Wednesday, March 26, 2008


For the last 5 days or so, we've been getting crazy weather. I mean crazy, even by England's standards, and that is bad. We've been waking up to a glittery white world every day---3 inches of snow. By early afternoon it is melted and the sun is shining, and by 6 or 7 pm it is snowing again. Weird sideways snow and we wake up the next day again to a winter wonderland and start all over.

To say that Caroline is enjoying this weather would be an understatement.
And this morning? This morning I'm walking Caroline to her bus stop and she's picking up chunks of snow and tossing them at trees and walls and whatever else looks like it could take a good pummeling. Apparently, my head looks like that too because when I'd stopped paying attention I suddenly felt a hard thwomp! I turned around to warn her only to see her standing there staring intently at the very snowball she'd lobbed at me, which had hit my head with the force of a cannonball and then fallen to the ground, completely unbroken.

The way she was staring at this snowball I can only describe as pure unadulterated delight, as if she's just discovered the secret that will literally change the world. And then she shouts,

"Mommeeee!! Did you SEE that?? Look, Mom! RE-USABLE SNOWBALLS!"


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Caroline, The New Generation

A favorite from December:

So while I try to instill sense and responsibility into Caroline, I also think it equally important that Caroline has a good sense of whimsy and fantasy and I try to ensure she gets a good dose of that too. Sometimes I wonder if I'm failing. The conversation this morning as the snow is falling, the tree lights are twinkling and we hear the church bells down the street pealing gleefully and loudly:

"Caroline! Do you hear the Christmas bells? Aren't they beautiful?"

"Mmm--hmm, they're pretty!"

"Did you know that every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings?"

A slightly worried look crosses her face..

"Um...Mom...when the bells ring, it usually just means some activities are going on at the church."

...and she nods her head solemnly, as if it hurts her to break such news to me.



Thursday, March 20, 2008

Dignity? Who needs it!

Today you made yourself a hat in school. Well, let me clarify: it's a paper bowl, the Dixie kind used at picnics for ice cream. You decorated it with pictures and scribbles of all colors before you upturned it and proudly put it on your head. That you were the only one in the class to do this didn't faze you at all and you were proud to show it to me when I came to pick you up.

10 minutes after school was out and we were headed home, you were in the back of the car, wearing a paper bowl on your head and singing "I Love Rock -n- Roll" along with Joan Jett at the top of your lungs.

Caroline, you could not be cuter if you tried.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Old stuff

Ok, this one is not new, and lots of you will have seen it already, but some of you will not have, and I wanted to add it to the record before I forget. ;o)



"You know my friend, McKenzie?"


"Well, she's just moving on the base and there's something I really need to discuss with you."


"Ok, I'm listening."

"Ok, well McKenzie doesn't exactly know her way home yet, but I do because she lives by Riley and I know the way to Riley's house from school."


"Well, on the days when McKenzie is supposed to walk home and she's afraid to because she can't remember the way, I think I should walk her home, ok?"

"That's nice of you, but you'd miss your own bus and then how would YOU get home?"

"Well, I've got that covered, Mom. See, I'll miss my bus and walk her home, and then when I get there, I'll just call you on that cell phone you're going to give me and you can come pick me up."

"Well, again, that's really noble of you, but I think that McKenzie's mom can walk her home on those days when McKenzie is feeling insecure. And I think six is a bit too young for your own cell phone."

doesn't miss a beat...

"Seven, then?"



"Maybe thirteen."

"Oh, maaaaaaan!"


Saturday, March 15, 2008

How about Tagalog?

I was on the computer last night checking the grades from my latest essays, when Caroline popped up with, "Mommy, why aren't you learning a language in school?"

"I did, honey. I took German."

"Why don't you learn another one then?"

"Because I've got other classes I need to do and I can't."

"What about Spanish?"




(long pause)



Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Whimsy fantastic

Caroline, over the last few days, Daddy and I have watched with absolute fascination while you take your imagination and run with it.

Two days ago you drew a picture that you call "Squadron of Unicorns" ----a picture of a lot of flying unicorns (who strongly resemble dinosaurs) with everyone you love on the back of one. There are mountains underneath us as we all fly, and on the lead unicorn? You, wearing a crown. It's brilliant! I want to frame it.

And yesterday, you ran around the house making whale songs and insisting that you were a baby Beluga, a claim that you still stand by this morning.

Enjoy your Beluga food at school today, Baby Beluga.
Daddy and I really love you.


Monday, March 10, 2008

Probably not as much as the pig who provided the chops...


"Mommy, what are we having for dinner?"

"Rosemary rice and pork chops."

"Rosemary rice!"

"Yes, rosemary rice."

She walks away looking thoughtful. "I wonder what Rosemary will have to say about this..."


Saturday, March 8, 2008

Because this is what Grandma wants to hear....

