Recently Boy #1 took out the trash, like the good son that he is. Afterwards, maybe two weeks, whilst I was taking the trash to the dumpster, I noticed an unpleasant smell from under the neighbors steps. Upon investigation of this smell, I realized, that it was the bag of trash from two weeks previous that Boy #1 so easily acquiesced to take to the dumpster. For whatever reason, he faltered a mere three feet from completing the task and instead squatted under the neighbors stairway, and waddled his way to where he then stashed the bag. He was grounded for two weeks and made to take the trash all the way to the dumpster daily. He also had to write an apology letter to each of the 11 occupants of our building and our landlord. I thought this taught him a valuable lesson about respect and responsibility. Yesterday, we noticed that a few items that Boy #1 was supposed to put into the dumpster made it UNDER the dumpster instead. So much for the lesson. Of all the ways for children to rebel, I guess it’s not so bad, but WOW, how much more work it was to get the items under the dumpster than in.

Note the plumpness of youth in the 2004 illustration, and the way my bum seems to have slid down a little bit onto my thigh in the 2007 illustration. Anyone know how to bump up the bum?

For all the reasons we love Rae, it’s because she can write something like this, and make it feel like home.

True Love

Something that just won’t leave my mind tonight is the example of my maternal grandparents. My fifteen-year-old idea of love just drops off the map when I see the fruits of their almost sixty-year marriage. Tonight, my grandpa called me to see how I was doing. And when I asked how he was, he told me that he exercises three to five days a week, at the age of eighty, so that he can take better care of my grandma. And then when I asked how she was doing, he said that he has made a chart of all the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, to help her organize in her cancer-ravaged mind who’s who in our family. Gone is the notion that you can’t choose who you fall in love with….sixty years of service to each other? Decades and decades of choosing, everyday, to work for the other’s happiness….he made a chart. He made a chart so that she won’t have to wonder, so that she won’t have to feel the frustration of forgetting the names of who she loves, the lives she has followed from our births up to now.

Oh, the 15-year-old notion of true love pales in comparison….I had no idea how much bigger, how much deeper it runs.