From the monthly archives:

August 2010

Unknown Mami

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I will do pretty much anything Morgan Freeman tells me to

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You see a lot of interesting people every morning near the train station. There is Mr. Jim, the Salvation Army guy, who is the staple presence inside the building even in January, when people think they are done with their charity giving. I love coming into work and seeing Mr. Jim sitting on his stool next to his red bucket. He always has a jovial smile and a firm handshake for you.  Then there is the guy who hawks “designer” purses and hats, sometimes scarves and gloves. The guy who occasionally sells boxes of Krispy Kreme donuts, right on the side of the street. In the middle of the sidewalk across the street from the station, on most days when it is not pouring or freezing, you will see a bespectacled old lady sitting in her beach chair. Sometimes when people walk by they will greet her like an old friend. On some days, this old lady will be accompanied by an old gentleman. The two of them sit side by side in the midst of the current of people rushing towards the surrounding buildings.

When I came into work this morning, as usual, I stopped by Dunkin Donuts to get my customary “Large with cream and sugar” and as a treat, a bagel twist in Jalapeño cheddar flavor.  The old lady was not there today so the old gentleman was there by himself. As I rushed towards my office building, he extended his hand, the subtle movement of his hand pantomimed the question in jest, “Is that coffee for me?”

I recognized the glint in his eyes and the faint smile at the corner of his mouth. For the first time I noticed how much he looks like Morgan Freeman.

aka god.

“Of course!” I smiled and handed him my coffee. I looked at the paper bag in my other hand, “How about a bagel?”

“Thank you so much! You made my day!” He broke into a dazzling smile, “Take this!” and handed me today’s Chicago Redeye.

I took one look at the front page and I knew.

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God is trying to send me a message

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Seriously.  If this is not a message from god, I don’t know what is…

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Actually this year, the first day of school IS special:

My oldest will be going to junior high. THIS, is the first day of the rest of his life without his mama hovering over him…

Or at least that’s how it feels to ME. I am pretty sure from his perspective I am a pesky fly that won’t go away.

I could tell he was nervous because he woke up at 6:30 this morning without an alarm or me threatening to pour cold water on him. Well, that and the fact he said, “I am nervous.”

“I am nervous too, honey.” I said. “Ooops. Maybe I shouldn’t have told you that, huh? Probably didn’t help…”

Tentatively I suggested that I drive him to the bus stop because of “the huge heavy bag of school supplies” (and not because I wanted to be there on his first day as a 7th grader). He startled me with a brilliant smile, “AWESOME!”

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You can never be sure when they want to be treated like an adult, and when, a child.

Trial and error.

Today, when I thought that he would want to look cool and not be seen with his mom, he asked, “Are you going to bring your camera?”

“I wanted to but I was not going to because I assume you will be mortified?”

“Nah. I don’t care…  Where is [younger brother]? Is he still asleep? I want him to say goodbye to me at the bus stop…”

Today is full of surprises. The two of them sometimes behave as if they were mortal enemies.

“Well, go wake him up then. Tell him that you are going to a different school from now on. That the two of you will never be in the same school again.”

When my oldest came downstairs again, I asked him whether his brother was going to the bus stop with us.

“Nah. He’s still asleep.”

“Oh. He didn’t want to wake up? What did you say to him?”

“Nah. I just said ‘I am going to junior high today’ and then I kissed him on his cheek.”

Today is indeed full of surprises.

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It is still possible that when he comes home from his first day in junior high this afternoon, I am blamed for ruining his life.

For taking pictures of him at the bus stop even though I tried to do it surreptitiously by hiding behind the neighbor’s big SUV.

For standing too close next to the neighbor who was chanting, “Junior High! Junior High!”

For laughing too loudly when she called out, “You guys are moving up in the world! Look, your bus has tinted windows!”

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For raising my hand and waving as the bus drove away. It’s a force of habit. I will try and remember to stop doing it.

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Two little monkeys jumping on the bed, one fell down…

Now that his older brother is going to junior high, the quieter, less outgoing Mr. Monk will be for the first time by himself in the school. No more living under the shadows of his older brother. He will be known by his name, not a little brother, and definitely not “So and so’s brother”.

He looks all of a sudden so grown-up. His own person.

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This is so silly on my part since this is not the first “First Day of School” I have gone through. Yet I know many mothers are the same: We cannot help the tears coming out even as we laugh at ourselves.

When they turn around to wave goodbye as they step onto the bus…

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When you look at their anxious faces through the window…

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Something tugs at your heart.

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I Comment Therefore I Am: Vaginas, Mama Grizzlies and War on Stupidity

August 24, 2010 imho is just a polite way to say I know you don't give a hoot what I think but I'm going to say it anyway

Hello? *Tapping the microphone* Is this thing on? *Sorry for the screeeeching feedback* Hi. My name is Lin. And I run my mouth here. I sometimes do a set called “I Comment Therefore I Am” because comments more often than not are the best part. In the interest of full disclosure: Today I am going to lure […]

33 comments

Sundays in My City – Jump!

August 22, 2010 through the looking glass

. . . . . This post is inspired by MISSion Amy K.R., one of the WBEZ (Chicago Public Radio) blogs, where they conspired to save summer by making people jump at the same time on one designated night and encouraged people to stage their own gallery shows a la Philippe Halsman’s iconic photography book/exhibit […]

21 comments

How to Talk to People (Now with Visual Aids)

August 20, 2010 a picture is worth a thousand words

“7 magical conversational phrases” I came across this article the other day on Match.com. (Eh. Don’t ask WHY I was on Match.com… That hot sexy blonde whose picture is winking at ya? Yup. That’s my profile: I used a picture I took of A Vapid Blonde… Now you know. People LIE about these things…) It […]

40 comments

Wordless Wednesday. Ok. Just One Word: Hot

August 18, 2010 no manual for parenting

Or, How I Broaden My Kids’ Vocabulary and World View . Wait for it… . . . . .

37 comments

Sundays in My City – A Night at the Opera

August 15, 2010 through the looking glass

Ok. I lied. I went to the theatre with three boys under twelve with ants in their pants, what do you think? Just had to use it in my title because it is THE favorite album of mine, that’s all. We went to see a Broadway musical… in Chicago… I wish I could tell you […]

42 comments

Fallen From The Sky

August 13, 2010 therapy in session

“We don’t always have a choice on how we get to know one another.  Sometimes people fall into our lives cleanly — as if out of the sky, or as if there were a direct flight from Heaven to Earth — the same sudden way we lose people, who once seemed they would always be […]

1 comment

“How to Be Alone”

August 10, 2010 therapy in session

I was going to write something about BlogHer… But my besties that I have had the good fortune to meet and grope in magical New York City have all done a much better job than I could have, esp. since after three days, I am still pissing and sweating vodka… So if you haven’t been […]

51 comments