Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Room Mom

I remember my mom being a room mother for my class when I was a kid and like everything else mom related, she made it look fun. She still tells me now what fond memories she has of being in my classroom. I am co-room mom of Bob's kindergarten class this year and it is fun. I've been volunteering in his room on Mondays and that butt-kicking hour and fifteen minutes that I'm helping them cut/glue/paint/draw has given me an even deeper respect for the teachers that do this job all day. I'm only dealing with five kids at a time and when I get home I need a nap. A hard nap.

I feel so fortunate that I get to do this. It's a little thing, but it's big to me.

Sure, I waited until 10:00 the night before Halloween to make forty clementines into tiny jack-o-lanterns for the holiday class snack tomorrow, but at least I had two cups of coffee and a bag of mini-Snickers to help me make it happen.

And I too will remember these days, and nights, fondly.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


"Mom? What if we had two lives?"

"What do you mean?"

"I mean like what if you could live to be one hundred and then die and then come back and live another whole life?"

"Some people think we do."

"Mom, I think I'm one of those people."

Monday, October 29, 2012

Dinner Bell

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love the planning, the cooking, the friends and family, and I loving wearing an apron. Last night we had our 23rd Sunday Supper potluck at our house. We had thirty-one friends and family members jammed in our tiny house. Every supper I'm surprised how our place expands to just the right size to accommodate the number of people that show up.

I am grateful that we instituted this tradition. There were a million reasons not to; a million reasons to wait. Wait until we fixed up the house, wait until the yard looked better, wait until we had more time, more energy, more money, more, more. Or just not do it at all. We didn't wait. We jumped in. Every Sunday Supper is a gift. With our potluck tradition,  I get to have my favorite holiday whenever we can make it happen and I get to wear an apron. Score.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Smacksy Sunday Links

Fabulous photos of scared dudes at a haunted house.

Amazing audition - Henry Thomas auditions for E.T. and gets the job.

And a tiny kitten in a tiny box.

Happy Sunday.

Friday, October 26, 2012


"How was school, Babe?"


"Good. No problems?"


"You didn't get sent to the bench for breaking rules at recess today?"

"Nope. Only once."

Thursday, October 25, 2012


"Mom, I'm just going to wear my ninja costume for Halloween."

"That's a good idea. You're so cute in that."

"You can't be a cute ninja, Mom. I told you before. It's called handsome."

"Right, sorry."

"And I'm a ninja so I'm also mysterious."

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Boo and Everything

"Bob, you are adorable."


"And extremely scary. You're a very scary zombie."

"I'm not a zombie! I don't eat brains! I'm a skeleton! A skeleton is just plain scary, Mom."

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Going Home

Last weekend I went to my hometown for my 30th High School Reunion. The place where I grew up is on the beach and in the woods and surrounded by apple orchards and artichoke fields. The smell of ocean and fog are buried deep in me. That place and the people I knew there are, as my friend Shannon put it, "part of my DNA."

The night of the party had a dreamlike quality to it. People that seem to live only in my mind were standing in front of me. Friends looked like their younger selves by way of their parents. Memories came rushing of happy times and tragedies, real and imagined. There was intrigue and love lost and love found and love lost again. I felt that sting from tears while laughing and crying and a deep feeling of overwhelm. I was surprised that it was so fun and so difficult at once. It was a lot.

I have another home somewhere else now. I have my own family. And the hometown faraway place will always be home and these people I see so rarely anymore will always be family. It's just like that.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Road Tripping

"Dad? Mom? What is this song? I don't like it. I don't like it. I don't like it. What is it? Can you change the station? Please, can you change the station? I know this isn't Foo Fighters because I like Foo Fighters. This is terrible. I don't like it. I don't like it. I really don't like it? Isn't it annoying? This song, I mean? Isn't that the most annoying thing you've ever heard? It's so annoying isn't it? What could be more annoying?"

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Smacksy Sunday Links

If my reunion this weekend wasn't making me feel old enough, there's always this.

This is a beautiful piece of writing.

And a dog and a deer are pals.

