Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Onward and Upward

Today two eras ended.

Each is huge, and the fact that they ended on the same day is a strange feeling. As of this moment I am hurtling headlong into the future, unmoored, and a little untethered.

First, today was our last day at Canyon School. After 5 and a half years, we are done.

Yes, I will go back and visit, and probably sweep the yard and clean the bathroom for old time's sake, but I will never again be a doting, eager, coffee-drinking co-op mama, with children piled on my lap and silly songs coming out of my mouth. We have made such friends, learned so much from the fabulous unsung but immensely gifted Celia, and felt, in a deep and true way, what it is like to really raise children as a village. I won't idealize it, there has been drama and heartbreak and knock down drag out fights, but the final evidence is the children. And Canyon School churns out amazing children year after year.

I still remember when Theo's kindergarten teacher, who had two Canyon graduates in her class, ran up to me to ask where Theo had gone to preschool, because she was interested for her little one. Not possible with a teacher's schedule, but Canyon kids have a wonderful openness to learning, kindness to other kids, and a real sense of responsibility to the world, even as little ones. She noticed it, and I was proud.

And Canyon parents learn to pitch in and change the world. Canyon parents have scattered like seeds of activism to all the local schools and made a huge difference at every one. They have helped start charters, sat on boards, started gardening programs, run fundraising teams. They are a force to be reckoned with. And in little ways, they always pitch in, stand up, volunteer. Were they that way already, so they chose Canyon? Maybe. But I think Canyon teaches you that the world moves because every one does their part. They teach you to be bold in small ways, and to take responsibility for your little world. Don't whine if something makes you mad/irritated/upset. Help out.

Second, I had my last class with my favorite yoga teacher today. Tara Judelle, Hollywood Y yoga rockstar, is moving to Bali. Really, I can't believe we had her this long. She is so spectacular, I often wondered how the Y held onto her. It must be her own sense of mission, because she could go anywhere (and now she is!). She teaches Anusara yoga, and though I have never met the famous and charismatic John Friend, it is hard to believe he could top Tara.

What is it that makes her great?

I don't even know. I have talked to other unhealthy fans. We have tried to break down and analyze why she is great. She is funny. She is soulful. She is on her journey (way ahead of us) but she takes us along for the ride. She is thinking. She is uncertain. She is a contortionist. She is just awesome. Truly awesome people can never be captured completely in words, or a picture. You just have to experience them.

I am a shy student. I do not surround her at the end of class or follow her from studio to studio. We are not buddies or pals. But I know she sees me, and I am so grateful to have had her teaching and her light in my life.

I must open myself to finding a new teacher. It is time.

But endings are so hard.

Today, I planted myself right in front of her (very unlike me, but there were no spaces left so I grabbed it.) During Shivasana she reminded us that we were very open and vulnerable from our class. I sat up, and when I hugged her and said Goodbye I choked up and started crying. I was so surprised!

I wish her all the best on her journey.

And just like that--POOF! -- two huge pillars of my Mommy existence have disappeared.

What will the future hold?

What will the new pillars be?

If you know, please tell me.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tomato Art, Tomato Poetry

Amazon Chocolate

Pink Flamingo

Cherokee Purple

*Tomatoes grown by Jill Tanner, personal gardening coach and mama extraordinaire

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Calling All Book Lovers

In just days we head to the beach where I know I will get to curl up every afternoon for an hour or two and read.

Send me your book recommendations, dear friends, the books you just could not put down.

I am open to anything--fiction or non--, trashy or literate, short and light so you can toss it in a beach bag, or so fat and heavy you could knock yourself out if you fell asleep reading it.

On the list so far:

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
Che (in the middle of this massive and brilliant biography, but determined to get through)
Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, by Stieg Larsson
Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis

Tell me, dear reader, what else?


These plump girls are my tomatoes--mostly--with a few thrown in from my gardening mentor and muse, Jill.

Last night our entire meal was made of food harvested by me in our garden, or given to me by friends, from their gardens.

We had zucchini pasta, with my zucchinis, and Sarah's. Salad of my golden tomatoes that taste like candy, my yellow cucumber that knocked my socks off with its vinegary, salty, sweet flavor, and gorgeous misshapen red heirlooms from Jill. Basil from our herb garden to top it all off.

I have read of the joy of harvesting your own food, and I believed. Still, it is hard to convey the deep satisfaction that comes with eating food grown and harvested by you and hours, with gifts from friends thrown in. Yes, of course it tastes better.

