I’ve been on a Frank Sinatra kick of late. Perhaps because I am having so much fun crooning to my daughter when the house is empty and no one else can hear me. (Sorry neighbors). It’s during a particularly rousing rendition of “The Way You Look Tonight” that I have a revelation.Read More
I look in the mirror this morning and see my grandmother. Or at the very least, I see her jowls. Just below my own cheeks. Though if I smile you hardly notice.
Immediately I want to call her and ask her - before it’s too late - when she remembers getting old. I mean, one day, she must have looked in the mirror and said to herself, I am an old woman.
Growing up, I loved spirit days at school. If it was crazy hair day, I used an entire can of Aquanet. If it was tourist day (growing up in a beach town, this was a popular one), you'd better believe I had my maps in my pocket and my camera around my neck. If it was school pride day, my eyelids were sure to be covered in blue and gold glitter. In eighth grade, it was no surprise that I was the dork voted 'Most Spirited.'Read More
How will this work?
For one week, I will give up everything I’ve come to rely on to fill the empty spaces of my days. No more grabbing my phone to scan the newsfeed, update my status, post a blog, share a picture, check my mail, watch a TED talk, read an article, stalk my friends. No binge-watching the latest House of Cards or season two of Schitt’s Creek and Kimmy Schmidt. For one week, I will rely on anything but a screen to keep me entertained.
The kids and the hubby will be in on it too, though they don’t know this yet.
I’m already starting to feel like my four-year-old when I tell him he’s had enough Handy Manny for the day.
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO (insert grown-up tantrum here)Read More
I don’t usually cry when we say goodbye, but I was sad to leave you yesterday. You both stood at your door and watched as we walked down the corridor, back to our car, back to real life. The life you once lived. You waved as we turned the corner, while Silas shouted his last ‘I LOVE YOU!’ with his little voice. I turned my head to keep him from seeing the tears forming in my eyes, though perhaps I should have let them fall.
‘What’s wrong, Mama?’ he would have asked.
‘It’s just sad, buddy,’ I would have said.
It was sad to leave this place that isn’t really yours. It isn’t the home where I spent my summers, dancing in the driveway, diving for pennies in the pool, licking fudgcicles and orange push ups before they dripped down my arms from the summer heat, roasting marshmallows from the wooden swing next to the fire. Remember that? Remember the hours we spent with tweezers on the card table out back filling the metal frames with tiny, colorful plastic pieces we would then bake into sun-catchers? Or how you drove me to the pet store to buy a tiny bottle feeder when we found those baby rabbits abandoned by their mother?
Those poor rabbits.
What is it like to get old? I find I’m asking myself this now. Not that I’m anywhere near you yet, You’ve got almost 50 years on me, but still.
We took you to Cracker Barrel and I’m sure you’ll be talking about that for weeks. (what else do you talk about when we’re gone?) You knew all the waitresses, they all came over to kiss you. Where you been? they asked. I was happy to suffer the greasy white food for your celebrity. And you bought my sons toys, whatever they wanted. Normally I’d say no, they don’t need a life-sized plastic triceratops that will one-day end up in a landfill. But for the pleasure it brought you, and the childhood memories it brought me, I wholeheartedly agreed.
Next to the crocheted doilies, the faux antique signs and the madlibs, you even slipped a bill into my hands. “Take it,” you said, “get something nice for you.” You always did spoil me.
I hope it wasn’t the last time we see you. (Sorry for ending with such a morbid thought!) But I did give a little extra hug when we left, just in case. It’s getting both easier and harder to travel with two little boys, so I hope we’ll be back soon.
But just in case, I wanted you to know, I love you. When we’re apart, it’s not the the worn carpet in your small apartment or your overmedicated, glassy eyes I’ll remember. I wanted you to know that.
I’ll remember the good stuff, I promise.