like I’m coming down with something,
something worse than any stomach ache
or the headaches I get from reading in bad light–
a kind of measles of the spirit,
a mumps of the psyche,
a disfiguring chicken pox of the soul.
You tell me it is too early to be looking back,
but that is because you have forgotten
the perfect simplicity of being one
and the beautiful complexity introduced by two.
But I can lie on my bed and remember every digit.
At four I was an Arabian wizard.
I could make myself invisible
by drinking a glass of milk a certain way.
At seven I was a soldier, at nine a prince.
But now I am mostly at the window
watching the late afternoon light.
Back then it never fell so solemnly
against the side of my tree house,
and my bicycle never leaned against the garage
as it does today,
all the dark blue speed drained out of it.
This is the beginning of sadness, I say to myself,
as I walk through the universe in my sneakers.
It is time to say good-bye to my imaginary friends,
time to turn the first big number.
It seems only yesterday I used to believe
there was nothing under my skin but light.
If you cut me I could shine.
But now when I fall upon the sidewalks of life,
I skin my knees. I bleed.
1) It’s not a small thing to be married for 38 years. Congratulations and humble thanks to my mother and father who have made it this far together. My mother was 19 when they married, and one year later she had twin babies. 13 months later my sister was born. I was four when my brother Eric was born, and seven when my brother Patrick came. I used to carry him everywhere, like a mother cat carries her kitten in her mouth. Once a photographer took a picture of me with him on my lap as I rode a big wheel all the way around our long neighborhood block. He was less than a year old. Once we had a blind babysitter. Oh my, times have changed. But my parent’s are still married.
2) Since I’m a big fan of Ben Kingsley, I really enjoyed this article I saw in Newsweek the other day. A reminder: Don’t be average. Whatever you are or do, go beyond what you think you have.
3) My article written for Deseret News was featured as a front page rotater (clap hands and do happy dance now). Thanks for reading, fb friends! The front picture was taken by Gregor. It shows me walking down the hill with Nelson in the stroller and Cope as a 4-year-old. Oh sweet days.
I got the assignment yesterday morning and lucky for me, Paige had a playdate. I set up a tea party, sprinted back to the computer to make sure ‘shot heard round the world’ was actually a revolutionary war reference and not Abraham Lincoln, and back to tea party to clean up milk and sing happy birthday. It was grand and exhilerating.
I’ve been learning all sorts of things lately. For instance:
1. Did you know that Target now sells Panera’s Cheddar Broccoli Soup? This is based purely on something I heard. But, it was a reliable source. We could be in very big trouble.
2. My 5th grader was sent outside in zero degree weather yesterday with his sleeves rolled up to study, “Behavioral and physical automatic thermoregulation.” And he explained what this meant: Physical thermoregulation is automatic, no control, shivering of the body to warm self, teeth chattering response. Behavioral regulation is something you can control like hopping up and down insanely fast and rubbing arms to try to keep warm. I’ve decided that rather than a cruel and unusual scientific experiment, this was pretty cool.
3. Blogger vs. WordPress. Some people say WordPress is more advanced. Here’s one example: If someone leaves you a comment you can have it sent to your email inbox. Blogger does have this feature which I’ve recently discovered. However, Wordpress lets you respond directly on your email, to the commenter’s email inbox and posts it directly to your comment box on your blog. That, my friends, is pretty cool.
Blogger, are you listening?
4. My friend Becky passes me her People magazine when she done with it. But this is the year I am giving it up! Even when I think I’ve hidden it, too many times I’ve seen my eldest turning the pages in a trance-like state. And it makes me cringe. Besides my knee-jerk reaction to grabbing the “Best of” issue sitting on her desk yesterday (!), I don’t think I’ll miss it.
6. Speaking of pop culture, I learned the other night that I just can’t watch a certain matchmaking season. Maybe I’m at war with pop culture. Why are we fascinated with famous people? It’s like a glorified junior high rat race. The more I know about celebrities the more I wonder why in the world there is anything to like about them. War, I say.
7. I’m so sick of politics. The thought of another election wearies me.
8. G. and I take turns being the pushover and the firm parent. A certain child is staying home today. I let her stay home and he was annoyed. But we switch pushover/firm tendencies all the time. What are the factors for this?
9. I learned last night that my husband was a college professor but his night to teach conflicted with my dance class and I was annoyed. Wait, that was just a dream. Aren’t dreams strange and curious?
10. I learned there is only so long you put off cleaning the house and be on blogger before your 4-year-old puts her foot down and throws a tantrum. We are throwing away, dejunking, cleaning the whole house today! I’ve learned I get very excited at this prospect.
