Hamilton #SOL17

I can see the way the other people in the park look at me.  I’m running with my jogging stroller, enjoying a rare morning at home.  My daughter is starting to whine.  The whine grows louder and louder.  It is nearly a cry.  How selfish, I can hear them thinking.  She should take that baby home.

But I know what will calm my girl.  I slow to a walk and remove my phone from the basket of the carriage.  “OK,” I assure her.  “Mommy will put on your tunes.”  I scroll through my albums and hit play.  Not shuffle.  She hates shuffle.

Dun dundundundun dundun 

How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore . . .

If the people doing their laps of the park weren’t judging me before they are surely judging me now.

They may not be able to hear it over the hiphop coming from my phone, but my daughter’s whining has stopped.  I don’t have to look down at her to know this for sure.  It always stops when I put on Hamilton.

IMG_1240

A VERY old picture, but it shows how deep her love runs.

When we were in the hospital with her after she was born, there was no television in the room.  So my husband and I listened to the Hamilton original cast recording, which had come out the week before.  We had seen the show several times: once on Broadway, once off-Broadway, and once in a concert version at Lincoln Center.  He is a history teacher, I am a theatre nerd.  It was a natural fit.

 

And when I would drive with her to see my mother and grandmother, when she was so small she barely fit in the car seat, I would listen to it to calm my nerves.  And somehow it just became the songs she liked.  Now whenever we are in the car and she fusses we play it.  She calms down immediately.  For her, Lin-Manuel Miranda is an old friend.  When she sees him on TV she stops and sits and watches with an attention that is usually only reserved for Elmo or another resident of Sesame Street.  (The first character’s name she could say was Murray.  Is it a coincidence that Lin-Manuel sings Murray’s song?  Probably not.)

 

My girl and I finished 3 glorious miles in the sunshine today.  It’s supposed to snow tomorrow.  At some point one or both of us will get cabin fever from being cooped up all weekend.  Fortunately, I’ll know I have my secret weapon.

Advertisements

8 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Little Purple Flowers #SOL17

crocus5

These are not my crocuses, but they sure are pretty!

We moved into our new house during Thanksgiving weekend.  Sometimes it feels like we’ve been living there for years.  Other times it feels like we are trespassing in someone else’s space.  We have painted and put new floors down; taken down wall paper and put up our pictures.  We are starting to make the space our own.

Our new house still surprises and mystifies us.  We don’t know how to turn on the lights in the back deck.  There are outlets everywhere.  The house creaks and groans in the wind.

Still, we are learning.  How to drain water off the pool cover (we have a pool!).  How high we need to set the heat at night.  How quickly our ice maker can make ice after a party.

This morning as I walked out our front door I noticed them: tiny purple crocuses peeking through the dirt.  I grew up in an apartment in Brooklyn but spent many years helping my grandfather and then aunt plant these flowers.  I know they need to be put in the ground in the early fall, just as we put an offer in on the house.  The previous owners planted these flowers knowing (or at least hoping) they would never see them.  Now they are here to welcome us.  Purple is my favorite color.

I want to remember these purple flowers and the joy they brought me this morning: spring is almost here; our house’s surprises can be good; time marches on whether we’re noticing it or not.  And this fall I’ll be sure to plant crocuses again.

 

This post is part of the Slice of Life writing challenge hosted by Two Writing Teachers.  You can find out more about the challenge here!

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Marathoning Meb

I wrote this today as an entry to a contest to run in the 2017 NYC Marathon alongside Meb Keflezighi, my favorite runner.  I am not an elite runner by any stretch of the imagination, but Meb inspires me. 

 

Meb is the reason I thought I could run a marathon. Corny, but true. I watched Meb in the 2012 Olympics, after I’d completed my first half marathon. Meb is an everyman. He doesn’t look like the other runners; he doesn’t act like the other runners. Meb is a friend you’re cheering on, not an imposing elite athlete.

