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Nap time is golden, kid!

Nap time is golden, kid!

I don’t get it.  I just don’t understand why my kids fight nap time.  Don’t they understand that by the time they are teenagers that they’ll be begging me NOT to wake them up?

The truth is that I love nap time as much or more than they do…when they stop fighting sleep and finally drift off to La La Land.  I cherish nap time because this is “Me Time.”

O.K., don’t think that I finally put my feet up and eat bon bons.  I actually get things done while they are asleep.  As soon as they are in their beds, I began my frantic attempt to get everything done as quickly as possible.  By everything, I mean all the things that are impossible to do with little ones underfoot.  You know…phone calls, emails, shopping lists, ironing, laundry, mopping, and general cleaning up.  When my kids are awake, I am spending most of my time breaking up fights over crayons, changing diapers, or finding something to entertain them so I CAN get something done.

Occasionally, (and I really mean once in a blue moon) I will nap when my kids nap.  This is usually when I am sick or have not slept due to one of my kids getting sick (see earlier post on Haz Mat suit and projectile vomit).

Anyway, I noticed today that my youngest, George, fell asleep in the van.  I had to run a few errands, which interfered with nap time.  When we arrived back at our house, I gingerly picked up a sleeping baby and placed him in his crib.

He slept.

For ten measly minutes.

Then he wailed like a banshee.

What’s up with that?  I know he’s tired.  I know that he needs his usual two hour nap.  For goodness sakes, Mommy needs his two hour nap.  What’s wrong with this kid?  Doesn’t he realize that nap time is golden?  In just five or six years, he’ll be begging me to let him sleep in on Saturday, take a nap on Sunday afternoons and unwilling to wake up before the crack of dawn.  Even my five year old is now a lump in the bed in the early morning hours….unlike last year, when he’d pop up at five o’clock each and every morning.  (No kidding, folks)

I even hear Kindergarten teachers complain about how hard it is to get their class to settle down at nap time.   One friend of mine says it’s the hardest part of her day to get all of her students resting or at least staying still for 30 or 45 minutes on a mat.

What’s wrong with this picture?

Wouldn’t you just love to return to Kindergarten?  I would.  If I could go back, I’d relish nap time.  I’d snuggle down on that mat and cover up with my best flannel blanket.  There’d be no begging me to take a nap.  I’d also gladly wake up to a snack of milk and cookies.  Are you kidding me?  Take me back to the good ol’ days where nap time was mandatory.  I know plenty of adults who’d welcome nap time at work.   I’m all for a little siesta.  Bring it on.

Anyway, I’m letting my youngest whimper a bit in his bed.  I think he needs a good nap.  Napping in the car seat is no nap at all, in my humble opinion.  He’ll thank me for it later.

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If the word “Maw Maw” was in the dictionary, the definition would look something like this:

Maw Maw (pronounced maw maw), Origin:  Southern U.S.

1.  noun:  slang terminology for grandmother; from the slang term “Grandmaw”

2. adjective:  to describe a grandmotherly appearance – ex: short curly perm, wearing of polyester pants and floral blouse;  to describe “grandmotherly” ways or to describe someone who acts too old for their age – ex: driving a Cadillac,  Crown Victoria, Lincoln sedan (any land yacht) before the age of 40.

Being a “Maw Maw” in my home was always right up there with wearing white shoes after Labor Day.  It just wasn’t done.  My mother prided herself on being totally different from her mother.  My mother was a baby boomer and proud of it.  She was hip and cool and she drank wine…good wine…not like her Southern Baptist teetotalling Mama, who was content to watch Lawrence Welk on Saturday night while she crocheted afghans for the church craft fair.  No, my mother, a divorced professional woman, wouldn’t be caught dead doing anything so…well…”maw maw.”

Alas, I have to say that I miss the days of “maw maw.”  Maw Maw is what I called both of my grandmothers.  They were frugal, God-fearing, collard green stewing, crafty, tight curly perm wearin’ women.   Did I happen to mention that I spent most of my time with them?

