Saturday, August 22, 2009

Love, more

We're away. On vacation. But I come out of vacation to honor my boys' 9th birthday. To honor their last year in single digits here are letters to each of them. A bit long for typical posts but humor me. They have to share a birthday so why should they share a letter?

Dear darling one,

You are my tough guy. The one who will strut around the house with his pants half down pulling off some gansta move you learned from other white kids at camp. While part of me wants to fall over in hysterics at how just plain ridiculous you look the other part wants to pull your pants up and tell you to act right. You are quick to put on an I-don't-care face when you know you've done something wrong. And just as quick to sob as I send you to your room for being disrespectful.

But then, but then, the week before vacation you insisted on walking arm and arm with me, everywhere we went. Through the big city square, on a wooded and rocky mountain, and into the town coffee shop, you would sidle up to my side that didn't have a bag, slip your arm around my waist and lift my arm to drape over your shoulder. Then you would work really hard to get your steps in sink with mine. Your left foot out with mine. Your right foot out with mine. You would over compensate for my longer strides. This would go on for many city blocks, over several wooded hills.

Every few minutes you would yelp "Mama! We're in sync!"

Yes, my darling boy. I hope we will always be in sync.

Happy Birthday. I love you,


Dear darling one,

This summer I started in earnest to teach your younger sister how to ride a bike without training wheels. It has been a struggle because she can do it. She has the balance and the strength but she doesn't believe she can do it. It is probably the thing that drives me the most nuts as a mother - when one of you can do something but you won't do it because of fear, doubt, lack of practice. It was exactly what happened with you when you were learning to ride a bike. You didn't believe in yourself and then one day you got it. And off you went, riding far away from me.

One afternoon this summer, in the parking lot of a courthouse, you watched me seethe as your sister kept giving up on herself. And you looked me in the eye and said "Mom, I feel your stress."

I nearly fell over. Both from your empathy and from embarrassment.

Around the same time you started to spontaneously say "I love you" to me. Sometimes with a hug, sometimes as a comment as you passed by on your way out the backdoor to play or ride your bike. You never said it to worm your way out of a punishment. You just say it.

And like when you feel my stress, telling me you love me just makes me melt.

Because you will never know how much I love you.

Happy birthday little man,

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Three years of blogging

Sunday, August 9th was my three year anniversary of blogging.

The first year was just bumbling and fumbling, of getting my blog-legs, of writing for me.

The second year was when I really "got" it - go comment on other blogs so you will get lots of comments on yours.

The second year was also when I "got" them - an insanely wonderful group of friends that have become even closer. I just can't envision my life without you all.

This past year was one of retrenching, of writing for me, of barely venturing out and commenting on other blogs. I'm back where I started. Writing for me. Thanks to those of you who keep coming back and reading even when I take long breaks or don't visit for months.

And just to be super vain, here is my pick of top posts from the last 12 months:

When you Take Boys to a Triathlon

Started and Ended with a Funeral

Travel to You the South Carolina Mix

Determined Pointed Toes

Get Out of My House Lady Gaga

Happy Birthday Darling (Daughter's birthday letter)

Peanuts, a Blanket and Yellow Feathers

130 Songs

Stories from History


Writing the Bee Tree

How a Park Should be

"Go Kill the Yellow Man"

Love more (Boys' birthday letter)

What did I miss?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Futbal and mix CDs

David Beckham came to town this weekend and threw a birthday party for my boys.

Well, not exactly. We bought the New England Revolution birthday party package and brought four soon-to-be third graders with our family. I picked the date partly because one the availability of one of these young friends. Little did I know what a big deal it was that we were going to see David Beckham and the LA Galaxy play our beloved Revs.

These guys knew. They were up ALOT complaining about the ref, the plays, etc. And while the Revs lost, the boys seemed pretty happy. One young guest even declared in the van coming home, "that was STILL a GREAT night!"

And as is our family custom, the boys gave out 9th Birthday Mix CDs. And I think the parents were more excited than the party-goers.

  1. Pride (In the Name of Love) - U2
  2. Everybody's Changing - Keane
  3. Just Can't Wait - The J. Geils Band
  4. I Thought I Lost You - from the movie Bolt
  5. City of Blinding Lights - U2
  6. Jailhouse Rock - Elvis Presley
  7. A Little Less Conversation - Elvis Presley
  8. Beautiful Day - U2
  9. Candy Girl - New Edition
  10. More Than a Feeling - Boston
  11. I'm a Believer - Smash Mouth
  12. Let My Love Open the Door - Pete Townshend

And in a few weeks we're going to give the boys their BIG birthday present - hint, hint - it involves someone on this list.

Music Monday at Soccer Mom in Denial

Any of these songs strike your fancy?

Sorry for the lack of Linky Love. Leave a comment if you want me to list you.

Also making music on Monday:

The Ambassador

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

When you take boys to a triathlon

When you take boys to watch their uncle in a triathlon
They will want to be in a triathlon too.

When they are in a triathlon
They will have permanent marker on their body for days.

When they have permanent marker on their body
They will need to go into very very very cold water.

When they go into that very very very cold water
They will have to swim 100 yards.

After they swim in very cold water they will have to run up a beach
Dip their feet in water to rinse off the sand
Dry their feet on a towel
Put on sneakers
And a bike helmet
And a belt with their racing number
And walk their bike out of the "transition" area
With no adult help
And start riding a bike for 1 and 1/2 miles.

After riding 1 and 1/2 miles they will have to get off their bikes
And run half of a mile.

After running half of a mile they will get a medal
which they will promptly take off their necks and place on their little cousin

After getting the medal back from their nearly 2-year-old cousin
They will collapse on a sea wall to drink lots of water

While drinking lots of water
They will talk between gasping for air about how they plan on doing another triathlon.

With apologies to Laura Joffe Numeroff, author of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.

Monday, August 03, 2009

The Depeche Mode Concert - I conjured up the rain

Long ago I wrote about how I went to the "new" outdoor venue (back in 1986) for a concert that was rained out. The venue had to cancel and reschedule the show when the first 26 rows flooded because the pumping system didn't work. I was thinking about that show a fair amount on Friday, hours before attending the Depeche Mode Sounds of the Universe concert.

Little did I know the power of my thoughts.

A bit after 5:00 pm the sky turned pitch black and the rain just poured down. It was so bad I scrapped wearing cool cowboy boots for wellies. Because it was that wet outside.

I met a high school friend and two of his friends and we drove down to the venue. We ate our "dinner" in the drizzle and during several other breaks dealt with significant rain drops.

But fortunately the rain didn't cause another flood or stop Depeche Mode. It was a terrific show.

Stripped from Depeche Mode's 1986 album (because that is how I first listened to it) Black Celebration. And kudos to the fan who recorded this. It is a fan video but a pretty good one in my opinion. And skip to after the second minute. This was one of the encores so there is lots of screaming at the beginning.

Music Monday at Soccer Mom in Denial

I'm on a roll with concerts. Seen any good ones lately?

Sorry for the lack of Linky Love options. Just put a link to your post in the comments and I'll make a nice little list.