16 November 2012

We're Moving!!!

Well, kind of.

I'm moving.

And by "I," I mean, "this blog."

Friends would not actually be surprised to hear that I would be moving for the 9th time in 13 years or wherever the count currently stands, but no, the family is staying put for a little while longer.

But I decided to wordpress it up for a while, so I've shifted to here:


Please, my two devoted followers, update your links.

Madison Killed the Tooth Fairy

But to Sam the evening deepened to darkness as he stood at the Haven; and as he looked at the grey sea he saw only a shadow on the water that was soon lost in the West. There still he stood far into the night, hearing only the sigh and murmur of the waves on the shores of Middle-earth, and the sound of then sank deep into his heart.

I feel like the elves have left Middle Earth. Little Cinderella lost her first tooth 8 weeks ago, to much excitement and joy and an anxiously awaited visit by the Tooth Fairy. But last night, she had a tale to tell:

"Mama, Madison* came to school today and told everyone that there was no tooth fairy. Her parents told her that it was them, and they brought out all of her teeth that she had lost and showed them to her. So there's no tooth fairy, it's just you and Daddy. She told our entire class at recess."


We got one, ONE, visit from the tooth fairy before it all went to Hell. Seriously? And my husband and I weren't even in town when it happened, we were on the one vacation we've taken together, ALONE, since our honeymoon almost 11 years ago.

So I mentioned to her, "Interesting, because Mommy and Daddy were in Germany when you lost your tooth, so it couldn't have been us."

Silence. She ponders this. "Oh, well it was probably Grams and Grandpa then."

Double dammit. Your reasoning skills are biting me in the a$$ right now.

Look, I know you can only control what your kids say/do so much. But if your child is the *first* one to discover that there's no Santa, no Tooth Fairy, no Easter Bunny, WHATEVER...if they're old enough to understand the truth, then they're old enough to not carpet bomb the rest of their classmates with nuclear truth torpedoes. Do the rest of us a favor and teach them a little discretion while you're at it, please.

Because little Madison and her parents took away a part of my kid's childhood yesterday, definitely before I was ready but more importantly, before she got to experience that excitement of waiting for a fairy to come to your home and leave you a present and a note more than once. Madison had 6 tooth fairy visits before figuring it out...my kid had one. And one isn't really enough.

Life is drab and mundane enough, we know that as adults, can't we try to keep the magic alive for as long as possible?

And, as much as I love little Madison, I am reconsidering any playdates or sleepovers with her between now and Christmas. If I could homeschool between now and then I would seriously consider it, because I am getting one more Santa-sponsored Christmas if it kills me.

My fingers are crossed, though, that we're going to be okay for the next six weeks. She hasn't brought up Santa in this conversation of "I know that it's really you, Mommy!" and I'm certainly not going there. I was a little heartened by the end of our Tooth Fairy discussion:

"Mama, the Tooth Fairy isn't real, it's you and Daddy." She widens her eyes and adds, "But the Desk Fairy [she leaves little treats for the first graders with clean desks] and Tinkerbell, THEY'RE real."

Okay, then.

*a pseudonym, obviously - who names their kid that anymore?

30 July 2012

Is this all there is?

I've noticed something lately, a new phenomenon affecting friends and acquaintances of mine. It appears that there comes a time in a young (or not-so-young) professional's life, seemingly when they're somewhere between 35 and 40, when they take a really good, hard look at their life. Often they're married, often they have children, and often they have taken out sizable loans the size of 3 bedroom mortgages to do what is that they do every day. And maybe the vastness of time between now and retirement stretches out before them, and they think about getting up every day and doing what it is that they do, and coming home to what it is they come home to, and they think "Is this all there is?"

And then they have an epiphany. "I can't do this for the rest of my life! I'm too stressed...my job isn't meaningful...I don't see my kids...all I do is see my kids...I'm so godawful tired...I don't enjoy my job..."

Here's the thing: That's not an original epiphany. We ALL feel that way, at least some of the time. Yes, we're tired. Yes, the idea of a meaningful work/life balance is somewhat laughable as a professional in the age of internet and telecommuting. Yes, your children are growing up quickly and you miss things. Yes, what you do every day in your job, in the grand scheme of things, probably really doesn't matter much at all.


The dirty little secret is that nobody WANTS to have to work. Nobody wants to have to get up every day and do something, no matter how fun, that is WORK.

But you do it. Because that's what being a grown-up is.

Unless you're a genius and have a great idea and work on it so hard that it becomes a raging success and Google buys it for 3 billion dollars, you're going to have to get up every day and go to work.

But in general, I get up every day and put a smile on my face and be the best cog in the corporate machine that I can be, because, at the moment, I've figured out that what I do isn't the thing that is going to fulfill me. My family, my friends, the things I do in my spare time, our vomiting codependent cats -- those are the things that matter, that are meaningful. And work makes it possible for me to have a roof over our heads and money for food and wine and the occasional vacation, and hairball treatments, so I'm just going to keep doing it. And when I think about doing something different with my professional life, I make small steps toward a new direction, because just chucking it all and becoming a graduate student again next semester would be a purely selfish thing for me to do, given my commitments. [Maybe not for you, I'm not judging -- but for me, it would be.]

