Monday, October 31, 2005


I guess these two pics are testament to the success of my ‘no violent toys and thoughts’ campaign while Ross was growing up to be 8 – I tried people, I tried!
Were YOU a good witch, or a bad witch?

Thursday, October 27, 2005


One of the best views of the world is through the eyes of my child.
While making pancakes yesterday Ross said to me, "look Mom, eggs with eyebrows."
"Go get my camera Ross, quickly - I am SO putting this on my blog!"

It was 'dress down day' at school today - the theme was 60's and 70's ... I had fun making the t-shirt!

Monday, October 24, 2005


Rosa Parks
1913 – 2005

Courage is the most important of all virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.
~ Maya Angelou

Saturday, October 22, 2005


While Ross was playing with Pingy last night, the unthinkable happened. Ross got a little too close for her comfort and her reflexes took over and she snapped at him, in his face. He was completely shocked that she would do such a thing to him. As quickly as she snapped at him, he pulled back, and with this mortified look on his face said to me, “Mom, Pingy bit my cheek.”

Ross rarely cries. He has never been a cry baby. So when he does cry, you know something has penetrated his emotions on a really profound level. He gets a look on his face that signals tears are approaching within seconds. It is a look that rips my chest open and all but wrenches my heart out of me. I feel the pull of his emotions as the tears roll, and the only reason I don’t cry is because I want to give him the space to have this emotional release. This is his moment. I am a much bigger cry baby than he is. I cry in cheesy TV commercials. I want him to know that boys really do cry and that is OK.

We established that Pingy had not actually torn his skin and he was not bleeding, it was really only a scratch. I explained to him that Pingy would never intentionally hurt him but he needs to understand about not getting in her face. Pingy was of course banished to her basket and then while Ross and I were shnoogying on the bed, wiping away his tears, we called Pingy to join us. She came back on to the bed somewhat reluctantly and it was clear to all of us that she was feeling really shitty about what she had done. Pingy is an exceptionally intelligent dog, and she is truly an integral part of our family. I was pleased when Ross took it upon himself to comfort and stroke her, assuring her that it was OK and that we all still love her.

After Ross went to sleep, I lay in bed thinking about that look on his face right after Pingy snapped at him. This total shock and disbelief that someone you love and care for would do something to hurt you.

A string of extremely unfortunate events unfolded between me and my step-daughter this week. The fallout has held this family perilously on the brink of crisis ever since and it has been quite horrible. As I reflected on the emotions expressed on Ross’ face, I realized that how he looked is how I have been feeling this last week. There is something overwhelmingly upsetting when someone from within your closest circle does something you never thought they would do.

How does one find the balance between giving your children the freedom to grow and trying to get them to see that you are not limiting them or holding them back when you teach them values? Values that your experience has shown you the world – and life – respond well to. Perhaps someone out there knows better than I how to effectively communicate to your children that all you want from them – ‘cos hey, we know ‘expect’ is a dirty word! – is, just, be nice!

Monday, October 17, 2005


Marti and Glenn have been planning their wedding since they returned from their summer vacation in Slovakia. Marti went home to visit with her parents, family and friends for three weeks. Glenn joined her for the last ten days and they returned to the USA engaged to be married.

When Marti and I went with Justine and Alyson to choose a bridal gown, we were surprised by how shocked the attendants were that we had the audacity to be in the store planning a wedding a few weeks away, rather than a year in advance. Giving them little but no choice other than to get over themselves, we went ahead and started the selection process. When you look like Marti does, you can take any rag, put it on and look stunning. By the end of the evening, in spite of the Tiara in my hair, I was feeling distinctly overweight and traumatized about what I would wear to this event. In a relatively painless process, Marti went back to the dress of her original choice, having tried several other gowns on. In spite of the numerous weddings of my own that I have been through, I still am not sure I fully understand what it is about a wedding day that turns even the most un-Barbie-ish women into obsessive princesses. From the moment the dress was chosen, life turned into a process of the most serious commitment to perfection that I have seen in a long time. Unless Marti has a secret stash somewhere that I really don’t know about, she has proven to me that projects can be achieved without lists and the incessant use of highlighters.

