Thursday, March 29, 2007

Nails R' Us

Yesterday Ben and I walked up to 14th street to buy some baseball cards. It was a beautiful and unusually warm March afternoon. As we walked down Avenue A, I noted the grand opening of yet another nail salon.

How many nail salons can this neighborhood support? There must be one on every block. As a matter of fact, I live next store to one. At that particular nail salon, the nail drying machines are lined up along a bar counter at the front window. Women sit on stools and stare out at the pedestrians walking by. I can't tell you how disturbing this image is. Everyday I walk by this window and look over at the row of women - each of them daydreaming with a remote and forlorn look in their eyes. I've never seen them actually speak to each other - which I find odd. Where is Diane Arbus when you need her?!

I wish they would take their manicure money and

1. buy a book
2. buy a cd of great music
3. buy a movie ticket
4. buy a museum ticket
5. make any of the above purchases and give it to someone who can't afford them

Perhaps my reaction to nail painting is over the top. It just seems like yet another huge waste of time and money targeting women.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Beautiful Boy

About a month ago, a doctor suggested I send Ben to see a specialist about a blemish on his mid-back that seemed to be hard with the hint of something larger under it. We went to the specialist who then directed us to a surgeon. The surgeon confirmed that Ben either had a cyst or a tumor and that it needed to be removed and tested.

Until this point, Ben had never been to a hospital or emergency room other than the day he was born. He has never taken prescription drugs. He's almost nine. It never occurred to me how lucky we were.

I was with Ben during the surgical procedure - - we squeezed hands as the surgeon inserted a huge needle about three or four inches into his back (at an angle). The pain was intense followed by the anesthetic that burned until it numbed the area. I clenched his hand and stared into his eyes the whole time. He didn't cry or scream - - he sucked it up just like I have in those situations and braved it out. I saw a side of him I'd never known before. Perhaps it was new to him too. It was a trait we both share. I'm not sure what I think about that.

The biopsy report finally came through on Friday afternoon indicating no malignancy.
There are no words to describe the relief and thankfulness my husband and I feel right now. I am very aware that not all parents receive such news (as I witnessed during my first visit to the surgeon).

Of course Ben has no idea of what this week was all about. He's just indignant that the stitches across his back are preventing him from engaging in gym, recess kickball and BASEBALL. In his mind, this whole situation is an exercise in adult ineptitude. "Of course nothing is wrong with me Mommy! I could have told you without getting my back split open for crying out loud!"

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Saturday in the Park

Isn't this a cool photo? It was taken by Michael - you can see his work on One Foot in Front of the Other (check out my link list). His photos of the East Village are phenomenal! This shot is one of the many skateboarders who rule the blacktop area of Tompkins Square Park on weekend afternoons.

I spent three hours in the park yesterday quite unexpectedly. Ben's playdate managed to segue from one friend to a series of new ones. At one point an Egyptian dad was leading a pack of 7 and 8 year olds in a pick up game of soccer. It was a pleasure to watch someone so nimble and graceful with the ball.

I got to spend time with other moms who have lived here for years and who, like me, were living in very tight living quarters. It just felt so nice to be around friendly neighborhood moms. It's been a while since that's happened.

Ben couldn't have had a nicer day. And there was nowhere else I rather be. It felt good - like it was still home.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Erin Go Blaaaaahhhh.

I'm sitting here watching Visions of Ireland on WLIW Public TV. Just me and thousands of 80 year old Irish American's in the greater metro area.

Today is day four of the worst tummy virus I've had in ages. It's left me weak, depressed and extremely cranky.

Work is non stop and home life has its own worries lately.

I just want to cry.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Sleep is the New Sex

Sadly - this fact is true for many parents of children under 12.

A few weeks ago the NYTimes had an article on the "family bed" syndrome. It was such a relief for me to learn that Brian and I are not the only parents on the planet dealing with musical beds at night.

Sometimes I put Ben to bed after a long day at work. We cuddle together, I sing him a song and he falls fall asleep. Then at about 2am, I open my eyes and focus in on a fleet of WWI model airplanes. I drag myself into my bedroom where my husband (and dog) are fast asleep on our bed.

OUR BED....what does that even mean anymore!!! One day, Ben laughingly corrected me as he climbed beneath the covers and said "Mommy, it isn't YOUR bed, it's the FAMILY bed!"

The mere thought of going to sleep at 10:30 and experiencing eight solid hours of sleep ....well, it's just beyond the Holy Grail.