Wednesday, November 30, 2011

my mother's purse (m)

On Thanksgiving evening, as I was leaving my older brother Joe's home, he turned to me and said, "Would you please cancel Mom's Citibank MasterCard?"  Joe is the executor of my mother's estate.  This is the only thing undone.  He's been getting statements with zero charges (naturally) and zero balances but wants the paperwork to stop.  I explained that he could do it on the form but he's a tad anal and wants this done "the right way."  He has asked me several times to do this.

The card is in my mother's purse which is in my front hall closet where it has been since December 12, 2010, the day she died.  I can't bear to look at it, let alone go in there. Her purse was her one signature accessory.  Always the same style.  Not even sure if it was real leather.  She didn't care. She needed a small bag with lots of compartments and easy access.  It was so her.  On the few times I'd gone into the closet, I averted my eyes and pretended it wasn't there.

Tonight, I take the purse out and start to go through it.  T and Harrison are asleep, each knocked out by Nyquil.  The house is quiet.  It is a good time to do this.  If I have to cry, I am by myself.

If eyes are the window to the soul, what does a woman's purse say about her? 

The purse is stuffed in typical fashion.  A plastic baggie of Lifesaver mints...some sticks of Doublemint gum (she only gave 1/2 a stick at a time if you asked for gum).  My mother was obsessed with having fresh breath.  She would judge people with bad breath ("The breath on him! I had to get the hell away!").  Remembrance cards from deceased loved ones (her husband, her mother, her sister).  I wade through tons of coupons for Kohl's (20% off everything!) and Bed, Bath and Beyond.  A gift card from Marshall's.  No credit card.

I keep looking.  A tube of lipstick which I gave her (the color didn't work for me or her but she didn't care and wouldn't waste a tube of lipstick).  Some unused Kleenex.  A laminated clover for good luck.  A newspaper article about the latest innovation in aortic valve replacement (the doctor said she wasn't sick enough to do that procedure...apparently, she was).  No credit card.

I check the zippered pockets.  I find the Coach wallet that my friend Eric gave to my friend Michele one Christmas.  She gave it to me.  I gave it to my mother.  I open it up.  $4 and some change.  No credit card.

More coupons, these are for Shaw's supermarket.  Nothing she would buy for her home but I recognize these are items my family uses.  She had been saving these coupons for us.  I get a lump in my throat.  No credit card.

I check the last zippered compartment.  I almost missed it as it was a "hidden" compartment.  I see a small black wallet that my nephew Chris bought at the little country store near Sam's college when we visited Sam together during Sam's freshman year.

I open it up.  Ah, at last.  The MasterCard.  Just the MasterCard and nothing else.

I turn the card over to get the number to call.  Then, I turn it back to the front.  The expiration date catches my eye:  11/30/11.  Today's date.

She beat me to it. 

Through my tears, I smile as I hear her say, "If you want something done, do it yourself."

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

hard economic times (lyn)

I haven’t made any real money since I lost my job in 2006.  Since then, I have gone through much of my retirement savings, and all my day-to-day savings.  My mom has been helping with my health insurance payments, as I wouldn’t be able to afford them on my own.  I have tried to start two businesses. I have applied for all sorts of jobs online.  I will take anything, but nothing is offered.  The economy is horrible, and I am an example of a well-educated baby boomer who once made a lot of money, had a prestige job, travelled to exotic places, took vacations, and regularly dined at fine restaurants.  My life today is very different.  I worry about money all the time, and though I have cut back tremendously, I still spend more than I should.  It is an awful way to live.  My future provides no security.

Yesterday I meet a friend (I’ll call Q) I haven’t seen in a long time.  We are seeing a screening.  I rarely eat out anymore, and since she doesn’t suggest a lunch before, we just meet at the theater.  Q’s husband works on his own as a highly educated medical professional.  He is very smart; you would never want to play him in a game of Jeopardy.  Q is also a business professional with a history of well-paying jobs at top companies. Their kids are recent college graduates.  I have known Q for a long time…over half my lifetime.  She and her husband have always been very casual about the way they communicate bad news.  A few years ago I am talking to Q and she tells me she was in an accident…no big deal.  Her husband grabs the phone and explains that Q’s accident involved her getting hit by a car, dragged, and almost killed.  She suffered broken bones and other complications.  She is fine now, but it took several surgeries to be pieced back together.

So last night, just before the movie is to start, I ask Q how her consulting business is coming along.  “Not that well,” she says.  Then, without any drama, she tells me that between her and her husband they have gone through their retirement funds; have only $5,000 left; and will probably need to sell their beautiful home.  The lights then dim and the movie starts.

I come home and have the same dinner as last night:  half the spinach and feta-filled turkey burger that I bought at Agata yesterday (it was huge; that’s why I could spread its consumption over two nights) on a brioche roll and 15 Pringle lights.  $10 for two meals.  My motivation to eat the same meal two nights in a row is driven less by money than by calories and convenience.  I am not programmed well for spending less.  

I forgot why I called (m)

Taking care of the elderly is exhausting.  Aunt Y is with Aunt X all day long and I don't know how she does it.

I call for a simple check-in and to ask if they want to take a ride to see Cousin Mary sometime soon.  Mary, you may recall, has kidney cancer which was recently diagnosed.

Aunt X: Hello?  Hello?  HELLO!
Aunt X: (Hangs up)

I call back.  Don't ask me why.  Must be some type of self-flagellation.

Aunt X: Hello! (agitated, as if the first call were a crank call).
Me: Aunt X, it's me, M.  How are you?
Aunt X: Oh, M!  It's you.  Someone keeps calling and hanging up!
Me: What's new?
Aunt X: I just got back from the doctor's.
Me: What for?
Aunt X: An ammonia shot.  I don't want to get the flu like last year!
Me: Oh, a flu shot (figuring out that, to her, ammonia=pneumonia).
Aunt Y gets on the phone: M, is that you?  The doctor says she also has amnesia.
Me: What? That doesn't sound right. 
Aunt Y: Well, that's what he said.
Me: How did he determine that?
Aunt Y: Blood test.
Me: Wait a you mean she has anemia?
Aunt Y: Yes, that's what I said.
Me: No, you said anmesia...that's when you can't remember things.
Aunt Y: Oh...okay.  Anyway, did you call for any particular reason?
Me: I forget.
Aunt Y: Maybe you have amnesia.

I hung up, exhausted.

