Hands Tied

Hands tied

On Monday, I had the most disquieting experience of not being able to get to my child.

A little more than an hour before I was to pick up The Boy at school, I received one of those insanely frightening emergency line calls from his school. You know the ones; they are prerecorded and a computer calls all the parents and emergency contact numbers at once so all the mommies and daddies can panic at the same time. Read more

Have Ambition, Will Quilt

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I still can’t figure out what I was smoking the day I agreed to be one of the class parents for my son’s kindergarten class and the co-leader of the baked goods section for his school’s annual fair and marketplace. One would be fine, but doing both is going to drive me crazy through the end of the day on October 19, the day of the fair. The Boy is excited; I’m dreading it.

As a class parent, I had to attend an orientation meeting last week. At that meeting, we were instructed on how we should communicate with the other parents in our children’s classes and what information we should disseminate to them. Each class has two class parents, and as the class designees, my co-parent and I were informed that not only we were in charge of keeping up communications with the other kindergarten parents, but that we also had to dream up an idea for a class gift to be auctioned at THE school fundraiser in the spring. And did they forget to mention that we were also tasked with creating said gift? Oops, sorry, but yes. Dreamer and creator. That’s what the job description should have said.

My brain works in funny ways. As I was listening to the class parent overseer describing the responsibilities regarding the class gift, my stomach was simultaneously dropping to the floor and doing back flips at the idea of doing something creative. I love the idea of being creative, and I get thoroughly excited at the prospect of crafting, sewing, scrapbooking … generally anything that involves the creation of original and pretty things. I just never seem to find enough time to execute my grand schemes. An idea popped into my head, and when I shared it with my co-class parent, she loved it. The teachers loved it when I told them. So now I’m committed.

To making a quilt. With all of the little urchins’ handprints and handwriting on individual muslin squares. To dragging out my long dormant sewing machine and figuring out how to use it again. To pulling out all my scrap fabric and cutting the border pieces. To designing the borders with all of that scrap fabric so that it doesn’t look like a paint box threw up on the quilt top. To layering the quilt and batting on the wood floor of my mostly empty living room. In short, I’m committed to driving myself crazy making a quilt that will be auctioned off to the highest bidder among the kindergarten parents.

Regardless of how many hours I actually have or may be able to find, my quilt must be not only good, but great. But not too incredible, lest I end up with a job on the auction committee moving forward. Apparently, in the history of this annual auction, no other class parent has dreamed up an idea quite so early. What I didn’t have the heart to say is that I only came up with the idea so early so that I wouldn’t be stuck playing catch up over the holidays and the school break. I have plans for those school breaks, and I’ve no intention of changing those plans to sit around on my duff and sew.

I used to quilt, actually make gifts for people in my life. One memorable holiday season, I made a king-sized quilt for an old boyfriend. At the time I made it, we had been together for a year and a half; we broke up after three and a half years. Every once in a while when I open my “crafting closet” and see my cutting mat and fabric cutter, I wonder if he kept the quilt, and if he did, whether another girlfriend ever asked where it came from. It’s unlikely that he kept it, but I do hope he at least gave it to his mother, sister, or someone else who might appreciate it. Thinking otherwise might make me crazy to think about all the time I put into that quilt, all the time I took away from other parts of my life. Then again, I did it willingly and happily.

My son’s teachers are excited about helping the kids make their individual squares. I’ve purchased the requisite washable acrylic paints and fabric markers. I’ve designed the quilt, figuring out the best layout for 17 one-of-a-kind squares. This week I will go and get the twelve inch square muslin pieces. I’m excited, too, but I wonder if I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. Of course, regardless whether the quilt fetches $500 or $5,000 at auction (hey, I can dream!), the important thing is the memories my son will retain of my involvement in his life and his education. I can only hope that when he is a parent, he will look back and remember his mother’s reign as a classroom parent with fondness and humor instead of cringing.

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The Right Decisions

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“Can I invite Jill on Saturday?”

This question came from  my son in the back seat as we drove home this afternoon.  Our town is having a fair on Saturday, a festival of entertainment that celebrates our community by providing fundraising opportunities for town youth groups and non-profits, and highlights the work of our town’s service organizations.  The town center is closed to all traffic, and the streets come alive with pedestrians swarming and darting where there are normally only cars.

