Nov 29 2012

Seeing Clearly

louYou know how you can go days at a time and you’re so busy that your kids are pretty much a blur. Just little heads of different colors, asking for a signature, jabbering about school, fighting with each other, stealing cookies off the cookie sheet. Even when you finally sit down to dinner together, they carry on in their expected roles: the whiner, the peacemaker, the brooder. Little heads of different colors with different voices, all doing what they always do.

I’m exaggerating, of course, but only to suggest that there are certain times when you see your kids more clearly than at other times. You see them on the inside. You see what makes them tick. You see their trajectory. And when you get these glimpses . . . man, it is good to pay attention and hold on.

This morning I had a half an hour with Supergirl because Devil Baby had chess club. I know, funny. But I predict that she will become some kind of evil chess genius if she sets her mind to it. She will confuse all the nerd boys with her porcelain skin and high ponytails and she will take great pleasure in beating them. Just a guess.

Supergirl and I dropped her off and hightailed it to Turtle Bread for some quiche (protein girls, the both of us). We were sitting in a booth with her facing the window, which meant I got to look into her green eyes, vivid and shiny in the morning sun. We were talking about which boys she might invite to her roller skating birthday party. As I named names, she would react and explain and I realized this child is the epitome of diplomacy and moreover, kindness.

Wellllllll, she’d smile. Not sure we’re exactly on the same wavelength, if you know what I mean.  (Finger air quotes around “wavelength”). I DO know what you mean. But when I was nine I would have called him a freako and teased him on the bus.

Here’s a girl that has figured out the simple truth that it is better to like everyone even if you don’t hang out with everyone. It’s better to see people for who they are, with all their quirks, and be totally ok with them. I’m not trying to make Supergirl sound like Mother Theresa. She’s not. But she is easy on people – she’s cool with people. And as someone who benefits from her positive light and her forgiving eye, I can say this is a good thing.

The picture above was taken at the MCAD art sale a couple weeks ago. She walked around the whole building with us and after a while excused herself to go back to the room where the students were drawing comics for tips. When we finally caught up with her, I sort of lingered back to watch because it was SO obvious she had found her people. She was leaning across the table, chatting with the college students, watching them draw, eavesdropping on what they had to say. I am not exaggerating when I say she would have hung out for hours. I had to peel her out of there with a spatula.

As we walked out she said I like this place.

I know.

Nov 21 2012

Giving Thanks

It’s a little past eight o’clock in the morning on the day before Thanksgiving. Doctor Dash and Devil Baby are still asleep. Saint James and Supergirl have joined me in the sun room. They each shuffled in separately in their pajamas, books tucked under their arms. It’s quiet, warm and sunny. This could last 5 minutes, but I’m thankful for it.

Nov 19 2012

Music Monday: Metric

Emily_Haines___f_o_u_r_by_dersputnikI love this band. I SO regret not having seen them when they played here a couple months ago. Still makes me gnash my teeth and do a little arrrrgh every time I think of it. Arrrgh. Imagine how I feel after watching this newly released video for Breathing Underwater. Love the video, love the band, love Emily Haines. You may remember her from here.


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Nov 14 2012

Baby Angst?

MontiluIt was only a matter of time. I suppose I was pretty much asking for it with all this old mommy/young mommy BS I’ve been slinging – acting like I’m all cool and lucky and relieved to be out of the fray. Today, I got a huge kick in the gut courtesy of one weepy baby girl sitting on a yoga mat. Apparently, I am not at all cool and lucky and relieved to be out of the fray. Thwak!


I’ve been feeling discombobulated this fall. My more yogi type friends tell me that autumn is a time of transitions and imbalances. My more pragmatic type friends tell me I’m too hard on myself.

I don’t know what’s up, but I do know this: my insides were aching today as I watched this little bean hiccup her tears away after her mama ran out at the end of yoga because she heard her crying. Her eyes were all shiny and she had that offended look on her face. She sat against her mama with her legs splayed out in front of her, taking shuddering breaths but visibly comforted. It was that easy. She simply . . .  so simply . . . needed her mama.

