Personal Entries

It’s not a stroke

I think this is a good idea; how could it not be a good idea to educate children about the symptoms of stroke?  After all, the faster a stroke is recognized and treated, the better the chances of recovery,  and so more people in any household knowing the signs of stroke is better, right?  Right,  in theory.  In actuality it only helps if  the people educated on the symptoms of stroke are of sound mind, and I think we can all agree that middle school-aged children are not of  sound mind.

Novant Health: arming 6th graders with too much information.

Any parent could have told Novant Health that the result of educating eleven year olds on the symptoms of  stroke was going to be, well… Blogosphere, I’ve been diagnosed with stroke symptoms several times in the past few weeks.  It’s just all-stroke, all the time.  And I don’t want to make a joke of this, because what if I do have one someday?  I’ll be lying on the kitchen floor, the stroke damage becoming more permanent with every passing second, while my children navigate around me, saying “Oh, Mom’s just messing with us again.  Whatsa matter?  You paralyzed, Mom?”

And so, with every muscle spasm or foot fallen to sleep, I submit to Matt’s stroke test.

“STOP!” Matt commands. “Smile!”

I smile.

“Hold it, hold it,” he says, as he checks first one cheek and then the other, comparing them for symmetry.

We go through all the steps of the test, finishing once I’ve clearly enunciated the words  “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”

I’m hoping that Matt will mellow once this information is no longer so novel, much as he did after going through the school’s D (drug) A (abuse) R (resistance) E (education) program last year.   After his D.A.R.E. education, and newly armed with more knowledge of illegal drug use than your average flophouse junkie,  it took a year for that program’s effects to fade.  A year before I could pour the occasional glass of chianti and not have my son react by looking at me–a haunted, crack-baby look in his eyes– and asking, “Moooom?  Are you an alcoholic?”

On the other hand, many parents are probably unaware that their children have been involved in Novant Health’s stroke awareness program.  Were they to know this, they  might appreciate a bit more concern as they are lying paralyzed on their kitchen floors, thinking: “I’m lying paralyzed on the kitchen floor and you’re asking me for more ice cream? Did you not learn F.A.S.T.? Do the T, child, the T!”

I’m just saying that perhaps the people at Novant Health, when they decided to sponsor this educational unit in the local schools, were on drugs or something. Because there are good reasons why we don’t put eleven year olds in charge of our major medical decisions.

Personal Entries

To my sons

My dear sweet, beautiful sons,

This weekend, you watched as my heart shattered.  After weeks of worry– of ups and downs, of questioning myself, of waiting for things that were out of my control–I fell apart.

Children aren’t supposed to see that, are they? Parents are supposed to leave the room for their disintegrations.  But you three watch me like hawks, as if I am the most interesting and important creature you’ve ever encountered, and  I don’t think there is anything I’ve ever done or felt that went unnoticed.  To assure you that I am OK when I’m not is to teach you that your instincts are wrong, and your instincts are rarely wrong.  I learned a long time ago that attempting to slink off to lick my wounds privately only makes you three nervous, and it’s best to be honest when I am struggling.  What you imagine is always worse than the reality.

And so you’ve been aware of my recent worries, and your patience and quiet concern have helped me stay calm and guardedly optimistic.

But suddenly it all became too much, and as I took one blow too many you watched at I crumbled. You gathered around me, encircling me with your skinny boy arms, shushing me as I sobbed, kissing me on my head as the first real hope I’ve felt in years drained away like the last light of the day;  as old scar tissue was carelessly ripped apart, yet again.

You three didn’t even flinch.  In one moment, you morphed from trash-talking, wrestling, nut-punching hooligans into pure goodness. Your compassion, your empathetic tears, your calm self-assurance as you shuffled me up to my bed and told me to lie down for an hour until I felt better, your protectiveness of me over the past few days  ….  it humbles me.    How do an 11, a 14, a 19 year-old know how to care and love this way?

You are such kind people, and that kindness and those skinny arms have lifted a bit of the heaviness from my heart–just enough that I can take a deep breath and steady myself.

You are my heroes, and it is an honor to be your mother.

Thank you for loving me so much,



Personal Entries

So he stomped on my chest

Oh honey, it's not "his self."


“I only stomped on his chest GENTLY!”  Says Riley.

Ri is shaking his head from side to side, holding both hands up in a gesture of innocence and surrender.  Clearly, someone is overreacting to having their chest stomped upon gently, and Ri is a bit disgusted.

