Wednesday, May 24, 2017

I bet Chuck knows all about $%#*& magnets


I really wanted my teepee to look beautiful (can you hear me woefully sniffling?). The whole family did, I think. My six-year-old even told his kindergartner teacher about it—and she let him work on a special art project for it.

I can just imagine their conversation:

Everett: My mom is making a teepee. In our yard. We can't go in it.

Teacher: A teepee? Why?

Everett: I'm not sure. She mentioned vodka and needing to run away...

Teacher: Hmmm. Nothing a homemade butterfly can't fix. Grab your markers!

My plan on Saturday was to prepare the sheets, adorn the floor with pillows, and hang flowers from the top. I even dragged some old tree stumps to the front for alcoholic beverages, cheese and crackers and more flowers.

As you can see, things didn't go exactly as planned. I wrapped two sheets around the sticks and used pushpins to keep them in place, but as Chuck so snickering-ly informed me, my teepee suffered from improper construction at the top and no amount of pushpins, flowers or alcohol would fix it.

I blame the Girl Scouts. Remember, I once wrote that "the Girl Scouts failed me in my youth by making us knit Jesus crosses while the Boy Scouts learned practical, fundamental skills," and I stand by that! How else can I explain my snooty Boy Scout of a husband's smugness?


While I am disappointed, a funny thing happened as I stood looking at the teepee. I had an internal debate, which is pretty typical for me, between my Type A side and the Other Side (I'm not sure I actually have a Type B side, so I'll just call it that) but for once, it didn't end as it usually does.

It went like this:

Type A: Put more moxie into it you ass! With enough hard work it can still be amazing.

Other Side: Look at your kids jumping on the trampoline in the sunshine. They want you to jump.

Type A: No thanks. It's not good for my bladder. We need to fix the teepee! You wanted to run away from them, remember? Not spend more time with them.

Other Side: Look at them. When did they get so big?

Type A: We constructed a structure to get away from them! Roll up your sleeves and get to it.

Other Side: Maybe some other time. Now I just want to jump.

So I jumped. Not for long, but long enough to feel the sun and tickle the kids and trip them and launch them and huck beach balls at them. And when I climbed down, I felt a sense of contentment (mixed with nausea and bladder failure, of course).

Sometimes, the stars align and my time with my kids is free of bickering and badgering and it's just good, clean fun—and I fall in love with them all over again. Somehow the Universe knows when I need a dose of that. Maybe it saw me building the teepee and knew. Or maybe it saw me buying a case of vodka. Whatever tipped it off, just watching the sheets of my teepee blow in the wind was enough. Just knowing I can escape if I want to.

Until I became a parent, I was never simultaneously so repelled by and attracted to someone as I was to my children. It's as if you embody both sides of a magnet and your kids are magnets too. Wait. Does every magnet have both sides? Maybe it's like you only have the opposing side and your kids have just opposing. No, that's not right either. Do attracting sides attract or do you need an opposing?

Curses! I bet the Boy Scouts covered magnets! I told you the fucking Girl Scouts fucked me. 

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