Writing.

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“Are you done yet, Mom? You said we will watch a movie together.”

Her son is sitting, waiting patiently.

Her face is aglow from the light of the computer.

“One minute. I just need to edit this. Make sure it makes sense. I’ve got to include all the important details,” she responds, not looking his way. “It really has surprised me how much time it takes to write one piece,” she adds, to herself.

But, then.

Finally.

She’s finished.

“Movie?” she questions.

“Yeah. But hold on. I am working on something,”  her son answers.

His eyes are focused on his laptop’s screen.

“Okay. Let me know when you are ready.”

She looks back at the desktop computer.

Opens her post.

Re-reads it for any errors.

Makes sure it’s coherent.

She finds a flaw.

Or two.

A misspelled word.

A sentence that needs a pronoun.

“Mom? I’m ready,” her son says.

“One minute. I just need to edit this,” she mumbles.

People In Review

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People who are different, live a different way, are usually people misunderstood.
Misunderstood by the uninformed.

The uninformed feel they need to do something.
Anything.
To help the misunderstood see the light.
Whatever the light is.
To change their way.
To live.
Normally.
Like the uninformed do.

Yet, if the uninformed were to take a step.
To become informed.
The misunderstood would no longer be misunderstood, but rather interesting.
In a unique way.
A different way.
A good way.

People should live the way each chooses.
Whatever makes them happy.
As long as it’s not harmful to others.

In turn, maybe the world would live in harmony.
Maybe.

#instyle

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAHave you ever wondered where you get your sense of style from and why you choose to dress the way you do? As of today, after reading a piece – Women & Clothes. Discuss. – in September’s issue of Glamour, I found myself considering my own personal style.

Suddenly my thoughts raced back in time.

In my mind’s image, I see four young kids. Me, the only girl, and three of my brothers, two older and one younger, looking like quadruplets. Each of us had some version of long, blond hair, angular faces and blue eyes. But the best part of that image is that the four of us were wearing blue jeans and white t-shirts.

As that youthful tomboy, I wasn’t thinking about style. I just wanted something to wear that was functional while I crawled in the dirt, navigating my way through nature-made tunnels in the local park. Or, when, on hot summer days, I’d drop down onto my hands and knees, dirtying my clothes, when inspecting trapdoor spiders.

Without realizing it then or for many years thereafter, it was those no-nonsense blue jean days that had determined the way I choose to dress.

When I became a mom and started dressing Liz, my daughter, I began incorporating the concept of layering cotton shirts and blouses, not only for her, but for myself also, giving our outfits a more creative look. While she was dressed up in layers of colorful concoctions mixed with her personal style of pretty headbands and interesting necklaces, I preferred, and still do, simple layering of two or three different pieces of clothing over my jeans. Different colors. Different prints. As Liz grew, adapting her own style, she too maintained the layered look, only she preferred to add a touch of interest by using unique accessories and standout stylish shoes.

The clothing I wear, the clothing we all wear, tells our story. Mine is that I am a simple person, a person who lives one day at a time, not taking anything for granted, instead living, as best as I can, a positive, carefree, no-nonsense life style.

And so it is, today, the here and now, that when asked where I get my style from, not only does it come from my youth, being a tomboy, from the simplistic look of jeans and a t-shirt, but I also look to Liz, who has perfected a style that I adore, a style that is all the rage, a style I will continue to wear regardless of a season’s must-do, or don’t.

an unexpected date

IMG_4835Well now, so it seems, I have a date this evening, with Rudy. We’re not dressing up, nor do we have reservations anywhere fancy-shmancy. Nope, just us, me and him. Here. At home. Watching a movie. Eating pizza.

Here’s the thing.

Rudy and I don’t date. Not really. We both get caught up in everyday life and tend to take our relationship for granted. The fact that we are here. In this house. Together. Every day. All the time. And presumably always will be. Has become second nature that sometimes we forget the importance of relating as a couple because we are so accustomed to simply living as two people sharing a life and a home together. As roommates might.

