Interview with a 10 Year Old

August 25th, 2015 § Comments Off on Interview with a 10 Year Old § permalink

Me: What’s today?10 year old

10 year old: My birthday.

Me: How do you know?

10 year old: Because when I woke up there were balloons in my door that said “Happy Birthday” and it’s August 25, which is my birthday, and Doodles birthday was two days ago on the 23 and my birthday is two days after,so yeah. Also I opened presents and they all said happy birthday.

Me: How did you spend your birthday?

10 year old: I got mani/pedis with Jasmine. Went to Orange Leaf. We went out for lunch. We had Froot Loops with marshmallows for breakfast. We went out for dinner. We had cake with our neighbors.

Me: What was your favorite part?

10 year old: Mani/pedis. We also went to Candy Castle! I forgot about that.

Me: How does it feel to be a 10 year old?

10 year old: Good. I’m finally double digits like all my friends. When people say, “You’re all ten, right?” I can finally say, “Yeah.”

Me: Was it a good birthday?

10 year old: Yes.

Me: What are your favorite books?

10 year old: Truth about Twinkie Pie is my favorite book. I also like the Cupcake Diaries series, which by the way, can I preorder the next book? It comes out in October.

Me: We’ll see. What are you listening to?

10 year old: Like music? I like Selena Gomez.

Me: Still?

10 year old: Yeah! Currently my favorite song is called Golden Boy and it’s from the zumba class I took at sleepaway camp and it’s song from this music competition they have in Europe and Israel submitted it, even though Israel is not in Europe, it still participates. It goes, “I’m a golden boy, come here to enjoy, I’m the king of fun, let me show you how we do it.”

Me: What are your favorite things to watch?

10 year old: Favorite thing to watch is probably Nickelodeon and Disney. Like Nicky, Ricky, Dicky, & Dawn. Liv and Maddie. I also liked Bunk’d, which is a spin-off of Jessie. I also like Modern Family, but it hasn’t been on lately so I can’t say much about that except it’s good; it just hasn’t been on.

Me: What do you want to be when you grow up?

10 year old: No clue, but I think at this point a writer or I don’t know, maybe a journalist. I really have no clue. Probably something to do with writing. I like drawing, so maybe I’ll write a book and illustrate it myself. Probably at this point a writing.

Me: What happened to engineering?

10 year old: It’s a maybe, but at this point writing is what I want to do. Engineering I’m into, but not as into.

Me: What are you looking forward to in 5th grade?

10 year old: My classmates. I’m excited for science camp. Freedom.

Me: What kind of freedom.

10 year old: I get snack whenever I want. The teachers aren’t always there. It’s basically like babysitting. They’re still there to watch out for you, but you kind of go off, you don’t need them to tell you a night time story. If you want one, you’ll read it yourself. You don’t need them to supervise you. If you’re scared, you’re not going to have them tuck you into bed like when you were little.

Me: Do you still have babysitters?

10 year old: Doodles is my babysitter.

Me: So teachers are just babysitters?

10 year old: Basically. They’re there for you when you need it, they’re there for you to teach you, but when walk to specials yourself, you walk inside yourself.

Me: What are your goals as a 10 year old?

10 year old: I want to be more awesome. I mean I don’t have much expectations. I kind of want for school, I want to be more mature. There are a few acts I want to change. Like sometimes when I’m tired, I’ll totally tune out. In math, I’ll doze off with my eyes still open. At the end of the year Jasmine would sit next to me and we’d pass notes or write messages to each other on each other’s arms with our fingers. I want to be more focused because for middle school and high school there are a lot of things I want to do and it kind of starts here. So I want to be a little more mature. I want to try and grow my hair out a little longer. I need to take better care of my hair. I want to be better about my hygiene.

Me: Any grand pronouncements?

10 year old: Again? What’s a pronouncement? Tweedle Twirp already explained it to me this morning, but I forgot it.

Me: Any big statements about the year?

