Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Bad Mommy Confession #249

Ok, you probably shouldn't read this entry if you believe in mythical creatures like the Easter Bunny, Big Foot or an honest politician (notice I didn't mention Santa.  That's 'cause Santa rocks!).

So full disclosure aside, I am a lousy tooth fairy.  The worst.  If tooth fairies had a union, I'd be black balled.  My darling nine year old girl--who is on the cusp having all her childhood fantasies ruined by her older, more worldly brother--faithfully put her latest dental casualty under her pillow last night.  Actually, I put it there.  In a baggie.  With her name on it.  Oh, and the date that the tooth was lost.  Then I promptly forgot about it.  Yeah.  

This morning my girl came downstairs looking a little crestfallen.  Then she said, "I didn't get anything last night.  Nothing.  No note. No money...nothing."  That's when the clanging started in my head.  An alarm clock going off about ten hours too late.  I tried to cover it up.  She's got another loose tooth.  Maybe the tooth fairy is waiting for that one to fall out so she can do double duty in one night.  Maybe there were budget cuts.  Maybe she'll come tonight!  I deftly changed the subject.  But all day I've thought about how disappointed my girl was.  I let her down.  And believe me, this wasn't the first time.  Our house is visited by a special needs tooth fairy, one who doesn't hold with time schedules or deadlines.  But each time I forget I get that same twinge in the area of my heart.  The one I get when I make a mommy misstep.  It happens a lot.  Maybe it's just further proof that I haven't reached that point in my life when I stop making mistakes.  But I think that point might be I'll take the guilt and keep trying.  Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go fish a couple of bucks worth of change out of the bottom of my purse.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Who says happiness doesn't come in a bottle?

Every year my neighbor allows me to clip branches from her lilac bushes.  Their blooms herald the much anticipated arrival of spring.  Right now, the blossoms are scattered through out my house.  Cheerful and fragrant, their perfume and the sunshine streaming through my windows have me absolutely giddy.  

No, seriously.  I'm breathing so deeply, I'm light headed.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


 At six p.m. a week ago last Saturday night I got a call from my niece.  That's her on the left, the smirky one holding the egg.  She was a little incensed that her family hadn't been invited over for Easter dinner.  So I invited.  Then she told me they wouldn't make the trip if frozen lasagna was on the menu (it was) and could I please change my plans (I you see the pull this girl has?!?!).  I talked with her mom and pulled together a proper Easter that didn't involve pork (they worship pigs, not eat them).  Also on darling Maddy's agenda was an egg war.  Each year we boil, color and then destroy the eggs.  We roll 'em out and then do our best to smash into each other's masterpieces, carefully dyed works of art that would make Carl Faberge...curl his lip in disdain.  So I stayed up and boiled eggs.  I Googled for details.  It takes 17 minutes to properly boil eggs (according to one site that has lost all credibility in my eyes).  I set the timer.  I let them cool in the pot as directed.  Yet as my nieces and kids were dying the beauties, the insides were sloshing!  Grrr.
These eggs were pansies in battle. Some (mine) exploded after the first toss.  Others made it for one or two rounds.  We set a record for the shortest egg war ever.  Mad didn't mind though.  She won.  So now you understand the smirk...

My youngest contemplates the incredible, edible (raw) egg

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


I stumbled across Ashley Judd's blog, following a link from a news article.  It added credence to my contention that a woman's power in the world today is measured by her bra size and irrevocably tied to her sexuality, conveniently overlooking what lies beneath the surface.  In the article she addresses rumors that she's had "work done."  What is surprising; it is other women who hold her to the standard promulgated by the media.

I love what she had to say and add my "Amen."

Monday, April 2, 2012


What my eleven-year-old should understand:

When you leave the house with your Ipod and an attitude worthy of its own atmosphere, I still see you in pull-ups toddling through the kitchen, asking for chocolate milk.

When your friend calls to talk to you and I ask him if I can talk to his mom, you are not always in trouble.  I happen to be a person too, and your friend's my friend.