Happy Sunday.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Smacksy Saturday Photo: Retro Smacksy

Tonight is my 30 Year High School Reunion. Here I am back in '82, rocking some serious brows. How is it possible that was so long ago? How is it possible that I didn't have tweezers?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Coffee Break?

"... and then after I have a yogurt can I get a Sponge Bob and then after that can you look at that castle I made and then help me put the stopper back in my piggy bank? It's stuck. "

"Babe, I just need a couple of minutes to make coffee and sit down and relax."

"Mom, you don't get it. There IS no relax."

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A New Classic

 "Mom, do you know Desmond is vegan?"

"I do. Do you know what vegan means?"

"Sort of?"

"It means he doesn't eat animals or things from animals like milk or eggs."

"Oh... I thought it meant he was from Vegas."

White Flag

I finally did it. I let go of the dream. That's right, I no longer have white bed clothes and towels. I'm still letting that sink in. I've had white linens my entire adult life. To me they represent freshness and cleanliness and I finally had to admit that "fresh" and "clean" aren't words that reflect my current life most of the time. After trying to continue that tradition with a husband, a boy and two large dogs, there were some filthy-ish situations that not even chlorine bleach could reverse.

Today I finally threw away the messed up, once white sheet that we referred to as the Shroud of Turin. I replaced the sheets and comforter cover with something that seemed like it would be more likely to weather the Rosenberg storm. Yes, this is about me buying new sheets but also it's about acceptance. It's one more way I'm letting go of my teeny little perfectionist-OCD-control-freak deal. So you can have the white sheets but I'm keeping my alphabetized spices. (That's just makes good organizational sense.)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Meeting

"Mom, the guys and I had a meeting today."

"You did?"

"Yeah, today at recess."

"Who called the meeting? Who decided to have it?"

"I did."

"What was on the agenda?"

"We decided we won't be chasing the girls anymore."

"Solid plan."

"And we should do better listening in the class."

"Always good."

"And I thought we should all learn Aaron's language since he only speaks Hungarian and Raymond's because he only speaks the Mandarin kind of Chinese."

"That's a lovely idea."

"We're going to finish the meeting after school when we meet up at the park, me and all the guys. We're like a team."

Monday, October 15, 2012


"Come look at the haunted house, Mom! I'm done setting it up."

"Nice. Very haunted."

"I'm not going to turn out the lights in here or play the Thriller song though because that would be too scary... for you, I mean."

Friday, October 12, 2012

Right Here

It is a boy's place. It looks like a map of the whole world and the Star Wars Galaxy, photos of the Space Shuttle and a needlepoint picture of Mighty Mouse. Glow-in-the-dark planets hang from the ceiling and a drum set sits on the floor. It sounds like Party Rock and Thriller and the cricket who is living somewhere in the closet. A basket of cars, a basket of dinosaurs, and a replica of the Batcave sit under the window.  There are seven very well-loved stuffed animals, thousands of Legos, and one pirate ship.  It smells like the damp dog asleep on the bed. It is my favorite room in the house.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Those Other Times

Bob circa 2008

With Bob, I have been primed to be on the lookout for all of the "firsts." His (as yet unfinished) baby book prompts me to record his first steps, first words, his first tooth. Then there are the sneakier firsts, the little benchmarks that I didn't realize I was waiting for until they arrived: the first hand print Thanksgiving turkey, the first macaroni necklace, the first time he slept through the night.

There are also the lasts: the last time nursing, the last time in the baby swing at the park, the dreaded last nap. I usually don't realize that it is a last until the moment has come and gone. Right now I am too aware of the possibility of the lasts. I wonder when we cross the street, will this be the last time he'll let me hold his hand in the crosswalk? Is this the last time he will need help tying his shoes?

All of this longing for the past and nostalgia for the future pulls me out of the present, where all of the miraculous and heartbreaking stuff is happening. Every day holds something new and if I'm caught looking in the other direction, I will miss things. I don't want to miss things.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I'm Going to Assume It's a Guy Thing

"Hey, Brandon! Check this out! My dad put on a new toilet seat and the old one is out here in the trashcan. Wanna see?"

"Yeah! Cool!"

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Got Game

"I think I won that one, Pal."

"No, Dad. Let me count your cards for you... Yeah you only have sixteen so I actually won."

