Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Cuteness

Steph Carson does it again! Photos of my kids with stuff they love.


And most of all, each other.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Big Boys on a Big Day

Cameron's sign: 1st Day of Kindergarten
Matthew's sign: "I do it, too!"

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Cameron: Matthew, do you want to play Legos?
Matthew: Okay, fine.
C: Matthew, why do you always say, "Okay, fine?" You should just say "Okay!"
M: Okay, fine.
C: No! See, that's what I mean! Just say "okay." Okay?
M: Okay. Fine.
C: Arghhh! Matthew! Say "okay."
M: Okay.
C: Good!
M: Fine.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Preposterous, Part 2

Recently, I was showing the boys a scrapbook that my grandma made for Matthew. In it, there is a photo of my brother, Zack, at about age 3 years. "Who's that?" I asked, pointing.

"Didi!" replied Matthew. And Zack did look very much like Cameron in the photo. Cameron, who has been fooled by such photos before, took a close look.

"Nope, that's uncle Zack," he said.

"That's right! This is Uncle Zack when he was little."

"No," insisted Matthew. "Dat's Cam-when." He pointed to his brother for emphasis.

"I know it looks like Cameron," I answered. "But this is Uncle Zack when he was a little boy. And now Uncle Zack is a grown-up!"

And here, Cameron burst out laughing. "Uncle Zack? A grown-up? Mommy, Uncle Zack isn't a grown-up! He's just a big kid!" Cameron may have a point.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


"Hey Mommy?" Cameron said to me. "Do you remember yesterday at the pool? When I was waiting in line to go down the slide? And there were a bunch of other kids in line?"


"Well, there was a girl there, and when it was my turn she said to me, 'Oh, you can go down now, little boy.'"

Here, he pauses. His mouth rounds into an O and his eyes widen dramatically. "Little boy?" He turns his palms up and shakes his head in amazement. "LITTLE BOY?!?! I'm FIVE! So, I just looked at her like this," and here he gives a squinty-eyed look of disdain over his shoulder, "and I went zooming down the slide. Like, what does she think, I'm three or something?"

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cameron's Reflections on Racism

Being a multiracial family has made all of us more visible and changed each of us in our experience of the world. I know that for myself, but sometimes I forget that Cameron is changed by this, too. And I like what I see.

Some of it makes me sad -- the other day Cameron sought me out at a park to tell me that a group of kids "weren't playing nice." When I questioned him, he said that whenever they saw a black child, they would yell, "Augh! It's a black kid! Keep away from the black kid!" A few minutes later, I happened upon the kids, who were discussing that if a black kid came near them, they'd tell them to go away. "There's one," said one boy, pointing at Matthew. As you might imagine, I was not pleased with this game and marched on over to tell them exactly who "that black kid" was and that they'd better stop their game pronto.

But here's the good part of this: Last night, as I was putting Cameron to bed, he began to rehash the playground scene. "Remember how those kids were being mean?" he asked. "That made me mad. I am NOT the kind of kid who makes fun of other people! I was looking all over the playground to tell them that that game was NOT nice. And then I saw YOU telling them that that wasn't nice! Right? Because we are NOT the kind of people who think it is OK to be mean to other people. And when I see people making fun of black kids, I will go up to those mean kids and say, 'That is not nice,' and then I will say to the black kids, 'Hey, why don't you play with me?'"

That's my boy.

Talented Teachers

Cameron goes to a Montessori school, so he will be returning to the same classroom for the third year. He was happy to hear that one of his teachers from his first year would be returning. "Oh, good!" he said. "She is very talented at the digestive system."

"Talented at the digestive system?!?!" That seemed like a bit of a backhanded compliment. I don't know that I'd want anyone describing me as "talented at the digestive system."

"Yes," said Cameron. "Remember when I was in the youngest group? And we learned about the human body? She did a demonstration about the digestive system that was SO cool. She had a sock -- that was the esophagus -- and she mushed stuff like bananas through it down to the stomach!"

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Optical Illusion

This morning, I took the boys to a park. As they played, we heard a plane passing overhead. As he usually does, Matthew screamed and jumped and pointed. "Airplane! Airplane! See dat mama? See dat Didi? Airplane!" Then, to his horror, he saw that the plane was headed right for the moon, still visible in the morning sky. "Oh NO!" he cried. "Airplane! Watch out for da moon!"

It was a close call, but the plane and the moon some how missed each other.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Conversations with Kindergarteners

You gotta love kindergarteners. Cameron had a school friend over for a playdate today. He eagerly showed him around the house. "And look," he said, "if you look through this vent, you can see down to the basement!"

"Cool!" his friend replied. "Hey, your TV is really big! That's bigger than my TV."

"Yeah," said Cameron. "Look, this is my garage and here's my bike. It's a two-wheeler. And it's blue. And it's really fast."

