Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Great Pumpkin (Myth)

Let's all face up to an important fact: if you are a parent to a 5-year-old, the tradition of pumpkin carving is not carried on for your child; it is planned and executed for your enjoyment. And only yours. Past the initial act of stabbing the gourd with a huge butcher knife and extracting the first handful of "orange guts," your child doesn't give a rip about the process; in fact, those dreaded four words - "Mommy, this is boring" - are within minutes of being uttered.

I selected three pumpkins for this year's carving and I couldn't get B to commit. Finally, today, he relented and saddled up to the bar for what would be the shortest pumpkin carving session in our household's history.

Seriously, he was outta there in 10 minutes flat, leaving me with three faces to carve and a mess of seeds and "orange guts." I enticed him back to the kitchen, briefly, by showing him how to pop out an eye with the knife. He was mildly amused, for about a second, then asked, "Can I watch a movie now?"

To top it off, once I had three completed, albeit not pretty, faces completed, I tried one last time to capture the memory. "One picture," I begged. "Pleeeeeeeaaaaaasssssseeeeee?"

Ten M&Ms later, I had B's mug, along with the other three, cataloged under "Halloween 08."

My girlfriend, S, upon hearing this story, passed on a great tip. Virtual pumpkin carving. We're so in on that next year.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Six Degrees In Sacramento

I’ve long thought that Sacramento residents aren’t separated by the common “six degree” rule. It’s more like three degrees here.

In a city of nearly a half million people (not counting outlying areas such as Elk Grove and Roseville), it is possible to make a morning run to Starbucks and see a friend (or two) that you’ve been meaning to call. An hour later, latte in hand and strolling through Trader Joe’s, you’ll run into a mom from your son’s preschool days, someone you haven’t seen in two years. After you’ve picked your child up from school, you’ll decide that you and he both need a treat and you’ll head to the neighborhood McDonald’s where three people from the gym are enjoying their treats and letting their kids run off energy in the gigantic play structure. See what I mean?

This is a great way to live, in most aspects. Who doesn’t love a strong sense of community? But when you’re trying to date, Sacramento can sometimes feel, well, a little incestuous. Case in point:

A couple of weeks ago, I agreed to meet “M” for a drink at a popular, new downtown restaurant. M and I had only dialogued on email. I knew that he was within a couple of years of my age, that he had a child around B’s age, and that he had a solid career. I had also seen several pictures - he was definitely attractive and athletic. So far, so good.

“The pictures represented him well, “I thought as we sat down at the bar together. Then he opened his mouth.

He began by complaining about his ex-wife. A lot of details which I can’t remember and didn’t much care about. I inquired as to what he liked to do with his daughter for fun, hoping to move the conversation in another direction. He then proceeded to tell me about his circle of divorced dad friends and the outings that they all enjoyed with their 6-year-old daughters. Then he mentioned the names of the children.

I made a quick connection to one of the kids.

“Wait a minute,” I interjected. “Isn’t that child’s mom ‘so and so?’”

“Yes,” he answered. “ “How did you know?”

“Ummmm.” I stalled. “She’s actually one of my good friends.” “Oh!” he says. “Well, I don’t have anything against HER.”

“That’s good,” I reply. “I was just at her house for a book club last night.”

We sit in silence for a moment. Then my brain finally turns on and it’s making connections faster than B can finish a preschool dot-to-dot game (and that’s pretty darn fast!).

“Wait a minute. If your daughter is L, then your ex-wife must be ‘so and so.’”

He looks at me in surprise. “You know her?”

“Yes, I do,” I reply.

And then my stomach starts to clench and the noise in the bar gets a little loud, and my face is starting to turn red as it does when I’m embarrassed and I don’t know what to do.

In this instant, I’m remembering his really lovely ex-wife. I met her at a birthday party for another child over a year ago and have since seen her at a couple of social gatherings, nothing recent, but I recall distinctly how sweet she is and how awful her ex-husband sounded.

“Will you excuse me for a moment?”

I get up and go to the restroom. Is there a window I can crawl out of? No such luck. Splash cold water on my face, regroup, go back out and say, “Gosh, it’s getting late. I really need to get home.”

M says, “I’d love to see you again.”

I think I stammer something like, “Um, OK. But I can get to my car myself. Really.”