"I didn't hear you count all of those cards."

"That's because I counted them inside my own mind. I'm a winner."

Monday, October 8, 2012

Columbus Day

"So Mom, Columbus thought he was discovering our country but there were some people that already lived here so it wasn't really a new country, it was just new to him?"

"Sounds about right."

"About right? No, I'm pretty sure I nailed it."

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Smacksy Sunday Links

Leo Babauta wrote this great essay about not waiting for your life.

I've been sad this week about Violet. A case of the sads always makes me think of this song.

I love this of some neglected ducks getting their first introduction to water.

Happy Sunday.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Smacksy Saturday Photo: Aloha Means Keep Out

To the untrained eye, this might appear to be a blue plastic lei worn home from a Polynesian theme restaurant hanging on the doorknobs inside Bob's room. In Bob's world though, this is what is known as, "a locking mechanism to keep out girls, except you, Mom... and Daisy."

Friday, October 5, 2012

Farewell, Sweet Violet

I will always remember Violet like she is in this photo: Sitting on something soft, enjoying pets from the people who love her. We said goodbye to her this morning. She was very weak, her breathing was labored, the light was gone from he eyes. It was her time.

Bob was with me this morning at the vet. As we left, I was crying.

"Mom, I'm sad too. I have an idea. I will save up my allowance and buy a new cat and you can name her Violet."

And then I cried more, this time from the sweetness.

Peaceful travels, Violet June Rosenberg.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

About Violet

She hasn’t eaten in a couple of days and her nose is a little stuffy and maybe that’s why she’s not hungry. She still looks for laps to sit on. She walks a crazy zig-zag walk the vet says is due to some type of neurological “event.” She purrs. There is a lump in her abdomen that shows up on the x-ray and whatever that lump is, isn’t good news. She still hangs out in the shower with Mr. Rosenberg in the morning. She has chronic renal failure. She sits in the sink and drinks from the dripping faucet. The dogs sit next to her and lick her face.

We’ll be back at the vet today. Vi seems to be wrapping things up, in her own time. I hope she just has a cold but I’m afraid it might be her long walk home. I’m keeping a candle lit in my heart for a little more time with Violet.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Accent

"Mom, Dylan's dad has a London accent."

"It's a British accent, I'm not sure about London."

"Is there such a thing as a Texas accent?"

"Sure. MeeMee has one, and Cousin Steve, and J.P.'s dad."

"Oh, yeah. What kind of accent do I have?'

"You don't have an accent."

"Yeah, I do. I have a California-American accent. You can't have no accent, Mom. Just because we sound like each other doesn't mean we don't have an accent."

"You are absolutely right, Bob. I stand corrected. You are very wise."

"I am also handsome."

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Soy Americano

"Mom, today in school we learned the José song."

"Wow. Tell me you don't mean the Star Spangled Banner."

"No, not that. It's like this, 'José can you see...'"

"That's the Star Spangled Banner and it's not 'José can you see,' it's 'Oh, say can you see,' and I'm pretty sure that thinking that they're saying 'José' is a classic milestone worthy of the baby book."

"I'm not sure what that means... but who's José?"

Monday, October 1, 2012


Mornings here sound like Sponge Bob and barking dogs and taste like Cheerios. There is the slap of slippers on wood floors, negotiations for who gets in the bathroom first, and the dryer is going, it's always going. There is a cat who moves, purring,  from warm lap to warm lap and shower steam escaping into the hallway. The coffee machine sounds a ready bell that calls the grown ups to the kitchen.

Mornings here require finding exact change for milk money, searching through wallets, purse bottoms and sometimes the piggy bank. Lunch is packed and email is checked. Frozen berries in the microwave and where is the checkbook? The dogs want out the dogs want in the dogs want out again.

Here it sounds like, "Mom?" and "Babe?" and "Daisy get down from there." Another glass of juice is poured, another cup of coffee. There is toothpaste and a ringing phone.  The hamper is opened and closed three times. The sprinklers play on the lawn. The porch light goes off.

Mornings here mean "have a good day," and a kiss goodbye and the dogs are back in the bed.

Mornings here are crowded and busy and I love mornings here.