My Mother’s Voice

Alzheimer’s being the conniving thieving bitch that  it is, my mother wasn’t herself in the final years of her life. The  woman I visited in the Alzheimer’s special care unit was a stranger wearing my mother’s skin but not much else, like the invasion of the body snatchers had taken place, month after month beneath the surface, until one day we looked and the woman we knew was gone, replaced by some alien being. An imposter. Intruder alert. Intruder alert. She died back in 2012. Don’t worry; I won’t be getting maudlin on you.  My real mother–not that stranger in a wheel chair, head nodding on her shoulder–is who I want to think about today.  My real mother —Enid Maude Good nee Hayden, a prim, old-fashioned name, perhaps the only thing about her I didn’t love— was British-born and had a lovely London lilt to her voice her whole life even though she left England in the mid-1950’s. I suppose at thirty, her vocal patterns were already frozen in place.  Sounding like a cross between

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On Doing Nothing #ThrowbackThursday

I don’t know how my son went from being my own teeny tiny beany baby to the smart, sweet, funny, handsome millennial who is just about to turn twenty three. All I did was blink. What the what! 
I wrote today’s #ThursdayThrowback piece back when he was in elementary school and I could see time spinning out of control. Published in Childrens’ Magazine, here in L.A. I had no idea the years would move so fast.
What I Like Doing Best is Nothing! 
"What I like doing best," said Christopher Robin, "is doing nothing"
"How do you do nothing?" asked Pooh after he had wondered for a long time.
"Well, it's when people call out at you just as you're going off to do it, 'What are you going to do Christopher Robin?' and you say "Oh nothing' and then you go and do it"
"Oh, I see," said Pooh.
"This is a nothing sort of thing that we're doing now."
"Oh, I see," said Pooh again.
"It means just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering."
"Oh!" said Pooh.
So that's what doing nothing is.
Even back in 1928, when this Pooh story was written, the notion of letting children do nothing didn't last. When Christopher Robin prepares to go off to school he tells Pooh, "I'm not going to do nothing anymore." Pooh says 'Never?' and he answers, 'Well, not so much. They don't let you.'
These days we don't let them do nothing before they can even walk. Before we know it, we're arranging regular playdates and signing our children up for a dizzying array of Kiddy Klay, Swim and Gym, Pre-Tap and Toddler Tumbling classes.

Suddenly it's time for preschool and we think ... 

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