Archive for June, 2010

June 26th, 2010

My Journey to Contentment

“Cafe Americano?” I ordered, with more of a question than a statement, when the waiter tossed his long, deep-brown hair and turned his brooding Gaelic features in my direction. We, my mother, daughter, husband and I, were seated at a table at Chez Janou, a side-walk bistro in the Marais district of Paris, and I was suddenly filled with regret at my decision to drop French 101 in favour of yet another junior philosophy class. All around us people hustled down narrow, cobble stone streets, gesturing madly with a speed that was surpassed only by their speech, while the smell of French cuisine intoxicated our senses and our desire to just sit and people-watch intensified. In perfect Francaise, my Little Miss placed her order, beaming with pride at the french language skills she has acquired at such an early age, knowing that her ability in this regard will forever trump mine. The sky was grey and the breeze cool for June in Paris, but none of this mattered. I was with my family and we were in Europe, together. I was content.

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June 14th, 2010

The Mother Spider’s Reward

http://headacheandmigrainenews.com/news-images/the-spider-web.jpgThe sun was high in the June sky despite the early morning hour the day we saw it. It was perched precariously atop our car antenna and neither of us—my husband, my daughter nor I—was sure what it was. The consensus: Garbage. In the midst of grabbing a tissue to swipe it away, with my stomach in turmoil and my nose upturned, it moved. It was subtle at first but unmistakable, and the motion increased with the intensity of our stares. It was an egg sack. It was small and silken and perfectly shaped, and in the nascent stages of presenting to the world its swarming contents. As we stood transfixed, thousands of minuscule golden spiders wriggled their way free, crawling over each other in mayhem, uncertain as to what to do next with no mother near-by to guide their way. But quickly, like a scene from the ending of Charlotte’s Web, instinct trumped chaos and they departed, en masse, floating away on the ends of fine, glossy filaments to face the world alone.

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June 10th, 2010

Starbucks Should Be Licensed

Please enjoy this short little piece, posted today, June 10, 2010, on the Sweet Mama Guest Blogger web site.

“I’m gonna need a more complicated drink,” exclaims my 12-year-old daughter, her Grande, non-fat, Chai-tea latte with just a hint of cinnamon clasped carefully in both hands. I look sheepishly at my own Grande dark roast, black, clearly far too simplistic to meet her standards, and wonder what the heck she means.

Sensing my consternation, she sighs heavily in the manner instinctive to pre-teens who are just now realizing, to their dismay, that their parents don’t know everything, and she attempts to clear the fog.

“You know, for when I’m an adult.”

No, I don’t know, but my interest is certainly piqued.

A combination double-sigh-with-an-eye-roll follows, a move she has just recently mastered and which deserves a perfect ten, both technically and artistically. Exasperated, she continues: “For when I’m one of those ladies dressed in a nice, black trench-coat, with big, Jackie-O sunglasses, good hair and great shoes, always sipping from a Starbucks cup. I’m gonna need a fancier drink.”

In an instant, her vision of her future is clear. She sees herself out in the world, a successful, confident, stylish woman, with my penchant for shoes and a potentially hazardous addiction to caffeine. She already has the glasses. But I am not ready. I have not allowed myself to look that far ahead.

And so, with the April sunshine casting a golden halo around the face of the daughter I have spent the last twelve years adoring, I am forced to see her changing before my eyes. Until now, I have chosen to see what has come before. The hours of story telling and handholding, school concerts and field trips, birthday parties and bedtime cuddles. But with a moustache of cappuccino-coloured foam settled on her upper lip, I cosmic zoom fifteen years into the future and come face-to-face with her adult avatar. She is growing up. Her childhood is slipping away. It’s going take something a lot stronger than Starbucks to get me through this.