Monday, May 24, 2010

Play with Your Toys!

Toys, toys everywhere, but not a toy to play with! I figure this must be the mantra that floats through my 18-month-old twins heads--and three-year-old big sissy, Laura, is no exception! Scattered as far as the eye can see and feet can trip on, are Little People trains, plains and automobiles, not too mention a L.P. plastic house per child, battery operated and ready to annoy the living daylights out of the parents who purchased them. There are also blocks for stacking, baby dolls for feeding, play-kitchens for cooking mass amounts of plastic food and enough craft and art supplies for an in-home daycare/preschool (and no, I will not be doing either).

With entertainment abound, you would think I'd be livin' the high-life--sittin' pretty on the couch with my bon-bons and reading magazines until my eyes cross, writing enough articles to create my own magazine. But NO! Instead, my three "Littles" as I call them, are either a) antagonizing the living willies out of one another. b) antagonizing the living willies out of Mom. c) playing with household items they should not be, including but not limited to: vacuum attachments, towels, drawers from a poor piece of dismembered furniture, Tupperware and their favorite non-toy-item--Mommy's phone.

Thinking I could outsmart them, I even created a "secret room"--a cleverly masked "playroom" (calling it that would of course deter them from playing in it). In the room the size of a large closet, I set-up the play kitchen, a small table and matching chair; and encouraging sissy Laura to help me, put cute flower and dragonfly appliques on the walls. Ha, that ought to interest them; and it did! For all of two seconds. Waa-waaaa. It didn't even take a full day for the novelty of the "secret room" to wear off quicker than cheap nail polish.

I'm tempted to meltdown all toys so I can transform them into vacuum attachments, furniture drawers, Tupperware and cell phones...although surely, the Littles would immediately detect that these household items were once "real" toys, and disperse them amongst the rest of the graveyard toys--all my hard meltdown work would be a big waste of time. I'd love to discuss this subject more, but the girls are in a hair-pulling contest and there are toys to pick up.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Greatest Puzzle of ALL Time

"Mommy, It's okay," Laura whispered from her car seat, "I'll sing you Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." I sopped up my tears with a section from my trusty paper towel roll or "cry roll" as it came to be called at our going away party. Although a rendition of Twinkle, Twinkle in a high-pitched three-year-old voice is sweet, it only slightly extinguished the sadness of leaving behind some of the greatest and most powerful memories built over the last 12-years.

As I sobbed in the passenger's seat of our mini van from Gladstone to Lawrence, I recalled the faces of those I said goodbye to that very night, and the days proceeding our move from Kansas City to Arizona. It was like picturing a puzzle of all my favorite people and memories--a puzzle I spent every waking hour and attention building, only to be broken apart right when it seemed to fit together just right.

How do you say good bye? How do you move on when your puzzle is jumbled? Each person, each piece of the puzzle was an intricate piece of my life that I know I am the better for. Whether I knew them all 12-years, or perhaps only a millisecond, each person in that puzzle helped me to change, grow and reach heights never attainable without their help. If you know me, you know how much I just really like people. Yes, sometimes even those who may be part of the puzzle with little rough edges and peeling paper, or might not pop in as cohesively as some of the other pieces...even those. I've needed the shabby pieces just as much as the perfectly cut ones to experience the full life I lived in this magical place. Kansas City--magic you say? You bet your sweet Royals, Chiefs, BBQ, N Oak, stupid pot holes everywhere, unpredictable weather, cow pasture, behinds! Magic.

As I sit in this hotel room somewhere between the scattered pieces of an old puzzle and the unopened puzzle box of another, I still feel a little weepy, perhaps in need of a three-year-old Twinkle, Twinkle serenade. Still, I can't help but feel, that my place of magic will call me home again someday and I can put my puzzle back together--maybe even add on just a bit.