Ironically enough, I hadn’t seen the lovely ex-wife since last Christmas, at a party. Then, just three days after my date with M, I ran into her at a yoga class. I had forgotten how stunning she is. She gave me a hug and told me that she’d heard the story of my encounter with M. Word (and good gossip) travels fast in Sac-Town. I had an overwhelming urge to apologize profusely for being out on a date with her ex.

Thankfully, she lightened up the situation by saying, “He looks great on paper. I would have gone on a date with him myself. Oh, well I guess I did!”

We had a good laugh over her comment and when M sent me a text to inquire whether or not he’d survived the rumor mill, I told him no. Nothing personal, but no. No way.

My new fear is that I’m going to end up on a date with someone from my ex-husband’s work place. Now that’s an incestuous lot. So I think I better stick to the out-of-towners for now.

To that end, I’m meeting up with K from San Francisco on Saturday. No ties to Sacramento. No ex-wife. No kids. Perfect.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

More Senior Moments

This evening, I was reflecting on my day and I realized that all of my morning clients were over 70 years old.

My morning started at 8:30am with a 74-year-old woman who has arthritis "everywhere including my eyes," as she says and the morning ended with three ladies in a group session who are all in their mid-70s.

Truth be told, working with the mature population can be frustrating at times. Take this morning's group session. Three women on three Reformers. The directions go something like this:

"OK, I want you to lengthen your right leg, point your toe and draw your navel into your spine."

Two left legs go up and one right leg bends out to the side.

"Let's all try that again. Extend your right leg to the ceiling. Then point your toe."

One right leg goes up. One left leg drops out to the side. And one head looks up at me, while both legs stay down.


The fine details of Pilates - i.e. the pointed toes, the long lines of graceful movement, the contracted abdominal muscles - can easily be lost on this generation. I've come to accept that fact and to work carefully and (mostly) patiently with each person. They reward me tremendously for my efforts.

My early at-home morning client brought in an eggplant from her garden and a decorative pillow that she found at Long's for $7.00. She had been on a quest for the perfect pillow for weeks and was quite excited about showing me her find. I get these little bits of pleasure sprinkled throughout my days. Sometimes, it's in the form of something edible and yummy (like freshly baked cookies) and other times, it'll be updated pictures of grandkids, a new recipe, or a book they think I might like.

I love that I have a client base, that, for the most part, is more interested in the way that they feel rather than the way that they look. And, in the process, they make me feel pretty good too.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Senior Moments

This morning, I taught a Senior Fitness class at the club where I do the majority of my Pilates training. It's not my normal class; I was filling in for an instructor who is on vacation.

I absolutely love it when I have the opportunity to teach this class. I don't love the time - 7:30am - or the fact that the class jams right up against my Advanced Pilates group at 8:30am, thus creating a bit of a stressful transition.

But I love the people. At least 15 seniors show up on a regular basis. Even more if they find out that I'm their subsitute teacher (they say I'm easier than the regular instructor!).

We do a half an hour of light weights, followed by a half an hour of stretching. The average age of the group is probably around 75.

During the hour, I'll call out an exerise - let's use bicep curls as an example - and two-thirds of the group will do something completely different. In what way does a lunge resemble a bicep curl? I'm mostly laughing during the class because of all the moaning and groaning they're doing over their 2 pound dumbell exercises.

The hour flies by. Then it's hugs all around, big thanks to me for being their teacher and lots of inquiries as to when I'll be back. What a way to start the day.

I reflect for the rest of the day on how dedicated these seniors are. Until I show up at my evening yoga class, and my 86-year-old yogi is the first in class, rolling out her mat, and requesting the "hip" music, "not the boring, instrumental stuff." And then I'm downright amazed.

My "mature" yogi friend has outlived her husband; her kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids are far away and she thinks that yoga, instead of reality TV, keeps her young. I think I could learn a lot from her.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Austerity and Hair Color

I am trying to live on a budget. Tough economic times, single mom, part-time fitness trainer, enough said.

But I still need to look good (and somewhat young!) for this great dating life that I keep conjuring in my imagination and for my clients, all of whom I’m trying to convince that Pilates is, indeed, the ticket to eternal youth.

So in an effort to be more frugal AND to cover up the grays in a timely manner, I purchased a $9.99 product from Rite Aid called Pro Root Touch-Up by Marc Anthony.

