Thursday, March 29, 2012


But then I only want the best it's true
They can't believe the things I do for you
What you won't do, do for love
You've tried everything but you don't give up
In my world, only you make me do
For love what I would not do
Makes me do for love what I would not do

Heard that song live at Chastain Park. I can picture the night, who I was with, the way the world and weather felt, how the sky looked, the smell of candles, wine, and lots of expensive, stinky cheeses from the party next to us. I can remember moving my lips along with the words of the song (not singing. Definately not singing. I did want others around me to actually enjoy the evening.) with my eyes closed and swaying my shoulders and head just a little, and I can remember holding my hunky hubby's hand tightly and moving my ear closer to his face so I could hear his awesome tenor, James Taylorish voice softly singing along.

But what I can not remember - you won't believe it - Is WHO was on the flip-flappin' stage singingit!!! Can you just bleedat? It might have been Al Jarreau. That's who I truly believe it was, but then I have moments when I think it might have been George Benson. And then I really start to doubt, close my eyes and SWEAR I can hear (and see, yum) Bobby McFerrin standing on the stage with his all tall, skinny, dready, linen-clad, big white toothed bright smiley self, moving around like he doesn't have a bone in his body - like a slinky. He's the black Jimmy Buffet. I do know it was Bobby McFerrin that I was blessed to watch and hear him perform Baby: (backed by Chick Corea. Top THAT.)

baby baby baby baby runnin' everywhere,
baby baby baby baby runnin' here and there,
baby baby baby baby lookin' what we do,
baby baby baby baby watchin' want to do it too.

baby baby baby listenin' what we say,
baby walkin' walkin', talkin' talkin' want to play,
playin', playin', growin', growin', you an me to be,
have you thought of thought of what you're what you're makin' baby up to be.

mama mama mama mama treat your baby tenderly,
papa papa bounce your bounce your baby on your knee,
tell you tell you baby baby stories, play your baby games,
teach your teach your baby baby, sharin' makin' love your aim.

what we gonna gonna leave our babies when we leave this place,
how we gonna gonna help our help our babies take our place,
'cause baby baby baby lookin' what we do,
baby baby baby watchin' want to do it too

I used to sing Bobby McFerrin songs to my youngest when he was teensy and still slept in a crib. Rocked or walked both bebbies to sleep at night, sang Patsy Cline to the oldest, and Bobby McFerrin to the youngest. And they survived! Their ears did not bleed. True story.

I've often marveled at the things parents will do for their children. Often I have looked back in my own journey as a parent and only recognized then that something I had done in the past was one of those things you can only shake your head at and cluck, as you mutter, "Well when you're a parent, that's what you do. Right?"

Currently I am driving my son, once a week, to a tutor who lives two hours away. Because she's what he needs. Friends think I'm crazy. My hunky hubby even looked at me dubiously when I delivered the news to him that's what I'd be spending my Friday afternoons and evenings doing, and some Sundays as well. Ultimately now he knows it's the right thing, but it's a fair statement that that news is a little shocking. Difficult to process. It's sort of like someone locking himself in the house and giving his keys to a friend, just so he won't be able to get out of the house to go buy cigarettes, or booze, or ice cream or chocolate, shoes, or whatever it is that's got the grip. It's what's called for sometimes, but so extreme is the behavior to accomplish it that the recipient of the news discombobulates momentarily. Or, for some temporary period of time.

I haven't often been accused of not dealing with something. (Yes, Grammar Police, I know.) Rarely have I been known to procrastinate. Hardly is it like me to let something unacceptable drag on if there is anything I can humanly do to correct. So. It's not a stretch that I might be prone to overzealous motions or acts in this arena. My motto is I hope to always be able to claim having done too much and never have to be responsible for having not done enough. (Yes. Again. I know. You may call it Grammatical License.)

One time I drove one of my kids fifty miles, once a week to a specialist who was not covered by our insurance when there was one seven miles away that was. I had good reason. Was it worth the extra $800 a month out of pocket? You betcha. Was it worth the extra drive, time, and aggravation? Yyyyyyyep. Would I do it again? Most certainly.

