Thursday, September 06, 2007

8 days and counting down...

Today’s photo is one of Meagan and me taken for the book. She’d just gotten her hair cut, almost a foot removed, and donated it to Locks of Love. What a great daughter! And dear Lord, I need a nose job!

Another repeat to help me save time and stay focused on the manuscript:

I’ve been asked more than once what it’s like living in a house full of girls; even the dog is a female. Let me give you a taste of what I go through:

“How does deja-vu work?” Meagan asked.
“It’s a neurological glitch, when the right and left hemispheres are not synchronized when encoding a memory,” I explained.
“What?” Linley asked as Meagan rolled her eyes at me.
“Memories are stored on both sides of your brain. Do you know what the part of the brain that connects the hemispheres is called?”
“Juicy stuff!” Meagan said.
The badulla,” Jill interjected.
I rolled my eyes. “No, it’s the corpus callosum. It connects the hemispheres and coordinates the transfer of….”
“I prefer to think it’s magical,” Jill said.
“Yes, it’s magical!” Linley shrieked.
“You’re such a freak, Dad,” Meagan said, shaking her head.

I took the family to Statesboro, Georgia one weekend to visit the campus of Georgia Southern University, one of the candidate colleges on Meagan’s list. I really don’t want her to be four hours away from home but wasn’t sure how to say that without being the overbearing dad she sometimes accuses me of. As I was pondering a mini-speech, she was looking out the window as we drove though the sleepy little southern town that offered little to a metropolitan kind of girl. “Where in the world would I get my nails done,” she asked. I knew then I no longer needed to worry.

Linley had a minor medical emergency that required a visit to the ER. During the check-in process she was asked if she had any allergies. She does, to horse and cat hair. They actually put that information on a wrist band and made her wear it. We marched down the hall reassured they would not accidentally bring a horse into the room.

As we were led into the only available room we discovered it was a psychiatric emergency holding room, one with almost nothing on the walls, restraints on the bed, a locking door that could not be opened from inside the room, and a surveillance camera. As she sat on the bed and looked out into the ER she asked me why everyone stared at her.

It was field day at school that day and the kids are encouraged to wear weird outfits; today she looked like a homeless Pippi Longstockings – make-up, hair, torn stockings and all. I reached down and pulled the sheets up over her legs, but the pigtails, uber-rosy checks and fake freckles still gave away the severity of her current manic episode.

Soon we learned she needed to have blood drawn. Linley hates needles, so I tried to distract her by restraining myself to the bed. Just then the fire alarm went off – no not really but I’m an author with my eyes open for inspiration for my next great scene and for a moment I imagined myself running down the hallway with a bed attached to my leg, chasing after Pippi Longstockings, both of us followed closely by a Himalayan cat riding a horse.

But Jill did turn the corner just then and asked me what in the heck I was doing. For some reason she didn’t accept my answer, “Nothing.”

Meagan called me one morning just before school was to begin to tell me she had forgotten to take her medicine. I reassured her it was noting to worry about, but to no avail; she was nearly frantic. Finally she whimpered, “I don’t want to die.”
“No, honey, I don’t want you to, either,” I said, “but they are just vitamins.

On another day Meagan was pestering me to get her oil changed even though she has hardly driven her car 1500 miles since the last change. “The sticker says to change it by 6/6/06,” she explained. “That’s just a marketing ploy,” I said, “ignore it.”
“I can’t ignore,” she pushed back; “it’s the mark of the beast.”

We had a bit of a lecture around the dinner table one night about which hip-hop songs Jill and I wanted the girls to erase from their iPODs. Of course they protested loudly and Linley kept insisting I used to listen to suggestive and corrupt songs when I was a teenager. I challenged her to give me an example.
“Wasting Away in Margaritaville,” she said without a moment of hesitation.

Meagan’s computer died and I had a new one made for her specific needs. As I told her of its disk space and RAM, processing speed, bundled software and the automated backup and recovery feature, she had only one question for me: “Is it pretty?”

I’m serious about eating right and I hate sugar for breakfast. One morning as I was taking Linley, who has been quite sick with a cold, to school, she asked me to stop at a fast-food joint for breakfast. I suggested she get an egg biscuit but she wanted two cinnamon buns instead. Wanting to cheer her up, I agreed. As she gobbled them down she managed to tell me, “When I am a parent, I won’t dare let my kids eat like this.”

One week when Meagan was with her mom I called her several time only to get her voicemail. She didn’t return my calls. Wanting badly to talk with her I decided to send a text message that I thought would surely get her attention. I hit send and in less than five minutes she was on the line with me. My message? “What size shoes do you wear?”

Girls … how could I laugh without them?

There will be no blog post tomorrow. I’m spending the day sitting around a table with ten other people to read through the book, looking for weaknesses and errors. Getting close to the end!

1 comment:

Jeanine said...

Im really enjoying all of your stories!!! Your "babies" are beautiful!