Friday, February 27


There are those of you out there--you know who you are--who think I am doing it just for the name.  Nablopomo.  Okay, it is a cool name.  I like it's cousin, Nanowrimo, just about as much.  And I've failed just about as miserably in my relationship with each of them, so there's no jealousy involved, which is good.

You may have noticed that I changed the Nablopomo graphic on the left side of the screen.  It did say that I was going to blog every day during February.  Stop laughing--intention is a big part of life. I had the idea, I had the motivation, I had the drive.  It lasted for two days.  February 1st and February 2nd.  Now it's February 27, and I'm back.  Hi!!  I'm thinking it it doesn't really count if you post for two days at the beginning of the month and then two days at the end of the month, but let's pretend it does, okay?  (I love pretending). 

So about that graphic.  I changed it.  Because I'm trying again.  I'm going to try to blog every day in March.  We'll see how I do.  It won't take much to do better than February.  I know, I can hear you muttering it under your breath.  You're right.  I set the bar low.  I like it that way.
Because I'm so up for it, I'm starting my March blogging in February!   Ah, the motivation runs high in these parts.

In any case, stay tuned.  I don't know why it's so hard to keep up.  Maybe it's the fact that I haven't had much sleep recently, and when it comes down to it, I sometimes have chosen sleep over blogging (sometimes involuntarily!).  It's not like I'm at a loss for things to say.  

A friend of mine, Jane, turned me on to this via Facebook, even though she doesn't know that she did that (Hi, Jane!).  She did it for February--I am so impressed. Check out her blog..."Bonbons and bon mots" for some great writing and some yummy chocolate recipes (but don't drool on your keyboard!).  It was interesting to watch--I could see how there was a "wall" of sorts about 2/3 of the way through, where she was wondering what to write about.  I wonder if that will happen to me.  I bet it does.  

As for today, I am stretching, getting limber for the long road ahead.  Reminding myself that March is an even bigger challenge than February, since it has more days.  Reminding myself that the writing in itself will be good for me, even when (especially when?) I don' t have much to say.  We'll see.  

As for today, I'm wondering about Nadia Suleman who had eight babies.  I am wondering about the six children she already has.  I'm wondering how this is all going to unfold, and whether there is ever a point at which people will be able to remember that babies are people.  (Hell yeah, I read People magazine).    I'm wondering about the plot of the new ICarly, my daughter's favorite show, and wondering how they could think that matching set of characters looks like the "real" characters.  I'm wondering about a lot of things, but I'm going to stop there.  I have to save some of the good stuff for March!

Monday, February 2

I said I'd post every day...

....but I didn't say I'd like it.

There are so many things I don't get, it's almost ridiculous.

There are some days when I curse the day that I named this blog "Here's What I Don't Get" because I have a permanent theme.  Then when NaBloWriMo says that the theme for this week is "Wanting" (or some variation thereof), I have to think "How can I blend wanting with what I don't get?  Do I write about what I want to get?  Or how wanting is so very different from getting ,or from not getting?"  Or do I chuck it call and write about whatever I want, blog title be damned?

There are some days when I think that it's the perfect name.   Because it doesn't matter if this is the theme. There's no end to what I don't get.  What I don't get encompasses everything:  want, waterbeds, wallabies, water, wistfulness.  Whatever.  

And then there are some days when I think each of the above, alternatingly, sometimes in intervals as small as 30 seconds.  Today is one of those days.

Today I don't get why I got so mad at my kid for doing the best she could do, even if it didn't seem good enough to me.  I don't get why I (and most parents) have some sort of idea that our kids will be like we were when we were kids (that's a lot of we's).  I don't get how I can have no idea what to write and yet I can write anyway.  I don't get whether this counts as writing, or whether it is by necessity cateorized as drivel.  And I don't care.  

I don't get why the town of Maynard (or a city, or whatever it is) put my dog sitters out of business, even though a special zoning board approved their operations.  They say they "don't wish to support dog businesses."  WTF?  My little Puck (seen here)

loves it there.  I've never found anywhere as wonderful to leave him--and I just found it recently!!  Terrific people (Thanks, Deb & Steve), terrific place, great, happy dogs.  And the town doesn't "wish to support dog businesses."

Tell ya what.  Write 'em a letter.  That's what I'm doing.  Tell them that dogs are a man's (and woman's) best friend, and ask them why they don't know that already, and how can they discriminate against such a proud bunch of little dogs who never bit a soul and who are almost definitely not related to the dogs who bit these town officials when they were little, leaving them forever biased and scarred.  