The fire and police stations are open to the attendees, and the kids get to climb up into a fire truck and sit in a police car, complete with the opportunity to sound the sirens.  There are bouncy houses, miniature golf, electronic race car courses, food stands, and all sorts of demonstrations and vendors.  It’s kind of like a parent approved free-for-all for the kids.  There are police everywhere, and kids don’t stray too far from their parents, as one or both hold the key to a successful day:  the money.

For the past two years, my son has invited his friend, Jack, from nursery school, whose mother became a good friend once the boys began begging us for playdates.  Although our boys attend different schools and we live about 25 miles apart, we try to get together every couple of months, more if time and scheduling permits.  Jack and his mother will come again this year, and we plan to ride our bikes down to the town center from my house.  Both boys enjoy riding, as long as the riding involves their tandem bikes.

And then today my little guy tossed out his request to invite Jill.

Jill is an eighth grader at his school and the daughter of a school administrator.  She is a lovely young woman and I enjoy watching them interact.  It is sweet that The Boy has such a great relationship with her.  He often talks to me about playing with Jill on the playground during recess, and how he really likes that she pushes him and his friends on the swings.  One day toward the end of the summer, when The Boy was getting a little nervous about going back to school in general, and in particular about starting kindergarten and having full days, I opened the mailbox and there was a letter for him.

It was from Jill.  She wrote that she missed him and was looking forward to seeing him back at school and hanging out and playing with him at recess.  My heart melted as I read the letter to my son and I saw his eyes light up.

Upon the kids’ return to school, I told Jill’s mother what a sweet gesture I thought her letter was.  Her mother relayed that Jill had asked if she could write to my son because she missed him and wanted to make sure he was having a good summer.  A few days after school began, The Boy and I arrived at drop-off at the same time as Jill and her mother.  Jill bounded out of the car and yelled a hello to my son, then scampered over to walk in with him.  He let got of my hand and took hers, then happily skipped away with her.

When Ernie and I were looking at schools for The Boy, one of the things I loved most about his now-school was that they allow children to be children and encourage the older kids to interact with the younger ones.  I wasn’t entirely sure how it would work out in practice.  Seeing his smile when I drop him off and pick him up, hearing the excitement in his voice when he tells me about something new he’s learning, and watching the relationship develop between my son and his eighth grade friend, I’m thrilled with the decision we made.

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Pursue a Passion in September

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September is here. For me, it’s always been the beginning of a new year, despite there being no symbolic cultural or physical turning of the calendar or changing of the year. I have spent so much of my life in school that it’s always seemed natural to me that the year begins in September and ends in August.  I sometimes joke perhaps that is what drew me to Judaism as an adult; it was merely an extension of my pre-existing calendar bias.

Perhaps it’s simpler. I was born in September. I adore the crisp mornings warming into bright sunny afternoons. I adore autumn fruit: shiny red and green and yellow apples, firm and unyielding until baked, cut up and put into a pie or a cobbler, or simply eaten straight from the tree. Cranberries, pears, kumquats, pomegranate fruits. Autumnal vegetables thrill me. I love nothing more than scooping out a pumpkin and roasting the seeds with cinnamon, salt and sugar, or roasting a spaghetti squash and mixing the flesh with butter and salt and pepper for a yummy lunch. Acorn squash cry out to be hollowed out and filled with a turkey-cranberry-bread stuffing and roasted.  During the autumn months, I try always to have my home smell of apple cider or wine simmering on the stove with mulling spices, even if the only way I can accomplish that is by lighting one of the Yankee Candle candles that are ubiquitous throughout my space.

Gretchen Rubin‘s “to-do” list for September tells me I should focus on the following items this month.

a)  Write a novel.

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I’m already working on this. Well, not a novel, but a book. At this stage, I’ve got only notes and the beginnings of a proposal, but it is in progress. See the “Writing the Memoir” tab for more details.

b)  Make time.

