Category Archives: Family

March 22 Today Was A Day

I’m writing every day of March for the Slice of Life Challenge at Two Writing Teachers

Today was a learning day
a long day
a listening day

Today was a win-a-raffle day
a wonder-what-the-doctor-will-say day
a wait, what? day

Today was a travel day
a talk-to-college-daughter day
a tell-me-more-about-it day

Today was a a sit-all-day-long day
a surprise dinner with my boys day
a special-day-we-don’t-celebrate-any-more day

Today was a hump day Wednesday
a heavy day
a hello-glass-of-wine day

Today was
as they say,
a day

March 7 Saul Goodman

I’m writing every day of March for the Slice of Life Challenge at Two Writing Teachers.

I did the few dishes that were in the sink just now, looked up at my window and didn’t startle at the face looking back at me: Saul Goodman

I didn’t startle because I watched my 16 year old put that cutout of his art work up there.

In fact, I watched him cut it out on the way to dinner. He had laminated it with strips of packing tape, leaning against the dashboard.

It’s not exactly the art I used to have all over when the kids were little. It’s not exactly the decor I’m looking for in my kitchen. But, I left it up in the window frame. I live with teenage boys and I’m kind of used to nonsense. I mean, a million pairs of socks have been discarded in random spots.We laugh a lot, though, which makes it worth it.

So tonight I’m finding Breaking Bad character art — I think I noticed Walter White on my nightstand…

March 6 The Trash Truck

I’m writing every day of March for the Slice of Life Challenge at Two Writing Teachers.

I looked out the front door window this afternoon and saw the trash truck up the street. It looked just like the toy we used to have.

The trash truck was an event when the kids were little.

“The trash truck is coming!” I’d say, and little feet would come running. In the summer we would sit on the porch steps watching it.

But today I didn’t even think to announce it.

I’m pretty sure if I had, nobody would have cared.

Sad, but also . . . My 16 year old was down in the basement fixing a door and installing a new lock.

So, there’s an upside to all this growing up my kids have the audacity to do.

March 5 Projects

I’m writing every day of March for the Slice of Life Challenge at Two Writing Teachers.

My mom measured and marked giant pieces of cork today, and then drew straight lines before cutting with a small blade.

We’re working on my basement, but I kept thinking back to when I was in elementary and middle school and got big projects. My mom would measure and mark and help me make the lines straight. She’d also help me plan, draw and execute the best school projects.

Do you remember book reports? Research projects you did mostly at home? What was all that homework all about? I don’t know – but I do know that one year of elementary school I did my whole report on a scroll of paper that we then installed in a cardboard box. The box had a large square cut out of it, and was decorated like a TV. To view the report, you twisted a dowel rod to scroll the paper past the whole.

Man, I wish I had that Cardboard box TV report to look at one more time!

I might not have any of my old projects from school, but, 35+ years later, I still have my mom and dad helping me with new projects! How lucky is that?

March 4 My Dream Has Come True

I wasn’t sure I heard him right.

“I want to do some writing today.”

Apparently my son isn’t getting as much done as he wants on his story he’s writing in school.

I had a quick idea. I didn’t think it would work. I said, “Well…where do you want to do your writing? Do you want to write here, or do you want to like go to a cafe or something?”

Knowing that usually my ideas are not my 13 year-old’s favorite, I waited with bated breath.

“That sounds fun,” he cautiously said. “We could go to Barnes and Noble, and then we could maybe look at books too.”


We packed our bags, dropped my 16 year-old off at work, and drove to Barnes and Noble.

(Bonus point for me: Before I could forget, I dropped off the 5 goodwill bags that have been in my van for a week since Goodwill is next to Barnes and Noble!)

With our bags slung on our shoulders, we walked through the store to find a table. A toy played “If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands.”

Like the embarrassing mother of teenagers that I am, I clapped my hands. Lightly.

My son smiled and said a little sarcastically, “Are you happy?”