I’m already annoyed with Matt and Ri, as they are supposed to be doing their homework while I work on dinner. They’ve wandered away to play Nerf basketball, and my repeated requests to return to their homework have been ignored.  Now Riley pointedly returns to his homework; he has no time for divas fussing about a gentle chest-stomping when there is homework to be done.

“You stomped on his chest gently?,” I ask. ” Is that anything like the time you pushed him into the banister playfully?  Maybe next time you can smack him upside the head with a two-by-four jokingly?”

“It wasn’t hard and he kept saying ‘BRICK,’ and–“

But I can’t hear the rest of  Riley’s answer, because Matt has  joined us in the kitchen, and has a lot to say about his chest injury. Their words are a jumble: “youLAUGHED  yousaidBRICK YOUstompedonmyCHEST NOTHARD!”

“You know what?” I say, cutting them both off,  “No!  I don’t want to even hear it.  You were supposed to be doing homework, you weren’t listening, and you two work this out. “

I tell them to each get a piece of paper, sit down and write out what happened, and then hear each other out.

Riley’s hands go back up, “I’m just trying to do my homework–“

Jake is home on break, and he advises Riley,  “Dude, you should listen before she beats the crap out of you, nicely.”

“And then maybe we should bury him in the backyard, gently?”  I add.

Jake and I agree that this is a good plan, and we discuss all my options while the two younger boys scribble out their conflict.

Today, days later, I find Matt’s paper.  We’re going to need to work on grammar, among so many, many other things.

Personal Entries

Tournament + Katie = No

I don’t think I’m a good fit for the boys’ out-of-town soccer tournaments.   I’m not sure that I’m equipped for that level and type of stress.

Mike has always handled these away trips, and so Riley’s tournament in Richmond this weekend was my first.   Mike seemed surprised when I volunteered for this trip, but I was adamant:  I felt as if I was missing out on something, and so I would be taking the boys to the Richmond tournament.

Ima tell ya why I won’t be doing this again.

1. Hotels often have balconies. This one did. The first four floors sported balconies overlooking the lobby (why? WHY?).  Does picking up your teammates and acting as if you are going to throw them four floors to their death ever get old? No! In fact it gets better each time someone does it, because each successive attempt is that much more out of control; that much more fueled by rising adrenaline and unbridled testosterone.  It is an awesome, awesome game, blogosphere, and you missed it.

“Guys!  Stop!  Please!”  I’d say.

“Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!”  The thirteen-year-olds would say.

2. They go out, and they can’t get back in. Because all the team’s rooms were clustered together, there was a great need to go in and out of our room. In and out.  In and out.  But the IN part was difficult because my boys had lost two keys and demagnetized a third by Saturday morning, and I was not handing over the last key.

Every time I’d hear the door click shut, I’d hold my breath, waiting for it….. Two minutes later:  Bang, bang, bang, bang.

“Mom! It’s me!  Mom! Mom! Can you let me in? Mom! Mom!”

And then, a chorus of:

“Dude!  Your Mom locked you out!”

“Aw, man, Riley’s Mom locked him out!”

“Your Mom hates you because you suck!”

I’d open the door to a sea of disappointed thirteen year old faces (it was much better when Riley’s Mom had locked him out because he sucked), only to have Riley grab his cell phone and head back out for another five minutes.

And, repeat.

3. “Hotel Tag” in the parking lot after dark is not a good game.

4. Hotels have hallways, and soccer players have balls. Lots and lots of balls.

5. Eating in public with a team of thirteen year old boys is a stressful thing. The spitball fight.  The cup of team-concocted “soup,” passed around with dares to drink it.  The way they kept putting the “soup” in front of me, because the way Ms. Stein gagged was hysterical. The sneaking off to the bathroom to dump the “soup” in the toilet.  The cup that went into the toilet.  The young, pregnant waitress who looked with terror upon her future by the time we left.

We left her an enormous tip, but really, is there any tip big enough to compensate for the soccer team-induced, pre-partum disillusionment in parenthood which she must be feeling?  No.  No, there isn’t.

6. Hotels have hair dryers. I don’t understand this: every drip of water on Matt’s body or clothing called for the use of the built-in hair dryer in the bathroom.   I’d never before realized how wet Matt must perpetually be.

Having just fallen asleep, I awoke at 10 o’clock to “ZZZHHHHHH!!!”

