Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Lesson #50: Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam, Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home.

Hubby and I spent The End of World in San Fransisco watching exuberant sign wavers and bullhorn shouters await with mounting disappointment the Rapture that came and went without even a whisper to let us know it happened.

About 6 p.m., around the time said Rapture was supposed to occur, Hubby and I were driving around purposefully lost near the Haight district looking for trouble. Something. Anything interesting. We had spent the day on the Embarcadero oggling what good money can buy (as if we had good money), and were ready for a stiff drink and front-row seats to watch our beloved state slide off into the ocean.

We parked in the first empty spot we found after an hour circling a 20-block radius of Haight-Ashbury, and walked the Haight sampling rum and cokes here and there. After a couple of hours and some hard-core window shopping (that place shuts down earlier than a podunk mountian town, I tell ya), and after coming to the conclusion that the world was not going to end but damn if San Fran doesn't LOVE to celebrate Morrissey's birthday -- as does our family by the way -- we decided to head back "home" to our weekend nest at the Embassy Suites.

The ES is one of my favorite places to stay for three reasons: free drinks for two hours in the evenings, free breakfast buffet with complementary omelet bar, and reasonably priced room service until 11 p.m. OK, four reasons: the indoor tropical atrium is pretty darn cool. The Burlingame ES wasn't the nicest I've stayed in, but it was a convenient place to stay so that we didn't have to make the two-hour drive back home.

Speaking of which, upon my return home, I truly surprised myself with how much I've aged in the past half-decade or so. I used to love running away to hotels and fancy restaurants. Now, I notice, I tend to spend my time on vacation thinking, "I could have made this drink stiffer at home," or "I would have put fresh basil and roasted the garlic in this pasta if I made it at home," or "my bed is so much bigger, softer, more comfortable at home," or "this indoor atrium and lagoon pool is just like the solarium and lagoon pool we have at home only with much less people."

I truly enjoyed what was a romantic end-of-the-world getaway with my husband last weekend.

But darn if I wasn't happy to head home at the end of it.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Lesson #49: Mom is an ogre.

Lately, C has taken to sneaking into my room at night and crawling into bed with me. He steals a pillow, wiggles down deep in the sheets and pretends to go to sleep.

His mom, if she's still awake, will sometimes seek him out and make him go to his own bed. At first, I was an advocate for the child sleeping in his own room, but his despondant wails are just so sad, and his little face is just so cute, and so lately, I've been advocating for his escape from bedtime.

This means that we have become compatriots at sneaking around after lights out. C quietly steals into my room, gently shuts the door, slides into bed, and then wiggles all the way under the covers down to the foot of the bed. When Mama opens the door and asks, "Have you seen C? Is he in here with you?," I wink at her, point to the wiggling, giggling lump under the covers and say, "I haven't seen him. He must be in his own bed."

When the coast is clear C crawls back up to the surface and whispers, "Is she gone?"

"Yes," I say.

He waits for a noise, any noise, then throws the covers back over his head. "She's coming for me!"

"No," I say. "That's just the wind. Or the neighbor's cats."

Eventually we fall asleep.

Last night, C was supposed to be sleeping in his own room, or with his own mother, whichever. I drifted off into a nice sleep and was suddenly wakened by C running into my room and slamming my door. He threw himself into my bed, stole one of my pillows, and layed there, looking at me.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

"I am sleeping with you," he answered.

"Why?" I asked.

"Because mom is an ogre," he answered.

Suddenly the door handle rattled and shook. Mom the Ogre was trying to get in. But C had locked the door.

"Did you lock your mother out?" I asked.

"Yes," he answered.

"Go unlock the door," I said. C didn't want to. I insisted, so he hopped out of bed, unlocked the door, then ran back to the safety of the sheets. The door was silent. Mom the Ogre had left us alone for the night.

"You can't lock your mom out," I said. "That's not nice."

"She will make me go to sleep," he said.

"I will make you go to sleep," I answered.

C promptly closed his eyes and pretended to snore.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Lesson #48: If your parents never had children, chances are... neither will you.

Mothers day came and went this year with each of our children dropping by at some point or other during the week. Our wonderful children texted well wishes, brought hand-picked wildflowers and handmade cards and looked cute and child-like for a moment despite the fact that half of them are 6-feet-tall or taller.

This year, each one of them decided to gift us with heart attacks.

The oldest, G, checked in to let us know he had finished a four-page paper on the philosophy of the institute of religion for one of his college courses and was so proud of it, he wanted to bring it home for us to read. We listened to the news mouth agape. This was the child who, just three years ago, refused to finish high school and swore he'd never sit at a desk again. Now he's a full-time college student embroiled in his own education. Our Prodigal Scholar.

The next child, D, whom we've lately been worried about because he insisted on taking the year off after graduation and has had a difficult time finding work from the back seat of his car where he is living, came home bearing artwork (albeit questionable artwork) as a gift. Later that week he called to let us know he landed a job, would be moving into his own apartment within the month and no longer needed financial assistance to pay his car insurance. And by the way, he's making almost twice minimum wage.

Middle child, K, has always been our trouble maker. Like G, he rebels against authority, is argumentative and difficult to be around, yet so loveable and endearing when he is behaving. Despite his behavior issues, he is highly intellectual, and is testing out of high school this year and eagerly starting college in the fall. We only have three weeks left of school for him, but I still fully expect to get a last minute phone call, much like I did on the last day of school last year, letting me know that he has been banned from school grounds once again for insubordination, extortion or general mischief. To our great surprise and delight, he was the first of the children to call us Sunday morning to wish us a Happy Mother's Day. At 6 a.m. Because don't all middle-child mischief makers rise at the crack of dawn?

The youngest teen, IC, is our most forgetful and dreamy child. We thought no one could top D in the daydream department, but IC gives his older brother a run for his money. Teachers call him lazy, but I know better. It's not that IC doesn't listen to his teachers, so much as he sits there imagining his teachers are cloaked in dragon scales and breath fire, and he's just waiting for the day when he will don his cloak and raise his sword and vanquish those evil-doers who force him to do homework. The other day, IC followed Hubby around as Hubby picked a few roses from the garden and laid them on our pillows to suprise us ladies when we came home from work. IC asked him what he was doing, and Hubby answered, "When you grow up and you like a girl, you'll understand what I'm doing." We fully expected IC to forget the holiday, much like he tunes out birthdays and other important family events. In a twist of fate however, I came home on Friday before Mother's Day to a note in IC's handwriting that said, "Happy early Mother's Day Mom" and wilted but well-loved rose petals strewn about my bed.

Finally, the sweet, adorable  baby of the family, C, who is a never-ending source of joy for us aging parents spent the first part of Mother's Day refusing to eat the wonderful breakfast his father made for his mother and me. When we adults banded together and told him he had to eat his eggs or go back to bed and start over, C, climbed down from his chair, harumphed down the hall beyond our sight, then screamed from the top of lungs, "Fuck you guys!" After we absorbed the shock of the three year old screaming obscenities at us (thank you older brothers), we burst out laughing. We weren't sure what else to do in the situation.