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Fairly Odd Mother

Frantically waving my magic wand to make wishes come true.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Flashbacks of a Good Kind

I keep having flashbacks to my youth.

First it was watching The Best of the Electric Company, thanks to Netflix. I remember liking this show when I was younger, but couldn't remember much about it.

Now I remember what made it so awesome: Morgan Freeman as Easy Reader (oozing coolness in his too-tight bell bottoms); Letterman (Faster than a Rolling O, Stronger than a Silent E. . .); child actors who weren't polished into scary smiling robots; and an overall feeling that the people of this show were having a blast at it.

And then there was this:

Oh yeah, Inchworm. We had this growing up but my mom ditched it years ago (probably during one of her "I have two girls who are getting old, and I have nooooooo grandchildren" fits). Luckily my sister got this one from a friend, and now my mother's FIVE grandchildren will be able to ride on this for years to come.

Then I saw this person:

M. is one of my oldest childhood friends; we met when I was almost 8, she was 9, and we lived a street apart until college. It didn't matter that she was a jock and I was a girlie-girl, or that we didn't even go to the same high school.

Since college, she has lived in New York, Japan, Colorado, The Netherlands, and now, California. During this same time, I have lived in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. It doesn't matter that we seemingly are so different----we have all the right things in common that make a friendship last decades.

Here we are in 1984, looking just too cute in matching Hampton Beach-wear.

And, now, this weekend, I will see this crew:

(sorry J.; as you know,we took this with the 'blonde' camera; we can almost see you off my right shoulder!)

These are my high school girlfriends. Over the 20+ years since graduation, we have lost touch and reconnected with each other several times. Our kids range in age from 2 to 13. The last time we were all together was our 20th high school reunion in '05.

This weekend we will descend upon Boston like locust, or maybe more like five drunk housewives who can't believe they have just left the kids with dad for two whole nights. If history has any bearing, it should be a very fun few days.

I mean, look at what we were up to in 1985:

Yes, those are the "French Fry guys". I think I was red.

All I need to do now is start practicing this move, from Zoom, and the kids will truly be dazzled by my amazingness.

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

What's Happenin'

Can you guess what we've been up to this week? Hint: it is large, exciting and elusive to my three-second-delay digital camera.

For the answer, check me out at New England Mamas. Yeah, that's right; I want to be like all the other cool kids and write for more than one blog.


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Mighty Oak Raped by Aging Megalomaniac

In a recent post, I mentioned that I am a crier; as an example, I mentioned that I bawled like a baby when I tried to read Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree to my girls.

Here's the recap:

About a year ago, I saw the book on the library shelf and called the girls to me excitedly. We snuggled on the squishy library couch, I open the book and read the first two pages, "Once there was a tree. . .and she loved a little boy." Already I heard my voice begin to thicken, the lump rising in my throat. Belly looked at me in alarmed amusement---she is quite used to my weeping over children's stories---and said, "Mommy, you don't have to read this now." But, I persisted and choked through the rest of the pages.

By the time I got to the last few pages, tears were openly streaming down my face and I practically hiccuped the last few lines out. I don't think the girls had any idea what this story was about; they just know it made mommy dissolve.

When I first read The Giving Tree, before I had kids, I had no idea that some people hated this story. It wasn't until I went to buy this book as a gift for a friend that I happened upon the controversy.

Check out the comments on Amazon. One recent reviewer screams, "Poison! Poison! Poison!" Someone else says, "it is a cautionary tale for people considering entering an abusive relationship". Someone else claims, "a terrible thing to be teaching to children!"

'Scuze me?

Now, on the off chance that you have not read The Giving Tree, let me give a brief overview: a little boy visits a tree every day to play, and they love each other very much. As he grows, he sees her less often. Each time he returns, he has a need and the tree fills it for him, whether it be giving him apples to sell for money or its branches to build a house for his family. By the end, the tree is just a stump and the boy is an old, old man but somehow they both find comfort in each other.

I suppose if you examine this book very literally, it could be disturbing. Yes, the boy/man does take and take from the tree, and by the end, the tree has given him everything she has. However, I do not see this as a call for children to bleed their parents dry, or for men to abuse women.

Instead, I am reminded of how a child's relationship with his parents (or other parental figure) changes with time. If I am supposed to represent the tree, right now, the boy is young. I am his best friend, confidante, playmate. I offer stability, security, food and fun.

As the boy grows, though, he will rely on me less for companionship. I will mourn the separation but will be thrilled with the reunions. I will still do what I can to make him happy.

After I am dead (a stump), there will be very little I can do for my grown boy. Here, I just hope that my memory can offer comfort in his final hours.

Is this what Shel Silverstein meant? I have no idea. But, this is the story that flashes in my head when I drop my girls off for a playdate, or watch them run away from me on a playground to play with other kids. It is what I think of when my four-year-old asks me for some 'pwivacy pweez'.

And then, I look down at my own little boy who is still by my side, and smile.

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

For You

For you, we got up early one morning to take new kid photos for your office.

The kids all showered, brushed their hair and put on nice clothes. Our friend with the good camera and better eye took dozens of photos of our trio.

Taking good photos of three squirmy kids is not easy.