Monday, November 28, 2011

shopping spree (m)

It's not what you think.  Lyn and I go shopping on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving.  We get to the mall around 3 p.m. and tour Nordstrom's.  I buy a pair of Ugg's slippers, $2 cheaper than on Zappo's.

Next, we walk around, overwhelmed by all the options.  I am not in the mood for Christmas shopping.  I am not in a good mood these days as I am depressed about my mother.

At 4 p.m., we decide to have a light lunch.  We have a berry smoothie at an all-natural place.  The calorie count and other nutritional information is posted.  Not many points.  The guys working are nasty and out of place with the products they are serving.  If someone told me they were laundering money or dealing drugs or weapons, it would make more sense.

Still dragging despite the berry pick-me-up, we stop into a Lindt chocolate store.  Lyn asks if we can have a free sample.  The kid says yes.  I take a dark chocolate/orange ball.  Divine.  Then we sample one of the mint chocolates.  Also, great.  This is nuts.  We are stuffing ourselves with chocolate....the day before Thanksgiving.  I try a marzipan/chocolate.  I love marzipan.  We look like Lucy and Ethel in that episode at the candy factory.  I think about hiding some chocolate in my shirt but even I have limits.

Out of guilt, we actually buy some more chocolates.  I buy $50 worth for presents and to serve my guests on Christmas Day.

We get home and I decide that, due to my lack of self-control, I will hide the candy in my house.

Today, five days later, I call Lyn to see where I put the candy. 

I obviously did such a good job hiding it that I'm hoping I will find it in time for Christmas.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

and your horse naturally won (m)

I had never been to Saratoga Springs so, imagine my delight to learn that Sam's hockey tournament is in Saratoga Springs.  After Jamestown, New York, this will be like going to a five-star destination.

We arrive the day after Thanksgiving.  T and I drive up, leaving Harrison home alone. 

Saratoga Springs is beautiful.  The race track looks the same as it must have at the turn of the century.  Old buildings with nice shops rich with character jot the downtown area.  The local bank is a huge structure of white marble, adorned with a large green wreath and red bow.  Mansions line one of the streets, all festooned with holiday decorations.  At first I think this reminds me of someplace else and then I realize it reminds me not of a place, but a time.  It is like going back 100 years, except with Starbucks.

I am impressed.

After the first hockey game, we are allowed to take Sam out to dinner.  This must be our reward for not having had our kids home for Thanksgiving as the team was preparing for the tournament.

We ask a local person to recommend a good Italian restaurant.  It's a Saturday night and the place is packed.  We can sit at the bar.

We saddle up to the bar...T, Sam and I.  On my right is a gay couple who are incredibly friendly.  They talk to us throughout the meal, recommending things to see and do while in town.  By the end of the meal, they invite us to their home to stay next summer.  I'm thinking about it. T is not.

Day 2, T and I take a 2-hour walk around town.  I shop a little, but mostly look.  I buy 3 Peppermint Pigs which I discover are "indigenous" to Saratoga Springs.  If you've never had a Peppermint Pig for the holidays, I heartily recommend you buy one online.  They are solid peppermint and you put them in a velvet pouch and take turns with people smashing them with a little hammer.  Then you eat the little pieces.  A friend of mine serves them at Christmas with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce.  Perfect.

Sam's team wins the tournament.  After the presentation of the awards, the team gathers on the ice for a photo.  I walk out on the ice and take a picture.

As I am walking back out of the rink, the athletic trainer for the team and my husband are standing there, laughing.  Apparently, they are bracing for the possibility of my going down on the ice.  The last time I went down was 18 months ago when I blew out my right knee at a playoff game. 

"You haven't gotten that fixed yet?" the trainer asks, incredulous.

I'm still thinking about it, I tell him.

I'm beginning to think it's time.

and the results are in... (lyn)

Five days of eating without watching.  I get on the scale.  126.  Up 3.8 pounds from Monday.   It doesn’t take long.  I wonder if I can lose 3.8 pounds in five days?  Doubt it, but I will be trying.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

feeding frenzy continues (lyn)

Alexander and I take a 9:20 train from Providence and are back in New York by 1.   I eat my way through a bag of Jean’s chocolate chip mini-cookies up the east coast.  Alexander sleeps.  It’s a spectacular spring-like day.  Alexander sees a couple of friends and runs some errands.  I unpack and do some things around the house.  Lunch is a salad pizza with Modern Family.  Dinner is a big sushi platter and more Modern Family.  Dessert is some of the Lindt chocolates (I'm giving them all to Alexander to take back to school) and pear sorbet.  It’s good to be hangin’ with my son.

Friday, November 25, 2011

food, food, movies, food (lyn)

The day starts with a gigantic breakfast of eggs, ham, bagels, cream cheese, and an assortment of homemade breads (pumpkin, apple, banana, and blueberry).

Next, we all go to Mashpee Commons to walk around.  While the parking lots are full, the stores feel empty.  Our only purchase is ice cream.  A small cone here would be a large anywhere else.

Finding nothing to buy, we decide to see a movie.  Half of us choose to see Like Crazy, while the other half see a terrible movie called The Guard.  There's a sign at the cashier's window.   At 60, I'm a Senior (I need to wait two more years for that privilege in New York).  People must age faster on the Cape.  Because it's a matinee, the senior price is $6.75, vs. the regular price of $7.00.  Alexander comments, "Hey, this is the first time that my movie ticket has cost less than yours."  Like the rest of the Cape, the movie theater is empty.  Michael, Jason Valerie, Abbey and I are the only people seated five minutes before the movie starts.

We are home by five-thirty and eating by six.  Jean has made a delicious but fattening dinner of lasagna, Caesar salad and garlic bread.  This year I resist nothing.

It's a great holiday weekend, made especially sweet by seeing my dad so happy.

I’ll just have to starve myself when I get home.  

Thursday, November 24, 2011

stuffed (m)

Thanksgiving at my brother Joe's. 

Two years ago, I had just started Weight Watchers.  I remember having turkey and a little bit of a few vegetable dishes.  Then I did the dishes to burn off some calories and divert my attention from the food.  I remember my Weight Watchers' leader suggesting we dress up in costume to start a new tradition. Try as I might, there were no plus-sized Pilgrim costumes to be found at iParty.

This year, I ate everything.  Oh, I still did the between courses.

I finished the day with a piece of pumpkin pie from Flour Bakery in the South End.  I was so full, I was uncomfortable.

I have lost my self-control.

