Tag Archive | daughters

The First Two Weeks

Well, we are two week’s into the school rush.  So far, we have survived.  And well, I might add!  This year is definitely an improvement over last year in terms of the social scene.  And really what else is there at 10?  In fact she has several friends to hang out with from the neighborhood and, being advanced enough for be in grade 5, she gets to walk to school after I have left for work. 

My other little red-head has never been a worry.  She is in her second year of Kindergarten, having graduated from special ed with flying colors last year.  Her only bother is that now her older sister flies down the street to her friend’s the minute we get home.

I am finding lunch making easier this year, the morning rush is not quite so rush-y (yep that’s a word in my dictionary) and ,well,  homework is being done after school.  I can’t ask for anything more than two happy busy girls. 



Really Belated Father’s Day Post

I have been a blog flunky this week.  I’ll probably be invisible for the next few weeks since its crazy busy at home, at work, and pretty much everywhere.  But then it’s summer and vacation time; we’re all extra busy.  I’m actually impressed that I am only 3 days late with this post, but it’s no less meaningful than if I woke up promptly at 4.30 am on Sunday and pounded it out.  Actually that would have been disastrously filled with grammatical mistakes and sentences leading nowhere.  I mean even more than usual.    In my Mother’s day blog, I shared a few of my best memories of things my mom and I did together.  The ones I like to think about from time to time.  I could do that for this as well, but that might be too much of the same thing.  Instead I would like to share what makes my dad a wonderful dad and grandpa, and what makes him, well, him.

For one thing, my dad is an awesome storyteller.  And I’m not using the word because we all grew up saying “Awesome, Dude” and watching Bill and Ted.  (ok there goes my age again) When I was a kid, after dinner he always told me a story.  Things like ‘Ichabod Crane’, or the ‘Ghost Train’.  My favorite, and don’t even consider asking why, ‘How Glass was Made’.  Now that my daughters are able to appreciate it, he talks until he is hoarse telling them stories.  After the old standby’s were depleted, he has reached into his vast stores of literary knowledge and combines Conan Doyle, Tolkien and any number of other classics.  It’s one of their favorite things to do with my dad, as it was mine. 

My dad is also a writer, like father like daughter I guess.  He was a journalist, had a magazine, and spent a large part of his life writing in some way or other.  I think it’s just something that’s ingrained in him.  Even his emails are well thought out and concise.  Mine are as meandering as my speaking.

My dad is a great intellectual, and has so many ideas and opinions about things which my brain just doesn’t even think about.  He reads constantly, and while he’s reading actually thinks.  He covers a vast range of topics, from history books, to fiction.  He’s a quiet sort, but has his streak of stubbornness, like me.  It comes out from time to time, and when it does, it’s’ pretty impressive. 

My dad loves the beach, and the pool for that matter.  When I was a kid, we belonged to a swim club, so I grew up with lessons and swim team and all that.  My dad grew up in a city and taught himself.  So basically he always seemed to do a lot of flailing, but made it across the pool every time.  Now, my parents live close to the beach and although they probably don’t get there as much as they would like, I think it’s a high point in their summer.

There are so much more to my dad, but we can’t be typing forever of course.  naturally I am pretty biased, but I think he’s the best dad there is.  Who else would take their daughter to Shea Stadium every year just to see their beloved Mets lose? 

Summer Learning

When I was a kid I always used to get the inevitable summer reading list, especially in grammar school, which always got shoved somewhere under my bed the day after school let out.   I blissfully forgot about the lists for the rest of the summer.  I think I was friends with a few kids who did actually, you know, learn stuff during the summer.  That definitely wasn’t me though.

 Now that my own little redheaded appendages are in elementary school they get those summer reading lists and sometimes more.    I was a book-worm when I was a kid, (and now) so I just ploughed through most of the local library on my own.  However with my oldest, I have made an attempt each summer to reinforce her math skills.  Like me, she is also a reader, so those lists were generally half read before summer started.  But with the math we would enthusiastically make up worksheets for about a week, and then suddenly it was half way through August when I  remembered to pull out the booklet or find a math game on the computer.  We always made a half-hearted attempt though, and as a result her brain was not entirely empty when she went back to school in the fall. Now that she has discovered a few new math games on the computer that she enjoys, I think she will get a little more learning this summer.

 This year, however, since I have two little ones in school its double the load.  Apparently, being in special education entitles you to a nice shiny journal with lots of blank pages, along with the math and reading.  Because of her challenges with focus and attention, I really want to give her a boost up as she enters the intimidating world of regular education.  My youngest is thrilled with her journal and can hardly wait for summer to begin so she can start filling those pages up. 

It’s really for their own good, I tell myself.  Unfortunately life always seems to intervene and we are left with fewer days of leisure each summer.  I am hoping that my daughters’ enthusiasm for learning carries them beyond my innate summer laziness and that we get much more summer learning done this year.  I kind of have a hunch we will.

Kids, Kids, Kids

At my company we have a social network.  It’s kind of useful. At times definitely amusing.  Like the time we all made up stories about velociraptors and Chuck Norris.  (Sometimes in accounting you have to make your day a little more interesting.)  For the most part, the site is used for professional reasons.  No, really it is. 

Today I  saw a poll come in requesting information for popular pastimes among the K-3rd grade set.  That was from the educational part of the company.  Of course I scrambled for my keyboard.  In about 30 seconds so had another 3 mothers apparently.  That got me to thinking, why is it so interesting to talk about our kids?  I could tell stories about them for hours, and I am sure anyone else who has a child, or a pet for that matter, probably could too.  My mother spends at least 10 minutes out of a phone conversation discussing her cats.  Which is fine by me, I love listening! 

