Posts Tagged ‘Rollie’

And So We’re Told This is the Golden Age

Friday, January 1st, 2016

I often have grand ideas about end of year posts, New Year’s posts, the marking of the passage of time, and what it all means. This isn’t one of those posts.

I stayed up until 3 am with friends. I slept late in a bed fit for a queen. I awakened to coffee and bacon, and no hangover. I visited my sister and drank a cup of coffee with our families and dogs. I talked and laughed at a bar and drank a pitcher of beer with my best friend (spoiler: also my sister) while waiting on takeout barbecue, black-eyed peas, and collard greens. It was okay that this year I didn’t make them myself. I met my first stranger of the year, a sculptor named Nate who goes by Hugh, and I hit the jackpot and brought home a brown paper sack full of beer bottle caps for my son’s bottle cap collection.

I stuffed myself on beer, bbq, prosperity, and good luck while watching a movie with most of my favorite people. I am terrible about seeing movies in the theater. I always find other things to do, or to spend my money on. Even when they are on Netflix, it takes a while to get around to seeing them. So, for instance, I saw Grand Budapest Hotel in the theater, but had not gotten around to watching Moonrise Kingdom. Honestly, Lisa, Todd, and I were going to watch Love and Mercy (I was going to invite Kristin to come over and bring Danny Noonan the puppy!), but the sound was messed up, so we settled for Moonrise Kingdom.

Two things: First of all, I love Wes Anderson movies, but I find them completely overwhelming from a sensory and nostalgia standpoint. I find myself constantly distracted by thoughts like “I really need to wear more mustard and khaki,” or “I miss smoking,” or “Holy crap! My parents had that ashtray with the plaid beanbag bottom!” or “That’s totally what Tang packaging looked like when I was a kid!” or “If I were pregnant right now? My kid would totally be getting a Moonrise Kingdom-themed nursery!” Then I have to reign myself back in to even pay attention to what is going on.

Secondly, I had to watch it, because a few folks told us that our son was like Sam in Moonrise Kingdom. We spend a time or two a year yurting with friends. In the fall, we go to Fort Yargo (in Winder, near Athens) and spend a weekend on a peninsula. We have our own canoes. And now that the kids are all older, we slap lifejackets on them, send them off in the canoes, and pour a drink on dry land. This past October, our kids exercised their freedom in the natural world. And my son was a lone trailblazer. He would wake up and before I had finished my coffee, he was out in the canoe, shirtless at times, heading for the beach across the lake, all by himself. He wanted to be in that canoe by himself. He wanted to feel that quiet that you get in the middle of a lake by yourself, and to go somewhere that no one else is, and where none of your people can see you. We hear tell that he beached the canoe and swam by himself. I guess I am a terrible parent for letting my kid canoe out of my sight across an acre or more of lake, and for letting him swim unattended, but I think our kids never have enough time alone exploring nature, so I am willing to chance it. As he headed off numerous times that weekend (I think he may have done 3 or 4 trips out alone on the lake by himself each day), our friends commented that he was “like that kid in Moonrise Kingdom.” I knew enough of Anderson’s movies to know that might be a compliment, but it also meant, well, he’s kind of weird, but then the apple doesn’t fall from the tree. So, I was looking forward to finally seeing the movie to see a glimpse of what others were seeing in my son.

I saw it, too. His curiosity, independent streak, desire to explore, need to be and do things alone, and his innate craving to be in nature. I’m okay with the comparison.

After, Lisa and Dash went home, I decided to write while listening to my new records. Todd bought me a few albums: Elvis Costello’s This Year’s Model; Squeeze’s 45’s and Under; U2’s Under a Blood Red Sky; Prince’s Prince; Simon And Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits; Joni Mitchell’s Hejira. (The Joni Mitchell album deserves a post all it’s own, but I’m working up to that one. Still thinking on it.)

I put on U2, because I’m obvious like that. Rollie sat down next to me with his Sherlock Holmes book, and he let me play with his hair. (He’s 12. I don’t get to play with his hair much longer, so I’m trying to take advantage of times like that.) We talked about U2, and we looked at the album cover, and I showed him photos of Red Rocks online.

