Showing posts from August, 2008

Just In Case You Are In an Accident

With apologies to Cat Stevens , the Alatorre boys have reworked a classic song. Can you find the twist? Now that I've lost everything to you You say you want to start something new And it's breaking my heart, you're leaving Baby, I'm grieving If you want to leave, take good care Hope you find a lot of nice underwear Then a lot of nice things turn bad out there. School-aged boys sure now how to crack themselves up.

What Are We Protecting Them From?

I am growing increasingly uncomfortable with the word "appropriate." My kids know this word way too well, and the world for them is becoming divided into THINGS THAT ARE APPROPRIATE and THINGS THAT ARE INAPPROPRIATE . I'm getting more than a little suspicious that the modern urge to protect children from becoming monsters is leaving them little room for freedom and discovery. We don't want them to witness violence, of course, so we don't let them see violent movies. Ok, wise enough. But when my son comes to me with a copy of The Swiss Family Robinson and says "Mom, I know you don't really want me to read this because it's not appropriate for my age. There's too much violence in it," then I say UNCLE. Chalk one up for the over-protectionists! My son is staying away from a great adventure story because we and the culture around him have made him hypervigilant about what's appropriate... He's mere weeks away from being 10 yea

And Now, A Few Words from My Family

Little sister to big brother: “ You scream like a little girl .” Oldest son, watching women’s gymnastics: “ It must be hard to run with breasts .” Artist son, gazing thoughtfully out the front window: “ It’s very beautiful outside…the way the light is coming through the trees .” 3 year old, with disdain: “ It’s just the sun .” Unsympathetic offspring to mom: “ You’re not very exciting when you’re sick .” Oldest son, after a dance party featuring The Stray Cats: “ What does ‘Looking better every beer' mean ?” There is just no good way to answer that question when speaking to a nine-year old. Except of course for the one I provided: Ask your father. And speaking of artist son, here for your enjoyment, I present his latest masterpiece. He drew this for his 3-year old cousin. Well, not really for him, since he didn’t want to part with it after he drew it, but he did draw this the way his cousin wanted. “ You want me to draw you a bridge? Ok, here’s a bridge. You want a wh

I'll Be Your Groupie

I'm sicker than a dog. But I have a new band that I am going to follow forever, so why not start right now? My almost 10-yr. old just called me into his room to show me the picture he drew of his band. He's in the middle, heavily tattooed, playing guitar. He's got Brian Setzer on his right, playing bass, and Paul McCartney on his left, on drums. (Sorry Ringo!) I'd follow that band to the ends of the earth, even in a head-cold fog. Good thing the band is still in rehearsal mode, because I must sleep now...

Memories of My Crazy Pregnant Lady Days

I was driving the kids to their various stashing spots today, and as I pulled onto the freeway and went about merging into traffic, I noticed a motorcyclist sitting on the side of the freeway, half leaning against the concrete guard rail, looking a bit rattled. About 15 feet away from him, his motorcycle was also resting against the guard rail, standing upright on its back wheel, with the front wheel up and over the concrete. He reminded me of something, because I have seen this man, and his motorcycle, once before. Almost four years ago, on October 6, 2004, I was driving my first born to Kindergarten, with his little brother and little sister along for the ride. I am 100% sure of the date, because I was exactly nine months pregnant. It was my due date, although the intrepid Elizabeth would make us all wait another week before arriving in all her glory. But on this day, I was driving down Carlson towards the school, and I witnessed an accident between a car and a motorcyclist.

And This Was a GOOD Day

"Yogurt is not a finger food!" Had to say that one twice. To two different people. "Do not swing on the freezer door!" Had to say that one five times. To the same person. By 11:30, two kids had already showered...their first of two showers by days end. That happens when you dig holes in the garden for approximately five hours. Which they did, and they have the sunburned faces to prove it. But the biggest happening of the days was the one in which I caught a kid in a lie. I basically told him that I did not believe something he said, and then endured a good twenty minutes of intense and well-executed indignation. Just as I was starting to doubt that gut level instinct that told me he was fibbing, I took him gently by the shoulders and said: "Honey, if you were telling me the truth, then all you need to do is look me in the eye and tell me that. And if you do that, then I will apologize, because it was entirely wrong of me to accuse you of lying.&q

Advantages to Little Sisters and Fresh Air

One of the best things about having a little baby sister is that she is a captive audience and a pliable plaything. Witness one dressed up baby girl, courtesy of her very proud big brother. Lady Guinevere in a grass skirt! In other news, our very good friends have returned from their one-year sojourn to Nicaragua: Welcome Home! We had a lovely time seeing them today. A particular highlight was watching our two six-year old girls reunite. I took their two girls and my five kids on a two hour walk through Wild Cat Canyon today, (which, by the way, is easier than taking just my five out) and the 6-year olds held hands the entire time. They tried to wear the binoculars at the same time, but wound up conking heads pretty good, so that idea got nixed. After spending the morning together over coffee cake, after hiking the canyon, there were still tears when the day came to an end and they had to part ways. "We didn't even get to play!" I forgot my camera (grrrrr!),