Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for March, 2009

Somehow, we missed the wave that swept most people we know to Florida this week. (Funny how work can get in the way of vacations – but in this economy, work truly is like going to Disney World – so no complaints here from the freelancers!)

So we were home when it snowed yesterday, instead of baking on the beach. While for some, March Madness is spent staring at the TV as gangly, young men toss a ball into a basket, our version was played outside – without brackets. And no favorites….

You gotta go up before you can go down...

You gotta go up before you can go down...

Good exercise, right?!

Good exercise, right?!

The daredevil in pink - flying down the hill as fast as she can...

The daredevil in pink - flying down the hill as fast as she can...

How I spent my Spring Vacation....

How I spent my Spring Vacation....

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

My mother died when I was 12. It was spring, a lovely day, sunny, warm, a bright day, filled with promise and renewal, the day she died.

It was gray, blustery, stormy, the day we buried her. Terribly windy. Rain came before the priest stopped talking at the grave. We rushed to our cars. I remember the slap slap slap of the windshield wipers as the black limo headed out on the long drive home.

The rain made it feel as if God was prolonging the joke. The joke that had been my mother’s death by cancer. The leeching of her energy, her beauty, her life over time, which is what cancer does.

Of course a storm would rage when we buried her. That’s how we felt, standing there at the grave, looking at her casket, raging with grief, wondering what life would hold for us.

The day I returned to school after her death, I remember sitting in the locker room. I was in 7th grade. All of us were shucking the blue bloomers we were forced to wear for gym, changing back into our school clothes. I remember Ellen S. – the girl voted “most likely to succeed” – a sweet, beautiful girl (the kind you’d want to be if you were stuck back in 7th grade again) – staring at me, tears in her eyes. (more…)

Read Full Post »

It was at a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese, when I began pondering one of the great and eternal questions of parenthood. I was there, feeling slightly nauseous at the sound and fury found within such an establishment – the flashing lights, the feverish energy of the lunch time crowd – and lording over all of it, a large, shiny rodent standing tall on a stage.

I became astonished when the animatronic Chuck E. Cheese broke into a dance as if to welcome everyone to the party.

And I began to wonder just how the rodent became symbolic of all that was fluffy and fun in childhood.

I suppose we have Walt Disney to blame for this. (more…)

Read Full Post »

The morning began well. All in a good mood. Strawberries and Cheerios for breakfast. We were happy, and peppy, and bursting with love.

Then it came time to dress for school. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Premio Dardos!

Premio Dardos Award!

The very talented writer and mom, Cindy Fey, of We All Fall Down, has awarded SippyCupNation with a Premio Dardos Award! Thank you, Cindy! Cindy is one of the first people I’ve known to become a blogger – and we also share the fact that we come to parenthood after losing our parents. Twin ties that connect me to her!

“Premio Dardos” means “prize darts” in Italian. The Premier Dardos Award is given for “recognition of cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values transmitted in the form of creative and original writing. The award was created with the intention of promoting fraternization between bloggers and showing affection and gratitude for work that adds value to the Web.” (more…)

Read Full Post »

My niece, Madeleine, is a reader, as was I at her age. Madeleine never got to meet my father – her grandfather – who died years before she was born, but I like to share one of his traditions with her – he liked to get me a book for Christmas – so that’s what I like to buy for Madeleine – either for her birthday or for Christmas – (Or a gift card to a book store – so she can choose something she wants).

I recently asked Madeleine to do me a huge favor and review one of my favorites – A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I loved this book because it painted such a vivid picture of what it was like to be a girl nearly 100 years ago – and I wanted to know what Madeleine thought of Francie’s life in Brooklyn.

Here – unedited – is a post-millennial girl’s take on a 20th century classic….

People don’t often think about all the stuff we take for granted. On any given minute of any day, I can listen to my iPod, text my friends, talk to my parents, or eat pretty much whatever I want. When I read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, I started thinking about all the differences between my life and Francie’s life. Francie is a poor girl living in Brooklyn with her parents. Her grandparents were immigrants, and her family lives in a poor part of the city. The highlight of Francie’s week is when the organ grinder comes down her street with his little monkey. This is the only time Francie can listen to music! Today, all a person has to do is switch on the radio or turn on their iPod to hear their favorite song.

In A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Francie’s mother, Katie, makes a huge effort to have her two children educated. Many immigrants back then didn’t care too much about education, but Katie will do anything possible to see her kids through high school. The schools in Francie’s neighborhood were not high class. The teachers only paid attention to the wealthy children; poor kids like Francie were seated in the back of the room and forgotten about. Francie could not go to the bathroom during school, and her recess was only five minutes long. At modern schools, if a teacher showed favoritism to any student because they were wealthier than the others, the teacher would most likely be fired.

Communicating in modern times is extremely easy. All a person has to do is pick up their cell phone and dial their friend’s number. For Francie, it wasn’t so simple. If she needed to talk to somebody, Francie had to walk all the way across town to speak to them.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn was a very good book. It really made me think about everything I take for granted. This story gave me a great insight into what life was like for immigrants in America.

By Madeleine at 14

Read Full Post »

I live with a tornado.

His name is Aidan.

Aidan playing hard on the field....

Aidan playing hard on the field....

He’s fierce. He’s competitive.

Look at that concentration in his face!

Look at that concentration in his face!

But at times, it’s like living with a whirling swirl of energy.

Sometimes I FIND MYSELF EMULATING A FOG HORN – in an attempt to be heard over the din.

Sometimes I am reminded of Gertrude Stein and her rose that was a rose that was a rose. I repeat I repeat I repeat – because of my belief that repetition will surely enhance the likelihood of the message being received.

But sometimes I’m lucky – and the tornado sweeps me up into Oz, where we explore a bright and magical landscape that I’d otherwise never see.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »