Thursday, March 29, 2007

Tagged twice

First, I must apologize to the patient and talented Kate who tagged me months ago. I explained to her that I don't "do" chains. As in those emails which say if they are not passed along to everyone you know you will either 1) have bad luck for 7 years or 2) your favorite pet will die. Guess what? I never pass those around and have been o.k. (accept my parents' dog died recently. Hmmmm).

So I plead ignorance to the blogging community for not getting it. These exchanges are fun ways to get to know each other and break up the monotony of another cute kid story or rage against the machine.

I was picked by both Gunfighter and Jodifur (I think on the same day) to:

List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what they are. They must be songs you are presently enjoying. Then tag seven other people to see what they’re listening to.

Only seven songs? I cannot tell you how hard it is. I am seriously into music. Those iPod ads with everyone dancing? I have to restrain myself to not boogie on down the road. Or on the commuter train.

And I am picking the tunes that both me and my kids are into. Can you guess which is which?


John Legend - Save Room


Cyndi Lauper - True Colors


Erasure - Love to Hate You


New Order - World in Motion


Ladysmith Black Mambazo - Hello My Baby


High School Musical - Stick to the Status Quo

7. My profound apologies to New Orleans. The band's name is so wrong but the song is so right.

Katrina and the Waves - Walking on Sunshine

Forgive me though for not passing the torch. Most of you were already tagged with this one and the few remaining ones either have a distinct shtick or style or just haven't posted in, oh, a year.

(And a huge thank you to Jodifur both for the inspiring layout and lessons on how to insert videos. Your patience was saint-like.)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Inner Mario faces a speeding ticket

A few days after New Years I was pulled over by a state trooper for speeding. I usually take the commuter train but that day I needed to use our car. Which means a bit of hair raising driving from downtown to our suburb.

Early in my driving days I discovered speed. As in the gas pedal not the drug. I love driving fast. After graduating from college I drove across the country with two guys and acquired the nickname Mario Andretti somewhere in North Dakota. This while driving a 1973 Dodge Dart.

So I was in touch with my inner Mario as I was driving to get the kids. And a trooper pulled me over. He handed me a $170 ticket for going 47 mph in a 25 mph zone. Yes. One hundred and seventy dollars.

What does any self respecting driver do facing $170 ticket and an increase of car insurance? Contest.

In the mail arrived a form with the date and time to appear at a court house. I lost the form.

Not a good start.

On the appointed day, I went through the metal detector and was sent to a bench in a small hallway. I had visions of a judge in a courtroom. I also thought that if the actual trooper who issued my ticket didn't show up for the hearing, I was off the hook. If that didn't work, I was going to plead late-for-picking-up-my-kids.

I was in the first group of 10 brought into a little room with a desk and benches. There was a trooper but not the one I dealt with. Sitting at the desk was a man referred to as "Mr. Clerk" with a stack of tickets.

It became apparent that the trooper was standing in for all the troopers who wrote the tickets. Damn. He would start by saying "Mr. Clerk, the Commonwealth contends that the driver....." Nearly every single one of the situations he described were on a two to three mile stretch of a particular parkway.

The first one was a guy who, among other things, didn't have his license on him at the time of an accident. The clerk dismissed the fine. Awww come on. Even I know you should have your license on you.

The next guy got up. English was not his first language (don't assume it was Spanish. I am guessing he was Lebanese) and he explained he was trying to get to his special needs daughter at after school care. She was sick. Mr. Clerk reduced his ticket to $100 and told him that he could contest that if he chose. The guy paid up on the spot.


Then a young woman got up with her dad to explain what happened one rainy evening when her dog distracted her causing her to hit a tree and destroy her car. Mind you, the dog was in a travel case. Not sure how a dog in a box could distract you. In your lap, licking your face, pawing at the wheel - that is a distraction. Yipping in a box is a minor nuisance. Mr. Clerk asked if she was o.k. She replied yes and her dog was fine too (Phew!).

She was dismissed without a fine.

Then I was called up and I was ready to plead my case.

"Mr. Clerk", said the fill in trooper, "the Commonwealth has no interest in pursuing this matter since the trooper did not note with what method he recorded the speed."

Some scribbling on a sheet. "O.k." says Mr. Clerk, "you are free to go."

Duh. Thank you, I muttered before bolting in case they change their minds.

But now I'm convinced, just like in Better off Dead, there is a State Trooper looking for my minivan on the parkway ready to pull me over saying "I want my $170....".

