Monday, May 31, 2010

The Terrible Tragedy of Broken Banana Skin

I'm not sure if you're aware of this sad fact, and if not, I hate to be the one to break your heart into a million tiny shards of sorrow, but the truth is: once you break the skin of a banana, it cannot be unbroken.

I know.  I know.  It's a tough world out there, and the first glimpse of heartbreak always happens in the home.

It's been a morning of sheer agony here at the LazyBones household, as my toddler has been slowly (and I mean s - l - o - w - l - y) working his way through the stages of grief (he seems to be stuck vacillating between anger and depression).  The break of day began with its typical beauty, but took a turn for the worse after slamming up against the hard, ugly fact that a banana skin broken can simply never be a whole banana again.  Time does not move back; what's done can never be undone.  If you think this is akin to breaking a toy, or losing a favorite storybook, I implore you:  Please.  Think.  Again.

It's more like God has died, and we have borne witness.  On top of which, knowing Satan and his minions will be here soon enough to take over the earth.  And in the meantime, there is nothing but misery.  Endless, bottomless mourning and misery.

But wait!  What about a new banana?  A brand new, unbroken banana?  With skin as smooth as baby's bottom, as blemish-free as the soft cheek of a prepubescent child?  Might a new banana stem the tidal wave of tears?

A new banana?  You may as well offer to replace a man's dying family with a posse of strangers!  A favorite pet fallen ill with a scruffy stuffed animal found on the street!  A new banana is but an insult to the toddler's anguish.  It does naught but drive the pain deeper, and begin the wailing anew, with a whole 'nother level of dedication.

And then, you might think peeling the banana and ..... er, not to be insensitive, but, um, ..... eating it? ..... would be another idea with a small spark of promise.  But NO!  And NOOOOOOO!!!  You would most certainly be wrong about that idea!  It surpasses insensitive, bordering on blasphemous!  HAVE YOU NO SOUL!?  This poor banana has BROKEN SKIN, and nothing can make it right again, short of the skin GROWING BACK TOGETHER!  Can you make that happen?  CAN YOU!?  Well then, you are useless, and you may as well leave the poor boy to his desolation and distress.

But DON'T LEEEAAAVE!!!  You may have nothing to offer in the way of comfort, but that's certainly no excuse for you to go on about your way, attempting to accomplish meager household tasks, as though you can remain untouched by the tragedy of a broken banana skin RIGHT HERE IN YOUR OWN HOME!  Taking heartlessness to a whole new dimension!

No, you must be present, and the child must abandon himself to the pain.  He must wallow in his woe, until comes the time when .....

Wait, is that toast?  With butter?  And juice?  With ice?

Not that it could possibly offer any consolation in such a dire circumstance; it has, in fact, been verbally rejected multiple times, but now that it is here ..... might he be permitted to enjoy it with Thomas the Tank Engine on in the background?  While clutching the injured banana so tight in one hand he calls to mind no one so much as Charlton Heston with a gun, matching both his deep dedication to his chosen cause and a somewhat baffling level of intensity?

Yes?  He will be allowed to eat his breakfast under these terms of agreement?  Well, then.

It appears that the world just might go on, after all.  And once everything else has been ingested, the boy might just glance down at the banana in his hand, as if surprised to see it there, and take a giant leap into acceptance, announcing:  Naynay a good!  And peeling and eating it as if a broken banana skin is no tragedy of epic proportions, just the first step in a series of events ending in breakfast.  Blood sugar levels return to a normal range and in the same instant, balance is restored to the universe.

At least for the moment.  We have a whole basket of bananas in the kitchen.  If ever I were tempted to bake banana bread, today would be the day.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Upside of Pink Eye

I awoke yesterday morning to find my left eye glued shut with an immediately familiar concoction of gunk.  It's easily been over twenty-five years since I last had pink eye, but it's amazing how quickly I could identify the sensation.  I opened my right eye, tried and failed to open my left, and then thought:  Uh-oh, I have pink eye.

I couldn't get into the doctor until late morning, and didn't start my prescription until yesterday afternoon, so she told me I could "absolutely not" go to work today, spreading the "highly contagious" pink eye all willy-nilly amongst the infants and toddlers in my charge (one of whom most assuredly spread it to me in the first place!).  At first I was disappointed about this, because it meant leaving my favorite co-worker on her own in an already understaffed classroom, and two days missing on my next paycheck (oops, three; I have next Monday off.  Boo!  And Yay!).