I wrote some more while he read at my side. He asked if I would play “Cecilia” and I said “Yes, but we’re listening to the whole album.” His two favorite songs right now are Simon and Garfunkel’s “Cecilia” and Metallica’s “Enter Sandman.” It is not lost on me that this is fucking awesome. I told him how much my mom loves Simon and Garfunkel, and how much I love them, and how we would listen to Simon and Garfunkel on 8-track, and when “The Boxer” came on, I told him that one made me cry, and he said “why?” and I told him to just listen to the album, and one day it would make him cry, too. I didn’t tell him that it is a sad song on its own, and it reminds me of mom, and makes me feel like a little girl, or about my friend telling me that his father loved the song and one of his kids played it for him on his deathbed, but I thought it all, because I think it’s beautiful in the way that only a classic song can be as it infiltrates our memory and thought and intersects with bits of our lives like a puzzle piece.

Todd has since asked if he can watch Black Mirror, so the music is off and the tv is on. The cat is snuggling up next to me on a blanket and the dog is asleep in the chair next to me, and we’ve cleaned up spilled prosecco by turning over the wet cushion to the ugly ripped side.

All of that is pretty much what life is like in general. We turn over the cushion to the more comfortable side. The less wet and dirty side. It still might be a little torn up. We have to choose which side is better.

This was me last New Year’s Day, early on the beach at Cape San Blas.

And here is me last night, laughing and giving the finger to 2015. (Okay, I’m actually giving the finger to my friend Jason’s parents while I sit on the toilet, but that’s a whole ‘nother story.)


I know nothing of what this year meant. It may mean nothing. Things I know: I know that whatever I think is normal will change. I know that whatever happens, I will be okay. Whatever happens is what is supposed to happen. I know I need to think less about it all, and that I need to put one foot in front of the other and try to enjoy the small, beautiful moments.

I thought that this wasn’t one of those posts, a post about the year past and the year to come, and what it might all mean. But then again, maybe it is one of those posts.

The Boy Who Smashed My Snow Globe

Monday, August 27th, 2012

At about 5:20, nine years ago today, this little guy came into my life. He totally picked it up like it was a snow globe, turned it around, shook it up. Really, i think the globe just busted wide open, and shattered into a million pieces, catching the summer afternoon light as they skittered across the floor.

He really did absolutely change everything: Who I thought I was, who I am now, who I wanted to be, how I saw everything. Absolutely, irrevocably altered forever. It was the most awesome (in the true sense of the word) thing that has happened to me before or since. That is not to minimize the impact my daughter has had on me, or to say that she is any less important to me. But when she came into my life, I was already far different than the person I had been three years before her birth.

Rollie has become such a boy. No longer a baby. He swims, and dives and spends the night out and runs and goes to the bathroom by himself and buys things at the cashier without me. He likes a girl. He won’t tell me who. He is sweet and sullen. He has stickers and a keep out sign on his bedroom door and he likes The Beatles and Beyblades. He is mean to his little sister in the most malicious and puckish ways – It makes my sister and i laugh to see him torture Tiller as I tortured Lisa. And yet, he will still burst into tears and fly off the handle like a toddler. He will still sometimes hold my hand, or ask to sleep with us, or climb up on the couch next to me and put his sweet head on my chest. I understand now why I will always be my Mama’s baby, why her Mama called her “Baby” until the day she died. My boy has shot up in size, and looking at the pictures of him, I just don’t understand how nine years went by so fast. NINE.

The rest? Unless you are a grandma or aunt, you probably won’t care. It will just be some kid, pretty decent-looking kid, but somebody else’s boy. To me? He is The Boy Who Smashed My Snow Globe.


Todd and Rollie at Johnson's



Rollie Reading

Rollie Loves Trucks II

Built To last

Us at the Park

Alvin, Simon, Theodore, Rollie

Rollie with Mailboxes

Cool Dude

The Wedding Suit


Rollie at Waverly 280 Boogie

Boy Loves Tractor



Rowdy Rollie Rodeo

Happy Rollie

Fun with Trucker Hat III

Rollie From Above









Rollie Cut His Own Hair II



Would It Kill You to Smile?