It took me a week and a glass of wine to muster up the courage to “Just twist, shake & apply!” Marc Anthony makes it sound so easy on the box. It’s the directions inside the box that are very evasive…“Let color stay on hair for 15 to 35 minutes.”

Note to Marc Anthony: When it comes to messing with your hair color, twenty minutes is a very large window of time! I could be leaving the house tomorrow in a hat, frantically dialing any salon in Sacramento that might happen to be open on a Sunday and lamenting the fact that I left the color on for twenty minutes or even ten minutes past my hair’s natural threshold for absorbing new color.

Oh, and did I mention that they only make “Pro Root Touch-Up” in the category of Permanent hair color?

I decided to let the color sit on my hair for 22 minutes. This amount of time seemed to be a nice, happy medium.

Twenty-three minutes later, I had my head in the kitchen sink. Twenty-five minutes later, I was blow-drying.

And you know what? My hair looked pretty good. There were definitely some spots that I overlooked but application #2 on Sunday night, for 35 minutes this time, pretty much wiped out all the remnants of pre-mature graying and brought me back to my "30-something" image.

I think I’m sold. At least until next month... when my glamorous dating life is really in full swing and when my clients all decide that my services are worth much, much more than what they’ve been paying.

And by then, maybe I’ll even have the eyebrow waxing mastered!

At the top of this post is a (overexposed) picture of the “Pro Root Touch-Up” kit. That’s my thumbprint on the box. It’s really not a tidy process.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Soundtrack To My Childhood

Last night, my sister (“A”) and I met my dad and his wife for a concert in downtown Modesto. A and I had been excited about this concert since my dad mentioned the prospect of procuring tickets.

We (A and myself) have been lifelong fans of Amy Grant. In our extreme fundamentalist church, Amy Grant was on the very short list of “approved” music choices. Her late 80s album, “Lead Me On” would become the cassette tape that we listened to most…through our high school years, into college and then in the CD format, into our adult years. To bring it all full circle, Modesto is our home town; the place where we listened to Amy the most.

This was a special concert because it was the 20 year reunion of the original “Lead Me On” tour. A and I were elated to get to re-live almost every single song on that album. At the onset of the show, Amy announced that she wouldn’t be performing anything produced after 1988. We knew we were in for a treat.

What I didn’t expect was the outpouring of emotion. Within seconds of Amy’s first song onstage (“Her Father’s Eyes), A was in tears. Big, audible tears. As for myself, I have this thing about crying in front of my dad (it’s a pride thing; I should probably get over it), but I too, was welling up.

There are several factors that I believe were at work here.

First off, Amy Grant was an icon to us. She was our beacon of light in a church setting that leaned toward being dark and rigid. Amy was fun, stylish, and edgy. She didn’t sing about dogma; her songs were warm and compassionate. We wanted to be like her. We wanted to be her.

Amy saw us through some tough times. A and I didn’t interact much during our high school years and our relationship continued to be strained into college. In 1990, we somehow managed to take a road trip, together, to Fresno with tickets in hand to see our first Amy Grant show. I can’t remember the details of why we went together and why we didn’t include any other friends. At any rate, I don’t remember speaking to her all the way to Fresno, nor do I remember any conversation on the ride home. But I do recall the feeling I had at the concert, while we sat together, singing along to our favorite Amy songs - word by word. I finally had the feeling, after 18 years, that I was connecting with my sister.

In 1991, I went off to college and had my first experience with a roommate. A moody, broody, and difficult roommate. She finally came out of her emotional cave after several days of being snappish and withdrawn to share her music collection with me. We discovered that we had the same Amy Grant tapes and that we shared an affinity for her music. Amy became a mainstay in our dorm room. That “Lead Me On” tape was played over and over through many late nights of studying.

When my parents divorced in 1993, my sister found great comfort in the song, “All Right.” I would later come to appreciate what she had found in these lyrics during my own divorce in 1995.

I took an “Amy break” in the late 90s in favor of Coldplay, Cake, Counting Crows, and U2. In fact, my “Lead Me On” CD got pushed way, way back on the shelf. I admit, I didn’t listen to it before the concert, in part, because of all the memories that Amy’s music always brings back.

But, at the concert, every word came back to me and lots of memories, too. Via cell phone, after the concert, I asked my sister, “What is it, with her music? Why all the powerful emotion? ” A had a great answer: “It’s like the soundtrack to our childhood.” And she’s so right. The good, the not-so-good, the great, absolutely everything is contained in that single album.

