Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Car Incident

Last Wednesday, we were on the highway during speedy lunch hour traffic when the Buick died.

Going downhill in the center of a five-lane highway, I lost control of the breaks, the wheel and the accelerator.

All I could do was drive 35 miles per hour down the center lane and scream as trucks and SUVs sped towards the rear of the car. The boys were in the back seat.

It was the only time in my life I've felt like I was going to die. And by "I" I mean someone in my family. It was like we were one unit at that moment. And we were doomed.

Then, like the red sea, traffic parted. The trucks went around us. I even saw one driver do the calm down signal to me with his hand. So I stopped screaming and yelled, "Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God." Which is more serene, I think.

As one last car pulled around us, I looked in the guy's eyes and yelled, "Help me!"

He wasn't really in a position to help, though. On the highway, you have to keep going. I saw him look at us for a moment, wanting to help, then he sped up to get out of our way.

At that moment, I was like, "Wait a second, why did I have time to ask him for help? Where are the cars that are going to crash into us?"

And I saw that the highway was clear behind us. The hill flattened out, and suddenly, I had enough control over the car to cross two lanes, and finally screach to a stop on the shoulder.

I don't mean to get all mystical about this, but I felt pretty doggone lucky. Like maybe that guy said a prayer for us or something.

It was almost as if a giant J.J. had picked up our car, sent it hurling down a ramp with a bunch of other cars and then--maybe because his mom called him to lunch--picked us up and put us in his pocket, where we were safe.

On the shoulder, I frantically called 911. Meanwhile, J.J., who minutes before had been screaming along with me, smiled at me from the back seat--as if to say, "oh, hey mom, what's up?" Johnny ate French fries nonchalantly from his McDonald's carryout. And Richie yelled, "I don't want to die!"

"We're not going to die," I said, hoping that in my moment of panic I hadn't said that. (Because that was exactly what I was thinking.) No, he must have gotten that from a T.V. show.

The policeman arrived and followed us to the next exit as I drove 2 miles an hour. Then Justin picked us up and drove us home.

It was the scariest moment of my life. But since then, three people have told me that their cars have also come to a standstill on a busy highway. They either stalled or spun around so that they were facing traffic. How did any of us make it out of those situations alive, I wonder.

I'd say it was the hand of God, but it doesn't make sense that he was there for us but not for others.

I do think God was trying to give us a sign at McDonald's not to drive the car on the highway. Because a little girl climbed out of the car next to us and said, "Mommy, that car is broken."

The mom looked embarrassed and said, "Well, so is ours, honey!"

Even though it looked pretty good to me.

Well, I thought the little girl was referring to our broken mirror or duct tape interior. And I was thinking, "Geez, for a kid, you're pretty persnickity. Not everybody can ride around in their mom's SUV, sugar."

But it turns out, that little girl was right. Our car was broken.

Did God warn us? And then save us?
I wonder if he was up there with his assistants, saying, "Okay they didn't listen to our hint, so we're going to need the drivers on I-35 to be alert. So get inside their heads and tell them not to answer their cell phones. Make them think it's their annoying neighbor wanting to borrow the lawn mower again (and never return it). And then we'll need to slow down traffic after the powder blue SUV thinks about helping, and then realizes he'd just make things worse...At that point, one of you just swoop down and push the car to safety. And Gabriel, order in lunch. Let's do Chinese. No, make that Thai."

Would he do that? Could he do that? For four people? What about all the people in Iraq dying in bus bombings?

Or was it simply a matter of good timing and drivers paying attention? We'll never know.

And it may never happen again because we bought a minivan. As the boys point out during guided tours for anyone passing by, it has features like hooks for our grocery bags and clothes and a gray interior (which Johnny said is his new favorite color.)

I, too, show off the car by working it into every conversation.

Neighbor: "It looks like rain."

Me: "Yes, the clouds are white, like our new Chrysler Town & Country, and gray, like the interior. And it's cold, like our car air conditioning."

Well, Justin just called and now his car is in the shop. It's always something. And, this time, I don't think I'm in a position to call in a favor from the man upstairs. It looks like Justin will be driving the minivan. And the boys and I will be driving...each other crazy. Stuck at home. Although after the car incident, that's something I feel lucky to do.

Friday, July 27, 2007


What drives us?

Socrates thought it was the desire to be happy. He said that when we act badly, it's because we're only seeking short-term happiness. True happiness comes from good things, like helping others, taking care of ourselves and doing a good job.

