Friday, August 19, 2016

Hazel Sweet Basil goes to preschool

I remember trudging down the path behind my house five years ago, a giant baby belly dragging me down into the crusher fine and stabbing my feet like little knives. Everything was hard and felt painful and unfair. Many more mature people in this world, accept their responsibilities with grace and practicality. Not really so much in this heart. I have always kicked up a fuss about unplanned and difficult events. I considered a fourth baby just such in the abstract stage of parenting that we call pregnancy. I remember my mom's quiet and complete understanding, my sister's staunch gung-ho practical support, my friend God-Sib's mildly jealous confidence in the beautiful future before me, my friend Bart's mild dismay and laughing dismissal of my complaints, my friend D's startled yet grounding replies to all of my groanings. They all knew how lucky I really was. And so when this one was born, God poured gushes of love into my heart that spilled over onto her downy head like liquid gold and our hearts were sealed.
So, naturally today I needed my support again, and they knew. It's all about me I guess. As I laid cuddling my sweet girl last night, I tried to keep it light asking her how excited she was for her first day of school. She knew. She smoothed my cheek and said, "but you will have such a fun morning and I'll be home really soon." I said "actually yes I will, I get to have breakfast with some friends." She smiled and asked me where and when I said Huckleberry her reply melted me again "Aw, I love The Huckleberry!" That's my friend. My little chum. My faithful companion and best self esteem booster anyone has ever met. This morning Jody suggested that I was dressing up for breakfast with my friends. Ah. My friends who have seen me birth a child and covered in spit up with my hair sticking out on end and often without deodorant or my teeth brushed.... those friends. Nah, honey you dress up for the one who thinks you are beautiful. The little sparkling child who has told you how beautiful you are since she learned how to talk. The one who is swept away by your beauty every time you wear earrings or eyeliner. Who true to form, glanced up from her cheerios and gazed into my eyes this morning and said "you're so beautiful Mom."
I gave her a bath, fluffed her golden crown of hair with self made bangs and helped her into her favorite outfit and new sprinkle toe shoes. She looked in the mirror and said "I want a flower in my hair...". 

And as she nervously scooted into her class next to her best friend Mya, they clasped hands and walked to their new world. 

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Harry Potter and my blessed child

I'm not sure if I even have a point to half of my parenting choices but sometimes the kids have interesting outcomes.
Kait begged me to pre-order her a "Harry Potter And the Cursed Child" book at various bookstores over the last few weeks but I steadfastly refused. I had two reasons. One, pre-ordering steals the excitement and anxiety of whether you will get one and two, books don't sell out. This is modern America where half of us have kindles and most buy books second hand or go to the library. Case in point, Kait has an entire set of hardback Potter books I bought at a thrift store for $1 each. Well, Kait became hooked on the idea of going to a midnight release party and researched all of the local bookstores for the very best, very most exciting party. After hearing B&N anticipated hundreds of people she settled on 2nd & Charles. Let me pause to say that nobody in my family has ever participated in a midnight release of anything. So we picked up her bestie with Kait in full regalia. Her enthusiasm was boundless. When we walked in I knew we were golden. Maybe 50 people milled around playing trivia and drinking butter beer. I figured they had hundreds of extra books. Kait won their costume contest handily with her saucy complex replies to every question she was asked about Potter and won a poster. Finally, 12:00 neared and we stood in line doing the countdown to midnight like a bunch of loons. As we approached the counter I saw about half of the people being turned away. Dread. It turned out they were only giving people pre-ordered books. I got annoyed and asked the woman why nobody had told me that in the last three hours. She looked guiltily around and said "we only found out 2 minutes ago." We walked out and little Kait held back tears. I called B&N and they told me I had about 20 minutes. I decided to make a night of it, then I made a wrong turn. Ugh! Exactly 20 minutes later, by hook or crook we arrived at Barnes & Noble. The doors were locked. Our shoulders drooped. I felt so guilty for refusing to pre-order. A group of young millenials were standing around laughing and holding their bags with their Potter books and one girl yelled out for us to bang on the doors. We tried to no avail, so then she suggested we move closer to the registers and bang there, so we did. Finally, a manager unlocked the door shaking his head no. I begged him pretty please to sell her a book with my most soulful puppy dog look and the chatty girl in the background threw out reasons for hem to say yes. He weakened and said he would check the cafe and see if they still had a till open. He came back sorrowfully shaking his head and I admitted defeat, promising to bring Kait back the next day. She somberly headed for the truck and that same noisy girl yelled out a suggestion to try Boulder Bookstore. I had a feeling it was too late so I said "I think I'm giving up." I reached out to pull my door shut and a young man in business slacks and a white shirt was handing me the book. "Here you go ma'am have a great night." I stuttered which rarely happens and said "can I pay you?" His eyes wavered and then he looked in my back seat and said "no." Kait hadn't even processed it. I waved the book in her face and said "go hug that man! Go hug him right now!" As tears ran down my cheeks, Kait ran to the guy and hugged him. The group of young people erupted in oohs and ahs. She ran back and I said "go give him your poster." She grabbed the poster and bounded out of the truck like a spring and ran back to him. This moment brought the house down with cheers and clapping. I can't really say how cool it was for him to see more value in making a little girls night and acting on it than hanging out with friends and taking home his new book. Thanks guy in the gray pants and white shirt. You were a very unexpected and exciting part of Kaits life.