Tonight, while I was talking to my mother on the phone, Caroline wanted to talk to her grandma too. So I handed the phone over and sat back to let Caroline have a chance to tell grandma all about her exciting week. Because of course, she would have lots to say regarding protests and trees and solving the problems of the world and all that, right? Right.

Mom: Hi Caroline! I'm excited to hear about your week, so tell me what you've been up to! How are you doing?

Caroline, very dryly: Well, my lungs and nose are FULL of mucus.

And that, unfortunately, was when mom's phone lost contact with the cell tower.


Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Small Warrior

Read here for background before proceeding.

Ok, I have to admit, I had my doubts as to whether you'd do it, Caroline. When you told me you'd go out and protest today, and made your poster, I really thought that while I was incredibly proud, that in the end, when faced with actually standing up and doing it, you might be too shy. I didn't say anything because I wanted it to be, like it started, all you. Your choice.

But you? You grabbed that big green poster in your still-dimpled, tiny hands and marched your little self across that playground so fast that I, chatting with your teacher, didn't even realize you'd gone. And you stood there by yourself at the top of the hill, holding up that sign, silent and firm. And for a second or two, when I saw you, I could only stand there and look up at you, in awe of your determination and strength.

After a few minutes, a few of your friends came and joined you, and then a few more. A few left after only a few minutes, but a faithful few stayed behind and stood side by side with you.
Not wanting to influence you at all, I snapped a few pictures and then stood far away so that neither you nor your friends or teacher could see me, or the tears in my eyes. But I saw you.

Now, with your wonderful teacher's support and pride in all of you, your class is fired up. Your teacher is, as we speak, laminating all the posters your class made today to tie up to the fence tomorrow morning, and you and your friends will be making an announcement regarding environmental activism in the morning for the whole school on the inter-class radio.

With Love, Mom

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

You are just amazing, Caroline.

Dear Caroline,

For the last few weeks you have been coming home and telling me about the forest just behind your school playground and about how currently it is being chopped down. You don't know why it's being chopped down, but you do know it upsets you. You have said this to me many times and very expressively. You have explained to me that those "chopper men" are "destroying our trees and air". And you have announced to me today that you will make a poster, gather your friends at lunch tomorrow, stand at the fence and hold your poster up to the chopper men and "protest".

Why those men are chopping down those trees, I couldn't say. It might be absolutely necessary, and it is likely that you holding up your little sign will be completely ignored by those men. It is also not inconceivable that some of the adults in your school will tell you to stop and go away and not rock the boat.

It doesn't matter.

You are using, for the first time, your right to protest and speak up. You will learn over time which battles are worth fighting and you will learn the right way to go about fighting them. You will learn that what works for one situation may not work for another. But for now, you are bravely standing up for what means something to you and you are not afraid.

I am proud of you. Proud that you are concerned about your world and the people who share it with you. You like your fairytales and play like any other kid, but they obviously don't rule you, and your worldview is very wide. I didn't provoke this or encourage you to do it---I can take no credit--you have decided on this action yourself. Where you got the idea, I don't know, and what makes you so sensitive to what is going on around you, I don't know either. But I am bursting inside to have such an aware, courageous, action-oriented human being in my life. I stand in awe of your fire and world-patriotism.

No matter what happens tomorrow, I'm rooting for you and your burgeoning spirit and responsible citizenship. I love you so much and I am so blessed to know you.


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Too Much "Grinch"

Today in the car, the song "Mr. Sandman", by The Chordettes was playing on the radio. I was enjoying this blast from the old past when Caroline pops up with,

"Hey! Who is that singing? They sound like the Who's!"


Sunday, March 2, 2008

One of life's mysteries...

I heard "Seasons In The Sun" by Terry Jacks awhile back and it's stuck in my head. You know it.....

Good bye my friends
It's time to die
With all the birds singing in the sky...

..We had joy, we had fun
we had seasons in the sun...

...and blah blah blah...

So I'm walking around while getting ready this morning and singing it. Caroline comes up to me and says,

"Mommy, do you know why that song bothers me?"

"No, why?"

"If he's really about to die, then why's he singing so long?"


Saturday, March 1, 2008

Thank God she's smart enough to read the dosage directions too.

I was making breakfast when Caroline decides to just help herself to her Flinstone vitamins. She beebops right up to the counter, takes the bottle down and opens it like there's nothing to it.

"Caroline, that has a child-proof cap on it for a reason. You can't just open it up whenever you want to. I'm supposed to open it for you."

(without missing a beat)

"Well, then they shouldn't have put the directions on how to open it right on the lid, should they?"



Not because they have orange or purple heads?

I'm cleaning the shower today when Caroline walks in, and out of the blue says,

"Mommy, do you know what it is about the Muppets that scares me?"


"They don't blink."


"At all. Have you ever noticed?!"