So that's kind of a nice explanation.

From there, the theories went down hill. For instance, Nietzche thought everything we did was a power play. Even saying thank you, he thought, was one-upmanship. Our way of saying, "Who's the nice guy now, jack ass?"

Freud, meanwhile, thought we were motivated by cigars, or something.

I know this because I minored in philosophy in college, knowing that in the long run, it would make me happy. Like when I apply for that high-paying job as director of philosophy for a major corporation.

But I've always been interested in philosophy/psychology, especially if it's summed up in an article in Good Housekeeping or a 2-minute segment on the radio.

Recently, I heard a psychologist on the radio say we are driven by our desire to impress people.

"Of course," I thought. "It always has to be something embarrassing that drives us."

It can never be: Humans basically want to be nice.

It has to be: Humans are obsessed with appearing to be nice while in fact being great big phonies.

But I'm starting to see where this lady is coming from.

You see, when my three sons are around girls, it's like someone hits control/alternate/delete on their brains. They're completely reconfigured.

Gone are the children that wipe jelly on my best placemat...and then put it back in the drawer. Vanished are the boys who eat their boogers as morning snacks. Away are the kids who talk about Pokemon characters like they're close family friends.

In their place are three variety show performers.

The other day, my friend brought her daughter, niece and baby to our house for a couple hours. She had a doctor's appointment and her husband went out of town unexpectedly.

At first, I worried that the boys would play transformers and ignore their guests the whole time. But, boy, was I wrong.

When those girls got here, it was the Johnny & Richie Show.

Richie started playing chess on the computer. The game has different levels for opponents, starting with a monkey, which is the one both boys always choose because he's easiest to beat.

So Richie yelled over to the girls when they arrived, "Just a minute. I've just got to finish beating this monkey in chess!"

The girls looked up from taking stuffed animals out of their backpack.

"Okay," they shrugged.

Johnny spent a few minutes straightening up his room, then came out and asked, very seriously, "Can I show you some of my pets?"

He took them on a tour of his room.

"This is my pet frog," I heard him say. "And these are my guppies. That's the baby. He's really cute. And these are my shells. They're not pets. They're not even alive."

Apparently thinking the tour was over, the girls returned to their stuffed animals.

Johnny came in and said, "Um, I don't think you saw my beta fish."

They politely went back into his room.

Left, at last, to play with their bag of toy animals, the girls lined them up on the couch.

"Oh, I have stuffed animals," Johnny said. And ran into his room. Little did he know that I'd moved most of his toy animals to the playroom. He came down with an armful. But by now, the girls wanted to play outside.

Naturally, he spent the next ten minutes lifting up rocks to show them insects.

Well, it's just their age, I thought. All kids want to impress their peers when they're in grade school.

Then yesterday, we were at the pool and J.J.--just two years old--did the same thing. A little girl was swimming like a fish--diving over a toy alligator and going under water. And J.J., who just a few weeks ago considered getting his shoes wet to be a personal tragedy, squatted down carefully in the water, and submerged his whole...chin.

Next, he saw a smiling tow-headed toddler and, like a vaudevillian performer, showed her one water skill after another: mainly blowing bubbles and crawling in shallow water. She was laughing. He was laughing.

Then he took off running for land. I watched him go over to our bag. When he came back, he was dressed to impress. In other words, he was wearing floaties.

He looked at the little girl as if to say, "Why, yes, these are Spiderman floaties. My mom brought them for me in our pool bag, along with a plastic shark, which I'm not even afraid of."

Only, unbeknownst to J.J., he was staring at a different girl, who just happened to have blond hair like the first girl. That being the prevalent hair color of toddlers in the summertime.

But the new girl was busy playing with her mom and didn't see J.J. So he carried the waterwings back to the pool bag. He didn't seem disappointed or anything. Just, the floaties were a prop. And without an audience, he didn't really need them. (Except to float, I guess.)

This proves the point: We are driven from our youngest years to impress people.

And as adults, too. I often fret over what people might think.

Today, for instance, J.J. and Richie and I went to McDonald's. In the play area, J.J. fell and bit his lip. He was bleeding all over his shirt and mine, but after I cleaned him up and he calmed down, we proceeded with our Happy Meal agenda.

He was sitting on my lap in the dining area, dipping chicken nuggets in honey, when another mother in the play area approached the staff carrying a pile of napkins.

