May 22, 2011

Return to the Corner

Excuse the long absence. Bored boys on summer break + extra time I let them use my laptop + their aha moment that all the World Cup matches are on You Tube + the discovery that you can replay every single goal equals a busted computer trackpad and a three-week stay at the shop for some serious repair. These boys are the opposite of Midas. Everything they touch just turns... OLD.

Guess who the boys and I unexpectedly bumped into yesterday when we took a side trip to the bookstore?

I know his music brings back many and all kinds of memories for most of us but for me I got serious flashbacks about brand-new-mommy-sleepless nights, the 1 and 2 and 3am feedings and the constant cradling of that colicky infant that would only sleep in my arms or all swaddled in a bouncing chair. Imagine his face if I walked up to him and told him he reminded me of diapers, and bottles and breast pumps! Priceless. Five and something years ago, when night was as busy as day around here, he was that soothing voice on our CD player with his equally heartwarming lullaby. I sang this song many times to the boys many nights, many years ago. It always seemed like the perfect cure for the crying and the colic.

Here he is. Many, many years ago.

Happy Sunday.

May 18, 2011

A Mother's Prayer

I will soon be reading Tina Fey's memoir Bossypants. In the meantime, let's enjoy this hilarious, patently-Tina Fey mother's reflection. This prayer for her daughter comes from her recently published memoir.

First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.

May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty.

When the Crystal Meth is offered, may she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half And stick with Beer.

Guide her, protect her when crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.

Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes and not have to wear high heels. What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.

May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.

Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day – And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait.

O Lord, break the Internet forever, that she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.

And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.

And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back. “My mother did this for me once” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes. Amen.”

Thank you Tina Fey! 

May 12, 2011

It's Up To You

A timely reminder from Terry Richardson.

He posted that photo on his diary yesterday, May 11th 2011--The Day I officially announced a brave new venture. Say hello to The New Gallery. It took awhile, but here I am ignoring the naysayers of the world and the naysayers in my head. As Heather Havrilesky says, "many of the things I love most were created by people who embraced their delusions of grandeur as fervently as they did their contradictory feelings of self doubt." Isn't that so funny and wise?

Oh and, are you on Facebook? To get into more of the fun, The New Gallery has a Facebook community page you can go ahead and Like.

Here's to turning our passions and delusions into reality... this mama's got another new job now. Time to show the kids how magical thinking works!

May 6, 2011

A Mother's Instinct

It's almost Mother's Day. To salute all you beautiful, loving, hardworking mothers out there, I offer a beautiful story.

The Atlantic published Autism's First Child, a brilliant piece of journalism that stirred my heart, wet my eyes and made me think of all my mothers-in-arms, particularly those who live with special needs.

It tells the story of Donald Triplett from Forest Mississipi, the first person ever diagnosed with autism. He will be 78 this year. He lives independently, drives his own car, plays golf, and travels the world. And as writers John Donovan and Caren Zucker put it:
"… he has a community that has always accepted him, since long before people in town had heard the word autism. Tranquility, familiarity, stability, and security—if we were talking about healing, these would create an ideal environment. Forest provided all of them for Donald, who didn’t need to heal. He needed only to grow, and that he did, spectacularly."
Donald's story is significant in many levels--for the history, the highlight on education for adults living with autism, etc. My focus is on this: It is about love and acceptance. It is also about the fine, tricky balance between nurturing and letting go--a mother's universal mission. Mary Triplett, Donald's mother, valiantly carried on, struggling to even the scale amidst overwhelming odds. She made mistakes too, calling him "the most insane child", putting him in a sanitarium, but in the end… well, just look a Donald now. Autism Case No. 1 had wonderful parents, and an especially admirable mother. My life raising children is so different in circumstance from Mary Triplett. I can never really know how it is to nurture a person like Donald, but I celebrate how she did it. How fitting that I stumbled on this fantastic read just last night, as we approach Mother's Day. It's a gift, really.

May you be inspired.

May 4, 2011

My Ultimate Lego Movie

This one is for Bear who loves watching Lego stop motion. And since he's been making his own Lego movies, why not inspire him with Michel Gondry's handiwork? Gondry, may I just say, makes brilliant music videos. Like some of his masterpieces for Chemical Brothers, Radiohead, and Bjork. His movie-making may be spotty--Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind was great because he worked with a Charlie Kaufmann script, Green Hornet was all style and... not much else. His music videos though? Just brilliant. Simple but highly conceptual and always tediously put-together, sometimes as if algorithms were involved. Anyhow, here goes today's Gondry highlight for Bear, created more than 10 years ago...

Bear liked it by the way, both the music and the film-making. The boy does love Lego and rocking out. Though I think it's beyond him how truly awesome it is to put together The White Stripes, Michel Gondry and Lego.