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Either there is not place to put it or I haven’t put it there yet.

Cast Your Pearls Here

San Diego Momma assigned the following exercise for PROMPTuesday #6:

For this PROMPTuesday, I’d like us to experiment with being someone else for awhile.

Write in another voice — someone completely opposite from you (i.e. an oil tycoon, a four-year-old kid, a drunk dog) and argue in favor or opposition to something outlandish which should be legalized or outlawed (i.e. the oil tycoon might argue that all environmental groups be declared unconstitutional, the four-year-old may advocate mandatory dessert after dinner, etc.).

This could be fun, no?

All right. Here are the rules:

You must write your entry in 10 minutes. This encourages top-of-mind, primal thinking before the ego and judgmental brain kicks in. Just set a timer, make your kid count to 600 slowly, whatever. It’s an honor system. And I trust you.

Keep to 250 words or less.

So . . . comes now my PROMPTuesday #6 . . .

Cast Your Pearls Here

I’m always the piggy that has to go to the market. I never get to stay home, have roast beef or not, or even say “wee wee wee” all the way home. All I ever do is go to the market.

Because I’m the biggest and have to foot (no pun intended) the bill at the market, I ought to have a little authority along with the responsibility. For example, I should decide what color I will be painted. And because the other piggies never leave my sight, they have to match me. I say no French tips for us. French tips are for fingers, not toes. And it’s high time that someone had the gumption to speak up and say so. Also, personally, I don’t like pink. Pink piggies are so clichéd. I want to be fire-engine red. Or a sparkly, sassy shade of purple. No exceptions.

Since we are on the subject of what I like and don’t like, no more Crocs. They make me sweat. And I once saw a picture of Dubya wearing Crocs. ‘Nuff said. Since I’m a California piggy born and raised, I prefer UGG boots in winter and flip-flops in summer.

Finally, would a pedicure now and then be too much to ask? I like being soaked, massaged, and my nail trimmed short, filed smooth, and jam free. Do this for me or as Dr. Scholl is my witness, my nail will become ingrown and I’ll never go to the market again.

Rocky Road

When I was in elementary school, I walked to and from school every day. In Los Angeles. By myself. Ten miles. Uphill. Both ways. In the snow. Like all parents had to do. And if we parents survived walking to school under such under such conditions, surely our children could survive walking much shorter distances in lovely spring weather. I only mention this because for quite some time, Laura has been jonesing for me to walk with her to or from school, citing all manner of reasons from “reducing our carbon footprint” to “getting more exercise.” And I quote. I decided she’s right. It would do us both some good to walk now and then, particularly for me since I’m on hiatus from running with my shoulder being all hurty and stuff. So, one day last week, I showed up at Laura’s school sans automobile. It is a four-mile roundtrip trek, and I walked to school to get her. By myself. Ten Miles. Uphill. All the way. In the snow. The one-way trip home meant that Laura would only have to walk two miles. Downhill. In lovely spring weather. I figured this was totally doable for an eight-year-old kid. And it was doable. For her. For me? Not so much. It did not hurt my feet. It hurt my brain. I had to take a lot of deep breaths. Not from the cardio, but from the mental strain.

Laura: “Where’s the car?”

Mom: “Home. We’re going to walk today.”

Laura: “Cool, I’ve been wanting to walk home.”

Mom: “I know. So here we go.”

Laura: “How far is it?”

Mom: “Two miles.”

Laura: “How many yards are in two miles? I know the answer. Divide the number of feet by three. How many feet are in one mile? I know the answer. It is 5,280. What is 5,280 times two divided by three?”

Mom: “I don’t have any paper or a pencil.”

Laura: “Why do you need paper? Why didn’t you bring your purse? Why do you need . . . how far have we gone now? Is it much farther? Have we gone two miles yet? Have we gone even one mile? Have we? Have we gone one mile or two miles? Mom, are you listening? Have we gone a mile? Mom? Mom? Mo-oooommm?”

Mom: “We’re still in front of your school.”

Laura: “Will we have to cross the street? I don’t really like crossing streets. Will we come to a sidewalk? I don’t really like walking on dirt. Why isn’t there a sidewalk? Why are we walking on a dirt road? Ahhhhh! I see mole holes. I don’t like mole holes. Are there snakes in those mole holes? What if one comes out? Will I see a snake? What if I see a snake? Have you ever seen a snake? What if I see a mole? Will a mole peak out? Why, oh, why are we walking in the dirt? If we don’t walk on the dirt, we’ll have to walk in the bike lane. Don’t walk in the bike lane. Mommy, you’ll get run over. Stay on the dirt. Watch out for snakes and moles, okay? What if I get a rock in my shoe? I think I feel a rock in my shoe. I don’t want to stop to take it out because there might be a snake in one of those mole holes. Ahhhhhhhh! Did you hear that? I heard something in the bushes. I don’t like sounds in bushes. I wish we weren’t walking. How much longer until we get home? Mom? I asked how long it would take to get home. Do we have much farther? How far have we gone? Mom? Mom? Mo-oooommm?”