10 year old: I kind of feel like–it’s about the school year again–I feel like I’m ready. I’m prepared. This summer I’ve been setting myself up for this year. I have my best my thoughts at camp. Walking back from the dining hall or walking around the tree at the front yard or before I go to bed I’ll think about my life. I feel like this year is going to be very different. I have an image in my head of what I want to be, which probably during the middle of the year, will probably disappear, and I’ll be back in my bad hygiene habits. Ooh! This year I’m going to try to start flossing! That’s my grand pronouncement!

Happy birthday, Pie!

Actual Conversations at Our House

April 9th, 2015 § 4 comments § permalink

Boy is doing his English (ELA) project at the last minute:
Boy: Can you look at my ELA project?
Me: Adam, you do it. He doesn’t like what I have to say.
Adam: Looks super.
Boy: Thanks.
Adam: Why can’t your mom look at this?
Boy: Because she told me it looks half-assed.
Me: Well someone has to tell you the truth.
Boy: I have such a loving, caring, supportive mom, who will always say nice things to me.
Me: As if.

We put girl to bed. Recently the girl expressed surprise that women get their periods once a month.
Me: We need to read It’s Perfectly Normal. I think there are some concepts you’re unclear on.
Girl: No! I don’t want to read it before bed!
Me: Okay, we can do it after school tomorrow.
Girl: Nooooooo! It’s sooooo boring!
Me: But you need to learn about puberty.
Girl: I know about it!
Me: I think you’re rusty.
Girl: No, I’m not.
Me: What does the body do when a girl gets her period?
Girl: I don’t want to talk about it! I don’t want to know about puberty! Why do I need to know?
Me: Because it’s going to happen to you.
Girl: It’s so boring!
Me: When you get your period, your uterus sheds its lining and—
Girl: STOP! You’re making my butt hurt.
Me: Fine. We can talk about it another day. Go to sleep so Daddy and I can watch House of Cards.
Girl: Why do you ALWAYS have to watch House of Cards! This is the fifth night in a row!
Me: We like it.
Girl: But it’s the FIFTH night! Why? Why can’t you not watch it?
Me: Why is this upsetting you so much?
Girl (becoming very anxious): BECAUSE IT’S THE FIFTH NIGHT!
Boy: Look, would you rather have parents who watch House of Cards or parents who smoke meth?

Status of things in the house? Boy’s project is half-assed. Girl knows nothing about puberty. Adam and I are going to watch House of Cards.

Here Comes the Flower Girl

April 5th, 2015 § 2 comments § permalink

The torch has been passed. I have entered a new phase of my life. Apparently, I can now go to a family event and not be the drunkest one in the room. In fact, not only was I not the drunkest in the room, I was downright sober, watching the millennials have fun at the open bar at my first cousin’s wedding. At the morning-after brunch, my son went around telling folks that for $2 to $20, he’d tell them what they did the night before (the amount correlated to how drunk the person had been). My cousin, the groom, offered him $5 to not tell him what he did. I will say that the boy collected a decent amount of money before I realized what he was doing and I made him return it. Somehow, extortion at a family wedding didn’t feel right. In my family, extortion is reserved for the holidays.

The wedding weekend was not just lovely, but a bit surprising. At the cocktail hour before the rehearsal dinner, my notoriously “I hate all people” son asked if he could go sit by himself on the couches in a more secluded part of the balcony. I told him he could–I was proud he could recognize when he’d had enough and needed some alone time–so off he went, Shirley Temple in hand. But then, when we sat at the table, older couple came up to me and said, “Is that your son? He is absolutely wonderful! We had the most delightful conversation with him. Such a wonderful boy,” and the boy looked at me with a big grin, nodding his head. When they left, I asked, “Who were they talking about?”

“Me,” the boy said.

“How is that possible?”

He shrugged. “I sat on the couch. They came out and sat down next to me and started talking. I had to talk back.”

Progress, people! Progress!

