Search results for 'twin'

Twins 4eva

11 Apr

Originally Published on 511 Ever After.

If you have followed me here on this site, you will know that if my husband and kids are lead performers, Twin, as I call her, is best supporting actress. Not only is she my souldmatesisterbestfriendloveofmylife but we happen to share a birthday.
Today.
And I told her that I would open her gifts first thing.
And Oh. My. G.d

First, she got me Mr. and Mrs. Fox, Jonathan Adler salt and pepper shakers. Could you get more perfect? And here’s something that Twin doesn’t even know (so listen up, girl): My love of furniture and design and collections began at a very young age, as I spent many of my childhood weekends at antique shows and flee markets and auctions. My parents loved antiquing, so they decided to start a collection for me, so that at each of these places I would have a treasure to hunt down. And guess what I collected?
Salt and Pepper Shakers.
photo 1-23
As if the Foxes were not enough, I opened the second gift and my heart stopped.
You see, this is our tenth year celebrating our birthdays together. Our first birthday was when I was turning 20 and she 21, when we were randomly assigned as roommates in Barcelona.
photo 2-23
She got me a print of our city. And not only did she get me a print of our city, but she got me a technicolor, spectacular, perfect one.
I am so in love with my gifts,
just as I am with her.
Twins 4eva.

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Scenes from The Bean/Happy Birthday, Twin!

11 Apr

So, I’ve been keeping a bit of a secret from you.

Actually, it’s kind of big…

(…at least in this land….the Land of Mom, that is.)

2 weeks ago, I spent my first weekend away WOB (without babe).

It’s taken me this long to share because

a) I had to find the right words

b) I had to process all that it meant to me

c) I have been terribly homesick for the weekend, and I was not yet ready to tap into all of the emotions that came along with it

d) I had many missed baby hugs to make up for

So, let’s start with a little question:

You have a baby, you spend every moment with her (save a few 8-10 hour stretches) for 2 weeks shy of 2 years. It’s time to leave her for the very first time. Where do you go?

I know what you’re thinking.

Duh! So obvious! (In the words of my girl, A,) Obviduh! You go see Twin!

So, after months of planning, (with a few moments of agonizing sprinkled in there) and a six hour train ride,

the husband and I arrived in Boston,

and, more specifically, into the arms of Twinny and Go Go.

It was perfection.

It was so us;

Wandering through Harvard Square, arm-in-arm;

Sharing bites of Grape Nuts Ice Cream and Anadama Bread

and sips of sparkling sake and gourmet hot cocoa;

Lingering in the Poetry and Children’s Books sections of the book store, reading about Haiku and Miro and Eric Carle;

Midnight dance parties and morning ebelskivers;

Our weekend meant so much to us. To all of us.

Our weekend made me feel light

and made me feel happy

and made me feel proud.

But, there’s only so much I can say in words.

So, here they are; Some Scenes from The Bean (and by scenes, I mean iPhone pictures of the food we ate…because that’s what you peeps really care about, right?!):

When I say that our weekend was delicious, I am not just referring to all of the sushi and onion rings and burgers and treats we indulged in during our stay. They were all great, yes, but nothing compared to the pure bliss of 3 solid days with my Twin.

And while it was hard for me to be apart from my little girl

(I missed a whole day of her life,

as that Saturday was the very first and only day of her existence that I missed seeing her wake up in the morning. It was weird, I tell you.)

it was also important.

Important for us (relationship us)

important for us (friendship us)

important for us (Twinship us)

and important for me.

Being a mother (for me) has meant giving all of myself to my little mini. But, in doing that,

in living the life of my dreams,

I lost some of my independent self along the way.

From the moment I became pregnant, my life was lo longer my own. Everything about me began to revolve around my daughter.

And so, our trip to Boston was rejuvenating. It was re-me-venating.

It was just what we needed.

And on that note, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the woman who was not only the Hostess with the Mostest,

but who, in the past 7 years of our Twinship,

has taught me what it means to be a sister, a friend and a golden, genuine, top knotch human being.

Happy Birthday, to my girl, way up Nahth.

I hope that you know how much better you’ve made my life

just by being in it.