“Honey, what are you doing?”  I asked.

“I had a wet spot on my sleeve.  I dried it.” Said Matt.

And the next morning, “honey what are you doing?”

“I’m just warming up my clothes in case they’re wet.” Said Matt.

“Well…..are they wet?”

“I don’t think so.” Said Matt.

7.  Driving with a car full of thirteen-year olds is challenging. Especially when they sing this song to each other, whilst rubbing each other’s heads.

After that, they needed to sing it to inanimate objects.  “Soft shin guard, warm shin guard….”

Most challenging was when they decided to sing it to me, while trying to rub my head.  “Soft Ms. Stein, warm Ms. Stein, little ball of fur……”

I feel their behavior was why I kept getting lost.



Personal Entries

Chapel Hill, y’all!

After he finished his Freshman Orientation on Friday, Jake gave us a full tour of his new campus.   For those who have never been to UNC Chapel Hill ,  it’s exactly what you’d imagine an old Southern school to be.

Perfect, sprawling lawns.  Towering old Live Oaks with mossy trunks. Gracious old brick buildings, their front porches supported by rows of columns.   The bell tower, engraved with the names of all who’ve graduated from Carolina. The Civil War statues (uh-huh).

At The Magic Water Fountain, and OH SWEET MOTHER OF PEARL I HATE THIS HAIRCUT. "Not too short, " I said......

I’ve been concerned about Jake’s level of anxiety going into his freshman year, and the relaxed, excited young man who greets us when we arrive on Friday evening is a far cry from the nervous kid I dropped off two days before.  This Jake is sure of himself and the possibilities ahead of him, confident of his place here, and he’s so proud to show us what will be his home for the next four years.   I catch a whiff of swagger–just a hint of cocky–and it tickles me.

As Jake leads us along the campus pathways,  I’m bowled over by Chapel Hill’s beauty and grand dignity.  Who wouldn’t want to go here?  I want to go here! Trust me, you’d want to go here, too.  This is exactly what college should be, and I’m going to be so proud to be a Carolina Mom.


“So, where do they keep the Nittany Lion statue?”  I ask my son.  My son who is not going to Penn State University, his parents’ alma mater.  My son who used to beg me to sing, “I say JoePa, you say Terno!  Joe Paterno, Joe Paterno!”  The son who was conceived at Penn State.

I have been so neutral while Jake looked at schools, even discouraging him from applying to PSU when it seemed like he was only doing so to make his Dad happy.  I’ve been so good; so well-behaved.

Walking a few steps ahead of me, Jake’s posture changes as he pretends not to hear me.  I can tell he’s smiling,  suppressing a laugh.

“Honey? Sweetie?”  I raise my voice a bit,  ” Do you know where they keep the Nittany Lion statue?  Is it on the map?”

“There is no Nittany Lion statue,  Mom.”  He doesn’t even turn around to say it, and his tone is the same one might use when speaking to incoherent drunks.   This new college Jake is harder to get laughing than old high school Jake.

“WHAT? That’s crazy talk! No lion?”

“But a Nittany Lion statue is the mark of excellence!”  Adds Riley, grinning at me.

“Exactly!  All the best universities have a Nittany Lion, Jake!  They must have one around here if this place is any good!”

“Nooo Nittany Lion,” Jake repeats.

“But then, ” I ask, “where do you take pictures?  What do they have if there isn’t a Nittany Lion?”

“No Nittany Lion.  We have The Old Well,” says grown-up Jake. *

We all agree that we should head towards The Old Well,  the most recognized symbol of UNC Chapel Hill.  The well dates back to 1793, originally supplying all the water for the dormitories on this end of campus.  It took its current form in 1897, when the University erected a neoclassical rotunda around it.  The Old Well sits in a shady brick courtyard, circled by benches.  It’s a lovely, quiet place, and Jake explains the site’s history as we approach it.

“So,”  I clarify, ” they keep the Nittany Lion statue in the rotunda? Good.”

Jake sighs and shakes his head.  But this time he bites his lip to keep from laughing.

In the middle of the beautiful rotunda sits a short, dark marble column.

“Now, the marble thing in the middle,”  I ask  ” is that engraved with the history of the well?”

“No,” Jake replies as we step up to the rotunda, “it’s a water fountain.”

A water fountain.

“A water fountain? A WATER FOUNTAIN?!”  I sputter,  “The symbol for UNC Chapel Hill is a water fountain?”

