Today I did this. Don’t be startled by the large bosoms on Zuzana. Well, be startled. For me, the startledness (?) never ceases. It’s a timed workout, and while my time was definitely over any of theirs, it was still within reason and amazingly, I only kind of felt like lying down forever afterwards.

Now, almost 12 hours later, I’m definitely feeling it. Yowsa. But Day 2 – I win!

Today was what I refer to as Administrative. I sat at the computer for most of the day (obviously…I’m still here) and got shit done. Email catch up, some editing work, some writing work, some more editing work, eating here and there, looking at this…which I’m currently infatuated with. It doesn’t hurt that her name is Joy and we’re both under the age of 80. Yay for butter and cream and people who love to bake!

I just got off the phone with C jr, who called to tell me that she got new shoes and finished her report on sea urchins and lost another tooth (no, just kidding, an EYEBALL wahahahaaaaa) and that she loves me. C jr tells me she loves me all the time, and it is a wonderful thing. I’m always fascinated when I meet kids and parents who so clearly share the same genetic code. C and C jr have much in common: they both go into a new experience with the excitement of colts, they both prefer to blindly stick their hands into the popsicle box rather than choose a flavor, they both have the same hands and feet, and they both say I love you a lot. C jr and I ventured into Costco over Memorial Day weekend, and had I not had the love and affection of an effervescent nine-year old, I would have surely clawed the air in frustration and static rage. When that place is packed, it is PACKED. But C jr rode on the cart between my arms and spent much of the trip leaning back into me and delivering smacking kisses on my cheeks.

When my Norwegian friend was here, she commented that I talk to C jr like she’s a person, not a kid. Well, yeah. We all know those idiot adults who think all children are deaf morons. WHAT GRADE ARE YOU IN SCHOOL? WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE SUBJECT? AREN’T YOU ADORABLE??? I’m sure I’m guilty of saying all those things, but I hope to god I never said them in that shrieky voice grownups get sometimes. Because let’s face it – kids can be terrifying. They’re often brutally honest, and it can come out of nowhere. I remember the time a friend of mine was swimming in a pool…I was sitting on the edge, dangling my feet in the water and talking to this kid who was extolling the virtues of his water wings. My friend swam over, the kid took one look at her and said, Hey, you have a mustache. Mortified, my friend paddled off as quickly as possible. The kid turned back to me and pretended to pop the water wings.

There have definitely been times when kids have said things to me that catch me up. I ran a theatre camp one summer and it nearly broke me. But you know who took the most energy? The parents. I spent hours on the phone one night talking to the mother of a sullen, disrespectful, scared 12- year-old who knew he’d been farmed out so his parents wouldn’t have to deal with him. He was only there for a week, but after Day 2 it was clear he had the power to emotionally annihilate everyone. We were just trying to play the mirror game, yo. So I reluctantly called his mother. And of course, it all became excruciatingly clear. She just didn’t know what to do. There was no overtly dysfunctional family secret, or an abusive parent, or a learning disability, or anything. She was just a working mom who thought it would be good for her kid to learn how to express himself. Unfortunately, he liked to express himself with his middle finger.

This past Mother’s Day, some of my dearest friends gave me a Mother’s Day balloon. Because you’re a mother! they cheered. When they first presented it to me, I didn’t get it. And then – OH! Dear god, that’s right. I’m a kind of mother. I hope I’m the least-evil stepmother ever. I suppose the best way to know is to ask C jr, who will undoubtedly tell me that she’s eaten ants before and can play her piano piece fast and has this friend who hangs on her arm it’s really annoying and can I have a snack and let’s go the park. And oh yeah, I love you. Works for me.

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