Time to get back on the wagon.

another thanksgiving on the cape (lyn)

My mom is hosting Thanksgiving again.  All 13 of us are there-Val, Abbey and their 3 boys, Jean, Jim and their 2 kids, Alexander and I, and my mom and dad.  It’s the only time of year that we all get together.  Like Thanksgivings past, we always:
  • Appreciate the person who prepares and cooks the turkey (my mom) as well as the one who carves it (this year it is Valerie who proves herself to be very capable in this role).
  • Start the meal with a prayer by either Jim or my dad; this year’s is given by my dad.
  • Have as the centerpiece a paper turkey that Jason (who is now 29) made when he was about five.
  • Enjoy my mom’s famous stuffing from a recipe passed down from her mother.
  • Laugh at Adam's full plate, including (always) the turkey leg.
  • Have homemade pie for dessert.
  • Eat around three, finish around five, and feel like it’s ten (it’s much darker on the Cape at five than it is probably anywhere else).
  • Marvel at Adam’s ability to eat a second meal around eight, as if the previous one never happened.

 It’s without a doubt the best holiday of the year.  Lots of good food, many many laughs, and recognition for all we have to be grateful for.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

a wednesday in boston (lyn)

No voice and bad weather don’t get in the way of having a good day.

I can’t talk on the phone as my voice has all but disappeared.  When I call Alexander, I need to whisper for him to understand me.  My mother is optimistic because she does not want me sick for Thanksgiving.  When I speak to her, she says, “You sound better today,” even though I clearly sound worse. 

The weather is bleak; a cold rain fills the day.  Hair appointments, eating, and shopping-without-buying are pretty much all M and I do.  We are even too busy to stop for lunch, but by four we are starving.  We are in a mall and find a little stand that serves all-fruit smoothies. But then we pass a Lindt Chocolate Shop where free samples are being handed out.  I try an orange-filled dark chocolate truffle and then buy half a pound. 

We have dinner at Legal Sea Foods and I order what I always do there--- baked stuff shrimp.  What starts as a leisurely dinner ends in a rush. Alexander’s bus from Ithaca arrives earlier than expected.  So much for the anticipated holiday traffic.

We get a chicken Caesar salad to go, pick up Alexander and drive back to M’s house.  After Alexander finishes eating, and just as M and I and T and Harrison are about to crash, Alexander asks, “So, what do you want to do now?”  

Ah, to be in college where life begins while most of the world sleeps.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

lyn blows in (m)

Lyn comes to town today.

We decide to have a relaxing two days before the holidays (plus, I'm still coming down from Jamestown).

After a visit to my favorite store run by a friend (where I got my new favorite VBH bag in blue), we decide to have lunch.

Sitting at the table at Baker's Best, staring unenthusiastically at my salad with a slab of grilled chicken on it, I see a nice-looking man staring at us.  Okay, at Lyn.  This happens alot to Lyn.  She used to turn heads when we went someplace.  Less so now because every guy our age wants to date a 20 year-old, but still, I was happy for her that this guy was looking at her.  Next thing I know, she's talking to him. She appears to know him.

Then, Lyn comes to the table with the nice man and tells me he's an old friend.  "A" sits with us and talks for a bit.  Nice guy.  He reads the blog and is up to date on everything in our lives.  I feel at a disadvantage as I know nothing about him.  Lyn wants to take a picture, but A and I say NO.

We get home and get ready to go meet Lyn's dearest friend, Vivien.  Vivien is the anti-Lyn.  Very cerebral, bohemian in style, not into material things. Works hard at her high-powered job at a major consulting firm.

Vivien chooses a restaurant in Cambridge.  It's Mediterranean. You need a glossary to figure out the menu which features more things I'd never heard of than things I recognize.  I am so overwhelmed by the choices that I go with the prix fixe 5-course vegetarian dinner.  As does Vivien and Lyn.  The waitress is disappointed.  We sit next to two men who are trying to enjoy their meal except for the interruptions from us: "Excuse me...what is that appetizer you are having?"  " Excuse's that lamb?"  "Excuse me....etc."  The man, the general manager of my favorite hotel in Cambridge, is very accommodating.

Having consumed about 50 points, 12 of which I thoroughly enjoy, we go home.

Next time I go to a place like this, I will look online and plan my choices more judiciously.

dinner with vivien and m (lyn)

I last saw Vivien in August of 2009.  I was on the Cape and she and her daughter came down to visit.  It was the first time that Vivien had ever seen me heavy.  Throughout our childhood, into college, and for many years after, Vivi and I were always the thin ones.  We didn’t think much about it; we just were.  But during the summer of 2009, that was no longer true. Both of us could reasonably be described as heavy, or at best, overweight. 

Tonight, Vivi, M and I  are meeting for dinner at Orleana, a restaurant in Cambridge that “centers on the Arabic influenced foods of the Mediterranean with a strong lean towards Turkish.” I’m anxious to try this exotic restaurant, excited to see Vivien after a two-year absence, and curious for her reaction to my 40-pound weight loss (which she of course knows about as we talk frequently).

M and I arrive late.   We know we are at the restaurant only because our GPS lady assures us with the words, "You have arrived at your destination."  There is no sign on the restaurant and there is no easily found door.  Already the restaurant offers challenges.

Vivien is seated when we arrive.  It’s great to finally see her. She says nothing of my weight loss.  Maybe because Vivien has seen so many pictures of the thinner me, it has erased all images of the heavier me.

The menu is large and complicated.  Foods are prepared with foreign-sounding ingredients such as green wheat pilaf, tahini-brown butter, pickled wild mushrooms, baharat, toasted polenta fondue, and spicy fideos, to name just a few.  To make it easy, we all order the five-course vegetable tasting menu with dessert.  I have no idea what I am eating, but the tastes range from interesting/good to interesting/outstanding. The textures and flavors are all new, and nothing I eat is familiar.  

We get back to M’s and she asks, “So, how many points do you think we ate tonight?  About 50?”   Since we really don’t know what we ate, I guess 50 is as good a guess as any, even for an all-vegetable meal.

Note:  M was in the picture but she made me crop her out!  Imagine her thin and beautiful as that is how she looked.

lunch encounter (lyn)

By 9, I'm on a bus to Boston.  At $15, it costs considerably less than the $25 cab ride to get me  to the bus stop.  Traffic in Manhattan is horrible, but fortunately none has spilled onto I-95.  The ride up to Boston is uneventful and fast.

