Monthly Archives: August 2009

School days, school days


My sweet, beautiful boy.  My David. Almost 6. Clinging to my leg for dear life, not noticing that all the other kindergartners are together in line and all the other parents are lined up against the wall.  “But Mom, I want to stay home with you.”  (This boy who’s been in full-time care since he was two.  Does he imagine that I hang out at home all day, watching television? This boy who was never anxious about going to pre-school.)

He’s been like a little old man for the past two days.  Whining and kvetching about everything.  We had an argument this morning because he didn’t want to wear his new back-to-school outfit that his Aunt Carolyn bought for him (yeah, I know that was a brilliant move on my part to pick that battle…going to be getting some kind of Mom award for that one.) He wanted to wear his old clothes.  And walking up to school, he said, “I hope the teacher isn’t mad at me because I didn’t wear my new shirt.”

When I picked him up tonight, he said he was sad because he forgot to remember that I’m always in his heart and he’s always in my heart, so we’re always together. And he was missing me but he forgot to remember.

Of course, much of this is a front for me.  I know that he had a good day, because the mom-spies in the lunch room told me he was happy and carefree. He doesn’t know that I know. Or maybe he doesn’t remember that he had a good day.

My sweet, beautiful boy who’s a ball of anxiety just like his mother but who hasn’t learned to mask it yet.

May tomorrow be a better school day, David. And the day after that. And the day after that. For, oh, like 17 years. (Not counting medical school.)



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Endings and beginnings

As long as I live, I will never forget the look on my dad’s face when my mother walked into a room. For 63 years, he got that look on his face every day.  

Next week, we head to Portland for the wedding of E and B.  E is the daughter of my cousin (makes you feel old when the next generation starts getting married.) Her family is part of my big, wonderful, extended family that loves and supports me. That accepts me exactly for who I am. That makes me laugh so hard that my stomach hurts. 

I remember E as a little girl, with big eyes and long, beautiful dark hair.  But I’ve really gotten to know and love her as an adult, a smart, warm, compassionate, funny, beautiful person. I’ve only met B several times, but t say that he’s a great guy doesn’t do him justice. It’s obvious to all who know them that this is a wonderful match.  

It’s strange going to a wedding when you’re going through a divorce. (There. I said it.) Hearing someone else say the words you spoke and gave your heart to.  In a time when things were different and people were different and you thought you knew how your life was going to be. As if you ever know how your life is going to be.

It would be easy to be cynical.  (And those of you who know me know that I am capable of being quite cynical.) But I’m not going there.  

My hope and my wish and my expectation for E and B is that they are for each other a soft place to land. That they are always kind to each other. And that they never lose the sparkle that each has when they look at each other.  I know that this is possible, because I am surrounded by many examples of it…in neighbors, friends and family. 

Best wishes for a long and happy life together.

And may you always have that look in your eyes.

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Take good care of my baby

Sometimes I’m a little slow on the uptake.

Margaret has been driving me crazy all weekend. Oppositional. Defiant. Whiny.  The worst of the “3” behavior.

I was thisclose to selling her to the gypsies. And then I remembered.

She’s going to pre-school on Monday.  

And my independent, bossy, fearless, take-no-prisoners, smart-as-a-whip, you-build-it-and I’ll- knock it-down little girl is scared. And she doesn’t know how to say it. 

She’s been with Joanie since she was 6 weeks old. (I know, I know, it sounds like a horrible thing to put a six-week-old baby in daycare. I never thought I’d do it. Except that I hadn’t been in my job long enough to qualify for FMLA. And we had Joan, supermom that she is. But still…I put a 6-week-old baby in daycare?) She knows the rules, the drill. She’s the old kid, the one who tells everyone what to do.

And now, she’s leaving this safe environment and going to school. With rules (lots of rules), and expectations.  When you’re three, new is scary. (When you’re 46, new is scary sometimes too.)

As much as I dreaded this day, as much as my eyes filled with tears every time I thought about this day…now that this day is here, it’s harder for her than it is for me. 

So we had a talk about how going to a new school can be scary. But so worth it for the new friends you meet and the new things you get to do.  And we talked about how great she’s going to be. 

Best of luck to you, Miss Frances. Take good care of my baby (who’s now officially not only not a baby but not even a toddler anymore, but who will always be my baby.)

(I had a cute photo of her to post with this, but I can’t figure out how to get it from my new phone to the computer.  Which is typical.)

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Everyone in this house needs to calm down

I actually uttered that phrase this morning.  Here’s a list of other things I said before 8:30 this morning:

1. You need to go find something to do.

2. Do you want me to put a kids’ show on?

3. We don’t crumple the New York Times.

4. Margaret, stop playing with my phone.

5. Yes, David, we can take a bath tonight. (Can’t imagine where he gets that planning gene.)

6. Because going to church on Sunday is what we do.

7. I’m not going to tell you again to put your underwear on.

8. Don’t bang on the computer.

9. Where are your clothes?

Yes, just a typical Sunday morning…

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