Hanging out with Steven

My very own Funky Bird

My very own Funky Bird

I am so happy I have kids that can make me cry. The good kind of cry, where you just feel all happy, or touched, or loved, or simply overwhelmed by how very, very blessed you happen to be.

That’s Steven over there on the left. I named him Steven instantly, and even though I’ve since realized he looks more like a Timothy, I’d already called him Steven, and what are you going to do when that happens? You can’t just change the names of things on a whim.

Steven arrived a few days ago. My Green Kanagroo, home from her summer camp job for a week, had been shopping at a thrift store, and presented him to me, with this explanation:

“Now you don’t have to waste time looking for your Funky Bird, ’cause he’ll be right there on your desk in front of you.”

So I cried.

Long-time readers (all two of you!) will know the signifigance significance importance of a Funky Bird. That my middle child – this wonderful, amazing, unique Green Kangaroo of mine – not only gets the reference but knows how important it is to me and respects that importance, is truly a blessing. It’s so much more meaningful than simply saying, “Quit whining and write something Momma.”

So now I have a Funky Bird and no excuses. And Steven and I have just been hanging out at my desk for the last few days trying to learn how to fly all over again.

You have to flap your wings, at least to begin with. And maybe that’s what blogging needs to be, for me – flapping. Blog posts don’t have to have a point, or a theme, or even make sense to anyone but me. They can just be me, flapping away at the keyboard, maybe flying in circles a bit, until some sort of reliable pattern develops. It’s okay if there’s no specific direction here – this is just the exercise.

**

The other day Littlest was out delivering a friend’s flyers while he’s on vacation. She mentioned having seen the mailman.

Littlest: I stopped and waited for the mailman. But he just said Hi and kept on walking. He walks really fast.

Me: Indeed he does. But he’s friendly.

Littlest: Yes. But he didn’t stop walking, so I didn’t get to talk to him.

Me: That’s too bad. But why did you want to talk to the mailman?

Littlest: I wanted to ask him if he was happy with his job.

I did not pursue the conversation, but wondered why my 12-year-old has suddenly turned into a talk show host, wanting to interview civil servants. Is she practicing to be a reporter? Interested in exploring a career in mail delivery? Looking for a kindred spirit?

It doesn’t matter. What matters is that she thought of asking, and how cool and interesting is THAT?

**

Got me thinking about the mailman. He’s delivered the mail on our block, and adjacent blocks, for more than ten years now, at least. And I realized – that man probably knows more about the goings-on and evolution of every family on his route than most of the neighbours. Think about it – diaper coupon mailers and Baby Bonus cheques, tax refunds, driver licence renewals, credit card statements, publisher rejections, magazine subscriptions, student loan forms, university application materials – life stories, learned through the mail without ever even having to open it. 

There’s a book in there somewhere.

**

Saw Julie and Julia with the girls the other night, and felt a little proud of myself afterwards. I liked it. The Julie parts in particular have not been kindly received by the reviewers. But afterwards I decided not to be jealous of someone else’s success. Julie Powell may be as navel-gazing as the rest of us in the blogosphere, but I’m not going to be annoyed that her self-examination got her a book deal and then a movie. Because you know what? She didn’t just find her Funky Bird – she figured out how to make it fly. Good on her.

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2 Responses to “Hanging out with Steven”

  1. kim Says:

    I notice that Steven has some pretty good wings….it appears that he too is made for flying. This is always a good thing in a funky bird. That sure is one smart Green Kangaroo you have there…

  2. d0rky Says:

    You ma’am are mighty amazing.
    You also have amazing daughters.

    I used to want to be a mailman… but when I told your eldest daughter she scoffed at me.

    Perhaps one day I’ll go back to that; I do enjoy a good walk.

    I saw that movie about a week back. Something awful boiled up inside me when Julie claimed that she wasn’t a writer because she hadn’t been published. Just like the title of your blog drew me in.

    Once you were a writer, and so as long as you a stringing words into sentences for any reason – a writer you will be.

    “It is impossible to discourage the real writers – they don’t give a [darn] what you say, they’re going to write. ~Sinclair Lewis”

    You do a wonderful job of stringing on word after word to create something special… no matter what it is you’re talking about. I better get practicing if I ever hope to be up to your standard!

    Your cousin,
    Ruthie
    🙂

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