Wednesday
Aug052009

There Really Isn't a Graceful Way to Change the Subject

I'm feeling brave.

Or stupid.

I am willing to admit that our "sleep issues" (I use quotes because really it's WHY THE HELL CAN'T WE ALL JUST SLEEP. Issues. Many issues.) seem to have vanished into thin air.

That sound you hear is my brain throwing a VERY big party. With streamers! And confetti! And noisemakers! There's even cake at the party. Good cake!

I don't know what happened, to be honest. Maybe it's the bigger bed. Maybe it's the obnoxious number of nightlights strewn about the upper floor of our house. Maybe it's the hints of an Alexis-designed mural (that probably won't be done for 20 years at the pace I'm moving) in her room. Maybe it's the fact that it's a long freaking walk from Alexis' room to our room. I can't be sure. All I know is the kid has only wound up wrapped around my head in the middle of the night once. ONCE. Once is so close to not at all that it's practically not even worth acknowledging. I'm ignoring you, Once!

Every night as I'm tucking Alexis in for the night, I ask her what she's going to dream about. It was a suggestion one of y'all made back when she was having wicked nightmares, and it's a seriously amazing little trick. I can't prove that it reduces nightmares, but I can prove that it's the bestest time of the whole day. I love hearing the kid report on what she plans to dream about. It usually starts with, "Playing with you." MELT. After that it's usually, "Playing with Barbies . . . watching High School Musical . . ." and a bunch of other stuff that is fine and dandy.

Lately, though, she has been listing the most fantabulous idea for a good dream I could have ever imagined. "I'll dream about staying in my bed all night."

It's about time the kid and I shared a dream. A beautiful, wonderful, perfect dream.

Tuesday
Aug042009

A Little Break

I was nearly done writing a post for tonight when news broke of the shooting in Bridgeville. It feels sort of silly to post mundane details of our lives right now, especially because we just moved out of Bridgeville and so many of the people affected are our former neighbors. Instead, we send our thoughts out to those who lost loved ones tonight.

Monday
Aug032009

Sometimes

I was on a mission. I planned to quickly run into Home Depot to buy a couple of tiles for The De-Farfandaizing of the Fireplace and get right back to work. My To Do Piles were threatening to bury me alive if I didn't tackle them soon, so time was of the essence. I really wanted to back to my office in under half an hour.

As I came up to one of the most annoying intersections in the world, traffic halted, despite a green light. I immediately saw why; there were dozens of police cars parked in the road. It looked like they were surrounding the little tire store. Immediately, I thought, "DRAMA!" Was it a robbery? A shooting? Ooooooh, drama!

The thought of some sort of crazy going down in the middle of Surburbia was fun for a moment, but then the mission at hand came back to mind. So, I swung my car around a few rubber neckin' fools and made a little turn so I could back road it to the store.

My plot was foiled.

A police officer stepped into the intersection and signaled for everyone to stop. It wasn't until then that I realized it wasn't DRAMA! that was unfolding, but rather a funeral procession. There are several cemeteries in the area, and I knew they had to be headed to one of them.

As I sat in my little car, police cars began pouring past me. One after another after another, cars from several boroughs silently rolled past with their lights flashing. Several shiny fire trucks continued the procession, and then what had to be hundreds of vehicles, each with their headlights on and a little orange flag stuck to the roof. All told, the procession took over 15 minutes to drive past, even though they never once came to a stop.

As the procession first began, I wondered wistfully who had passed away. I thought maybe it was a retired police officer or fireman. As the seconds turned into minutes, I began to fall back on my usual tactic for making time pass when I can't go anywhere--I people watched. The people in the procession cars represented all walks of life. There were members of the military, donning their full dress uniforms. There were dozens and dozens of denim and leather-clad people riding atop motorcycles. There was an older man laughing as he chatted with his passenger. There was a woman crying, clearly struggling to pull herself together as she navigated her beat-up Chevy. There were people who were somber as they sat silently with their passengers. There was a guy chatting on his cell phone. There were children looking uncomfortable in their best clothes. As the people continued to pour by on their way to the cemetery, there were many clues to the identity of the person they were honoring.

When I got back to my desk an hour later, I gave Mr. Google those clues and asked him to figure out who the procession as honoring. It didn't take long to find my answer. It was Sgt. Ryan Lane, a 25-year old soldier who had been killed in Afghanistan. The son of a former police chief, he was given the full honors he deserved.

Sometimes life smacks you in the face and reminds you that there are things more important than a bunch of hostile To Do piles.

Sometimes it's time to sit quietly and show respect to those who have paid too high of a price.

Sometimes it's time to say thank you.