Snow Day Parkas

Lego Nerd



First 5k


JP and Kids




Me and Rollie




First day of school, 2012. 3rd & 1st. Sniff.

I love my kid. What can i say?

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

It’s for a good cause, or i wouldn’t ask. . . Rollie likes math, and there is this Math-a-Thon fundraiser thing, and he really wants to do it, and it’s for a good cause, and I feel like I would be a crappy mother for not helping him do it, and for not trying to raise money for sick kids, but i hate asking people for money. Absolutely hate it. Fundraisers are the pits.

Still, here I am. Asking. I love my kid. What can I say.

Mama’s Little Mohawk

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Keeping it for the summer, at least.

Busy as Hell Bee

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

We have been spending a lot of time at the baseball fields this spring. Rollie has a game and two practices a week. And then there is tiller’s Tiny Tykes practice every Sunday. And Todd’s new job with BBDO. (Speaking of, have you seen Todd’s previous work? He has a site.)

So, what we have been doing:

Tiller rides her Razor at the park, with her buddy Drake, while Rollie plays t-ball.
Helmet. See?

This is Tills and Drake, playing on the bleachers. Remember playing on the bleachers? Much more fun than being a parent keeping kids OFF the bleachers.
Tills and Drake

This is Rollie, with Zachary (if you call him Zach, this kid will actually tell you that his name is not Zach, it’s Zachary.) His dad’s a lawyer, and I didn’t ask for permission to post his picture on the site, because I like to live life on the edge. Zachary got whacked in the eye with a bat last week, but he is okay. His dad, who did the accidentally whacking, is probably now in therapy. That’s Kevin in the middle. He is small, but a strong hitter and i love how his batting helmet kind of wears him. I am also looking forward to meeting his new twin sisters. We’ve been driving Kev to practice a lot while his mom was on bedrest. He’s a cook kid. (His dad is a chef.) He is also a cool kid.

Zachary, Kev, and Rolls

We’ve been working on Rollie’s follow-through. We pitch to him in the backyard with the whiffle ball and bat and his follow through is fine, but when he hits off the tee, he seems to be concentrating so hard on hitting the ball off the tee that he is not following through. This one was pretty good, though.

Todd dressed up as Teen Wolf.
Dicknose and MJFox

Iain was a ZZ Top guy.

And T was Rick James, Bitch.

Candy channeled Pat B.

Even Richard Simmons was there.

Can’t remember this guy’s name, but he whips it good.

Matt did the Spicolli thing.

At Shannon and Matt’s wedding shower.

We went to Hilton Head and frolicked in the very cold water.

Had an Easter egg hunt at the Salty Dog Cafe . . .

And I dragged the family to the cemetery in Savannah to visit Pop’s grave.
Pop Marker

See how happy they look? That Tiller, one thing you can say about her, she sure does like to get dragged around to visit dead folks at cemeteries. Rollie? Oh, hissing under my breath that I will pop him if he doesn’t smile for the camera.
Me and kids

But it was a beautiful day for a visit to the Cemetery, and it seemed appropriate to visit on Easter. My grandmother, her brother and sister, and my great-grandparents are all buried there also.


Dash came to visit and we spent a ton of time in the yard. Tiller played ball.
tiller ball

Rollie ran around looking like a Cecil Jr. with no shirt and wrecking his toy in the backyard.

And finally, Rollie saw a bee and freaked out.

The bee did not sting him. No bees were harmed in the photographing of this boring post.

Why Fathers Should Not Take Sons to the Barber Shop

Saturday, April 17th, 2010

Tiller’s Latest Song

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

Rollie likes to invent wind machines to scare people. Tiller likes to make up songs. I am not kidding when I say that my jaw often drops at the inventiveness of her lyrics. This latest song was performed on my patio yesterday afternoon. I missed the first few lines, but todd and I are getting better at catching her songs on the Voice Memo app on our iPhones.

To set the scene, she is standing on the brick wall beside our patio. Dash and I are sitting below, and she has her arms stretched out wide and is making eye contact with us as she belts these out, like she was some banshee Julie Andrews character. When she discusses that she is going to do something, she is referring to jumping off the wall and flying like a bird. The breathless part of it is her jumping off then climbing back up.

