My son’s fate was sealed at birth. His uncle is a SuperBooster for the University of Central Florida, and from Boychild’s first Christmas (a month after he was born) he began receiving UCF Knights-themed presents. Shirts, jammies, booties, footballs…I don’t remember a black-and-gold pacifier, but if one had been available SuperUncle would have provided it.
The die was cast. He would be a UCF Knight–in spite of the fact that, among us, we’ve got the state of Florida covered, college-wise. His Highness and I got our undergrad degrees at USF in Tampa. My dad went to law school at the University of Florida. My mother went to Florida State back when it was Florida State College for Women, and Girlchild followed in her footsteps. Plus, we lived for years in Miami, which has to count for something with the University of Miami, right?
We couldn’t compete. SuperUncle maintained an impressive, unbeatable campaign for eighteen unbroken years–and won. Long after getting his undergrad degree at UCF, Boychild still owns a treasure trove of Knights paraphernalia. The shirts, the tailgating tent, the tailgating chairs, the decals, the pennants, the pacifier. No, wait…there never was a pacifier.
So you can imagine what it’s like when football season starts, as it did this past week. Boychild has several season tickets…thanks to guess who? But friends and family clamor to be invited, so there’s always a group in front of the TV at our house, too, for every Knights or Seminole game.
Unless I get very, very unlucky, I’m in the home group. No offense to the teams, but Florida Septembers are unbearably hot and muggy. I like my air conditioning, my mute button, and the joy of a bathroom that isn’t four staircases away.
Plus, at home I can enjoy football my way—100% biased, and 100% sappy.
By “biased,” I mean screaming “Pass interference!” every time our receiver drops the ball. (True pass interference is not required.)
By “sappy,” I mean falling for every human-interest story the commentators serve me. I cry more at TV sports than probably is normal. Sometimes, when the cameras zoom in on the losers, I have to cover my eyes.
This week, watching FSU’s new quarterback, Jameis Winston, was the emotional thrill. The kid was touched by magic, and when I saw him tiny-dancing with sheer happiness on the sidelines….Yep. I teared up, and my night was complete!
How about you? Does your family get football fever? Who’s your team? Do you like to be there, or do you prefer watching at home?
We all lead busy lives, and there are some weeks my life is way busier than others. I’m on an early flight to the Romantic Times convention in Kansas City this morning, and I had to do some creative multi-tasking to get everything ready in time.
And just when I thought I couldn’t add even one more thing to my to-do list, my publisher sent page proofs for The Spy Wore Blue my Lord and Lady Spy novella coming out in August. They were due yesterday. It’s a novella, so I knew it wouldn’t take me as long as a full-length book, but I still had to find some time to sit and read through it, making final corrections.
I remember the days when I had hours at my disposal to dedicate to writing, proofreading, revising. Now I’m lucky if I have one hour. So I multi-task.
My daughter is three and a half, and bathroom independent. Yes! But she still likes me close by when she uses the potty. And, like any kid, she sometimes wants to sit in there and sing or tell herself stories or whatnot. She might be in there ten minutes, but I had better be close by. She will check. So what do I do. Grab my computer and sit outside the bathroom door and write.
Right now her favorite game is Hello Kitty Bingo. The game is for 2-4 players, but we usually have only three—Baby G, Mickey Mouse, and me. Like and three-year-old, she has a short attention span. She wants to play, but then she finds something more interesting and runs off to investigate for five minutes. Eventually she remembers the game and comes back to continue play. I used to sit and try to catch a few minutes’ of sleep while she read a book or colored a picture. Now I open my laptop and write a few paragraphs before she returns.
And, of course, we have a couple of activities every week. One of them is gymnastics. I love to watch her, but she’s not actually doing any gymnastics for much of the class. In the 3-4 year old class, they run around, sing songs, and learn to wait for their turn on the balance beam or bars. So while I’m waiting for her to show everyone her front support, I read a page of the novella.
And that’s how the work gets done. Anyone else a master multi-tasker?
I’m writing to you today live from the Big Apple! I’m in New York and loving every second of it – despite the below freezing temperatures and the blisters on my feet… even though I’ve been to the city a number of times, I always feel compelled to trot around in shoes that aren’t very nice to my feet. You’d think I learn my lesson, right…?
Anyway, I digress – I’m in New York. It’s part business trip, part personal trip. In addition to having the pleasure of spending time with my lovely and talented editor, who is one of my favorite people in the world, my daughter is playing in a concert at Carnegie Hall!
This performance is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I’m so proud of her and so happy that a lot of our family has come to New York to see the concert. So, as I try my best to strike a balance between on-the-ball professional and giddy mother – actually, my editor is a mother and completely understand how I’m feeling right now – but while I’m here will you please join in my happy celebration and share one of your own happiest or proudest moments?
