Thursday, April 30, 2009

In Defense of Friendship

Several years ago my front door became a revolving portal through which therapists, early intervention specialists, kids for playgroups, and sometimes stray animals entered. Despite the chaos, I felt overwhelmingly isolated. So it was with irony that I decided I was too busy for friendships. I went on my “mom on a mission” life and thought I was tough enough to make it on my own.

It wasn’t really until the biggest storm blew over that I finally realized the importance of friends – which seems backwards, doesn’t it? Well it is. I wish I had come to this eureka moment much sooner. It isn’t until we make our friends a priority, that we receive the serendipitous rewards of friendship. We must squeeze in time whether it's between soccer practice, homework, science fairs, and work. If we don't, we're missing out on an important piece of life.

So I’m dedicating this blog entry to all the friends who have lifted me in hard times, cheered me on when failure was imminent, and told me to remember my own motto.

To you!

Here’s to the friend(s) who:

• came to my door holding “made from scratch” cupcakes in one hand and her three-year old in the other. For the entire conversation I forgot that I was a week overdue with Bobby Banjo. I even got so carried away they slid off the plate, yes all 10 of them, homemade frosting side down on the carpet.

• brought me flowers, unknowingly, right after my four-year old told me he hated me for the very first time and slammed the door in my face.

• said to me, “I’ll take dorky over fluffy” any day, referring to me as the dork.

• is a make up artist and volunteered to do my make up for my author photo. She also had done Stephenie Meyer, Glenn Beck, and other celebs which made me feel even more special to be grazed by her foundation brush.

• brought dinner over the day Sean passed out in the bathroom at work.

• drove to SLC to my book signing in the snow with her car full of girlfriends, and arranged for us to all have dinner beforehand.

• drove miles to come to my Malad library event – many of whom I haven’t seen since high school.

• saw I needed girl time and arranged to go mountain biking with me.

• brought dinner over when I had strep throat for the seventh time that year.

• read my book and sent me touching emails. There are many of you all across the country.

• didn't get upset with me for dominating the conversation because she kept asking me so many questions.

• reassured me that I can still make it to heaven even if I've said a few bad words.

• didn't freak out when I dented her car.

• told me my zipper really wasn't down when I gave that presentation even though it really was.

• arranged to have lunch last week. Judd had a fever that day, but I took him with me anyway. As I opened the door of the restaurant, her son was throwing up in the corner. We ended up chatting and crying in the car in her driveway.

• blogging friends who have better lift and support than a 44D.

• took photos at my book signing, enlarged one to a 5x7, framed it and delivered shortly after. Also included in the package was a necklace imprinted with the year 2009 and on the flipside says, “Never, never give up.”

• reciprocates but doesn't smother.

• watched Bobby Banjo so that I could pitch my tent at the capitol for 45 days.

• acted as my personal publicists.

• know the importance of women supporting each other.

• laughed and sometimes snorted even when I wasn't that funny.

• reassured me my that it isn't likely any of my kids will be in prison someday.

• (aka autism moms) who inspire me to be better, every single day.

• taught me how to be a good friend.

Aging is inevitable, but friendship keeps us living.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Are you ready to Betty?

Tuesday morning, I received some terrible news. So disappointing and gut wrenching (at that very moment) that I contemplated running in front of the guy on a bike that I just saw pass by my house. I settled on a trip to Super Target instead. But before I left I checked my email for the third time in 60 seconds. Nothing? Still? Where are these people I emailed seconds ago! The exclamation in my head is barely punctuated as I stepped on a lego with my naked foot. %$&#!

I passed by the mirror on my way out the door. I cautiously backed up. Bubble appears above my head. "Does it really look like I have silicone implants in my butt, or is it the pocket placement on my jeans. Pocket placement. When I clench it’s not so bad, but if you look at it from that angle…where is that guy on the bike? Did he pass already?"

I get in the car, plug in my iPhone and click to the Titanic Soundtrack. I suddenly remember the Huggies commercial from yesterday, and my throat swells. So I forward to Chariots of Fire. I get to Super Target seconds later (normally a 15 minute drive) with sweat beads on my forehead and a resolve to start training for the Boston Marathon.

I smooth out my crumpled grocery list:

Medium cheddar cheese
String cheese
Go-Lean cereal

Two hours later, I swing into the shortest line. I notice the contents in my cart. My list – buried in the cart somewhere.

Crunchy Cheetos
Cheetos Puffs
Flamin' Hot Cheetos
Cheetos Puffs Twists
Natural Puffs White Cheddar
Fritos twists
Have a New Kid by Friday by Dr. Kevin Leman
A t-shirt (long enough to cover my pockets) that says, “You mess with me, you mess with the whole family”
Fish net stockings
Lindt truffles
Hostess cupcakes
Chocolate milk
Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey
Tampons – Super, super
Sunless spray-on tan

As I unloaded the groceries in the car, I carefully placed the Cheetos in the front seat. Then I wildly threw the rest into the back and shoved the cart down the row. I hopped in the front seat and tore into the Cheetos like I was a kid opening her first Christmas present. I didn’t slow down until I reached the bottom of the bag. Where are the truffles. I NEED them to balance the salty. Then I called Sean and asked him if he thought my rear was too big, because I knew he’d say something wickedly delicious. And he did. Click. He must have known about the fish net stockings.

Product placement warning. Please leave a comment! Betty Confidential autism essay.

Next up? Photos from Malad book signing...I so heart all of you. Which reminds me of how Seriously So Blessed I am.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Bahama Mama

I just noticed my last post was on Friday the 13th. This one - April Fool's Day. Something must be on the horizon and it had better not be magpies on my roof.

We just got back from our cruise to the Bahamas. I have been snowing ever since. Really. Sean and I fell asleep to the crashing of 20-foot waves and a warm breeze for a few hours with only a dab of sunscreen on our noses. One day later and 600 mg of ibuprofen every four hours, one could upholster a sofa with my skin and have a stylish, comfortable leather couch. My face has shed four layers and is now a camouflage of browns and reds. I looked like a leper just in time for my PBS interview this afternoon. Product placement warning.

As I crossed the threshold into our house of insanity, I was met by Bobby Banjo skidding down the hall in his dinosaur pajamas. He threw himself into my arms and kissed me all over. We snuggled for a few minutes before I started reading him a delightful new book of poems my editor sent home with me called My Hippo Has the Hiccups. As I turned to page 3, Judd looked at me and said, "Mom, I thought you were dead." I thought he was starting his own poem until I waited for him to deliver his second and third lines but instead he just stared at me with his eyes searching mine. I squished my nose on his and said, "I'm not dead, silly. I just went on a cruise!" He wrinkled his freckled nose and started to laugh. I guessed it was okay for me to laugh - even in the face of death. Then I put him to bed and dreamed I barely survived the sinking of the Titanic.