First Day of Pool Season

Our little town doesn't have a local pool.  Instead, there are several private club pools you can join.  It's nothing luxurious but clean, safe and just the right size.  I can pretty much scan the whole place and find who I need to find.  The lifeguards all know the families.  Once, when Boo snuck to the bathroom without letting me know, I had all the lifeguard hollering his name.  Cuz they all knew him.

There are probably 4 or 5 school districts represented and we don't go to school with most of the kids, not do we travel in the same circles.  Most of these kids, I see only during the summer.  So it's fun to watch them grow these past 8 seasons.  And watch my boy grow:

2006, age 4


And the big day when he learned to swim!

With his baseball-coaching Unca Paul, 2010

With his dad, 2010

And May 28, 2012:

Growing into the lankiness of boyhood.


Memorial Day

By circumstances of history and geography, nobody in my family served in the US military.  My oldest brother, born in 1953, was eligible during the waning years of the Vietnam War but was never called.  I remember my parents figuratively wringing their hands wondering if he'd be drafted into the obligatory service of the Korean Army.  We weren't citizens yet and if he were called, we wouldn't have had any protection from the US government.  [Yes, they'd draft you but not protect you.]

I just went to my 30th college reunion.  Memorial Day weekend came and went.  My husband recently lost 2 uncles.  His mother has crossed over from the peaceful days of retirement into the waning, translucent days of memory loss, loneliness and depression.

It's no surprise then, that I have been thinking about the passing of days. As it was Memorial Day, I looked for these pictures of my dad and his one older brother, who served in the Korean Army and Air Force, respectively:

I think this was around 1950.  There were 4 boys in that family; one went to be with the North Koreans.   The other, a geeky, brainy young man, was captured by the North Koreans, for their "brain trust," no doubt.  These 2 brothers were able to escape the Communists coming from the north and served in the South Korean military.

Ten years later, my dad was at Kimpo Airport in Seoul, heading to Brandeis University for a PhD in Mathematics.  My uncle rose in the ranks of the Air Force.

Back then, Korea was still reeling from the Japanese Forced Occupation, WW2 and the Korean War.  Unlike the bustling industrialized powerhouse it is today, it was a poverty-stricken, physically destroyed Third World country.  Only the biggest roads were paved; children played in the dirt in rags.  The people were small mostly because of the lack of good nutrition.  My dad and uncle would have been quite a vision at 5'-9" and sturdy of build.  It was said that people in the streets would stop and stare at my handsome uncle, wondering if he were an American movie star

My grandparents left their home in Haeju, now in North Korea,  lost a father to Japanese torture and imprisonment, and lost 2 sons.  Now a 3rd son was headed to the other side of the world.  No jet planes direct from Seoul to NYC, but instead, a prop plane that hopscotched from Seoul to Tokyo to Hawaii to Chicago before landing at Kennedy. Never mind cell phones, there was barely such a thing as overseas calls of any kind.  Remember, these were the days of black & white TVs and 3, maybe 4 channels!

Maybe they were so used to losses that this kind of joy and opportunity overrode any sadness they were sure to have.  Maybe their deep and abiding faith in God helped them through.  There's no "maybe" for me.  I'm sure as I can be of anything, that their God, was their source of strength and confidence.


All Religions Are Not Created the Same

"Why do we make the catastrophic error of thinking that all religions are right and that it does not matter whether the claims they make are objectively true?

All religions are not the same. All religions do not point to God. All religions do not say that all religions are the same. At the heart of every religion is an uncompromising commitment to a particular way of defining who God is or is not and accordingly, of defining life's purpose.

Anyone who claims that all religions are the same betrays not only an ignorance of all religions but a caricatured view of even the best-known ones. Every religion at it's core is exclusive...

...What the person means by saying, 'You must be open to everything' is really, 'You must be open to everything that I am open to, and anything that I disagree with, you must disagree with too'.

