Sunday, August 22, 2010

Emergency Hand Washing (alternately titled: Being a Mom of Boys)

I was standing in the kitchen, chopping tomatoes to make guacamole. Suddenly, I heard little sneakers pounding the hardwoods, originating at the back door and running toward me.

"Mom! Mom! Come quick! Something fell out of the sky and it has blood on it!"

Oh geez. There is animal blood involved in this equation right off the bat. Suddenly the red fleshy wet tomatoes in my hands made my stomach turn.

"Is it a bird?" I asked with a mix of hesitation and bravery. Trying to fool my boys into thinking that of course their mom is not afraid of a dead animal. Of course.

"Yes, it's something that can fly because it fell out of the sky!"

My 4-year-old is exhibiting too much excitement about this bloody flying object in the back yard.

We took off toward the grass. Little Brother was waiting for us there.

"Come on! It's over here! Wait, where is it? Reid, where is it?"

Oh, God. Is one of us about to step on it?

"Oh look it's right here!" A chipmunk. A (formerly) flying one? It had a huge gash at the neck, where insects had started to invade. Its eyes were open, fixated, perhaps, on Chipmunk Heaven.

My boys appeared to be ready for a science lesson. There was not one ounce of disgust on their parts, but rather awe. Perhaps pride even -- that they found this, and they were letting me in on it. Such good sharers. And at that moment it hit me.

"You didn't touch it... did you?" I managed, not allowing my eyes to wander over the red gash.

Graham studied my face. Then: "We didn't touch the bloody part."

My mind replayed this statement. We. Didn't. Touch. The. Bloody. Part. I grabbed their wrists, one in each hand. Flanking me, we bee-lined inside for the sink. The soap. The running water. "Don't touch anything! Just get some soap! Scrub every finger!" I squaked.

"But we only touched the back! We didn't touch the blood!"


They scrubbed, dried, I exhaled and they went back to playing. I grabbed a shovel and flung the thing over the back fence. Like nothing had happened. What bloody flying chipmunk corpse? Nothing to see here! Keep moving!

But the tomatoes? They're going to have to wait a bit.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Boogying with the Best

I started running. And, yes, this is breaking news. The reactions I've seen from friends and colleagues have reinforced the fact that I needed to get off my lazy arse and take care of my heart. Running, I've found, is me time. I smell the trees and feel the fresh air and hardly even notice I'm sweating like a pig and my left big toe is numb. Or something like that.

Are you taking care of yourself, too? If you're looking for a new way to get in the game, as I was when I decided to give running a try, what about this gem? I think this woman could motivate a tree stump to get up and boogie. Uh-huh. Oh yeah. Feel the beat!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 12, 2010


“When I turn five,” you say, “I will go to a new school.”

“I will play tennis.”

“My feet will touch the floor when I sit down.”

“I will be a daddy!”

“When I turn five,” you say, “I will ride the Ferris wheel.”

“And, Reid will be four. When I am five.”

But also?

When you turn five, I will celebrate my fifth anniversary of being a mother.

I will realize that in 13 short years, you will be flying from this Hawks Nest.

I will know that I have done my best for you for five years, but promise to do even better, to work even harder at this most important job of mine – being your mother.

When you are five, I will wonder why time passes by so fast. I will laugh at the clich├ęs and embrace them. And curse time.

I will remember what it was like to see you, to hold you, for the first time. Probably most especially when I drop you off at Kindergarten on your first day there. And I will size your new teacher up and say a little prayer that she is the best, most qualified, accomplished and award-winning Kindergarten teacher in the whole world.

I will watch your unique personality continue to blossom and be so proud that you are your own person. I will hope I’ve had something to do with it. And I will realize that I’ll have that same hope for the rest of your life.

I will worry about whether you are getting enough nutrients, whether we’re too involved with technology and not enough with nature, whether we have you in the right amount of extracurricular activities.

I will look at you and marvel at how far we’ve come in these few years together.

I will love you with my whole heart. Just like I do today. Just like I will when you are 50.

When you are five.