Friday, October 9, 2015

Deep in the Heart of Texas

My friend Donna is moving

In just over a month 

She’s leaving Massachusetts and headed to Texas  
Her son and daughter are in Texas with their spouses and Donna and Rick’s grandchildren
All Donna has wanted to do is get down with there them
And she finally gets to 
And that makes me so happy for her, and for Rick and for all the kids

But I am so sad for Massachusetts

Really I am sad for me…and Sean and Lucy

Which is so terribly selfish because Donna and Rick are leaving behind a lifetime of family and friends
They were born and raised in Somerville – still live in the house where Rick was born
They are everything family and friends should be
And they have so many people who will miss them

But they have this wonderful family, and extended family, in Texas waiting to greet them with open arms

And I am truly happy for her
Nonetheless, as I sit and write this, I have a big old lump in my throat and tears threatening to slide down my cheeks

I will miss my friend more than you will ever know

I met Donna in 2004 when I interviewed her for a job with our company  
In the first interview, she was a bit frazzled as she had just returned from a trip to Pennsylvania
Her great niece had been sick and in true form, Donna had gone out there
So we just chatted – an “interview” was the last thing she needed
Plus I hate doing interviews
We just hung out and talked
Within ten minutes, I knew I wanted to hire her
By the end of her second interview, I felt like I had known her forever; I knew all about her sisters, her children, her nieces, her husband, her son's upcoming wedding and her Mum 

So Donna came to work with me and every day, for four years, we laughed, we bickered, we laughed, we filed, we got frustrated with one another, we did invoices, we laughed, we overhauled the office and had it running like a dream and we laughed
She always had my back in the office and I always had hers

And at the same time, she became more than an employee and co-worker
She became a friend

When Donna left the company, I was devastated
I would miss her efficiency in the office and her laugh

But mostly I would just miss her
I would miss having my friend there with me day in and day out
She had become a confidant; someone I turned to when I needed support, advice, or just a shoulder to lean or cry on

Sure, leaving the company was not the end of the world
There was no way I was getting rid of her that easily
But work was a whole lot more fun with Donna there every day

See, the thing with Donna is this: once you become a friend, once you let her into your life, she is never leaving
Even when you are at your lowest of lows and are trying to push people away, Donna won’t budge
She will stand right there and love you
She won’t judge or criticize
And she’s forgiving
But more importantly, Donna places no conditions on your friendship with her
She truly loves and likes unconditionally

And Donna will always be honest with you and call you out on something if the need be

Plus, she is funny as hell – her sense of humor and brutal honesty are my favorite things about her:
Maria, that shirt??!! NO! And what the hell with that turtle neck sweater…..?? (I threw the shirt out but I loved the sweater too much)
Why am I gonna send you a Christmas card when I’m gonna see you at Christmas?!?! (But I always send her one!)
What do you mean what is this? It’s my Walkman!
But Donna it’s 2006
But I’m walking, man, and I like music when I’m walking……(I bought her an iPod)
This weekend, we’re doing something about that hair Maria….I’m making you an appointment (she did)
Maria! Didn’t I tell you no more turtleneck sweaters??? (I finally got rid of them)

When I started dating Sean, Donna told me within a month not to screw it up (she knew my track record)
I didn’t, I almost did, but she made sure I didn’t

When we got engaged, she squealed, literally squealed and threw her arms around both of use and tears sprang to her eyes
She was as excited for us as she had been for her own kids
When we got married she was right there watching, cheering us on and praying for us

When we told her I was pregnant, and it was so hard to keep it from her, she went into full on Auntie mode

When I told her I was not sure if I was being the kind of wife/mother I thought I was supposed to be, she listened to me without saying a word…she let me cry, let me talk my way through it….she validated my thoughts, feelings and emotions.....she hugged me….then she hit me upside the head and told me not to screw it up

She reminded me what I had in Sean and Lucy but, she also reminded me what they had in me
She reminded me I was worth it – that I too mattered – and that I was just as important as the next person
And she reminded me it was ok to feel the way I was feeling 

Donna has seen me through some of my happiest times and she has seen me through some pretty tough times
She has always been there for me
Even if I did not call her, she was there…
A constant…
A North Star….

