Saturday, September 29, 2007

Wisdom of Experience

While I watching my sister's 3-year-old twins. RC ripping toys from his cousins' hands:

Me (exasperated): RC! Do you want a time out?

The Nephew (conspiratorial whisper out the side of his mouth): Say "no."

Clearly, the Nephew had been fooled by the trick question before.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

And I Think To Myself...

What a Wonderful World. My heart is smiling, too. I love you, HRH.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Worst Thing That Could Ever Happen to a Parent

We were at my MIL's today after gymnastics so Andy could assist her in planting some arborvitae. My SIL was there too. Then Andy's brother phoned. He had been called to the hospital because their neighbor's seven-year-old daughter had collapsed at her soccer game and died.

I can't wrap my brain around it and I can't stop thinking about it. I have very few details. The whole extended family had gathered at the hospital. My BIL was there because the father is his best friend since childhood. The one thought that keeps repeating like a broken record is this is the worst thing that could ever happen.

What happens now? For the longest time, they stayed at the hospital. The mom, just holding her daughter. How can you let go? Letting go means losing that last connection. How do you leave? How do you go home? If they're like me, her pajamas, that she was told to pick up are lying on the floor. Her breakfast dishes are in the sink. Her bed's not made.

These parents have to explain to their two remaining little girls that their sister is dead. One of the girls is little older than a toddler - they'll have to explain it again and again. They'll have to plan a funeral. They'll have to think about their little girl's body being autopsied. They'll have to figure out which dress to bury her in.

They don't have the 'luxury' of getting into bed and pulling the covers over their heads. They have to get up tomorrow morning. They have to get on with their lives. I can't imagine how.

I pray they hadn't been yelling at her this morning. I pray both of them were there, not doing the typical 'divide and conquer' of weekend parenting. I pray her sisters were not there. I pray she wasn't scared. I think about the other kids at the soccer game, about her classmates and friends. About how far-reaching her death will be.

We all know it; it's our worst fear and yet, we don't allow ourselves to think about it. Today, I've thought of nothing else. And I've hugged my kids a little tighter.

Monday, September 17, 2007

You Fucked with the Wrong Marine!

Last Wednesday was HRH's second day of school and to celebrate, I took RC out with me to buy Andy a couple of new pairs of khakis and some new shirts. I'm a party girl from way back.

Anyway, he liked the way the first pair fit (same pants, different colors) and wore them on Thursday. Friday is casual day so he went to work in jeans. This morning as he was putting on the second pair, he noticed that each pant leg had an approximately one inch cut along both seams on the cuff.

This afternoon, I went to exchange them, receipt in hand. The cashier provided me with a green ‘exchange ticket’ and I began looking for a similar pair and browsing. When I approached the cashier station a second time, the store manager was up there and told me that he would not exchange the pants and accused me of purposely altering them.

He stated that 'his cashier' would never have allowed them to leave the store this way - uh-huh???

He questioned me as to why they were damp - they were not, merely cold from being in the car on a cold day.

He said they smelled of laundry detergent - they did not.

He asked why the tags were off - uh, because my husband had planned to wear the pants to work that day.

He asked why I had not noticed the cuts - because I was shopping without my husband and am not in the habit of trying on his clothing.

Dude, you got me, this is what I do for fun. I take a pair of twenty-freakin'-five dollar pants home, wait a few days, wreck them, then bring them back to the store so my kids can run around like wild men while I fight with a retail store manager. That's my idea of a good time. Afterward, I'm going to load the kids up with sugar, then go to a busy restaurant, where I'll return my food.

Eventually, while the kids destroyed a cuff link display (I totally let them) and as three other sets of patrons witnessed our tete-a-tete, he acquiesced and agreed to exchange the pants this one time.

Even now, two hours later, after writing the requisite hate letter to the corporate office and calling my immediate family to vent I'm so filled with righteous indignation, I had to blog...

Picture Jack Nicolson in A Few Good Men (only I'm innocent): I eat breakfast 3 feet from two preschoolers plotting to kill me. So don't think for one second you can come down here, flash a tape measure and make me nervous.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

What's for Breakfast?

RC (opening mouth wide): Mommy, look what I eat!

Mommy (nervously peering in): What did you eat, baby?

RC: Booger! Like dinner.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

This is why we can't have nice things - Part 1

And now for a scenic tour of the things that have gotten wrecked by my kids:

Item 1: This is part of the loveseat we bought for the playroom less than a year ago. This one-of-a-kind throw pillow art brought to you by HRH (at least they're happy faces).
Item 2: My MIL is sabotaging my attempts to purchase a new diningroom set by giving us her old one (which in itself was a hand-me-down). This is the one chair I've recovered so far. It's now got something greasy on it.
Item 3: HRH told me he liked Fluff not jelly. I suggested he try it. In case you were wondering, he's still a Fluff guy.

Item 4: We have one of those combination DVD/VCR players on which the DVD portion is broken. Rather than rush out to buy a new one, we brought another DVD player in and threw it on top of the TV. To switch between DVD and VCR we simply slide the TV cabinet out and reconnect the cords - sometimes two to three times a day. This is the floor in front of it. Lovely.

Item 5: I used to use coasters on this table. When I say it's distressed, I mean it.

Item 6: The wall beside HRH's seat at the kitchen table. In his defense, the wall jogs out where a supporting beam had to go when we enlarged the kitchen.

Item 7: This is the wall next to RC's seat at the kitchen table. The two top circles are around two screws indicating where the phone used to be. During dinner, RC would continuously knock the phone onto his own head and/or wrap the cords around his neck. You'll also notice the rather large picture hanging over the table. It doubles very nicely as a pendulum when swung with enough force by a fork.

