A Glimpse of Parenthood…

Spending the weekend with my nearly one-year-old goddaughter niece was pure joy — not only because of the delight she is, but also because my two daughters helped “babysit” too. They looked forward to it for weeks ahead, my younger daughter literally counting the days. They fed their baby cousin, played with her, read to her, guided her and cleaned up after her fun whirlwinds.

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I was so proud to see them in those ‘big sister’ roles. It brought back memories of when my daughters were that age.

The whole weekend helped my girls see parenting in a whole new light. As my nine-year-old said, “Wow, Mom, babies are hard work!”

They are, indeed.

Not that she was complaining. In fact, she didn’t want to leave when the weekend was over. “How could I leave her?” the mini-adult said in the car, utterly earnest, like she had just done something tragic by going back home. She even made suggestions on how she could change her school schedule around to stay up there this week, in all seriousness. And this with her student council election tomorrow.

Although she’s babysat dear neighborhood kids before, this was obviously different for my oldest daughter. She ached for her baby cousin! My younger daughter also couldn’t stop talking about her or thinking about her, reading to her constantly and creating songs for her. Both my daughters wanted all the time they could with “the babe,” as they call her. They raced to be the first to get her this-or-that. They kept track oh-so-carefully of who was on duty for this task or that (“No, it’s my turn! – No, it’s MY turn!”). They couldn’t get enough.

Then it came.

“And just think,” my nine-year-old said to her six-year-old sister. “This is one day, or one weekend, with the baby. Mom has us all the time!”

I do, indeed.

So I told them that being a parent is one of the hardest things in this world to do — but it’s also one of the most rewarding roles they could have. And as they went to bed, I told them I was so grateful and proud to be their mom.

“So are we, Mom.”

Grateful, indeed.

Onward.

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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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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“Bravura” – Chapter One

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Kathleen adored the meadow outside her house in Somerset. The rustling, the chirping, the sweet smell of earth whispered music to her. Her mother could see this and decided it was time.

That night—no bomb scare on the radio, no blaring overhead—Mrs. Driscoll put five-year-old Kathleen to bed with great anticipation.

“Promise me you’ll listen,” Mrs. Driscoll said.

“All night?” Kathleen asked.

“Until you sleep. Like you do with the sounds of the meadow. Don’t get out of bed.”

“Why?”

“If you do as I ask, I’ll have a surprise for you in the morning.”

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