I ran the 2012 Marine Corps Marathon with my twin sister. We were both undertrained and nervous. We dedicated each mile to a member of our family or our friend group. Our first mile, though, was to Meb. “To Meb,” my sister said as we ran the past the mile marker. “Who got us started in the first place.”

IMG_4382

My sister, husband, and I at the end of the 2012 Marine Corps Marathon

I haven’t run a marathon since 2013 or a half marathon since 2015. I had a baby, was beset by injuries. But when I told my sister (who had also been plagued with injuries) I thought I might hang up my shoes she was aghast. “You can’t quit!” she said. “What would Meb think?!” So we bought Meb’s book and we’re both back in the proverbial race. She is racing the NYC Half in March; I’m racing the Brooklyn Half in May. We’d both hoped to get into the marathon so we could say we ran with Meb.

I may never meet Meb. But I know him. And he’s changed me.   That’s why I’d be honored to run with him in NYC this fall.

This post is part of the Slice of Life writing challenge hosted by Two Writing Teachers.  You can find out more about the challenge here!

2 Comments

Filed under running, SOL17, Uncategorized

Dance Party #SOL17

My daughter is silly.  I wish she was snuggly.  I wish she was a kid who wanted to crawl in my lap and sit together, showering each other with kisses and hugs.  But she’s not.  She’s a kid who will kiss every stuffed animal you hand her, but who will run away giggling when her mother or father puckers up.  She is a kid who will pull me into her tent (“Momom.  Tent.”) to hide from Dad, breaking into hysterics as he pretends to look for us.

IMG_4250

My silly girl, laughing with a mouth full of scrambled eggs.

I was a silly kid.  I was a silly adolescent.  I was a silly young adult.  But somewhere between freshman year of high school and freshman year of college I lost a little of that silliness.  It still came out from time to time (a joke, a funny face), but self-consciousness about peers and boys and my body took over.  Then came college and I was serious, a competitor, cool.  And the silliness was almost all gone.

My husband brings out my silliness.  He is a goofball to say the least.  But even though I am silly with him, I am often reserved.  I don’t skip or jump or play games.  I write lists; I make plans; I stand with both feet firmly on the ground.

I come from a silly family.  I have very clear memories of my father playing The Little Mermaid soundtrack on a portable tape player and dancing through the lobby of our apartment building.  He made up voices on our way to school to make us giggle and wake us up (Olly and Dr. Ishkabibble, although he claims he does not remember this).  I know I want to be that silly mom for my daughter; I don’t want her laughs to only come with Dad.

So tonight as I was making her dinner and she colored in her high chair I put on a Disney Spotify playlist.  I found myself dancing as I flipped her scrambled eggs (my girl LOVES scrambled eggs.  Yuck.) when all of a sudden a heard a giggle.  I turned and she was looking at me, marker poised over her paper, giggling.

“What are you laughing at, silly girl?”  I asked.  She reached her hand out for mine.  I walked over to her and she began to swing my hand back and forth, giggling.  She wanted to dance.

So I turned the scrambled eggs off.  They needed to cool anyway.  And I danced.  I jumped and I skipped and I did my best Tina Turner as I sang to Disney classics (and not so classics.  But that’s another story.).  And my girl laughed and laughed.  After dinner we continued our dance party, this time with her joining me in my sweet moves until my husband came home.  As he walked in, we were both giggling uproariously, as we jumped chasing each other around the island in our kitchen.  He joined in and I got to take a deep breath.  My silly stamina isn’t quite where it should be, but I’m getting there.

This post is part of the Slice of Life writing challenge hosted by Two Writing Teachers.  You can find out more about the challenge here!

5 Comments

Filed under Baby McK, SOL17

Sunday Night #SOL17

slice-of-life

There’s something both sad and hopeful about Sunday night.

On the one hand, the weekend is over and with the end of the weekend comes the  beginning of responsibility again.

