Toe Up

As those of you who have been reading this blog already know, I have a broken toe earned from a fun-filled date night at REI (see titillating details here).  A broken toe isn’t too bad, as far as injuries go. I broke one of the little toes and word has it that those are practically expendable. It’s more of an annoyance injury.

That being the case, I thought I’d make a list of the annoying inconveniences of having a broken toe, you know, just in case I’ve glamorized it and you are feeling compelled to run right out and get one for yourself. I even put my thoughts into bullet points in the event that I’m called upon to give a Power Point presentation on the subject in order to receive government grant money for my research.

It could happen.

The government has been known to spend money on things such as a study proving that strippers make more tips during ovulation and a study on the outcomes of concurrent and separate uses of malt liquor and marijuana. (They spent $389,357 on the latter. It didn’t cost me nearly that much to complete the same study in high school and not a drop of it came from the government. You’re welcome, tax payers!) I think our government is primed to look into the effects of broken toes on 40-something mothers.

So here is my carefully researched and thought-provoking presentation (lights, please!):

Effects of Fractured Metatarsals On Female Homo sapiens or A Girl’s Eye View Into Things That Suck About A Broken Toe

  • Taping is hard. It looks so easy in the Rocky movies, but it’s a skill set that I apparently don’t possess. This probably won’t surprise those who’ve read this post. My toes look better than my Christmas presents but I have to wrap my toes after the kids go to sleep as there is some cussing involved.
  • My toes are tired of being strapped together. They’re becoming claustrophobic and co-dependent. They need time apart to remember who they are as individuals.

Their desperation is palpable.

  • Tape attracts dirt and dirty tape does not look pretty in sandals. ‘Nuff said.
  • Walking through the living room barefoot after turning off the lights is SCARY and not because I’m afraid of clowns hiding under the couch. The kids like to rearrange the furniture and my toe feels so vulnerable in the dark, like a baby bunny.

"You wouldn't let that mean old chair leg hurt me, would you?" (image via dreamstime)

  • Tennis shoes don’t go with everything, despite what my mother told me. I suspect she was merely trying to get out of purchasing a second pair of super market shoes with that claim.
  • My impractical high-heeled shoes miss me. I think I heard my boots crying softly in the corner last night. And my platforms are clearly depressed.

They're starting a support group. Do you sense their loneliness?

  • You can’t walk sexily with a gimpy foot. I mean, if I had cause to walk sexily and could remember how, I’m pretty sure that it would hurt.
  • My Barre workout is extra challenging. It’s hard to pretend that I’m a prima ballerina when one foot won’t point. It’s ugly. Then I overcompensate with the other foot and end up with cramping toes. Also ugly. However, I think my taped toes led the teacher to assume that I was a dancer, which is cool.

Or maybe it was the fact that I came dressed like this (image via flickr and tibchris)

  • Bedtime comfort is compromised. Covers are deceptively heavy. Especially at the bottom of the bed where they are tucked in. If I don’t tuck the covers in, I wake halfway through the night with icicle toes and a bedspread turban. And I like to sleep on my back to prevent puffy eyes and face creases so that I don’t look like a disheveled alcoholic when I drop my daughter off for school. So I’m left sleeping with a ballerina turnout, which would be more comfortable if I were an actual ballerina.
  • Children aren’t gentle with their love. Mine think of Hubs and I as parental jungle gyms. This isn’t normally a problem because I’m pretty durable as far as mommies go. But lately I find that when they run toward me to give me a hug, I flinch and assume an awkward protective posture like I have a nervous disorder.

Ahem. So in closing, I believe the evidence I’ve amassed can only point to one conclusion: it is better for females, especially those of child-bearing years, to have unbroken toes rather than broken ones. Please send government checks to Fathead University, Department of Research c/o Kelly. Thank you.

Liar, Liar Easter Bunny On Fire

"Easter bunny, are you real?" "Sure, kid. Now get in my van." (image via dreamstime)

Last year while walking down to school, my daughter, Riley and I were talking about inconsequential things, as we usually did in the morning, when without warning, she segued into:

 

“Debbie told me there’s no Tooth Fairy. Debbie’s brother told her that it’s really our parents only you will never ever ever admit it. Are you the Tooth Fairy?”