But more than that, it is as if each vegetable is filled with love and care and compassion and attention.

I swear you can taste it.

I know I am late to the "grow-your-own-vegetable" party, with Theo and Jill tutoring me and encouraging me, but WOW!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Two Years

Two years since you have been gone, Nat.

Two years without you here.

Here are some of the things that have happened, that you would have loved:

Obama won!


Health Care Reform passed!

My boys are playing the piano--just as you hoped--you always gave them musical instruments to plant the seed!

Theo's school is an official affiliate of Alice Waters Edible Schoolyard Program

I looked at your old slides today, of our trip in India, our camel trek through the desert in Rajasthan, our car ride with Mr. Kingfisher, the palace in Udaipur.

You lived, Nat. You really lived.

I miss you.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Boring, but True

My moods swing and I go along for the ride. When I start to reel out of control, or sink into blue, those who know me best ask, "Have you eaten? Have you slept? Are you hormonal?"

I fly into a rage.

No, I always insist. These feelings are real! deep! and true!

And when self-help givers counsel more sleep as a way to happiness (Gretchen Rubin, wonderful author of The Happiness Project and related blog) goes through a gazillion ways to make yourself happier, but hits on sleep as one of the biggest.


I want inspirational quotes to cling to and paste up around my work space, a dramatic life change, a new diet of leafy green superfoods, more exercise, a book that will change my life, a challenge that will speak to my soul, a spiritual practice that will keep me practicing.

So I poo poo sleep and its benefits.

I bet you can see where this is going.

After seven years, I am sleeping every night with no child in my bed, all night long! No boys start in our bed, but we always end up with one. I have gotten so tired over time that I no longer consider myself tired. My energy level and outlook are simply a state of being, a new equilibrium. I cannot remember any other way. As proof that the child beside me is not affecting my eight hours I always tell Jonathan: the wiggly boy beside me is not interrupting my sleep, because I do not even wake up when he crawls in beside me. I am surprised to find him there in the morning. I swear!!!

A friend scolded us so roundly a few weeks ago about letting Benji in the bed that I was humbled and promised Jonathan we would kick Benji out once and for all (he is so sweet to snuggle and soon he won't want to snuggle at all...). So we made the chart and we cut a deal: 30 nights in his own bed, no coming us to before daybreak, and he gets a razor scooter.

Tomorrow will be Day 14.

Which means I have slept through the night with no kicks or wiggles or pushes, or fears that someone was going to fall out of bed, or an arm at an odd disjointed angle for two weeks now.

The difference is astounding! I am the old me! I have energy, hope, dreams.

Some new life force is flooding through my veins.

All because of sleep. Glorious, sweet, delicious sleep.

So boring. But sooooo necessary.

The Words are Back!

Journal update: I found it at the Armenian car wash, locked safely in a drawer by the cashier.

Glory be!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Pledge for You

I can't tell you where this came from. but I bet you can guess...

If you believe in magic, won't you take the pledge with me?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Lost Words

This is a semi-complete pile of 20 years of journals, stashed in "my" closet--the last remnant of pure me in the house.

They contain stories, dreams, sadnesses, poems, pieces of art and inspirational quotes from Japan, Asia, Ventura, the Valley, Silverlake and Hollywood. They are nearly indecipherable--even to me--but a perfect record of my emotional state through adulthood. Sparked by "The Artist's Way," these record my life, they are a map to how I digest existence.

I guess the point is, it's not like I page through them very often--though I do occasionally--to see what remains of me, how I have changed and how I have stayed the same, how many of the things I dreamed did come true, even if now they seem ordinary and I take them for granted.

But having them there, hidden away, is a comfort. It is like a filing cabinet for my soul. (underneath is my wedding dress in a bag, still smeared with Baci from our wedding night, and a box of beloved photographs).

The record is complete. Except for one volume.

Yesterday, I lost a journal.

I don't know where. I take my journal du jour everywhere, to scribble down every thought, every great snippet of conversation, every writer's note and inspirational piece of life. It is always stuffed with little mementos that fall out everywhere like snow.

I think I left at the Armenian carwash in Silverlake, where I spent an hour getting my car shampooed after I left a 2 litre bottle of wine in the car, baking in the hot sun, until it got so hot the cork exploded out and the wine poured everywhere, making our car smell like a rolling frat house--the day after a big bash.

I will go by today, in search of my journal.

For a minute I panicked, thinking how every thought about sex, money and life will be bared to the Armenian owners. But they wouldn't care, even if they could read my handwriting.

