box of candy meant to me. It was probably just a spur of the moment purchase he picked up from the gas station, but to his daughter it meant the world.

My dad has always been fun, from his loud rock music and love of dancing, to his race car and much younger friends. But I think the one thing that has always stood out more than anything else is how much he loves his family. My dad taught us at a young age that nothing was more important, that nothing should ever come before family. And while he did give us speeches that said the same thing, I learned more from his actions, his willingness to do whatever it took to take care of his wife and daughters than anything else. He would give you the shirt off his back and then offer his pants as well if that shirt wasn't enough.

It's hard to be so far away, to not be close enough to tickle his feet or kiss his stubbled cheek, but if there's one thing I've learned it's that if I ever need my daddy for anything, he'll always be there--no matter how far apart we are.

June 5, 2014

Last, But Not Least

MC and I are going to camp on Sunday and we are excited. It's a camp for Middle School and High School kids at church so we got Howdy and Bubba signed up. We were asked to be teachers/chaperones and we agreed as long as Sassy could go with us. Now we have our family vacation for the year planned and we didn't even have to take care of transportation, housing, or food! Nice!

We had a last minute meeting last night with the youth ministers, interns, and camp crew to go over all the particulars. Very productive. As we were winding down, the high school youth minister--"A"-- said he needed to get home so he can pack. My first thought was, "We're heading off to camp soon. Where could he possibly be going?" With that thought tumbling around in my (obviously vacant) brain, the middle school youth minister--"J"--jokingly says, "I'll pack on Saturday!" And that's when I put 2 and 2 together and realized that A was going to pack for camp...that was still 4 days away. When I look back on my life, I can vaguely remember bits and pieces of a time when I would pack ahead of time, even a week or two before the event.

But then I had kids.

And it's not that having kids running around makes it too difficult to accomplish the packing, it's that somewhere in the process of incubating and birthing the little minions, my internal schedule broke. Whereas before, MC and I always strived to be punctual, if not early, now I'm happy if we make it to an event before it's actually over. And packing for said event? That's just a whole other challenge right there.

Packing for 5 for a week long camp in the mountains of New Mexico will look something like this:

*Start gathering clothes Friday night after work, after dinner, because that's the first moment that I've had to
sit down.
*Realize that I cannot make a single outfit out of any of the clean clothes we have left. Start doing laundry. This week I get the added bonus of a broken dryer, so after everything is washed I will pile it all into the Beast and spend 2 hours at the laundromat waiting for all of it to dry.
*By the time I get back, it's 2am and I'm dead on my feet. I set my alarm and vow to get up early to finish packing.
*After hitting the snooze button 27 times the next morning, I drag myself out of bed to discover that the kids made themselves breakfast and found time to watch 4 hours of brain-deteriorating cartoons but couldn't be bothered to let the dog out to pee.
*Take the dog out.
*Dig through the suitcases and try to remember which ones work, which ones are big enough, and which ones I should have thrown away after the last trip. Get the right suitcases and pass them off to the corresponding campers.
*Stop for lunch/kid herding/dog herding/(insert time-sucking activity here).
*Put together all the outfits, the "get dirty" outfits, and the extra layers needed for myself and MC, since he most likely had to work extra hours to get the latest work project done before he was unreachable for a week.
*Yell at the kids to stop playing around and start packing.
*Gather all the toiletries.
*Shove, fold, rearrange and generally do whatever it takes to get the darn suitcases to close.
*Stop for dinner...and to repack since I realized I forgot to include my pajamas/jacket/underwear/(insert needed article of clothing here).
*Look over the kids' suitcases and realize they still don't know how to pack. Fix the kids' packing jobs.
*Set the suitcases, pillows, jackets, sleeping bags, and shoes by the front door so they aren't forgotten.
*Write a list of everything that has to be grabbed in the morning. Make peace with the fact that one or more toothbrushes and/or deodorant will be left behind.
*Crawl into bed late (again).
*Wake up late (again). This kicks off the frantic, chaos filled, running around like crazy routine that leads to the forgotten toothbrush and/or deodorant. Make it to the buses with zero time to spare.

In comparison, doesn't packing ahead of time just seem...dull?