Friday, January 31, 2014

Cool, Cool

"Hey, Andy! You know what?"

"What, Bob?"

"Wouldn't it be cool to have extra arms and hands? You could climb trees super easy."

"Yeah! And then you could use your other hands to eat stuff while you're climbing."

"Or you could read a book or something."

"Hey, Bob! Hey, Andy!"

"Yeah, Benji?'

"I'm gonna invent a machine the folds your laundry for you!"

"That would be cool."



Thursday, January 30, 2014

Fashion and Stuff

"Mom? Can you get me a shirt out of the drawer, please? Anyone is fine."


"Okay, but not a button shirt today. Not a shirt that has writing on it and no numbers and no shirt with cartoons. Not the kind with the V sort of neck. Just a regular shirt. A regular shirt but not the red one. Not dark blue. Not light blue either. No, not long sleeved. Just regular sleeved. Grey is okay. Not dark grey. Mom? Do you want me to just pick it out myself?'

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Rx

"Mom, why do I have to be sick for two different weeks in a row?"

"Sorry, Pal. You're just real popular with the germs lately."

"What's going to make this better? What? Nothing is working!"

"You have a cold and there's only so much we can do for it. There's nothing that really fixes it except one thing and that's time."

"But you can't hold time! You can't swallow it out of one of those tiny plastic medicine cups!"

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Connection

"Mom? Who are those people? Are they winning Grammys right now?"

"No, they're performing. That's Miranda Lambert, she's married to Blake Shelton, and the guy is Billie Joe Armstrong from a band called Green Day."

"Wait, is he related to the astronaut Neil Armstrong, from the moon?"

"I don't know."

"If he sings that "the eagle has landed," then we'll know."

Monday, January 27, 2014


Saturday, I received tragic news about a childhood friend. There was a time in the past that we were inseparable.  Distanced as we were by miles and time, the news still took my breath away. I was punched in the stomach by the fragility of life. I wondered why I must always wait for a sad surprise to honor that fragility. 

In my head I get it that our time here is finite and transitional. Intellectually I understand the importance of being in the moment. Still, living in each individual slice of time and holding it fast to my heart, is an awareness that will quickly slide away with the introduction of a to-do list, or a stack of laundry waiting to be folded. “Real life” shows up and I forget to notice the now and I’m back in the race.

I find myself taking for granted the spaces that make up a day, sometimes even willing the clock to move faster to get me to the finish line. To accept the gift of twenty-four hours I must shift my focus, see each minute as sacred, each action intentional. 

I would like to look up and take notice of my time without dissecting it into columns of good and bad; shine an accepting light on all of it. It is easy to hold close the sweetness and joy, listening to my son read, or holding hands with my husband. But just as important, the boring and the monotonous must turn into rituals to be celebrated like candles on a cake. I will brush my hair. I will park the car. I will make coffee. I will open the mail and I will feel gratitude. Each minute is full and valuable. I want to show up for all of that.

Today I will fill myself up with my loved ones. Today I will also show up for sadness and welcome it in. My heart is heavy with the space left behind in the world by my friend but the beauty of grief is that it proves you love something fiercely enough to miss its presence.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Smacksy Sunday Links

Some good words about competing with yourself.

This video of classic paintings that have been animated is beautiful (and kind of creepy towards the end) and it's a reminder of how meaningful the smallest gesture can be.

These nuns adopted a sweet dog.

Happy Sunday.

Friday, January 24, 2014


"I'm not doing the talent show this year, Mom. I don't think I'm quite good enough at anything yet but if I had to, like if someone made me, I would probably do a hold-your-breath-for-thirty-seconds contest between me and Desmond and Felix. Ferruccio could be our timer. We would be called Team Hold-Your-Breath-ers. We would hold our breath and see who could do it for thirty seconds and I might win because I'm pretty talented at that."

Thursday, January 23, 2014


"How was the park, Bob?"

"It was pretty great. Me and Desmond and Felix rode bikes and then did a game we made up called "Mountain Adventure" but then our adventure got a teensy little too close to a birthday party."

"Why? What happened?"

"Nothing I really need to talk about right now."

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

It Starts With A Plan

"Mom, in the future, when I'm big, I'm going to work making futuristic things for the future."

"Like what?"

"Like a robot called the Homework-Bot. It's going to do your homework for you and then automatically get the learning smart part into you from the homework."

"That sounds interesting."

"Yeah, but if I'm going to be smart enough to make it, I need to have it already."

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Very Busy

"Busy day, Bob?"

"Super busy. Me and Felix and Desmond opened some of my geodes out in the front yard. We took turns wearing Desmond's science glasses so we wouldn't get geode chips flung into our eyes. Then we did stomp rockets until a rocket got stuck in the tree and we used the bow and arrows to get it down and then one of the arrows went over the fence and we had to tell Desmond not to climb the fence because we'd maybe never see him again. Then we rode bikes in the park and went to Felix's and had pizza and made Legos."

"That's a lot of fun stuff."

"Yeah. So, Mom? What's the plan for tomorrow?"

