Thursday, October 11, 2012

an unexpected compliment

Last night Jack was working on a biography poem - a 7 to 10 line structured writing piece that got across more personal details than he was comfortable with.

His favorite part was finding adjectives to describe himself. Determined. Creative. Motivated. Aggravated (that pertained to dealing with his older sister).

He then thought of adjectives for me. We overlapped on just about all. Then he told me what I am the most is a problem-solver. Technically that's not an adjective but I'm not complaining.

He said no matter what the situation, the challenge, the stumbling block, the obstacle I always find a way to work through it to a positive outcome.

Then he said I wasn't just a problem solver, I was amazing at it.

And that I'm kind. And crafty.

How amazing to have your child take a step back and see you as someone besides the person who does laundry and gets up early to make sure everyone gets to school on time.

Yet again I know being a mom is the greatest thing I will ever do.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

more stretching

Math properties.

Subject pronouns.

Weights and measures.

If it wasn't for google I wouldn't be able to help with homework.

Back to biography poems.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

in a perfect world . . .

This is not one.

If it was I wouldn't have lost the entire post of written while waiting for Iz at the orthodontist. Which, it turns out, is a very good place to write. I've given up trashy magazines, my interest in words with friends is on the wane, the crowded waiting room filled with pre teens and actual teens means no meaningful conversation.

It's not like I'd written anything all that extraordinary either. But I'm committed to 40 days of getting words out.

It's still a struggle to find my voice and the flow that used to be so effortless.

But, I couldn't go to bed tonight without writing.

And so the routine starts to settle in.

Sunday, October 7, 2012


Today was a perfect buttered cinnamon raison bagel dripping with butter.

Walks with dogs in nippy weather.

Finishing Mark of Athena.

Beading and needlepointing at a yoyo meetup in a midtown McDonald's.

Broccoli and oh so much garlic at Carmine's in Times Square.

Being in the very last subway car.

Navigating clashing emotions from everyone I was with.

Ripping apart the sweater I'm knitting. Again.

Getting 50 bags of potato chips and wax bottles of sugar syrup from my brother.

Today wasn't painting the apartment.

Taking a much needed nap.

My favorite yoga class of the week.

Going for a run.

Baking brownies.

Cleaning my desk.

Writing something meaningful.

But there's always tomorrow.

Saturday, October 6, 2012


Today we started painting the living room.

I'm knitting a sweater.

Beading an intricate bracelet.

Decorating Iz's room.

Writing. Well, thinking about talking about contemplating writing.

But not actually doing it.

It's a practice.

Even this little bit counts.

I pitched an article. Have an epic PTA project running through my head. A kidney book, a fiction project and menopause to tackle.

But first, there's some shoulder shaping I must get to.

Friday, October 5, 2012

growing up

Last night I ran for freshman VP of Brooklyn Tech's PTA. Several other people nominated themselves. A sizable crowd turned out to vote. I gave a 2 minute speech summing up who I am, what I've done and what I'd like to do.

I won.

I had the feeling I would. And to be honest I was a bit ambivalent about the whole thing without really knowing why.

But here's what I know today.

3 years ago, the last time I started on a PTA board, I didn't know how to run anything. I didn't want to. I was happy sitting quietly in the corner, designing posters and fliers for people. I didn't feel comfortable getting up and speaking in public. Didn't feel my ideas were valuable or worth sharing. I avoided spotlights and any responsibility bigger than what went on in my own little fiefdom.

By the time Iz graduated I was co president. Created an entire communications system. Spoke as easily to large groups of people as I would to a handful.

I shared ideas. Turned them into reality. Helped build community. Forged new relationships. Put myself out there in ways that had never crossed my mind before.

This school is much bigger. It's the largest high school in the country actually. It's daunting to dive into such an epic unknown. But I can see from here positive differences I can make. Ideas are flowing and instead of quietly sitting in the corner I'm ready to make things happen.

I'm growing up. Along with my 14 year old.

Maybe I'll start sporting an ear cuff and Dr Marten's.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

beauty is in the eye of someone

I did an interview last week which ended with:

Do you think there is a vaginal cultural ideal?

I laughed out loud and we had to start over.

Did I think there's a certain sort of vagina girls and women aspire to?


That is a thought that has never, ever crossed my mind.

For there to be a beauty standard, there would have to be way more vaginas out for public viewing. Or at least someone's viewing. Then, in comparison, those of the female persuasion would need to look at their own. And at that point, they'd need to know what they're looking at.

To be honest, I don't know many women or girls who've sent much time examining their vaginas.

To be even more honest, I don't know if that's true. I've never asked anyone if they've looked at themselves from that angle. No, wait. I did once have that conversation with a yoga instructor who leads women's empowerment groups. When she brought up the self examination part of her workshop I kept nodding my head but stopped listening. I didn't want the visual of a room full of women lounging on pillows, staring at mirrors held between their legs stuck in my head. Just that thought made me way too uncomfortable. Looking back, I'm not even sure that's what she said but I was so afraid it was where she was going I couldn't go with her.

I've given birth, vaginally, twice. Wrote a book about menstruation and spent three years talking about nothing else. But vaginas as a topic to discuss, explore, examine?

Haven't gone there.

Yesterday in Barnes and Noble I came across: Vagina, a New Biography sitting on a front table. I mentally made fun of the subtitle, dissed the cover design, and dismissed the author without knowing having read word one of her new tome.

Because I was uncomfortable. About an integral part of my body. Throughout history  this discomfort, this non awareness, this hiding from an important part of ourselves,  has gotten us in trouble.

Lysol as a douche?

Home abortions?

Scented tampons?

Maybe it's time to take a deeper look. Not at my vagina necessarily. But at how to be more open about something that's usually not a conversation starter.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

speed writing

I barely thought about writing in the rain, sore throat, too much laundry, after school play dates, new book release, design challenge sort of day.

But that's ok.

Tomorrow, who knows.

Monday, October 1, 2012

oops I did it again

This is the third time I'm starting a 40 day writing commitment.

Third time's a charm.

Good things come in threes.

I don't know of a third thing to add to this list but I suppose saying this time is the right time works for me.



Part of my every day.

And once the writing starts, the projects and ideas and creativity follow.

That's the plan.