Thursday, June 16, 2011

It's Not Possible

It's not possible that my first baby, the one who made me a mother--who literally made me who I am today--was promoted into high school this morning. (She's in that photo, somewhere....) These kids came walking in, looking for all the world like actual young adults, as if this was real, as if they were really growing up.

I refuse to accept it. It's just not possible.

It's also not possible that my baby baby was promoted into fifth grade today, too. With comments on his report card that are as different from last year's teacher's final words (even though in many ways they were similar in content) as his first day of school was different from the entire previous year's horrible experience.
N occasionally shares answers with the entire class. His comfort level with others continued to expand this trimester to include even more students and situations. He was able to work more independently more often than in the past. ...
The growth--personal, if not physical. It's incredible. How can he be so heading-toward-grown-up already? How is that possible?

Summer is on. That, too, seems impossible. And Southern California seems to agree with me, since it keeps producing winter-like weather--clouds, drizzle, temps in the 60s.

See? Time doesn't march on. It stays still. Still, I say. Be still, my babies. Stop moving so fast. Stop moving away from me so fast.

(I'm so proud of you, both. So proud.)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Whose Idea Was It To Have Dogs Again?

Really, Snug? A skunk? At 11:00 at night? You needed to kill it and get sprayed in the face by it (though probably not in that order) and then later come running into the and your not-quite-as-stinky-but-still-plenty-smelly companion?

My house smells. Snug smells, despite the outdoor dousing in oatmeal shampoo we gave him. (Yes, next time we WILL have something a bit more up to skunk-busting at hand; oatmeal was way to wimpy for this job.) Dobby smells, because he stuck his nose into all the proceedings. And there's a dead skunk in a bag in my garbage, just in case the vet needs to see it. And also because we didn't know what else to do with it.

And once again, N slept through it all. He was pissed about the opossum; when he hears he missed a dead skunk, he's really going to be displeased.

Me? I'm over it. Not that I was ever under it.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Idiomic Reality

Dobby was outside barking his fool head off; he does this now and again. It was late. Well, lateish. I didn't want the neighbors bothered. So I went to the back door and called him.

This usually works. It almost always works. But tonight, he kept barking. Finally, when my calls turned to commands, he obeyed. But as Dobby was coming in the back door, Snug was exiting. Seconds later, he'd reappeared...with a large creature in his mouth. He dropped it at my feet. It was a not-an-infant-but-not-full-grown opossum. And it was dead.

"Baroy!" I yelled. "Snug just brought a dead possum into the house!"

Baroy came into the family room, Em trailing right behind.

"Em, get me a garbage bag," Baroy said finally, after staring at the lump o' possum for a few seconds.

"And an oven mitt," I added. Because right then, I'd noticed the opossum blink. "He's not dead."

In fact, as we were about to learn when Baroy reached to pick him up, he was very much not dead. So much not dead that he sprang to his feet and dashed toward Baroy's desk.

But Baroy was faster than he; he grabbed the creature by its tail, and held it susupended in the air.

"Put it outside, over the fence to the side of the house, so the dogs can't get at him again," I told Baroy, and he headed out the door.

"What was he doing?" Em asked then, pointing to the animal. (She'd cowered outside the room after she'd delivered the supplies, so had missed the events.)

It was then that I realized: "He was playing possum," I said.

* * * * *
Minutes later, as Baroy was putting Nature's Miracle on a wet spot we simply did not want to know the origin of (god, I hope that stuff works on possum pee), he looked up at Em and me. We were standing near each other, making frightened-and-grossed-out girl noises.

"Why did I have to do that?" he asked. It was a rhetorical question, but I chose to answer it anyway.

"Who has the penis in the family?"

"Not us!" said Em.

Baroy shook his head, disgusted.

Later (after an incident in which Baroy had gone outside to make sure there were no other half-dead young possums in our yard and stepped in some dog poop, but didn't discover it until he'd walked through the house and back out again...and the less said about that the better) the "why me?" conversation came up again.

"Well, would you prefer me to have picked up and possibly been attacked by a rabid possum?" I said, indignant.

"Hell, yeah," said Baroy. "But I knew it wasn't going to happen."

"Ach!" I said in mock disgust, gesturing toward him but looking at Em. "See? Chivalry is dead."

"No, chivalry is not dead," said Baroy. "I took care of it. I didn't make you do it."

"Fine then," I replied. "Chivalry isn't dead. It's just really reluctant."