Ring Bearers and Milk Sprayers

I went shopping with the boys tonight.

In search of a little quality Mama C and the Boys time, we set out.

First to look for shirts and cowboys boots for the wedding.

Not mine.  (Maybe one day.) Our dear friend Weezie’s wedding at the end of May.

The boys are going to be the ring bearers.

Weezie’s colors are pink and orange. The wedding is going to be a hoe down.

So I am charged with finding shirts that will go with her colors, and look nice with cowboy boots, hat, and a bolero.

What you see is from the dressing room at Old Navy.

What you are not seeing is Marcel spraying milk all over the table at the family restaurant after the shirt trying exercise.

Who would trust that child with a ring?

In the bag. A Spring Challenge.

This will be the closest I imagine that I ever come to posting something resembling a Hints from Heloise post.

(Which is something I read voraciously as a child. First the Hints, then the comics. I took great pleasure in reading those little tips, and saying to myself, well duh anyone knows you can use all those little grocery store ties to make a mobile to hang over your goldfish bowl! As I was pre-writing this post in  my head last night, I had sense heavy memories of myself lieing on the living room floor scanning for her tips in the late afternoon light of the large living room windows. What other ten-year old found solace there? ) Continue reading “In the bag. A Spring Challenge.”

Oh but yes he did!

Photo by Sam.

Disbelief by Mom.

Sam: Mom listen to this.

Me: What, hon. I’m busy.

Sam: Can I have a dollar, I want to buy my girlfriend a beer.


Sam: It worked! I just got you off your dag computer.


Kids say the darnedest things? Assume all you want, but this sentence has me baffled. It’s not like the kid is sneaking out his window to hang out down at the local pub. Even Uncle couldn’t wrap his head around the origins of this one. (But they did have a boys night while I was at the bridal shower last weekend.) We don’t have television reception to speak of, so its never on. It’s been months since the last time the family went to see a baseball game where the red eyed ones come back from the concession stand gripping a cold one for dear life.

My reaction has sealed our doom though. Now he knows it’s funny and shocking. It’s a matter of time before he’s bringing that one up at daycare, or heaven forbid: the pew. I can just see it now,  when the older woman who fled from us that time is pulling out her money for the offering, my little comedian will say; “Could I borrow one of those dollars? I need to buy my girlfriend a beer.”

Missed and Missing

Mom, I missed your big nose and little hair.

Marcel on what he missed most about me when he got over being angry that I  left for twenty-four hours. He is the only person who has ever been able to comment on a certain facial feature of mine that leans gently towards the larger side of the rack without me feeling even an ounce of remorse.


I may be posting with a little less heft and frequency in the coming weeks as I try to stay in the momentum of the proposal process. I’m off  to a respectable start.  I’ll leave it at that for now.

I am waiting on several offers I’ve put out to the universe too.  One involves a speaking engagement, one a trip to Washington, D.C., and one a piece in an anthology.

The three guest posts, and an interview are all in various states of completion. I post at MomsofHue the 2nd and 4th Monday of every month.

Sam, has requested a little sister. I am not working on that at the moment.

Say “Uncle”

My latest post on Moms of Hue is the first published version of my thoughts on co-parenting with your sibling. (I am working on another version for a Co-Parenting 101 Guest Post, and one for the Modern Love column of the New York times.) This is my intro to the way it looks on the light and lovely side. Meaning it has it’s moments, as does any kind of co-anything relationship. It’s how we handle those moments that make or break you.   The piece starts like this;

When I invited my oldest brother Marc to live with us, it was not just because my mother was worried about her grandchildren not having a father figure-even though she never said as much. He didn’t have a job, and I was a single mom raising two boys under the age of five on my own. He landed in the United States a year before after his twelve year European chapter ended in divorce. He had no kids, and a 12×18 color picture of the beloved sail boat he had to sell when he moved stateside. Stateside could have meant Virginia, where we grew up, and where he has a zillion connections. Instead it meant Maine, where they have a zillion sailboats and two boys who call you Uncle-Daddy and say; I love you Uncle Rabbit Will You Play Airplane With Me Now Silly Head after they give you the bump, and lunge into their footy pajamas because you want them to explore their own “gravitational pull”.

Sam had a great reaction to Uncle coming home from Washington D.C. last night. Uncle asked if he could come give the boys a hug when he got in-or would it be too disruptive. The boys were in bed, and we had sung our songs. But it is Uncle and he had been away for six days!  After Uncle went back downstairs Sam says; Mom you know what? Seeing Uncle just now, and giving him a hug, well that just made my whole day! I was laying down in bed next to Marcel who is going through some intense separation anxiety at bedtime these days when Uncle came up. Seeing Sam climb out of bed and into Marc’s arms was pretty damn sweet. They just hung out in that embrace for a minute or two.

By not being in a traditional parenting arrangement, I’ve missed out on moments like those. I used to wonder what it would be like to see my partner, whomever I might have had in my life if I had lived that story instead of this one hold “our” child.  I used to feel some deep longings for it in fact. Noticing how much I appreciated that tenderness between them awakened those feelings in a gentle and appreciative way. Once again reminding me how what we have created here for the time being, is nurturing all of us.

Having Uncle away also reminded me how much I love our Mama C and the boys existence too. We do three well.  I am such an inclusive person by nature that I forget it is OK to create outings, and time for us to just be the three of us too.  Uncle can do the dishes while I throw the football in the rumpus room. He has offered many times. And a good catch, and a humming pass is not only satisfying, it happens to be when Sam is at his most effusive. Yes, at five, the I can talk when I have a ball in my hand phenomena has commenced. (Evidence is in the birth mom conversation two days ago.)  As the three of us, Sam is allowed to be more of a helper, which in small doses he thrives on. It allows something other in Marcel too, but I can’t explain that one yet.

Oh my elusive shadow balance, there you go again, skirting in around the periphery..

When the Divine makes itself known: Or how going to church and a near death experience hours later feel related.

I was so moved by the choir that  I cried. After one of the hymns Sam stood up and said; “Amen” and “Thank you, Jesus.” Marcel was a raisin tossing pew climbing menace. This is the brief version of our first encounter with the AME Zion church yesterday.

And, aside from the one woman who moved when Marcel’s aforementioned shenanigans were too much for her, we felt welcomed, and unimportant in a good way.  Meaning, I did not feel as if we stood out at all.  That crazy ego centric fear  kept me home for months. There were many families that looked like ours in some way. The building was small, and packed. The musicians included a drummer and a bass guitarist.  The choir leader’s voice pierced through me like beam of epiphanous joy. I was shaking it all  despite myself.  Sam held his hands up in the air and sang along. Marcel put his hands on his ears and said; “too loud.” Continue reading “When the Divine makes itself known: Or how going to church and a near death experience hours later feel related.”

Mama C discovers evidence of black farmers in Maine in 1993!

I found this at the Salvation Army thrift store yesterday.  I live in Maine.

I only paid .99c for this genuine artifact from 1993 in mint condition celebrating the existence of a multicultural product driven civilization for the one and under set. (It was made by something called Multicultural Toys Preschool.When I Googled them I found no such outfit.) Continue reading “Mama C discovers evidence of black farmers in Maine in 1993!”

#2 Speaks the Truth (video)

After calling me “beautiful Mama” and telling me how much he loved me, Marcel asked if he could “tell the camera too”. I obliged. The lesson here; don’t flaunt it baby. Or, don’t ask the questions you don’t really want the answers to? The good news here: he does love his school! Off to make the most of a non school day none the less..Happy Weekend to all.

*Hair disclaimer-it was first thing in the morning. We have an unwritten law–absolutely no spray bottles before breakfast.