"Finish that last bite, Caed. And then I think we should play the original Sorry game," he said, shooting me his all too familiar half-winking-wait-till-you-see-this look.

"How do you play the original Sorry, Daddy? Do we already have that game or do you have to buy it?" Caed asked, his mouth full with the last of the green beans.

"I'll show you. C'mere Dani. You can play first."

Dani padded over to his lap, climbed on without prompting. Daddy's arms clamped instantly round her, and she squealed and squirmed.

"Do you want me to let you go?" he asked.
"No," she giggled.

"I don't get it. Is this the original Sorry? Don't you use a board and pawns and stuff?" Caed questioned, still chewing.

Dani kept giggling, squirming. "Lemme go! Lemme go now!"

"SAAAH-REE!" Daddy replied.

Caed bounded over to the chair. "I wanna play now! I wanna play! My turn, Daddy?"

And so it was that the original game of Sorry came to trump all other games. Now, instead of a bedtime game of UNO or Sorry (the real one) or Zingo or Chutes and Ladders, the request is always, always, always: "Please, please, can we play the original game of Sorry?"

As for Daddy, he might be a little sore and a lot tired of this anything-but-a-board game, but he's not sorry. No, he's not sorry at all.


Tomorrow comes quickly

"I had the jitters last night before my big first day," he whispers as I tuck him in. "But only the good kind--the excited kind, not the nervous kind."

"I'm so glad you love school, Bud. So, so glad."

I kiss his forehead, rub the top of his freshly buzzed head, pull his beloved green blankie up to his shoulders.

When did he grow from only three weeks old to just three weeks shy of seven? And how did I get here--a mom not of babies or toddlers or preschoolers, but actual schoolers?

I'll tell you how. One night at a time.

One sleepless, restful, too long, too short night at a time. Growth takes them by the hand while they dream, leads my babies from one size to the next, too slow for my eyes to see, too fast for my heart to accept.

"Good night, big guy. Get some rest. Tomorrow comes quickly." 

Much, much too quickly.


Linked to The Gypsy Mama for Five Minute Friday. Disclaimer: I took a few minutes more than five to write the above as I hadn't intended to link up today. But then I saw Lisa Jo's prompt was "older" and well, it just fit.


Disguised as an ordinary day

In minutes, the sun will rise on the first day of second grade. I look out the kitchen window while I pour the coffee, notice the black backdrop still hanging from the sky. The sun must have hit snooze, pulled dark clouds back over her head. She hides while the rain bullies the height out of the grass. My unsuspecting windows stay open, and morning creeps through the screens smelling like wet bark and frizzy bangs.

I wonder where I'll stage the first-day-of-school picture. I wonder where I put the umbrella. I wonder if it will always feel this anti-climatic--like why wouldn't the bus be stopping to pick him up in half an hour--hasn't it always?

I finish packing the lunch. I set a bowl of yogurt in front of him, a spoon to his left.

I find the umbrella, drape his rain coat over his backpack. It stops raining (and only because I finally found the umbrella).

The dogs paw at the screen door, desperate to join this front porch photo shoot. He says things like "I'm only gonna do lip smiles" and "Dontcha think that's enough pictures, mom?"

 And I say things like "show me that smile, mister too cool for school" and "just a few more pictures, just a few more."
 And just like that, there goes another First, slipping by disguised as an ordinary day.


In which I write about running and run on about writing

They say writing is like exercise. Do it every day, keep using the proverbial writing muscle, and you'll grow to be a better, stronger writer. But I haven't been writing. Not here, not anywhere. So, yeah. Atrophy much?

That said, I've been running like a mad woman. As in real, actual exercise. Not that metaphorical exercise-your-mind-and-grow-in-your-craft crap. I mean real, hard core run-like-a-rabid-dog-is-hot-on-your-heels exercise. When time is limited (as it always is) and I have to choose, I'm choosing the thing that gives me visible results. The more I run, the faster I get. And you can measure fast. And I like the measurable. Can't get enough of the measurable.

Writing gives me none of that. It's all intrinsic and unpinnable. Writing tips my scales toward neurotic. I worry I have nothing of value to say, that my narcissism has grown intolerable, that no one's reading.  But running? Running is just running. I just do it and don't give a rat's patootie whether my tempo run resonated with anyone. 

Running allows me to escape. Whereas writing nails me down, forces confession, twists my heart until I'm willing to look my life in the eye.

So, I guess when I put it that way, it's time to start writing again, isn't it?

(For the record, I totally kicked asphalt on my 8 mile tempo run this morning.)



It's a rainbow wheel, spinning, and I stare at it for what feels like hours. I shake my head and pull at the roots of my hair, my signature not-getting-anywhere move.

It all started with a simple command.  
Now the school supplies list and corresponding coupons are locked in screen prison. And I'm wearing these hours like ill-fitting pants, tugging at the seams--the minutes--to make room, getting nowhere.

My boy goes back to school a week from today. I check the mailbox for the bus schedule, but it hasn't arrived. I return to the house, check the computer. Still spinning.

Should I just give up, force quit?


We arrived home from Becky's on Monday. Tuesday was a blur, and Wednesday--the day I deemed a catch-up day--threatens a similar fate. Spinning.

I intended to post pictures from our fun Virginia visit, but did I mention the Great Spinning Issue of 2011? So instead of an upbeat and silly recap of our trip, you get a melancholy-ish rant about my slow computer and my too-quick life. I'm just not ready to move on (and apparently neither is my Mac).