 

“Uh…”

 

Keep in mind that I was still in the sweatpants in which I’d slept, my hair unbrushed and thrown into a sloppy ponytail. I might have been prepared for discussions about breakfast cereal at that hour, but I was totally and completely unprepared for a discussion entailing the loss of childhood fantasy. It hadn’t even occurred to me that I would be having the conversation with my innocent, fairy-loving daughter in the first grade so I was caught flat-footed between my commitment to honesty and my love of childhood innocence.

 

Why didn’t Riley want to discuss something easy, like where babies come from? I’d spent numerous hours preparing for that question. I would’ve hit that one out of the park. But Debbie Downer had stolen my opportunity for parental success.

Waa Waa. (image via Wikipedia)

 

 

Who was this Debbie? And why was she heading a massive conspiracy aimed at undermining  my parental acuity? I felt the powerful urge to kick her first grade butt. She was ruining my morning.

 

Thanks to Debbie, I was under the gun with no time to Facebook my friends and set up some sort of parental poll regarding effective ways of navigating this crisis. I had to handle it on my own. Like an adult. I need to be warned before I’m asked to do that. Or at least caffeinated.

 

I longed desperately for someone to run out of their house at that moment and yell “I have something really important that precludes all deep family conversations!” but our neighbors were seemingly oblivious to my predicament. Unlike dogs, my neighbors can’t smell fear and desperation. I scrambled to buy myself some time while I wrestled with my moral dilemma.

*Hey do you smell that? Smells like a cornered rabbit." "Mmm, cornered rabbit is my favorite."

 

“Wow. Really? She said that? Huh. What’s Debbie’s deal? She sounds like a very unhappy and possibly unstable girl. And what’s up with her brother?” (When in doubt, undercut the credibility of the source.) “Can you imagine me in a tooth fairy get-up flying around, and getting stuck in your hair while trying to wrestle your tooth out from under your pillow?” (Then deflect with humor.)

 

I added a visual demonstration of myself as a fairy struggling through Riley’s hair to sell the absurdity of the thought but Riley was unswayed by my comedic genius.

 

“Are you the Tooth Fairy, Mom?”

 

In that moment I was reminded of a conversation I’d had as a child with my own mother about Santa’s existence. A boy in my school had unloaded the “Santa is actually your parents” bomb on the whole 4th grade class and I felt the need to get reassurance from my mom. Her answer: “The spirit of Santa is real.” Not the definitive answer I wanted. I asked her about 50 more times and received the same answer on loop. I desperately wanted my mom to tell me outright that Santa was real. I looked into my daughter’s trusting blue eyes and remembered my own desire to keep believing.

"I'm what you call a Christmas poltergeist." (image via dreamstime)

 

“No, I’m not the Tooth Fairy, Sweetie.”

 

There it was. Bald faced lie.

 

I felt the weight of guilt crushing my skull and I realized that my mom probably had the right approach. She didn’t lie. She gave a nebulous answer that, while unsatisfying, did afford me the opportunity to decide for myself whether or not I was ready to let go of my childhood fantasies.

I hate it when my moments of clarity come just after I actually need them. It’s seriously inconvenient.

 

I tried to make up for my misgivings and feelings of guilt with a long, rambling speech about how different people believe different things and some people just don’t believe in magic and magic is important in childhood…yadda, yadda, yadda. I can’t remember the whole speech but frankly it was embarrassing. I think I included a whole theological discourse on the differences between Paganism and Christianity. I was in the midst of a shame spiral and could not stop talking. By the time we got to Riley’s school her ears were bleeding from my verbal onslaught. She ran onto the school grounds screaming “Please stop the madness!”

 

That last part might have happened only in my imagination.

 

Flash forward to this year’s Easter. The kids discovered their Easter baskets, which I had packed full of things specific to each of their tastes and needs. Riley pulled out a box of Altoids from her basket and said with a disturbing lack of incredulity,

 

“The Easter bunny must know I like mints.”

 

Translation: I’m onto you and your little bag of tricks, you bald-faced liar.

"My mom's a big fat fibber."

 

Cue shame spiral. Somebody please get me a muzzle.

 

Slacker Mom Confessional – Spirit Week

This morning we all woke up late. Well the kids woke up late and I uncharacteristically decided to shower as soon as I got out of bed due to the fact that my hair had molded into some sort of 4th grade art project during the night. The shower put me behind schedule.

Personal hygiene is my nemesis.

