Old. As. Dirt.

This just in, I am ancient.

No really – I am officially an old lady.

I made the horrifying realization today on my way home after Jr’s parent/teacher conference (during which his teacher said he was totally ready for Kindergarten, which sounded like “and he is leaving for college tomorrow” in my ears, so I was feeling the passing of time pretty deeply already.)

2 things happened within the span of maybe one mile that confirmed my lame-old-mom status:

I recently cut the cord with my SIRIUS subscription, so I am kind of a station flipper of late, trying to figure out what stations play what I like.  I flipped to a song a love and was singing my heart out driving down the road, enjoying the sun FINALLY being out after days (and days) of rain (and snow.) Awesome!! The song ended and the station identification came on – KOOL 105.

Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot. It was THE OLDIES STATION. The one we used to beg my dad to turn off when we were young because it was SOOOOOOO lame.

Translation – I am now, SOOOO lame.

At almost the exact moment that this terrible understanding was washing over me, I glanced in my rearview mirror and noticed that there was a little black sedan attempting to climb into my back seat. At least that appeared to be what the driver was doing, because the car was so close to the back of me I could see the freckles on the teenage girl’s face as she drove. I looked down to see if (like old ladies do,) I was driving abnormally slow. Nope, 3 miles an hour over the posted limit, totally reasonable.

I glared in my mirror and maintained my speed, not to be pushed into speeding by her presence. She continued to maintain her ridiculously small following distance, senior hat tassle swinging off her review mirror, until the car next to me (also driving normal speed,) turned into a subdivision.   Then she blew by me before swinging back into my lane and into the same turn lane I was heading for. She was going to the high school.

Something SNAPPED – my inner little old lady was shaking her cane over her head on the lawn of my mind and shouting “YOU KIDS GET OFF MY LAWN!” I embraced my ancientness.

I snapped a pic of her plate number as we sat in the turn lane. Her eyes shot lightning bolts in her rearview mirror. The light turned green and she tore away, speeding around the corner and into the school parking lot. I ambled by at the speed recommended for the school zone, tootled on home, and did what lame old ladies do in situations like these: I called the school.

Enjoy your chat with the resource officer, young lady.

(Because that is what lame old ladies call young people. Now seriously, get off my lawn. I will be on the back patio bumping the KOOL 105.)

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Counting Stars

These are Jr’s glow-in-the-dark wall stars.  He earned them after 2 weeks straight of awesomely pleasant and peaceful bedtimes.

He lovey loves them so, and helped me stick them up around his Spider Man poster on the wall where he can best see them as he drifts off to sleep.

That was exactly 3 nights ago.

Then last night, in a blaze of mortifying pre-school tantrum glory that I still haven’t been able to pin-point a reason for, he lost them all in a bedroom cage match of parent/child wills that will live in infamy in the annals of our family.

With all the screaming, bed-stripping, arm flailing, insult and stuffed buddy hurling gusto he could muster going on for a surreal amount of time, there is no doubt it was  NOT his best moment.

I can also say it wasn’t mine.

I saw things beginning to escalate when he started wrestling a bit with his Superman sleeping bag and reminded him that he could lose the stars if bedtime went bad (right to a threat?  REALLY KERI!?  REALLY!?)

Then I whipped the sleeping bag out of his bed, and went right down the check list of stuff I could take away if he didn’t cool it.

What happened to the “Yoga poses to help your child calm down” article I had read over and over recently, trying to prepare for just such an occasion?  What happened to me staying calm so he would?   WHAT HAPPENED KERI!?

We had two weeks of great bedtimes under our belts, so what hellish moon were we now under to be guiding us both down such a crummy path so quickly?  How were we suddenly there in the near-darkness of his bedroom, him jumping up and down on his bare mattress in his button-up santa jammies next to a pile of ripped off bedding and yelling; and me furiously plucking stars of the wall while stating “now you have to start all over friend, isn’t that sad!!!?”