If my mother had a date, business meeting, unexpected girls’ night out, vacation, etc….Maw Maw was there to keep me.  I can’t tell you how many days and nights that I spent over at Maw Maw’s house.   I helped Maw Maw plant tomatoes, snap beans, grocery shop, and she taught me to sew.  Maw Maw told me that cigarettes were “cancer sticks”  and that beer was “horse piss.”  (My mother smoked and yes, she drank)  Maw Maw made my Easter dress every year.  If I happened to spend the night on a Saturday, it was expected that I’d go to church on Sunday.  Everyone at both Maw Maws’ churches knew me.  It was commonplace at Redeemer Baptist Church for the organist to cue up “When the Roll is Called Up Yonder” when I’d appear on a Sunday morning.  The organist knew it was my favorite hymn.  The only time Maw Maw freaked me out was when she told me about how Jesus would come back in the Rapture and take me alive…if I believed in him, got Saved, and made him my Lord and Savior.  I didn’t tell Maw Maw, but I would secretly pray that God would let me go to college first…then He could come get me in the Rapture.

Why this trip down memory lane?  Well, several of my girlfriends and I were lamenting about not having a sitter for one event after another.  Many of us just don’t do dates with our husbands or bookclub as much as we’d like because we can’t find a sitter.  Plus, with the economy in shambles, many of us have opted to forgo sitters all together.  While discussing this issue, one of my friends commented that her mother lived in town…as did mine.  Why had it not occurred to ask Grandma to babysit?  It seems as though it’s far too complicated to hash out.  When my friend and I looked at each other, I knew that we had the same problem.  We didn’t have a “Maw Maw.”

Many of us “X” generation moms just don’t have a “Maw Maw” kind of mom. They don’t want or desire to be anything like their mothers….and this includes babysitting.  Where the baby boomer mom could just drop off little Sally or Johnny for a day, the same baby boomer mom is just not interested in babysitting now that they are the grandparent.  At least, this is what I’m hearing out there.

(OK, if you are the babysitting kind of grandmother…don’t comment or feel compelled to email, etc.  I’ll cover you in a minute.  Bare with me. Thanks!)

I do know of several moms, who are my age, whose mothers are more than content to babysit their grandchildren.  I have one friend in particular, Patti, who does such a phenomenal job as a Grandma that I bet she’d be thrilled to call herself a “Maw Maw.”  I know Patti would wear this title as a badge of honor.

Sadly, I know too many older women who just never felt like they were “old enough” to be a grandmother…not at 55, not at 60, not at 65.  It’s almost like some women think that the moment they become a grandmother it will suck the lifeblood out of them.  Like grandchildren will become some drain on their fleeting youth.

Some grandparents require two weeks notice before babysitting or refuse to do it at all.  I even know someone who has had her mother cancel on so many occasions at the last minute, that it’s just not worth it to ask anymore.  Another friend of mine, almost lost her job because her mother backed out of their agreed paid childcare arrangement when she was a mere two weeks into a new job and no other childcare could be found.  She finally found an opening at a Mother’s Day Out program at the last minute.

I have one friend in particular who told me that her mother came to visit her and chose not to spend any time with her grandchildren.  Instead, she wanted to shop with her daughter and go out to dinner – all sans grandchildren.  My friend was upset because she felt like her children missed out on being with their grandmother.  I told her that it was the other way around.  Her mother was the one who missed out.

Am I saying that grandparents should babysit?  Absolutely not.  I’m just saying that there are benefits…on both ends…of having a relationship with extended family members.  It helps everyone out.  I know that plenty of us, “X gen’s” listened to our parents advice as they told us:

“Have fun in your 20’s, don’t get married ’till you’re 30, and you can take as long as you want to have kids!”