So we were all running behind when I realized that it was Crazy Hair day at my daughter’s school. This is spirit week and Crazy Hair day was the day to which Riley had been looking forward all week. She had big plans for Crazy Hair day, namely to dye her hair the color of the rainbow. All week long I told myself to prepare and all week long preparation was preempted by other, more pressing things on my to-do list, so this morning found me woefully unprepared.

However, Riley hasn’t had the best week. She’s been stressed out about learning multiplication and the upcoming state testing and bummed about a hundred other little things.  Being a sensitive, dyslexic seven-year-old ain’t easy some days. Because of that, I wouldn’t even consider scrapping the rainbow hair plan despite having insufficient time and preparation. Desperate mothers aren’t ruled by logic.

I'd dye my butt rainbow colors for my daughter if it wouldn't simply traumatize her.

I grabbed our food coloring, my creme brulee ramekins, some conditioner, a toothpick and a sandwich baggie in a rush and went to work.

Okay, so my organizational skills are suspect even when I’m not under duress. My manual dexterity is sub par. And I multitask like a drunken bachelor. This partially explains why I grabbed such nonsensical items.

You know what you can accomplish with a toothpick, a baggie and a lot of food coloring in a tiny white bathroom? Complete multicolored chaos. Like a mac truck and the Easter bunny collided.

Jackson Pollock bathes here.

The only thing that really didn’t take color was Riley’s hair, which sent me into a panic, because I just couldn’t accept the look of disappointment on her face after all the carnage. I made a last minute decision to stop rinsing the colored conditioner from Riley’s hair in an effort to keep at least a hint of rainbow on her head. Then we ran out of time before I could thoroughly blow dry Riley’s hair so I sent her to school with wet, slightly slimy, mildly tinted hair, a bright blue ear and random smudges and smears everywhere else. She was shivering when I dropped her off at the gate and well on her way to developing Spirit Week pneumonia. But she was happy about having colored hair and that’s what’s important, right? Right?? Right!

I took this picture after school. Greasy, colored hair makes Riley feel edgy like a 7-year-old runaway or a Calvin Klein model.

When Conor and I triumphantly returned home I remembered that both the rent and preschool payment were due…five days ago. Those two items were also preempted by other items on my to-do list. Understandable. It’s not like housing and education are important, right? Ask any politician.

I threw a check and one of Riley’s drawings into an envelope (my little way of reminding our landlords that we have adorable children who make up for my delinquent rent payments) and hustled Conor out to the car. We dropped the rent at the same post office that houses our landlords’ p.o. box to speed delivery. I briefly lamented about the waste of another stamp but since I can’t even remember what current postage is it’s hard to really get indignant.

We're happy even on the verge of being incinerated by the giant sun--who wouldn't want us as renters?

Then we headed to the credit union, conveniently located nowhere near our home. I like to pay our preschool in cash because they are extremely relaxed about cashing checks and Hubs tends to get excited upon finding extra money in our account. When Hubs gets excited, he celebrates by purchasing something. The preschool inevitably cashes the check right after Hubs’s celebratory purchase. And then Mama can’t go to Vegas…I mean the grocery store.

On a side note: I only refer to myself as Mama when I’m gambling or experiencing a financial windfall which is exactly never.

Now at that point I hadn’t eaten yet, which is not a good thing. Important parts of me shut down when I don’t eat: patience, empathy, motor skills, cognitive function. And Conor was overdue for his every-15-minute fuel intake as well. The inside of my car sounded like a road trip with the Bickersons of Bickerville. Conor loudly expressed his disdain for the post office, the road we were on, all roads around us, going uphill, going downhill, “pleases” officers, banks, cars, air, you name it, he hated it and I was only slightly more pleasant.

I had to carry Conor into the credit union due to his sudden attack of “pleases”officer-phobia and that took a little longer than usual because, in my low blood sugar state I couldn’t remember how to get to the front door. Afterward I couldn’t remember where the freeway on-ramp was and ended up on the wrong freeway headed to no place in particular. I should have picked up a souvenir and some breakfast.

Oh look, we're here. (image via dreamstime)

When we were finally home and I was dancing around in the hallway, waiting for my son to get done with the bathroom, so that I could relieve myself and then eat before ending up in a puddle of my own tears and urine, I remembered that I had missed the play date I’d scheduled for Conor by an hour and a half. What else could I do but light my to-do list on fire and sit down here to write my confession?

