Sunday, November 2, 2008

addle AD-'l, verb, to make or become muddled or confused

This is my biggest fear in life - to become muddled or confused. As many of you know, my mother had Alzheimer's at a fairly young age. It started off slowly, around the time Nate was born, forgetting something here and there. At the end, she had no idea who I , or who anyone else was, really. (Except our dog Cinnamon. I SWEAR she always knew who Cinnamon was by name. I was often "Hey, you" but that dog was "Cinnamon" til the very end. ) I'm a bit stoic by nature. I tried to roll with it. It was easier sometimes than others. Sometimes I tried to deal with it through humor - I mean, she really was a very comedic person with a great sense of humor, always. You know how we have those internal filters that allow us to think things but not say them? Well the Alzheimer's took alot of those filters away - so often she said things that NOONE would ever say. I admit, it gave me a chuckle now and again. Kind of like hearing the innocence of youth when outrageous things escape their lips. Other times I felt, and still feel, sorry for myself. Alot of those moments in life when you so badly need your mother - I didn't get alot of those in my adult life. Most of my children were born without her really fully understanding to whom these babies belonged. For me, I fear that I myself am addled - that I have forgotten all of the good times with my mother and can only remember the dark days. But the light in that darkness: just before she died, literally hours before, she looked at me with a clarity that I had not seen in years and said "You are so beautiful" and I know she knew who I was and I knew she meant it. And that, as she lay dying, was her gift to me.

Friday, October 31, 2008

gloaming \GLOH-ming\, noun: Twilight; dusk.
This word is fitting, right? It's Halloween. Our sweet little trick or treaters will be going door to door, at dusk, with their expectant faces and their open bags to receive their eclectic array of goodies and treats. But where did this whole trick-or treating thing come from? Apparently the "trick" part goes back to an English tradition of celebrating "Mischief Night" on November 4th where light-hearted tricks were perpetrated by children on adults, like leaving the garden gate open. Here, in Detroit, we celebrate this too. Teenagers go out on Devil's Night and rub soap wax on cars, or throw eggs at houses or even start small (or large) fires. All in good fun, right? Ok, so growing up here, I assumed everyone had some form of Devil's Night. Imagine my surprise when I looked up Halloween in Wikipedia and Detroit, Michigan is actually listed under "Traditions" for it's unique celebration of Halloween eve. Apparently we hold this honor all to ourselves. So what about the treats? As best I can tell this tradition began as basically a bribe to get kids to stop the tricks. ("Here's a chocolate bar so make sure to close that garden gate" or "Here's a lollipop, so please put out that fire", as the case may be.) Fortunately today , Halloween is mostly about the treats and I look forward to the big bags of candy arriving home tonight. (Am I the only one who peruses the bags after they fall asleep, searching for my favorites? Shhhh.......)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thursday, 30 October 2008

hubris \HYOO-bruhs\, noun:Overbearing pride or presumption.

Don't we all do this with our children? I've got the most amazing football playing, smartest, kindest and most considerate 15 year old in the world. I've got the most handsome, intelligent and funny 13 year old who puts his mother on a pedestal as if she were the Queen. I have, hands down, the most beautiful almost 7 year old little girl in all the world who never ceases to amaze me with her wisdom beyond her years. And my sweet 5 year old baby boy - could there be a more compassionate and passionate child in all the world? Yes, we all do this. But, I might want to also mention the other, well, more realistic moments in life. I've got a 15 year old who tells me he's just going to live in my basement until he's 40 so I can just keep taking care of him. (Um, honey......I think you've got that wrong. You'll be taking care of ME!.) I've got a 13 year old who seems to take great pleasure in seeing which of his younger siblings he can make scream "Mommy" first and loudest, followed by his own maniacal giggle. And my sweet little girl - can you PLEASE try to save the teenage attitude for when you are a LITTLE closer to actually being a teenager. I would like to relish what I have left of what are supposed to be the "easy" years. That brings us to my sweet little kindergardener - we MUST find a new game to play besides Star Wars. Frankly, I'm just not that good with a light saber!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

bivouac \BIV-wak, BIV-uh-wak\, noun:1. An encampment for the night, usually under little or no shelter.
Since I am entirely uncreative, I decided to blog with daily inspiration: the Word of the Day from a Facebook appplication. So word one: bivouac. I have never heard of the word - no big surprise since it is unlikely you would ever catch me camping out with little or no shelter. It is not that the thought does not hold some appeal - under the stars, one with nature, all of that. I'm just not big on bugs, wild animals and being cold. It is somewhat ironic that this is today's word because I just read that Shayna's Brownie Troop is going to have a field trip to the Detroit Zoo in June that involves staying overnight at the zoo. I must admit that my first thought when I read this was "Umm.....where exactly will we be sleeping?" I really hope it is not too close to the lions, just saying.