Not so great advice, Mom & Dad!  Thanks to all of your party lovin’ groovy advice, we’ll be spread thin by the time we’re 50!  We’ll have college to pay for when we should be worrying about retirement…and we’ll have to care for aging parents.  Sandwich generation?  No, call us the pressure cooker generation.  I’m just saying that it would be nice to feel more gracious about what we have to face down the road if the extended family was more deeply rooted.

I also believe that  “do overs” don’t come very often.  We can get the chance, as parents, to parent well with our own children.  If we are fortunate, we can learn from our mistakes and do things better (patience, love, understanding, fun) when we welcome grandchildren into our lives.

Ameriprise Financial Services has a t.v. ad spot featuring Dennis Hopper.  Mr. Hopper and all of the baby boomers are dressed in black leather jackets throwing pottery on a wheel and listening to acid rock.   The ad discusses the “alternative” retirement options for their intended audience.  It can’t be mistaken that the ad doesn’t picture any of the elderly audience surrounded by family and grandchildren.  Instead, the actors are portrayed as living out in Arizona…alone….being creative and hip.  Definitely not “maw maw.”  No, way, man!

Sophistication has its place, but you can seriously miss a lot in life when you are so “grown up” that you can’t relish children.  It’s not botox that keeps you young.  Wearing a Nicole Miller ensemble won’t do that for you, either.  Listening to the latest music doesn’t make you cool.   Throwing pottery on a wheel or listening to the Grateful Dead won’t do the trick.  Youth is fleeting.

I have three sons.  I love them.  I like them as people.  I love being a mother.  I definitely look forward to having grandchildren…but, hey, I really like kids.  Kids keep you young.  Kids know how to really have fun.  I think being a “Maw Maw” will be great.

So I have to ask:  When did becoming a “Maw Maw” become passe?  I’m not sure I’ll ever know the answer to that.

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Its a three ring circus over here

It's a three ring circus over here

It’s Sunday and we’ve survived the day.  It’s a miracle that we even get to church at all considering the craziness that ensues every Sunday morning.  My husband is back from his business trip and we are trying to get back to “normal.”  Normal means going to church on Sunday, including Sunday School.  When people see us unload our crew from our minivan on Sunday morning, we are a frazzeled bunch.   I half jokingly tell people that it’s a three ring circus at our home on Sunday.  Today went something like this:

Saturday @ midnight (officially Sunday) : Mommy lays out everyone’s clothes to make it easier for Sunday morning.  Mommy goes to bed.

6:00 a.m. – Daddy hits the snooze button

6:30 a.m. – Daddy hits the snooze button…again.

7:00 a.m. – Daddy turns the alarm off.   (We are now running late…let the craziness now begin….)

7:45 a.m.- Jack & Will run into Mommy & Daddy’s room & proceed to pounce on sleeping parents.

7:50 a.m. – Daddy gets up and realizes that he is to be at church early because he is helping with the offering and freaks out.  Family must be at church by 9:45 a.m.

8:00 a.m. – Daddy gets Will, Jack & George into the shower for a “quick soap up and rinse.”  Mommy makes up parent’s bed and places boys’ clothes on top of the comforter.

8:15 a.m. – Daddy hands boys off to Mommy.  Daddy gets into shower.  Mommy dries off each boy in assembly line fashion and gets them dressed accordingly.  Will whines that he wants to wear the blue sweater and not the yellow one.   Boys brush teeth.

8:30 a.m. – Will & Jack go downstairs to watch Max & Ruby on Noggin.  George stays in Mommy & Daddy’s room while Daddy gets dressed in bedroom and Mommy goes into shower.  Jack sneeks back upstairs to change from his church clothes into a Spiderman costume.

8:35 a.m. – George finds sippy cup full of juice in Will’s room and unscrews the top.  George pours juice down the front of his outfit before running into Daddy.  George clings to Daddy’s leg with wet clothes.  Daddy’s pants are now saturated with sticky apple juice.  Daddy & George must change clothes.