Ravi Zacharias in Jesus Among Other Gods.
Every religion think it is Right, or at the very least, the Best.  Or it is not truly a religion, is it?  Why have a religion that says, "I think this is right, but go with that other one if you feel like it."  Even if there is no God, per se as a Being, in the religion or belief system, there is clearly the thought or pursuit of the Best or the Right or the Eternal of some kind.  The person open to all religions, is not open to Nazism or the KKK or even the part of Christianity that says things they don't like.


What I Wore 5.23.12

I feel like I've been running ragged just running errands. I've been to functions that required me to get cleaned up, but all this ragged running has not left me the wherewithal to get my camera.  So all the Wheres will be "running errands."

What: So I wore this tunic top recently but found a better way to wear it.  I like it better with a scarf; I feel less bare.  It also allows me to show off my new Talbot's espadrilles.  Brown tunic top by Zara Collection over a fluorescent green cami.  Brown capri leggings from Kohl's, hand printed silk scarf bought at an artisan shop years ago.

What: White v-neck tee from Talbot's, denim A-line skirt by, black patent wedges by Me Too.  Mixture of gray jewelry.

My photo spot has a little to be desired.  This is much better, right?  I finally figured out another way to configure my camera and you can watch my garden transform through the season.

What: The Talbots tee again, but this time under a black knit jersey cardi with skinny jeans.  Black modified Mary Janes by Naturalizers Natural Souls.  Love my new vintage Bakelite bangle bracelet in pumpkin, with a handmade amber and gray beaded necklace.

See what other moms wore at The Pleated Poppy!

Educating Boo

Several years into our marriage we decided it was time to start a family.  We were older, and we had had enough years to get to know each other and enjoy our child-free time.  As I made my application for the Worldwide Pregnancy Club, I noticed some rules of engagement. 

When a woman enters that distinguished group, it appears that all the world is an adjunct member, whose opinions and advice is readily dispensed.  In any venue.  I saw strangers approach pregnant women and touch them, uninvited, in sensitive areas.  Even men, whose consciousness of social respectability and sense of decorum would prevent them in other circumstances, were seen reaching out to touch the extended sensitive areas.  I told my husband that I would wear a sign that said, "Don't touch me."

But it made me wonder what about a pregnancy allowed such behavior.  Pregnancy, the direct result of physical intimacies that these strangers would never broach, somehow entered the realm of public discussion.  Does the universal experience of child-bearing and child-rearing bear itself to become public property,  allowing for some kind of global membership?  Does the whole world become a member of the Board of Trustees for your pregnancy?  As offended as so many were by Hillary Clinton's It Takes a Village, I always thought, and still think, there is truth to the idea that we all affect each other and take a part in educating our children.

I've recently decided to home school my son. 
I wanted to give you a few seconds to let that sink in.  Is your response in the same realm as what others have said to me?
"How will he get socialized?"
"Home schooled children are weird."
"You won't have any time to yourself."

[To be fair, I've had as many people say to me, "Only you know what's best for your child."]

There is something global, universal about how children are raised and I have found that the words "home school" is the equivalent of the extended belly which gives people permission to touch me in a personal spot, in public, uninvited.


What I Wore Wednesday - 05.02.12

I don't have a lot of pictures this week.  My excuse this week?  My son has a Science Fair project due on Friday.  NEED I SAY MORE??

What I Wore: black and white patterned cowl-neck, bat-wing sleeve sweater from the clearance rack at Kohl's.  I love it because the cowl drapes gently creating a nice neckline for me, and the tails are long enough to cover some of my "problem" areas.  Black flare pants from at least a million years ago, which are a tad short for my bronze and jute platform sandals by Talbot's.
Where: Church.

What I Wore: Yes, I did.  I wore gym pants in public.  Even though I wasn't at the gym.   Or even exercising.  CHAPS polo style top to match Adidas gym pants in slate and marigold.  Large silver stud earrings.  Love my Sally Hanson Salon Manicure (c) polish called Good to Grape.
Where:  Running errands.

Check out the other styles at The Pleated Poppy!