Happy Second Birthday, Lexi

2/16/14

Dear Lexi,  Happy 2nd Birthday.  I love you, sweetie-pie. What a good, good dog you are,  so cute and affectionate.Lexi1

You were a nasty, wild, hurtful puppy, weren’t you? Don’t look so sad, you didn’t know better. I know you are sorry. You were just an oral devil dog, digging those demon sharp puppy teeth into our arms and legs and clamping down. We probably tasted better than all the chew toys we bought you. Our welts gave you texture, right? Grandma kept telling us to “give you back” every single day but I couldn’t do that. Many trainers tried but they all said “You’ve got a really willful puppy there but if/when she grows out of it you’ll have a really great dog.”And, sweet girl that is who you have become.(Thank God)

At about eighteen months, from one day to the next while we were busy doing other things you became a dog, an amazing dog. One that cuddles and protects us, hugs us and plays with us. You are the dog we always wanted, we just needed to give you and ourselves a little more time.

It taught us all about being more patient, didn’t it?

Right now you are sleeping with your head on my knee, nuzzling, a part of you always has to be directly on me.  You know each member of the family so well. With Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain I do spend a lot of time in bed and that’s where you come, leaping on the bed, to be with me, happily. When “Dad” is around you get the leash, go to the front door, and start whimpering. You get instantly wild when your brother comes to visit, but we know he provokes you. He allows you to be wild, we don’t. Yes, I know, YOU are WAY cool when you rough house together.

Oh, but when your sister comes home from college you hear her parking her car and you run to the front door and start crying until she comes in.  Yes, our daughter, your sister, will kneel down to your level and you hug each other while you cover her with kisses. That picture of the two of you on the ground stays in my heart forever.

Have a Happy 2nd Birthday, thank you for choosing us at the shelter to be your family.Lexi2

Love, Mom

Advertisements

I Sing, I Dance, I Laugh

 IMG_0011

Happily tired, accomplished, cooking meals for others, gathering things for my children. My dog, Lexi, darts in-between my legs, she tries to fight with me as I dance, alone, to the music that is playing from my computer. After watching me dance, she gives up and looks at me quizzically, she doesn’t want to be involved in THIS game, her bone is definitely more interesting. If dancing is considered exercise then I am in pretty good shape. To me, music, my music, stuck in the 70’s and 80’s makes everything feel better.

I laugh aloud, if people would see me they would question my sanity but I really don’t care, I sing horribly, but at top volume, to any song that I know. This is the joy and wisdom of being over fifty.

Granted, if my children were home they would not find this amusing at all, so I would just shut my door and continue to dance, but I know I would not feel the same way. I would feel too constricted, like a bird with a wounded wing. I can ignore judgment from other people but from my children it is definitely harder.

Being healthy and happy is all that matters, taking life one step at a time. Once in a while I get ahead of myself, and I pay the price. Today, I am enjoying, my dog, the quiet of the empty streets, the smell of vanilla lingering in my kitchen and the sound of my laughter as I continue to dance around the fake Spanish tiles in my kitchen floor. The music is loud, everything is balanced; I appreciate what I have this moment.

“i’d rather teach one bird how to sing than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance.”

e.e. cummings

I’d rather learn from one bird how to sing than to teach ten thousand stars how not to dance.

e. e. cummings

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/e/eecummin176712.html#AVsOVhZKeqGSPbss.99

I’d rather learn from one bird how to sing than to teach ten thousand stars how not to dance.

e. e. cummings

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/e/eecummin176712.html#AVsOVhZKeqGSPbss.99

I’d rather learn from one bird how to sing than to teach ten thousand stars how not to dance.

e. e. cummings

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/e/eecummin176712.html#AVsOVhZKeqGSPbss.99

I’d rather learn from one bird how to sing than to teach ten thousand stars how not to dance.

e. e. cummings

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/e/eecummin176712.html#AVsOVhZKeqGSPbss.99

Enhanced by Zemanta

Plinky Prompt: When was the ( FIRST) last time you really stood out in a crowd?