I'm not that guy in the Staples commercial going skipping through the aisles to the tune of "Most Wonderful Time of the Year." I'm that mom in the Target aisle on the verge of tears, and not just because Target is out of everything on my list and I should've gone to Staples, but because there isn't a darn thing I can buy to get me emotionally ready for another year of school, for my son to turn seven.

Oh, wow, would you look at that? A happy picture! (And this, only 18 hours after my first attempt. Notice how it's no longer Wednesday?)

My computer recovered nicely. I'm still awaiting the prognosis on my emotional operating system. I'm sure I'll get there eventually. I'll return to a stable hum. But it might take an ugly cry at the bus stop (crash! reboot!) before I do.


Alright, friends. How are you feeling about the start of a new season? Are you ready for school?  Are you mad at Target for being out of the glue sticks that you took five hours to print a coupon for? Or is that just me?



The last two weeks have held so many sweet moments, the kind you hope you'll never forget, the kind that wait for no one and aren't terribly keen on posing for the camera.

So this is a list, in no particular order, because it's all I have time for in between the happies.

1. After a week of swimming lessons (and Dani heading toward yet another repeat of the beginner class), Larry joined us at the pool (after having worked 14 hours the night before and having been up for at least 24) and taught his little girl to swim like a fish. A fish with a noodle, that is. But still. She puts her face in the water now and kicks like a champ, thanks to Daddy.

2. Nana and Papa visited this week. The boys (Larry, Caed, Papa) went to the Indians game (the one that had a two-hour rain delay, then lasted 14 innings). And the girls (me, Dani, Nana) went to the Apple store and out to dinner. We sat outside on the deck on a gorgeous night while Dani ate fancy mac-n-cheese and squealed with delight when a "baby birdie" snacked on the noodles that had dropped. Then as we walked through an accessories store on the way back to the car, Dani (after commenting about how she loved all the "neck-uh-laces" and "brace-uh-lets"--she adds her own syllable to both), began to dance like a goofball through the store. She made silly faces in between outbursts of her own laughter. She's our comedian.

3. I took the kids to the science center. They spent over an hour in the kids' area, had a blast, and wonder of wonders, did not bring home any viral souvenirs. This miraculous germ avoidance made me the happiest of all.

4. Caed learned to swim this summer, the ultimate motivation coming from his desire to get in the bigger pool with his cousins and be able to go down to the "super twirly slide". Last week we met the cousins at the pool and Caed went down the slide with his cousins James non-stop for more than an hour. The delight on his face stays with me, even now.

5. We made a pretend volcano, experimenting with baking soda and vinegar on the back porch. The kids were mesmerized. Dani was hesitant at first, wondering if she should change out of flip-flops so the hot lava didn't burn her toes. Caed showed decidedly less caution, imploring me to "just pour in the whole bottle and see how big it gets!"

6. My long-time friend and kindred spirit from college came north for a family visit, and we met for dinner last week. The conversation plunged down to soul-depth before the guacamole arrived. Then within the next ten minutes she had me laughing so hard I almost choked on the coconut-mango rice. She's just that kind of friend. Now if only she didn't live so far away.

7. Speaking of long-time friends, I'm sitting here typing this post at the kitchen table of my dearest friend Becky. The kids and I drove down yesterday for our semi-annual visit. Caed, Max and Dani were too excited to sleep last night, and we figured they'd sleep in this morning. We figured wrong. They're taking the concept of spending "every waking moment" together to a literal extreme. I can't say I blame them. When you're finally reunited with your best-est friends, why waste time sleeping?

8. Oh, I almost forgot! We finally made it to the zoo! The place was packed (what a zoo!), but we still had a chance to feed fish to a seal, feed lettuce to a giraffe, and to wave to the grizzly cups from a very considerable distance. We met up with some new friends, and spent the better part of the day exploring together.

I realize this isn't my typical sort of post--to blurt out bluntly the events of the last few weeks. But I appreciate you indulging me in it, as I simply had to get it down here before the sweet moments disappeared entirely from my memory. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go. A full shipment of happies is due in today, and I need to be there to receive it. Have a great weekend, friends!


Beauty still blooms when we tend to it

I tug at the base of the crab grass, sweat trickling down the slope of my nose, and I think:  

This is grace, showing up in a neglected flower bed. Even after the fall, after all paradise lost, the curse stopped far short of our whole earth shrinking into ugly. 

Beauty still blooms when we tend to it, toil over it, and this is grace.


To Smooth the World's Edges

What if we rolled our Rs instead of our eyes,
if we gazed at faces instead of screens?

What if we wore our listening ears always (no more taking them off only to put them back on),
if we popped off our sunglasses so our eyes could smile along?

What if we tore away at defenses one disarming compliment at at time,
if we stopped screaming "hurry!" and started whispering "wait"?

What if we stopped looking around for something else, someone else, and simply loved and let ourselves be fascinated by the something, the someone right in front of us?

What if we did all of this?

Wouldn't we together sand at least a few harsh edges off the world?


I tend to get worked up about how we will ever feed the children in famine or rescue the women in slavery. I give too much weight to the things I can't fix and not enough weight to the things I can. But there are tiny things we can do to make the world a better place, to make someone's day.  And I've got to believe that the someones and their days add up.

What do you think? What small things can we do to smooth the world's edges, to make someone's day?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
All Rights Reserved - ©MYLESTONES 2007-2012

  © Blogger template Shush by 2009

Back to TOP