Today we were early to pick her up at co-op preschool and Crane and I watched her big sister running about on the playground with all the other children for 10 minutes before we got out of the car and made ourselves known. I am so afraid of letting go of little Ti and watching her grow up. And yet I am. I watched her play with the little girl she had already had a playdate with, rooting for her to change, switch and go play with the other kids, integrate, but she didn’t. She and Lily were inseparable. And then afterward Lily’s dad asked me if she could come over for a playdate and I swear half of it is looking at this tinier even than Ti little girl and seeing her social neediness. And Ti told me in the car on the way there how she’d told Lily what she wanted to play and then they did it ( because last time she was mad that she wanted to play with just Lily but some boys ran by and wanted to play chase and Lily joined them and Ti was mad because she wanted Lily all to herself). Which would all be fine if I didn’t have my own issues about becoming eerily close friends and neighbors with the Xian evangelists.

Crane screamed sobbing heaves to the grocery store because I dropped Ti off at Lily’s and she had to shop with me. I told her we’d play afterward at their house. Shopping was divine even with a child who whined constantly for Cheetos or granola bars (and I had to demonstarte to her that each and every item on the Asian food shelf at Safeway was in fact, not a granola bar to no avail), at least she stayed in the cart the whole time and I had no child on foot for her to randomly kick in the head for enjoying a free ride off the handle. We returned to my personal terror: being served tea in a Christian home. It was actually really good black tea with Grenadine, a fine answer to my 2 hour old coffee, and served by a sweet Californian who had a party for the West Wing premier last night with all her college student converts-err I mean “friends” who brought over Karaoke Revolution on a rented PS2. Come on, you bought your new butter dish at Drinkwater to match those quirky Canadian butter pats, you served me loose leaf black pomegranite tea and dark chocolate fucking truffles, but you can’t bring yourself to purchase a PS2 even though you thought it was so much fun? I guess I forgot to ask if your kids had heard of tv. But you didn’t forget to ask me the origin of my daughter’s name, did you? And now I admit it, I’m hooked, had you heard enough of the buddha and the new-agey Christ cults to guess, or were you really just cold asking? Because you sure fumbled the next sentence. I am so thankful for my mom right now. For standing alongside these people and never saying an unkind word of them. They were had by the corporate gang war that’s gutting the U.S. government, but they’re not the cause, they’re just the lambs. She was never afraid they’d brainwash or recruit or convert me, because she knew I was too good, too smart, too well-raised for that. And even though I may be crass as hell, she’s reading this and she’s right.

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