She reminded me of Devil Baby, yes. But she also reminded me what it was like to feel like a mama with my body. My innards, my cells, my arms, my breasts. Being a mother used to be such a physical, tactile thing. So much so, that it could get suffocating. I remember wondering: will I ever eat a meal without a baby in my lap or on my boob? Will I ever be able to stretch out in my bed?

But now. The ache. I’m not one of those women who’s going to get a baby fix with someone else’s baby. I wasn’t going to be able to cootchi coo this one and walk away satisfied. My body wants my baby. The realization that I will sooner feel that satisfaction with a grand child than with my own new baby is utterly sad to me.

I cried all the way home. It’s over. It’s so over.

Nov 12 2012

Music Monday: Lia Ices

I swear, I’m riding an exhausting, heady and soul satisfying wave of love lately. It’s only exhausting because apparently, for me, love involves a bit of carousing.

Over the last few days I’ve celebrated the election and the fact that our state was the FIRST of about 30 to shoot down a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Love Minnesota.

I’ve also attended my first Bat Mitzvah and was overwhelmed by Lady Doctor Poodle’s beautiful, poised, spiritual 13 year old daughter and the lovely way the Jewish faith celebrates this coming of age. Love the Jews.

I’ve danced in the beautiful kitchen of a new friend with a bevy of fabulous gay men and leggy ladies to again celebrate the Vote No victory. Love the Gays. Love dancing. Love champagne.

I recovered from said revelry by going to Sunstreet Breads with my kids in the morning and feasting on a fried chicken biscuit and gravy wonder of satisfaction and deliciousness. Always game for indulging mama’s need for some solid grub, my squirrels were good company on a gray Sunday morning. Chatty, mellow, hungry and funny they actually came up with a plan to watch a movie when we got home. Footloose 2 (ridiculous), blankets, puppy pile – all before noon. Love some hibernation.

And today, the snow flew. I’m feeling back to normal. Almost. But also very blessed right now. This is what I’m thinking for this winter: keep it simple, slow down, notice everything, be happy and celebrate life whenever I can.

Enjoy this beautiful song. I can’t get enough of her voice. Love is Won by Lia Ices.

Nov 10 2012

Four More Years


I love this picture. How can you not? The fact that this is the image the Obama campaign chose to release via social media at the time of his victory is so telling. The message is love, right?

Obama is not perfect. I wish he were tougher, less conciliatory. I wish he were better at trumpeting his successes. I wish he had more experience. But I do feel like he’s a good man – and that is equal parts refreshing and comforting.

I went out celebrating on Wednesday night with the girls and DJ Jake played this song in honor of the President. I cannot describe how that little bar exploded into cheers and happy dancing. Oh man, it was so much fun. If it were possible for your smile to get so big that it sort of engulfs your head and then your whole body falls in and all that’s left is a huge grin writhing on the floor, I was in danger that night. Here comes your man!

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And if someone were to suddenly give me the job of deciding the songs to play at various points in the campaign (please! someone give me that job!!!!), this is what I would have chosen for Obama to walk out to after he won the election. Bad ass.

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Nov 5 2012

Music Monday – The National

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In honor of our national election . . . get it? I know, LAME. But these guys are anything but.

I’ve been meaning to throw The National some Music Monday love forever. They are a long time favorite of both Dash and mine. Both albums, Boxer and High Violet, are on frequent rotation at our house.

Their music is, flat out, beautiful. And on this tense, gray, damp autumn day it sounds just about perfect.

Nov 1 2012

Happy Halloween!

halloweenBest holiday of the year. Hope you and your little peeps had a good one. Could it have been more gorgeous out?

For us, those golden years of all our kids trick or treating together are fast retreating in the rear view mirror. Seconds after I took this photo, Saint James was off, quite literally, like a bat out of hell to meet up with his buddy.

I stood there holding my camera watching his tiny gold lamé clad body and giant afro streaking away. He yelled love ya! without turning around.

What can you do? This is simply how it goes.

All good.

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