Dear Hair

Oh hair, you keep her head warm- with that much mop, there isn’t really an alternative. No scarves necessary, she tells me, just wrap the end around and you make her fuzzy warm. Sigh.

I don’t have the energy to fight the willpower you provide. It’s like the tangles that multiply every time I turn my head, have a hypnotizing effect on her. She doesn’t mind at all the birds’ nests that take up residence over her ears. She is an animal lover after all.

You’ve managed to go such a long time, avoiding the scissors, the brush, the comb, the fingers. It’s quite the miracle really, or the kid simply has a very tired momma. I’m leaning toward the miracle though. I tell you, you’ve given her a steely resolve. Not even the fancy and smooth doos of her besties break her.

You’re a lot darker than you used to be, partly because you are beginning to rival Rapunzel in length. I think if we trimmed you, you would lighten up a bit. I tried that argument once, but you know what I was told hair? Belle, Pocahontas, and Mulan, to name a few, have beautiful darker hair. Oh geez, really?

We’ve reached a braided stalemate mister. It’s buying me some reprieve from the tantrum inducing, tear falling brushing sessions. I suppose I can thank you for that. Although you’ve been looking a little fuzzy around the edges lately, I mean it’s looking lovely my dear. Just lovely.



A Final Poemy Monday- Spine Poetry of a Sort

This final Poemy Monday of 2015 brings a few spine poems of sorts. Deb, over at Show…not tell, wrote a lovely poem using the titles from her slices this month. It sounded like a great idea, so here’s my stab at a few, using the titles of my own slices this month.

Learning to surf,
fast cars and merging lanes,
bring the possibilities.

I don’t want to
find your happy.
But the one and only,
she believes,
in the possibilities.

My Family,
with the guillotine
of my black thumb.|
with the deep dark
sippy secret,
and the black bar of
faux pas.
With the head
of the fun committee,
movie dates,
and glittering the cat.

The signs right in front of us,
farewell dear winter.
The stand in,
my green thumb
by proxy.


The One and Only

Franklin Roosevelt, Charlize Theron, Chelsea Clinton,  John Lennon, Condoleezza Rice, Harry Potter, Leonardo DaVinci, Gandhi, and Madison Koehler

What do all of these remarkable people have in common? For one, most of them have blazed (or in some cases, are blazing) a trail. Some leaving the world in awe and some bringing the world to a better place. They are all trailblazers of one kind or another.  They also are part of an elite group of peeps. They are card-carrying members of the Only Child Club. I  harbor great faith that my one and only, only, is going to live up to the high accolades set before her by the onlies of this world.

When she grows up and takes this world by storm, as she is certain to do, and if we have been unable to provide her with a little brother or sister, will she look back on her siblingless childhood with a sense of nostalgia? While I am sure that she will have some strands of regret at the lack of other little people in our house growing up, I thought that I might be able to wax poetic about the more favorable points of her being an only.  I would remind her:

She was a steadfastly loyal best friend because she always looked to her best friends as brothers and sisters.

Her closest thing to a sister was her cousin, and they got the best benefits without having to live together.

She was always very good with adults because she spent an awful lot of time with two in particular.

She was also able to cultivate an unbelievable sense of humor because her dad is, in essence, a satirical child in a man’s body.

She was always able to get popcorn and a large icee at the movies and dessert at restaurants.

Speaking of restaurants, she got to go to a multitude, which helped develop a phenomenal palette.

Her holidays might have gone quickly (ever egg hunt with one kid?), but were never downsized to accommodate another.

She developed a stellar, walk up to strangers, small talk repertoire and an easy nature in groups.

She has a collection of childhood mementos in perfect condition (no siblings to destroy or maim them) to share with her own children.

Now I am prepared to have this conversation with her, years down the road. To remind her of the positive aspects of being a member of this elite group.  You know, as we are sitting in her campaign office, celebrating her first book signing, or at her post Oscar party.