Monday, January 20, 2014

Happy Birthday

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. 
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” 
― Martin Luther King Jr.A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Friday, January 17, 2014

Little Steps

"How about some dinner, Bob? Are you feeling up to that?"

"Yeah, I'm starving."

"I bet you are. You didn't eat anything while you were sick. What sounds good?"

"Because I'm so hungry, I'm gonna have to go with a really, really, really big Popsicle."

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Tummy Trouble

"Okay, Bob. You just try and rest now."

"Is my bowl here?"

"It's right here next to the bed with a towel and some water in case you get sick again."

"Mom, I really don't feel good."

"I know, Honey. I'm sorry. It's rotten to be sick."

"It's really rotten."

"It's getting rotten-er and rotten-er, isn't it?"


"What is it? Are you going to throw up again?"

"No. It's just that rotten-er isn't a real word."

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


"Mom? Have you noticed I haven't whined in like, days?"

"I guess that's true. You really haven't."

"I know!"

"What's going on with that?"

"Mom! I have no idea! Literally."

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

And So To Bed

"...Okay then. Goodnight, Babalooloo."

"Mom! My name is not Babalooloo."

"Okay, Peaches. Goodnight."

"Mom! It's not Peaches, either."

"All right, Junior Rosenpants. I'll see you in the morning."


"I love you, Bob."

"I love you too."

Monday, January 13, 2014

Working It

"Mom? I really do have a tummy ache. I have to lay down on the couch."

"Oh, no. When did it start hurting?"

"A little while ago."

"Does it hurt too much for you to go to swim class?"

"Yeah. I know what would probably help it though."

"What's that?"

"Just a little extra screen time and a bowl of ice cream."

Friday, January 10, 2014

Practice #1

"How was the first practice, Bob?"


"How's your coach?"


"What about your teammates?"


"So, you're feeling good about the season?"

"No, Mom. I'm feeling great."

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Talk Talk

"Mom, I had to put my name on the board at school today."

"Is that good or bad?"

"It's bad but I got to erase it later."

"What did you do to get your name on the board?"

"I was talking when I wasn't supposed to be talking but then I stopped doing the talking when I wasn't supposed to be talking and only did the talking when it was okay to be talking and I got my name off the board. About the talking. Because of the not talking."

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

In A Word

"Did you have fun with Felix today, Bob?"


"What did you guys talk about?"

"Mom, today wasn't talking. Today was doing."

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

It Might Be Weird

"Mom? Is it going to be weird for Teddy when we move?"

"Probably at first, but he'll get used to it."


"Well all of the furniture and... stuff will be there in the new place."

"Stuff? Oh, you mean us?"

Monday, January 6, 2014


Saying goodbye to this place.

We’ve just bought a little house. Our first. The bungalow we’ve been renting for the past five years will be someone else’s come March. That all still seems fictional right now. We’re only moving two blocks away, two blocks closer to the park, closer to Desmond, and closer to Felix. So it’s a good two blocks, a happy two. We will still walk to school and keep the same phone number. 

This is at once exciting and somewhat bittersweet. I will miss this short, dead end street and the neighbors that are part of our every day. I will miss the deep front porch and the lemon trees, and the place on the wall where we've marked Bob's growth since he was three. 

Bob is excited and nervous. This is the only house he can remember living in. He is most concerned with the logistics of moving the goldfish but he’ll get to find space in his new room for his Legos and Minecraft toys. In the new backyard there is a tree with the possibility of a future tree house.

January will be about packing and cleaning out and obsessively gathering boxes.

The new place has blue shutters and a big old stove, and just enough room for two adults a boy a dog and a fish. Soon, it will stop being "the new place" and just become "home."

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Friday, January 3, 2014

Easy Riders

"Mom when the dads took us to the park today, Felix got his pedals put on his bike and actually learned how to ride. In one day!"

"He must have been really excited."

"He was. I learned new tricks of how to turn better and ride in really tiny circles. Really tiny, like this. See?"

"That's cool."

"Yeah. Me and Felix decided that we're awesome. Like, the awesomest ever. For bike riders. At the park. Today."

Thursday, January 2, 2014

I Love a Parade

"Mom, I don't get why it's called 'The Rose Parade' when there's horses and bands and everything."

"It's about the floats. The floats are all made of flowers and vegetable material."

"Still, they aren't all roses. It should be called 'The Rose and Lots of Other Stuff All Over the Place Parade.' That even makes it more interesting."

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Brand New

I will remember 2013 as the year we lost Sylvia and Daisy, the year that Bob turned seven, the year he learned to read. It was the summer of Minecraft and the November when my mom got a puppy. The afternoons of Desmond and Felix, the heat of West Virginia, and cousin Rachel's wedding. It was the year MeeMee broke her arm and Bob dressed as a mad scientist for Halloween. We went to the mud park, the beach, and the fireworks on the 4th of July. There was LegoLand. There was an Easter egg hunt and there were a number of teeth left for the tooth fairy. I will remember us, in this house at the end of the street. 

I am ready to meet 2014 and see what the next 365 days will bring.

Happy 2014.