Boys will be…

This morning I woke at five, hugged on Shrek, packed the car, and brought the boys to visit their uncle several hours south for the weekend.  Since our arrival I have napped, edited several poems, and “published” my fourth water poem entitled; “Lifeguards”. The boys have been inside once to pee. Their morning started like this:

Bonfires and machetes
Bonfires and machetes

I must say the recent article in the Atlantic exploring children and “dangerous” play certainly came to mind as I heard myself saying; “please remember we don’t run with the machete.” But, if anyone is equipped and competent at guiding these boys in satisfying and stimulating uproarious play–it’s Uncle.

They have not stopped laughing, yelling, racing, tossing, whittling, tossing, wheel barrowing, or screeching for three hours. They have bumps, scratches, pine needles, and sap stains all over them. They are in total bliss.

Marcel, shirtless, and cell drenched with the smell of smoke just came in to hug in me and tell me they are having an “epic adventure in boys will be….” He ran back outside before finishing the sentence.


Quote, Unquote

Marcel has been in rare quotable fashion lately:

On opportunity:

Last week, I came back up the stairs from the driveway at 6:55 am, already late for an early appointment. A lab appointment that required a twelve hour fast (read: no coffee) looked at Shrek, and announced with defeat; “My battery is dead, again. Can you please help me?”

Without skipping a beat, Marcel jumps off the couch, throws his arms over his head and in rah-rah fashion and hollers; “Yes! Yes Shrek buddy! This is your time to SHINE!”

You have  never seen two people smiling so big, while jumping a battery at 7:00 in the morning.

On parenting:

“Mom do you really think yelling at me to stop yelling is an effective parenting strategy?”

On blended families:

“Well sometimes I find myself shaking, wondering, do I really KNOW Shrek? I mean, how do I know if what I am feeling is what you really are supposed to feel about your dad?”

On perfection:

“The only thing we can ever be perfect at really, is being yourself.”


After grinding comes goofing in our dictionary

Almost every day of the fall includes a visit to this particular location. Sam has explained that skateboarding actually helps him feel calm in his body. I believe it.

Bragging rights here: the kid is good. Goofing rights here: the little brother is a little bored with #1’s celebrity status at the skatepark. The rain momentarily spooked off the other thirty lads (not a gender neutral sport around these parts) leaving us the rare opportunity for the mamarazzi to get right up in there and film.

At about thirty five seconds you might lose your ability to sip, or chew. Be warned.

Quote Unquote (Marcel strikes again)

"Take this picture Mommy. Aren't I too cute in this hat?" c Mama C and the Boys
“Take this picture Mommy. Aren’t I too cute in this hat?” c Mama C and the Boys

It’s 3:13am.

“Mommy!  Mommy? Mommy?!” came the calls from the next room.

His tone sounds so defeated, so pained as Marcel delivers this message to my weary and mildly attentive self standing next to his bed; “Mommy I just feel so lonely.”

Marcel, you have twenty-five stuffed animals right here. Here’s Rudolph, Lamby,  Chippy and…”

“Oh Mommy. You just don’t understand. It’s just that none of my stuffed animals are able to meet my needs anymore.”


“You know Mommy you really are so blessed. I mean you have seriously amazing kids.”


While pointing to his picture of a crocodile, a poodle, a giant pigeon, and a dinosaur all on leashes “being walked across a bridge by a very strong mommy,” he paused, looked up and said; “Huh. It seems like she is being pulled in so many directions.”


In the car tonight on the way to a friend’s house Marcel commands; “Raise your hand if you are going to get married soon, or if you have the best almost dad ever!”


Any glorious one liners to share? They do keep my head above water most days I have to say. The kid sure can craft a line.

Brotherhood at camp (and a special request to my readers)

M&M 6/302011/ Copyright K. Mngqibisa

What an incredible few days on the blog. Over 900 hits, seven new subscribers, and so many NEW folks joining in on the conversation–which is brave and so appreciated. Three people have started discussions with me about guest posts for the coming months, and suggestions for future “vignettes” have been emailed, tweeted, and one person even called! Keeping my eye out for a carrier pigeon.

Continue reading “Brotherhood at camp (and a special request to my readers)”

Pink is the new pink

Ninjas wear pink/ Mama C and the Boys

We wear a lot of pink. Although I must admit that I’ve never cared much for the color.

But I am in the minority over here. Marcel believes that pink has
super Ninja powers. When you wear your knee high pink soccer socks it allows you to sneak up on people really, really, really quietly.

Girls love pink, and I love girls/ Mama C and the Boys/ Mama C and the Boys

Sam wears his pink soccer socks when he has to be really fast. Like when he is mountain biking. He wears them to school because girls love pink, and [he] loves girls.

I wash our two pairs of pink soccer socks a lot. Of all the parts of my life that feel political, this is not one of them. But, again here I find that I might be in the minority, as this post at Love Isn’t Enough clearly attests. Of course this weekend when our family is marching with many other people whom we love and cherish during the Gay Pride festival, I’m sure Marcel’s socks will feel like they have batteries in them!

Maybe if I wore more pink as a girl I wouldn’t have turned into one of these despicable single mothers too?

Speaking of pink, I seem to recall a little button on my blog somewhere that might remind us about a little contest that is only 5 days from closing. THANK YOU all for the votes. We are feeling the pink, brown, and tie dye love in all it’s glory over here!

New Jersey? or New York! Fresh Air Fund needs us

My foot is in New Jersey!

That was all Marcel said-in his sleep. We’ve never been there. We’re not going there anytime soon. I drove through a lot in college, heading home from New York. The NJ Turnpike meant I was at the half way point as I recall.

I asked Marcel when he woke up. He said he read a book about “two little goofy monsters, who asked their moms if they could be best friends forever.” When I pushed about the connection to New Jersey, he said there wasn’t any. Uh huh.

Maybe he was reading my mind, albeit off a few hundred miles?  New York City. It’s been on my mind for about twenty years, really. But recently I’ve been wondering when the kids will be able to take in a visit, in a meaningful way. When I’ll be able to handle navigating the city with them. When the possibility of bumping into the ex bartender boyfriend will cease to cause butterflies. I lived there for about eight years.  Now I have a chance to bring a little New York City to Maine, and so do you.

I’m talking about the Fresh Air Fund, and I’ve been asked to help get you talking about it too.

Thanks to host families who open up their homes for a few weeks each summer, children growing up in New York City’s toughest neighborhoods have experienced the joys of Fresh Air experiences.

Fresh Air children are boys and girls who live in New York City and are eager to experience the simple pleasures of life outside the city.

More than 65% of all children are reinvited to stay with their host family, year after year.

The site is beautifully done, and helps answer all your questions. I’m really considering it. I was contacted by Sara Wilson at the organization, asking if I’d be willing to share this opportunity with my readers. In her words;

The Fresh Air Fund is in need of 1200 host families for this summer. Host families are volunteers who open their hearts and homes to children from the city to give them a Fresh Air experience that can change lives. If you could help to get the word out it would really help us place these wonderful children into a loving host family. It’s only for up to two weeks, but it’s an experience that can change their lives forever.

Of course I have already written a story in my head about a life long friendship between my kids and the visiting child… How the boys will be speaking at each others weddings, or inductions into various Halls of Fame ceremonies.  Of course it could be a girl who might come to visit. OK, so if they all choose to parent, or marry, or partner, maybe they’ll all offer each other fabulous support and encouragement in life. Is that better?

What would my life be like if I stayed in the present for five seconds?

Any readers had a FAC stay with them? Share your experience with us? Considering it?  Talk about it. I’m definitely wondering about it myself. I’ll keep you posted.