8: 40 a.m. – Mommy is putting on makeup, but must stop to help Daddy find another outfit for George.  Mommy finds Jack in closet dressed as Spiderman…with cowboy boots.  Jack doesn’t see what the fuss is all about and announces that “Jesus loves Spiderman.”

8:45 a.m. – While Daddy changes clothes, Mommy changes George.  Mommy convinces Jack that “Yes, Jesus loves Spiderman, but Spiderman’s mask is in the wash, so let’s wear something else.”  Jack agrees and changes back into his original outfit.  Mommy sends Jack back downstairs and resumes getting ready.

8:50 a.m. – Mommy and Daddy hear screaming coming from downstairs.  Will comes upstairs with a black eye.  Will and Jack were “play fighting” and things quickly got out of hand.  Jack has hit his big brother in the eye with a juice box.  Will’s eye has started to swell.   Mommy must abandon attempt to put on hose to get an ice pack for Will’s eye.  Daddy has put Jack in “time out.”

9:03 a.m. – Jack’s time is up in “time out.”  Jack tells Will he is “sorry.”  However, Will’s eye is swelling and it is official…he will go to church with a “shiner.”

9:07 a.m. – Mommy finally has clothes on, but realizes that there is no time to “do her hair.”  It looks like a ponytail day for Mommy.  Daddy is downstairs getting the diaper bag ready when he announces that this would be a great day to get doughnuts.  Boys all scream with delight.

9:10 a.m. – Mommy pokes herself in the eye while rushing to put on mascara.  Mommy’s eye will not stop watering.  Mommy throws on a pair of black sling back pumps.

9:11 a.m. – Because Mommy is blind from sticking the mascara wand in her eye, she can’t see and gets her heel gets caught at the top of the stairs.  Mommy falls as she is descending the stairs, ripping a huge hole in her hose.  Mommy must change her hose…and shoes because her heel broke.

9:12 a.m. – Mommy yells to Daddy to “Get the kids in the van!  Strap ’em in!  I’ll be there in a minute!”

9:13 a.m. – Mommy wonders why the kids couldn’t have just had a freakin’ cereal bar and juice this morning.

9:15 a.m. – Mommy has changed clothes and is running down the stairs…with different shoes in hand.

9:16 a.m. – Mommy is in the van and tells Daddy to “Haul it to the doughnut shop!”

9:20 a.m. – Mommy is ordering doughnuts and is obsessing about whether or not she unplugged the curling iron.

9:22 a.m. – Mommy asks Daddy whether they should swing back by the house to make sure that she unplugged the curling iron.  Daddy winces.

9:40 a.m. – Everyone has had a nutritious breakfast of milk and doughnuts – the breakfast of champions.  Mommy and Daddy load everyone back into the van.  Daddy has agreed to go back home, so Mommy can check to see if she unplugged the curling iron.

9:48 a.m. – Mommy feels like an idiot because she did unplug the curling iron.  Mommy wonders if she has obsessive-compulsive disorder.   Suddenly, Mommy smells poop wafting from the backseat.  Mommy looks behind her and notices that George has a hand full of brown “mud.”  (This is definitely not mud, folks)  Mommy tells Daddy to pull back into the driveway.  Mommy instructs Daddy to go on to church with Will and Jack, as she will meet him there in a second.

10:15 a.m. – Mommy is at church with a clean baby.  George had an “accident” and had to be bathed and changed (again).

10: 20 a.m. – Mommy must check George into the church nursery.  The church nursery rivals the Pentagon with its security clearance procedures.

10: 35 a.m. – Mommy plops down on a church pew.  (The service started at 10:15)  Mommy is very, very tired.  Mommy asks the Lord to forgive her for saying bad words before church and wanting to sleep during the soloists’ performance of “Amazing Grace.”  Mommy finds a half-wrapped mint in the bottom of her purse covered in lint and debates whether to eat it or not.  Someone interrupts her thoughts to comment on how nice the children look today.  Mommy laughs like a crazy lady…

10:45 a.m. – Mommy gives in and eats the lint-covered mint because she is hungry.  She didn’t eat at the doughnut shop due to worrying about the curling iron.