Donna has cooked for us, showered us with love support, encouragement and advice (even if I did not ask her for it, she knew I needed it) and just plain old been there.....which sometimes, is the greatest thing a friend can do

Donna is talked about all the time in our house….sometimes Sean or I will just randomly blurt out, remember that time Donna….Remember those cookies Donna made…..Remember how hard Donna laughed when….Donna would think this is funny…..

Donna Donna Donna!

Lucy started calling Donna Auntie Dodo
We would refer to Donna as Auntie Donna but Lucy could not quite say it
Auntie Dodo is what came out
So Auntie Dodo has stuck
Lucy even named her first fish Dodo

We may not get to see Donna as often as we used to but I’ll tell you what, she has not missed a single one of Lucy’s birthday parties
She’s like Punxsutawney Phil, always shows up on that most important day of the year

When I told Lucy Auntie Dodo and Big Uncle Rick were moving to Texas she seemed unaffected for a split second until this conversation:

Mumma! If Auntie Dodo is in Texas, is she…will she…
Lucy’s bottom lip quivered a bit
But Mumma! What about my birthday party?!? Will Auntie Dodo miss it? She always comes!!!
I could not answer for fear the lump in my throat would suffocate me if I tried to push any words out
What honey
Will Auntie Dodo miss my party?
Well Luce, she’ll be living in Texas…..
So she’ll miss it!?!?
Honey, she’ll be in Texas
There was a slight pause and then Lucy threw her hands up in the air and declared
Well, I guess we’ll be having a second party for me in Texas now….
 Indeed we shall Lucy

I have no idea how to thank you for the friend you have been

I have no idea how to tell you how much you mean to me… Sean and to Lucy

You are just, you are….you are everything a Mum, a sister, an Aunt, a Grammy and a friend should be

You are everything I hope to be: empathetic, kind, caring, supportive, unconditional, understanding, forgiving….and you have the best laugh ever

I know you have bad days and I know it’s not always been easy but Donna, you are still standing and you have been more true to yourself than anyone I have ever known

You have picked your battles and won
You’ve cut your losses when you needed to
You have a handled adversity with grace, dignity and pride

I admire you for believing in yourself, your husband and your kids
I only hope that I too can provide Sean and Lucy what you have given both your Ricks and Dawn

I will miss you Donna Dovidio…more than you will ever know

I will miss knowing you are few exits down the highway
I will miss seeing you at Lucy’s birthday party
But I will always always call you a friend
And yes, Donna, I will always call you for dinner

I love you more than my luggage
And though I have probably been remiss over the years in saying this, I hope you know I admire and respect you

Donna, I am so happy you will finally be with all the kids….I am so happy for all of you….and I miss you already

Godspeed my dear sweet friend 
Ah, and please update your Christmas Card List to include me

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Are Squirrels Catholic?

Conversation I had with Lucy as we walk from Sunday School down to Church:
Me: How was Sunday school Lucy?
Her: Mumma! Did you know God is everywhere?
Me: I did
Her: Mrs K took us for a walk outside, God is in the trees and the flowers and the animals….God is even in the friggin’ acorns! He’s in the acorns!!!!
Me, with a chuckle: Yes, He is indeed everywhere but please don’t say friggin’ honey
Her: Sorry Mumma….hey if God is in the acorns, does that mean squirrels are Catholic?
Me: ……..

Conversation I had with Lucy about her day at School:
Me: Hey Lucy, did you have music today 
Her: Nah, we had health, we have music next week
Me: Oh, who is your health teacher again?
Her: Ms so and so...but she changed her name....I forget her new name 
Me: She changed her name? Why?
Her: 'cause she got pregnant....yep she's pregnant, with a baby 
Me: Pregnant with a baby??? opposed to pregnant with....
Her: You know, not a baby....
Me: .......

Conversation I had with Lucy on our way home from Swimming
Me: Lucy, you looked so strong in the water today – you were doing a great job with the strokes Miss Casey was working on with you
Her: Yeah, I’m thinking I might be in the Olympics
Me: The Olympics?
Her: Yeah, you know the Olympics when you can get a gold medal?? I wonder if it’s actually a chocolate gold medal that would be awesome
Me: ……..

