The gangs all here

12 09 2012

When Clare started school, we met some like-minded parents with kids in similar age brackets.  I always remember my parents saying that we would meet some of our greatest friends when our kids started school.  They weren’t wrong.

It is very rare in life that as a couple, you meet another couple that you really get along with.  I mean it is a common scenario where the wives get along and the husbands nod politely at each other, or the husbands bond around the grill plate while the wives are left to fill the void with small talk.   So to meet not only one great couple, but several through the school was amazing.

What also totally worked was that all our kids got along.  Happy children, happy parents was my motto.  So getting together was always easy and comfortable.  This tight group spent a lot of time with Mort and me, so what started to play out at the end of 2010 absolutely floored them all. The actions were varied; hugs, tears, gasps…but the reaction was universal – sheer disbelief.





Extra snippet

4 09 2012

this is a p.s. for my previous post….

1) I went to bed feeling bad that I gave Maddie such a bum rap for the first year or so of her life….can’t deny she was a total stinker BUT I think all that screaming stretched her mouth because she now has the broadest, most radiant smile for those she chooses to share it with.  Also those many hours that she was rocked (yes, again wailing) in arms, she must have sensed the embrace as she now has a boundless daily quota of hugs for me.

2) I met some of the cast of The Bold and the Beautiful back in the early nineties…another story for another time!





Hey soul sister

2 09 2012

Excuse the break in the Mort story but I need to introduce another pivotal character that will be referred to a lot….

When Clare was about 18 months old, a lady rented the house across the street from us.  She was fabulous, we hit it off instantly and would enjoy long leisurely chats standing in the driveway.  She said that her daughter Michelle was moving back from the UK 6 months later and was going to be renting the house two doors down.

The friendship gods were generous and delivered a double package when we met Michelle and her daughter Bella.  From the early days of our meeting, we knew that we would be a constant in each others lives.

Within the first few weeks of introduction Clare and I were there to celebrate Bella blowing out her first birthday candle.  To think that we will be celebrating Bella blowing out 10 candles next month, it is amazing to review the montage of life’s triumphs and devastations, complexities and simple beauty that we have supported each other through.

Besides my own life crap, Michelle has certainly devoured her own healthy serving of it, and yet she dances through it with laughter and dignity.

I wish everyone a friend like her; one that knows when to shut up and just listen, makes you change out of your frumpy clothes and put on a pair of killer heels, arrive with a bottle of champagne and a slab of stinky cheese or coffee and tennis shoes.  Whatever the situation, her reaction has always been backed with honesty and a smile  – that is perfection.

The old adage for physical health proclaims “you are what you eat”, but I think in the mental health stakes it is to a great degree about who you surround yourself with.  I simply don’t feel good when I eat a bunch of crap…..I also don’t feel good when I am around crappy attitudes.

Make sure that you have a Michelle in your life; to ground you, and elevate you…..and have the innate sense to know which to do and when.

The beautiful “but wait, you get a free set of steak knives” moment in this is that Bella and Clare have also grown up to be beyond friends, they are soul sisters.





Naggy Mommy

9 08 2012

I have two big fat posts sitting in my drafting space…not keen on big fat posts so am whittling away to chewable chunks….in the meantime I thought it was time for a slice of the good again.

In our normal routine of getting ready for school/work, there is sometimes this unwelcome visitor that joins us….”Naggy Mommy”.  While we all know her, none of us is terribly fond of her.  Clare and Maddie aren’t crazy about seeing her and I certainly don’t like to be her.  Although we all know how to avoid her regimented comments of “hair & teeth, hair & teeth” … sometimes we just get a little lax and out she comes.  She never yells but sometimes she is a wee bit frantic and as she catches sight of her own reflection in the oven there is a theatrical eyeroll accompanied by her lips forming a silent “f”.

So after Naggy Mommy joined us this morning, we all went on our merry way to have full and fulfilling days at school and work.  Then on coming home Maddie claimed a tremendous stomach cramp that could mysteriously only be cured with icecream (don’t worry I made her devour the pumpkin soup first) and Clare had a homework project that felt like major surgery, slicing, cutting, pasting, reconstructing.

So after bathing, feeding, home-working, watering plants, de-fleaing (cats that is), as I am cleaning the kitchen Maddie (soon to be 7) pipes up to exclaim she has figured out what she wants for her birthday cake (still 2 months away), I want a giant chocolate cake that says “Mommy Rocks” across the top.

Even Naggy Mommy had a Cheshire grin on her face.





A lost tooth

18 07 2012

I decided it was time for a quickie slice of ‘the good’.  Maddie lost her first tooth yesterday with exuberant delight.  She was wiggling and wiggling and then there it sat on her tongue like a little piece of rice.  Of course by the time that bedtime rolled around she had lost the little gem, not just from her mouth this time but from her little clasped fist.  Luckily she knows exactly who the generous tooth fairy is and said “well you saw me lose it so I am sure you can still put a bunch of money under my pillow.”  And that I did….$5.  Major inflation since I was a kid and after all, it was the first tooth – extremely exciting.