M meets me at the station.  Our plan for the day is a simple one: hang out, shop around, and have a light lunch. We choose a little bakery shop in Newton that also serves sandwiches, salads and soups.  Since I’ve decided in advance not to be careful this week, I opt for something I want to eat versus something I should eat... half a chicken salad wrap and a small cup of tomato basil soup.  As I’m carrying my tray over to our table, I bump into Alan.  I last saw him two summers ago, when he stopped by my parent's house.  The time I saw him before then was probably 45 years ago.

"Linda?"  That's my name prior to college, so anyone that calls me that is someone I know from my hometown.  Alan is the brother of my sister’s kindergarten boyfriend, so this is someone I never knew very well.  It’s strange bumping into him in this little bakery in Newton Massachusetts.  I ask him to join us.  “I can only stay a minute; my son’s home sick and I’m just picking up some soup for him.”  He sits down and we start to talk.  “So how are you feeling,” he asks.  How does he even know I’ve been sick?  Before I have a chance to ask, he says, “Aren’t you wondering how I know you’ve been sick?”  I read your blog.”  I’m totally surprised.  Then M, whom Alan has never met, announces, “I’m M!”  Now he’s surprised.

It’s a little strange knowing how much Alan knows about M and me, and how little we know about him. But in the few minutes that Alan stays, we learn a lot.  I’ll skip the details he shares with us, for he’s not the one writing a blog.  But our quick lunch in a non-descript bakery quickly becomes a lot more nourishing.  

Monday, November 21, 2011

voiceless (lyn)

M calls around 8.  I’ve already been up a while. I answer the phone and realize that I have no voice.  My sore throat is gone but now I cannot talk.  This is not good.

I’m leaving early tomorrow so I decide to rest up and do only vanity-prepping activities.

I get my legs waxed, and immediately feel better.  Then, I use my about-to-expire-manicure-pedicure-10 minute massage gift that I got from Karen last December.  I am so relaxed having my feet washed and scrubbed that I may have fallen asleep.

I’m not that hungry.  I just want  to drink a lot of hot tea hoping it’ll loosen up my throat so I can talk.  By 2:30, I still have no voice.  The many calls I’d planned to make go undialed.

I am supposed to see a screening of IRON LADY tonight, followed by a Q&A with Meryl Streep.  I do want to go, but know I shouldn't.  I reluctantly cancel.

I have a craving for pasta, and buy some ravioli from Agata for dinner.  It’s not the best meal to have pre-Thanksgiving, but it’s easy to swallow, feels nourishing, and is surprisingly satisfying.

I hope my voice returns tomorrow.  One day of being near-mute is more than enough.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

leaving jamestown (m)

The skating championships ends on a high note for Harrison and for me--he wins the men's event and I gain two pounds.

Driving down to the Buffalo, New York airport, we stop at Niagria Falls for a visit.  A rainbow conveniently appears out of nowhere as if to underscore the raw beauty of mother nature.

I throw a coin in the falls and make a wish for more resolve on my diet.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

day old sushi (lyn)

I wake up several times throughout the night, but basically sleep for 13 hours.  I feel a bit better.  Still have a head cold but the sore throat is mostly gone.

So, my big dilemma of the day is this:  Can I eat the sushi rolls I ordered last night and didn’t eat?  I consult three different sources for advice.

First, I ask the sushi chef at Agata when I’m there buying clementines.  “We get our fish fresh every day.  But it probably okay,” he says in hard-to-understand English.  “Would you eat it?” I ask.  He thinks about it and replies, “Probably no, but I think it would be safe.  Just not taste very good.”

Later in the day I call Ging’s, the restaurant that delivered the sushi last night.  They have a more definitive answer.  “The sushi is safe to eat the next day.”

I go to the Farmer’s Market and buy three breakfast cakes to bring for Thanksgiving.  Robyn comes over.  I browse through my new favorite store, Pachute.  I go to Joseph, my cleaners, who can work miracles on fabrics.  I get my hair cut.  I read.  I make some calls.

And now it’s dinner time. I do a google search.  It is amazing how many people have written and commented on the question, “Is day-old sushi safe to eat?”  I sift through many sites and many responses.  The consensus seems to be that while taste may be compromised, there is no safety risk.

Zelia and I are going to see a new play with Jesse Eisenberg called Asuncion.  I figure that if I get really sick, at least I’m with someone who can drive me to the hospital.

I take the sushi out of the fridge.  The spicy crunchy tuna roll (that is not spicy, by request) looks okay, though it’s a little paler pink than I remember it being.  The salmon avocado roll looks fine, except the avocado is not a bright lime green; it's more a dead-looking green with specks of brown.  And the yellow tail avocado roll, which I have never ordered before, looks scary.  I can’t tell which is the avocado and which is the yellow tail.  The rice looks okay, but everything inside the rice is milky grey in color.  It belongs in a black and white movie.

I try the yellow-tail roll first.  I take a bite and spit it out.  Horrid.  It tastes even worse than it looks.  I eat the other two rolls.  They are edible, but not great.

Zelia and I go to the West Village to see Asuncion.  It’s about as good as the rolls I eat…could definitely be better but not dreadful either.

Friday, November 18, 2011

knocked out by a head cold (lyn)

What I do today pales in comparison to what I was supposed to do.

I was supposed to meet two friends, Ellen and Penny, at a museum tour at the Guggenheim to see the new Maurizio Catttelan exhibit (I mention his name as if I know his art; I don’t, but Penny does).

I am supposed to meet Robyn later to see a screening of Young Adult with a Q&A after with Charlize Theron, Diablo Cody, and Jason Reitman.

This is what I do instead:
  • Wake up with a horrible sore throat, chills, stuffy nose, and headache.
  • Drink hot tea.
  • Catch up on blogging.
  • Drink more hot tea.
  • Schedule an appointment to have oral surgery.
  • Have the squash soap I made last Saturday; it’s still great.
  • Drink more tea.
  • Order three sushi rolls for dinner (from the lunch special at Ging’s).
  • Walk a couple of blocks to buy Cold-Eeze and DayQuil.
  • Come home exhausted from the effort and crawl onto my bed.
  • Go through five days of mail, mostly catalogues and junk.
  • Have an afternoon snack of a few cashews and a ¼ cup (5 points) of the chocolate pomegranate candies.
  • Get in bed to read the paper and fall asleep.
  • Sleep through dinner.
  • Wake up to finish this post.
  • Go back to bed; this time to go to sleep; it’s not even 7pm.

bob evans, I love you (m)

This (Jamestown, New York) is the town that time passed by.  It used to be an old mill town but, as times changed, life moved on everywhere but here.  Even the weather has been unkind to this place.  On Tuesday night, one of our families got caught in a tornado, her car spun around.  Last night, it snowed, bilzzard-like conditions for about an hour (the same time I was walking to the rink, sans socks).

