Tag Archives: Friendship

My Christmas Wish List

With Christmas just around the corner, my husband and my kids are wringing their hands wondering what to get mom.  I’ve put together a list to help them along:

  1.  World Peace.  Miss America asks for it every year.  Why can’t I?  In fact, let the record show that I have always been in favor of world peace.   This year, I am urging my family to “Think Globally, Act Locally” and stop bickering, in particular my two youngest.  Little steps can make a difference, especially when it comes to preserving your mother’s peace of mind.
  2. Healthy, Safe and Kind Children.  This really is my number one gift request, but I am trying to present myself as altruistic, ergo the world peace appeal.  Like all mothers, I worry constantly about my children.  This year, we experienced some minor injuries, a broken wrist for Meg (basketball) and a separated shoulder for Kerry (football).  Both kids watched their playoffs and championships from the sidelines and handled their disappointments much better than their parents did.  We must be doing something right to raise such nice children.  At the end of the day, I just want them home in bed in one piece.
  3. Jobs for my Children when they graduate.  I guess I want a little more than their health and safety.  College graduation is at least four years away for Kerry, eight years for Meg.  Given the state of the economy, we might as well put in our request now.
  4. A Full-Time Cook.  OK, now I’m showing my true lazy self.  I once worked for a woman who had household staff including one guy who did all her grocery shopping and presented her with home-cooked meals every evening.  This is my fantasy.
  5. More Sunshine.  I live in the foggiest place on earth.  I am totally against global warming, except in my neighborhood.
  6. Gentle Menopause.  The lead-up to this next life passage has left me sleepless and confused.  Enough already.
  7. A New Mini-Backpack.  Years ago, I bought a powder blue, quilted mini-backpack from Target that I have used to death.  I take it to all sporting events, on bike rides, the occasional bus excursion, and anywhere I don’t want to carry a purse, but need to have a few necessities with me.  It now looks stained and gross, but I can’t bear to part with it because I have never found another backpack like it.
  8. A Warm Bed and a Roof Overhead.  I have this, but I never take it for granted.  So many people live on the street in San Francisco.  Here’s an incredibly shameful 2011 statistic:  nearly 2,220 public school students in San Francisco are homeless, enough to fill five or six elementary schools or an entire high school.
  9. More Material for my Blog.  I started posting in July and have truly enjoyed myself.  Sometimes I run out of things to write about, but more often, I just can’t bring myself to post what’s truly on my mind for fear of alienating my family and friends.  Ironically, my daughter thinks I have no filter, but I think she has no appreciation for my quiet tact.

Thank you to everyone for reading my blog and sticking with me.  I plan to keep blogging in 2012.  I hope Santa is good to you and your family this Christmas.  I wish you peace and health and safety and kindness in the coming year.  Love to all.

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Emergency Appreciation

Yesterday, my 13-year-old daughter, Meg, broke her wrist in two places.  Ouch!  She was playing basketball during PE at school and went to block a shot.  She fell back onto her left wrist, instantly turning it into a lumpy mass.

I got the call from her school around 2:15 p.m. to come and attend to her.  Fortunately, I live close by so Meg didn’t have to wait long for me to get there.   The principal and school secretary were huddled over Meg comforting her as she tried to contain her agony.  She thought she did a really good job, but I knew otherwise.

Once Meg settled into the car, she screamed for a solid 30 minutes while I drove through stop and go traffic, missing every traffic light, to finally arrive at the doctor’s office across town.

Meg with cast

Meg with cast

Meg’s doctor saw her immediately, splinted her wrist and sent us across the street for X-rays.  Even though I had given her four Ibuprofen, Meg’s pain continued unabated.  Soon, the X-ray results showed why.  Her wrist was broken in two places and “angulated,” which meant it needed to be manipulated back into place.  We had no choice but to check into the Emergency Room (ER).  Poor Meg!

The ER docs and nurses evaluated Meg, and determined that an orthopedic doctor was needed.  We were advised to sit tight for two more hours and the orthopedic would be on his way.  In the meantime, my daughter anguished.  I asked for more pain relief, which the ER staff duly provided.  This finally quieted Meg down.

Around 7 p.m., the orthopedic doctor arrived.  I felt hungry and tired and more than impatient, and was prepared to dislike this late arrival.  Instead, the new doctor charmed my husband and me and completely disarmed my daughter’s fears with his friendly and outgoing demeanor.

I sang softly to Meg one of her favorite lullabies as the orthopedic prepared to numb Meg’s wrist in preparation for the “reduction” or correction of her fracture.  The doctor complimented me on my ability to keep Meg calm, which led me to ask him if he had any children.

