I love teenagers. I do. Everything about them: the awkward, the self-conscious, even the angry bits. I’m especially intrigued by the way they shed their childhood like a skin and emerge a newer, older version of themselves. I even kind of love parenting teenagers. I know–it sounds nuts, but I feel I hit my stride Read More
Sydney tried out for the cheerleading squad. “Let’s get a little bit rowdy, R-O-W-D-Y!” In the cafetorium, I watched her audition as she executed the moves and called out the words just liked we’d practiced. She was a bit timid, her eyes sliding to the other girls, following their moves with a slight delay. But Read More
“I just have to tell you something. I’m really liking boys without shirts on.” Sydney confided this secret to her long-time babysitter as they walked downtown close to campus where the streets buzz with college students and it’s not uncommon to see packs of male runners jogging past, sans shirts. When one particular athlete winked in response to Sydney’s friendly wave, she blew kisses, with both hands. ‘Right back atcha.’ Yeah, she’s cute. And she knows it. Read More
Where are you going, my little one, little one,
Where are you going, my baby, my own?
Turn around and you’re two, turn around and you’re four,
Turn around and you’re a young girl going out of my door.
Turn Around by Malvina Reynolds and Alan Greene
Autumn is my favorite time of year and there’s nowhere the season is more provincial than in the Midwest. A tangible chill in the morning air softens the heat of summer and signals a coming change. Seemingly overnight, leaves begin to turn. Variegated branches hint of color that will soon become rich orange, yellow and red, flaming briefly before falling to the ground and creating nature’s perfect playground for jumping children. The farmer’s market yields a spread of eggplant, pumpkin, corn, squash and apples; not only a visual feast, but a culinary mother lode for comfort foods that fill the house with the tantalizing aromas of savory soups, roasted vegetables, freshly baked bread, and apple pie. Thrushes, sparrows and other song birds nest mid-migration, on their way to warmer climates. The days shorten and the pull of the Earth’s orbit around the sun is felt. My own focus gravitates homeward; summer is over. It’s time to go back to school. Read More
To watch us dance is to hear our heart speak ~ Hopi Tribal Saying
My daughter Sydney is turning 13. Thirteen. As in teen-ager. When she was born with Down syndrome, we couldn’t have known that watching this beautiful creature grow from infancy to adolescence would be astonishing, but considering that ten years ago we nearly lost her to pneumonia, it becomes positively miraculous. She would have remained forever a cherubic 2½ year old, arrested in toddlerhood, innocent and unchanged. It causes my chest to constrict painfully when I remember the weeks she spent in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, when I realize how close she came to dying. But, to our great relief, she didn’t. She stayed with us. And she’s no longer a baby. Through preschool and potty-training, through primary school and pre-pubescence, my long-legged, lanky daughter, emerged, poised on the cusp of puberty. Ready or not, world, here she comes. Read More