Tuesday, May 8, 2012

How I Met Your Father

In Spanish class.  Because of Señora Dolores Flores.  Sean did not actually speak directly to me until much later.  But our crucial encounter began with Dolores Flores.  A pequeño, loud and muy, muy passionate teacher of the Spanish palabra. 

When did Sean and I realize we would be together forever?  Did I drop my lápiz on the floor and as we both reached to pick it up we hit cabezas?  Or maybe it was during our touching rendition of No Se Tu, the favorite amor song of Señora Dolores Flores.  The song she made our class listen to and sing, in Spanish, together, over and over, sitting in a circle, and squirming uncomfortably as we struggled to avoid eye contact. 

Surprisingly, this was not the moment our true love sparked.  Sean says he knew the day I came to class wearing a red pleated wool skirt, black combat boots laced to my knees, and an I Voted! sticker.  I did not catch his eye because I Voted! but because no sorority hermana in her right mind would have let me leave the sorority casa wearing that skirt and those boots.  And Sean thought it was muy awesomo that I wasn't in a sorority. (For the record, awesomo is not technically a Spanish word.) 

And if I'm being honest this was not one of those the-world-stops-and-you-see-your-bride-to-be moment.  He did not say to himself, "Ay bien, this is the chica I have been looking for all my vida."  He was just a college boy after all, hormones raging.  It was probably something more along the lines of, "Esta chica!  She is muy bueno.  I would like to besar la cara."
But still, Sean did not speak to me during clase - even after the red pleated wool skirt día.  It wasn't until after we had said goodbye to Señora Dolores Flores and had all gone our separate caminos españoles.

Months later, Sean calls me out of the blue and says, "Hola.  This is Sean from your clase española. ¿Pasará una fecha conmigo?"

Surprised, but pleased to be asked, I emphatically reply, "¡Sí!"

And the rest, as they say, es historia.

* For those of you gringos who were not in my Spanish class, you can go to this site to translate my awesomo Spanish.   http://www.freetranslation.com/


Thursday, May 3, 2012


Am I a good mom?  I could ask my kids but they tend to give me the company line.  "You are the best mommy in the whole world.  Can we have candy?"

Or I could ask my husband.  But as he works for the same company he follows a similar corporate policy. "You are the most amazing mom in the whole world.  Can we have sex?"

I could also ask the dog since he bears witness to the majority of my mothering moments.  But he only barks and whines and I hear enough of that as a mom.

So I will evaluate my performance based upon anecdotal data.  This will give me an unbiased and surely favorable report on my undoubtedly life-changing role as a mom.

Spring Break
Fourteen years ago this phrase had a dramatically different meaning for me.  Think post-exam week, friends, maybe a beach or some other exotic location, a road trip of more than 12 hours, Coors Light, late nights and slow mornings.

Today, Spring Break means a welcomed break from all things scheduled.  No racing to the bus, finding lost socks, forcing children to bathe, homework, after-school activities, yada, yada, yada.  This past Spring Break, Sean did not have to travel so for the first time in a long time, our family was going to be home and together, and we had no plans.

I felt sure that this week would be filled with parent/child bonding moments, the likes of which our household had not seen. I envisioned crafts that needed glitter and hot glue guns, games played with laughter and healthy competition, hikes where we would discover the promising signs of spring, and peaceful bedtimes.

But then we decided to stain our deck, and after that, paint the bathroom, and after that hang new lights in our hallway...and, well, you get the picture. We kinda forgot about bonding opportunities in pursuit of home improvement.

One afternoon I walked into the house to find that Ella had made oatmeal for the other two kids. But the oatmeal looked off somehow. "What's wrong with the oatmeal?" I asked. "We used orange juice. Mom, we haven't had milk in days." Fail.

This was terrible. But I could fix it. It was just Wednesday and there were still amazing bonding moments to be had.

"Children! Let's go swimming!"
"Hooray!" they whooped.

So we gathered our things and drove down to our pool singing and laughing the entire way (at least to the end of the driveway). It was open swim time and we had all afternoon to frolic in the pool. As we walked in, swim gear in tow, we were quietly told that today was not open swim day. That was yesterday. But, if we'd like, the pool was open for 10 more minutes and we could go ahead and swim until close. We got into the frigid indoor pool, splashed around for a few minutes then headed back home, very cold. Fail.

Back at home my friend joined me with her kids and we turned the rest of the afternoon into a play date. Happy to see their friends the kids ran off to play. We strolled outside, each of us claiming an adirondack chair, poured a glass of chilled white wine and toasted to a fine afternoon. Success.

Now this was Spring Break.


"Keira called 911!"  Keira, crying hysterically, "I did not. It only rang once and then I hung up."

In the distance I hear sirens blaring. In minutes, a cop car comes screeching up our road and into our driveway. There I sit sprawled on the adirondack chair with a glass of wine in hand, kids crying, toys strewn about the yard.

Hmmm...police, alcohol, crying...sounds like Spring Break 1997. Or an episode of Cops. Fail.

So, let's rephrase the question. Am I a good Spring Break mom? No. But there's always summer.