I love you and am honored today, and always, to call you my twin.

Happy birthday, Happy Everything,

Happiness Always.

 

 

twin-tastic

8 Aug

Do you remember how I’ve mentioned my twin sister, from another mister?

Well, twin and I are so,

well,

twinlike.

As you may recall,

I mentioned that my daughter tends to laugh at certain words,

like “peaches”.

Well, I also mentioned my own propensity to laugh at certain words,

like “zebra“.

Well, just today, on our way to brunch

(can you say, “holy coconut crusted french toast”???!?!??!)

someone mentioned funny-sounding-words.

And, what did twin come right out with, you ask?

She said, “Do you know what word I always find weird? Zebra.”

I almost choked on my,

well,

words (? We hadn’t quite arrived at brunch, yet. Still, there was choking going on, on my part.)

Out of all of the words in the world,

all of the funny-sounding, weird, onomatopoeic things that could have come out of her mouth,

she chose zebra.

Now, we may have different parents,

and may not actually be related,

but, in our case,

striped mammal is thicker than water and blood.

Double the pleasure,

double the fun,

indeed.

Let us celebrate.

16 Dec

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This morning, I woke up to a pleasant surprise. I got an email from an old high school friend–

Well, really, if I am being honest, she is an old high school friend of my husband’s; to me, she was just this incredibly beautiful and cool Senior whom I looked at and admired from afar. Come to think of it, to this day, I don’t know that she knows this; that my Freshman friends and I would look at her Senior yearbook portrait in awe. She is that pretty. But she’s also nice. And fun. And brave. And my husband’s high school friends deserve a post of their own, so look out for that.

She sent me this article, to give, as she said, “a little bit of mojo”, which is amazing.

The article talks about how 2014, for many, was an awful year; for some, their worst yet.

I would raise my hand with those people. I say it all the time. This has been the worst year of my life. But the also the most meaningful, for sure. And that is what this article is all about. The author could have gone into my brain and taken the words right from inside my head. If you know my writing, you will see.

She writes,

“Because 2014 was hard for many, many people.

For you, it might be going down as one of the worst years you can remember.

For you, it may have brought you to your knees more times than you could count.

For you, it may have left you breathless … hopeless … tired and weary.

But before you eagerly slam the door on 2014, I ask you to look down at your hands.

See that dirt under your fingernails?

My friend, that is beautiful. That is remarkable. That is significant.

You could have let go. But you didn’t.

You could have given up. But you didn’t.

You hung on.

You hung on.

And here’s what I believe:

I believe 2014 was not your worst year, but possibly your greatest.

Your Year of Greatest Strength
Your Year of Greatest Faith
Your Year of Greatest Hope
Your Year of Greatest Patience
Your Year of Greatest Risk
Your Year of Greatest Determination
Your Year of Greatest Courage

Just look at that dirt beneath your fingernails.

That is what you are made of.

Isn’t it beautiful? Isn’t it remarkable? Isn’t it significant?

It was your Year of Greatest Survival.

And you lived to tell about it.

Thank you for holding on.

Let us celebrate.

Let us celebrate.”

Just as I wrote last month, this year, all I want to do is to live and to do so fully. My poor friends; You should see how many emails they get from me about Christmas cookies and Secret Santas and our New Year’s Eve menu. How many screenshots I send with inspirational quotes and love notes. But the fact that I can not only feel but feel excitment? I am holding onto that, I am holding on with every ounce of strength I can muster.

And so it was a normal Tuesday morning this morning and we were up early, and we are supposed to be on a tropical island,

but instead, I was cuddled up on the couch and my daughter was across the room, and my son was playing on the floor and my husband called from the kitchen that we were out of coffee. He would make a run to the coffee shop and get us all treats, he said.

And when he left, I called my daughter over to me. “I want you,” I said, as I held out my arms to her and then wrapped them around her, kissed her face, and snuggled her close to me.

“I want you to be happy,” was her reply.

Let us celebrate, indeed.

(This morning’s coffee was sponsored c/o Twin and Go Go)

The story of two girls, the story of two women, and everything in between.