But then my husband reminded me that it was going to be in the 80s and sunny, and that the beach is only free for the rest of this week, until they start charging admission over Memorial Day weekend.  Then I didn't feel so disappointed anymore.  Wednesday afternoon we got a little preview with the sprinkler in our yard:

And today we spent the morning at the beach:

My normally cautious, careful boy went running into the water, full speed ahead, right up to his neck, and when he inevitably tumbled under and I had to fish him out, he came up laughing.  So there was some navigating of deeper waters:

There was more than a little bit of this:

And some of I'm-not-sure-what-the-heck-this-right-here was:

And some eating of bagels and cream cheese, which is a surprisingly beach-friendly and delicious treat, so long as no one drops it in the sand or in the water (which, surprisingly, we didn't!):

There was also a changing of a dirty and disgusting swim diaper in a Target parking lot, but I decided against capturing that moment for posterity.  You're very welcome.  All in all, it was a glorious summery sick day, well worth every red, itchy-eyed moment.

Now let's just hope no one else catches pink eye from me.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Conversations With The Toddler

In the Dining Room Before Leaving for the Day

Mommy, I want apple.

That's not an apple, that's an orange.  And I packed one in your bag.  You can have it when you get to the babysitters, but not now.  It's time to go now.


Yes, there's an orange in your bag.  No orange now. 
*Turns away for a millisecond to pick up bags*

Mommy!  Owange!  I peel!  Gawbage?  Mess!


 In the Car on the Way to the Babysitter


Yes, sweetie?

I want Cheewios.

I don't have Cheerios, but I packed Kix for you.  Are Kix okay?

Cheewios ow okay.


In the Living Room in the Afternoon

Okay, I put these all away, so please don't make a... *sigh* *head in hands*

Mommy?  A mess!  *squats down, shuffling hands side to side, to further mess the mess*

*shakes head side to side*

Mommy?  I yike mess!  Is good!  Yook Mommy!  A mess!  *happiest face ever*


In the Rocking Chair before Bed

Sweetie, do you want to get in your bed, or rock for one more song?

I want wock.

Okay, we'll rock for one more song.  Then it's time for beddy-bye.


Yes, baby, you'll have to get in bed after this song, and go sleepy.

Mommy?  I say no.

Friday, May 21, 2010

My Tick-Free Travel Fantasy

Remember when I broke up with Road Tripp?  And you know how when you're a young girl, inexperienced in the ways of love, and you end a bad relationship, but then find yourself dreaming of that old, bad boyfriend and wanting nothing more than one more try?  One more chance to make it work?

*Sigh*  I guess I haven't grown up yet.

Let me tell you about my morning commute.

It all started so...reasonably.  So professionally, with such nose-to-the-grindstone spirit!  I had just dropped my son at the sitter, and was thinking about the fact that I need a new day planner, as mine is a school year model and ends at the end of June.  Because my office is in the building of the small non-profit our district collaborates with to run the program I coordinate, I have to make a special 20 minute trip to visit the district building itself, for meetings, supplies or anything else I might need.  I was very responsibly thinking about when and how to schedule that trip in order to procure a new day planner, so I could continue to plan and schedule work-related events without missing a beat as we move into June and then July.

And without warning, my mind meandered.  It took a quick detour from Responsibilityville, and swung suddenly left, down Memory Lane.  I remembered my very first major road trip, back in '97, and how I used a day planner as a diary.  I was too busy to keep a diary, what with all the traveling, and sight-seeing, and pitching of tents, and finally buying beer once I turned 21, waking that birthday morning beside an old stone bridge in Oklahoma and bedding down in a lakeside campground in Kansas.  So I used a little tiny day planner as a diary, recording only the name of each campground, friend or relative's house, hostel, hotel or motel where I found myself sleeping, and the name of the city or town, and the state where it was located.  I still have that day planner somewhere, probably in a box in my attic, where an embarrassing number of our belongings remain, so close to two years after we bought the place!

