Love Triangle: The Way Too Early Years

Guys, my first grader has a love triangle.

She likes Colt, but Colt has a girlfriend named Ebba, and Ebba pulls Colt away from Josie.

Colt, little red-headed player that he is, bought Josie AND her best friend sequin key chains at the school bookstore. He also told Josie he likes her “a little bit”, and anybody who doesn’t like my baby a whole lot is no catch in my book.

Anyway, pls send help, or prayers, or chocolate, or wine. I thought I’d be able the avoid the teen dramz for a few years more, but here we are. Orcutt 93455: The Way Too Early Years.

Not Another National Daughter’s Day Post

I can’t post about National Daughter’s Day right now.

I’m too tired after going through my 6-year-old daughter’s socks and undies, and finding there were no fewer than 5,000 of each. About half the underwear too small, and roughly 75% of the socks with no match. Where do stray socks go, anyway? Sock heaven? It’s more than they deserve for their abandonment issues.

Also, there were a couple of infant socks. Maybe more than a couple.

I mentioned she’s 6, right?

Most of it all is going in the trash. Just look at that overflowing thing. I sort of expect Oscar the Grouch to pop out any second and be like, “Bitch! Pull yourself together. Infant socks? I mean, really”.

But guys, life is busy as you know.

At least now my daughter has semi-organized drawers. She deserves it, because she’s the best.

While I was staring at her cute little baby socks that had no business still hanging around, Google Photos had the nerve to give me one of those “they grow up so fast” slide shows of my daughter starting with her as a baby messily feeding herself Cheerios into the chubbiest chipmunk cheeks.

She has grown so fast.

But I love her even more now. I want to be like her when I grow up. Kind. Selfless. Unashamed.

And that’s what I’d say if I wasn’t too pooped to make a National Daughter’s Day post.

You’d Better Work

Photo credit: Vanity Fair

Six years ago when Caitlyn Jenner did that Vanity Fair cover coming out as a woman, I shared my disgust.

I want to apologize for my reaction now, because the issue was clearly mine and not hers. She was beyond brave to pose like she did, and people saying things like I did only served to throw a wet towel on the general progress she was making for humanity towards acceptance and inclusion.

With all the Met Gala photos recently and our feverish lust for something mindless to focus on, I’ve again seen the ugly side of societal judgement rearing its head.

One blogger posted a picture of Vera Wang in one of her artistic creations, and criticized her entire body of work. Vera Wang is 72 years old. She is fucking amazing. She could wear literally whatever and own every second of it. She has earned that right.

But wait. We all have that right. To wear what we want and what feels good.

Larger. Skinnier. Older. Younger.

Let’s be wild. Let’s be simple. Let’s be comfortable. Let’s be high fashion. Let’s invent fashion.

Criticizing others for their fashion choices just highlights our own insecurities. They are doing what we’re too scared to do.

So, girl, boy, man, woman, and anything in between… you’d better WORK.

The Strength to be Vulnerable

You know how someone you care about does you dirty or you’re upset by them, and you want to wall off and shut them out forever and make your heart close up and crust over?

Here’s my advice to you and me.

Let’s not.

Let’s keep our hearts soft and vulnerable and open, with the realization that they’ve been hurt in some way that caused their heart to become closed up and crusted over.

Cutting people off might be the answer sometimes when someone is truly toxic, but most of us are non-poisonous berries that just taste a little sour.

If we cared for someone then, we probably care for them still.

And forgiveness has this uncanny ability to sweeten even the sour berries until they go amazingly in the pie of life.

Stepping on Stones Barefoot

My son has an A+ in 4th grade right now.

I tell you this along with something else I haven’t publicly revealed yet about him that makes this even more impressive. I share with his permission that he has ADHD, and we have struggled with his behavior since he could talk.

But with support, counseling, medication and his super smart brain and many gifts, he is thriving.

Getting him up for school has been one of the biggest challenges, and I read somewhere that 90s techno music helps. So, I’ve been playing it, and damn if that kid doesn’t dress himself and get downstairs for breakfast.

The point is, we’ve kept plugging along when we could have stayed on the ground and cried.

