First things first, Pranksters – allow me to answer the two most burningest questions on your mind:

Yes, I did get a job, but I have yet to find myself craving Mr. Rogers sweaters or penny loafers, nor have I decided that a “five year plan” is worth my brain power, so it’s safe to say that I still haven’t grown up. More on that another time when I have more than two misfiring synapses to work with.

No, I have not gotten less annoying. Sorry. Thems be the breaks, I guess.

————-

I was probably five or six the first time my mother threatened me: “Rebecca,” she said sternly after I’d chosen to repaint her dull white walls with some beautiful markers and my most prized stickers. I’d thought that a picture of my unicorn, Mr. Snuffles was a fabulous addition to our dining room, but she, apparently felt otherwise, because she finished the lecture by throwing up her hands and yelling, exasperated, “someday, you’re going to grow up and have a child just like you.”

She said it ominously enough that I paid attention until I realized what she was saying.

“No,” I replied, all big eyes and curly hair. “I’m going to have a robot. I don’t like babies.”

She just stared at me, until she huffed off to her room to center herself by playing some depressing music. Turns out? She was right.

This weekend, I spent a good deal of my time doing the second, and most important part of any move.

(I know, I know, I’ve lived here since October, but trust me when I say that when it comes to funk, I am a junkie. Also: horrifyingly depressed)

I began to unpack the items I’d stowed in cupboards and closets when I was in the frantic, “OMG UNPACK, UNPACK! THE SPANISH ARE COMING!” stage of the move. Once everything was assembled and the resident OCD apartment owner a couple of buildings over had suitably drilled the whole, “do not recycle big boxes” thing into my head, I sat down. I didn’t really get up again for four months.

For those four months, I was The Ghost of Apartment 6B, shutting my blinds, and staring off into space. I’d shuffle to the computer to occasionally peck out a post and apply for some jobs when I wasn’t feeling suicidal, then shuffle back to the couch and pretend this was all a bad dream.

It, as I don’t have to point out to you, Pranksters, wasn’t.

So this weekend, I got off my ass and got to work whipping my house into the approximate shape of a home, which meant that I spent a great deal of time wondering why on earth I’d packed this or that, puzzling over the reasons the cupboards could possibly be sticky, and trying to turn my life into, well, a life worth living. I’m not stupid enough to say “the dark days are over,” quite yet, but I know I’ve turned some sort of corner, and for that, I’m grateful.

My daughter wandered into the Batcave while I was organizing some of my jewelry. It was time to go through a massive purge, and I’d figured that there was no time like the present to do so.

“Oooooooh!” she squealed loudly as she saw all the “pretties” I’d pulled out of one of my jewelry boxes. “That’s so BEAUTIFUL, Mama!” Her rapture was unlike anything I’d seen, unless I’d been looking in the mirror after a particularly wonderful sale.

I took a break from untangling a knot that was probably tied by a roving gang of sailors while I was sleeping and sat back and watched my daughter marvel at the pretties with me. Her unbridled joy made my heart grow about twenty sizes.

“Mimi,” I said. “Would you like your own jewelry box to put your jewelry in?”

“Oh MAMA,” she breathed in deeply. “That would be beautiful. How about I take this one?”

I laughed – that one was my favorite too.

“How about we find you your own jewelry box? You can store your pretties in here until I find you one, okay?”

She grinned, ear to ear, and then wrapped me in her spindly arms.

“Oh, MAMA,” she said. “THANK YOU!”

I beamed into her hair, feeling, for the first time in a long time, that same unbridled sense of joy that was oozing from her pores. This was truly one of the happiest moments of my life.

“Do you like the pretty picture of kittens I drew on your wall?” she asked daintily. “I used PINK! My favorite color! And Hello Kitty stickers!”

“Let’s take a look at it, Mimi!” I suggested, my legs creaking and groaning as I got up off the floor, still smiling.

A child after my own likeness, indeed.

Amelia party dress

Now, if you’ll excuse me, Pranksters, I’m off to find some costume jewelry to fill up my daughter’s new jewelry box.

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14 Responses to Somehow, I Don’t Think This Is What My Mother Meant

  • Somehow, I Don’t Think This Is What My Mother Meant http://t.co/pk06Eg4Y

  • Kelley Mack says:

    Rock on, Aunt Becky, ROCK ON!

  • nikkiana says:

    First… you said the breaks… which means this is listening to this obligatory now: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZDUEilS5M4

    Oh, Kurtis Blow… I love you.

    I remember being small and being so in awe of my mother’s jewlery collection like that… oh to be a child again…

  • Grace says:

    Love you both so much!!
    I want to see pictures of what the place looks like now! One of these days when I get my supplies, I’m making you an extra special present for your apartment. One hint: It’s SPARKLY!!!!

  • Odie Langley says:

    That one really touched my heart girl. Being a dad my 3 girls were only really close to me if we took a hike in the state park and my middle girl is the one that thinks just like me so I feel some of the simularities. Treasure that moment and thanks for sharing it with us.
    Hugs,
    Odie

  • Jolie says:

    Warm fuzzies, nothing like it. :)

  • Cindy
    Twitter: WalkerCynthia
    says:

    Hooray for Mimi! Hooray for AB! I love you!

  • Somehow, I Don’t Think This Is What My Mother Meant: First things first, Pranksters – allow… http://t.co/DckctNW6 via @MommyWantsVodka

  • Ewokmama
    Twitter: ewokmama
    says:

    Your kids are awesome. I need to come see them (and you) again!

  • Alexis Anne
    Twitter: theangelalexistwitter.com
    says:

    i never painted the walls on the inside of our house. I did, however, once use copper-colored spray paint to decorate the front external wall visible to everyone who drove past our house or looked out their front windows from across the street, The only thing I could draw or paint that was recognizable was Jesus on the cross. People must’ve thought we were a bunch of damned religious zealots, which couldn’t have been much further from the truth.. My mom was going through chemo for leukemia, at the time, and between taking care of her and putting food on our table, my dad had no time to do anything about the makeshift shrine., so my artwork stayed there for a long time. You’d think one of the neighbors might have taken pity on my parents and painted over it, but then again, maybe the neighbors actually liked my art work..

  • Jennifer June
    Twitter: theladyslounge
    says:

    My dining room could use a little pick-me-up if ever you get a hankering to creatively express yourself all over a wall again, you’re more than welcome to do it here.
    xx

  • Llama
    Twitter: OkieLlama
    says:

    I have a migraine and have nothing too exciting to say except I like you. I enjoy reading your blog though I rarely say anything. Keep on posting!

    My son once decorated the dining room wall with poop. He was quite proud of his work of art.

  • Michael Rochelle
    Twitter: mikeyllo
    says:

    What a touching entry. I’m glad that you’re able to see the innocence in your little one’s actions. If I had have done that as a kid, I wouldn’t be alive to post this comment. Matter of fact, my mother would have beat me with a cold iron just for thinking about it.

  • Ever feel like you just can’t decide if your kids are blessed or cursed to have you as a parent? For what it’s worth, AB, I think you’re a blessing. (In a non-churchy way.) (Or in a churchy-way, if you’re into that sort of thing.)

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