Attempting to write 4-sentence summaries of human personalities is an absurd and unreasonable task, but I shall do it any way to provide a little background. Besides, absurd and unreasonable have never really been deal-breakers for me.
First, there’s Mac. He’s my husband. He’s 36 years old. I have loved him since the moment I laid eyes on him, about 17 years ago as he sat on the floor of my living room, surrounded by my roommates, stoned and drinking Captain Morgan. When I saw him working at his dad’s slaughterhouse, covered in goat blood and cursing unruly chickens, I knew he was the one for me. After we had our first kid, I spent 3 to 7 years sure I married the wrong dude, but then we turned some corner and I found myself enjoying him, our marriage, us. It was actually kinda surreal. I had resigned myself to marriage as hell. I’m still not totally sure where he came from as by all appearances he seems an impossible juxtaposition. He’s a tattooed ranch man – a gentle ironworker – a “tough guy” who doesn’t mind some pastel pink on occasion. If anybody ever asked me for marriage advice (not a likely event) I would tell them “marry somebody you love and respect but don’t fully understand.” It seems to hold up. Despite our best efforts to blow up our marriage, we’re still here.
That was more than 4 sentences.
Our first child is Ava. She’s 16 years old. (<<<That picture is when she was like 13 but I’m leaving it.) She is strong, intellectual, independent, and slightly skeptical. She reads a couple books a week and actually practices piano. She has a hard time suffering fools (as her grandma says). I watch her struggle in the precarious space between total disdain and impatience with others and an acute desire to love them completely. We are in many ways the same.
Our second child is Charles, but we call him Rocket. When I was pregnant with him, Ava named him “Rocketship Rock on.” Obviously, because we’re Frank Zappa, we kept the nickname. Anyway, he’s 12. He has his daddy’s gentle eyes and freckles across the bridge of his nose. I believe those freckles are responsible for the fact that he owns me. He likes to run jump get wet climb kick swim and make profoundly irritating noises. He has the gift of dyslexia. When he was younger and heard music (real or imagined) he transformed into a crazy dancing machine, doing interpretive moves that may be characterized as something between break dancing and the Tango.
That torch has been passed to his younger sister, Georgia.
She’s 7. She gives approximately zero fucks. She IS who she IS, done. Her favorite pastime is doing whatever the hell she feels like. Dancing in public is top, though. She also enjoys launching herself off the back of the couch onto the ottoman. She has a cleft chin and a dimple on each cheek, so when she smiles, her face explodes in little indentations and I kinda want to eat her. All of us spend a lot of time trying to make sure she doesn’t get maimed. We also just watch her because she’s ALWAYS DOING STUFF and she’s so cute and alive and real it hurts. Hurts.
And finally, there’s Arlo. He was born June 4, 2014, delivered by his dad on the living room floor after virtually no labor. This led us to believe he was a mellow human who prefers not to cause a ruckus, and that was kind of true when he was an infant, but he’s three now, and generally quite batshit. He likes smiling, talking incessantly, taking things out of things and putting them in other things, dropping items around the house, running, unrolling toilet paper, and getting super fucking dirty. He also enjoys sleeping horizontally while pinching my back fat with his toes.
And there’s me. I’m Janelle. I am a 39 year old woman and a mother and a wife. I was born and raised in California (mostly northern, a little central), and we now reside in the Sacramento area. My favorite line from any song ever is “Everybody who’s anybody in my opinion, at one time, lived in somebody’s hallway.” Since I once lived in a hallway (I think), I must be somebody. Therefore, I should write a blog.
I have no pieces of wisdom or advice on mothering and I definitely don’t have any “straightforward parenting tips.” People who have straightforward parenting tips are generally full of shit. I don’t know what I’m doing as a mother or on earth. If you know, please tell me. Actually no. Don’t.
For more information, please read playdate in my trailer. Or, if you’re interested, you may find a rather schizophrenic “about me” list here. You can read the story of my alcoholism (and recovery) here.
Thank you for reading.
It amazes me that people would do so and I am genuinely flattered and grateful.