Conversation I had with Lucy in the bathroom at the Airport in Texas
She was singing as she took care of business – I was in the stall next to her
Me: Luce honey, could you maybe turn the volume down a bit there pal?
Her: But I sound so good in here Mumma and I like singing
Me: I know honey but there are other people in here
Her: There are?
Lady’s voice: I think just me, and I like your singing
Lucy: Thanks! I take request if you want to hear anything
Me: ……..

Conversation I had with Lucy about what she wants for Christmas
Her: Mummy! I already know what I want for Christmas!
Me: You do?
Her: Yep; an air hockey table, Foosball and checkers!
Me: Wow – that’s a good list
Her: Yeah, I’ll tell Santa next time I see him
Me: Next time you see him? What…when….wait, do you see him now Luce?
Her: Well not right this minute but yeah, I see him sometimes
Me: Really?
Her: Yeah
Me: When?
Her: I don’t know, we had lunch together a while ago – you were at work
Me: You had lunch with Santa? He just picked you up and the two of you had lunch
Her: Yep, at the 99, we had the grilled cheese

Me: ………

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Can someone please explain how I'm the jerk in this situation?

So I've been walking around like this since Saturday

Not the end of the world, and I'll recover but it is hard not to notice I am currently one handed

This morning, someone asked me to move a couple computer components around because I'm the "IT person" (which I’m not)

I stared at the person blankly

The person stared back

Can you do it today I was asked

I continued to stare in muted fashion at said person

The person stared back

When I still said nothing, the person said to me

So I take this to mean you are unwilling to help?

No I said, I’m willing to help, are you?

Their response?

You know, you really should try to be a bit more considerate when people reach out to you for help

You’re right I said

So I crawled around on the floor undoing cords and cables then asked the person to move the tower and monitor for me

Can’t you just sort of push it?

Well I said, it’s a bit heavy and I’d rather not drop it or you know, hurt my hand any more than it is

Never mind, the person responded in that tone that says I don't even know why I bothered asking you, I’ll get someone else to do it for me

I just need you move the tower for me  

You said the tower AND monitor 

Yes, I did  - you're right - sorry 

Never mind, I'll just get someone else

Can someone please explain how I'm the jerk in this situation? 

Totally fine if I am, I just need to know the logic behind the argument  

Oh and by the way, I moved the tower myself...AND the one has yet to notice

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


Yesterday, I had a meeting with a professional
That is to say he was in a suit and tie

And he went by Joey
Which is so wrong in my head

Joey is my brother's best friend from grade school

Joey is the guy at the end of the bar buying shots for everyone

Joey is the guy you call when you need someone who knows someone who knows someone

Joey is the uncle who teaches your 10 year old son how to penny a door, lets your 5 year old daughter paint his nails, gives your teenage son a Trojan for his wallet and shows up when your teenage daughter is getting picked up for a date looking menacing and making idle threats for no reason

Joey not should be wearing a suit, cuff links and Armani shoes

Joey should not be driving an Audi and have so much responsibility

Nor should he be shorter than me and balding

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Super Reader

Throughout the year, Lucy's school participated in Journey through Books

The kids all read (or were read to in the case of kindergartners) and track their progress in journals by way of number of minutes read

Yesterday, there was an "awards" ceremony for the readers

Medals and t-shirts were given to the kids who reached a certain goal

Lucy came home, quite proudly with both

As she was showing off her medal (which she was wearing when I picked her up) and t-shirt, she all of a sudden looked quite forlorn

What’s the matter pal?

Oh Mumma, I just feel bad…

Why honey?


As she was talking, Lucy was playing with the medal hanging around her neck turning it over in her hand and lifting it up to admire it

…….well really, you and Daddy did all the reading….I just picked out the books and listened….maybe you should have my medal and t-shirt…  

I ruffled her hair

That’s sweet honey but no, the medal and t-shirt are yours, you keep them….you earned them for wanting to be read to all the time
Besides, next year you’ll be reading to us

I gave her a hug and she let out a sigh of relief before declaring

Oh, what a relief!
I was really sweating your answer 
I actually did not want to give up either.....I just felt like it was the nice and right thing to do…but really Mumma that shirt is going to look so good on Super Reader good and I really like the way a medal feels around my neck....

Friday, June 19, 2015

What if I forget....?

Lucy woke me up this morning at 5:20am 

Mumma she whispered, Mumma, is it time to go to school yet? 

