Thursday, June 26, 2008


Monday was the day Stella and Hamish were roughhousing in a usual way in Bryan's and my bedroom while I clacked contentedly on my laptop down the hall in my office. Before long, she started wailing and staggering toward me. Nothing out of the ordinary. I said, "Come here, baby, what happened, did Hamish hurt you?" Not to be unfair to my son, but this is how it usually goes.

So I swept my lovey-dovey into my arms and walked toward my bed, laid us down and then got a glimpse of her face, where blood was now pouring. Above her left eye, bisecting her eyebrow was a gash as deep as a Pop-Tart is thick, and twice as long. Gaping. Two dark drops bloomed on my pristine white pillow case (yes, I'm that shallow even in times of crisis) and I was off and running, shouting "Hamish!" in a panic-strangled voice. I'd glimpsed him running to hide among the vacuum cleaners in the crawl space cabinet under the eaves opposite my bed.

Down in the kitchen on the floor with Stella on my lap, I swiped at her head with wet paper towels to no avail. The blood kept coming while she screamed and batted my hand away. I grabbed the phone and dialed Bryan's cell. He'd left for work about fifteen minutes earlier. I begged him to turn around and come home, we have to go to the hospital, Stella's been cut, please come home, pleasepleaseplease. I called my mom, told her to meet us at the E.R.

When Hamish finally came downstairs I had him look at his sister's face, to make him aware of what he'd accidentally done. I stressed that I knew he didn't mean to and that I wasn't angry at him, and felt bad that he'd been the cause of her injury, but I also wanted him to know that his actions have reactions and any time I can teach him to be accountable is valuable, even if it means seeing that a playful shove can lead to a deep gash on his sister's face. His response was typical for his age, at least I like to tell myself it was: he giggled and hopped up and down, flapping his wrists like a dandy fairy. I restrained myself from hurling him across the room.

Five stitches later, Bryan and I have been inducted into a whole 'nother level of parenthood. It makes us stronger, cloaks us in great swaths of character to have held our daughter down in the emergency room, while she lay swaddled taut in a sheet like a Russian orphan, screaming as she was sewn shut until her face turned purple and her eyes bulged.

But she got over it. And even though it's typical kid behavior, it still awes me. The whole victimlessness of it all. Meanwhile I tossed and turned the first couple nights, the image of that wound, so deep, the layers of skin so thick you wouldn't have been able to tear them with your teeth, and hugged myself for comfort. Two mornings later, around five A.M., Hamish screamed, "Mommy! Mommy!" and I went running to him. "I had a dream about the doctor's," he said and I crawled into bed with him, reassuring him that everyone is safe and that he's okay. We fell back asleep. I felt vindicated, for Stella, and reassured that the gravity of the incident really did reach my son. I almost hate myself for not trusting him to have a compassionate conscience. We'll see how he reacts when the stitches come out. 

Changing the subject, Hamish has been flexing his creative eye with some art photography. Here are a few of my favorites.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

living room dining room

Dining room before.
Living room before. Those windows look out onto the front porch.
I like mini pumpkins.
Keep your eye on the fireplace.
Dining room presently. The table is a floor sample from Pottery Barn that I got for half-price. It seats up to twelve. I'd better learn how to cook. The only thing is that I just read a little review of Coldplay, possibly in Time Magazine, where they liken them to the "character of a Pottery Barn table." I don't think they meant it kindly. I like Coldplay and Pottery Barn tables, it seems. I guess I'm getting boring and conformist in my old age. I just like things pretty these days. I'm too tired for anything else. I'll leave the pionerring to the childless youngsters.

The dining chairs are from Ikea. Well, four of them are. They're actually comfortable and I was thrilled when I saw them. Can you see the Louis Ghost chair? Can you spot my drool droplets on it? I've been coveting those ever since I saw them however many years ago. They were a housewarming present from my mother.
The living room now. The fireplace now. Painted Decorators White from Ben Moore. I call him Ben. I stripped the mantel. I'm diving headfirst into rustic modern. Can I pair that with lucite? The paintings are Kathy Calderwood originals, symbolic archetype portraits of Bryan and myself. Bryan gifted me mine for my thirtieth and I gifted Bryan for his fortieth. Kathy is the mom of one of my closest friends and just about my favorite painter. Her talent never ceases to drop my jaw, and she does these tiny paintings of a single object, like a feather or a lemon that I am dying for next.
This is the first sofa I've owned that is not a sofa bed. The side tables and the blue lamp are recent purchases from the house next door. The woman who lived there died almost two years ago. I met her daughter who was emptying the house and well, she didn't think it was gauche or morbid that I offered to help her. She was actually really glad to know that her mom's stuff wouldn't get junked. I think it will be happy here. That wall above the sofa is begging to be filled. Working on that.

Thanks for dropping by. Stay cool...