Motherhood is amazing.  (I am sure fatherhood is as well, but, not being a man, I can’t compare.)  It can turn a young woman without a maternal bone in her body into a gushing, babytalking mom with a perpetual worry line.  And that can be me.  I long to talk to the other mothers I work with, hear all about their kids and compare funny stories or vent about pre-teen attitudes.  I used to have a coworker who sat at the desk next to me, thankfully she had three young grandchildren of similar ages to my kids, and we would go on for hours.  I’m sure everyone in the vicinity was bored to tears. 

It’s a phenomenon similar to what seems to happen when groups of men get together.  They don’t even know each other and yet they become life long buddies in a matter of minutes over the ball game  (doesn’t matter, pick any sport)  Moms can pick each other out, and not just because of the dark circles under their eyes.  We finally have a common ground and it feels good.  Maybe that’s why it’s so enjoyable to swap stories. 

Sometimes it’s not really much of a story, just a funny saying, like when my daughter said she wanted to tell Jesus he had nice hair.  Or when she told my oldest and I that her boyfriend was Abraham Lincoln.  (She isn’t going to live that one down any time soon.)

What funny stories about your little rug rats keep you smiling throughout the day?  Do family members scramble to get out of your way when you enter a room in fear of your anecdotes?  I’m sure mine do!

My mom

I am sure that there will be about a billion and two posts about moms and Mother’s Day this weekend, so I know I am not unique, but, being new to the blog scene, I think it’s a really great opportunity to share some of my best memories of my mom.  These are some of the things she has done to make her, well, herself.  Actually there are so many things Icould write about, but these are just a few that really kind of give me a warm glow, and make me realize how much she did for me, and never asked for anything in return. 

When I was a kid, I was in a pretty bad car accident and spent a lot of time in the hospital and then recuperating at home.  When I first came home, I guess I was around 5.  For a while I had trouble walking and used to stay on the living room couch.  I don’t really remember that much about the time.  It was a long time ago, after all.  However, I do remember with great fondness that she would make me sandwiches for lunch and always cut up some carrot sticks or pickles and lay them on top of the sandwich.  Sometimes she cut the sandwich into small squares or triangles to make it interesting.  It really showed how much she strove to make my day fun and happy, even though I am sure that she was stressed and worried about my health, and about her own personal life and that of my father.

Another memory I have which is really a good one, is that when I was in junior high school and high school, we would take a ‘mental health day’ as she called it.  Once a year, towards the end of course, she would call me out sick from school and take me to the beach, or exploring somewhere fun.  It would be just the two of us.  Since I had no siblings, this probably was not as hugely momentous as if I was in a family of five, but again it helped us to keep our bond, which has never broken, despite the inevitable teenage bickering and the hectic lives that we now lead.

The last one I am going to share is just a very simple one, but I think about it often, especially when sick.  I was in my twenties and I had the good fortune to be living fairly close to my parents, about 15 minutes.  In fact I have not lived that close since.  I had a cold, or maybe sinus infection, and was feeling pretty lousy.  My mom stopped at the local diner on her way home, which made incredible matzoh ball soup, and picked me up a container and brought it to my apartment, not far but not really on her way home.  I have always maintained that chicken broth makes me feel better, and its the one main thing I do for a cold.  I know that just the act of my mother bringing a carton of soup to me was what really made me recover.  She took care of me, and that was what really mattered. 

People always say that you really don’t begin to grasp what a mother does until you have children of your own.  I think in part it’s true.  But if you love someone so much that you’re willing to do almost anything to help them and protect them, than you get the idea, even if you have no children.   Now that I have two of my own, both of whom are always moving in opposite directions, I really appreciate how much my mother gave to me and helped prepare me to be an independent woman.   I only hope that when my daughters are my age they will be able to look back on their childhood with such fond memories.  No flowers, candy, or even  reciprocating saw (which my mom got one year) can ever say how much is in my heart when I think of my mom.  Happy Mother’s day to all of us moms.  Especially mine. I love you, mom.

Birthday Week

Finally, the long-awaited week (day) is here.  My youngest is turning 6.  After months of asking when it was and how much longer it will be, it’s finally here.  The eve of her birthday.  She is very concerned about the state of her birthday treat (chocolate chip muffins for her class) and how many friends are coming to her birthday party on Saturday.   For me, I can hardly believe she is six years old.  She is such a little munchkin still, and so snuggly.  But on the other hand, I can scarcely imagine not knowing her and find myself wondering how she can only be six, when I feel as though she has been here my whole life.  I say birthday week, because as we all know, for kids, their life centers around this milestone, weeks of counting down turn into weeks of telling their parents how much older they are.  For adults, it’s a day, in which hopefully nothing catastrophic happens, like tripping over your own foot in the middle of a crowded room, or dropping the birthday cake.  (No, neither of those things have happened to me, amazingly)  Personally I would prefer to stay in bed with the covers over me for the entire day.  But, for my little one, not so little anymore really, it is all about her.  Today involved buying cake pans and muffin tins since I couldn’t find mine.  Now that I have the muffins in the oven, I remember that the old muffin tin rusted away and that the old cake pans were on loan to a friend.  Tomorrow is the official birthday dinner.  I always take the kids to the restaurant of their choice on the actual birthday.   Thursday, hopefully, I will know how many little friends will be attending her party and can pick up decorations and party favors.  Friday will be the making of the cake, an endeavor which is fraught with a little anxiety, being the first time I am using fondant.  Sometimes I wonder why I get so swept up in the details.  Saturday will be the last, the finale and the most tiring day of all.  Knowing my daughter however, it will be as fun as can be because she is essentially a happy kid.  It’s a tiring and slightly more stressful week than usual, but all in all it’s well worth the smiles and hugs.  Then I have a month or two respite, so that I can gear up for my older daughter’s MUCH more detail oriented birthday…..