“Yes, three under the age of seven, “ he answered.   “One of them is sick right now, so I know how hard it can be to take care of them.”

I asked him what his child was sick with, expecting him to say the flu.  Instead he answered, “Brain tumor,” and instantly I sensed he regretted sharing this with me.

“Oh, I’m so sorry,” I said.  I looked across the room at my husband and felt incredibly sad.  The doctor thanked me and moved on, refocusing on my daughter’s  needs.

I did too, but said a silent prayer that Meg had only endured a broken wrist that would mend soon enough.

After about four hours in the ER, Meg was finally released.  She continued to feel scared and uncertain, but was comforted by a stream of messages on her phone and on her Facebook wall from classmates and friends wishing her a speedy recovery.

My husband nicknamed Meg “Sweet Pea” because she truly has the sweetest of dispositions.  She also possesses a remarkable understanding and appreciation for the important things in life, family and friendships and honesty and loyalty.

Right before bed, Meg outlined her numerous concerns and anxieties over her injury, but then concluded by telling me how lucky she felt to have so many people in her life that cared about her.

I agreed and said another prayer of thanks for a healthy daughter, loving and caring family and friends, good health insurance and excellent medical care.   May we all be so blessed.


Old Friends

Last week, I took a walk in the fog on my blog.  To be truthful, I do enjoy my walk, but I really didn’t like my post.   It had good descriptive qualities, but it lacked honesty.  I appreciated the positive feedback I received, but I felt unsettled.

Then, I received an e-mail from Sarah, one of my oldest friends, (not age, mind you, but length of friendship.)  “Wow,” she wrote, “I want to go for a long walk on the beach and talk to the birds…and you, of course.”  Boom!   Nothing like an old, true friend bringing me down to earth.  I laughed so hard I cried.

Some of my old friends

Some of my old friends

You see, I wrote about the birds and the names of the avenues and the surfers out of obligation.  Don’t get me wrong.  These are all things worth noticing.  I know this because I’ve read many books on writing that tell me I should notice everything and be specific as possible.  Therefore, I included an explanation and some thoughts on the endangered snowy plover.

But how much do I really think about the snowy plover on my walk?  When I have to meet my self-imposed blogging deadline, the snowy plover takes on a sense of urgency.  Otherwise, I barely notice any birds other than to duck and cover when they fly by in packs.

Most of the time, I walk with my friend Janet who I’ve known since the third grade and doesn’t want to be mentioned in my blog.  Suffice to say, we yack the entire four miles and by the time we’re done, I’ve barely noticed that time has elapsed let alone the snowy plover and the surfers.

This brings me back to Sarah.  Sarah and I were born around the same time and shared space in the nursery at St. Mary’s Hospital.  Although our parents knew each other, we did not become acquainted until we were 13.  We’re almost 52 so we’ve known each other well for almost 40 years.

I don’t get to see Sarah as often as I’d like as she lives two hours away.   It doesn’t matter.  When I see her, we pick up where we left off and she dishes me in a way that only someone who has known me for 40 years can do, ribbing me in her e-mail about a previous walk we shared on the Santa Cruz beach where I donned a blue terrycloth jogging suit that I accessorized with penny loafers and an Italian satchel draped across my body.  Of course, I give it right back to her, but her wit often trumps mine.

I feel very lucky to have a good number of old friends.  Although I’ve grown up in a large city, I’ve lived in a small community where so many of my schoolmates still reside.  I went to college across the Bay and made new friends who, because of my advanced age, are my old friends now.  And I treasure them.

Old friends sparkle like diamonds.  They light up the room in a party and I am immediately drawn to them.  My old friends absolutely judge me and tell me what they think to my face.   We celebrate milestones together because we’re roughly the same age.   I don’t have to explain that I am the youngest of six children; they know the names of my brothers and sisters, my parents, my late aunt Margie, my husband and my children.  They know that I don’t like vegetables and that a long time ago, I drank like a fish.  They get my humor and I relish theirs.

As I said before, I feel very lucky.  I have new friends, too, folks that I have known only 15 or 20 years and or maybe just 15 or 20 months.  I love them dearly, but they really only know the “adult” Nancy and sometimes, I just want to go back to that time when I was young and didn’t have a care in the world.

When my mother turned 70, my sister threw my mom a birthday party and invited all of her old girlfriends.  I remember my mom being asked how she felt now that she had reached 70 years of age.  She answered, “I feel like I just turned 13.”

Why wouldn’t she?  She was celebrating her birthday with her old friends.


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