Category Archives: Family

She Throwed Up Her Toof, I Think


Little kids tell the best stories.

What if they don’t have all the facts? They simply make it up as they go.

They fill in the blanks with crazy, beautiful stuff they pull from their wee minds.

It’s storytelling at its best.

I thought it would be fun to share on my blog some of what I call my funny, family “shorts.”

Here’s one I dug out of my writing archives.

Something’s Missing

My five-year-old granddaughter arrived at my house for a sleepover.

Rolling her little people Barbie suitcase behind her, she came running into the living room.

Something exciting was afoot.

Chloe shouted, “I have a story that will really, really, really, really, really surprise you.”

She said “really” five times. I assumed it must be a good story.

She went on to say:

“Well, we were eating lunch at my school, you know my school where you went to the Halloween parade, right? And a girl, I can’t remember her name, ate her sandwich and didn’t know her toof fell out.”

“And she looked everywhere for it but (she takes a deep breath) she swallowed it and I bet you don’t believe it right, Mimi, but it’s actually really true. She … swallowed … her … toof.”

 Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0 Author, Silfide

Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0 Author, Silfide

 Toof Fairy Problem

Drawing on my grandmotherly acting skills; I gasped in disbelief.

I said to her, “Well, how’s the tooth fairy going to come for her tooth if she swallowed it?”

Obviously, that thought never crossed my granddaughter’s mind until I brought it up. Now, she appeared genuinely concerned.

Rather than feeling upset over the disturbing idea the tooth fairy might not show up for the little girl, she quickly added, “Oh, yeah, she found it. I remember that now.”

Not letting her off the hook just yet, I responded, “You said she swallowed the tooth. So, where did she find it?”

In classic five-year-old drama mode, my granddaughter cast her big, blue eyes toward heaven for some reason. Maybe hoping for divine intervention.

She said, “Um … um … let me think … um … oh, she found her toof when she throwed up I think.”

“She didn’t throwed up at school.”

“Probably, she throwed up when she got home and her mother washed off her toof and the toof fairy came that night, or the next night I think.”

What a kid. What a save.

 

 

Getting Older? Look Wonderful, Be Cool, Do it Your Way


11-stages-womanhood-1840s-wikimedia-commons-public-domain-uploaded-by-churchh

11-stages-womanhood-1840s-wikimedia-commons-public-domain-uploaded-by-churchh

 

“Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength.” Betty Friedan

OK, it’s true. Aging isn’t all that fun.

I don’t wake up every morning doing the happy dance, chirping “Oh boy. I love, love, love getting older.” No, it’s not like that at all. Not for me, anyway.

However, aging isn’t the scariest life event I’ve ever had no choice but to experience. Twice I went through labor. That scared me.

I’ve discovered aging isn’t so much about letting go: it’s about tweaking my mind-set.

Oh, and I finally stopped worshiping the so-called “experts” on aging. Please; I just want to do this my way.

But I Can’t Look Wonderful

For years, I’ve thought about a conversation I heard between my mom and a young woman. It was the last holiday my mom would share with her family.

The young woman, a lifelong friend of my daughter, stopped in at our Christmas Eve party to say hello to my family.

My mother walked into the kitchen. It was a thrill for to see my daughter’s friend, who rushed over to give my mom a heartfelt hug.

With utter sincerity, she told my 75-year-old mother that she looked wonderful. My mom said, “Well, I shouldn’t.” The friend asked, “What do you mean?”

Mom responded, “Because I’m not supposed to look wonderful at this age.” I thought, Wow. What the heck?

Of course, we laughed. Honestly, though, I was sad that my mother felt that way. She did look wonderful. She was still active and lived independently.

That was despite several major health problems including spinal stenosis, breast cancer, and diabetes. I always joked with her that she was the healthiest sick person I ever knew.

Right then, I decided I wouldn’t buy into that line of thought about aging. I plan to experience wonderful right to the end. You can’t stop me. Bring on the compliments. I will, gratefully, accept every one you throw at me.