The worse part is just feeling like I lost a part of my hard drive out there where I can never retrieve it. It is lost. And that is unsettling.

But like so much writing, perhaps it is the act of writing that is more important than the words themselves.

After all, this was not a book manuscript or an article. It was the scribblings of a mad and passionate mother searching for herself in L.A..

And maybe I will find it.

I will let you know.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Prescription for Summer

Have fun!

Here is a note I have lifted from an email from my favorite massage therapist in L.A.. She is a Sikh (the L.A. kind, not the Indian kind) who I met at Golden Bridge way back, when I sought the strength of the Goddesses in bearing a child. The Sikhs in L.A. are a powerful force, and huge in the medical and healing community. Some are traditional M.D.'s, others do massage, acupuncture, chiropracting, and other more obscure forms of healing. What unifies them is an undeniable sense of mission in what they do.

Anyway, here is the latest advice:

Re you: There’s a very “natural” MD in Santa Monica (Dr. Jim Blechman) who says that the summer is all about enjoyment – eat whatever you want, stay up late, party and have fun! (as long as during the other 3 seasons you take really good care of yourself). I hope you’ve taken such good care of yourself that you can totally relax and ENJOY
these warm summer days.

It is our duty to savor the world in summer.

After summer camp drop-off I hiked for an hour in Griffith Park, exploring hidden canyons and watching woodpeckers. I felt the sun and smelled the pine needles, which for me for some reason is the smell of California summer. Then I spent a glorious, lazy, delicious hour reading "The Ten-Year Nap uninterrupted. Bliss.

What about you? What will you to enjoy yourself on this hot summer day?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Love and Money

Here is a cold hard truth of our summer:

We may have to sell our house because I stayed home with the kids.

Of course it is not just that, but my time at home was a critical factor in where we are financially.

Come September I will have been home for four years. That is four years where Jonathan had to haul ass to keep us afloat. The time also coincided with the writer's strike and the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

I love our house. I love it because it is beautiful, but I also love it in the way that only someone who has moved their whole life can love a place, a house that is really theirs, where every scratch and scrape and brick and tile holds a memory of us, our family. It is the geography and history of us. For me it is a bedrock, the mother country, our original homeland, our continent.

If I had worked through all of this, we could have held on. As is, we may, we may not.

And here is my cold hard truth: It was worth it.

I have loved my time with my boys. I would never, ever trade it in.

I got four glorious years to see my boys, be with them, take vacations, watch them grow, appreciate them, bask in them. They are a gift I never thought I would have. And here they are, on loan for a little while, and I got to be with them and savor them. And though it is uncool, unambitious, and very very un-American of me to say so, I am so deliriously glad I was here.

Truth in Fiction?

In the July 5 issue of the New Yorker is a wonderful story by my friend, Sarah Shun-lien Bynum.

Sarah has been named one of the 20 best fiction writers under 40 by the New Yorker. It is a prediction, and mostly it turns out to be true. Getting named as such is a great help on that road. And she was already great!

But aside from a little name dropping (Hey! I know someone really cool and successful!) I am urging you to grab a copy of her story, "The Erlking," because of ME!!!!!

Hidden in her delightful story of maternal insecurity and the search for the right place for your child, is a fictional character named "Hilary" who holds forth on preschools. Sarah fact-checked it with me before submission. Was I OK with this characterization of "Hilary" who said something sort of like what I said to her?

I read it. I dimly remembered rattling on about something similar, with just as much forceful opinion and much less eloquence. Because the fictional Hilary is witty, snarky, hilarious, devastating and delightful. Oh, how I aspire to be that fictional Hilary.

I showed Jonathan, and said I wished I could be that way.

"You are," he said.

Aw, shucks.

I guess that is why I married him. He sees a little glitter and brilliance in ordinary me.

And to him it is not even fiction.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Yesterday afternoon we put Theo, age 7, on a plane to Phoenix to see his Grandma.

He had packed his bag and prepared himself mentally. He was excited and proud, but also scared.

He had his tag around his neck like Paddington, or a piece of luggage, in case he got lost. He pulled his rolling suitcase, filled with Harry Potter, a book about the Solar System, a pad to color, Aria, his favorite stuffed rabbit, swim trunks and a few clothes.

Before we let him out onto the tarmac to climb onto the plane, a guy from Southwest came over.

"Do you know who is going to meet you on the other end?" he asked.

"My aunt," answered the first girl.

"Who?" asked Theo.

