I often say that I tend to bite off more than I can chew. In fact, this might as well be my life mantra. As a type A personality working mother of two, I will most often say yes than deny my children an opportunity to participate in a sport or group. This past school year was no different. By this past Monday, I was about spent.
It was not the alarm clock that woke me up Monday morning but rather the rumbling thunder in the dark ominous sky. As I looked over at my alarm clock it was just past 6am and the day’s plan seemed very doubtful. But never the less, I began my revised morning routine and hoped for the best. After a flurry of texts and emails and a check of the weather, my daughter and I stood with 150 fellow Girl Scouts and Leaders ready to walk in the Memorial Day Parade (wishing I had stopped to get some much needed coffee).
Until that moment, I had never walked in such a formal parade and neither had my daughter. Armed with our American flags, we waved at our friends, family, neighbors and cheering community. Despite the warm temperature and the slower pace of the route, my daughter and her Daisy troop were all smiles as they made their way through town full of energy. Perhaps it was their excitement or the overwhelming sense of community, but these young girls walked the two miles with very little complaint as did I. As we neared the end of the route, my daughter took a moment to walk with me. “Mommy, how come you are so old and never walked in a parade before?” Ignoring the “so old” segment of the question, I simply responded that I really never had an opportunity before. Her response? “That makes this so cool. This is a first parade for both of us. Thank you for being my Daisy Mom”. In that very instant, my insightful 6-year-old validated all of my juggling and wiped all guilt off my mommy slate.
As the sun-kissed days grow longer and we ease into summer, I will take the time to enjoy the “activity-less” nights and weekends while I watch my children and the summer blossom. September is a long 12 weeks away.
The days are longer and the nights inviting. The grills are cleaned and the patio furniture awaits to invite long strings of guests and heaping plates. The glasses are chilled as they prepare to clang and dance with the ice cubes. The playlist on the iPod arranges to sing sunshine tunes. The pool passes are clipped to the bag where they will stay for weeks to come. Summer Blooms.
First Summer Bloom
I awoke earlier than most mornings, wide-eyed and excited on Tuesday morning. Without hesitation, I leaped into the day – a day that I was eagerly awaiting for months. My husband would have to tend to the natives and get them off to school because I would be sitting on a train right about the time the morning songs of whining would begin.
With their lunches ready and packed, I quickly kissed my sleeping brood and ran out the door. Tires screeching, I was on my way to what I came to call, Mommy Field Trip. With our next few weeks filled with year-end celebrations, ceremonies, playoffs and recitals, I thought it was only fair to have an event of my own.
By 8:30am, my girlfriends and I were standing in the Jacob Javitz Center, waiting for the BEA (BookExpo America Conference) to open its doors. My friends, this event is a book lover’s dream. Aisles and aisles of publishers and authors touting their newest novels, biographies, short stories – all of which have yet to be released.
It was a happy, happy day for me. I was among authors and publishers and buyers and librarians and book lovers. I spent hours roaming each aisle picking up copies of books that were literary, “hot off the press.” I told Mike Holmes (Holmes on Homes) that it would be a delight if he could sign his book to both my daughter and husband who love to watch his show together. I thanked Adam Mansbach in person for putting my thoughts to paper in his book, “Go the Fuck to Sleep”, which will sit on my nightstand for years to come. I walked and chatted without a schedule, without a timeline, without having to be anywhere else but there.
My girlfriends and I were certainly a sight to see on the train ride home that late afternoon. With a total of 86 books sitting in bags all around us, we giggled and sighed as we shared our stories of who we saw and which authors signed our books and we mentally began the countdown to next year’s Mommy Field Trip!
Just a snap shot of some of my acquired treasures from the BEA
Homemade manicotti cooked in fine meat sauce baked with fresh mozzarella. I could eat this meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day, any day if only it did not register off the Weight Watcher Points system. In fact, the Weight Watchers point tracker balks when I attempt to register this meal. ”Are you really serious with this meal?”, criticizes my point tracker. ”Do you know I am Italian?” I retort to the counter.
I love to eat. I am sure you have heard this from me on more than one occasion. I blame my heritage and my maternal grandmother and aunts for being such exquisite cooks. They are the MacGyver’s of the kitchen – minus the mullet. They can make a delectable meal out of ingredients that would send me dialing for take out. In fact, I find it very difficult to whip together any meal when I return home from work and need to turn around to head to practice or a game or a rehearsal.
However, every so often, I pull off a meal just like the way my mother, grandmothers and aunts cooked it – relieved that I inherited their skills – despite my lack of use. There is nothing better than saying grace and sharing this meal at our table with my two children (who are blessed with very mature palates) and my very grateful hungry husband, as we devour and appreciate not only a delicious, but healthy meal. At this table, we find out which pito (Italian for fart) was the loudest at story time, the life cycle of the sunflower, what strategies are being discussed in the board room and what social obligations are on the horizon. This meal is loud. This meal is nourishing. This meal is a reflection of what I came from, who I have become and hopefully what my children will be.
4pm: Leave office early and race home under ominous rain clouds.
please let it rain. please let it rain. checking blackberry for messages.
5pm: Stop at home to pick up ballerina and baseball player for after school activities under brewing storm clouds.
please let it rain. please let it rain. checking to make sure blackberry is working.
6pm: Get baseball player to rendezvous point with husband and run back to ballet under a light mist.
please let it rain. please let it rain. sending a test message to make sure blackberry is receiving messages.
7pm: Meet at home for dinner, homework recap, bath, reading and goodnight kisses as the heavens open with a deluge of rain.
This working mom thanks you for the green trees and blooming plants. Despite my curly hair being in a constant state of frizz due to your friend, Humidity (really, you should keep with better friends), I implore you to please rain at least 25 minutes before all outdoor activities. It’s mid May and we are close to burning out from running around and the cancellation of a game or two is very much-needed and appreciated. There are many of us mothers who are secretly wishing your arrival prior to the outdoor activity, not during or after. As I am sure Mother Nature explained to you, teasing us with ominous, brewing storm clouds and light mist is not nice.
On behalf of all mothers like me, we thank you in advance.
PS. ALL activities end June 17th. Please make yourself scarce after then, except for the occasional visit to replenish our plants.