It was obvious that "Lead Me On, despite its age, really charges Amy up. Watching her perform, it was like she hadn’t aged a day (the long hair and the super toned body don’t hurt!). Interestingly, Amy’s had her good and not-so-good moments in the last 20 years as well. A highly publicized affair pretty much nixed her name straight off the “Christian” music circuit. She even announced during the show that her ex-husband was on the original tour and then made a joke about the prospect of having him tour again this time. She also eluded to her “screw ups” over the last 20 years.

I’m glad, so glad, that my sister and I have our Amy songs and our shared appreciation of how powerful her music is. It’s a special bond that I only share with A. And we both know how very unique that bond is.

We’re already counting the days until her next concert. We’ll probably need even more Klee-nex by then.

"All Right"
Looking out to the hills, to the setting sun
I feel a cold wind bound to come
Another change, another end I cannot see
But your faithfulness to me is making it all right
I fall down on my knees
Tell me that it's all right
You give me what I need
Years of knocking on heaven's door have taught me this if nothing more
That it's all right, what may come.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Quality Time

(Warning: Long post. Very detailed. Several less-than-positive references to “the ex.”)

So I go to the airport to pick up B and his dad on Monday night. I’m excited to see B; it’s been 7 days since they’ve left for their Maui vacation. Big hugs, kisses and smiles for Mommy. Absence, particularly from your child, indeed makes the heart grow warmer.

It’s nearly 10pm when the bags are collected and we’re all settled into the car. B’s hungry. He wants a parfait from McDonald’s. I’m a bit concerned with bedtime. Tomorrow is a big school day, with a field trip to the pumpkin patch. “Don’t worry,“ B’s dad says. “B slept on the plane.“

The first McDonald’s is closed; the second McDonald’s is out of parfaits. After some negotiating, B settles on a cheeseburger and the McDonald’s fruit plate. If we were in my car, I’d let B eat in his car seat, to buy some more minutes for the bedtime routine. But we’re in K’s (Ben’s dad) car and eating in the backseat is not allowed. The cheeseburger and the fruit plate remain in their respective bags.

K leaves immediately when we arrive at my house. Mahalo for leaving me with the tired and hungry child. It’s now 10:30pm and did I mention that it is a school night? B’s missed a day of school to go on the trip. K planned the vacation around B’s Fall Break but, in typical “K style”, hasn’t thought much about the late return or how it might impact B’s transition back to “normal” life.

Cheeseburger down, fruit plate down. “Still hungry Mom,” B announces. 11pm now. I throw a Zone Bar at him and quickly get over my fantasy of lingering in his bed, reading a new book I bought for him the day prior.

No time for books, back scratches, or, truth be told, any meaningful time with oral hygiene. Into pajamas, quick swirl of the toothbrush, fast hug and kiss, and I’m outta there at 11:30pm. Did I mention that it’s a school night? So much for a quality bed time experience.

6:30am. “Mommy, can I get up now?” It’s 3:30am in Maui. I walk into his room. He’s squinting at me, rubbing his eyes. “I’m SO tired,” he tells me. “That’s called jet lag,” I answer. “Can I watch a movie before school?” “Sure,” I say, thinking to myself, “We’ll catch up on quality time later.”

B literally goes completely horizontal on the couch, with two blankets and two pillows, telling me again how tired he is. The whole scene looks like a Saturday morning, only it’s Tuesday and he has a field trip and we need to leave the house extra early because I’ve scheduled 8:30am clients for the next three weeks.

I let him quietly ease into his morning, although I suspect that he’s dozing on the couch. Sure enough, checking in after my quick shower, I discover that his eyes are half-mast. He’s way too comfortable in the warm cocoon of the couch. I yank away the blankets, throw the pillows on the floor, and place a yogurt in his hands. I’m tempted to toss a cup of sugar into my coffee, along with several ice cubes and a straw and let him sip that for breakfast.

We are pushing 8:00am by the time I get him dressed. Let me mention here that mornings are a curse for all parents, and particularly for parents flying solo. The days of daily hair washing, blow drying, and lotion lathering are long gone. I’m lucky that my hair stays the same for three days and can be somewhat presentable with a flat iron and some hair spray. Brush on foundation (thank God for that invention!), forget the eye shadow - no time for that -and a quick sweep of mascara (on a good day), and it’s out the door.

