Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Rocking Chair

This isn't my only blog.  I also write a blog for, about all things baby and child and mom.  It focuses mostly on decor and gear -- it appeals to the mom in me.  Especially the nostalgic mother whose babies are growing up too fast.

This is one I wrote for them, but it fits here too.  And it makes me think of my grandparents, who regrettably didn't get to meet these great-grandchildren of theirs.  It especially makes me think of my grandmother Rachel and the many, many fond memories of the times I spent with her.  After I wrote this entry, I found myself recalling those memories, especially the time I spent sitting on her lap, while she stroked my hair -- my favorite thing.  And it occurred to me...that was the rocker in this article.  Or maybe it wasn't.  No matter.  It's a piece of her that I got to share with my children.  And one day, hopefully, they will share with their own children.

Nursery Necessities:  Rockin' Out
As an expectant mother, I turned to a rocking chair I had acquired from my paternal grandmother’s house after her death.  We used it in our guest room, and when the time came to decorate the nursery, there was no question as to the location of its new home.  It wasn’t especially beautiful — in truth, there was nothing at all remarkable about it.  I have no earthly idea where the chair lived at her house, so it wasn’t that it was especially nostalgic either.  But it was the right size, in great condition and, to me anyway, it was a way to envelope my new little one in the arms of family — and a way to somehow share this experience with my beloved grandparents.

Now that I’m not using it any longer — my third child long ago outgrowing the need for a rocker — it waits in the attic.  For what, I’m not entirely certain.  Time will tell.

But I can’t get rid of it.  It’s where I spent countless hours snuggling, cuddling, comforting, nursing.  My fondest memories of my children as babies fill the seat of that rocker.  It’s overflowing with all the special moments my husband and I shared with them.  Nights spent awake, feeling like we were the only two people in the world as we rocked and snuggled in the quiet house…

That rocker, sitting in the attic, is chock-full of the most precious memories.  Mothers, fathers, grandparents and great grandparents have warmed the seat of that rocker.  The wisps of thousands of lullabies sung there hover just overhead.  They'll probably have to bury me with that rocking chair.

One day, it will be delivered of its home far off in storage.  And in its arms, a new generation will be born.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Today was my youngest's 2nd soccer game.  He's 4, which in our house, is a little young to play a sport (I usually make them wait until 5), but the poor thing gets carted around so much between his brother and sister and their activities that I figured I would bend the rules this time.  Besides, both his siblings have done soccer and he's been dying to do it too (naturally).

His team named themselves Orange Crush.  Sounds fierce, right?

Turns out, not so much.  Today, one kid kept crying and running off the field.  We assumed T would have some idea of what to do out there after spending so many years watching the game.  Alas, we assumed incorrectly.  He runs around and does a good job of "hustling" without doing much else.  He practices his fierce, competitive face.  He looks at bugs.  And sometimes he just falls for no reason. 

This week, they got slaughtered.  SLAUGH-tered.

By Jello.

That was the name of the team.  Jello.  Last week, they got creamed by the Yellow Bunnies (which was clearly named by the angelic looking little girl that scored 5 goals).

Today, the other team got 7 goals in the first quarter.  Which is only 15 minutes.  I think the end score was 22 to 1.  Luckily, score keeping is discouraged.  But T got a goal today -- yahoo!  Of course, it was for the other team...


Williams Shakespeare was right.  What's in a name?  Clearly, nothing.

It's good entertainment at least.  And a good reminder that every child is different. Each is an individual with their own likes and dislikes and talents and passions.  Time will tell whether soccer scores with him.  My guess is probably no.  Sometimes you can just tell.

In the meantime, Orange Crush will continue to one.  And that's OK.  They'll all be victorious one day.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I'm Not Even Sure What to Call This One

My oldest son started baseball this week.  He's never played before, and right now, honestly, he's a bit out of his league (no pun intended).  But he's enthusiastic and is crazy about the game and so eager to learn and be a part of it that I have no doubts he'll pick it up quickly.  Or not, who cares.  Right now, however, the boy is in love.

After his first practice, he was excited about his uniform and the gear he needed.  My husband promised to take him shopping for it the next day.  That night, as I was tucking him in, he informed me that some of the boys wore this "thing that you put in your underwear?  that protects your, you know, your privates," while swirling his hand in the vicinity to further indicate what he meant.

"You mean a cup?"
"Do you think you really need one?"
"Well Mom, I don't want to get hit in the privates with a baseball.  I mean, that would HURT."
"Well, the chances of you getting hit there with a baseball are maybe a million to one, but we'll talk about it tomorrow, OK?"  This is me not wanting to address this part of my son's athletic endeavors just yet.

He's only 8!

True to his word, Dad took him shopping and got all the necessities.  Including undies with a built-in cup.  Sigh.

When it was nearly time for his game, he got ready and walked through the kitchen, a little hint of pride beaming on his face at his uniform.  As I watched him walk past me, I couldn't help but notice...

Oh, I was NOT ready to see that.

It was...creepy.  My son had a...package.  I don't know how else to put it delicately.  There are no words.

We got to the field and I put it all out of my mind until I noticed, well, I noticed a lot of "adjusting" going on in the outfield.  And in the infield.  And in the dugout too.  It seems that all the boys were protecting the family jewels from the one in a million shot of getting hit with a baseball.  These were skinny, bony 8-10 year olds who hardly had enough hiney to hold up their baseball pants, and yet there was visible evidence that they all shared the same concern.  Honestly, there was so much fidgeting I'm surprised any baseball got played at all!

I'm not ready for this.  I'm not.  For one, how do I clean the darn thing?  Oh, I just threw up in my mouth a little.  I guess it's time for me to man up, as my son certainly seems to be doing.  But, come on, he still has chubby cheeks!

Of course, when we got home, he and his brother were fascinated by it and I caught them both trying it on.  Giggling.  Which led, of course, to a teaching moment about appropriateness.  There's that word again.

And so marks the end of an era.  There's no turning back now.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Back to School - How WE Roll

I knew it.

I knew we wouldn't make the first day of school without something happening.  Last year, Little Meems face planted two days before school and had dark, bruisy circles under both eyes.  The year before that, she got hit in the cheekbone with a baseball.  The next day she and her brother fell out of a hammock.  She suffered a scraped up cheek (the other side), and somehow during the falling process managed to give her brother a black eye as he landed on her.  The year prior, I vaguely remember a fat lip. 

This is how we do back-to-school at MY house.  You could say it's become a family tradition.  Mangle yourself as much as possible before school starts so that you can re-pre-sent the family.

My reaction has evolved from overwhelming empathy (poor little honey!) and horrible embarrassment (what people must think!), to "what the hell," not again" and "oh for the love of george!"

This year, so far (we still have 4 days to go, so the status could change), it's a sprained foot (at least we think it's just sprained...a few days will reveal all) and poison ivy pocked private parts (because who can resist a wizz in the woods).  All on one kid!

Way to start third grade, son!  At the very least, it will not be a first day easily forgotten.  Or maybe we should spend some extra time and elbow grease erasing that one from the annals of back-to-school history. I cannot imagine his teacher is going to be too keen on applying calamine to his itchy unmentionables.  She seems like a nice lady and all, but we all have our limits.

There are still 2 more kids!  And there's still more than enough time for calamity to strike.  In the words of the wise and beautiful Jon Bon Jovi -- wait, what was I saying?  I got a little distracted by the tight jeans and the chiseled jaw.  Oh yeah, living on a prayer.

The G kids, putting the "oooooo" in back to schoooool.  Hey, that's just how we roll.