Saturday, November 29, 2008

Happy Birthday, E!

How is it possible that 10 years have gone by since my first boy was born? Tomorrow he will turn 10 and begin his 11th year on this earth. I cannot believe that so much time has gone by since he came squalling into this world, looking like a little Eskimo, making our hearts feel as though they could burst wide open at any moment. I can't believe he has gone from that wee babe who slept and cried and needed me for everything, to this handsome, sensitive, artistic soul who still sleeps and cries, but needs me for less and less. A boy who is learning to walk on his own in this world, who is becoming the man I always knew he would be, but still can't believe it's happening before my very eyes.
J said last night that E turning 10 is making him feel even older than his impending 40th birthday makes him feel, and I agree. How could we have gone from those wide-eyed, our-whole life-is-still-ahead-of-us college sweethearts to parents of a 10-year-old boy so quickly? For that matter, how did I go from being 10 myself to having a 10 year old? Is that weird for you, too? Do you sometimes feel like you can access those feelings and emotions and memories so easily that the years can't possibly be so long gone?
I asked my mother that once: when do you start feeling your age? She says you don't; that sometimes, even though she's past sixty, she still feels like she's that carefree 16-year-old girl who was the class clown and danced with a doorknob to practice for the school sock hop. Or the sly 7-year-old who snuck up to the attic and found her Toni doll, permed it's hair and put it back in the box, re-wrapped it and feigned surprise on Christmas morning. (True story.) I hope so. I hope that even though time goes by in the blink of an eye, that we never stop feeling like being a kid was just a minute ago. I hope we never feel old, even when we look old. I hope our kids (and grandkids someday) keep us young at heart. I hope I never forget what it was like to run through the woods pretending to be Tarzan (never Jane, only Tarzan) or to swing on the swings so high you felt like you really might touch the sky or to swim in the ocean for so long that your chest hurt when you breathed in and out. I hope I never forget what it was like to be a kid. I hope I never forget how I felt when my boy turned 10.
Happy Birthday, E. You are my sunshine.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Wow! I can't believe it's been so long since I last posted. Life has been very very full and actually, if I stop and think about it, way too busy. With the house fully under construction and all of us living in a small, dusty, waterless space, it is easy to fill the days with tasks that take WAY longer than usual (going outside and around the side of the house and down the basement stairs just to wash a dish in the slop sink is no fun, let me tell you!). Top that off with the normal hustle bustle of life with two active little boys and that spells N-O T-I-M-E with a capital No Time!

So with Thanksgiving only two days away, I'm going to take a moment to breathe and to make a list a la my friend Steph of the things I'm grateful for using her "Five Senses" theme. Maybe it will help me to slow down if I take note that way!

Touch: my boys hands in mine, J's back curled around me as we fall asleep, Lola's wet kisses when I walk in the door

Hearing: E and C laughing really hard, the contractor's noises as progress is being made on the house, music, my friends' voices

Sight: sunlight, blue water, the rocks from places we've visited in jars next to my bed, the city of Capri, Italy when we first laid eyes on it from the ferry this summer

Smell: fresh brewed coffee, clean laundry, fresh cut grass, pine trees, the ocean

Taste: spaghetti and meatballs, the tuna dish I had at Aozora, mashed potatoes, root beer

So I give thanks today for my five senses and all the wonderful things I get to experience because of them!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Emotions are a funny thing. Sometimes I can't believe the way they hit me at atypical moments. I am normally not a crier. In fact, I try really hard NOT to cry (unless I catch "Terms of Endearment" on cable TV and Debra Winger is making that deathbed speech to her boys, then all bets are off) and I've worked long and hard in therapy to figure out why I hate the idea of crying so much. What am I afraid of? But that will have to wait for a different post.

