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Month of May Mothers: Moment.

I try not to write about my own children too much — I don’t want them to feel exploited or exposed. But this is really about me. (It’s always about me.)

This morning I dropped off my older son for a band trip. These little rites of passage are stinging me, like a hornets’ nest that’s just starting to awaken and swarm. I know the rush and run to “adulthood” is imminent with this one. The stings are just beginning.

Do you have the cash I got for you? Check. Do you have your instrument? Check. Cell phone charger? Yes. And we were at the drop-off door. For a split second, I went to hug him, but it felt awkward. It never has before. I didn’t want to embarrass him in front of other chaperones or band mates that might be watching. As I drove away, I misted up (as I am now, writing it, reliving it). I send an IM to my husband later, and he said, as a mom, I have a license to hug anytime. I wish I had exercised my right.

Guess I’ll just have to hug him twice when he gets home. Lesson learned. It’s going to be a long weekend.

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Ode to an iPod


Inspired by my colleague, John Spencer, and his students of renown:

From C.A.:

Dear iPod,

I like the parts when we can download different apps. For instance there are different sections like social networking, games, etc. I like how if we exit out of the music it still plays. Also when you buy the iPod it comes with the main things like: calendar, weather, mail, stocks, maps, clock, YouTube, calculator, notes, contacts, internet, iTunes, and videos.

 The parts that I dislike about you are when you freeze out of nowhere. When you can’t get apps without, putting a password into it so we are able to get the app.

I need you because I like listening to music. I need you because when I can’t internet from my laptop I can use you to get on the internet. When I get to play games because I get bored waiting for the metro. When a party gets boring and when I can get like spin the bottle or truth or dare.

I don’t know what I would do without you. Like I think it would be hard if I couldn’t reach the internet with my laptop I would need to use an iPod.

 What I do with you is play games. I go on the internet so I can contact my family members in the Philippines. Also I just listen to music when I’m feeling down.


Dear C.A.

I like you, too. I will try to perform as I should. Maybe you should consider becoming an app developer someday, and creating the world the way you want it to be.



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The Laughing Heart

The Laughing Heart (Charles Bukowski)

your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.

@Charles Bukowski

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Month of May Mothers: Marge

marge-simpsonMarge – the glue that holds America’s families together. I’m sure smarter scholars than I have already analyzed and evaluated the iconographic placement of the Simpsons, but I’m still going to spin my record on this:

Homer represents greed, gluttony, and misguided intent of Americans. Every time we go through drive through, super-size something, crunch a car fender, or spend too much time away from our families, we are tapping into our inner Homer. But like Homer’s hero, Odysseus, he loyally finds his way home.

Bart is our id, our lizard brain, with a touch of an archetypal “Jack” – mischievous, physically talented, and emotionally manipulative, he is a master of masking his inner insecurities, and frustration with being intellectually second-fiddle to his little sister, Lisa.

Lisa is our intelligence, our nerd, our awkward, empathic, tree-hugging but still wanting a pink pony sweet, smart girl. Allows herself to take the high road, and although succumbs to smugness once in awhile, rarely allows superiority to rule her heart.

Maggie is the silent observer–perpetually watching from the sidelines, showing her emotions and opinions through facial expressions, just like most of us can give our opinions in a sea of loud voices and boorish oafs. It’s just better to hang on, and relieve stress through sucking it all in.

Now Marge – Marge is our abilitiy to keep it all together. Our inner Marge is how we are able to have drag-out debates over politics, policies, and ideologies, and still be able to smile, bake some cookies, and work together at a PTSA meeting. She is creative, concerned, and appreciates all of her children for their foibles and gifts. Thanks, Marge.

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Month of May Mothers: Momma Crocodile.

My students know that I can be a bit, um, cranky sometimes. Last week, faced with state testing, exhaustion, and lack of fresh, hot coffee, I was a bit snappy. When one of my warm and sunny students said “You’re being a little snappy…Momma Crocodile!”

How could I not smile?


To see a real momma crocodile caring for her hatchlings, check this out: