Through the trees she could just make out the twinkle of porch lights and she made her way towards them, daring to hope that maybe the strangers living in the house would let her make a phone call. But who did she have left to call? Her thoughts swirled wildly as her breath came in short gasps. Him. She could call him.*
You may be wondering why I have a photo of a Batman mask on my old Cabbage Patch doll. I have no explanation. “For the Love of Blog” month needs no explanation (Thanks, asnair. Excellent title. Much better than my idea, “Rediscover My Profound Love of Blogging Month.”). My parents garnered this Cabbage Patch Doll for me at the 1980s HEIGHT of Cabbage Patch Mania. I believe they waited in line. They are magnificent parents. And now my girls play with it. But the Batman mask is all me. I felt like she needed a little badassedness.
Speaking of parenting…
All the voices*** talking at me all day long and tattling on every little thing like I’m not even here is making me want to run away to Free People, where I’m pretty sure a new pair of joggers will solve all of my problems. I’m settling for hiding in my own house and occasionally setting boxes of mini muffins out for them to find.
Them: And then he did THIS and then THAT and then she took THIS and then she put her whole self in and then her whole self out and then she shook it all about…
Me: What are you, the narrator?
They’ve hit the part of the summer where there’s just too much togetherness. We’ve gone full Lord of the Flies around here, and if I see a pig’s head on a pike, I’ll know it’s time to load them up and take ’em to Grammy’s.
(While I’m writing this, the girls just burst in here to tattle on Elliott for breathing. I can’t believe he would commit this heinous crime. The punishment will be swift and severe.)
Meanwhile preparations for tomorrow’s Fourth of July festivities are under way, and I’m giddy with excitement. Our town has a ginormous parade, with more candy than Halloween thrown from floats bedecked with an array of red, white, and blue. The juxtaposition of floats is The Best Thing Ever, as you might see people pumping iron on a float sponsored by the local gym, followed by a church float with an entire praise band singing “Lord I Lift Your Name on High,” followed by a bar passing out coupons for free jello shots for the ladies. Stars Hollow ain’t got nothing on my small town.
The Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays. I’m a fan of the non-gift-giving holidays, the ones where all the good memories are tied into family and friends and there’s no performance pressure. My dad, the early-riser, always stakes out a good spot on the parade route and brings donut holes and we show up with our coffee and kids. Evie gets covered from head to toe in powdered donut, her favorite food of all time, and we wave flags and scream enthusiastically, then go home and grill a bunch of mediocre burgers. It’s a beautiful tradition.
Since last week I turned in my manuscript to my editor, navigated all three kids through the gauntlet that is Swim Team Championships, and flew to Colorado and shot 16 episodes of a TV show called Moms Everyday****, this week I’ve endeavored to accomplish nothing. I’ve read two books, laid on the couch for excessive amounts of time, eaten frosting out of the can, and caught up on my Jimmy Fallon. I had a mom date at the pizza dive I talk about in my book, where our kids were so loud I thought we were going to get kicked out. I would’ve kicked us out for sure. People in this town are much nicer than I am.
You may be wondering if I’m a big fat liar, but for realsies, I’m putting together a fun box o’ love that I’m giving away this month, and as soon as I can tie Alex to a chair and make him set up my countdown clock thingy, I will get the giveaway up and running. We’re very professional around here.
If you live in the U.S., Happy Fourth of July Slash Independence Day. If you live elsewhere, I will have Evie eat a donut for you.
*Alex is very concerned about the protagonist and insists I finish her story so he can sleep at night. It started with a car bomb and then some bad guys and now I have to finish the story.
**He also feels I need a better delineation between the story and my regular ramblings, so here. This concludes the story blurb for the day. We now resume our regular programming.
***To be clear, these are the voices of my kids, not the voices in my head. At least I think. Well now you’ve got me doubting myself.