And then, since my mind was already coasting down Memory Lane, in no apparent hurry to return to Long List of Things To Do Boulevard, it pulled over and rested in Wisconsin.  In 2005, the hubby and I spent our summer on the road, and one of our first stops was a campground in Wisconsin.  It's funny that I should recall it so fondly, because now that I am thinking more critically, it occurs to me that the evening ended in the tent with my husband telling me to: bend and spread 'em, and while this might sound romantic to some of you pervs out there, when I explain that it followed a tick sighting that required full body examination to be sure we weren't sharing more bodily orifices with the ticks than we share with one another, you will surely understand that romance had exited the premises at this particular point.  In order to make room for the ticks, I suppose.

But I digress (and aren't you glad about that?).  Prior to the potential tick infestation (and the full body examination did prevent the terrible possibility of discovering a tick burrowed into one's nether regions in the early morning, I will give my husband that.  Growing up in the South, he learned to take such dangers very seriously.), we had a lovely evening.  We found a campground, pitched the tent, cooked our dinner over an open fire, and had time to take the dog for a walk in the woods before the sun set.  We walked through the trees, scrambled up rocks to enjoy the view from an overpass, and watched fireflies dance in the shadows of the forest as daylight began to dim.

Remembering this trip I was seized by a wave of longing, positively filled with a voracious hunger for travel.  I envisioned camping with my husband and our boy, racing through the woods chasing fireflies and k-yiming rocks, as my son likes to say.  I could hear the car wheels beginning to turn, and see the dust in the rearview mirror as we peeled out of this old town and hit the road, morning sun blazing overhead, my hands drawing lazy circles in the air outside the window as we picked up speed, our toddler content in his carseat to look out the window at the passing scenery.

There was no whining in this fantasy.  And needless to say, no ticks. 

Alas, this morning's trip ended in my office, where I organized the three month old pile of paperwork that has been vying for my attention, and losing out to more immediate concerns, for some time now.  It wasn't quite rock and roll and the open road, but it did offer its own brand of satisfaction.  I suppose I can be a grown-up when it suits me.

I don't think my not-quite two year old is ready for the adventure I envisioned.  Nor is my bank account, or my summer calendar, which is already scheduled full of work days and family trips.  My body probably wouldn't enjoy long hours in the seat of a car either, especially as the weather gets hotter, and I get bigger and rounder in the belly.

But someday, Road Tripp, someday, I swear, the stars will align for us again.  After all, my husband will have to teach our children that time honored Southern tradition of bend and spread 'em tick infestation avoidance at some point, right?  And I'll be damned if I don't get a road trip out of the deal.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Irrational Fears

We were driving through New Mexico from Kansas, where we lived, to visit my sister in Arizona.  It was the middle of the night, and pouring rain.  I'm not a skittish driver, and I'm not usually afraid of driving at night, or in the rain.  The highway began to curve; it was a long, slow arc to the left, around a rock wall.  The road opened up to the right, but because of the night sky, and the rain, I couldn't see what it was opening up into.  A lake?  A cliff?  It was just open space, and darkness.

As I began to steer slowly to the left, following the curve, I could suddenly see our car sliding rightward.  Toward that open space.  Off the cliff.  Into the lake.  Out into night air and nothingness.  Only we weren't sliding.  And I knew that, but it didn't stop me from seeing it.  I saw it happen, as if it were happening, all the while knowing it wasn't actually happening.

Which is why I called out:  It feels like we're sliding!  It looks like we're going over the edge!  My husband (then-fiance) reassured me that we weren't sliding, or going over the edge, and then offered to drive since I was obviously freaking out.

I thanked him, but continued to drive.  I was 22.  My fears were not going to get the better of me.


My sister completed grad school last week.  Her graduation was held downtown on Saturday afternoon, and we took the toddler.  Of course, he wasn't able to sit quietly for the two plus hours the ceremony lasted (actually, it was longer than that, but we left after she walked the stage), so the hubby and I took turns playing with him in the spacious hallways while the other one attended the ceremony.

The building is a huge, brick, multi-storied affair, used for theater productions.  We were seated in the balcony, and there are many places where I could look down to the first floor.  Along one of the side walls was a velvet curtain that you could reach out and touch.  It draped from the ceiling past all the levels of seating all the way down to the floor.  I held my son in my arms and let him touch the velvet.

Suddenly, in my mind, I saw him falling over the railing and down, down, down with the velvet to the bottom floor of the auditorium.  I imagined people trying, and failing, to catch him, as he plummeted past.