We have been scratching our heads, wondering where to eat here.  Every egg seems to be processed beyond recognition, all chicken parts are fried.  Lots of pizza, strombolis and calzones.  The local grocery store has dust on the packages.

And then, I saw it.  A Bob Evans restaurant.  I remember these from our trips with Sam's baseball teams to the South.  Bob Evans...who could argue with a motto that says, "Where we treat strangers like friends and friends like family?"

I had a hard time convincing the Whole Foods crowd that we should eat here.  I found a menu in the lobby of our Best Western hotel (along with a pamphlet for the Cutco factory ("knives sharpened free" --I'm kicking myself for not having brought my set of knives with me on this trip).

The menu speaks for itself.  Breakfasts all day.  Lots of soups, sandwiches, Thanksgiving dinner (and you can pre-order your own Thanksgiving in a Box with all the trimmings for your own holiday dinner at home).  The salad section has the full count of protein, carbs, calories and fat.  Who can argue with this?  The price point is under 10 dollars for every item.

I got the chicken pecan salad. $8.99.  Free ice tea refills.  That was lunch yesterday.  Today, I get the egg white omelet with mushrooms, spinach, onions and broccoli. Divine.  $7.99.

Little by little, word is getting around the rink that this is the place to eat.  Today, Harrison and I see a few more of our Bob Evans recruits at the restaurant.

I'm happy here.  A clean room at the Best Western and a good meal at a great value at Bob Evans.

What more could you ask for?

sam's birthday (m)

Today is Sam's 22nd birthday.  I am with Harrison at a skating competition and Sam is headed to his first hockey game of the season.  Sophie's Choice--I went with Harrison and T is going to Sam's game.

We celebrated Sam's birthday last weekend when he came home for a couple of days.  A nice dinner with the family, Sam's girlfriend J and my nephew Chris.  Dal Frisco's in Boston.  My husband almost choked when he saw the bill.  There's a high price associated with eating well...oysters, Gulf shrimp, Australian lobster, etc.

Sitting in the stands with one of the mothers from our skating club, I learn today that her daughter shares this birth day with Sam.  We compare war stories of what were two traumatic births.

In Sam's case, I was ten days past my due date.  I remember being housebound, waiting for this baby to arrive.  My friend, Mary, came over to distract me by suggesting we do a craft.  She brought wood, an electric drill, hammer, fabric, ribbon and glue.  We made a two-panel screen for my living room (which I still have and is in perfect condition).

Later that night, T got us spicy food from Bertucci's.  I woke up the next day....nothing.  So, I went out shopping at Conran's in Cambridge and bought some blue and white trays.  Got cramps, went into the bathroom there and learned that I was bleeding.

The rest is a blur.  Mary rushed me home; T rushed me to the hospital.  The staff rushed me into the Operating Room.  Sam arrived at 7:40 p.m.  I looked at the clock and realized it was the exact same time another friend was exchanging wedding vows.

The doctor announced it was a boy.  T and I told them the full name.  One doctor said "Lawyer"  another said "Banker."  It was fun...for a minute.  Then the pediatric intensive care people rushed in and whisked him off to a respirator.  I saw him for less than one minute.  He was white and his face was all scrunched up, trying to breathe.

In the recovery room, we waited for news of my baby's condition.  I couldn't stop shaking as the anesthesia was wearing off.  I held the railing of the bed but the shaking was loud.  T was sitting there, stunned as the priest rushed in to say he was doing an emergency baptism on Sam.

While we were waiting for more news, I noticed something that irks me to this day.  T was eating my Tootsie Roll pops which I had packed assuming I would need this when I was in labor to keep my mouth and lips moist.  He took the red one, too.  My favorite.

Funny what we remember.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

another screening (lyn)

I meet Gail for lunch before our screening of Take Shelter, an interesting movie with a stunning performance by Michael Shannon.

The place I’ve chosen for lunch is a tiny midtown restaurant called Macaron.  I’ve been there before.  They have unusual sandwiches and salads, and yummy little macarons.  I arrive at two, assuming the place that has about four tables will be empty.  It isn’t.  People are squeezed in everywhere and every table is taken. Fortunately,  Gail is already there and is seated at one of the few tables.  “I just want to tell you, they are out of bread.”  It’s a sandwich place, and they are out of bread?  We leave.

We walk a block and go to David Burke’s restaurant at Bloomingdales.  It’s perfect.  There are at least five things on the menu that I’d love, although none of them are even remotely weight-watcher friendly.  Maybe that’s why it is so appealing.  I order the crab cake sliders with fries.  The little crab cakes are adorable. They come on teeny-tiny hamburger buns, and each one (there are three) is perfectly prepared.  They look like they belong in a doll house, except that they are filling and delicious with more crab than batter.  They’d be wasted on Barbie and her friends. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

a birthday dinner gone bad (lyn)

I am the first one to arrive at Beyoglu, a smallish Turkish restaurant not far from my apartment.  Even at 8pm on a miserable rainy night, the restaurant is packed and loud.  I arrive starving which is never a good thing.  Before the night begins, and so we don’t forget, we take a group photo.  Everyone is smiling and here to celebrate a friend’s birthday.

We start with an appetizer of hummus and some Turkish bread.  All but one skip the alcohol and settle on water.  I order lamb chops with white rice pilaf and some onions and carrots (which pretty much go uneaten).  The conversation is on par with the food…interesting and plentiful. 

But somewhere along the way things go astray, and well, the night takes a turn.  Without going into details (think Vegas), suffice it say, that before the night ends,
  • I order a glass of wine around 11, because I really need a drink…maybe for the first time ever.
  • Feelings are hurt (including mine).
  • And one fragile friendship (not mine) appears to end.
We leave around midnight, as the wait staff stands around anxious to go home.  All other tables in this once-busy restaurant are empty. It’s been a memorable night, but for all the wrong reasons.

that tooth again (lyn)

In 2006, I nearly lost my mind. It started with a tooth.  In short, my dentist at the time thought I needed to have an old filling refilled; without much thought I said fine.  Then my dentist discovered that the tooth was too small to be refilled  and instead I needed a crown.  I got one, and with it, unrelenting pain.  My dentist and his colleague  re-did the crown three times.  The pain persisted.  So next came a  root canal.  And still, the pain would not stop. I went to other dentists, ENT doctors, jaw doctors, oral surgeons, holistic healers;  I tried everything. The pain spread throughout my body.  I got sore throats that could not be diagnosed as anything serious.  A strange tinny taste sat in my mouth.  Throbbing pain continued.  It was worse than child birth.  I became anxious. My hands tingled.  I was dizzy. I was incapable of functioning normally.  I lost my appetite, totally.  This went on for months.  I was eventually put on an antidepressant called Lexapro that I am still on, five years later.  Going back to where I was still scares me.  It took four months before I began to feel normal again.  It was truly the most frightening experience of my life.

