Random thoughts and observations from the past month
• When asked to describe Kate, I have said, “Kate is 13. She’s bipolar.” Heads nod. Then I say, “She’s 13 … and she’s bipolar.” That’s when the looks of sympathy begin.
• We went to the beach recently with the kids, which provided another opportunity for me to clarify a key definition. Some, naively, call family outings like this a “vacation.” I call them a “trip.” Vacation, for me, is an opportunity to do things on my schedule. I can sleep when I want, wake up when I want, read when I want, and talk without fear of being interrupted by someone who is not yet of legal status. Everything else is just a “trip,” often in more ways than one.
• I can’t help but feel sorry for Nicholas. It must be tough (and confusing) to be anal-retentive and ADD at the same time. Or you could just call it being a teenager.
• Two things I’ve always wanted to do: draw and sing. The talent fates intervened, however. I can’t draw a stick figure and I lip-synch “Happy Birthday” even (or especially) in large crowds. Fortunately, I’m surrounded by a family of singers and artists who allow me to live with and through them somewhat vicariously.
• The maturity and creativity of my kids — and conversely, the lack thereof — astounds us daily. This is especially true when Nicholas is here. I never know what project, poster, performance (or mess) is lurking when I walk through the door.
• Emma and Kate remind me of the sisters in Jennifer Weiner’s book, In Her Shoes. The only thing they will end up having in common is shoe size. Right now, their theme song should be “Cat Scratch Fever”; parents of teen girls are old enough and have the experience necessary to understand that Ted Nugent reference.
• Speaking of which, I never thought I would include Ted Nugent in anything I ever wrote. Of course, I never thought I would come close to agreeing with Glenn Beck on anything either. But the other day, I found myself nodding at his recent non-confrontational stand on gay marriage. Further proof that it’s a strange world we live in, folks.
• I still can’t get over the fact that I have four kids in four schools in three states, or that the baby of the family (by a minute, as Emma proudly notes) is living, thriving and holding a steady job in Manhattan at the ripe old age of 12. Go, Ben!
• As a child, I was always frustrated by the things I couldn’t do (see the previously mentioned drawing and singing). And, believe it or not, I hated to write. Then I found a keyboard and realized that I finally had a tool that could match the speed at which my brain works (plus the value-add of spell check). Recently, I decided to take up non-kid related photography and started snapping just the things that catch my eye. Finally, I’ve found another outlet for artistic expression.
• Kate has a new theme song, and it’s a mash-up of two pieces you might be familiar with: “It’s just another Manic Monday … Tuesday, Wednesday — Happy Days!! Thursday, Friday…”
• I may have said this before, but just in case: Emma is the Marilyn to our Herman, Lily, Grandpa and Eddie. And, with all due apologies for mixing my 1960s sitcoms, I’m sure there’s a Cousin It thrown in there somewhere for show.
• A work discussion about the merits of cloth vs. disposable diapers led to this epiphany: I now know why I have certain reading habits. (Editor’s note/Public Service Announcement: The following statement is not necessarily for the squeamish and may qualify as TMI.)
The aforementioned habit is the result of my mom — a teacher through and through — putting a calendar in front of my face while I potty trained. Little did she know that by teaching me numbers — “Mommy, what is 2 and 1…?” — she was planting a seed while I sat on the plastic bowl.
The less said here, the better.
- Nov 1, 2019
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