Have you learned anything recently? Here’s a great quote for you:
1. I received both an email and a text delivering me most disturbing news: Friendly’s is declaring bankruptcy. Totally unacceptable. A night without the much-needed Forbidden Chocolate Ice-Cream is hardly a night at all. If you really love me, SAVE this company. For mere millions you too can keep me (and many more) happy forever.
2. I was at Market Basket yesterday with Paige. If she’s good she gets a quarter to either ride the horse or put it in one of those slot machines. Guess what was for sale? Voo-Doo Dolls. I am seriously disturbed. In the grocery store for a quarter for my child to buy. To stick pins in and pretend she’s torturing her arch enemy? Or worse, her mother? If I have a sudden demise, you can look to Paige.
3. I would boycott MB except it’s my favorite grocery store and Forbidden Chocolate is the best buy. The produce is fantastic and the 12 grain bread (my favorite!) is only $1.89!
4. This morning my alarm went off at 4:41. And it was cold. And dark. I so wanted to crawl back into bed that Paige has pretty much taken over. I pulled on my running tights (1st time this season!), long shirt, and put on the headlamp. My buddy showed up and off we went. The sun never came up but six miles was put on the training log. I was showered and dressed before any children or (or the sun) were up. Now, if I’d just go to bed at night I wouldn’t need a nap at 7:30a.m.
5. A certain child has recently begun reading my blog. I write to record our life right now. I love to look back over the years and see what we were doing and how everyone has grown. Certain child did not enjoy certain personal aspects of her life showcased. I have now been banned by my husband and Certain Oldest Child in blogging about “embarrassing” things. “Mom! Don’t ever mention the P word again!” Ah…but they give me such good material to work with.
6. We are in the middle of soccer craziness. I’m still coaching Cope’s team and having a great time but it’s time for the season to come to a close. They have been soooooo good, but my little ones are in great need of coming home to a quieter calm environment. Piano has been put on the back burner. Homework is done in the car. Dinner is shoved in. We have 4 games this week, 2 of them away, Nelson starts indoor on Saturday (what was I thinking?), and then 3 games and a banquet next week. Nelson’s 5th grade boy team plays Cope’s 7th grade team this Friday (pictures!), I get to scrimmage my team Tuesday with parents, and then next Thursday my top tier team gets to play Gregor’s high school JV2 team (pictures!). Whew. And then. Done.
7. I told Brynne and Paige I would get them a treat at the end of the season for being so patient and hanging out on so many soccer fields and playgrounds while they wait for me. I was thinking Skittles. Brynne said, “How about a dress?”
8. Did you know that only 1% of blog readers leave comments? Are you one of the few? The proud? The brave?
9. At church, I was in charge of the Primary Presentation where all the kids sing and have a part to say at the microphone. It went well and the spirits of those children were so strong. Cope sang a beautiful solo that brought tears to many eyes (is that embarrassing???) Now I’m gearing up for the annual Halloween Trunk or Treat. After October 29th life is going to feel so much lighter. I’m getting a massage.
10. And for the most important item, Gregor and I only have 10 more episodes of Friday Night Lights left. Oh sadness. We have bonded over every Coach Eric call, his great moral character that never lets you down, his strong Texan wife, the Dillon Panthers, tragedy and redemption at every turn, Landry!, every tough two-a-day, Buddy Garrity’s flawed but likability, Smash, Lila, Tyra’s gumption, and most of all: Tim Riggins. Oh yes, I’m going to miss you. Sniff.
I suppose we are all hypocrites. We often say one thing and then do another. We pass judgment all the time based on personal experiences, rumors, assumptions, clothing, cars, houses, and the way people behave. But do we judge correctly?
We have to judge. We have to make decisions based on information that we have. But we should make sure we have the right information. Do we see things the way they really are? Is our perception the right perception?
Examples this week:
1. A Southern Evangelical Christian Pastor called my religion a “cult” and said that I was not Christian. To make matters worse he did it on national t.v., tried to explain it (poorly) to Anderson Cooper (who, in my opinion, is such a class act), and then told his congregation who they should vote for in the upcoming political election.
This is frustrating to me. My whole life I’ve gotten some very interesting questions. Do you use electricity? Do you celebrate Christmas? Do you believe in the Bible? The answer to all of those questions is YES. I like questions! I like when people ask instead of assume. What I don’t like is snap judgments that are so far off they’re laughable. What isn’t laughable is when other people believe them.
