Framed

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Art, Childrearing, Connections, Crafts, Decor, Family, Home, Life, Memories, Parenting | Posted on 08-05-2017

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When I think about our family, I think how different we are as individuals. And how our family is evolving.

We are especially different in how we choose to spend an evening. Not always as one family together. But as one family together, but separate. One wants to go out with friends, one wants to watch YouTube videos, one wants to do anything but watch a movie with Mom and Dad. Then there’s Otis, who is up for anything, including movie night.

But isn’t this supposed to happen? While I am sad to see my children slowly branch away, I am also learning to appreciate their separation as a healthy part of life: thriving as individuals. I appreciate each one. With their own personalities. Their own thoughts. Their own emotions. Their own interests.

But isn’t it also my job as mother to keep our family connected? I try. Family taco night is always a success. Movie night? Not so much anymore. Awhile back, I covered our kitchen table with butcher paper so we could create art together. It started with a white square tile. Add drops of ink. Swirl, mix, design. The blobs of ink expanded. The ink morphed.

Each tile transformed into a unique work of art. No two were alike. Hmmmm…kinda like children…

This art project lasted several weeks. That’s a lot of together-time!

We framed this “family mirror” with the tiles we created. It’s an excellent metaphor of our family: colorful, with individual pieces, unified as one.

It’s a mirror that represents togetherness and separation. It’s hung, appropriately, right above the kitchen table, where many tacos have been consumed together.

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Chicks, Ducks, and a Bunny…Oh My!

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Animals, Childhood, Childrearing, Children, Growing UP, Happiness, Ideas, Imagination, Life, Life Lessons, Love, Mother, Mothering, Pets | Posted on 17-10-2016

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Who buys her daughter baby chicks, baby ducks, and a bunny…in the middle of the city?

My mother…that’s who!

Imagine the squeals of delight one Easter morning! The joy! I was the happiest of happy!

We didn’t live in the country. Nor did we have the proper pens and enclosures yet built. We housed our extended family in our laundry room off the kitchen. Added some heat lamps. Purchased feed. Received a donated rabbit hutch for the backyard.

Our farm was set!

Like Fern from Charlotte’s Web, I fed, watered, nurtured, and talked to my animal friends every day. Their peeps and nibbles and sweetness made me overjoyed. My friends thought I was so lucky…indeed, I was!

One baby duck, Quincy, didn’t make it and died after a week. It was a tough life lesson. The other duck, Abraham, thrived.

When the chicks and duck outgrew their soft downy feathers and grew into their adult feathers, it was time to move them from the laundry room to the backyard, into coops and hutches.

One chick grew into–gasp!–a rooster and became the 5:00 a.m. alarm clock for the neighborhood, with his loud cock-a-doodle-dooing. Abraham was so well mannered, that you could leash him and take him for a walk. The rabbit was simply happy with carrots and came out for snuggles.

Our menagerie of animals represented my childhood: colorful, joyful, interesting, and full of life, love, and experiences. My mother was the ring leader, with her big heart and personality, always unconventionally fun and cool. I am so lucky to be her daughter.

A photo posted by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

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Man Shoes

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Adolescence, Childhood, Daughters | Posted on 26-02-2016

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When my daughter was a toddler, I bought her tutus and fairy wings and red shoes. Each day, I would help her dress and slip on her little red shoes and fasten the little velcro straps.

Now, at 13 years old, I bought her man shoes.

Her feet grew in the middle of basketball season. Time to hit the sporting goods store. In the women’s section, there were only two styles to choose from.

Try these! Too tight.
Try these! Too small.

OK, Goldilocks, do you need man shoes? Yes.

In the men’s section, there were dozens to choose from. Big man basketball shoes. She tried some on. They fit!

Ah, just right.

No longer in little shoes or fairy wings, she now flies across the basketball court wearing her man shoes. But still with that magical sparkle in her eye.

She once wore tutus and fairy wings.

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In Like A Lamb, Out Like A Lion

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Metaphor, Mothering, Mothers and Sons, School, Sports | Posted on 12-06-2015

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Football practice at the high school started up a few weeks ago.