When you bring your friends into your room to check out your "man cave," I'm laughing in the laundry room (and listening to your conversation).

Homework, chores and piano practice are not a known cause of death in eleven-year-old boys.  Nope, they're not.

It doesn't matter how well or badly you do in school, it doesn't matter how much you fight with your sister, it doesn't matter how much lip you give me.  I'll always love you.  That won't change, rub off or molt into something else.  It's just a fact of life that will never go away.  So...peace already.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


When I was a preteen, church was all about friends.  At the time, my parents seemed concerned only with my abysmal math and science grades; my brother was the disheveled monster that grunted at me every morning from behind a barricade of cereal boxes.  Some of my friends at school were fair weather at best.  So on Sunday it was nice to be in the company of people who at least liked me.  But Sunday was also better because it meant I would see Carl.

Carl was a friend of my parent's and the father of my friend John.  He was built like a lumber jack; tall and barrel-chested with a deep voice that shook the ground beneath me when he spoke.  Carl was larger than life.  I think I would have been afraid of him if circumstances had been different.  But they were different, because Carl was a gentleman. 

Every Sunday, when I’d happen across Carl in the halls of the church, he’d greet me with, “You look very beautiful today, Miss Adams.”  Just like that.  The compliments varied, but the theme was the same.  He’d compliment me on how nice I looked, respectful and kind. It left me speechless, looking around wondering if he was really speaking to me.

You see, when I was about twelve, I went through a very, very awkward stage (some may say I never pulled out of it).  My hair was cut to an unflattering length.  I didn’t have braces yet so my teeth stuck out like prongs on a bent fork.  My nose was trying to stage a coup and take over my face (it won).  And I’m pretty sure you could have navigated your way to Pittsburgh based on the map of acne on my face.  Sometimes I remember back to these days and think, “Were they really so bad?” then I find photographic proof and I wince and say, “Oh, yeah…they really were.”

So you can imagine how a few kind words, compliments repeated each weekend, seemed like manna must have to the children of Israel in the desert.  It was sustaining.  It was a lifeline.  It sparked hope that maybe, just maybe someone saw me and not the sum total of my flaws.

I went home a few years ago, a short visit but a literal homecoming.  At church I was gathered in like a long lost chick.  One of the people I sought out was Carl.  He was still there.  His barrel had moved a little south and he walked with the help of a cane but he looked the same to me.  His smile still reached his eyes and he seemed genuinely pleased to see me.  I tried to thank him, to tell him in my halting way how much his kindness had meant to me all those years ago.  My words seemed inadequate. 

His didn’t. 
He looked at me and said, “I meant every word.”
And the twelve year old girl that still lives inside me heard him.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A visit from the Book Fairy!

Is there anything more frustrating than discovering a new author...and then finding out she's only written THREE books?! This was my January. I spent the month curled up in my favorite chair and indulged in all three of Kate Morten's novels: The House at Riverton, The Forgotten Garden and The Distant Hours (note the titles and read them).  Beautifully written and suspenseful, I went from one book to the next like a junkie in need of a fix.  By the time I ran out of reading material, I was primed.  I was ready for the next book.  Problem...there wasn't a next book.  I combed the aisles of the library looking for something to read, but I didn't know what I was looking for. The situation was getting desperate.

That's when I called Nancy.  Nancy is a fellow bibliophile...a very well connected bibliophile. Authors send Nancy books...for free. They want Nancy to read their books. They are in line to have Nancy read their books.  I don't sound jealous do I?  So, I called Nancy and we got to talking.  I explained my plight and we talked books for a few minutes.  Then after a moment, she paused, sighed and said, "I'll be right over!" Within moments were leaning over the back of her mini van.  Long story short, Nancy is my new the non-druggie sense.  She shared her bounty with me.  I'm left with the gleeful task of sifting through her titles for my next book.  Have I told you lately that I love Nancy?!