8 Dec

photo

Where to begin? I sit here, hands tracing the keys of my laptop, but I don’t know how to start our story; to really tell our story in a way that will do it justice. It probably won’t make sense to anyone else. But it does to us, so I guess that is all that matters.

As our mentor’s mentor, Ernest Hemingway, said, “All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”

And so I shall try:

I saw a girl, once, sitting on the ground of the third floor of an old, musty school building and she looked like the most beautiful and interesting thing, and I was desperate, instantly, to get close to her.

***

I have written many stories on here, about my childhood and adulthood and parenthood, about things joyful and sorrowful and fanciful, but there is one piece of my life that I have left almost untouched.

I did not have a traditional college experience. I started off attending the Honors Program of a big state school, so that I had tiny, elite classes, but also giant, cheering crowds of football fans (which was supposed to be the best of both worlds) and I stayed there for a year and a half straight.

It was there that I fell in love, with reading literature and with a boy from a tiny town in the Mid-Hudson River Valley.

It wasn’t a perfect fit for me, but I have some fond, nostalgic memories; of running in a storm of icy snow to catch the school’s busline, so that I would make it in time for my seminar on Jewish Cinema; of walking into crowded frat parties, with their smell of stale kegs and the feel of sticky floors and air; of being selected to sing in the school’s talent competition my first week as a Freshman; of buying a beer funnel and leaving it in a tax and buying funnel cake and eating it at Arts Fest; of watching the Friends series finale and sobbing on the floor of the dorm room two doors down, which always seemed to smell like popcorn. And the list goes on.

But after a year and a half, I left school and the small life that I had built there to travel abroad to Barcelona (where I would experience many new things, the most important being Twin (obviously).

Upon my return home to the states that May, the summer after my Sophomore year, I decided that I did not want to go back to the big school, 3 hours from home. I had just lived in a vibrant, colorful world, and couldn’t bear to go to a place where there were no tall buildings. I don’t mean to say this disparagingly. People live and breathe for the school that I attended. It just wasn’t for me.

And so I transferred, to a satellite campus in Philadelphia, where I was able to remain in the Honors College.

This was the best academic decision I have ever made.

I entered into a class of five. There were five of us in the Honors Program. It was so intimate and astounding and life-altering…

but I have gotten ahead of myself.

On my first day of classes at my new school, where I knew no one, I felt nervous and detached. I had made the choice to trade these huge, crowded cities for a mere two buildings and a duck pond.

As I had already declared myself an English major during my Freshman year, my first class was one on literature, with this incredibly smart and dynamic, dark-haired professor who spoke with great passion about American Popular Culture.

And after that, I trekked up the stairs of the old building that housed most of the Liberal Arts classes,

and I found my way down a small, corridor, to a tiny corner classroom.

And there she was.

Sitting on the floor with a spiral notebook, I saw this beautiful, and elegant and impossibly chic looking girl. And as we introduced ourselves, we realized that we had been previously “set up” by mutual friends, but just so happened to have met coincidentally that day. She was one of the five in my class.

My honors class was like “The Breakfast Club”. Really. We were all so different, but got along beautifully. There were four girls and one boy: One quiet but sweet Information, Science and Technology girl, one Class President type, studying business and ruling the school with her sparkly, kind demeanor, a shaggy haired boy, shy and pensive and incredibly bright, and then, the girl. She was a fellow English major. She liked words like I did.

And at the helm of our happy, mis-matched group was a Hemingway scholar like no other.

She was the author of a book about the “Lost Generation”, the group of colorful expatriates who gathered in Paris, often at Gertrude Stein’s salon after World War 1 (or, as they thought, The Great War), like Hemingway, Fitzgerald, T.S. Eliot and Jon Dos Passos. Note: I am oversimplifying this incredibly, and for that I am sorry. But if i were to continue to try to define the Lost Generation, this post would turn into a novel and I wouldn’t be able to see straight.

Our Professor was a personal acquaintance of the Hemingway family, and she knew it all. She introduced us to his short stories, novels, memoir…and to the color and life of that time in history.

Why does all of this matter?

