Mom

She used to treat us to McDonald’s every once in awhile, with money she earned selling Avon. We enjoyed sitting with her. My mom always beamed at us with love and pride.

I take my girls out for treats, too.  I hope they look back someday (as I do) and remember these good times.

Mom used to visit me in the middle of the night with medicine and a hug when I was sick.

I do the same for my daughters.

Mom used to drive us to violin, cello, piano and Tae Kwon Do lessons.

I drive my daughters to violin lessons, rehearsals, auditions and concerts, too.

Mom was always quick with words of encouragement, compassion and unconditional love.

I try to do the same, but she was (and is) better at it, definitely.

My mother taught me how to be a good parent and a good person. She’s still teaching me this.

Every nurturing mother in the world is the reason we have the compassion, love and support that we pass on.

 

Teens and Talent

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“I’m procrastinating,” my daughter said. She was just hanging out with me. With all her chores done, the last item on her list of “to dos” was to practice her violin.

“I don’t get it. You are so good at violin. You seem to enjoy it. Why do you always put it off?”

“I love playing. I don’t like practicing. It’s hard and it’s boring.”

“Well, it’s the practicing that makes us like listening to the playing.”

“You’re so mean,” she says as she opens her case.

 

A “Fitting” End to the Day

Yesterday was a busy day. In addition to a full day at school, my daughters had an orchestra rehearsal which ran from 6:30 – 8:30pm an hour away from home. This requires planning of dinner, commute and homework.

Our two teenagers are more interested in snapping and editing selfies than looking out the window or talking to us, their parents. They read their instant messages and scroll Instragram. They laugh and trade one-liners that I don’t understand. I’m not privvy to their virtual world. When I try to understand and ask questions, I am met with sighs and sarcasm. I’ve learned how to adapt: I basically talk to myself every morning or sing to the radio as I drop one off to high school and take the other one to work/school.  At 13 and 14, my daughters are physically beautiful specimens – fortunate with the gene pool (1/2 Korean, 1/2 German-Scottish-French). They are blissfully ignorant of their luck in aesthetics and parents. Heck, they totally take it for granted. They take everything for granted.

I’m (nearly) 48. I take care of myself and exercise regularly. But my Morning Mirror Time is a fraction of theirs. I apply light makeup and give my hair a quick brush in a matter of 5 minutes. Literally. I just can’t be bothered. Yet, I consider myself above average in appearance. You can tell I was once very pretty, just by looking at me.

In any case, I’m a teacher and I dress for the job. I have a very comfortable dress, v-neck, that goes just below my knees. Here it is:

the-dress

It looks better on.

I bought it at a boutique shop near my house. The salesperson ooh’d and aah’d when I modeled it for her. I thought maybe I looked a little frumpy. No, she said, you look perfect. I have not had anyone ooh or aah in several years despite my augmentation following breast cancer surgery 6 years ago. Cancer gave me the chest of my dreams: from 34A to 34C.

Well, I wore this dress yesterday. All day. I’ve worn this dress at least 10 times before for various occasions. No one has complimented me, but that’s OK. I don’t need compliments. I’m almost 50 for Pete’s sake. I don’t dress for others, I dress for ME!

My daughters and I were eating dinner before their Phoenix Youth Symphony rehearsal. Food that I ordered by phone. Food that I ordered and picked up and brought to them, lovingly. As I got up to throw trash away, the 14 year old sighed heavily while eyeing my dress.

“What?” I looked to see if there were food stains on it.

Another sigh. Exceptionally heavy. “Mom, I just wish…I just wish you’d wear something….better.”

Suddenly, she gets all Tim Gunn on me. Really? I’ve worked all day with 90+ students. Attended an IEP meeting before school started. Ordered food with my bare hands…and now this?  I expect her to follow it with (in gay voice), “It doesn’t even work conceptually.

“Why do you say this to me AFTER I’ve worn it all day?”

She looks up at her father who has just entered the room. As usual, she completely disregards my question, my feelings.

“What’s going on?” He asks.

“Mom’s dress.”

All three give me a hard look. Tim Gunn, Heidi Klum and Michael Kors, all are staring at me. Judging me. I feel bloated.

Tim speaks.

“Her dress, it looks like a Powerpoint.”

All concur.

I drive home. My hands, gripping the wheel, smell like Greek chicken and tzaziki sauce.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tim Gunn

 

Self-Publishing “Esther, Mia and the Stars”

 

I’m a newbie to self-publishing. I wrote about my children’s book a couple nights ago and I’m going to share my learning process with you in this blog. My hopes are two-fold:

  1. This will hold me accountable and make me DO IT; and
  2. You will follow along with me and get your book published too!

Coincidentally, (and doesn’t the universe provide when you with what you need when you express your desires out loud?), I was reading Choose Yourself by James Altucher and he has a chapter on self-publishing! He recommends using CreateSpace.com. I know there are a kajillion other sites and ways to do this. I’m going to try this first. They have a step-by-step process built in for you and you can then sell through Amazon.com.

Tonight, I signed up. Each night, I will do something to get closer to publishing and share it here. But for now, I have to make lesson plans for the week. I spent most of today cleaning and taking my daughters to the mall. One had Girls Day Out (she had a fantastic time with three friends) and the other needed to pick out a Homecoming dress. Done!

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My Beautiful Fresh(wo)man

I also made progress in re-typing a short story I wrote over 13 years ago (I lost the Word doc, but had a hard copy).

As long as I make consistent progress in these areas, I’m happy. As a wise woman once said:

You can have it all, just not at once.

Oprah Winfrey

Ode to Kerstin and Her Boys

 

Preparing for the dinner fete

Bought fish, veg, cake and wine

Suspense meets calm as time appears

At last our love combines

Your sons – maturing to great men

quickly they get settled

Our daughters  – browsing internet

join us for tete-a-tete.

Supper’s ready, we take a seat

Salmon is smoky yum

But wait, asks Nate, where’s the kimchi?

Just happen to have some!

More great conversation is had,

Boys give chase to the pooch,

While violins ser’nade,

Us three take sips of hooch.

 As all good things come to an end,

The boys get quite tired,

You gather kids and things, we hug,

I am left inspired.

Esther, Mia and the Stars

I’ve written a children’s book. My daughters are my illustrators.

I’ve written the story.

I’m working on formatting it for publishing.

It’s about a girl who is bullied and how her best friend and teacher help her school turn it around.

Here is one of the illustrations:

Esther and Mia on a blanket

Esther and Mia, by Josie Wipff 

After the illustrations and stories were done, I just let it sit…for months. I need to take the next steps of getting it published.

Writing about it on my blog will make me accountable. Tell me to do it. Yell at me! I need a push.

 

 

Ava

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Ava 8/2016, age 13

 

Beloved second born of mine,

Your wit and humor are divine;

Not ceasing to amaze,

Your smile rivals sun’s rays.

You walk with violin and bow,

Sports, parties you’ve had to forego;

Committed to ideals,

You cede an even keel.

 

As we trod this life of unknowns,

Your sense of justice are loud sones;

Ignorant peers bemoan,

Your rationale full grown.

My nerves and heart are overwrought,

On those occasions when I thought,

My love -passion – crested,

Stern words manifested.

Although the moon may wax and wane,

Effort and ache are not in vain;

Their eyes – of not import,

Your own dreams you must court.