Saturday, October 10, 2009

Shameless Halloween Showoffs

The sweats start in September. Not from the start of school but the looming deadline of Halloween. I make costumes for my kids mostly because of the need for variety - my kids aren't "off the rack" so why should their costumes be? - and because $40 for $10 quality, in this arena, just totally pisses me off. I also have kids willing to let me. Rather, the oldest has been, and the others let me when it makes sense. So far, in the last four years, I've mostly gotten away with one costume for one kid per year, really, so I've been lucky. This year is no different. Cairo wants to be Harry Potter, though it was a race car driver before this. I want to talk him back into the latter, but there is no budging him. I've done this one before (in 2001) but it disappeared a week after Halloween and has never been seen again.

So, as I piece together old bits of black satin in mismatched pieces (yards and yards of it) with the used pattern, I find myself in another crazy mom-dilemma. I am piecing together a costume similar to one seen before in this family from spare parts - so am I neglecting my younger son because I am piecing it together. It is out of
necessity really and opportunity in that I have the stuff, but have to work twice as hard to get it together. For a robe. Alas. I will hem on.



Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Happy Birthday, Ryan


My oldest turns 17 today; I suppose he is 17 at this point. He was up early and gone half an hour before normal slogging-time this morning because he got a call at 11 last night demanding he be early. So he is. I demanded pictures - it's one of the reasons I got him the phone, after all....

With this momentus day, I can't help but to reflect, almost more than I do on my own birthday. After all, on my day it's just a mark of time passing. Here, today, I have to question all of it. Did I do right by him? Am I showing a good role model? Am I leading him to greatness or just middleroad mediocrity? Will he get what it is to live or remain in the confines of structural rules forever? What will his future hold and have I prepared him for it at all? Doubt, regret, fear, hope... it all crawls into it.

Fearfully, I find remeberance falls into it, too. I can't help but apply my own youthful experiences to him. But with so many differences, how can it be relevant at all? Plus, I'm not a boy. That and I was living on my own in my mother's house with four strangers and no guiding focus at 17; hardly relevant to my son, the junior. I try to simply remember my attitude about life at 17 so that I can react to him without being superiorly defensive. I knew everything at 17, the world was messed up, I had to find my niche to fix it all, and I just had to go to college because that is what you do. With these glasses, I often can only nod, knowingly, to his revelations on life, to his requests to go out with friends at 11pm on a school night, to his inability to discuss something scheduled for next week because AP tests are this week ("I'm just stressed, mom, and can't face it now"). I don't laugh in his presence about it; it's all so very critical, so life-ending, so important. Because, now, 20-years on, it is so important what my SAT score was and what Michelle thought of me. Those thoughts, that path, led me here, no doubt, but not without so much more in between. But he doesn't know this yet, he can't. So I can't treat him as though he does.

I can't imagine I'll be done with these thoughts in a year. Protective, motherly thoughts don't stop when the child officially becomes not-a-child. I just chose his path to be one of the things I didn't have, not one of the familiar things I did, and hope to have made his life better for it.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

3WW - Limmerick

Inspired by 3 Word Wednesday:

A stunning young girl had a ploy
to meet a handsome young boy
she'd flirt and she'd wink
when he'd buy her a drink
She'd box him and make him her toy.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Suburban Jungle

I often lose sight of the placement of my home in the midst of the sagebrush. With concrete between me and the earth, surrounded by pressboard, paint and other constructions, I have to lose sight of it.

The year of the Ox is supposed to be one of stoic maintenance, moving forward constantly without much upheaval or change. We have been upheaved or at least unsettled since the Chinese New Year. That is when the crickets seemed to move in. It was particularly cold. There were a few here and there... just enough to entertain and frighten the kids. We didn't have a plague of them, just a few. They are good luck but I couldn't keep them inside, so I would catch them each and release outside figuring the let-live karma was better than the entrapment.

Monday I took the day off to see the kids activities. When swinging into the driveway my daughter yells "Mom! Bug! Bug!". A grasshopper had jumped in through the window of my moving car. And this was no cute, little rpophessagr but a huge, Bug's Life Melanoplus differentialis. He/she quickly wedged into the back window head first... apparently "reverse" isn't a gear grasshoppers go into. I grabbed the wings and tried to pull and got fingers kicked for my trouble. Donning gloves, I was able to put him/her out of my car and into a glass vase for the boys to see after school.

That morning, Dick and I couldn't figure out why there were sticks all over the balcony. That evening, we heard cooing. We had us a pair of nesting doves in our eaves. They would perch on the balcony rail and watch through the window trying to decide, I guess, if we were safe... or if they would be. I guess they decided we were ok.

I ran in the water reclaimation/wilderness park near my office. The migratory birds are not back yet. Just a flit here and there from the smaller birds and the lizards. It made me wonder about the confidence that size brings. The tiny brown birds dart from bush to bush, hiding, flitting and using their speed to survive. The cranes and herons that frequent the lakes do no such thing. They stand and prance, almost daring you closer, at which point they fly off in long, slow, graceful arcs to sit atop a high perch; it is amazing to see such large birds perched in trees after seeing them in the path nearly looking me in the eye.

The crickets are gone. The grasshopper was released to the rose garden. Dick came home yesterday to more sticks on the patio and a broken, tiny egg. The doves have not returned. Life. It's a funny thing.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Inspired by 3 word wednesday

This site posts three words for inspiration to include in a poem, sonnet, story or musing of your choosing. I've been following and somehow was sparked, what with the word choices containing some of my favorites. So, after having not expressed myself in poetry since adolescence, I submit the following simple beat:

My thoughts in disarray
I emerge
queen of the rabble
to validate my own meandering experience

Thanks 3WW. I hope to have inspired from your cue.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Wednesday run through the park

Went on a run/walk after four hours of meetings - three were a conference call/strategy session w/ 20-people in NC in which I was the only one on the phone. That was so productive! Three hours of spinning incoherence while I ate my left over lasagna at my desk hoping the still-frozen parts would thaw enough to help heal the tounge-cheese-burn from the first bite. Had to get outside out of my chair.

I ran through the Wildlife Preserve near my office. It is quite amazing that, in 10-minutes, I can leave the concrete jungle for black-necked stilts
and great blue herons. I have a loop that extends to almost 3 miles when I feel good and cuts to 2 when I don't. There are sandy parts, rocky parts, parts near the water, parts in the shade of trees or tall grass and even a wooden bridge. Being a water plant and a wildlife preserve, there's always something to see and I'm always better for being there.

This time of year, the migrations have finished, so there weren't many birds, and it's too early and cold for butterfiles. There was a duck swimming from me in a pond/river making the rippled V that they do. There were a few small brown birds (finches? smaller than swallows) flitting across my path. Most interesting though, was the water surrounding the bridge. Today was the first time I had seen water around the bridge, and it was right up to the base of the bridge. That makes it all of about eight-inches deep, but the bridge cuts across a large flat plain so the volume of water is significant. It reminded me that the last time I ran through on the 3-mile path, I had to turn around for one of the lakes overflowed it's banks in the heavy rain before Christmas and flooded the trail. This water was probably the same, coming in droves and not baking off yet. Amazing.

distance: 2.26 mi
Time: 35 min