It matters because this band of early 20th Century misfits seemed to mirror and our little Honors band of misfits, and learning with my class, in this tiny classroom around a boardroom style table

changed my life.

Because it brought me a soul sister.

I wrote this week about soul friends, and from the moment we met, the beautiful girl from the hallway floor and I formed a bond.

I admired everything about her, and the closer we got, the more I liked her and marveled at her.

I loved her sense of style, and the way she furnished her apartment (it seemed so grown up to me, with her fancy lamps and dressers painted with flowers and her own cats!) and her incredible work ethic. Her brain. Her insight. Her intellect.

The next two years, she and I worked closely together, as we were in almost all the same classes, and our Hemingway Scholar Professor became the mentor for both of our Honors Theses.

It is funny to say this, because I had a long-term relationship for the first half of college, met my Twin during Sophomore year, met my husband during Junior year and became engaged to him during my Senior, but this girl, to me, is like my one, real college friend.

I realize that I am in the minority, as I see my friends so connected with their former sorority sisters and roommates, but for me it was different. As I told her today, it was quality over quantity. And she’s it.

And over the years since college we have woven in and out of each others lives. There were times when we were inseparable, seeing each other several times a week and talking for hours on the phone; and other times that years went by without a date; but it never mattered. Never ever. Not once has she missed calling me on my birthday, and when my daughter was born, we brought her downtown to meet my dear friend in her gorgeous city apartment.

In the past few months, though, I will say that we have connected in a way that is so profound, it is almost impossible to describe. I was talking to her today and I said, “It’s funny that you’re the hardest person I’ve ever tried to write about.”

And she replied, “Because words don’t do it for us. It’s deeper. Ironic…”

and I finished her sentence with, “because we are both all about words.”

We have not seen each other in years at this point, but are planning to reunite soon. But until then we speak every day, and we are just there for one another in this impossible, indescribable way.

And, you may ask, if it is so hard to describe, then why are you writing about it?

And I would reply, because I love to tell stories; that is what this is all about. And this is a big part of my story. And she is a muse; a radiant character, and she deserves to be a subject of some sort of art, and this is a (terribly inadequate but) fine place to start.

I had asked her to show me pictures of her apartment, as I have always been so amazed by her style. And she sent me these photos and told me to look closely.

photo 2

photo 1-1

Hanging prominently in her apartment for the past two years are two sketches that I made for her the year after we graduated. In the top photo, it is the drawing of a cat, stretching. In the bottom, it is a girl’s face, with red lips.

When she showed me this, gobsmacked is the best word I can use to describe how I felt. I drew her these pictures because I love her and I shared them with her because I trust her, but this is not me being modest when I say I that am not an artist. I am not very good at drawing. But for her, these pieces were special enough to hang in her home, her sanctuary. I am humbled beyond words.

There are many stories in my story; the story of how divergent paths can lead you to the same place as someone with whom you’re meant to be; the story of how friendship, when true, prevails over all else; the story of two young women, who met at twenty, are meeting each other, a decade later, and falling in love all over again; the story of passion; and the story of college, and how it looks different for everyone.

I saw a girl, once, sitting on the ground of the third floor of an old, musty school building and she looked like the most beautiful and interesting thing, and the closer I got to her, the more she unfolded, and the more stunning she became.

I always say this to her,

that I am a reader and not a writer,

so I will leave it to one of the greats to wrap up our story for now.

But I just mean on the computer,

for I believe our story together has only just begun.

Their eyes met and in an instant, in an inexplicable and only half conscious rush of emotion, they were in perfect communion.

F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Letting it go.

20 Nov

photo-13

This was sent to me yesterday by a dear friend. I needed it.

I then sent it to another dear friend. She needed it.

Every day, we all carry things with us; hopes, fears, ideas, identities…

Some of these things lift us up. Some of my labels I wear proudly:

Wife, mother, friend, daughter, grand-daughter, teacher, twin, writer, confidant, sister,

dance partier, loud laugher, decorator, front-woman for a rock band…

Yet there are some layers of myself that I wish to shed.

I will probably always be on the slightly anxious end of the anxiety spectrum.

But I would love to no longer be a sufferer. A worrier. A scaredy-cat.