Look at him!  How can they deprive that face?  It's Un-American, that's what it is.  Tell 'em so. Tell 'em to let The Idle Dog be.  Give 'em a mailbag full.  Here ya go.

Rick Asmann
Building Commissioner
195 Main Street
Maynard, MA  01754

John Curran
Town Administrator
(same address as his comrade)

It's just not right.  

People with power messing with People doing good.

I don't get it.

Sunday, February 1

The Persistence of Myth

I am going to go out on a limb and say that being astounded is a kind of not getting it. Today, here's what I didn't get (among other things...really, it happens all day long).


This story concerns the Tooth Fairy. You can consider that a spoiler of sorts, and for heavens sake, if your kids are reading over your shoulder, Stop Reading Right Now and pretend like you wound up here by accident while you were looking for more info on that fascinating story you read on Or maybe while you were looking for a new pair of boots. Whatever. Just don't keep reading and then write me comments asking if I've ever seen "Miracle on 34th Street", okay? Yes, I've seen it. Yes, I love it (the original, that is). That was a movie. This is real life.

The tooth fairy has now been coming to our house(s) for about three years. Both fortunately and unfortunately (if you're a parent, you'll get both), she really made quite an impression upon her first visit, and, well, kinda set the bar high, if you know what I mean. I am happy to share the details with you some other time, or maybe I'll let Phoebe do that, since she is clearly more closely acquainted with the Tooth Fairy than am I. We're not talking about high dollar amounts, let's just leave it at that.

In any case, the Tooth Fairy had quite a run of it. It went on for the standard amount of time, a year or so, in which teeth were lost and redeemed hand over fist. And then, as these things happen, she got a break. And in the course of that break, the child aged. Go figure, huh?

And you know what comes with age. Skepticism. Reality testing. Loss of innocence. All those nasty things and more. So it was bound to happen.

About three or four weeks ago, Phoebe and I went to a movie. We saw "Bedtime Stories", Adam Sandler's recent film. I have never before willingly gone to see an Adam Sandler movie, but I have to admit, this one was pretty cute. But that's beside the point.

After the movie, we got in the car, and headed for the exit of the parking lot. And she said it. "Mommy, I have an important question that I want to ask you. But if I ask you, I really have to know that you are completely going to tell me the absolute truth". I replied that of course, I would tell her the absolute truth, and that she could ask me anything she wanted. So she did.

"You know how the tooth fairy used to come?"
"Yes" (uh-0h)
"Is there really a tooth fairy or was it you?"
Uh-oh. Yes, again.

Now, usually, I'm pretty good at these things. But this time, not so much. I paused. I stammered. I panicked a little. I reminded myself that she is nine years old and I just promised to tell her the absolute truth, no matter what. So I decided to start with the stupidest answer first (just to save time, dontcha know). I summoned up my best therapist-self, and asked her why it felt important for her to know, what made her think of it. (I know. I'm rolling my eyes too.) She said that it just was. So that idea was shot.

And so I told her. The absolute truth. She asked where the teeth were. I told her.

And then, bless her heart, she gave me an opening for which I will be eternally grateful--and with great pleasure, I walked right into it. She asked "How did you think of all that stuff?", and I said (drum roll please)..."I don't know. Maybe the tooth fairy helped me." She smiled and said "Yeah, maybe she did." And the conversation was over. A few days later, I let her other mom know what had taken place, so she would know that the lid was off the jar. End of story. All's well that ends well.

Until yesterday.

I was cleaning out the drawers in my room, and well, you know what I came across. Phoebe happened to wander in, and asked me what it was. Since, as I've said, the lid was off the jar, I handed it to her. I didn't think there was any particular risk in it. I thought she'd smile, with some nostalgia (to the extent that a nine year old can be nostalgic) and remember our Absolutely Truthful Conversation. She did smile. She looked at it with pleasure and recognition--no shock, no dismay. And then you know what she did? With a look of concern, she clapped her hand to her forehead and said "Oh my god! I must have never left this one for the tooth fairy!! I'm going to put it under my pillow right now!" And she did.

You know, I take some pride in the fact that I understand kids and their development and the ways they think better than most. It's been my life's work, for more than 30 years now. But this one just threw me. I sat there, stunned, as she ran off to put her found treasure under her pillow.

As of today, the Tooth Fairy is back in business. High bar and all.

Kids are astounding.