A Wedding

April 2, 2016

A dear friend of mine told me last night that her middle son is getting married this summer….and I swear, as the words of  her news hit my ears – the sound of beautiful bluebirds reverberated all around the room. There is just something so sweet and so beautiful hearing the news that two people who are a perfect unit, a perfect team, are about to embark on this most romantic of days. I watched, as in my mind’s eye, a thousand flower petals swirled around room…perhaps – mostly around my heart, for in that instant, I was swept back to that magical moment when I said ” I do”….almost 30 years ago and the glimmering glow still remains, still shines in my heart.

…and this is what I wish for them both.

Walls

March 11, 2016

Walls….wonderful walls…the wonder of walls…oh, the wonder of – it all.

A guilty pleasure or mine is to take the occasional tour of a house that is up for sale in my neighborhood. Partially it’s because I’m curious and quite frankly, to be honest, mainly because I am just that… curious. Not too long ago,  I found myself all alone while looking through a house – it was a moment when there were no prospective buyers milling about – just me. As I wandered through the rooms I could feel the laughter…the family dinners, the holiday parties. This was what I like to call a “happy house.” Sometimes I walk though houses where the the tears almost seem to stream down the walls and the arguments echo in the halls…..  in an “unhappy house.”

Then I wonder about my own house…someday, will someone walk through and feel the home that it was? Will the laughter tinkle from the chandelier in the dining-room where there have been countless celebratory dinners and afternoons spent playing Scrabble? Will happy energy race down the staircase that I love to drift down each morning and that my 3 children have raced up and pounded down with schoolbooks and backpacks in tow? How about the passion, creativity and sometimes frustration that buzzes around my kitchen where nightly dinner are in a daily state of conception?  Then there are the tears from times when life’s weight seem too heavy to bear and hearts were broken…will those tears they trickle down the walls?

And the Love…what of the love? The tender kisses, freely given hugs, playful tickles and comforting embraces….will they swirl around and take someone ‘s heart by surprise?

All those feelings – happy, sad, scared and celebratory are being absorbed on a daily basis in my walls. I like to think that hopefully, they will one day embrace, strengthen and inspire someone as they did when we moved into this happy house.

Walls….wonderful walls…the wonder of walls…oh, the magic of – it all.

 

 

Magical Mother’s Day

May 13, 2014

My Mother’s Day was one of the  BEST days of my life (and I have had a lot of days). It was unconventional, non-traditional and absolutely perfect in every way….and it all started with my husband being out of town (yes I know how that sounds – but read on).. My husband rarely goes away on business anymore.  About 15 years ago, his job required him to be  away several times a month, which at the time, my kids loved.  They were 6 and 8 (the youngest wasn’t here yet) and it meant pancakes for dinner, sleepovers in Mom and Dad’s bed, going for ice cream after dinner – and other fun stuff.

This year, he was away for a week at a conference with the last day being Saturday. The first thing in the morning, my oldest asked me what the plans were for the day. I told him I could take them all to a mall, thinking that was what he was hinting  (it was the day before Mother’s Day after all!). But  he and his sisters weren’t overly keen on that. So I told him what I really needed to do was go to the bulk food store to buy some black rice, stock up on a few spices etc. All three kids’ ears perked up… Bulk Food Store = Bulk Candy, as well as real food.  They were all quick to say that they would be happy to accompany me.  I have to admit, I was kind of excited – all three of my kids (aged 23, 21 and almost 14) willingly hanging out with me? YAY!!!

Off we went, It was a beautiful day – surprisingly warm enough to traipse around in just t-shirts, after a truly long, cold winter.  The sun was out and as they piled into the car, there was not a single argument about the seating arrangement (youngest called Shotgun!). Phones were off and we chatted as we made the 15 minute drive out. Once at the bulk store, we split off to our choice aisles and about 20 minutes later, purchases in hand, we got back into the car (again – no discussion about seating!). “What’s next” they asked, saying it was too nice day to just go home. How about lunch? Great idea – off we went to a popular chicken eatery that we used to frequent when they were smaller. Lunch was perfect – good food and lots of laughs… I really felt that I had reached Nirvana.