Find Your Happy

I was having a rough day. One of those everything goes sideways kind of days. You know you’ve been there. Things go up when they should go down. Right when they should go left. In a circle when it should be straight. So I talk to the one person I can talk to when I’m having one of those days. She will keep me grounded, tell me if I am being reasonable or a real pain in the arse. During a recent keep Kim off the ledge conversation, she told me I needed to find my happy.

It’s as simple and complicated as that. Find your happy.

When I curl up with a great book in the corner of my couch, in a quiet house,
I’ve found my happy.
When I sit eye to eye with a student over their writing and talk, writer to writer,
I’ve found my happy.
When I hear my daughter laboring through a book, so proud of being a reader,
I’ve found my happy.
When I am surrounded by students on the playground, telling me about their adventures,
I’ve found my happy.
When I take a walk on an early, cold, crisp morning, taking in all the silence around me,
I’ve found my happy.
When I’m laying in bed on a weekend morning, quietly catching up with my husband,
I’ve found my happy.
When I’m writing about my quest for finding the happy,
I’ve found my happy.

Now I’ve just got to reach out and grab it, and I dare to ask,

Where is your happy?

Maddie is a Workbooker

Maddie is a reader.

Maddie is a writer.

Maddie is a workbooker


What you say?!?!

Yes, that’s right. That girl got her hands on a SpongeBob workbook that came with some SpongeBob books and, boy oh boy, it’s like she has discovered the holy grail of SpongeBob with a side of reading phonics and spelling practice. She might have been able to tell by my slackjaw  and slightly horrified expression at the sight of her bent over this bounded collection of phonics worksheets, that this business is probably not in my wheelhouse.

But of course that did not deter her in the least. She thinks this is the coolest thing in the world. She is “learning” all her vowels here. She is “learning” how to spell all these words. She is “learning” the rules of English by filling in that o on every blank in every word because the whole damn page could be filled out by a monkey that knows how to draw an o.

So for now, or at least until this workbook thing has passed, she is having a ball. And she is so excited about showing all her “smarts” through this venue. Which could be a building block for her drive to pull a book of the shelf, and for the first time, READ it for real. On her own. When it wasn’t homework. In front of Mommy and Daddy. NOT hiding in her room. Because that is what she did and for the life of us, we couldn’t figure out what the driving force was.

So fine. I guess she can keep it.

But I still don’t have to like it.

The Black Bar of Faux Pas

I seem to be surrounded by capable moms. You know who they are: they’re the ones that come sailing through with their capes floating in the breeze. The ones whose children never act out, always eat their veggies, take two baths a day, have five toys (made in the good ol’ US of A), watch their allotted twenty-one minutes of television a day, and sleep like a champ every single night.  They’re the ones who juggle work and mommahood like they were born to do so. They schedule play dates, always know where the library book is, and manage to get their kid to at least three enrichment classes. These moms are what many of us are presented with as the ideal. These are the children that will make something of themselves. And I am sure that they will. In French no less.

And then there’s me. At least me and how I feel on most days that is.

If I sported a cape- it would undoubtedly get caught in the door on my way out. I have a time out spot in my house, have to sneak veggies and ultimately have her find them and not eat anything, fight for bath time a few times a week, am buried in toys (mostly made in China), and get called awake at the crack of dawn. We don’t do play dates. We play with our cousins. The library book could be buried in any given pile and we do ballet. Because it’s a part of her school day.

So. Now we’ve established that on most days you’d see me in the parenting magazine du jour, on the don’ts page with the requisite black bar of faux pas across my face.

But you know what, black bar of faux pas?

My girl has a gigantic heart.
My girl is patient and kind.
My girl has besties, and her besties have her.
My girl has her best ideas at night playing in her bed.
My girl has an imagination to rival anyone.
My girl can make decisions and feel good about them.
My girl speaks the language of being human.
My girl takes her vitamins like a champ.
My girl is a five-year old that likes goulash, sushi, ribs, and burritos.
My girl gives the best hugs and is a cuddle master.
My girl creates masterpieces of song, text, and pictures.
My girl has the best comedic timing.