But he knew. I watched him roll his suitcase out (he is still small enough to fit inside in a pinch.) I watched the Southwest stewardess try to help him carry his bag up the stairs, and I watched him insist that he could do it himself, and then he struggled to lug the big bag up to the door of the plane.

We told him he could order a coke on the plane if he wanted. We wouldn't know, or care. He was on his own, making his own decisions. Later he told us he got a Pepsi. He was gleeful.

Jonathan's mother told us that on the other end he almost collapsed with relief when he got off the plane and she was there, waiting for him. Apparently he thought he would just wander out through the airport to the curb, and hope that somehow she would find him.

Benji cried for 20 minutes after Theo left, and was quiet through dinner. To him, life is boring without Theo. We realized they have been apart only once, when Benji was too young to remember. They are truly inseparable. Benji kept asking how long til Theo got back. He is still asking, and it has not yet been 24 hours.

What complex emotions it all brings up.

Jonathan said last week, "This is good. It is the first step towards independence."

Independence! He is only seven! Let's not rush things!!! I am not ready for him to be independent. I want him to snuggle and believe that Mama can still make the world alright.

I watch other parents grappling with this point in childhood. It is so tempting to keep children close, to not encourage freedom, to not push them just a little to get them empowered and freer, partially of you. It feels so nice to be so adored and so needed. It gives me such purpose. This is the beginning of taking that need and that purpose, for me, away.

And yet, I feel there is something unfair to the child when the parent holds on for too long. Something just a little unhealthy in encouraging the children to hold on perhaps longer than they need. In rewarding them, in subtle ways, for reaching out for you and being weak, and taking them back to your breast and holding them and not pushing them out into the world to fend for themselves just a little, so they can practice and then fly back like little birds for reassurance.

I was so proud as I watched him lug his suitcase up by himself, like a little man, and felt such tenderness, but also pride, to know he tried so hard not to let on how scared and worried he really was.

Today we spoke. I asked him if he missed us a lot or a little (not at all was not even an option). "A little," he said, I could tell mostly to not hurt my feelings.

It is his first step away, and how bittersweet it is.

On the other hand, how deliciously quiet the house is. No arguing over magnatiles. No collisions of razor scooters. No injuries caused by gunfights or pillowfights or light sabers in the eye. One child is so easy, so calm, so manageable!

I wouldn't trade two for one in a million years. When Benji arrived our family felt complete.

But going back to one makes me realize what a difference that extra child makes. One child is practically like being alone as a couple again. Two do take more energy than one. And it is not just the activities. It is a state of being and activity elevated to a different magnitude.

These are my thoughts, while my boy is away.

And of course, I cannot wait until he returns.

What about you? Has your child gone away? Are you ready?

Is it sweet? Or bitter?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Tree for Simon

Two days ago some dear friends' son died. He was 10 years old, and a beautiful boy, with curly brown hair, big teeth and a kind heart. We met him when he was Theo's age now, and he still bears an uncanny resemblance to Theo.

His name was Simon. He died of cancer, that began as an ache in his leg when he was eight.

I cannot imagine the pain of a mother to lose her child at 10, old enough to be a glimpse of what he will become, but still a child, a sweet sweet child.

I cannot imagine the pain of the father. And perhaps worst of all, the pain of his 12-year-old sister left behind.

They are planting ten trees around the world in all his favorite places, for though only 10 he had traveled far and wide.

My heart is so heavy tonight.

Send love to a bereaved family in Paris.

And, if the spirit moves you, plant a tree for this beautiful boy who is gone.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Are We More Scared?

Are we more scared than those who came before us?

I wonder sometimes.

This past weekend when we drove over the soaring bridge to Coronado I pointed South and said. "Boys, that is Mexico. Another country."

One of my dreams for years has been to visit the lagoon in Baja where all the whales go to birth their babies. It is in the middle of nowhere, just a little wild bay at the end of a rutted road. But whale lovers know it, and it has been famous since Moby Dick. The mothers go, have their babies, then float around with them in this semi tropical bathtub, until the babies are old enough to swim north on their great migration.

Years ago surfers would paddle out and pat them on the head. Now I think the Mexican government controls it somewhat, though how I have no idea.

The point is, you can still drive to the end of the road, meet a guy with a ponga, and, during the right season, go out and pat a baby whale on the head while the mother eyes you, and nudges the baby forward for some human love. That is what my Aunt said happened to her, when they trekked across Baja on their long sail south to Panama.

