Monday, May 31, 2010

Boston Bound

Tomorrow we'll make our final trip to Boston. Four suitcases, two computer bags, two kids, a stroller, the dog, and a couple of carry-on bags stuffed with snacks, videos, and a tissue or two.

When we moved to Phoenix almost exactly two years ago, it felt like we had landed on the moon. I knew it was the desert, but I couldn't quite take it in - the rock filled yards, the scrubby landscape, and the iconic cactus stiffly standing guard over the whole strange scene. There were palm trees everywhere, but not a drop of water in sight. I would soon learn that the water could be found filling the pools behind the tall backyard fences, and the palm trees were not native, but from somewhere else, just like us.

I arrived here completely sleep deprived, stuck in an over year long jag of insomnia. But in Phoenix, it seemed to make sense to go to bed late and wake early, since the sun came up so blazingly bright and I had to get moving to beat the heat of the day anyway. It's strange, but you can see the moon in Phoenix from very early in the evening until long into the morning. In the middle of the night it hangs gloriously close in a dark cloudless sky. By the fall of that year, I started sleeping a little more, and then in the winter the insomnia started to go away entirely. Had the desert healed me somehow? Had the moon hung around just a little longer to supervise?

We'll miss so many things, like our favorite eats at Barrio Cafe, and Lola, drinks at Camelback Inn and the Rokerij, and shopping in Scottsdale. The way Phoenix is big and small at the same time. The kids will no doubt miss the zoo and the fantastic parks. Hubs will miss running the mountain trails and biking along the canal. We'll all long for the famous Phoenix winters, and the days when we didn't have to remember raincoats or struggle with snowboots. It goes without saying that we'll miss our dear friends, both old and new. And I will miss my writing community.

Little Guy only understands our move to Boston as a vague concept, but Girlie has been struggling with the idea, alternating between excitement and despair. I remind her how it felt to move here, how she didn't even know how to swim when we arrived. I tell her she'll make new friends. I tell myself I'll find new restaurants and shops. And friends.

And it's true. We'll all be just fine in Boston. And I know that the moon that rises over Boston is the same one that hangs over Phoenix.

But still, it will be missing a little of that desert magic. And so will I.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Ova it

I guess my southern is showing a little bit y'all, because lately I've been feeling like - if you can't say something nice, don't say it at all. Mostly keeping it to myself, but here is a short list of the things I am crabby about.

1. Single parenting.
2. Crappy dull knives.
3. Ssssllloooowww wireless.
4. Having to walk the dog down two flights of stairs first thing in the morning while carrying a two year old (in my PJ's and before coffee).
5. End of school activities - Holy fruit tray Batman - two end of school parties, three awards ceremonies, a Girl Scout gathering, a swimming field trip, a preschool art auction, teacher gifts... it just keeps going.

So there ya go.

Friday, May 14, 2010


Friday was a particularly challenging day with Little Guy. He woke up uncooperative and I wasn't in the mood to negotiate my way through the morning. By the time we made it into the car to take Girlie to school, he had a full meltdown. He did it again at Target. 10 AM and I needed a cocktail. I grabbed the dish soap and conditioner and sprinted for the check out.

We went to his gym class where he continued to run amok. We went to the park where he refused to listen. Finally just before lunch, I had no choice, we had to run into Trader Joes. I bribed him with the promise of a snack and tried to make it quick and relatively painless.

By the time we got to the checkout, he was starting to lose it again. An older woman was scanning our groceries and she smiled at him. She mentioned that he had a great vocabulary asked how old he was. I replied, "he'll be three in August." This is my standard reply, my way of hurrying the two's along.

"Ah," she said, "most people call it the terribles, but I like to call it testing."

Testing? Ugh. I am so NOT getting a good grade.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The icing

Yesterday Hubs and I were doing the dishes after dinner talking about how crazy things have been. We could almost laugh about it, but not quite yet.

We're moving in just over two weeks and we have a ton of small things to wrap up in Phoenix. The kids have been especially off the hook lately. His travel schedule has been insane. His project has been extremely challenging. I have been sick. And the vacuum cleaner that came with this apartment doesn't work and the knives really suck.

The thing is, life with two youngish kids is insane enough, so whenever you choose to do anything extra, like say, take a new job and move across the country, you can count on chaos. So when you come down with a stomach flu while your husband is out of town, you can pretty much guarantee your children are going to come to blows over the remote while you are hanging over the toilet praying for a swift death.

On Mother's Day, some woman who was being interviewed said that children are the icing on the cake. I agree. It's just that sometimes they are that deceptively sweet icing, where you swipe a finger full expecting a delicious treat and really, it's just too much.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


What if people were like trees with rings representing each year of life? You could slice into the the person and see each year, the little ripples and bumps forming a circle. As you ran a finger across each little groove, you could count the years. You could measure the width of the ring and pinpoint the bad years, the ones where there wasn't enough.

Or maybe it is better that there is no physical evidence of the passage of a lifetime, at least not year by year. Better to come full circle, put it behind you and never look back.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Treasure chest

I am finally up and moving after an illness that was a cross between the flu and some type of Chinese cleansing ritual. I spent Mother's Day in bed watching TV, which in the end didn't turn out to be such a bad way to spend the day after all. I can't remember being this sick in recent years, but I also can't remember being able to stay in bed for a few days straight. I watched Titanic from start to finish, such melodramatic bliss.

Mother's Day morning, the kids burst into the room with their gifts,dark chocolate, cheese popcorn, a really cute shirt from Frances, earrings, and maybe my favorite, this poem from Girlie -

"Mothers are the very best.
They can be as pretty as a treasure chest.
Every time she gives a hug.
I feel snug as a bug in a rug.
They make things to eat.
They also make yummy treats.
I love my Mommy yes I do.
I know she loves me too."

Oh, how I do love them.