Friday, May 25, 2012

My Annoying Little Sister

Before I became the wise, tolerant, exceptionally mature person I am now, I spent a fair portion of time complaining about, tormenting, and ostracizing my little sister.

She is nine years younger. 

I mean, let's face it, it was kind of her fault.  She didn't exactly set a good tone from the very beginning--she wasn't the brother I'd planned on.  I asked Mom and Dad if we could call her Jezebel, but no one seemed to hear me.  They were too busy squealing over the new baby.

Fast forward about 10 years.

Adulthood has a way of changing your perspective.  Turns out, my little sister is actually quite likeable.  She's quirky and funny, intelligent and kind, and, overall, a pretty great person.

 So here's the problem:  she's decided to grow up and leave me. 

She just got her Master's Degree and thinks it's time to venture off into the world, become a real person, blah, blah, blah.  So she goes and accepts a job in Florida.

Florida!  I live in Kansas.  (Admittedly, I didn't do well in geography, but I think that's about 3 gazillion miles away.)

I've been working through the 5 stages of grief.  I think I'm through the Denial part, I've definitely been Angry, and, believe me, I've tried Bargaining with her.  So, here I am, wallowing in the bottomless pit of Depression, experiencing an occasional thunderstorm of Anger.

Acceptance can bite it.  Whatever "it" is.

Little sister, in the craft show world alone, you've been my seeing eye dog, heavily-laden pack mule, and fellow dying animal noise.  (She'll understand that, even if you don't.)  I can't even begin to go into all the other things you've been to me.

I know she's not exactly dying and leaving the world forever, but when you live out in the country with four rowdy boys and limited, enjoyable adult interaction, it sure seems like this move is EPIC-ly bad.

I love you, little sister.  If Florida mysteriously gets detached from the North American continent and drifts off to sea, I think there's a 4th bedroom here with your name on it.  I'm just saying.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Ode To My Mother

Mother's Day was yesterday, and I'm pretty sure I failed at making her day in any way special.  Although I did see her, I didn't do much more than be my sarcastic self.  I even forgot to bring her the present I had.  

This isn't my first failure.  My mom and I had a tumultuous relationship growing up--mostly because I knew everything and she didn't.  That, and we had different ideas about the basic elements of daily life.  You know, like what was edible food and what wasn't, whether or not black grime under fingernails was acceptable, and why I had to school every day.

It took going to college to figure out that perhaps--just perhaps--she wasn't actually the Wicked Witch of the West (although she does have a "look" that we still call the "Wicked Witch look").  Of course, this paradigm-shift didn't happen overnight, but, eventually, I did figure out an important truth:

Mom is Mom, and she loves me.

I might even love her. 

Don't get me wrong.  She still drives me crazy, and there's a LOT of things we disagree about.  I certainly haven't been able to give up my enjoyment of pushing her buttons or, in any way, curbed my smart-alecky tongue.  But I think we might have an understanding, an understanding that, despite all evidence to the contrary, we do love each other.  And that's progress.  Believe me, that's serious progress.

So today, on Not Mother's Day, I'd like to publicly tell my mom thank you.

Thank you for your frequent attempts to sweep up the dog hair wafting across my wood floors.  Thank you for listening to my irrational ranting and raving when I haven't had enough adult contact.  Thank you for showing me that the boys' dirty laundry basket actually does have a bottom and isn't the black hole I've always suspected.  Thank you for accepting that I hate your pink purse and not being mad when I don't notice your new make-up.

(Oh, and thank you for not requesting a child transfer when I was growing up.)

Thank you for everything you do.  I love you, Mom.

Friday, May 11, 2012

My Son, the Robot Maker

So posting has not been my strong-suit of late.  However, I've been meaning to post these pictures of my little assistant's very own robot

His preschool had a "Recycled Robot Show."  (Graciously, I decided to keep my robot-building-profession under wraps, so as not to intimidate the other mothers and their children.)  But I had lots of ideas, including a robot with awesome slinky arms that was bigger than Jedi-5 and could roll in on roller skates.  I was very excited.

Upon hearing of my plans, my astute younger sister advised me NOT to take over the process in the same way my father had often taken over our school science fair exhibits.  So I did my best to step back, let him pick the parts, assemble his creation, and--much to my chagrin--glue on googly eyes.  Lots of googly eyes. 

I, of course, still pulled rank when it came to the drill press.  Safety goggles or no safety goggles.

The finished product.  A veritable masterpiece.