So, when Rudy sauntered into the room and asked me if I’d like to spend the evening with him I couldn’t resist the feeling of traveling back in time, when we were young and held the world in our hands. Without constraints or obstacles. During a time when a date was the most important thing we could do. To draw us closer. To bound us as one. So that we could fall in love. And feel happy.

A Boy. A Teen. A Birthday.

IMG_3021Those of you with teens know how it is, people exclaiming how hard life must be raising a kid within the realm of disobedience, rebellion, and all together a know-it-all attitude. A kid who doesn’t care about much, except themselves.

Well, I am here to say: Not in my household, not with my kid.

(Ok, ok, I admit nobody is perfect, there are days…… but today’s writing isn’t about that.)

Because today I celebrate Bradford Ramon Antonio. Today, he turns 15 years old.

Brad defies the term of what many people describe a teenager to be.

He is very conscientious, well-mannered, respectful, helpful, polite, inquisitive, and very aware. He’s a conversationalist, open to any discussion. Brad talks about his day, his life, his dreams, desires, and overall hopes about not only his future but the future of our world.

I am his mom.

And I am here to report.

Brad isn’t simply a teenager. He’s much more than that. His voice is as valid as mine. His perspective on life is his own. And like any teen, he simply wants respect, to feel valued and heard. To know that he is surrounded by love. Love of family, friends, and a joyful life. He wants to believe that when he falls there will always be someone to help him up.

Brad is a boy. Mentally and physically working his way through his teen years. Learning. Trying. Expressing. Enjoying. Succeeding.

And so today, today is the day, to say,

Happy Birthday, to the one and only, Bradford Ramon Antonio!

gone are the days

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Long ago, way before kids entered my world, before I became a mom, I actually drank.

Beer.

Cocktails.

You know, that kind of antidote.

Enough so that I got drunk.

Fun drunk.

Talkative drunk.

Wobbly drunk.

Dumb drunk.

And even sometimes what-the-heck-did-I-do drunk.

Oh, boy, were those the days. I actually knew how to salsa on those drink-filled nights.

Rudy would take me into towns were the music blared and the people laughed.

Talking wasn’t necessary, only the gyrating movements of our bodies.

I’d grasp my hair, pulling it up off my sweating shoulders, slow my pace, rock my hips to and fro, if only for a moment, so that I could take a swig of the drink that was passed my way.

Long Island Iced Tea.

Later, we’d come home, and fall face first onto the bed.

Carefree.

Wild.

And young.

 

 

tea and toast

IMG_4756When I was younger, I remember whenever I didn’t feel well, was sick in bed without the want to get up, with the blankets wrapped tightly around my sore noggin, and generally lacking the desire to eat, my mom, and sometimes my sister, would offer me a cup of hot tea and some buttered toast to soothe and nourish my aches and pains.

I loved those moments. Well, yeah, sans the sick part, of course, but everything about the love that came with the tea and toast. A gesture that held an abundance of meaning. One that I carried with me throughout my days, held onto to it, knowing that some day I’d get the chance to Pay It Forward.

One day Rudy and I met. A month or so later we were dating, in a very serious way. Within weeks, he was uncharacteristically ill. He had called me to say he wouldn’t be able to go out that evening. I told him I’d be right over. I found him stretched out on the couch he shared with his roommates. His dark-skinned cheeks were blushing from a fever. And he had no energy to move. I watered down a wash cloth with cold water, folded it onto his forehead, cooled him down.

And then. I made him a cup of tea and a slice of buttered toast.

He didn’t drink or eat my offerings, only because he really just wanted to sleep. And sleep he did. I waited until he woke again then made a fresh cup of tea and a new slice of buttered toast. “Thanks,” he whispered, his voice sounding hoarse.

Years later, when I was feeling out-of-sorts, Rudy walked into the bedroom, bringing in a cup of tea and buttered toast. “Paying it Forward,” he smiled.