I walked quickly away from the velvet curtain, and we played elsewhere for the rest of the ceremony.  My heart is thumping in my chest just typing this.


I never heard the story of Ted Kennedy and Chappaquiddick until I read Black Water, by Joyce Carol Oates.  It wasn't until I got to the end of the book that I found out it was based on a true event.  Much like the anti-abortion movies I watched as a Catholic child, that book dug its way under my skin and has never quite left.  If the intent of the novel had been to brainwash, it would have been a smashing success in my case.

My biggest irrational fear is getting trapped in a car under water.  Now that I have a child, that fear is so much worse.  Don't get me wrong; it's not something I think about every day, and it has no real effect on my behavior, or my everyday life.  In fact, my mother-in-law, after hearing about my fear, bought me a little hammer designed to break a car window in the event you are trapped under water.  Because my disorganization is larger than my irrational fear, I have no idea where that hammer is now.  I do know it's not in my car.

But I have visualized saving myself, my son and my husband from seatbelts, and windows stuck up, and doors nearly impossible to open and air so far up you can't even see to the surface, so many times it is surely ridiculous.  And again, I must remind myself to breathe--slowly, deeply--while I write this.


During my first pregnancy, I was blessed with the certainty that everything was going to be just fine.  I felt great; the baby would be healthy, and all was well with the world.  I'm usually pretty happy-go-lucky, so this wasn't out of character, but the depth of my certainty surprised even me.  I just felt it, all the way down to my bones: things were good.

I think it was my miscarriage that has made me more skittish this time.  I'm a little bit afraid to be certain.  I waited with my heart in my throat for the heartbeat at the first sonogram.  I'm still afraid to exhale until the next appointment, when, at twelve weeks, I'll be mostly out of the woods, as far as miscarriage is concerned.  I spent a week battling a crazy little voice inside my head that was just certain this was an ectopic pregnancy, all because I had mild pains low on one side of my abdomen.  I called the doctor's office, and they didn't think they needed to see me, which quieted the voice, but didn't shut her up altogether.  I'd like her to shut up!


When I was six years old, I came home from school one day, where my mother met me in the hallway with a broom.  She walked me upstairs, explaining that a bird had flown into my bedroom, and she needed me to go in and shoo it out the window with the broom.  I found out later that she had recently watched Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds, and was in the grip of an irrational fear of her own.  She said that knowing it was irrational allowed her to send me in with the bird without fearing for my safety, but there was no way she was ready to face that bird.

At six, it never occurred to me to ask why I was the one assigned to this particular chore.  I waved the broom overhead like a wild woman, watching the bird dive and weave through the room, until it eventually made its escape.  I thought it was grand adventure.


A car that drives itself off a cliff can turn into a magic carpet.  A child falling from a great height can grow wings, and begin to fly.  A woman trapped in a car underwater can transform herself into a mermaid and rescue her family with nimble fingers and lightening-quick fins.  An unborn baby dances with danger, like the rest of us do, and a heartbeat is a drumbeat is a story told round a fire about the miracle of us all, living and breathing and loving each other, despite all odds, every day.

I will wave a broom overhead, and whoosh my fears out an open window.  As a girl, I conquered the fear of my mother.  This makes me invincible.  I will remind myself of this every day.  I am 34.  My fears are not going to get the better of me.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day and Passing Moments

I woke up this May morning to snow falling fast outside my recently open windows.  While still in bed, my husband said:  We'll have to turn the heat on;  I heard it's supposed to snow.  Honestly, I thought he was a little crazy until I saw it myself.  Then I thought maybe I was crazy.  I settled on the whole world being crazy, and rethought my plan for the day, which had involved hiking.

I couldn't bear the thought of being stuck inside all day long, and the libraries all close on Sunday, so we decided to take the toddler swimming at the YMCA, and then out for pizza afterward.  We had a great time swimming, and since we were over on the side of town where we used to live, decided to hit up one of our old pizza parlor favorites.  Driving down those familiar streets is always pleasant; we lived there for over four years, and the neighborhood was in flux the whole time, and continues to change, so there are always new houses and businesses to see, as well as old friends and familiar haunts.