"Why does your garage smell funny?" said the friend.

"Maybe there's something DEAD in it!" answered Cameron enthusiastically.

Here, I broke in, lest the friend report to his mother that we have dead things in our garage. That might cause some awkwardness. "No, there isn't anything dead in it. Garages just smell funny," I explained.

The friend was not convinced. "Not our garage. Our garage smells good."

Our garage does not smell good. I have a hard enough time keeping our house smelling good.

"Hey," said the friend to Cameron. "What's your mom's name?"


"Really?" He turned to me. "Sharon, can I have some juice please?" He grinned, a little mischevious jack-o-lantern grin with three missing teeth.

"Sure," I answered. I don't mind kids calling me by my first name. In fact, I much prefer it.

"Hey, did you know that you have really big eyes?" the friend observed. "And so does Cameron. He has really big eyes like you. But yours are kind of slanty, like they slant up, and Cameron's eyes are not slanty."

I was actually quite impressed. My eyes do slant up -- upslanting palpebral fissures, I learned in Dysmorphology. Nothing like studying clinical genetics to make you aware of your exact imperfections.

"Hey, wanna play Legos?" asked Cameron.

"Awesome!" answered the friend, and they were off.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Because Pirates Don't Floss

I wasn't really paying attention to the commercial. It was for a toothpaste and a female voice was saying, "Because I trust my dentist . . ." when Cameron spoke up.

"Uh, yeah, of course! Everybody trusts their dentist. Well, except bad guys and pirates."

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Most Dramatic Rose Ceremony . . . EVER

So, can I tell you how great today has been? I'm involved in a writing community called Women Writing for (a) Change and today I attended a writing marathon. This summer has been pretty crazy and I haven't written, aside from the rare blog post, at all. And I've missed it, a lot. Typically, I write about my kids or about adoption or about being a multiracial family. But today, I just wrote for fun. One of the writing prompts was to write a story using as many of the following details as you could, brainstormed by the group.

Names: Sarah, Jose, Mephisto, Jules
Places: A college bar, the hospital, school cafeteria, the corner, the park
Random details: a shy smile, a sudden storm, a pink flower, a diploma, leather pants, 3 white daisies, a diamond ring
Conflicts: missing money, betrayal, leaving home, changing careers, unwanted commitment

Well, I took one look at that list and immediately thought of what I'm sure you're thinking of . . . The Bachelorette. So, without further ado, here's my piece.

This season on "The Bachelorette," we've watched city girl Sarah Harper through many ups and downs on her search for love and happiness. She started with thirty men (cut to video montage) and we've cried with her through the bad times (show clip of Sarah confronting Mephisto about missing money) and cheered for her during the good times (show Sarah and Jose on their fantasy date, accepting honorary diplomas from White Pigeon Community College).

Now, Sarah faces an impossible choice -- handsome construction worker Jules or bartender and aspiring actor Jose. (Show clip of Jules picking pink flower and gazing reflectively at ocean, followed by clip of Jose tying three white daisies with a ribbon while gazing reflectively at sunset.)

And now . . . the dramatic conclusion of season 46 of "The Bachelorette." (Show Sarah twirling before mirror in sequined dress.)

(Cut to park with wooden platform overlooking duck pond. Show Sarah walking slowly to the platform. Cue shy smile at camera. Cut to flashbacks with voiceover.) "When Jules stepped out of the limo that first night wearing those leather pants, I knew he was someone special. I mean, he's the total package. He's super good looking and he's funny (cut to footage of Jules dancing on the table top during one-on-one date at Sarah's hometown college bar) and he's really brave (show footage of Jules gritting teeth in ambulance on the way to the hospital after falling off table top).

But then there's Jose. It was his awesome body that first caught my eye. And it is awesome. (Cut to footage of Sarah and Jose in hot tub during one-on-one date.) But when I found out that he does puppet shows in the elementary school cafeteria once a month, I realized that there's more to him than just his awesome body. And it is awesome.

(Cut to footage of Sarah staring pensively at framed photos of Jules and Jose.) I mean, I'm falling in love with two men. And I need to figure out the answers to some tough questions. (Cut to stock footage of sudden storm.)

Like, Jules still lives with his mother. Is he ready to leave home and commit to me?

And Jose is totally able to open up and tell me he loves me. But he's also trying to change careers. Does he really want to spend his life with me, or is this just a chance to break into acting?

(Show footage of Jules and Jose each at jewelers, examining diamond rings. Cut to Sarah, standing on platform at duck pond.) "But I came here to find one man to spend my life with and now I know what I want. Now I know who I want to spend my life with."

(Cut to footage of limo pulling up at corner. Cue dramatic music. Show limo door opening and non-descript men's dress shoe stepping out. Cut to commercial.)