Monthly Archives: November 2013



Dear MrMan,

You are now eight. A fact momentous enough to warrant a post. Eight is just such a legitimate age to me – I can remember not only specific instances from that time in my life, but the thoughts and emotions that went along with them. I’ve really enjoyed watching and helping you grow thus far, but I suspect it’s about to get real. I’m already getting glimpses of that. That the good is going to be so much better – we’re having more deep and meaningful conversations involving more of the grey and less of the black and white. But it’s also going to be so much more challenging – figuring out how to respond when the questions aren’t easy, working through challenges when you aren’t as docile, feeling like the stakes are higher as your character is shaped by more subtle experiences. In some ways I feel so ill-equipped and not ready. At the same time, I wonder if this is when my parenting skills are going to shine. Luckily you’ve prepared me enough that I’ll probably fall at least somewhere between those extremes.

I’m so proud of who you are. You’re kind and thoughtful, sensitive to the feelings of others. Last night, as I asked you about the best part of your day, you answered, “The presents!” (Duh.) I pressed, “What about the phone calls?” In the few hours between coming home from school and going to bed, mixed in with your requested dinner – mac and cheese (with butternut squash), kale chips, salad (lagniappe), and strawberry shortcake – and present opening, were at least seven phone calls from family members who love you. You chatted with each, not just answering their questions – because you’re old enough to do that. (Craziness.) When I asked about the phone calls, not really expecting they’d be a favorite, but just wondering, you answered, “They were kind of annoying.” Which I totally get. And I love that you revealed that to me, because it let me know that your conversational skills were an even greater sign of your maturity than I realized. It wasn’t necessarily how you wanted to spend your time, but you were perfectly pleasant and even enthusiastic in speaking with each caller.

You’re not only emotionally intelligent, you’re academically intelligent. You’ve got this school thing down. You know what you’re supposed to do and get it done. You’re not phased by tests, you do your homework as soon as possible each day. When I ask about your day, I get a lot of, “Nothing interesting. Same as yesterday.” But I also, eventually, get details that let me know you’re paying attention and learning. You have amazing teachers, for which I’m so thankful, helping you with critical thinking skills that will serve you well. Writing workshop, the scientific method, the beginnings of algebra… I’m fairly certain I wasn’t learning these things in second grade, but you’re totally winning it all. If I could only get you to not rely so heavily on the Venn diagram when conveying your thoughts… but I feel lucky to have such a gripe. You’ve recently discovered the magic of reading for pleasure. I love this!

Your art skills continue to shine, both at school and at home. This weekend, we wanted you to go toa basketball clinic. You claimed you didn’t want to go, but I had a feeling that your fears were speaking up, rather than your desires, and told you that you needed to do it. That morning, a paper airplane flew into my room. When I unfolded it, I saw you had drawn a basketball, crossed it out, and written, “You can’t make me go.” Fifteen minutes later, a wad of paper bounced in. It was colored like a basketball, with a red X taped to it. And a while after that, a three-dimensional paper basketball pierced by an arrow appeared. I almost relented in response to your creativity. But I held firm, telling you that you needed to go for 15 minutes and if you still wanted to leave, you could. Big surprise: two hours later, you came home raving about how awesome it was. I like to think this was a good lesson for me and for you.

It’s hard to believe that eight years ago, you were tiny enough for me to hold in one arm or that you could sleep on my torso. Now, I can’t even pick you up. And it’s getting harder to tell our clothes apart in the laundry. In some ways, this is heartbreaking. But, as I’ve told you, time and again, you’ll always be my baby.

Love, Mee




Last night, I was thinking how I should be pouring my writing energies onto end of the semester assignments. I guess my subconscious took this as instruction not to blog or tweet. But when I realized my mistake this morning, I still didn’t commit to giving up NaBloPoMo, even though the string is broken. And even though I’m not posting much of consequence, as I Swype on my phone, and I never even officially signed up for NaBloPoMo…. But it’s more about my trying to build a habit, even if I’m distracted by, and distracted from, looming school deadlines. I wish they loomed farther.

Still figuring it out


There was a time – 10, 11 years ago – when I blogged from the heart. I’d still like to do that, but at the same time, question the wisdom. Where do the boundaries lie between sharing and oversharing? Between connecting and becoming inappropriate? Part of what I valued, and continue to value, about connecting with people online was the chance to really get to know someone beyond the superficial. I’m still figuring out how to do that in a world where the lines between real life and online are more blurred.

A shift in my dog-personness


I’m still not the sort to approach dogs I don’t know, and I don’t welcome licks on my face (I’ve seen what my dog eats and it’s far from sanitary). But I do now gush about the cuteness that is Primo. Like when he gazes up at Sam, or snuggles down into a blanket, or positively responds to our commands that he go to bed. Even when he does annoying things like whine next to my bed when I’m trying to take a nap.

Captain Underpants to the rescue


I come from a family of readers. For much of my life, I’ve preferred reading (fiction, generally) to just about anything else. Now that he’s caught onto the mechanics of reading, I’ve been waiting for MrMan to catch the fever to read. I think we’re just about there. On a whim, I picked up the first Captain Underpants book from the library a couple of weeks ago. MrMan quickly read the whole book by himself. Yesterday, I picked up the second book.
I never thought I’d be that parent, encouraging my kid to read a book filled with potty humor. But, I’ve changed my stance. Especially when he wanted to stay up late to read it, but settled for waking up early to do so. When I heard MrMan’s lamp click on early this morning and he later called out, “I’m done,” before he got ready for the day, I knew I’d be going to pick up book 3 – one with an outrageously long name – very soon. Eventually, he’ll move on to more sophisticated books, but for now I’m just trying to further cultivate his growing love for my favorite pastime.