Sparked by a recent conversation with my friend Hillary, I have decided I need to post my thoughts about a certain series of novels written by Stephenie Meyer. Particularly the relationship between one, Bella, and the object of her affection. The supposedly uber hot vampire, Edward.

Believe me when I say Edward has been well cast in the movie which is scheduled for release in December of this year. I thought Robert Pattinson was exceedingly good looking when I first saw him in Harry Potter (as Cedric Diggory) and I eagerly await his debut in a role that will likely earn him unending fame amongst giddy teenage girls for years to come.

But enough about young hot guys whose posters would have hung on my wall as a teenager.
Besides having a knack for catching spelling and punctuation errors I think a lot about how a certain book might influence it’s audience, and what I think the author should have done differently in writing it based on that.

Can you see why I haven’t written a novel yet? I’m too busy thinking about subtle messages I want to convey instead of the actual story. But I digress.

The main audience in the case of the Twilight series, are a bunch of giggly teenage girls with egregious romantic notions that play out in their daydreams over and over, or which they speak to each other in hushed tones during sleepovers. Oh, and grown women who are often silly school girls at heart. Ahem….

***Warning – Spoilers Ahead!***

I devoured all three of Stephanie’s books, each within a day of borrowing them. I didn’t think much about them initially. I was caught up in the intense romance, the stunningly accurate view through a teenage girls mind. I identified immensely with Bella and her feelings of being so very ordinary. I also understood her intense attraction to Edward. I always crushed on the mysterious guys. The dangerous guys.
But the more I’ve mulled over this vehement love story, the more concerned I’ve become in what I anticipate will be its ending. Especially when thinking about the thousands of teenage girls who worship this series. So I say….
Bella really needs to break things off with Edward.

Let me offer up my reasons for this before any of you kick me:

1. Holy Co-Dependent Relationship Batman!
Co-Dependant relationships are never healthy and Bella and Edward have got a doozie of one going on. It may not have started that way but it’s turned into that. Grieving for those we’ve loved and lost is certainly natural but Bella took it well beyond that point, ceasing to be anything but a drone doing only what she had to in order to survive after Edward left. Then of course Edward has sworn to kill himself shortly after the time Bella has died.
Sweet? Romantic? Not on your life.

Other problems with their relationship that hinge on co-dependency:
* Lack of interaction with other friends and acquaintances
* Bella’s mental attention focusing solely on relieving Edward’s pain i.e. If she’s a vampire, he won’t struggle with wanting to kill her anymore. If she’s a vampire, she’ll finally be worthy of him.
* Feeling her life is meaningless without him.

2. Bella is being smothered
Edward and his family are controlling Bella. They may not be doing it on purpose but that doesn’t make it any better. Bella seems to attract danger and Edward feels the need to protect her. He watches her all night, she gets driven by them everywhere. She rarely does anything of her own accord or by herself and when she does she know she’ll face Edwards disapproval afterwards. Their relationship has become more and more like a naughty little child disobeying their master. *shudder*

3. They don’t really love each other
They lust each other. The only basis for Bella’s devotion and supposed love that I can find are descriptions of Edwards danger and his beauty. And do you think for one moment that Edward would have taken a second glance at Bella (other than to eat her) if he had been able to read her thoughts? He was bound to be obsessed with the first girl who had the power to block him out. They are enchanted by the mystery of each other. Is this love? No. Could it turn into love? Certainly. But book three definitely had their relationship getting more and more icky.

4. My belief in number 3 was only reaffirmed by the part Jacob has played.
I won’t tell you that I think Bella should end up with Jacob instead. But it would be healthier than being with Edward. Being around his cheerful and friendly self brought some vigor back into her life. It was good that she didn’t perceive him as a possible love interest or she may have latched on to him in rebound as she had to Edward in the first place, becoming more needy and dependent on his feeding her constant reassurances than she had been with Edward. Slowly and without force, Jacob’s friendship brought her back to life, and though she still grieved for Edward she was finally living again.

I also agree with Jacob that eventually she would have been happy without Edward. She would have maybe even realized that her love for Jacob was real and something deeper than the one she had with Edward. Alas that Edward has to go off and try to kill himself!

As an adult I’ve looked back on some relationships I had as a teen in which I was sure I really loved the person. I did care deeply about them. It was love of a sort. But not the kind that would have withstood the fizzling of passion and the inevitable changing of beliefs and shifts in personality we make until we die.

So Stephenie Meyer, if you’re reading this, do you really want to send a message that co-dependent relationships are romantic? That ceasing to live for yourself is romantic? That being willing to kill yourself over the one you love is romantic? That love is based on mystery, danger and good looks alone?

I don’t care who she ends up with ultimately (though I do hope that if it’s Edward their relationship improves) but please do us all a favor and have Bella learn to think and live for herself and grow out of this sickening neediness and willingness to be controlled.

Alright, why am I right? Why am I wrong? Keep it respectful please.
There are moments when a flood of memories rushes through your mind.

In the span of a single breath, your pulse quickens, your eyes stare blankly, and the pain or joy of many moments plays across your face.