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Met the Governor

One part of my job I just love is making the government real and meaningful to people. In particular I get a thrill watching people who have been treated unfairly, because they are homeless, or were teen moms or are immigrants - or maybe all three - walk into the State House and have that wonder in their eyes.

"I've never been in here" they say. "It's so beautiful."

It's yours, I reply. Your tax dollars pay for this building. That gold dome over us? You paid for that. The people rushing by you? Your tax dollars pay their salaries. This is your building.

After two hours of my silly stories, tales of legislative success and failures, a couple of them start to believe it.

But this time, nearly 15 women, mostly black (African-American, and African and Caribbean immigrants) got to meet our governor. He was walking the hallway with no body guard and nearly 15 women pounced.

I have met several sitting and former governors. They are all white. And you don't go hugging them. You awkwardly shake their hands if offered, tell them what is important to you and they rush off as if you took them away from some very important. More important than you.

These women pounced on the man, because as one of them said he is "one of them". They hugged him, told him they were praying for him and his wife, told him what his governorship meant to them. He graciously lingered and shook every woman's hand as they told him things I would never, ever encourage. I, being very, very white, stood back, talked to the Chief of Staff and took photos. This was a moment I wasn't going to interrupt.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Why I cannot keep a clean house

On what seemed like the first nice Saturday since the car was invented, my guys broke in their new soccer (for the rest of the world football) gear. One guy is proudly sporting bright turquoise and grey cleats, orange and black shin guards and yellow and grey-black goalie gloves. I hope he ends up on a team that wears red jerseys, just to complete the color scheme.

The grass in our yard is still soggy so after an hour of playing with both soccer and rugby balls they came in pretty muddy. They offered to take showers to wash off the mud. I thought it was a great idea.

Meanwhile little Miss I'm-almost-three-years-old was running around the house in a pink leotard a family friend had just given her. She was "cooking" in the kitchen. As I ran upstairs to start the shower I asked her not to use real water.

So where is my husband on this beautiful Saturday afternoon? Playing rugby. The first sign of spring is also the beginning of many, many weekends in which I become a single parent. As if being alone with the kids nearly every night isn't enough.

My husband is also a neat freak. He's had to lower his standards, or nearly abandon them, during his years of marriage with me. I would rather be with the kids than clean the toilet. If the clothes are washed do they really need to be put away?

Needless to say he comes home late at night or after the matches/drink-ups to find dishes in the sink, clothes on the floor and general mayhem. However, everyone is asleep in their beds, properly fed and happy from a full day of motherly love and joy (or something close to that).

So I run upstairs to help the boys start their shower and stay up there for about 10 minutes. When I come down, my daughter is kneeling on a stool in just her underwear. Her soaking wet leotard is on the breakfast bar with fresh ink stains on it. There is a large plastic bowl full of water, vegetable oil and pink yogurt. Aside from the water she had to actively seek out the other ingredients. Remnants of her cooking can be found everywhere.

Of course I cleaned it up. But will I get credit from Mr. Neat Freak? No, because I'm still ignoring the laundry.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The other side of despair

Is hope.

After attending the rally to support the immigrant families impacted by the March 6th raids on a factory making military backpacks, I took the boys to an evening concert of Ladysmith Black Mambazo. The little lady got a special night with a beloved babysitter while their dad was attending the drink-up for his rugby team.

In the mid-1980's Paul Simon had a huge hit with the CD Graceland. One of the songs was Diamonds on the Souls of Her Shoes which was co-written by Simon with the leader of Ladysmith, Joseph Shabalala. The group also sang the beautiful acapella song "Homeless".

Ladysmith began in the 1950's based on the music sung by South African black men who had to leave their families to work in mines. They were brutally treated and would have to practice their singing in secret. Even the stylized dance moves involved light footwork so the company wardens wouldn't hear. When the men came back to the townships for visits, there would be competitions between different singing groups. They sang in English and Zulu.

Obviously, South Africa shed the apartheid government and continues to build on its economic and political stability. What was particularly powerful about the concert was how the men talked about the history of the music, the pain and sorrow it initially conveyed but also the joys that could still be found. And how hope perseveres.

One of my boys keeps singing snippets from the song Ladysmith wrote for and performed at Nelson Mandela's Nobel Peace Prize ceremony. It talks about struggles, racism and that now all people can vote in their homeland.

