A day to celebrate all authors

standard October 27, 2010 2 responses

C is learning to read, which, from my point of view as a writer and avid book lover, is possibly the most exciting thing she could ever learn. I see her start to grasp how letters work together and how words then string together to form sentences and her eyes just light up.

It’s a beautiful thing to see.

I gushed about reading in the car the other day, waxing poetic about all the books she’d soon be able to discover. In my mind I was making a long list featuring all my favorite childhood books. (Come on, who else used to read Trixie Belden? I know I’m not the only one!)

“Yeah, they’ve sure been busy.” C said, interrupting my fond thoughts of Mrs Piggle Wiggle and all the other fun books I can’t wait to share with my kids.

“Who? Who’s been busy?” I asked in an effort to pick up the thread of a conversation I was oblivious I was having.

“The writers! All the people who write the books! They’ve been writing lots of them.”

I thought about all the books lining all the shelves of all the bookstores in the world and just nodded my head.

“You know Mommy? We should really have a whole day when we just say thank you to all the writer for all the hard work they do.”

And… that’s pretty much when my heart exploded with love for this little girl who at the ripe old age of 5 already understands how precious books are and gets the awesomeness that are authors.

I explained to her that Literacy Month kind of is a whole month all about saying thank you to authors, but she wasn’t convinced that it was quite enough. So then I explained that you can always write a letter to the author of a book you loved to say thank you. It’s something I only recently started doing back when I started writing my own book and realized how much a pat on the back and hearty thank you might one day be very welcome.

Writing an email or a letter to an author you admire is really its own reward, but when that person writes back and thanks you for your note, that my friends, is just amazing. I’m glad I started saying thank you in more than just my head and I’m proud that my daughter didn’t wait until she was a grown-up to realize that she should do just that.

Filled with song. Loud song.

standard May 5, 2010 1 response

Meet Me HalfwayMy girls are singers. They don’t usually sing on key, or even near the key. They don’t always know the right words, or even all the words. But whatever they lack in talent or knowledge is made up in volume and enthusiasm.

Lots and lots of enthusiasm.

Their favorite place to sing is in the car. Maybe they like the acoustics, maybe they’re protesting my radio choice, either way, that’s where they sing. Some days I sing along. Some days I let them serenade me. And some days I turn up the radio to cover their voices, because really, how many times can a person listen to BINGO was his name-O before going slightly nuts.

For all my griping and begging them to stop yelling already, I do love hearing them sing. I love hearing Little L stop a bar into a song and say “How’s it goes again?” or listening to C belt out the words to Take Me Out to the Ballgame, interjecting “The Giants” for “the home team” at the right spot. I’m always fascinated to hear what songs they’re going to be singing. They learn them at school and at daycare, on TV shows and movies they watch, and apparently sometimes on the radio.

Most of the songs are exactly what you’d expect – the alphabet song, row-row-row your boat, Old McDonald. Some of them have interesting endings, like the never heard by us ending of row-row-row your boat which had to do with crocodiles and not dreamy lives and made us laugh hysterically when Little L sang it for the first time.

And then some of them are not at all what you’d expect. Like this song. My girls both know every word to the refrain of the Black Eyed Peas song Meet me Halfway. So, so proud.

And yes. They sing it LOUD. In the car. Over the radio. You so wish you were me.

From the mouths of babes: Bummer that’s not the name we gave you

standard March 30, 2010 4 responses

Of all the parenting decisions I have had to make over the last five years and a half, nothing has stressed me out more than choosing names for my girls.

We can figure out a new school if something goes wrong. We could always buy different bottles, grow out a bad hair cut, abort a bad vacation choice, change a parenting tactic.

But a name? That’s for life. And everything rides on it.

I agonized over the choice. Worried that we’d give her a too-girly name that would make an entrance into a boardroom awkward. Stressed that we’d give her a name that would get her teased in school.

And then we found the perfect name. Classy, not too popular, cute, but serious. Perfect.

Which is why when she declared tonight that she’d rather be known as Layla Michelle Fawn from now on, I had to say, yeah, no, sorry.

Because really? I I get Layla and Michelle, but Fawn? That’s a new one for me, and I bet it would get her seriously teased both in school and in the boardroom.

The wonderful terrible twos

standard October 6, 2009 2 responses

When C was Little L’s age, 2 1/4, I was in the hospital having Little L. What followed was a long blurry year (heck, a long blurry 18 months), where I didn’t sleep, worked full time, dealt with two kids with asthma, and barely made it through every day. It’s hardly surprising that I barely remember anything that went on during that time.

And really, it’s a shame, because not only did I miss my baby’s first year (Seriously, I see pictures of her and I wonder who the cute baby belongs to.), but I also missed C’s twos. Poof! No memories. One minute she’s a cute 2-year-old toddler with a lisp, next minute she’s an articulate three-year-old, telling the world that three-year-olds don’t wear diapers.

Now that Little L is entering this interesting age I’m all eyes and ears. I’m making up for lost time, taking it all in, trying to imagine C going through the same growth. Loving seeing Little L go through it. It’s a fascinating age.

She switches between being the most delightful, funny, little girl to the most unbelievably difficult, pig headed, little monster in split second increments. One second we want to smother her in kisses and the next we’re looking to sell her to passing gypsies.

Her vocabulary is exploding, as are her language skills. She asks for snacks with sweet, polite, complete sentences. She sits at the dining room table and asks us all how we are or how our day went. She “reads” books to herself and her dolls. And yet, she doesn’t quite understand wait time. So when she wants something, she repeats her request again and again without giving us time to react. By the third iteration (about 30 seconds after the first) she’s already escalated to wails. She’s also incapable of articulating why she’s upset in the evening as she cries in her crib. Oh, wait. She does articulate it. She says “I cwying.” Very, very helpful.

She’s super cuddly and sweet. She loves to give hugs. She loves to touch us, pet us, pat us, cuddle us, and just generally be with us at all times. And yet she loves to explore the world around her. Even if that means that she’s got to run down every aisle at Costco or Target, laughing hysterically as I try to catch her.

She has to do everything that C does – color, glue, help in the kitchen, sing, dance, run around the house at breakneck speeds pushing rattling doll strollers. It drives C nuts, but the instant Little L goes off to do her own thing, C follows her to see what she’s doing.

Even as I’m tearing out my hair and running after her I can’t stop marveling at the little person that she’s becoming. I’m grateful that I get to appreciate this wonderful and terrible age this time around. Even though I’m increasingly sad that I don’t remember C going through it.