No honey, hop in here and snuggle with me 

She nestled into me and sighed

What's up kiddo?

I don't want school to end Mumma....I just love it so much! 
And I love Mrs Dionne....and Project Learn 
Why does school have to end? 
Why does everyone want it to hurry up and end?

Oh sweetie...well, school only ends for a little bit - for the summer
The teachers need a break, you guys need a break....
Besides, before you know it, you'll be back at school 

What if I forget what Mrs Dionne has teached me?

Taught me honey....and I promise, you won't forget 

What if I get to 1st grade and no one remembers me? 
What if I show up and Mr Wells says Who are you? Why are you here?

Luce, trust me, he will not forget who you are...he won't forget any of you kids
And he will know why you are there

Hmmphh she said 

I closed my eyes to steal five more minutes


What honey 

Do all schools take a summer break? 


Think I'm the only kid who does not want school to end?

No honey, I'm sure some where there is a little Poindexter who, like you, does not want school to end

Who is Poindexter?

No one honey...I made him up....*sigh* 
I promise honey, you are not the only one who will miss school...but before you know it, you'll be back at school so don't fret, go back to sleep...

Lucy went quiet and I willed the clock to stand still so I could sleep just.a.little.longer
She pulled me from me fugue state and declared 

Ok but just so you know, if I get to 1st grade and can't remember anything from kindergarten, it is so not my grown-ups are the ones who made me take the summer off

Ok honey, I'll remember 

Can you write it in a note for me?


A note, can you write my new teacher and Mr Wells a note telling them I wanted to stay in school so I would not forget anything and if I did it is not my fault it’s your fault and their fault that I got dumb 

Sweetie don't say dumb....

Or stupid?

Right - don't say dumb or stupid 
And it won't happen, but if it will make you feel better, I'll write you a note 

Okay good - could you also include in the note that I really like gym, music and library and would like to have those things more than once a week?


And could you also ask if they could have hard boiled eggs at lunch 

Seriously Luce? You don't even buy lunch anymore 

'cause they don't have hard boiled eggs! 
And also, tell them Cal's Cart (the little school shop) should be every day 

Ok Luce - I’m getting in the shower 


I stopped at the door and turned to face her
Lucy sat upright in bed and opened her eyes wide and made a chopping motion with her hand to emphasize her next point: 

And don't forget the most important part Mumma; if I get dumb, it is not my fault 
You grown-ups are making me take summer vacation....I said I would go all summer, you guys said no 

Ok Lucy, go back to sleep and don’t say dumb please

How about you just say Lucy asked to go to school all summer because she doesn’t want to lose the skills she has worked so hard to learn all year and does not want to know less than everyone else in the class…..can you write that? 

I tilted my head back and let out a sigh 

I'll just write dumb honey 

Thatatta girl Mumma! I knew you'd see it my way!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Hardest Thing About Being Lucy

Sometimes, I find random scraps of paper with things jotted on them:
The grocery list we forgot but was actually just lost in my bag
A phone number (with no name)
An address
A to do list
A reminder to do something which I probably still forgot
A thought or idea I want to write more about
And sometimes, sometimes I hit the jackpot and find a conversation I had with Lucy recorded on said piece of paper for future writing purposes

I just found this one in my desk drawer:

Hey Mumma

Yeah Lucy

You know what I was wondering?

What’s that kiddo?

What’s the hardest thing about being a grown up? Is it being a mummy?

No, I think being a Mummy is the easiest thing in the world – all I have to do is love you with all my might

But don’t I make you crazy sometimes? ‘Cause sometimes you yell at me….

Yeah, that part stinks…but still, being your Mum is easy….to be a Mum you just have to have love

Oh ok, so is working hard?

Well, working isn’t hard….it can actually be rewarding and satisfying…do you know what that means?

I think so, is that when you finish something and feel good?

It is

So like when I finish my Popsicle and my belly feels full?

Sort of I chuckle

Does your work do that for you?

Sure, for the most part

So what’s hard then?

Well, I suppose the hardest thing about being a grown up is…geez, that’s a tough question Lucy

Would it help you if I told you the hardest thing about being a kid?

Sure, what’s the hardest thing about being a kid Luce?