  • Horses

    Horses (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn_BE_BACK_IN_SEPTEMBER)

  • When was the last time you really stood out in a crowd? Are you comfortable in that position, or do you wish you could fade into the woodwork? See all answers
  • The Cactus Rock Lodge, AZ.
  • I was one of those painfully shy children with a bold and charismatic mother and my sister who demanded all the attention. But, deep inside me there must have been a spark, a tiny little spark just waiting to be ignited. It’s a story that changed my life forever.
    My family and I were on a vacation to a Dude Ranch in Arizona for the first time. It was NOTHING fancy back then but they called milk “moo juice” and pancakes were “hotcakes” and it was the first time I had ever eaten them, soft and sweet with syrup.  They had a few horses, I remember a white one named “Granny” that I would take care of and eventually ride. Everybody was friendly and homey and like a big ol’ family.
    The owners’ names were Helen and Mac, one night they passed around a microphone to everyone in the room so they could introduce themselves, say their name, age and where they came from.
    Soon enough they came to our table and after my mom, dad and sister introduced themselves, my mother spoke up and said about me “oh no, she’s too shy.” I can feel that moment now as I felt it back then. A split second life changing moment. Should I or shouldn’t I?
    I grabbed the microphone from my mother and marched my six-year-old backside to the center of the room. I remember Mac said something encouraging to me, with admiration. I was a little pip squeak with a very short pixie cut and twinkling blue eyes. I said “I’m Laurie, I’m 6 years old and I’m from New York.”
    Wow, what a response!! Everybody clapped and hooted and hollered and Mac looked as proud as can be and he asked for another round of applause for this “brave young lady.” The look of shock on my mother’s face was worth every second and I’m sure that was half the fun at the very least though I am not sure I was conscious of that at the time. That day changed my life or rather, I changed my life that evening.
    It definitely lay dormant for many years but in the back of my mind, I always knew that deep down was a little girl just waiting to state her independence and to show people she could dazzle; in her own time, when SHE was ready. To this day, never, ever, tell her what she can and cannot do because she is a stubborn woman!

  • UPDATE: FWF
  • Through the years, I realized what my mother and father had always said about me was true. Sure, I was emotional and sensitive and could cry at the drop of a hat, at anything sentimental, old photographs of her children, a crayon drawing she had kept for fifteen years, an old birthday card from her dad. But, deep down, I knew, as my parents had always told me, beyond the emotional exterior, I was very, very strong. Like steel. That has helped me in so many ways I have lost count. My sister who had all the false bravado is no where near as strong as I am in these things, she is strong in other things. But, my parents, as if giving me the greatest gift of all, gave me the knowledge of confidence when I needed it most.

“Bullies Are Cruel” – Our New School Song

The kids playing together while dinner is prepped

The kids playing together while dinner is prepped (Photo credit: Alexander N)

“I want to sing like a hyena, and dance like a ballerina

Make ice cream out of your toes

Flip sausages for your nose

I want to run, jump and hide

with my friends at my side

We want to play and never go to sleep

we want to giggle and flop into a heap.

On the days there is no school

we can be found jumping in the park’s pool.

Life is great in every way,

just have friends

like mine, it’s the only way.

If there is someone who seems alone

go up to them and ask them to play along.

It’s not easy being new

so try your best to be kind and true.

It was that way for me

before my friends were nice to me.

So give a helping hand, whenever you can

give everyone a chance to hold hands and play

Peers become important in middle childhood and...

Peers become important in middle childhood and have an influence distinct from that of parents. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Don’t hurt someone’s feelings

not on purpose and not by chance

think of how you would feel

if you were in their PANTS!

No BULLIES at our school

because we know BULLIES ARE CRUEL!!!!”

The Letter

Thomas the Tank Engine depicted in the TV Series

Image via Wikipedia

Dear Kate,

It’s been a long time since we last talked or wrote each other. How are you? I have a feeling I know. I can’t believe our boys are graduating from High School in four weeks.  It doesn’t matter that so many miles and so many years have passed by. We still have the memories, the boys still have a connection and so do we. As I grow older I realize that there are many types of friendships on so many levels and they are all different and good.

Right now, I am stuck in between pride and delight and loss and simple sadness.  It seems like it was yesterday that our two boys, mine with his dark brown hair and yours with his light blond hair were playing in the sandbox together and sipping apple juice from juice box containers, tilting their heads back and drinking from the tiny spout without the straw. Our whole family called it the “Nick” way for many years; it made quite an impression! I can still see us watching our children together, sitting at a picnic bench, side by side, while they dug in the heavy, beige sand. Now, our sons are graduating High School and heading soon, after the summer, to college.

Wasn’t it yesterday, Katie, that I was cradling my newborn son in my arms, his head snuggling against my shoulder, the sweet, milky, powdery smell of baby? Trying to remember the smell is virtually impossible. Even back then, when I breathed it in daily, hourly, every second of the night and day, I wanted to bottle it, especially for nostalgic times like these.

Adam is going to the prom in less than a week with his girlfriend. The word “girlfriend” does not roll off my tongue naturally yet, because the word was always forbidden in the house…that is, until a few months ago. It makes me happy to see Adam and his girlfriend together, and it makes me sad, for them, that they will be saying goodbye to each other very soon. But, that’s how life works. This is all so new to him and I can’t protect him from pain any more now than I could protect him once he was properly suited up when he played football in the early years. Our children need to work things out and learn by themselves, they will need to grow up on their own.

