Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Before little Alex was born, trips East, West and across the Atlantic were a lot more frequent and a lot less challenging. There was a time when I lived in Los Angeles, maintained a room in New York City and flew the coasts roundtrip weekly. Now it requires an tectonic shift in order negotiate such a move. If your the last flight into DC-Dulles after midnight, make sure you don't miss the people movers that take you from the outer terminals to the main terminal. We got stranded at 1am and had to call security for a special service. It took an hour. (I'm not sure what the airport does if there is a genuine emergency.) By the time we got to baggage claim, the luggage was locked. It turns out Dollar Rent-A-Car isn't open 24 hours despite it postings. Hertz will charge you three times as much, but the GPS won't necessarily include the address you have to get to. The toll lanes only accept coins (which, of course, we didn't have) and the hotel wouldn't let us check in because the room wasn't registered in the right name. Meanwhile, the roads coated with ice.....but all in a day of travels for jetsetter Alex, who took it all in stride.
As for advice? Try not to cry and next time, we'll try Baltimore in the spring time.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Monday, December 3, 2007
The table was set, the family was there, the turkey was stuffed....and then the tennis ball was lobbed into the air. It recoiled off the glasses and richocetted off the salad, then it sliced across the plate and landed with a plop. As the family circled the table with giving thanks and counting blessing, it was the bounce of the ball that made Alex's Thanksgiving Day complete.
But, as the family rallied around the food and Alex carved the ball down the table, I knew that I was the one that had already hit the ultimate Grandslam: Alex, Family, Home and Love. In tennis, love means nothing; in life, love means everything.
With another year of matches won and lost, here's a tip for any holiday....don't mix your long stem glassware where with your toddler -- something will break.
Every 21st Centurty kid needs the basics: cell phone, laptop, skype address, Facebook page, personal website and email account. Alex is 100% covered with all forms of technology. You are guaranteed to reach him 24 hours a day, 7 days a week...just don't call at nap time when all communications are temporarily suspended by mom.
Perhaps I should have worried at 6 months, when Alex knew how to work the remote control from his walker. By one year, he would run at lightning speed to answer any ringing phone. And, at still less than 2 years, he likes to check his blog, skype with his new friends Noam & Lisa, talk endlessly on the phone with Grandma, and check out his favorite video. For better and for worse, 21st century moms are blazing new trails and our children are right behind us in ways never known before. Alex isn't just packing his backpack with me, he's also checking the blackberry.
I'm sure the experts will soon report this is all detrimental. After all, research already tells us that Baby Einsteins will harm our children. So, what's a mom to do? Every major toy imported from China this year was loaded with lead tainted paint, which, by the way, that is every toy. Some brands of baby formula and all brands of infant cold medicine were recalled from the shelves by the FDA. Predators are stalking our children on the internet. No child is to be left behind, but US schools are slipping further behind worldwide comparisons year-after-year. It's enough to wreck havoc on any parent's heart.
Alex and I like to take it one day at a time with a trip to the park, a dunk in the pool, a walk around the neighborhood, some jumping at the Gymboree, or just a few dozen laps around the kitchen island. We turn off the phones, the TV, the computer, the blackberry and we have some fun and run. We eat healthy snacks. We try to read, not just throw, our books. We brush our teeth. We play, and play, and play. We do the best we can. Oh, and, then...we check our email too.