Tuesday, September 27, 2011

As I lay Dying

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine started a book club. I like her, and knew she'd bring together a great group of people. I was curious. As soon as I brought it up, everyone who knows me just gave me "the look". "Obviously, you aren't going to do this and why are you even talking about it?" That's what the look says. It also says "Bitch please". But I ignored the look. Then my friend chose "As I Lay Dying", by Faulkner as the first book. Uhm, ok. Never mind I can't find time to read Vanity Fair in the bathroom even. I can totally do this! I WENT TO COLLEGE!

I happen to have the book already. It's been on my shelf for years. It's one of my father's favorite books. My first clue should have been that I've owned the book since before I had kids. Hello Dumb Dumb.

I don't really need to go on about this anymore. I didn't even get the book off the shelf. Didn't even physically move it from the shelf to say, my bedside table, or the diaper bag. Didn't even pretend to try.

I remember talking to this ex boyfriend of mine once, years ago. I was here in LA, single, 3 cats, guitar, lots of expensive salads, and he was in NYC. We were talking over email, and I must have asked him to talk about something, or about talking on the phone about something, or to look at something. I don't know. And he said "I won't be able to do that until October". It was mid-summer. I remember thinking he was a douchebag (he was), and what kind of asshole says, they are busy until "insert month name". I thought he was just being blustery and self important (he was).

But dudes, I will be busy, and won't be able to look at your thing, talk on the phone, or get together for an expensive salad until October, of 2025. Excuse me if I'm overusing this phrase, but this two kid thing is for realz. I wish I could take that sentence back. 

After the fender bender, air dry, day, Nipper and I agreed we need help. He doesn't have time to write, I don't have time to write. Every time we get auditions we sigh. The daily acrobatics to get to auditions, school, get everyone fed, were becoming more and more terse. No one has time to work out, much less see each other, or eat sitting down. The pink man cave? Haven't been in there in months. The kitchen counter is covered in mail (did you just hear Nipper Knapp shiver?) I haven't been to a dentist, in a really, really, really, long time. There's a thing on my arm, I think I need to have looked at. My hair color, which I've been doing myself is a ridiculous color yellow. On a good note, I now KNOW that I can function on 5 hours of sleep a night.

So we asked my mom. To move here. To Los Angeles. From Oregon. For a year. And guess what. She said yes. As a matter of fact, she was here, and had an apartment rented within 3 weeks of asking. That's family. She has a busy life, filled with projects and people of her own to look after. But here she is, looking after my little people, so I can catch a breath. 

A week after Charlie was born, we parted ways with Jack's longtime babysitter (not ready to talk about that yet). Our good friends across the street (Brett, this guilt trip's just for you!) moved away, and my whole world went kaboom. All my best laid plans up in smoke, we managed to hobble through the first few months. I thought it was a little more stressful, but not too bad. Then I went back to work. Then I died. 

So here we are. In the most unlikely scenario I could have predicted. I sort of imagine my mom getting the email where I ask her if she can move here for the year, to help, like this: My mom sits in a bookshelf lined room. She's in a heavy leather office chair facing a computer screen. It's silent, save the sound of birds in a tree near an open window. She's quietly checking facebook, reading articles friends have sent her about feline leukemia, Bella Abzug, and the Marshall plan, when a chime sounds that she has an email. She clicks over to read it. At once she is standing, the chair upended, several loose papers swan to the ground. "I GOT THE CALL!" she shouts, as her previously sleeping cat opens one eye, rolls it, and goes back to sleep. Also it's possible that the theme song from Rocky started playing quietly as she read, and was blasting by the time she announced her victory, leading into a montage of her packing, doing push-ups and sitting in a coffee shop with a bunch of other yoga grandmas patting her on the back, shaking there heads approvingly. I'm pretty sure that's how it went.

My mom is busy setting up her apartment, which is absolutely perfect, and reminds me of a cross between Melrose Place, and the Brady Bunch house. It's got a pool in an elevated center courtyard. We've already moved a closet full of kids toys over there (can you hear Nipper Knapp laughing maniacally?) Nipper and I have seen TWO movies since she got here a week ago. TWO! There isn't much I like better than sitting in a dark movie theater eating popcorn with Nipper Knapp. I've been to several auditions sans baby, and Nipper and I even carpooled to a few last week. He listened to his sports podcast on the car radio and I listened to the WTF podcast on my headphones. HEAVEN. Dear people without kids, heaven is no one talking to you. We got to our audition all relaxed and dreamy, and holding hands. I'm sure half of Los Angeles wants to punch us. 

So wish us luck. My mom and I haven't lived with, or near each other in 20 years. But before my hair falls out and we have raccoons living in the attic, I will have a year of free babysitting, free from worry (about those things), free from missing my husband, and she will have a year of smelling baby necks, and learning ALL about each and every detail of the Lego Hero Factory robots. Win-win. Right?


  1. This is awesome, happy for you guys! Maybe with all this "spare time" we can get pedicures or something ;) Oh and my mom and I are already working on a plan for her to convince my dad that they should move to pasadena when their lease is up in a year. ya know, cuz we'll probably have a kid by then.

  2. Dude, that's great your mom did that. She sounds amazing. Heck, my parents live a MILE away and they've only babysat maybe 10 times over the last 11 years, only once overnight when I was birthing my youngest. I wouldnt know what the heck to do with that situation. Make the most of it!!!