Words that strike terror into a parent’s heart

"You know what kind of belt I need? A black one. With - what are those things? Spikes on it. And a skull. That would be COOOOLLLL!" "Mom, do we have any big pieces of cardboard? I have to have a presentation ready tomorrow on trumpeter swans. And we need to go to, um, Yahoo? And I need pictures from your computer...!!!" (all at 8:30 pm, no less...) "Mom, my friends and I all want to hang out here this summer while you're at work - that's okay, right?" "Wait a minute - they're leaving at the end of July? I might want to take them camping that week. But I'm not quite sure about that - can I get back to you?" "I'm going to need a lot of extra money for that field trip. [Read more...]

Little pockets of special-ness

Shortly before bedtime last Thursday, my daughter appeared at my elbow in tears. Her special day - her long-anticipated eighth birthday - hadn't turned out quite the way she'd imagined after all. Sure, she got the toy she'd been lusting after -a Gameboy Advance SP. She'd had a special dinner the night before with her dad, where she got showered with several of the other items on her wishlist. And I'd taken the day off from work to go on her class field trip. But we hadn't done a special dinner. (I was battling the aftermath of oral surgery and had deferred it to another day.) We didn't have cake, or candles to blow out. And even though she had a birthday book made by [Read more...]

Remembering a soldier again

5/26/08: I wrote this two years ago. When I tried to write a similar post honoring Joey today, I realized I'd captured my feelings already with this post...so it'll be front and center for a day or so. Memorial Day used to signify nothing more than a three-day weekend to me. Sure, I understood why we got that extra day off - but the meaning had gotten buried under 'gateway to summer!' and 'three day sales!' and barbecues and picnics and parties and the like. My worldview shifted dramatically two four years ago today, with the death of Army Specialist Joseph Jeffries in Afghanistan. Now, the Memorial Day holiday is a bittersweet one. The tears are bitter ones - [Read more...]

Viral marketing gone bad…

I volunteered last night at my son's school to help with the last Activity Night (dance, really) of the year. My assignment? Helping sell refreshments: soda, ice cream, chips, granola bars/rice krispie treats and cupcakes. It wasn't exactly ice cream weather, so I didn't expect to sell much - and we didn't. Surprisingly enough, the chips - from an assortment pack of Doritos, Lays, Fritos, Cheetos, and more - also didn't sell. On the other hand, soda flew out the door - especially the Sprite, root beer, and orange drink. I also managed to get my fingers sticky several times over serving up cupcakes. But as the night grew to a close, our volunteer organizer wearied of [Read more...]

I am weary, let me rest

Let's see, this week held: One root canal; one birthday girl. Two stints at two different schools doing a parent chaperone gig. Three early departures from work to retrieve a young child at the bus stop after school. A four am wakeup call one morning due to a bad case of insomnia. And five days' worth of dirty dishes now piled up in the kitchen. And - oh, yeah - the demands of that pesky fulltime job. I'm finally home for the night. The kids are now off with their dad for a three-day weekend. I really should tackle the kitchen - and I also need to bake 3 dozen cookies by 10 tomorrow morning for a kid-related event I'm supposed to be at. I should probably also [Read more...]