So my eye has been on this trip for awhile. But things have gotten rough in Mexico. And though the wild surfer dream of driving south with boards and a tent and a case of beer still feels appealing, I am not immune to stories of kidnapping, drug deals gone wrong, and all the rest of the crazy Mexican stories that make their way north.

Is it safe, I wanted to know.

Just being that close to Tijuana made me wonder again. So I asked my aunt. She rounded up about five people over the course of the weekend and asked them all. Some were kayakers, some owned houses, some liked to drive down to Rosarito, some ran up and down some famous sand dunes 30 miles south of Tijuana. They had all been south of the border and they all said they thought it was safe, as long as you follow a few simple rules: don't drive after dark, don't stop in Tijuana, check Discover Baja before you go.

(The exact question my uncle posed: Do you think it would be safe for my niece and nephew to drive south of the border with two young children in a yuppie mobile like that?)

I listened to these adults--many in their Sixties and Seventies. They were fearless, and hungry for adventure. They drove south with kayaks and surfboards and beat up cars and told us that the only thing we might want to remember is to bring our own beer, because in some places tourism has fallen off so much the little roadside hotels don't have enough beer.

And I thought: Do I have any friends my age who have such adventures?

Are we just a more fearful generation? Why?

Have we been inundated with so much fear mongering and post 9/11 terrorism propaganda and bad TV that everything seems too scary? Do the older folks have memories of safer times so they are undeterred? Is the fear literally in our DNA? Or do we just have no good information to counter all the bad?

Or do we just live that little bit further away from Mexico so that scary stories replace all real experience?

I don't know the answer.

It was just strange to sit on the grass with a bunch of cool older people in Coronado who had grander adventures than anyone I know, who were braver than I am, and undeterred by tales of terrorism, drug wars and kidnapping. I hope when I am 70 I am like that.

And I thought about how we are cheating ourselves out of life with our fear. We stay in our safe little environments, in self-imposed exile, trying to escape danger. And, in the process, how much do we miss?

Are you scared?


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Mile in the Ocean

We drove down to Coronado on the third of July, to be there for the Fourth. It has become a family tradition.

We camp in the backyard of my favorite aunt, hang out with my sister, and walk and scoot all over the island-- a place, my uncle informed me, that once had more Admirals per square inch than any other spot on earth.

I learned strange family stories, like how one uncle I thought was an Air Force officer was actually a CIA agent working in South America for years as a mid-level Kentucky Fried Chicken manager. (Really? Unbelievable! How had I not heard this? And yet, when we met them, they lived in Langley. Hmmmm...)

But one of the highlights of the year, one of the events that keeps me on track, through good times and bad, is swimming the Coronado Rough Water Swim. In bad years it just makes me feel good. In good years, like last year, it is serious training for Alcatraz.

This year I felt a little cocky. I mean how bad could it be after Alcatraz?

Last year the temperature was 55 degrees. Enough to stop you in your tracks when you ran into the water. I swam in a wet suit last year and still couldn't breathe for a quarter of a mile.

This year I told myself if it was under 58 degrees I did not need to do it. The day dawned moist and wet. The island was wrapped in fog. And chilly. But when I signed up they told me the water was 65 degrees. Balmy! Like the Caribbean! Warm enough to go snorkeling!

So I swam, this year alone, without a wetsuit, and without even my beloved aunt. The water was pretty warm. It was strangely choppy and I ended up getting tossed around and a little disoriented, and swallowing a gallon of seawater, but I was fast.

Now I have stomach cramps from imbibing bad Mexican water washed up from Tijuana, but it was worth it.

The ocean always makes me happy. Always.

Even when I can't get warm for two days after.

Maybe there really are positive ions floating in clouds above the water, lifting your mood like a drug, as the surfers always claim.

The water carries me, it holds me, it tosses and plays with me, and I know, again, for certain, that the world is a magical place.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Have You Ever Been to Oz?

I don't mean the place over the rainbow.

I mean the secret garden in the Hollywood Hills, constructed over many years by a woman with a passion for tile and Dorothy and Toto.

I had heard of it, and then a potter from Silverlake invited me to a peace ceremony there with some monks, to commemorate the dropping of the bomb on Hiroshima, and pray that no horror like that would ever take place again. After the ceremony I was presented with a key. The only rule: you cannot write about it, take pictures, or go after dark. I agreed to the conditions instantly.

I couldn't believe I had a key of my own.