Well, I think the hardest thing is when you get a present that you don’t really like or you already have one of it and you have to be all nice and grateful about it when really you just want to be all like
(she rolls her eyes and raises her arms to the sky and says in her exasperated/annoyed tone) Seriously?!?! I already have this thing?!? What am I supposed to do with two???
Or seriously, this is so not what I wanted?!!?
But, you have to pretend you love it and say thanks…..
That and not being able to ride in the front seat

So the hardest thing about being a kid is when you get a crappy gift but have to pretend you like it and when you have to sit by yourself in the back seat?

Yeah…it’s really hard Mumma

Huh, never thought about it I guess

Well….did that help you Mumma? Do you have your answer now?

I do

Ok, so what’s the hardest thing about being a grown up?

Getting crappy gifts and sitting in the front seat by myself

Yeah, that does suck Mumma….I guess it really does not matter how old you are…..crappy gifts suck

Yep, they sure do pal, they sure do

Friday, May 1, 2015

A Picture is Worth.....

Mama Kat's Pretty Much World Famous Writer's Workshop 

The Prompts:

1. The moment you realized you were a grown up (first time I had to plunge the toilet)

2. What is the joy at your present moment? (my dish soap, thank you Procter and Gamble)

3. You have to move away from your state for one month. List 6 destination you wouldn't mind relocating to (The Coast of Maine, Uncle Michael And Neenie's Lake, Saluda, NC, Savannah, GA,  The Lake District in northern England, The Scottish Highlands)

4. Write a blog post inspired by the word Blossom (remember that show? My sister Melissa looks just like Blossom - I kid you not, even to this day, she looks just like Blossom!)

5. Instagram fun! Share a photo you took with Instagram this week and tell us what you love about it

I choose you number 5

With my own spin of course because I would not be me without taking some poetic licenses

Plus, I have no idea how to use Instagram or if I have one
So I'm just going to share a photo I took with my iPhone
Which I imagine is as close to Instagram as I'll get .... because you know, they both begin with I

So allow me to share a photo I took and tell you what I love about it

Here's the photo I took with the intention of sending it to our families

It's Lucy's homework assignment from Tuesday which, as you can see, was to write and illustrate what she did on her spring vacation 

When I pulled this sheet out of her bag, I immediately smiled

The colors alone made me smile 
And truthfully, Lucy's art work always makes me smile 
Then, as I read what she wrote, tears sprang to my eyes

I was overwhelmed and almost crippled with the love and happiness this little being brings to 
my life

I read it again 
Studied the pictures 
And then tears flowed down my face 

I cried because as we left Noni and Papa's house last week to head back to Boston, Lucy declared it was the best vacation ever 
She couldn't believe Papa was such a good bowler
And that Cousin Cooper was so big and tall
That she got to do yoga with Auntie Cheetie  
She was thrilled she got to go to Auntie Flea's house all by herself
And that Noni went to the movies with us was just us three girls....and Noni ate popcorn and candy with us!!!
And Noni gives her orange juice in a special glass and cuts up her bananas so they taste better 

I called my mother as we were pulling off the highway to let her know we were home
When we hung up, Lucy asked from the back seat 
Hey Mumma?
Yeah honey?
Can we always go back to Maine to see Noni and Papa?
Yes honey, of course
Good Mumma, they make me happy 
Me too Goose, me too 

I cried because her birthday party was so special to her 
She did the guest list and only wanted to invite a few friends
But she also asked that Tony, Rita, Kristen, Auntie Dodo, Uncle Michael and Neenie be invited 

That night, after everyone was gone, she said to me 
Mumma, I don't think I want a lot of friends
What do you mean honey I asked 

I just want friends who love me and hug me when they leave my house
I think those are the best kind and every one hugged us when they left...they even hugged you and Daddy! The kids and the grown ups!
And Mumma

Yes sweetie

You and Daddy made me a really good Pokemon birthday party.....thanks

And I cried because the last picture, of Lucy and her Dad, sitting on the couch watching Star Wars was just.........
For my husband, and for many out there I'm sure, showing Star Wars (the first Star Wars circa 1977-1983 which we know are actually episodes 4, 5, and 6 but for a generation will always be the original Star Wars movies) is like a rite of passage

