Thursday, February 25, 2010

Best Day Ever

Yesterday was the best day ever.

Not for me, for my daughter.

What made yesterday the best day ever? Her dad came home from a business trip and we got to go to the airport to pick him up.

Go figure.

Not long ago, my son's best day ever consisted of me playing baseball with him in the back yard. And another best day ever was when my daughter got into cake decorating class. And when my son scored 6 goals in one soccer game. And when he got his basketball uniform. And when Meems lost her first tooth. And the day we got to go to Chuck E. Cheese's for a birthday party. And the day my son got his guitar. And the day her grandmother painted her toenails green. GREEN!! And the day it snowed 12 inches and we didn't have school. And the other time it snowed 12 inches and we didn't have school. And nights...any day with cupcakes or Slurpees...

So many best days. Best days ever.

Sigh. Why can't I have so many best days ever? Why do I feel the need to compartmentalize my best days into main events that contain personal significance? Or rationalize why my best day ever should have that distinction? My wedding. Each of my children's births. The day I landed my dream job. Surely they can't all be best day evers? That just doesn't make sense. I mean, best day ever means just that -- the best DAY ever. Singular.

Maybe I should take a cue from my children and in the moment, on a grand scale, the way they do.

Maybe we all should. Stop saving up our "best day ever" title for something that REALLY matters but probably hasn't happened yet, and instead, recognize it when it happens. Delight in the moment, and then move on to the next best day ever. And the next one.

I'd like more best days ever. Wouldn't you?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

My Sons Have Gigantic Heads

My sons have gigantic heads. Just my sons. I don't know what it is, or how they ended up that way, but...serious hugeneness.

We have always (secretly) referred to my oldest son as Punkin' Head. His head always measured a good 25-40% larger on his growth chart than the rest of him. The head won the growth race, every time. When he was a baby, and was undergoing the battery of tests they performed to isolate what caused his cleft palate, they even explored the possibility that his large head could be somehow related. It's not, thank goodness. He was just overly blessed in the melon department.

My youngest had his 4-year well checkup today. Like his big brother, he's got some serious noggin going on. When he was a baby, the neighbor boys thought he looked like Harold, of Harold and the Purple Crayon.

Rats, that would've been a great Halloween costume.

Today, as he sat on the table talking to the doctor, naked except for his Tow-mater underwear and socks, I noticed that his little baby body is finally thinning out and becoming little boy body. Sadness. And cuteness. But not good news for his head.

I'll be honest with you, I kind of lost track of what the doctor was saying. I was too busy marveling over the fact that he didn't topple right over. Boldly defying the laws of gravity daily, that's my boys.

My oldest son, at 8, is finally growing into his head. It's about time. He wants to be on the swim team again and, by all logic, with that head he should be sinking straight to the bottom of the pool. Imagine if he finally has grown into it -- hello Michael Phelps!

I'm kind of sad to see the head now losing its comfortable lead. It means that he's growing up. One day, the race will be over, and punkin' head will be no more. Gosh, I love that little big head!

Luckily, I still have Harold. Now, where's that purple crayon?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Once Upon a Time...

Once upon a time there was a little girl in trouble.

Her name was Mary Catherine. She was three.


“No, Mary Catherine, you’re three.”


And so our story begins.

Mary Catherine was the only girl between two brothers. She was tiny in size, but big in attitude. She was a darling little girl who loved babies, hugs and giggles. She also loved gum, lipstick, pretty dresses, flip flops and playing in the dirt.

Mary Catherine was a sweet little girl, but she had a fondness for mischief -- peeling the wallpaper in her room instead of napping; spilling blue paint all over the carpet in the hallway after her mom told her not to touch it; coloring on the walls with her mother’s lipstick; hammering the paint off of her antique iron bed; hiding from her mother until her mother was so frantic she started screaming hysterically and running in circles around the house...

But as mischievous as Mary Catherine was, she always knew when she had been naughty, even if she didn’t always want to admit it. And when you misbehave, you must always say you’re sorry.

But, sometimes, saying “I’m sorry” is the hardest part of all.

It was a day like any other. Mary Catherine came home from school and took off her shoes, and left them right in the middle of the kitchen floor, like she always did. Her mother -- arms full of groceries and her little brother -- stumbled over them, dropping a grocery bag and nearly dropping her brother. Her mother became upset with Mary Catherine.

“Mary Catherine, I’ve told you a million times not leave your shoes in the floor!”

“I forGOT!” Mary Catherine sassed. "Geesh!"

It’s not OK to sass mommy. So she got scolded for that too. And while she was being scolded, do you know what little Mary Catherine did? She screamed “STUPID” to her mother. Well. I don’t have to tell you what happened next.

She got sent right to time-out.

After a few minutes, her mother came in to see if she was ready to get up.

“Mary Catherine, it’s not OK to talk to Mommy that way. We also don’t say that word and you don’t scream at Mommy, do you understand? Now what do you say to Mommy?”

Mary Catherine hesitated for just a moment…“I don’t care.”

That’s not the apology her mother was fishing for.

Three more minutes passed in time out and Mary Catherine’s mother returned again to see if Mary Catherine was ready to apologize.

“What do you say, Mary Catherine?”

“SOOORRRRRYYYYY!!!!!” she screamed. And so she kept sitting.

A few minutes later, her mother, now nearing the end of her patience with Mary Catherine, returned one last time for an apology. She sat on her knees and looked into Mary Catherine’s eyes. She said, very slowly…“I. Am. Not. Going. To. Tolerate. This behavior. Young lady. What do you need to say to Mommy?”

Of course Mary Catherine knew what she was supposed to say, but before she knew it...


She used to think her mommy was pretty. But now her mommy’s hair started to spring from her ponytail, her eyes got really white and round, there was a large vein popping out of her neck and she was…vibrating. Was that smoke coming out of her ears, and what happened to her lips? They disappeared!

Her mother had turned into a monster before her very eyes!

Before Mary Catherine knew what happened, she was in her room with the DOOR CLOSED. Her very most hated thing ever!

Her mother poured a glass of wine and tried to compose herself.

Mary Catherine was sorry. She WAS. It's just...that...she couldn't help herself.

Her mother came upstairs. Opened the door. She looked a little like her old self, except that her eye was twitching a little and her hair was still a mess.

She said the words. The hardest words of all. She got a hug, she was released, and her mother's eye stopped twitching.

And they lived happily ever after.