Consequences?  I am 100% down with consequences.  But this?  I think if I search deep down in my hurt-mommy-heart, this was more just me being hurt and turning it back on him.

This was so far from my finest moment in mommydom that my view of those moments faded away faster than the baggie of glowing stars I chucked angrily into the hallway.  This was a low.

After the dust settled and Jr was asleep in a tantrum-exhausted heap in his bed, I put one star back up, near a leg at the head of his bed where he won’t see it.  But I will.

And I hope it reminds me to just try the damn yoga poses next time.

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Suburban hair

This was always pretty much me after a haircut in the city, and up until now since we moved:


ahhh… so sleek.


This was me after my last hair cut in the ‘burbs.



Well now…

That is certainly, um… fluffy.

Here’s the thing – everyone loves the damn puffy hair.

At happy hour afterward, one of the brewery owners declared, while sneaking a bite of my potato salad, that I had ditched my “grandma hair” (this is how you know they REALLY love you.) Her husband indicated that it was date night hair. General consensus is that the fluff = good.


The puffy hair gets A LOT of “how YOU doin’?” head nods (along with a move that my family has always referred to as “the Texas two-finger steering wheel wave,”) from dudes – primarily in Ford F4500-sized pick up trucks – at traffic lights.

In the neighborhood, at the grocery store, getting coffee…. People are friendly and open and ready to engage with me and my loose, fluffy curls.

Straight haired Keri?  Fine, neutral, kinda meh attitude received.

What. The. Hell. People.

The hair? The hair seems to really like itself this way – the hair, it seems, AIN’T GOIN’ BACK.

I feel like the hair is living a different life. The hair fits in better than I do, FFS!!

It’s suburban hair.

And it’s on my head.

So here’s the question – is the hair a just sign of good camouflage?

Or has the metamorphosis begun?

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Thanks, buddy. Just Sayin’.

Some days the BEST place to be is the ‘burbs.
Like today, when my kid told the server at the local cafe “it’s ok, my mommy is just upset about her really big zit! ”

Because if we’d been at the wine and pizza joint in the ‘hood where Jr spent his 1st year, I would’ve straight up burst into flames, giant zit and all.

Instead just smiled and finshed my wine….
The glass hid my zit.

Just Sayin’.

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Aunt Loretta’s Laugh Line

I grew a new wrinkle overnight.

This was not a phenomenon I actually knew could happen THAT FAST until I was about 5 months pregnant with Jr and I looked in the mirror one morning while washing the pregnant-lady sleep drool off my face and, BOOM –WTF!?   Brand new, super deep, never there at all before wrinkle above my mouth.

I attributed it to my dry-yet-zitty hormonal skin, but alas, it was here to stay.

Now I have a good handful of wrinkles that have names – along with the aforementioned “pregnant mouth wrinkle,” off my left eye there is the “Jr’s first really scary barfing illness” wrinkle…. The patch of lines in between my brows is the “are we actually going to get to buy this house constellation” (they all appeared about three years ago, as we lost then won the bidding war for The Casa.)

This newest one? It is a deep smile line on my left cheek.

It’s the Aunt Loretta line.

Yesterday evening my Aunt’s battle with cancer ended. Putting death into words is far more delicate and complex than I have tools to express – and I find myself writing and deleting additional sentences here, because it all sounds trite or somehow far too small for all that the topic means.

But noticing a line – a smile line, deep and pronounced and suddenly permanent, on this day of all days, was a gift.

My Aunt had laugh lines – from years and years of freely and easily sharing her amazing, infectious laugh with the large group of friends and family she loved so fully. That laugh lit her from within and spilled over, radiating out of her like a lighthouse, drawing people to her and enveloping everyone she encountered with joy. She was a fireball of joy… of energy, of love and giving and compassion and honesty and passion for living and doing and experiencing EVERYTHING.

Thank you for the line, Aunt Loretta.

Thank you for showing me how to live a life in which it, and all the others, are well and joyfully earned.

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