Where Your Heart Is

When God closes a door, He opens a window.

That's how that line goes, right?  Little Ms. Atheist isn't as well-versed in the theologically inspirational lines as she'd like to think she is, but I'm pretty sure I've gotten that one right.

Three years ago, I sat on your porch and you told me how excited you were for me, that my move to another city and another country was going to be sunshine and rainbows and magic.  You told me that I'd forge new relationships, ones that might just outshine those I was leaving behind.  You told me, in so many words, that I'd find a new you.

Now, you are almost never wrong.  Most of the things you say to me end up being dead-on correct, I just don't always see it right away.  You seem to know things that I don't, understand things that I can't yet.  I can only attribute this to you either A) being some creepy psychic sage or B) being old enough to know better.   I'm going with B.

This time, though, this one time, I was right.  You were wrong.  For once, I knew something you didn't know.

I knew that you were not just anyone.  I knew that I'd been waiting my whole life for you.  I knew the measure of the empty space in my heart, and that it would take more than just a friend,  more than just a mother to fill it.

For all of these years we've had together, you've stood back and let me stumble, you've watched me fall, you've stood at the edge of that hole I keep digging myself into and told me to get the fuck out of there already.  You've never rescued me, but you've certainly saved me.  You've never forced me, but you've guided me.  You've never imposed, but you've always suggested.  You've been the mother I didn't think I wanted and the friend I didn't think I needed.

I can't articulate how much I want to be at your table tonight, lighting your birthday candles.  I can't tell you how much I miss being wrapped up in the middle of your family.  I honestly am shocked at how badly I want to watch your grandchildren unwrap your birthday presents, how much I want to go smoke with your husband and talk about the motorcycle, to hear your son in law laugh, to hug your daughter until my arms burn, to lay my head on your son's shoulder, to see my kids run into your arms and to know that we're home.

That house, those people, the world you've created around you, the one you decided to share with me for reasons I'll never know; that's what I've looked my whole life for.  It was that place, that feeling, that thing I'd seen on paper and film, but never really knew before.


You are my heart, my family, my friend and my home.  And maybe you've got just enough years on me to know better about most everything else, but finally I'm old enough to know one little thing; I will never, ever let anything shut that door.

Someday, He's Going To Charge Royalties

Once upon a time, there was a soon-to-be-blogger named Shannon.  She was about to start a little blog of very little import.  It was to be her dirty little secret, you know?

Anyway, one day she was at her best friend's house, painting a dining room or something, and her best friend's three maybe four year old son came up to ask her a question.  This soon-to-be-blogger, she was also a mother of two boys, and if there was one thing in life she was good at, it was tuning kids out.  She hardly even noticed the "um, um, excuuuuuuuuse me..." and the tug-tug-tug on her shirt.  The Kid's mother didn't notice either, really.  Shannon and her best friend never got to hang out, and when they did, the world just had to stop turning until they were done.  The pleases grew louder, the tugs grew firmer until The Kid was done.  He'd had it.  He stood in between The soon-to-be-blogger named Shannon and her best friend and said very loudly, "HEY MISTER LADY!  Can I..."

Whatever he'd wanted was totally irrelevant.  He'd forgotten his friend's moms name, and the only thing he could think to call her was Mr Lady.  Shannon and her best friend about died laughing.  A few years later, about a year into Shannon's blog, her best friend reminded her of that day.  And that, my friends, is how Mr Lady came to be.

Today is The Kid's 9th birthday.  I was trying to think of something profound to say to him, but he's, well, nine.  He probably doesn't give a rat's ass what his crazy Canadian auntie has to say about him on some weird website.  Also, I've kind of already said it and I don't think I could do it better a second time.  That's one of my favorite posts I've ever written in my life, because it's one of my favorite things that has ever happened to me in my life.

Happy birthday, Kid.  Thank you for changing my life, your mom's life, everyone's life.  I owe you, kiddo, more than you'll ever know.

Boulder Creek Arts Festival

Mi Casa Es Su Casa

Hey!  Guess what!  It's FRIDAY!  Yesterday, I saw a teaser for ER on tv and asked myself, out loud, "Huh, I wonder why ER is on Wednesday nights now?" and my 10 year old rolled his little eyes and me and said, "Mawm, it's Thursday."

Well I'll be a greased Jesus.  I lost a whole day.  I also lost 5 hours to a toddler who could not sleep anywhere but on my big fat tummy while she burned off what I am praying is the last of her fever.  Kids really stink when they're sick, you know that?  Good thing she was irresistibly cute.

I managed to get some "work" done while she slept, and there may or may not be a post on that other blog I write today.  Look, we've only had 2 months.  Stop pressuring us!

I'm rambling, I know.  I haven't been this tired since she was born.  I can't believe how sick she is, that I am literally losing days from the lack of sleep.  I called my husband at work and asked him to bring me home a ginormous cheeseburger and all the fries, and he told me he needed to go unwind after work before he came home.  Shut up, his week has been MUCH worse than mine.  So I am getting out of the house in the morning, right about when you're reading this, to go mail some Christmas boxes and drink coffee and not get perspired on for a few hours.  Until then, I'm waiting up for that cheeseburger and typing this.

So, while I wait, I might as well tell you about Casa* since it's her birthday and all, and I almost totally missed it.  Casa doesn't read this blog; I don't think Casa even has indoor plumbing to be honest.  She's my soulmate, my love, my right hand man, my sounding board, my Missing Piece.  And she lives in fucking COSTA RICA.  In the hills, not the touristy cool part with walls that go all the way up to the ceiling and stuff.

I met her the day she returned to Colorado after burying her 16 year old baby brother in East Lansing.  I had an 8 month old baby, and she had a hole in her heart.  I starting working at the tiny cafe in Denver that she worked at the day she left to bury him, and I was out back smoking a cigarette when she came sauntering across the parking lot her first day home.  I saw her, and I just knew.

I never expected another person to come into my life and to completely shatter everything I thought I knew about relationships, about people, about love.  She did just that; silently, quietly and effortlessly.  That dirty pot smoking hippie and this freaked out spaz newlywed uptight new mom wrapped ourselves in each other the way the stories tell me that lovers do.  Our lives intertwined, our souls melded.  I can't explain it, it just was.  Is.  Will always be.

I dove into her the way I don't ever do with people.  I am cautious, I am slow.  My other two best girlfriends can tell you all about that.  We damn near lived together, she used to play "A Case of You" on the guitar and sing to my pregnant belly when I was cooking up a shiny new 2of3, we made each other little gifts out of string and beads, we took pictures of each other incessantly, she held my hand faithfully through some really hard shit, and she never waivered in her devotion.  Never, through all my bullshit and my drama and my heartbreak, she was right there.  I'd like to think I was there for her, too.  All I know is that I love her just as much today, 30 years old, a wife and mother, as I did 10 years ago, silly, young and carefree, even though she's in another country, even though I've never seen her son, my godson, and she's never seen my daughter, her third god child, and we only get to talk twice a year if we're lucky.  She's the most perfect thing that's ever happened to me, and even though she won't read this, I think she knows.

me & casa New Year's Eve 2001

*Yes, Casa is what everyone calls her. 1of3 couldn't (or wouldn't) say her name, he called her Ca or Casa. Now the whole world does.