To Be A Super Ninja, Part 1

My sister is a super ninja. She knows this, but only because I told her.

6:15 a.m.  Alarm goes off. Hit snooze. 

She has two kids — adorable kids, if I may say so myself. But I’m biased so my opinion can’t really be trusted. The Boy is in kindergarten. The Girl is a newborn.

6:30 a.m.  Alarm goes off again. Crawl out of bed. Wake up the Boy. Tell the Boy to get dressed.

I was surprised that my sister ended up having children. I always thought her to be much like me: too fiercely loyal to my independence to be tied down in that way. I never thought I’d get married. I never thought she’d have kids. But here we are: married and with kids. Our ten-year-old selves would be pointing and laughing at us.

6:40 a.m.  Jump in the shower. Wake up the Girl. Tell the Boy to stop playing with his toys and get dressed.

My sister is stronger than me in about a million different ways. When we were little, we had this tricycle that looked a little like a bike taxi. It was a regular tricycle, but it had a seat in the back. The person sitting in the back seat wouldn’t have to pedal.

7:10 a.m.  Make the Boy breakfast. Typically: two scrambled eggs, toast, and milk. Today: cereal. Tell the Boy to stop playing with his toys and eat breakfast.

There is a photo of us — an adorable photo, if I may so say myself — sitting in the tricycle. We’re probably two and three years old. My sister is up front and I’m in the back seat. We’re very obviously posing for our mom but we’re pretending to be in motion.

7:15 a.m.  Wait for the Boy to finish breakast. Wait for the Boy to finish breakast. Wait for the Boy to finish breakfast. Check for incoming orders on etsy shop. Change the Girl’s diaper. Sing to the Girl. Tell the Boy to get dressed.

I don’t really remember much of the tricycle, but my mom says we loved that thing. My sister always pedalled. I was too small to pull the weight of both of us, and my legs could barely even reach the pedals. We weren’t allowed to leave our front yard so she just pedalled us round and round in circles on a 15′ x 15′ slab of concrete.

7:30 a.m.  Out the door. The Boy isn’t dressed, but when asked, he can’t give a reason as to why. Grab clothes for the Boy. Grab bag of baby food for the Girl.

To this day, my sister begrudges the fact that she always had to pull me around on that tricycle. Any time the tricycle is brought up, she tells a skewed version of it: me, lounging in the backseat; her, pedalling furiously under my judgmental glare. I assure you, dear Reader, that’s not how it went down.

7:45 a.m.  Drop off the Girl at daycare. Drive away, forgetting to leave the bag of baby food with daycare center. Go back and drop off baby food. Drop off the Boy at school. Talk to other parents. Watch the Boy do the school’s daily exercise routine. Talk to the Boy about not hitting other kids. Talk to the parents about setting up play dates. Talk to the Boy about not acting out Kung Fu movies on other kids. Leave to pick up Coffee Bean.

You see, when you’re only two years old and your body’s too small to pull your own weight and your legs are too short to press down on the pedals, you can’t go anywhere or do anything with a tricycle. I needed my sister. If she didn’t carry me around in our tricycle, I’d have been nothing but a sad-sack kid sitting on the front steps of our little rented house, watching my older sister wheeling around the front yard. My sister took me places.

9:00 a.m.  Arrive at work. Start the day.


From Sonnets From The Portuguese By Elizabeth Barrett Browning — Interlude In A Sonnet

I thought once how Theocritus had sung
Of the sweet years, the dear and wished-for years,
Who each one in a gracious hand appears
To bear a gift for mortals, old or young:
And, as I mused it in his antique tongue,
I saw, in gradual vision through my tears,
The sweet, sad years, the melancholy years,
Those of my own life, who by turns had flung
A shadow across me. Straightway I was ‘ware,
So weeping, how a mystic Shape did move
behind me and drew me backward by the hair;
And a voice said in mastery, while I strove, —
‘Guess now who holds thee?’ — ‘Death,’ I said. But there,
The silver answer rang, — ‘Not Death, but Love.’

To Reflect On Life


Someday I will join the Peace Corps.

I will get a PhD in philosophy.

I will stop letting my blush give me away all the time.

I will be an asshole.

I will lie under a tree in a field with a lover while he reads me his poetry.

I will be a best-selling author.

I will live in Paris.

I will live in Forks.

Someday I will go back in time and do it all over, and do it all different.

Someday I’ll realize that “someday” is just a fancy word for “never.”