Showing posts from August, 2014

This Boy and This Girl

          Francy age 10   Gene age 7     There was a boy, a pale-skinned, freckled face, strawberry blond boy, born in Manhattan. A little seed in the Big Apple.     This boy spoke English, yet went to a French elementary school. His parents said it was the best school near their apartment. He didn’t learn much French, maybe: “Est-ce-que je peux aller aux toilettes?” and other essential phrases. Most of the time he’d fall asleep at the kitchen table staring at letters that didn’t make sense. In class, he’d focus on the skyscraper view out the window and imagine the people inside who didn’t have to be stuck in school, but he was funny and could twist humor out of any situation.     This boy liked to play stick ball with his friends who lived in the same apartment building. He liked riding his Huffy bike to Central Park…but one day a group of teenagers surrounded him and pushed him off his bike. The tallest thief hopped on the bike and r

The Question at Hand

                     Stephen age eight                                                      Stephen age twenty-one at FIT                         I knew without a doubt that Stephen was right-handed. I homeschooled him since he was six and never saw a problem with his writing ability. He had beautiful penmanship and ate with his right hand, never questioned if he was using the wrong side…until he decided he wanted to change. And for what? Baseball. At age eight, life’s all about baseball.   Coincidence?   As soon as his dad explains how left-handed baseball players have an advantage, Stephen suddenly realizes he’s supposed to be lefty. He switches the bat from resting above his right shoulder to above his left and turns his feet in the dirt. He hears the cheers, foot stomping from the bleachers as he waits for the pitcher to release the ball. The smell of popcorn and hot dogs tickles his nose as he concentrates on his stance. He swings hard…the ball is going, going,

Park Reflections

              How strange at the park today, just me and the squawking parrots! No kids, mine or anyone else’s. The park was booming with life a few minutes ago…kids laughing, running, crying over skinned knees, the squeaking of rusty swings in a constant background rhythm. What happened at three o’clock? Is there a reason everyone disappeared? The sky is clear, no signs of lightning, hurricane or tornado. It isn’t dinner time yet. Mid-day siesta time, maybe.   For whatever reason, I sit, reading Atlas Girl on the faded bench, alone and writing. A tractor roars as it shovels dirt and covers the silence of an empty playground…and I reminisce about the days my five kids climbed the slides here, played tag, and splashed in the sprinklers. The entire park was cooled by the mist carried in the bay breeze. This was always one of my favorite places to take the kids, five minutes away by car and free. They thought it was a special day as we packed lunches, wore bat