Friday, February 29, 2008

A Light in the Attic

Shel Silverstein. Genius! Who remembers the book "The Giving Tree"? You all MUST remember that one, right?

It begins, "Once there was a tree... and she loved a little boy..." and the tree gives all of herself to the boy as he grows and grows into a greedy grown-up and eventually chops her down to a stump. And it continues from there, "And the tree was happy... but not really." Eventually the boy returns as an old man and needs a place to rest, so he sits on the stump. Again, "the tree was happy".

End of story. So was the tree really happy? Were we all destined to be greedy like the boy?

Today "The Giving Tree" makes more sense than it did when I was young - on so many different levels. When you are young, you relate to the boy, but as a parent now I feel completely in touch with the tree! I understand unconditional giving. You give and give and give every moment to your child that you can. At times I've felt like I wanted to burst from the pressures of self-sacrifice - initially it was such a hard adjustment for me and I was so angry at the world. Why did I feel like I was throwing away my former self for my kids? Why did I have to do this, and why did I feel so guilty about NOT liking the process of giving? I was happy... but not really.

Well, last night Ruby and Eloise recited a short poem to me from memory. It was a Shel Silverstein poem about taking a snowball under the covers - "and when I woke it had wet my bed" (insert goofy kid laughter). So I went and got out Myles' tattered copy of "Where the Sidewalk Ends". More Shel. We picked poems and I happily read all of these memories to my girls. At times I didn't even have to look at the words because they were pouring out of an odd memory bank in the back of my brain. It felt so good. Here were these things that I vividly remember from my childhood! These excellent nonsense poems about dogs with two tails, three guys who go for a ride in a flying shoe, and the unicorns who missed their ride on Noah's ark. Ru and El have hit the age where I will be able to share and appreciate these excellent pieces of literature, not just picture books.

The sacrifice we make for our kids has extraordinary payback. I got another glimpse of that last night - those milestones along the way, like the first "I love you, Mom" out of your kid's mouth, or the first time you realize you wish you could take on all of their pain or illness so that they didn't have to live through it, - those are the things that make being a parent completely rewarding. Recently I've been so pre-occupied with the fear of moving to yet another place, juggling Penny's schedule (or lack thereof) and dealing with financial paranoia that I've almost forgotten to recognize how mature Ruby and Eloise have become. Sharing this old favorite book gave me a small wake-up call.

Last week Eloise said, "Mom, we don't like having curly hair. We want straight hair like Sophie." Shit, I thought. This garbage already? I tell them it's not about the outside, it's the inside that counts... corny corny, I know... but to identical twins that has even more resonance.

And for another grown-up comment, Ruby told me I should return my bruised squash to the market, "like you did with the LAME pistachios." (They WERE lame pistachios for the record. Almost all of the shells were sealed shut.) Note to self: don't say things like "lame", "butt-crack", or "bummer" in regular everyday speech. Fortunately they haven't figured out that I'm the F-Bomb Mommy - at least not yet. I'll let you know when someone says fuck. (Watch it be Penelope's first word. Seriously, if she could talk I think she'd say, "GIVE ME THE FUCKING CHEERIOS! NOW!!!)

So there it is. My kids are my life. I can complain about how hard this job is day in and day out, and how I think society pressures mommies to give too much of themselves - but it is refreshing to know that even reading them a book can remind me how I'd be happy to give them the world; to let them virtually chop off my limbs, and use me as a resting place.

Infinitely happy indeed.

Monday, February 25, 2008



a bright bright sunshiny day...


One of these blogs that I follow suggested that you shoot your photos into the sun as an experiment. Like a rule-breaking kind of thing. So I quite like this photo of Eloise. It captures her essence just perfectly. (As I write this I'm feeling guilty for not posting a link to the blog that I read regarding photos, life coaching, creativity... not because I don't want to share this with you, but because I'm being an ass about the norms of the blog medium. That is another potential topic entirely... norms of the blog medium. I find myself hooked on a relatively link-free style for many reasons... but really, that's another entry on another day.)

But yes. I just said BLOG as a medium. Currently I work in "blog" and I'm struggling with all that entails and how I've become this blogger of sorts. I don't get many comments posted directly to blogger, which is fine, but I do manage to hear feedback from my pals around the world (yes, you are all around the world) and that is precisely why I do this. You are all so fucking far away and this is a decent method to let you know how my brain and family unit is functioning.

The inspiration for my photo post was an experiment, so I have decided to make a experiment of my own and encourage many of you non-bloggers just to start writing in a blog format to see what happens (you don't have to share it with anybody). Really, this type of writing began as a Doogie Howser, M.D. kind of computer journal I could use to document my days... and then it became a means to communicate... and now it has become a place of curiosity for a tiny community. Many of you are friends, but some of you are quasi-strangers. I invite you upon this entry to let yourself be known in my comments box (and that's okay if there are only 2 of you) and ask me some questions. Or send me your links. Discuss amongst yourself, and in the meantime mess around with shooting into the sun.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

All You Need Is Love... Love Is All You Need

My college graduation present has been sold (silver Golf, 1999). My little twins are not so little any more. I am addicted enough to television that I even take pictures of it. I adore felting lame squares of knitting and making them into coasters. My cat doesn't appreciate Valentines, but Penny knows that 18K rose gold charm bracelets are good for her.

Myles and I have been together for 12 years this summer.

That means my niece Daisy is turning 12 in March, my sister's dog Maggie (who was put to rest last week) was also 12, and I am a really old old lady.

But what a thing to reflect on - loving the same person since the age of 20. I have a few regrets... but they are ultimately trumped by all of our beautiful memories. Enjoy a visit here to have a visual.

Monday, February 11, 2008

change we can believe in

My friend Heather who has 6 year old daughter sent me an email a few days ago confirming her love of Barack - she writes:

"I am so excited about Barak's wins yesterday. Lets keep it up! I just keep picturing myself telling Dora that he is the president of our country and being so proud to tell her that. Now when she asks about the president I just try to brush it under the carpet or change the subject. Dora already knows the truth about the tooth fairy and Santa (I also explain that we can pretend these things are real if she wants), but I don't have the heart to tell her about Bush and the US government."

I just love her comparing of the mysterious and phony Santa and the scary truth about the US government. Amazing.

Well, for another kind of change, I am off to do a crossword in bed with Myles rather than pollute my brain with more TV. Back when we were child-free we did a bedtime crossword every night. It's time we get back to some honest and healthy togetherness before our relationship wears thin under the pressures of residency...

to my clueless few...

I've just been alerted by a couple of people that they completely don't understand what my last post was making reference to! Huge apologies for being so vague... but I have a bad case of Obama-mania. (Or should that be ObaMania?) Barack Obama's campaign speeches repeatedly use the phrase "yes we can".

Here goes my first attempt at posting a video to y'all.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Yes We Can

Seriously. Yes we can.

Yes YOU can.

Do it people... it's long overdue.