Rolling Stone just released its list of the top 100 singers of all time. Topping the list was none other than the Queen of Soul herself, Aretha Franklin.
Odd, I thought.
I have come across some recent stories about Ms. Franklin's criticisms of other female vocalists such as Tina Turner and Beyonce, and despite my respect for her phenomenal vocals, she's just left me with a bad taste in my mouth.
Plus, acknowledging that she is a music icon, I'm not sure I'd declare her the best ever.
This song came on the radio as I was sitting in my car at the gas station. I hadn' t heard it in a while, probably because I no longer live south of the Mason Dixon, but I remember my father telling me how much he liked it, and knowing that meant how much it made him think of my mom.
A rare admission from a salty dog.
So this little dedication is not in honor of any special anniversary, but just because.
Just because so many marriages struggle, you always make it seem so seamless.
Always a fountain of fantastic anecdotes, the sensational Stacey has given me permission to retell this classic kid tale.
The always honest Jessica and her mother were enjoying a trip to the grocery store and, though Jessica had recently taken to making her observations of others very vocal, her mother was working hard to explain the virtues of not verbalizing every thought that popped into her precocious daughter's little head.
She was working on it.
As they meandered down this aisle and that, their paths kept crossing a woman shopping in the alternative direction. In the spirit of euphemisms, the woman would most accurately be described as full in figure and dour in expression. The woman was also wearing shorts that would require the benefits of Nair.
As the mother and daughter passed the woman at each new aisle, little Jessica's eyes took in the impressive folds of the woman's physique and her mind processed what she was seeing. To be clear, the grocery store was filled with all different people of varying shapes and sizes, and so the woman's particular shape was not responsible for the little girl's captivation. It was the lack of fabric used in her choice of outfits.
After the fourth or fifth passing, little Jessica's curiosity could be quieted no more. Right as the woman pushed by their cart, Jessica turned to her mother, pointed at the shopper, and loudly questioned,
"Mommy, why are her legs so fat?" Her Mommy took a moment to grip the cart as she said a silent prayer that the woman had not heard the question. Unfortunately, the prayer was the only think that reaped the benefits of silence.
The woman slowly turned to Stacey with a look of complete disgust and anger.
"Uh, you need to teach your daughter some manners," she spat, as she spun around on her heel and stalked off. Stacey called out an apology after her, but the damage was done. She felt awful.
To make matters worse, they continued to pass the object of the offense at each new aisle. Feeling like she needed to do something, Stacey explained to Jessica why she had hurt the woman's feelings and also told her that she needed to apologize. Jessica agreed and they awaited the next aisle's opportunity.
As the woman slowly approached the pair, determined not to make eye contact, Jessica slowly walked over to her to make ammends. Stacey watched as her daughter tried to make things better.
Jessica tapped the woman's purse and, with eyes full of innocence and wonderment, said to her:
"Excuse me, big lady, I'm sorry I said you have fat legs."
The woman stared down at her, realizing how brutally honest kids can be, and whispered, "It's okay, sweetie, really."
As always, special thanks to Shirley Magilton Photography for effectively capturing the charm of our little truth teller.
A few months ago, I put up a post bemoaning the existance of a woman whom I saw driving a top-down convertible while talking on her cell phone. The thing that bothered me was the fact that she had an occupied car seat in the back of the car. The idea of the harsh, outside elements buffeting a little baby as she carelessly sped along seemed to warrant a ticket more than a cell phone conversation would.
And then there was yesterday.
Once again, I was driving home from our preschool pick up when I stopped at a light. Within moments, a minivan pulled up beside me and revealed a young mother with what appeared to be an infant carrier, correctly facing back, in the front passenger seat.
As I squinted my eyes to get a better look, hoping that a baby was actually absent from the seat, the mother slowly lowered her window.
She glanced at me.
Looked up at the light.
And lit a cigarette.
Her baby slept contentedly in the carrier.
As the light turned green, she flew off leaving me, dumbstruck, only to stare at the "Logan Soccer" stickers all over the rear window of her car.
I will say this. I rarely make comments (unless you count the comments in my head....of which there are many), but some situations warrant it, whether they'll produce results or not. Now, I do not know if this woman is a mother with a child at O's school (my shock never afforded me the time to examine the backseat....where the carrier should have been), but you can be sure I'll be on the lookout for her and her stickers. And you can also be sure I'll seriously consider saying something.
I've actually only ever done that once. I was in the parking lot of our grocery store and, as I left the store, I noticed that the minivan next to my car had a baby inside. The baby was awake, looking around, and seemingly content. I had no idea how long she'd been in there, but she was definitely alone.