Mom: “I’d guess we have gone 1/10th of the way.”

Laura: “That’s aaaallllll? Reeeeaaaallllyyyy? It’s hot. It’s sunny. Are you wearing sunscreen? Too bad about the ozone layer. If we had a better ozone layer, would we still have to wear sunscreen? Probably we would not have to wear it, or at least as much of it. I wish we had a better ozone layer. I wish we were in the car and the car didn’t mess up the ozone layer. We should have an electric car that doesn’t damage the ozone layer. I don’t like walking this much. I wish the road wasn’t this long. How long does it take to walk two miles? Are we there yet? It seems so much closer when we are in the car. I wish we were in the car. Then my feet wouldn’t hurt. My feet are starting to hurt. Soon my legs will hurt too. This makes me tired. Why does exercise have to make you tired? Can you call Daddy to come and pick me up? I don’t like walking on this path. Why isn’t there a sidewalk? What if the dirt path runs out and there’s no place to walk? Ahhhhhhh. I see horse poop! Why, oh, why is there horse poop on this path? Is this a horse trail? Why is there horse poop? Why are we walking on a horse trail? I don’t like horse poop. How far have we walked? Mom? Mom? Mo-oooommm?”

Mom: “I’m guessing we’ve walked a half of a mile. That’s one-quarter of the way home. Just don’t look at the horse poop. Look at the pretty flowers instead. Look, there are yellow flowers over there and red ones across the street.”

Laura: “I don’t like flowers. Flowers have bees. I don’t like bees. I’m afraid of bees. I don’t like being outside. I don’t like nature. I don’t like anything in nature. I only like snow. Snow is the only nature I like. Are we going to see any more horse poop? Was that all there is? I don’t want to see any more horse poop. I’m not going to look at those flowers either. Look! Look at those flowers! Do you see what I see? That’s why I don’t want to look at flowers! Bees! I. See. Bees. I don’t like bees. I don’t like nature. I only like snow. Why isn’t there any snow? I don’t like walking on dirt. Oh, look the path is changing to hard dirt. Hard dirt is better. Kind of better. But not that much better. When we get home can I have a Newman-O? I really feel like I need it. I need a Newman-O. Vote for Newman-O’s! Newman-O’s in 2008! Do I have to take a bath when I get home? I don’t want to take a bath. No way am I taking a shower. If it is a choice between a bath and a shower, then bath because I need to sit down. I. Have. To. Sit. Down. My feet hurt. Are we turning the corner? I thought we weren’t crossing any streets? Are we staying on this side of the street? Mom? Can I please have a Newman-O when I get home? I didn’t eat my sandwich for lunch and I can’t eat it now. Have you ever tried walking and eating? It is too hard to walk and eat. I’ll just have to have a Newman-O when I get home. Can I have three? Can I have three Newman-O’s? I don’t like walking. I wish I never had to walk. Mom? Am I going to get to have a Newman-O? Can a Newman-O be President? How much farther until we are home? How much? Are we home yet? Is this home? Are we in front of our house? Mom? Mom? Mo-oooommm?”

Mom: “Laura, honey, you tell me, is this home?”

Laura: “Nooooooo. This. Is. Not. Home. When we will be home? How much farther? Mom? Mom? Mo-oooommm?”

Mom: “We have about a quarter of a mile to go.”

Laura: “Will I have to take a bath when we get home? I don’t just want a Newman-O, I need one. Look! Did you see that? More bees! I am sure I saw another bee. I do not think it was a butterfly. It flew! Something flew! It flew the way that a bee flies. That is why I won’t look at the flowers. Except for Rinoculous. Rinoculous do not have bees. I will only look at Rinoculous. I need to sit down. What I wouldn’t give for a chair. Is there a chair someplace? Can I just sit here in the dirt? If I sit down it will take longer to get home. Never mind, I’ll just keep going. I’ll just keep going with a rock in my shoe. Can I skip the bath? I’ll eat my sandwich when I get home if I can have Newman-O’s. Well, I’ll eat half of my sandwich. Only half. Or just a bite. I’ll eat a bite of sandwich and Newman-O’s. I have to stop. I have to stop walking. What time is it? Is this our street? Do I see our street? Yes! I see it! This is a beautiful street. I love this street. We have sidewalks on this street. I like sidewalks. I love sidewalks. I like being home. Home. Home. Home! My feet hurt. I’m hungry. I’m thirsty. Walking is hard work. I thought I’d never get home. I’m glad I’m home. I’m glad I’m at my beautiful home!”