I am trying to prepare myself for the quiet stillness of the house without Adam here at home. Julia, my beautiful blond 16 and a half year old “baby”, has only one more year left of High-School and then she too, graduates. It’s all a bit overwhelming, it feels like the powerful ride of the dark-green ocean waves with no rest in-between. When Julia graduates from High-School and is in college I can imagine that this tiny house, our family home will seem cavernous. We cannot imagine the silence creeping into our house like moths, flapping their fragile wings without a sound.

I wonder if we will miss the kids’  booming voices, the fighting, the shrieks, and their clothes all over their floors. I am sure we will at first. I imagine this whole, new experience summed up in a word: “bitter-sweet” some happy, some sad, like the strong branches with delicate red berries growing on them.

I still carry the picture in my mind of the boys playing with smiling Thomas The Tank Engine and his friends. How we built bridges and tunnels with wooden Brio pieces time and time again. Thomas and his Friends and tracks and the Conductor are still somewhere in my mildewy basement; I could not say good-bye to them too.

Love, Jane

My Boredom Cures

This photo of a rural child was photographed b...

Image via Wikipedia

Books, Movies, TV, Blogging, Music, Writing, Computer, Books…..Still bored after all those options? Get a grip! I’m generally not bored, and I’m generally not fussy. I’ve always been able to occupy my “alone” time. In childhood, our mom said I was happy to play in my room all by myself but that my older sister needed to be entertained all the time. I see that with my own children now: my oldest child needs to be entertained and my second born is more content and doesn’t mind alone time (though she probably wouldn’t admit to it). Maybe it has to do with birth order.  The first-born child does get undivided attention, where us second born (or babies) have never known anything else except sharing. We’ve never had undivided attention. Maybe it’s a coping mechanism or just maybe we are more content. Or it’s simply a personality issue. Alone time, to me, doesn’t mean I’m bored, it means I’m comfortable with myself.

Powered by Plinky

Selianne and I

Aruba, Merry Christmas, December 25, 2009

In the sparkling diamond crystals of the light blue water in the swimming pool, there swam a beautiful, little girl who decided she liked me. It’s funny isn’t it? Children can sense people who like them and are kind.  I’ve always loved to be around kids, they are so naiive with their blunt honesty. She paddled to me, we made faces at each other; we smiled and laughed a lot. We tried to communicate but it was very difficult. My Spanish is very limited and it turns out she spoke a dialect from Santo Domingo. I needed my daughter’s translation help for that explanation!

Selianne swam under the water, her curly, rippling,  long,  brown hair flowing behind her. She had that wonderful laugh, like tinkling crystal bells,  that innocent, sweet children have. We played a game, using mostly hand signals and a few Spanish words that delighted her. I had my sunglasses on top of my head, in the pool and she felt that it was a game in itself; she was greatly amused. One time she came  upon me by surprise, swimming underwater like a fish,  and lifted my glasses off my head. I think the way I squealed was as great of a joy as it was to actually take the sunglasses from me. It became our game.

Later, since I couldn’t understand her very much, I told her in pidgeon Spanish that I would try and get my “mija” my daughter to come and help us translate.  Jillian, 15 and beautiful,  walked over and I introduced them; Selianne was very excited being an 8 year old girl in the presence of a 15 year old, teenager!!  Selianne was shy at first but then started swimming again like  the cafe au lait little mermaid that she was.  When my daughter Jillian and Selianne were trying to talk and communicate I smiled to myself.  I remembered  Jillian at that young age who had been very shy and scared of all strangers; now coaxing a little girl to play and laugh.

I crept up the baby stairs in the pool, still clutching the children’s staircase to help my, once again, aching foot. Time heals all, but sometimes we grown-ups are supposed to remember not to overdo a good thing after a long illness. Sometimes, I do not act like a grown up at all. We walked half a mile into town and BACK with my foot and heel acting up and my back in occasionally painful spasms.  I loved walking to town, I loved feeling ALIVE after feeling so spent and achy and tired for so long.  I needed and craved the experience. We ended up eating at the infamous Smokey Joe’s BBQ place, Danny and I sharing a combination meat platter and Jillian, our, vegetarian, eating macaroni and cheese.

I admit, walking back to the hotel was murder. I was too proud to admit it and take a taxi so I walked ever so slowly, limping and stopping to watch children play in the street.  Bright green and blue iguana’s slithered across the sand and the bright touristy Christmas lights of Aruba, twinkling  green, red, orange and blue Christmas lights wrapped around palm trees. The only thing I saw in front of us, walking back for a moment or two on the sand at night, were the twinkling brilliance of two hundred  little stars against the deep, dark, black night.