“I’m very brave generally,” he went on in a low voice: “only today I happen to have a headache.” (from Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll)
Versions of Reality April 28, 2012
It’s funny how humans can wrap their mind around things and fit them into their version of reality. (from The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan)
A farmer April 27, 2012
“Well, it rains enough,” Ma says,
“now and again,
to keep a person hoping.
But even if it didn’t
your daddy would have to believe.
It’s coming on spring,
and he’s a farmer.”
(from Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse)
Never an insult April 26, 2012
I’m hard put, sometimes baby, it’s never an insult to be called what somebody thinks is a bad name. It just shows you how poor that person is, it doesn’t hurt you. (from To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee)
A personal sports team April 25, 2012
Friends are very important to girls, I have noticed. They even keep score about them: how many they have, what their ranking is. Friends are like a girl’s very own personal sports team. (from Ellray Jakes is NOT a Chicken! by Sally Warner)
I have to say, this is true to my memory growing up. I know it was important to have lots of friends and to know who was the best friend, the second best friend, and so on. I’d say, in my experience, this was most critical between about third and sixth grade.
But friends are still very important to girls, even when we’re all grown up. We may not be ranking them anymore or keeping score, but we have to have them around to protect our sanity. In my opinion, they are still like a personal sports team and each one has an important roll to play. As usual, I am thinking of motherhood and the way my friends support me in that roll. I have to have them, from the coach who knows all the strategies of the game and can teach them to me to the cheerleader who enthusiastically encourages even when I feel like I’m losing. From the players who block me from injury and play along side me to the water girls who bring much needed refreshment when I am totally spent.
I don’t even want to think about how hard this game would be if I didn’t have my very own personal sports team.
Darling April 24, 2012
I love it when she calls me that. Darling. I love it more than my own name. I felt like giving her one hundred and thirty-two kisses.
(from Alvin-Ho: Allergic To Dead Bodies, Funerals, And Other Fatal Circumstances by Lenore Look)
It’s wonderful to have a three-year-old because he’s old enough to talk and start to explain what is happening in his mind, but young enough to be unashamedly sweet and loving, young enough to tell me what he wants and what he loves without being embarrassed. This quote from Alvin-Ho reminded me of my boy.
We have many little nicknames for him, lots of terms of endearment that just float around our house. But I’m starting to see that he prefers different ones for different times. The other day he was hurt. I picked him up in my lap and stroked his hair. “Are you okay?” I said. “Yeah, I’m okay. Can you call me Baby Bear and rock me?” What a precious moment. How sweet to be able to meet his needs exactly because he tells me exactly what he needs.
Another day recently he said, “Mom! I goed in the potty like such a big boy now you say I’m SOOOOO proud, Benjamin!” Sometimes when he has, ahem, a big potty accomplishment he’ll ask for a few M&Ms or mini marshmallows because we used these rewards when we first trained him. But that day he just wanted some praise, some words of affirmation, just to hear me say that I was proud of him. It was the only reward he wanted.
I can’t help but think, what would it be like if we grown-ups weren’t too cool to be vulnerable like that? What would happen if we just asked for what we need or want instead of just hoping that our friends and spouses and moms will read our minds? Sometimes people even offer to help or to comfort and we say, “Oh, I’m fine! Don’t worry about me.” We forget that we might also be causing them to miss some joy in getting to help or to hug. I’m not suggesting that we all become just like three-year-olds or whine for what we want, expecting someone to cater to our every whim. But we could stand to be more vulnerable.
I’m learning this, nine-months pregnant with a broken toe and a lot to do. I’m learning to say, “Yes! I do need someone to pick up my son for me so I can rest for a few hours.” And, “Sure–I’d love to have some help with my laundry or my sewing project.” “Oh, a drink from Sonic would be lovely if it’s on your way. Thank you!” Even, “Honey, I’m having a rough day. Do you think you could play with my hair while we talk?”
Time’s Fool April 22, 2012
Time is making fools of us again. (from Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J K Rowling)
Every semester, as the academic cycle draws toward its end, the final weeks seem to rush by with indecent haste. And that is exactly where I find myself now, time’s fool, rushing madly to finish all of my projects by their respective deadlines. Sorry I’ve dropped the ball lately. Thanks for still reading.
Rubbing the spot April 10, 2012
In baseball, if you get Hit By Pitch, not matter how much it hurts, you can’t rub the spot. It’s one of the rules. You gotta take it like a man; there’s no crying in baseball, ever. That’s also how it is when you make a Horrific Big Promise. No matter how freaked out you are by it, you can’t say so, it would be like rubbing the spot. (from Alvin-Ho: Allergic To Dead Bodies, Funerals, And Other Fatal Circumstances by Lenore Look)
You do or you don’t April 6, 2012
“You either get hit by lightning, or you don’t,” whispered Hobson.
“If you can’t start a fire, you could freeze to death,” added Scooter. “If you do start a fire, you could burn to death.”
(from Alvin Ho: Allergic To Camping, Hiking, And Other Natural Disasters by Lenore Look)
I am exactly the kind of person to worry about every possibility. If my husband stays up too late working, I worry that he’ll be an unsafe driver the next morning on the way to work and I’ll be left alone to raise our babies. If he doesn’t stay up late to finish a proposal in time for a deadline, I worry that he’ll somehow lose his job and we’ll end up penniless on welfare. If my left foot swells more than my right, I worry that I could have some sort of life-threatening blood clot in my leg. But if I go to the hospital in the evening to check on this, I worry that I will pay an extreme amount of money just to find out that it’s nothing. I have always been this way. I’ve actually gotten so much better.
But it’s helpful at times to laugh out loud at someone like Alvin Ho, someone like me. Because, really, there isn’t any sense in worrying everything to death. I can’t believe how much research went into our selection of car seat when I was pregnant with Benjamin. It seemed like the world’s most important dilemma–to make sure he had the seat that would keep him safe. But what keeps him safe from a tornado, a fire, a freak fall, an illness? At some point you have to let go. I can’t protect myself, my husband, and my children from every scenario. Why waste the days we have on worry? You either get struck by lightning or you don’t.