Sunday, June 15, 2014

Throwing a party

Attending my friend's baby shower this weekend (in theory, I was invited to co-host, but in actuality, my co-host is such an amazing party planner, my "hosting" was limited to baking three quiches and making sure the party 'progressed' nicely), I was reminded how easy it is to have parties in America.  At least, how easy it is to have American-style parties in America.  No hunting wide and low for paper plates.  Cakes readily available from a number of bakeries.  Decorations a click away from Amazon and choices endless.  Brown paper bags with windows and custom stickers for the cookie bag favors?  No problem!  Linen rentals, monogramed napkins, the list goes on.

Really, the shower was beautiful and my hat is off to a dear college friend for organizing.  On the bus ride home, I thought about planning parties in other countries.  The colorful tent rented for Patch's first birthday.  Catering near-debacles for other parties in HYD.  Five mani-pedi ladies coming to the house for a baby shower in Manila.  The gatherings, of course, were still fun because of the people - we ended up making things fun with what we had.  Overall, though, I think my heart is in the traditional U.S.-style party.  Happy to be back home and celebrate with friends.

Friday, June 6, 2014


Most mornings when I have "morning report" duty, I drive.  The silver lining is a chance to listen to NPR.  In the past, I've found Garrison Keillor a bit annoying, but this week I've really enjoyed the Writer's Almanac installment.  That for June 5 was especially good, so copying the poem, "Possibilities" by Linda Pastan below.  I find especially poignant the lines about growing larger and then smaller -- with three little ones, I know they'll get bigger and then we'll have a time when we're back down to two, but how things will change during that process cannot be foretold.  Does waking up so early in the morning always make one so reflective?  


Today I drove past a house
we almost bought and heard
through the open window music

made by some other family.
We don't make music ourselves, in fact
we define our differences

by what we listen to.
And what we mean by family
has changed since then

as we grew larger then smaller again
in ways we knew would happen
and yet didn't expect.

Each choice is a winnowing,
and sometimes at night I hear
all the possibilities creak open

and shut like screendoors
in the wind,
making an almost musical

to what I know
of love and history.