Also, I hedge my bets and buy Powerball tickets when the jackpot gets over $100 million. Because I'm never going to invent the next Facebook or YouTube, and you can't win if you don't play.

01 July 2012

East Coast Girls are Hip

We kind of are, you know.

I mean, if you saw what kind of fabulously stylish yoga pants I wear every day, you would just plotz. I clearly belong in the pages of Vogue. Or InStyle. Or Good Housekeeping. Or Parade Magazine. Or something.

We went to The Beach Boys concert in Boston this past week. [Note: you're supposed to capitalize the "The." True story.] My dad came up for a visit and this was his birthday present, taking him and our daughter to the concert. Backstory: my parents took me to see The Beach Boys every year since I was about 5. Even after the number of original band members dwindled, and even when they took on John Stamos for a few fateful summers (Uncle Jesse...um, NO), we were there to see it. I stopped going when I was about 21, and I was at peace with that decision.

But this year, it was the 50th Anniversary tour. And Brian Wilson was there, and performing, with all the rest. Sure, Dennis and Carl were only there via giant-screen accompanied by their brother/cousin/friends (think Natalie Cole and her father, only less grating), but wow, it was something. They sounded great, the weather was lovely, the Bank of America pavilion was a fantastic venue right on the water, and I could drink from a giant can of PBR while at the same time eating some Ben & Jerry's.

And my almost 6 year old loved it. Did she know all of the lyrics like I did when I was her age? No. But did she dance with me and my dad? Yes. And I got to rock out to the music of my childhood with my father again, and that was really special.

Although separated by 30 years, my daughter and I now have the same answer to the question, "What was your first concert?"

It made me feel all circle-of-life-y. (Did I really just quote Tim Rice there? Bah.)

23 June 2012

Saturday, Saturday (Saturday)

When I was a kid, or a teenager, or in my mid- to late twenties, I'm not sure how I imagined my weekends would be when I was in my mid-thirties.

Kissing my perfect children goodnight as I swirl out the door in a cloud of perfume, on the arm of my dashing husband? Evenings at the opera? Tasting menus with wine pairings? Baccarat and cocktails? Meandering midnight walks through the sleeping city? Karaoke parties with friends?

I honestly don't remember how I imagined it would be. However, I'm kind of glad that I didn't know that it would involve me on a couch, Words with Friends, back-to-back episodes of Game of Thrones, and the entire rest of the household fast asleep.

At 10:15.

20 June 2012

Words I Hate (updated again)

Nom Nom (Nom)
Tootsies (said without irony)
Hump Day
Me Likey!
Any and all abbreviations for "appetizers", including (but not limited to) appeteasers, apps, appies

There are more, but those are really bugging me right now.

09 June 2012

I know I used to be a real wild child...

But now I am a Volvo-driving soccer mom.

[Ok, well, technically it's a Mazda and a very old Saab, but still.]

I think we're getting close to the end of the blog challenge (if we haven't gone past it already), and I have to apologize for doing so poorly. Work has been ridiculous of late, and I've been trying to exercise A LOT which really cuts into the time I have for fun things, like knitting, playing Xbox, and gracing you all with my pearls of wisdom and amusing anecdotes.

Last night I had a revelation. I was invited to a get-together at the church to celebrate someone's birthday, so a number of ladies (and a few gentlemen) gathered in the parish hall and had a little party. It was lovely. First of all, drinking wine at church when it's not immediately preceded by a tiny piece of bread is a new thing for me. Secondly, and most importantly, it was really nice to get out of the house and chat with fun, interesting people.

Ok, the revelation. So you know how there are moments in your life where it hits you, Wow, I am really a GROWN-UP? Like when you get a mortgage, or buy a car, or deliver a child, or are hit by your first outrageously high tax bill....do you have those moments too? Well, I do. And I just had another.

So after the festivities were complete, we had to clean up. I was standing by the sink, drying while one of my new friends was washing dishes, and it just hit me: I am now one of the ladies who cleans up at the church when everyone is done eating.

I don't think it gets more adult than that.

24 May 2012

Oh good heavens, baby where’s my medicine?

- Hotel Illness, Black Crowes

A friend of mine posted on Facebook that she had a horrible stomach virus. The throwing-up-for-multiple-days kind. I commented, only half-kidding, that I would like to come to her house so she could lick my face so I could lose a few pounds with little effort.

The universe listened. Boy, did it.

Not more than 12 hours later, I, too, was in the throes of a stomach virus. WebMD tells me it's "viral gastroenteritis," which sounds about right. I'm almost done with day two, and it better hurry up and go away because a dear dear friend is arriving for a weekend visit from Minneapolis in less than half an hour. I would like to be able to leave the house for more than 20 minutes at a time while she's here.

So, be careful what you wish for.

By the same token, I'm also putting it out there that I would like to win Powerball. Maybe it's my lucky week?