Monday, May 26, 2014

The Rebel Alliance

Recently, on my way to work, which happened to be an improv show, I realized I forgot my pants. Let me clarify, I was fully clothed at the time, I forgot my improv pants. Let me clarify again, improv pants are not actually a thing, it's just that in this particular improv show we all have to wear a specific kind of pants. And I didn't have them.

I was rushing to drop teenager #1 at basketball practice on the opposite side of the universe from my house and then off to dinner with a friend before said epic improv show. Oh yeah, and it was rush hour. What to do? I didn't hesitate for a moment, I called my dinner friend and asked him to buy me some pants and I would reimburse him. It felt awkward for a second to ask a friend, who happened to be a man, to pick out and purchase pants for me, and then, suddenly, it wasn't awkward, because he's part of my Rebel Alliance. Okay to clarify one last time, it's not necessarily a "REBEL" alliance, since we are not in fact rebelling against anything, it just helps me to contextualize most things with Star Wars.

We all have a Rebel Alliance. It's made up of Princess Leia's, Obi Wans, Chewbaccas, C3POs, R2D2s and Han Solos. They're the ones who will:

1. Jump into a garbage chute with you

2. Cover you with a poncho when someone close dies

3. Rescue you from the Sarlacc

4. Be wiser than you

5. Repair the Hyper Drive

6. Provide comic relief

7. Risk their lives to release you from carbonite

8. Need you right back

9. Pose in cheesy tableaus with you to cap off significant moments in the ongoing trilogies of your life.

10. Show up in the nick of time to send Darth Vader off course so you can destroy the Death Star with some kicky improv pants from Marshalls.*

(* See below for metaphoric translations to above list)

The Rebel Alliance is made up of a small group of folks who've got each other's backs no matter what. You may not see or talk to them for too long because of time, circumstance or geography, but you know in your bones that they will rise to the call at a moment's notice without question or judgement. They will give you shit later, but they will never judge or keep score. They get how you operate and love you anyway.

As has been embroidered on many a pillow, we all have the family we are born into and the family we choose. The Rebel Alliance is the family you choose. I can't speak for them or for you, but for myself, I am grateful and awed by them. They make the good moments better and the hard moments easier. They are a certainty in an unpredictable world. So, I guess, in a way, you and your Rebel Alliance are rebelling against the Dark Side of loneliness, feeling lost and the ever-shifting ground that we all walk on through our time here. See what I did there? Slap that on a t-shirt with a Precious Moments rendering of Luke, Leia & Han and sell it on Zazzle.

I see teenagers #1 & #2 finding their Rebel Alliances in friends, teachers, other parents and even family. It's impossible for me to express my gratitude towards the members of their alliance. They are the family my boys need when we come up short. I hope my boys continue to build their alliances and they in turn will put it all on the line to destroy the Death Star with improv pants in tow.

*Metaphoric Translations:

1. Hold your hair while you vomit.

2. Is there with wine, chocolate and a movie when you need it most.

3. Wait in the emergency room with you until 2 am.

4. Be wiser than you.

5. Come help you change a flat tire a 11pm in the rain.

6. Provide comic relief.

7. Force you to go to a play, or a on scooter ride or jump out of an airplane because it's time to try something new.

8. Need you right back.

9. Selfies!

10. Seriously, if you need to translate this one you have bigger problems.

Friday, May 9, 2014

What MY KIDs want for Mother's Day

Dear Boys,

Last year I wrote a letter to you telling you what I wanted for Mother's Day. It started this whole blog to which you have fallen victim. This year I thought I would ask you what you wanted in a mother. I was met with a combination of stony silence, rolling of the eyes and marked indifference on your way to the refrigerator.

So, I've decided to extrapolate(look it up) based on data accumulated over the last 16+ years resulting in highly skewed and biased outcomes. Here are the results:

Dear Mom,

What I want from my Mother on Mother's day and all other days:

1. Not to be asked what I want from my mother.

2. Love me for who I am, even when I'm being an asshole.

3. Stop asking me about my homework. I know it needs to get done. The more you ask me, the less likely I am to do it.

4. Please stop punctuating your texts.

5. I want you to like me best.

6. I want you to cook for me; partially because I am lazy, partially because I like your cooking, and partially because it makes me feel taken care of.

7. Do not ask me a question you know the answer to; makes me feel like an idiot.

8. Sometimes I just want you in the room. You don't have to do anything, I just want you there.

9. Sometimes you're the last person I want to see. Not because I don't love you, I just like to be alone sometimes too.

10. Enough with the life lessons already.

11. When I'm hurting leave me alone and take care of me at the same time.

12. Don't run out of bacon, ever.

13. I can take care of myself unless I can't, in which case I need you to know the difference.

14.  Read my mind at all times, but never assume you understand me.

15. Stop telling me what to do and how to do it, I need to figure it out for myself. And I know that, btw.

16. Stop leaving pertinent(look it up) magazine articles and books "of interest" casually lying around the house in hopes that this will be my turning point.

17. Stop telling me you "understand" what I'm going through.

18. Trust me.

19. Keep being a pain in my ass, because I do want a parent even if I don't know it yet.

20. Oh yeah, and buy that game I really want, make sure that shirt is clean for that really important thing I have to go to, come to all my games-but never cheer my name, get more Doritos, help me find my other sock, drive me to the Magic the Gathering tournament, watch this youtube video real quick, and if you're going to the kitchen can I have something to drink?


Teenagers 1 & 2

So boys, 

I'm pretty sure if you ever read this, you will roll your eyes, give me an icy stare and, on the way to the refrigerator, entertain, if only for a second, that I sometimes hear what you're saying when you do what you do. Not that that changes anything, but rest assured-message received.

Happy Mother's Day.