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22 Nov

Seize The Cake


(This post is underwritten by the American Cancer Society, official sponsor of birthdays.)

Emilia likes birthday parties. Actually, like is an understatement. Emilia loves birthday parties, with the fiery heat of a thousand wax birthday candles and a few hundred sparklers.

But here’s the thing about Emilia’s love of birthday parties: she’s not particularly fussy about whether those parties are in celebration of her birthday, or, in fact, whether they’re in celebration of any birthday at all. She’s really pretty emphatic that a ‘birthday’ – that is, a day marking someone’s birth – is by no means a necessary condition for a celebration involving cake and balloons and such. After all, if one limited such celebrations to birthdays, one would only have a handful of reasons to throw such a celebration in any given year. So why not declare every occasion a birthday-party-worthy occasion? Can you think of even one reason why you should not?

Emilia can’t, and so Emilia celebrates everything. And I’ve kind of taken that to heart. Because she’s right that we should be celebrating everything, and that when there isn’t anything obvious to celebrate, we should be looking for those things and declaring them celebration-worthy and then lighting candles and eating cake. So it is that we have thrown parties to celebrate potty-training accomplishments, dance recitals, haircuts, rainy days and Saturdays. We celebrate every visit to Grandma’s house with a cake and balloons. We do the same whenever Grandma visits our house. We do the same whenever pretty much anybody visits our house. Because, why not celebrate these things? Who knows how long we’ll have them to celebrate? We’ve faced too many losses; we’re facing too many losses. We lost my dad. My mom had a skin malignancy, and then an aneurysm, and then failed aneurysm surgery. My stepfather battled prostate cancer. Tanner fights his own fight. Every day could bring a loss, or bring us closer to a loss.

7 Nov

Happiness Wears Pipe Cleaner Glasses

I wrestle with guilt, as you know. Also, anxiety. It’s a fun combination, guilt and anxiety. I have a lot of experience with both.

But whereas when I was working from home my guilt and anxiety tended toward the mild, ‘shouldn’t I do more volunteering at my daughter’s school; I mean, isn’t that why moms work at home? So that they can do things like spend more time with their kids?’ and ‘why do I never get out of these yoga pants?’ variety, now that I’m working outside of the home my guilt and anxiety are tending toward the more dramatic ‘OH GOD I AM NOT THERE FOR MY CHILDREN, LIKE, EVER variety. Which, I know. It’s like I look for things to worry over and feel guilt about. You can roll your eyes at me. I roll my eyes at me.

Anyway. I’m feeling more guilty this week, because her birthday is coming up and I have no idea how to deal with that, what with an apartment full of boxes and a calendar that is wildly out of control and the fact that I have no idea what one does for birthdays in New York City when one can’t host a party at one’s home. And with more guilt comes more anxiety, and with more guilt and anxiety comes more of an attachment to Ativan, which brings with it more guilt, whence more anxiety, and a kind of ouroborosian cycle ensues, etc, etc, etc.

31 Oct

Two-Headed Robot Zombie Monsters Are Not The Only Fruit

Here’s the thing about Halloween with kids: dressing kids up is wildly fun, when you have control over the dress-up process. When you get to decide what they wear – which is to say, when you dress them up in whatever fashion amuses you – the whole exercise is awesome, and well worth the energy required (and you do need energy. Wrestling squirmy babies into chicken outfits is not for the faint of heart or weak of arm.)

Okay, so she was a duck, so, more fowl than poultry. Also, she was in pasties. Which is like fowl with garnish.

It’s most awesome when you can dress them up in ways that are borderline inappropriate, or would be if your neighbors had any familiarity with the works of Anthony Burgess and Stanley Kubrick (ours did not):