I've reminded the boys that even in the sadness of the raids, there is still hope and even some joy. And that some day we'll be hearing beautiful music that inspires us.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


On Tuesday March 6th, more than 500 Immigrant and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents descended upon a factory 45 minutes from my home. Over 300 employees, mostly mothers with young children, were swept up in the raid, shackled together in groups of three by their wrists and ankles and marched to buses which took them 100 miles away. Later, many were flown to Texas. Days past before people knew where their family members were.

A story that has gotten a lot of press here is one of the mothers was nursing a baby. She was was flown to Texas without any consideration that she was her baby's primary caretaker, never mind her sole source of food. The baby became dehydrated and hospitalized. I can't imagine the physical pain (never mind the emotional distress) the mother was in from her milk building up. But I'm sure ICE has breast pumps on hand.

Over the weekend I took the kids and my dad to a rally in the vocational-technical high school of that town to protest the raids, support the families and let the community at large know that we support them in getting through this. Several posters said "Where's my mom?" The boys could read them. "Is someone going to take you away?" they asked.

One of the biggest ironies? The factory makes backpacks for the US Military. That's right. The US Government has a contract with a factory using illegal workers to make backpacks for our troops.

This is not a new story, but the story keeps getting more horrific. In recent months raids have hit nearly every state in the country. Each one of these deportations has a very human element that is about families and children.

Regardless of your view of immigrants, you cannot deny that we are a nation of immigrants. We have got to come up with a sensible policy that allows people to leave their dangerous countries, or countries with limited economies - both often caused by our foreign policies - and be allowed to prosper here. Yes, these women were here illegally. But they were hard-working, making military backpacks and paying taxes.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Train talk

While coming home from Philadelphia, one of my guys started telling me how he likes to make his friends laugh. He described doing silly things at his table and showed me an example of such silliness, complete with wild arm flailing and googly eyes. He talked with admiration of other students who fall off their chairs on purpose to make people laugh.

My little man. The performer.

So we talked about how much fun it is to make people laugh, smile and feel good. He admitted he liked people watching him do silly things. I told him there were times to be silly - recess, free play - and times to be respectful - like when his poor 25-year-old teacher is trying to teach 20 kids. The idea that my guy is one of the class clowns has me mortified.

But I promised him we would find different places for him to perform. I'm not becoming some frightening stage mother with visions of fame and fortune (o.k. - maybe a Tony award). Just a parent trying to channel a kid's energy. And it's that time of year when you have to find summer camps. I'll hold that over his head.

"You can't go to theater camp unless you behave in school!"

Think that'll work for the next three months?

Monday, March 19, 2007

Channeling the inner Black Diva

During their preschool years one of my boys' best friends was the son of a minister. The family was from Holland and while pretty liberal, they took their role in the church very, very seriously.

One evening several years ago we had pizza at the friend's house. My boys, the friend, his mom and grandmother (who was visiting from Holland) all bowed our heads for grace. In our Unitarian house grace, if we remember to say it, is:

We love our family. Amen.

With this family they said a much longer grace in Dutch. The boys and I respectfully bowed our heads over clasped hands to wait it out. They ended with an enthusiastic, Dutch accented,


Which led one of my boys to throw his head back, close his eyes and with all the passion his three-year-old white body could muster

It's raining men. Hallelujah!
It's raining men.

The mother (thankfully a dear friend) nearly fell hysterically into her plate as her mother kept asking "What? What did he say?"

I rubbed his head and told him he did a great job (he actually did. He would've made The Weather Girls proud). Then we passed around the pizza.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Does the end justify

Way back in September, one of my little men fully mastered riding his two-wheel bike. He was getting the hang of it in August but on that day in September he was finally able to start on his own. In case you've forgotten, it is really hard to keep your balance while going from standing to starting.

His twin brother was a bit more stubborn about it. He was almost there. I could feel that he had the balance but he would just out right panic the second he realized I wasn't holding on to the bike. It then became cold, they outgrew their bikes, and months went by without an opportunity to work on bicycle riding.

Suddenly we had a burst of warm weather. Pleas for new bikes ensued and while it is hard to justify the horrid conditions in China for workers, those Toys R Us bikes for $59 beckoned.

But I put my foot down on training wheels. Poor little man who couldn't ride without training wheels heard "You want a new bike? It is without training wheels."

So last weekend, we went to an empty parking lot. Mr. Big-Shot-I-can-Ride went off on his own. The other one nearly drove me nuts.

