Sunday, March 30, 2008

the search for delicious

I could eat him with a spoon I think, couldn't you?

The day after Valentine's Day is a special one for me. Not because I am still all caught up in the after glow of the love showered on me, but because it is the first day I am able to find chocolate cadbury eggs. I know it is ridiculous to find such joy in a lousy, mass-produced, processed candy, but really, the chocolate to candy shell ratio in these is near perfect, and this year I even found them in dark chocolate, a substance I abhorred until Nikki got me addicted this summer!

So imagine my disappointment to learn that the lunar cycles have been aligned such that Easter is in March this year. What?!?!?!?! Maybe they could have moved up Valentine's Day too, because this has seriously cut down the season for cadbury egg eating. I know, with the amount of preservatives in them they could probably last all year long, but for me, their flavor is enhanced by the anticipation of Easter, that, and if I ate them all year long I am certain I would begin to look like one even more than I currently do. Maybe the alignment of the planets is God's way of telling me to go on a diet :)

So, with cadbury eggs out of the question for what should have been 3 more weeks, my quest for the delicious must be rerouted. Here is what I found:

The great glass wall at the Georgia aquarium, much more beautiful when experienced from the perspective of J, my 5 year old nephew battling autism, who cracks me up with his sly wit and melts my heart when he runs to me and clings unabashedly because for a split second he has mistaken me for his mom, and who loves fish (and based on my hugs those split seconds, loves his mom too) like I love cadbury eggs.

The enthusiasm of Ellie, who believes in her heart of hearts that the Easter Bunny just knew she was going to be playing Nancy Drew with her cousins and brought her a Nancy Drew coat, never considering that it was just coincidentally cute. Bigger than life Ellie who bought her teacher a rose with her own money for her birthday this week.

The giggles of cousins sleepovers, Mike and his family from Texas joined by Holly's children, all 11 of them playing and running and eating and egg hunting and squirming and squinting when it's time for Easter pictures. And all of them sad when the party is over. But none sadder than me, Auntie Mel, who would take any of them, or better yet, all of them, any day.

The wonder that she is not offended when people tell her she looks like me, though her beauty pales mine in comparison. She still admires me, and is immune to the body image based world. When she looks in the mirror, she likes what she sees, I hope it lasts forever. . .

The feeling of abundance when the yard is covered, the mommies have packed and planned and the daddies have hidden, and now it is time for the children to hunt for eggs. There is so much that for one brief moment, each is feeling so lucky with her own basket that no one is worried about how much the others got. A feeling I wish we could replicate in the adult world. A feeling that sits better in your stomach even than cadbury eggs.

The silliness of a boy wearing a lego box for a hat. He is desperately attempting to recreate Evan Almighty, taking spare wood in the backyard to build his ark, offering the most heart felt sincere prayers to God that he can change the world (which his four year old brain equates with building the Ark) and opening his eyes afterward, excitedly bursting out "did He say yes?"

So, does the food create the taste or is it the eating of the food, the smell, the pretty plates, the company? Either which way, when I look really close I find it outside of a wrapper, the part of my life I want to savor, the delicious.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

On Beavis and Butt-cho

Four and a half hours in the car dropping off and picking up this weekend brings me to the ugly revelation that Beavis and Butthead is not just a fleeting memory of too much MTV from college, but I'm getting ahead of myself. Why so much time in the car?

My poor, deprived children are generally not allowed to slumber with friends at their homes for parties. So, imagine the joy and squeals of delight when Kennedy and Ellie received an invite to Middle Miss's birthday party - it was a slumber party and it was family. They were in!

And imagine my anguish when I saw the softball schedule and Ellie had her only Friday practice that night, the eve of Opening Day (yes, Alpharetta takes softball very seriously). Just for reference, Dahlonega (the site of said party) is a mere 45 minutes each way. So, what is a parent to do?

Sporty dad says she must go to practice, softy mom says Kennedy should not miss a minute of the once (maybe twice)-in-a-lifetime approved slumber party. Mix it together and you get 2 trips for drop off plus one for pick-up the next morning - we are die-hards! And we love Middle Miss!!

Getting back to Beavis, my children quite enjoy the i-pod in the car. The girls are relieved when it plays because they don't have to listen to "Boring Mormon Talk" (sunstone podcasts), NPR, Clark Howard, Dave Ramsey or Dr. Laura (yes my listening habits are quite odd - especially when they are all listed together).

The boys love to sing-along to "Little GTO" (which they learned from the B movie RV). But having heard it 7 times already and feeling a bit nostalgic since all this driving was beginning to feel like a road trip, I turned on Johnny Cash.

My girls don't know it, but they have it easy on the ears. Growing up, my siblings and I seriously considering petitioning the FCC to ban from the airwaves a country music group called Trio - starring Dolly Parton who sang (or pined, depending on your view of country music) in extreme soprano. It was that or crackling AM sports where you could kind of hear 1/2 of a play and then static, then my dad would deliberately tweak the dial bit by bit hoping for another glimpse into the game.

The only tolerable sound we had in the car was Johnny Cash. And everytime I hear him, I am taken back to the days of early morning drives through Utah to get to Great Lake Powell - but that's another post.

Anyway, Stevie loves "Ring of Fire". He was singing along and all was well, until I started hearing giggles, then full on cackling from the back seat.

"hee hee hee, he said 'fire' haa haa haa"

Was I hearing voices? Having a sad college flashback? This can't be my son, a boy with half of my genetic makeup. Another chorus and it was confirmed.

This was not a college prank, the once-popular MTV cartoon with crass obnoxious humor has been reincarnated via the boys in my backseat. I did decide to rename the show given its current actors. Let me know if you have been pining for a sequel since we are now the reluctant producers of Beavis and Buttcho.