Today it's all about the crying. I felt the tears coming three times today. This morning we had a conference with E's math teacher. He is not doing so well in math. He's not doing poorly, but he's not focusing and he's making a lot of mistakes that are affecting his grade. When she told us that he rushes through tests and classwork in order to read or doodle, J pointed at me and said, "I wonder where he gets that from?" I turned bright red and told her he takes after his very distracted mother, who also loves to read and doodle more than anything she SHOULD be doing. And then I felt the tears welling up. I felt so sorry that E honestly gets some difficult characteristics from me. It's not easy to be distracted and unorganized and unfocused. I hate for him to struggle with these things like I have. But we have a lot of heart, my boy and I, so that will have to do. But it made me cry for him.

Then, later I was at the local dance studio signing up for an exercise class (also not typical for me, but I'm not getting any younger and I thought it might be a good idea to fight the spare tire appearing around my middle). While I was there filling out the necessary forms, a woman who looked to be about 80 years old was also sitting at the desk. A man about the same age came out of the ballroom where they were having an open ballroom dance session to tell this woman something about his children coming soon and to please send them back as they were bringing him birthday cake. She said she would, as long as he shared a piece of cake with her. He replied that he would, of course, in fact he would give her two pieces. To this she replied, "What I'd really like is a piece of you." He leaned over and gave her a big kiss on the mouth and made some funny reply about the offer being worth it all. I don't remember his exact words because . . . I teared up again. It was so sweet to see these two octogenarians so full of life and love for each other. They still had it going on at 80-something and that looked so good it made me cry!

Then later this afternoon I took the boys to see J at his office. You can see the Statue of Liberty from his window and we pass pretty close to it on the NJ Turnpike. As we passed it coming home, C asked me what is so special about the statue. I started talking about the meaning behind it, and what it must have been like for all the people who passed through Ellis Island. I told him that many people who come to this country are coming from places where they can't make a living, sometimes they don't have food or water, and many times they are oppressed and denied freedom by their governments. I explained that the U.S. is very different and exciting because they have many freedoms here and a chance to make a better life for themselves and their families. As I was talking about this, I was thinking about the election last week and the fact that Barack Obama was elected. And guess what?? I started crying again. I was so overwhelmed by my feelings of pride in this country and the possibilities that the statue represents that I couldn't help it.

I don't love crying. I don't love that feeling as it wells up in my throat and makes my nose and eyes burn. And I still try really hard not to do it. But I'm getting better. I'm trying to be okay with it. I'm trying to realize that it's not always a bad thing. That sometimes it's good to let those feeling out. Even when they surprise you!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Gratitude Friday

Ahh, another Friday.

1. I'm grateful for J being home with us today so we could rake the gorgeous fall leaves that blanketed our yard.

2. I'm grateful for the laughter of my boys: the other day I ran in to Star*bucks* with C and my friend's 2 daughters. The girls were talking about how much they love when their mom lets them get a frappuccino. We were talking about other things when suddenly C said "Mom, can I get a Crap-uccino? We burst out laughing (as did the woman in line in front of me) and he looked horrified by his mistake. As we got in the car a few minutes later he said "Mom, I'm really sorry I said the beep-ucchino word." That started us hysterically laughing again! And today while we watched Madagascar 2 at the theater, E was laughing that laugh of his that always cracks me up. Their giggles are infectious.

3. I'm grateful for the progress on our house. I know how lucky I am to be able to be doing such a big project in this topsy-turvy economy. We are blessed with a lovely home, even when we're all squashed in one room and it's covered in dust!

4. I'm grateful for this fabulous fall weather. It's been so mild and warm, still not really wearing coats. I'm loving it!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Rosa sat
so that
Martin could walk
so that
Obama could run
so that
our children can fly!!

What an amazing night. I wish my children could have stayed awake to see it. I wish I had been in Chicago on the grass in Grant Park with all those people. But even in my own home, in my own bed lying next to J with tears streaming down my cheeks, I felt it. Hope. We did it!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

Oh, yeah. And if you haven't already done it, my fellow Americans, get off your ass and go vote! Seriously, stop staring at your computer screen and go VOTE! Now.

Halloween tricksters

Sorry, got a new computer last week and it took a while to get back up and running. But here are my little Halloweeners last Friday. The vampire and his pal, the Marlboro Man (I mean, cowboy).