Jake struggles to hold onto his collegian dignity as he tells us about the fountain; how it replaced the old well, how drinking from the fountain on one’s first day at the University brings good academic luck.

“They couldn’t have have gone with a reflecting pool, or maybe a nice splashy fountain?”  I ask.  “Something…I don’t know….not a water fountain?”

“But look!  You can drink from it for luck!”

We all watch, as if awaiting something magical, and Jake leans over the fountain to take a slurp.

“Uh, it’s warm.”

“Uh huh, ” I say, and that’s all it takes to push Jake over the edge and into laughter.    “C’mon, guys, let’s get a picture around the magic water fountain! This is so much better than the Nittany Lion! “



More on The Old Well at UNC Chapel Hill

Personal Entries

King Tut’s Missing bits

Eight hours into the drive, and we’d played 20 Questions for the last hundred miles.  Things were deteriorating.

“Alright, I got one!”  Announced Jake, and Riley and I groaned.

Jake’s had some pretty obscure picks on his turns, the Lost Library of Alexandria being my favorite.  Jake also tends to overthink his yes and no answers:  he won’t give a definitive” yes” to a person being dead if their body was never found.  Amelia Earhart could, after all, still be alive.  This leads us to ask questions like, “Does a recognized and respected governmental body consider them dead?” Or, “Other than conspiracy theorists, do normal people believe this to be true?”

“Dude,” I ask him now, ” is it something we all know?  Do we even have a chance, here?”

“Yes,” he says.  “This time I promise you all know it.”

“Riley knows it?”  I clarify,  “Matt knows it?”


“Wait, wait.”  Says Riley,  “I know it, or you think I should know it?”

“You know it,” insists Jake, ” I know you know it because we’ve discussed it recently, and you care about this.”

“I care?”

“Yes, you care a lot about this.”

Hmm.  OK.

It’s a person.  A man.

A man who is dead.  Definitively dead?  Confirmed dead?  Yes.

Not an American.  A European.  He’s lived in the last hundred years.

A famous, dead, male European, who is neither an artist, an athlete, an inventor, nor a scientist,  an academic, a  royal.

Was he a political leader?  Yes.

“Is it Hilter?”  I ask.

“No.” Jake says.

I think for a minute.

“So,”  I ask, ” you’re telling me this is a dead, European political leader of  the last hundred years who Riley not only knows, but cares about?”

“Yes,” repeats Jake, “Riley really cares.”

“Riley really cares.  Was he a leader during World War II?”


“Is it STALIN?”

‘Yes!” Exclaims Jake, “It’s Stalin!”

Riley turns in his seat and stares at Jake.  ” I really care about Stalin?”

“Oh my gosh, Ri, yes!”  I say.  “You LOVE STALIN!  It’s always Stalin, Stalin, Stalin.  All the time with Stalin. I need to remember to get you that Stalin poster you wanted for your room.”

Riley and I are laughing now, and Jake is trying not to laugh as he defends himself.

“We just talked about it yesterday!  You asked about Mel Gibson, and we ended up talking about the Holocaust.”

“Wait, ” I say.  I was part of this conversation, and I don’t remember Riley caring deeply.  “Riley asked about Mel Gibson, and we all ended up discussing World War II? Or you and I expounded while Riley’s eyes glazed over?”  Jake is passionately interested in history, and I don’t think he can imagine that anyone else wouldn’t be just as interested.  It’s STALIN, for heaven’s sake!  Stalin is a rock star in the world of history!

“Yeah, that,” laughs Jake.

“But now that we know Ri caaaares about this stuff, there are no limits on what we can use!  Riley, do you care deeply about Nicholas Sarkozy’s Economic policy?”

“Yes, but I really care about Nicholas Sarkozy’s pinky toe.”

“Oh, you do love the politically offbeat details!  How about Vladimir Putin’s pet kitty?” I say.  “Or, Margaret Thatcher’s….”

“Left hairy nostril?”  Suggests Riley.

“Yes, Margaret Thatcher’s left hairy nostril.  Because you care about your international politicians.”

“I do care.  What about Castro’s favorite nephew?”  Ask Riley.

“Ohhhh,” I say.  “Who wouldn’t know Alberto?”

Jake has given up at this point, and is laughing so hard that no noise is coming out.  He manages to squeak, “King Tut’s missing penis?”