This all started when she told me that she had jumped off the wall earlier and she thinks she “might have flown up a little bit.”

These children, so very different, absolutely rock my world. Even Rollie, whom i overheard tell Todd as I was leaving for my run tonight, “I hope she doesn’t come home.” I mean, what an ass – I just finished cooking his dinner and then doing the dishes. And yet i love him anyway.

Yes, my feelings were hurt. Doesn’t happen often, but it happened.

Life Gets in the Way, But Let Me Fast Forward It For You

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

This has been my worst month of posting in years. Life has really gotten in the way. Many reasons come into play. Me training for another triathlon. Work. Lots of company, like Todd’s cousin Jenn, and my friend Honey and her family, and my mom is having surgery on her foot, and mom and dad having moved, a neighbor and i started a community website, Dekalb county board of education sucks, and I have to sometimes cook and do laundry and make beds, or at least enough so that todd won’t divorce me.

A recap in pictures (just hold your mouse over each one for the witty caption):
We had a cookout. With Ned and Nessie.
And Ned and Leelee
Lyle, Cooke, and Rollie
Rolls, Scar, and Tills
and Cooke, Rolls, Scar, and Tills
Then there was the day that Tills cut her own bangs.
I ran a daycare for like 50 kids a few days.
I took the kids and T. to see Donnie's Girlfriend's gallery opening. We did not get drunk which was disappointing.
We went to Roswell for Ev's baby shower.
Lisa Drove. I drank. And tried on wigs with jason.
They're having a baby. Better them than me!
Oh, and J. had an orgasm in Ev's parents' massage chair. (Didn't we all.)
We took the kids to see They Might Be Giants.
And then afterwards, they decided to hang out in L5P and look cool.
We all got goofy at Morelli's.
And Tiller.
Okay, Todd is just too cool in his shades to act goofy. FYI: He found'em on the escalator at the airport and pocketed them. Poser.
Then Honey came to visit and Dash made me jealous.
And we all went to the St. Patty's Day Parade and froze our asses off.
I still don't know what Storm Troopers have to do with St. Patty's, but I'm on board.
We all rode Marta and managed to get home without losing any kids, or Slade, who is part Leprechaun.
I fell in love with this little guy. Had forgotten awesomeness of baby sleeping soundly on couch while I got quietly smashed on wine.
And this one, Honey's mini-me.
And we were just as worn out as they were. . .

I guess that kind of sums it up.

Yeah, Dogwood is back. She’s back!

Bossy and Stubborn

Friday, February 5th, 2010

This story will not surprise anyone who knows Rollie and me well. Rollie and I? We are just alike in so many ways. We can be a little intense. Focused to the point of obsession about things we enjoy doing. (God forbid you ask us a question while we are reading.) We don’t like to be told what to do. We are brilliant and attractive. (Okay, I just stuck in that last part.) What does this mean?

It means we fight like cats and dogs.

I know it sounds silly that I would argue with a six-year-old, but you haven’t argued until you have argued with Rollie. He really keeps me on my toes. Some days he gets the best of me. Some days he makes me cry. Some days I wonder whether he even loves me.

Last night, though, we got into an argument so absurd that it sent me into a fit of giggles. We were reading a book before bed. One of those Berenstain Bears books from Chick-fil-A. You can say whatever you want about Truett Cathy, but big props to him for not sticking another cheap, crappy plastic toy into the kids’ meals, and instead opting to give kids books. What a novel idea! Get it? Novel? I’ll be here all week, folks.

So, we are sitting on my bed like we do every night. Todd or I will sit in the middle, and Tiller and Rollie sit on either side. We still make a point to read to both of them, even though Rollie can read himself. We figure Tiller needs to get the same amount of reading that Rollie received in his first years. It is surprising how shafted the second child gets sometimes, and the way that the first child will complete tasks, sentences, and answers for the younger one, preventing the younger one from having to learn for themselves. After we read, Rollie will sometimes go into his room and read a chapter book on his own, until we make him turn out his light. (This also is absolutely nothing like me. I swear.) While we are reading with Tiller, though, Rollie will stop us if he doesn’t know a word, and we will define it for him, then continue reading.

