[ my son makes memes. like no one’s business. ]
Fall seems to be an incredibly creative time of year for me, and others in my life notice. I get a lot of compliments on my purple hair. In fact in Grays Harbor I’ve heard nothing but compliments. Children are the most openly admiring. But not a day goes by grownups don’t say a few nice things as well. Women tend to compliment; men say something flirty and sometimes even touch me without permission (boo).
But in the car on our way to deliver a pie, my daughter tells me I look gorgeous. It’s pretty wonderful to be loved the way they love me. I know I’m one of my children’s heroes. I know they think I am beautiful and amazing. It’s quite humbling. It makes me feel less self-conscious and it sets a place for me in the world.
Just before I leave for my volunteer concierge shift at the Gallery I hear the stomping of feet and sense that kind of bundled-up energy children bring in the new rains. Wrapping myself in my scarf I step into the kitchen and I shit thee not, seven “extra” kids in my house, all boys. All rowdy, but completely obliging to my eldest child’s commands (wash hands, set the table, et cetera). All of them there for a fête Nels has planned: the celebration of Harris’ birthday. My son has made tea and set out cups and made cards. The children all sing the cat “Happy Birthday”. Phoenix kicks them out after I leave; we have a whitelist of children allowed inside while Ralph and I are gone.
Today in the kitchen: steakhouse bread (sort of like pumpernickel but without caraway, and made up WITH eggs and coffee), two layered chocolate and roasted coconut cream pies with Mexican vanilla. Then a soup the kids cook up while Ralph’s in Olympia: ham, chickpeas, spinach noodles, and fresh peas. Cherry tomatoes on the side and a big glass of milk for each kiddo. They eat sitting with me in my sewing room while I hum through one hundred and sixty-five half-square triangles on my old Singer.
Quilting and gallery sitting, and a few minutes talking with friends. It rained today but I thought ahead and I have proper raingear for the season – boots and coat anyway – and I’ve got proper raingear for the kids too. Food security, and clothing security, and shelter. A fortunate family.
Home now and it’s late; four cats slumber in four chairs. The house is full of the smell of baked bread and the flickering of candles.
I love that cartoon. One for the annals I imagine.
That bread sounds delicious – care to share the recipe? The rest sounds equally yummy.
I love how open and expressive your kids are with their emotions and their affection for you. I’ve seen many older kids who aren’t as willing to be vulnerable in that way, so it’s really touching. And I love the descriptions of Phoenix as the one in charge – I can totally picture the moments you describe, just based on the photos you’ve posted of her. I was listening to some early REM albums yesterday (Murmur, Reckoning) and for some reason I thought of your kids – mostly because there’s an REM video that is basically footage of a kid in an abandoned house, looking through the stuff on the floor and then doing tricks on his skateboard, and I got the idea in my head that just filming your kids’ daily lives would probably generate something even more interesting. Basically, the music as the soundtrack for the daily life of your kids. That sounds weird, and I’ve not articulated it well, but suffice to say that the music reminded me of them and I only know them from what you write about them. I guess that speaks to your writing skills and ability to evoke much from your words.
Nels’ account has tons of memes… it’s his latest “thing”. We are innundated with meme-speak by both kids. LOOOOL
I made something like this except added eggs. If I make it up again I will record my steps and share here.
It is really cool to think that a handful of people on the internet “know” my kids just by my writing of them. 🙂 I haven’t listened to REM in ages! Maybe I should today!
I feel your pain with the awkward social touching thing. I never know what to do when meeting random strangers here in Hawaii. Everyone wants to either sidehug, faux kiss, or do some elaborate hand shake routine. The hand shakes are the worst. I’m lost from the beginning of the ritual.
“Hey,” I say, trying to hold back against whatever inanimate object I can find.
“Howzit?” he says, not really wanting to know the answer to what I think is a question.
The stranger reaches in with a wide open hand and guess, correctly for once, that it starts with the thumb hook move. I try to guess the next trick by watching his elbow and wrist, but fail miserably. We part with a cloud of confusion drifting between us in the tropical sun.
OOOOoooh the handshake thing. That would be ROUGH. I would never get it figured out. I had a friend J. who in PT knew this guy was coming in for a hug and maybe even a kiss. My friend J. wasn’t into it so he quickly put his hand on the guy’s shoulder in a big manly pat (J.’s other hand was holding groceries or something). The man merely NUZZLED J.’s hand there on his shoulder. Sometimes you can’t win!
Still I’d take a platonic handshake fail over the many men who’ve groped me over the years.