Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Who Am I Exercise

Many of you have been inquiring how the writing's going, what I've been working on, and so forth. Some of you know I have been reflecting on my body of work overall, what I wish to pursue specifically, and what motivates me to do this work as I pull together writing samples and prepare an application for a writers-in-residence program. Tough and thought-provoking questions.

If you know me at all, or even slightly, or only by my blog, you would know that I do not take these kinds of questions lightly, but rather, for the last few weeks I have been in the thick of immersing myself in profound reflection...Who am I? What do I have to say? How is it relevant? What is the message? How can I impact readers? What is my point? Where am I heading with all of this? Why?

It is this very peeling back of the layers that makes this such a profound, disorienting, yet ultimately clarifying exercise, not unlike writing one's personal mission statement. To do this once a year, as I am now doing, and reflect not only on where I am currently, but also taking into account where I was last year when I asked myself the very same questions, is both breathtaking and revealing. To see progress, a refining of goals, a broadening of vision, an expanding collection of work is, well, both affirming and inspiring.

This I know to be true:
I write my truth. I share my struggles. I examine the past, attempting to heal the future. I try to stay present. Peeling back the layers…connecting the dots…gathering awareness. Sometimes I have more questions than answers. Sometimes I doubt where I'm going. At the same time, something inexplicable and forceful commands me onward. And so, I go. Page by page, not knowing the final destination, I am taken on a wild adventure, picking up clues, revealing secrets, uncovering mysteries, sometimes deadends, but hopefully illuminating understanding while growing compassion along the way. I hope my writing and speaking out will continue to spark dialogue around the globe. The whole purpose of sharing my story, particularly how motherhood is healing me, is to inspire others to heal and transform the brokenness of their past as they influence and parent the next generation.

Ok, that's all. You can go back to your cup of coffee now.

The Closing

As part of my unearthing process, an awareness came that begged to be recorded. As I sat down to write it out, I realized I may have written the closing of my book. Very exciting discovery. On further examination however, I believe it is more suited to be the preface, the call to action.

Either way, I share it with you.

The Closing

Like the slow closing of a clamshell, the turbulence of new motherhood with all its unsettling shock and upheaval, quietly, almost imperceptibly fades, as we adjust and get on with our lives, now one soul larger. The monotonous tone envelops us like an internal wave, smoothing away the rough edges with repeated lashings, erasing, forgetting, hypnotizing, surrendering; "it was nothing…I felt nothing…I remember was fine…everything's fine…"

Before the journey, you have no idea. After a few years, you can't remember. In the crest of the ride is the heart of the truth, achingly, maddeningly, lovingly present.

I write to remember. I write not to forget. I write for other women who ask and get glazed, hypnotic, glossy non-answers to the questions they seek: "it's the world's most incredible gift." "You are just glowing." "Aren't you so happy?" "Mothering is natural, instinctive." "You'll know what to do." "I survived it, so can you."

I can see why I got nowhere asking what it's like.

No, WAIT! I think out loud, as I recognize the lid closing in on my experience. Wake me from this trance. Keep my mind sharp. Keep my memories in tact. Fight to stay alert, alive, conscious. Write it all down. Document the journey. Shout it from the rooftops. Don't succumb to the lie. Break the code of silence. Our lives are at stake here women.

My introspection starts with my daughter. As I watch her grow, I reflect on my own inner child, and the influence of my mother, then of her inner child, and the influence of her mother, and how she learned, and how she mothered me, and how I learned, and how I mother my daughter, and what she'll learn, and take out into the world as she interacts with others, perhaps one day becoming a mother herself. The golden spiral curling forward and backward, ties us all, intricately, together.

This is the work of life, of building bridges, of healing the past, of awakening the present, and of growing the future. It is the telling of our true experience. It is the silent women's work of ages past, and ages to come.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Writing My Way Out Of A Paper Bag

I am trapped. Brown all around me. I see no windows, no doors, no view past the brown. Brown at my feet, brown at the top, encircled in scrappy brown.

I close my eyelids. I open them again. They might as well be glued shut. Or peeled back. Either way, it changes nothing. I cannot see. Confusion reigns.

I reach out ahead, grasping at nothing. Exhausted, the strength is drained out of me.

A fan spins overhead, whipping up a dust storm. I am enveloped in the stench, clogging my nose, filling my mouth, reaching my lungs. A windstorm of brown dust. Engulfed in brown and more brown. I hate brown. I wish it would go away. It doesn't.

