The Wink is a labor of love, occasional source of ire and constantly influenced by the toddlywinks in my life- my daughters. There's also the HunkyWink. You'll read all about them as The Wink unfolds. Please feel free to wink back!

Monday, March 30, 2009

I hate cats

No, I really do. I am sorry if you love them. I should probably say I also never really went through the "I love dolphins" phase. I was kind of a dorky Huey Lewis into George Thoroughgood, David Addison into Arnie Becker into, hula hoop into track shoes kind of dork. All the way through I hated cats and they hated me back.

Ask my sister.

Anyway, the cat today is the proverbial cat in the bag, or out of the bag as it were. I have officially lost track of who reads this blogs, who knows this blog exists and who could use this blog to trip me up publicly. Not that I'd ever say anything that isn't true, but perhaps I've had private battles here that allowed me to play nice, act unhurt or just generally move on in public.

I have no bones to pick to prompt this, just the realization that for the past week or so it's been my boobs here, specifically me talking about them. One could say it was to demonstrate for my recent presentation that one should be engaging, racing or controversial in order to gain/retain/whatever an audience. The truth is I've always done better when being true to myself and my life.

An old colleague that I have recently friended on Facebook posted an entry that said something to the effect of:

Hey, parents- MOTHERS OR DADS, could someone please post about screaming at your kids? Share some audio, maybe publish the note from school saying your kids has not potential. Please?!"


I totally get what he's going for with this. I left a comment about how in those moments we drop the camera. But seriously, I suppose some people may enjoy reading that and others may enjoy writing about their boobs and sex life all the time. I prefer writing the things that I would like to remember.

My memory is abysmal at best. I need these morsels to lead me back to dried clovers, to snoring rapture and to the days of dolls and romance.

I suppose I could get wrapped up in people that don't want to read it, or too worried about the people that do, I think instead I'll keep my eye on the ball and worry about hitting it— thwack. The feeling of the words hitting the screen just right, bits of my heart and mind winking back at me, feels just like a great hit. When it resonates with others, all the better.

Here's to great shirts, hot dads and golden moments with our kids-not necessarily in that order, or, maybe if the shirt is great enough, in exactly that order ;)

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Monday, March 23, 2009

I'm Saying It

There's a reason the phrase, "getting up the nerve" exists. I think if we always had the nerve it'd no longer feel like nerve, it would just be. Not bold. Not brave. Just constant and with constants come the desire for change, no? Look at me overthinking and stalling while I try and work up the nerve.

See, yesterday was a bad day. Started a half-step out of synch and began spiraling quickly to something much worse. We tried to fix it and by we, I mean Sean. He did every little thing you wish for your husband or best friend to do, but you're too embarrassed to ask. We almost made it, but then naps and meals and conflicting desires collided into a family-wide meltdown on the way home. Yay failure. Somehow through a haze of Lion King soundtrack, drowse-inducing heat and hand holding we made it.

This morning, despite serious indicators of another shitastic day, I turned a corner. After a brisk, but sunny walk with temperatures below 20, I found myself remembering. I walked a little faster, held my head a little taller. It was intoxicating, not a little bit, like head-to-toe chills and a smile that never wavered intoxicating.

I'd dressed for a meeting knowing that I would have to be walking outside in the cold. The pants were an unapologetic kelly green and the shirt a silky black find for our last trip west.

Here comes the part where I show my nerve. I love this shirt. Love it, love it, love it. I love that it has a ruffley front that probably flies in the face of trends but makes me feel sassy. I dig that it has a three quarter sleeve that doesn't make me feel like my arms are too long. I am wild about the way it hangs just right so that I don't have the to tuck or not to tuck fretting issue. I giggle at the way that the collar opening frames my neck and makes my hair look chic. Rather than choking up I feel giddy as the girls eyes pop when they see me in it. "Oooh, mom, that's pretty."

But the thing I love, the thing that really makes me wrinkle my nose and do the mean pretty girl laugh is...kind of embarrassing as I sit here in my too small Target sleep tshirt in day-glo coral. It feels so far off, but it's still there.

My silky, funky, cut-just-right black shirt makes me look like I have a preserve-it-in-a-pin-up-poster-OMFG-rack.

There.
I said it.
My boobs look good in the shirt. No air of those girls are meant for nursing, no "that shirt is cut too low and all I see is cleavage," just pure, undeniable that shirt and that chest make beautiful music together.