Those things weigh me down. They are the labels that can make minutes feel like hours, make days feel dark and make my stomach feel like it has a led weight inside of it.

I want to be lighter.

So I am making a conscious effort to take off the things that I no longer wish to wear.

I have written many times over the past year about the shift in my friendships; that through the trauma of postpartum depression and it’s after effects, my friends have become my family. We talk every single day. They humor me when I send out 15 emails about our holiday cookie Pollyanna party, because they know how important it is for me to embrace this holiday season. They are just my people.

Then there are the new friends I have made. They have changed my life. The ones who spent last year sitting on the floor with me, as I opened up about my depression. The ones who have been so selfless. The one whom I’ve followed on the internet for years, and turned out to be even more beautiful and amazing and spectacular in person. The one who understands every one of my faults and loves me because of them, not in spite of them. The one who sees a pair of Fox leggings in the store and buys them for me, because…obviously. These friends have been a gift. I carry them with me, now.

And as far as everyone and everything else,

all the drama and the ghosts and the pain that try to cloud my mind and cause me anxiety, I am trying to let it go.

Like Elsa.

Just letting it go.

I don’t want to carry them with me anymore.

And so I won’t.

The Magnificent Seven, The Son Edition.

24 May

Looking back, I found the note I wrote to my daughter when she turned seven months, a love letter detailing milestones in her life and expressing my profound love. Today is my son’s seventh month birthday, and so, for him I shall do the same.

Dearest baby,

My sweetness; My light.

Today you are seven months old.

A magnificent seven.

When I was seven days pregnant with you, you were just a wish.

When I was seven weeks pregnant with you I saw your picture for the very first time; the ultrasound tech described you as a little cheerio. They also saw your heartbeat, a perfect rhythm. I knew you were OK.

When I was seven months pregnant with you we danced at Twin and Go-Go’s wedding in Boston. We walked down the aisle together, we held her flower bouquet as they said their vows, we made a speech at the reception, and you were right there with me, never quieting, just kicking along. You were lying transverse, right across my belly. I loved feeling the parts of your body and I could identify each one.

When you were seven minutes old, the nurses said “He has long fingernails!” and I had just found out that you were 7 lbs 12 oz, the exact same birth weight as your sister. I also found out that you were born at 4:11, which is my birthday. When you were 7 minutes old, as they were working to sew up my body and make me whole again, your daddy brought you over to me, and I swear, you smiled. We sang to you in the OR, “Mommy loves the baby, daddy loves the baby, everybody loves the little boy.”

When you were seven weeks old we were going through a bit of a bump, but we still found so much joy in you; in your sweetness, in your strawberry hair, in the coziness of the holidays around us. We marveled in how you would sleep seven hour stretches overnight and we loved feeling like a real family of four.

And now, my dear, you are 7 months. We love you more with each breath. You have grown into a magical little boy. You radiate goodness,

how you bat at my skin with your big mitts, and kiss my mouth with big, slobbery smooches when I hold you close; how you smile every time I kiss your face; how you reach out for me when I’m not with you, calling for “Mama” and grabbing me, with such love. You are the sweetest thing I have ever known.

You are magnificent.

Love,

Mommy

My Nanny

18 May

I have written on this site, since it’s inception, about my Nanny.

My Nanny was my grandmother on my dad’s side. She was incredibly special to me, and I lost her when I was 13 years old after a furious 6 month battle with cancer.

She is why I have a thing for feathers and lucky pennies.

She taught me about art.

We used to go to museums and at the very end of our visit she would have me pick out the postcard of my very favorite piece of the day.

We used to sit on the big rocks by the pond by her house, next to waving cattails and resting geese, and would sketch our feelings with charcoal.

I would sleep over at her house and she would bring me breakfast in bed with her finest china plates and bowls and crystal glasses for my fresh squeezed juice.

My Nanny taught me about scones and Almondina cookies and Ikura sushi and champagne grapes.

She taught me about The Phantom of the Opera and Into the Woods.

I struggled a lot with my Nanny’s death. She was so young. We had so much more to see, and hear and taste and do and sketch together.

But what I struggle with the most is that she did not live to see me as an adult.

I think about how much she would love my husband; how she would appreciate his gentle way, his artistic abilities, his passion for food and his tenderness. She would have made him her fried chicken and mashed potatoes and would have smiled so contently as he licked his plate clean.

That makes me sad.

I wish my Nanny could see me as a grown woman. As a wife, as a mother. I wish she could see how I pack lunch for my husband and daughter every day, just like she did. How I cook dinner every night. How I eat biscotti and sing lullabies and teach.

But that sadness does not compare to how I feel about how she missed meeting my children.

She would love my children.

And not just because they would be her great-grandchildren, but she would love them for who they are.

My daughter: She would love my girl for her spirit, her feisty personality; how she is so gifted in the arts, both fine and performing; how she enamors strangers with her cuteness and spunk; She would laugh at how, like me, she never stops talking.

My son: She would love my boy for his sweetness; for his reddish hair; for his rolls of pudge and warm, coy smile and the twinkle in his eye; she would love how he eats with great gusto and would love cooking for him.

I do believe in angels. I believe that our loved ones, while maybe not watching every moment of our lives like a movie being projected in a theater, are around us, and weave in and out of our lives and consciousness throughout the years and the milestones and the moments.

Today my Nanny would be 80 years old.

If she were here, we would celebrate her with a cake from the Ultimate Bake Shoppe. We would put on music and I would tell my daughter to say, “Just a little bit of dah-ncing” in my Nanny’s way. We would give her handmade cards and maybe a pretty handkerchief or picture frame with photos of the kids.

We would snuggle up to her softness. We would say, “I love you.”

Today my Nanny would be 80 years old and I miss her very much.

Don’t your feet get cold in the winter time?
The sky won’t snow and the sun won’t shine
It’s hard to tell the night time from the day
You’re losin’ all your highs and lows
Ain’t it funny how the feeling goes away?

Desperado, why don’t you come to your senses?
Come down from your fences, open the gate
It may be rainin’, but there’s a rainbow above you
You better let somebody love you, before it’s too late

There’s something really important that you need to know.

13 May

As I said yesterday, over on 511, I am quite different than my marathon runner sister. I do not work out, I have never belonged to a gym and I ran almost 3 miles with Twin ONCE on the Boardwalk and that is the only thing I have ever done.

I was good at sit and reach in middle school, I can do the worm and I am freakishly strong and undefeated in same-sex arm wrestling, but besides that, I am not in shape.

But now, when I leave the room, the baby cries. And it is kind of sweet, because he knows me and loves me and doesn’t want me to go. But I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this on here…I have the biggest baby ever. Have I forgotten to say that? Oh. Well, I do. He is literally off the charts, over the 100th percentile. So this means that any time I need to get up to get a drink of water, or snag a peep, or pee, I have to carry around 22 pounds of solid chunk.

Also, while he is a rock star sleeper in his crib at night, he doesn’t nap in there (lord knows why), so I walk him almost every day for his naps.

And because I am lazy and the single jogging stroller is at my parents’ house, I usually walk him in his infant seat int he snap n’ go, which means I basically have to push all of the weight.

Today, I walked up hill and I envisioned myself in a strong-man competition, pushing bales of hay up a mountain. I really did.

And I believe I actually broke a sweat.

So the really important thing that you need to know is that I

am now

an athlete.

The end.

Threadbare

9 May

Tonight, as I toweled myself off after my shower,

this old post popped into my head.

As I looked in the mirror I saw tired eyes,

hair that has not been washed since Monday morning (which is a new record, even for me. And no, Twin, it doesn’t even look dirty)

and I thought to myself, threadbare.

 The real definition of the word is “becoming thin and tattered with age.”

I think that this past week did a number on me,

as I was already fragile from these past few months.

This week, over and over again, I thanked my lucky stars for my carbon monoxide detector,

and that something pulled me out of bed at 5am to hear it’s far away beeps.

So many people reached out to me this week. They asked if I was OK, asked to help, and told me that my story has haunted them, or motivated them to make changes in their home.

