Thursday, February 14, 2008

I'm Stickin' with You.

As a rule, Dustin & I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. I think we decided this after we realized that the thoughtfulness of the holiday was really going downhill the more time we were together. On the Valentine’s Day, when we were first dating, Dustin got me flowers. Now, he didn’t just go to the grocery store and get flowers, no he went to a florist…and even then stepped behind the counter to hand pick and practically arrange the bouquet himself. We knew that this phase in our life was over when Lily was about 2 1/2, and he got me some flowers, of which, Lily proudly announced: “We got those from a lady on the side of the road.” So, I guess that I thought Valentine’s Day was over for us…until last year when he got me a road bike. Yep, a road bike. So I decided this year I’d better do something…so here it is:

The Top Ten reasons I’m Stickin’ with Dustin:

Ten: He has an uncharacteristically really funny laugh.
Nine: Even though he’s dyslexic, he’s great at reading to the kids (unless it’s The Secret Garden, apparently it’s not easy to read a cockney accent).
Eight: He makes the best hot chocolate and Swedish pancakes. (For those of you who don’t know, Swedish pancakes are crepes…Dustin insists on calling them Swedish pancakes.)
Seven: He’s exceptionally good at designing and building homes.
Six: He brushes his teeth for, not an exaggeration, at least five minutes every night.
Five: He loves babies and is pretty good at making them.
Four: The only sport that he watches on TV is the tour de France…which, thank goodness, is seasonal—so I pretty much have his undivided attention for at least 11 months out of the year.
Three: He will only take me to movies that will make me physically ill during the inevitable “artistically shot” action sequence--a.k.a. “some guy with a camera running around following the actors, jumping off of buildings, and—for extra measure—shaking the camera ferociously.” Case in point: Bourne Identity, Bourne Supremacy, and Bourne Ultimatum (no kidding, in one of them…I had to leave the theater during some really long car chase scene…in my defense, I was pregnant and we were sitting on the FRONT row).
Two: He makes sure that he turns his shirts right-side-out before he puts them in the laundry—so that I don’t have to as I’m folding.
One: He takes care of us with all of his heart and all of his soul…and we LOVE him for that.

So, for what it’s worth, Happy Valentine’s Day.

I know, it’s not a road bike.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Nice Enough

Lily on incriminating bed.

I am a terrible mother. I did something, in my absolute darkest hour, housecleaning day, in complete desperation and pity (for myself). On Saturdays we clean the house. The idea is that EVERYONE participates--which they do, however…let’s be honest…I’m doing a HUGE BULK of the work, and sometimes, feeling very sorry for myself. So this Saturday I gave the kids their choirs, which involved vacuuming the downstairs and clean-up of their rooms. They insisted they were done and happily crossed the street to play tennis (our neighbors have a tennis court that we have readily adopted as our own). I checked downstairs and, horror of horrors, everything was pushed underneath their beds. When they came home I told them, not politely, that THIS WAS UNACCEPTABLE! Again, feeling sorry for myself and the cleaning that I was STILL doing.

I thought about this later and thought about how mean this actually was. I mean, they’re kids and they helped as well as they could. It reminded me of when we were kids…when we did our chores we earned “nice enoughs.” Which was our family monetary exchange that we could then turn around to buy things from our family store. But, it’s not the store that was so great it was the name of the money, “nice enough.” It was like mom saying, “Well, I probably could have done it better, but it’s done, and you’re learning about responsibility, and—quite frankly—it’s nice enough.” So, even though I may not have little monies printed out, next time we do chores, I’m going to politely excuse them to play as I tell them that it’s “nice enough.” Thanks Nana Dona for being a PERFECT mom.