Two kids 13 years ago

standard August 23, 2012 12 responses

Look at these kids. Look at how sweet they look with their crazy hair. Heck, just look at how young they are and ignore the crazy hair.

Oy. the hair…

They just met last week, or maybe two weeks before that. They’ve already fallen head-over-heels in love with each other. That happened the day they met. In fact she’s just decided to move to Boston to be with him.

Just look at how relaxed and happy they are in that photo. They don’t know anything about what the future holds for them. They have no idea that in a year they’ll be living in Paris, that at the end of that year two planes will fly into the Twin Towers and change the world forever. They don’t know that they will come home to a changed country with no jobs waiting for them. They’ll spend a year temping and trying to find work before giving up on their respective career aspirations and moving on to other things.

Those two kids don’t know that three years after this photo is taken they’ll be married on a hot, hot August day (ten years ago this Sunday) at the top of a mountain overlooking the Bay Area. She can’t even fathom what that might look like; she’s never even been to California. Little does she know that one day she’ll call it home.

They also don’t know that three years after the wedding they’ll have a baby girl and two years after that they’ll have another. Or that by then she’ll have finally figured out what she wants to do with her life or that he’ll be a successful attorney.

Nor do they know that along the way they’ll face hardships they can’t even conceive of. Autoimmune disorders at the top of a long list of more run-of-the-mill challenges.

Most astounding in hindsight is that they don’t know that through all those things they’ll never fall out of love. Instead they’ll grow more fond of each other as each year waxes and wanes and what, on that day, feels like infatuation will grow into a deep, true love that binds them tightly together, making them an invincible team tough enough to weather any of those storms that come their way. It seems crazy that they wouldn’t know this, that they wouldn’t have divined it.

But no, right now they know none of this. They’re just feeling goofy. Their friends are about to break out a bottle of Bailey’s to see how it tastes mixed with Frosties (the cereal, not the frozen treat, though at some point in the evening ice cream will make its way into the mix). Right now, as that photo is being taken, they’re just two kids who thought they were going to have a one-night stand and haven’t yet realized that instead they lucked out by finding the most amazing teammate and life partner they could have ever imagined.

In honor of my hero, the father of my children

standard June 4, 2012 1 response

Yesterday, as I relaxed on the couch, a bird flew right into the house through the open door and got stranded in the kitchen.

I…. do not like birds. Let me rephrase that. I am terrified of birds.

I can do anything, deal with any disaster, power through the toughest situations, but birds I can’t do.

So I did the only thing I could. I pulled the blanket over my head and howled for M to come to my rescue.

He laughed and then sent me outside so he could handle the situation. I only returned to my couch once he had verified that the little winged monster was long gone.

This morning, while showering, I managed to dislocate my rib. It’s something that happens to me every so often. It’s painful, but after a while the rib pops back into place and I get on with my day. This morning the pain was ten times worse than it had ever been and the rib was stubbornly refusing to slide back into place leaving me stranded in the shower, conditioner dripping into my eyes, arm unable to come up high enough to do that thing you have to do to rinse your hair.

M arrived in the bathroom, alerted I’m sure by my moaning and groaning, and stood there, completely at a loss as to how to help me. He watched as I pushed through the pain, rinsed off and stumbled out of the shower. Then he watched as I struggled into a shirt. That’s when he took charge, bundled me back into bed, and went down to deal with the kids.

I don’t often find myself incapacitated. I’m not often unable to master a challenging situation. But when I am M always has my back.

To you rescuing me from an errant bird or forcing me back into bed might not seem heroic, to me it means the world. It means that I don’t have to always be superwoman. It means that I don’t always have to be strong and capable. It’s proof that I found the perfect partner to have my back forever.

The past few years have thrown more than our fair share of challenges our way. This is the summer we’re reclaiming our lives. We’re doing things we haven’t been able to do in years. Hiking. Kayaking. Traveling. I’m loving it, but even more, I’m loving seeing M love it.

I’ve been wanting to make Father’s Day extra special as a way to celebrate both my love for M and this momentous summer of ours, but we got each other a joint Mother’s Day/Father’s Day present (a grill!) so I felt a bit trapped. eBay came to my rescue by sending me $200 to treat M. (Yay eBay!)

Now $200 can go a looooooong way on eBay. M had better prepare to be wowed! (And if he wants to be surprised on Father’s Day he should probably stop reading just about now! Stop reading M!)

First I’m going to start with this killer set of BBQ tools to complement that joint gift of ours.

Who knew you even needed 18 different BBQ tools?

Then, even though I could spend the rest of the money buying up half of eBay with things like this kayak skirt that would make M’s entry into the rather chilly Pacific Ocean is a tad more comfortable…

Not much to look at, but neither are his legs after spending an hour in freezing cold water!

… instead I’m going to use the rest of the gift card to treat M to a sweet ride.

It’s not a Ferrari or the Tesla he dreams of, but, after five years of not being able to ride a bicycle, I can’t wait to see M untie the bow on this one, strap on his helmet, and bike away. Giving my hero his freedom is going to be the sweetest thing on earth.