And then what turned out even more surprising is that 1) my boy has some serious dance floor moves, 2) those millennial women can’t get enough of him, and 3) he totally didn’t mind one bit.


My girl was the flower girl and she reveled in it, to the point where, when I took her to hang with the (14!!) bridesmaids to get her hair and make-up done, she finally turned to me after about an hour and said, “Mom. You can go. NOW!” as she pushed me out the door. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the spread of food and candy she was hoping to get her hands on.


I decided to have my make-up professionally done. As someone who never wears make-up, the whole thing frightens me a bit, so when the opportunity presented itself, I took it. A woman spent a good while doing up my face (and it wasn’t cheap to have done), and the girl and I agreed that I looked pretty good. The boy begged to differ. “Wow, Mom,” he said with horror in his voice. “Your face looks weird!” The kid knows how to make a woman feel confident.

The wedding itself was lovely. My cousin’s then-fiancé seemed determined to marry into this family, despite my many warnings. And then, foolishly, no matter how I pleaded with her not to, she decided to change her name (does the world really need another Brown in it? That name has been a curse all my life), so she is now one of the Dr. Browns of Dr. and Dr. Brown. At least if we have a medical emergency we’ve just doubled the chance that a family member can solve it.

Oddly enough, my Houston born-and-bred cousin met his now-wife at school in Atlanta, yet she’s from Miami. And it turns out that her grandmother married the father of one of my high school friends (who is the sister of the Tweedle Twirp’s BFF), so not only was this a family wedding, but a mini-Beach High reunion, guaranteeing everyone had someone with whom to talk. Adam had my father. I had my high school friend. Tweeds had her high school friend. The girl had 14 bridesmaids. And apparently, so did the boy. A beautiful time was had by all. Even if I was sober.


Truck You, Snow!

February 12th, 2015 § 1 comment § permalink

People here go stupid crazy over Truck Day and not only do I find that annoying, but I find it more annoying that when people say “Truck Day,” I know what it is. In fact, not only do I know what it is, but I know where those stupid trucks are going. (Truck Day is the day when the trucks are packed with the Red Sox *equipment* [Yes, the equipment. Not even the team] to head down to Ft. Myers for spring training. The only thing more exciting [not to me, thank you very much] is the day that pitchers and catchers report, which is February 20 AND WHY DO I KNOW THIS, PEOPLE? That is valuable brain space that could be spent on so many more important things, like how does Bruce Jenner feel about the fact that he is no longer referred to as “Olympian Bruce Jenner” but as “Reality TV Star Bruce Jenner”?)

Even my own husband, when I complained about my Facebook feed being taken over by Truck Day texted me, “I was just about to post on FB ‘TRUCK DAY!!!'” According to Adam, “It’s like the New England version of Groundhog Day, [but] the answer is always ‘It’s almost spring!'”

Bostonians are morons. Including the ones to whom I’m related. Or maybe especially the ones to whom I’m related.

I know I’ve been MIA, but I’m happy to report, I’m done with my manuscript revisions so I am now free to write again. It’s hard to write while I’m writing. But now that I’m not writing, I can write. So here I am.

As I imagine everyone knows, we’re going a little snow-crazy here in Eastern Massachusetts, and I’m going even more stir-crazy because on top of the six snow days we had in a three-week period, I got a bonus two days stuck inside as Pie had a nasty virus. Luckily, she’ll get in one day of school before the one-week February vacation during which another blizzard is coming. Fun, fun. (I’m ignoring the darkening skies that are occurring right now, and the flakes that seem to be fluttering from the sky.) The whole thing would be enough to drive a person to the bourbon cabinet, but I have it on good authority (hi, Peter!) that I have a cousin on the Left Coast (hi, SB!) who reads this blog and fears for the well being of my liver and my sobriety. I would like to assure Cousin SB that both are well intact, and in fact, I have embraced “clean living.” Since January 1, I’ve had only a couple of drinks and–gasp!–no gummy bears. And, I will say, that there is a distinct possibility that I talk about bourbon more than I actually have the opportunity to drink it. That is not the case for gummy bears. When I talk about eating gummy bears it is because I am actually eating gummy bears. Mmmmm, gummy bears.

