Thursday, March 30, 2006

The Zen of Ben

March 30th - Today is Benjamin's birthday. He's officially eight beautiful years old.

I love his birthday. I remember the actual day so clearly. Wondering when I'd know for sure when it was time to go to the hospital and remembering my doctor saying "you'll know - because you won't ask me - you'll tell me." oh...was she right on that count!

The labor, the hard labor, the pushing. Feeling a bit terrified by the intensity and nature of this strange new pain. Knowing there was nowhere to hide and realizing that accepting the pain as part of the process was the answer - not wasting all my energy on resisting nature taking its course.

Since those beginning moments Ben has taught me so much about life. Parenting constantly demands that we confront ourselves. At the same time it gives us the best reason in the world to keep growing into the person our child inspires us to be. It reminds us (gently and sometimes not so gently) to live in the here and now. And that nothing is more important than love and communion between people.

I love this picture of Ben and me. He's my son but in many ways he's my sun. And here he is eclipsing me with his optimism, his humor, his kindness and unending curiousity about the world.

I'm blessed to bask in the shadow of his beautiful shimmering soul.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Ye Same Olde Story

Here I am in Colonial Williamsburg.

This is my maiden voyage into colonial reenactment communities and I'm kind of digging it.
These costumed people really know their history.

I can tell that most people feel a bit awkward talking to someone who is trying to convince you that it's 1774 and that we're sitting in a major national hub. But not me. I walk right into it with my eyes wide open. I suspend disbelief faster than most people can snap their fingers.

All my life I've suffered from what I call my "Diane Arbus" condition. I can plug into just about any world someone is in as long as I can make that connection between me and that person. The more I connect the less and less anything else matters. It can be a transexual,an Amish person, or bus driver or even a transexual Amish busdriver (well, former Amish) - - if they've got something to share that hits me...well, I'm there.

It's not good or bad. Wise or stupid. It's just a way of being.

But it can be a drag for friends and loved ones who want to high tail it out of ye old furniture makers shop while I'm sitting there asking the colonial dude twenty questions.

Spring in the South is hard to beat, folks!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Let the Festival Begin!

Yes, it's that time of year again.

Spring will soon be here and so will Benjamin's 8th birthday.

Since we celebrate it so many times, I've decided to reclassify this event as a festival rather than a birthday. This holiday is far more than a one day occurance. It usually spans out over two weeks.

The kickoff event took place today. Ben's daddy and I took him up to Barnard together with seven of his good friends. There they spent an hour with the fantastic dancer Mary Cochran (formerly with Paul Taylor Dance Company and Chair of the Barnard Dance Department). She's beyond cool.

She rounded up this rowdy bunch of no-necks and had them running, jumping, leaning, twisting, hopping, sliding for sixty minutes straight. It was amazing to see them in action under her guidance.

Afterwards we all went to V&T on Amsterdam across the street from St. John the Divine for pizza, soft drinks and birthday brownies. Party bags were distributed and all went home with smiles, tired muscles and full bellies. Isn't that a lovely state to be in? Every child deserves moments like that in their life.

Gottta go. It's time to do a full inventory of gifts received.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Erin Go Bragh

Happy Saint Patrick's Day everyone!

Today is one of my most favorite holidays of the year.

I love, love, love the St. Patrick's Day Parade and sadly this is the first time in ten years that I won't be marching in it with my friends from Fordham.

It's okay though - because it's a beautiful sunny day!!

Go out and enjoy :)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Spread Those Legs Girls!

I just returned from another trip to Boston/Cambridge. There are so many emotional ties there that it always takes a day to get used to the place. It's a home to me almost as much as New York is.

So what does my trip have to do with the preceding headline?

I'll tell you what. There is no getting away from women being crushed in their own seats on the subway - be it New York or Boston.

Why do men have to sit with their legs so far apart that you'd think they're about to enter the final stages of labor?

Meanwhile, women like me are forced to press our legs together and frequently even curl our shoulders for the duration of our commute as the men we are wedged between are essentially spread-eagle in their seats.

Are their genitals that sensitive to any type of pressure? If so, how the hell do they survive horseback riding, spinning classes or sex? Or is it more a question of territory? Should I be grateful that they don't unzip and urinate around their seats to mark their space?

Please explain.