Small Moment

As I drove Leo to school today, my mind was chock-full of the usual stuff: reviewing the day’s schedule, trying to remember that thing I was supposed to add to the grocery list, worrying about the boys’ missing assignments, making a mental note to bug the refrigerator repair guy again, deciding if I have time to fill in for a play chaperone this afternoon, and feeling baffled that another month is nearly over.

Then I glanced at Leo sitting in the back seat and, like a kid giving a speech who has a notecard that says “smile” on it, I asked, “What’s one thing you’re looking forward to today?”

“That it’s one day closer to Halloween,” he said. He paused. “And also, I have fruit snacks for a lunch treat and a Clif bar for snack time.”

For a minute my mind stopped spinning. The world stopped spinning. I forgot all those things I was worrying about and remembered what the most important thing in the world is.

The most important thing is that Halloween is 4 school days away and 6 days in total, but really 5 because as soon as you wake up on Halloween it’s Halloween, and you don’t have to wait a 6th day. Or so I’ve been told.

And also, today there will be fruit snacks.


Breaded rockfish
Butternut squash ravioli
Green beans with dill
Cream puffs

Baby’s First Homecoming

Vincenzo went to homecoming, which is crazy, because I still have my own homecoming dress hanging in my closet, so mine couldn’t have been that long ago. And yet!


(Doesn’t this picture have an album-cover feel? Just add guitars!)

He went with a unique group of individuals, and I absolutely love that they didn’t look like any of the other homecoming groups.


They only lasted 30 minutes at the Covid-safe “festival,” as the two bowls of chips, one game of Mario Cart, and single beach ball didn’t have much staying power.


(This one feels more High School Musical.)

Then their dinner plan fell apart and they ended up at QFC, browsing the deli for homecoming dinner.


(A sweet Breakfast Club vibe here.)

So we picked them all up and brought them to our house, where we ordered Thai food and they spent the rest of the evening baking cookies, playing Overcooked, and wrestling each other in the basement.


It was a one-of-a-kind homecoming  experience, which makes sense for this group of originals.


I’m so happy these guys have each other to go through school with. Lucky them!

Italian wedding soup
Garlic broccoli
Sugar cookies

Sweet 16

Guess who turned Sweet 16?


Good guess!

I tried to embarrass him with the sign but he just looked out the window when he got up and said, “Cool sign!”


For his party we took his friends to play whirlyball, which is a combo of bumper cars, trackball, and basketball. The place was awesome! It had a roller rink feel and smelled just like 1984—popcorn, carpet, and fluorescent lights.


The only difference was that instead of standing around comparing their stone washed jeans and talking about Corey Haim, they all stood around and did this.


After they got their fill of whirlyball and curly fries (so many curly fries, so many, many curly fries) we went back to the house for pizza, and then the kids started spontaneously leg wrestling.


And then arm wrestling.


And then boxing.


And then someone claimed he was 5’8 and no one believed him so they all took their turns at the growth charts.


Then they wanted to go to the elementary school to play soccer in the dark, and at this point it was clear the adults were not in control and had to do whatever they said so we drove them down and Kevin stayed there in the cold, contemplating the decisions in life had led him to this moment. For three hours.

It was one wild and crazy party. Since then, half the group has bought boxing gloves and I heard them reminding each other to bring them to homecoming. And this is my quiet kid. These are the quiet friends! I can’t even think what Rocco’s 16th birthday is going to be like!

That was all a couple weeks ago, and I’ve had some time to reflect on the whole thing. So honestly, how was it, hosting a group of high schoolers for my kid’s 16th birthday?

It was a piece of cake.


One big, messy piece of cake that just might set the house on fire.


Happy 16th birthday, Sweet Baby D!

Costco pizza!

Waiting for the Thaw

I was doing all great and was super happy and even had a blog post drafted about how I’ve finally unlocked the secret to happiness, but then I got some tough critique and now everything is hard and upsetting again. I am fighting the instinct to nudge my latest batch of stories out of the nest, like a mother bird who knows her chick isn’t going to survive.

I’ve been through it enough times now to know it will pass and not to buy any shoes until it does because I shouldn’t make any major decisions right now. I will not say, This is too hard. I quit! until after the emotions pass. (Okay, I’ll say it. But I’ll try not to believe it.)

This is the point in my wallowings at which I show my blog draft to Kevin and he says, “You also shouldn’t publish any blog posts until the emotions pass.”


I’m not depressed, just frozen up. The sun will come out and I’ll thaw, and the fact that I know that shows I’m fine. I really am. I’m good!

In fact, coincidentally (or not), as I write this last sentence, the sun actually did come out, and also coincidentally (or not), as I write this last sentence, I realize I’m still writing. I can’t be all that frozen up.

Plus, it’s Friday, and I hear Nordstrom is having a shoe sale. So…

Spaghetti squash tacos
Quesadillas (for dissenters)
Roasted broccoli
Boston cream pie