sharing, in moderation

If there is one thing that I enjoy while taking a break is a coke, actually a Coke Zero.

Can you blame me especially when my darling husband adds this bottle to my lunch for work? I’d gladly share but my man has never been known to drink a coke. It’s okay. Still, I would gladly share with anyone:

With Lakisha,

Graciela…

Sue…

Cecilia…

Jessica…

or Isaac…

perhaps even Brittany and Matthew…

then again, maybe not because I would much rather share a coke with Daniel!

Sure it’s not the best thing for me. The two people wearing ER scrubs in line behind me at the hospital cafeteria made it clear just how bad that soda was for me as they loudly passively aggressively congratulated themselves for giving up the evil that is soda while completely ignoring their plates with giant mounds of greasy fries and onion rings. Yes indeed, the soda is a bad, bad thing. The artificial sweetener might give me cancer…if I consume as proportionately as much as a lab rat does. Oh, and the caffeine too although I make no apologies for one Coke Zero during a 12 hour night shift because I do need the caffeine to get through the busy night. One could go on, and perhaps be as colorful as Greg Glassman was recently. Even Daniel understands this as he reads the nutrition label out loud to me.  But he also understands moderation when it comes to diet and sharing mom’s Coke Zero with his name on it is really okay…as long as it is not a daily kind of thing.

Come on, it’s fun…especially when you get to share.

Most certainly when you get to share one with someone who isn’t expecting to ever find their name on a bottle of Coke. Hurray and thank you for my coke connections!

Sharing is caring, y’all…in moderation, but of course!

we’re going to title this “how I spent my summer vacation”

Back to school in our neck of the woods is fast approaching…TWENTY TWO DAYS!!!! So is my sister’s wedding and so is Jodie’s move to Arizona (SOB!) But until then, we have twenty two days left to try to have as much fun as we can and as we can afford because my sister’s wedding and Jodie’s move to Arizona is just around the corner. Meanwhile, since the beginning of June, here is where I have been three afternoons a week.

Sitting in the “Faux-bucks” in my local Target sipping an iced green tea while I write, edit photos, pin stuff on Pinterest, tweet, enjoy a podcast…especially this one because I know Kristen and she and Liz totally rock…and generally try to restrain myself from leaving the Fauxbucks to wander the aisles of Target and buy all the things while Daniel is next door at our local Sylvan Learning Center. Twenty tutoring sessions in and while I admit it hurts paying that tuition, I am so thankful for spending my summer vacation this way…and I guess Daniel spending some of his summer vacation there too. Suddenly my son is enjoying learning a little bit. Perhaps he will never be as excited about reading and learning as his nerdy mommy has been, is and always will be. But after his session with his tutor, he tells me all about nouns and verbs and pronouns and synonyms and homophones and vocabulary words….

HE.

IS.

TELLING.

ME.

He is telling me so much more than the standard “okay”, “we did math”, ‘we had an assembly” answers. He is actually enjoying learning and he is telling me about it.

Worth it.

So absolutely, completely worth it.

Plus I’m spending quality time in my local Fauxbucks, sipping my iced green tea while I people watch, write, edit photos, pin, tweet and catch up on my girls from Spawned.

weekends are for resetting

Yesterday was my Saturday and today is my Sunday. Next week my Saturday and my Sunday will likely be days other than Sunday and Monday; but who knows? Such is the life of a nurse, a night shift nurse, Vampire the Night Shift Nurse.

But yeah.

This week, today is my Sunday and yesterday was my Saturday which means that right now I am busy. I am busy resetting my body clock while I catch up on sleep, oh so precious sleep and laundry because there is much laundry to be done right now.

Oh, and sleep, because nightshift nurse problems and cat lady life.

her reader

It’s a lazy summer afternoon. After an hour or so of swimming, it is quite satisfying to relax on the sofa and perhaps watch a movie…

Or watch the boys play a video game together.

That’s fine too because I’m quite satisfied to lie back on this sofa and maybe close my eyes for…

Mima, read to me.