I’m a little ramble-y today. Sorry about that. That’s what happens when you’re as cooped up as I am. (Coops. Chickens. Chickens go peep peep. Suddenly I crave Peeps. Where was I?) Seriously, the snow is horrific. I wanted an award for taking the compost out, but no one in my family acknowledge my great feat of environmental do-gooding. Heck, I wanted an award for finding the compost bins.

There are two compost bins in this photo. Can you spot them?

There are two compost bins in this photo. Can you spot them?

But we’ve had some fun. There’s been saucering with the boy (“Climbing back up the hill is soooo hard!”) and snowshoeing with the girl (“This is too tiring!”). There’s been excessive computer and iPad time while I yell from upstairs, “I said BE QUIET! I need to finish my revisions!” There’s been a few days of slow-simmered red beans and rice and soup bubbling on the stove. And now I’m done. I’m ready for this stupid winter to be over. Which is good. Because we’re only expecting, over the course of the next four days, 12 or more inches of snow. And on that note, I will type the final “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” into my manuscript and send it off to my editor, and I’ll leave you with images from the snowy northeast.







December 23rd, 2014 § Comments Off on TMI* § permalink

*Too Much Information. In other words, this post is not for the faint of heart. If this is you, move along.



(Still here? Okay.)
Yesterday morning, the boy picked up a piece of mail from my gynecologist that was sitting on the counter. “What’s this?” he asked.

“It says my lady parts are good,” I told him.

He opened the paper. “What’s a pap smear?”

“It’s a test women get to make sure everything is doing okay down there,” I said.

“How do they do it?” he asked.

“Well,” I said, thinking about how one explains a pap smear. “The doctor takes this thing called a ‘speculum’ and she puts it inside the woman’s vaginal canal and she cranks it open.” I make eh-eh-eh cranking noises here. “And then she sticks a long Q-tip inside of me to reach my cervix so she can take a tissue sample to make sure there’s no cervical cancer.”

“A speculum?” he asked.

“I bet we can find a picture online,” I said, and in a few minutes, the boy and I were engrossed in an article from The Atlantic called “Why No One Can Design a Better Speculum.” We only got through the first page because we had to leave for school but the first page really gave all the info we needed.

Also yesterday morning. The girl is, um, backed up. I fed her an Ex Lax and sent her to school. When I picked her up today, there wasn’t much movement. So of course I told Adam. Because wouldn’t a father want to know about that stuff?

Me: Pie still hasn’t pooped.
Me: Oh, wait! She might be pooping. Not sure.
Adam: We have the best IM conversations.
Me: Listen. I can have IM conversations with someone else, if you don’t like it. I’m sure the Duchess would be fascinated to know about your daughter’s bowel movements.
Adam: \o/
Me: If the boy can handle speculums, you can handle poop!

Oddly, I didn’t hear from him again. Whatever.

And if anyone wants to I.M. about poop–or speculums–just give me a buzz.

Football Loyalty

October 9th, 2014 § 1 comment § permalink

Lest you think my son is the only one who amuses us, note this conversation I recently had with my nine-year-old daughter.

I happened to be at her class’s library time at the elementary school. The kids are into polls these days. As in “Who/what do you like better? X or Y?” A boy came up to the table where the girl was sitting, and posed this poll question: “Tom Brady or Peyton Manning?”

The girl froze, looking toward me, knowing there was a right answer, but unsure of what it would be. To give you a hint of that right answer, this was the girl and myself during the first week of football this season:
Girl: Uh…

Me: Seriously? Seriously?

Girl: Uh…

I turn to boy: I’m answering for her! She picks Peyton Manning!

Boy writes it down and wanders off.

Me: How could you even consider Tom Brady? Seriously?

Girl: But I wasn’t sure who Peyton Manning is.