Much to my eternal chagrin, I have only recently begun to realize – feel it in my bones and understand, realize – that my time with my little boy is glaringly short. With that dawning has come a covenant to spend as much time “in the moment” with him as possible. By “in the moment” I simply mean I try to let everything else go during that time. I try to forget about the dishes piling up in the kitchen sink, or piles of newspapers and old mail growing on the kitchen table and counter, the thousands of Lego blocks strewn about my house like invisible little IEDs waiting for my unsuspecting and not-yet-caffeinated foot to step down and then explode into a thousand points of shearing pain.

Instead, I focus on his obsession with cars – specifically, minivans and SUVs and me getting rid of my current car and substituting either model. My great concession to stop the never-ending and often loud debate was to agree that if I had triplet girls (never, ever, EVER going to happen), I would buy a minivan. Specifically, the Honda Odyssey minivan with a built-in vacuum depicted in a rather amusing commercial.

I focus on his questions about life and death, which are becoming more and more frequent, and less easily answered. I focus on his questions about the new school year and what it will hold, which belie his anxiety about the beginning of kindergarten and the addition of nine children to his tiny little group of eight classmates. I focus on his questions about me having another baby and his envy over the twins one of his friends is soon to have as siblings.

I focus on all these things because I know that someday soon he won’t ask questions of me and he won’t want to talk to me; he’ll ask questions of his friends and he’ll want to talk to his teachers. I know this is normal, and I know it’s healthy, and I know it’s the way the world works. Children are born and cling to their parents for a little while, but then they move on to their autonomous lives faster than anyone expects and can prepare for. But as I sit here writing this, tears snaking down my cheeks, I know I’m ill-prepared to face that. I cannot conceive of it, yet.

So I make time for all of the things that he wants to share with me, no matter how small, and I hope that by making that time and sharing those experiences, I can keep him close and ensure that he will always want to talk to me, to ask me the tough questions and that even though his friends and his non-mama world will get bigger as he does, he will always save a space and time for the woman who will always love him best.

c) Forget about results.

This one I’m going to have some trouble with as I’m an anal-retentive control freak. A lawyer by training and profession, albeit a happily retired one, I’m results oriented. I’ve had a difficult enough time adjusting my life philosophy to embrace the adage that life is about the journey, not the destination.  My adult life has been about winning the case, beating the opponent, getting the settlement the client wants.  Anything else just didn’t make sense.

I’ve always set goals for myself. I guess it’s been my way of marking off how close I am to achieving my dreams, but now that I’m actually living my dream of a life dedicated to writing, I wonder if I still should be keeping such a strict “to do” list, intent on ticking off items. My tendency to mark off life accomplishments like so many chores hadn’t made me happy, and since I haven’t really had so much time to put into my goals-oriented life plan, I have been happier, more in the moment. Hmmm…..something to ponder.

d)  Master a new technology.

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, technology is defined as:  (1) the practical application of knowledge especially in a particular area; (2) a capability given by the practical application of knowledge; (3) a manner of accomplishing a task especially using technical processes, methods, or knowledge; (4)  the specialized aspects of a particular field of endeavor.

When I first read the fourth item on September’s “to-do” list, I scoffed a bit. My first thought was that I could skip it as I’m pretty computer savvy, and our home is filled with just about every new or newish technology available. Then I looked up the definition, and decided to approach this instruction from the angle of learning something new about a subject matter I enjoyed and about which I was already somewhat knowledgeable, namely cooking.

I enjoy cooking, and I know that I need to up my game as it relates to my family’s nutrition as both Ernie Hemingway and The Boy have the palate of a four-year old boy. I can cut The Boy some slack as he’s not too far removed from a four-year-old boy, but Ernie, not so much, as he turned sixty this year and should know better.

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So my technology challenge for September shall not involve computer or other information machines or processes, but shall involve the bookcase filled with abandoned and lonely cookbooks, as well as my forlorn All-Clad slow-cooker, my much-loved Zojirushi rice cooker which gets not nearly enough attention from me, my Cuisinart food-processor and Breadman bread machine which haven’t seen me since the last century (and both of which were wedding gifts when I married my first husband in 1999), my much-loved and well-used Kitchen-Aid mixer (I do actually cook sometimes!), and any other kitchen implements and appliances I might come across in my kitchen.
I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

May: Play is Serious Business

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Just as we’re starting to think about school getting out for the summer, we come to the month of May, which is the time for getting serious about play.

a) Find more fun. I’m already working on this. After many years of putting off vacations and other things “until I have the spare cash,” I’ve finally given in and decided that I can’t wait. I need to take those trips; I need to go to those events; I need to do those things that I want – NOW – because life is not guaranteed as recent events have shown all too poignantly. I need to do all the wonderful things I talk about with my husband and son because someday one of us might not be around to partake. I want my son to have wonderful memories of a crazy, hectic upbringing with lots of smiles; I don’t want his memories to be of us always waiting until the perfect moment for fun.

