Party in the hood

Once again I’m left with a busy week(s) where the days blow by faster than sand in a windstorm and at the end of the night I’m sighing a breath of relaxation after my kids go down for bed. There’s so much to do now that spring is here. I almost can’t stand how undone my garden is. I have things planted but not nearly what I wish due to the fact that I’m digging up heavy, wet sod to tear back the grass, making way for real soil. It’s like I’m pulling hair out of the ground just to make way for food to grow. The perfectionist in me is cringing every time I look outside my window at my half-made garden. I’ve been trying to put form to it because I have to grow a lot of my veggies in the front yard where most of the sun will be. I just didn’t want my front yard to look like a farm came and landed on the lawn. I wanted some decorative flow to the beets and lettuce. Circles, half moons, pathways rather than just rows of carrots and corn. So I’m undone inside with all of the unfinished-ness in our lives.

Matt is also building a chicken coop, something we had wanted to do in Madison but interior work on our house always prevailed. Now we finally feel ready for this (we also go through so many bloody eggs that it just makes sense for us to get chickies) but we’re still fairly busy with life and three children. We’re getting there though. Slowly but surely….that’s the mantra that keeps chanting in my head. Better that than “get ‘er done”!

I still need to re-register my son for the homeschooling academy, figure out what I want his curriculum to be, order seeds that my dear friends The Shatsi’s made possible through a loving birthday gift through Seeds of Change, attend a child’s birthday party tomorrow, book camping spots for the summer (they fill up fast and who doesn’t want to see where Twilight was filmed?), take advantage of my sunny days to work in my garden and read to my kids on a regular basis. I’m falling asleep just re-reading all of this. What I would rather be doing is sitting on a sunny beach, eating fruit wedges and picking sand out of my turkey sandwich but this stuff has to get done. I still have panicky days where I wonder if my kids are getting all that they need to grow into amazing, secure and delightful adults. Somedays I recall the events of the day and it seems like I’ve only said three sentences to them at all, just because I’m so stuck in my head, thinking of all the tasks (I’ve always been this way) and just when I think they’re likely going to end up, as skinny jean wearing Emo adults, writing grim poetry while sipping black coffee in a dim lit coffee shop, I catch a glimpse of just how rad they are.

Today our next door neighbors who have several people living in the same house while most of the dudes living there don’t work during the day (if at all) and shot- gun Coors Big Mouth cans at 11 am, they told us one of the couples are celebrating their three-year old’s birthday and my kids were invited to come over. All my kids heard was the word “cake” so of course they HAD to be there. I think they’ve seen her once so they seriously aren’t the closest of friends to this girl. Alas, a youthful sweet tooth shall drive them and the excitement of other kids around drove them running into the house screaming, “Mamma, we get to go to their house for a party”. In my mind I was picturing them playing around all the adult dudes that live in the house while they smoke, drop the F bomb and drink straight out of their 40 oz of Old E’ (this really happens). That’s when I decided that I’d be chaperoning them.

We also have a tradition in our house: when it’s someone’s birthday the kids make the person a card and sometimes a gift. If it’s another child they often give them one of their toys. I started asking them to do this so that they would learn how to give a gift to someone else. The beginning lessons were hilarious as they would run upstairs to grab the rankest, most beat up toy that they haven’t played with in years and try to give it to the birthday child in question. I would try to help them understand that their dear friend would never want a Strawberry Short Cake doll with a severed arm and nappy hair or a Lightening McQueen car that had no wheels. We’re still learning….

Today though they both came inside, made the girl a card, Oliver made her a potato person (one of our recent projects that he really liked), Chloe made a butterfly and then grabbed a glow in the dark lion from her room (that last one was, once again, a lame “I never play with this yucky thing anyway” toy). I was really proud of them because I didn’t ask them to do it and they just couldn’t wait to go next door and give it to her. She’s only three so I don’t think it’ll go down in history as one of her more awesome gifts from the neighbor kids, heck her parents may even think it was a dorky gesture and that I could have at least run out to Walgreens to buy a damn Polly Pocket! But again, I was really proud of them for wanting to give…not only that but wanting to create something for her.

In the big scheme of things….I think my kids are going to be ok….


2 thoughts on “Party in the hood

  1. your rock Tracie! Hang in there and maybe when we see each other again, in like 15 years or so (!) we can go to the beach together and have the time to eat some fruit and veggies and think back on these awesome but very busy days of our lives. Love you and your honesty!

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