Then comes the exhalation. The recognition of who or what you are staring at that triggered those memories. The realization of the life you are living now. The immense gratitude or sorrow that things are not the way you thought they would be when you were living out those memories.

All this, in a single breath.

My baby was the trigger and my reaction was joy. She is my miracle. She was only a shadow of a dream in my thoughts two years ago as I struggled with the effects of a medicine interaction gone terribly awry. Today, in the span of one breath, I felt the despair and panic all over again and remembered knowing that my life would never be the same.

And it isn’t.

But not in the way I had anticipated.
She sits slumped over the black and white keys, hands in her lap. Her eyes are closed as she slowly rocks forward, letting her head drop. She stops, her nose so close to one of the keys it tingles in anticipation of the actual touch. A single tear forms in the corner of her closed eyelid and begins it’s descent down the slope of her nose. It tickles her skin yet she makes no effort to interrupt its descent. Now it clings to the tip of her nose and stretches, bridging the gap momentarily between emotion and release.

Her hands, flaccid with grief, find their way to the keys. Time to play. Time to escape. Time to transfer the grief into something palpable. A song for her sorrow. The fact that she stumbles through the creation does not hinder her emotion. She is still slumped over the keys as her fingers fumble for the notes that will ring out the true feelings of her soul in this moment. Her body sways side to side, back and forth, trembling at times under the weight of so much feeling. But as she continues she finds herself getting stronger, or perhaps her burden getting lighter.

She still sways but with an upended posture. Her body now trembles with release. She weeps freely, salty drops splashing onto the keys below. Though blinded by tears, her fingers more sure of their course, play the right notes effortlessly. They convey adequately the depth of her sorrow, and then suddenly, something she did not expect. This, a mistake of her fingers, yet it rings true in her heart. She thought to be consumed with grief, but sure as her fingers played it out over the keys, she feels it. Hope. Determination.

She finds the despair is flushed from her by a desire to overcome. She weeps no more with sorrow but with conviction in her ability to choose. She can choose for her life to play out differently. She can choose to remember without being brought down into despair. She can choose to face the darkest parts of herself without thought of escape or denial.

She will not let the song of her soul be one of monotony.

~Summer Owens
When you’re a baby, it takes intense concentration and immense effort, to poop. Vanessa's grunts can be heard throughout the apartment. Her face goes red and her eyes glaze over.

After she had finished one such episode this evening I began to change her diaper. Ethan came our way and stopping in his tracks with a look of amazement on his face said, ” I didn’t know girl’s could poop!!”

Me: *silence and amazement*
I’ve been sitting here commenting on some of my favorite blogs, frequently checking on the baby crawling around on the floor. One comment took a little less than two minutes to formulate. I turned around to see a happy baby smiling at me with completely blue fists and a blue mouth.

“Ack!” I cried, startled.

I ran to her and grabbed a tiny blue ink pad out of her baby fist (it was the top to a Spiderman pen Caleb left on the floor). She then stuck her tongue out at me which was also completely coated in blue. Upon further examination I found her gums and her first baby tooth that she cut just 4 days ago were also completely blue. I might have taken a picture if I wasn’t freaking out just a bit.

I rushed her to the bathroom, held her over the sink and with cupped hands full of water started trying to rub the blue ink off her face and out of her mouth. It lightened only slightly.

Then came the rubbing alcohol and the cotton balls (for the face not in the mouth) and finally a toothbrush. She enjoyed all of it thoroughly, thinking that I was playing a new game.

“Yes baby, this is called the, 'Let’s scrub your face raw so mom doesn’t look like a shmuck' game.”

The rubbing alcohol and cotton balls only worked slightly around her mouth and cheeks, but the soft bristled toothbrush was what finally got it all off. The toothbrush worked on her gums and baby tooth as well but her tongue is still a light blue color. Testament to the fact that, yes, mom looked away. Even if it was only for two minutes.
If one of my children barges into the bathroom when more time on me I’m going to cry.

Our crummy apt. door locks only work 1/3 of the time and a closed door means nothing to these kiddos.

At least Caleb made me laugh after he pounded the door open earlier today right after I had stepped out of the shower. He took one look at me and said with worry on his face,

“Mom, your weenies aw gone!”

“Yes indeed son. Thank you for letting me know. NOW GET OUT!!”

Peeing is a spectacle. Showering is a spectacle. Getting dressed is a spectacle. These little boys seem to know just when they shouldn’t be banging doors open and proceed to do so anyway, gawking with fascination at the obvious differences they have just begun to notice.  I’m going to have to start barricading the doors!
“Mom, did you just hear dat fart when I was going pee pee?”

I blink rapidly and look at my five year old son before answering with sarcasm.

“No, I did not have that pleasure."

“Well, it just went like, POP!!” he says with a clap of the hands

“Fascinating,” I reply

“Oh, and duh Mickey Mouse Club house is like yellow and red,” he adds before traipsing off.

Random and frequently involving bodily functions; those are the extent of my daytime conversations.

And I wonder why I feel so brain dead most of the time.