Friday, May 22, 2015

I'm Gonna Miss You

This morning as I watched my son run ahead of me to his first grade classroom, "I'm gonna miss you," popped into my head and tears filled my eyes.  He was smiling and bounding down to hang up his backpack so he could run and get a ball for us to play with.  He likes to get to school early so he and I can kick a bouncy ball back and forth to each other on the field before the bell rings. I never know where that ball is going to go when he kicks it, and I'm not much more accurate.

I feel bad that I'm not very enthusiastic about this morning ritual, and I won't say I'm disappointed when the bell rings and he has to put the ball away and go to class.  But he is.  He would kick that ball back and forth with me all day if he could, and I'm not even kidding.  So I do enjoy it, if a little begrudgingly.

After he has reluctantly put the ball on the rack he gives me big hugs and kisses and I tell him I love him and will see him after school, and he trots off to his classroom door.  Then he turns and waves, and I wave and blow him kisses, and he blows me kisses right back and waves some more and smiles at me with such exuberance.  Then he runs back to me for one more hug even though the late bell just rang, and I burst with joy.

When he finally goes inside, I turn and head back to the car.  The P.E. teacher, who is setting up for her first group says, "That's OK, take it while you can get it," instead of passing judgement on me for not getting him into class right away.

And that's the thing.  He is just going to keep on growing up.  I try to think about all the wonderful things to come, but the fact is, I'm going to miss him the way he is now.

I approach the wing of fifth grade classrooms hoping for a glimpse of my daughter, who pulled away as I tried to kiss her goodbye this morning.  She will be finished with elementary school two weeks from today.  I already miss her.  She is a smart and beautiful girl, and I love her, but I do sometimes (OK, often) wish for the days when she was little and I got a lot less sleep, but also a lot less drama.

Someone told me or I read somewhere (I can't remember stuff anymore--I blame mommy brain), that these are the best days of my life, these days while my kids are young.  And as the years fly by, I think I agree.  Not that I am pessimistic about the future, but I feel my children separating from me, and it hurts.  And entering the middle school years is just plain scary.

So, my work now is to keep up the connection I have with my kids, even when they don't act very affectionate--or are behaving downright rude.  My job is to keep on loving them and to meet them where they are now, even if I miss them the way they were.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Book o' the Month: Zorro

Oh, this one was fun!!  I have been a Zorro fan ever since this very un-PC George Hamilton film--yikes!  Then came Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones and wowza!  Now, thanks to Isabel Allende, we have an origin story for the Robin Hood of early California.

Zorro chronicles the formative years of Diego de la Vega, from Los Angeles to Barcelona to New Orleans and back, plus many points in between.  It was a thoroughly entertaining read.  But, I kept thinking, "I bet this or that line sounds really good in Spanish."  And now I have requested the Spanish version (the original language used by Allende) from the library--like I need another distraction!  (In addition to my plans for watching as many film/TV versions of Zorro as I can get my hands on...)  In either language, this is a good one to put on your list for summer.

And...I am right on time for Turn the Page ... Tuesday today!  I have read the first book in Adrienne's post, so--great minds, as they say!  Go check it out!

P.S.  This is my 400th post since starting this blog nearly six years ago!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Books o' the Month: Exit Unicorns and Commander Jose Castro in the Two Californias


Exit Unicorns by Cindy Brandner is the first in a series that takes place during the time period of The Troubles in Ireland.  It is a self-published book (as I understand it, correct me it I am wrong) and I applaud the author's tenacity.  She writes a compelling story and she did what she needed to do to get it out there.  


There is more to California history than the Missions and the Gold Rush.  Most importantly, California was populated by numerous indigenous tribes before the arrival of the Spaniards.  There was also a turbulent twenty-five years of Mexican rule after independence was won from Spain and the native born Californios struggled for self-rule.  This is where Commander Jose Castro comes in.   The publication, Commander Jose Castro in the Two Californias by Julianne Burton-Carvajal, offers a fascinating examination of his life and times as reflected in correspondence written by, to, or about him and, luckily, saved for posterity.  The translated letters make for very interesting reading--and even better when you are able to read them in Spanish!  I found the missives between Castro, his wife Modesta, and his son Estevan especially intriguing.