 Discovering My Self-Worth

My self-worth is much more pronounced since I’ve reached my 50s. Why did it take so long to realize the breadth of my skills and achievements no matter how big or small?

Admittedly, I went through a low self-esteem spell of feeling inept when I was around younger people; mainly, in my business world.

I had no clue what was rubbing me the wrong way. When I considered the achievements I’ve carried out effectively; on a personal level as a woman and career level; it didn’t make sense that I would feel inadequate.

Fortunately, the odd, uncomfortable feeling lost its hold on me. If I start to feel like that now; I recount my accomplishments in my head. I remain focused on my strengths instead of weaknesses.

I’m content and secure because I haves scores of valuable knowledge and life experience to lean on. I have plenty to share.

What is “Cool” Anyway?

So, I recognize I may not be cool in the eyes of some young people; especially in the business world. That’s OK because cool means what, exactly?

As time goes on, my perspective of cool constantly changes. That’s because of maturity and I like to believe, all this awesome wisdom I’ve picked up over the years.

I think people who don’t have a college degree but carved out a good life are cool. Someone who survives cancer is cool. Holding hands with my husband is cool.

My small grandson could pronounce Massachusetts, correctly, since he was two. That makes him way cool in my book.

Overall, with continuing tweaks to my mind-set, I believe aging will be cool too. I hope … I pray.

 

Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Vivian Blakely

Jim Henson: His Creative Learning and Social Wisdom Legacy


Jim Henson in two words: remarkable visionary.

About his dad, Brian Henson wrote in a blog post, “One of his life philosophies was that we should love people not for their similarities, but for their differences.”

This single statement beautifully sums up the essence that is collectively, the Muppets. The lesson the Muppets continue to pass on about embracing diversity is Jim Henson’s legacy.

  Life through the Eyes of Puppets

Jim Henson said, “The most sophisticated people I’ve ever known had just one thing in common: they were all in touch with their inner children.”

The Muppets, unmistakably born from Jim Henson’s inner child, are not just mere puppets: These outlandish, lovable characters symbolize life with all its multifaceted emotions.

Clearly, Henson was ahead of his time when it came to principled ideas using his imagination.

Through puppets, he used his unmatched creative ability to draw attention to the melting pot of characteristics which make us human.

He achieved this feat through the human-like behavior of his family of puppets.

 

Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported PeterDandy

Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported PeterDandy

 Realism of Muppets’ Characters

Each Muppet is an individual … their appearance distinct; just like people differ enormously in looks.

Jim Henson, who passed over in 1990, cleverly infused his beloved characters with wide-ranging qualities which children and adults easily recognize.

Who doesn’t know someone with a personality like Oscar the Grouch? I know many.

Oscar reigns supreme in cranky. He despises anyone or anything that represents “nice.” He only reveals the compassionate side of his personality to children.

Except for making his home in a trash can, Oscar’s temperament is something nearly every person can connect with at times.

In a style that can only be Jim Henson, he makes us chuckle over Oscar’s nasty disposition.

How great it’d be to just snicker at the genuine Oscars of the world instead of letting them get under our skin.

 Life Lessons

The intelligence behind Jim Henson’s creativity includes the positive messages he provided through puppetry. He was brilliant when it came to highlighting the effects of a good or bad decision.

The Muppets always encourage children to aim for their dreams. They’re progressive in promoting a healthy self-esteem, as well.

It’s probably no surprise one of Henson’s favorite movies was the Wizard of Oz. Dorothy, of course, learned the lesson: there’s no place like home.

Maybe the movie’s emotional moral ending inspired Henson’s overall creative values.

  Educational Bearing

It’s impossible to gauge accurately, the educational influence Jim Henson’s had on children. His contribution is significant, though. PBS’ Sesame Street is a children’s programming marvel.

Sesame Street aired in November, 1969. With Jim Henson’s puppets as guides, learning became fun and dare I say, perhaps, even addictive.

Often tedious; reading, writing, and counting morphed into something kids looked forward to learning. Forty-five years later, Sesame Street’s innovative learning style remain valuable.

