Eldest Son is Crying

My son went to school today in tears.

The snuffling, I Can’t Breathe kind of tears that wear a person out.

I can’t find his shirt. This is the reason my son can’t breathe.

I have torn this house apart. I have looked at every scrap of fabric that could maybe be his choir shirt. I’m exhausted from the search. The house is a mess. That shirt is simply not here.

He is singing at City Hall today, and I can’t find his shirt.

I have called all the people he’s seen in the last month – grandparents, uncles, etc. No shirt. I have looked in every closet, every laundry basket, every pile of clothing stashed behind the bed so Mom doesn’t see it. I have pulled out the ‘one day I’ll actually take this box to Goodwill’ box. No shirt.

He has no choir shirt. And he has three choir performances this week. I feel sick.

I called his teacher, and she has an extra that he can wear today. Disaster staved off one more day.  She gets to be the one to tell him his life isn’t over (he’s 12, see, so finding a shirt for him means new life).  But we have two more to go.

Where the HELL is that shirt!


Throwing Shoes

Someone Threw a Shoe at My President.


I have disliked this man since he was first introduced to me. I didn’t like him, didn’t like his politics, didn’t like his face. I didn’t vote for him.


I didn’t like the holier-than-thou affront which they hit us with, while hiding skeletons in their own closets. I didn’t like the call-to-arms they offered. I didn’t like the money dripping off of them, the unreachable legacy behind them. I didn’t like the way they tried to make decisions for me, without asking me first.


I did like the way he threw a ball. Well done.


I didn’t like the way they wage war. I think they were unjust.


But when my President had to duck from a shoe, I was embarrassed for my country.


Whether I like the man or not (And I think I do; while I strongly disagree with him, I think I actually like him), who was watching out for Our Man? The best trained defense force in the history of the world let some angst-ridden idiot throw not one, but both shoes at My Man?


I’m a little stirred up about that.


No matter what else, he is the President of the United States. He has earned and deserves my respect. I could not do his job, and he did better than I ever would have. He has earned the respect of his position and title, and all proud Americans will recognize that.


I offer my sincere apology to my President. If I had been there, I would’ve tried harder, been better. I wouldn’t have let you be embarrassed that way.


Because whatever ‘lame duck’ jokes get passed down, you did what I could never have done, and in a crazy time. I think history will treat you more kindly than the current world is doing. I think the future will show your worth.


Don’t get me wrong – I campaigned for Obama. But I love you. You are my President. You took me through some tough times. (Occasionally, you did it with a really silly face.)


I am a Patriot. You are the President. I would die for you, as you are more important than I am.







Guitars, Drums, and Shin Guards

Youngest Son is in the other room, practicing on my guitar. I’m torn by this.

I’m happy he’s getting music lessons, as I can see that music will be a large part of his life, as it has been for generations of his family before him. His uncle is a producer. His mother and grandmother are known for their singing. His great-grandmother and great-great-grandfather were respected pianists. His great-great-uncle was the Tin Man in the original Wizard of Oz. (No, really.)

But he’s playing my guitar.

See, this guitar is a Tacoma hard body, folk size, and I spent a summer working for minimum wage many years ago to buy this baby. Mother of pearl inlays. Acacia solid top. Gorgeous. I tremble when I think of the damage my seven year old can do to her.

Middle Son is playing drums. There’s not much more to say about that. Other than, perhaps, “Eeep.”

Oldest Son has decided to play sports (soccer) and chess. And join the drama club. He’s so cool.

I have to admit, I am terribly excited by this time in my sons’ lives. They’re learning passion. Music, art, sports, drama – a whole world is opening up for my boys, and I adore being the one allowed to watch.

9/11 Hero

Michael Israel in NYC.

September 11

My Buddy Bill

Hubby and I had a rare (and appreciated!) moment of ease, and as we both like stand-up comedy, we searched the channels. The only thing available was this no-name show which appeared to be full of Bill Clinton jokes. As we are both still feeling the sting (I know, we should get over it, already) of our Democratic leader losing the White House in shame, we didn’t think we’d like this show. We ignored it.

Two weeks later, and it was still there, double-dog-daring us. We avoided it again, successfully tuning to reruns of Ninja Warrior or Burn Notice.

But the damned thing wouldn’t go away. So we decided to face the demon.

I haven’t laughed that hard in years.

It was not what I expected.

Here’s this complete goombah, Rick Cleveland, who through chance and association with Aaron Sorkin, was in the right place at the right time, while Buddy was “piddling” on the rug in the Oval Office. Next come tennis balls, walks on the beach, double-dates with the angry Clintons, a jam session at Billy-Bob’s house, and an unscheduled hop to Amsterdam (with Christopher Walkin).

Whether this is considered stand-up comedy (and it shouldn’t be – dude’s a writer, but not a performer), or as I’m thinking on par with Hal Holbrook doing Mark Twain, it made me laugh out loud. And think a little better of our past President. And his Wife.

Rick always looked approriately stunned that he was speaking to the President.

The moment where he made ‘drummer face #5’ while jamming to Queen’s “Under Pressure” with Roger, Bill, and Billy Bob is priceless.

This is not stand-up comedy. This is history.

Looking Ahead

I was at the swimming pool yesterday. I watched my boys as they interacted with the other boys. Bigger boys. Stronger boys. Bigger fish in their small pond.

Eldest Son was the easiest among them. If he didn’t like what was going on, he simply went somewhere else. No argument. No criticism. No judgement. This was not where he wanted to be, so he went somewhere else, looking for a happier spot. I have worked my whole life to be like him.

Middle Son was more incendiary. Boys who were mean to him were playing in the diving well – so he decided NOW was the moment he had to jump from the board (a decision that made the lifeguards ‘clear the well’). He got back at the mean boys, even in a small way, and he felt better. I have spent a good part of my life this way.

Youngest Son moved from moment to moment. He didn’t like what was happening in front of him, so he thought he’d yell at it. That didn’t work. He tried to bargain. (Play with me now and I’ll let you have the ball later…) That didn’t work. Eventually, he followed what he wanted, and jumped in at the right time to play. That worked… until he had to start over. That’s my life in a nutshell.

At this point in my life, I am trying to incorporate my children into my personality. The attack, the retreat, and the mediation. Those are my boys. They change places periodically, which is confusing, but keeps me alive. Sometimes Eldest Son is the attacker. Sometimes Youngest Son is the mediator. Sometimes Middle Son is so sweet he breaks my heart.

I want to be my children. I want to learn the lessons they teach me, and incorporate those lessons into my heart. I want to be young enough to learn.

PS – I know I’ve been gone awhile. I needed some time. I’m still with y’all, though. (Especially Hangar Queen, who I can’t wait to chat with, and Gimme a Minute, who’s removed me from his blogroll, the jerk, but I’ll still read him…)