Thursday, May 10, 2012

who's in charge around here?

as a child, i was always in a hurry to be an adult. i was the kid who couldn't get grown fast enough. i didn't mind responsibility. i ate responsibility as a healthy after-school snack! i was babysitting my infant sister when i was ten. i was the one who rushed to wash my hands and hurry to the table when my mom yelled that dinner was ready. i always changed the toilet paper roll without being reminded. i was the kid who, when mom said, "can someone help me with this?" i helped, while my siblings acted like they didn't hear her.

when i was nineteen, i got a job as a nanny for three little kids. my boss trusted me to get them up and ready and out the door for school on time every morning. i potty-trained the youngest one. i did the laundry and cooked food. i grocery shopped for the whole family and had access to the family checkbook where i was free to forge her signature any time there was an expense i needed her to pay.

never once did it even cross my mind to doubt myself. i never questioned whether i was responsible enough to handle the job. i just did it. and for the most part, i did it well.

but when i was twenty-three, i was working in a retail clothing store and i got promoted to assistant manager. suddenly, i was in charge in a store where i'd been working as a sales associate. i had my own set of keys and the combination to the safe. i carried large amounts of money to the bank and opened and closed the store daily.

it was while i was working there that i suddenly started feeling like maybe i wasn't up to the task. i would sometimes look around and wonder who was in charge.

one night, my friend/co-worker was standing behind the register with me and when there were no customers in the store, she whipped up her shirt and showed me her fresh, new boobs she'd just had done. my eyes widened and i started looking around, wondering why the manager on duty was allowing such shenanigans in the store during business hours. then i realized that I was the manager. why was i letting her do that? it was hard to be the one to shut down the fun. to enforce the dress code and to never leave early, even if there was a really good movie playing across the road in five minutes. i didn't necessarily want to deal with the angry customers who wanted to speak to the person in charge. i felt like i was playing charades and i was acting out the role of manager, but my turn was almost up and then someone else would take over.

i had a repeat of that same strange feeling when brooke was born. when i was home with her by myself for the whole day and she was so tiny and vulnerable, i'd sometimes look at her and wonder how i could possibly be trusted to keep her safe. i'd wonder who was in charge around here. where's my supervisor? are there hidden cameras watching to make sure i get things right? when is my mom going to show up and establish some rules around this joint?

sometimes i still wonder where the grown-ups are. because maybe i'm not quite ready to grow up yet. i think i want a popsicle. and a nap.

Friday, May 4, 2012

dead birds and hungry snakes

tonight, we were visiting my parents. we were having a good time, about to serve dinner, when my dad noticed a dead bird on the ground below the big window out back.

knowing my child like i do, i immediately called brooke to come outside and check the bird out. she ran out, checked for blood or goo and then picked it up and thoroughly investigated it. she spread out the wings, opened and closed the beak, rubbed its belly.

then she headed further out into the yard to find a place to set it. a place where it wouldn't get stepped on or picked up by the dog. we were heading for a hole where a stump was ripped out recently when i spotted a snake on the edge of the hole.  brooke climbed a tree with branches overlooking the snake so she could get a good look. i ran in for the rest of the family so they could enjoy our slithering discovery.

turns out, it was a copperhead, so it had to be.... um... separated from its head. with a shovel.

when i asked brooke later where she'd decided to leave her dead bird, she told me that when she climbed the tree, she took the bird carcass up with her. she inspected the snake and determined that there were no obvious lumps, so it probably hadn't eaten recently. she then threw the bird at the snake in hopes that she'd get to watch it swallow it whole. too bad snakey lost his head before he got his easy meal.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


sunday, brooke got baptized at church. she's been wanting to do this for a few months and finally got the chance. however, once the moment arrived, she got pretty nervous and almost changed her mind. i guess the hundreds of people and big cameras surrounding her, as well as the strangers smiling at her from around the edges of the dunking pool became a little too much.

but she hung in there, clinging to my side with tears in her eyes until the last possible second and then went in like a champ. she said that she loved Jesus and wanted to be baptized to show that.

i love this picture of brooke hanging on my dad.

on a different and unrelated brooke note, yesterday she was super annoyed by school. it was hard and she had no patience for the shenanigans of her math and spelling assignments. i found this note written on the top of her spelling page. and i had to laugh because "screw" is one of her spelling words and she used it correctly in a sentence.

i'm such a proud mama!