The soon-to-be incoming freshmen–still eighth graders–with their eager faces, thin bodies, adorned in Under Armour and Nike logos, get out of their Mama’s SUVs as they get dropped off for practice. These boys who are all big time in middle school get a reality check as they step onto high school grounds.

Their jaws sorta drop. Not so big time anymore.

As the boys look around, they are surrounded by men. Men who cut their t-shirts into tank tops to show off their muscles. Men with facial hair. Men who drive.

Hey freshmen! Meet the juniors and seniors!

Two years ago, I was one of the Mamas in a SUV who dropped off her eighth grader amidst confident young men ambling to practice, laughing and strutting. I remember thinking: whoa!

Now, my son is one of those…one who borrows his sister’s special fabric-cutting scissors to transform perfectly nice t-shirts.

Another season is upon us…

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Nobody Puts Eeyore in a Bag

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Childhood, Childrearing, Children, Toys | Posted on 06-11-2013

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Just like “nobody puts Baby in the corner,” nobody puts Eeyore in a bag to give away.

I had good intentions to help my daughter rearrange her bedroom and pare down her things. Especially stuffed animals.

“If you love it, keep it. If you don’t love it, give it away. The poor children will love anything you give them.”

Mentioning the poor children. always helps to motivate.

My daughter enthusiastically filled five giant trash bags with stuffed animals. Even Eeyore. Jumbo, sad-eyed, meloncholy Eeyore. This Eeyore had been in our family before my oldest son was born. My husband and I had decorated his nursery with Winnie-the-Pooh characters. Now, only Pooh and Eeyore remained. Tomorrow, it would only be Pooh.

In a bag, in the back of my car, sat Eeyore. All alone. Didn’t he always prefer solitude anyway?

Saying good night to my daughter that night, in her newly spacious room, I asked her if she had any regrets about what she gave away. (Knowing that the donations could still be retrieved. Maybe deep down, I had regrets about that damn, sad-faced donkey?)

She said maybe one. Eeyore.

I knew it! I dashed to the car to retrieve the ol’ fella. When I propped him up near her bed, were his eyes a little brighter and his smile a little bigger?

eeyore

How Many Spiders Does it Take?

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Celebrations, Childhood, Childrearing, Children, Life, Memories, Mothering, Mothers and Sons, Nostalgia, Recipes, Relationships, Teenager, Teenagers | Posted on 02-05-2013

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How many plastic spider rings does it take to raise a child from toddler to teenager? In our case, 500.

I invested in a whopping bag of plastic spider rings, when my oldest son was about three. Five hundred of them. “These will come in handy to top cupcakes, to add to goody bags, and to play jokes on people,” I had thought. Whoa! So many fun times ahead!

Well. My oldest son just turned 14 years old this week. When it was time to decorate his cake, I rummaged through the bin where I keep cupcake papers, food coloring, sprinkles, birthday candles, and plastic spider rings.

There was only one spider ring left. What?!

We had finally exhausted our supply. I had baked an abundance of cupcakes over the years to deliver to school functions, added the rings to birthday goody bags, and distributed them at Halloween.

The rings marked milestones in my son’s life. They took him from toddler to teen. And now, the spiders are gone.

But the other day, as my son stood there in the kitchen–standing 6 ft. 1 in. tall–he tasted his mud pie birthday cake and giddily shrieked, “This is your best cake yet, Mom!”

His enthusiasm and kindness are reminders that despite age (and height), he is still the same on the inside.

spider rings

The Great Debate

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Adolescence, Mothering, Mothers and Sons, School | Posted on 20-03-2013

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My 8th grade son was to participate in a debate at school. This was the culmination of a six-week project. Researching, reading, gathering talking points and facts. He was prepared. Except.

The final part was to dress the part.

Uh oh.

This is a young man who wears jeans, t-shirts, athletic shoes, and a hoodie. Daily.

So, we went shopping. What to wear. It was the great debate.

  • Blue shirt or white shirt?
  • Silky tie or cloth tie?
  • Blue pants or black pants?
  • Silver buckle or gold buckle?
  • Oxfords or lace-ups?

Ultimately, I encouraged him to pick out what he would feel most confident in.

I think he won the confidence debate, don’t you?

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