The words that changed (one week of) my life

I knit a whole hat!

I knit a whole hat!

As soon as I read the words, I wanted to slam the book shut, take it into the backyard, and burn it.

The book was The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, the cult classic about how to commune with your “Creator” and unblock your inner artist. I’m still not entirely convinced I have an inner artist, but the book was only 10 bucks on Amazon. Who knows, I thought, maybe it will finally inspire me to write my great American novel.

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Which would you rather do: Go back to middle school or fight a dragon with your bare hands? Dragon, right?

You want me to send this defenseless little child to middle school? Really?

You want me to send this defenseless little child to middle school? Really?

Last week, I was standing in the hallway of a middle school. I was part of a tour group, deciding where to send my daughter to 6th grade next year.

The bell rang and the empty halls filled with adolescent kids — slamming lockers, giggling, glowering, self-consciously fixing their hair. As they passed by me, I could see in a flash where each one fit into the social hierarchy. The girl with the long flowing ponytail, subtle makeup, and knee-high leather boots glowed with a golden aura as she led her followers down the corridor. The short chubby boy hurrying to class alone, wearing his pants pulled up too high — well, I said a little prayer for him.

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Summer’s slow fade

Summer’s slow fade has begun.

I can hear it in the mornings, when I sit quiet with my coffee. The cricket’s song still thrums outside my window, but it is muted now. The percussion section is gone, or maybe it’s the bass.

The last firefly has flickered out. The pool is shuttered. Our late evening walks to the park have been replaced by the routines of school: homework, piano practice, showers … and nagging. So much nagging.

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For mom, with love

In honor of Mother’s Day, let me tell you a few things about my mother:

MomShe is brave.
She stood up on a stage and told a roomful of strangers one of the hardest stories of her life: suffering a brain injury that ended her teaching career. She speaks at funerals. She stands by her friends when they are sick or suffering. She put an Obama sign in her yard, even though all her neighbors are passionate Republicans.

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Things I did today instead of writing the piece that’s due

  • Took my computer to the coffee shop, on the belief that I wouldn’t allow myself to procrastinate in public
  • Bought giant coffee, to give energy for writing
  • Checked Facebook
  • Read knitting blog, even though I haven’t knit anything in years
  • Talked to friend I ran into at the coffee shop
  • Checked Facebook
  • Daydreamed about the meal I ate last night at Stanbury
  • Emailed co-worker about my meal last night at Stanbury
  • Checked Facebook
  • Read blog about funny cakes
  • Bought giant Rice Krispie treat, on the theory that I would feel so guilty about eating it that I would have to write something
  • Felt sick from eating Rice Krispie treat
  • Felt self hatred for eating Rice Krispie treat and failing to write a single word
  • Checked Facebook
  • Skipped toning class I was planning to take at the Y, because I still haven’t written one word
  • Decided to write this list instead of the thing that’s due at work.

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