Mom: “I’m glad we’re home too.”

Laura: “Mom?”

Mom: “Yes?”

Laura: “Tomorrow can we walk to school?”

It’s All in the Tone

Thanks San Diego Momma for another exercise: PROMPTuesday #5

It’s All in the Tone

The telephone rang. She did not recognize the number on caller ID. It was warm and sunny outside, but she suddenly felt an unexplainable chill. Let it go to voicemail, her inner voice whispered. She’d missed the Oprah episode in which Gavin de Becker was a guest. She answered. Silence on the other end. She repeated, “Hello?” Silence. The unexplainable chill she’d felt when the phone rang gave way to slight irritation. “Hello?” “Hey,” replied a male voice. The slight irritation gave way to an explainable chill. Shaken, she did not respond. “I know you’re there,” said the voice. She stayed quiet. She considered hanging up. But she did not want to cower. Still, she wasn’t ready to summon the strong voice she felt was necessary to the task of replying. “I’ve missed you.” Her stomach lurched. She sat down. “How did you get this number?” she asked, barely concealing the lump in her throat and the urge to bellow. “I’ve missed you and I know you miss me too,” he said. “I’m hanging up now. Don’t call again,” she said. She hoped that her pounding heart could not be heard over the wireless connection. Just as she pressed “END” she heard, “I’ll see you soon.”

Two Down, One to Go

Twenty-three years ago, I had a beautiful baby girl and another on the way. But I did not have a college degree. When Kristen was three years and Courtney was eighteen months old, I went back to school. I wanted my daughters to have the best education, the best life possible. Because kids tend to do as they see, not as they’re told, I knew that I had to lead them by example. Kristen and Courtney were there when I graduated first from college, and then from law school. And although I went without sleep for the seven-plus years it took me to do it, I became the first member of my family to graduate from college. But I’m not the last . . .

This is a very smart girl.

Following in her big sister’s footsteps, but blazing her own trail to be sure, Courtney graduated from college yesterday, and she earned her degree in two majors in four years.

Three chicks with college degrees.

Family photo op
“I am bored. I hope this graduation
is over soon.
I want to go home soon now.”

Three “hot” chicks.
(Tucson weather was in the 90s.)

Laura, you’re next, and I promise not to whine too loudly when officials at the university of your choice pry you from my Kung Fu grip. Thankfully, we have another decade before you leave me, and I’m going to savor every moment of it.

Way to go Coco!!!

Now I need to go ice my shoulder. It is sore from all this patting myself on the back.

Beauty in the Shadows

Comes now PROMPTuesday, Exercise #4. Click on over to visit Deb at San Diego Momma to read the other entries or, even more fun, create one. Go ahead. It only takes ten minutes.

Beauty in the Shadows

Well he was just seventeen. You know what I mean? His eyes were brilliant blue, his nose was ever so slightly crooked, and his brown hair was perfectly feathered. He sauntered when he walked, and it played out even if he didn’t wear Levis and did wear button down shirts with an understated pinstripe to school. He was new to the school, from Des Moines, Iowa. He was cool because he wasn’t a surfer, or a stoner, or a soc, or a jock, or a nerd. He was cool because he was just a guy from Iowa. With perfectly feathered hair and brilliant blue, staring eyes. He stared at me in Beginning Guitar in first period. He stared at me in U.S. History in sixth period. His staring blue eyes were a pair of bookends in my school day. I wondered whom he stared at in periods two through five. But one day at the end of period six, he told me he liked my gold, heart-shaped Monet earrings. He said they glowed from across the room when we watched films in class. We became high school sweethearts. But I knew one thing that none of the other girls knew. Feathered Hair McBlue Eyes was a mama’s boy. And mama didn’t want her boy to have a girlfriend. Just like my earrings glowed in the darkened classroom when we watched history films, our love glowed like beauty in the shadows of his mother’s watchful eye.

Mother’s Day in Review

From Tom

Because he knows his own strengths . . .

. . . and weaknesses,

rather than opt for my PLAN A, he went with his PLAN B, a winning approach:

From Laura

I got this spectacular photo, drawing, and poem:

From Courtney

As if this weren’t enough . . .

. . . I also got this in the mail:

From Kristen

And from the child who was the first to turn me into a mother, I got her first post ever on our family blog.

Dear Readers, tell me about your Mother’s Day.

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