11:00 a.m. – Mommy is nudged by Daddy because she dozed off during the sermon.

11:15 a.m. – Mommy goes to nursery to pick up the boys.

11:30 a.m. – Off to eat lunch.  Woo Hoo!!!!!  We actually made it through another Sunday morning.

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Santa gave me an Ipod for Christmas.  I was thrilled.  My husband got one, too.  We spent the better part of Christmas day loading them with songs off iTunes.  It was a blast.  What I wasn’t prepared for was how choosing songs for my playlist would make me feel.  I loved it!!!  I discovered some new bands that I would never have known about since I spend the better part of my day in a minivan with the same five CD’s on heavy rotation (Jimmy Buffett, Charlie Brown Christmas, Dan Zanes, Raffi, music from Curious George).

I discovered that I still love alternative rock, although I haven’t allowed myself to really listen to the genre in years.  The Kings of Leon are a new discovery.  They are incredible and I’ve loved listening to Use Somebody, Closer and Sex On Fire over and over.  Its explicit and I know it, but I adore Saving Abel’s “Addicted.”  I totally get into Linkin Park, Muse and Paramore.

Some music revives memories from high school and gets me dancing all over the house (much to the chagrin of my five year old).  As I go through my playlist, I  remember how much I used to love the Cure, Violent Femmes, Squeeze and the Police.  I remember a group of us at 17, dancing around and singing “Tempted by the fruit of another….tempted but the truth is discovered…what’s been going on since you’ve been gone.”  We sang the lyrics by Squeeze like we had some understanding of the song, even though we had no real idea of it’s meaning.  Our clique was just too cool to actually like Bon Jovi or Whitney Houston, so we embraced bands like Alphaville and the Dead Milkmen.  It makes me laugh and I adore remembering it all.

Because no one can hear what I am listening to, I can listen in privacy to certain “guilty pleasures.”  What are those “guilty pleasures” you may ask?  Try Amy Winehouse’s song “You know that I’m no good”, “Standing outside a broken phone booth with money in my hand” by the Primitive Radio Gods,  and “Miss You” by the Rolling Stones.   I’ll go ahead and admit it…I also loaded “Hot in Herre” by Nelly (it’s great for the gym….O.K., O.K…I actually happen to dance by myself to this one, if I am being totally honest…so, shoot me).

In retrospect, I think I love my Ipod and my playlist because it reminds me that I’m still a pretty cool girl.   I’ve always been a little bit of a rebel…it’s my nature.   Listening to my playlist reminds me that I need to bring out the red stilletos in the back of my closet and put those bad boys on from time to time.  In fact, I think I’ll abandon the usual red toe nail polish and dig out my Urban Decay…and I’ll do it all while I listen to Sting sing “Roxxxxannne…you don’t have to put on the red light….Roxanne!”

Thanks, Santa!

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Southern girls in smocked bishop dresses

Southern girls in smocked bishop dresses

Smocked john john

Smocked “john john”

It’s official….I’m giving up.  I’m throwing in the towel…at least where Will & Jack are concerned.  If the pictures on this post haven’t given me away, I’ll let you in on my distress.  I’m giving in and dressing my boys in conventional clothes.  They are getting too old to put them in “john johns.”  It’s just getting too hard to fight them.   On the other hand, I still have George to dress.  George who is 19 months isn’t that hard to wrestle into a “john john.”  Will and Jack are not so easily overpowered.   I’ll explain:

For the southern “Mama,”  it is an unwritten rule that children are to be dressed a certain way.   Little boys are to wear longalls or shortalls (a.k.a. “john john” in honor of J.F.K. Jr. who was photographed under the desk of his father in the Oval Office wearing such attire).  Little southern belles wear bishops, which are dresses with no waist and long with three inch hems.  No little girl is complete without a giant grosgrain bow pinned to her little head.  Southern Mamas favor smocking, appliques, and fanciful prints.  We love to dress our children in matching or theme clothes (Halloween, Christmas, Easter, 4th of July, etc.).   In formal photographs, you will see children in smocked clothes and in bare feet.  I don’t know why….it’s just the way it is.  Maybe we just like for our children to look like children.  Children grow up too fast anyway.  We just like to prolong babyhood.  Who knows?  I do know that there will be a time when all three of my boys will beg me to take down the 16 X 20 formal photographs of them as three month old babies…all wearing the same antique baptism gown that I wore as a baby.

