Step by Step

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You’d think that Mother Nature could get it together for a few hours for an important day like this. After working like crazy to be here, it would have been nice to at least have had some sunshine… alas we were just lucky it wasn’t raining!

The pictures that I caught of you unawares, smiling to yourself, proud of your accomplishment are the best ones. You have a right to be proud of yourself. It’s not easy to make it through college and it’s really not easy to have to work while your doing it!

August Birthday

Such a glum child– so busy being cool. You really just look cranky!

Happy Birthday! You look Marvelous!!!!

If only you were this sweet to each other all the time.

Sisterly love

Breakfast at the Squeaky Bean– what’s the silly expression? Good Eats.

Cassidy and Kiko waiting for breakfast… twiddling their thumbs.


Pleasant atmosphere although I didn’t see any chai. Delicious french toast though– and roasted potatoes.

Good food


Sound the Bugle!

Sound the bugle now – play it just for me

As the seasons change – remember how I used to be

Now I can’t go on – I can’t even start

I’ve got nothing left – just an empty heart

I’m a soldier – wounded so I must give up the fight

There’s nothing more for me – lead me away…

Or leave me lying here

Sound the bugle now – tell them I don’t care

There’s not a road I know – that leads to anywhere

Without a light I fear that I will – stumble in the dark

Lay right down – decide not to go on

Then from on high – somewhere in the distance

There’s a voice that calls:

Remember who you are!

If you lose yourself – your courage soon will follow

So be strong tonight – remember who you are

Yeah you’re a soldier now – fighting in abattle

To be free once more …

Yeah, that’s worth fighting for


Happy Birthday

Your Nana was sure you would be born in the pool or at least come out swimming. It had been a long hot summer and I felt like I made a whale look slim and fit. And I was positive that an elephant could pirouette me under the table. I didn’t carry those last months with grace…

I was sure you would be born early, but as I would learn every first mother thinks that. I was also positive that you would be the smartest, prettiest and most creative child on the face of the earth. Once again, I wasn’t the first new mother to think that although you certainly showed an incredible amount of acumen early on and you were (and still are!) a gorgeous girl. Well, and creativity doesn’t always display itself in paintings. Sometimes it’s revealed in the various ways one child could find trouble (lest you ever forget the Curious case of the Naked Child in a Suitcase Incident!).

Twenty-two years ago, I was naive enough to think that I had what it took to be a good mother. If I’d been a little older and a little more experienced, perhaps I would have understood that I did not yet have all that I needed…

Nevertheless, on August 18. when my water broke and I had no doubt that you were going to be in my arms soon, I was thrilled. I was also terrified of the tearing and breaking that was sure to come when an 8 lb. infant descends through a body part that is– well, generally too small for a head that is 9″ in circumference to get through! But I survived your entrance and you survived me, I guess.

What I hoped when you were born– well, perhaps one of the greatest mistakes a parent can make is to cast all their hopes and dreams onto their child. So what I hoped for when you were born that morning (at 3:30 a.m.! Now that was a long day!!!) is perhaps of little consequence. Perhaps what you should know now is what I hope for you now…

I hope that you are happy. I hope that you find joy in sunsets and contentment in a quiet moment with yourself. I hope that you are your BEST self. That you love well and are well loved in return. That you give knowing that giving is a gift to yourself, recalling you to the greater humanity to which we are all a part. I hope that you are awed by the vastness of the universe and curious about the intricacies of a honeybee hive or a spider’s web. I hope that you find things that so enthrall you that the day slips away and you go to your night’s sleep still entranced by the day’s adventures,  and that you slip past the entrapments that can bog you down and chain you to earth. I hope that you have magic in life and…

I hope that you are happy.

In a word… Precocious

She toddled about, looking for adventure in a way that might be described as suicidal. As a young mother, I was too addled and “adult” to always see the potentiality for high sea piracy and daring charges on the castle, but she clearly was not.

One fine day, a Sunday to be exact, and not unlike any other Sunday, one that had been complete with rushing and bustling and harrassment. But we made it to church nevertheless, intact in our Sunday fineries.  She was always dressed in a frilly frock that would have appalled the mother at the age but seemed not to agitate the toddler so the frills went on uncontested. The totlet was taken to Sunday school, this not without protest, and was left in the care of the Sunday nanny who was well versed in the care of the church’s tiniest minds. (Never mind that tots should not be subjected to the ideas that are implanted there before they have the wits to contest them… that was not at issue this day…)

I rounded the corner to bump into my little one, fresh from an excursion and being closely followed by the church’s personal brood mare, one Zora Darrow who wanted to have as many children as her body could stand- never mind that the little christian community could barely stand the first two of her ultimate eight. The little face turned up to me, her generally happy and mischevious eyes sad and ashamed.

“What’s the matter with you?” It was no doubt an angst that came with dealing with said adult and I sympathized momentarily for her plight.

“I had an accident.” She whispered quietly.

“An accident…” With this simple phrase, the child immediately tapped into the Battle of Eau de Toilette– a battle that had been going on for some time between the child and the mother of her parent’s desire that the tot no longer have her bottom padded with costly two inch thick padding for excrement collection. “Did you pee or…”

“poop” was the sheepish response.

“You pooped your pants? At church?” Outcries of disgust and plugged noses filled my mother’s mind as I imagined the reaction of the all too close pew sitters. There was no backup of underclothing, let alone a dress. Washing and wearing weren’t going to work if the mess were in any way runny or even smeared.I bent down and none too gently patted the bottom and met the soft mass with my hand.

I sniffed with anticipation.

No odor.


The Sting

So there is a lump in the back of the little one’s britches… but no odor.

Odd!!! It’s the rare child that can poop their pants without punishing all who are nearby with the stench of their diminutive body’s daily B.M. (And why is it that little people can smell up a large space so effortlessly???)

So I lean over and look inside, thinking that I might be able to clean her little britches out without having to abandon the morning’s activities, pull the pants back and find…

Oh, my GOD! It is unbelievable! Completely mind boggling.

Nestled into the toddler’s underwear is…

a pile of…

a big wad of…

tissue paper.

The child had not pooped at all but had played a fantastic prank on her mother worthy of a Calvin and Hobbes strip without Hobbes to egg her on!