As I said here, deal with it. Today this mama is owning the fact that she felt sexy. And that feels sexy and frankly with three kids a small business and part time day care, sexy can be in short supply.

You can go here and read another kind of deal with it or you can stay here and sing your own. C'mon, it feels good. What's your good girl's bad girl confession?

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Pages Sticking Together

We have a cabinet with a glass door. It's blue with a sweet little hinge that clasps the door. Inside are three shelves with books books from my grandparents.

Frost.
Lorca.
Auden.
Whitman.
Cummings.

The cabinet smells of my grandparents. A gentle swing of the door and I can feel the velvet of their sofa cushions, can hear the creak of the Calhoun steps and the whooshing of the tide on the shore in San Juan.

I can still recall the day we bought it from a shop in Greenwich. It was an unnecessary purchase, one of our earliest as a married couple. Driving home with it felt both wicked and grown up. From the moment we brought it home it within our things as if it had always been a part of us.

Over the years things have been added to the shelves; a tin sailboat, a baby footprint card, my engagement ring box. I've tucked photos between the pages, slipped flowers in to dry. The girls are fascinated by the cabinet, tempted by its contents and entranced by their reflections. Three little girls, a parade of memories as their reflections gasp to keep pace with their growth.

The other day I reached for a book and the smell surprised me, the co-mingling of two eras: the memory of my grandparents and my place with them as a little girl and this trove of treasures and this new batch of little girls.

My girls.
My grandparents.

Two weeks from now we'll go, this married couple and our girls, to finally bury my grandfather.

Life will never be the same, and yet, a special blue cabinet with a little glass door, promises that it will go on.

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pre-Nap Confessional and Doo Wap

Briar: Mom, I'm so sorry that I took a cookie from the plate that time.

(Easily 6 months ago)

Briar: Mom, I am so, so sorry that I cleaned the tv.

(1 month ago, with a wipe, after explicit directions not to clean it)

Briar: Mom, I promise never to clean the tv the fireplace or talk about your body like that again.

Avery: Mom, I promise that I not gonna plug out the vacuum ever again, ya know dat?

(Total BS, she cannot control herself.)

Briar: I was thoughting about eating the egg, but I didn't 'cause it wasn't cooked and you said it'll make me sick. Is that ok, that I was just thoughting but not doing?

Me: That's right, there not usually any harm in just thinking about things.

Avery: And you know I was just thinking that the playdough is a kind of cake but you can't eat it 'cause it's playdough and you could get sick and get the red stuff if you eat the playdough that's a cake but not really cause it's playdough, ya know dat?

(Red stuff is code for throwing up, it's a long story involving fruit punch and too many cookies)

Me: Yes.

Briar: Ya don't eat playdough.

Ave: You know dat, mom? No eating playdough.

Briar: Mom, remember that time I got the red stuff?

Ave: Yeah, she got the red stuff that time.

Me: Yes.

Briar: I'll not do anything to get the red stuff ever agin.

Ave: Ever again she won't.

Me: Girls?

A&B: Uh-huh?

Me: Nap. Now.

Briar: Now what?

Ave: Nap.

Briar: Now?

Ave: Nappin' now, Bri.

Me: Good girls. Naptime.

I walked out of the room to the whispers of two sisters and a sleeping baby.

I think the preservation of these exchanges in my memory is exactly the thing that prevents me from being able to keep track of where I set the brush, my car keys and the checkbook.


Are you a misplacer of things and keeper of memories?

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Naptime musing

I decided that I should put naptime to good use, unfortunately I just came up with a bunch of questions.

Why does the shower curtain liner always fold in on itself and get bitty mold spots no matter how diligently I spray it with cleaner, scrub and dry it?

What is the clear sticky substance that always glues down anything I put on the second shelf of the fridge?

Do I have stress induced bald patches in my eyebrows or do I suck at plucking?

Does the Garnier under-eye, silver ball thing I bought actually make a difference or do I just feel better for having tried something?

Does a 3rd cup of coffee make me weak?

Does Fin have any idea how much I love it when she clings to me?

Can I possibly protect Briar from inheriting the traits from me that have caused me the greatest heartache?

Exactly how long will it be before Avery breaks another bone?

Am I beginning to look like a ventriloquist doll?





Am I alone in wondering these kinds of things?

Updated to add:

Briar just said, as she stroked the front of my shirt, "Mom, your belly looks like it is just going big again. Like you are having another baby. Are you?"

