Through the Eyes of a Child

The Hare decided to go ultra short for gymnastics (Just like Emma Watson)

Most of the topics The Hare is interested in are books, games, gymnastics, school and friends. Although, last year, there were a few interesting talks about four-letter-words written in the class bathroom. There are teachable moments everywhere, and the bad words gave us a window to explain vandalism as well as inappropriate vocabulary. When The Hare is frustrated about having a disagreement with a friend, we are able to talk about compassion or forgiveness and not just about communication skills. The Tortoise has asked us more direct questions in the last couple of years about homosexuality, marriage and abortion. But even at twelve and thirteen, I think it is important to first ask them, “What do you think?” before answering. That way you know where their heart and head is and not give them more information than they are ready for right now.

However, it’s hard to know how  or when to talk about things like religion or world-views in a way that is honest, informative and interesting, especially if those topics don’t ever come up in normal conversation. So, for the most part, we just have to live an exemplary life. A life that projects the kind of perspective we hope our children will develop.

A few nights ago, The Hare and I were watching an episode of HGTV’s Design Star. Throughout the show, different decorators are interviewed, giving a few personal details about their life. It’s a way for the viewers to get to know the contestants outside of their design work, perhaps even give us a better understanding of their design style. In this particular episode, one of the male designers made a comment about how excited his husband and adopted son are to see him on television.

Within seconds The Hare turned to me and said, “I’m glad he’s married and has a son. It’s not good to be alone.”

“I agree,” I said surprised by her comment, “And it sounds like his family is very proud of him.”

A few more minutes passed while we watched commercials. Then The Hare spoke again.

“You know, I didn’t even know he was gay until he said that. I just knew gay people were the same as everybody else.”

“You are totally right, ” I said proudly, ” they are the same as you and me.”

 

The Worst Date Ever

The RemembeRed memoir assignment this week,  from Write on Edge,  is to write about a memory of ourselves WITH someone else. Word limit, 600 or less. A way to start: His/her name was ______________________ and looking back now, I realize….

When he was on stage, his personality preceded him. In the theater, he captured my attention. But off stage, he was barely heard. His red hair, milky skin, and burnt sienna freckles made him look timid. Thin arms danced in the air when he spoke. A skateboard was not far from his side. His name was Jeremy.

I stared at him while he spoke, watched his cheeks flush from the heat of my gaze. Jeremy’s humbleness was charming and inviting. He was quick to compliment, slow to disagree and void of gossip. I was a junior in high school, full of girl drama and fickleness. I wasn’t sure if my friends liked him, he was too nice.

One day, he asked me out on a date. I said yes.

I primped for hours, changed my outfit a dozen times in anticipation. When he got there, I quickly sat in the car, sunk into the well-worn seat as Jeremy held open the door.

“Wait!” he exclaimed.

“What?” I shouted, already wondering if this had been a mistake.

“I brought you something. You just sat on it.”

I quickly arched my back, raised my butt, and retrieved a slightly crumpled red rose.

“I’m so sorry,” I blushed.

The night was humid. Drops of rain speckled the windshield as we left. I could feel my makeup slide, my hair fall. Jeremy noticed.

“I’m sorry it’s so warm, but my air conditioning doesn’t really work.”

We sat in silence for a few more minutes, the hum of the tires masking our awkwardness.

“I made a mix tape,” he said. “Could you put it in the tape player on the back seat? The car one broke.”

“Sure,” I said disappointed again.

Jeremy said he had a very special restaurant picked out for us. Once the music found its way to the front seat, conversation started flowing more easily. We talked about music and friends. He asked about what books I liked and what kinds of things I wrote. He asked about me. An hour later, we pulled into the parking lot of a chain restaurant.

“Here we are,” he said grinning.

“It’s a Jim’s” I said curtly, “There’s one down the street from my house.”

We drove to Austin to go to Jim’s, a place not unlike Big Boy’s or I-Hop.

We drove for an hour to go to a restaurant 5 minutes from my house.

“Yes,” he said hanging his head, “But you haven’t been to this one. With me.”

The rest of the evening was a blur. I nodded in all the right places, answered when spoken to, and smiled when needed. All I could think about was the sticky, hot, worn-out car with the broken tape deck I had to drive home in for another hour. I wondered how in the world I was going to tell my girlfriends I got all dressed up to eat at Jim’s.

