Monday, June 28, 2010

Life is precarious. Tender. Short

Today we went to a nearby canyon and witnessed the life cycle of frogs. Hundreds of tadpoles, tiny frogs, and those in-between. Some frogs with tails, and some tadpoles with two legs. We walked upstream, BOY & GIRL plunging their hands in the shallows to scoop up any creature they could. Pausing for lunch, we sat on warm rocks, our backs to the sun. The scent of wild sage, so prevalent in Southern California, filling our senses with summer.

It is in nature that I feel most in my skin. There is something about moving my limbs on a hiking trail and taking in the brilliant blue sky. I realign... come into my body again.

It's been a very emotional week, and I needed this respite from a world that seems to be daring me to be stronger at every turn. Spending time with my children, caught up in their moments of discovery and wonder, was healing.

We are so very fragile. All of us. At any moment our lives can change. Often, without warning. Especially challenging to those of us who like to be in control. Or, think we are... But, there is no controlling our destiny, really. Other than the immediacy of what is at hand. And even that ...tenuous at best.

As I watched the frogs still holding on to their tails, I thought of both the burden of that tail -for the added weight, and the comfort of still having something that is familiar. Indeed, how alike we humans are to this stage in a frog's life. Sometimes we can't wait to get away, yet we drag our baggage behind us.

Life is precarious. Tender. Short.

This week my beloved nephew was struck down by a crippling mental illness. A friend is leaving her husband for another man; uprooting her life for new-found love. And today... Today, I had word of a close friend's brother dying in a helicopter crash. A father to two young children. One, a baby of six weeks.

Sometimes the pain in the world seems too much to bear.

It is essential to grieve. Then to let in the love and light that are all around us. Because without each other? We are lost. Life is here. We just have to see it through the ripples...

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

BOY & GIRL...moments in time

GIRL at her recent Swan Lake recital.

BOY with one of the school chickens.

Photos that make me weep...

Ballet photo taken by JCK.
Chicken photo taken by Chris Strothers. Part of a series of pictures with the Kindergarten kids and the school chickens. Each photo a unique portrait.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

It has been a school year without CRISIS

In two days my son will say good-bye to Kindergarten. My BOY with the golden hair, sweet smile and eyes the color of corn flowers. He will race into summer, arms flung wide, face uplifted to the sun, legs moving. He is an explorer, my boy, and summer beckons with the lure of adventure ahead.

It's been a good year for BOY. We are blessed to have had a school that not only allows him to shine, but encourages it. It has been a school year without CRISIS. There have been some challenges, some ups and downs ...but, we're ending the year on a high note.

The BOY who had a speech delay is reading at a mid-second grade level. The BOY who struggled to hold a pencil is writing short sentences. The BOY who has had no interest in drawing is creating some kick ass art work...when he wants to.

He continues to entertain us with the stories he weaves from his imagination. Someday I hope he'll write them down.

So, we close another door. But, I can't wait to see what's behind the next one...

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

then ...letting go of me

Today is GIRL's final day of preschool. Last night we talked together, in what is fast becoming our nightly ritual. GIRL snuggles down under her covers, I switch off the light, and sit on the edge of her bed. The darkness cocoons us, inviting thoughtful conversation about her day, or what adventures lie ahead. This time we spoke of the last day to come, our voices rising and falling in the excitement of celebrations with friends, and the sadness of a life chapter being closed.

I feel so blessed that she has had this last year - to grow and stretch, to soar in social confidence. She looks eagerly ahead, ready for Kindergarten. I rejoice in how she embraces each day, and know that there are many good times to come.

Yet, it is bittersweet...and I am savoring each moment.

As I hugged her good-bye this morning, she pulled me over into the sand... laughter spilling out of her in waves.

THAT was funny! she shrieked, then ...letting go of me, running off to play.

Our children are often ready to move on ... before we are.


"Heaven Sent" sculpture from The Sculpture Gallery.

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Monday, June 14, 2010

Best lines of the week...

And the winners are...

BOY (yelling out car window to passing Hummer): Bad Hummer! BAD!

There ensued a discussion on Hummers and JCK's limited knowledge of how Hummer vehicles are used in the military.

GIRL: Mom, didn't you say we could Google "Hummer" tonight? We should make a list of all the things we need to Google.

BOY (running up to a lone man smoking a pipe): You'll get LUNG CANCER!

BOY (while walking away from a little girl he had befriended at the Y, and was flirting with): I haven't decided if I'm going to marry her yet.

"Mischievous" Painting by Chuck Gumpert.

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

...being in the moment to enjoy it

As we come into the home stretch for the school year, breathing is often forgotten. Instead, there is full-out hyperventilating. BOY and GIRL? Fine. Me? Not so much.

So, this afternoon sitting under a shady tree in the front yard of a close friend, as our kids played, we declared Jack O'Clock a bit early. Why not? Children were safe. The sky was blue and cloudless. So, we sat in Adirondack chairs. Leaning back. Laughing a bit. And, for the first time, in a long time...I felt the stress slip away for a while.

It's been a challenging spring. Yet, when you really STOP and get off that roller coaster that doesn't seem to feels healing. Especially the laughter...oh, the laughter. I've missed it.

Here's to blue skies, shared laughter, inhaling the beauty of my children, and ...being in the moment to enjoy it.

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

GIRL flies to Paris

Last week, GIRL and her preschool class flew to France. Each was allowed one carry-on. A large painted cardboard box served as the cockpit. All passengers made their own passports and had to pass through security at LAX. Assignments were made prior to the flight, and GIRL was ticket taker. GIRL later confessed that she and a male classmate wanted to be Security so they could ask if anyone was carrying weapons.

Once airborne, passengers were served refreshments and watched an in-flight movie. They landed in time to have snack in Paris. Bon!

Over the last week they have tasted Brie, goat cheese, chocolate croissants, and meringues -while sipping on pink lemonade. Various French phrases can be heard bandied about the Motherscribe household....Bonjour Mes Amis, Au Revoir, and Allez vous to name a few.

Projects have included a replica of Notre Dame with sugar cubes and an ice cream cone, as well as a Popsicle bridge over the Seine. Yesterday they studied Monet's art while at Le Louvre. GIRL painted a still life of a bowl of fruit, and a vase of flowers.

Toujours...alors, they must fly home tomorrow. Paris in the spring. Nothing like it...

Photo of "Madeline" by Ludwig Bemelmans.

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