I open my eyes and there is Fallon, holding out a picture book to me.

Mima, read to me.

She looks at me with those big blue-green eyes and red rose pouty lips waiting for me to take the book.

I can’t say no.

What kind of grandparent would I be to say no?

Sure, I’m tired. I’d much rather do nothing at all at this very moment but this three year old wants me to read to her. It’s literally a ten page picture book with maybe a three to five word sentence on each page. It won’t kill me. More importantly, she WANTS me to read to her. I can’t imagine any grandparent ever not wanting to read to their grandchild, especially when they ask you. Considering the fact that it wasn’t that long ago when her big sister was making the same request and now she is Miss Independent Reader Thank You Very Much, I know that I can not, must not refuse this request, this moment.

So I don’t. I take the book, pat the sofa next to me inviting her to have a seat and she does…in my lap….and together we, Fallon and her reader, enjoy a good book.

raw deals and their beautiful disasters

The Fourth arrived and exited as loudly as it often does every year and it was good.

I said it was good.

It was.

It was good.

Of course I still allowed myself a little bit of melancholy because I do sometimes.

My little brother he will always be and like every other person out there who has lost a sibling, I am more than entitled to miss him. He would have been 52 on July 4th but he will forever be 41 just as he will forever be my broken little brother who looked for approval that was never going to come…at least from those he sought after. In retrospect I try not to focus on the raw deal that was most of his life because it was mine too and raw deals seem to run in the family. Sadly, even to the next generation.

My sister’s children  have lived through more than their fair share of raw too. Given that which Val tried to survive through and the choices she made, it’s hard not to be surprised. But her daughter, my niece, proved to be a survivor surviving really the only way one does survive and thrive and that is to break away and cut the ties. My nephew, on the other hand, struggles not to repeat his mother’s life…and ends up repeating it anyway because family ties that chafe and rub your heart as raw as ours have done are pretty hard to cut away, at least not without some pain and damage. Some of us just can’t handle that pain I guess. I know Randy could not. Neither could Val. And, it seems, neither is her son able to right now. His sister, so much like me, tries to help, tries to fix and, like me so many times before, is hurt in the process. Right now, she is hurting a lot because it’s hard to watch her own brother, the one who was the person she practiced on, the person who taught her about fairness and cooperation and kindness and caring, quite often the hard way is hurting and lost to her in a way that she can not fix. I know this hurt. I know it too well times three…perhaps times four. But all I can do is remind her that all that she can really do is just love him…even if it means loving him at arms length, or even miles and miles length because she deserves to heal and her son deserves so much more…much, much more than than the raw deals we have survived.

So, together, although separated by 3,000 miles, we cry a little for the little boys lost that are our brothers…and pray that her brother will, like us both, survive. It’s all that we can do.

I also felt some sadness for my own daughter and her friends. When you’re 21 or 22, it’s hard to imagine that you’ll be going to a funeral for a friend, a classmate but it sometimes happens. I met her friend, Josh, just two days before he died. Standing in line with Abby, Jodie and Daniel to see Inside Out (go see this movie), I hear, “Hello Abigael!” Naturally, I turn as Abby does because I am the only one who calls her Abigael and I must see who is this other person who calls her Abigael. Abby introduces me to a young man with laughing eyes and a warm smile telling me that this is her friend, Josh.

We shake hands and laugh a little together, Josh and I, because we are the only people who call Abby Abigael. Abby and Josh talk a little bit more but soon wave their goodbyes because, popcorn and snacks in hand, we are ready to go see Inside Out while Josh is seeing another movie that night. It’s hard to imagine someone as engaging as this young man seemed that night would be hiding so much pain behind those laughing eyes and warm smile as his but apparently there was much pain; enough pain that he would take his own life. So now his young friends gather at “the Hook” to remember and celebrate their friend, Josh and tomorrow will bury him. And I find myself sad again. Sad for the end of this young man’s life. Sad for his friends. Sad for his family.

Three men. Three beautiful, young men.

All it takes is a beautiful fake smile to hide an injured soul and they’ll never know how broken you really are.