It can be anything – about motherhood or another personal moment. Anything, as long as it’s happy. Since I’m away from my desk right now, I won’t be able to reply today. But is soon as I’m back, I’ll respond to each and every post. On Sunday, I’ll draw a winner and post the name. The prize will be something fun and special that I pick up here in the city.
I’m so looking forward to reading about your happy moments. Thanks for helping me celebrate this one!
So the other night The Professor and I were in bed (get your heads out of the gutter, this isn’t *that* kind of blog) and he says to me, “we need a hobby.” Now before we had kids we went to movies. A lot. It was pretty much out entire courtship. Lots and lots of movies, which was great because it gave us stuff to talk about while we were getting to know each other and well, we learned about each other too based on the movies we saw, liked, didn’t like. Flash forward to now, post children and well, we might get to the theatre every other month, if that. And well, since we don’t get a lot of conversation time with just the two of us, then sitting quietly while watching a movie takes up what could be valuable chatting time.
So back to our conversation. I suggest Scrabble. We used to play a lot. We enjoy it and we’re good opponents for one another. And it works for him because his favorite writer is CS Lewis and we heard once that Lewis and his wife used to play Scrabble together – of course they played where any language was game. The Professor and I only play in English though we aspire. But we haven’t played in a while.
So we discuss other options…gardening? No, I’m not really into digging in the dirt, it just doesn’t work for me. There are worms. Eww! Cooking together? I’d love to have him help more, but he’s not really that skilled in the kitchen and frankly right now I’ve got a pretty sweet deal – I cook, he cleans the kitchen. So that really takes that off the table. We could make model cars. No, I’m not thinking either one of us would be good at that.
Then on a silly whim I say, “well, we could always become amateur sleuths.” He rolls over with a big smile, “that’s it!”
We watch a little TV, I toss out a few more suggestions: we love museums but we don’t really live near very many, a poker group but we don’t have many friends who live close enough, and the list went on. He finally said, “nothings as good as the sleuthing idea…”
So there you have it, The Professor and I are not amateur sleuths. So far we don’t have any cases, but I’m sure any day now they’ll start rolling in. Hey, we’re clever people.
Okay so what kinds of things do you and your spouse enjoy doing together? And keep it clean, people!
It was a dark and stormy night. Well, okay, it was a dark night, as most nights are. I was oh, maybe eleven or twelve years old. All of a sudden, the door to my bedroom opened, and my mother was there. “Kristan? Kristan? It’s time we had the talk.”
“But I’m dreaming about unicorns,” I may have mumbled.
“Too bad.” And there, in the pitch dark, Mother perched at the edge of my bed and informed me in as fast and clinical a way as possible, where babies came from. In a previous blog, I may have mentioned that I was a late bloomer, only receiving my first kiss just two (fine! three!) short years after I got my license. But apparently, I’d made a comment to an aunt about God sending them another baby and how nice it was. I know I was happy—another cousin to play with and command! Good old God! And hey, who was really to blame with my blissfully naïve ignorance? Mom was the one who dragged us all to church every week. God did everything, right?
Well. Not everything, apparently. In one, long run-on sentence that seemed too horrific to be true, Mother Mine whipped out words that I’d previously only seen scrawled on the seats of the school bus. I listened in utter silence and shock until she ran out of breath. Then there was only the sound of the wind.
After a few minutes, I spoke. “That’s not funny.”
“I’m going to bed,” she said. “Good talk.” Then she left me to my doomed night.
Life thereafter was quite gross. First of all…my parents! Oh, the humanity! How could I ever look at them again? There were three of us, so three times, that utterly disgusting act had occurred! Boy, they really must have loved kids to go through such ickiness. Then the horror mushroomed. My grandparents had nine children. My youngest uncle was just about the same age as I was, so that meant…!!! And what about all those cousins of mine? Apparently they too had started out in such a terribly undignified fashion! Why hadn’t anyone ever adopted a baby in our family if this was what they had to go through to become parents?
It wasn’t until I starting reading romance novels that I realized there were reasons other than the biological imperative to, um…you know. Even so, it took me quite a while to be able to read one of those scenes without dying a little.
Years and years later, my own beloved Princess Daughter asked me to confirm a rumor told to her at school about where babies came from. I took pride in the fact that I could tell her with the lights on. Her reaction: “Mommy, no offense, but I don’t care how in love you are. That’s disgusting.” (She is still currently planning to adopt all her children.)
So where were you when you learned the facts of life? And if you’re a parent, how’d you do telling your own kids?