running on empty

Picking up Daniel from school yesterday afternoon, he leans over and notices the gas gauge.

Looks like you need gas, Mom. Are you going to get gas now?

No. I’m going to take you home where we will work on your homework. Then I will make dinner while you get ready for Tae Kwon Do.

Then you’ll go get gas? You need to get gas.

I think I’m okay. I’ll probably get gas after I drop you off at school tomorrow morning.

Are you sure?

I’m sure son. Don’t worry.

But he is worried.

This morning as he gets into the car, he leans over and notices the gas gauge.

Mom, you really need to get gas. Are you going to get gas now?

For the record the “low fuel” idiot light hasn’t even turned on yet. According to the car’s computer, I have approximately 75 miles to empty.

After I take you to school, son. It’s okay.

Are you sure?

Yes. Absolutely.

Looking at his face, I can tell that he is not convinced. We arrive at the school and as he gives me a quick kiss goodbye I see him glance at the dashboard again.

Goodbye, Mom. I love you. Don’t forget to get gas, okay?

Love you too, son. Don’t worry.

And with one last glance as he crosses the street, I can tell he is worried…very worried.

No one tell him that I “gambled” and went to Safeway, then Costco, then home BEFORE I drove to Tracy to fill up the mom car because with Safeway Gas Rewards I filled up at $1.51/gallon.

I wonder if he ever does the same thing to his Dad or his sisters.

Picking him up this afternoon I caught him glancing at the gas gauge indicating a FULL TANK as he kissed me hello.

Oh dear…

For the record, I have yet to run out of gas in the the last 34 years of owning and driving a car. Add that to the “Laura’s Successes” list…right under caring and feeding of her five children.

I’m doing okay, son. Promise.

 

 

even more than a good, brave man

Of course we all know that last week was Martin Luther King Day which of course means a holiday for most folks…and the perfect time to maybe catch a good movie about an American Hero…which would be why American Sniper scored 105.3 million at the box office last weekend.

Don’t get me started…

The days leading up to Martin Luther King Day and after is also the perfect time for American school children to learn about the man and what he accomplished in the times that he lived; which is what Daniel has been doing…as he does every year since preschool. Last week, as I helped study for his test on Dr. King on Friday, I was struck with the fact that this time he was learning much more than him being a good man, a great man, a brave man with a dream for all American children. As a student his age should. Together we studied and talked about segregation, voting rights, peaceful activism, the Nobel Peace Prize and assassination at the hand of a sniper. And I was struck with the consideration my son had as he expressed his understanding of the subject of Dr. King that we were studying together and recent events in the news. It really is hard not to draw some comparisons whether one is a thoughtful, curious 6th grader or a musician accepting an award for Best Original Song in a Motion Picture.

So we made plans for this weekend.

We spent Sunday afternoon watching a film about American Heroes.

Moving.

Shocking.

Painful.

Inspirational.

And as we watched the pivotal scene where some 8,000 marchers (Black, White, Asian, Latino along with spiritual leaders from many religions and creeds) walked across the Edmund Pettus Bridge with Martin Luther King, Daniel reached for my hand and whispered, “They did it!

Yes, they did.

American heroes…all of them.

Of course, as it always is in history, there is much more to the story; and there is the reality of today. May my son always continue in his thoughtful curiosity to learn and understand.

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, “What are you doing for others?”
~Martin Luther King

 

in wonky times like these

Mercury is retrograde and honestly in times like these when everything seems to be all wonky and awry all one can really do is take a deep breath and ask themselves…

WWBD?

Because, yes, in astrological, astronomical times like these you know Queen Bey is not affected by crazy emotions, miscommunications and general weirdness as the rest of us are.

Truly.

Why else would folks like Bill O’Reilly and Mike Huckabee get their boy shorts all twisted up believing that Beyonce is what is wrong with the world today?

Right?

Then a moment like this with Jon Stewart reminds us that maybe Bey isn’t as all powerful or as scary as the Fox boys would want us to fear. Because, at the end of the day, she is still just a musician living in “Bubbleville”. But damn, I still wonder sometimes in the dark of night what would Beyonce do especially when Mercury is in retrograde.

 

like cellophane

Quote

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

It’s one of the age old philosophical questions…isn’t it?

Well?…

Does it?…

Does it make a sound?

Then what about the wife, the mother? If she makes a statement to her family as they are gathered around and they all seem to nod in assent does that mean that she has ever made a sound at all?

Really?!

It’s like no one ever knows you’re there.

Wives and mothers totally get what it feels like to be Mr. Cellophane.

Do they even see you if they don’t hear you?

I mean really?

Am I right?

Of course I am!

Today feeling like cellophane.,

Thank goodness for friends who work along side you, friends, who like you, rarely ever take the time to make it just about them alone, to remind you and them that it sometimes needs to be just that. It needs to be all about you…and them.

And good food and wine…

And karaoke…good, bad, really bad and great karaoke for the win, bitches!

Exactly what is needed to remind you that you are impressive, distinguished, remarkable, valuable you.

All of us.

 

 

no shelf life

As a 52 year old woman, I am struck by conversations related to friends celebrating or avoiding milestone birthdays, women getting older and how we are perceived as we (and the men around us, obviously) get older. Sadly, it seems to me, the majority regard a woman in her 40s or 50s or even 60s as somehow past the expiration date. Friends absolutely dreading the fact that they are turning 40…or mourning their obvious dotage as they pass “dirty thirty“…and it makes me sad just a little.

Age is definitely a relative thing. I wholeheartedly believe the idea that you are as old as you feel; which means I am basically an adolescent sometimes…an adolescent with a few grey hairs, laugh lines, squint lines, grown children and grandchildren. I’m not always an adolescent, but given my taste in music or the fact that I DO know almost every artist and song featured in the latest American Music Awards Show or Grammy nominations, compared to friends my age or 10 years younger…well… Yet, I wholeheartedly embrace the age that I am…grey hairs, creaky joints, laugh lines and everything else. I take very good of this aging shell of mine…and it shows. I take very good care of it because I have children and grandchildren and I definitely want to be around for a long time to watch them grow older. Added bonus is feeling good, perhaps better than other people my age (or younger).

I don’t take care of myself, or put on makeup, or wear jewelry or wear sometimes fashionable, flattering clothing for attention…except maybe perhaps from my darling husband. I know few women my age who dress for the day hoping for attention from a stranger…just like any other woman or girl dresses hoping for unwanted attention.

Why are there people who STILL think like this?

Honestly?!

So, no, telling me that I look pretty for my age is not a compliment.

Of course there is the reality that when a woman reaches a certain age, she, more often than not, is not getting looked at anymore…usually by the men. Ageism is real and women of a certain age become invisible to pretty much everyone…including men their own age. Men my age (and older) won’t give women my age (or even younger) a second glance unless they’re doing us a favor (in their small mind) because as Stevie Nicks pointed out in a recent Rolling Stone interview, “They wanna go out with somebody that’s 25,… So what am I gonna do, compete with that?”

But have you SEEN 66 year old Stevie Nicks?!

Damn girl!

Then there were the women…not the girls…the women at the Golden Globes this past week.

Hey ladies!

Then there is Julianne Moore who proved that people DO want to see a movie about a 50 year old woman, in the prime of her life, as she faces her own mortality and rapid decline.

If I can’t be Helen Mirren when I grow up, I want to be Julianne Moore. Really.

Shelf life?

Invisible?

No way.

Let’s re-think this because we all are getting older. We all are as sexy and smart and empowered and as visible as we chose to be and no one should ever diminish that for us because of the number of candles on our birthday cake this year…or the number of grey hairs, or laugh lines we might have.