Today I go to an oral surgeon and am told that the very same tooth is not in contact with the tooth next to it.  X-rays from 2007 confirm that it’s been this way for a while.  How come no one saw this?  I see a dentist every four months or so.  Because there has been a small space between two teeth, food has gotten in and settled.  Over time, the food has worked its way into the gum and is now eating away at the bone.  It is seeping pus. 

I now have to have a bone graft on that same tooth with the hope of saving it.  If that doesn’t work and the tooth needs to be removed, well, that’s a whole other nightmare I’d rather not think about.  The surgeon won’t know until he’s in cleaning out the tooth.  The expense of this is exorbitant, but the doctor says I can pay it out over time.

I have to wonder:  Couldn’t this whole mess have been avoided?  Why wasn’t this seen when dentists looked at my x-rays from as far back as 2007?  Had it been noted then, I wouldn’t be in this situation now.

I’m scared.  This doctor seems good and I like his style.  I saw rave reviews for him when I googled his name.  He was a White House dentist and worked on both George Bush and Hillary Clinton.  I doubt they’d have a bad dentist.

Grrrrrr …hate even thinking about this stuff.  Just wish it were over.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

a play (lyn)

The sun has barely set and I'm having dinner.  It's 5:30,  I eat a small salad,  half a Fairway’s chicken pot pie, and a slice of a chocolate cake from Zabars.  I feel like I'm back on the Cape visiting my parents.  By 6, the dishes are cleared and I'm on a bus to meet Meredith.  We are seeing Venus in Fur, a new Broadway play starring Hugh Dancy and an extraordinary Nina Ariandra.  Curtain is at 7.

The play, like the performances, is exhilarating.  It's all the nourishment I really need.  I should have skipped the chocolate cake.

reiki #2 and #3 (m)

I finished my three Reiki sessions with Kristin.  Cost $200 for three sessions, a savings of $40 versus a per price session of $80.  It was well worth it.

Allow me to explain.

Recall that in session #1, Kristin noticed I had "layers of emotional dust."  She made large, sweeping motions as if wielding a broom on a dirt-covered floor in Plymouth Plantation.  Sweep...sweep...sweep.  By the end of the hour, she was exhausted but satisfied that she had "removed most of the layers."

In session #2, Kristin told me that Helen said I was "a good egg."  Who, you ask, is Helen?  I shall tell you.  Helen is a long-deceased woman whom Kristin used to care for.  Kristin was delighted to hear from Helen as she had not heard from her "in a long, long, time.  If Helen thinks you are a good egg, well, that's a real compliment."

I left session #2 feeling happy that such a discerning person as Helen felt compelled to reach out from the beyond to say I was a good egg.   My enthusiasm wasn't even diminished by my brother Phil who had his wife call me, pretending to be Helen, the night my husband was out of town.

In session #3, we discovered I have a gift.  Kristin feels I was put on this earth to help people in transition.  You mean like a career counselor? I asked, a little pissed that should be my calling.  "No, no...someone who can help people who are dying cross over to the other side.  Have you ever been with someone right when they died?"  I thought about this.  I counted 8 people and one pet dog.  That's nine.  Wow.  I felt my skin crawl.

Last night, my aunt X called to ask if I would help a friend of hers.  The woman has stage 4 liver cancer and, now, a heart problem, too.  She needed a ride to Mass General Hospital for an appointment.

Today, I take D to the appointment.  D is an only child, lost her fiancee to a heart attack many years ago, and has no children.  She is all alone in the world save for a few friends.

The appointment is tough, as D is told she is in atrial fibrillation and not a candidate for a procedure given her advanced cancer.  She gets out of breath just walking across a room.

As we get in the garage to drive home, she turns to me and asks, "M...are you afraid of death?"

I want to say, "No, I'm afraid of my gift."

Monday, November 14, 2011

a screening (lyn)

The good thing about going to screenings or theater almost every day is that it forces me to have an early dinner, which almost always results in a deflated scale reading the next morning.

Take today, for instance.  I’m meeting Zelia at 7 for a 7:30 screening of We Need to Talk About Kevin.  I plan to leave by 6:30, which means eating by 6. The lemon-garlic roasted chicken from Fairway is outstanding.  I buy and eat less than half a chicken with some vegetables and a couple of black and white cookies.   I leave the house sated, and know, that without even tracking, I’ve stayed within my points.

Zelia is already in line for the movie by the time I arrive.  Atypically, the line stretches about two city blocks.  We slowly make it inside the theater, and down a flight of stairs.  Then, with about six people in front of us, an official looking person announces, “I’m very sorry, but we are out of seats.”  And, no one is allowed to stand. 

We hang around a bit, and a woman from Oscilloscope Pictures brings in two chairs so we can stay.  Being a voting member of BAFTA helps.  The movie is a harrowing story of a mother’s love for her psychopathic son, a son who early on displays signs of evil.  The movie ends and we learn that Tilda Swinton, the actress starring in the movie, is here for a Q&A.  I am always surprised at the intelligence and sensitivity that professional actors bring to their craft.  It’s a great interview.

I leave grateful for living in New York City, where surprises like Tilda Swinton just happen.  But more importantly, I leave grateful for having such a normal child.

all write, already! (m)

Lyn told me to write.  She fears we will lose readership.  Yeah, like the 18 people signed in on the blog are waiting with baited breath to hear the latest installment of our lives. I doubt you've even noticed my absence given all the postings of Alexander's baby pictures to entertain you (he was adorable).