Me: It doesn’t matter! You pick whoever is not Tom Brady!

Later, in the car, I go over this with her again, to make sure she understands.

Me: We don’t like Tom Brady. When you are asked, “Anybody or Tom Brady,” you ALWAYS pick “anybody”!

Girl: Always?

Me: Yes! Let’s practice. Hey, Pie, Tom Brady versus anybody.

Girl: Anybody.

Me: Right!

Girl: What if the other person is also a Patriots player?

Me: Hmm. Yes, well… Well, then you still pick that other person. “Tom Brady versus anybody”? Pick anybody!

Girl: Okay.

Me: Well, if it’s Tom Brady versus Hitler, yes, you pick Tom Brady, but anything else, it’s anybody!

Girl: Okay. Um, Hitler?

Me: Remember, he was the leader of Germany in World War II? Hated the Jews?

Girl: Oh yeah, right. Wait! Hitler played football?

And that’s life with a 4th grader. Also fun fun.

Self-Reliance the Hard (or, Rather, Nonexistent) Way

September 1st, 2014 § 1 comment § permalink

Yesterday morning, Pie comes bounding into the bedroom as I’m getting up.

Pie: Do we have blueberries?

Me: Why, yes, I believe we got pack from Boston Organics last week.

Pie: May I make blueberry muffins?

Me: That sounds like a great idea. Go flip through one of your kid cookbooks and find a recipe. Also check my whole grains cookbook.

A few minutes later she comes back.

Pie: Your whole grains cookbook didn’t have one, but my kid’s cookbook does. Can I make it?

I look at the recipe.

Me: It’s got a lot of butter but, well, sure. Go for it!

About 15 minutes later, we’re in the kitchen. I look at the recipe.

Me: Okay the first thing you need to do is get the butter from the fridge and melt it on the stove.

Pie: Can you do that?

Me: No, you’re the baker.

Pie: But I’m only nine. I can’t use the oven or stove.

Me: You are already nine, which is a fine time to learn properly and safely to use the oven and stove.

Pie: I think nine is too young.

Me: Do you know that when I was nine, if wanted cookies, they only way I could get them would be if I baked them? I followed the recipe on the back of the Nestle’s package and made Tollhouse Cookies.

Adam: And it always comes back to your poor, difficult childhood.

Me: You [to Adam], shut up. You [to Pie], get the butter.

Pie: You do it! I’m not going to use the oven or the stove! Can’t you do it for me?

Me: No. I don’t even like blueberry muffins. I’m not making them. If you want blueberry muffins, you will learn to use the oven and stove. I will be by your side helping you, but you will do it.


Needless to say (though I’ll do so anyway), there were no blueberry muffins yesterday.

Interview with a 9 Year Old

August 29th, 2014 § 2 comments § permalink

Me: What was last Monday?

9 year old: My birthday.

Me: If your birthday was on Monday, why am I interviewing you on Friday?

9 year old: Because on my birthday we were full–we were busy–and so we didn’t have time and we never got to do it because we had to do other stuff at home so we’re doing it today.

Me: What other stuff did we have to do?

9 year old: I had a birthday party and we had to unpack.

Me: What was your party like?

9 year old: It was a Hawaiian Splash Slumber Party. Meaning it was a Hawaiian party and the splash part was we played in water.

Me: Was it good?

9 year old: Yeah.

Me: How does it feel to be a nine year old?

9 year old: Good. Awesome. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

Me: How did you spend your birthday?

IMG_75639 year old: [In New York] We went to breakfast at the Cookshop and we went to the High Line and we went to Union Square playground. Then we went to the Converse store, and then went to this bakery but we didn’t get anything there [we were checking out the Cronut bakery, but the Cronuts were long gone and nothing else looked interesting to her] and then we got this watermelon water, which was really yummy, and then we went to the Chobani store [for a snack]. And then we went to the Children’s Museum of the Arts [where she drew, collaged, and made a clay birthday pig]. And then after that we went shopping with my aunt and her, um, boyfriend [the Tweedle Twins]. Then we went back to the apartment for presents and cake. And then we went out for dinner to Le Zie and Peter made these online invitations and it was really funny [otherwise known as calendar invites, which are amazing to a 9 year old). And then me and my aunt and my mom went to see Mamma Mia on Broadway. Then we went to Toys R Us but they were closing because it was almost 11 o’clock so we went back to the apartment and went back to sleep.

