Friday, December 31, 2010

2011

I'm having a hard time letting go of 2010. It was filled with a deeper kind of love than the former years. A mature kind of love that no matter how tired I was, no matter how much energy I had lost, managed to rise from some unknown well within. That kind of stuff can't be replenished with fuzzy, frizzy spumante or flirty words, but is equivalent to that extra bit of strength you find from God Knows Where when you're about to push out that baby.
My New Year's wish for all of you is that you always find that extra umph required to take on those moments that find you wondering exactly where you will ever find that strength necessary to overcome the latest, unexpected slam.
My New Year's resolution is to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth...

So Help Me God.

Bring on 2011:-) and may it be filled with
Health
Gnocchi in truffle sauce
Cuddles and snuggles
The Tooth Fairy
Mary Janes
Narrow Mountain Roads where a 3 point turn seems the impossible until you put your mind to maneuvering it
An inappropriate gift of a thong and lacey thigh-highs that you exchange for a pair of warm, wooly socks
A knife thrown that you catch with your teeth
Finding that something you're dying for... on sale.
The perfect song on the radio at the perfect moment
A pair of eyes that match yours

Faith

Happy Birthday Sofia Madyson:-)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Romeo and Juliet...Tales of a Trip to Verona

I survived Christmas. Barely. Now, I find myself in a hospital in Verona with my girlfriend, in a "for girls only" ward.
I'm still waiting for her to come out of the operating room. In the meantime, I went for lunch with my book. I was in deep when the owner of the restaurant sat down next to me and started talking to me about his life, travels and experience with drugs. He whipped out pictures of his trip around the world and proudly showed me his yacht...a canoe in the middle of some lake:-)...fantastic.

He told me I needed to be sweeter. I told him, I have no desire to be sweet.
He insisted and told me that I was locked up in a castle.
I told him, the key exists somewhere.
I had a coffee, paid and left.
Nice man, nice conversation.
Back to my book.
*Smile*

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Human Spirit...(Ain't Got Nothin' To Do With Christmas)

Maya Angelou said, "The main thing is to be in love with the search for truth."
Both telling the truth and hearing the truth can be as painful as swallowing the dreaded cough syrup. It can make you gag, vomit, spit up and hurl...but eventually, it has to go down.
And in the end...you heal.
Because when it comes straight down to it...truth = love.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The View from the Top of the Tree

I'd prefer the red one.
Yes, the gold bow is perfect.
Oh, that glittery stuff works for me.
That's too expensive.
Mom, I would like you to come to my grandmother's house for the holidays. I want to spend the holidays with the entire family together.
Excuse me, I was in line before you. But I'm not in a hurry, so you can go before me.
Damn it, that parking space was mine. Although, I don't really mind driving around another lap...love this song.
Wow, that is the perfect present at the right price.
She is not my favorite person. And she's treated me like shit the entire year. But, I'll get her a present anyway...something fattening.
He's cheating on his wife, but he's a really good father. Digital picture frame with family photos downloaded.
They are a beautiful couple, two children-boy and girl, the mom and dad each drive a BMW, both work, both cook, both do the laundry, both pay the bills. When they take their kids to the movies, they hold hands. When the mom reprimands her son, the dad nods his head. When the dad reprimands his daughter, the mom nods her head.
They like pina coladas and getting caught in the rain. A trip to Disney World.

Wherever you are at this precise moment in time, love yourself. When you see Christmas decorations, love yourself. When you see couples holding hands and pushing baby strollers, love yourself. When you see a grandfather who looks exactly like the father you lost this past year, love yourself.
Find a place within yourself that glows, and become that light.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Smartie

My sixth grade teacher, Mrs. King, is my friend on facebook. When Jay, one of my elementary school friends commented on the last post, Mrs. King replied and this was the exchange:

Mrs. King:
Hi Jay- Did you happen to read Tuesday's Science Times section in the NYT this week? It was all about puzzles. I thought about you; you were great at solving them.

Jay:
Oh my G-d. As in, Mrs. King, my sixth-grade teacher? Sorry to say, don't actually get any newspaper; can't afford to bring more stuff into the house, as I hardly get to the mandatory things as it is :)

Mrs. King:
Yup! Your 6th grade teacher...I'm so glad you remembered!

ME:
How could he not remember!!??? He lived on smarties for the entire year.

The Smartie:  A packet of smarties was awarded to a classmate for winning a Spelling Bee or Math challenge every week on Friday.

I once beat Jay in a Spelling Bee. He won about 90% of all intelligence-related challenges. Fridays were torturous yet stimulating for me and that jar of Smarties tormented me for an entire year.

Then, during Science one day, a miracle occurred. We were reading an informative table filled with data- my basic nightmare because still now, I never understand graphs, tables and the like- when Mrs. King asked a question. She asked a question, answered it herself and said, "Right everyone!! Do you all agree?" My classmates all nodded their heads, but something did not seem right in what she was saying, I saw a different answer and shook my head. I definitely did not have the courage to contradict my teacher, mine was a spontaneous reaction.

Mrs. King looked at me and said, "Jodi, why did you shake your head?"

*Cold sweat*

She had to insist, until I whispered, "Because the year wasn't 1976, it was 1971."

*Silence*

Mrs. King beamed a smile, walked right over to that Smarties jar and handed me...A SMARTIE!!!!!

She turned to the class and said, "You need to learn to trust your own judgement. There will be people who you respect, who insist in knowing an answer.  But everyone can make mistakes. You need to trust yourselves and learn to use your voice."

Your basic life-changing moment.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Show and Tell

Tomorrow I leave for the last of the ten pediatric audiology courses. Ten courses, 500 pediatricians of Tuscany, all of whom are now aware of the process of an Early Hearing Detection Intervention Program. 500 pediatricians are responsible for 500,000 children.

There will be Italian regional representatives present at this course for training purposes so that they may use this experience and apply it to their regions to then train other pediatricians.

And in turn help to inform many more children and their families.

At the beginning of this project, I felt that I had to prove myself, as if being a mother wasn't a strong enough qualification to "teach" pediatricians about our journey.

Then, as the courses progressed and I grew, I realized that all I needed to do was to share my experiences and those of the incredible families I have met along the way.

I slammed, kicked and banged on the door. They opened it...

Saturday, December 4, 2010

LahDeeDah

Today, class outing to see Tangled with Sofia and her posse.

New job working on a European Community project on Educational/Environmental Sustainable Development.
I cut my hair and I cut my nails. New look, new life.

Last year at this time, I was desperate, stressed, aggressive and clawing. Now, bring on the holiday cheer.

I had a meeting with Jordan's teachers on Thursday. Aside from the fact that they were pleased with his performance and his dramatic high school entrance, a common comment was that he tends to make inappropriate comments at strange moments during lessons.

He does this with me, as well. I explained to them that for eight years he wore hearing aids and did not have access to spontaneous language. I explained that to learn a new vocabulary word he needed to have it repeated at least 100 times, that he could not do homework without speechreading and that all that changed for the better after the cochlear implant. I told them that he shoots comments in the middle of class to hear himself talk, to feel a part of the environment and to maintain some type of control over that environment. He is in a growth phase after dealing with three years of separation and starting a new school where he knew nobody...and feel free to add a healthy dose of adolescent testosterone considering he's in full blown puberty.
I then requested that they put a certain hot, blonde classmate next to him;-)

In any case, sending love from Tuscany, because this is a moment when I have a lot of love to give...