Showing posts from August, 2011

Folders keep tab on childrens’ personalities (Long live the Trapper Keeper!)

I know very few people who, as a child, didn’t absolutely delight in new school supplies. Like I used to do, my children beg me to take them to the store as soon as the first big bins of crayons arrive. Waving the list in my face, they remind me that if they want to get the good colored scissors, we can’t be last in line. Because when you’re in elementary school, color matters. The color of your pencil box, your pencil sharpener, and even more so than those, the designs on your folders and notebooks. I have spent hours with my kids as they sifted through the stacks and shelves of spirally bound paper, trying to find that one cover design that best fits their personality. Some mothers would rush them along, throwing a solid blue or red notebook in the cart, but not I. For I am a proud gradutate of the era of the Trapper Keeper. Children of the Eighties unite with me, and pause for a moment to that glorious day when you got to go to the store and choose your Trapper Keepe

Life beyond the laundry room

“Wow. This is so much better than killing time during story hour.” Not that I don’t love story hour, because I do. My kids have practically grown up in our local and frankly outstanding library. But on this particular Monday morning when just last week I would have been balancing books and warding off wars on the computer, I was instead floating toe first down the New River in West Virginia. My hands folded back under my head and my feet splayed out in front of me, the flowing water was my lounge chair for a small stretch of our trip downstream. Oh a whim and against my mother’s better judgement, I met a lifelong friend who now lives in North Carolina midway between us, for a bit of a white water rafting adventure. Half excited, half nervous I remember making the call to register. “Oh, this is a fun trip. You’ll definitely get wet!” said the customer service representative. “I kinda just don’t want to die, and then I’ll be happy,” I said jokingly bu

Butterflies, not rain, on my big day

I’m always telling children to protect nature. They always look at me with the same puzzled look, because they don’t quite grasp the concept of conservation. They do, however, get the point when I say, “don’t hurt Mother Nature, or else it’ll rain on your birthday.” This is of course something I concocted. It’s not scientifically true, and it’s not even an old wives tale. Instead it’s just me, trying to scare kids into packing out litter and not karate chopping trees or throwing rocks at bunnies. And though it’s not technically confirmed, I will say that this year it more than proved itself for me. I spent my birthday, where I miraculously again turned twenty-nine, in a touch of wilderness. Mostly surrounded by friends and family, we ate a heavy breakfast and opened a few gifts before the afternoon sunshine was too much to handle. My dear husband sent me out the door with my book and a bottle of lemonade and told me to head to the raft on the pond. And by pond, I me

The water slide of youth

If there is ever a time to forget the fact that your hair is graying, that your knees pop, and that there are a stack of bills sitting on your kitchen counter, it’s a day at a water park. Because really, one whiff of chlorine and the drowning sound of the water rushing down a giant tube, and it’s nearly impossible to act your age. The whole act of it screams for youth, mostly because no grown person can physically manage a day of that much fun without channeling the energy of a ten year old. So fighting every urge I had to be an adult on a recent trip, I had to try to lock it all away in the tiny locker, which despite its small size can hold an incredible amount of flip flops and dry changes of clothes. There we stood, all with our matching wristbands, and stared at the glory of the water slides, pools, etc. with wild anticipation. The children made a beeline for the very first water attraction. Still attempting to act like the responsible mother that I am, I made