With that in mind, I started this year with Legoland:

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And the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World:

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My cool little dude proclaimed it to be “the best vacation I’ve ever had!”

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Last weekend we drove to New York City for a couple of days. Although we couldn’t get out to Liberty Island to see Lady Liberty, or Ellis Island since all are closed due to damage sustained during Hurricane Sandy last October, we made a stop in Battery Park and he was able to see the Statue of Liberty from a distance.  I was able to get some really great photos of my reluctant photo subject.

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So, even when Ernie Hemingway blanches at cost and says we should just go to New Hampshire, I will push ahead and get the best bargains on travel that I can. After all, college students travel on a shoestring, so why can’t we? Besides, I’d rather travel the world with my little boy than eat out at fancy restaurants, drive fancy cars (although both Ernie and I do love the mom-mobile), wear fancy clothes, or have all the material possessions in the world. It’s the experiences I can give my family that will really matter in the end, the ones that my little boy will remember the most when he’s all grown and has a family of his own, the ones we all will remember long after the sun has set and we’re alone with our thoughts.

b) Take time to be silly. This is my favorite task as I can just continue being me without feeling any guilt whatsoever. I can have as many dance parties with my little guy as I want. I can sing along with him at the top of my lungs while he butchers the lyrics to his favorite songs. I can paint his toenails and put his hair in a top-of-the-head ponytail (Pebbles Flintstone style) while we’re hanging out on a rainy day. I can play silly games with him and laugh.

My little man loves, Loves, LOVES to sing. His very favorite thing to do during long car rides is plug into my iPad with headphones and perform his very own version of karaoke. I laugh so hard the tears run down my face. All the while I’m singing along with him. He told me yesterday that he was going to be a professional singer. You’ve got to love those childhood dreams.

c) Go off the path. Here’s where I have the most trouble. If I am really honest with myself, I tend to play it safe. Until I left the practice of law for good, I never left a job without having one already lined up. Except for walking out of my first marriage, whenever I’ve ended a relationship, I’ve always had a friend to lean on who turned to something more. For most of my adult life, I’ve been worried about other people’s opinions, what other people think when they see me. Since my first marriage, I’ve always treaded lightly in relationships, afraid of stepping too far over the line, pushing my partner too far (my first marriage, its dissolution, and the ramifications thereof are topics for another day, another post – or several hundred posts).

Although I wanted to go to New York City for college (Barnard College), I let my mother’s apprehensions and opinions dictate instead of simply claiming my life as my own and figuring out how to get into and pay for Barnard on my own. I wish I had really known then what I know now: that while she may have been angry at me and scared that I would meet with harm in NYC, she would have still loved me and making that break might have given her more reason to respect me as an adult. Despite having wanted to live in NYC or San Francisco or London since I was old enough to conceptualize it, and having had the opportunity to relocate to all of those places at least once each during my professional career, I’ve never moved more than 10 or 12 miles outside of Boston. In fact – and this won’t mean much to anyone who doesn’t know the Boston area well – until Ernie Hemingway and I bought our house four years ago, I had never lived outside the 128-belt, including college and graduate school. Now I’m at the first exit past the Weston tolls on the Mass Pike. Woo hoo!

Daring, that’s me. Not! But I need to learn to be daring because I don’t want my son to live as I have, safely and fearing rocking the boat. I want him not just to dream, but to pursue those dreams with a passion, and not contain them to a small geographic range because he’s afraid of upsetting me. I want him to pursue those dreams knowing that even as I’m sad because I don’t see him every day, I embrace his dreams right along with him. I want him to know that even when he upsets me, I still love him more than life, and I would give up anything and everything to preserve for him the opportunity to live out his dreams.

d) Start a collection. I have a collection. Many collections, actually. What I think I need to do is re-invigorate my existing collection of music boxes, and use up my collection of matchbooks. I need to organize my collection of tchotchkes, memorabilia, and photos so I can actually reminisce when I look through them instead of getting hives just thinking about them.

