Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Careful what you say over pancakes.

David, Rissa and I are enjoying our weekly Sunday pancake breakfast.

"These are great!" says Rissa. "The texture is magnificent!"

We've been trying to perfect gluten-free pancakes for the past several years. It's been hit or miss.

"Yeah," says David, chewing on his maple syrup-soaked pancake. "These are the ones. We've done it! Which is great, because these breakfasts are soon going to be a thing of the past."

I swallow my bite of pancake. My throat tightens. Moisture fill my eyes.

Rissa looks at my face. "Dude!" she says to David. "What did you just do?"

If someone were filming this moment, there would be a well-timed shot of a single tear sliding down my cheek.  Suddenly Rissa is no longer living at home with us. She's at university. She's graduated university. She's living in a different city. She's married and has kids but we only see her twice a year, because she's so busy and has so many commitments. "No more family breakfasts?"

David's eyes are wide. "No! I mean..." He shoots Rissa a panicked look. She shakes her and gives him a "you're the one who said this" eyebrow raise. He reaches over and takes my hand.  "No, we'll still have lots of Sunday breakfasts."

"No," I say. "We won't, actually. You're right. I've got The Cat's in the Cradle playing through my head. I know that it's not really completely appropriate to this situation, but the... end... of the song... that kid who now doesn't have time for his Dad...?" There is more than a single tear now.

"Awwww... Mama," says Rissa. "It's okay. We'll still do Sunday breakfasts."

"But not every Sunday! Not if we're living in different cities! And I know that life is like that. I know that. And I know that we don't see Mor-Mor and Far-Far all that often because we live far from them, but it's different because they had two kids and weren't as hands on and really didn't care when I left home, hell they wanted me to leave home, were wondering why I hadn't yet, but we really like you and like spending time with you and..." I can't continue speaking.

Rissa's taken my other hand. "Mama. It's okay. I promise we'll still have breakfasts. They won't be all the time, but we'll still have them. Just like we have them when we're at Mor-Mor and Far-Far's."

"Yeah?" I sniff, before wiping my eyes with my pajama sleeve.

"Yeah." She turns to David. "You can't just say shit like that. I mean, seriously! She's fragile!"

Turns out? I'm that Mom. If we had a problem child going through her teenage years in a funk of eye rolling with a side of whiny sarcasm, peppered with irrational outbursts, we'd be opening the door for her, we'd be packing her bags.

This is what you get for having a functional relationship with your daughter. Spontaneous fits of weeping over gluten-free pancakes.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

YouTube University

"Do you think there are videos on YouTube on how to do minor surgery?" I ask David.

"No," David says with a note of finality in his voice.


"No, you may not do minor surgery on yourself."

"Don't be silly. I wouldn't do minor surgery on myself."

David's eyebrows rise as high as they possibly can on his forehead. "No?"


"Good," he says, obviously relieved.

"Of course I wouldn't do that. Well, really, couldn't do it, not well at least."

David closes his eyes and shakes his head.

I know that with logic, I can make a good argument. "You, though, YOU could totally learn how to do minor surgery and do it on me. It could be like those scenes in Travelers when David does home spinal taps for Marcy."


"It just doesn't make sense for me to do it."

"It doesn't make sense that you perform minor surgery on yourself?!?"

"Well not in this area, it doesn't," I explain patiently.

"What area? What could you possibly want to remove from your body?"

"My armpit pudge. Nay, verily, my armpit boobs," I say. "I have had armpit boobs ever since I've had breasts. And no matter how much I exercise, no matter how healthfully I eat, no matter how many pounds I lose..." I poke my left armpit boob.   "I still..."  I poke my right armpit boob. "Have..." I cross my body and poke both of them.  "Armpit boobs."

I am apparently speaking in a foreign language. There is no comprehension on David's face. I'm sure that I can get through to him.

"And I know that all it would take is a little 'zip-zop' underneath my pits, a little detail nozzle suck with the Shop Vac and BOOM! They'd be gone."

David opens his mouth to speak. He closes it. He opens it again. "What can I say to dissuade you of your commitment to this plan? Hey! Remember when you were learning to decorate gingerbread houses from YouTube videos? Can we go back to that? Please?"