Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
I am from a Bicentennial celebration of the Liberty Bell, a brick ranch, a Georgia colonial, and the wafting scents of sauteed garlic and onion. I am from everywhere and nowhere, from many sturdy oak-lined streets with well-traveled sidewalks.
I am from zinc oxide and a plethora of satin swim team ribbons.
I am from the red tulips of Maine, the blizzard of 1979 and countless grains of white sand lining the blissful shores of Lake Michigan.
I am from homemade cinnamon rolls, ingrained curiosity and an English teacher. From Three Dog Night and the Muppets. From unchaperoned games of Ghost in the Graveyard, and parents who rang a cow bell when the time arrived to come in from the dark.
I am from the the incense filled vestibules of Cathedrale Notre Dame de Paris, lit prayer candles and and an unwavering cadence of strength.
I am from a family who staunchly believes in Santa Claus. From a love of shoes, Waterford crystal and twisted corkscrew willows.
I am from devout Catholics, an almost-nun and baptized atheists. From the intoxicating scent of crisp sheets line-dried on a sunny day and Shel Silverstein's Where the Sidewalk Ends.
I'm from the oldest of five and the oldest of two, from him and from her. From chicken paprikash with handmade spatzel, countless potatoes and a staunch love of college football. From metallic foil wallpaper and gold, wide-whale corduroy couches.
From a woman who worked for the Red Cross in Korea, wearing crisp white uniforms with quaint hats. I am from nurses, pilots, dentists and electricians. I'm from careful, faded love letters, intricate unions and complex dissolutions.
I am from monogrammed sweaters, Bermuda bags and a well-read copy of The Preppy Handbook. I am from hippies, Republicans, Democrats and Vietnam vets. I am from a myriad of exhalations, sacrifices and shoveled walks. I am from a raven-haired, violet-eyed homecoming queen and hearty immigrants. I am from each experience of my many families, and profound belief in something more profound than me. I am from each step to now and the hum of a faithful dishwasher. I am from them all; I am me.
Thanks to Lindsey, and the many other bloggers whose execution of this exercise inspired me to write my own. You can go here to find the Where I Am From template. The original poem, Where I Am From, by George Ella Lyon, is beautiful and can be read here.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
My pal Lindsey posted a fun Vanity Fair questionnaire yesterday with her responses (as she said, "Vanity Fair has two questionnaires every month – the famous Proust Questionnaire (meaty questions, back page) and the lighter list in the Culture section in the middle of the book."). Lindsey and I delved into the lighter fair and because I love the trivial not-so-trivial, here are my answers. Would love to hear your answers, too!
Where do you live: New Jersey
Favorite art: Picasso (a new addition after seeing his work in Spain), Georgia O’Keeffe, My daughter's paintings, Monet
Pets: Not now...but still miss our big red dog Ruby
Favorite neighborhood restaurant: Oh, if only there were restaurants in my neighborhood....
Favorite cocktail: dry Cabernet Sauvignon
Who inspires you: Those who choose to smile. Musician/songwriters: not only do the write the words but also build the entire song?...crazy. Gifted writers. Strength in the face of diversity. People who share their experiences with raw honesty.
Necessary extravagance: My life coach.
Favorite place in the world: Can't pick just one. Driving in my car, music blaring, singing like I'm with the band. Snuggled in bed with Henry. Laughing with Abby. Cozy-movie watching with hubby.
Designer: J Crew, Tory Burch
Jeans: Ummmm....new favorite? Brace yourself: Faded Glory, WalMart. Curvy Bootcut. $12. You're welcome.
Watch: Swiss Army
T-shirt: Gap Supersoft
Day bag: since I don't have enough space to bore you with my multitude of purses, let's just say there are many.
Evening bag: Dark green patent leather croc clutch from Forever 21
Favorite city to shop: Chicago
Lipstick: Lip gloss (currently love E.L.F. glosses from Target. $1!)
Mascara: Max Factor 2000 calorie (no longer made so searching for replacement)
Moisturizer: Cetaphil at night, Olay spf 30 at day
Perfume: Winter: WISH Sugar Pastille. Summer: Bath and Body Works Cucumber Melon
Soap: Lever 2000 and Unscented Dove
Nail-polish color: IF my hands are painted, super neutral or a new fav, Sally Hansen Complete Manicure, Commander in Chic. Toes--anything dark and fun.
Who cuts your hair: Right now, me. Had so many bad hair cuts in the last year I'm utterly petrified to have anyone else cut it.
Who colors your hair: Brenda. (What's that? You're shocked to hear that I'm not a natural blond? Thought so.)
Friday, November 19, 2010
Monday, November 8, 2010
Last week, Henry got sick. A raging ear infection took hold and he couldn't tolerate food or water for 36 hours. (The upside to a kid throwing up in a different spot every hour: house, couch, family room, bathrooms and bedrooms (and all linens) are now very, very clean.) After watching Henry writhe and throw up for more than a day, we bundled into the car, with bucket in tow, and headed to the ER. An expertly administered IV coursed Zofram, antibiotics and saline into his limp little body. Henry and I curled up in that tiny little ER bed and he lay limply on my chest.
Just six hours after we returned from the ER visit, Henry migrated from his gray-faced, listless heap on the couch to standing. He chased Abby. He laughed and pleaded for food. A satisfied smile played at the corners of my mouth. After 48 hours of his palpable misery, I gave thanks for the return of his health.
I went upstairs to put clean sheets on my and Hubby's bed and the flannel sheets made their debut. I pulled the red flannels from their quiet resting spot in the linen closet and spread them out. I took solace in their tightly lined creases, whispering promises of a cozy, warm November slumber.
Both kids bathed. I could hear the strains of their individual chatter and singing. Peripherally, I spied a stripe of resting sun peeking through a frigid, charcoal-stippled evening sky. One of Abby's watercolor paintings cheerfully beckoned from the laundry room wall. I stood, surrounded by the sturdy solace at the final curve of sick days. Alive with the evidence of life: warmth generated from the constantly spinning dryer. The click click clack of a zipper hitting the sides of the dryer drum hummed to me. I folded the five sets of clothes Henry wore yesterday. I folded many well-loved pajamas.
I garnered incredible solace handling all of their laundry--knowing what each stain represented, what each of their days held, and knowing that they returned to me at the end of each one. I stood, saturated in the almost primitive workings of my home, my family. I stood, steeped in peace. Because I knew, with clarity, that these days will pass. My future holds many days of not knowing what they wore or where they were or what stained their clothes. My relationships with them will grow and morph, mirroring the children themselves. I know that when I look back on these years with my children, I will miss the complexity, simplicity, sureness and uncertainty of these times. And know that our current rhythms will be replaced by other shades of unrest, growth and certainty.
Full. Contended calm. It was enough.