Through puppetry, Henson sometimes introduced children to unpleasant real-life problems. A big problem many children face is bullying.

When my daughters were young, I recall watching an early Sesame Street episode in which Bert and Ernie were enjoying a day at the beach.

A bully comes along and destroys their sand castle. It just figures.

My daughters were ultra-sensitive little girls. They were nearly in tears when bully boy wrecked the sand castle.

Luckily, and typical of Jim Henson’s message, the bully embraced the error of his ways. To make up for his bullying, he returned with an ice cream for Bert.

These days, it’s not quite that simple because sadly, bullying has escalated to an atrocious level.

 

 Jim Henson Standout

Each of Jim Henson’s puppets is a star: Miss Piggy, Elmo, The Count, Grover, Cookie Monster, and Big Bird; they’re some of the many intriguing characters Henson created.

For me, however, Kermit the Frog, stands apart from the rest. Since the birth of his character beginning, Kermit has been a runaway success.

I believe Kermit is Jim Henson. Or, maybe Jim Henson is Kermit. Possibly, it’s because Kermit’s birthplace was on the banks of Deer Creek in Leland, Mississippi.

Henson, too, spent his enlightening years on the banks of Deer Creek. There, he nurtured his creativity and a passion he had for nature.

By the way; Kermit takes his name from a childhood friend of his creator.

 Kermit on the Walk of Fame

In 2002, Kermit earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It’s a well-deserved honor for the celebrity who began his natural life on a muddy bank in the Mississippi Delta.

The beloved frog took his place among other greats like Woody Woodpecker, Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny. Now those were the days, right?

The celebrated sweet-voiced frog is little in size but larger than life in all he brings to the world. He’s just one more extraordinary legacy that is, indeed, Jim Henson.

 

Sources:

Google Blogspot – “Remembering my dad Jim Henson,” Posted by Brian Henson, Chairman of The Jim Henson Company – September 23, 2011

Sesamestreet.org -– Video on right, third down – Standing Up to a Bully

Muppetcentral.com – News -“Kermit Honored at Hollywood Walk of Fame,” Courtesy of Yahoo News – November 25, 2002

YouTube.com

History.com

My Crazy, Beautiful Mom


mother and daughter Wikimedia Commons Public Domain United States Library of CongressUm, yeah, that’s my mother

My mother had it in her mind that she was special; not better than others, mind you, just, well special. She never felt she owed anyone an explanation for her actions.

When she did something ridiculous, and I questioned her, she simply shrugged her shoulders and said, “Oh well.”

Typical behavior for my mom included doing everything she should not do. For instance, she always parked in an area that was specifically zoned no parking. She could not stop herself from loading up ten items in a five-item only checkout.

Never did she consider using one cap full of laundry detergent – it had to be three or four. When it was a huge fashion blunder, Mom dared anyone to question her wearing white pants after Labor Day. Driving 50 mph in a 35-mph zone was also the norm for my mother.

Mom ripped articles and recipes out of the magazines in her doctor’s office and pinched off pieces of plants which she stuck in her purse.

Without an ounce of uneasiness, my mother would say aloud, “Do I look as old as her?” as we passed by another elderly woman. “Lord, give me strength,” was my typical reply.

This was one of my mother’s favorite stories, which she loved to recount every chance she could: My mother couldn’t find a parking spot at the local grocery store. Even the “no parking” spaces were gone; of course, those were taken over by people just like her.

On her third swing through the lot, she eyed an empty space. So, she dashed her car into the spot, which was right in front of the store. I’m sure she was thinking, bingo it’s my lucky day.

When she made her way to the front of her car, there was a woman standing there glaring at her. She barked at my mother, “Can you read?” My mother said, “Of course I can read I went to college. I’m not stupid.” The lady pointed to the sign, and waited for my mom to respond.

The sign read, parking for expectant mothers only. Without hesitation, my special mother said, “Listen to me lady; I gave birth to four kids and that should count for something at 72-years-old.”

Off my mom went to get her grocery shopping done. Um, yeah … that was my wonderful, crazy, beautiful mom.

©Cathy A Montville