Tag Archives: beach

Moving, finally


We joke that our house is the “Malcolm in the Middle” home of the neighborhood. Our forsaken front yard is crabgrass which naturally browns in the winter. Except for the weeds, their greenery is exquisite. (It is hard to say that modestly.)

The arrival of spring weather brings new weed growth, something we celebrate here because it let’s us fake a lawn. I like it also because it gets my son out of the house and the mall and puts him squarely behind the mower. Granted, one of his favored malls is an outdoor mall and he does engage in the activity known as “walking” sometimes, but I like the physical productivity of mowing.


I’d be remiss to not interject that our boy, EJD also participates in Krav Maga, the Israeli fighting system a couple of times a week but that is a newish activity and it does not reap immediate rewards, for me, like lawn maintenance does.

So, as I was saying: we were talking foreclosure. Dude had only been out-of-work about 6 weeks before he landed this post, but regular paychecks haven’t been ours for a few years. I’ve worked here and there, but have no career and I have found no one wants to hire a middle-age woman with no discernible job skills whose hours are partially restricted by son-ferrying obligations. Hey! I’m a fun gal who is dependable, honest and reasonably bright. But the same can be said of people a quatra-zillion years younger than me. Who you gonna hire?

Anyway. Dude got a job. Dude likes his job. We.gonna.move. Our son knew a move was in the cards and fought it kicking and screaming but he seems to have climbed on board. Maybe because now we’ll live by the beach and have family within driving distance. His sister makes her formal move to acting capital Los Angeles next week, hopefully her presence is part of the allure but I doubt it. They are fighting now, separated by 3,000 miles and they are fighting.

I really have to stop here and pat myself on the back, it’ll just take a moment.

Phew, OK done with that. A passerby may have thought I had an itch but no, a self-congratulatory pat was in order. Almost grown children arguing. Not speaking. Wait. It reminds me of my younger sister and me! We are not speaking either! Connections! So exciting! It’s sort of like an episode of the ancestry search show “Who Do You Think You Are?”

My sister is MJH and she will reside about 8 hours away from our new home. Exciting times. Heh heh.

On my list now are home repairs, packing, sorting, Good Will trips, a possible garage sale and more packing. Groan. It will be worth it in the end though because finally, we’re moving.


Not a Perfect World


Even though my 18-year-old daughter and I live a country’s width apart, she in southern California and I in North Carolina, we still argue.

I’m not bragging, just stating a fact.

Often I drift in my reverie to when she was about  three years old and we walked neighborhood sidewalks hand-in-hand. I could still choose her clothes back then, and I am telling you she looked cute. There we’d be, walking together with her croaking out her little-girl questions about the world.

I wonder how the years passed without me managing to teach her another language (ignore the fact I only know one), how to play an instrument (no I don’t) or sending her to sleep away camp (I did go and it is one of my best childhood memories.) I didn’t go swimming with her because I was too self-conscious to get into a bathing suit.  Sometimes she pleaded with me to get in the neighborhood pool with her, once or twice I did. The joy in her voice when I came in was unmistakable, “Mom’s coming in the pool!”

But, it was once or twice, max. She then resigned herself to the fact that I wouldn’t play with her in the water. I also didn’t teach her to cook (I can cook but I have with no patience, and I married a would-be chef.)

Now it’s gone. Her childhood is over. My sweet son is 15 so his is still here, but fading fast.

There is a new waterpark  nearby; I’ve seen the advertisements. Everybody is having fun! Laughing as they slide – arms in the air – and tumble-down gigantic water slides. Oh my kids would love that! I want to take them there and watch their open-eyed amazement and feel their unabated, unabashed delirious innocent joy!

I want to take them to the beach and see their little arms and legs work furiously to fill and carry buckets of sand to the water. Stupefying concentration is required when burying a younger brother up to his neck in the sand. Then swelling pride for both when only his head is suspended above the shore. A laughing smile and his big brown eyes full of triumph would dampen only briefly when his sister shrieked, “Don’t move!” if a finger or toe sought the sun.

I hate passing time. Stop! Make the time stop so I can have just a while longer with my babies.

This great divide between my daughter and I began opening when she was 12 or 13. First a crack, then a crevice, then a canyon. Now I try to build a bridge, a little at a time. When I say “build a bridge” I mean see her and speak to her as more of a grown-up than a child. Patiently wait for the time she can answer me like an adult.

I can see her trying. We both are making inroads. A call back after exchanging harsh words. A patient text after losing patience. I think back to our closeness, how we would huddle and cuddle in bed talking or reading a book. If I had my way, I would still huddle and cuddle with her. But she’s not my little baby anymore.

Just my baby. Always, my baby.