Wednesday, May 19, 2010

If You Are A Dreamer...

I just received my second acceptance letter from Chicken Soup. Apparently my story “A Healing Friendship” has made it to the final round for the “Dog’s Life” Anthology coming out next spring. It’s a story of our three-legged dog, Biscuit, and my middle son, Jack (yep, that's him in the picture). I wrote it several months and many stories ago, so I went back to read it this morning. It made my own eyes misty (PMS mood notwithstanding), so I guess that’s a good thing.

In his book of poems, “Where the Sidewalk Ends,” Shel Silverstein writes: If you are a dreamer, come in. If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer…

Speaking of Jack, this child of mine is a dreamer (not unlike his mom). A day-dream believer, if you will. At ten and a half he still has all the faith in the world that Santa will shoot down the chimney on Christmas Eve.

Case in point: A few weeks ago, Jack came into my bedroom as I was getting dressed for work, holding up a tooth he’d just lost.

“Gotta put it under my pillow!” he said, showing me the most recent tooth-sized space in his smile.

The next morning he came into my room (looking just a bit dejected) holding up the little snack-sized ziplock bag with the lonely little tooth inside.

“She forgot.” I said, mentally kicking myself. Damn, damn, damn! I always forget! Damn Tooth Fairy! I decided that at 10, Jack was old enough to know the truth. I’d just have to tell him that I was the tooth fairy. I went to the kitchen to grab my purse, and called out to Jack as I pulled out a couple ones from my wallet. He came in, saw the money, and asked, “What’s that for?”

I sighed. Here goes, I thought. “Well. I’m gonna buy your tooth off you.” I waited for the questions, the disbelief.

“Cool!” He grabbed the dollar bills, flashing the hole in his mouth yet again and started out of the room. “Hey mom?” Okay, now it’s coming. “Yes?”

“Maybe I’m just too old for the tooth fairy now,” he decided. “Would you buy all the rest of my teeth from me?”

“Sure, buddy.”


On the way to school, he turned to me from the passenger seat, one eyebrow raised, “Mom? Are you the Tooth Fairy?”

“Well, Jack,” I answered matter-of-factly, “If I am, I’m not a very good one.”

He smiled, leaned in to kiss my cheek, and that was that.

…If you’re a pretender come sit by my fire, for we have some flax golden tales to spin. Come in! Come in!

I love my little day-dream believer.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

May 18, 1997 - May 18, 2010

I am lucky enough to have a few very dear friends and a handful of incredibly supportive, family members. Today, I am thinking about one of them in particular. He is kind and generous. He is quiet and thoughtful. He has a wicked good sense of humor, great taste in books, and a talent he doesn’t yet realize with the written word. He is blessed with a great amount of patience that serves him well in life – and on the golf course.

He is my son.

Happy Birthday, Connor! Thirteen years ago today, I became a mom for the first time. As the first born, Connor has had to grow up with a mom who didn’t quite know what she was doing. I held him a little closer, rocked him a little longer, expected more, questioned everything, and made what I am sure were a great many mistakes. But Connor has exceeded every expectation I ever had in a son. And has given me more joy, more love, more happiness than I ever dreamed possible. Watching him grow from a quiet, timid child into a thoughtful, kind, generous young man has been nothing short of amazing.

Where has the time gone?! I’m looking forward to watching you mature as a teenager. You’ll make mistakes along the way. But it isn’t the mistakes that will shape you, but what you learn from them, that makes all the difference. Once again, your brother and sister have the advantage (or disadvantage?) of watching you go through these years first. So, we’ll learn together. I think we’ve done okay so far…