Downtown

Downtown

Petula Clark was never trying to get there Summer 2015, Los Angeles. We're going Downtown! to see one of the most beautiful public libraries in the world, I told my son. Noon, weekday, summer. It's not rush hour. The Dodgers are not playing in thirty minutes. It's a parking lot on the freeway though. After twenty minutes of bumper-to-bumper traffic, I start to think about going back home. After twenty-five, I tell my husband to pull off at the next exit, which by the way, is only two exits from our home exit, but little would you know that from the time we've spent not traveling. "We're taking the metro,"  I announce. Bryan, that's the husband in the story, doesn't do well with spontaneity and starts hyperventilating. "What do you mean?! What are you talking about? You're not making sense." I'm driving. All he has to do is look at the phone and enter "metro station." It's like two blocks south of the freeway. We've arrived...
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The Giver

The Giver

Eleven years old is the new thirteen. They are all pubescent and adolescent and so so over you. Mothering the eleven-year-old is all about being there but acting like you're not. You gotta be there to say it's enough computer time. You gotta remind them to eat a snack. You gotta tell them to put deodorant on. You have to force them to bathe. And then you slink off into your own world where you won't embarrass them too much until you plan family time and feel ready to ride their eleven-year-old emotional roller coaster. It's always worth it to me. Stacking the deck by feeding, watering and being sure he's not exhausted works better. But still, it's a crap shoot. Eleven years old also seems to be about me no longer getting to read my own books. I love, eat up, cherish the time we still share where I read books to him at night. I'm talking about my own reading...
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Honor Your Mayfly

Did you know that some species of the Mayfly only have a lifespan of half an hour. Luckier varieties live for up to a full day or two. Evidently, kinder Mayflies have not mastered the art of honoring their parental ones. Honor your father and mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the lord your God is giving you. It comes with an implied threat. Honor your parents or you may not live long enough to regret it. Adultery, false witness, stealing? Those are just straight forward “thou shalt nots.” Punto final. But dishonor your parents and your days on this earth are numbered. And, if we can take God, by metaphor and extension, as the ultimate of parents, our Father if you will, then the same holds true of the other commandments that relate to honoring God as well. There’s an implicit or not so implicit threat for each one: You can’t have any other Gods and if you do,...
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Baked a cake for a friend

I baked a cake for a friend today. We drank tea and sat on my mother in law's porch watching the blue birds feed their young. It will forever be one of my favorite days I look back on the year I didn't work, where I figured out a moment for me. Yes, I wish that big porch with the big lovely yard had been my own. Yes, I wish when we forgot my son's clothes for his spring concert I could have popped out to the shops nearby and purchased clothes instead of shopping at The Good Will (or driving all the way home). But for those forty five minutes as we and the dogs sat watching the birds and the birds stood eyeing our cake and grabbing the blueberries we set out instead, as we sipped tea and talked about our weekends and all that went awry, my oh my, I figured out how, for just that one moment, to...
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