Moxie Mom On Life and Kids

MOXIE MOM on Life & Kids


Today I read some news in the newspaper that made me sad. Paul Newman has died.

My kids and I were sitting around the table, and I said, as I read the headline, “Ooohhhh, Paul Newman died.” It caught me by surprise, the headline, and felt especially poignant on this beautiful fall day, much of which we spent on Clayton Beach admiring the views. 

I have always thought ever since I was a kid that the day Paul Newman died would be the day I would start feeling old. Well, I still don’t feel old, but apparently I’m on my way (when Julia Roberts dies, well, then I’ll be truly ancient).

“Who’s Paul Newman?” my kids asked.

Who’s Paul Newman? Yep, I have helped to birth the next generation. (On the way back from Clayton Beach, as we were passing a window with posters in it, Leah said, “Who’s that woman in the left-hand poster?” “That’s Jim Morrison,” I said. “That’s a guy?” she asked.)

I still recall the day Elvis Presley died and my mom’s mourning. The difference was I knew who Elvis was, but I didn’t care about his music. For my mom, though, for many people, his death was the end of an era. And of course back then I thought he was old when he died. What did I know? When John Lennon died, it didn’t feel like the end of an era because it was too freaky and sad. It wasn’t supposed to happen that way. But today feels like the end of an era.

I think it’s time we rent Butch Cassidy.   

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Sketchy Announcements

Today I was driving past the Lion Inn Motel, or whatever that place is on Elm St. (on my way to get my stitches out of my pinky), and the billboard caught my attention.

“Remodeled rooms still drug-free.”

Huh. Is that supposed to inspire confidence?


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This is what Ty said to his dad a couple nights ago after he (Ty) had emptied the compost bucket into the Food Plus bin: 

“You can put compost in the garbage, but you can’t put garbage into the compost. Kind of like a square is a rectangle, but not all rectangles are squares.”

Huh. I never would have thought to look at compost that way, and now I suspect I always will. 


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Sharp Encounters

Yesterday we learned about knives—and what they can do even when no one is actually doing much of anything with them. Ty and Leah were comparing the look and shape of various blades from our knife block. Ty was holding the meat cleaver, blade sideways, as I, in a brisk, motherly hurry, reached around him with a fork in my hand to open the silverware drawer. Pinky Knuckle met Knife Blade in a nice clean slice.

I knew it was pretty deep the moment it happened. “Are you okay? Ty wanted to know. More importantly, “Was that my fault?”

“No, it’s not your fault,” I said as I hurried off to the bathroom to check it out. Did it need stitches or not? Some of my friends would have said no. I wasn’t sure.

Long story short, I spent a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon in the waiting room of the walk-in clinic, wondering the whole time whether I was wasting my time. And the doctor’s.

Turns out no. He gave me four stitches and explained why you can’t get stitches the next day when you’ve decided your cut might need them after all (you’ll sew in the bacteria). Also why glue doesn’t work on the knuckle. And today, when I bent my finger too much, I experienced that second why first-hand. 

My kids think stitches are cool, like little black spiders. Since Ty is the only one in our family now who’s never had them, we’ve decided it’s his turn next. Just not on a beautiful sunny afternoon.

(Actually, I don’t wish accidents or waiting rooms on anyone.) 

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Random School Thoughts

So, we’re at the end of the first week of school, and already my kids have each missed a day due to illness. Ty missed the first day, staying home to watch movies and veg out while his fever ran its course. Leah stayed home yesterday, her second day of middle school (when locker assignments were made, no less), and lay on the couch, staring at the ceiling.

Today, they both went off to school, and I felt a corresponding energy lift—like my brain was finally free to relax, focus, and engage with what I wanted to engage with (work, actually, but focusing on work without kids hanging over your shoulder is fun. Well, that, and I like my work).

I guess the upside to the bad colds is Leah was forced to relax about locker partners and who it would be and where her locker would be and what the combination would be. Not everyone relaxes in this situation, of course, but she actually did, much to my surprise (she’s the type who plans down to the last detail), and I think reconciling with the unknown was a good thing for her. Plus she got the locker issue resolved today, and all is well.

My kids don’t get home until 3:45 this year. Wow. I feel like a free woman. And I also see just how fleeting it all is. Ty will be a middle schooler in three years. Leah will be a high schooler in three years. She will be graduating high school in seven years. Seven years. In ten years…okay, you see where I’m going. I’ll stop.

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