Archive for May 9th, 2014

Happy Mother’s Day this Sunday! Mine is special. She spends some of her time these days watching the ‘Stros. She called me yesterday after their win.

Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson endorsed the Lite Guv and also called Sen. Dan Patrick a draft dodger. Sen. Patrick is fuming and demanding an apology. Hey, he’s in good company. They said about President Clinton and Vice President Cheney. I am sure Sen. Patrick has a good reason for not serving during the Vietnam War.

Some folks were 4-F. Some folks joined the ministry. Some went to Canada. Some acted crazy or lied. Some got college deferments.

When I became of draft age the year before they instituted a lottery system to kind of take the politics out of the draft. In my lottery year my birthday drew the numero 282. One of my best friend’s birthday drew the numero 62. The birthday numero 95 and lower got told to report. One of my best friends reported.

Here is from the Sen. Patrick campaign:

“In 1972, after being drafted, Dan reported for a physical examination to Fort Holabird in Baltimore, Maryland. Dan was quickly determined medically ineligible to serve due to childhood injuries. Dan had broken his right leg twice due to a bone cyst and doctors thought it might cause him to lose the limb. He also had suffered a serious knee injury while playing high school sports. These injuries prevented him from being accepted into the service and he received a medical deferment.”

Sen. Patrick’s birthday got a numero 81 and that year the numero 195 and lower were asked to report.

I tweeted this yesterday before the NFL Draft:

Last 20 #NFL drafts only 3 #1 draft picks have help lead their team to #SuperBowl – Manning Bros and O.Pace – trade down. #Jinx #BadOdds

Well we still need a QB. Three QBs were taken last night including Johnny Cleveland. Those guys over at NRG are a lot smarter than us. I wonder if they will take another Carr this evening.

The ‘Stros will spend this weekend in B’More. How many AL MVP Award winners has B’More produced?

Today would be a good day to take the Chron. I am talking about Lisa Falkenberg’s column on being a mom. Here it is:

On a good day, the kids’ socks almost match. On a good day, my girls aren’t the last two left at school. On a good day, there’s enough light to stop by the park, there are leftovers in the fridge, the cellphone relents, and there is an hour or so to let the Mechanized Me melt back into Mom.

On a good day, I do nothing well, but I do it. The column gets written. The children get read to. The husband gets some kind of acknowledgement of his presence. And I never once scream through my teeth.

It’s the good days that we post like refrigerator magnets to our minds – trying to convince ourselves they’re not as rare as they seem.

For years when I was younger, whenever I’d break a story or achieve something else at work, I’d be somewhat proud of myself, oblivious to the fact that there were women all around me doing the same thing with one hand tied behind their backs. For single moms, maybe two hands.

I’d leave work with only myself and a couple of badly neglected herb plants to take care of. They were responsible for the life of another human being, or three, as my own mother was when Dad was away.

Now, I’m one of those women. One of the legion of 23 million American mothers who work outside the home. With another Mother’s Day approaching, I’ve been thinking about what that means, to my children and to me.

To me, it means a woman unrecognizable from that girl with the herb plants and the time of day.

I used to stay out past 9. I used to call old friends to catch up. I used to go on culinary adventures at dinner-time with a big heavy cookbook – not a microwave. I used to read about things that didn’t really happen; I think they call it fiction. I used to not have 5,880 unread emails in my inbox.

I used to. I used to. I used to.

But then, I used to not know the music of a small mouth crunching an apple.

The beauty of a warm, dreaming little body on an old quilt.

The thrill of a tiny, thundering heart. The feel of a hot jungle of curls through my fingers.

The poetry of rush hour as seen from a car seat – there are dragons in those clouds, airplanes with smoky tails and the old messy moon is forever spilling his light.

These children who exhaust me replenish me.

There is a poem by Maya Angelou, “Woman Work,” that my daughter loves because she says it reminds her of me. She doesn’t know that my struggles are nothing compared to those of Maya’s muse.

“I’ve got the children to tend. The clothes to mend. The floor to mop. The food to shop…” it starts. “I got to. I got to. I got to,” it ends.

Yes, but I also choose to. That choice makes me tired and overwhelmed – so overwhelmed I don’t have time to read Brigid Schulte’s new book on my coffee table about being overwhelmed. So overwhelmed that the other day, on deadline, with my editor hovering near, I typed with one hand and balanced my 2-year-old with the other, and seriously wondered if this was the breaking point.

But I didn’t break. And so I keep going. And I try to remember: This choice I’ve made lets me put all of me to use. It makes me whole.

And what does that mean for my girls?

It means less of Mama, and then an overdose of Mama. It means too-tired-to-play-on-a-weekday Mama, and then go-all-weekend Mama. It means no TV and intense bonding sessions in the produce section: “Mama, how do they make the cauliflower purple?”

It means I am not always there. But when I am, I am truly there. It means our time together is never squandered; every moment is precious. Even those clenched-teeth “I’m not going to tell you again” moments.

It means my 4-year-old telling me the other day she wanted to be a journalist.

“Oh, really?” I asked. “What would you journal about?”

“About my famous mama,” she said.

Poor kid doesn’t have a clue – she’s never heard of the Kardashians.

What she does have is pride in the work that she sees her mother doing. And the confidence that someday, she can do it, too. Although, hopefully in a more financially secure profession.

It means we can’t have it all, in case anyone is still under that impression – no matter how close we lean in. “It all” is a horizon. It is a more perfect union.

And sometimes, over the striving, I can look up and it appears closer. On a good day.

Nice job Falkenberg!

Brooks Robinson (1964), Frank Robinson (1966), Boog Powell (1970), and Cal Ripken, Jr. (1983 and 1991) of course won the AL MVP Award playing in B’More.

Yesterday someone came up with #SpringerDinger after George Springer hit his first career dinger. Let’s hope there are a lot more on the way.

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