Me: Why do you keep saying “awnt”? It’s pronounced “ant.” Are you a Brown or a Medros? Only those fussy Medroses say “awnt.”

9 year old: I’m a Brown-Medros.

Me: Was it a good birthday?

9 year old: Yes!

Me: What do you like to do these days?

9 year old: I like dance and I like soccer and I like Girl Scouts and I like to play the bass and I like Hebrew school and I do Smart Start [a before-school PE program] and I’m going to do Fit Girls [a running program for 4th and 5th grade girls]. I also like hanging out with family and friends.

Me: How did you end up so different from your brother?

9 year old: I don’t know because he’s just like, “Hmm, I just want to play on the computer,” and once the computer was invented, he was like “Adios, everybody,” and I was never like “Adios, everybody.” Differences are okay.

Me: What are your favorite books?

9 year old: I really like the Lunch Lady books. I like Wendy Mass.

Me: What are you listening to?

9 year old: Mamma Mia soundtrack. ABBA, actually. Selena Gomez. Who else? Mack Z.

Me: What are your favorite things to watch?

9 year old: Mamma Mia. Liv and Maddie. Kickin’ It. I Didn’t Do It. The 7D, which my brother taught me to like.

Me: What do you want to be when you grow up?

9 year old: A writer or a teacher or maybe a scientist that studies plants.

Me: What are you looking forward to in 4th grade?

photo9 year old: Switching classes. And having my teacher [she got the teacher she wanted]. And dance parties [4th grade has Friday afternoon dance parties].

Me: What are your goals as an 9 year old?

9 year old: Be more awesomer [sic] than ever.

Me: Any grand pronouncements?

9 year old: What’s that mean?

Me: Really? Again? Any grand statements? Any big thoughts? Here, look it up: “a formal declaration of opinion” or “an authoritative announcement.”

9 year old: Don’t eat bunnies! Bunnies aren’t food!

Me: Really? What does that even mean?

9 year old: Some stores have started selling bunny meat!

Me: What stores?

9 year old: I don’t know.

Me: You want to end on that note? What’s the last thing you want to say.

9 year old: Bye?

Ah, my 9 year old. May it be an “awesomer” year for you.

The Squeals Heard Round the World

August 28th, 2014 § Comments Off on The Squeals Heard Round the World § permalink

Things in this house that were either misguided, misconstrued, or just plain old wrong (or, in other words, the reason my life of clean living has come to an abrupt end and why I hid in my bedroom until Teen Beach Movie was over and I had to force five tweens to brush their teeth and go to sleep):

  • I think the boy can handle a phone. He gets so much computer time, I don’t think controlling himself with a phone will be challenging
  • From Adam upon our return from New York: “There’s laundry in the washer and the dryer. If you want, you can take the stuff out of the dryer and move in the stuff from the washer.” [He didn’t appear pleased when I responded, “No, thanks. I don’t want.”]
  • Having a sleepover the night after we get back from New York won’t be a big deal. How tired could Pie be after just one late night at the theater?
  • Pizza? Who needs pizza at the party? We’ll make our own sushi!
  • Making sushi should be a cinch. I mean, I’ve eaten enough rolls. How hard could it be to make our own?
  • Only five girls will make the party manageable.
  • A cat is dying in the family room. No other possible explanation from the stream of squeals emerging from there.
  • Pie has her first soccer practice the evening after her sleepover, two nights after getting back from New York. I’m sure she’ll be fine. So, her cleats are a little small. She’ll be so excited about soccer that I’m sure she won’t whine about that.
  • Teen Beach Movie looks totally harmless. Nothing in there could possibly scare Pie.
  • At least they’ll all sleep well tonight. They must have completely exhausted themselves.
  • I’m sure I can stay up later than a bunch of tweens. How late could they possibly stay up?
  • Hungry kids vs. coffee. I guess I better get them fed before I make the coffee.