A rite of passage like 

The first lost tooth 
The first day of school
Having "The Talk" 
Teaching them to drive
Sending them off on their first date
The first heartbreak
Having a drink with them on their 21st birthday 
Graduating college 
Birth of the first grandchild

These are all rites of passage we as parents go through with our kids

And for Sean, sharing Star Wars with Lucy is the one he has been the most excited about 

So together they watched Star Wars and the Empire Strikes back 
Side by side over two days

Lucy asked a million questions and hopped around all excited as characters she has heard her Dad talk about were finally brought to life for her 
Sean patiently paused the movie and answered all Lucy's questions
Eventually, she just fell quiet and watched the movie snuggled up against her Dad 

She's gagging to watch Return of the Jedi 

And both of them dork out and get giddy watching the trailer for The Force Awakens 
Lucy came to the kitchen table where I was sitting 

Mumma can I have a snack please she asked

Sure baby I said sniffling and trying to brush the tears away 

Why are you crying? Why are you crying? 
There was a twinge of panic in her voice 
Was work bad again today Mumma? 
I love you..... 

Oh Luce
I leaned down and hugged her 
No honey, no its not work 
Work was ok 

Why are you crying then 
Why are you so sad

I'm not sad sweetie, I'm, well, I just.....
Lucy do you have any idea how much I love you
How happy you make me

In true fashion, she rolled her eyes and tipped her head back and said with exasperation

Oh Mumma she said as she patted my leg
Are you getting all "don't grow up Lucy, don't be more than 6" 
Mumma I told you, I have to grow up 
That's how God invented us 
We get born 
We're a kid for a few whiles 
Then we're teenagers 
Then we're all grown up 
No one can stop it Mumma, no one.....not even you

And with that, she helped herself to a snack from the refrigerator 
She hugged my legs on her way back by, and said 
I love you!
You're my best Mumma!

And there you have it 
What I love about my Instagram  iPhoto picture is simply The Artist
The Artist known as Lucy 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I want to ride my bicycle I want to ride my bike

When Sean and I lived in Medford, we had bikes
In the summer, after work, we went for bike rides almost every day after work
It was awesome

I called her Schwin Dixie
I had a bell and a horn and tassels

I loved my bike

We moved to Woburn and had no where to store our bikes
We had to get rid of our bikes

I was so sad

For Christmas this year, Sean got me a folding bicycle
That's right, it folds up into its own bag for storage

It is awesome

Here it is

Sure, its a little kooky looking

And yes, picturing a 42 year old woman riding around the neighborhood on it will make you giggle

But it is awesome

The first day I rode my bike, I was a bit wobbly

And ended up kinda sorta falling

I was rounding the bend of Kendal drive a bit too fast and my seat was a bit too low and I hit a patch of sand and started going down

I'm falling I yelled out as I dinged my bell

I was going down and there was nothing I could do

So I just dinged my bell and fell

There was a guy cleaning his yard and he yells out

Kid, hey kid, are you all right

He sort of trotted over to me as I struggled to right myself

You're not a kid he says in disgust

Nope I say with a grin, just getting the feel of my new bike I say enthusiastically

He started muttering and shaking  his head while he walks away from me

I shook the sand out of my pants and continued on my way

I had a blast
Sure, my legs hurt
And yeah, I fell a couple more times...well, not so much fell as I sort of wobbled from side to side before laying my bike down before I all out fell
And yes I was huffing and puffing as I realized how much I had let myself go through the winter

But I had a blast

This past weekend, I went out riding again
This time, I had the seat right where it should be and I was not as wobbly as I was the week before

I biked around our circles for a bit to make sure I had the feel of her

Then I biked back to Kendal Drive to show it who was boss
I lapped it twice before heading home

I went back to our neighborhood  and rode around the two circles for a few minutes

It was at this time I remarked to my husband that I looked like Eliot from ET as I was wearing my red hoodie

It was windy and every so often, the hood would blow up onto my head

All I needed was a milk crate mounted to the front of my handle bars and an alien passenger

Then I decided to hit the open road
I turned right out of our development and headed down Webster
At the end of Webster, I went right
No turning back - there are no safe circles or neighborhoods to bike through when you turn right onto Pearl Street

As I was rounding the bend, getting ready to cross the town line, I heard the familiar rumble of motorcycles

I looked up and saw no less then 10 Harleys headed toward me

Weird place to see a bunch of bikes I thought
But here I am on my bike
There they are on their bikes

I'm doing it I thought.....................

