i spent yesterday afternoon with three young ladies, watching the little mermaid
and eating ginger snaps.
all four of us sang along with ariel and sebastian, and they were astonished that i knew all the words
do you own this movie???
i was ten when this disney film came out.
i forgot how good it was.
(and tried to hide my disappointment when we switched it out half-way through to watch lizzie mcguire)
i was looking through old journals yesterday, and realized that in a couple of days i will have known my children for five years.
that's right -- on feb 3 1999 i pointed my civic towards that north dallas mansion, pulled into the tree-lined drive, and met a cantankerous baby (that's her now in the center) and a helpful three-year old.
i remember when annika first started talking, and only chase seemed to understand. she'd talk, blah blah...
what did she say, chase?
she said she wants to go swimming
i remember distinctly when chase first said i really love you
in such seriousness, looking at me over his curious george book.
and when annika, who disliked me for so long, first greeted me with joy at the front door. dancing in footie bunny pajamas -- Shanna's Here!!
yesterday one of the girls said, i wish fairies and unicorns and dragons were real!
annika said fairies are real! what about the tooth fairy?!?
and everyone kind of nodded solemnly. yes, there is the tooth fairy.
as conversation blossomed, they tried to figure out the difference between this particular fairy and fairies in general.
and sofia sidled up to me and whispered into my ear, someone ruined the tooth fairy for me
i asked her very seriously
when did this happen?
did your mom explain things to you?
yes. parents are good at explaining things.
my parents did their best to not lie to me. i respect my parents' candor.
that said, two moments stand out:
(who was catholic) in heaven?
------sorrowful head shaking-----
we don't think so, baby
and a night after family prayer, after we'd read some of those big blue bible series books
you mean tippy won't be in heaven?
i was devastated. inconsolable.
don't you tell me my dog doesn't have a soul. don't you tell me that when she dies it's over -- there's no more her
i cried for hours. i don't want my garden of gems. i'll trade my mansion for my dog.
it was the first time i plead with god. the first time i questioned him. the first time i was fundamentally unhappy with reality as it was presented to me.
my parents didn't know what to do with me, crying uncontrollably for so long. we ended up walking out to the dog pen at 2am or so, and i held my dog and cried into her black fur.
i miss her acutely right now.
when i asked my mom for those blue bible books she told me that she wants to read them to her grandchildren.
that touches me in so many ways. i don't know if mom will even have grandchildren.
and the thought of her reading to my children, or my sister's or even brother's children is so sweet in a way i can't articulate.
and then there's "don't you read that crap to my kids"
the thing i remember most about those books is
the final book with last days fun shit. they explained how in the final judgment, all of your sins will be reviewed by god, everyone looking on. they said it will be like a huge tv screen, flashing all your transgressions.
i believed that for a long time.
not only do i have to brave the valley of the shadow of death (and i had a difficult time believing that i would fear no evil -- it sounded very lonely and scary) but i have to endure public humiliation before reaching heaven.
after all that, my dog had better be waiting for me.
maybe throw in a few fairies for good measure