He had his balance. He just didn't believe in himself. I would run along side him, let go of his seat but keep my thumb on the small of his back and he would keep riding. He only thought I was holding on. And that was his crutch. His huge crutch. He didn't believe that he could do it.

Before you jump on me that I was comparing him to his twin brother I wasn't. If I had been, he would have been forced to figure this out last fall. What was beyond frustration, beyond my comprehension was that he had the skill. He could balance on his bike without training wheels. He just didn't believe in himself.

I finally took my thumb off his back. He rode for 5 or 10 seconds on his own, without me holding him. Of course, when he realized what was happening he promptly let go and fell to the ground. I tried a few times to get him to ride but I finally had to walk away before I said it.

"I can't believe you are such a -----".

I almost called my kid a wimp. To his face. Later there were moments when he expressed fear that he would hit a light pole. A light pole that was 1/2 a mile away. He feared a pot hole. That was no where near us. I could barely keep it together. My kid was not going to feel the freedom, the joy of riding a bike because of fear. If he didn't work through this, what else would limit him? What wonderful opportunity would he lose because he was fearful?

Fortunately, I kept myself in check (barely). And when he did it, finally, there was relief on both of our faces.

But now, there is pride in his face. He brags about riding a bike. He's actually behaving better in school. He seems to hold himself up straighter.

How will my children remember these moments? Will they recall falling off the bike? The getting back up and trying again? Or will they remember their mother, running along side, nearly exploding because they were fearing what if something bad happens?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Twin humor

We've discovered that Junie B. has moved on to first grade. My guys haven't fully embraced chapter books so that is a section of the library we don't usually visit. However, while one guy was finding more books on ancient Egypt, the other was looking at the Magic Tree House books when he grabbed two Junie B. books.

The first book has her starting first grade, relieved to see last year's best friend, Lucille, in her classroom. Lucille won't have anything to do with her because she has new best friends, Camille and Chenille. When the identical twin sisters walk in, Junie B. yells


Then it goes on,
"Come on, Lucille! Let's go touch them! Hurry! Hurry! Before a line forms!"

(All caps and exclamation points are from the book.)

We stared at each other. I immediately thought of all the times people stare and point at the guys. All the times kids yell "LOOK MOMMY THEY'RE TWINS!!" or when adults say "How can you tell them apart?" Or my favorite (hear my teeth grind) "Oh no! Double trouble!" Thanks so much for implying my kids are trouble.

I then burst into side-splitting hysterics. The boys joined in. I sputtered something about how people do this to them all the time. They each yelped "I know!" "Yeah!" and "Ouch, my side hurts."

Thanks Junie B. One good laugh.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Definition of a Fag Hag

I do miss those days. When I would get all dolled up and go dancing with incredibly good-looking men who didn't want a thing from me. Accept maybe to confirm that the cute guy across the room is really cute. And interested in them.

So this from the New York Times about the closing of the Roxy dance club just was too much fun:

The doors opened at 10 p.m. sharp, and a thick column of men and the odd female friend here and there advanced up the sloping entry hall, checked their coats and dispersed on the dance floor.

That's right folks, "the odd female friend". All of us odd female friends should get up on the loudspeakers (or in my case an overturned Lego box) and yell

We're Fag Hags and Proud!

Monday, March 12, 2007

My new (blog) toy

I've got this new toy that is so much fun.

It is a (free) map that shows who is visiting my web site. I've just moved it up from the bottom of the page to under the fancy image of my fabulous red cowboy boots.

Now, a dear friend is reading me from China so that explains the dot over there. And another in New Orleans.

But get this. There is a dot in Spain! And another in South Africa. And India. If any of you have a friend in South America who could look at my site, please promote me. Then I'll have a red dot on every continent (except Antarctica).

Big thanks to Gunfighter for having this on his web site. I've been enjoying his posts in the monthly Blog Exchange (you haven't laughed until you read his March post).

And check out all the hits Jose gets. And yes, his dot in China is a mutual friend.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Ice Cream and Men

As a little girl, before 3rd grade, I have vivid memories of summer evenings walking to the neighborhood Friendly’s for an ice cream cone. We’d get our cones from the walk-up window and then make our way back home, licking our ice cream. An important part of the walk was getting up on the stone wall near a church. My brother and I would hand off our cones to our dad to climb onto the wall.

We could never get the cones back once on the wall. My dad would be busy “cleaning them”. He would lick all the drippings along the side of the cone, half of the ice cream on top and possibly even nibble the cone. All in the name of cleaning up.