It's hard to breathe. I curl into myself in some feeble attempt at self-protection. All I have is what's on me. All that remains is what's in me. I know nothing for certain. I can't find a vantage point.

I thought writing WAS the point.

What are the lessons then?

Or is it excavating our truth that is what's important? How do you define truth? What proves it to be so? Why? Why the re-telling of things passed?

I am afraid. Fearful. I can't remember. What is true? What's the point? Why go there, again? Does anybody really need to hear one more hard-luck story? Why? Tell me why? What's done is done.

I put that spinning wheel of a book back on the proverbial shelf and pull down a dictionary. Ah, words defined. Meanings. Concise.

I rummage through the book. I look up a few words. I don't find myself. I'm not there.

Nothing about my life is definable, except maybe gender. Certainly not identity. Not capability. Not possibility.

Child, woman. Woman, child. Some might even say childish woman. They might be right.

I write. I process. Thought, brain, hands, relief. That's all that I need. Is that radical? Dangerous writing? Subversive thought?

Battles rage over words. THE Word. MY word. YOUR word.


Are we dissidents then? Those who might dare to take a different perspective? Those who might shatter the status quo? Those who might disturb tea? Ruin appetite?

So sorry. So sorry. Carry on, then.

As I question my motives, my meanings, my point, I begin circling myself like some primal captive animal, wolf-like, sweet yet stealthy, eyes of steel, salivating, jaws capable of murder and mutilation. Shredding the flesh. Peeling it back.

I distort the facts. I distort the truth. The truth exists in my mind, made grotesque by hallucinogenic fixation. My mind is a spinning trap. Can't trust it.

This is not truth. Brown all around.

For a moment, it comes. I remember. Don't focus on pain--you only get more pain. Focus on love. Focus on healing. Focus on transcendence. Focus on what's present. Don't forget who you are. Don't forget where you're heading. Create what you want. Create well.

I hurl myself at the brown walls. Full body weight slams. Fist first I dive into it, breaking the spell, ripping the enclosure, tearing away the illusion.

Though it held me captive, it was paper-thin.

Glorious light streams in and surrounds me, warming my shocked body. Suckling me back to health.

I've been hiding all along.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Skipped Parts

We are attached, Sienna and I. She is as dependent as she is willful. She chases after her freedom, her "no MEs," her "I can DO its," while still clinging, refusing to let go. It's Ok, I say, you're only 4. There's no race to grow up. Be here for a while.

We tackle another round of wails and death grips by the preschool gate. Would it be so bad if I spend another 5 minutes hugging her into reassurance this morning? For Godsakes, we could be at war tomorrow!

I was as willful as a child, yet it was tempered with fear. Fear of a rage that could render me useless. Pushing ahead, trying to achieve independence, mastery, acceptance, while skipping over very basic developments, such as emotional security and trust. I spent my youth as an adult, detached, vying for acceptance, achieving for validation while worrying about my mother, predicting her moods, her needs never satisfied. "Look Ma, no hands. Look Ma, principal cellist. Look Ma, I got the lead. Look Ma, I got a job. Look Ma, top of my class. Look Ma, ivy league school."

Physically I was fine. I could keep up with the rest. Intellectually I was advanced, although it seemed normal to me. Being a May baby I started school early, skipped 8th grade, by 13 I was in English Lit classes with 16 yr-olds, and at the end of high school I was 16 with college credits. Did it matter that I had a head full of learning when I was nothing inside?

My emotional development came through pouring my feelings into the arts. I was on a mission to express myself, through music, dance, the theater, art. It was all about displacement. Being someone else. Feeling somewhere safe. Escape to another world. I tried not to look inside myself. When I did I was lonely, empty, and sad. So full of life and yet, so full of holes.

I spent my 20's proving I was a worthy adult. Loving despite my self-hatred. I attracted one-night stands and triangles, or unrequited love. I was falling apart with walls of steel.

I spent my 30's becoming a teenager, reliving (somebody else's) youth, putting down roots, taking the time to play, have fun, to heal and grow, and to finally catch up socially. I found acceptance and support. I grew into me.

Now I'm a mother, and much more is becoming clear. I watch the natural progression of child development, nurtured in my daughter, uninterrupted this time. No skipped parts.

In some ways, I was older when I was younger. I am younger now.

As a mother, I am fully connecting the dots, learning as my child does how to nurture, value and support my self and others.

Sometimes I think we were picked for this exceptional preschool for my growth, as well as hers. I have learned as much or more about emotional development (recovery), boundaries (mine and hers), trying something different (a different approach), overcoming obstacles, conflict resolution, learning to share and take turns, multiple perspectives, building community, working as a team for the collective good, listening, finding value and respect in my work as well as others.