Where do I begin?  October was the month that wouldn't end.  On that last weekend, we went to a major dinner/fundraiser at Harrison's school.  I had just finished the presentation to the Board of the medical school that week and was in the mood to relax and be social.  The event was held on the night of the freaky snow/windstorm.  While the weather outside was frightful, it was cozy and warm inside.  Somewhere in the middle of my Thai-themed cocktail, my cell phone went off.  My neighbor, aka Gladys Kravitz (from Bewitched):  " out coming home.  A 60-foot tree fell across our street."  Who cares?  No one was hurt and the tree fell on the cul-de-sac, well before my driveway.  I had a glass of wine and enjoyed the rest of the evening.

Driving home, the wind was gusting 50 miles per hour.  As we got further away from Cambridge and closer to our home, we noticed an accumulation of snow.  Thought little of it.

Pull into our street and it's pitch black.  We lost power.  Harrison is sitting in the house, working on college applications with the light from a lantern. 

By morning, the power had not returned.  I had a dream that I fell asleep in a fire station but realized the piercing sound of alarms was coming from our home which woke us out of a dead sleep at 5 a.m.  Thirty minutes of non-stop blaring later, my husband cut the wires to shut the system off.

Little did we know on Sunday morning that this storm was no ordinary storm.  We lost major trees on the property as well as the phone, internet, heat, electricity and television.  This lasted FIVE DAYS.

We bought a back-up generator as a gift to each other one Christmas.  The thing kicked in and lit a couple of rooms, the refrigerator and the garage doors.  Heat in two rooms.  With the light shining from the kitchen window, we attracted neighbors to our home much like Mary and Joseph following the North Star.  Some came to warm up.  Some brought their children in to do homework. One kid had pneumonia.  Some just left their cell phones to charge up rather than sit in a car and wait for them to charge that way.  I had no oven and the stove smelled of gas when I turned it on.  Someone told me to throw a match in the range to see if we could get it going.  I tossed a lit match in and BOOM...a flame!  I felt like the person who discovered fire.  We cooked for everyone...a family of five, my three...using whatever was on hand.

On Monday, while resting my feet from decorating the cafeteria at Harrison's school for Halloween, my cell phone goes off.  It's my husband's best friend.  They just got back from South Africa and have no power. Can they stay with us?  I explain my situation but tell them they are welcome to stay with us and share the little heat and limited power.

They arrive at 6 p.m. with a turquoise Le Crueset pot full of braised beef short ribs and a canvas tote with individual compartments for six bottles of wine.  It was like a Yuppie sit-in.  They have a wine cellar to rival the best restaurants and brought a sampling of some bottles "for fun."  Fun to me is not wine.  Cannolis, maybe.  Dark chocolate, definitely.  Wine, no.

The wife arrived with a bandage across her nose and two black eyes.  She said she fell again because of her fuzzy socks on her hardwood floor.  I suggested it might also be the four glasses of wine she consumes before bed each evening. 

They stayed until Thursday and we enjoyed their company very much.  We laughed and drank wine every night.  It was a bit like vacation, I'm not going to lie.  During the days, we shopped at Filene's Basement which is closing.  I spent $558 on two tuxedos, tux shirts, shoes and accessories for the boys.  Four cashmere sweaters for me and a pair of Cole Haan shoes for T.  The receipt said I saved $1,440.00

Wouldn't it be nice if Weight Watchers tallied up everything you ate in a day ...instead of what you wanted to eat...and told you what you saved in points?  Just a thought.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

gone missing (lyn)

I’m organizing a kitchen cabinet when I realize I have only two champagne glasses.  This is odd because I remember buying new champagne glasses in June.  It was at the time of Alexander’s prom, and Shari and her husband had come over with champagne and glasses, because I had neither.  I then start to wonder, could I possibly have bought only two glasses?  I rarely drink (I didn’t drink much before ww, and now I don’t for the added reason of extra points), but every now and then I do have people over and we do have a glass or two of something stronger than ice tea.

I go through all my cabinets.  Not there.  I check in closets thinking, could I have bought four glasses but stored two?  I doubt it but I check anyway. 

I even think for a second, could my once-a-month housekeeper have taken two champagne glasses?  This theory is dismissed quickly and I feel some guilt for even considering it.  She is very honest and the most she would take without asking is a can of Diet Coke.

I then go back to my first thought, maybe I stupidly purchased only two?

I bought the glasses at Bed, Bath and Beyond in late May/early June.  I check my American Express statements for May, June and July, nothing for this store.  I look in my check book, and yes, there’s a debit for $140.19, and a notation:  beach chair and wine glasses.  That would be about right for four glasses, a beach chair, and some miscellaneous things.  So now I’m pretty sure I did buy four, but I still have no idea how they could have disappeared in my house.

Could it be like the chocolate croissant and cinnamon swirl that I bought at the Farmer’s Market a week ago, brought home, and never saw again?  Or my white Horace Mann sweatpants that I wanted to wear the other night but were no where to be found?  How do things disappear in my own small apartment?

Having exhausted all places that two champagne glasses could possibly be, I decide that tomorrow I will go back to Bed, Bath and Beyond and re-buy them.

I call Alexander to hear about his weekend.  I don’t know what makes me ask, but I do.  “Hey, you didn’t take a couple of champagne glasses to school did you?”  He starts laughing.  “Oh, ya, I did.”  I think he's kidding; he's not.

I never considered that my son would have taken two champagne glasses to school.  I ask him if he has my Horace Mann sweatpants too; he doesn't.

weekend recap (lyn)

Movies, theater and eating.  Basically, this is how I spend all my time lately, and this weekend is no exception.  Remarkably, these activities have been costing little.

Robyn and her friend Richard come over to watch a new in-theater movie (Margin Call)  that is also playing on PPV. Robyn, who is incapable of coming over empty-handed, shows up with baked apples and raisins cooked with diet black cherry soda (it tastes so much better than it sounds), and Richard brings red wine.  Robyn also supplies the wine glasses and an opener. 

Food Cost: Zero.
Entertainment Cost: $6.99 for the 3 of us to watch a just-released movie.
Other Cost: Realization that I need to buy wine glasses.

See an off-off-Broadway play with Jill downtown, Boy Gets Girl.  The theater is in  a hard-to-find building on lower Broadway and requires trudging up four flights of stairs to get there.  But it’s worth it.  The play is well-acted, well-written, and well-staged. It’s the story of a girl whose blind date ends up stalking her.  Jill and I decide to skip dinner before and the play ends late so we skip coffee after.

Food Cost: Zero.
Entertainment Cost: $4.00.
Other Cost:  Don’t even pay for transportation as Robyn lends me her unlimited monthly metro card.