"A child fell and I cleaned up most of the blood, but you might want to mop the floor," she said.

Oh, my God, I thought. I forgot to go back to the scene of the injury. I did not clean up my own child's blood. I was mortified.

There I was, eating my Southwest chicken salad, as if the palace staff would clean up after us. I tried to catch her eye to say, "I am so sorry. I totally spaced out."

But she walked into the other room. As her friends left the restaurant, they glanced over at me, eating lunch with blood all over my shirt like a crazy lady. There was nothing to do but eat the boys' French fries in a nervous frenzy.

The impression I made on these strangers bothered me. Because seeing myself through their eyes, I saw an airhead. A familiar feeling, to say the least.

Young or old, we worry or are hopeful about the impression we make.

But maybe this isn't as bad as it sounds. Oh sure, in trying to make a good impression, we sometimes act like big shots rather than being nice to people. Or we focus on looking perfect instead of addressing our problems, which probably are similar to the ones of the people we're trying to impress.

On the other hand, impressing people can come in the form of telling a joke or sharing an interesting story or trying to discover a shared interest.

I guess it's just like seeking happiness--it has to be the right kind. Making a good impression should be about showing that you're a good person. (But not a goody two shoes.) That you're interested in things like, say, stuffed animals. But you're also interested in learning about what your friends like--guppies, for instance. Or that while you might not understand the point of swimming per se (when will you ever have to swim to work, for instance), you'll get in the water just to be a good sport. Or that you're responsible enough to clean up your child's blood and not just sit there eating French fries.

But at it's root, isn't impressing people a matter of making friends so that we'll have somebody to talk to and, thus, be happy?

When I was a kid, I tried too hard to impress people and wound up looking like a doofus. And I can see that my sons are following in my footsteps. The good news is, some people don't care if you're a doofus (which most of us are at least half the time.) They are your true friends. And they think your Spiderman floaties are awesome. (Or at least, that's the impression they'd like to make. Just to be nice.)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Little Dictator

You know how some people move through life, buying new clothes, keeping in style. Then, suddenly, they fall in love with one decade, and they never update their wardrobe again?

Usually it is the 80s.

So you see otherwise normal, nice people walk around in stonewashed jeans and T-shirts with double entendres written in hot pink: "Fuzzy's Fried Chicken. Home of the Biggest Breasts in Texas." That kind of thing.

Well, I think that dictators do the same thing. Only with them, it's not clothing, it's childhood. They go through the typical stages of crawling and walking and picking up a cheerio with their thumb and pointer finger. Then they turn two. And they just stick with that mindset for the rest of their lives.

I know this because J.J. reminds me so much of Napoleon (only taller), it's not even funny. Not that I knew the French conqueror personally. But I did see Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. So I know what I'm talking about.

Here's one comparison. Whenever Napoleon invaded a country, it had to be his idea, you know.

His wife Josephine would say, "Honey, wouldn't it be fun to take over Egypt tonight? You know how I love the pyramids."

"Mais, Non!" he would say. "This idea est tres, tres stupide!"

"Well, who do you want to invade?" she'd ask, rolling her eyes at the mirror as she put on lipstick.

And he'd hem and haw and the very next day, he'd say he had a great idea: invading Egypt.

This is why they got divorced, contrary to what historians say.

Which is that while the emporor and empress were still married, Napoleon made a list of younger women that he wanted to marry. It was called "Princesses I Want to French Kiss After Divorcing Josephine."

I mean, who does that?

But back to the "his idea" point.

Likewise, when I dress J.J. in the morning, the shirt has to be his idea. I'll show him his favorite Batman shirt--the yellow and blue one--and he'll say, "No."

Then he'll march into his room and choose the white and blue Batman shirt.

And while world domination isn't on J.J.'s agenda (seeing's how he thinks the world is a blue bouncy ball,) he does claim ownership over everything he sees.

If you eat with J.J., for instance, you need your game face on. Johnny, who has a constant Pokemon battle going on in his head, daydreams during dinner. And let me tell you, J.J. bleeds him dry meal after meal. A French fry here, a piece of chicken there, a gulp of milk here. Johnny has no trouble cleaning his plate these days.

We went to a Greek festival recently and it was like Genghis Kahn had joined us for dinner. He was grabbing lamb off our plates like we didn't feed him at home. People were staring at us.

"It's a good thing he wasn't born into royalty," Justin said. "He would have been a barbaric dictator."