My coping came from survival. It was fight or flight, or surf the wave of emotions and try not to get sucked under. I grew up fighting. Pushing back against the world. Feeling inadequate, punched full of holes.
Filling anger with ambition.
Filling sadness with sex.
Filling self-hatred with vanity.
Filling doubt with escape.

That was then. The holes don't deplete me now. I have been filling the holes, turning the soil, watering it well, so I can become who I was meant to be, all that I am.

I surrender to Love, and give thanks. And when you need another hug, I'll give it.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Will You Sign This Please?

I'm willing to get down off my memoir soapbox and offer up the following bit of humor, but please check out the previous post and share your thoughts. Ok, moving on...

"I'm NEVER gonna marry a boy, ever!
If the boy says, "will you marry me?" I'll say, Nope, nope, nope. I'm never marrying a boy!

I'm just gonna live in this house, until you move into a different house.
I'm just staying with Mommy & Daddy.

If you never move then I will never move.
If you do move, then I'll move too.
If you move to a different city, then I'll move to a different city.
But if you don't move to a different city, then I'll NEVER move to a different city,
because I love Mommy & Daddy too much!"

(dated 9/13/06)

This last announcement had my husband and I busting a gut. Ah, do you think you could put this in writing? Wait, I just did. Sign here, please.

Cut to 12 years from now, my daughter, well into her too cool for Mom years, dating "Thor" the tattooed, nose-ringed bass player from the band, Galactic Dust Bomb, is begging to go on the road with him.

Ah, well, I've got this document you signed, sweetie…

Of course, 2 days later, while picking her up from afterschool play, she announced that she would be marrying Bobby Romano, a punky little kid in her preschool with a penchant for hitting innocent bystanders. But, she told me only girls could come. No boys.

Go figure.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

On Memoir…Documenting The Truth

It took a few days of contemplation in-between preschool drop offs, trips to the grocery store and preparing school lunches, before my thoughts started to take shape on the decision not to capture (record) and then potentially podcast or transcribe the upcoming literary salon in NYC, featuring authors Jennifer Lauck, Kathryn Harrison, Mary Morris and Jo Ann Beard discussing memoir. I sense it is going to be a brilliant event, but due to geography as well as previous commitments on the opposite coast, I just can't be there for it or I would have hopped on a plane.

Beyond the personal sadness, the disappointment, this subject seems so timely and important that the decision to not document the discussion and make it available somehow, in my opinion, feels like such a mistake, a lost opportunity. But it will not be documented. It will not be archived. It will live in its glorious moment of the now and then, poof, vanish into a memory for the handful of folks fortunate enough to be in the room. Perhaps a few anecdotes will be written up and linger on someone's blog, but the exchange of dialogue, the synergy, the lessons revealed will be lost forever.

The salon as described on Jennifer Lauck's blog:
"We will be talking on the hot, hot, very hot controversy over truth in memoir and how it is for us to write about our lives and the lives of our families. We'll also be talking about how others respond to our truth and the challenges we face writing memoir. This is a great opportunity to meet with women, struggling with these questions…"

First of all, while I totally respect people's privacy and uncomfortability being recorded, I think some clarity about what will be discussed might be helpful. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but from reading the above description it sounds like this panel is going to focus on questions about the PROCESS of writing memoir and its aftermath, as opposed to the CONTENT, such as, what it's like to delve in and excavate a deeply personal story, reveal secret truths, discuss what "truth" is as it pertains to memoir, how memoir-izing "truth" changes the facts, how much "artistic license" is there in memoir before it becomes something else, what going public with private material feels like, how others react to it especially family members and those written about, and when the content is received, how it feels to be judged not only on your "work" writing it, but also, on your life as you remember it.

To me, this discussion is not so much about the CONTENT of what happened in the memoirs, (the stories themselves), as it is a panel discussing the PROCESS of excavation, working through the fear of going to those dark places and "telling the family secrets" or "breaking the code of silence," and with it potentially risking certain support or loyalty. It is, hopefully, discussing publishing this type of work, the roadblocks in that process especially for women, what it feels like to "go wide with your story," to be so exposed to the world, and also how to deal with the inevitable remarks, reviews, commentary, praise, or backlash--both personally and publicly--that arise as a result of going public with sensitive material.

