"A collection of conversations overheard"

"Deserts go there, under Jesus. Always under Jesus"
- Scout Leader's wife, in swift response to me questioning placement of desert trays at the last den meeting, which I honestly (silently) resent only because the vision of Christ standing arms wide open appears far too accepting of my second (and sometimes third) brownie bite during den breaks.

"I'm saving all my money for Bruno Mars tickets"
 - Leon, dedicated to the long term goal of seeing his favorite singer play the forum this summer even if it costs $150

"I'm saving all my money for a slurpee"
 - Rex, separately, announcing more meager plans to hold off until he has enough funds to score himself a $1.50 cherry flavored slurpee.

"I don't want to dateIt's just too complicated" 
- Arlo, on why he thinks it's better to remain unattached now feeling newly annoyed by all the newly interested fifth grade girls apparently asking him out.

"I just thought it was ok because you listen to it too."
 - Arlo, calling me out for calling him out for using uncensored rap versions in his skate videos.

"Is this your kid???"
- Concerned mom at park alerting me on the monkey bar antics of my daring two year old as I was sitting content with a new magazine on the bench at the park fully aware. To which I say "yes" it's my kid up there debating a questionable twisty bar getaway. It's always my kid.

"She got suspended for selling "bad slime" and not giving people their money back"
- Arlo, explaining the drama behind a suspension of an upper grader for selling home made low quality slime. A trend that I can't wait to see come to an end, honestly. Considering the state of my kitchen counters after all my own kids attempts to compete in the market have failed them.

"Is this your dog?"
- Concerned mom's friend at the same park, in reference to Jack. Who refuses a leash. The same way my toddler does. And lies peacefully at my feet only to wander around occasionally to sniff flowers, and delight every kid around him, all while looking like a breathing stuffed animal - but still, apparently, cause for immediate concern.

"Well, theres no cell service, so we were more focused on learning how to survive in the wilderness."
 - Arlo, on the hard core (stripped down) circumstances involved in scout camp outs.

"It's no fun, Iris. All they do is sit and look on their phones."
- My friend Kate relaying the explanation her older daughter Evie gave to her sister when she asked what happens during "girls night."

"I wake up thinking about her, so worried because we all know she needs to get out and she need to do it before it gets too bad, you know?"
 - Me, talking to a friend about Nicole Kidman (or, "Celeste" who you've been fretting over all week because of the crazy volatile marriage she's in) again with my tendency to actualize beloved TV characters and speak about them in phone conversations like they're actually real life people we can help. For the record though, I feel like Reese (Madeline) is going to "handle" things very soon.

"I made him this turtle. He's going to hate it."
 - Rex, on the latest pop up art piece he made especially for his long time frenemy "Josh" who is apparently irked by such displays of affection and therefore a lasting inspiration to a determined first grade artist.

"What the heck? Now all the big skate brands are following Rex. Not me. He's not even that good and he's always posting photos of weird colored slime"
 - Arlo, jealous of Rex's smaller but better quality "following" on IG - who must appreciate captionless photos of slime, and skate parks. 

"The boy scouts are good for him, offers him a certain level of nerd chic that he desperately needs right now."
- Me to Mike on why we need to fully support boy scouts as remedy to the slightly inflated ego of our tween boy who is commonly introduced to other mothers as "the cool kid I was telling you about" in order of keeping wholesome interest in knot tying, hiking, arrow shooting and cooking clean up help as a humble balance to the "cool" skater boy skills he's most proud of.

"I mean, I could get cancer and die in three months" 
- Kate, proving Evie wrong in ensuring that girl's night actually consists of quality tequila, fancy cheese, and depressing death talk."

"Mean mama. Mean mama."
 - Hayes, when I refuse a second Juice box.

She just wants to make us step in itchy buses and take photos of dumb flowers, right? 
- Rex, in protest of me wanting to take him and his brothers to see all the pretty flowers everyone else is happily visiting.

"Me ok, Mama!!!" 
- Hayes, happily reassuring me every time he stumbles or falls that he is in fact ok, even though, on many occasions, I fail to ask.

- Photo by Yan Palmer