He's not a bad kid. It's the age. And the type-A personality. Coupled with his large stature. And two big brothers, who think his Kubilai Kahn antics are hilarious.

We put him in time out and everything, but, well, so did little Kubilai's parents.

In our family--and maybe your's, too, the toddler years are tough, to say the least. We just cross our fingers and hope they grow out of it.

Recently I've been heartened by J.J.'s move away from total dictatorship. He's more like a corrupt Senator at this point. You know, he cares about getting caught. Which is nice. It's a good starting point.

We have this chocolate spread that we put on toast, and today, Johnny yelled to me, "Mooooom, J.J.'s into the chocolate agaaaiiin."

I ran into the kitchen to see J.J. also running into the kitchen, carrying the jar, which he put back on the counter, and a dirty spoon, which he threw back in the drawer.

Then he smiled at me innocently, as if to say, "I'm just putting away the chocolate. Somebody was eating it straight out of the jar. Can you believe that? Then they smeared it all over my face and shirt. And my hand."

And he wants to be good. It's just that, for him, the means always justify the end.

A few days ago, for instance, he dumped an entire container of guppy food into the aquarium. Then, I guess because he couldn't reach Fish Face's bowl, he emptied the Beta food into every drawer in the room. I mean, did he think there were animals there, or what?

Anyway, I got in there, and I said, "Oh, no. No. Noooooo. This is bad. Bad. Baaaad."

And he looked around him, like, "Man, somebody is in biiiiig trouble. I'm just glad it's not me."

Then he smiled at me with total empathy. Like he and I were the only mature adults in the house.

He was like, "Hey, mom, whatever problem you're dealing right now--like the aquarium reeks or whatever you're freaking out about--I just want you to know that I fed the fish. Don't even worry about that. I also fed the pet shorts. And my pet shirts. And Johnny and Richie's pet underwear. And I ate the frosting off the cake that you made for Johnny's birthday. I know that you have a lot to do. So just go ahead and cross those things off your list."

He's a changed man.

Granted, his efforts don't always show positive results. At times, they're disastrous. But at least he's trying. He's a benevolent dictator. In other words, he's a parent.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Separate Flights for Babies? Sounds Good to Me

Last week, a flight attendant kicked a mother and her 19-month-old son off an airplane. She apparently became annoyed when the boy said, "Bye-bye, plane," too many times.

At that point, the flight attendant told the mother, "You need to shut your baby up."

Needing to impart even more maternal advice, the flight attendant said, "It's called children's Benadryl." And she put an imaginary bottle to her lips and tilted it in the air.

The mother said she wasn't going to drug her child.

Eventually, the flight attendant said the mother threatened her. She asked the pilot to return the airplane to the gate, where a police officer waited for the mom and tot. No arrest was made; no ticket was given; and the mother denied making a threat.

As far as I know, the airline hasn't responded. To be fair, we don't know the flight attendant's side of the story.

However, with that information alone, many AOL readers sided with the flight attendant. Among their suggestions to deal with situations like this in the future:

1. Children (and I'm assuming their parents) should be forced to fly in the back of the plane.

2. No more "modern" parenting. I guess that in the old days, parents made their kids chug Benadryl on the runway.

3. Children should not be allowed to talk until age five, which was the rule when this lady was growing up. (How charming her parents must have been.)

4. Children should fly on separate flights entirely.

My favorite is number four.

A separate flight would be just what the doctor ordered.

This would mean that I wouldn't have to listen to the loud lady behind me at the security checkpoint, yell, "I hope I don't have to sit next to those kids!"

Nor would I have to sit next to the young couple that takes turns saying what annoys them about each other for the entire flight. Which sparks a delightful conversation about drug addiction and co-dependency. But never gets too serious because of occasional tickle fights when one of them drops something.

They didn't have children, so they wouldn't be on our flight.

There would be no announcements made over the loud speaker about my child specifically. Too many toddlers would be out their seats to make mine stand out.

Nobody would stare at my baby when he puked as if he did it to personally insult them.

Nor would anybody be secretly wondering why my four year old was talking. That's not supposed to happen 'til age five.

Of course, many people traveling without children are very nice. Often, they're a lot nicer than I am at the end of a two-week vacation with the kids and after waking up at 4 a.m. to make our flight. But now I'll wonder if some of these people secretly want my toddler arrested the first time he makes a peep.