Yes, I said gown.  Southern Mamas dress their newborn boys in gowns…baptism gowns, christening gowns, day gowns.  Look, before long…Daddy’ll have ’em out there in a duck blind or on the golf course.  Let us have our moment, OK?

Why am I distressed?  Well, once Will became a “big boy” and started school, he starting wearing a uniform.  Will attends a private school and I am most grateful that he wears the standard khaki pants and polo shirt.  We don’t fight over clothes in the morning and it’s easy.  When I caught a glimpse of my firstborn for the first time in his uniform, a lump formed in my throat.  I shed a tear.  He looked so…. grown. He doesn’t look so little anymore.  For mothers, you know when your babies start looking more like children…they lose that precious baby fat around their wrists, the face thins out, etc.  (sigh) Anyway, don’t worry.  I would never even think to put him in a “john john” at this point.  I certainly don’t want him to be picked on at Sunday School.

Jack is 3 and hasn’t reached the magical “cut-off” for the “john john.”  However, Jack is tough looking….Bless his heart.  Jack never looked right in a longall.  Jack looks more natural in camouflage or cowboy gear.  He’s a little John Wayne.  So for Jack, he has escaped having to spend another year suffering through my attempts to make him look like Little Lord Fauntleroy.  It looks like Jack gets to jump right into khakis and polo shirts.  I think he is secretly relieved.

George is another story.  I took smocking classes right after George was born and learned to sew while I was pregnant with him.  I’ve made several outfits for him and need to start on his Easter outfit now.  However, I am tired….so very tired.  At the end of the day, after putting everyone to bed, I just don’t know if I have the gumption to sit up and whittle through a smocking project.  It’s just so easy to pick something up off the rack at one of those chain stores.  Herein lies the problem…

All of those chain stores cater to people who like for their children to look like little adults.  There are exceptions to the rule (Little Lambs & Ivy, Janie & Jack, Chocolate Soup, Strasburg).  However, I am always shocked when I go into one of these “adult-like” childrens’ stores and see leopard prints on little girls’ clothing or t-shirts that say “Hottie” or “I’m the one your mother warned you about.”  Who are they selling this crap to?  Pedophiles?

In the alternative, there are stores who sell clothes for little boys that appear as their aim to have boys look like 45 year old golfers, professional skate boarders, or pimps.  I’ll never forget a gift that I received when Will was a baby.  A very well-meaning relative sent us a suit for our three month old son.

A suit.

A three piece suit.

It was black pin stripes.

It came with shoes…and a tie.

Honestly, it looked like something you’d bury your child in.   I didn’t know whether to laugh or be terrified of the outfit.  I thought about dressing Will as one of the Blues Brothers for Halloween, but I couldn’t find a little black hat.  I tried to sell it on Ebay and no one wanted it.  I did get a question about the suit.  A woman in Oregon wanted to know if it would fit her ten pound Yorkie.  I told her that the tag said it is supposed to fit a three month old baby, but I didn’t know about a little dog.  I never heard back from her.  I even tried to put the suit in a garage sale, but it didn’t sell.  I finally gave it away to Goodwill.  Maybe someone thought it was “precious” and felt lucky to have the thing.

I realize that I’m tired from running after three little boys all day, but unless I want George to look like Tony Hawk at Easter, I better get busy on that “john john.”  Oh, the plight of the southern Mama….