We ran into our old neighbor, the boy who told me he didn't see any of me in my son right after he was born, and he's so tall now!  A high schooler instead of a middle schooler, and his family moved out of the old neighborhood too.  We passed the hospital where my son was born, and where this next one might not be born, as they just banned VBACs, and I'd like to try one.  Sitting in the pizza shop, cutting a slice into smaller pieces for my son, a Billy Joel song my aunts used to listen to came on the radio, carrying me back to my childhood.  I haven't seen as much of my aunts since my grandmother died a few years ago.  I looked outside and saw the small Vietnamese market where our best friend used to buy egg roll wraps.  He said they were the best in town all those times he tried--and mostly failed--to teach us the homemade egg roll recipe he learned from his Thai mother.  It was the rolling that was so hard to master.  He ended up in Hollywood after a short stint in the psych ward following a suicide attempt and the dissolution of his decade long marriage.  He survived though, and seems to be thriving, after that long summer of fear and uncertainty.  That fall I got pregnant, he left town, and everything changed for us all.  It hasn't stopped changing yet.  His ex-wife and I keep trying to catch up with each other, and our schedules keep conflicting.  They were our closest friends for years.  One of these days we will catch up, but I'm not sure when.

Standing in the gloomy light of a greasy pizza parlor around the corner from the hospital where my son was born, running into an old neighbor who's suddenly more man than boy, listening to a Billy Joel song from my own childhood while cutting pizza for my son, thinking of family lost, and best friends scattered across the country like dandelion wishes, the new life growing inside my body a reminder that nothing ever stays the same ..... that babies become children and children become grownups, and girls become mothers and then grandmothers and then ghosts ..... it sounds sad, but it wasn't.  The past, and the present, and the future welled up inside me like a symphony, and all the sadness and loss mingled with the promise and potential of tomorrow, and I mostly felt very, very happy with today. 

Snow in May, and swimming at the Y, and pizza in a neighborhood that once was mine, and is daily claimed anew by the footprints of children born into this upstate city that isn't mine by birth, but that I claim daily with footprints of my own: the birth of my babies, and the payment of my mortgage, and the upkeep of my home, and the making and losing of friends, all of which are passing events, and will make marks deep enough to be permanent on my heart, but barely shadows in this big, beautiful world where we're lucky enough to spend today celebrating motherhood.

I have no wish for sun today.  Snow in May is beautiful enough, for now.  And my heart is so full.

Happy Mother's Day.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

And The Winner Is...

The Kit!!!

Yes, the kit straight whooped the calendar's ass, and where the calendar tried--and failed--for six straight months, the kit swept in and succeeded on it's very first try.  Either that, or it took a few months after I stopped breastfeeding for my body to balance itself out.  All I know is, if we ever have a third, I'm not going to bother with the calendar; I'm going straight for the kit!

The best part is the digital pregnancy test that says "Pregnant" in the box, rather than counting lines.  I was looking at half lines for days, and despite every internet source known to man telling me that a half line eventually grows up into a whole line, seeing the word "Pregnant" in the digital box was very, very exciting.

And then I took a nap.  Because the tiredness is epic.

Other than that, though, I feel wonderful.  And oh, so grateful.  This baby was conceived on or about my birthday, and is due less than a week before Christmas.  A gift.  The best gift I could have received.  I am very, very grateful.

We heard the heartbeat today, for the very first time, and because this is my second time around, I knew enough to ask my husband if he would like to take half a day off from work and accompany me to the appointment.  He missed the first sono last time, because I had no idea they were going to give one until it happened.  So today we were together in the dark, little room, and the sonographer said those magic words: here is the heartbeat, and he reached out and grabbed my foot with such ferocity that I knew I wasn't the only one who has been holding my breath, waiting to hear them, since that first half line began to tease us with it's pseudo-presence.

Have a drink for me, internets!  In fact, feel free to have yourself sevenish months of drinks for me!  I'll be celebrating with ice cream, and don't worry: over the next sevenish months, I'm quite certain I'll have enough ice cream for all of you.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

It's All About Relationships

In my line of work, I often hear:  It's all about the relationships you build with families.  In this field, it's all about relationships.

My babysitter, who was a former colleague, and a mentor of sorts to me, used to say it all the time.  It makes me a little prickly, or itchy, when I hear it.  Not because I disagree, but because I'm not, first and foremost, a relationship person.  I'm a strategist, an analyst of data, a planner, a big picture thinker, a pragmatist, but not so much of a relationship builder.

