Friday, March 29, 2013

Keep calm.

People.  Easter is this weekend.

Are you kidding me?! I am ill-prepared this year.  My kids have nothing for their baskets.  In fact, I don't think I even have baskets (I may have tossed them when we moved).  We have dyed not a single egg.  They will probably be wearing rain boots to church because it is so melty outside.  I know this year my lack of preparedness has everything to do with the temporary job I took a few weeks ago and the fact that we just spent a week in Kansas City for spring break, but I need to get on this Easter train, and fast or someone will think the Easter Bunny hates him...

Here's my list for the next few days:

  • Dye eggs.  We did this last year and I am never, ever straying again.  Ever.  Although this year we're going with traditional hard boiled eggs instead of hollowing out the shells and hiding them with surprises (because this year there are still one zillion inches of melty snow outside).
  • Baskets.  Minimalist this year.  Books, chap stick, flip-flops rainboots.  No chocolate bunnies.  And no peeps (I hate those things) but maybe some Peeps Sugar Cookies.
  • Buy some tulips.  Because nothing says spring like a vase of cheery tulips.
And that, my friends, is going to have to be plenty for this year.  Uriah will, of course, be working on Easter, and Finn and I will be making the trip to my parents on Sunday for a late Easter dinner and to start our work week again (did I mention my temporary job is 4 hours away?  Might that explain some of my fuzzy-headedness...and my inability to find time to blog regularly?!).

Happy weekend!  

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Home is wherever I'm with you.

We zig-zagged through the city.  Down I-70, circumventing downtown, and we slipped into our old neighborhood.  We drove through the blocks that defined us early on and my eyes darted this way and that, taking in the little memories that each road offered up.

How many times did we drive out of the city on Friday afternoon, childless, only to return on Friday night with a back seat full of exuberant Abby?  Our ears ringing, our little apartment exploding with Polly's and ponies and Barbies.  How many weekends were spent criss-crossing the state for a drop-off or a pick-up.  How many miles we covered, hashing out the details of family court, of our future, confirming and assuring that we were making the right choice.  The only choice.  And how many of those long Missouri miles did we drive in silence, holding hands and wishing.

We neared the road to Abby's school; how nervous she was that first day of fourth nervous we all were as we jumped feet-first into uniforms and after-school care and PTA.  And all those times that she forgot her backpack in our apartment.  And the time I made her go the entire day without it because I wasn't about to turn around down our one-way street again for her to retrieve it.  Her anger was tangible, but the lesson was learned.  And that school sat quietly across a parking lot from the church where we promised to be with each other forever.  Forever is a long time, but that day they were promises easily given.  Promises we'd give again, although maybe now they wouldn't be as easy, knowing what we do.

Every other Friday evening we'd drop Abby off for Girl Scouts at the Baptist Church a neighborhood away and hope that in the span of two hours she'd come away an empowered girl, while we slipped into a neighborhood watering hole to wait.

If I close my eyes, I can walk down the hall of our apartment.  The huge bedroom that we foolishly thought we could squeeze a baby and all his accouterments into.  Our tiny bathroom, half the size of the outdoor patio that drew us in the first place, with the square smaller-than-a-tub-but-larger-than-a-shower stall.  Our tiny kitchen and the carpeted dining room and Megan coming over a couple of times a week to eat with us, because for a brief and glorious time, we were neighbors.  And Abby starting our tradition of beginning a meal with each of us saying one thing we're thankful for.  We still do that.  And the time we took our dining table apart so that we could put it on our patio and eat al fresco on a humid Missouri evening, with the sounds of Plaza traffic and cicadas serenading us as we ate and our containers full of flowers and herbs and plants nearly blocking anyone on the street from seeing us.

I remember where I was laying on the floor in the front room when Uriah came home with family court news, and then  throwing the paperwork across the living room and wishing there was more space because that small apartment was not big enough to hold my anger.  I remember sitting on our couch on a spring afternoon, after spending the day washing away the winter from our windows; I gave Uriah two dates for a wedding - or the option to back out.  We started planning in the warm sunshine how to make official what we'd known for years: we were meant to be together.  And I remember standing in front of Abby's closet as he proposed to me for real, with a ring that didn't come from a candy machine.  And I demanded he get down on one knee and do it proper.  And I was so happy.

As we drove through Kansas City proper, with every road we turned down and each glimpse of the sky line, a memory shot up and I found myself nostalgic and a little sad.  We won't ever have that life again - city life with one kid who only came every other weekend.  The carefree ability to have cheese and crackers and wine for dinner and then walk down to the Plaza and take our time browsing though Pottery Barn and Barnes & Noble without having to maneuver a stroller or find the nearest bathroom; those days are long gone.  But I like where our life is now.  I like walking, instead, to the library and stopping at the park to take our time climbing the ladders and sliding and swinging.  I like that our skyline is the shore of Lake Superior.

There will always be a piece of my heart that belongs to Kansas City.  It's where our story started; where we got married and had a baby and planted the seeds that would become our life, even if that life has been uprooted and replanted a time or two.  So much of our early life is squished into the corners and streets and buildings, but it is a memory town now.

I will be grateful for all the roads that twisted and turned to get us to this spot.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Winter Blues

Finn and I took a walk this morning.  The temperature said 25 degrees, but the wind was brutal.  Next time I will wear an extra shirt and bring a blanket for Finn in the stroller.  We didn't go far and I am, in fact, still trying to warm up.  I think a cup of tea is in my very near future (even though I'd love a cup of coffee; I'd also love to go to sleep tonight).

We are supposed to go to Iowa tomorrow, Finn and I, but the weather is being a spiteful hooker, and if it snows and blows like it's supposed to, we may be stuck here, missing out on all of the fun.  We have great plans to hang out in a hotel and play with Cousin Dane and watch Uncle Dan graduate from taxidermy school and look at all kinds of cool, stuffed critters, and maybe even stop at Ikea on our way home.  What is meant to be will be, and I don't drive in inclement weather (read: snow, rain, strong winds - basically anything that is not sunny and dry and safe!) but I am hopeful that we can make our trip as planned.

We are counting down the days to spring break...well, Finn is counting down the days.  He has zero concept of time and keeps asking me if it is next year yet, which, I guess in Finn time means later.  Anyway, he kept asking me if it was time to go to Mimi's house (Uriah's mom) and I finally had to tell him when we'd taken off all of the chains, then it would be time to go to Mimi's.  I probably shouldn't have told him we were going to the zoo or that we get to see absolutely all of our cousins (both hound and human).  He's pretty excited.  I'm pretty much sick of saying, not today fifteen zillion times an hour and then having him ask, "Please, Mama?  Please can we go to Mimi's house today?" in his very sweet little voice.  Next time we take a trip I am not telling him about until the day we leave.