Clean living? Try brownies for dinner (the girls ate the sushi, but damn, was it terrible!) and tonight, when the house is mine and soccer is done, Adam is making me a bourbon drink the size of my head. That is, if I don’t fall asleep first.

Sounds of Silence

July 28th, 2014 § Comments Off on Sounds of Silence § permalink

With the children safely ensconced at camp, you’d think there’d be nothing left to annoy me. Ah, but alas, my husband is home.

Cleaning up, he opens our compost trash (the one waiting to be taken outside). Peering, in throws something in, closes it, and then says to me: “Wow, that’s a lot of mold growing in there.”

And then he walks away.

Seriously? Is he new here? You don’t announce mold and then walk away. And saying, “It’s only growing on the avocado” does not excuse you from going out right this instant, I don’t care if it’s raining, and putting the thing in the outdoor compost bin.

The children are at camp. Happily so, it appears. How would I know that it’s happily so? Because both my parents and my brother-in-law received letters from my younger child letting them know how much she enjoys camp. Did I get a letter? I, the one who was ordered to write her every day, even if I had nothing to say? I, the one she cried to all morning before I drove the hour and a half, unpacked her, made her bed, and took all the pictures she demanded? I, the one who scours the camp web site, blog, and Facebook page, searching for a glimpse of her, Adam messages such as, “I’m pretty sure that’s the back of her shoulder near that tree in photo #485.” No, I have not yet heard from that child. Nor the other child, although that’s a bit more expected.

Drop off was not the traumatic experience I was anticipating. Pie and I prepped. “Maybe you won’t cry this year,” I said.

“Oh, no. I’m going to cry!” she responded. We talked about how it’s okay to be homesick but to still have a great time. We agreed it was okay for her to cry, but she should try not to cling on to me. She asked me to contact her “camp mom” and let the counselors know she would have a hard time. I had e-mails and phone calls with the camp mom to give her ideas on how to distract Pie (“Ask her about her cousins. Ask her about dance. Ask her about her crafts.”) She decided we should unpack her brother first (I went solo this year, so there was no divide and conquer) and then take care of her.

And what happened? She couldn’t wait to get to her bunk (P: “Actually, let’s unpack me first.” Me: “We have a plan.” P: “Well, let’s change the plan.” Me: “We are going to stick with the plan.”) She immediately started chatting up the counselors. And then she decided to head over to the camp carnival. She turned to me, said, “I love you, Mom. Bye!” And ran off. The counselor looked at me with wide eyes and said, “I had been prepared for something difficult!” Stunned, I said, “Me, too,” and I ran out of there before Pie could change her mind. So far every photo has a smiling girl (or at least the back of her shoulder looks quite happy). And I’ve seen a not-unsmiling boy (he doesn’t truly smile, but he’s clearly happy in the photos).

So now, I only have one child to deal with (the 41-year-old child). I’m in the midst of catching up on paperwork (grant wrap-ups that were due), planning for the upcoming year (newsletters, Girl Scouts), writing (crazy, I know), photo sorting (oh, but there is a backlog), and all the other wild things that one does when children are out of the house. If you hear crazy noises coming from over here, don’t worry: It’s just me cleaning out the attic.

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  • Who I Am

    I read, I write, I occasionally look to make sure my kids aren't playing with matches.

    My novel, MODERN GIRLS will be coming out from NAL in the spring of 2016.

    I mostly update the writing blog these days, so find me over there.

    More about me and my writing.

  • Where to Find Me

    jenny at


    Follow Me on Pinterest


    Writing Blog: Jennifer S. Brown

    Photo Blog: jPhone Jenny

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