Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Smiles as Frat Boy

It is easy to see Smiles (age 7) as alarmingly similar to my male college-age students:

Long dirty blond curls looping to his shoulders as he slouches on the couch wearing a T shirt and Y fronts, absorbed in playing a video game on a device nestled on his lap.


Asking me to remove the puppy from his bed at 9 Am on a holiday Monday morning "because it's a holiday, and I am going back to sleep."

Or, most of all,

At the top of the porch steps, yelling excitedly about his return to the back-yard cookout (from a trip inside to the bathroom) can (of fruity seltzer at this age) in hand "Hey guys!  The Party's Baaaaaaack!"

Monday, May 23, 2016

Robins, part 2 (On unusual perspectives)

Through the glass window of the transom one can see the back of the nest,
the robin's tail
its bent legs
and its pointy butt.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016


Our front door is made of glass panels and has a glass transom window (is that a good idea in a "marginal" Baltimore neighborhood?  No.  But at least we have two dogs--one large, one noisy).

Robins have made a nest on the transom part of the door.  Despite frequent egress.  Despite noisy children.  Despite barking dogs, porch lights, and mail delivery.

This means one can sit inside half way up the stairs and be level with the nest, and see it through the glass.

1) Wow!  I hope the birds stay there and have babies, because the kids are going to be able to spend all day on the steps inside watching!

2) Robins, really.  What are you thinking?  Your nest sits on the door frame and is backed by clear glass. Perhaps you are just happy to be out of the (incessant) rain and are willing to put up with a lack of privacy in exchange for dryness?

I guess their nest is in a better spot than the sparrow nest in our drier vent last year. (I can imagine a sparrow pitching that one to his mate; "But look, honey.  It may be loud and windy, but the eggs will always be warm!")

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Mom(osyllabic) Day Sentimentality

 On Mother's Day: Great cards from Voice and Smiles.  Voice actually wrote me a card every day during the preceding week, which is more protestations of love than I have ever received from her, and does the predictable thing of turning me into a ball of weepiness.  Those cards contain all the praise I want ("I love your gardening," "Thank-you for the pasta workshop. I loved cutting the pasta,"  "I really liked going to the bluegrass festival with you" "Mommy, I love you here, I love you there, I love you everywhere!").  So much recognition I am afraid: what's making her think all this good stuff?? Is she OK??

Also on Mother's Day, after dropping them off with their father, the retired-nun-neighbor asking over the fence "Well, did you get to see your children at all today?"  That too pretty much reduced me to a ball of weepiness.

Moving on: yesterday, the day after mother's day, Voice told me she'd put a special stuffy, one I gave her, in her back pack because she'd been missing me.  While we were busy doing homework in the dining room the puppy got into her backpack in the hall, and ate the body of the toy, leaving only its head (what is the word for the opposite of decapitation?). 

Voice was reduced to a ball of weepiness.

I am no seamstress, but I like solving problems.  Out of the remnants of the Sock Puppet Birthday Party in January, I made a new bunny body (tail and all).  Voice deems it "lumpy, but even better than the real one because YOU made it, Mommy."

And I weep again.