Omigosh, omigosh, omigosh!
Yesterday when I got home from work the postman had left a package on my front porch, and it was the MOST EXCITING THING EVER! I mean...well, let me back up a step or two.
One of the blogs I read is written by the lovely R who, much like Jerry McGuire, had me at the blogger's equivalent of 'hello.' Her site heading says she is "Another mother doing her best and hoping it is good enough." This philosophy completely nails motherhood. Completely. What sets Doing My Best apart from the rest of us in the blogosphere, though, is the second part of her heading: "Also trying to make the world a better place, one Crappy Day Present at a time."
Yes! R came up with the concept of the Crappy Day Present. Sometimes when you've had a truly terrible day, all you want is someone to give you a piece of chocolate and say "there, there." But sometimes (cough tax season cough) there is no one around to do that, so R invited the entire internet to be that someone with an impeccably organized system whereby you are assigned to send someone a box of little gifts you think she would like. Go to her blog and see how it works because I'm doing a truly terrible job of explaining it, but the bottom line is that I signed up for it, and a couple of weeks ago I sent off a box of goodies to the person I had been assigned. At about the same time R e-mailed me that I was going to be REALLY EXCITED when I saw who she had assigned to be my CDP buddy.
It isn't that I don't trust R (I mean, she has the perfect mothering philosophy, which is to say it's the same as mine) but I'm a jaded old broad, and I countered her excitement with a swoony sigh, a Greta Garbo-ish, "Of course, my dear. I'm sure you are most correct. Sigh. It's February. Whatever."
Yesterday my Crappy Day Package arrived on the porch.
OH MY GOSH!
OMIGOSH! OMIGOSH! OMIGOSH!
My Crappy Day Partner is ALEXA STEVENSON!
ALEXA STEVENSON! FLOTSAM! SQUEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!
I went from being jaded old broad to this baby in no seconds flat.
You may not be reading Flotsam, but you should be. Really. I discovered Alexa years and years ago, before she was married, and I began reading because I loved the way she writes. She was funny, and she was human, and she showed the reality of her life which included a photo of her messy apartment. I was charmed.
And then Alexa got married, and eventually she got pregnant with twins and that experience and the birth of her daughter kept me refreshing my browser compulsively to find out what was happening to the 1 lb. 11 oz. preemie. Alexa kept us updated in a way that made me laugh and cry and pray for this tiny, tiny baby and her mother even though I had never met them.
Okay, I won't spoil the story but let me just say that the baby is now in school, and the account of her entry into the world became the basis of Alexa's book, Half Baked: The Story of My Nerves, My Newborn, and How We Both Learned to Breathe. Yes, that book. A real book, printed on pages and sold in bookstores, the one that was on Anne Lamott's list of favorite books.
I read every excerpt I could get my hands on and they were funny and human and completely captured the clutch-hearted emotions of a mom who was afraid her child was going to die. I've been there; I know those emotions, but I was incoherent in their grasp. Alexa spoke them onto paper.
And when Simone was out of danger, Alexa kept writing her blog. Today she and her husband have two daughters and I feel as if I know them, because I "know" their mom. She hates the word "impactful" (BECAUSE IT IS AN ABOMINATION! YES! IT IS!) and her blog posts are tagged with descriptions such as "Deplorable Solipsism." Yesterday a box of goodies from ALEXA STEVENSON arrived on my front porch! With my name written on the box with ALEXA STEVENSON'S ACTUAL HAND!
Inside were all kinds of goodies that will make my crappy days so much less crappy, goodies that were chosen and wrapped in colorful tissue paper in spite of The Plague that was plaguing the Flotsam Family at the time the box needed to be mailed.
Really, at that point I couldn't justify opening anything from the box because does that baby up there look like it's having a crappy day? Only if literally (and I am using this correctly) dancing around the kitchen with joy qualifies as a symptom. But one of my sons had a disappointing day yesterday. It was nothing that will leave a permanent scar, but I was disappointed along with him (a mother is only as happy as her unhappiest child, you know). So I dug down in the box and pulled out a flat package that I hoped would be...
And it was for ME!
Alexa Stevenson, you can't imagine how much I admire your writing. I think we could be best friends, except that you live eight states away and are young enough to not have any idea who that swooning actress is up there, and I must admit that even I think this post is kind of creepy as I re-read what I've written. But we have almost the same kind of glasses!
And I'm sorry, Kelly who was my Crappy Day Present recipient, that there is no possible way you could be even one-gabillionth as excited about the box of goodies from the House on the Corner.