Friday, June 15, 2012

Conversations with Zachary

R: What should we get daddy for father's day?
Z: I know, an LED!
R: An LED? Really? Huh?
Z: Yeah, one of those lights!

[clearly, his father is obsessed]

This Morning:
Z: I'm getting braver in my dreams.
R: Really?
Z: Yes. I'm not scared when the monster wants to eat me.
R: Really?
Z: Yes, when he eats me, I'm in his belly. It's dark and wet, but he uses soap that doesn't make my eyes hurt to get me clean. He doesn't take bites.
R: Really?
Z: Yes.

Z: I have an idea for an invention.
R: Really?
Z: Yes, it's sticks, made out of fish.
R: Like… fish sticks?
Z: Yes! … but without the crusty stuff.  And you don't have to put them in the refrigerator.
R: They stay fresh?
Z: Yes.
R: But how do they stay fresh out of the refrigerator?
Z: They just stay fresh.
R: Implementation detail, I guess.
Z: What? … And they sometime have mold on them.

This Evening:
Z: I made hands today at daycare!
J: Is that supposed to be a surprise?
Z: No.

Z: Daddy, I did something today at daycare, but I don't want to say what it is, because it's a surprise.

Monday, June 11, 2012

New Family Photo

One of these days I'm going to go to Sears and have a real family portrait taken. (Does Sears still take pictures? I have unpleasant memories of being locked in a dark Sears photo studio with my sister in matching outfits, circa 1979.) Anyhow, till then - here we are in our usual disorganized manner.

(Thanks to my father for capturing this.)

Monday, June 04, 2012

Remembering my mother

The last time I saw my mother - just a few weeks ago - I asked her if she had any advice for me on raising my baby girl. "Just love her" was what she offered. Like many other things with her, it was heartfelt and lovely, but not especially practical.

"Practical" was never a key consideration for my mother. Case in point: she continued seeing a dentist in Massachusetts for 9 years after moving to Virgina. Though, I'm pretty sure this was a thinly veiled excuse to spend more time visiting me.

When guiding us - her own daughters, Sarah and me - through our education, being able to paint and play the piano were at least as important as picking a "career" that would put a roof over our head. And yet she worked like crazy to make sure we were taken care of, while still finding time between work and raising 2 girls for drawing classes, singing lessons, an MBA, and a dinner theater troupe. 

Her big passion was hunting bargains, tirelessly. No yard sale too small or schedule too tight not to take "just a few minutes" to investigate. She did not want to miss out on anything, and loved more than anything to find misplaced and undervalued treasures. We played hooky from work to buy my wedding dress at a sparsely advertised $99 dress sale. Honestly, I'm not sure which made her eyes well up more - her daughter in the perfect ivory dress, or the amazing deal we scored. 

After I had moved out of the house, she reminded me her love with a bevy of care packages and magazine clippings. Once she even sent me a clipping explaining why she sent me so many clippings. There was always something in the mail from mom. My college roommates would be jealous when a box would arrive filled with a variety of impractical items - bendy frogs, wind-up toys, dried fruit, chocolate, sparkly socks. When my son, Zachary was born we'd get tiny Hawaiian shirts and like-new firetrucks, scored from Goodwill (usually), with pride. 
My baby daughter Alisha will miss out not only on these mystery packages, but on getting to know her Grandma Marjorie. I will, of course, heed her advice to just love her, as she has done for me.

The above was written for her funeral, posted here for those of you who had asked. Yesterday I was back at work after a week scurrying around the east coast, attempting to get my head around this, trying (unsuccessfully) to bury my head under my desk for most of the day. I wanted to call her on my drive home, to see how she was doing. Wondering what I forgot to ask her. Wanting to know when it will hit me that this is permanent.