And then we’re off on a discussion of poor King Tut’s penis,  recently in the news.  It’s been lost, it’s been found, it’s been deemed a genetic mutant-penis which never would have worked properly anyway.  Poor Tut.

Poor us.  At ten-thirty and  after a day spent driving, I’ve just missed the turn  for my hometown because I was distracted by our conversation about King Tut’s missing bits.  The exit is miles behind us, and I only realize what I’ve done when we are almost to Philadelphia International Airport.  Tired and punchy and not making the best decisions, I exit I-95 off an exit-only ramp, and we spend the next half-hour winding our way through some rough parts of Philadelphia as we hit detour after detour.  All because of King Tut’s missing penis, which we all care about, deeply.


Media and Art · Personal Entries

Sea Creatures

We’re headed north today, and there’s no time to post.  I have so much to do.   Gag and bind the children and tie them to the roof of the car, drug the dog….. There’s no end to my travel preparations, is there?

Karen will be caring for The Damn Cat.  Bless her.  We were going to bring the cat north with us because…..well, because I’m insane.  TDC isn’t litter-trained, however, and so we purchased a harness and leash for him, so that he could safely go outside while we traveled north.    It went about as well as you’re imagining, and my only regret is that we didn’t record the fabulousness that was Matt’s already slightly unhinged cat flying completely off his hinges.

When I called Karen to see if she could keep an eye on TDC while we are away, her words were:

“Sure.  I’ll take the cat.”

I took this to mean that she wants to take the cat forever, literally.  She quickly clarified,  insisting that she only meant she would “take” responsibility for caring for TDC while we were gone, but I didn’t hear her because I didn’t want to.  They will be so happy together.

Also, you might notice the new header.  It was a quickie I threw together from this painting, which was a collaborative piece I did with Matt several years ago.  While I worked on a series related to mapping, Matt drew his own maps of Lake Norman, complete with fish and the underwater mines for which the lake is famous.   I cut up those drawings which weren’t precious to him, and collaged them into a painting.  While I’ve had several offers for this painting, I will never, ever sell it.

I love this piece, and it hangs above my fireplace.

Sea Creatures (collaboration with Matthew Stein), acrylic on paper, 30 x 42
Media and Art · Personal Entries

A toe in the pool of prepubescent crazy

We have two weeks of stuff to cover here, so let’s all pipe down and focus, shall we?

We have field trips with insane preteens,  a class mural,  swearing off dating forever and ever until I die and the pixie haircut which accompanied this decision,  and a graduation or two.   Where shall we start?

Although I’ve worked myself up into quite a state thinking about the haircut and the swearing-off dating,  I’ll start with the mural because it gives you something to look at.   Complaining about my bad attitude towards dating has no visual hook.

This year, as I have in previous years, I offered to do a painting with Matt’s class.  The idea is this: I provide all the materials, and guide the kids through the process of creating a large-scale collaborative painting.  I provide the steadying adult voice of reason, and they make all the decisions and do all the work.

After much brainstorming and voting, the kids decided to paint an amusement park scene,  anchoring the painting with a horizon line and a roller coaster, and setting the scene at night.  They would all add their own elements to the painting, and each would also draw themselves on the roller coaster.   They worked together to come up with a strong, cohesive theme, and I was impressed.

Which is why I’m so, so baffled about how we ended up with this:

Click to enlarge this fabulousness: 5th grade Amusement Park, 4 ft x 7.5 ft. Acrylic and watercolor on Arches paper.

An amusement park with an erupting volcano, under attack from nine space ships, three dragons, two bears, and many, many zombies.    I had no idea how much time zombies spend at amusements parks.

I’ve learned some things about fifth-graders:  They’ve dipped a toe in the pool of pubescent crazy.  They like to draw very, very small.  Their collective goal is to out-funny one another.  They don’t do collaborative. They erase each other’s preliminary drawings, and this goes about as well as you’re imagining it does.

1.  This, blogosphere, is Tiger Woods on the moon, in a bikini.  His golf club is floating away, and that’s why he’s shouting, “Nooo!”   “Let’s draw all his girlfriends, too!” Said the fifth-graders. “Nooo,” said Ms. Stein.

2.  This pretty little clock and the things drawn around it are the work of a very sweet autistic boy who joins the class for much of the day.  The kids collectively bossed him about his clock being off-theme.  When he left, they all started drawing clocks.  I urged them to erase their clocks, and they took this to mean that they should erase anyone else’s work that they didn’t like.