I waited by the car for ten minutes, making sure the baby was okay and disbelieving that anyone would actually leave their child unattended. As each minute passed, my anger grew. Finally, a police car happened to do a drive through of the parking lot and I hailed him down.
He told me that he'd "take it from here" and got out to wait for the idiot shopper. Not being able to just leave, I pulled my car out of its spot, and parked on the other side of the lot.
Moments later, the apparent knucklehead emerged, meandering to her car with what seemed to be little concern for her baby. Upon seeing the cop, she rushed over to the car. I don't know what was said, or even why she rushed (fear of being caught or fear that something had happened to the child), but I will never forget how unconcerned she seemed until she spotted the cop.
Though I never knew the outcome, I did feel good about alerting the cop.
This recent scenario, however, is a little different. Let's pretend I do run into her again. Let's pretend I scout out her and her stickers in the parking lot.
Do I say something? Should I just keep my mouth shut on this one?
Comments will be appreciated on this one for sure.
Sometimes I feel like I am the only parent in the whole entire world not planning a trip to Disney for my family. I decided a long time ago that I wouldn't go near that place with my children until everyone was potty trained, off naps, and maybe even without the need for a stroller.
I know that will delay the vacation by at least two years, but I know myself and that's just the only way I'll manage with sanity in tact. I also want to wait until they are a little older so that they may really enjoy and remember the trillion dollar vacation we treated them to.
That being said, I was standing amidst the preschool moms, awaiting the release of the hounds, when the group was treated to a lengthy description of one family's recent trip. This was provided by the cool mom who never lets anything bother her, manages to keep her hair and clothes current, and really annoys the crap out of me. (I'm kidding about the last part....she seems nice, but I'd just like to see a wrinkly shirt every once in a while).
Anyway, in her lengthy retelling of all that they did, I can only remember one thing, as it shoocked me so much. If you are planning to rent a Disney double stroller for the day, expect to pony up.
For ONE DAY, the cost of renting a stroller (a necessity for many families who travel by plane) at Disney is: Thirty-one ridiculous dollars.
As a couple who has been together for well over a decade, there are few things left to know about my husband other than the things I'd rather not (BC= Before Christine), so aside from the occasional childhood tale that resurfaces from our distant memory, there is little left to know that can be characterized as "new".
And then there's this.
Last night, while enjoying a lovely dinner, my husband unearthed a revelation that completely caught me off guard: He's never been on a roller coaster.
How could I not know that? And then I started thinking, surely we'd been on a ride before? But, no, aside from the rinky dink wooden one in Ocean City's wonderland pier, we had never been to an amusement park as a couple.
This Division 1 baseball player had never hurled a ball at milk bottles so that I may win an egregiously large, stuffed something.
Craziness....or an unconventional idea for our next anniversary.
As I had previously posted, a rather significant construction project has been going on outside our home for the last few weeks and, as a result, my little man rarely leaves the front window.
In addition to this fascination, he has taken a real interest in books. This should come as no surprise since most toddlers begin to explore books at his age, with everything from lift-the-flaps to the old classics. What is interesting about this new fascination, however, is that he's only interested in reading three books:
Things That Go
Slide and Find: Trucks
Tractor: A John Deere book
And when I say that he is "interested" in these similarly themed books, I mean obsessed. He follows me around the house insisting, "Trucks, trucks, trucks."
It's gotten to the point that I cannot tie my own shoes (yes, I occasionally wear sneakers) without him shoving one of those books at me, and he is relentless.
Even more alarming, is his latest language burst. Up until now, he's been the typical boy in that, aside from "mama", "dada", and "woof woof", he does little else than grunt. He does not say ball, or baby, or even a full "bye bye" like many of his girlfriends do.
Instead he just says "truck", "tractor", "oh tractor", and "Uh eh cu ter", which we're pretty sure translates to "heliocopter".
Taking all of this into consideration, I can conclude two things:
1) I know exactly what Santa will be bringing my little guy.
2) For all the months I've spent caring for my little guy, I am now enjoying getting to know him.
So, we finally finished off the bag of tater tots and I made certain that my last trip to the grocery store did not include the same mistake.
In other news, I have suddenly been receiving an onslaught of emails from Jenny Craig, just checking in. Since I enlisted Jenny's help last year in shedding those final 15 pounds of baby weight, I have not received a sinlge email from her, save a friendly note around New Year's, which was certainly directed at the most common New Year's resolution.
But this is new, and almost daily. I'm not sure what to make of it, but I have drawn two possibly conclusions:
1) They are preparing people for the food orgy known as the holiday season, or
"Do not train children to learning by force and harshness, but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each."-- Plato