So, sure, babies on our new, segregated flight would be crying and laughing and talking loudly. But at least they'd be under the age of 18, which is more than I can say for some people on airplanes.

Also, not having grumpy people on board would improve kids' behavior.

Because guess what? Children want to drive crotchety old grownups crazy. It’s a lot of fun.

Here's what the typical two year old would be thinking when the flight attendant grew angry.

“'Bye-bye, plane.'


'Bye-bye, plane.'


Wow. Look at that. It’s like the clapper. Only instead of clapping and lights, it’s ‘BYE-BYE, PLANE’ and Anger.




Anger. I'm a puppet master!”

If the flight attendant had smiled at the tot, he probably would have gotten bored and done something else.

Instead, she kicked him off the plane.

Hey, we all have bad days. I just hope the flight attendant's temper tantrum makes her more sympathetic to kids in the future--even the ones throwing fits.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Sky Mall...Where Necessity is Truly the Mother of All Inventions

It's got to be a fun job writing for the Sky Mall catalog. Browsing through the latest issue on our way home from Boston, I saw a sumo wrestler table, a pillow that allows you to sleep on your stomach without turning your head to the side, and giant sleeper pajamas--the kind babies wear.

I thought the catalog writing was a little dry, so I composed my own sales pitches.

Sumo Wrestler Table.

Perfect for cocktail parties, this furniture features a sumo wrestler kneeling on his hands and knees with a glass table top on his back. Imagine your guests' delight when they lean over to fix a cheese and cracker and have a sumo wrestler's butt staring them in the face. They will want to cut the cheese again and again.

Pillow with Hole in the Center.

Are you tired of turning your head to the side while sleeping on your stomach? Well, you shouldn't have to. You deserve to fall asleep staring straight at the bed--not the wall. Previously, you needed a snorkel to do this. But with our patented hole in the middle of a pillow, you will never have to turn your head to the side again. Call it Independence Day, you are truly free at last.

Baby Jammies for Grownups.

When it's time for night-night, do you wish you could look like a big baby? Well, goo-goo ga-ga because now you can. Our zip-up sleeper pajamas also make a great gift for the oversized infant in your life--be it your husband, wife, neighbor or boss. (Please understand that standard shipping takes 10-14 business days. Crying, whining or throwing a fit will not make the p.j.s arrive any faster.)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Vacation Is Over, But the Mindset Lingers

Here it is. The end of vacation. We went to Boston for a week and a half to visit Justin's family. It is our big trip every year, and it always goes by too fast.

Now, our bags are back in the attic. Empty. A stack of photos rests on my dresser, waiting to be filed away neatly in an album. By elves, hopefully.

The pictures show a trip to a rocky beach, where Johnny found a crab. He kept it for a pet in a plastic cup with a little ocean water. I tried to convince him to put it back in the ocean, knowing that animals, unlike people, do not like leaving home. But he said he was rescuing "Crabby" from a life of...well, being eaten by larger animals.

I felt terrible on the way home as the crab's legs slipped while he tried to crawl out of the plastic cup. What kind of world do we live in? I wondered. A crab can't survive in the ocean...or a papercup. Then we stopped for lunch and I ate more than 20 fried clam bellies. Which eased the emotional pain considerably.

The next time Johnny and Richie caught a bucket full of crabs, we released them at the end of the day. Then, on the drive home, Johnny informed me that I didn't put them far enough up on the rocks and they were probably washed out to sea and being eaten by stingrays at that very moment.

"I miss them," he said, staring forlornly out the window.

"Well, what would you do if you were dropped off a block away from home?" I asked.

"I'd walk home," he said.

"Well, that's what the crabs will do," I said. "And if they get too far out, they can swim back."

But the rest of the way home I tried to remember if crabs could swim or not. The lobster Nana made for dinner stopped that obsessive worry in its tracks, though.

Also in the photos: The boys meeting their cousin Brendan for the first time--feeling an instant connection.

Jellyfish that were swimming in Boston harbor--something none of us had seen in person.

The photos don't show Richie giving Papa a third, fourth, fifth and sixth hug on the last night of the trip for all the nights to come when we would be back in Kansas City.

They don't show the warm ocean water in Rhode Island--when the boys swam with Uncle Jamie and Aunt Sondra and their dad while J.J. and I built a "castle" that looked straight out of the caveman era. (We don't get much practice around here).

