My Profile
Diary Rings

Gift from Hil Part 2 - 2014-12-30
A Gift from Hil - 2014-12-28
There was A LOT of turkey. - 2014-12-04
Can we just jump to January please? - 2014-11-14
A (don't kick the) Bucket List - 2014-10-28

Join my Notify List and get email when I update my site:
Powered by

2:20 p.m. - 2013-08-18
We went to the animal fair. The birds and the beasts were there.

I haven't forgotten the wonderful story prompts. Spent the past week in a happy daze seeing where the stories go in my head. They are slowly making their way down through my fingers onto the page. I hope to get at least a couple of them posted here soon. In the meantime please accept my thanks for your help.

Outside my happy writing fog here's what else has been doing this week.

Mick finished summer school. He'll be home now until Sept 5th. Thank goodness our local schools still hold to the old ways and the academic year begins after Labor Day. On FB I've seen pics of my friends' kids trudging off to school already when by everything that's sane and sensible the kiddos should still have another three weeks of pool time, catching lightning bugs, eating popsicles and watermelon and slightly charred hot dogs off the grill. Three more weeks to be bored. Finish their summer reading lists. And hopefully top off their summer growth spurts before they get kitted up with school clothes. I do not understand where this big push to rush the school year came from. Aside from a very few places in the Rockies and the northern plains that get freakish snow pretty much any time of year August in the US is hot. Squelchy, body parts sticking to each other, brain numbingly hot. Maybe some places, especially in the south, the schools have a/c, but ours don't. No child (or teacher for that matter) should be trapped in a stuffy classroom in August. It's just fricken mean.

So while a lot of my buddies and their poor offspring are hurtling into some horrible faux autumn here in the Sage house we are still mid-summer. A trip to the shore is on the docket. Plenty of afternoons over at the folks' farting around in the pool. Lots of cold suppers except for the daily pile of steaming corn-on-the-cob that graces every meal. The unavoidable pun here...we eat corn until it's coming out of our ears.

No secret that until fairly recently Wolf was a, um, difficult child. Many of the typical pleasures and excursions one makes with their kids were impossible with Wolf. Oh, I'd try sometimes but inevitably I'd be hauling my howling, cussing, frothing child out of some venue leaving apologies and oftentimes damage money in our wake. Almost too busy wrestling with my thrashing tantrumming kid not to see the looks of judgmental disgust from the patrons and staff alike. Almost. I'd lie to myself saying my tears were just from Wolf biting me or yanking my hair or yet another kick in my stomach with a sneakered foot, but the physical pain inflicted by my son was the least of it. I cried from embarrassment. I cried from exhaustion and frustration. And I cried from the disappointment. Was it so much to ask that I get to take my kid to a petting zoo? Or an Easter egg hunt at the park? It was. At least where Wolf was concerned.

Sure, Alex hadn't been any bundle of joy. He sullenly trudged through the hands-on science museums and drooped along through the Bronx Zoo and refused to smile when posed for pictures atop landmarks, but at least we got to go. If he didn't bounce or grin or ever seem to enjoy anything he didn't tantrum or scream either. So the photos from the pre-Wolf years show Alex parked on ponies and camels and standing on boulders and next to lakes staring into the camera with his patented deadpan face and slouch of abject misery. After Wolf? Well, I do have one picture of both of my boys. We're on the Maid of the Mist at Niagara Falls. Alex has Baby Wolf strapped to his chest in a Snugli, the neck of the plastic rain poncho torn open so Wolf can breathe and for once Alex looks pretty happy. Proud to be entrusted with his 3-week old little brother and maybe kind of glad to find out life wasn't going to change too, too much with the addition of a sibling he'd forever have to share with his heretofore "It's all about Alex all the time" parents. In any case I love that picture. It sums up so much of what I wanted from being a mom. Being able to offer my kids adventure, fun, a bit of the world, slyly jam in a little learning here and there, and generally give my kids what I'd never had.

Once Wolf was a toddler and it became obvious he wasn't about to cooperate with anything and our lives became more and more proscribed, the places we could go and the things we could do narrowed down to hellish trips to Shoprite and the occasional short visit at very understanding and patient friends' houses I got very sad. To be denied that Kool-Aid mom stuff with my younger son was a sore grief.

Selfish? Oh yes. I'm the only mother in the history of time who hoped to expiate a rotten past by doing things differently with her own kids. The only one to ever follow through with those tearful promises made by pissed-off 9 year olds everywhere. "When I get big I'm NEVER going to make my liver, go to bed while it's still light outside, wear dorky clothes, do chores, kiss scarily old great-aunts, etc, etc." My growing up years revolved around housework, modeling, my mother's drinking, and the constant upheavals caused by the chasing and losing of her many, many men. The idea we might spend a Saturday at a circus instead of in some smoky, smelly gin mill while my mother got blotto and desperately sought out hook-ups was absurd. Thus the teary-eyed promise to the future by my 9 year old self. How things would be for me and my kids when I was the mom. What I wanted was to be and have fun.

Wolf was not fun.

These days he's unbelievably sweet and loving and kind to his old mom. Kind enough to put up with me and my foolish desires to sneak in a few of those long-denied pleasures and accepts with good grace when I subject him to things like yesterday's trip to Space Farms. At 16 Wolf is far too suave and cool to be thrilled with a visit to some lame-o animal farm and slightly creepy taxidermy museum. But Space Farms was on my hit-list of places I'd never gone as a kid nor had been able to take him to at a more age-appropriate time so there he was giggling with me as we fed cracked corn to emus and alpine goats. Oooing and Ahhing over the tigers. Dutifully reading the info cards on old butter churns and blacksmith tools in the history collections. At an age when most teenagers would sooner die than be seen in public with parents my kid was happily pitching cookies over the fence at the bears and laughing with me. A willing conspirator with Mick. My darling husband who heard my wistful sigh when I saw a signpost for Space Farms a few weeks ago and made it a mission to get me there ASAP. (Mick gets the biggest kick out of my joyful glee in such simple pleasures. Delighted with my delight over things like a cone of cotton candy or the Halloween costume parade at the firehouse.) Perhaps Wolf is making up for the lost years too, at least a little, but mostly he does this stuff for me. A love offering and a thank you for never giving up when it was so very hard for both of us.

Like the cliché's never too late to have a happy childhood. And the three of us- me, Mick and Wolf- are proving it's true.

Much love from a very happy and fulfilled, ~LA

5 Wanna talk about it!

previous // next