3.  Bears!

4. “Honey, what is that?” I asked.   “A volcano,”  she said. OK.  By this point I had realized that artistic coherence was a pipe-dream.

4.5.  “I’m confused about why you’re drawing ice cream cones in the sky.”   “I like drawing ice cream cones.” Later, these became ice cream cone rockets.

5.  An upside-down zombie paratrooper with an ice cream cone instead of a parachute.   This drawing was explained to me at the time, but because fifth-graders all talk at once, all I heard was, “MS. STEIN HE ERASED MY CAN I PAINT NOW ZOMBIE PARACHUTE FAIRY ROLLER COASTER FALLING HAHAHAHAHA BEARS!!!!!”

6.  This family of zombies did not make sure they were securely belted in before the ride started.  Luckily, they are the walking dead and so their fall can’t kill them.

7.  Several things are happening in this part of the picture.

a.  A dragon is heating up some pizza.  The dragon was drawn by child A, and the pizza was drawn by child B.  Child B did not discuss the addition of pizza with child A, and child A was not pleased.  Pizza made a mockery of the dragon.

b. Medusa and Frankenstein are getting married.  I have no idea.


The kids, somehow, came away from all that lovely planning with the message, “Go forth and draw twenty-three different pictures!  Make it as random as you can!”  Amused, shell-shocked, baffled; halfway through the first day I caught Matt’s teacher’s eye.

“Wow,” I said, shaking my head in disbelief.

“I know!”  She said excitedly, “this is the best they’ve worked together all year!

Teachers are not paid nearly enough.



Personal Entries

Turkey sex

After a weekend of non-stop soccer games (nine of them, blogosphere!)  I’m a bit tired this Monday morning.  Riley, who played five of the nine games, is not.

Concerned about commitment in turkey relationships

As I prepare to make his breakfast, I ask him how much he’ll eat this morning.  One egg, two eggs, egg-bacon-and-cheese sandwich?

“One and a half eggs, and bacon,” Riley answers.

“One and a half eggs, it is. ” I say.

“Seriously?  They don’t really have half eggs, do they?”  My son has a  special knack for being very bright, and yet obtuse, at the same time.  It’s kind of charming.

“Yes, Riley,”  I say,  “Sometimes when the chickens leave work early, they don’t have time for a full egg, and they abruptly stop.  They go half.”

He shakes his head at me as he starts to put on the clothes he’s brought downstairs.  “I don’t think I like your attitude.  But you know what would be perfect?  Turkey eggs.  They’d be the right size. Why don’t we eat turkey eggs?”

“Maybe turkeys would be harder to farm for their eggs–“

“That’s discrimination!  Turkeys get it on, too!”  And he finishes with a low, Barry White-style, ” Yeahh, baby!”

“Dude, I don’t think I can deal with turkeys getting it on at seven in the morning.”

“Now Mom,” Riley says, “Turkey sex isn’t something to be embarrassed about.”

I look over my shoulder to see him looking at me with a mock- serious, quasi- parental look.  It’s makes for a comical blend with his skinny little farmer-tanned, boxer clad body.

In a soothing voice,  Riley continues, “When a man turkey and a woman turkey want to be very close—“


“Mom, it might embarrass you now, but turkey sex is a normal, healthy part of an adult turkey’s life,”  Riley explains.  “So, as I was saying, when two turkeys want to be very close, and they are in a committed relationship—“

“Riley, ” I laugh, “Stop it!”

“A committed relationship, Mom!” And then he breaks into a speech I’ve given many times,  “and if the turkeys aren’t sure that this is a committed relationship, they should wait.  If turkey sex is a good idea this week,  it will still be a good idea next week, too.  So just wait.  There will always be more turkey sex available—“

“Breakfast is ready!”  I announce. “You’re a turkey,” I tell him as he sits down.

“A COMMITTED relationship, Mom.”

Thank you, Riley.



Personal Entries

I worry when it’s quiet

Sometimes, I question the wisdom of my “no TV until 7:00 pm” policy.

“Find something to do, or I’ll find something for you to do,” I said.

“Bored people are boring people,” I said.

“You’ll have to use your own brain, because I’m using mine right now, ” I said.


And then I walk into the kitchen to find four boys all tied to chairs with gags in their mouths.

I found this note later, and it explains so much.  Sort of.