On the other hand, the week stretches out before me like a blank piece of paper.  All of the mistakes and the missteps of the week before can be avoided this week.  I can get up early, I can be productive, I can stop procrastinating.  I can be kinder, eat better, run more.

This Sunday night found baby McK in bed early, my husband and I eating leftovers, a favorite movie on TV.  I don’t imagine that we’ll last later than 10:30 tonight.  It was a good weekend but a long one.  Baseball season has begun and with it my husband’s calendar fills up.  We’ve got at least two if not three late nights this week.  We’ll need our rest.

Still, I’m choosing to look at the glass half full this week; to see the possibilities instead of mourning the end of the weekend.  Here’s hoping that will set the tone!

This post is part of the Slice of Life writing challenge hosted by Two Writing Teachers.  You can find out more about the challenge here!

 

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Libraries #SOL17

There’s something magical about libraries, isn’t there? 

The possibility of all of those unread books.  All of the things to learn, the stories to read, the lives to live.  

Baby McK and I went to the library today to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday.  The program started at 10 this morning.  Foolishly, we arrived at 10.  When the library opened.  We couldn’t have possibly known that people had begun getting there at 9:30 to get a good spot.  (Well, to be fair, a responsible Mom might have known.  I did not.). 

So the program was packed (and probably skewed a little old for our 17 month old anyway) so we went into the children’s room where we had the run of the place.  She took book after book off the shelf and lef them in her wake.  The staff had signs everywhere reminding parents that little hands would take things off the shelf and that that was fine, they would tidy at the end of the day.  She sat and read.  And read.  And read.  Mommy’s baby, for sure.


I had a magical idea that, when we were done, she would indulge me and let me peruse the adult new arrivals.  But as we walked towards the circulation desk to check out her books (her first library books!), she caught sight of the balloons and gift bags given to all of the little attendees today.  Needless to say, mom did not get her novel on.

Still, I have so many fond memories of taking book after book off the shelf in my own library, the Flatlands branch of the Brooklyn Public Library.  It was nice to see my girl do the same today.

6 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Alone #SOL17

I am not often alone.  You might this lack of solitude stems from my role as mother to a precocious toddler who often accompanies “momom” to the bathroom.  Or my role as ELA Supervisor, where I am surrounded by students and teachers.  Or the fact that I am happily married to a man who is my best friend whom I love to be around.  All of these things are true.  But my togetherness started a long time ago.

See, I am an identical twin.  And as an identical twin growing up in New York City, I was glued to my sister’s side for most of my adolescence.  We were allowed to go places–take trains and buses and walk–if we were together.  So my sister and I stuck together.  In fact, I can distinctly remember the first time, as a college freshman, I went to the Barnes and Noble by myself.  There was no one to rush me through the fiction section to get to boring History, no one to nag me not to spend too much money.  It was a surreal feeling.

But I relish my alone time.  I don’t get it very often, but when I do get it I savor it.  Tonight, after a long day at work and buying my mom a birthday gift and what seemed like endless traffic I came home to relieve my mother in law.  My husband had baseball tryouts today (anyone else always want to call tryouts auditions?  Just me?) and then he was going out to dinner with a friend.  So it was just me and my girl and then it would just be me.  I had an evening of running and reading planned for once she went to sleep.

Fate, or the stomach bug she had yesterday, intervened.  I was giving my girl her nighttime bottle, her first milk of the day since we thought she was still recovering from yesterday’s bout of stomach stuff, when she looked at me with sweet eyes and said, “All done.”  Then she promptly vomited all over me.  And the couch.  And the rug.

Fortunately, none of it got on her.  And after her initial fright all she wanted was more Elmo and CooMon (the Cookie Monster doll she sleeps with).  So I cleaned up.  And I poured a big glass of wine and made pasta for one and wrote about it.  Now I’ll watch TV my husband doesn’t watch (hello, Bravo!) and enjoy the rest of my evening.  Alone.

This post is part of the Slice of Life writing challenge hosted by Two Writing Teachers.  You can find out more about the challenge here!

 

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized