Thursday, June 28, 2007

Tough love

Warning: The following contains graphic images. If you really, really, really love your plants, refrain from viewing.

You were beautiful and caught my eye immediately. I had been searching for the perfect match for a long time. I knew what I wanted and you delivered. It was love at first sight. You seemed so vibrant, so perky, in the full bloom of youth. I knew you were the one for me.

Convinced that you and I had a future together, I reached into my wallet and paid $22 for the privilege of taking you home.

Love for sale.

Day One: I hung you on the porch and gave you a drink. “Hydrate, hydrate” said the garden-shop clerk. And then I smiled as I watched you, in all your glory, through my kitchen window. We were off to such a promising start.

Day Two: “Hydrate, hydrate.” You were still upturned and thirsty (or so I thought) so I took my yellow watering can and sprinkled some more.

Day Three: You and I obviously missed the cues. Suddenly, oh so suddenly, you went limp. You were sagging more than I. How could one so young and lively turn into such a sad spectacle?

Day Four: Is there such a thing as CPR for a plant? Or Viagra?

Where did I go wrong? I’m sorry. Plant abuse. May I plead ignorance and lack of a green thumb? My yellow watering can, the probable culprit, has been banished to the far corner of the porch. Perhaps you like your summer hot and dry. Some like it hot.

Is there any hope of re-kindling our affair? Lift a leaf. Send me a sign.

Come back. I miss you.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


To watch my grandkids bloom and grow
Requires fathers who do sow
The seeds of wonder and delight
Tending, tilling, giving insight

Fathers who are often tired

Yet who can teach and inspire
Little minds who never rest
Always making new requests

Being loving, being there
Showing that a dad does care
I see my son in this demanding role
And son-in-law too, loyal souls

They provide fertile ground
For their children to grow up sound
Helping kids to choose well
Hoping that they turn out swell

At times it can seem an endless test
Yet what they do for their children best
Is remembering through their busy lives
To show the kids they love their wives


Thursday, June 07, 2007

The wager

I pick Sophie up from kindergarten and am driving her home. Vivaldi's Four Seasons is playing on my tape deck. It's one of her favorite tapes. She is always a happy camper if I have classical or polka music to offer.

Sophie: "I really like this music."
Babci: "I do too."

Few minutes of critical listening.

Sophie: "I bet this is Winter."
Babci: "You know, I'm not really sure ... it could be Fall or Summer."
Sophie: "No, I think it's Winter. Do you want to bet? I have three dollars."

A six-year old is actually daring me to put up some money. Do they teach music appreciation and gambling in kindergarten?

I take the bet.

Babci: "Okay, you're on. I say it's Fall."
Sophie (confidently): "It's Winter."

We stop the car and I extract the tape to read the program.

It's Winter.

Cash only, no credit cards or checks accepted.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


I've been working at the new job as school counselor for the past nine months. It's been challenging and I sometimes have doubts about my ability to deliver what's expected. It's a new position and I'm literally starting from scratch, building a foundation to a program which will serve the students for years to come.

The school year has gone by quickly and these last few weeks remind me of final deadlines yet to be met. I never cared much for the term multi-tasking but realize it's what I do. The days are never boring and I'm learning as I'm doing. I think the students have accepted me, as much as teenagers can. I have gotten to know some of them and feel very protective. They are becoming "my kids".

I am so busy trying to get it right that I sometimes forget to step back and enjoy small victories, like finding a tutor for a struggling student or taking a busload of high-school students to their very first college fair or helping to unlock dreams and wishes for the future.

Something happens today. For some reason, all the many things-to-do unexpectedly fall into place like pieces of a puzzle. I am needed by a colleague and provide a valuable service. I see positive changes in my students, more hope and excitement building for attaining new goals. Everything clicks. Projects I have been working on for awhile start to shape up. New resources and possibilities emerge. I truly feel like I have finally become a part of the school community, no longer an outsider. Even though it is a typical fast-paced, hectic day, I have never felt more peaceful.

As I drive home, I watch dark clouds racing around the mountain tops and listen to the distant rumble of thunder. The local forecast is predicting stormy weather but I am smiling.

There is a rainbow in my heart.