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Saturday, April 30, 2005

If this is a dream....please don't wake me!

Something's weird in my world. I'm not quite sure what to think of it. I'm afraid to bite the bait on the end of the line because I know I'll find I've suddenly got a hook embedded snugly in my cheek and I'll be on someone's dinner plate. As you know, things haven't been going so smoothly and I've come to expect adversity as the norm. But somehow, there's been a reprieve of sorts and I find myself on smooth water. Perhaps it's just that I'm floating in the calm waters in the eye of the storm. Whatever it is, I'll take it for what it's worth.

On Friday, I came home from work, rushing into the hall bathroom because my back teeth were floating. Usually, this bathroom, the bathroom that guests would use should there ever be guests, is a complete and utter disaster. You see, it's the bathroom that the kids share as well. Two daughters and a son who can't seem to find it in themselves to keep this bathroom clean. More often than not, there will be towels in heaps on the floor, capless toothpaste tubes on the counter, untold numbers of dirty underwear astrew (or "buttfloss" as Charlie likes to call those slingshot pieces of fabric the girls wear), but NEVER, and I repeat NEVER, is there a roll of toilet paper to be found. I hurried to make it to the commode without wetting myself, panicking at the thought of not being able to make it the few extra feet to my OWN, safe and clean, bathroom haven. But what should I find when I sit and take note? The bathroom is clean! The towels are hanging on the towel bars, and not just hung nicely, they are color coordinated as well. There is no hair in the sink, no makeup or hair products on the counter, and damn if there isn't a new roll of toilet paper on the roll. Even though my "job" there is done, I sit there, perplexed. Am I in the wrong house?

As I walk out of the bathroom and make my way to the kitchen, I notice that there are no dishes in the sink. WHAT??? I can't believe it. Not only are the dishes from breakfast gone, the dishwasher is empty as well! This can't be. I MUST be in the wrong house. I walk into the living room. Surely there will be evidence there that teenagers live here. But no. No schoolbooks everywhere. No candy wrappers and empty juice boxes left around. The couch pillows are all where they belong; ON the couch! I'm convinced that I'm in the Twilight Zone.

At dinner that night, I ask the kids:

Me: Did someone clean the house today?

Averie: I did the bathroom before I left for school.

Caris: I did the living room and kitchen when I stopped home before play rehearsal.

Bryson: I emptied the trashcans.

Me: Are you all feeling alright? Do you have fevers?

They: No. We just thought it would be nice.

Me: Thank you SO much. It IS nice. (pause) What do you want?

They: (laughing) Nothing. We just thought it would be nice.

Now, let me just say that things in Parenting World have been on the sucky side. It seems that we are being met with obstinance at every turn. Yeah, I know, I glow when I speak of them normally. But please understand that NO MOTHER wants you to know that she knows completely why some animals eat their young.

**At 15, I can't usually understand a friggin thing that comes out of my son's mouth. His response to most inquiries are a gutteral wookie-like grunt. My pleadings to get him to take out the trash are often met with "in a minute". That minute came and went with the millineum.

**My firstborn middle child, Caris and I are SO alike that we butt heads with a frequency that gives me more than virtual bumps on my noggin. This week, we're having issues with communication; her lack of it, and our desire for it. We haven't been the best of friends this week.

**I usually have nothing ill to say of my Averie. She can tend to be a bit lazy when it comes to helping with the housework. But I give her lots of leeway because she works two jobs AND carries a mind-numbing 19 units in her sophomore year and STILL manages to find herself on the Dean's List. Caris, however, believes no leeway should be allowed. Still, she's come to be my advocate and will often pick up the slack in my defense.

Now, that having been said, this morning, I went outside to find Bryson washing my car AFTER he came home from surfing. Averie cleaned her room BEFORE she went to work. Then, when I took Caris to get her hair "trimmed", she actually changed her mind and asked the stylist if her hair was long enough to donate to "Locks of Love". I was floored by the gesture. So was everyone else in the salon. I sat and watched as they measured carefully to make sure she had the required 10 inches of hair to donate, and asked me to verify that her hair had never been colored or permed. They asked her three times if she was sure before they cut it. Then, after it was done, they handed her the cut braid and let her say her goodbyes. The whole time she was smiling as if she'd just opened the best present in the world. In my mind, I took back every nasty thing I though about her this week.

In the car on the way home, I asked her if she was sorry because I know how much she loved her hair. She responded; "Mommy, even if I didn't like the cut, I couldn't be sorry. Somewhere, some child needs it more than I do. Besides, this was something on my Life List that I've always wanted to do. And now I have and I'm so happy!"

It's one of those blessed moments that makes all the ugly, hard ones go away.


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