Friday, July 30, 2010

Paper or plastic?

Paper, please . . . but not for environmental reasons. The smell of a paper grocery bag takes me back about thirty years. Suddenly, I am following my beloved grandfather out of his screened kitchen door. It squeaks and taps shut. We cross the pea gravel driveway into his vegetable garden. He picks okra, tomatoes, squash. I walk behind, dutifully carrying the paper grocery bag. He turns and drops the veggies in, one by one. He points to the ones that aren't ready to be picked yet, telling me that they are too small or too green. We will wait a day or two for them. We share a silly joke and weave up and down the rows. The sun beats down on my yellow head, and I shake the dirt from inside my sandals. Then we turn and head back into the house.

My grandfather just passed away in January, and I find myself stopping to inhale and ruminate every time I hold a paper bag.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Who's the boss?

As the summer draws to a close, it occurs to me that my son is actually starting preschool. This is not just Mother's Morning Out. It is actual preschool, and we have to buy school supplies! How exciting! It makes me wonder where the last two and a half years have gone. Time flies when you are happy. How disappointed would I have been to work 50 hour weeks (or more) during this precious time when he was little? September will mark three years since I left my job as an attorney. I am thankful beyond words for the time I have had at home with my son. Having begun to pursue my writing career has also made me begin to feel more complete as a human being. I have no doubt that I am finally doing what I am supposed to do with my life. Are you? What are your dreams?

In these uncertain economic times, the only "safe" option is working for yourself. Do what you WANT to do, and follow your dreams. Why spend your life working for someone else, helping them to become richer, when they could fire you in the blink of an eye? Is that stability? No, I submit that it is not. Be in charge of your own destiny. Take your own life into your hands, and don't depend on your boss to be there next month when you have to make your mortgage payment.

It's life. Go out there and do it.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


I'm on Twitter now! You can follow me @PerrinCConrad

I was reluctant at first. I didn't really understand the concept of "tweeting." But now that I have been introduced to it, I submit that this may be *better* than facebook. Why? Because of its brevity. It's brilliant. I don't spend hours and hours looking at pictures of people's children's birthday parties or trips to Disney. 140 characters. That's all you get. If you can't say it in 140 characters or less, you're out of luck. Love it, love it, love it. If you haven't tried Twitter, give it a whirl.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Fanning the Flames

Yesterday, young Sam and I went to the Fire Museum with a friend of mine from high school and her two children. Using a stroller would be almost cruel in such a place, but Sam is only two, so how to control him? I decided to use the little puppy dog "leash" that we have for him so he could determine where we walked, but I would be able to yank him back from any potential danger. Needless to say, Sam was extremely excited to see all the old-timey fire trucks. When we walked in, he splayed his arms out in front of himself and made some noises I have never heard before. Of particular interest was the simulator, where you can "drive" the fire truck. Siren wailing, lights flashing, horn blowing, flipping every switch and pushing every button, he navigated the streets being projected on the inside of the windshield.

Meanwhile, my friend's three year old son had flashbacks from his last trip to the Fire Museum . . . he was frightened by the movie of a real fire that is shown in the small theater. He stood in the gift shop and cried almost the entire time.

The longer we were in the museum, the more keyed-up my son got. Before long, he darted away from me and was running around the perimeter of the place with his puppy dog leash trailing like a tail. I was chasing behind him in a most undignified manner. And the well-behaved group of children in their matching t-shirts from the North Charleston Rec Department looked on in shocked interest. You'd think they'd never seen a two year old on a leash before, gee whiz. Oh, I do enjoy being a spectacle. Not.

Sam was rounded up with the help of my friend, her six year old daughter, and the three year old, who had momentarily stopped crying. My son then scaled a platform under the auspices of going down a slide, with the help of the six year old. But once at the top, his true intentions became apparent. He snubbed the slide and tried to slide down the fireman pole (with me yelling for him to stop, once again, a spectacle) but was caught by the "tail" by my friend's helpful six year old who was trying to save his life. He dangled in the air for a moment with the leash suspending him in a fashion which I am sure was contrary to its design, and another mother who happened to be standing at the bottom lifted him down. Where was I during all this? First, I was running up the stairs to stop him from jumping, then I was running back down to catch him. Successful at neither. Leash and child back in hand, I walked toward the gift shop. Sam got himself tangled around my legs, just like a dog. My friend gestured toward her three year old, who had turned on the waterworks again. She said, "We can go anytime you're ready." "Yeah," I replied, "Let's go now."

No return trip to the Fire Museum is currently planned.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Random Compliment

This morning, I went into my 2 year old's room to get him up and dressed. Suddenly, he put his index finger on one side of his chin and said, "Mommy, I was finking . . ."
"Yes?" I asked, intrigued.
Then he put his finger up on one of my eyebrows and said, "Ya eyebwows wook weally gweat!"
This is good news, since I don't do a thing with them. I thanked him enthusiastically for the random compliment, and started my day with a smile and a warm, fuzzy feeling.

Go pay someone a random compliment today. You just might turn their day around.