Amidst all the giggles and wrestling, we also got this:

Happy Father's Day from your three who love their daddy with all their hearts.

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Friday, June 15, 2007

A Big Point and a Little Point

Here is the big point:

I love my state. Thank you for doing the right thing.

Here is the little point:

A big head slap to the parents who named their daughter Caragh, instead of the more obvious "Kara" or even "Cara". The way it is spelled now makes me want to close with a guttural "aaaaggggghhhhh".

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Monday, June 11, 2007

Gym Shorts

Recent email conversation between Fairly Odd Father & I. We were discussing a giant bookcase from Ikea we need to hold all our homeschool stuff. It also helps to know that John belongs, not to a fancy Boston gym, but to our broken-down local Y.

Me: "This would definitely fit in the dining room (I measured). And it says it is in stock."

Him: "Damn thing comes in a box that weighs 206 lbs. Nice."

Me: "Oh come on. . .you do all that weight lifting! ; )"

Him: "Yes. I go to the gym, but just to check out some hot octogenarian ass."


Saturday, June 02, 2007

Feels Like the First Time

It seems sort of ironic that I started this blog as a place to talk about our new adventures in homeschooling, but instead, I talk about ME, me, me! So, with that said, it is time for me to complete yet another fascinating meme about moi. This one comes from the ever-hilarious and amazing mothergoosemouse.

The assignment? Reveal 18 "Firsts" about myself. Some of these go way back because there aren't too many "firsts" happening anymore.

1. My first concert was The Kinks in Springfield, MA. I was in 9th grade and drank peppermint schnapps. I was wicked wasted and thought the guitarist was the lead singer until the encore.

2. My first pet was Fluffy, the short-haired tabby cat. She was the best cat ever (sorryzackandcally;iloveyoutoo) and could jump from the ground to my shoulders. She also killed the Easter Bunny (on Easter morning!) which scarred my sister for life.

3. My first celebrity crush was (swallow before you read this) Barry Manilow. I wrote to his fan club and had his photo on my wall. Now, I can't even hear "Oh Mandy" in the elevator without feeling embarrassed.

4. My first devirginification occurred at the ripe old age of 18, three weeks into my college career.

5. My first love was the devirginificationer, although the act happened before the love.

6. My first (and thankfully only) girl fight happened at Axis on Lansdowne Street in Boston, when I was about 27. A big-haired girl pushed my sister as she walked by (she may have stumbled into her, but whateva!). I pushed the girl back and we had words. I then flicked her on her forehead with my finger (I know, can you believe I'm so tough?) and she tried to throw her beer at me, but she was holding a bottle of beer, so it just sort of came up the neck. . .and sunk back down. By now, my friends were pulling me away and shaking their heads at me, while I laughed over the beer fight that never was.

7. My first blog post was written on October 9, 2006.

8. My first car was an orange-y Chevrolet Chevette. I sang "Little Red Chevette" all the time (my high school days were during the Purple Rain heyday).

9. My first broken bone came when Fairly Odd Father and I were still dating and decided to go snowboarding together. Let's just say I won't be doing THAT again.

10. My first surgery was the c-section I had for my first child, Belly. After a few hours of intense, no-drug labor, the nurses realized that it wasn't a head they were feeling, but a butt. Much scurrying commenced and I was soon having a cesarean birth.

11. My first cousin does not exist. My father was an only child. My mother has one half-sister, 16 years her senior who has always lived in Austria. While her sister has a few children, I have only met them once and they technically are not 'first' cousins. I always wished to have a big extended family, so I'm so happy that my sister has been kind enough to give my kids two cousins.

12. My first experiment with pot came the summer after high school graduation. I was with my 'wild' friend in her brown Camaro and we went to see Cocoon after that.

13. My first massage was not until I was in my later 20's and it was done by a guy who had gone to Asia, found enlightenment, changed his name and gave me the best kick-ass massage ever. I went to him a few more times but was a little creeped out that he massaged me bare-chested (not exactly ON my breasts, but pretty close---I liken it to the way you are supposed to ski moguls). At the time, this seemed pretty normal, but now that I've had many more massages and NO ONE has ever asked me to pull down my towel, I am thinking he was a little bit fishy. But, so good, I'd go back in a heartbeat, if only I could find him.

14. My first job (besides babysitting) was at a laundromat. I was about 14 or 15 years old and made $2.10 an hour to sit behind a little counter and make change so that people could use the washers and dryers. I worked after school until closing time, often alone and completely clueless as to what I would have done if someone would have robbed me (or worse!). I still can't believe my parents let me work there.

15. My first cigarette was with my friend Michele, in the woods behind her house. We stole a Marlboro Menthol from her older sister and shared it, coughing and laughing the entire time.

16. My first, and only, 4.0 semester came in my junior year in college.

17. My first job out of college was as an Account Coordinator for two Advertising Copywriters. I made $16,000 and had to take on a second job working at BJ's.

18. Oh good God, I can't think of one more thing. Let's see: My First time turning 40 will occur this summer on July 23rd. I. . .just. . .can't. . .believe. . . it. . .

I can't bring myself to tag someone after such an exhausting post, so please feel free to play along if you'd like.