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Monday, October 05, 2009

Won’t You Tell Me Why-yi-yi-yi

There are a couple of upsides to kids growing up. I know, I don’t like to admit it either. Just the conversations we share and those they share with each other, should make me okay with the process of watching my babies bloom into adulthood. I really do love listening/talking to them.

Let’s take a step back for a minute. When Lane 1 and Lane 2 were little, everything we discussed revolved around the great and powerful, “Why?” (You parents know exactly what I am talking about.)

They would ask that question repeatedly, as I would sometimes struggle to answer that age-old question. I hated not answering or saying, “Because.” and leaving it at that. I wanted to enrich their young minds as much as possible.

What a dumb ass I was!

Now…well…I’m the one who keeps asking, “Why?” It’s a role reversal thing, I guess. But it slapped me upside the head when I realized how many times the question, “Why?” pops out of my mouth on any given day. Suddenly, I am the curious three-year-old.

No wonder why teenagers think grownups are so dumb!

Lane 2 began our homecoming shopping trip with, “I need to find a red dress.”

And I asked, “Why?”

“Because my date is wearing a red tie.”

Lane 2 and I have never been great together when it comes to clothes shopping. Her 6’ 1” frame makes it very difficult to find clothes that fit her correctly. Never mind the fact that the word "mall" makes me break out in hives.

When it came to dress shopping, I told myself, I was just going along for the ride. This entire experience is supposed to be fun and memorable. Therefore, I decided to only agree and avoid any input of my thoughts. It was her night to shine.

Have you ever tried doing that with your child, allowing them to make all of the decisions? That shit is hard! (Maybe I’m just a control freak and you guys have no clue what I am talking about.)

Lane 2 tried on every shade, style and length of every dress the mall had to offer with any red whatsoever. I had a real hard time agreeing to the dress she loved most because I thought it was way too short. And sweet stars of the morning, where the hell did she get those boobs?!

Inside, I was not okay. Outside I was calm, cool and collected. At least I thought I was.

“Why this one?”

“It’s cute and I think it will match best,” she said as she smiled at herself in the mirror.

Watching her pose and smile, I nonchalantly tugged the hem of the dress down, as I said, “If that’s the one you like best, it’s all good. You are beautiful.”

When she showed it to my sister Angie, she said, “I think Mom is worried it’s too short.”

In my own defense, I blurted, “Well it is a little short, but your legs are really long.”

Her loving aunt said, “Girl, if I had those legs and your body…I’d wear the shit out of that dress!” Aunt Angie, gotta love her because killing her is illegal.

Lane 1 and his date shopped together, so I was off of that hook.

Thank blog in internet heaven, I was able to find a suit for Addison (my son’s friend who lives with us) at the thrift store. It wasn’t cool or very fashionable, but it was a dollar, it fit him and was the color he wanted.

This homecoming thing was going to be a piece of cake…even if it killed me.

I wanted to host an open house on homecoming night, just like we did back in the day. I wanted all of the kids to feel welcome, have a safe and fun place to come to before the dance, to take pictures with their friends, where they could eat a free home-cooked meal, pile on make-up, help each other tie their ties and just visit with each other.

Lane 2 is the baby so she got to “place her order” of what would be served. Of all crazy things she said, “Spaghetti and meatballs.” Think about that for a second, homecoming dress, plus spaghetti, equals nothing good can come of this On Top of Old Smokey scenario. Simple math, right? So I said the first thing I thought, “Why?”

“Why what?”

“Why spaghetti and meatballs?”


“Because why?”

“Mom, why did you ask me what I wanted to eat if you were going to try and talk me out of it?”

Oooh, bitch-slapped by 14-year-old logic, that hurt.

She continued, “We can plan dinner early so we can all just eat spaghetti in sweat pants. We’ll have plenty of time to get ready after we eat. The dance doesn’t start until 8.”

She is smarter than me, whatever.

It was 10 a.m. morning of the dance, and I was wrist deep into mixing meatballs. Lane 1 and Addison walked into the kitchen and said they just made plans to go out for dinner with their dates.

Resembling a puppy whose squeaky toy lost it’s squeak, I looked at my boys and said, “Why?”

With a quick shrug, they both said, “Because.” And that was that. I know I raised at least one of them better!

I asked the boys to run to the market for me because I would much rather have too much food than not enough. I knew at least 15 people were invited, and had no idea how many extras would show up since word-of-mouth advertising can run rampant among teenagers. I already had four pots on the stovetop, just making potato soup and spaghetti sauce. I wondered if I should be elbow deep in meatballs to accommodate all.

Maybe in a twisted way I thought by showing the boys how much effort was going into this pre-dance party, it may guilt them into staying. A tactic I learned from my own mother. (Guilty goodness, yum!)

Yeah only…that doesn’t work on 17-year-old boys. They ran to the store for me, but that was as much guilt as I could squeeze from those two.

I was so wrapped up in the kitchen, I never helped my daughter get ready. I felt terrible. But she kept saying, “Mom, you’re doing enough. It’s okay. I’m probably not even going to wear makeup anyhow.”

I was so busy in that damn kitchen, I didn't greet people as they came in! The door was just open. There were parents, cousins and grandparents, many of whom, I'd never met. Lucky for me... my husband always acts like a guest whenever there is anything going on around here. I hope he was hospitable because I sure as hell wasn't.

My friend Julie showed up early to help. We made cookies together and talked about how teenagers can drive a mom to drink or can melt your heart right out of your chest. (Sometimes switching back-and-forth between the two in the very same breath…like Sybil.)

As things usually do, it all worked out. I don’t know how many people showed up, how many ate or why the kids were eating cookies in the bathroom??? But I know everyone had a good time.

And now...the rest of the pictures.

Lane 2 eating spaghetti with fork and her hands. Guess she still is my messy little girl. I loved how she didn't even try to eat politely with her date sitting right across from her with his mom at her side.

Here's "Thee Boy's" dad and Mr. Lane.

Lane 1 and his date were the only couple who didn't mind taking pictures outside. As you can tell the lighting was way better, but I'm just a grownup, what do I know?

Lane 1...maybe he needs some dating tips.

This was my first real meeting of the girl's date's family. I knew I'd like them because their kid is pretty awesome...for a boy. Tina is washing her son's face...with spit! (Please notice her shirt and mine, great minds.)

Lane 2 and

Addison and his date.

Lane 1 and his date. I have no idea what he said to her to make her laugh, but this is what I was talking about in the post below.

Group shot, wish all of the kids and parents could have been in it.

Our baby who is way taller than both of us. Mr. Lane just got home from work... and I, well when I tell you guys I looked like a "lesbo without a Leatherman," this is the look I'm talking about. Hey, I was cookin' all day, what'd you expect?

Since I never got a picture of my kids together the night of the big dance, I thought going retro was better than nothing. You can see why I miss these days, can't you? Here's Lane 1 and Lane 2 when they were 3 and 5-years-old.

We stayed awake until 3 a.m. talking about how much fun they all had.

Looking at my baby girl's face, laughing...

...watching my son carry his date over our muddy driveway so her shoes wouldn't get dirty, all I can think is...why was I so worried?