So, last night, I was reading along, and came to the word “obstinate.” Rollie stopped me, but instead of asking what it meant, he said, “I already know what obstinate means. It means ‘bossy.'” (It’s always “I already know” with this kid – you can’t tell him anything.)

Me: “That’s great that you know this word, but it actually means ‘stubborn.'”

Rollie: “No, it means, ‘bossy.’ Mrs. Anderson told me so.”

Mrs. Anderson is his teacher, and she is awesome. She is also very smart and I figure that she knows the meaning of obstinate, and Rollie probably just heard her wrong.

Me: “Baby, you are really close to the meaning, but it means ‘stubborn.'”

Rollie: “No, it means ‘bossy’ and I know I am right.”

He got the unshakeable look to his face that he gets. It is a kind of “discussion over, I am not listening to you anymore, finger in my ears, singing loudly” set to his jaw. It kind of scares me. Meanwhile, Tiller is picking up the book that I had set down in my lap and is fingering through it, looking bored with the whole discussion. I realize we might be there all night.

Me: “Okay, well, it means ‘stubborn.’ You just look it up in your dictionary when you get to your room.” (Way to get the last word, Mom, I think to myself.)

Rollie: “I don’t have to look it up, because I know that it means “bossy.””

I am not sure whether the next part is due to my desire to help Rollie learn, or my desire to always be right. Not pretty, but it is probably the latter. I pick up my iPhone and google “obstinate definition.” I click on the Merriam-Webster link that comes up. I show it to Rollie. It reads:

1. Stubbornly adhering to an attitude, opinion, or course of action; obdurate.
2. Difficult to manage, control, or subdue; refractory.
3. Difficult to alleviate or cure: an obstinate headache.

Rollie: “Well, that’s wrong. I know it means “bossy.”

Me: “Stubborn.”

Rollie: “Bossy.”

Tiller, wailing: “When are we going to finish the book?”

Me: “You’re right Tiller, let’s read.”

I begin to read, thinking about the argument with Rollie, and the fact that it was over the word ‘obstinate,’ and then i get the giggles. I can barely read the words in the book for the giggles, and the kids start giggling too, because how funny is it that Mama can’t stop giggling?

They ask why I am laughing. I tell them, “because it is funny that Mama and Rollie were arguing over whether the word obstinate means bossy or stubborn. Tiller, you can just call Rollie and me Miss Stubborn and Mr. Bossy.”

You can call us that, too. Miss Stubborn and Mr. Bossy.

The Bright Side of Puking

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

Tiller’s got the pukes. It all started Sunday before last, with Rollie having no appetite. Any parent worth their salt knows that when a kid has no appetite for something that they usually scarf down, then you will be dealing with puke within 24 hours. It is a law of nature.

Rollie was out of school five days last week. He had only one puke incident, but then had a fever for six days straight. He felt better on Friday (just in time for the weekend!). Tiller fell sick on Sunday night. Same thing. No appetite, fever, a little puke. Both kids also have a cough with this thing.

This sounds crazy, but I kind of like it when my kids are sick. No, i hate to see them scared or puking, and I hate the getting up two or three times a night to soothe them, and clean puke and change sheets, or to lie awake listening to them cough and worry about pneumonia or freak bacterial infections. Not that part.

But when they are sick, I am reminded how very much I love them, and how I couldn’t bear it if something happened to one of them. I am reminded that I am lucky that they are so healthy. Now that they are older, they don’t want to sit in my lap as often, or snuggle on the couch. I am chopped liver. But when they are sick? They want me, need me, even.

I am reminded of one time when Rollie was sick. He was about 18 months or two years, probably. He came into the kitchen where Todd and i were standing, and he looked just pitiful, and then he started throwing up. He had that panicky look that little kids get when they are vomiting. They don’t understand what is happening to them, and they feel like they are choking, and their eyes are begging you to fix it. Todd grabbed a towel, while I got down on my knees and pulled Rollie into my lap. His little fists were clinging to me, and he was puking all over the both of us, and the whole time it was happening, all i could think of was that there was not another person on earth whom I would let sit on my lap and puke all over me.

I was thinking, There is nothing that I wouldn’t do for you. Nothing.