In addition to having to bring a huge amount of details together in a really short space of time, the bridal couple had to endure the stress of Marti’s parents applying for visas to visit the USA and then on getting them, being allowed entry into the country. This success of this largely depends on the mood of the immigration official that greets you at the airport. On the day they arrived, the one single question the immigration officer asked her parents was whether the man their daughter is marrying is a nice guy. Imagine the relief when they said “yes” and the official was sufficiently satisfied to grant them entry into the USA. From the moment they arrived, it felt like all details had been covered and we were now well on the road to a perfect celebration.

Preceding the parents’ arrival by three hours, the rain started. It continued through the weekend and was still here on Monday. By the day before the wedding, possibly because it had rained continuously through the week, the rain was now coming through the roof of where the reception was being held, and landing on the dance floor. The manager of the venue assured Marti that it would be repaired by the time the wedding guests would start arriving the next day.

If we all felt like ducks as we waded our way into the church, we were soon followed by a swan that graced us with her beautiful presence. I really can’t adequately describe my feelings as I watched Marti, in all her splendor, stand and take her vows with Glenn. All I can say is that I was overcome with emotion. From deep inside my soul my emotions came to the surface and there was nothing I could do to stop the tears, so I let them flow. I have always known that my relationship with Marti is karmic, and while this story is not about me, but about her and Glenn, I got a deep sense of completion as I watched them become husband and wife. I felt very much like my mission had been accomplished and it was now time to sit back and watch the rest of the story unfold. There is no doubt in my mind and heart that the road to this destination started in London, the day I first interviewed Marti as a potential Au Pair six years ago.

The wedding ceremony was followed by a beautiful reception where lots of joyful dancing took place on a dry floor. If Ross could have climbed under Marti’s veil and attached himself to her hip, I think he would have done it. In spite of the joy I was feeling for their obvious happiness, I felt a sense of sadness for Ross because I think he realized that this change in Marti’s life brings with it a natural shift of priorities. I think he senses that her focus too has now shifted and he misses having her living in the house with us. He enjoys the same sense of security that I get from her and being without her is an adjustment we will both make together.

Although it is apparently not customary for the groom to make a speech, Glenn stood up and addressed the party. He spoke so lovingly about how he and Marti had met through the introduction made by his friend and our mutual Doctor, and myself. He expressed how certain he was this was their true destiny and how he has never felt so sure about anything else he has ever done in his life. He spoke about his desire to have children with Marti because he knew they would be as beautiful and wonderful as her. Is that not the most loving and uplifting acknowledgement anyone could ask for? This brought Marti to tears of joy.

The room looked beautiful. There was a lightness about everything that made absolutely every aspect of this celebration special. Given that our lives are a consequence of the choices we make, I am always surprised how often we forget how easy it is to choose to be nice to each other. There is something about a wedding that makes the world feel like a place where nothing can go wrong. As naive as this may sound, it is so much easier to be kind, and nice and to let our love for each other flow – why do we sometimes choose any other way?

God Bless you Marti and Glenn ~ May all your dreams be realized. You truly bring joy to everyone in your path and may God continue to smile down on you, always.

It's official - we're getting married - the License is now in the making.

Outside our Borough office where I signed as witness to their Marriage License. It really felt like putting my own daughter on the road to wife-dom! Thanks for giving me this honor, Manka!

Part of my Bridal Shower gifts for Marti were these 'word art' messages to remind her to always believe in her dreams.

Ross' choice for his Bridal Shower gift for Marti.

If I were asked to put a face to one of my Guardian Angels, this would be it.

One of many tender moments that made this such a beautiful celebration of their love for each other.

Yummy Groom, Yummy Cake, Yummy Bride

Marti and her Dad, Jaro.

No comment necessary.

Shouting the odds already ... you go, girl!

This pic of Ross applauding Glenn & Marti just makes me go *sob*gulp*

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


This week marked the start of a project I have been working on for some time now. I am not ready to share the details of the full picture as like all things, it is a process that has a beginning, which will progress to its middle, and ultimately, the end will mark the next new beginning of where it will go from there. The beginning part of the process is in the making, and when that is done, I will be ready to share it all.

What I am ready to share is my excitement. I am excited because I am confident. I feel energized. I use this phrase often, and I am happy that I have done it; I have put it out there!