Tuesday, March 31, 2015

An Ending, and Some New Beginnings

I have really enjoyed this month of writing. I enjoyed reading others' Slices and finding inspiration in what you wrote. I didn't realize how much I would enjoy your comments, but the feedback was terrific! I enjoyed the memories and emotions my writing has evoked. I will miss this daily act but I hope it will continue, in one form or another.
Interestingly, we celebrated a triple baby shower at my school today (must be the water!). So as I end this month of writing, my friends will begin a new chapter in their own lives. Perhaps I could encourage them to write for their children, or for themselves. Then again, we don't need an excuse to write. It just feels good.

Monday, March 30, 2015


I'm sitting at my dinner table, remnants of the meal still around me, feeling like I have nothing at all to write tonight. Then I read Kendra Limback's Slice about a book called, Dinner: A Love Story. What a great idea for a book! Just reading about it brought back so many delicious memories for me.
Dinner as a child was a ritual. We ate together: mom, dad, my sister and I. There were no electronics back them so nothing to distract us. If the phone rang, and it rarely rang at dinner time, we would answer it (because there was no answering machine) and quickly end the call. We talked, we ate, we laughed.
When we moved to our new house, we ate in a room we planned to remodel so we were allowed to decorate the walls any way we liked. What fun! My dad brought home a huge map of the world, and dinnertime turned into lessons about geography. I think those early conversations inspired my curiosity about the world and my love of travel.
Fast forward many years to dinner in my own home, with my husband and our two daughters. We created our own rituals - one of my favorites was highs and lows, where we would share the best thing (and the worst) that happened that day. When the girls were young this was a great opportunity to see into their worlds. As they got older, we didn't need the pretense of the "game," we would just talk.
As I get ready to celebrate the holiday this weekend with my immediate and extended family, I'm looking forward to sitting around a bigger dinner table and sharing good food and great conversation.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sister Love

Just over 18 years ago I gave birth to my second daughter. All I wanted was a healthy child, but my older daughter, almost four years old at the time, was sure she was having a baby sister.Although I didn't find out the baby's gender during my first pregnancy, I figured I would need time to help my daughter adjust if, in fact, we brought her home a brother. Halfway through my pregnancy we found out it was another girl and we broke the news to a very excited big-sister-to-be.
Of course I had heard stories about first children who want to send their newborn siblings back to the hospital when they got home, about the change of heart that is not unusual once they realize that they must share their parents' affection and time.
So the day after I gave birth (it was a late night delivery), when my husband brought her to the hospital to see me and meet the baby, I was ready. We had a plan. He called from the lobby saying they were on their way up. I sat up in the chair and left the baby in the bassinet. I wanted to hug my daughter and let her know I still loved her so much and nothing would change that.
She walked into that hospital room, took a look at me and announced more than asked, "Where's my sister?" What a great moment. The three of us got into bed together, big sister holding the baby, staring lovingly into her eyes, creating the bond that will last a lifetime. She's still the best big sister I know! And I am an incredibly lucky mother.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Secret of Life

It's March 28th...I made it this far in the SOL challenge without quoting any of my favorite song lyrics. Today seems like a good day to share one.
The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time... James Taylor sings its beautifully.
I've just spent a wonderful day with my husband. We had some good quality time together, starting with a trip to the gym this morning and ending with an interesting off-Broadway play in NYC. We love finding small theaters with off-beat shows.
James is right - we need to enjoy each day. And today was a great day. Hope you all had a great day, too!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Parent/Teacher Conference

Just finished a week of teaching combined with parent/teacher conferences. Yes, I am exhausted.
As I met with parents this week, I was reminded of my own parent/teacher conference when my younger daughter was in 2nd grade.
For whatever reason I had difficulty getting pregnant that second time. My daughter used to ask me stories and I would tell her she was always in my heart but I had trouble getting her into my belly. She knew we went to a special doctor in New York City for help.
At the conference her teacher shared a story. Another parent had come in for a birthday celebration and was talking about living in NYC. My daughter's hand went up and when she was called on she proudly announced, "I was conceived in New York City!"
We all had a good laugh. That was a memorable parent/teacher conference.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

And the Lie Is...

Thanks for all your comments yesterday. 
I mentioned 3 truths and a lie I shared at a staff ice breaker. 
They were:
1. I sailed the Greek islands on my honeymoon with a captain named Philip.
2. I was a contestant in a game show when I was in college.
3. I was an extra in a Woody Allen movie.4. I got stuck in an elevator in London and called a friend in the U.S. for help.

Good guesses, everyone! The lie is (drum roll please) #2. I love to play along with Jeopardy but I was never a game show contestant. 
My husband and I did go to Greece on our honeymoon. Knowing how much he loves to sail, I organized a 5-day sail of all those tiny islands the cruise ships can't get to. The sailboat came with a captain who spoke almost no English but he accompanied us everywhere. We still laugh about spending our honeymoon with Philip!
I was an extra in a Woody Allen movie!! When I was in junior high school, I was a member of a community group that got invited to be extras in the movie. We had to dress up in 1950s style and we were paid ($50, I think - it was a long time ago), but I had to donate the money back to the organization. It wasn't one of Woody's best, but it was fun to watch and look for myself!
And yes, I got stuck in an elevator in London - one of those tiny ones, and I was with my whole family! At first we thought it was funny, then we (I) started to panic. We tried to call for help but nothing was working. So my husband called his business associate back in the states, who called the local London fire department to send for help. Eventually, we got out.
Thanks for playing along. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

3 Truths and a Lie

Reading through some of the Slices posted today I was reminded of an ice breaker event I attended with the staff at my school earlier this year.
We were told to write down 3 truths and a lie about ourselves to share at the meeting. Immediately I felt the pressure. "There's nothing exciting about me," I complained to my husband. "I'm so boring!"
We started reminiscing about some of our adventures together and stories we've shared with each other, and soon I realized that I wasn't quite as boring as I feared.
Here's what I shared that day. Can you guess which one is a lie? Check back tomorrow!
1. I sailed the Greek islands on my honeymoon with a captain named Philip.
2. I was a contestant in a game show when I was in college.
3. I was an extra in a Woody Allen movie.
4. I got stuck in an elevator in London and called a friend in the U.S. for help.