Thursday, August 30, 2007

Who are these women?

You know the ones. They always have their act together. Perfectly coiffed, accessorized, Starbucks in one hand, double stroller in the other. Just get off work and after taking a mini version of themselves, only with bows, to the lesson for the day, they run home to whip up a souffle before reading Pilgrim's Progress to the baby at 8p.m. just in time to get a foot massage from their metrosexual, stunningly hot GQ mate. Can't forget that this uber-woman also has a teenager who gets straight A's, never talks back, has talent scouts knocking at their door for elite universities AND manages to volunteer at all the right charities. Whew, I'm wiped out just thinking about it.

I'll tell ya where all these women are. They've been at the Back to School nights this week making me feel like I'd just stepped out of the pages of the Mosted Wanted fliers at the Post Office! Me? Black t-shirt decorated with white cat hair and guacamole. Hair in two ponytails that had long past their 'cute' moment somewhere around 9:30a.m. when I slammed on the brakes for someone who obviously felt that turning should be accompanied by a full stop with time to consult a map. In the middle of a highway! No make-up at all. Lost that coming home from a friend's house because my air in the car putzed out on me. Well, maybe a teensie bit of make-up. Mascara, making me look like a flesh eating zombie in a B-horror movie.

Not only do I look a fright. I manage to completely mortify my daughter by suggesting we ride our bicycles to the school rather than dealing with the parking. Smooth move I thought, as I licked my fingers and slathered my cowlick back into submission. We're coasting down the sidewalks, narrowly missing recycling bins and elderly women helping their even more elderly mothers out of the car, no problem right?

Only I'm not the greatest at riding a bike. It requires physical movement and my big behind on a seat that really is a joke. Who thought a little black triangle with no padding was a good idea anyway? Maybe Lance Armstrong with his biking buns of steel.

There's a speed bump on the little road leading up the back way to school and when my daughter zooms over it, I fly behind her, hit that bump and feel the ghosts of pregnancy hemmorhoids past threatening to make a comeback. My butt burns, my lungs burn, my cowlick is doing a good impression of There's Something About Mary, but at last, we get there.

I march my huffing, puffing self in to the cafeteria and my daughter take a look at me, sizing up my obviously lacking appearance. I'm sure I didn't imagine her taking a small sniff near my armpit region and she takes a few slow steps away. Towards a pretty, perfect Mommy figure. When I scoot over towards her, she hisses at me that she's dying of hunger because I didn't exactly get around to putting a nutritious dinner on the table beforehand and the high fructose corn syrup laden excuse for a granola bar I had handed her a 1/2 hour earlier had long since passed the sugar crash stage leaving me with a pre-teen attitude machine.

All eyes are upon us and I just have to wonder how do they do it all? They just look, well, just so. Ya know? Administration is not my gift. Chaos seems to be my natural bent and while I know routine is good for me and my children (as my beleaguered hubby often throws up his hands at our impromptu picnics around the coffee table with card games), but darn it, I'm just not wired to have all my ducks in a row at one time.

I was relieved to find out that most of the teachers seem not only competent, but normal looking with the odd wrinkle on a dress shirt, tousled hair, wonky lip liner or bless their heart, one of them even looked to have a ketchup stain.

I felt better riding my torture device, um, bike back home to my imperfect house with my imperfect yard and finding my hot, but most definitely imperfect husband unloading the groceries I was too lazy to get out of my car earlier. Sure, my teenager talked back and did NOT volunteer to do the dishes. She got drafted to do them. My pre-teen balked at being offered real food (tacos are real, aren't they?) instead of a tattoo-tongue dying fruit roll, but she ate it.

Going to bed, I paused by my son's now empty room. Wishing for a chance to yell at him to turn his stereo down, but knowing that he was probably at school playing video games with his roomies when he should be doing his freshman seminar homework. At least he calls when he needs something. And that's something.

I am still NOT packed to go the Creative Escape, but I'm darn sure READY to go to Creative Escape. They sent us chipboard travel journals. After a summer of barely a moment spent in the studio space, I finally hauled myself down there to do a little decorating on mine. Imperfect, sure, but it's something. And I like that something.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Summer Lovin'

Where has the summer gone?
I can't deny I'm ready for Autumn, but I'm incredibly sad to see what used to be the lazy daze of Summer about to wave good-bye.
I've had such good intentions of posting regularly, reading regularly. I even had scads and scads of witty repartee to impart. But, alas, intentions are only intentions without action, aren't they?

This has been a Summer of....
first serious(kinda) relationships for my two oldest children, real heartache among their friends, health scares for some of my friends (a reminder that my daily pitiful complaints are oh, so petty), an amazing Creation Festival with an outstanding group of teenagers (not to mention that the adults became wayyy too comfortable laughing until we cried over bodily functions, porta-potties and do girls really fart, ahem, they do), the annual battle of Japanese Beetle vs. hapless hubby, a boy calling my youngest daughter (!!!!), regular trips to Chubby's BBQ for a Southern food fix, poring over a ginormous stack of must-do's for my oldest to go to college, a lengthy trip to Alaska where my crew was loved on by a wonderful Evangelical Baptist church filled with spunky elderly women who fed us until we nearly burst( sang to us, prayed over us, while we shimmied up to give them a new roof), hey~I roofed, I got up there and pounded it (go me!), worked with a great group of young people and adults from Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Michigan, Virginia, New Mexico, Maryland and Massachusetts, got a rare glimpse of Mt. McKinley's summit, saw glaciers which are an amazing blue hue, sent mail back home from North Pole, AK, started Weight Watchers which is by, turns, either wonderful or spiteful depending upon whether I'm retaining water or the scale is being hateful or I've had a crazy wild drop on weight, got into business with a dear friend of mine (we share a birthday, holla Susan!) and am tentatively feeling my way through it all, picked out paint for the stairway and entryway which I'm hoping to tackle once school starts, AM DROPPING MY OLDEST AT COLLEGE ON SUNDAY (dayum I'm old), celebrating my birthday on Monday, my daughter's on Tuesday and my husband's a week after that, soccer practice is underway and I'm getting entirely too girly, giggly excited about my upcoming trip to Phoenix for Creative Escape (really, we're going to have such a good time, it should be illegal. In fact, I'm certain that in the town I went to HS in, it probably is).

Yes, it happened so fast.