Hey – now this is exciting – I’m a guest blogger. Calgary author, Leanne Shirtliffe, is launching her new book this week – ‘Don’t Lick The Mini Van – and Other Things I Never Thought I’d Say To My Kids’. She has asked me to do a guest spot on her blog about something I never thought I’d say to my own four darlings. Now there were quite a few of those insane, spur of the stressed-out–moment gems, but read the one I shared at http://ironicmom.com/2013/05/23/summer-love/
Mother’s Day 2013 and I realized I could repent for past sins – after a few years of living away from my almost three-year-old granddaughter our big family feels so, so fortunate to have her and her baby sister (and their mom and dad) move ‘home’. And with one set of grandparents and one of great-grandparents back from winter escapes, suddenly we find ourselves all living in one city with three four-generation family groups.
Now that begs for four generation photos. True we could have set up a few calm afternoons with the parties involved at separate locations according to which side of the family we were calling into dress-up (but not to up) and smile action. But a windy warm Mother’s Day afternoon was picked for a massive ‘let’s get this done’ opportunity.
My youngest daughter stepped up to the plate as patient photographer extraordinaire, and I took up the job of production coordinator – a few days before the Mother’s Day event I realized I was so mentally excited that I’d only imagined my official invite to several key players. Could have been due to my distraction over shopping for teeny white shoes for new baby or finding the right shade of yellow hair bows to twist onto the three-year -olds pony tails, while directing the other guests to organize their groups into comfortable clothes that go together and trying to settle on a menu for a brunch that would go cold on the stove while we bossed people around.
Mother’s Day arrived – perfect overcast clouds for great photographic light –the lot of us looked exuberant – every generation, while we waited an hour for babies that needed to nurse and kids that needed to be polished up, and chairs to be transferred from suddenly too sunny spots and a very special 60th anniversary photo of my parents. And then from the minute we shouted out the first, “Cheese” until two hours later we posed and jiggled a baby, blew bubbles at the too energetic toddler, sucked in and grinned while she zipped into the shot on a ride ’em caterpillar, called senior folks from this end of the yard to that, helped the six-year-old hold the baby who was losing it, smiled and smiled, and suddenly the window closed, the baby cried, the three-year-old collapsed and myself, the production coordinated – tried to push on, ever conscious of the photos we didn’t get at the wedding – the ones I was trying to make up for, until finally I called out, “Enough. Stop me. I’ve gone insane.” And it was over. I could collapse with the little ones – or maybe even relax and feed the guests, while waiting to view the wonderful joyful shots of what we’d just pulled off.
Okay, I’ve heard the folks that defend the wildlife that hangout on hiking trails built straight through the forest, or even those animals that roam the streets of towns plunked down in the National Parks. Sure, sure we humans have “encroached on their territory” mixing up the poor creatures about what really is their natural habitat (or maybe it’s the McDonald’s French Fries they’ve been hand fed that have caused their confusion). But it is not those particular hapless creatures that I have a beef with.
The ones that have me and my neighbors up in arms (just figuratively speaking – so far) are the gang of pushy deer that have encroached on us. I’m stymied as to how the hec it came about – it started with a couple of the agile ungulates making what we thought was a guest appearance on our city street.
Now understand, we’re not on four acre lots easily mistaken for wild countryside. No, no, for years (and years and years) the city has moved south and our very residential neighborhood is almost inner city – as in metropolis. I think it went like this – Bambi and Flag in an amorous spring romp accidentally bounded into a neighborhood far from ours and went on a tear. Suddenly they came upon true civilization and a road with a zillion cars on it. They dared each other to shock the drivers and somehow sailed across it – making the pair feel rather brazen. “That was a heart stopping blast, Bambi,” shouted Flag over the din of traffic, “But where the hell are we?”
“Who cares?” Bambi called out, high on adrenalin, “I want to do that again dude.” So on the two clomped – into our freaking territory. They would have trotted by elementary schools, and high schools, service stations and pizza parlors, hair dressers and tanning salons.
“Yo, so this is where the people come from,” Flag, the smarter of the two might have figured out, as they stared down from the top of a pedestrian overpass, unless Bambi had his way and they skidded through the traffic again. Now, there are miles and miles of city streets before ours, with yummy spring tulips waving their colorful blossoms on all of them, but it was on our stretch of suburbia that they decided, holy cow, they’d hit the mother lode. As they made their way from yard to yard crunching flowers down to soggy nubs Flag paused long enough to lick his lips and say, “We have to get word back to the gang to head out here. Who needs to trip through the messy forest foraging for sustenance when this is here all laid out in even rows ripe for the picking.”
“Whoa Flag buddy, watch out. There’s a crazy woman at three o’clock that just chucked a shoe at me. Didn’t hurt, but now she’s waving a broom. Want to get the hec out of Dodge?”
“Shoe Shmoo. You’re kidding me about ever going back, right Bro? We’ve found the Promised Land. I say let’s call in the troops and lay down roots. Baby, I feel like I’m home.”