B decides to be cute and hides in the car while I collect the necessary gear (lunch and backpack for him; Luna bar and another cup of coffee for me). It IS cute until he won’t come out of the trunk and the time now is getting dangerously close to my client’s appointment. “GET IN THE CAR SEAT RIGHT NOW OR YOU’RE GETTING A TIME OUT!” Who really has the time for a time out this morning? B must know this because he just stares at me from the trunk. I pick up a Hot Wheels car, make a threatening motion to throw it in the trash, and B dissolves into tears. “I’m SO tired,” he cries. There goes any chance at quality time on the drive to school.

We are in the school parking lot. B prefers (actually, he demands) to be walked into the classroom each morning because of a bad experience in the drop-off loop with his dad earlier in the school year. Normally, I’m more than happy to oblige. Today, however, would be a great day to use the loop. I know better, though. I’m not even going there.

Since it’s a field trip day, I explain to B that he will be riding to the pumpkin patch with another mommy and that I will meet him at the patch once I’m finished with my client. I leave him at the kindergarten room, seemingly happy. I did get a sweet kiss and hug which, I will acknowledge as a quality send-off for Mom.

A mad dash to the gym and I’m walking in one minute before my client. One hour later, it’s off to the pumpkin patch to meet the class. I arrive there and B’s teacher looks at me. “What are you doing here?” she asks. “We have plenty of parent volunteers.” I look her directly in the eye and reply, “B’s been in Maui for a week with his dad. This is the first chance I’ve had to spend with him.” Her face softens and she says, “Oh, that must have been a really hard week for you.” “I’m just looking for quality time with my kid,” I tell her. “Any way I can get it.”

My good friend "S" has driven B in her car along with three other kids. “Gosh, he seems so tired,” she remarks.

I don’t even think B notices that I’m at the field trip. He dashes through the corn maze, delights in the huge slide, runs with his classmates through the pumpkins in search of “the perfect one.” At lunch time he looks frantically for me. “MOMMY!” he yells when he makes eye contact with me. “Yes, sweetie?” “Here,” he says, and hands me his lunch trash. At least, I enjoyed quality time in watching him have so much fun.

It’s back to work for me after lunch. My mom (the saint for today) has gone off to pick B up from school. I have great visions of the two of us (Ben and myself) reading books and coloring together during my two hour work break. Instead, he walks in from school, makes a bee line for the couch, and exclaims, “I’m so tired!” Right.

What is there to do for an exhausted and jet-lagged 5-year-old that does not involve the television? He’s too tired to stay awake for books and too cranky to engage in a game. So it’s back to a movie. More quality time.

The school B goes to has a mandatory meeting tonight. I call to see if I can re-schedule. No luck, it’s the last meeting of the year. Really? But it’s only October. I call again to confirm the time and place. 6:30pm. Two hours. Downtown campus. It’s official: my mom will have the quality bed time experience tonight with B.

I’m back to work for an hour, then home for 30 minutes to give B a final good-night hug and kiss. His Grandma has successfully managed to move him away from the television, off the couch, and into the backyard where they are sharing quality time, moving sand and rocks.

It’s off to the meeting and I’m feeling like 50% custody is a complete farce. It’s more like 10% in my world. I work completely around my ex’s schedule so that he doesn’t have to work at all when he has B. I even drive an extra morning during my rotation because my ex does not get off of work in time to take B to school. This doesn’t go un-noticed by my friends and family. It does, however, spark much debate between the ex and myself and anytime I mention the word “re-negotiation”, I get the same answer: “Are you threatening me?!” Sometimes it’s easier to keep the peace by choosing your battles. And, by being grateful to your mother for providing quality time in your absence.

At the meeting, the presenter for the school rambles on and on and on and on and on. At 8:30pm (the designated end time for the meeting), people start to glance at the clock. A few brave souls stand up and leave. At 8:38pm, I become one of the brave souls, quickly packing up my things and walking out. Not that 8 minutes will make a difference in my ability to kiss B goodnight; he’s long since been asleep but I’m seriously miffed at the presenter for keeping us past the designated two hour time block. I do not think that she is being respectful of the few quality moments I have remaining in this day.