Every parent has these stories. I love to read them. Love to hear about them. Tonight I took three handsome ten year olds to their school Talent Show - oh wait, scuse me - VARIETY Show, cauz heaven forbid we use the word talented *sigh*. Dozens and dozens of parents running, stepping, fetching, wearily setting up and tearing down, managing ticket sales, and so much more. For their kids. TALENTED kids. There I said it. TALENTED, they're TALENTED. Can we please call it that?

Anyway. Strangely (she said sarcastically) all THOSE parents, the active ones running the show? Those ones? THEIR kids were many of the ones IN it - not afraid to get up on a stage in front of 700 people and DO something, do it joyously, vigorously, energetically, and with all the innocence and pride of youth. To have taken all the time they did to practice, and practice, and practice some more. And another thing. The other parents - the ones that BROUGHT their kids to see the show? Those kids were the ones that clapped the most, cheered the loudest, got excited about their classmates performances. Both sets met up at the FroYo after to mingle, Group #2 patting Group #1 on the back, giving them positive affirmations and attaboys, and all of them shoving frozen yogurt down their piehole and being so excited and high on life and the academically and parentally sanctioned togetherness going on. I looked around the room and noticed that the best and brightest kids were there, visiting, bumping shoulders, knuckles, hips.

These kids are the ones that will be the Valedictorians and Salutatorians in their high school classes. They're the ones that will be in school plays, orchestra, band, on the football team, the soccer team, in BETA club, FCA, and the like. Mostly because they're smart, full of piss and vinegar, and joyfully motivated. But somewhat too, because their parents schlepped them places, introduced them to beauty, talent, a social life, shows, art, history, music, dance, and so so much more.

Whether they wanted it or not.

What we parents wouldn't do.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

The Stink Eye

You know the one. It's the one Mamas give their kids when they're misbehaving in public. Mom slings the Stink Eye at the kid and the kid straightens up at once, fear orbing from his very core. A more expressive look there isn't, in all your inventory of looks you could bestow. It's the same look that Wife gives Husband when he embarrasses her in public. The one kid shoots Mom when she comes to school to pick him up in yoga pants, a wife-beater, and one of those goofy lookin' Rosie the Riveter bandanas tied around her head with the knot and bow ears cocked crooked on top of her noggin.

It comes naturally to most adults- the Stink Eye, not tying a bandana around your melon - particularly if you have children. Or a spouse. Or a sibling. Or, heck. People. Some kids are born with it, too. My ten year old developed it prior to turning a year old. It's a gift.

Of great import to note here, the Stink Eye is NOT the same as a Hate Look. The Stink Eye says "You are very important to me. I will love you always. You're a big part of my life. And, by the way. QUIT IT. Quit it this NANO-second and do not do NOT EHHHHHVER do it again as long as you shall live. Which if you do that again isn't long."

The Hate Look, on the other hand, says "You, my pretty, are a wretched, contemptible beast, and I could quite easily perform the Five Finger Death Punch on you while you sleep and then go get ice cream to celebrate. You make me want to shoot a puppy*."

The Stink Eye is often given via the magical ricochet properties of the rearview mirror. Or, it may involve an almost indistinguishable (to the general public) squint of one eye and/or a teensy but evil raising of one eyebrow. Sometimes a very soft, gentle, but BRUTAL grunt or sucking of the teeth accompanies.

It's one of the greatest communication tools available. Anybody can throw it and anyone (oughta be able to) catch it.

If you didn't see The Devil Wears Prada (where HAVE you been???) one of my favorite parts is where Stanley Tucci educates Anne Hathaway on the expressive facial tells of Meryl Streep and what each means. Here's what Stanley (as Nigel) says:

"There's a scale. One nod is good. Two nods is very good. There's only been one actual smile on record, and that was Tom Ford in 2001. She doesn't like it, she shakes her head. Then, of course, there's the pursing of the lips."

And Anne Hathaway (as Andi) says, "Which means...?"


I have yet to meet the human who throws a meaner Stink Eye than my ten year old boy. If you catch a Stink Eye from him, you know you're in some big, fat, hairy trouble.

The good news is, he's not old enough or tall enough to pull it off. It's just stinkin' cute. So. The takeaway is, go big or go home. And. Don't do it if you can't pull it off. Wait 'til you grow into it.

Ta for now.

Stole the puppy thing from my sister. Just sourcin'.