what I learned this week…drunk yard work still works.

by Janelle Hanchett


  1. I’ve been contemplating our neighborhood a bit. It’s an interesting place. There is an alarmingly high number of individuals in the immediate vicinity who still have their Christmas lights up.
  2. There is one house on our street featuring boarded-up windows and foil accents. I’m guessing tweaker.
  3. There is another house with broken glass in the garage door and a “lawn” that is yellow, serving primarily as an overflow parking area.
  4. My neighbor to the left sits in his garage all day drinking Budweiser and smoking cigarettes. When he reaches a healthy buzz, he does everybody’s yard work.
  5. On the plus side, our lawn looks freaking incredible.
  6. And, oddly, despite the weirdness, I kinda dig this place.
  7. Anyway, I’m in so deep I’ve forgotten what the surface looks like. Is there a surface? Was there ever a surface? I feel I’m at complete capacity and I haven’t even begun “officially” homeschooling the 5-year-old.
  8. Speaking of the 5-year-old, next week the 5-year-old will become a 6-year-old, which sounds so much older than 5, my heart is breaking a little. I don’t know why exactly, except that he is still in that precious priceless glorious stage of childhood – where there is happiness – pure undisturbed happiness – and there is no fear and there is no worry and there is no self-consciousness and he is free. And I want him to stay there. I don’t want the world to creep in and fuck him up, making him doubt and reason and act like a “grown up.” But it will. Just as it has with Ava. And then I will only see my Rocket in glimpses – my boy in pockets, pockets of blue mohawks and breakdancing and cuddles and freckles and tears and Legos and racecar games and rolling on the floor in hysterics. Stop making me talk about this. I’m starting to cry.
  9. Imagine if the world were constructed in such a way that we stayed like 5-year-olds for all our lives – not mentally , but spiritually – our souls –free and open and ready. For everything. For nothing. For life.
  10. When I see those pockets in Ava – at 9 years old – I stop what I’m doing entirely and watch. Soak it in. Let her be a child no matter what it entails. And then, I try to join her. Because it’s in me too. Just obstructed by the bullshit storyline of “adulthood.” What is it anyway? A bunch of constructions, a bunch of expectations, a bunch of crap that won’t matter when I’m on my deathbed. Screw it. I’d rather act like a 5-year-old. They are happier than most adults I know anyway.
  11. In other news, my dogs may kill each other. I think they’re still trying to figure out who wears the pants in the relationship. Dumbasses keep beating each other up. I figure if they don’t kill each other in the process, at some point they’ll figure out who’s the alpha and just give up the fight. I have no time to figure out dog issues. I’m having enough trouble with those of the human variety.

Anyway, I love you people. Please keep voting for me. By the way, I recently came across this photo of Rocket at the Further festival in June. Is it possible for anything to be more perfect?


19 Comments | Posted in weeks of mayhem | September 4, 2011
  • Amber

    Your neighborhood reminds me of the trailer park I lived in up in Oroville California for year. 🙂

    • renegademama

      Yay trailer parks! And wow – trailer park in Oroville…? I can only imagine. I’m morbidly curious. And yes, he is a trailer park character for sure. We love him. Sort of.

  • Stephanie

    Funny and sweet! I shared it on my Facebook page.

  • Char Klassen

    Got me a just turned 6 boy and I feel ya. He’s pure child and I often soak in the momma moments. We’ve got to.

    • renegademama

      “Pure child.” Well said. I hate it when they have moments of “grown up.” Even when they’re just quick glimpses, they hurt. Wahhhh.

  • Michael Ann Riley

    LOVE the photo. I wish we could all live with such abandon as well. Being an adult really sucks sometimes. But on the other hand, we get to do what we want. Most of the time. Wait, maybe not.

    • renegademama

      Exactly, Michael Ann. On the outside it APPEARS we’re free…but are we? Deep thoughts. 🙂

  • Christina

    I often wish my neighborhood would have that same vibe, that way we wouldn’t look like the biggest fuck-ups on the street. If you know me you will know how true this is.

    I feel so full to capacity that I think, “This is going to be it. This is the day I am going to burst, give, slip a little, and then what?”

    I hope I make it through. I can feel that older wiser woman just within reach on the other side and I really want to meet her, she might be kinda cool. I pretty sure she does’t give a fuck and nothing can make her burst.

    Thinking of hanging out next Wednesday with Mariah. You should join us.

    Rocket is the same age as the Group I “teach”. And I use that word loosely. Ask me about it. Its pretty cool. (If I do say so myself. Haha Really I swear it is. Ask me you’ll see.”

    • renegademama

      I can’t wait to hang with you. Of COURSE Wednesdays are my busiest most horrible days. I have class until 10pm (do homeschool in the mornings, class from noon-10pm. fuck).

      Very well said re: the wise older woman. I love her and hate her. Love her for her confidence. Hate her big ass and saggy tits.

      Ya feel me?

      • Christina

        I feel ya. But remember, I’m older, wiser, and I dont give a fuck. Besides I’m thinking boob lift and tummy tuck. (wink) ~sigh~ I know I should just be running but who has time for that.

        Ok then my other day off is Monday.

  • Laurie

    My oldest will be 9 in a few weeks. He will play with toys meant for babies and LEGOs meant for 14 year olds. He’ll read board books, and he’ll read Loooooong chapter books. I have friends who don’t get it, that it’s okay if my kids do things that aren’t “age appropriate”. This is one of the few times I’m grateful that I homeschool. (I’m an accidental homeschooler, but that’s a long story.) Hopefully my kids will get a few more years of childhood in before they go all sophisticated on me. Hopefully you’ll see the same thing with Rocket!

    • renegademama

      This is awesome. I love that your kids can play – just PLAY – without fear of consequences or judgment.

      I remember being in 5th and 6th grade and still playing imagination games (school, dolls perhaps)at home – I never ONCE thought it was weird. It was so safe.

      Thanks, mom. Right?

      Huh. I feel a blog post coming on…thanks, Laurie!

  • Caffeinated Mom

    This is too funny! New follower from Bloggy Moms!

    • renegademama

      Thanks! Excited to check out your blog.

  • Regina

    Awesome! I wish I had a drunkard do my yard work… I wish I had a yard.. Good luck with the homeschooling!

    • renegademama

      Ha! This cracked me up. Unfortunately he only does the front yard. So we’ve still managed to destroy the backyard. Whatever. It’s hidden.

  • NovelTeaMommy

    If we all embraced our inner 5 year olds we would be a hell of a lot closer to world peace. You may be on to something here!

  • crunchycircusmom

    I love your blog! Thanks for keeping it real and helping humanize parenthood! I dig the pic of Rocket rocking out at Further!