Meet Shari to see a BAFTA screening of My Week With Marilyn.  Afterwards, we watch from the second row as Simon Curtis (the director), Michelle Williams, and Kenneth Branagh are interviewed.  I can’t imagine Ms. Williams not receiving an Oscar nomination for this role;  she is extraordinary.

Food Cost: Zero dollars but lots of points:  I bring a bag of tasteless 3-point popcorn, but mix in chocolate covered pomegranate candies.
Entertainment Cost: Zero.
Other Cost:  Take advantage of the 20% Friends and Family sale at Bloomingdales and buy six wine glasses as a result of Friday’s entertainment.

So in summary, I eat in all weekend.  I see two new movies and a play.  I spend time with a few different friends. I eat smartly (somewhat).  I spend little.  It’s a nice weekend.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

lightening up (lyn)

I do another round of closet and drawer organizing.  I’m trying to get down to only those clothes I truly love.  I come across an elegant, size small Brunello Cucinelli black cashmere cardigan that I have totally forgotten about.  It is in a cleaning bag dated 2007 and hidden in the back of a closet I rarely use.  It fits perfectly, and I have to wonder why it has been abandoned for so long.  Then I find an adorable pale pink TSE cardigan with button snaps, size large, in another cleaning bag from 2006.  I try this on and it is too small.  So much for giving credence to sizes.  Next, I find a size large Michael Kors cashmere cardigan (also in light pink) that I bought in 2009, and have maybe worn once.  It is gorgeous, but too big and boxy for me. 

I take the two pink sweaters (barely-worn-fresh-from-cleaning-bags) over to Designer Resale, the snobby little store that probably has a lower acceptance rate than Harvard.  The salesgirl looks at the sweaters.  She begins to unfold one and then pauses, as if just realizing the color. “I’m sorry, we can’t take these.  It is too late in the season.  Pinks do not sell well here in winter.”  Multi-ply cashmere sweaters, in light colors, are currently on display in stores all over Manhattan.  I tell her this.  She is unmoved.  “If you want to try again in the spring, I’ll take a look at them then.”  Annoyed, I leave.

I give Robyn the itsy bitsy size large TSE sweater and it fits her size zero frame beautifully. I mail the other sweater to my mom.  Shedding clothes is like shedding weight.  I feel so much lighter now.

Friday, November 11, 2011

birthday boy (lyn)

My son was born at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City on November 11, 1992.  Valerie pointed out then, the symmetry in the date, because 9 plus 2 is also 11. 

So for a very long time I have thought about today, 11-11-11.

In 2009, I wrote on this blog:
…it strikes me that two years from today my son will be in college.  It makes me more than a little sad.

Then last year I wrote:
...I can’t help but wonder where Alexander will be next year on his special 19th birthday.

So, today is that day.  My glorious son is 19. 

This is only the second time I have not been with Alexander on his birthday.  When he was in 8th grade, Alexander was at a mandatory eight-day program at Horace Mann’s John Door Nature Laboratory in scenic Washington Connecticut.  He was with his friends, and together they celebrated Alexander’s 14th birthday.

Tonight, Alexander will be with new friends in scenic Ithaca.  And tomorrow, Alexander’s paternal grandparents are going up to school to take him and a few friends out to dinner. Like so many birthdays, this one will be spent with friends and family celebrating around food,  though the food of course will not be remembered.

When Alexander turned one, I had a small family party for him. 

There I read a poem that I had written for him to celebrate his first year.

When first I held you in my arms,
I knew not what to do.
A scrawny, bloody, six-six babe,
And I a mother new.

So tiny felt your little bod,
I loved its every bit.
All wrapped in skin so plentiful,
It hardy seemed to fit.

And with much pride, objective I
Did think I’d simply be.
But Gerber model you were not.
More like, they said, E.T.

With light brown fuzz and absent brows
And crust in your left eye.
A micro-munchkin baby you
Sized out to your dad’s thigh.

Your lilliputian features were
A reason to be smitten.
Val was right in commenting,
“He’s like a little kitten.”

In time you’ll know that I am not
Proficient as a cook.
But every hour your first weeks
You stared that starring look.

So like your dad you started out
Devoid of normal fears.
With deep dark eyes and thin sweet lips
And oh such lovely ears.

I loved to rock you cradled in
My arms-it was so grand.
If only for a moment since
So soon you wished to stand.

At 7 weeks you laughed out loud.
At 8 you slept all night.
But I woke then, as I do now,
To see you breathe all right.

Buddha Baby you were called
And Sandro, Junior too.
Chief Wetface for a little while.
There’s more, that’s just a few.

And yes it took a month or two
For nonno to admit.
His ever-active grandson to
Great cuteness did submit.

The bravest boy, you never cry,
From any fall or thud.
Not even at the doctor’s when
He took from you some blood.

So good you are my precious son
You eat all on your plate.
To bed you go when I say night
Then soundly doze ‘til light.

I love to watch you sleeping
Sweet wet ringlets hug your hair.
With little legs tucked tightly
And your tush high in the air.

Always on the move somewhere
You never park and stay.
But still a shock it was to find
You on your high chair tray.

And though I may be guilty of,
A tad bit too much braggin’.
But how can life get better than
To watch you push your wagon?  

A million-trillion zillion toys
Of many stores I’ve rid.
Most bought in vain, since you’d prefer,
To steal my coffee lid.

A little athlete you’ve become-
So sturdy, you don’t fall.
Soon you’ll walk and I will miss
Your funny monkey crawl.

Excitement always lights your face
Delight marks every scene.
With seven teeth just peeking out
You’re one big smile machine.

Everyone who meets you now
It takes them not too long.
To look at me and simply say,
“My goodness he’s so strong.”

And quickly people note of you,
“He truly grins a lot.”
You rarely cry; you hardly whine,
So like a baby, not.

An innocent you are to life
A human yet untainted.
A pallet full of colors bright
A picture still unpainted.

No thoughts you know, no pain you feel.
No thoughts or actions vile.
No sad-based tears, no lonely fears,
No reasons not to smile.

A honey, bunny baby boy
I love you very much.
And hope your magic charming ways
Forever keep their touch.

With open eyes and grabby hands
Amazement on your face.
So eager to take every crumb,
All life you do embrace.

Don’t ever lose the passion and
The awe each new day brings.
For ceiling fans and cordless phones
And other common things.

And while I know that as you grow
Some days will take their toll.
Your happy spirit I do pray
Locks firm within your soul.

Happy birthday, baby.  I love you.