Horror! At least I was alone. But damn, for the record—

Here's what she pointed at:



And here it is in profile with no sucking in. It may not be taut, but expectant? Excuse me while I go and weep quietly in the corner as I imagine the things she'll say when she is actually trying to hurt my feelings.

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Monday, March 9, 2009

Look at you!

Whoops, for those of you catching me in your reader, surprise. That's what a bit of dust, a late night and a precariously perched laptop while blogging will get you.

The old premature publication

Sorry.

I was taking a demi break between assignments to pop my head in and say hello. A freshly shorn and highlighted head, natch. After what might be called a famously bad day or an eerily prescient message, I darted down to Saratoga for a hair appointment I had scheduled months ago. It would be fair to say that I went just shy of kicking and screaming. Felt like I might have an accident, turns out the universe wanted me to get my hair done, it did NOT want me to do certain other things.

Fair enough universe, I may be stubborn, but I can take a hint.

Can you even stand the cryptocity? Like that? This day has been so odd I am making up words. I think I'd actually do quite well to make up words. If Perez can say, "Ridonculous," "celebutard," and other stuff that makes me roll my eyes and think, "Damn, he's just making stuff up and people keep reading it," then I can too. Or not.

Back to, "Look at you!"

I am constantly exclaiming just that to the girls. Life is a bit like an experience I had as an exchange student in Spain. My host family (Hola Marta!) had a chicken and pig farm. Joan and I were at the farm to visit the chickens. Joan took me into the space where the chickens were. It was amazing so many little chicks. A visit some two or three weeks later had the chickens every where, covering the floor of the building. It was constant motion, with little white bits of down fluttering everywhere, clinging to your clothes.

The girls, though perhaps not as prone to molting-like tendencies, are in constant motion, always underfoot, on my lap or clinging to my person in some way. I love it. I t can be an endurance sport, but really, my absence here is a testament to their pull. I find myself standing in the halo of their vivacity as if taking in the sun.

This afternoon I left as Sean took my place, a moat of princess tiles circling his feet before he knew what hit him. I trudged to the car thinking that I was abandoning my spot, but I was wrong. When I returned home, my hair flippy and streaky, they were there. The princess tiles had migrated, closer to Sean's post at the stove. They were twinkling and giggling, breathless to share what they'd been doing while I was away.

And so it was that I found myself falling in love all over again, with my girls, my hair, my husband and my haven, this place I can come to, daily, or not, to share.

Thanks for being here.

What have you been up to?

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Deal with it

That's what he said, "Deal with it."

It hit me like a face full of ice water.

"You are better in your sleep than most people are on their best day."

I tried not to be annoyed, not to roll my eyes and think, "Do you have to deliver the compliments in such an annoyed and obnoxious way?"

He read my mind.

"I can't figure out a way to say this so that you'll hear me. It's exhausting."

Then I felt like smiling, which pissed me off.

He saw that too.

I cracked wise and we both relaxed a bit. He's right, but so am I— I realize I didn't explain to you the basis for all of this, but it doesn't matter. Trust me. Every so often I veer off course and let insecurities get the better of me. More often than not I recognize them for what they are; stalling tactics or passive aggressive attempts to go around something rather than straight through.

Now I find myself emboldened. I remember talking about a similar thing a while back, I called it a rear view mirror confession. A good friend printed it and sent it to me on my birthday. I'll never forget that. Thank you, Cindie.

So let's revisit the idea of acknowledging some things, good and bad.

I am a hand-wringer. Not always, but often enough to know that it could be used in a list of things about me.

I wear short sleeves year-round. My arms are long and my shoulders are broad, my torso is long too, but not so broad. Long sleeves fit me weird and if I'm cold I'll put on a coat. Deal with it.

I judge inseams. Seriously people, make sure they're long enough, it doesn't cost anymore to size up an inch or two.

I break cameras. So help me, but any camera with me, though deeply cherished and revered, has a significantly diminished lifespan. Can't explain it. I need a new camera. Sob.

I kinda love my body right now. There are hollows and curves that aren't exactly as I'd like them, but overall, the lines of my face and the planes of my body are dear to me. Rambo shoulders, phlebotomist-wet-dream-veins, muscular calves, big feet and stubborn chin. Mine.

I don't cook the same thing twice. No recipes, no discipline, just fun.

I am tuning out and going to hang with my kids. I beat myself up for this, never truly unplugging. But I am. Now. Deal.

Can you tell people to deal with it?

Can you?

Do it.

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