For the record, “Mormon” is a nickname given to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Click on the link. Watch some great talks. Want a Book of Mormon? It’s not a secret book. You can check it out from the library. I can give you one. You can read it yourself. You can click Here to see frequently asked questions.
If you wanted to learn more about the Jewish people, wouldn’t you, say, visit a synagogue or ask a Jewish person what they believe? Seriously.
2. On a smaller scale, yesterday Cope had a soccer game. From her perspective, a girl tripped her, fell on top of her, then rammed her knee into her shin. The other girl’s mother’s perspective was very different. She screamed for everyone to “take a knee!” Then she leaned down toward a little boy, looked at Cope and loudly declared, “Did you see that mean Andover girl? She tripped your sister who was very brave and got up and walked across the soccer field.” tsk tsk.
Who was right?
I know my daughter. She is not a mean person, certainly not a violent person and in fact, we are often telling her to be more aggressive and less timid on the soccer field. Am I seeing this situation correctly? I know I’m competitive. I love a good game. I love to win.
Even if we all watched the replay, would we see what really happened or would we see only what we wanted to see?
3. This morning the alarm went off, waking me with cheery news: An Iranian terrorist group was arrested for plotting to blow up a Saudi diplomat in an American restaurant.
Wow. How does a group, a people, individuals, get to the point where their perspective is so extreme they are willing to kill others?
Perhaps I am just a pacifist. I don’t like fighting. I like people to be nice.
The great thing about life is agency. We can all act for ourselves. We all have a brain. We can all think for ourselves. That preacher, that soccer mom, that Iranian, this blogger – we’re all entitled to our own opinions. We all have different things we believe in. This is good. It makes life interesting. It forces us to learn about other people and then decide for ourselves.
Be passionate. Stand up for the things you believe in! But lift others, carry them with you. Don’t chew them up and spit them out just so you can get ahead.
When I was little my parents taught me how to cross a street: Slow down. Stop. Look both ways. Then cross. Let us be careful…for it has been said in the preeminent Christian text, that with what judgment we judge others, the same judgment will be used against us.
Lynn G. Robbins said, “The Savior often denounced those who did without being – calling them hypocrites: ‘This people honoureth me with their lips, bur their heart is far from me’ (Mark 7:6). To do without to be is hypocrisy, or feigning to be what one is not – a pretender.”
1. I think a boy has a crush on my daughter. He’s super nice to her and kicks her with the soccer ball every single soccer practice (ah, love in middle school) and picked her 3rd for his team today. Even when there were boys who were better than her. She gave me the best smile. The perks of coaching your daughter’s soccer team is you can spy on them.
2. This same girl of mine “broke up” with her boyfriend today. This is only funny b/c ever since they started “going out” (a year ago!) they have said precisely five words to each other. The reason they broke up was b/c yesterday at church her teacher was talking about waiting to date until you’re 16. My daughter then went to school to explain her reasons to this boy who probably wondered what the heck she was talking about but now this daughter of mine wonders if she should clarify this explanation to this boy since what if she wants to “go out” with someone else which really doesn’t count as “dating” since you never talk or go anywhere together and it’s basically just a status thing anyway. Whew! I told her to let it go and for heavens sake… the drama just continues to escalate!
3. And I have three daughters.
4. On a more serious note, I have a monster eclair waiting in the refrigerator for me right now so why the heck am I blogging about my 12-year-old daughter’s love life?
5. I am writing an essay for the Real Simple contest, “When Did You Know the Real Meaning of Love?” Maybe I should start over and write about my daughter? I really want to win even though I know I won’t. But if I did I would win $3000 and a trip to New York to see a broadway show. And that would be wicked cool.
6. My Thesaurus says *neat, *excellent, *groovy, and *keen are all alternate definitions for “cool.” I wonder if that applies to “wicked cool” because “keen” is not nearly as cool as “wicked cool.”
7. My husband fell asleep at 8:30 tonight and he gives me a really bad time about falling asleep early on him. But I’ll forgive him. Because he had a hard day and sometimes people should be nice to him too.
8. I put my Calpurnia book down and started “Sarah’s Key” because it was at the library and I heard it was good. I snatched it right up and I can’t put it down even though it’s so so so tremendously sad…please get that little boy out of the cupboard. This is the stuff that gives me nightmares. It’s an important subject (1940s Holocaust) and the writing is excellent.
9. Did you know mushrooms are a great post-run snack? They contain potassium. So eat up.
10. I just took a bite of my eclair. It tastes nothing like a mushroom. Did I mention it’s from Mike’s Pastries down in Boston? Oh my gosh. My husband got it for me yesterday after he had been gone most of the week. Love? That my friends, is the real meaning of love.