Tag Archives: brave

My girl started school yesterday …

“There’s a hundred and four days of summer vacation and school comes around just to end it.”

Check your facts, Phineas. Or Ferb. Or whoever’s responsible for this erroneous little jingle. It seems like summer is getting shorter and shorter each year. I think that’s in part because it actually is. Unfortunately, it’s also because each summer is, mathematically speaking, becoming a smaller fraction of my children’s lives. When I think back on our past first-days-of-school, it blows my mind how many are now merely part of my family photo album. How can that be? How can the time be passing so quickly??? AND WOULD SOMEBODY PLEASE TELL ME HOW I’M GOING TO HANDLE MY BABIES GOING OFF TO COLLEGE?!!?

Mothers are some of the bravest creatures I know. Not because we learn to annihilate giant wasp nests that attach themselves to the family swing set or single-handedly take on Cujo-like dogs at the park when we see them eyeing our child deliciously (both true stories), but because we stare our biggest fear in the face every single day. We care for our little people from the moment we meet them, straddling the fence between helping them and nurturing their independence. We want them beside us where we know we can keep them safe and witness every milestone, yet we force ourselves to give them little nudges and loosen our grips so they can explore and learn a bit on their own. We remind ourselves it’s for their own good as well as our own. And, before we know it, we find that they’re venturing far enough to be sometimes entirely out of view which, although excruciating, we know is necessary for their development. And we tell ourselves, somewhat mechanically, that everything will be just fine.

And it usually is.

But somewhere between releasing their chubby hands to let them “Do it by mySELF!” and shopping for cell phones so we can maintain some form of connection with them, we look up and realize that our children have really grown up on us. Thankfully, they do still need us. (For the record, I will never stop needing my own parents.) But it’s different. And we, as mothers, have no choice but to accept this change as a “normal” and “healthy” part of life.

If any of you figure out how to do that, please enlighten me. Until then, I’ll be in the back of my closet.

* * * * * * * * * *

My girl’s first days …. all the way back to preschool

















* * * * * * * * * *

This post was created in response to Mamakat’s weekly writing prompt asking us to write something inspired by the word brave. I also submitted it in response to her writing prompt asking us to tell about a first day of school.


I Don't Like Mondays Blog Hop

ODNT Goes to San Francisco – Day 7


Remember how the boys in our group went to Yosemite yesterday to spend a couple of days? Well, that meant the girls were able to sleep in a little today which was nice. We woke up, had a bit of a lazy morning and finally got ourselves together to head downtown. As part of our two-day girl stint, my mom and I promised my daughter we would take her to see Brave. And a quick search with my movie app revealed it was playing at a theater a mile away in just over an hour. Perfect. We’d have plenty of time to get there.

The walk was easy. Not too many inclines. And the weather, as always, was glorious. We did experience a little delay when we got caught up in the excitement of a protest rally featuring thousands of janitors and their families waving signs and beating drums as they marched to take on the man at some unknown destination. There were cops and reporters everywhere. I considered instigating a battle cry I penned for their cause … “COMPENSATION NOW – OR SANITATION NEVER!” … but I had a movie to catch. So instead, I just walked idly by snapping pictures. (It’s apathy like mine that will ultimately lead to the country’s demise.)


Content in my indifference, we headed downtown to the Century Theatres at Westfield San Francisco Centre on Market Street, grabbing a bite on the way in at their “food court.” It was called La Boulange du Dome … so, as you can imagine, we did a little better than corn dogs and waffle fries. The movie was great, better than I expected. Strong female heroine, the new trend. And a beautiful backdrop set in the highlands of 10th century Scotland. Hats off to these animators. I felt like I was looking at photographs of the actual scenery. Oh, and I know why the movie is rated PG. (Spoiler Alert!!) There is nudity in this movie, people. Grown … male … nudity. Honestly, I’m surprised the movie isn’t giving Magic Mike a run for its money. I’ll bet more guys are naked in Brave.

And when the movie was over, my girl simply said, “Wow. I didn’t know there were going to be two major bear parts in the movie.” I think she was impressed that Pixar actually ponied up for two bear actors. But I’ll bet they had to share a trailer on the set.

We left the cinema and shopped a bit in the luxurious mall where I could barely afford to purchase a pair of socks. We spent most of our time in a little toy store playing with the hula hoops. My mom did it like a champ so my girl and I had to have a go at it, too.


I managed one … and then (pretty spastically) even two …


… so, of course, my girl had to go for three. Little show off.

We left the shopping center intent (for the second day in a row) on taking a ride on a cable car, but found a very lengthy line waiting for us again. So we passed. Again. And, instead, we walked to Chinatown. My girl loved it. I couldn’t believe how much she wanted to shop. Perhaps it was because everything cost less than $10 … and you could haggle it for less than $5.

We checked out dozens of shops and storefronts until we came upon a little massage joint where they could take only two of us. So my mom bowed out (thanks, Mom) while my girl and I went in to have our tired feet pampered. The first thing they did was have us soak our feet in a plastic bag-lined wicker basket full of tepid water. Personally, I would have preferred that it be hotter or colder than body temperature, especially in light of my girl’s next question.

“Mama, why is the water brown?”

Trying to convince both of us, I said, “It’s herbs, baby. Remember? The massage said it started with an herbal foot bath?” Which was true. So, I comforted myself into thinking we were soaking in tea. Foot tea. Foot tea made freshly for us when we walked in the door.

After about five minutes, our therapists came over. A tiny woman who couldn’t have weighed more than my girl started on her feet. I got the dude, which was fine with me because he was likely to be a little stronger, even if he did have the stature of Prince. He dried off my feet with rags that looked suitable for wiping oil off a dipstick, then he got down to business.

He spoke not a word of English so my countenance would be his guide for my tolerance of pain. Now, I love massage, especially deep tissue. When asked of my pressure preference, I always say that there is “no amount” that I will resist. And, while that’s still true, I did involuntarily flinch three times during his massage today. (What a wuss.) And it’s not like I could just tell him I was fine. So, I smiled, no doubt catatonically through the pain, as I did not want the man backing off on his efforts. When he was done, my legs and feet were jelly. The whole experience was just what I needed. Foot fungus water and all. So, we slid out of our chairs and melted down the stairs to meet up with my mom again for dinner.

We found a great place where everyone could be accommodated. And that was a tall order considering my girl and I wanted sushi for dinner… in Chinatown. My mom was the only one who actually ordered Chinese food for dinner. Our table was an Asian smorgasbord of miso soup, spring rolls, California rolls, lemon chicken, shrimp rolls, steamed rice and spicy salmon rolls. With California wine. And fortune cookies. My stomach was very confused. Happy but confused.


Anyone want to interpret my fortune for me?

Following dinner, the men in our group (Dave, my dad, my brother and my boy) came to meet us to walk the area a bit until we were all too tired and cold to stay out any more. So, everyone returned to the condo and pretty much passed out. Everyone, that is, except me. I’m like the stupid mouse in the Night before Christmas poem. The one who really should’ve stopped all that ridiculous stirring and gone the hell to bed. Stupid, stupid mouse. Go to bed!

See you tomorrow. Oh, and before I go, here’s your happy picture for the day. It’s the Sentinel Building in the heart of North Beach, the Italian part of town.


Click to read past installments of this trip journal … Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5Day 6