This goes hand in hand with my being a product junkie. I’m slowly using up all of my extraneous products, and finding the ones I really like along the way, and I’ve got to do something similar with my collections. I need to cull through and release the damaged pieces of my collections (or use them, in the case of  my matchbooks), trusting that the memories they bring will stay with me even without the physical reminder. Especially that snow globe with the little amoeba-like mold ball floating around in it.

** I originally posted this on May 6, but I’ve been told by a few people that the link leads nowhere, so I’m reposting.  Unfortunately, however, the original text seems to have vanished from my admin site, so I had to recreate via memory (which I willingly admit can be a bit spotty these days), so if anyone by chance read the original post and has it somewhere, I apologize for any differences and I would love to have the original if you are able to get it back.

Parenting Choices

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As I was drinking my morning coffee today, I came across an article about breastfeeding, specifically whether a woman can be a good mother if she chooses not to breastfeed.  Reading through it, I became thoroughly annoyed and decided to post an essay I wrote last year about my own experience with mothering and nursing.  The long and short of it is that every woman – no matter her background, education level, socioeconomic level, marital status, or anything else – has the right and should be encouraged to make her own decision as to what’s best for her and her child, without guilt, without fear.  What was right for me is not right for everyone, and I have no right to judge what any other woman does to keep her children fed and happy.

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Yesterday I had fifteen minutes to spare while waiting to go pick up my little man at school.  It wasn’t quite enough time to do any of the myriad household chores that seem to pile up daily like so much waste after a natural disaster, so I decided to have a cup of tea and surf around the CNN website to catch up my news.

I quickly read through the world and local news items that caught my eye, making sure I was up to date on where the presidential race stands and the weather, then clicked on the entertainment tab.  I scrolled down to the bottom, where I often find the most interesting tidbits buried deep by the techies at CNN.  I clicked on a link about celebrity moms.

One of the photos showed Alannis Morrissette with her son.  Next to her photo was a snippet from her interview on Good Morning America back in May.  The essence of the caption is this:  she is a proponent of breastfeeding and plans on allowing her son to continue nursing until he has decided he is done and weans himself.

I am a major proponent of breastfeeding, as well.  I read the Time Magazine article in May about extended breastfeeding and attachment parenting, and at the time I sat down for a good long think about my own feelings on the subject.  It’s a deeply personal decision and while I might advocate it as a positive in developing a strong bond with your child, it is by no means the only method by which a mother can bond with a child, and for a whole variety of reasons, it’s simply not for everyone.  That being said, here’s what else I thought about.

My son is nearly 5.  I nursed until he was thirty-nine months old, including through recuperation from a lumpectomy.  I held him constantly until mobility grabbed hold, and I never let him cry.  Until almost age four, my son slept in bed with my husband and me.  Now, The Boy starts out the night solo in the room next to mine, but more nights than not, ends up back with my Ernie Hemingway and me by morning.  It has only been recently that my husband and I resumed any social life.  Until four months ago, my son had never spent the night away from me; in June, Ernie Hemingway and I went away for a weekend and The Boy spent two nights with my parents.  The only people who have ever watched The Boy are my parents, my sister, and very occasionally his older sisters.

Apparently, all that makes me an attachment parent.  Apparently, that makes my parenting style is about self-sacrifice and utter devotion to my child, devoid of any intention to raise a self-sufficient child.

But I don’t see it that way.

I was raised by a young mother who became a single mother.  She did the best she could do, exceedingly well, and came as close as possible to attachment parenting before it was defined.  Although she was not able to nurse me due to medication given her to cease lactation, she held me constantly and may have even slept with me, but in any event never left me to cry.  Until I was school age, I don’t believe she ever left me with anyone but family or close friends.

I am independent, self-sufficient, and accomplished.  I had a successful and lengthy professional career, and I voluntarily gave that up for my son, who is more important to me than any career ever could be.  I am raising my son the way my mother raised me:  we are bonded and he is confident that I am always there.  I encourage my son to explore the world and make the experience personal and intimate.