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Steel Magnolias...sistahs

Steel Magnolias...sistahs

“I have a strict policy that nobody cries alone in my presence.”  – Truvy

O.K….so, I’m a huge Steel Magnolias fan.  I also love Fried Green Tomatoes and the Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood.  Yes, I’m a southerner.  Yes, I’m damn proud of it.  One of the underlying themes of these great movies is the importance of girlfriends.  Having a set of girlfriends seems to be very important to southern women.  I’m not really sure if it’s because we are bred to look forward to things like girl scouts, cotillion, sorority rush, etc.  Or if it’s because once we get older and married, we have to rely upon our girlfriends because our men seem to leave us on the weekends to play golf or hunt….a southern seasonal ritual.

Nevertheless, I’ve never doubted the importance of having friends nor in the absolute necessity of needing other people in my life.  My oldest friend from childhood, Nancy (we’ve been best friends for 35 years), tells me that it’s wonderful to have girlfriends…but even better to have “sister friends.”  In the south, we call them “sistahs.”  You know the difference when you’ve got ’em.  Let me illustrate what I’m talking about:

Girlfriends are friends that you go to lunch with, shop with and have fun, etc.  Sistah friends do all of the above, but will tell you if you have spinach in your teeth and won’t let you buy anything that makes you look fifteen pounds heavier.  Girlfriends will come by your house and drop off a casserole when you are sick.  If you are sick, sistah friends will drop off a casserole and pick your kids up from school so you don’t have to.  Girlfriends will make you feel better.  Sistah friends will sometimes tell you things you need to hear, even if it hurts…because they know you need to know or will know when to keep their mouth shut.  Girlfriends will listen to your problems over the phone.  If you have a problem, sistah friends will cry with you and share some deep secrets of their own.

When I was a child, I remember my mother and her “sistah friends.”  They would play cards, drink bloody marys garnished with long celery sticks and gossip.  I also remember that they looked out for each other.  I distinctly remember when one of my mother’s sistah friends had a cheating husband.  My mother’s friend, Margaret (not her real name…bless her heart), did not know that the scum bag was cheating on her.  Well, let’s just say that my mother’s friends did something about the situation.  (I can’t go into any details due to the statute of limitations on certain crimes in the great state of Louisiana…I’m just kidding…Well, maybe not.) They let Margaret’s no-good scoundrel of a husband know that they knew about his cheatin’ ways….AND let him know that if he didn’t straighten up…he’d be next on their “list.”  My mother and her crew could give Tony Soprano a run for his money.  All of this was done without an ounce of bloodshed or Margaret the wiser.  At the next card game, Margaret was happy as a clam and announced that she and her husband had planned a second honeymoon to the Bahamas.  The sistah friends had saved the day.  Pretty cool, huh?

Sistah friends are real.  Sistah friends let you in on their own crap.  Sistah friends are forevah friends.

I consider myself very lucky.    I have some great girlfriends, but I also count amongst my friends some serious sistah friends.

Over the last six months, I’ve had Cynthia and Sharby who’ve volunteered to pick  my kids up from school when I couldn’t.   I’ve had Nancy who calls me twice or three times a week from Greenwich, Connecticut and it seems like no time has ever passed since we last saw each other…which, sadly, was seven years ago.  I’ve had Julie, who has grown into the best sistah friend and confidant that a girl could ever have.  Julie and I were friends in law school, but who would’ve known that two people who live several states away could have lives that parallel in so many ways?  I also have Windy, who will share with me her love for trash t.v.  Seriously.  Who else can I sit with and honestly say that I watch “Charm School” or “Rock of Love”?  Hilarious.

Some sistahs come and go.  Some move away.  Some fall out of touch, unfortunately.  One sistah, Teresa, was my rock and my assistant when I taught a classroom of thirteen boys, all with severe behavior disorders.  Teresa and I laughed and cried through my early years of teaching special education.  We managed to have some fun outside of the classroom when we needed to unwind at the closest Mexican restaurant with a group of fellow teachers.  We still keep in touch, not as often as I’d like, but the effort is there.  Who would’ve known that my early years teaching those boys would’ve prepared me for life with three little boys of my own?  It’s nice to know I had a sistah friend who was there to help.

