Wednesday, September 29, 2010

When you hear Tim McGraw

I went with John to a somewhat nerve-wracking doctor's appointment today. Everything turned out fine in the end thank God. However, as I drove there to meet him the song that came on the radio was "Live Like You Were Dying". We will Tim McGraw. We will.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Ruin is a gift

I saw Eat, Pray, Love recently. I really liked it, I cried and laughed even though I didn't really believe that Julia had a weight problem. I mean, come on! The scenery was pure beauty and this bit has stuck with me ever since.

“A friend took me to the most amazing place the other day. It’s called the Augusteum. Octavian Augustus built it to house his remains. When the barbarians came they trashed it along with everything else. The great Augustus, Rome’s first true great emperor. How could he have imagined that Rome, the whole world as far as he was concerned, would be in ruins. It’s one of the quietest, loneliest places in Rome. The city has grown up around it over the centuries. It feels like a precious wound, a heartbreak you won’t let go of because it hurts too good. We all want things to stay the same. Settle for living in misery because we’re afraid of change, of things crumbling to ruins. Then I looked around at this place, at the chaos it has endured – the way it has been adapted, burned, pillaged and found a way to build itself back up again. And I was reassured, maybe my life hasn’t been so chaotic, it’s just the world that is, and the real trap is getting attached to any of it. Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation.”

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The British are brilliant

This is all I have today.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Boys of Fall

If you know me, like really know me, you know that I don't like football. I'd rather put away laundry and clean the bathroom than watch a game. I don't understand the plays and I have no desire to figure it out. I don't participate in fantasy football although my husband is constantly in my ear about his team. Paradoxically I love football. I love sitting on the bleachers in the crisp fall air, hearing the thud of helmets hitting helmets, the whistle blowing, the crowd yelling Go D! I love it. I love the team work, the huddles, the spirit, the drive.

I grew up in a football family. My father played for St. Mary's as did my brother until the school closed which found him playing his senior year at Glens Falls and then playing center for Norwich University. My dad (and my mom too) was always there for my brother, holding the yard markers, helping the coaches, supportive as best he could but never in the overbearing kind of way. He was the gentle giant that stood quietly by but when necessary made his voice known. I vividly remember a picture of my dad clad in stonewashed jeans (it was 1989!) standing on the field at Norwich with my brother. The smiles and pride, the dreams and goals, the support and love are ever present in this moment frozen in time.

The torch has now been passed to my nephew who has played for the past 4 years. He's growing by leaps and bounds and that little guy running around with a huge helmet has been replaced with a tall and slender young man.

We went to Jacob's game today and at the end we went down on the field for high-fives. Luke extended his hand in awe of these real, live players. His mouth hung open as his eyes scanned them from helmet to cleat. And then he saw Jacob, it was as if he saw a star.
I wanted my father there. I could hear him laughing, I heard the pride bursting through the intense sunset, I saw his hand on Jake's shoulder, passing on the torch. I felt the loss as we remembered when Jacob first saw our cousin play at Union when he was merely Ellie's age.

I am so proud of this family. I want my nephew to see my father's yearbook, to see the lineage.

I want you to watch this. I know it's long, but take the time. And yes I'm going to say it, I am going to go all the way and get all cheesy and cliche on you:It's not just about football, it's about the way of life. Go build your team, get psyched and tackle your dreams whatever they may be.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The first day

Luke had his first day of "school" today. He was so proud to go, so proud of the lunch he helped me make, so proud of his locker and all of his supplies.

He walked down the big hallway and with twinkly wide eyes said, "What is this place?"

"This is your school buddy!"

"Oh, okay mawn."

And off he went. We got everything situated just so, in his locker and he sat right down to play John Deere tractors with the other boys. He gave me a kiss and a hug and never looked back.

I talked with his teacher for a minute before I walked out of the room. I looked in to see if he noticed that I was gone and clearly he could have cared less. I hesitated in the doorway before I walked out of the building and back to the car. There were no tears we were both just so proud to be so secure with this new routine.

I found him playing on the playground. He looked so tired. I scooped him up and we hugged for what seemed like 10 minutes. "I was awaiting for you Mawm. I couldn't find you. I made a flower, but I didn't want to make 'nother one."

"Did you have fun today!?"

"Yeah I did have fun. I made a flower. I need to get my stuff Mawm. It's in my school."

"Well okay let's go get it."

"Some boy made me so, so sad. He broke my feelins Mawm. Brodie is my best friend. He is because he is nice. I play John Deere tractor with him and he play dump truck. That 'nother boy hurt me, teacher told him to sit on floor. He broke my feelins."

And so it begins. The heart ache and the soaring pride. Tomorrow is another day I told him.

"I'm sure that boy didn't mean it, if it happens again just tell him you forgive him and keep on playing okay?"

"Okay. I did miss you Mawm. I love you."

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Mr. Sandman

Last night I dreamed it was my college graduation. My dad was there with my mom, we didn't talk, we just walked around campus. Then we sat on a couch and texted each other. Kind of weird isn't it? I don't remember what we said but I do remember laughing and feeling the security and comfort of us all being back together.

As usual, there was a flash and I was in a ghetto neighborhood, lost and walking down scary streets with vicious dogs. My dreams always take this turn. It's a cycle of finding myself lost in some New York City ghetto with gun shots firing as I take cover in a random ethnic marketplace.

Mmmkay. Dreams are strange. Mr. Sandman, I beg you to lead me down better roads than the ghetto from now on.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Ellie: Grace

2 months to 2 years

Another peak into the crazy life of the Stevens family.

The real face of parenthood

Someone's almost always pissed about something.

Glazed over, sickly and exhausted.

3 months to 3 years

Luke and I played around with photobooth today on my computer. After we took some post-nap pics we looked back through the archives and laughed (I teared up) as we watched time flash before our eyes.