I told you that my husband has gone to Mexico for work three times in the past three weeks. Well, now this weekend just happens to be when his tennis team was scheduled to go to Las Vegas because they made it to nationals. So he was leaving, again, and while I was excited and proud that he made nationals, I was having a hard time suppressing bitterness. I was tired of holding it all down, plus work has taken such a serious upswing that I can hardly see straight. Not to mention that I was jealous that he was going to Vegas to yuck it while I'd be holding it down, again. So, being the mature and understanding and loving partner that I am, I text him, in short, "What am I? The help?" I mentioned other things that translated to me feeling like the frumpy caretaker while he jet sets, which is hardly the cast, but you know, hyperbole is my friend. Whatever. So, I crossed my arms in a HHMPF and waited for his text to tell me to chill or to say, sorry, out of my control, Mami, but he text, "Look under your mouse pad." And under the my mouse pad there was some cash and a note that read, "Please come to Vegas tomorrow. I miss you! I love you!"
Ok, so I felt a little stupid and ridiculous, but those feelings certainly didn't trump my feeling of Yipppeeeee! I'm gonna have some fun! And I need some grown up fun right now. A sister needs balance, y'know? Balance seems so fleeting though, but still, the entire weight of my world eased up off me the second I knew I had some spontaneous fun coming up. I leave this afternoon. Yippeee!
Mina and I had some fun last weekend. I took her and her BFF to see the junior division of the LA Derby Dolls and I gotta say it was the best time I've had in a long time. I had been a fan of roller derby as a kid in the 70's, when Skinny Minnie Miller was a star and the games were scripted like the WWF. Women's roller derby has made a big surge in the last couple years and now it's treated like a true sport where points are scored legitimately. The camp factor aside, these women are athletes and I got oddly teary-eyed when the intro music was blaring and the skaters were rolling around the rink in a warm-up pack, crouched and bouncing. Man, any kind of empowerment chokes me up every time. The skater's names were hilarious: Anya Handsanneez. Cherrylicious. O. Hellno. Eat-It Piaf. If it was raunchy or violent, it was incorporated into a name. Of course I spent most of the game coming up with my own name when I become a derby star. Here it is: Celia Cruzinforabrusin. Best name ever, right? Don't lie. I shouldn't have posted this! Don't steal it! Anyway, Mina and I were screaming at the skaters by the end, and she was begging me to join the little girl league, which starts at age 8. I'm seriously thinking about letting her do it, but dang if that's not one more thing on our plates. We got this terrible picture of her and her favorite skater, Slammin Amazon from the Hells Belles.
Speaking of Mina, I had her parent-teacher conference this week. I got good and bad news. The good news is that she's doing pretty well in school! She's learning how to juggle more and more balls and all in all, she's doing well. Tests scores are average, but again I got a comment regarding her thought process. Like, she was the only kid that mentioned the overall message of the book in their big book report project; she didn't just summarize facts. I do influence her to think like that, but she still processed it and put it in her report by herself. When making her auto biographical poster, she was one of three kids only, when asked what they'd do with a million dollars, who said they'd be charitable with it. She said she'd give half to the schools and spend the other half traveling the world, helping kids. Gulp. So proud. So, the bad news? Mina decided to get in a good amount of trouble on the playground the day before my conference. Demerits and all, which demerits really don't mean shit compared to the trouble from me when I heard the news. Mina is drawn to a particular girl who is doing poorly in school, but has the sharp, mean wit of a 30 year old. Who doesn't love that type? She's hilarious, but I told Mina that if this girl influenced her in a negative way, it would be lights out on the friendship. They had been doing well. We had even taught the friend a few manners when she was up at our house; she seemed new to those. But last week the friend decided during lunch that she didn't want another girl to be on the handball court and she instructed Mina to throw a ball at the girl to drive her off. There are not many kids in school, girl or boy, who can hit a kid with a ball on command, but Mina can. Her arm is laser-like in precision and impact. So Mina does it and the friend then demands that Mina throw it again, but harder. The victim tries to duck and hits her head on the handball court while doing so. The teacher told me she knew that this is not Mina's nature and that when Mina got caught, she welled up immediately, but still my jaw dropped a little and all I heard for the rest of our meeting was: My child has used her powers for evil, not good. She was a follower-pawn of evil. That and, ooo I'm gonna whoop her tiny ass when we get home.
I'm not one to get mad about many things. The girls can push me around to a certain extent as long as they're not nasty about it. As long as their school work is their priority and they are kind-hearted, good people, I pretty much lay down for anything. If they're slipping in grades or school work, that can be worked out, y'know? But when I hear that they have shown signs of maliciousness and bullying, that unglues me. That upsets me to no end. Fuck some algebra if you can't be a kind and decent person or can't have a mind of their own. If they use a great athletic talent to hurt and scare someone, that's when they see a mami they don't ever want to see. I don't get ragey. That's not my style, but I did spank her, which I haven't done in a long time, and honestly this upsets me enough to make me teary so when I gave her the big-picture, universal talk about thinking for herself, not being a robot and most importantly being a kind person, I was on the verge of crying, and that cut in her like a sniper bullet. Choked up, I told her that she was a great person, that I knew that like no one else did, "So, be great," I told her. She cried and we hugged hard for a while and that was that. She was back to being great. Oh and she can't hang with that friend anymore, which is a bummer because the girl was growing on me.
Here's her 5th grade school picture. When she gave it to me she said, "Aren't I BEAU-ti-ful?" She was beaming over the picture. I said, "You certainly are." She said, "My hair is so shiny and perfect, dang." Man, I laughed. I said, "You have a beautiful smile, Mina." She said, "DON'T I?" I said, "And I dig that necklace you picked out." She said, "I KNOW!" To say that these girls have extra helpings in the confidence department is the understatement of the year.
Here's Maya showing her confidence before her first, high school Homecoming dance!Now, give me a goofy dance move for good measure.
Now, work it out with AW. Off to Vegas, y'all!
There and Back Again
1 day ago