“MOM!!” we would both yell. “Get our cones back!”

She would order him to return the cones. While handing them back he would sheepishly say the same thing, “I was just cleaning them up.”

In fourth grade we had a real treat. We were going to an island as a family and our beloved Aunt and Uncle from Georgia joined us. The island had an ice cream parlor. Our uncle offered to share a sundae with my little brother. Talk about a set up. This grown man was going to eat all of the ice cream. Steal from a kindergartner.

Uncle would carefully collect ice cream, hot fudge and whip cream on his spoon. He talked about what a great looking spoonful he had. He delayed putting it in his mouth.

My brother scooped it right off of Uncle’s spoon and gobbled it. My Uncle made another “perfect” spoon. My brother did it again. Here was a man who was willing to let a kid take his ice cream.

Today, I married a man who eats ice cream on the sly. The kids and I will have carefully kept track of the ice cream, making sure the box lasts the entire week. They will do a good job eating their dinner and run to the freezer, pull out the ice cream, only to find that the box has barely enough ice cream in it to fill a thimble.

So begins their lesson you cannot trust daddies with ice cream.

Luckily for them, Aunt and Uncle from Georgia will join our family for this year's summer vacation on a different island. Thirty-one years after sharing a sundae with my brother. I’m already scouting out ice cream parlors.

This post was submitted to Scribbit's March Write-Away contest. The topic was childhood memories. For more about life in Alaska, check her out.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Bag of worms

I can finally throw away the bag of dead worms in my refrigerator.

For our trip to Philadelphia I brought fruit on the train. Apples and clementines. It was my attempt to have healthy snacks during the ride down. I wasn't sure what would be our food options around the hotel so I wanted some things from the large part of the food pyramid.

They weren't all eaten and ended up in the little kitchenette of our room. The boys actually asked for the clementines on Saturday. I was thrilled! They were asking for fruit.

After eating nearly all but two slices, one guy said "this was in my clementine" and dropped a small thing on the table. It was the length of my pinkie fingernail (I have small nails).

It was a worm. One of the remaining slices looked fine. The other one was full of worms. They didn't move but they were there. In the clementine. That my son was eating.

He thought he ate two worms. So I played it calm. Got them into their bathing suits for the 2nd trip of the day to the hotel pool in the basement. While they changed I left a message with the pediatrician's office that I thought my son had eaten some dead worms in his clementine. Not being an expert on worms I don't know if they can play dead. Or if they could come back to life. In my kid's intestines.

Once down at the pool the nurse called me back. While she thought everything would be o.k. "since they appear dead" she told me to watch my son for stomach pain and bloody stuff coming out of him (oh lovely). She also stressed I should hold on to the remaining worms for a week just in case anything were to happen.

"That way we can test them to see what is going on."

I'm happy to report my son didn't become the host of a colony of resurrecting parasitic worms. I can throw away that bag in my fridge.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Not usually one to plug but...

I don't usually write about things, shows, etc that I like or my kids like. However, I can't let this one slip by without comment.

The Backyardigans is one of those cartoon shows with oddly colored animals (and what is Uniqua?). It attempts to get kids to think of their backyards (if those young viewers are fortunate to have one) as a place of adventure complete with dance, song and some moral about being friends. The animation isn't too bad and those characters can really shake their computer-generated hips.

Last week I nearly fell of the couch as that pink thing Uniqua sang about non-stop rain to the tune of Poor Little Buttercup from HMS Pinafore.

Folks, the same brilliant men who wrote HMS Pinafore wrote The Mikado. And The Mikado is where Three Little Maids is from. That was what I sang in the November show.

Oh be still my little Gilbert and Sullivan-loving heart. I am now a HUGE fan of The Backyardigans. Any kid show that incorporates 19th century show tunes has my heart.

Play Hurt

Our last game of the season was during the second weekend of February vacation while we were in Philadelphia bonding with ancient Egyptians. Last year the game had been the first weekend in March which was much better since everyone was back from vacation. According to the dad who helped me out, only four of our 11 team members showed up.

I'm actually glad we missed the last game. While I got much more out of this year's team (because I was a much better coach) I didn't want to face the last game this year. During our final game of 2006, my dad was watching. While having a heart attack.

Of course, I rationalized his distraught looks. I thought he was utterly horrified that after 3 months these kids still couldn't dribble, pass or shoot. One kid could consistently hit 3-pointers but he ran down the court like a running back. He was the only player who could make a basket.