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How would you spend $200 at eBay on a Father’s Day gift?  Join us on Tuesday at 12PST as we celebrate all things dad at a fun #eBayDad Twitter party. RSVP to be entered to win a $100 eBay gift card of your own! The party will be hosted at ebay.com/partyfordad and will be a hopping good time!  Check out party details here.

RSVP for the party and be entered to win a $100 eBay gift card!

The Secret to a Good Marriage

standard April 27, 2011 Leave a response

As it so often happens, a line in a book I was just reading (Secret Daughter. Very good. Very moving.) caught my eye. It wasn’t key to the plot, but its pure simplicity and truth struck me. 

“Her mother had always said the key to a successful marriage was for each spouse to give as much as they thought they possibly could. And then, to give a little more. Somewhere in that extra giving, in the space created by generosity without score keeping, was the difference between marriages that thrived and those that didn’t.”

The space created by generosity without score keeping…

That’s what we do as parents. We give, and we give, and we give some more. Even when we’re beyond giving and have already entirely lost ourselves. Even so, I’ve yet to meet a mom or even a dad with a little notebook to keep score.

  • Up until 2am with coughing child – 15 points
  • Faceful of stewed carrots – 4 points
  • Told that grandma would be a better mommy because she never withholds desert – 176 points

If we were constantly keeping score like that there’s no way we could be good parents. And really, beyond a hug here and there, we have no expectation of ever being “paid back” for all we do.

Why don’t we always allow ourselves to do the same in all of our relationships?

I believe that “the space created by generosity without score keeping” is the space where we allow ourselves to be vulnerable and to just be — no pretenses, no airs, just ourselves, raw. When you cross over beyond having given everything you believe you’re capable of giving, you’re showing your spouse or significant other that you trust them implicitly. It’s the most powerful gift you could ever give or receive, and yes, while it comes with incredible responsibility, it’s priceless.

In the movie Gattaca (which I just saw again this week) the weaker brother tells the stronger one that he always won the race because “he never saved anything for the way back.” OK, so that’s cryptic out of context (racing to the horizon in the ocean), it’s the basis of every successful relationship.

As a parent we’re willing to give everything and beyond because we know the relationship will never end. We don’t need to hold back a piece of ourselves just in case one day we might need to start over with someone new. That complete surrender is ironically what gives us the strength to keep going.

I’ve been joking with M this past week every time he asks me to do something. My utterly tongue in cheek answer is always “Of course my darling; there’s no limit to what I’d sacrifice for you.”

But really, despite my smile and my joking tone, the sentiment is true and has always been true.

I’ve moved to a different country for him, given up my dreams of having four or more children. I didn’t pursue a career in advertising so I’d have more time to be home with him and our eventual kids.

I’ve never considered these things to really be sacrifices. I’m not keeping score. They’re concessions to the life we’re building together. It’s me saying “I really don’t know what life has in store for us, but I’m along for the ride, 150% and I trust that whatever you do with this gift, it’ll be in my best interest.”

I’ve always known that M and I have a great relationship. That line in that book gave me the explanation I needed. M and I always give everything and then some and we trust each other to be gentle and caring of the vulnerability we’re each showing in while in that space.

It’s a beautiful thing and I’m grateful I get to experience it.

A Wicked night off

standard March 15, 2010 1 response

Way back in November when I attended the Silicon Valley Moms Blog holiday party I met the lovely PR rep for Wicked. Just meeting her would have been enough. I read Wicked way back when it was published and I’ve been dreaming of seeing the musical since it first hit Broadway. Getting to meet someone who works with the production was way cool. But we didn’t just get to meet her. We also got vouchers for tickets to see the show.

SWOON.

Considering the fact that the party was back in November and that the tickets had to be redeemed before the middle of March, you’d think that someone who had been waiting for years to see this show would have gotten her act together, but there was the never ending rash, and the holidays, and work, and life, and so I didn’t get around to it until last week.

I know! Madness.

Luckily it all worked out. We got tickets for Friday night, my beloved in-laws were available to watch the girls and even offered to take them overnight. Then at some point on Thursday night I realized that there was no reason for us to come home after the show. No sitter waiting for us. No kids needing our attention in the morning.

No reason not to jump on Orbitz and scout out hotels near the theater.

Which is how M and I found ourselves walking back leisurely towards the Westin after the show instead of jumping into the car to drive an hour home. We were able to chat about the show, about the set, the music, the story. We took in San Francisco at night, something we’d never seen together. And then we slept like babies in the Westin’s Heavenly beds.

Wicked was great. Not the best musical we’ve ever seen, but great nonetheless.  All it was missing was some truly catchy tunes to take it to Les Miserables or Miss Saigon levels. The set was amazing, the actors were awesome, and the story is still as thought provoking as I remember it to be. I can completely see why people go see it multiple times. It’s wonderful to have the reminder (in song no less) that first impressions can be wrong and that how people look doesn’t dictate who they are inside. And there’s always something heartwarming about seeing a good story about friendship that overcomes every obstacle. I do love a good friendship story.

We didn’t have much time in the city the next morning. Just enough for a mediocre breakfast and a lovely walk around Union Square and Market Street. But it was enough. We felt rested and restored. Having just 17 hours to ourselves, away from home, was heaven.

Theater tickets or no we’ll be heading to the city for more nights off. Because it was truly wicked as they say in Boston.