Sunday, December 30, 2012

V is for volcano


He's not like his sister.

Temper is short with this one when he's sick.

Tolerance low.

He holds a grudge. Even against his own interests.

When he's like this I know bedtime will be a bear.

He growls and snarls and retreats into his cave.

I step into his lair, he tells me to leave through tears and recriminations.

He wanted me to read him a story ...

"But that moment's over," he snipes.

"Ok," I shrug. "Suit yourself."

I turn to go.

"WAIT! ... that moment's over, too. Here's my book. I'm up to 'volcanos.'"

Tuesday, December 18, 2012



Dear Ittybit,

At 7:15 this evening the house shook with cheers. Your brother, your father, an aunt, a grandfather, two grandmothers and I rattled the windows.

You didn't mind that we were fully one minute late. You knew we meant no harm. After all, we're not clock watchers.

Nor did you mind that you received only three gifts; though your grandfather had to be talked out of making a 40-minute round-trip to retrieve his overlooked packages.

The party will always be your gift.

The bringing of people together, even when they sometimes feel so very far apart, has always been your gift to us.

After dinner your Ama Linda told you the story of your birth as she experienced it -- in Minnesota, after excusing herself from giving a college lecture for a moment to take the important call.

"When I returned to the room all thirty college students we're just silent, waiting to know. ...

Her voice recreating the emotion she felt nine years ago as if it were yesterday: 'It's a girl!!!'"

We circled the table, regaling you with memories from the days before your memories attached.

Neither your father nor I could remember what the world was like outside on the day you was born.

I asked him if it had been snowing ... like it had been the day before. He didn't know.

He told you about how proud he was as the nurses made footprints. Not of what he'd made in you but in the mess you made of yourself the moment they loosened their grip and you inked each and every clean surface around you, including the hard to reach bits.

Definitely his child.

I told you how shocked I felt, sitting in the examining room nearly 10 months earlier as the doctor worked her magic with a plastic wheel and calculated your arrival a few days before Christmas.

A Christmas birthday? Only four weeks in and already I'm a horrible mom.

You didn't understand the joke. Your birthday has always made you happy ... Christmas 'round the corner or not. Extra presents or not. People singing off key and completely inaccurately about your domicile.

You do NOT live in a zoo.

Not literally, anyway.

The stories kept flowing.

The first time I saw you. The first time I held you. The first time I stared at your face from daybreak until dark. The first time my mother grabbed you away, saying "give me that baby." She never wanted to let you go.

"I had my best Christmas EVER that year!" I told you -- a declaration you couldn't quite believe.

"What did you get?"

"I got to be a mom."

Monday, December 17, 2012

'Surely we can do better ... '

righteous, man

I hadn't expected to bring my kids to school today. I'd planned to send them off with the bus just like any other Monday.

But it had been a long weekend filled with winter walks, neighborhood parties and a constant albeit quiet grief.  I wasn't surprised that we woke up late. I wanted to make sure they had breakfast ... and I wanted to make sure I didn't spend the last few minutes of our time together today yelling at them to get ready lest they miss their ride.

Not today. 

Today, I wanted to be mindful of the one thing I, and everyone on this planet, can do right now to begin the process of change -- we can spread kindness.  We can smile at each other more; we can kiss our kids and hug them just because they are amazing; and we can help someone who needs us. Especially a stranger.

Right now our schools need us.

And our kids need their schools. Because schools are the places where community truly becomes real to our children. 

I didn't hug my kids as they ran to their classrooms. I didn't follow them and speak to their teachers. I know them well, and know my kids are in excellent hands.

 I did speak to the former principal, though, a woman who is so devoted to the school that she has remained active there despite having to step down from her position as she battles lung cancer. I hugged her and told her I appreciated the time she took trying to comfort me.

As I left the building and headed to my car I was thankful for our president's words:

"There’s only one thing we can be sure of, and that is the love that we have — for our children, for our families, for each other.  The warmth of a small child’s embrace — that is true.  The memories we have of them, the joy that they bring, the wonder we see through their eyes, that fierce and boundless love we feel for them, a love that takes us out of ourselves, and binds us to something larger — we know that’s what matters.  We know we’re always doing right when we’re taking care of them, when we’re teaching them well, when we’re showing acts of kindness.  We don’t go wrong when we do that."

Kindness is what we need. Kindness and community.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Flower shops and butcher paper 'specials'

It's end of the world as we know it.

But you can get your Apathy here ... only .50 cents

Monday, December 10, 2012

The irresponsible party

The irresponsible party.

And the criminal mastermind.

Slippery little suckers.

The two of them.

Thursday, December 06, 2012


Big H Hudson #shopping

I hate shopping.

More and more each year.

But shopping locally takes a little of the edge off.

Just. Sayin'.

Monday, December 03, 2012

When the cat's away ...

We made these last year for the 22 members of Annabel's Second Grade class.

Ours were a variation of Martha Stewart's no-sew candy cane mice.

Since I had lots and lots (and lots) of white, cotton felt and other fabric scraps (but no craft felt), I decided to double up the brushed cotton bodies and sew them together to make a pocket.

Ittybit glued on the features.

We made them to fit full-sized candy canes, but we could have just as easily made them to fit the tiny ones.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Kids ...


All ears ...

But only half listening.