I wish I had some wild excuse for my bloggy absence. Wish I could tell you I've been working on my novel, or jetted off to some writer's conference or even have been on some sort of hedonistic child-free bender.
But no. No. I've been right here letting life kick my ass as usual.
Sorry to be so profane. But really, sometimes it feels that way, does it not.
It was Halloween that did me in. Halloween and the fact that I let the kids stay up too late three nights in a row somehow and this is the perfect recipe for disaster around here. By the time we got to Sunday morning, I was convinced Isla was sick. Turns out she was just tired. So we had one night, Sunday, of early bed time catch up then it was dreaded Halloween.
Isla could have been a Zombie without any costume, so colorless was she from gorging on candy as we walked from house to house, to house. Finally, after we had covered South, East, and North Streets and were heading down West Street, she said to me: "I think I'm done trick or treatin', Mom. I've got enough candy."
Say what? Is this my Isla ,my candy lover, my sweet toothed girl showing some sense of restraint and moderation in the face of sugar? It was. And she meant it.
We ended up at the Public library where she ate an apple, we met up with Esther, and she asked me to take her home.
Since then we've been late for school twice, I've packed pizza for lunch twice, and we've had Indian takeout once. Saag paneer is the only food that consistently gets eaten in silence around here. Isla never says a thing, no complaining. She simply eats it until her plate is clean. How something so mundane as child eating curried spinach voraciously can be so profoundly beautiful I cannot explain, but it is.
I have no pictures of Halloween to offer you. They are still in my camera.
For the last two days my entire focus has been on one: figuring out when and for how long we will go to England. And, two: buying a new car.
This second thing has been making me feel really tired and a little deflated about the reality of making grownup choices when you are still a child at heart.
I tried a VW Passat, a nice used one, and as soon as I got behind the wheel, with that stick shift at my right hand, like old times, I became a 20-something again. I have forgotten how tight and zippy VWs are. How fun to drive. Warned away from that, I tried a Saab wagon, sigh, and a Toyota Matrix, both used with roughly 80,000 miles on them.
Talk about night and day. This is equivalent to having a date with the gorgeous singer of a rock band, a guy you can pretty much bet will cheat on you but Lord is he sexy and fun, then having another date, the same day, with the boring, well- brought -up, marriage material insurance agent your mother is trying to match you up with. You know the boring guy will be safer in the long run, a better investment, reliable, but God how you are attracted to the guy everyone warned you about.
I knew the writing was on the wall when I took the Matrix to my mechanic, trying to do the right thing, and told him how much more fun to drive the Saab was, and he said,
"There comes a time in your life when you have to make practical decisions and this car is practical. The Saab is not."
Booooorrrriiiinnnnng! I miss those days when I judged a car's worth merely by how good its sound system was.
I'm trading the Volvo, which still gives me a smooth ride but threatens, daily, to empty my wallet, in for the Matrix next week. The Matrix has excellent gas mileage, remarkable roominess for a small car, and , here's the clincher, it's supposed to be so low maintenance it is practically no maintenance.
"Your kids will inherit this car," said my mechanic.
If accepting the fact that driving pleasure isn't exactly a necessity means you've grown up and become responsible, consider me an adult now.
It will grow on me, right?