Now, I Just Have To Get Him To Stop Picking His Nose, And We'll Be All Set

My nine year old is a Pisces. That means that he's emotional, and that he's conflicted, and that everything in his life is driven by his feelings. My eleven year old is an Aries, which means nothing goes further than his thick head. He finds reason for everything, he thinks everything through, and emotions run about a 2 on the Importance Scale in his life.

I was born 15 minutes off the cusp of Pisces and Aries, so I'm about as close to both as you can get without having an evil twin growing out of your throat. This just means that I get both of my kids pretty well. This also means that we all have birthdays in the next 44 days; just sayin'.


The differences in my children make my life totally complete, absolutely fascinating, and consistently inconsistent. They need two totally different styles of discipline, affection, encouragement and socialization. My oldest son can (and does) get lost in design and programming and science. My youngest son needs people. He needs physical interaction just to maintain his sanity. He needs friendships and he needs love.

Conveniently enough, he found both this weekend.

He's been fairly epically in love twice before, which is saying something since the kid hasn't been alive for an entire decade just yet. His first One True Love was Sam. They were five and she taught him how to french kiss on the playground at school one day. She was a troubled little girl from a troubled little home and he was, well, him, and those waters run deep. They were soulmates, best friends, two halves of a whole and he still refers to her as the great love of his life, four whole years later.

The second girl was Natalie. Natalie looked almost exactly like Sam, but didn't have the troubled-childhood thing under her belt. She was older than him, popular, athletic and smart. She was the girl that every little boy wanted to have the attention of, but my son was determined to win her over. We talked a lot about how to treat a girl, how to win her heart, and he agreed that it would be best if he was just nice to her. He went out of his way to include her in their playground games, but didn't treat her like "a girl"....he just played with her, like she was every other kid. He didn't nag her, but he didn't ignore her, either, and he didn't tease her like most of his friends did. And then one day, once the groundwork was laid and she knew who he was, he wrote her a private letter. He told her that looking at her was like looking at angels, and that when she was near him, it was as if he was in heaven.

The boy's good, yo.

Aside: I only know about this letter because he left it at his friend's house and that friend's mom found it. It was so adorable, she actually hand-delivered it to Ms Natalie. After she called me to read it to me.

But then we moved, again, and 2of3 has been reluctant to make new friends here. You move a kid far enough away from everything he loves enough times, and he starts sheltering his heart.

He's got a few buddies here; not anyone close enough to get into really good trouble with, but just enough to have a kid or two to eat lunch with. 2of3 is the kind of kid who needs one person, just one, that is all his own. He needs that soul-crushing, all-consuming connection with someone, and without it, he's just not the same kid. Which sucks, because he's manically awesome when he's whole.

When we had some friends over for dinner on Saturday, we assumed their daughters would be friends with our daughter. She's 4, they are 6 and 7. We figured our 11 year old would lock his door and hide in his room the whole night, and we figured that 2of3 would spend the night showing the grown-ups how far he can shove his fingers up his nose while the girls all played together.


By the end of the night, their 7 year old and my 9 year old were in a tent out back with a flashlight, a board game and some popcorn, just hanging out. They played video games together and played tag with each other and had juice boxes together.  They met, they wooed, they made exchange of video game cheat codes.

He absolutely adored her. Admittedly, she IS pretty flipping adorable, but after they headed home for the night, I went up to the boys rooms to send them to bed. I found 2of3 on his brother's floor, slowly and deliberately pushing a little skateboard up and down a little Tech Deck ramp, and I asked him if he had fun. He sighed. I asked him if we should invite the girls to his birthday party, and he didn't even look up at me when he said, "Mom, I think I have a crush on her." I said I thought he did, too, and he said, "But she's only seven. I'm going to have to be really nice to her, huh?"

Yes, kid, yes you are. I have a feeling it won't be all that hard for you to pull really nice off, though.

I Sure Hope I Put That Netflix Movie in the Mail

Exactly one year ago today....
See this?

This is what I am doing tomorrow at 6 a.m. or so. With 3 kids. One of which who is under 2.

I think my Happy Meal is missing a few fries.

Our little one week vacation went slightly over schedule. We came, we saw, we stayed. Sometimes it flat out blows my mind how much can change in a year. Here's to my husband, who had the courage to try. Here's to my kids, who had the capacity to understand. And here's to me, who, for the first time in her life, attempted a little thing called forgiveness.

I'm glad we took that road trip. I'm glad we decided to make his Father's Day present us. I'm glad that I didn't intend this, or even want this, when I got into that car. It's been one of the hardest years of my life, this one, more internally than anything else. I don't know how to forgive, I have no earthly clue how to trust, but I'm learning. Every day, I find out one new thing about myself. This thing, this rebuilding a marriage, has been so much harder than anything I've ever had to do before.

But you know what? It's not impossible, it's not too hard, and there are days when I think that nothing in this whole world is more worth-while. The speed-bumps are annoying, the pot-holes really, really hurt when I hit them, but the times when the sun is out and the road is open? Those are the happiest times of my life so far.

Would I do it again? I honestly don't know. But, just once, I did that thing that I was most afraid to do. I took the road less traveled, just like I said on my wedding announcements that I would. And I am really lucky that I did.

I remember stopping at a pretty schwanky hotel in Boise tonight one year ago, the one I couldn't afford at all but got anyway, figuring we'd just eat mac & cheese for the rest of the month once we got home, throwing the kids in the pool, and calling Gigi to check in. I remember the sound of her voice, and the concern she was trying to mask, and I remember thinking that, for the first time in my adult life, I'd found home. That woman was home. I remember reading my comments that night and seeing Diane's, and realizing that she, a woman I still have never met in real life, was home, too. That I had real, grown up friends, that I had finally found my spot in Denver, in life, in all of it.

And then I just never came back.

I miss home, I really do. I ache for Denver, for Gigi's kitchen, for the possibility of taking in a Rockies game with Diane someday, for Molly and Marge and Aimee and David and Andy and Stephen and all of you in the Mile High Club. But, you know what? This right here, this couch, these pictures, my Mini-Cuisinart; that's home, too. And that's just fine by me.