Saturday, November 27, 2010

Proud to Be An American

Now, before you go singing that song, which is basically the musical equivalent of the phrase "Freedom isn't Free" and a bumper sticker that reads "Ask me how I feel about America!" and also something slightly more red-necky, let me just say that what made me feel proud this week has nothing to do with traditional patriotism.
Sometimes I have serious qualms about this project we call America, not because of our politics which are, let's face it, in a state of near patheticism, but culturally. I think we are best known for things like "American Idol" and "Jersey Shore" and Taylor Swift. Where is the art, my people, wherefore the Big Ideas?
Well, this week I was made proud on two counts by the same work of art; proud as a mother, and proud as a member of the culture that produced said work of art. And what, my friends, was this little gem?
It was this week's episode of "Glee." Yes, hokey songs and choreography, yes emotionally manipulative. But, the message was timely and oh so important: those of us who are not gay or bullied have to stand up for those who are. Yes, we need to love our (metaphorical and literal) brothers.
I am proud to be part of the culture that produced this art, knowing full well that there are still people out there who will speak out against it.
This episode brought me to tears. And it brought Son to tears. Sometimes I think he is too much boy, not feeling enough, not given to bouts of sympathy. But it made him cry, even if he didn't quite understand the implications of it. And that made me proud.

Monday, November 22, 2010

What's My Motto?

Over round there at Hightouch, she is thinking about mottos and whatnot.
Seeing as how I am now a Level 1 Crossfit Certified Trainer (TM), I feel I need a motto that reflects the various facets of my personality, my English PhD-ness, my Crossfitty self, my bad mothering. You know, all of me.
  • Fixing your grammar and your air squat
How's that? It seems a little literal and perhaps too long. Also, not catchy.
  • Dr. Crossfit, Bitches
Seeing as how I am not really a doctor, this might not work.
  • I'm not your mother, I'm a writer with a stopwatch.
Again, not catchy. And really wouldn't make sense to anyone but me. And maybe one other person.
  • Often confuses Crossfit with Mothering
Yeah, that would go over well at the gym...and at home.
  • Ridding the world of bad form across broad time and modal domains
Oh yeah, that's it. Again, only a few people will get it.

I used the slogan generator that Hightouch linked to. Here's my favorite:
  • Something happens after a pull up

Enough said.

Friday, November 19, 2010

What "hate" Means to a 9 Year Old

This morning, when I took my son's book away because he needed to eat breakfast instead of read, he threw a Royal Fit which consisted of him screaming and stomping and throwing a basketball at MB. Then, of course, he shouted at me, red in the face, "I hate you!"
Of course it made me angry, but what does the word "hate" really mean to a 9 year-old?
Let's consider some of its uses:

  • "I hate ______!" (insert name of vegetable): This means: I don't like it, I won't try it. You can't make me!
  • "I hate ______!" (insert school subject): This means: It's difficult, or they try to tell me what to do.
  • "I hate Justin Beiber!": This means, I hate Justin Beiber, and really, who can blame him?
  • "I hate cleaning my room!" : This is just an acknowledgement of a universal truth. Everyone hates cleaning. 
  • "I hate you!" : This means, as my mother, you are supposed to love me, even when I scream like this at you. You still love me, right? Wait, I'm going to throw something! Now do you still love me? Wait! I can scream louder! Louder still! I'm still screaming. I can do whatever I want and you still have to feed me breakfast! You can't deny me breakfast! It's illegal! Where's my breakfast? What do you mean I still have to go to school? I'm screaming! 
So, in this short post I have proven when a 9 year old yells, "I hate you!" at his mother, what he really means is "I need a hug." 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

To Be Read in a Robot Voice

Things I did today:

  • Took the dog to the Avenues dog park where he lost the ball, chewed the ball, refused to surrender the ball
  • Called my mom on the (dreaded) cell phone
  • Had coffee at Starbucks with my Crossfit homies
  • Shopped at Costco for veggies, nuts & cheese (and spent less than $100 thus undoing the "Hundred Dollar Store" curse)
  • Ate
  • Went to my office where I tried to help a student understand sentence boundaries; success unknown
  • Observed presentations in my novel writing class
  • Watched TV
  • Scrubbed the refrigerator (almost forgot this one!)
My life is not exciting but may somehow be made exciting through the vigorous application of a robot voice & a liberal dose of whiskey. 

I will pause now so that you may reflect. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

In Which My Son Becomes Hypergraphic

If I ever doubt my efficacy as a mother and a writer (and if you have found your way here, you know I do), my doubts have been assuaged, nay, slaughtered, by my son's recent foray into the form of the epistolary novel. The name of it, which I have coined from the names of his characters, is Letters from Parsel, Beestower, Night Jade and Kwen. 
Let it be hereby known that:

  1. My son is a geek
  2. Those names make me feel like I'm trapped in a bad fantasy novel
  3. My son has written more today than I have in the last month, AND
  4. The above make me feel like a wild success as a writer/mother
So rather than wallowing, let me just say Huzzah! And as long as Son doesn't stow the letters beneath his bed in the style he is wont to do (i.e. like a homeless person acquiring fuel for a long winter's night), I will remain, ever,

Proud Mother