We started back towards home and on the way, I wanted to stop and pick up a small flowering plant for their god-mother who hasn’t been well lately. We were int he neighborhood anyway and I figured that we could just leave it on the front porch. Low and behold, we pulled into the driveway and saw their uncle/godfather standing outside. He was pleasantly surprised to see us as it was completely unexpected and invited us to come around back to sit on the deck, calling his wife out to join us. She was so happy to see the kids and we sat out and enjoyed a warm, sunny half hour visit. I looked down at my watch; it was mid-afternoon and I was concerned that she was getting tired plus, we had been out half the day and I figured that the kids had probably had more than enough “mom time” and were ready to get back home. As we started down the road,  the kids kept commenting on how beautiful the weather was so I asked them; “Highway or Scenic Route along the water” – I knew they wanted to get home to their computers etc…but to my complete surprise – they opted for the scenic route!

So we drove along the winding road – the river was so high that we could feel a faint spray through the open windows. Some brave souls were kite surfing – the colors of the different sails so brilliant in the sun. Further along, another club was kayaking along the canal – We were really being treated to some incredible, colorful sites. We pulled over for a moment or two – just to get out and see the wild and choppy water up close – and taking advantage of their good humor, I asked the kids to pose for a picture or two – which they did willingly!

We got back home pretty close to dinnertime – I was in heaven having spent the entire day with my children…laughing, talking (and no electronics). I know that Mother’s Day surely inspired the day but I don’t care. It was a wonderful, wonderful day – a day I told them that they would understand the importance of, later on in life.

The next day, Mother’s Day itself – there was no annual brunch, no cards or gifts – none of which is important anyway. But that Day….that spontaneous and free-flowing day, it was pure magic – pure gold. I felt giddy,inspired, blessed and most of all…Loved.

Happy Mother’s Day to me!

Where does the magic go?

February 6, 2014

I stopped by my parents’ home today to visit and say hello. My father has ALS which has been a tremendous blow to our family – we never saw it coming….a man who, although 86, puts most of us to shame with how active and in-shape he has always been. Walking 2 miles daily – rain or shine, and not in a shuffling elderly way – always striding at a clip, shoulders back.   He also worked  out at the gym three times a week  for the last 60 years – and by the way; never liked doing the “senior group” – always wanted to push himself and work out with young people. However, this is what Life has decided to hand him and we have no choice but to accept it. One of the incredible lessons has been the moments of insight I have had into my parents 60 year-long love affair….I have always known that they loved each other and they have never been afraid to show their devotion and affection, on a daily basis. They have also felt free express their normal marital differences from time to time – so I never had a skewed idea of what marriage was all about.

But, it is the intimate moments that I have accidentally witnessed.

One day, while in the hospital  awaiting results from a series of tests due to a false scare that he was suffering from a pulmonary embolism; I was sitting behind them in the waiting room and my mother suddenly said quietly “We had some really great times – didn’t we?”  and added “It seems like just yesterday. We had so much fun…”

My dad responded with a tired smile and nodded. “We sure did… it’s all in here” he said, pointing to his chest…to his heart.

I had to hold back the tears because it was not my time.

Today, while chit-chatting about life in general, my dad pointed out to my mother that the times that she holds most dear were the times when my sister and I were small children and they were a young couple – a young family. He reminisced about how they used to get together with their group of friends  – other young couple with young families. Glory days; for most of those lovely, fun-loving people, all of whom were a big part of my daily life….are long gone.

Once again – I kept the tears to myself because  it is not my time.

I often sit and talk with my husband and wonder out loud with him – where do all these wonderful times that we are having now, the good feelings, the long evenings of parties and gatherings with family and friends, all the hysterical laughter – where do these moments of magic go ….once we  – go?

Kindness Equinox

December 11, 2013

December 1st is what I like to call the kindess equinox – it kicks off an entire month of people the people they should already be. Like, why is it that the guy who monitors the parking lot at the grocery store, leaps up to help me with my 3 bags in December…..but not when I am struggling with my 10 bags in the dead heat of summer (while I am wearing a brace on my arm). I have to admit – I do like it that people are holding the door open for me this month, rather than letting it fly in my face and the Pleases and Thank Yous seem to fall out of everyone’s mouth without coaching.

I think there must be something in those December snowflakes…I don’t know if you have to ingest them accidentally or if a flake merely landing on your head is enough – but last week, it seems that almost every stranger I passed had a quick smile or a nod of the head for me  – two people even wished me a “good afternoon”! What’s up with that? I felt so….well – like a Real Person!