You see I’m not a slacker mom because I don’t care. I’m a slacker mom because I don’t possess the mental faculties to be super efficient and still sane. God made me mildly funny and then got distracted and left the room before he added organizational tools. I’m okay with this. I love myself and all of my deficiencies. My kids seem to be okay–I don’t think disorganized parenting caused Riley’s dyslexia or stunted their growth.

Disorganized parenting is the leading cause of messy hair and extended pajama wearing according to the Surgeon General's office.

However if you were thinking of putting me on some sort of important committee for the future of society, you might want to rethink that choice. Maybe Gwyneth Paltrow is available.

Warning Gotye May Cause Emotional Trauma In 7 Year Olds

Gotye – Somebody That I Used To Know (feat. Kimbra) – official video – YouTube.

We heard this song in the car on a family road trip. We were all in a fantastic mood but this song made my daughter, Riley, sob and then launched her into a depression that lasted 90 miles over the lyrics “I don’t even need your love.”  Hubs, who doesn’t understand moody, Indie Pop love-gone-wrong songs anyway, was completely baffled by her reaction. Luckily, with my extensive adolescent experience in crying to 80’s love songs I was able to jump in and navigate my sensitive girl’s emotions. Since then every time she brings the song up my 4-year-old son, Conor, softly sings the back up lyrics “somebody. Somebody that I used to know” on a loop as if to illustrate her emotional pain.

In preparation for the kids’ teen years I’m going to build Hubs a sound proof room, stocked with AC/DC and a punching bag, so that he can escape all of the emoting in the rest of the house. We’re a sensitive bunch.

Attack Of The Ninja Sparrow

An obnoxious bird has made a nest over our door. Don’t get me wrong. I love animals. I do. Ask anyone. The last time a bird made a nest over our door the kids and I watched in rapt attention as the nest was built, the eggs laid and the baby birds developed. As soon as the baby birds left the nest I even went out and stupidly took down the nest for closer inspection. I say stupidly because freshly used nests are full of tiny bugs and all I really accomplished with my closer inspection (after several showers and a manic cleaning tirade) was giving my children a phobia of birds’ nests.

There's our nest in all of its filthy, bug infested sweetness.

This bird, however, is paranoid. First of all, it built its nest in such a way as to discourage Peeping Toms so that I can’t be nosy and appreciate the wonder of nature. What good is having a wonder of nature in such close proximity if I can’t use it for family entertainment? And second, the bird insists on dive bombing my head every time I try to enter or exit my home like I’m some kind of predator, which admittedly I am, but if it paid attention it would notice that I prefer carefully packaged large birds for my dining pleasure. This is not the Ozarks. I don’t eat animals from my front yard. Clearly it’s confused about its location and my benevolent nature.

If I looked like this the bird would be justified in its paranoia, but I don't most days. (image via dreamstime)

I can forgive confusion, but open hostility is intolerable. And as I’m often preoccupied and possess a limited short-term memory (my pregnancies claimed that along with my six-pack abs), each avian attack is a complete surprise to me. It feels like I have a Jack in the Box installed above my front door and I don’t like Jack in the Boxes. Surely I wasn’t the only child who felt that Jack was an evil little toy who waited in a box for the sole purpose of traumatizing unsuspecting children?

No? Just me? Okay, moving on.

If you don't think this guy is waiting to jump out and skewer a tiny heart on his wire hand, you're sadly mistaken.(image via dreamstime)

Anyway, on my way to pick up my son from preschool today I was understandably still reeling from the shock of being viciously attacked by a three-inch rabid animal, when my phone, which has chosen for itself (since I haven’t properly learned how to use it) as its text notification sound, a jet plane swoosh, decided to notify me of an incoming text. The text was from my dancer friend who had just discovered her son’s tap dancing genius and was understandably excited, but that’s beside the point. The sound of a jet zooming through my car on the heels of my attack stimulated my Post Imagined Stress Disorder (or PISD), which, though not recognized as a legitimate affliction by any medical organization,plagues me nonetheless. In this heightened state of paranoia I naturally assumed that the bird had covertly gained access to my vehicle, cunningly waited until I was thoroughly engrossed in driving and then attacked. Because birds are known to be covert and cunning masters of tactical genius.

