Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Howl at the Moon

These were taken at the Naperville Education Foundation, Howl at the Moon Fundraiser, a fun night of dancing, singing and dueling pianos, to benefit the Study Skills Academy, an after-school program to help children struggling academically. Lee and I went with some co-workers and had a great time; and it was so worthwhile.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

First day of kindergarten

Alas, this seems like the perfect time to halt the memory trip. John is entering into a new phase of development, and so must I turn my musings in a different direction. This almost-month long meditation didn't reveal any new insights, but it reaffirmed how much I've enjoyed being a mother. Every single one of these photos put a smile on my face. Perhaps that was the whole point.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Enjoying Lake Michigan

I wouldn't step into that lake even in the hottest day of summer, but John didn't seem to mind the water temperature . . .

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Dinosaur Birthday

John was full of dinosaur facts right around his fifth birthday. It was dinosaur this, and dinosaur that. Naturally, his birthday had to have a dinosaur theme.

Piñata time. This was a Cuban piñata: Instead of hitting it with a stick, you pull strings attached to the base; a little safer for little ones. This particular piñata was sent from Florida by friends who knew I was having trouble finding a dinosaur piñata in Chicago (I now see them everywhere). It was then that I decided to learn how to make my own piñatas, and did so a couple of times.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Grimon Cousins

Five boys. No X-X chromosome combination here. Aren't they all beautiful!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ahh . . . He's asleep!

There's John asleep with his beloved Winnie. This bundle of energy looked so beautiful in sleep, I could have watched him for hours . . .

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Up on a pony

John's first pony ride, before he turned persnickety about farm odors.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Pauper and The Prince

John dressed like a hobo for Halloween and looking like Little Lord Fauntleroy for David's Baptism.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Let's take it from the top . . .

I just loved those Osh Kosh overalls. And the velcro shoes, what a brilliant invention!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Singing in the Rain

For one short summer, the umbrella became John's latest discovery and favorite toy.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

All dressed up for Christmas Eve Mass

One of my favorite memories of Christmas Eve was the Children's Mass at St. Giles. We'd arrive at dusk. The church would be lit with a myriad candles. Incense permeated the air, and the altar would be decorated lavishly with poinsettias. On the left side of the altar, the Nativity scene would be displayed, minus the baby Jesus, who would be placed in the manger on Christmas morning. The liturgy was tailored to children with fewer and shorter Bible readings, and the chorus would sing carols throughout the service. The children would look adorable, dressed in their holiday finery, one cuter than the next. At the end of the service, we'd all sing Silent Night, any remaining lights would be dimmed, and, as we entoned " . . . all is calm, all is bright . . . " the children would turn on their flashlights, brought from home for just this event, and point them at the ceiling. All those little voices, all those moving lights, it was beautiful. I always got a lump in my throat. Talk about putting you in the holiday spirit. We'd then go home to our Christmas Eve celebration. I couldn't improve on this memory if I tried . . .

Sunday, March 15, 2009


This is one of my favorite pictures of John. Naked, except for a diaper, a bump on his head, which happened often, and a bunch of tasty grapes in his hand. He was always such a curious child, and so uninhibited. Ahh . . . that mustard-colored floor . . . who would have imagined that someday I'd look upon it with nostalgia.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Early travels

First trip to the beach in June . . .

And Thanksgiving in North Dakota . . .

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Lee and John

The sweet man to whom I'm married, happens to be a fantastic father. He took to parenting like a duck to water. It wasn't unusual to find him changing diapers or holding John while I caught up on my sleep until the next nursing round, even when he himself was tired. What a generous, gentle man! My kids are very lucky! So am I.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Home from the Hospital

Aunt Mary Ann and Uncle Bill were among the first visitors John received once he got home. That Winnie-the-Pooh doll became John's favorite and he slept with it for many years. The much beloved Winnie, now somewhat faded and worn, currently resides in a shelf in John's closet. Notice the "rabbit ears" on top of the TV. We didn't get cable until we moved to the suburbs.

Monday, March 9, 2009

March is John's month

My son, John, just turned 20 on March 6th. As a treat to myself, I'll feature pictures of John throughout the month of March, from his growing up years, beginning with this one. He was such a little thing, 6 pounds, 9 ounces, born slightly jaundiced, sporting a forceps mark over his right eye. And he just did not sleep. For eighteen months, he never slept once throughout the night, or even 6 straight hours. Now he's in bed by 9:00 P.M. I don't miss the sleep deprivation, but I do miss the simplicity of those days, and the sheer joy of holding such a beautiful child in my arms.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

What is poetry?

“What is poetry? Do not inquire.
The secret dies by prying. How
does the heart beat? I fainted when
I saw it on the screen, opening and
closing like a flower . . . poetry is like
this, it is life moving, terrible,
vivid. Look the other way when
you write, or you might faint.”
—Elizabeth Smart

I have been rendered speechless by the power, beauty, and depth of certain poems. Poetry connects me simultaneously to my soul and my humanity like few other experiences do. There is someone out there who has expressed my feelings perfectly. I am not alone.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Be the Heroine

"Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim."
—Nora Ephron

A good thought to end the day with . . .