Monday, March 5, 2012

Eve's Baking Birthday Party and Other Things That Happened This Month

Volume VIII, issue ii. February 2012 

PART ONE: The Party
Eve’s Baking Birthday Party
You know the eerie quiet that tickles the edge of your skin, telling you that a storm is muscling in and will soon arrive in all of her destructive fury?
That’s what February was like at our house. 
Many of the hours too innumerable to mention that I spent on the couch being with child with Charlie were spend in a half-daze.  The half of me that wasn’t dazing was planning future parties.  I would imagine a world sans nausea, full of pink, ruffles, and the tinkling of little girls’ laughter. 
On Saturday all of my dazy, dreamy planning came to tempestuous fruition.
When I’m in party-planning mode, I'm like a tank barreling towards a confetti-laden war-zone. Eric likes to ask me who the party is for.  I look at him seriously and reply, “For me.  I’m not even pretending that it’s not.”  And if the kids happen to have a little fun too, well then hallelujah!
Just for the record, several of the girls happen to have commented that it was the best party they’d ever been to.  But you didn’t hear that from me. 
I wasn’t really listening.  I was too involved with the frosting up to my elbows, the rogue threads peppering my pants, and the greedy smile so wide it was like a hanger yanking up my sagging, sleep-deprived eyelids.
The picture I had in my head for months.  Girls all in a pretty little row with identical aprons and chef hats?  Yes, please.

We were on a maniacally tight schedule, but we were able to gulp down all of the activities on the menu.
PS Cakelet is my new favorite word.  Try it in a sentence.  You'll see.
For example, "Good morning, Cakelet!  How are you today?"

(Want a set like this or another crocheted miracle?  Go here and Michelle will make something to warm your heart and soul! The Yellow Bucket Boutique is one of my favorite places on the web!)

Marie sat close to me as I rolled and twisted and manipulated pairs of socks to make them look like cupcakes for Eve’s party guests. (Don’t.  Just don’t.) After a few minutes, she proudly held up my leftovers that she had repurposed into her own project.  Apples and trees.  Don’t get me started; I’ll get too excited. 

PART TWO: Everything Else
Somewhere over the Rainbow
The stomach bug that waged war on my system last week was some Arnold Schwarzenegger/Terminator-type version that came back and came back and came back.  As I was retching in the bathroom with the door closed, I heard it creak open a crack and saw two little blue eyes peering through. 
Peter’s voice piped in, “Hey Mom! Ya throwin’ up?” 
As I staggered down the hall, Peter hop-stepped beside me, singing out, “Well, what color was it?  Was it green?  Was it blue? Or was it RAINBOW?”
Secret Super Peter Power
Peter had a buddy over for a play-date and they requested macaroni and cheese for lunch.  I set out the haute-cuisine with flourish, the partially hydrogenated goodness still steaming on the plate.  Peter’s friend dug in with gusto and winced and spat from the heat.
About a minute later, Peter said, “Mom, actually I’m invincible.”
“Oh, really?  You are?  What makes you say that?” (I love the moment of anticipation between questions like those and Peter’s twinkly-eyed answers. I can never even begin to guess what is coming next.)
My little Irish sprite answered, “Heat doesn’t bother me!” and he took a big bite of his lunch with smug self-satisfaction.

* * * 

Peter's other (more well-used) super-power is that he is quite commanding when he's hungry. The other night as he waited to be waited upon for his evening meal, he got up from the table and stormed over to the stairs and yelled down to his siblings:

"Come and set the table, you fools!"
Valentine's Day
(Lollipop Valentines and Heart Pizzas and Over-doing it, oh my.)

Brace Yourself
The night before my mouth was encased in metal, I felt much like Han Solo before he is so cruelly housed in that carbonitey stuff (you bet I googled that).  I sat on my bathroom counter like a sad little adolescent bird and inched my way close to the mirror.  I studied each out-of-place tooth and gappy chasm in my criss-crossing rows of teeth, knowing that they would never look the same.  I appreciated their imperfect charm.

On the eve before Holden was scheduled to get his own braces, I revisited my adolescent nostalgia.  Braces are his official welcome into the world of the pre-adult—the world of pristine rows of expectations and social norms.  I was a little sad about the whole thing.

The orthodontist’s office helped ease some of my over-indulged sense of loss.  After I had signed the forms saying that I would fork over thousands of dollars for Holden’s new smile, Holden happily informed me that if he has three good check-ups in a row, he’ll get a free cupcake from the posh bakery in town.
Yippee!  A free cupcake!  
If he has his braces for eighteen months, he can get SIX cupcakes!  That’s only $650 for each cupcake.  
Yes, Holden. . . THEY are the ones who are "SO NICE."
(Seriously, though.  Going into that office is like entering Oz.  They make you feel like you’re walking the red carpet with glittery ruby stilettos when you come in for your appointments. The orthodontist is like Robin Williams playing the part of the concerned, altruistic-yet-witty orthodontist.  The glow in that place almost made me ask for a headgear just so I could be included in all of the caring.)
It’s a Bird.  It’s a Plane.  It’s Caleb.
Caleb’s basketball game and his debut viola performance at the Madison Music Festival were both scheduled at 10 AM on the first Saturday of this month.  No worries.  This kid can leap small scheduling conflicts in a single bound.
We layered his basketball ensemble under his fancy festival-playing get-up and he was ready to play strings or hoops or whatever was next on the docket. 
When we ran to the car after his flawless performance of French Folk Song, I teased him about needing to locate the nearest phone-booth for his quick change.  He had to make do with the back of the car, but his shy little grin told me he appreciated the joke. 
He arrived at his basketball game only twelve minutes late (sometimes I adore living in a small town) and even scored a couple of buckets to show how truly versatile he is. 

Charlie.  Oh, Charlie.
No answers yet.  Except for this one: I love this boy.
Thank you for the prayers, the fasting, the thoughts, the encouragement. . . we feel all of it.  He feels it too.  Thank you.
One step enough for me. 

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