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Browsing Tag: family

On Showing Up

My cousin Joe passed away two weeks ago–he was 80, and had been in diminishing health. Joe and his wife, Ro, are some of my favorite people in the extended family: funny and smart and to me, growing up, the epitome of class. Ro was gorgeous and always put-together, and Joe was friendly and interested. They were loving, funny, Ro dry and sarcastic, Joe silly. She’s Italian and petite, he Irish, tall and lanky. They made me feel comfortable, even when I was young girl quaking with discomfort in large gatherings of strange relatives. But here’s the thing I always admired most about both of them: Joe and Ro were “show-uppers.” Joe and Ro were the distant cousins who come to everything, surprising us every time, even though we shouldn’t have been: all the family events, big and small, no matter the distance. When we threw my mom a surprise birthday dinner in Hershey last December, they were there, despite the late hour, the dark roads from Wynnewood, and Joe’s declining health. When my father died nine years ago, they drove out not only to my…

But Not So Fast: The Oldest is Nine

Our Saoirse Kate turned nine a couple of weeks ago, and I’m still recovering. (Just kidding. I only cried twice.) (In one day, I mean. I only cried twice in one day.) She is now just a foot shorter than where I stand at five-nine, unless I’ve started to shrink already. She was measured for new shoes this month, and she and I are officially able to swap sneakers now. She went running with me the other day, and was able to match my pace  (which is probably a testament more to my current, er, athleticism than it is to her grown-upness, but never mind that). She is an arguer, a crier, a frustrated executive of her sibling squad. She is also: a talker. She shares, she elaborates, she has theories. She is tentatively confident: she played basketball for the CYO league this year, and she progressed from a girl who nervously adjusted her ponytail whenever she was unsure of what she was doing to becoming a player who wrested the ball from an opposing teammate’s hands in her last game, pivoted on one foot, and shot the ball without a moment…

Of Course There’s Rum in There

How are you doing, you guys? Are you hanging in there? I’m sitting in the waiting room of my daughters’ gymnastics class right now, trying to get the last words of Book #2’s first draft on paper (one week behind schedule. TURBO WRITING: ENGAGE), and my head is just a muted mess of worries and to-dos and plain ol’ tired. I’ve one son who still doesn’t sleep, and one daughter who’s been struggling with nighttime anxiety and nightmares since September. We’ve gymnastics and basketball and Christmas children’s choir and parties I haven’t rsvp’d to because I can’t figure out how exactly I’m going to squeeze them in. The American Girl doll beds we ordered for the girls arrived smelling like mildew, and I kind of just don’t feel like going through the trouble of sending them back, so Merry Christmas, kids, we’ve skipped coal and gone straight to mold! Respiratory distress, ahoy! We threw a surprise dinner for my mom’s birthday last Saturday that went off almost perfectly. Almost. Because whenever you…