Friday, October 31, 2008

halloween #2

with the clock striking
12:01 am
and november 1st
staring me in the face
and the kids finally quieted
in their beds
halloween (#2)
draws to a close.

that freshly carved jack-o-lantern
burning nearby
that whiff of tonight's loot
that by closing my eyes
takes me back 25 years
to the good old days
when i was dumping out
my orange plastic pumpkin
on the family room floor
and rooting around
for those butterfingers
my favorite.

the night didn't start off
on the right foot,
what with accidentally locking avi
and my keys
to the car and the house and everything
in the car along with my phone.
frantically borrowing
a phone to call alex
who couldn't answer,
and then to dial the only number
i know by heart
my father-in-law's
and finally getting
a mother-in-law
to bring her set of house keys over
to get the
extra set of car keys
to rescue the poor sad baby
from the locked, dark car

but that was all
soon forgotten
(or so i'd like to think)
by the time we made it
to the embassy compound
to relive
the old traditions
that are
hard to come by around here.

and that pumpkin,
oh, that gorgeous round pumpkin!
which are also 
so hard to come by around here--
they are all oblong
and no good
for the art of
i found her in that old
grocery store at least
a month ago
and admired her ever since
awaiting the day
(and praying she would last)
i could carve her up
to her beauty
bake her seeds
and then throw her in the oven
to become a scrumptious soup.

look at how happy she is
about that.

and how happy i am
to pass on these
meaningless yet festive
and romantic holiday traditions
to my children.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Wednesday, October 29, 2008


nothing but pure luck
and a little love from above
that i'm all the way
across the world
and my parents
are a 2-hour flight away.
our visit
was wonderfully delightful.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


flying in late last night
and having her
burst into tears
when we left the airport
and got into our car
and she realized we were going home,
not to another hotel
(is home that bad?
am i doing something wrong
or have i given birth
to a jet setter???)
we could only console her
with promises of a 
big birthday party
when she woke up tomorrow.

her big day came and went
and was full of just about
a little four-year-old could want.

(not red ones)

a hundred
pink flowers

and more gifts

you've got to be kidding me
upon opening
the last present
(you know what)

that sweet smile of delight
that must have made
her cheeks hurt
it lasted so long

the concert
 complete with bow

the requested
chocolate cupcakes

the candle blowing
that lasted a good
20 seconds

the eating nothing
but frosting

the evening's outing
to see the musical
beauty and the beast

and then the falling into
the new bed
(yes she just graduated from a crib)
plum tuckered out

with sweet dreams
of tomorrow
and all the violin playing
toy enjoying
ballerina dancing
puzzle doing
new book reading
that a day could hold.

happy birthday,
my beloved firstborn!!
you are a dream to me.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

aligning stars

remember that wasted hour
in the springtime
when we searched and searched
for that blasted
stringed instrument store
and never found it?

here i'd been gearing up again
to find it once and for all
in preparation for

then that saturday
when we were going from
park to park to park
we pulled up to our house
for a few minutes
when i said
look at that sign across the street

which of course i had seen
a hundred times before
but of course
always assumed
it couldn't be what it says.
i couldn't be.
it's right across the street 
from our house.
there's just no way
that's a violin store
like the sign says it is.
dad was sent as a scout.
and with a big smile
and a wave of the hand that said
gather the troops and 
get over here,
we went across the street
and milla died and went to heaven.

she was fitted for a 1/16
(which fits in the 
palm of your hand and that's
not even the smallest)
had the saleslady
play her old favorite
twinkle twinkle
(without our requesting it)
and the stars were aligned.
we somehow dragged her out of there
but not without a few winks 
to the saleslady
and quiet promises of a quick return
without certain people
in tow.

that follow-up visit
has since been made
and the anticipation (mine!)
is unbearable.
one more week!

in the meantime,
i've got blessed parents to visit.
see you in a week!
hope the anticipation
doesn't keep you up at night.

Monday, October 20, 2008

halloween part one

that american community
thinks they can
schedule halloween
whenever they want.
and they do!
thus our first halloween
of the year
was on friday.

and don't let their
facial expressions fool you.
they actually quite
enjoyed the evening.
they've never seen so much
candy in their life.
and haven't seen
any since. . .

Thursday, October 16, 2008

project du jour

is a work in progress.

this week the creative juices
were used to
change out those frames
in her room
with something better.

if i ever have a boy,
do i have to
put trains and tractors
on his wall?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

walking the children

now when christine
told me
her two-year-old
was out playing in the backyard
all alone,
i couldn't help but gasp.
you mean,
all alone all alone?
outside outside?
yes, jen.
it's called
an enclosed backyard.
it's called
living in a house
in a town.

now you fellow city dwellers
may have gasped
right along with me.
but for us?
it's called
walking the children.
not the dog,
the children.
it's what we do.
every day.

and on today's walk
i was pleasantly surprised
they didn't want to go
to the playground.

instead they made

their own playground.

and i almost,
just almost,
felt a breath of that
fall romance
i'd been seeking.

one thing
the city doesn't
bubble over with.