One Moment

Younger is finished with the first half of his senior year, and Elder is through the first half of his junior year. And I have both of my boys home with me.

And I am heartbreakingly aware that these moments are becoming more and more limited.

I have been told and have told others to enjoy the moment, to not blink. We have all heard the warnings about time passing by us at a speed we cannot slow.

And I miss my little boys. I miss the little arms tight around my neck, all the weight of a sleeping boy pressed against my chest. I miss faces that lit up when Mom returned after a couple of hours of absence. I miss being “Mommy.”

I miss the orneriness.  The imagination. The fights for independence. The quiet moments of dependence.

But I also love who they are now. Younger teasing me over some admitted silliness. Elder accepting me asking him to let me know he made it somewhere alive rather than being offended that I don’t trust him to make it somewhere alive.

Younger trying to talk me into thinking it is my idea to take him to Panera.

Elder ending a telephone call with “I love you so much, Mom.”

So, yes, enjoy the moment.

Every moment.

Because you won’t have another moment just like this one. Or the next one. Or the thousandth one.

So, Merry Christmas to all of you.

And enjoy every precious moment.


Not So Simple

Yesterday, I was scheduled to sit at the desk in the museum, so I rode to work with my husband. When he was late leaving his office due to a telephone conference, I, of course, had to wait for him, which isn’t usually a problem. But last night I had to attend practice for our Christmas program.

So, our answer to the dilemma of cooking and eating dinner in the fifteen minutes I would have at home was to grab a pizza from a convenience store between work and home.

Apparently, that was the incorrect answer.

Because, while waiting in line to pick up the pizza, we heard the following discussion from the two in the kitchen:

“They ordered a large sausage and pepperoni.”

“The pepperoni pizzas are there. The sausage pizzas should be finished in a moment.”

“No, they wanted sausage and pepperoni on the same pizza.”

“On the same pizza? Maybe the sausage is hiding under the pepperoni.”

Two heads bent over a large pizza, as they sliced through the cheese in the hopes of discovering disguised sausage.

“I remember making sausage and pepperoni.”

Finally, the two had to concede that they evidently had no large pizza with both sausage and pepperoni to give us, but they would immediately start one. And they offered us the bill so we could go ahead and pay and lessen our extended wait by a few minutes, anyway.

But as we were standing at the cash register, from the kitchen we heard, “So . . . sausage and pepperoni? One sausage, one pepperoni? Oh, on the same pizza?”

Although my husband’s eyes bugged out a little, he waited until we were back in the car to burst into laughter.

So simple. And yet, apparently, so complicated.

Just like life.

Well, my life anyway.

And that’s why I laugh.


No Hitting Bottom

Tomorrow, I have the honor of playing for a wedding. Due to grading essays and practicing for Christmas programs, I was unable to really practice until this week. So, of course, today, I am trying not to panic as I dig through music I played twenty years ago.

But as I take deep breaths, I share this piece of wisdom from a pre-Kindergarten Younger . . .

“I figured out how to float, Mom,” Younger announced, from his reclined position in our pool.  “It’s easy.  You just lean back, trust God you aren’t gonna drown, and don’t let your butt hit the bottom.”

And now all I have to do is just figure out how to keep my butt from hitting the bottom . . .


The Questions

I hope everyone had a very happy Thanksgiving!!

Of course, Elder and Younger were home for the week, so I found myself asking all kinds of interesting questions —

How did you fit all those clothes and your sheets into one small basket?

Why can’t you guys hook your two game systems into different televisions instead of arguing over one?

Are we really having this argument . . . in my bedroom . . . at midnight?

What if I hadn’t noticed the Cheetos that were mixed in with your clothes and washed them?

Why is my sofa turned backwards and shoved against the door?

How many pairs of socks do you think you have lost beneath your sink?

How is asking you for a bagel insulting?

Do you not see the laundry basket? Is that the problem?

How old are the two of you?

Why would you throw the cat onto the dog?

Did you know you can drink from the same glass more than once?

Twenty and seventeen? And you’re still arguing over video games?

How am I supposed to fit all these clothes and sheets back into one small basket?

Why is one week so short?

And now, alone in my silent house, I only have one question —

How long until Christmas?






Know It All

Younger spent his last day of Christmas vacation hoping for snow.

He’s always hoped for snow.

Or fire, earthquake, or volcano eruption.

Even in 2008 when he was in the second grade…

Younger does not like school.  He doesn’t understand why he has to go for five days a week.  He doesn’t understand why he has to go for nine months out of the year.  He doesn’t understand why the inventor of school ever had a reason to torture innocent, little children.  And he wants to know who he was, this Machiavellian scroundel who thought to force little boys into chairs and bore them by repeating information they already have.

 Because Younger already knows it all.

 “I’m not learning anything,” he announced from the back seat of the truck,  one fine Monday morning.

I choked on a laugh.  “Younger…”

“Well, I’m not.  You think I am.  But I’m not.”

 “You are learning something,” I told him, cheerfully.  “You’re learning to sit quietly even when you are bored.”

 He mumbled something, which I pretended not to hear, and the conversation was dropped for a day or two, until a Sunday night when Isaiah realized that apparently snow was not going to save him from school the next day.

 “And they’re wrong, just wrong,” he concluded after a magnificent tirade.  “They think they’re right.  But they’re wrong.”


“They say it’s a fun place to learn,” he said, emphasizing his ire with a stomp of his foot.  “But I ain’t learning anything.  AND IT AIN’T FUN!”

 And apparently he has to say a pledge to the school with those exact words, which he finds morally reprehensible.  They shouldn’t make you say it, he has advocated, if you don’t mean it.

And he doesn’t mean it.

 And now even I am counting down the days left of school…


Happy Thanksgiving!!

As I am sprawled comfortably on my sofa, watching a football game, stuffed and sleepy from a tasty Thanksgiving dinner, I thought I would avoid the hard work of writing a new story and share an old one from the 2002 holiday season. Elder would have been six years old…

Last night, as we drove to the Christmas dinner for my mom’s family, Elder rattled happily about the Junior Monopoly game he had received at another Christmas dinner on Saturday night. “Next time I see my cousins, I’m gonna bring my game. I think they would like to play it. But we’ll have to be careful with the baby. We’ll have to make sure she doesn’t swallow any of the pieces,” he chattered as we neared the house of some dedicated Republicans who had installed a large replica of the party symbol in their yard. “That’s what you have to do when you have two- or one-year-olds. Right, Mommy? If she swallowed one, they might have to take her to the hospital. Hey. I JUST SAW AN ELEPHANT! I sure would hate for them to have to take the baby to the hospital. Wouldn’t you, Mommy?” He paused before continuing suspiciously, “Why are you laughin’, Mommy?”

I told him I was just laughing for no reason, which he accepted as it has been an excuse I have offered before to prevent insult and he is coming to believe Mommy balances precariously on the edge of insanity anyway. And I tried to stop laughing. I did. But it was like trying not to think about an elephant.

Sorry. Really couldn’t resist.


Really, really sorry. Just try not to think about it.