We didn’t speak on the way home. Jeremy stopped the car in my driveway, jumped out, and held open my door.

“Thank you for a nice evening,” I said plainly, careful not to be too inviting.

He didn’t call again.

Years later I saw Jeremy at a bicycle shop. He looked more confident, but just as charming. We chatted casually. I remembered how sweet and kind he was, thoughtful beyond his years.

As we parted, I asked, “Why did you pick that restaurant so far from my house?”

He smiled,” I just wanted time to talk to you, that’s all. You were interesting to me then.”

Looking back now, I realize, I was probably one of his worst dates ever.

Monday’s Madness

It has begun.

The start of Monday morning drama. Although we still have one more week of summer, today is 8th grade registration and orientation. It’s starts at 9am, but if you don’t get there early, you will wait in line for hours. So today was sort of a run-through, a dress-rehearsal, for next week’s school day chaos. And I failed miserably.

I cut myself shaving.

Forgot to wake-up The Hare.

Waited too long to let the dog out and she had an accident.

Spilled half a cup of hot coffee all over the counter, the floor, and of course, my clothes.

There’s a good chance I will be late since I’m still on the computer.

Tomorrow will be better.

In the meantime, you can read my posts today in two places. I am guest posting all day at The Wordslinger, and then later this afternoon BlogHer is syndicating one of my favorites.

Ask and You Shall Receive

I’ve spent a lot of energy thinking about what I want to be when I grow up.

Believing I am a writer has been sort of a slow evolution. I’ve always thought of myself as a creative person who happens to be good at writing. However, it never came up in conversations, even after I was published in Chicken Soup for the Mother of Preschooler’s Soul. It felt like a fluke, a novelty that someone outside my family really enjoyed what I had written.I was afraid to even tell anyone I had started a blog.

Something has changed, though, since I started blogging. I see that I have writer potential. Now it comes up in conversation, is listed on my email signature and Facebook profile. The words, blogger, writer, and public speaker flow more easily after my name when I introduce myself. My future is speckled with dreams of learning and teaching this amazing craft. This is what I want to be when I grow up.

I want to be a writer.

What do writers do? They write. So I started to look around for writing venues I could be a part of, places my work would fit and I could say, “I write for…” And you know what happened? Someone acknowledged my ability and said yes. Starting the week of September 6th, I will be blogging for the DETNEWS MichMoms twice a week. These posts will be completely original, not links back to my personal blog or my blog linked to them. As soon as I got the email confirmation, I did a happy dance through the house and called DW.

“DW! Guess what?! MichMoms said yes! I’m going to blog for them twice a week. Can you believe it?” I said breathless.

“Sounds great, I guess, ” he said in confusion, “But how are you going to come up with stuff for them and for your blog?”

Gulp.

Not a clue, actually, but I will just take one idea, one word at a time.

This is what I wanted.

This is who I am.

I am a writer.

Some other exciting news this week. Tomorrow, August 29th, you can find me guest posting at The Wordslinger and Syndicated on BlogHer in the afternoon.

The Kitchen is Closed

One of the things I love about summer is our relaxed meal schedule.

One of the things I least like about summer is our relaxed meal schedule.

During the school year, the schedules are so tight, having a meal plan and a set dinner time is imperative. Most of you know I am a bit neurotic when it comes to meal planning. (I keep a weekly calendar posted on the side of my fridge so the kids know ahead of time what to complain about.)  And, since I don’t get to see them all day, the only time I can connect with them is over a meal. Dinner time is family time.

Summer is less scheduled, well, at least meals are less scheduled. We graze, gnosh, nibble and snack most of the day. So much so, that by dinner, the kids and I aren’t very hungry. Usually, that means we eat later. Occasionally, that means we have dessert for dinner. And to be totally honest, after being with them all day, I really don’t mind having dinner without them on the back deck, while having a glass of wine, over an adult conversation with DW. Plus, they think it is a real treat to pull out TV trays. However, not having a meal plan has meant not making a grocery list. No grocery list means no grocery shopping, which has left my pantry and fridge quite bare, necessitating eating out more often.

So instead of buying food, I’ve been buying bigger pants.

It’s probably a good thing that school starts soon. We have become a little too relaxed in the evenings. The kitchen will be officially reopened after Labor Day, the cookbooks will be dusted off and my oven will be used for more than roasting marshmallows in the broiler.

Although, I might miss having dessert for dinner.