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From Boy to Man – and About Alice.

Had a squabble with my son today.

It was unpleasant.

It came on the heels of his 21st birthday.

21!!!

I started this blog when he was still walking up a dirt road to catch his bus to school!

He was this little …

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Our squabble?  It was over a bird.

He wanted/wants a bird.

I said no.

We rent – they poop.  We rent – they scratch their seeds.  We rent – he doesn’t pay any of it.

Truth is, I’ve always wanted a bird too.

But, not a caged one.

One I could put to bed after it flew free in my (owned) home with interaction.

We don’t have that to give.

What he DID get for his birthday was semi-impulsive and it dawned on me today, he has more of me in him than I had thought.

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What he didn’t DO on his birthday made me proud.

He thought he was driving later to a friends after his birthday dinner to do college homework – so, he didn’t have a drop of alcohol.

I SO appreciate that.

Respect that.

My son has common sense.

As for the tattoo (of which, I have four) I didn’t love it.

No, I’ll be honest.

I didn’t love the idea of it – because, he HAD a plan.

He wanted to integrate nature and technology and was going to be proud to have that imbedded in his flesh for eternity.

After consulting with a tattoo artist, he was told it would be 5-6 hours in a chair and perhaps he needed a pre-tattoo.  (I’m sure that wasn’t the sentence the guy used – but hey, I’m paraphrasing.)

I felt like he was being coerced into an extra tat.

When Nic sent me a mock up of the tat – and I saw Alice –

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I knew he didn’t have me in mind.  (Although, I WAS hoping for his first to be “MOM” in a heart – just kidding.)

Because, this is what he brought me back from his big trip to England:

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But, he had heard the story over and over of when I was in a bus in India as a child reading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and the bus hit a man.

No one really cared.

But, when we hit a chicken!!!!  We had to pay for not only that chicken, but the chickens it would produce, the eggs those offspring would produce etc. etc.

One less mouth to feed in a 3rd world country is above food that feeds them – to a degree.

I kept reading on that bus – but did catch a glimpse of hamburger head.

It was horrible.

But, we took him somewhere good – and my mind stayed in that book.

Bottom line, I said:

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And he is honest.  Like me – to the point of discounting himself, if that’s even possible.

We try it, we do – but to lie – it doesn’t lay softly on our chests.  I’m glad he got not only impulsiveness, but HONESTY from me.

And now we’ll both always have Alice.

 

 

 

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Golliwogs and Christmas Eve and Nannies and such

When I think of my Nannie – I think of green houses and the smell of tomato plants and wood – heated in the English sun.  I think of checkered table cloths and mint sauce.   I think of salad cream and endless hours on her bed listening to the stories behind every piece of her jewelry in her jewelry box.

She sent this to me a couple of years ago – can you believe it’s 79 years old?  She got it on her 13th birthday … I’ll share with you the note and the necklace:

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The reason I started thinking about my Nannie – (other than she often finds my mind) is that I was looking for soap.

I wanted to wash my hair – do old fashioned ringlets for tomorrow and put my Christmas Eve PJ’s on.

I’m running low on shampoo and conditioner – but even lower on soap. WHERE do the re-gift/half ass body wash gifts go when you need them?  I searched under my sink and gave up.  Nothing.  I must have tossed or re-gifted.

I did find ‘our’ soap.

I mispronounced it one year as ‘Mongolia’ and it’s been a running joke ever since.

This is how my Nannie smells.  Cross between Magnolias and Imperial Soap.

Anyway – she sent me a lot of it.

I was never going to use it.  I’m VERY sentimental – and smell is my biggest memory jogger.  I would sniff it from time to time – but tonight – I needed soap, so I used one.

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I thought I’d treat myself to a little spa after my shower – I used a sample of something I definitely couldn’t afford otherwise.

My boss orders expensive grooming items from a shop she receives samples from in return for, which I’m sure, is an insane amount of money that she spends.  (To her credit, she’s rocking her 60’s and has better skin than me!)

Anyway, I dipped into this:

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And chose this:

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And looked like this:

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I washed it off and removed the towel, and don’t I look 1 year younger? LOL!

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ok, so I hadn’t even brushed my hair yet.  But I bare all for you.

When I had the face mask on at first, it was SUPER dark – which brought me back to my Nannie.  I was thinking of black face.

The last gift she sent me was this:

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Which, I’m sure, is really going to offend some people.

Listen.

In my day (now I sound REALLY old) I had a ‘Golliwog’ and LOVED it.  It was treated no different than any of my other toys.  I treasured it.

Golliwogs appeared in my books that I poured over – so much so, that one of them – (I can’t find it! I looked – know it’s here  somewhere) had a story in it that I had etched into my skin:

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It was about a kind fairy, with a crippled wing.  Because she was so kind to all creatures, she was given the gift of a new wing.  (The heart? My first tattoo – in the very early 90’s since I was told I was heartless – I could point to my ankle and say ‘nope!’)

I had the tattoo artist work from the original art.

Fairy Stargold I believe?

The point is – I didn’t know black from white.  I didn’t know Golliwogs were offensive.  They were black dolls to me – and adored.

Yet now I keep my black doll behind my bathroom door on top of my filing cabinet so as not to offend anyone.

Crazy.

So it’s Christmas Eve and I’m inundated with warm memories of everything that was precious and feeling wrong for holding some of them precious.

I’m not even going to google ‘Golliwog’ because it will taint the innocent memories I have.  I was a kid – and color was not a factor.