Monday, June 16, 2014

Dropping Off

     Today, everyone in my family had camp, except me.  Tony runs his soccer camp; Dominic has First Stage camp, and Sophia has Raptor Camp.  I am at Starbucks Camp.  Open enrollment.
     I find myself feeling like a sociologist at these drop-offs.  I love watching the families.  Moms and dads kiss their littles goodbye, teens might wave as they sprint away to meet friends.
When I see the mamas walking in their littles, it makes me nostalgic.  The backpacks are bigger than the kids.  My kids are now almost bigger than me.
I don't want to go back, I don't want more babies, and I honestly don't have any regrets, but that time of littles is just so special.  Those tiny matching leggings and tights, dinosaur t-shirts-hey!
Dominic wore a T-Rex shirt today! "T-Rex doesn't like high fives".  That counts, right?
     This time is such a delicate balance, ages 11 and 13.  Respecting boundaries, giving snuggles, knowing when friends are on Skype or FaceTime so you don't sing at full volume because now you are suddenly so embarrassing!
     I remember this time, not a kid, not a full-blown 'young adult'.  I walked ten steps behind my mom, hid under the dashboard in the car when my step-dad went to K-Mart because I was way too cool to be there.  I remember one time my dad and I were at a movie theater and a boy that I thought was really cute came in with a girl from my class.  I think I was all of about 13.  I happened to be doing a blood pressure thing in the lobby when I saw them.  My dad was ready to take me to the hospital before I explained why I was in the red.
     I really, really try to remember and respect how my kids are coming into their own.  I bite my tongue before I tell them to bring a water bottle.  I don't listen in on their phone conversations.
I love the children that they were and the people that they are becoming.  They are such good friends to each other and their peeps.  They have deeply kind hearts.  They think of others before themselves. I am enjoying this wild ride, from Starbucks, before the next drop-off.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Walking the Walk

I love to write.
I guess I am lucky that way in that I get great joy from putting pen to paper, or fingers to keys...

Yesterday, I said aloud, as I often do,
"I am going to write a book about X Y Z, fill in the blank with interesting thing here."
"Well then, why don't you just do it?" My twelve year old daughter asked.

Hmmm...whose voice would that be?  Um, MINE to everyone else but myself?
We create a culture with our own actions, or inactions as the case may be.
I preach to these guys to follow their dreams; be fearless; just do it, what's the worst that could happen?

Not starting, that's the worst that could happen, and that is what their mama is doing!
I already wrote one children's book.  An amazingly talented friend illustrated it.  It's sitting on a shelf.  What's my excuse?  Don't have one.

As I fell asleep last night, I had an idea for another children's book.  I woke up this morning and got my ideas down on paper.  It was sooooo much better in my twilight haze, but you know what?  I got up and wrote it down and now I can work with it.

The hardest part is starting and who am I to encourage my children with words and not actions?

So there you go, "Why don't you just do it?"  You are right Sophia!  Why not!!
A mama and her encourager

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Boy or Girl?

We occasionally eat fast food.  I hate to admit it, but I don't mind Taco Bell and neither do the kids. The other day I had one of those times that I had to feed people in the car from one place to another, so I decided to pick up something for them at Subway.  I was picking my kids up afterwards, but I think they would have been as confused by what happened as I was.

We haven't frequented Subway in years, so I was surprised to have the conversation I did there.
I ordered kids' meals for my kids and got the question, "Boys or girls?"
"Why?"  I wasn't being snarky, I honestly didn't know why she was asking.
"Because some of our lunch bags are for boys and some are for girls."
"What's the difference?" I asked, again, kind of clueless that lunch bags would be gender specific.  I wondered if there was some sort of smaller handle for smaller girl hands or something...kind of like the Bic pens for women (seriously!).
"Because some of the bags have pink on them."  I could tell that now she was getting slightly annoyed, standing at the bag display, of my ignorance on the matter.
"My son likes pink." I offered.  The father and son in front of me in line smiled.  Not a "that's funny" smile, but as I perceived it, a "yup" kind of smile, or at least I hoped it was.
I ended up picking out a yellow bag for Sophia, her favorite color, and a Dr. Doofenschmirtz bag for Dom, his favorite character.  I don't think Dom's bag had pink on it; I didn't check.

I knew they did the "Boy/Girl" thing at McDonald's and it was a source of confusion for my people when we ate there.  I think back to when my peeps were little, and we had to limit ourselves to once a week.  It was too easy when we lived "fry-smelling distance" from a Mickey D's.  I honestly can't remember the last time we have eaten at one now...
But back in our "Happy Meal" days, we had the same issue.
Voice from the speaker: "Boys or girls?"
"What is the toy?", I'd ask.
"Legos or My Little Pony." Seriously?  My daughter is still a huge Lego fan.
"Two Lego meals please."
Speaker voice: "So two boys?"
"No, a boy and a girl.  My daughter prefers Legos."
 "2 boy Happy Meals" appeared on the screen.

I just find it weird.

I have relatives in South Carolina and my nephew had to choose between a boys' treasure box and a girls' treasure box in his classroom.  The whole idea is archaic to me.