I am woefully late to the party this month (blame spring break and other general distractions) but please take a look at Adrienne's Turn the Page ... Tuesday for this month to find more great reading suggestions!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Books o' the Month: The Bronze Horseman Trilogy


Oh my goodness.  Adrienne, over at Some of a Kind (where you should totally go next because today is Turn the Page ... Tuesday and she recommends excellent books!), wrote about this series a little while ago and I thought, "Hey, that sounds like my cuppa tea."


Whoa, Nelly!  It was coffee I was needing after staying up too late at night reading these books!  The Bronze Horseman begins on the day the USSR went to war with Germany in World War II.  The next several hundred pages take you through the Siege of Leningrad.  It is a love story, but one that will make you feel like you've been riding a roller coaster.


And the roller coaster continues to pick up speed in Tatiana and Alexander and just doesn't stop twisting and turning, climbing and falling until the last page of The Summer Garden.  This is an epic, my friends.  I was taken hostage by these intense books.  Just, wow.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Book o' the Month: The Language of Flowers

This is not the scented The Language of Flowers I have had sitting on my bookshelf since junior high.  This one is an engrossing novel by Vanessa Diffenbaugh.  It is about a young women just emancipated from the foster care system.  It is about loss and love and finding family.  A book that might make you look around and wonder if you are doing enough to help others in need...especially children.  Diffenbaugh has set up the Camellia Network to help young people aging out of foster care.

This story will take you to urban San Francisco, Northern California wine country, and bring you the smell of flowers.  I worked for a florist for about six months right before I got married and this book brought it all back.  A quick read, not necessarily a light read, but one that will have you turning the pages to see how it all turns out.

Now...head on over to Turn the Page ... Tuesday at Some of a Kind to see what Adrienne has been reading.  Next month I am going to go on and on about the latest book she recommended to me.  It's a doozy!  (Thanks, Adrienne.  I need a full-time nanny/maid/cook with all the great books you recommmend!)

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Books o' the Month: Christmas Pudding and Pigeon Pie

For December, I read Christmas Pudding by Nancy Mitford (that's her on the book cover above).  If you like Downton Abbey, you might like reading Mitford's books, too.  British upper class wit and silliness, I have read that what she wrote was based on people she knew.  It is quite entertaining.  I am currently in the middle of Pigeon Pie, and enjoying it, as well.

Speaking of Downton...Season 5 if off to a great start, don't you think?  Fun stuff!  And then Outlander starts up again in April.

In the meantime, I will be reading a book series I just found out about over at Some of a Kind for today's Turn the Page ... Tuesday.  Check it out!!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Winter Solstice 2014

 
This coming Sunday, the 21st, is Winter Solstice in our hemisphere, which is my favorite December event.  Over the past few years, I have come to see it as my own private celebration.  It's not really, of course.  But I don't drag anyone else into it, besides trying to get my kids and hubby to maybe watch the sun go down on the shortest day of the year.

I do have my solstice fairy on our Christmas tree, and she does seem to be in a slightly different position every day.  But that's as metaphysical as I get about it.  Kind of.

This event appeals to me because it truly does mark a solar event, a continuation of the the on-going cycle of space and time and life.  This is something that feels good to me to remember in the days before the craziness that is our secular Christmas.  

Every year, I try to think of a tradition to tie to it.  I might be getting closer, but still I am just an observer.  And that seems like the most important task for such a day.

Happy peaceful kind loving giving nurturing reflecting restful solstice day to you, my friends!


(Image above was found online at several sites, so if it is copyrighted, my apologies--I will kindly remove it if need be.)