This post is even more convoluted than it sounds. And I’m pretty sure it might not make sense to anybody but me and if I’m going to be honest, I’m a little confused myself. But what’s new, right?
Well, a couple of weeks ago The Farm People (my in-laws) came to visit then took Aubrey and Emma to their house for one week. It’s also important to note here that during lunch one day my mother-in-law who I love LOVE, LOVE– asked casually, “Wonder where I could get a good deal on a buffalo head?” And it just made me love Jenny Lawson even more than I already do. If you don’t know who Jenny Lawson is, you should be FILLED WITH SHAME. If you don’t know why a casual comment about a taxidermied animal head made me feel close to her, you should read her book. I do not digress. This entire post is RANDOM and the mother-in-law was foreshadowing events to come…
Anywho, I wrote about the girls trip in my column:
I was a little anxious as my in-laws backed out of my driveway after Memorial Day weekend. Most people would be anxious to see their in-laws coming but not me. I was anxious because tucked in the backseat, they had Aubrey and Emma packed in to go stay on their Alabama farm for an entire week.
Aubrey, my seven-year-old, would be fine. She had started packing her bag as soon as her Grammie asked if they wanted to go. (Toothbrush, bathing suit, overalls, rain boots.) Emma, my six-year-old, was hesitant. While Aubrey packed her bags, Emma wrapped her spindly arms and legs around me like a spider monkey and whispered in my ear, “But I love you so much Momma.”
“I’m not going to make you go but I think you’ll be sad if you don’t.” Emma needed a little time away from me. Over the last few months she’s clung to me like glue, a result, no doubt of me resuming a full time job and being out of pocket a little more. I had been praying for ways to build her independence and thought this might be an answer.
Emma was eventually sold when her Grammie said, “Oh I hate I won’t be able to give you your birthday present this week!”
“Is it just a card?” She asked.
“When have I ever given you a CARD for your birthday?” Grammie said.
“Okay, I’ll go.”
So I was anxious when they pulled out of the driveway. I wasn’t sure how Emma would fare but knew if she could keep it together she’d have the time of her life.
Pictures rolled in hourly via Facebook. Emma looked happy as she rode a horse with Aubrey behind her in the saddle. She grinned ear to ear as she rode beside her Pop Pete on his mule drawn wagon. She looked pretty content blowing out the candles on her birthday cake that my sweet sisters-in-law got her for a joint birthday party with her cousins.
Emma called me almost every day and said, “Momma, I miss you really bad but I don’t want to come home yet.”
She’d tell me what they’d done that day: made homemade raisin bread and chocolate chip cookies, rode four-wheelers and went swimming at the lake where she went down the biggest water slide she’d ever seen, played with puppies and jumped on the trampoline. As we’d wrap up the conversation I’d say, “Can I talk to Aubrey?”
“Aubrey, want to talk to Momma…” she’d whisper.
“No.” Aubrey would say, not even bothering to come to the phone.
Clicking onto Facebook the following day, my heart almost came out of my mouth when I saw my seven-year-old holding a timber rattlesnake bigger than she is. It was obviously, (hopefully) dead and people on the internet freaked the freak out.
WARNING: YOU ARE ABOUT TO SEE A PICTURE OF A BIG ASK RATTLESNAKE.
That’s Emma with her arms folded across her chest and looking exactly like I would if I was being forced to stand next to my sister whilst she handled a dead rattlesnake, but Aubrey wasn’t that happy to see Santa Claus last year.
Aubrey called me later that day. “Did you see that rattlesnake?”
“I did. I almost had a heart attack.”
“Yeah, I thought you might freak. It WAS dead, you know?” Aubrey said.
“I had hoped.”
When we picked the girls up this weekend, they had a few more freckles from being in the sun. They were a little bit blonder and a little bit taller. Emma was a year older. They had a few more inside jokes— their bond a little deeper than just a week before. They were a little wilder and a little bolder and their Momma was a little braver.
So the girls were snake handling and in the meantime, our cars got broken into for the second time in two months and some mammoth raccoon started knocking over our trashcans every night. My husband DOES NOT WALK AWAY FROM A RACOON and he went on a late night Walmart run for shotgun shells. This is where blogger #2 comes in. Jen at People I Want To Punch In The Throat– I almost always agree with the people who need to be punched, and she posted about how she doesn’t want a dog and I was like AMEN Sister Friend. (Also she and I are going to be BlogHer Newbies in New York in August and may possibly wear matching fedoras.)
I wasn’t sure if the ammo was for the asshat that keeps breaking into our cars or for the raccoon, but either way, I felt better. Until he came running into the room yelling at me to come and hold a flashlight for him because he could SEE the coon through the laundry room window.
Y’all know how I feel about animals. Remember the goldfish that got me a letter from a reader telling me I was going to hell? I am a reluctant cat owner but there is no way in HAIL that I am going to chase my husband and/or a raccoon through my yard in the middle of the night. Not. Gonna. Happen.
So the Hubster found a trap and set it last night to catch the coon. He caught our kitten four times before I brushed my teeth. Then came in the room and begged me one more time to come hold his spotlight.
Me: I don’t love you that much. Go away.
Now, my friend Nikki Knepper (enter Blogger #3) of Moms Who Drink and Swear (who ALSO just sold her first book!) was on the internets about this time lamenting the fact that Roadhouse isn’t on Netflix and that due to the fact that she had no gluten free graham crackers she had to make a S’more with only chocolate and marshmallow.
(If you are still reading at this point I am giving you a gold star.)
Writing is hard, and I was so moved with compassion for Nikki that I texted her to get her mailing address so I could send her the best gluten-free cookies EVER.
Me: What’s your mailing addy?
Nikki: Ooooo! Are you going to send me that raccoon?
I laughed so hard I woke up Emma who had come to get in the bed with me.
Nikki: Dress him up cute.
I was still laughing when Zeb came back in the room and I told him what was so freaking funny.
Zeb: Tell her I’ll put him in a tux.
Then all I could think about was a raccoon in a tux, dressed like James Bond and sipping a dirty martini– which made me think about Jenny Lawson and was ALMOST enough to make me get out of the bed to hold his spotlight. I decided to watch Netflix instead. But alas, no Roadhouse.