On the drive home, I decide that the biggest daily challenge to single parents is finding shared times with your child, that are high in quality. I had about thirty minutes of quality time with B today; definitely not enough in my book.

Tomorrow is a new day and he will be more rested, less jag-lagged. I’ll still have the same client demands and an even heavier work schedule in the evening but I know that after today, I need some good one-on-one time with my little boy. If I log off now, I can hit the shower and make lunches, perhaps freeing up some quality time in the morning to do something other than television.

And the upside? It’s only Day 3 of my hair. I have at least one more day until I get to spend some less-than-quality time with my blow dryer again!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Aloha Mommy

B's dad and I have a 50/50 custody arrangement. B is with me for three days, then off to his dad's for three, then back to me for three and so it goes.

"K", B's dad, likes to take B on extended trips. They are on one now. I miss B terribly.

During our "normal" rotation, I can generally move quickly through my days without feeling B's absence significantly. There are exceptions, particularly around holidays, but mostly I accomplish a lot in the way of work when B is with his dad, which is a potent distraction.

K and B left 6 days ago for Maui, but it feels like it's been much, much longer. The mornings are a little too calm and the evenings are endless.

There is a time each day when my heart really begins to ache for my sweet boy. It's around 7pm, normally my favorite part of our day together. It's the time when we decompress, climb into his bed, read "just one more" book, and then he melts into a relaxed state with a long back scratch. I love to hear his whispers, feel his breath, have those quiet moments of togetherness.

I want B to know that when he's not here, his Mommy is missing him. Having a week without your child might seem like a panacea, but for me, it's more like an exercise in patience and endurance.

When I'm without B for long stretches (like this), I find that I need a lot of distraction in the way of retail therapy. I'm trying to be aware, to be present, to be quiet, to not give into a momentary and fleeting experience that serves no real purpose.

I've let myself go into B's room when he's not here and have even found some comfort in taking a big whiff of his coveted "blankie." I've organized his photos and many of his toys. I even organized his closet; school uniforms on one side, play clothes on the other. I really do miss him.

K is good about calling and having B talk with me. Yesterday, B told me excitedly that he and Daddy had found "treasure cars" in the sand and that they had gone to a luau party. This statement was followed up by an email picture of K and B holding their fruity drinks, relaxing together on the beach. B, of course, was clutching new cars in each hand. And smiling ear-to-ear.

I am glad that K can give B great vacation experiences. B always seems to have so much fun with K that he doesn't notice that days have passed since he's seen his Mommy. I'm grateful for this - every child deserves to have wonderful vacation memories.

They come home tomorrow night. One more day. Maybe tomorrow I'll re-paint his room.

Blah, Blah, Blog

If you met me, you'd think I have it all together. Really.

My son, B, just turned five and he's in a great kindergarten in the neighborhood. He is a funny, bright and articulate kid. We'll talk about what a handful he can be in another post. This is just about the good stuff.

I have a home-based fitness business and I take a lot of pride in helping people to be healthier with pilates and yoga. I can talk the talk quite well. My "OM" is even pretty good.

I get to make my own hours and be in my sweet home quite a bit. B has never been to day care because of my wonderful support system and job flexibility.

My son's dad, whom I'll call "K" for now is a very involved and dedicated parent. We have a 50/50 custody arrangement which some people think is very cool because it allows me to have half of my life without "mom duties" (which, for the record, I think is not so cool as I truly miss B when he's not with me but again, this post is about the "good" stuff!).

We have a large circle of friends, a great church, and a hands-on grandma who practically lives with us (this can be good and bad, depending on the day!).

So it seems to be pretty polished. On the surface, at least. Yet there are daily moments where the cracks in the fascade (as my beloved friend, Kathie would say) are definitely a little too apparent for my liking.

Two years ago, I became a single mom. Twelve years ago, I became an insomniac. These two things do not pair well together. The situation has become so, um, "dire" is the best word that comes to mind here, I need to find some humor in it. Quickly. For everyone's sake. If humor is the anecdote to stress, sign me up. Now.

I decided to write this for my son and for myself as a reminder, of sorts, of how precious the early childhood years are, even in the midst of those crazy and insane times when I feel like I am the only single mom on the earth.

I hope that B can look back on his childhood and perhaps through this blog, knowing that his mom did the absolute best that she could at being a good, and maybe even, at times, a fun parent.