And just as I thought it, he said it. “Is this your dream come true?”

15 minutes in Synagogue

This woman is walking in late and chooses our aisle to sit in. We scrunch and stand and let her by.

I’ve been to this synagogue only once before, and the Bat Mitzvah is beautiful!

So what if she decides to sit right next to me, even though there’s a whole aisle to choose from.

“This is so nice,” she loudly whispers to me and adds, “I’m looking for my friend.” I wonder what wins with politeness: responding to the stranger talking to you during the service at a synagogue, or being quiet so you can pay attention to the service.

I decide to nod as kindly as I can, with a smile.

I’m trying to ignore her as she checks her phone, and sends an email. But then she starts loudly whispering again.

“Is this where they will have the baby naming too?”

I want to tell her that even though it’s my best friend’s daughter up there, and I have been here before, I still don’t know enough about this service to answer the question. But I realize that is a little long-winded.

I shrug my shoulders and say, “I’m actually from out of town. I’m not sure. Did you check the program?”

She nods and says she did. “I’m looking for my friend,” she repeats as she searches the room.

I turn my attention back to the prayers.

“Oh! There she is! But where’s the baby?” The woman whisper-exclaims.

That’s when she starts waving to try to get her friends attention.

The room is praying and she is waving and then her phone rings. She works to turn her phone off for a few seconds, and finally feels successful.

Only I notice that instead of turning the phone off, she has accidentally answered it.

My 16 year-old who has been trying to make sure he does all the things he’s supposed to do from turning off his phone to the sitting and the standing and the opening the book to the proper page, and turning the page in the correct direction finally widens his eyes a bit so only I can see.

I’m not actually sure what I should do. I look over at my son with my face scrunched and my eyes wide for just a second. I don’t want to talk during the praying, and I don’t want to embarrass the woman. So I just decide that the person who called her will either hang up or I guess, start praying.

A few minutes later the woman whispers again to tell me that it is her friend being celebrated. And then she decides she wants to go sit next to her friend.

So we scrunch and stand as she makes her way out of the aisle.

I look at my son, we take a deep breath, and we continue to watch my friends daughter as she does an amazing job leading prayers and speaking to us all.

Christmas Trees and Heartbreak

Part of Slice of Life Challenge at Two Writing Teachers. Join us!

A Christmas tree is not just
a Christmas tree
the Christmas trees

It’s my childhood trees —
A blur of colored lights
favorite ornaments that spark imagination

It’s that one time my parents got
a short tree
a short tree!
and put it on a table

A Christmas tree is my grandma’s trees
always in the same corner of her big house
wrapped with big lights
as we all gathered
well before we all

It’s my dance class trees-
full of magical ornaments
We’d take turns
dance up to the tree,
choose an ornament to dance as
the ballerina was easy,
but have you ever danced
like a candy cane would dance?
those ornaments, that tree, that studio, that teacher —
those memories live in a tainted haze now
this tends to happen
when 35 years later your dance teacher’s daughter has an affair with your husband
I do love the memory of that last dance
class before Christmas

It’s been awhile since I’ve
as an ornament – but
I’ve unpacked them a lot
in a flood of memories
Mostly good —

Last year I packed away the 2 snow people in a hot cocoa packet from the year I was married
But I still thought about it when we decorated this year

make the tree
Like clothes make the man
Lights and memories

A Christmas tree is
little kids
clip, clip, clipping the tree wrapping off
branches falling
the brittle Christmas tree
poking us as we spun lights off
and needles covered our 100 year-old wood floors
bare branches by the curb
shoving a tree out the window
Well past January
My youngest sobbing, screaming,
“I want Christmas! It’s not over!”

My tree is artificial now
pieces snapped together by teenagers
The bottom lights broken
by the new kitten
But it shines
all the trees

I sit by the tree
in the soft glow of
all the Christmas trees,
lights, ornaments, memories
and the thoughts of heartbreak too