Megali - adjective, noun - adjective 1. great or big in Greek -noun 1.. A nickname derived from my first and middle names

Saturday, April 13, 2013


My mom is a storyteller. She likes to tell stories of our lives over and over again. Occasionally it gets frustrating as she gets stuck on a minor detail - was it a Tuesday or a Thursday - and my siblings, my Dad, or I will blurt, "it doesn't matter. Get to the point!" But usually I enjoy her stories because I find that new details might be revealed in each telling.

One story involves a request three year old me had of the move from the state in which I was born to the state in which I grew up. I demanded a yellow bedroom. Admittedly, my parents could have painted my new room to appease me but our new house came with a yellow bedroom already. Fortuitous. Eventually that room became my brothers' as it was the biggest and made the most sense for sharing.

Yellow makes me happy.

I had hoped to find a bright, lemon yellow dress for my 8th grade dance but had no luck. Maybe it wasn't a color designers were using, maybe a dress that color just wasn't in the stores we were checking, who knows? Instead I wound up with a sleeveless dress in cobalt.

Blue is, and has been for nearly two decades, my favorite color.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

I've previously shared my affinity for Spring and the memories the season brings.  Bold, bright forsythia blooms in our backyard.  It may not be here next year or may just be cut back.  We have new rear neighbors who have sons about the same age as ours and we'll need a better path between backyards.

I am always discovering new ways in which I grow more and more like my mother.  I think I might be described as a roundabout storyteller too.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Nobody's Perfect, Not Even My Mother


A few years ago, when dealing with antepartum depression, my therapist gave me a book called Nobody's Perfect, Not Even My Mother in which "a young child learns that nobody's perfect, yet people can be wonderful just the same." because part of my struggle was perfectionism and not being who I thought I should be, particularly as a mom.  The illustrations and moreso the storyline feel old; the book is from the 80s.  Yet, when reading aloud to a child, it helps temper the parental hero worship that lasts for such a short time in their young life, and reminds the reader that nobody's perfect, not even me.  In the words of Stuart Smalley, "...and that's...okay."

My imperfections are not few, but I think some of the worst ones are evident when I'm in such a hurry I forego minor laws and basic human courtesy. Nothing good comes from rushing.  Case in point, several weeks ago we were thisclose to running late to an obligation and I chose to, just this once, turn right at the stoplight closest to our house, despite the prominent "No Turn on Red" sign.  Sure enough, there was a police officer in the vicinity who witnessed my mistake and pulled me over.  It was my first time ever getting pulled over and I didn't cry like I always assumed I would, even though the boys were asking me if I was going to jail.  Instead, the first thing I said to the officer was, "I know exactly what I did wrong and I'm sorry."  Fortunately, he was in a forgiving mood and I got off with a warning.

It's funny because, as R will be sure to tell you, I ordinarily won't even jaywalk because it's against the law.  And, as R will also attest, I tend towards what he calls overly-PC and what I consider walking a mile in someone else's shoes.  Kurt Vonnegut succinctly stated my life's goal, "God damn it, you've got to be kind."


When I fail in that regard, I want to cry and I get an empty hurt in the pit of my stomach.  I had such an encounter today and it was all my fault.

We had a busy morning.  We went to a playdate, then a toy store to get gift ideas as we have a birthday party every Saturday for the next four weekends.  Last stop was the library.  I park and let the kids out through Curly's side of the car.  While making sure he's safe, Slim pushes the door hard to get out.  It hits the car next to us.  I register that the car is running; the driver is in the car.  I reprimand Slim, insisting he needs to pay better attention to his surroundings.  I'm mortified.  But I'm also single-minded in my purpose - we have to get in and out of the library fast, make it home to eat lunch, load up the backpack with snack, note, and folder, then meet the pm kindergarten bus.  The car that was hit by our door has its reverse lights on; the driver is leaving.  Ok then, my brain's focused on the to-do list.  We need to hurry.

Walking now, we're five cars away when I hear a loud, "What do you think you're doing?"  I know who it is.  I know they are talking to me.  But the tone of voice raises my hackles and I turn around and defensively respond, "Excuse me?"  A blonde woman, about my age, looks at me disdainfully.  She says something else caustically.  I walk towards her and ask her to please cut the sarcasm in front of my kids.  She does. She points out the mark on her door that matches the color of mine.  I hadn't noticed.  I want to melt from embarrassment.  She dresses me down calmly, deservedly. 

I profusely apologize.  I explain that my focus isn't where it should be.  I offer my insurance information.  I want to prove that I'm actually a very nice person.  She won't take it, any of it.  All she wants is something impossible.  For me to go back in time and say I'm sorry without prompting.  That it was bad enough when people walk away from things like that when the driver isn't there, but it is worse when they are.

It is too late.  The damage is done.  Literally and figuratively.  She is right and I darn well know it.  She doesn't take anything from me, but imparts a final message. Her point sounds like something you'd hear in a horror movie, "Just don't let yourself do this again."

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

What's So Relaxing About a Murder-by-Treetop Ballad?

Philosotoddler has a point.  Source:

This past weekend, my boys wanted to play "baby."  I had such a woah-time-is-going-way-too-fast moment strike as I cradled them in my arms.  It especially resonated with my older son, my first baby, as all four feet plus of him and his long, lean limbs stretched far beyond my lap.

A friend and I recently discussed that while we may be picky about what movies we play in our home, we're unlikely to ever censor their book choices.  Yet when they were itty bitty, I did occasionally employ creative editing of some morbid lullabies and nursery rhymes.

If, like me, you've wondered why anyone would write lyrics about a child falling to their presumed death, let alone sing it to put children to sleep, perhaps you'd like my reworked Rock-a-Bye Baby!

Rock-a-bye baby
In mommy's arms
While you are here, you'll come to no harm
You know that I love you
And you know that daddy does too

Are there any songs or stories that disturbed you enough to change them when sharing with your kids?