Shenanigans

Compared to my usual frame of reference, today was a particularly busy day.
Okay, what am I saying? EVERYDAY is a particularly busy day…but I guess I was multi-tasking more than usual today. My phone began ringing off the hook by 9am (thankfully I had been up since 6:30, thanks to my early-rising youth crew). As Andrew has been incredibly instrumental in helping me promote my soon-to-be released book, along with my dear friend Tera in San Diego, I’ve started to see some traction. I tentatively set up two separate book promotion/book signing events today: one here in Bozeman in May, and one in San Diego in June. But even as I have begun the process of spreading the word on this book about my family, my experiences as a woman, mother, professional, and stay-at-home parent, I could easily be creating the outline for a sequel.
In between telephone conversations with a local book store owner and an organization in CA, I rounded the corner into my living room to find Landon pulling Gabriel backwards by the feet–belly down–stretching out the feet of Gabe’s pj’s. “Landon, it’s not okay to drag your brother around by the feet!” I heard myself scolding, en route to time out with Landon tucked securely under my arm.
Less than twenty minutes later, while conducting yet another book promo phone conversation, I retreated to my bedroom to check on the activities of a much-too-quiet trio of kids. Landon was up to no good again–this time naked from the waist down, fascinated by the discovery of his own ability to tuck a large necklace charm (of a pregnant woman) between the cheeks of his bottom and then promptly “poop” the object back out again.
Later this evening, now twelve hours into our day and while preparing the kids for bed, Ellie broke into one of her recurrent woe-is-me themes:
“Mommy? Why did Gabriel have to replace me? I wish I could still be the baby.”
“Honey, Gabe didn’t
replace you,” I answered, moving from canines to molars while brushing her teeth. All three of you have your own place in our family. You each have your own personalities, you were born at different times…you’re each special in your own way.”
I’d hoped my answer would suffice. No such luck.
“Mommy,” Ellie replied, pulling away from the toothbrush, and grasping my face in her hands. “let me be straight with you. I used to be one, and now Gabe is one year old. Now, I’m five. He took my place.”
“Hhmm, I guess you’re right, Ellie.” What else was I supposed to say?
Andrew and I pontificate with increasing frequency, that Ellie is surely an old soul. The things she comes up with are astounding. Last week, while setting the table for dinner, she lined up a row of boxes along the center of the table. I noticed her arrangement, and asked about the collection of shoe boxes, Tupperware containers and gift boxes. Pointing out a few, in order from right to left, she explained.
“These are treasure boxes from when different people were alive here on earth. This one,” indicating the box furthest to her right, “was around when God lived on earth. This one was here when Jesus was alive. This one,” now moving to the center of the table, “was from when the Native American Indians lived here, and
this one is mine, since I’m living on the earth now!” Moments later, she mused about how similar the burritos we would be having for dinner that night were to the food people eat in Pakistan, Africa, and Mexico.
So, when I step back and wonder if anyone out there will find the contents in my book the least bit interesting, my present day familial shenanigans remind me that there is no richer content for a novel, than life itself.

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