My other rationalization was that he was completely dismayed that his child was such a lousy coach. My dad played basketball in high school and briefly in college. He coached both my and my brother's childhood teams. He had season tickets to the town team for years.

At one point during that last game in March one of my 5-year-old players came up to me whimpering he had hurt himself. I then said something I thought would never, ever come out of my mouth.

"Play hurt."

I said "play hurt" to a 5-year-old. He looked at me with opened mouth shock. But he turned around and played. I remembered my own open mouth shock when my dad said it to me as a 3rd grader on one of the downstairs courts of the high school gym. I vowed never to say that. And here I did.

So as we were going back to our cars, my dad panting as he was carrying the 30+ pound granddaughter, I told him my horror at saying to the little guy "play hurt". His response was a half-hearted laugh. He was, foolishly, playing the ultimate hurt.

He drove home the 10 miles back to his house (recently a beloved state representative died after her car crashed while she was having a heart attack). He went to the couch to "rest". Finally my perceptive mother called him on his symptoms and got him to the hospital. My brother flew over from the other coast. Five days later he had triple bypass surgery.

This weekend my dad spent time bonding with their new dog, monitoring his basement for flooding and attending church. He is still very much part of our family. And we are all so glad.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Smell of beer

"Mom! They're putting in new soap in all the bathrooms at school!" yells one boy because that is the only way they seem to communicate. By yelling.


"Yeah! Foam soap!" Yells the other even though I am three feet away and there is not another sound in the house. Although with their volume you would think they were trying to talk over a jack-hammer. In the living room.

"Yeah! And it smells like beer!"

This is when I look at my 6 1/2 year old sons and ask "How do you know what beer smells like? Someone told you that."

And this is where I am grateful that they can't pull one over me yet. Their eyes cannot lie. They were clearly in a bathroom today with a friend who made that statement. Maybe he was were trying to think of the yuckiest smell. Or the one that would make grown-ups upset. But they didn't want to rat on their buddy.


One finally yells "Daddy did!! He let us smell his beer!"


Too bad your daddy's alcohol of choice is bourbon.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

For Good

I'm writing on someone else's blog today. First read her amazing piece then find the link to mine.

From the Musical Wicked-

I've heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return
Well, I don't know if I believe that's true
But I know I'm who I am today
Because I knew you:

Like a comet pulled from orbit
As it passes a sun
Like a stream that meets a boulder
Halfway through the wood
Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
But because I knew you
I have been changed for good

We have all had people in our life who have come and gone, and it hurt. Maybe they left because they died, maybe they left because you had a fight, maybe they left because they moved away. But there is someone, for all of us, who came and went and changed us irrevocably. And we never forget them.

For me, it was an ex-boyfriend from college. He saved my life. I mean literally saved my life. I was having a violent altercation with an ex-boyfriend, and a male friend walked into my dorm room unexpectedly and beat the crap out of him. We started dating the next year.

We had a terrible relationship. He was a rich pretty boy who never really worked for anything in his life. He came from a lot of money. He believed he was just entitled to things. He had graduated and would never call, but would just show up at my door and expected me to be there.

But he loved me, and I loved him. But we fought, not violently, but we fought. We had that kind of ignitable passion that makes for good love and bad arguing. I expected things of him and he had never had anyone expect things of him. He couldn't get fired from the job because it was for Daddy, so he never had to show. We broke up after 6 months and it was bad. It ended with me saying to him in a bar "best of luck to you in life."

For most of my adult life, before I met my husband, I somehow believed we would end up together. I really thought I would walk into a room somewhere one day and he would be there. And that would be it.

I still think about him, because I honestly believe if it was not for him I may not be here. At least not the me as I am now. Something very bad was going to happen to me, and he stopped it. I like to think that he thinks about me, and knows that I am grateful for what he did.

It well may be
That we will never meet again
In this lifetime
So let me say before we part
So much of me
Is made of what I learned from you
You'll be with me
Like a handprint on my heart
And now whatever way our stories end
I know you have re-written mine
By being my friend:

Like a ship blown from its mooring
By a wind off the sea
Like a seed dropped by a skybird
In a distant wood
Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
But because I knew you:
Because I knew you:
I have been changed for good

This post is part of The Blog Exchange. Jodi is mom to an almost 2 year old, a part-time lawyer, and wife. She blogs at Jodifur about all these things and many more. Please visit her terrific site, and you will see Allison's post!

Hostess note: And yes, for those of you that read this blog regularly, I wrote about the same song in November.