Item 8: Okay, the cat shredded the arm of the couch, not the kids. But you get the idea.

We can't have nice things.
Stay tuned for "This is why we can't have nice things Part 2 - The Car."

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Requiem for a Friendship

Following the death of his father, Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote this amazing piece of music, Pie Jesu, which was sung by his then wife, Sarah Brightman. I think Sarah is basically a big cow but her voice is truly an instrument. It is crystal; it is as clear as 1st violin solo and as haunting.

Andrew has always reminded me of a turtle but again, his work is astounding. I had the thrill of seeing Phantom of the Opera for the first time in Los Angeles, performed by Michael Crawford, who originated the role of The Phantom in London. What always struck me about Webber's gift was its ability to allow him to so beautifully express emotions, in the case of Pie Jesu, his grief.

My birthday was this past Sunday and my best friend, didn't call and hasn't sent a card. I miss her and I miss our relationship in the same way that I would its death.

Chris and I began our friendship when she transferred to my school in 7th grade and we began bike riding together. She is/was my soulmate in a way that I don't know that spouses can ever be. Someone who totally got me and loved me anyway. She and I shared every secret. We traveled to Bermuda together senior year in high school and went on a cruise together for her bachelorette party. I've pulled her away from the wrong guy at a club and she's held my hair when I threw up from too much booze.

When she got married in 1994, we spent the week leading up to her wedding doing last minute tasks and drinking cheap champagne everyday. When her dad died nearly 10 years ago, she asked me to go back to her mom's house after the wake because my presence comforted her. I knew where the wine glasses were before her own brother did and I was lumped together by her mother with Chris and her sisters as one of "her girls." I was in the hospital room with Chris and her husband the day her son was born, toasting him with champagne.

We used to go walking together for miles and miles and always said that it was cheaper than therapy and better aerobic exercise as we solved all our problems as the day turned to night. Together with her cousin and our friend, Wendy, the four of us played together throughout our 20s and into marriage and babies. We claimed that anyone near us at a restaurant got an earful funnier, raunchier, and more accurate than any episode of Sex and the City.

Now I'm at home and Chris is back to work as a teacher. I've seen her two or three times in the past year and talked to her by phone only a handful more. We've lost our connection.

I understand that we're all busy with our lives, I understand that her boys are in different places than mine. I get all of that but that doesn't change the fact that I miss her and I worry about her. She needs my friendship as much as I need hers. It's a touchstone, a reality check, something to feel good about - someone who knows who we really are - not who we pretend or want to be.

I don't know that we can ever pick up where we were. I don't know if there will ever be a person in my life that I am so totally connected with. And I'm angry and sad and it reduces me to tears. Like a death.

Friday, September 7, 2007

The Backside of Determination

One of the primary reasons I live near Boston is because of its excellent health care facilities.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

As American as Baseball and Margaritas

I've got a mixed (but mostly positive) review about Jimmy Buffett's Labor Day Weekend Show this past Sunday.

If you've never been to a Buffett concert, it's important to note that the pre-concert tailgate is like NOTHING you've ever seen before. It truly is a one-day vacation. As one friend put it years ago, you're as likely to see Volvos and minivans as you are to see beaters and just as likely to smell cigar smoke as marijuana smoke. The age of the crowd varies widely. Just in our group, the oldest was closing in on 60 and the youngest was 26. Lots of people bring their kids. We opt not. So here was my day:

For starters, I made sure I was dressed appropriately:Many, many positive comments on the t-shirt and I was quick to give you full credit, Kristen.

We met up at my brother's house, where he informed us that he had a friend from work coming on an extra ticket. Turns out the co-worker is one of my very best friends that I've known since I was a freshman in high school. This made my whole day. And the more I drank, the happier I was he was there.We hit the parking lot around 12:00 noon for an 8:00 pm show - and the lot we were in closed shortly after we arrived. It's an all-day affair and we're veterans, so we come prepared for every eventuality. Delightful.

In past years, the show has been at Great Woods/The Tweeter Center in Mansfield, MA. This is a terrific venue with lawn seats, a pavillion, and a huge parking lot. The rules are pretty relaxed on Buffett days regarding open containers so you can spend a good chunk of the day wandering and drinking/drinking and wandering.

This year, it was at Gillette Stadium , so people-watching involves moving between parking lots by way of Rte 1. FYI: Mass State Police: less relaxed than the aforementioned Tweeter Security but still great guys considering.

All that being said, I still did manage to see a lot of people and things and meet some new friends as well.
After this point, I stopped carrying my cell phone and camera. So, luckily, there are few recorded images of me (thank God). My friend, David will also say amen that I haven't posted his pirate pictures. I do wish I had a picture of that 24-year-old I was dancing with at to Fins. Hmph.

The concert itself was good. I don't know if it was up to usual standards. While Gillette is great place to watch The Patriots in my opinion, it lacks the intimacy most conducive to a full Buffett experience. Maybe it was too big for Jimmy as well. He seemed a bit off.

I'll take an okay Jimmy Buffett concert over a day of laundry and dishes any day. When you're at Buffett, everyone's 22 without a care in the world - at least for a few hours. And that's about how long I like it.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Mental Yoga

Slouching Mom passed along a challenge for a 26 word poem, each word beginning with a consecutive letter of the alphabet. Below is my (feeble) attempt:

Again, boys challenge
Dueling, Edipus forever

Girls hide, ironically
Justice kind

Loving means naught, obviously

Patient queries
Reasoned Scenarios

To understand vitriol

Whithering Xanadu
Yearning Zen

Try your own and email me the link and I'll post.

Blog Designed by: NW Designs