They don't show the evening at Uncle Rick's and Aunt JoAnn's, when the boys seemingly drank three triple espressos before we got there. Or the 4th of July party under a white tent, where friends and neighbors and family gather to eat clam chowder and talk as if they just saw each other yesterday.

Or Johnny asking on the last day of vacation why we can't live for Boston for one year. Then Kansas City, and so on.

I explained to him that it was because we weren't the Vanderbilts (whose second homes in Rhode Island look like museums--which they now are.) See http://www.newportmansions.org/.

The suitcases are empty. But we are full of memories.

When Richie was a newborn and Johnny was two, we visited Justin's friend on an island that had no electricity. Johnny played with little boats in the sand for, like, three hours. Then Justin held his hands so he could jump over waves. He was laughing so hard and Justin said, "I wish he was old enough to remember this."

But I think those are the kind of things we remember in our hearts.

That's why people who take vacation are reportedly healthier. It can't be just that one week. It's the enduring reminder to enjoy life. To go outside. To eat good food. To listen to music. To spend time with family.

Slowly, I'm returning phone calls. And the sound of the alarm clock is becoming recognizable. I.e., I no longer dream that a ship is blasting its horn when the bell rings.

Then a crewmember yells, "Go back to sleep." I love that dream.

What remains are the new perspectives:

As a kid, I read a lot during the summer. Any situation the character was in--good or bad, I would picture her sweating profusely. Such was the weather in Kansas City.

So I would imagine Nancy Drew solving a mystery and think: that's great. But isn't it a little hot to be wearing jeans and a sweater?

Or I'd think about Margaret and her letters. Dear God: It's me, Margaret. Can you help me? It's hotter than hell around here. Even the swimming pool is hot, at this point. The garden hose is practically spitting fire...

And I always felt bad for the puritans, with their strict religion and, even more so, their pilgrim costumes--which had to have been stifling.

Now, come to find out, the weather isn't bad everywhere. By the sea, there's a nice breeze. Even on hot days, it cools off at night. And: there are beaches. Legend has it that the sand used to be crawling with lobsters. But the people wouldn't eat them because they were so plentiful that they called to mind rats. (I guess those snooty settlers didn't eat rats, either.)

So maybe the people in the books--and even the pilgrims--didn't have it so bad after all. Until winter, that is. And the witch accusations.

New perspectives, new resolutions.

On January 1, you resolve to work yourself to death, basically. You write up something along the lines of:

1. I will wake up at 4 a.m. to train for a marathon.

2. I will stay up late reading for my book club (and not just go there to drink wine and talk about work/kids/husband.)

3. I will take on a second job in order to pay off my credit card.

4. And I'll do all this on an empty stomach, as I am also going on a diet.

But in the summer, we make a resolution to just have fun--full-time for a week, part-time for the rest of the summer, and hopefully a little bit all year.

On vacation, anything is possible. You might wake up and decide to go to the beach. Or head out for ice cream late at night.

For Richie, this really is a full-time attitude. Anything is possible.

When I flip through magazines, I often point out homes and say, "That's my house." or in Boston, "That's my beach house."

This drives Johnny crazy. But Richie will say, "Which one's my room?"

I can even show him the owners and their children, photographed in matching white linen outfits and he'll say, "Which one am I?"

On vacation, I showed Richie a picture of Justin when he was about Richie's age. Justin was wearing a white leisure suit with the jacket jauntily thrown over his shoulder. (This was a studio picture.) He was smiling and looked a lot like Richie.

Richie smiled at the photo for a while.

Then he said, "When daddy was a little boy, did I play with him?"

"Yes," I said.

"Did me and Johnny go over to his house?"

"Yes," I said.

I could just see him remembering those playdates as if they happened yesterday. Yesterday for him. 30 years ago for his dad.

Monday, July 09, 2007

I've been on vacation. Hence, the lapse in posts. Not blogs. Somebody told me in the comments that the posts make up the blog. Hey, you learn something new everyday. And forget it the next morning, in my case.

So I will blog another post tomorrow. Going on vacation always gives you new ideas. It's sort of like a writer's buying trip.

Meanwhile, I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for checking in. If I could add music to this blog...it would be the theme from the Beverly Hillbilly's. I always thought it was nice of them to thank my brothers and me for kindly dropping in.

That song was the reason why I watched that show. And the fact that our great aunt reportedly played tennis with Jethro Clampet. When you're from the Midwest, you cling to any brush with fame whatsoever.

Anyway, y'all come back now.