Category Archives: Family

Dinner with the Hostages

9halfweeks2“Your father and I will be gone for two nights. You will behave and clean while we’re gone.”

Corinne, 12: How do you know?

* * * * *

Gwyneth, 8: “Can I have two rolls?”

Caleb, 14: You can have 5 if you’re fast.


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Cutest Homecoming Couple


(She doesn’t even attend the high school.)

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My eight year old to me:

I don’t fear my enemies, but sometimes… you really scare me.

Then tonight, as I descend the stairs, I see a fast-moving flash of black. The hallway bathroom door clicks and locks.

“I know you’re in there.”

“Sorry, Mom. It’s reflex. You scare me,” Kate says.

What do they mean? Well, these bookend daughters mean two different things. Eight year old is referring to mom sounding like jet take-off upon finding that nothing she has requested be accomplished has, in fact, been accomplished.

Sixteen year old means, “I am afraid you will have a job for me which I will procrastinate until you threaten to take away my 2500 text messages per day or the keys to the car.”

Scary or abysmally normal? I ask you.

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simpsonize_canvas.jpgToday I am thinking that reputation I have of [sheer irony]”most sophisticated woman you’ll ever meet”[/] is most deserved.

I’m walking in the mall with my three daughters: 16 (also in heels), 12 (sporty tennis shoes) and 8 (sandals).

All of the sudden The Blonde One, 8, kind of trips forward because she’s scuffed the bottom of her rubber soled sandals on the tile. I laugh because I DO THE SAME EXACT THING and I’m 36. You just can’t look classy in heels when you’re tripping forward. I laugh “It’s genetic! I do that too, Gwyn.”

Then I say, “I also kick the inside of my ankles when I walk. I’ve got bruises.”

The sixteen year old looks at me incredulously. “I have SCARS.”

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The Power

Caleb, at breakfast this morning:

Mom, the sound of your high heels is enough to make any man tremble.

Oh the pow’a she wields in a mere 1¼ inches.


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What I love about teaching the hostages to read is sitting beside a little blonde kid, about eight years old, and listening to her make up sentences to go along with the syllable she’s just pronounced:

“Lag. That’s like ‘Oh, this computer is lagging.'”

“Val. Like, ‘I give you my val (vow) and you give me your val (vow).'”

“Tock. Oh that reminds me, I tock (talk) too much.”

I love these moments.

So yeah, while this year I have School Bus Lust,™ I can always be brought back around to fond memories of these moments. It’s what gets me through another round of “Stop starin’ at me when Mom’s readin’. Mooom. I hate it when people look at me,” and “What school? I thought you said ‘When the kitchen was clean to do school. I checked, it ain’t clean,” said whilst watching TV.

Round 7 up tomorrow. (aka grades 11, 9, 7 and 3)


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Harper's Ferry WVA

2002: Kevin is off doing pre-war stuff in the U.A.E. and I’m alone. With the hostages. So we take off from Oklahoma City and head up to see family in Missouri. Then Chicago just for the fun of it. Stop off in Michigan to see friends (we lived there in residency) and then down to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia.

We were going to Washington, D.C., but the sniper hit right at that time and it just didn’t seem as prudent as it did back in OKC.

Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia. They were celebrating something about the election of 1860 or the Lincoln/Douglas debates. I forget now.

At the gate, the lady asked, “You do know there’s a sniper loose, right?”

I said, “Here? Now?”

“Oh no, not here, now. There. In D.C.”

“Oh. In that case we’ll just walk real fast. We drove a long way not to stop in. Thanks for the warning.”

I know you can’t tell it, but it’s sort of raining in these photos. And while I am just about all girl, I do not melt in the rain. I rarely carry an umbrella. It’s important for me to point these things out because I have friends and not a few family members who think just because I don’t camp, I must have no redeeming value whatsoever. Well, see? I play in the rain. (I do, however, pop a trash bag over the little one there. Who needs rain coats when you have Hefty?)


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