Mother’s Day

A week has passed since Mother’s Day but I still wanted to blog about it because there are very few perfect days in life and this was one of them.  It’s strange too because it was free of most of the things I have enjoyed in previous years, such as breakfast in bed and lacy, velvety cards with the sort of tender  doggerel that can swiftly lead to a sad afternoon on the couch contemplating one’s own mortality if you’re not careful.

But there was none of that.

Since no one fancied trudging from one restaurant to the next only to encounter long, winding queues of angry, red-faced fathers who had forgotten to make brunch reservations (just like Frasier and Niles had, to be fair) The General suggested that everyone come to ours, and he would prepare his somewhat famous Eggs Benedict.  I was briefly rattled (as I always am by spontaneous, sudden plans) but the boys seemed very excited to come and the house was soon filled with warm, delicious eggy smells, deeply savoury slices of ham frying gently on the stove and the booming notes of male voices as they laughed easily and regularly with one another and were generally having a great time. I studied each face in turn, knowing and loving each one so much and watched expressions from childhood pass fleetingly: a dimple in someone’s cheek as they were smiling,  the mannerisms and cadence of speech I recognize as my own; the sheer symmetry of Niles’ girlfriend’s gentle face, flawless as a bone-china teacup and eyes that shine between violet and navy; And The General of course with his well placed one-liners and a touching effort to re-fill coffee cups and make sure additional heated, croissants kept appearing.  With jam.

(Can I say that kindness and handsome-ness are, for me, an unbeatable combination). Continue reading

The Reluctant Dragon


I have loved all animals all my life – furry, feathered, fuzzy, ones that creep – and till fairly recently, my home was full of them. I was definitely the mother on the street who would make room for the Hermit Crabs, transient crayfish and an assortment of baby birds as well as three dogs, two cats and a Bearded Dragon lizard who, despite raffish good looks was actually, well, still, a lizard. Continue reading

Who has Time?



Every woman I know is always lamenting a lack of time. We all seem to be rising early to do tasks or exercise before work and staying up a bit later (folding clothes by the silvery light of the dryer) just to unlock a few moments for ourselves, perhaps at the end of the week.

But then, that moment never actually materializes.

It’s taken me an embarrassingly long time to realize that no matter what I do or how much I plan, that time for myself will never present itself because I make sure to sabotage it every time by doing one more thing, pushing myself to wipe baseboards when I could be relaxing, thinking how happy people would be to have some really quality prosciutto to wind around those fat, ripe pears or researching different, easier ways to clean the shower on youtube.

It’s as though the Bank of Things-I-Want-To-Do is constantly in overdraft and I just throw a few coins at it now and then (hey, look at me,  I’m reading a book outside at lunchtime and drinking chocolate milk!) just to keep it in the black.

Is it because I feel undeserving? Is it because I am still too worried about making sure everyone else has what they need/want?  (Probably).  Is it because I fear that I will not even know what to do because I have been spinning so long? (NO! I have a long list of interests yet to be tapped!) Is it because I really believe that this week I can actually pull it off … Continue reading

Top Ten Reasons to Celebrate NOT Having to do Back-to-School

Retro mom

10. Think of the time you can use for yourself rather than filling out ALL.THOSE.FORMS that come back after the first day! I briefly considered having a rubber stamp made with my signature on.

9.    Think of the cash that you no longer have to root for under couch cushions to include with many of those same forms.

8.     No last minute shopping in crowded malls with other angry parents (strenuously pretending to be interested) all looking for the ideal running shoe or that clutch of fine-point markers that will never be seen again after their purchase.

7.    Remember that dreaded combo of relief and anxiety that the end of summer brings? Having to get back into the routine, re-establish bedtimes and (worse) rising times in the morning? You can have an extra cup of coffee in the morning now, ahhhh …

6.   No more making lunches! No more washing out tiny containers returning home full of unsampled bad yogurt or hummus. No more replacing water bottles that leak many times throughout the year …

5.   No more feverish midnight runs to variety stores and drugstores looking for Royal Blue bristol board for science projects and feeling irrational rage that strangely, this is not a big ticket item for them.

4.  The necessity of dealing with other parents – many of whom are immensely irritating – is removed! I no longer have to listen to tales of parents who smilingly complain that their child is not getting enough sleep because he/she just doesn’t have enough time after cello practice to read as many physics books as he/she would like. Really? Really? Try not to recall Niles’ excited pronouncement that he will play new video game “till his eyes bleed …”

3.  The school related paraphernalia in my hall is no longer present! No matter how many coat hooks were installed or how many Grecian urns provided to “stow everything away” there would inevitably be a pyramid of (large) shoes, football helmets, books and inside-out coats to deal with every day. (Also, dozens of forms – now twisted into various forms of origami – that were never apparently actually returned see no. 10).

2. Carrying around the worry of other people’s schedules! I did not have an app for this – so all of the timetables, extra curricular events, school trips etc. all had to remain in my own wee head and planner. The planner optimistically provided by the school will remain empty and unsullied and be thrown out at the end of the year.

1. There is no longer any urgency in September – now, it’s just September and it’s all yours.