Love from the Inside Out

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Hopefully you’ve had a chance to see the wonderful and insightful Pixar film, Inside Out, which premiered in June and is coming out on DVD in early November (already out on Amazon Prime Video).

If you haven’t seen it, feel free to skip this blog. But if you have seen it, I wonder if you might journey with me a bit in this blog post.

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My Date at the City Dump

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For the first time in my life I had to go to the city dump, to get rid of two broken down mattresses that neither donation centers nor the garbage collector would take.

The dump. Yikes.

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When I Grow Up: Matilda and Our Armenian Daughters

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And when I grow up, when I grow up, I will be brave enough
To fight the creatures that you have to fight beneath the bed each night to
Be a grown up.

“When I Grow Up,” Matilda (Original Broadway Production, Music and Lyrics by Tim Minchin)

We were in New York last week with our daughters – their first time there. I wrote last week about the special Armenian Genocide Commemorations we were honored to participate in. Unforgettable.

But it was also an unforgettable family weekend with our girls: Going to the top of the Empire State Building to take in the view of the city and the Statue of Liberty, shopping at the Toys R Us (with the four-story ferris wheel inside!) and the larger-than-life M&M Store in Times Square, eating Junior’s Cheesecake, seeing their aunt and uncle, cousins, great aunt and uncle, family — and seeing their first Broadway show.

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Their first Broadway show – no small moment for this playwright. Thanks to some finagling by their uncle, my brother-in-law, we got tickets to see Matilda, one of my older daughter’s favorite books.

It was a delight, deeply meaningful and yet also humorous and musically catchy. A brave and unusually gifted girl overcoming a horrible family situation and bonding with a kind teacher who also benefits from the girl’s bravery and becomes braver herself.

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To the End of the Age…A Final Post for 2014

“And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” — Matthew 28:20b, NLT

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As Christmas and 2014 come to a close, my younger daughter Mari had a cry for the ages last night – one that seems a fitting final post for the first calendar year of my blog about writing and life.

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Surfing, Writing and Life: What My Daughter’s First Lesson Taught Me

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Yesterday, I took our oldest daughter to a friend’s birthday party – a surfing birthday party. Okay, okay, it’s a SoCal thing.

 

Helped by professional instructors, the girls got wetsuits, boards and surfing lessons, many for the first time (like for ours). The girls studied posture and technique on the sand, then spent the rest of party going out into the water with the instructors, rotating constantly after three waves each, trying to stand up on the board and ride their first wave.

 

For two hours, basically, I stood on the sand watching and taking pictures of my girl falling. Falling. Over and over. Trying to get up but falling over, and over. Wipeout. Same with many of the other girls, though it seemed (for this typically oversensitive parent) that it was happening more to my daughter.

 

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Again and again, the patient instructor took her out, even farther out, into the water, got her positioned, and they tried again. And again.

 

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After what seemed like a long time — BAM! She was able to get up, WOO HOO!

 

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But she fell off after not even a second or two.

 

And then more and more of this. Over and over. Getting up and falling, up and falling. So many near misses are on my camera, where I anticipated a great moment or shot, only to capture one of her falling either right before or right after she got her footing. I didn’t want to show my feeling to her, but I wondered: how could this possibly be fun for her?

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LA Scenes of Triumph

A little nook of Los Angeles is very special to me and my inner circle. On a single Westside street:

  • my sister and I lived for five years before I got married, with cherished walks and meals at nearby neighborhood cafes;
  • my husband proposed to me at a restaurant a few blocks down the same street, near another restaurant where we dated early on;
  • my sister and I for years went to our longtime doctor at the medical center around the corner…

.…where my sister just gave birth to her daughter this past weekend.

Now my husband and I live in San Diego, but we had to drive up to LA to meet our new niece, and have our daughters meet their new little cousin — in our old stomping ground, no less.

When we got there, a barrage of memories overflowed, seeing all the familiar places — where I wrote some of my favorite scripts, went out on memorable dates, shared heart to heart talks with family and friends — or as my dad would say, ‘scenes of former triumph.’

On this day there truly was a new birth, a new triumph. Seeing my sister and brother in law with my new niece was beyond precious — something we will never forget.

And never did I think, 15 years ago, that I would one day come back to the old ‘hood with my children and husband, telling the girls statements like this:

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