I think I am going to wear my black bar with pride and me and my girl are going to do just fine.

No Glitter?!

My peanut, as I’ve written about before, is a glitterati aficionado. If it can hold sparkle, you can be damn sure, if she’s creating it, by God, it will have sparkle. Now, Maddie carries around my aunt’s name, sandwiched between ours. She’s that special- first because we always say so, and then simply due to what a rockin cool bad ass our auntie is.

So naturally my kiddo, with a heart the size of Mt. Everest, wanted to come with to the hospital for the surgery to “remove the ouchies from that girl” (thanks Junie B.) She’s one with a spirit old enough to handle such things but we have no desire to place the weight of this on her shoulders. She’ll have that soon enough, if history is any indication.

So we simply had to create something for Ingi.

“She needs smiles momma.”

So we made smiles with flower heads. Of course we did. And my glitterati girl is so so smart.

Oh and momma, no glitter on these things. You know the doctors love glitter, but the hospital, not so much.”

Wow, I think to myself. We are not using glitter. Okay then.

“Let’s just use the paint with the glitter in it instead. That’ll stick good!”

She just can’t help herself.

flowers for ingi



Today, I am going to take note of the little things around me.

Today, I am not going to sweat the small stuff.

Today, I have much bigger fish to fry.

Today, I am going to hold a hand.

Today, I am going to give hugs. Lots of hugs.

Today, I am going to think positive thoughts.

Today, is not my best writing.

Today, I am going to look toward tomorrow.

I Don’t Want to

I don’t want to get up early and have an endlessly long day.
That’s nothing compared to the countless sleepless nights she’s had, resulting in tired mornings and long days.

I don’t want to sit in the uncomfortable waiting room chair for hours on end.
That’s nothing compared to her laying on a cold table for hours on end.

I don’t want to miss work and have to offer excuses to co-workers for my absence.
That’s nothing compared to her going to work and consuming the sadness of her colleagues, her friends.

I don’t want to sit through those doctor speak conversations throughout the day .
That’s nothing compared to the constant barrage of medical communications she has had.

But I’m scared.
And so is she.

But I don’t want to think about the future, minus her.
And neither does she.

But it’s not fair, I cry.
And so does she.

But I don’t want to.
And neither does she.

But I need her.
And she needs me.

So I don’t want to.
But I will.

For her.



Movie Dates

Movie dates.
The marathons began with groups of friends. Cruising the mall and scoring back row seats, sitting with our feet up, munching popcorn bought with funds begged from our ‘rents,  getting hushed by the people around us. Never ever sneaking into other theaters.

Movie dates.
They began with my husband on our first date -gulp- 18 years ago. Jerry Maguire, the scene of our first kiss.  They’ve continued through the years as a perfect evening- some big screen action or comedy, never a drama, and a dinner out.  I’m still not forgiven for tricking him into Evita (WHY is everyone singing so much?).

Movie dates.
They’ve become Sunday Fundays for Mommy and Maddie. Of all my movie dates, these are my most favorite.  For one, I have a built in reason to see every animated kid friendly feature there is. But on top of that, I get to travel through the silver screen, to all these wonderful places with my bestie. We’ve been under the sea, in the deep dark worlds below, sailing through space, dancing at the palace, here to there, and back again.

The absolute bees knees is getting to sit next to her- her little body finally holding down the seat. She insists it’s because of the fuzzy friend she brought with.  Watching her eyes light up, hearing her uncontrollable giggles, feeling her head rest on my shoulder patting my arm when I can’t help but gasp and tear up sometimes.  We get pulled in together, and it’s the sweetest thing.

Before we leave there’s always a required snapshot before whatever display is toting the next big thing. It’s like a snapshot memory from the future.  And every time I find myself looking at it later that night, imagining the next world we get to be a part of. And I just can’t wait for the next Sunday to roll around.

Maddie HOME

The next installment of Sunday Funday Movie Dates brings us, HOME. I can’t wait.