This is what I love best about the Season though – no matter what holiday you celebrate – there seems to be this gentle air of kindness swirling around – as though the cold winter wind has caused our hearts to warm up a bit more.  I honestly do make an effort during the year to be kind and helpful – but I even find myself wanting to go that extra mile for people. Maybe we all feel as though we are wrapped up in the same warm blanket of human kindness all of a sudden and that the Magic of the Season allows us to make time to be the people we really are – deep down inside…kind.

Kindness and making magic for other people is most underrated and unappreciated – until you bestow it. So go ahead – do something unexpected and kind today….it can be a really small thing (to you) but might be the magic that someone else needs to make their day.

And do me a favor?  Try to keep it up all year – I’ll check back with you in 2014 to see how it went 😉

Leaving out the religious aspects of the dictionary’s meaning…..teachers truly are the saints of the modern-day world. My children have had some amazing teachers – people who helped open up the world to them in areas where I was limited (hey, you can’t know it all!). They have partnered with my husband and I in directing the flow of my kids’ natural talents and interests, and have lit fires both beneath them and within them. Think about it. GOOD teachers (people who live and breathe their profession, not the ones who thought; “oh that’ll be a cool job – summers off!”) are the very foundation of our future – they are busy guiding (I prefer that term over “molding”) our younger generation, the world’s future. Readin’,’Ritin’ and ‘Rithmitic aside – they are spending the day guiding our children through subjects, doing  their best to infuse them with a genuine thirst for knowledge…something that I believe all children possess from the time they are small – but this thirst somehow this dries up between “don’t bother me with that now, I’m making dinner (I’ve been guilty of that one from time to time!) and a click of the T.V. remote.

I know this for a fact because I am a teacher – at the preschool/daycare level – but a teacher nonetheless. Although I have three children of my own (two in university, one in high school) who are the loves of my life – the wee ones that I spend my day with are also my treasures. While I can most certainly separate from my job as I walk out the door each day, I can’t deny that “my” children aren’t on my mind. I am thinking and planning what I hope will be exciting activities and as I do my regular shopping, things catch my eye and I think “ooooh – so and so would LOVE that! How can I incorporate it into an activity?” At this level of teaching – I, too, am always learning. Those kids constantly have something new for me, for they are on the cusp of discovery, intuition and observation – and they always share some new way to open my eyes.

….and I laugh – my goodness but I laugh…every single day.

At this stage in the game I am not teaching subjects – I am teaching, or rather guiding, social behavior – helping them to figure out how to work out situations and get along – something that a lot of adults have trouble with! I try my best to support their parents’ lessons and the good intentions from their homes and from time to time,  maybe even embellish with a few of my own (I am a veteran parent after all!). I think for me, at this stage in the educational game, it is mostly about Magic. I am a big believer that childhood should be about magic and wonder. Sometimes it comes in the form of their own discoveries…sometimes it comes in the form of my creativity and  imagination – which I gladly share. The best part? That’s when I get all caught up in the magic with them and suddenly I get permission to be 4 years old again too…..how lucky am I that I get to spend my days playing a part  in their  make-believe, or cutting out moons and stars… or simply rediscovering the wonder of seeing green shoots burst through the soil of something we’ve planted? Pretty much anything found on the ground is a newly discovered treasure, everything and everyone is beautiful and everyday, love is given so genuinely.

There is nothing more heart-warming than when I walk to my car at the end of my day and the kids are outside playing in the yard and one of them will yell out to me – “Goodbye! See you tomorrow! I love you!”

That’s what it’s all about.

Where did the Magic go?

February 26, 2011

My heart is breaking – apparently there is an end to the yellow brick road – who knew? I’ve spent years weaving magic for children – partly for them and maybe mostly, for me. I have an array of magic wands that would make any fairy green with envy; puppets that come to life before your eyes and story books that pull you into another world. I love to dance like a fool and make a song out of every possible moment at any given moment. Then there’s my fabulous Magic Ball…I turn out the lights and we sit together, whispering and giggling with anticipation. Then when the children squeeze their eyes shut tight and blow on it – Poof! It goes on, it lights up and glows…then we oooh and ahhh at all of the tiny bubbles in it. I tell them that those are all the wishes that all the different children have made…and now, today – I have suddenly lost sight of my own wish that was supposedly being kept safe in there too. When did making magic for children become so unappreciated and out of fashion? When did the Guardianship of Childhood Magic become a defunct position in this slow revolving universe? Today – apparently it happened today. No one warned me….and now my heart breaks – for the children I know, for the children now grown…and lastly for me, I suppose.