Spring Break when you live on the beach means you get to entertain a good bit of company. In my case, it was teenagers who live forty-five minutes and a quarter of a tank of gas away. I’ve had a lot of visitors this week…mostly sandy-footed shower-takers and sun-kissed beach-worshippers who need power naps, and yes I loved every minute of it. Read more
All over the world at any given moment there are billions of people missing someone they’ve lost. Tonight, that was us.
Float-building with dad. Parade driving with dad. Tie-straightening with dad. That was our week, only the dad wasn’t with us. It’s hard, if you don’t know. Most don’t.
His Bio for the Homecoming Court read that he liked surfing, snowboarding, and being Captain of the Swim Team. It also read – in its original form – that he was the son of two people instead of just one, but that part was edited out in the final draft, and not by me. Maybe it was too much for me to ask to include it. Maybe it didn’t seem an important detail, to someone else. Maybe it made those folks uncomfortable. Read more
The following letter is republished with permission from its original author.
Dear High School Me,
When I look back at you, I see a girl who felt trapped in high school. You were the popular, pretty cheerleader, but you were also known as the Party Girl. People knew you were the one who liked to have a little too much fun. You didn’t know your limits, and you did not know your worth. In the moment, you didn’t always know what you were supposed to do. However, the lessons you learned are ones you can bring to use now that you are older. Read more
I noticed two things right away: first, the bad mood, then the bruises.
I can spot the kid who smokes weed on the internet for attention, the one who revels in his shameless exhibition of wasted potential. I can point out to you the misfit who eats lunch facing the wall everyday. His days are long and lonely, I bet. I know all about the promiscuous ones, the boys and the girls, who are both oversexed and way under-supervised. Their parents would never believe the number of nudes their child has sent and received over Snapchat. I watch the rich kids with the expensive cars unintentionally look down their noses at the others around them. They don’t mean to be snobs but they have big goals, lots of resources, and they know they’re going places. And I know who the Fighters are. The Fighters are my favorite. They’re the ones who always look like they had a really long night. They’re kind of special but no one thinks about them much. They keep a low profile. Read more
A lonely, steaming plate of fresh waffles topped with warmed maple syrup, a dollop of melted butter and three delicately sliced fresh strawberries sat on a bar all alone this morning near it’s companion, an ice cold glass of milk. I waited. I paced slowly, sipping my coffee and trying not to lose my temper on an otherwise beautiful Sunday morning. Then I lovingly beckoned, “Breakfast is ready my darling boy!” Still, the waffle sogged and the butter congealed as one minute and then ten passed. Quickly cooling under the ceiling fan, the spritz of whip cream also dissolved.
I made my way into the dark room where I knew he was awake. I mean, it was at his request that I made the damn waffles in the first place. He was texting, covered up under a mountain of blankets, snuggled in for the long haul…which reaffirmed to me that he was at least three steps (pee, put on pants, make a cup of coffee) behind the stage in his morning where he would actually sit down and eat. I decided instantly that I would never cook for him again!
He saw me sending him the laser eyes and exclaimed, “What? It’s been like two seconds!” I turned and left, saying nothing, but speaking volumes. Several minutes later, I heard him call from the other room, “Thank you for breakfast, Mom. It was good.” Only I know that it wasn’t, by that point.
Don’t let the drab black bibs and the bonnets fool you, the Amish have good taste. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. What they lack in fashion choices and modern conveniences they more than make up for in their flair for custom homes with trendy designs. I visited Lancaster County recently and yes, I was one of those people, the touristy outsider rubbernecking from a charter bus as these quiet, private families made their way home (via horse and buggy) from church. They fascinated me. Their pallid homeliness baffled me. Their penchant for volleyball made me laugh. And their gorgeous homes with the wrap-around porches and the detached 3-buggy garages left me a little envious, to be honest. One thought came to mind, “Ya know, at the end of the day, we all kind of want and need the same things.” Read more
For my girls. be patient.
If he’s all you can think about as you stare out of a window, that’s not love. That could be anything. Worry, pain, hope, or anticipation.
But if out of that window you see a summer breeze tickling the tree limbs and you wish you were with him, the heat of that warm breeze making you lean in closer, walking and holding hands, sharing one ice cream cone, well that might be love. Read more
The chime of the doorbell this afternoon signaled the arrival of a special purple box. I raced to my front door and there on the porch was the brown delivery package that contained my new Stuart Weitzman Nouveau black patent leather pumps. Stuart Weitzman shoes always come in purple boxes, did you know that? No one in my house gets my enthusiasm when I wake up and scream, ”Maybe it’s purple box day!!!!!!” but please believe me, it’s a big day. Most men don’t understand ‘Shoespeak‘ just like I don’t understand ‘Boatspeak’ or ‘Huntingspeak,’ and most couldn’t tell the difference between a slingback and a wedge if their life depended on it and furthermore, they don’t care. So I looked around for someone to squeal with me. I needed a woman to share my big day with but only the Labrador was here. Read more
I have a new driver in the house! My kid, fifteen years old for just over a week, is actually a great driver. He’s been pulling our family car into and out of the driveway for years, getting prepared for that Big Day we thought would never come. His first car accident (oh yes, he’s already had one) was at a barn when he was seven years old. He hit a fence post at breakneck speed (about a mile per hour) because he could barely see over the steering wheel.
If you sit down in front of the television at dinnertime you might happen upon that icon of the American living room: Wheel of Fortune. It’s harmless fun, and I can totally see why fourth graders and grandparents nationwide enjoy solving the simple, catchy phrases over a plate of mac and cheese, although I wonder how the producers can still put together new puzzles after they’ve been on the air for, what, forty years now?
Stay with me. This post isn’t actually about Wheel of Fortune. I promise I will get to my point.
I never enjoyed the game because it feels silly to play something so easy. Still, while I fry my chicken and open my mail, it always feels a little annoying to hack out “THREE-CHEESE LASAGNA” when we’ve already been given all the Es and As. And often (too often) these hapless players miss it, seeing something completely ridiculous and incorrect. I watch them slack-jawed. What are they looking at? How can they NOT know the answer? It’s so obvious to EVERYBODY!
That’s my error. I have to remind myself daily that people don’t see things the way I do.