I taught myself how to do small talk in college, when I realized it would be necessary for my teaching career.  I'm best at small talk when it revolves around discussing young children.  I genuinely like young children, observe them closely, and usually have lots to say about how about wonderful and interesting they are.  Parents like to hear about how wonderful and interesting their kids are.  This works for me.


I teach a yoga class at a middle school in the city where I live.  When I took my maternity leave almost two years ago, we missed the start date to begin classes that fall.  When I was ready to return, the paperwork had been misplaced, and our use of the building had not been approved.  My boss was inclined to forget the whole thing.  The class wasn't a huge money maker, and the hassle of tracking down the paperwork and obtaining permission to use the building seemed like too much work.

The six to eight people enrolled in the class called my boss.  Repeatedly.  Day and night.  They tracked down an alternate location for the class.  Then they tracked down the principal at the middle school, who finally approved the use of the room.  They let my boss know that the space was available, and asked when I would be returning to teach the class.

How many people are in that class?  she asked me.  When I told her, she said:  It seemed like at least twenty!


This afternoon I woke my son from his nap, and we joined my sister and her grad school class in Ecological Engineering, visiting an after-school program in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the city.  We worked with children who recently arrived in America from Somalia, to build a series of raised garden beds that will trap and reuse rain water.

I carried my toddler on my shoulders, and we watched as the students dug holes in the soil to plant pear trees.  I mingled with graduate students from all over the world, young girls in hijabs flying plastic kites, boys battling on a basketball court and others cooperating to plant onions in straight rows, and a volunteer who promised to expand the center after he was drafted by the NBA.  My boy shared his goldfish crackers, and tried with little luck to get a kite off the ground. 


I went back to teaching fitness classes at six weeks postpartum, despite my c-section, and my three month leave from teaching.  I taught a fitness class every weekday evening.  My son was breastfeeding, and I hated pumping, so I breastfed immediately before leaving, dashed out to teach a one hour class, and rushed home to breastfeed again.  He wasn't hungry, but he cried every night for his mama nonetheless.  I persevered, believing it was important for my son to get used to being cared for, and comforted, by his father.  Important for my husband to discover, and prove, his competence, without my breasts always edging in between his efforts and his son's cries.

I came home, for weeks, to a sobbing baby and a despondent husband.  I was close to giving up.  One evening I called my sister while driving home, and poured out the story of the sobbing baby, and the miserable husband.  I'm going to have to give them up, all my classes.  I thought it would get better, but it's not.  I come home to crying every night, and it's just awful.  I'm going to have to quit all my classes.

That night, for the first time, I opened the door to smiles.  My guys had finally figured it out.


Part of my job now is to recruit families to participate in our program, and this is done through building connections in the community with other programs serving families in poverty.  So today, at the after school gardening program, I introduced myself to the director of the program.  I met her son, and she met mine.  We talked parenting classes, and clashing cultural values, and the role of education in escaping poverty and obtaining independence.  I offered to visit and speak with parents in her program who might be interested in ours.  She invited our families to visit her center anytime.  We exchanged e-mail addresses, showed children where to put displaced worms, and learned new facts about marigolds and basil from the gardening experts.


He's almost two, and I'm down to two classes a week.  He's just started crying again, every time I leave in the evening.  Last time he cried for 25 minutes.  My poor husband.  The truth is, I'm not so personally dedicated to my fitness classes as I used to be.  I don't usually want to go.  I'm tired in the evenings, and two classes a week is more like treading water than going anywhere.  Sometimes I wonder if it's worth it to stick with them.  My baby boy bawling feels like the final straw.

But then I remember how my class members fought for me.  How they rose together in a mighty flurry of phone calls, and took action where my own boss wasn't able, or willing to do so.  I square my shoulders against my son's sad, sobbing face, and remind myself of the importance of competent fathers.  I close my eyes, inhale, and remember the loyalty of my longtime students, of how grateful I am for their faith in my teaching.  I put my foot on the gas peddle, and drive into the evening air, away from the family with whom I spend most evenings, and toward this group of women with whom I have spent the last five years of Monday evenings.


Tomorrow, I will e-mail the director of the after-school program, and follow up on our conversation.  It's easier to sit in my office, and do my job alone.  But it's far less effective.

After all, in my field, it's all about relationships.