I personally want to know how Kathryn Harrison dealt with the outrageous, even vicious reviews of "The Kiss," and how she survived that both professionally and personally. Could I have been that tough-skinned? Or would I have curled up into the fetal position and never written another paragraph? I want to know what type of legal protection there is if a slander suit arises between the author and one of her "characters," a topic one or more of these authors might be able to address. How does one get their memoir published if publishers keep saying it is a dying genre or too hot to handle right now?

In light of the recent determination that James Frey and Random House will be held financially responsible for selling misrepresented material prior to the Oprah brouhaha, (ie. his memoir wasn't completely factual), it opens the door to a whole lot of questions about truth, memoir and liability.

And yet memoirs continue to fly off the shelves, get turned into movies, blogs are rapidly increasing into the millions, and reality TV makes up a larger percentage of programming than written entertainment. There definitely is a demand for "real" material, personal stories, accounts, experiences, people's opinions, people's "truths," whether you like them, agree with them, or not. This IS a hot topic. This IS current.

On the benefit of a panel discussion
If I want advice, I can ask a friend. I can go to a teacher and hear what he or she has to say. I can post my query online and wait for feedback. But to invite a discussion between 4 published memoirists combined with open audience Q&A, is a rare opportunity to hear more than one point of view, as well as shared opinions, opposing thoughts, advice and other insights sparked by the group dynamic. It is dialogue, the free exchange of ideas and perspectives offered from writers who have already been through it. It is a collaborative perspective on the matter. It is an important group discussion. I hope there are many more.

On the benefit of documentation
Consider this. If journals, letters, and stories passed on verbally from generation to generation, copies of speeches and course material were not saved and archived, a huge chunk of literature simply would not exist. The amount of books that would be "lost" would be devastating. The insight into the artistic process, what a certain artist went through while creating and exposing his work, and any lessons shared, is priceless information to future aspiring artists. Useless if not documented, preserved and made available.

As far as writing memoir goes, memoir is in itself documenting the truth. It is validating your truth by telling your story sometimes after a lifetime of holding it in. Many times it goes against those who ostensibly were supposed to love and protect you. It takes a great deal of courage. I understand the fear and hesitancy to do this. The exposure of sensitive, often brutal subject matter is difficult. I get that and I compassionately understand.

I too struggled when a very personal essay of mine got published. I wondered why I had put it out there. I also took my time with the decision to go public with my private blog. I resist writing my childhood memoir even though I know it can help people. Published bits of it already have. It isn't comfortable. It isn't light subject matter. I feel raw and vulnerable on the page. It is weird to know people are reading my life. It is even weirder to read others debate your life as if they know you when they don't. If I could hear how others more experienced survived this process and any sage advice they might be able to share, it would be tremendously helpful to me.

I do see that when I have been able to open up and let my own written words reach an audience, in essence, when I have set the story free, it has touched people. It resonates. It gives others the strength to not feel so alone, and to have the courage to confront and work through their own life. It is potentially a healing process for everyone. We help each other. We need each other's stories, dialogue and support to process and make sense of our lives. That is why this panel discussion seems so important to me. That is why I do not want their words to vanish.

I hope that this salon, whether archived or not, is just the beginning of an ongoing open discussion about memoir and the process of excavating and exposing our truths. As we shed our past, becoming more authentic as individuals, may we continue to find ways to connect and support each other in the process.

As always, I invite your comments and feedback.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Hey, Don't I Know You?

Seems no matter what town I'm in (and I've been through a few), what age I am, what color my hair is, or what I'm up to, somebody manages to spot me, come up to me and announce, "Hey, don't I know you?" Or, "You look familiar, have we met before?"

Seriously. In every possible town and at every stage of my adult life. It's starting to get a little freaky.

I used to think it was mostly a pick-up line used on me by men, with me sometimes playing along knowingly, willingly, (wink, wink), absolutely certain they had never met me in their life. Ah, wishful thinking, guys.

I've even used the same tactic when I thought a guy was potentially hot and wanted to "acquire" him. "Hey, have we met before?" I'd smile, throwing him off his guard, forcing him to look closer and find common ground in the rolodex of his mind. It's such a tired approach. At least "have we slept together before?" would have been a fresher take on the same old line.

But lately as I get older, and continue to hear this from more and more women as well as men, across a huge range of environments, ages, and cities, I have become thoroughly perplexed.

Do you all know me?

What is it you recognize about me?

Do I look so common, so similar to everyone else?

Have I touched you in some way?

Do you know something I can't remember?

Have our lives, perhaps, truly crossed somewhere along the continuum?