*Hey Stan, guess what? *What? *I'm a ninja! *Cool. I'm a pigeon. *I wear a hood and carry nun-chucks! *I poop on cars. (image via Dreamstime)

Now I’ve watched my husband reenact enough harrowing felony arrests to know that when under attack, one should feint to the side and quickly draw their weapon to return fire. Instinctively that was what I did.  The only problem was that I wasn’t a police officer, not actually under attack and didn’t have a weapon. What I did have was a dirty Mazda Protege whose steering wheel I yanked to the left in an unnecessary evasive maneuver, narrowly missing the back end of a truck whose driver had made the mistake of driving on the same Burbank road as a delusional mother in a hatchback. Luckily I didn’t cause an accident and the driver of the truck didn’t stop and demand an explanation which no doubt would have necessitated a psych evaluation.

Thank you to Hubs for illustrating the proper way to react to a threat. In no way did I look this cool.

You should know that I might be terrible at many things (writing thank you notes, painting furniture, organizing my kitchen cupboards) but I’m an extremely conscientious and capable driver. It’s a point of pride. Normally after making such a bonehead driving maneuver I am so contrite that I practice extreme traffic etiquette and obey every traffic law ever made or imagined for at least a full day. However, today I was so distracted by the absurdity of the situation that I made two other bonehead maneuvers in rapid succession, at which point I nearly pulled over, handed my keys to the nearest person and asked them to pick up my children from school because my children deserved the relative safety a complete stranger could offer them. Luckily my often silent, tiny voice of reason convinced me that the elderly Armenian woman with the walker probably didn’t drive and would break a hip climbing into my car anyway. So instead I continued on my way to the preschool without further incident.

A nice lady gave me her car today so I took it to the track and bet on the ponies. (image via dreamstime)

But now that nesting bird and I are really at odds. It’s overactive sense of self-preservation is colliding with my overactive imagination and wreaking havoc with the safety of the public at large.  Not since a band of delinquent raccoons vandalized our Halloween decorations and made my daughter cry have I been so incensed at an animal. I can’t be responsible for my actions. I have a legitimate made up disorder. Someone should send a representative from PETA to relocate this bird to a safer location. Like my neighbor’s house.

Then again, PETA might take issue with the collection of carefully packaged large birds in my freezer and they’re scarier than a homicidal sparrow. You know what, on second thought I’ll just use my back door for the next few weeks.

Good Will Hunting

My mother-in-law, otherwise known as Nana, has A-list celebrity status in our house. I will spare you the long, schmaltzy list of reasons why I love her so dearly. It’s probably sufficient to tell you that I met her during a time of crisis in her family and she showed me, some random girlfriend of her son’s, uncommon grace and hospitality. It made an indelible first impression that she has consistently lived up to in the years since.  My daughter is convinced that Nana is rich because of her consistently superior style (next to a mom who frequently rocks sweat pants, it’s especially impressive) and my son adores her more than squeezy applesauce and Thomas the Train.

Anyway, I was talking to Nana on the phone, as I do almost daily because she and Grandpa (also an A-lister) live on the other side of the country, and she mentioned that another family member, who shall remain nameless, had casually informed Nana of which possessions this person would want to be willed in the case of Nana’s and Grandpa’s deaths. Whaaaa? Pardon me while I stutter in disbelief. Who does that? You almost have to admire the enormous set of balls it must require to casually thrust that into conversation. With one comment you have simultaneously reminded someone of their mortality and let them know that you’re kind of looking forward to their demise as long as you can score some swag.  Nothing makes a person feel better than watching a pack of vultures circle over their head.

Just checking up on you. How're you feeling today? A little peckish?

Nana, evidently not as incensed as I was, went on to helpfully list a couple of things that might come our way should she and Grandpa attend that great cocktail hour in the sky. You know, in case I too was eagerly waiting her demise.  I don’t remember what those items were because I was distracted by my violent fantasy aimed at Nameless and also because listening to the list would have challenged my firmly rooted delusion that Nana and Grandpa are immortal. We must cling to our delusions–sometimes they’re all we have.

We're 150 years old and preserved in vinegar.

However, delusional or not, I am adult enough to understand that some things need to be hashed out prior to happening so that things don’t disintegrate into some sort of hillbilly wrestling match. You have to discuss things like wills and power of attorney. And it’s helpful to get feedback from your loved ones. So in the interest of being a team player…

Nana and Grandpa, if you’re listening, I’ve given this a great deal of thought and here a list of what I’d like you to leave me if you two decide not to live forever, though I would strongly urge you to reconsider that decision.