And that's when I did it you guys..........

Yes I did...............................................................

I threw out a left handed low motorcycle wave

And they waved back

I'm totally getting a leather jacket and a nickname

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A blog post inspired by the word born and a letter from Granny and Grandpa

Prompt 2. Write a blog post inspired by the word born………and a letter from Granny and Grandpa to Lucy:

My in laws live in England, the original Halifax as my husband says

When Lucy was 18 months old, we took her to meet them for the first time
She really does not remember the trip but when we show her pictures or talk about it, she latches onto those memories and can retell them just as easily as we can

The second time we went, Lucy was three and a half
She remembers that trip much better
She remembers having tea and cake at the Watergate
She remembers feeding the ducks and going to visit Nanny Claire
Lucy can describe Granny and Grandpa’s house
And she remembers that Granny has a tin she keeps biscuits (cookies) in for tea time
And that Grandpa was building a boat in the garage

We have not been back to England as a family since
Which is sad for us and for Granny and Grandpa
We miss them as they miss us

We talk about family and friends in England in an attempt to expose Lucy to my husband’s side of the family
We want her to know their names and relations to her as well as she knows my family

Granny and Grandpa decided not too long ago they would start writing to Lucy
They too felt as if they were missing out on a relationship with their third granddaughter
They want Lucy to know them in their own words as much as we do

Yesterday, Lucy received her first Letter from Granny and Grandpa

Now it is not uncommon for Lucy to get mail (she actually gets more real mail than we do) but she never tires of it
Now when I get mail, I rip it open while standing at the mailbox

Not Lucy

She clutched the letter from the mailbox to the house
As we walked into the house, I excitedly asked her who she thinks the letter is from
I don’t know Mumma, I haven’t opened it
Ok well, let’s open it I say practically shoving her to the couch and waiting for her to rip it open

Mumma I have to do my stuff first

Then she took off her shoes, hung up her coat, emptied her back pack and politely asked for some milk and a cheese all the while never releasing her hold on The Letter

When she finally settled down at the table, and had taken a few sips of milk and eaten her cheese stick, she inspected The Letter

Funny stamp she observed
Doesn’t say who it’s from on the outside
Guess I’ll have to open it

Then she hopped down off the chair and headed to her desk

What are you doing I asked because now, the suspense is killing me

I have to do my homework she replied, we have to come up with words that start with O and I just thought of one – over

You’re killing me Luce….

I just have to write it down Mumma, be patient

When she finished her paper, she perched herself back on the chair and finally opened The Letter

She pulled out two folded sheets of paper
The first was a series of photos
Each marked with the subject of the photo
The second was The Letter

She laid both out on the table, side by side, and studied them for a few minutes before making some observations:

That’s Granny and Grandpa
It is I said
Who is that baby
That’s you, when we went to England the first time
Huh, I was small
Yes you were
And that’s Cousin Lauren
It is
And that’s Granny and Grandpa’s house and their car
I like their car….can you read me the letter Mumma

So I read her the letter……twice
The first time, she had no reaction
She just listened
When I got to the end, she asked me to read it again

The second time, she studied the pictures as I read and every once in a while, she’d interrupt me to ask a question or make a statement

Grandpa looks like Daddy
Yes, they do look alike Luce
How old did Grandpa say he is
And how old is Granny
Think Granny knows Grandpa is telling everyone how old she is
Think Granny told him to stop
I chuckled, maybe

They must know I like kitties, they used paper with kitties around it
Yes, they know you like kitties
Granny likes kitties too
Yes she does
And Grandpa used to have a dog that rode in the car with him, Daddy told me
That’s right

Granny and Grandpa live in England where the Queen with the white hair is from
Yes, yes they do
That’s a country like the United States
Yes it is

Are Granny and Grandpa English like Daddy
They are
But I’m American
Well, you were born in America
So I’m American
But Daddy is English
And you’re American
And even though Daddy lives here he is still English
Yes, because he was born in England
So no matter where I live I will always be American

