Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Happiest birthday to our Bambino!

An almost two-year-old watching a panda snack 
at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. 

Two years ago, our son was born. He was fairly annoyed at the dry world and I couldn't get out of bed after a cesarean. Two years later, he can run through a field and drink water out of a cup. I can even leave him alone in a room to play for a a few moments as I make coffee.

We stop to look at ants on the sidewalk and clap when a song on the radio ends. He dances in his car seat, on the sidewalk, in his crib and anywhere he hears a tune or creates one himself. He can jump high, flapping his arms for momentum. At the end of the day, he likes to show me the firetruck he played with at daycare. He's started to ask for help to climb ladders on playgrounds and explores places I can't always fit to follow him.

The other day, while pushing him up a hill in his stroller, he kept pointing out "animals." There were bugs and squirrels and birds. I started to tune him out. It was hot and I wanted to get us both home. "Yes, animals," I agreed with him, "uh huh." And then suddenly he shouted, " Mamma! AN-I-MALS!"

I turned to look where he was pointing. There were two horses being ridden by police officers coming down the road and then past us on the sidewalk into the park. There were indeed animals. Two giant ones I might have ignored as I focused on getting home.

To you, bambino, I wish you a year of joy and many, many surprises. And I hope you'll continue to share them both with me.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Library Books Vs. MINE

One night our sleeping son sat up in his crib and shouted, "Mine!" and then resumed a peaceful position.

I wish we knew what he was dreaming. We do know that he (like other toddlers) is challenged by the idea of ownership and sharing. He and his peers on the playground argue about whose turn it is and who owns what, including the slide and Mamma.

Perhaps regular visits to the library will help him to understand what it means to share, take turns and care for something in someone else's absence. We visit almost weekly and always leave with an armful of books. We're hopeful that our bambino is starting to understand the idea of choosing books to borrow for a period of time.

I led a workshop at the local library and returned home with new books for him. When he saw the books, he exclaimed, "Library books!" Happily, he recognized them immediately as not his. We keep these books in a special section of the shelf and he's become an expert at separating them from the books that are indeed his.

In the library, I love watching him look through the books and turn the pages. One day soon he'll be reading the words himself. Right now he points to the words and says, "ABCs!"

What are your favorite books to borrow from the library? We've enjoyed some of the Dinosaur Vs. series. Click through to watch videos and download coloring sheets. We look forward to coloring Dinosaur Vs. The Library!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all the women who mother in many, any and all capacities. To the mammas, grandmothers, aunts, friends, neighbhors, teachers, caregivers, nurses, doctors, nannies, babysitters and more.

Forget the endless competition about everything (disposable diapers! cloth diapers!) and mommy wars. Let's love those near and far and those residing in the past, present and future.

That is to say, three cheers to all the Woman Mother Writers out there. I hope you can enjoy a treat, rest and place to write today and throughout the year.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Out of Town and Back Again

I’m back from a successful visit to Fitchburg State University and an invigorating visit to Boston to visit with college friends. And when I returned, everything was ok with my family. I’m back at my desk feeling both professional and loved.
I was invited to Fitchburg State University by Dr. DeMisty Bellinger-Delfeld to give a reading, food writing talk and Q&A. I loved preparing for the events. I had an opportunity to think seriously about food writing in connection to my Italian definition poems. It was also flattering to be interviewed for the school paper before my arrival. 

Later in Boston with my college friends, it was dreamy to have time to talk, laugh, even cry, eat and drink throughout Boston. It has been almost 20 years (!!!) since we were all on campus together at Smith College. We can still start up right again as if we were back at a round table in the flower wallpapered dining room.

Our children need to see us doing things for our professional and personal lives. And we need to do those things. Is it hard to find the time, money and generally organize such things to happen? Yes, for sure. Did I prepare too much lasagna for my boys and generally spend too much time organizing all the things my husband knows how to do? Sure. Maybe next time I can relax before leaving, too, as my own confidence builds.

Away, I took long showers in the hotel and caught up on Poets & Writers and New Yorker issues over breakfast. What a delight to have some extra quiet time to think and rest. 

I am so happy to be back home with my boys in my arms again, ready to color with the littlest one and catch up on everything he’s done with the biggest one.