I did all this because it’s what felt right to me, not because I was subscribing to someone else’s definition of being a parent.  I nursed my child because it was the healthiest option for us.  I slept with him because after he was born he lost nearly 2 pounds and I needed to nurse constantly to get the weight back up, but I still needed sleep.  It was the best option for us.  I held The Boy, refusing to let him cry because I love him and can’t stand to see those little eyes filled with confusion and hurt when beloved mummy won’t hold and cuddle him.

If I am attachment parent, that’s fine with me.  I waited until I was almost forty to have a child.  I waited so that I afford – financially and emotionally – essentially to drop out of life and spend my time knowing and raising my child.  My son is the single most important contribution I will make to the future of this world, and why shouldn’t I devote all my energy to that endeavor?  Shouldn’t we all have the choice to do that for our children?  It has been a wonderful experience for us, and every parent should be able to say that without fear of judgment.

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I applaud Kristin Chase, Casey MullinsCasi Densomre-Koon and Catherine Connors for their willingness to stand up and defend their decisions, their lifestyle, and ultimately for a mother’s right to choose how to best nourish her children.  These women and so many unnamed others have given me the courage to take ownership of my situation, to stand up and proudly flex my parenting choice muscles.

April is for Lightening Up

Unwilling to write yesterday for fear I would awaken to find whatever I created was an April Fool’s joke played by the universe, here I am today looking forward to my April goals as promulgated by my happiness muse, Gretchen Rubin.

a) Sing in the morning. I don’t know about singing, but I have started putting on music in the morning when I awaken. I’m afraid if I begin singing, something horrible will happen. Perhaps my husband will divorce me after hearing the horrid noise emanating from my throat, perhaps the skies will open, and the gods will smite me for daring to blemish the beauty of an early morning with something so foul, or my child will be horrified and seek to become emancipated at age five. I have a horrible singing voice and sound like nothing so much as a melee between a bunch of alley cats. My son told me at age three that he didn’t want me to sing to him any longer because I had a terrible voice.

I’ve also purchased an under-counter radio/cd player for my kitchen. In my mind, these types of appliances have long been the province of my grandparents; it seemed as though my nana had some type of machine under every inch of cabinet space in her mongrel kitchen that my grandfather built piece by piece. Regardless, I don’t want a radio taking up valuable counter space, so I caved. I haven’t yet installed it, so Ernie Hemingway hasn’t seen it. I’m hoping the reaction is not explosive, unless it’s along the lines of ‘what a fantastic idea!’

Regardless, the goal seems to be having more lightness and more music in my mornings, so whether I sing is irrelevant. The idea is to make this whole happiness project thing work for me, so I’m not being bullied into singing.

b) Acknowledge the reality of people’s feelings. Although not as good as I could be, I’m told I’m actually pretty good at this. Having a young child is terrific practice. The person with whom I have the most trouble in this area is the person with whom it should be easiest. But I’ll keep trying.

c) Be a treasure house of happy memories. Holidays with my family remind me how fabulous we all are at remembering the good and putting aside the unpleasant. It’s not that we forget; it’s that we deliberately choose to put the negative aside in favor of the smiles, the laughter and the warm feelings. This is one of my favorite things about my family, and one of the things I most want to pass on to my child. Having a sense of history, a sense of your place in the world, is important, but having positive experiences to frame your sense of self is one of the most extraordinary gifts a parent can give a child.

d) Take time for projects. I recently cleaned out what we call “Mummy’s Closet” in my house. It’s a small area in the hallway that looks remarkably similar to the closet in which Harry Potter spent his nights while living with the Dursleys of Privet Drive, in which I keep gifts and books and crafting materials. Everything in it is my exclusive domain. I can hardly ever find the things I want in there, and I have found that I often “lose” Christmas and Hanukkah gifts I’ve bought early in the year, so I decided the contents needed to be culled and organized.