I had a totally unfamiliar (to me) woman practically assault me recently at a preschool birthday party, sure she knew me. We couldn't figure it out. She didn't have kids and she didn't even live here. She was just visiting the host. It happened again last week in a store in Minneapolis, a town I was just visiting, a town I left years ago. Nope, I don't live here anymore. You can't possibly know me.

I don't even know what "I" look like. Over the years I have been a size 4, a size 16, and everything in-between. I have had short red hair, long blonde hair and been wavy dark brunette. I have gone from a flat 34A to an overflowing 38 DD while engaged in being a giant milkbag for my daughter. Not much about me has stayed the same, except maybe my height. (At least for a few years now.) Even my feet have widened, not to mention my backside.

So how do you think you know me?

Did I wait on you, feed you, rub elbows with you at some swank event? Have you seen me onstage, on air, at the grocery store? Do you have small children and we've run in concentric circles at the park, the preschool circuit, walking around the neighborhood? Did we take yoga class, step class or aerobic class together?

Were you a dancer, a performer, a singer, a musician too? Did we ever do any gigs together? Sessions? Shows? Shots at the bar? Or were you in the audience at any point of this long and varied career of mine?

Have you lived in Minneapolis, Boston, New York City, upstate New York, Louisville or Los Angeles? Have we met while traveling through Chicago, Nashville, Austin, Memphis, Dallas, Cincinnati, Indianapolis or even Europe perhaps? Did we sit across from each other at an airport terminal waiting for our planes? Did we sit next to each other on the subway? In the kitchen? At the bank? On the beach? What do you do that I do too?

Have you been married, renovated a home, designed a kitchen, landscaped a cement slab of a yard? Did we meet in the aisles of Home Depot, Target or Bed, Bath and Beyond? Are you also a Ross or Trader Joe's junkie? Do you stand in line at Peet's for fresh beans? Where do you get your hair done? Where do you purchase your appliances? Detail your car?

Who's your OB or your pediatrician? Do we see the same dermatologist? Are you part of the same online mama groups I am? What's your screen name? Your married name? Your professional name?

Could we really know each other? Have we really met?

Or are you recognizing in me the universal truth that I am what you are and we are all truly connected. We are all the same one person.

I am every woman.

We are all One.

"I'm every woman, it's all in me…"

Monday, September 11, 2006

What're Ya Sayin' ??

Today Sienna made a self-portrait in preparation for her "Family Book" she needs to take back with her when school resumes on Tuesday.

The "Family Book" is an ongoing collection of photos and artwork about her family, her friends, her favorite things, special trips and summer playdates with school friends. It's used to re-connect the home and family to her "work" at school throughout the year, as well as to tie summer memories to the fall. The children add to their books each year and share them with each other as a way to connect and learn.

Here is her most recent addition, the self-interpretation.

Note the long blonde "princess hair," to the floor pink dress-up gown, flowered tiara-headband and red high-heeled shoes. She added brown eyes and purple lipstick for full effect.

Next, note her portrait of "Mommy the Elephant."

Ok, she did draw a bunch of blue hearts all around it, but c'mon, "Mommy the ELEPHANT?"

Just exactly what are you trying to say here Little Missy?

Note the teeny tiny head, the enormous ears, (it's true nothing gets past THESE musician ears), long drawn out skinny nose across the page, huge body to head ratio, and what's with all those big scribbles in the middle? Extra weight? Largess? El Super Grande Mamacita?

Is that how she sees me? An ELEPHANT??!!


(Better keep on that running program.)

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Family Ties

Back from Minneapolis. Back from Cleveland. Back from a collision course of emotions. His family, my family. Today my husband gave me the morning to do my thing. Great Guy. I give my thanks. Mainly because we both need the precious time…it's so precious without "work." (ie. find work, work at what we do, look for paying work, work our minds, work our creativity, make it work…)

But we are thankful to be alive. To be passionate. To NOT be passive, in a rut, hating life, working for "The Man," drinking heavily just to make it tolerable, as if that were all there is. To not speak your mind, to always stuff it down, to "accept" your lot in life without question and not push up against it and go for something more is to go numb, bit by precious bit. Eventually you move so far away from your own unique spirit, your personal zeal and vigor, your life purpose, the present…you become a walking shell of a man.

I'll take our chaotic, stress-filled, freelance life any day over that one! At least we're alive. At least we're creating. Not afraid of the unknown, the blank page, the empty track, the next challenge. We stare down our bills every month and somehow manage, by the grace of God and without staff, to manage our careers and our family, and put the roof over our head. It IS a blessing, I know, but it is also a choice. Our choice. I am thankful for that.

