Happy Mother’s Day

My mom is a baby whisperer. She did day care in her home through most of her 30s and has always had a way with kids.

She has certainly always been able to make my kids laugh. They are drawn to her and couldn’t adore her more. I’m so fortunate to have her in my life, to help me learn the ropes of motherhood and give me advice as my babies grow up.

Mom, you were mom and dad for many years. Thanks for giving us a beautiful childhood and for showing me how to be a loving parent.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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Stay-at-home mom-cation

This morning at 7 a.m., Greta let me know her homework was to decorate a pumpkin to look like a book character. The project is due today. (Mom, remember when I told you one rainy Wednesday evening after you got off work that my grave rubbing project was due the next day? Cut to us huddled in a cemetery at a stranger’s headstone with an umbrella, a towel, a pencil and paper…)

Although I’m not proud that I didn’t inspect her homework assignments until Monday morning, I AM proud that we pulled together a pretty cool looking witch-pumpkin from the book Twisted Sisters in time to catch the bus.

Just one of the two feats I was able to pull off this morning during my “stay-at-home mom-cation” this week, i.e., I’m off work and playing stay at home mom for the week, something I like to do once a year.

If you’re wondering, the other feat was to make Magnus a workman’s breakfast of cheesy scrambled eggs and “jammed toast” as he calls it — something I wouldn’t normally have time for during a regular week.

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Requiem for summer

Although we chose not to take a vacation outside of Ohio this year, we still had a really wonderful summer. We caught butterflies, grew tomatoes, drank cucumber cocktails out of Mason jars, snorkeled at the pool, explored the Ohio Historical Center, conquered Cedar Point and Kings Island, went to art camp, climbed trees, grew fairy gardens, made flag cakes with our cousins, ran ultras (way to go Barrak!), roasted marshmallows and started kindergarten and 2nd grade.

Now that it’s a wrap, here are my favorite moments from the summer that was.

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Happy Mother’s Day

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These are two of my favorite pictures of my mom.

I took the one on the left in the summer of 1989, or thereabouts. We had rented a houseboat on Lake Cumberland. It was a fun family vacation, even though we didn’t do much except slide off the twin slides on the back of the boat, and waterski and tube off the back of the speedboat we towed all the way to Kentucky. It rained a few days, and on this morning as you can see out the kitchen window of the boat. Those days, we played a lot of gin rummy. I love this picture because my mom looks so relaxed and happy. Her hair is kind of messy and cute – it’s pretty rare to see her with her hair up in a pony.

I took the one on the right in 1991 or so, as part of a college photography class. The assignment was “a day in the life” so I did a Day in the Life of my Mom. It must have been a Monday because I followed her around the grocery story, and she has done her grocery shopping on Mondays ever since I was in 9th grade. Here, I tried to be artsy by getting behind the cookie & bakery case and shooting her through the glass. She looks so pretty.

Happy Mother’s Day, mom!

Happy birthday to my beautiful mom

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Things I inherited from my mom:

Love of cooking
Love of reading cookbooks like they’re novels
Love of tomatoes
Love of spooky movies
Love of old black-and-white movies
Love of Hitchcock movies
Belief that hot tea can cure a lot
Inability to drink cough syrup without gagging
Tenacity
Low resistance to ’80s dramas like Dallas, Falcon Crest and Knot’s Landing
White blonde hair that, when you’re all grown up, needs professional help
Freckles that come out in the sun
Love of women’s magazines
Desire to change the configuration of large furniture every three months
Love for reading in bed at night
Being a sucker for awards shows
Inability to watch script Ohio without getting choked up
A poochy tummy
Unabashed devotion to potato chips and dip
Kindness
Compassion for strangers
Optimism
Love of TOAST – and belief that a layer of butter before the peanut butter is perfectly OK

For that and a whole lot more, thanks mom. Hope you had a sweet 67th.

Poem for your Tuesday

Barrak regularly sends me the poem of the day from Writers Almanac. This one from last week really stayed with me.

Nursery, 11:00 p.m.

by Robyn Sarah

Asleep, the two of you,
daughter and son, in separate cribs,
what does it matter to you
that I stand watching you now,
I, the mother who did not smile all day,
who yelled, Go away, get out, leave me alone
when the soup-pot tipped over on the stove,
the mother who burned the muffins
and hustled bedtime, tight-lipped.
You are far away,
beyond reach of whispered
amends. Yet your calm
breathing seems to forgive,
unwinding
into the air to mesh
like lace, knitting together
the holes in the dark.
It makes of this dark
one whole covering
to shawl around me.
How warm it is, I think,
how much softer
than my deserving.

“Nursery, 11:00 p.m.” by Robyn Sarah, from Questions About the Stars. © Brick Books, 1998. Reprinted with permission.