  • All of your unused toilet paper. As any high school student with a car, a free Saturday night and a list of addresses could tell you, there is no such thing as too much toilet paper. Unless that toilet paper is in the hands of a toddler with some unsupervised bathroom time and a boatload of curiosity, in which case, I hope you own a plunger. That said, I want whatever you’ve got that hasn’t graced your dearly departed backside.

Beer and toilet paper make for an enjoyable Saturday night and a not so enjoyable Sunday morning. (image via Stevendepolo)

  • The cats. I know they developed a nervous twitch the last time we visited, but the children would like nothing more than the opportunity to slather those cats with love 24 hours a day and I think with enough sedatives, the kitties will stop throwing up whenever they see the kids coming.

Cats love being wrapped in a blanket and pushed up and down a hallway almost as much as they love baths.

  • Your cleaning fairies. Clearly there is some sort of magic involved in how unnaturally clean you manage to keep your house. You’ve seen my house–no magic here. Whatever Hocus Pocus you use, I want it. Otherwise your grandchildren may eventually become lost in a pile of discarded shoes and dust bunnies.

I keep telling you people, I'm just a boy in his sister's Tinkerbell costume, not a magic maid!

  • Your cookie selection. I never have the breadth of selection that you two do because I feel guilty if I purchase too many sweets. However, if the cookies were willed to me I would feel obligated to cherish them for the full two minutes it would take me to cram them down my throat like a sugar-crazed lunatic. It would be a very satisfying two minutes.

In a sugar craze, I have been known to eat a whole Keebler elf. They taste like butter and sugar...and chicken.

  • Your collection of gourmet condiments. The energy and gas money you’ve dedicated to tracking down the ideal olive oils and jellies is impressive and almost beyond comprehension but I’m sure that it would add joy to my life or at least my waist line. If you have any maximum strength elastic from which I can fashion myself a girdle I’ll take that too.

I can't feel my legs but waist looks fantastic!

  • One of your many wind chimes. Although the weight of them would crush a Buick, the sound is heavenly–like sitting in the middle of a Buddhist monastery. When I close my eyes in your backyard I see the Dalai Lama dancing with elephants in a field of beautiful flowers, although this vision might be also partially due to beer consumption and heat stroke.

Is he not just as cute as a button? This guy is welcome in my hallucinations any time. (image via dreamstime)

  • The exotic liqueurs in your liquor cabinet whose names I can’t even remember. A trip through your liquor cabinet is like taking an exotic inebriated adventure through Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. I didn’t even know that half of those liqueurs existed but there they are: ‘Nilla Wafer Jubilee or Cinnamon Thermonuclear Surprise or something. I need it. In a glass.

I make all of my chocolates drunk and without pants.

These things would be nice, but not essential…well except the toilet paper, because let’s face it, life without toilet paper is unpleasant. However, aside from the t.p., the one thing on which I really have my heart set is:

  • You guys. Professionally stuffed. Like Build-a-Bear but with grandparents. That way the kids could climb all over you, snuggle with you at bed time, sit with you at the table during dinner.  Grandpa, we’ll slather you in whatever combination of coffee, cologne and cigarettes that gives you the special “Grandpa smell” that your granddaughter is so very attached to and Nana, we’ll stuff you with pearls and meat sauce and drape you with jewelry. Then we’ll add those little recorders so that when the kids squeeze your hands Grandpa says “if you say so” and Nana says “I love my gang!”

Come sit on my Nana! We had her stuffed.

Sure, people will stop coming to our house because we are the creepy people who taxidermy their relatives. They’ll stare and then whisper to each other whenever we pass by. The kids will become outcasts and sit at the lunch table alone, talking to themselves…

Okay, so that really isn’t a socially acceptable solution but surely you can understand my sentiment, because though you two have collected many nice things over the years, it is just stuff. Nice stuff, but stuff none the less. It can’t compare to the impact you make on our household, especially the household members under five feet, every single day just by being alive. And I’m not just saying that because Grandpa changes our burned out light bulbs and without him we’d live in darkness. You are worth more than the sum of your possessions to the people who love you (and also have social skills).

PS. We’ll still take the toilet paper.