I thought of the power of persistence again today when I presented for a county emergency management meeting and was contacted afterwards by a colleague I’ve long respected. She was truly impressed, and could I help her with some things?

Damn, that was a long way from being told by a boss I was a bad writer, or losing my job I loved and have since gotten back. (Both of which I’ve endured and lived to tell the tale!)

I’m reminded that sometimes success, in whatever form that looks like, isn’t a shiny gilded path. Instead, it’s something waiting for those willing to step barefoot on pointy stones along the way and keep going.

Oh, Poop

My daughter was able to pick out a small toy at the store, and chose this little dog that poops and you clean it up. Cleaning up poop. For fun. I’ve cleaned up lots of poop in my day, and it was never fun. But here we are. Itty bitty toy poops I paid actual money for. A tiny poop scoop. What a time to be alive.

Here’s to the Rattlers

People always talk about how much they miss their kids being babies. And I totally long for their squishy cheeks and the newborn smell.

But by far my favorite part of parenthood is watching them grow up. I love nothing more than witnessing them develop into their own people with strengths that surpass my wildest expectations.

My son is brilliant, with an unrivaled imagination and memory. So smart he can take down adults in arguments, and out science fact you any day. Acting chops for days. A natural performer with a beautiful singing voice. He loves to give hand-made gifts and just straight up money from his piggy bank because he wants to see people happy. He doesn’t worry about being teased because he is so confidently himself, and in turn gives others that freedom.

My daughter has the mind of an engineer and the heart of a saint. She can fix just about anything, and will handle whatever it is her damn self, thank you very much. As long as you pay her in snuggles, because she’s still very much a cuddly baby. She looks out for everyone, and is selfless to a fault. Always dancing. The sunshiniest of smiles and the twinkliest of eyes.

My kids are wild and not easy, but they are great. I look forward to the impact they will make in this world with their rattling and compassionate presence.

So here’s to growing up, baby.

Them

It’s not you. It’s them.

I get it now.

All my life, I’ve let everyone in. I want to trust everybody.

And again, someone close to our family has proven themselves to be less than deserving of that trust. A caregiver for my kids. Someone we relied on through the pandemic.

No major damage done. Just, not entirely deserving of all the trust we put in them.

Despite this happening ever so often, and people showing their ugly underbelly, I find it hard to hold a grudge.

And there’s this funny thing I’ve watched take place through the years to people who do the dirty things.

They get theirs. And I don’t have to lift a finger.

Do bad things happen to good people who don’t deserve it? Of course. All the time.

But sometimes, karma delivers a swift kick in the pants to someone who is asking for it. A job lost for being a cruel boss. A crumbled marriage because they have been untruthful. An inability to maintain close friendships because they can’t let people in like I do.

And I get to keep my vulnerable, trusting heart intact. Expecting the best from people, and usually getting it.

Karma is a protective bitch. A real loyal right hand.

THEY need to work on THEM.

I don’t need to harden my heart for their shortcomings. And I won’t.

I will stay alert and use my best judgement with people.

As they say on the classic series I’m currently rewatching, Friday Night Lights: Clear eyes. Full hearts. Can’t lose.

Big Boy

My 4th grade big boy wanted to walk home from school, so I let him walk part of the way and am driving slowly near him and holding my breath while he crosses the bigger streets alone. He’s doing so good, and I’m just so proud. Also, when did he get so BIG?

Parenting, summed up.

The First Day: Unfiltered

My son would only give a cranky face on the first day of 4th grade, even though he’s pumped to be back in school. He didn’t mind the spilled oatmeal on his shorts, but I did. So that’s why there’s a wet spot from me cleaning it. He was, however, perturbed his backpack straps wouldn’t go any tighter. Which is funny, because back in my day you wanted your backpack bouncing off your ankles.


I bribed my son with marshmallows and The Simpsons to change his socks with the hole. Then I had to give my daughter marshmallows too.

My daughter is excited to be starting 1st grade. The kids fought all the way to school. Drop off was a circus, but the kids have been deposited. 🙌 And that’s a big win in my book.

How was your kids’ first day?

keepingitreal #blessed