Monday, August 20, 2007

Horn Tootin'

Very busy with back-to-school stuff - my teaching that is. The kids still have two more weeks off, the lucky devils. I have been so busy that I neglected to post the link to my current piece of published writing in Common Ties. Axel's Chair is the true story of a psychic Postmaster in a small Michigan town during the Depression - a story that has been passed down in my family for years.

For the photo geeks among you, the picture above is a cyanotype printed on watercolor paper.
So...this is just a little of what my family would call "Tootin' my own horn" here (never to be confused with bragging...)


Thursday, August 02, 2007

Henry's Birthday

I can’t believe it is your birthday Henry, and that you are fifteen. That still isn’t very old in the grand scheme of things, but like most annoying and embarrassing moms, I must say that it seems like you were a baby only about two weeks ago. I can still remember your tiny little warm self nestled on my chest like a loaf of fresh baked bread in the hospital blanket, and that ecstatic but also bewildered feeling that all new parents have. They were actually going to let us take you home? This tiny baby? As If I knew what I was doing? No instruction manual – just the little pack of diapers, some ointment and a ridiculous miniature rubber toy that we dubbed the $15,000.00 teddy bear, courtesy of Alta Bates Hospital. I still have it, of course.

Like all smitten new parents, we videotaped hours of you propped in your baby seat drooling and smiling. Deadly dull to most except the grandparents, we thought it was the Greatest Show on Earth. Your brother, simply by virtue of being the second child, didn’t get quite as much coverage. This might not be such a bad deal for him – less opportunity for embarrassment later on…

It was so hard to imagine back then what you would be like. I couldn’t picture an adult’s or even an older child’s face morphing from those fat cheeks and those big puppy dog eyes. I couldn’t imagine your grown-up personality. Would you be quiet or loud? Extroverted or shy? Artistic? Athletic? But in hindsight, I see that it was all already there; the way you would focus on a toy when you were an infant, examining it for long minutes, turning it slowly in your chubby little hands. Your quick smile, your quicker mind, your speed careening around the house as a toddler, later on the soccer field. All of this leads me to believe that personalities are indeed hard-wired. But here you are, skinny and growing taller fast, looking eye to eye with me now, those same eyes in a much leaner face, that same smile (with teeth now), that same focus and discipline and wit. I have grown to love every stage. I’m amused by it all; the i-pod, the skateboards and computer game obsessions, the music, the laughing at the same stuff your dad and I Iaugh at (because we are perpetual adolescents too, it seems. Lucky you!), the new independence you have, and how well you handle it all. Happy Birthday Henry,

I love you,

Love, Mom.