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Thursday
Jan192017

The words between the chapters crowding every thought

Between the chapters, there are words.

Most of the words between the chapters are dark. They have sharp edges and come together like a crown of thorns, winding and dangerous.

The plot in the previous chapter was clear. While we may not have liked every sentence, the paragraphs came together to build something good. We came together to build something good. Something great, even.

The next chapter, though, it has no paragraphs. It's a series of disjointed words, each of them often acting in direct conflict with the others. It's like they are weapons pointed at one another purposely set on destroying the very fabric of that great thing we just built. We can see the danger ahead, but only if we choose to see it. 

On the eve of the next chapter, darkness falls. We cannot stop the sun from rising again, nor can we embrace the darkness forever. And so, we continue. Life continues.

Off to dance class. The words between the chapters crowding every thought. Finish dinner. Grab snacks. Get in the car.

The words between the chapters crowding every thought.

FOCUS.

Little one, FOCUS.

The words between the chapters crowding every thought.

"Mila, please come get in the car so we can take sissy to dance."

"Look at the stars! They're bootiful."

And pause. Join the little one in gazing at the sky. Take in the shining lights travelling millions of miles to give us a glimpse of another time. They are indeed beautiful. Take in the wonder and awe of the little one as she lingers in the moment. Linger some more.

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We're going to wake up beneath the same stars as we begin this next chapter. Let's not forget to stop and soak in their beauty.

Wednesday
Jan182017

Always

I am chronically late. It's a genetic condition exasperated by essentially ALL OF THE WORLD. I can plan to my heart's content, but SOMETHING will happen that causes me to be stupidly late.

I have millions of examples.

Perhaps my favorite was the time I was late to meet someone for lunch because I got caught behind a bright red Corvette and couldn't pass it. By the way, it was a winding 2-lane rural road and the Corvette was moving 20 mph. In a 45 mph zone. I don't know about you, but I see people driving under the speed limit all of the time.

You can't plan for that sort of weird.

The thing about my chronic lateness is that somehow it ends up not having an impact on Alexis. I think it might be in part because all of the things involving her are in good locations. Driving from our house in the middle of nowhere to her school in the middle of nowhere is pretty safe, especially since they're only five minutes apart. The other factor is that Alexis is a big fan of being early, so "on time" for her is generally waaaaaaay early.

For example, she prefers to be an hour early for dance class. More power to her because that just gives me more time to run errands and such.

It wasn't until today that I realized how very little my lateness alters Alexis' day. I needed to leave work early to pick her up from school because of a school activity. I got caught in a necessary conversation on my way out, so I wound up getting into my car five minutes late.

FIVE MINUTES.

I sent a few texts to make sure Alexis would get word that I would be a few minutes late. And, just as I relayed, I ended up getting there exactly five minutes late.

AND OMG. The kid could not have possibly complained more than she did. She swore it felt like hours and it was awful and waaaaaaah.

There was a lot of whining, you guys. Alexis is generally not terrible about the whining, but apparently that five minutes was worth spilling it all.

I was so confused.

I remember distinctly waiting for hours to get picked up after school. My mom sometimes had jobs that kept her there longer than expected, so I would hang out at the playground until she got there. I never knew if it was a late day or not, I just sort of kept an eye out for her. I never once thought to get mad about it.

So basically Alexis ended up treated to a "Why, when I was your age, I walked uphill both ways through six feet of snow" rant. And then I made her look at photos of snow in North Dakota so she would know I was totally serious.

Ten bucks says Mila never cares if I'm late. Twenty bucks says she's worse than I am. STAY TUNED.

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Tuesday
Jan172017

Like Taking Candy from a Baby

Mila has a sugar problem. Well, actually, it's more that sugar has a Mila problem because Mila never saw a sugary anything she didn't want to destroy. The girl can eat some junk food, yo. It's ... impressive.

This is probably a good moment to remind us all that Alexis is the WAY opposite. It was very recently that she stopped choosing lima beans over chocolate, you guys. I'm pretty sure she only changed her story because other kids were pointing out how freakish it is to pick lima beans over chocolate. My point is, Alexis is not a junk food girl.

Mila more than makes up for it.

I keep a candy jar on my desk at work for a variety of reasons (mostly because when I want candy, I WANT CANDY)(guess which apple fell from my tree!), which means that I randomly buy bags of candy. With Christmas zooming past us, I had the opportunity to buy several bags of candy on clearance. Instead of taking them all to work immediately, I stuck them in the pantry.

You know, the room Mila thinks is a jungle gym.

Of course Mila found a way to climb up to the bags of candy. I could glue one of my eyeballs to her little bum and there would still be moments in the day when I wasn't managing to keep an eye on her. She's an imp, to say the least.

Anyway, Mila found the candy, tore into the bag, and was happily sneaking pieces left and right until I busted her and made her stash go away. Fast forward a few days and she re-found the stash, or so I assume. Instead of being terribly obvious about her junk consumption, Mila decided to take her little operation underground.

She stashed a single piece of candy in each and every bag and pocket she has. There was candy in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles bag she carries around like a purse. Every one of her coats had a piece in the pocket. There was a piece in her diaper bag.

Everywhere.

Single pieces stashed.

At first I admired her ambition. She had managed to leave herself all of the opportunities to quietly eat candy without me catching her. As a bonus, she did it without saying a word about it. Considering the kid would live tweet her every move if she had access to twitter, it was impressive.

But then she screwed up.

This morning on our way to the car, Mila was quick to unzip her jacket. She was wearing a sweatshirt under it, which I know because she started trying to reach her pocket. After a bit of struggling, she turned to me and asked for help. "Can you get my candy, please?"

She knew as soon as the words left her mouth. She took off running while clutching her pocket and then started crying when I caught her before she could run into the street. Because I was impressed with her use of manners, I screwed with her and simply zipped up her jacket without acknowledging that I knew what she was hiding.

A few minutes later, we arrived at school. In the hustle of the moment, I managed to play pickpocket. Silently. As in, Mila had no clue that I stole her candy out of her pocket.

I sure am glad I wasn't at daycare when Mila figured out that I'm a thief.

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