I looked at my kids to check for signs of illness. My daughter was painting her nails with Peacock Starlight, my son flexed in the mirror. No pertussis here, I thought. But we do have a chronic epidemic of awesome.
The phone rang. I attempt to lead through example with my phone ettiquette. "Feral house? Thank you for calling....Well, hello, Ms. Tova...Yes, Magnolia is available....Yes, one moment, please."
I handed the phone to my daughter. She put her hand over the receiver, "Thank you, Dianna. That will be all."
I looked at her, incensed, as I courtseyed. She paid no attention to her secretary/mom and tipped back her chair and put her feet on the table. "Tova! So good of you to call...Wawawa wawa wawa Hobbit. Wawa wawawa Katniss, wawa? Wawa! Doctor Who!" and so forth.
I speak not her language, so I'll save you my poor translation.
My son directed my attention to his current and desperate needs. "Mom," he said, both hands on my face, "you know what you need? A tattoo. Now." He strapped me down with his spindly legs and pulled out his tattoo accessories.
Of all the ways to get a tattoo, the puffy paint method offers that special razzle dazzle. Until, that is, it dries. On your forearm. The hairy part.
Whilst in the middle of my inking, I sneak a bit of attention toward Magnolia's conversation. From what I could make out, she was so busy awesoming all winter break she LITERALLY had no time to do anything else and that it was, like, totally exhasuting being her, like, all the time.
Meanwhile Jules adopted a new style of tattooing. It's very avant-garde. "Look, Mom, look." He stared deeply into my eyes while he mashed a plastic paint tip into the first inch of my flesh. "I'm giving you an awesome tattoo and I don't even need to look, because I KNOW it's awesome."
"So proud," I grimmaced.
I turned to appraise the work from every angle, hoping to understand the concept or whatever the hell it was. "Amazing," I said.
"You don't know what it is?" he asked.
Shamefully, I couldn't come up with an answer. His post-post-modernism was downright inaccessible to my poor proliteriat mind. His brow furrowed, and he talked slowly so's I could understand him.
"It's a booger the shape of Texas."
He smiled and looked up at me. "Like it? It makes you look younger."
"Yeah, I --wait. Younger? How old do you think I am?"
"I dunno. Maybe 25. Probably 65. Yeah. I think 65."
Note to self: Let's incorporate tact into our next math lesson.
Looking at my dazzlingly mangled arm, I wondered if my kids were in need of some hubris, or whether they should let their feral flags fly freely in the zephyrs of life. Should I tell them to maybe slow their roll on all the demonstrative awesomeness to keep them safe from scrutiny? Or should I let the world absorb what they can from untamed awesomeness?
Then the wind flew freely. Jules looked up from his artwork and pointed at Magnolia. "THAT was an AWESOME fart!"
She looked over at him. "I know, right?"