I’m fortunate.  So, here’s the thing….everyone needs some sistahs.  It’s like finding your soul mates among girlfriends.  It’s good stuff.  For now, I’ll leave you with some of my most favorite quotes from Steel Magnolias – the original movie about “sistah friends”….Enjoy!

That which does not kill us, makes us stronger. – Clairee


The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize – Clairee

Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion. – Truvy

Ouiser could never stay mad at me; she worships the quicksand I walk on. – Clairee

I would rather have thirty minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special – Shelby

I find it amusing. Men are supposed to be made out of steel or something. I just sat there. I just held Shelby’s hand. There was no noise, no tremble, just peace. Oh god. I realize as a woman how lucky I am. I was there when that wonderful creature drifted into my life and I was there when she drifted out. It was the most precious moment of my life – M’Lynn


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Breaker, breaker 1-9....its Superman and Lil Bear comin at cha!

Breaker, breaker 1-9....it's Spiderman and Lil' Bear comin' at cha!

It’s my own fault that it happened.  I slept late (late would be approximately 8:00 a.m.).  Will and Jack don’t have school this week, so I’ve been staying up late (this would be approximately 11:30 p.m.) to read, fold laundry, etc.  I am usually awaken by George yelling for me from the crib in his room or by Will and/or Jack prying my eyelids open and demanding juice and cereal.  Today, it was quiet.  Too quiet.  I sat straight up.  This was not normal.  Suddenly, I heard “loud whispering” (my boys can’t whisper…neither can their father…it’s a voice immodulation problem) and Jack howl with laughter.   Whew!  I could breathe again.

I thought maybe the boys were having fun together and hoped to catch a glimpse of the boys reading, placing puzzles pieces together on the floor…sharing a brotherly moment.  I tiptoed down the hall and flattened my body against the wall to sneek a peek.  I was totally not prepared for what I was about to witness…and hear.

I heard static…and a man’s voice.  This is when I saw my sons, in their own twin bed, each holding a Diego walkie talkie.  The exchange went something like this:

Trucker:  Breaker, breaker 1-9…this here is Blue Jay…I’m havin’ trouble findin’ 385 from highway 72…where’s the turnoff?

Will:  Take a left!

Trucker:  Take a left?  Where?

Jack:  Go to McDonald’s!

Trucker:  Where?! Did you say McDonald’s?  I think there was one seven miles back.

Will:  Take a right!

Trucker:  What?! Are you tellin’ me now to take a right?

Jack:  I want french fries!  (giggles)

Will:  I want a Happy Meal! (snickers)

Trucker:  Who is this?! Are ya’ll a bunch of kids?

Will:  I’m Spiderman!

Jack:  I’m Lil’ Bear! Go to McDonald’s!

Trucker:  Hey! Get off!

This is when I bounded through the door like it was a police raid.  Will and Jack looked up at me and knew that they were cold busted.  I confiscated the Diego walkie talkies.  I don’t really know how many truckers that they have sent to McDonald’s from Highway 72.  I cringe to think that Will, a.k.a. Spiderman, and Jack, a.k.a. Lil’ Bear, have diverted whole convoys from their chosen destinations.  Who knows?

I should say that I am frightened at their ability to take a simple walkie talkie to intercept CB radio frequencies.  Or maybe I should be in awe.  They are 5 and 3.  They are preschoolers and very, very smart. Plus, I haven’t even thought about “CB’s”, “handles,” or “convoys” since I saw Smokey & the Bandit when I was in the first grade.

Obviously, I need to start getting up at 5:30 a.m.   Otherwise, who knows what can happen next.  I only hope I can channel this “creativity” into something worthwhile.  I hope so.  I really, really do.

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