Sunday, July 17, 2011

Neighborhood Watch- Fairy Division

I just got home from our annual pilgrimage to the beach.  Trust me- anyone who willingly camps at the beach with children (let alone a husband) is, by definition, badass.  'Cause between the sand (oy the SAND!) and the trying to find things people will eat and the sleeping on the ground and the bug spray and the sunscreen which only attract more sand? That's a whole mess of work.

This year we had an added wrinkle in that my darling girl- the budding artist- wanted to Make Art this summer.  So we schlepped sketch books and colored pencils and markers down to the water every day and then we schlepped them back.  She wasn't that committed to the work, though.  Instead, she was all about the sculpture.  Mainly, she was about Fairy Houses.  You've seen them, right?  Teeny tiny little homes for Fairies?  They're sweet and charming and they're hell to build out of shells and drift wood and sand and kelp.  Especially when every. single. piece. has to be placed Just So.  We built about 10- complete with teeny tiny plates and teeny tiny chairs and teeny tiny itsy bitsy food on the plates.

As we were working on House Number 8 of our little Fairy Subdivision, crouching behind some rocks in Just The Right Spot, I hear a voice.  An 8 year old boy (aka juvenile delinquent).  Want to know how I know?  "Look!  Little tiny houses!  Let's stomp on them!  Look!" stomp stomp stomp.

Now, at this point I'd given over at least 3 days of quality beach time to crouching in the sand tucking little bits of sea gnarl into cracks that housed god-only-knows-what, so I was not so much the mellow groovy chick I usually try to be.  I popped my head up over the rock, eyes narrowed and ready to kill- especially when I saw this punk-ass kid in board shorts bouncing a ball into #2 and #4 of Fairy Acres.  His buddy kept yelling "Hey C!  C!  Over here!" I assume he'd selected the next victim.  Maybe they'd found a baby seal to club or a puppy to kick.

When I started towards them, the buddy took off (C needs to make better better sidekick choices, doesn't he?).  C starts to take off too but it's either a testament to my teacher voice or to his lack of intelligence, that C stops running when I call his name.

"The little girl who built those worked for hours on them.  You just ruined her work for fun. FOR FUN!  Do you think it's fun when someone ruins something you made?  I don't think it's fun.  I think it's mean.  That was a mean mean thing you just did. Go find something else to break and stop being mean, you hear?  Now git."  (Yes, I said "Git."  Like some Ozark grandma.  Apparently I channel the Beverly Hillbillies when I'm cranky.)  And I waved him away and watched him run.

Don't mess with the Fairies. They'll kick your ass.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

This is Your Brain...

Long holiday weekends like this one just past are a mixed blessing for me.  I love the days off- I'm not an idiot- but they're hell on my unreasonably high expectations (a kissing cousin of my Impossibly High Standards).  I imagine bar-b-q and family board games, all governed by the calm competence I recall infusing the adults of my childhood.  Now, we did pretty well this weekend- there were fireworks and a baseball game and friends over for the aforementioned charbroiled goodness and a lovely spread of food under my apple tree- but I'm up this morning with a little bit of an emotional hangover.

Here's the thing- I think the RealSimpleMarthaStewartNaturalLiving thing is a gateway dream.  It's not real but imagining it feels so good and it seems so possible...but it's an illusion.  It's a mirage that leads us further into the desert, away from the oasis of real connections with people who are imperfect and funny and interesting and definitely Not Martha.

Not badass, maybe,  but perhaps a step along the way?