I made a pilgrimage to my spiritual home, The Container Store, and purchased several bins, which I separated into three categories: yarn, patterns, crochet hooks and knitting needles; jewelry making supplies; and fabric and sewing notions and patterns. I am hopeful that now I’ve seen all the wondrous colors and projects available to me, I will make time for them.  I’ve already made a couple of jewelry items and pulled out a sweater that I started working on before I began law school in 1993. When I asked my mother for help in figuring out where in the pattern I had stopped, we joked that although it’s been so long since I started the sweater that the style has likely gone out of fashion and come back in again.

My main project for April, however, is writing., or rather the devoting of daily time to my writing practice. I’ve got hundreds of starts – stories, essays, poems, just about anything – and I need to devote myself to finishing some things and making other nascent thoughts into reality. I could commit to getting up thirty minutes earlier each morning to write in peace, but I am far too committed to my sleep for that. I’d like to say I’ll take thirty minutes each night after putting my son to be, but I get so little time with Ernie Hemingway as it is that I will not sacrifice those hours each night before we both go to bed. Instead, I will make time during my day, giving up thirty minutes of mindless internet surfing or watching one television show on my DVR. Writing is a much better use of my time, and much more likely to help keep me sane than cruising around the ‘net or watching Emily Thorne get her “Revenge” on the Grayson family.

Five Years in a Flash

Five years ago today, I became mother to the most amazing, sweet, funny, beautiful little boy. Five years in, I daily marvel at what a truly awesome gift his presence in my life is. Watching him grow has been and is the greatest gift I’ve ever received and the most beautiful journey I’ve ever taken, or could ever hope to take. Happy Birthday, my little man!

Tucker12.12

One Sick Mama

Mama is sick.  Coughing, chills, 102.6 fever, shaking, body aching, vertigo sick.  I’ve been in bed for most of the last two days, except when I had to go get my boy from school, and even that was iffy; I drove so slow I think people must have presumed I was an 80 plus year old woman behind the wheel.  I probably should see a doctor, but I’m too stubborn.  I grew up with a mother who is a nurse, and her rule of thumb was three days.  As in most non-serious conditions will resolve themselves in three days, and if you’re not showing signs of improvement in three days, you should go to the doctor.

My darling hubby brought the kid to school yesterday so I could stay in bed, mostly because I was so dizzy I could barely stand, but I still had to get up and get the boy at 1:30.  Came home, did a few other things that needed to get done – yes, because a mother’s obligations never stop, even when she is sick – and then collapsed on the floor with The Boy while he demonstrated for me how to put his newest Lego set together.    I was so zapped all I could do was smile.  Oh, and I called Hubby to tell him to come home ASAP, as I was likely going to pass out soon and it might be good if The Boy’s other parent was around to reassure him when that happened.

Hubby arrived home around 6pm, and shortly thereafter I was tucked into bed with a dose of NyQuil under my belt, the humidifier running, and a couple of boxes of tissue close at hand.  Plus my insanely possessive cat, Bella, curled around my knees for added help in sweating out the fever.  Thanks, baby girl.

I slept through the next roughly twelve hours, checking my temperature each time I woke up, and by morning I was feeling pretty good – I had gotten it down to 101.2!  I was feeling like I could beat this with a few extra hours in bed.  Ah, the hubris of mothers.  The world, she laughs at us, and our silly notions that we can handle it all.

I asked Hubby to take The Boy to school again, but he had an early meeting that could not be missed or put off.  I understand; I used to practice law and know how it gets around this time of year.  So I dragged my sorry ass out of bed, then clothed, fed, and dragged an extraordinarily unhappy child to school.

I’m bored out of my skull from sitting in bed, and I need to do something other than watch back episodes of The Good Wife, Hawaii Five-O, or NCIS online.  I’ve tried reading, but it’s hard to concentrate with my nose and my cough interrupting me every  fifteen seconds; I tend to lose my train of thought and place a bit too easily.  I don’t want to talk on the phone because it  makes me cough.  Although that reminds, me, I need to call my mother, because she has this beastly illness, too, so I need to check on her.

Needless to say, I’ve made no progress on my book piles or organizing anything.  Moving makes me cough.  Maybe I will just watch some television online.

So here I am, at least until I have to get up to get The Boy from school at 1:30.  At which time I’ll crawl back into bed and beg my child to get me some water and a cool wet cloth.  At least I have my psycho kitty for company, and she doesn’t expect conversation out of me.

Bella