My husband and I are so glad to raise awareness on something so important, but, as he said, we’re ready to stop being the poster children for these hard things.

So I looked myself in the mirror,

and I smoothed on my eye creams and oils and moisturizers (I may never wash my hair but I am crazy for my skincare regimen)

and put on a t-shirt from one of my sister’s old Phish shows and a pair of her silk shorts,

and I realized that, as I wrote in that post so long ago,

I may be threadbare

and a bit of an eyesore

but I am still standing.

Through terrifying surgeries, heartbreaking complications,

losing too much blood and the devastating loss of good friends in my time of need,

through floods and hospital stays and times that were sad and scary and surreal

I am here. I am strong. I may look thin, I may look weak, I may have dirty hair, but I have survived.

I didn’t know that I would.

I am so grateful that I have.

And, just like my daughter’s hospital hat years ago,

I am now the best.

I am the best me I have ever been.

Here’s to the future,

and here’s to the past.

Acts of loving kindness.

7 May

When I was teaching older kids, I used to reward my students for acts of loving kindness; little things that I would observe that would recognize these children for their good deeds and generosity towards others.

Today, I would love to make an Acts of Loving Kindness Chart of my own.

In one day, I experienced four completely separate, but incredibly meaningful, acts of unexpected kindness. We will go chronologically:

1. This morning when I was going through my daughter’s backpack I found a little, perfectly wrapped package with my name on it. Inside was the perfect little gift to make me smile. A fox, from a former colleague and my daughter’s former teacher. She is the kindest soul, and I so appreciate that though I no longer work across the hall from her, we are still connected.

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2. I met my mom for a walk this morning after dropping my daughter off at school. My husband usually does drop-off, but had an appointment this morning, so I was up and out early and decided to take in some sunshine. We walked to the local market so that I could return a pack of bad cucumbers, but really, we caught up. We had so much to say, to fill each other in on, unbelievable, as I had literally slept under the same roof (and finished the same bottle of wine) as my mama just two days ago. As we walked she presented me with a sunglasses case. A fancy one. “Here,” she said. “Your sister wanted you to have these. Happy early Mother’s Day.” I have always loved my sister’s sunglasses and she felt that they weren’t right on her. So she gave them to me. I was so touched by this gesture. And I feel so lucky to have such a nice pair of sunglasses. I’m so fancy now.

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3. Today, after I picked up my daughter from school, I found that the baby was asleep in the carseat, so in order to capitalize on his nap time and also to kill some time I took her to the drive through for a vanilla ice cream and a stop at the new organic market. There I bought three items: A red pepper, a peppered goat cheese, and a goat gouda. I am not kidding. It didn’t seem weird until I typed it out just now, but seriously, how weird is that shop? When we got home the baby was up, I fed him an avocado, and tried to straighten up an untidy kitchen, unloading and reloading the dishwasher and wiping down countertops. In the middle of my cleaning my doorbell rang. I expected to see a solicitor or neighbor, but instead it was an old friend. My husband and my love story connection starts way, way back when my dog used to run away in his backyard, and this friend is someone who knew us both as young children, completely independently of one another. She is the mother of my son’s oldest and best friend. She was also the division leader at the overnight camp where I went for a summer and 5 days. I was homesick. I didn’t last. She talked me through many a teary time.

She stopped over today to drop off gifts for my kids, to catch up and to bestow upon me something that brought me to tears.

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I saw the word Live and I started to cry. I thought about my darkest hours. I thought about this past weekend. I was incredibly touched.

4. This evening, I opened a package sent to us from our Boston Besties. They wanted to cheer us up; to make us feel loved; to distract us.

Twin and Go Go sent us the best, sweetest (literally) care package.

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I mean it when I say it made us truly feel cared for.

This time in my life has taught me so much. It has given me great perspective. During this time I have lost friends. I have become infinitely closer to others. It has helped to restore my faith in people, when it was almost all but gone.

Just today I was gifted with four acts of loving kindness.

And tomorrow I will make it my mission to perform acts of loving kindness to others.

Because I want to keep believing that people are good. That the world, even though sometimes strange and scary and sad, is beautiful.

And there is no better way to do that than shining from the inside out.