The free exchange of ideas, whether for a song, an article, a book, a business idea, a screenplay, a special project, dish or clothing line… is fresh. It is created from nothing. It IS what is happening. It IS what is made, created. This is why we left the midwest. This is why we moved to LA, and before that NY. To be surrounded by doers, creators. To be in the thick of it. Others can scurry around from afar and try to analyze or postulate what is being created, copy and dissect it, label it. Follow it perhaps. Reject it perhaps. Turn it into a trend. Judge it. Put it down. That is their priviledge and their world.

At least I own my truth. I own my creations. I own my mind. I own my life.

Today I went out for a local neighborhood run. My body, still recovering from the slam-bam of 2 back-to-back family trips, felt swollen and less sharp. Body in fog. Wrapped in haze. Fat, bloated, puffed out from so many family toxins. I come home like the Pillsbury doughboy, all soft and squishy. Proofing in the oven of life.

Still, there is a lot to reflect on….

Who am I? What is family? What does family mean to me? Or to you? How do our differing "agendas" or sense of responsibility, obligation, duty line up, or not? What is so difficult about spending time with people so set in their ways? So self-involved? Controlling, even? How far out of my own comfort zone can I stray? Where is the boundary of how much of myself I can drop in order to please another, but without feeling my needs aren't being valued? Amidst the pull of so many people's needs, what exactly are my needs?

When do I speak my mind and when do I bite my tongue? Why is talking about the truth so hard for some people? Why is the truth so hard to hear? Why do I have such a need to know, more than others do? Why do some people live entirely in the past, and others reject it completely and refuse to talk about it, or explain their part in it as it pertains to the family? Why are certain questions so blatantly disregarded?

Why is it so appealing for some to eat and drink their way into oblivion, as if gathering is one big drinkfest to survive, not really a chance to bond or communicate? (I'll admit it, I'm the first person to enjoy a delicious cocktail or glass of wine now and then, but not to the point of oblivion, numbness, checking out, and not as a day and night routine when not working.)

Why is it so hard to just be who you are now, within the context of old, worn out family roles?

So much is not said. So much is said that means nothing…to anyone. Just time filling. Wallpaper. What's the point? Check in then check out?

It is sad to me…to not be fully awake, aware, present. Do some people not even see this? Are their tongues tied in knots? Is it best to leave well enough alone? What is "well enough?"

To quote my daughter, "you can't grow down, you just grow up."

I hope I never stop growing.

My goal upon my return, and the return of school "coverage," is to return to work. To be fully present. To write my thoughts, as they are. To go forth bravely, and continue to both unveil and be who I am. I realize this may make some people uncomfortable. I realize this may shake old secrets to the core. Covers may crack. Relationships may be tenuous and uneasy. So be it.

I refuse to walk through my life numb, drunk, furious, yet covered over, or worse, lost in the past. I want to be present, living out loud, writing my way out of the past while building a bridge to the future.

Amen to that.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Apology Accepted

"Dear Mommy,

I'm so sorry for being mean to you in the fairy game.
Next time I'll try and be nicer.


This is a note my daughter "wrote" to me after she was not playing fair (or nice) during a game of fairy cards, to which my response was "if you're not going to play nice, then we won't be playing at all." Typical mother-child cliché. She stormed off and had a fit.

Later, after I had ignored her for long enough, she got busy in her room and came out to present me with this apology note she had created, no prompting from me. She insisted I memorize what it "said" as she "read" it to me three times, so I wouldn't forget. Note the triangular ear-like piece stapled to the top of the page. Huh? But also note the perfect heart she drew towards the bottom before "LOEA SIENNA."

(C'mon, she's only 4 and already she's attempting to write out her feelings all by herself.)


On The Other Hand…

Lately we've been reading Beverly Cleary's classic, Ramona The Pest, in chapters before bedtime. It's about a willful little Kindergartner. Seems like today, (and last night when she belligerently had a fit at 2am and refused to go back to bed!), Sienna The Pest would be more appropriate. She's really been a piece of work lately, pushing all kinds of buttons.

Geez, will summer break ever end?

While the rest of you moms are already crying and high-fiving, having an additional cup of coffee or cocktail, I've still got another 5 days until school starts up again!

Five more days until school starts.

Not today. Not all weekend. Not even Monday. Nope. That's reserved for teacher's day.

Not 'Til Tuesday…"keep it down now…voices carry…"