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Showing posts from February, 2014

Before You Came Along

When his little brother was about to be born, my oldest grandson asked me if his parents would still love him as much as they did before. He had been the only child in the family for seven years. I knew he didn’t want platitudes; he wanted an answer that would assuage his doubt.
I asked him which parent he loved more.  When he struggled, I intervened. I told him it didn’t matter if he had a favorite.  I asked him which grandmother he loved more, me or his other grandmom.  Once again, I stopped him before he was forced to answer.  Did he love both his parents, both his grandmothers?
He said yes. 
The heart is a muscle that stretches to accommodate all the people we love. It never runs out of room.  I shot names at him, all family members and family friends.  Do you love them all? He nodded. 
That is how your parents will feel about you when your brother is born.  They will love you as much as they loved you before your brother came along, but they will make room for your brother and lov…

Nerd Girl

The postcard invites her to join the High School Reunion Committee - SHE is needed to make this year’s party a success!
Hiss!  Boo!  Bah!
Yay, let’s bring back all the old memories, the old hurts. Let’s see who remembers The Wallflower Dance Queen; the Girl-Who-Spent-Every-Friday-With-Her-Parents while the rest of her senior class went out on dates, to the football games, and to the prom; the one and only Girl-Who-Never-Knew-The-Joy-Of-Wearing-An-Outrageously-Large-Homecoming-Corsage. 
Yes, let’s rub it in.
No matter that she survived all that angst and had a successful career and is now in an amazing relationship with her husband, “they” found her, the high school “cool kids” who shoved her aside because she was a nerd, because she was smarter than they, because she refused to act dumber than her football-player boyfriend. 
Dang Internet! Stupid Google.   
The Committee-Who-Needs-Her-Desperately-To-Make-This-Year’s-Reunion-A-Success is meeting at a local bar. (How appropriate.)  Anyone…

Spanglish 101

The moment I step into my mother’s house, something happens to my brain.My conversation switches back and forth between English and Spanish. There was a day when I could speak Spanish throughout the whole conversation, but since I only use it at my mother’s, I have forgotten some of it and I struggle to remember certain words. My husband called this mixture of my two languages Spanglish and I took offense. My parents took great care to teach me and my siblings how to speak Spanish correctly when we were children, and often when I speak it with someone other than my family, they notice that I speak differently than most locals. I take pride in that, except I do struggle with my Spanish, and my husband is right – if moving back and forth between the two languages is Spanglish, then I do speak it, but don’t tell him that. What I am really doing is code switching and it is a common phenomenon among all bilingual speakers, regardless the language. Any two languages that have some syntactical…

One Dollar Off

I am a coupon clipper.I have been for forty years.If using grocery coupons was an Olympic event, I would place in the top three. I clipped my first coupon the day I started my own household, but back then I was a total amateur. I clipped every coupon I found and bought stuff I never used. It was obsessive and wasteful. When the babies came along, I realized I had to learn to be thrifty, so I asked both my mother and my mother-in-law to help me collect baby coupons.  I swear on a stack of Proctor and Gamble products that every paper diaper the younger two used was purchased with a coupon. It saved me hundreds of dollars. I was learning by experience. I perfected the art when the kids hit their teenage years.  I was able to direct the money I saved on hair products and pimple medicines into food dollars (though I also coveted coupons for cold cereal and frozen pizzas). I became so obsessed with coupons I ripped them out of the magazines in the doctor’s office. I was good, real good.  I w…