December 22, 2014

Proud Mama Moment and my thoughts on the new Annie

Oh! My poor, sad, lonely, neglected blog! It's been years since I've spent any time on you!

Admittedly, I've spent much of 2014 chasing deadlines and writing books and being a mom and wife and all that stuff, but I'll admit: I miss my blog.

So! I resolve in 2015 to do better! To blog more! To share more! After all, isn't that what a blog's for? 

Thus, in the upcoming week, I plan an official 2014 recap (new books, new pets, and a whole lot of writing), a list of 2015 plans and resolutions (Will 2015 be the year I find an agent and land a giant book deal and take the literary world by storm? I don't know but I already also resolve not to stop trying!), and at least one book review (I wrote one today that's due in January, and it felt so good, I decided to write MORE reviews! Hooray!).

But for today, how's about something more simple? A proud mama moment, for starters, and then a brief discussion of the new Annie.

Proud Mama Moment

Y'all. Zoe has so many toys. Too many toys. Toys bursting from every nook and crevice in her tiny little bedroom. 

I feel terrible that she has so many toys. I feel like I've done something wrong. That I'm somehow uncharitable. But I guess we live in a consumer society, and we're very lucky in that we can afford to purchase a toy or a book for our only child pretty much whenever we care to.

Apparently, we care to a lot.

A LOT.

So. Her room has gotten out of control. Stuff is always on the floor, her closet is a Matchbox car short of a national-level disaster, and there are always stuffed animals staring at me, no matter where I go.

It's a nightmare.

A beautiful, amazing, ridiculous nightmare (for which I'm incredibly grateful, I swear!).

And in case you haven't noticed, IT'S ONLY THREE DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS! AND WE'RE ALREADY ON THE SIXTH NIGHT OF HANUKKAH! AND OHMIGOD ALL THE TOYS! ALL THE TOYS TOYS TOYS TOYS!

*ahem*

*excuse me*

*Dr. Seuss moment*

Last night I made a decision. Something had to be done about at least a few of the toys. So I found a Post-It note and a black Sharpie, and I did something I'm a bit ashamed of.

I wrote a note to Zoe, on behalf of her little Elf on the Shelf, Ruby.

"Dear Zoe," it said, in handwriting not-at-all reminiscent of my own. "Santa and I wondered: can you donate ten toys to needy children this week?"

I signed it, "Love you! Ruby."

I'm not proud of this. I'm not proud of the manipulation, the deviousness, the utter maniacal plotting on my part.

But I am proud of her response.

Today, while I was in the shower, Zoe picked out ten toys to donate to needy children. Some were large, some weren't. Some I had to veto due to "you don't actually own that toy, honey." We dropped down to eight, and then she found two more.

At ten, when she was supposed to be done, she said, "I want to give away more."

She went back to her closet and piled on a bunch more toys, and then made the decision to finally give up her giant collection of Lego Duplo blocks which she's been playing with consistently since she was two years old. 

It was a huge step.

We packed up all the toys (minus the Duplos...Charles needs convincing there...he's attached) and dropped them off for Lowcountry Orphan Relief, all before noon on a rainy, nasty Monday. 

Maybe her room's still a mess. Maybe she only gave away her toys because she thinks Santa will reward her.

I don't care. A whole bunch of kids are going to have new toys to play with, all because Zoe was finally willing to share her wealth of playthings.

This makes me happy.

So of course we had to celebrate. We did this by seeing the all-new movie production of Annie. Which brings us to...

My Thoughts on the All-New Movie Production of Annie

Look. I grew up on the original Annie, with the impish redhead and the bald Daddy Warbucks. I didn't expect to love Jamie Foxx or Cameron Diaz, and the truth is...I didn't.

But Zoe did.

Man, she loved this movie. She sang! She laughed! She danced in her seat! 

She didn't care that Cameron Diaz can't sing (and...gorgeous as she is...she really, really can't sing). She didn't care that Jamie Foxx's singing voice was far too high pitched for my taste (ha!). She didn't care that Rose Byrne was fairly stoic and boring as Grace. 

She fell in love - hard - for the new Annie.

And truth be told, so did I.

Quvenzhane Wallis is adorable. She's impish. She's quirky and fun and spunky and silly. It's impossible not to love her. 

She'll be the saving grace of this production.

To Zoe, it didn't matter that the whole movie felt a bit flat. She got to learn about things like foster homes, and she got to listen to songs she loved, and she found new songs to learn. She got to see dancing other than tap, and she got to laugh at the bits with the dog. 

I don't know. I was still expecting more. But my child came away from the theater singing "It's a Hard Knock Life" at the top of her lungs, and I guess I can't ask for anything else.

It was a good day here in Charleston.


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