On a final note, we went to a pottery painting place the other day.  I brought Sophia and a friend of hers.  The woman running the shop was pointing out the items to paint.  "How about this?  It's a blank sign, so you could paint, 'NO BOYS ALLOWED' on it."
The girls looked at her, not understanding.  "They are both good friends with their brothers, so I don't think that would go over well." I told her.
"Well, how about this holder?  You can put your cell phones in here."  Again, the blank stares from the girls.
In the end, they chose owl banks.  I am glad that my daughter, her friend, and my son don't feel that they have to fit in our social norms.  Pink is a sharp color.   Legos are always cooler than "My Little Pony".   I would have picked the Legos too.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Winter is the Best Time

Winter Is the Best Time by David Budbill

Winter is the best time
... to find out who you are.

Quiet, contemplation time,
away from the rushing world,

cold time, dark time, holed-up
pulled-in time and space

to see that inner landscape,
that place hidden and within.
special thanks to MRK <3

Friday, December 30, 2011


Every New Year's Eve, our family volunteers at a local retirement home.  We started doing it because my husband has off, but it has morphed into something more meaningful.  My almost nine year old son said today, "We say goodbye to the old year by hanging out with old people."  He's pretty spot on.

I like to be able to help people that were once vibrant, loving, feeling, passionate people.  Many of them now sleep during our visit, mouths open.  But they were just like me, just in the the blink of an eye ago.  I love watching how our kids just walk right up to residents and say, "How was your Christmas?", not minding if they don't even get an answer.

Today, we played Bingo together.  Sophia was so excited to shout "Bingo!" for someone who could not shout it for themselves.  My husband Tony shared his lucky streak with a man named Woody.  Woody won twice, even sharing a coveted candy bar with a lady at the table.

It is such a blessing to have this perspective on time staring you right in the face this time of year.  And so "Bingo!" the reason for this tradition becomes crystal clear.

Happy New Year friends!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


I have noticed that I have perfected the habit of Waiting.  I wait for the perfect time to start something, say, marathon training.  I wait to tell someone how much they really mean to me.  I save my favorite clothes for special occasions.  I will call/write that friend when I can really sit down and spend time doing so.  I will make that recipe when we have a dinner party. 
I force my self to wait more often than I realize,  I am now realizing.  The crazy thing is with all of this waiting, I somehow got to be 38 years old.  I know, I am not old, but I thought I was still a kid.
I guess I am officially a grown up. 
About 8 years ago, a dear neighbor of ours died.  Her husband had just retired a month or two before, and they were going to go on a big trip, but they waited.
Every single day is such a gift.  It's trite, but true.  I feel that every time I see "Our Town".
A dear friend said that to keep her spirits up during a really hot run the other night, she told herself how lucky she was just to be able to run.  That's a great perspective.
We are so lucky on so many different levels.
Today, I am going to bask in thankfulness, and I am going to make a commitment to be fully present in the moment.  I don't want to wait, and put off what could be a beautiful moment.  Sorry it's been so long since I posted something, I was waiting until I had something good to say. ;)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne

  Good morning!  Truly!  This morning I came downstairs to a fully clean mantle and bookshelf in our den.  Cleaning fairies in the middle of the night?  No, a late night burst of energy and focus from me, supported by my wonderful husband!

I started reading a book entitled Simplicity Parenting about a week ago.  (When my children saw the title, they mocked it by saying, "Why don't you simply let us do whatever we want?")  Ha ha.  I am only through the intro and half of Chapter One, but already a major theme is about the environment of our home.  How much STUFF do we need and what kind of feeling does cluttered create compared to clear and clean?  (how's that for alliteration??) 

As you might know, I did a previous post about TMS  (Too Much Stuff-for lack of a better "S")
There are times when I feel I am drowning in stuff. I have not seen the top of my dresser in years.  It is currently covered in stuffed animals (hiding from Jerry), socks (waiting for a partner), a glass head (for my hats), and I honestly don't even know what else.  But I digress...

Focusing on a step towards less stuff, back to my cleaning moment last night...

Our mantle was full of Lego projects, cough drop wrappers from 1982, headphones for IPods in other rooms, just STUFF!  After cleaning it all off, I truly realized that this is the hearth and heart of our home.  It is the focal point of the whole house!  Do you think I am feeling cleansed this morning, walking downstairs to SPACE instead of STUFF???  Wonderful...the saying that immediately pops into my head is that I can breathe...

I am looking forward to reading the rest of Payne's book.  I understand that Chapter 2 is about creating the space in TIME for ourselves and our children to breathe and to just be.  The idea that is popping up on Clean:LuSa Organics blog bookclub ( about it is that we, as parents need to provide the time and opportunity for our children to be able to have space for thought and healing:

"It is not our job to fix what is not working. Our work is to create a nurturing and calm environment, connect with and unconditionally love our hurting child, and allow them to heal."- Rachel Wolf from LuSa Organics referring to the book.

That sounds like a life skill that Tony and I both want for our children.

Peace and clean breathing!


P.S. After this, I think my clutter has morphed from stuff to parentheses!