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Showing posts from May, 2009

Invisible Girl

I was nine years old, and I wanted to buy a present for my sister's birthday. My mom dropped me off at The Blossom Cottage, a local boutique, and told me she'd be back in ten minutes. We lived in the kind of town where you could drop off your nine-year-old for ten minutes without qualms. Or so she thought.

There were two salesladies in the back of the store when I went in, but no other customers. No one greeted me, although I'm sure there were little bells attached to the door that jingled when I walked through. I went to the stationery section and picked out a package of Suzy's Zoo paper.

I was standing in the center aisle of the store, about to approach the cashier's desk, when the two women started to walk towards the front of the store. They walked by me, and I swear one of them made eye contact with me, and then they turned out the light, completely left the store, pulled the door closed, and one of them locked it. While I stood there gaping at them. It all hap…


At a reception for some of Mallory's friends, who'd just taken their First Communion.

Little Boy: Mom, it didn't have any taste at all!

Mother: What, your cake?

Little Boy: No! The body of Christ!

Last Day Part I

Today was Phoebe's last day of preschool; Mallory still has two weeks of school to go, which of course she finds vastly unfair. "Will you be sad not to go to school anymore?" I asked Phoebe last week, and she said, "Of course not!" but I think she'll miss it, even if only secretly.

At their year-end program last night (pictures? I'd love to share, except that I have lost yet another camera), the preschool director told me, "Lots of kids blossom in their first year of school, but with Phoebe -- well, more than one butterfly came out of her cocoon," which is kind of a convoluted way of saying that Phoebe came way out of her shell in a big way. She started as the girl who wouldn't make eye contact with her teachers or say a single word to another child; now she makes jokes with the teachers, has lots of friends, and she sang the loudest in the show last night too. Plus, she can spell her name (or almost -- P H O B E), cut with scissors, and dr…


This morning I gave Phoebe a kiss and said, "Okay, I gotta go to work now." Phoebe said: "Mommy, why do you go to work again and again and again and again?"


A few days after I started at my current job, I woke up early and took a shower and thought to myself: "I can't wait til this is over." Up until then, everything I'd ever done had been temporary. Summer jobs lasted two or three months. School let out for summer. College semesters were relatively brief. There was a definite endpoint for any misery experienced therein -- a bad biology teacher, the bratty kids I babysat for, 8:30 classes on Monday Wednesday and Fridays. But I realized, that day in that early morning shower, that this was it. This was grown-up life, it was working for a living. There was no "over" in sight, not for a very long time.

That wasn't the happiest revelation of my life.


I can't drive by a construction site wit…

Best Friends

Phoebe's best friend is, unfortunately, moving to Pennsylvania at the end of the school year. Or, as Phoebe put it, "Abby's not going to live in Carowina any more." These two girls are so sweet together -- they've had half a dozen playdates and nary a disagreement.

Abby's mother had to move away from her best friend when she in kindergarten. The two became penpals and remained so close that they served as each other's maids of honor.

I'll help Phoebe write letters to Abby, and I hope that they have fun being penpals. It would be nice to think that they'll keep in touch and still be friends twenty years from now.

Of course, I'd rather that Phoebe's best friend would stick around; I'm a bit sad for her. On the other hand, she started out this school year so very shy, it's a relief to me that she made a friend at all. And since she's made one, I'm certain that she can make another. I figure that even if she and Abby don't s…

What's on my mind

We have a compost bin and a rain barrel in the corner of our backyard, and I'm feeling good about how much good I'm doing for the environment. Except that the other night I saw a huge black snake lying between the compost bin and the rain barrel, and so that's it, I'm done, I'm never going in the backyard again.

Phoebe has made friends with several little girls in her preschool class, and it's sweet that she's outgrown her shyness. Now, however, she's asking me for playdates every seven minutes. Also, she's spending an inordinate amount of time talking about her birthday party, which is, she keeps telling us, "only two pages away" -- by which she means calendar pages, of course.

Huge swaths of North Carolina pine forests have been cut down in my little town, the better to build a new bypass. This makes me sad. On the other hand, the bypass, when finished, will pretty much begin at my neighborhood and end at my-inlaw's, so I'm glad th…

In which I retract my previous post altogether

So I have a kind of funny story to tell, except it's also a bit embarrassing both to me and to Mallory, and lately I've been wondering how much I should continue to blog about the children, particularly Mallory, since she's getting older and has more of a sense of privacy and so forth...but considering what she did to ME this week, I think I'm well within my rights to spill basically, I could have just told the story and spared you all this inner debate, couldn't I?

Although, because this story does paint Mallory in a pretty bad light, I have to start by pointing out that Mallory is really, really bad with the snappy comebacks. I have seen her in situations where she's under pressure to say something clever, or to respond to a friend who's not being particularly nice, and she always rather spectacularly fails to deliver. Last year her favorite response to being reprimanded by me or Chris was: "Well, I'm going to have much more funner than yo…

Moments they prove that they're good people after all

Mallory came home from a birthday party on Saturday and promptly gave her goodie bag to Phoebe. "I feel bad you didn't get to come, Phoebe, so here you go!" she said.

Phoebe said, "Thanks! This is such a nice goodie bag! I'm going to give it to my best friend, because she didn't get to go the the party either."