It turns out the key passes through many hands, and you never know who you will meet and where, who will have been to Oz, or who will hand you a key of your own. It is a like a secret society of cool people. At least that is what I tell myself.

The place is magical, whimsical and a little girlie. There is a yellow brick road and a million broken pieces of tile and mirror and heads of dolls. It is reminiscent of Watts Towers, and a true urban treasure. I have heard it will go to the Smithsonian when the owner dies. (and I confess I do not know her name...)

She makes you want to tile your own hillside backyard, in odes to Ella Fitzgerald, Rumi, Louis Armstrong and Dorothy, to build blue glass thrones for yourself, and your own private yellow brick road.

Well, imagine my surprise today when I walked into my favorite tile store in Atwater Village, Mortarless, and saw an actual photo of Oz. Not one, but two. Not labeled, but blown up.

I ran to the man at the counter and I said, "Excuse me, but is that Oz?"

"Yes," he said. "It is."

He said the owner has bought her tiles at his store for twenty years and always promised him a picture, but never gave him one. Finally he gave her an ultimatum: "If you don't give me a picture, I won't sell you any more tiles."

She said, pleeeeeze? He said no.

So she handed over the pictures, but she made him promise, no labels, no addresses.

He said fine, but he wouldn't lie either.

The final deal was this: If someone like me came in and said, "Is that Oz?" he could answer. If people wanted to know where it was, he would not answer.

She got her tiles, he got his pictures, and I got a little giggle and the thrill of feeling like I am a real L.A. insider for an afternoon.

I'd post a picture, but that would be against the rules!

But, reader, if you want to go, email me and I will be your personal guide.

It is meant to be shared on a magical afternoon with a friend like me.

Craving a Week of Sundays

This past weekend (plus a little) we retreated to a ranch in Madera County, just 17 miles south of Yosemite.

Two families on 140 acres, with hammocks, a grill, good books and games. No TV. No videos. Just swings and land and horses and a river.

For the first time I found myself craving a country getaway of my very own. It could be rustic and tiny, in the mountains or by the sea. It could sleep four on the floor, and have wind whistling through cracks in the winter.

I just want a beautiful, and sacred place, quiet and away, where me and mine can step back, turn of the links, drown ourselves in nature, and regroup. I want a place that restores that sense that there is nothing to do, nothing that CAN be done, because you are so isolated. I want a place that is so simple you remember that all it really takes to be happy is a good book or two, a harmonica or a guitar, some simple food and a roof over your head.

Our philosophy has always been, why buy something for way too much money, when you can rent out other people's dream homes and have it all. But suddenly I crave my very own place, outfitted with my simple art, my very own spices, my favorite books, my weathered birdhouses. I long to enter and find all my beloved things there, waiting for me.

I long for that wide open empty time that must have once occurred on Sundays, but now seems to occur not at all, unless you are way far away, without an internet connection.

I long for the stillness that brings clarity, and the time to sink into nature in a way that is one step past boredom, and only occurs with a kind of isolation that is virtually impossible in urban life today.

Ideally my little house would have a wood stove and a bathtub outside under the stars. It would have a shelf of books and a hammock under a tree. It would have a shady front porch, and you would be able to hear the sound of water from inside the house. There would be a little dirt path to the front door, and no other houses within view.

I think that is it.

Where is my cabin?

My Own Brain Time

I want to revise Virginia Woolf's book title, and phrase to describe the secret fantasy of women.

Instead of "A Room of One's Own," I crave "A Brain of One's Own."

Lately, it seems, I cannot have a fully constructed thought without interruption by boy or husband. This morning I set out to time it--to find out if I am insane, or whether I really am interrupted as often as I feel.

Well, more, it turns out. The boys interrupt, call, or demand, every 12-15 seconds. For example, in the course of writing this short and disjointed blog (during a brief quiet time, I might add) I have been interrupted three times by boys.

I am firm. I have rules. What am I doing wrong?

How do I get my brain back?????

Life with Boys

What are you looking at?

Well, this is a Kenex flying machine, with motor, constructed by Theo. It flew too close to Benji's head (powered by Theo) and ended up getting tangled in Benji's hair, engine still running.

I was angry (the pain for Benji, the fury I felt at MORE crying, the slightly aggressive play by older brother imposed on younger brother) but when I saw the flying machine stuck in his hair like a giant's rat's nest, I could not help but burst into laughter.

I got it out without cutting. And three hours later Benji got it stuck in his own hair.

O Mamamia!

Do boys just have a self-destruct mode?

Please explain, fellow mothers of boys!