So even though Granny and Grandpa used to live in Africa they were still English while they were there
That’s right
Can I be both American and English
Well, Daddy is English because he was born in England and you and I are American because we were born here in America
Oh…so I never get to be English…..
Well, you never get to be from England but you have English in you
So I can be English when I want to

It was at this point I realized I was in way deeper than I wanted to be and there was almost no way out…

Not exactly…see, there’s something called nationality which is what country you are from, where you were born…..and then there is something called ethnicity which is what race your family is from – what cultures and countries…
I thought I was part of the human race

You are….but Mummy’s families, which are Noni and Papa’s families, came from Italy and Ireland, so part of you is Irish and Italian like Mummy
And Daddy’s families from Granny and Grandpa are from all over the place….so you are also English, Irish, I think Italian and a hint of Scottish and Welsh though Grandpa and Daddy might deny that
So all our families are from all those places
Yes, at some point someone from all your families lived in all kinds of different countries

But I’m also American
And I’ll always be American
Because I was born here
That’s right
What if was born in Africa
Like what if you were on a trip and I was born while you were on the trip – what are people from Africa called
So if I had been born in Africa, I would have been African
Uhh…, you would still be American

But you said where you are born is what you are…
Right but…you know what, how about a piece of cake
Mumma, I haven’t even had supper yet
Oh ok well, how about you watch something
Can you read my letter again

So I read it again

Mumma, how come they didn’t tell the story of how they used to live in Africa with hippos, like Daddy told me
Well, you could write back and ask them to tell you about it
How come they don’t live in Africa anymore, I mean don’t they know I dreamed my whole life of going there and they should still live there so I have someplace to stay

Well, they moved a long time ago, before you were even born
Oh yeah, I forget you guys did stuff before I was born
I laughed, yeah, we did Luce

Will they ever go live in Africa again
No honey, they live in England now, that’s where they’ll stay
Think they miss the animals from Africa
They might I said
I mean all England has are sheep and cows….sheep and cows get boring after awhile
I suppose they do I said
Do they know Noni and Papa have deers and turkeys at their house in Maine
I’m not sure Lucy
I can tell them about that in my letter – and I’ll tell them about Ziggy, but I just may do it in pictures, pictures are easier for me than all that writing because I am still just learning words
Ok Luce
I’m gonna watch my show now
Sure Luce

She hopped down and took the letter

Hey Mumma
Yeah Luce
Next time I’m born, can you do it in Africa so I can be from Africa ‘cause I love all the animals in Africa
Sure Luce, I’ll see what I can do

Hey Mumma
Yeah Luce
Do Granny and Grandpa know the Queen
No honey, not very many people actually know the Queen

Oh…hey Mumma
Yeah Luce
How come we don’t have a Queen
How come we don’t have a Queen in America
Well, because…
Because why
‘cause Mumma the Pilgrims came from England
Yes they did
So if the Pilgrims came from England and the Queen is from England, how come we don’t have a Queen…didn’t they bring a Queen
No honey, they came on their own

Mrs Dionne said they came here for a better life
They did
And a better life was without a Queen she asked
Well, back then it was actually a King
So the Pilgrims came to America with no Queen and no King
That’s right
Because they did not want to have a King or Queen
Well, because they wanted to be free to make their own decisions, to live their life as they wanted to live

And they were born in England so they were not American but they came here to live
Well, no one was an American at that point
Except the Indians who were born here and helped the Pilgrims
Well no…see America was not the United States when the Pilgrims came
What was it

Well, it was.....
see first it was......
Well, see the continents used to be connected and there was this thing called the Bering Strait….….hey Lucy, wanna know where babies come from

I already do Mumma, the Dad puts the baby in the Mom’s tummy and she grows it for a few whiles and then it gets born when the Mom pushes it out her jay-jay or the doctor cuts open her belly and pulls the baby out like what happened to me

Yeah Mumma
Why don’t you watch something before dinner
Ok….Mumma why are you rubbing you face, do you have a headache
A little bit Luce

Mumma is Ziggy American
Honey Ziggy is a cat
Yeah but he was born in America so he’s American right
Sure honey
I’m glad he was born Mumma
Me too Lucy

Hey Mumma
Are you glad I was born
You have no idea honey

Mumma, if you were never born would I never have been born….and what if you were born but Daddy wasn't would I still be born.....Mumma why are you laying your head on the table, are you tired……