Friday, December 28, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
As I picked up a package of Pampers on Friday - and as we all know, the cost of diapers is one of the leading motivating factors for potty-training these days - a complete stranger handed me a dollar-fifty-off coupon for them.
I made a gift for someone that turned out just as I wanted it to.
It's a Wonderful Life. Every year.
There is snow here! Just enough to embody the song, not enough to be dangerous.
Two words. School. Vacation.
The feeling I get when Jake feeds a coin into the Salvation Army bucket.
Christmas movies on television every night, at least one card in the mail every day, neighbors bringing cookies and fudge, and every check-out person in every store or restaurant who dares to say Merry Christmas.
Michael W. Smith christmas CD - any of the three. (This guy gets Christmas like nobody's business.)
One husband, three sons, one drafty but loveable sort of house - magic, magic, magic.
I love this time of year.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Today I knelt in front of the high chair and looked at our Christmas tree as it appeared just beyond the top of Jake's head while he was eating. I liked the view. Because first I saw his big eyes and blond curls and then the Christmas lights that framed them.
When I was pregnant with my eldest I noticed my senses were heightened. I hadn't read that part of the book yet to know that was scientific. I only knew that the world looked and felt and smelled and sounded - richer, now that I knew I would be guiding a new little soul through it.
I like to take pictures of the boys on the little step that leads from our dining room to our glorified back porch. In each of the pictures I can vaguely see our house stretched out behind them. In these photos I no longer notice the nails that stick up too far out of the hardwood floor, or the finger smudges on what should be crisp gray paint or the part of the living room that has to be hidden by a rug because we've torn up the hearth and not replaced it with new flooring. The whole thing is completely transformed and glorified as it fades into simply the background for their childhood.
I like the perspective my children have given me on the world. It's not that I see it through their eyes. But I see it better now that they are in it. I think about the way it appears around them, and I like the view just beyond their heads.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Today's Tag from the Good Girls is - What do you like and dislike about yourself, so - after sorting through the numerous options . . .
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
We're on our second snow day around here, although - what with working from home and all - I don't really get those.
We went to McDonald's for lunch because I wanted to mark the day somehow as truly out of the ordinary. But it's not like we can't go to McDonald's for lunch on a Saturday, so I'm not sure I accomplished my goal.
I'm big on commemorating things. I wanted it sealed in their little minds that today was special. They should have been sitting at a desk somewhere doing math facts or getting in the lunch line in an order based on which meal they chose for the day (I learned this one only recently) or practicing for the Christmas play. But instead they're at home playing darts and Nintendo, wearing ridiculous clothing for winter months (Drew would still be in only his underwear if I hadn't intervened), watching Shrek, and consuming miniature popsicles between every meal. Being a grownup, as I have described in detail, rocks. But snow days are one of those gifts that make it really cool to be a kid. I could explain this to them, how my work day didn't change even the teensiest bit by the fact that our entire world (within a several-mile radius anyway) is covered by ice. But I hate to depress them. And besides, their blissful ignorance that having to be told to put clothes on top of the underwear is purely a childhood delight (I hope!) is part of the wonder of being a kid at all.
But in honor of the snow day I'll share a couple things I have learned lately from their school work: Did you know that "learningly" and "helpingly" are qualities to look for in a friend? And in answer to why a certain American legend was called Johnny Appleseed or The Tree Planter, my eldest answered matter-of-factly, "Because they didn't want to call him John Chapman." (At least he knew the last name, that's more than I could have sworn to). And finally - Drew thinks John is really cool. If you don't believe me, check his seat work, his art work, his vocabulary sentences, and his stories from home that he apparently shares with his teacher each day. That melts my mother heart so much - I almost wish I'd let him stay in his underwear.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Thursday, December 6, 2007
I feel this movie should be required viewing for every 12-year-old girl. It's my favorite story - girl slowly realizes she's becoming a pill. Or that some part of her character has been ill-formed or that her "personality" isn't the charming, delightful, giving personality she had imagined it to be and instead she is completely self-absorbed which she finds is now slipping dangerously close to unkind. Or as the director of the movie says on the Extras (I love DVD extras), "You climb the ladder of success, only to realize you're on the wrong ladder."
Remember as a child when it feels like nothing changes ever? No one is aging - the grown-ups will always be grown-ups, the kids always kids. The good things will always be there just as they are. And the stupid, annoying things will never change either. Well, despite my sometimes dramatic hold on the here and now, I have actually come to love change. Despite my typical lost-ness through my teen years as I tried to discover who I was, I did, however, think that I was someone and that her character and personality were pretty set - once I found her. It was wonderful to discover in retrospect that even I can change. When I learn something unpleasant about myself, like my tendency to be late, my ridiculous over-generalizations of people when I am describing them, my less than excellent parenting - all those things - once I figure them out, I can do something about it and (sometimes years) later look back and say, "Look at that, I'm changing."
This movie perfectly captures that feeling. I've just discovered I'm not such a good person, but perhaps I can change that. It has a very cool scene with a closet and a wall of shoes. The Thriller scene is one of those great movie moments where you remember what there is to love in humanity. And it ends as happy as any movie has ever ended in all of movie-dom. And back to my original point, if 12-year-old girls would watch it and really trully get it, high school could be so much better for them. Because maybe then they won't start climbing the wrong ladder.