This is your captain speaking

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Last week’s sixty-four colors was a reprise of week one’s robin’s egg blue.  I found this on the outside of an art studio in Morro Bay, CA.  I still haven’t found this week’s asparagus.  I need a new box of crayons; mine has a lot of weirdly named colors, but it doesn’t have asparagus.

Last Sunday I turned thirty-nine and a half, and at one point during the (incredibly good, good) day, my internal dialogue (monologue?) was all, Hello!  This is your captain speaking.  We have reached a cruising altitude of thirty nine and one half years today.  It’s time to get over the baby lust, lady, really way past time.  Here, take this PUPPY LUST instead! 

The truth is that a puppy would just as surely kill me dead as a baby would.

But that won’t make me stop wanting them.  I keep having dreams where I rescue abandoned babies and take care of them and then I wake up and I miss them so desperately.  I really don’t know what the hell that is all about, but I think a puppy would make it better. 

There’s been a lot happening here.  Right now, I’m set up to sleep in the living room on a big chair near Nathan, who is zonked out on the couch.  I am too worried about him to leave him alone all night.  He’s zonked out because he had 50mg of benadryl, and he had 50mg of benadryl because he is, as we learned this evening at 9:36 p.m., allergic to codeine, which is why I’m worried about him.  And why – ahem – is my eleven-year-old taking narcotics?  Well, yesterday he broke his big toe.  He gnarly broke it.  At the beach.  SG was going to take a day to himself to go dive with friends in Monterey, but he ended up taking the boys with him (and getting Lex a new wetsuit) so they could go get in the water and also do guy stuff like eat beef jerky for breakfast. When Nate went to stick his skimboard into the sand and make it stand upright, by, you know, hoisting it up over his head and ramming it into the sand with all he was worth, it came down on his big toe.  There was blood, but thankfully he didn’t need stitches.  In fact, he managed to still go boogieboarding the rest of the afternoon, because he is totally badass (and maybe because the Pacific is icy and made his foot numb?).

I know there isn’t much to be done for a broken toe, but I took him to the ER today, about 24 hours after the fact, all the same.  You can’t just let your kid sit there with a green and purple and swollen toe and not at least go check to be sure there aren’t errant bone chips floating around in there, right?

There aren’t any bone chips, but the xray showed he broke his right big toe bone just above and on the right side of where its last joint is, if that makes sense.  So that is why the codeine.  We started out with just a half a tab, and that was enough to make him pretty loopy.  We went out looking for crutches, crutches that the doctor and I agree he probably doesn’t really want because they are a pain and will make him more likely to fall and hurt himself, but crutches that he was so fixated on that I decided it was better to just let him learn the hard way.  And now?  We have crutches for just in case or for Halloween, only they are TOO BIG for Nate unless he puts them out to the side instead of straight down under his arms.  That’s a long overpriced story, but it was the third place we’d driven to and so when the dude told me they were the right size, I didn’t look too closely at the label.  There is the inches that tell the size of the crutches, but those don’t translate into the size of the user.  That’s what the other label is for.  The one that says “Adult.”  Yeah, I should go back, but, no, I probably won’t.  I’m beaten down and that would take way too much effort. 

In the car on the way there, Nate was talkative.  He didn’t want to go with me to get the crutches, but he’s never had codeine before and my mom spidey sense told me not to leave him alone in case he was allergic to it, so I made him come.  The girls, too.  And that is why they got to hear him ask me things like, WHY do people bite each others’ EARS when they are making out?  I don’t GET that.  Really.  Biting?  What a wrong time to not have any movies in the van.  While I was figuring out how, exactly, to answer that, he drifted off into jabbery talk about something else.  Hopefully Willow won’t ask her first grade teacher why people who are making out bite each other.  But she might, because her teacher knows everything, and obviously her mom has no clue.

After we were home with the crutches, I terrorized the ambulatory children into cleaning up their mess in the living room (it goes like this: You have ten minutes until I come through here with a garbage bag.  ANYTHING left out is trash.  Then you go through and start putting their eyeglasses and remote controls and novels in the bag and they freak and you dump the bag out and growl, I will be back in FIVE minutes.  This time, NO MERCY.

Fifteen minutes to a tidy living room!  They only cry a little.  Don’t *really* throw away the $400 eyeglasses, of course, but *do* really throw something less important away from time to time so they don’t think you aren’t serious.  Because you are very serious.

You’re welcome!

Really I did ask them nicely REPEATEDLY to clean up and they chose to ignore me.  So the fact that things got kicked up to an ugly notch had more to do with them than with me.

Let’s talk about nice things now, like the fact that last weekend, a million years ago,  I went to San Luis Obispo with SG and we had Such A Good Time.  We didn’t make any plans, and so the natural course of things led to us eating really great food (steak and eggs for breakfast, awwww yeah), watching a couple of movies (The Hangover and Crazy Heart), driving around Pismo and having shaved ice, SG buying me TWO awesome pinup girl swing dancing dresses, almost driving SG’s car down onto the beach, sitting on the beach watching a whole bunch of college aged kids walk by with twelve packs of super cheap beer, and shopping downtown. 

I had a moment there on the beach, on the last day of being thirty-nine and not thirty-nine and a half, where I finally stopped caring all that much about how I look in a bathing suit.  I’m not going to go and rock the string bikini or anything, but if I want to wear a two-piece, Whatever, I will.  It was something about watching all the girls twenty years younger than me walk by that did it, odd as it sounds. Without getting into too much detail/drama, I’ll say that I’ve spent a stupid amount of time wishing I were all willowy and tall and thin when the reality is that I am 5’1 and athletic and strong.  Oh, and I’ve had four kids.  And a c-section.  And my appendix out.  Sitting there on the beach, I saw these gorgeous young girls in bikinis with hips and bellies and muscly thighs walk by and I was so impressed by them, if that’s the right word.  I think that I have finally broken free of the stereotypes about beauty that I maybe didn’t even always realize
I had.  I was sitting there under my floppy beach hat like some energetic self-esteem coach totally struck by how beautiful all these young women were and instead of feeling old and jealous I felt good.  How dumb is it that when I was their age I hated my body?  And now I’m this softer and blurrier version of myself and I can walk down to the beach in a pair of short board shorts and a bikini top, holding SGs hand and honestly enjoy being with him and feeling the sun on my shoulders on the first day of spring instead of feeling ashamed that all the people on the beach would look at him and think, Why is he with her?  Mainstream culture can really fuck you up, apparently, if you don’t stop to think for yourself.  Sometimes SG says he wishes he could go back in time and meet me way back when, when we were young, because we found each other a little bit late and it feels like we missed all this time together.  I’ve never told him this, but I wish I could go back, too, and meet me.  Pull me aside and tell me that all the self loathing was really, really dumb.  Give me a huge hug, whisper in my ear, Enjoy this time, love yourself, everything is going to be okayAlso, watch out when you are thirty-nine and a half because you may get all melodramatic and obnoxious.  Seriously, though, ENOUGH with the self-hate.  Go have fun.  And hang out at the Winchester skate park, there’s this guy who hangs out there and I think you should meet him.

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