7 Quick Takes, vol. 135


When I was in college, my family drove to Cape Cod for a family reunion. We made a vacation of it, including a trip to the Statue of Liberty, which we approached from the Jersey side because my dad put his foot down; under no circumstances was he going to drive in New York City. This resolution met with fumes and sulking from Midwestern kids who wanted to see the city, and to our delight, Dad made a wrong turn and had to go across a bridge…into the city.

I tell this story because it should teach me not to make blanket statements that cannot be guaranteed. And yet, when I saw this picture while doing research for my novel, I couldn’t help making a resolution of my own. I will never…never…NEVER…drive in Southern California.

(Can that picture even be real????)


As long as I’m on the topic of Los Angeles traffic, let me add that I did an interview last year with Dick Lyles, who founded Origin Entertainment to train film industry workers with a Christian world view. The day I talked to him, he was sitting in traffic headed into L.A. We talked for over an hour and in that time I believe he told me he moved a mile or two in traffic. Let me say again: I will NEVER, EVER drive in Southern California.


This week I realized: I have finally birthed a child who is “my true heir.” I was the only child in my family to break a bone or require surgery, and I have two really big scars on my forehead and hairline from giant head injuries sustained in childhood. On Tuesday, Nicholas jumped into the pool and smacked the back of his head on the wall. And last night, after we put him in bed, there was an almighty THUMP followed by piercing screams. When Christian went into the room, he found Nicholas on the floor, with his scalp, his nose and his mouth bleeding. We really aren’t sure what happened; Alex was still reading books with me, so there were no witnesses. We think maybe he climbed up to the top bunk and fell off. But when Christian asked Nicholas, he shook his head “no.” (Then again, maybe he just knew he’d get in a bunch of trouble. Kids are smart that way. Even at two.)


The reason we think he might have climbed up to the top is that Alex told me the night before, Nicholas climbed up and slept with him for a while. How do you react to a story like that? It’s not safe; you want to pull your hair out…and yet the insides turn all butter-cake gooey and you just want to say, “Awwwwwwww!”


Thank God Julianna isn’t my daredevil child, that’s all I can say. As many repetitions as it takes her to learn something…you know what that child does every time she takes a bath? She plays with the soap for ten minutes, until her hands are caked with the stuff…and then she rubs her eyes. I mean, surely after the tenth time you’d learn!


Well, these Quick Takes are going quickly this morning after all. I have been getting very stiff fingers in the night. Particularly my left pointer. I’ve always known I’ll fight arthritis; it was promised/threatened/warned me by those who cared for me when I broke my arm and, even more, when I struggled with tendinitis. (Who am I kidding? I’m having a tendinitis flareup now, only I can’t use ibuprofin.) Still, I never expected that it would onset as early as 36-almost-37. I get up every morning and do some combination of the many trapezius/finger/neck stretches I’ve inherited from my massage therapist, and so far, so good. I’m hoping some of it will go away post-partum, too.


In conclusion: man, it is HOT. Usually even in the summer, you get an hour or two of semi-pleasant outside time in the morning. And yet this whole week, I step out the door into a sauna–and it’s 5:30 a.m., still near-dark.  The only thing forcing me out into that misery is the thought of the scales waiting upstairs, and the 12 pounds I’ve already added in 18 weeks.

Ah, well. Pretty wordy today, so I’ll just say: Have a great weekend!


7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 135)