Archive for the ‘Kids’ Category

When Size Matters

It happens every March.  The itch for berries. 

Fresh ones.  The kind that grow haphazardly on branches or in patches in our backyard.  The kind that, glancing at our backyard, are nowhere close to budding because we haven’t seen the sun for months.  And because, well, it ain’t July.

But God bless California whose berries, though no permanent replacement for the western Washington ones we’re drooling for, are being harvested now and trucked up to Fred Meyer five miles from our house.  Because…

because they make my kids dance.  And because they cause delighted conflict when my son licks all the big ones, so that no one else will want them.

Only his sister claims she still does. 

Which leaves me to conclude that what matters around here isn’t the amount of saliva on the berry. 

But simply its size.


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We’d hardly left preschool, when on the straight-stretch a mostly-white beater caught up with us and matched us rpm for rpm.

Only, c’mon…this thing had nothin’ on our van.

At the red light, when the driver of the two-door beater shifted from first to second and backfired, I scrambled for anything to jam in my ear.  My son…

my son perked up to the same racket, and with a finger that stretched across his sister’s face, he shouted, “COOL CAR!”

By which time I glanced back out the window to confirm that there indeed was nothing cool about this car.  Especially its non-muffler.  But as the beater shifted six more times and accelerated an inch ahead of our van in the lane beside ours, my son couldn’t stand it any longer and he yelped,  “Mommy, catch that fast car!”

Only I slowed to turn.  And my son…

my son ogled after the noise (BRMM–RUMMM–RUMM–RUMMM) he found innately beautiful.

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I made macaroni and cheese tonight.  The homemade stuff.  The kind that begins with butter and gets serious with the cheese.  A whole bunch of cheese. 

The kind of macaroni my kids snub with wrinkled noses because it doesn’t taste like the box kind.  Or as my daughter put it after the taste test, the kind she couldn’t tell if she liked or not.

Only she decided she didn’t.  But it took three bites.

Which just meant more for my thighs.  By which time I jiggled up from the table and got seconds. 

My kids, meanwhile, sang the praises of Annie’s mac and fake-cheese.  And for a moment, there wasn’t an unpleased palate at the table.


until I mentioned the salad.

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Another Year

Sometimes without meaning to, things happen.  Like turning thirty.  Or thirty-one.

Or, good Lord,  thirty-seven.

Which is what happened to me yesterday and merited my digging through the freezer for the last four donuts I’d been keepin’ an eye on–heh–and which also justified re-using my daughter’s green seven and my son’s last year’s three because…

ain’t nothin’ healthy about thirty-seven lit candles.  Granted we can count that high. 

But this…

This is laziness or ingenuity. 

It’s also 18 diapers carefully covering a box my husband wrapped, a box I would’ve been stuck peeling open diaper by diaper and refolding, had my son not exploded into the room and shown me differently.

Uh…bless him.

And bless the little computer stand within that box, the one my husband set up with two too many helpers, the stand I’m using now.

But mostly, Lord, I pray your blessings on another day…another hour…

another year.

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Gym Date

Sometimes, more often than it happens, we  just need to get away.


Like to a gym with nets.

Without the little people.

So we can smack a volleyball around…

and reminisce about having body parts that ran faster, hit harder,  jumped higher or heavens, jumped at all.


And we can high-five people our own age.  And gimp to the restroom alone.  We can eat a whole banana without sharing and expect to find the dried cherries still in the trailmix. 

We can play. 

Thank you, Jesus…we can play.

Then when the day be done, we can smile…

because, by golly, we’re still standing.

And ‘standing’, at this moment, counts for something.

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My own behind was numb from an indoor plastic chair on the pool deck when my daughter bobbed up from the kiddie pool and gave the news.  “We found a weanus tickler, she said.”

Which is why I’d like to talk about 14 different emotions at the same time.  Only I won’t, except to say that I had them and to add that had someone else been seated in a chair beside me pretending to read a magazine, I’d’ve fainted.

My daughter went on.  “The jets,” she said.

By which time I let out a pathetic half- laugh that really meant, “Uh…somebody help me here,” but came out, “um, honey, let’s leave the jets alone.”  

I’d have dismissed the whole thing had my son, on my next breath, not been standing in front of one of the pool jets with the front of his swim trunks down.

Which is when I squeaked, “son, put your pants back on,” but meant, “YOUNG MAN, BACK AWAY FROM THE JETS!”


I think the grin on my face might be permanent.  The smirk certainly is.

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At six o’ clock last night I ceased parenting.  At least effectively.

The Gonzaga men’s basketball team, whom I’ve yet to see play–even on t.v….in something like decades…was, well, playing.  Which, I’m sure, is a normal occurence in the winter. 

Only last night’s game meant a little bit more.  As in the winning team would walk on air to the NCAA tournament.  And though I couldn’t identify a single player on the team, nor do I have a vested interest in Gonzaga,  I suddenly couldn’t miss this…because…

because Gonzaga needed one more person inches from the screen biting her nails.

The only weird thing?  

Me.  Trying to work a remote.  And parent from my peripheral.

Heh…I did my best…

to watch the game, that is.

And my kids…

my kids poked around their imagination, and came up with a way to shove everything from their suitcases, plus a hotel towel or two, down their pajamas and still zip the things up.

Uh…hard to be prouder.  Which is why I present…two hefty looking children who–bless their hearts–let their mother enjoy a basketball game.


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