The Star Wars Shirt.

Brianne (my almost-4-year-old) is obsessed with Star Wars. To my husband’s delight, she totes around 2 of his old Storm Trooper toys that were found at Grandma and Grandpa Bucher’s house, and refuses to answer to her own name.

“Mom, C3P0 does not want breakfast.  C3P0 is not hungry yet.  C3P0 will eat Cheerio’s later.  Mom, call me C3P0!  I’m not Brianne!  CP30 does not answer to Bubbies (her nickname).  C3P0 would like a snack, now.  C3P0 doesn’t want to go to school.  C3P0 wants to ride bikes down the street….”

On and on it goes.  She’s even got her little sister…who can barely talk…pretending to be R2D2.  “Mom!  Did you hear Lo Lo!?!? She said R2D2!!!!!”  Yay.  Sure enough, down the hall I heard the faint robot-voiced Lo Lo coming towards the kitchen.  “I um a bobot…bee bee boo boo…I um a borot…boo…I uma a bobot…R2D2”  Yay.

I’ve had a few years, now, to grow accustomed to her imaginative make believing.  But, I have to draw the line somewhere.  She’s annoying me right out of my favorite movie series.  (I had a pop-up R2D2 watch…in college…maybe this is what I get, huh?)

All day long it’s a battle between her and I.  She trying to persuade me to call her C3P0 instead of her real name.  Me, trying to think of a way to get her to lay her sales pitch to rest for 5 seconds and put her coat on to go to school…or eat breakfast…or wash her hands…get dressed…just about anything.

I really figured Star Wars would still be over her head, but man have I been proven wrong.  I found a ‘vintage’ Star Wars T-shirt at Target…with every character on it…and now have to wash her new prized possession every other day so she can wear it.  (Yes, I HAVE to…its just easier than the constant whining in my ear…it just is.)  I’m sure it will soon be paired with a tutu of some sort…give her time.

Of course, she wanted to show it off to her pre-school friends as soon as it we hit a day it was clean and ready.  Running late, she decided to race her best bud into school today and fell down…a tragedy that- for a moment- overshadowed the excitement of revealing C3P0 and the gang on her new shirt.  After a 10 minute consoling session trying to convince her that she should still go to school (literally just a scratch…not even a speck of blood…and she inspected it for some…believe me.)…I finally remembered to channel the power of the force.

“But, Brianne, your new Star Wars shirt…don’t you want to show everyone?”  I said.

My, how fast the tears dried up, the winter coat came off…and she proudly entered the classroom.  “What’s that?” her best friend said.  “Oh, don’t worry,” I thought to myself.  “By the end of class she’ll have you calling her C3P0…or she’ll be mad at you because you refuse to.”

Her Daddy thinks it’s hilarious, for many reasons, I’m sure.  And I can’t help but catch the slight tinge of relief in his voice at the sound of her begging to be called C3P0…and little robot Lo “bee-booping” in the background.  He must be thanking God his entire existence will not be full of pastels, princesses, tutu’s, and Barbies.  There will be fleeting moments when his little girls will be begging him to get his old Star Wars toys down out of the attic…instead of Mommy for her Barbies and Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls (which, thanks to an inaugural thrift store trip we will be doing today…).

Riding a really old tricycle at the thrift store...wearing her Star Wars shirt, of course.

Riding a really old tricycle at the thrift store...wearing her Star Wars shirt, of course.

I’m glad he gets a taste of it…passing down your own toys to your kids.  Watching them be excited about the things you once were fascinated with.  Toys you took care of, and couldn’t wait to show your friends.  It’s a big way we connect with our kids.  It’s why every parent tears up at the end of Toy Story 3…oh, don’t lie about it.  It’s true.  Aware that I’m a broken record, I’m going to say it again.  Time is fleeting.  Fast.

Even though I get frustrated with the robot talk and the alter robot egos around here…I’ll pacify them, and eventually cave.  My daughter knows when she’s frustrating me.  It’s her job to find those buttons and push them, I guess.  But it’s the bond that forms when she knows I’m tolerating it anyway…playing along even though I really don’t feel like it…that makes it all worthwhile.

That, and the photos I’ll have of Brianne and Lauren dressed up as C3P0 and R2D2 this Halloween.  Yeah, we pick out our costumes early around here…

Let the Force be with you…


The Cranberries…

Has it really been 20 years since I rocked out in my ’86 Nova to ‘Zombie?’

The answer to that question is ‘yes.’  After impatiently waiting their new album to be available in the US, I finally have it downloaded onto every device I own that plays music.  It’s as if no time has passed…in so many ways…and anyone that witnessed my drive home from the grocery store yesterday can attest to that.

Music, at least, for me, has always been the soundtrack to my life.  (I had six different ‘Hyper Tape’ mix tapes back in the day…which were eventually replaced by burned CD mixes, etc., etc…)  Certain albums have the ability to snap me right back to the time when I replayed…or rewound…those songs to listen to them over an over…until I knew every note.  Bare Naked Ladies and Third Eye Blind take me right back to my college dorm-room.  Backstreet Boys…the Alpha Phi suite.  Garth Brooks…The Boot.  Jimmy Buffett…the boat.

The Cranberries takes me right back to the halls of BBHHS.   In a huge rush to get high school over with, I didn’t realize until I began to look back just how much of my personality was fostered there through friends, teachers, coaches, guidance counselors…it really did all make a huge difference. When I look back, I am reminiscent of many…many laughs.

I can’t help but wonder what the kids at Chardon High School will look back and remember 20 years from now.  What will be their soundtrack be?  How will it foster their growing personalities?  And, will they look back and still remember laughter…or will their high school memories be forever saddened?

Getting ready to sign my daughter up for her first season of tee-ball, I know the days and hours I have left to shelter her are slipping by fast.  Huron is a small town, and Brianne has already begun friendships with many of the kids she’ll be classmates with all the way up through high school.  As a parent, I don’t know how to pray hard enough that she does not have to travel through the saddening loss of friends at such a young age…especially in such a traumatic and devastating way as the kids in Chardon did this past week.

Thank God, literally, that the only frustration I had to deal with in high school revolved around which boy I had a crush on…I mean…getting good grades…getting into college…running varsity…only important things, Mom and Dad, I promise.  Often times, I’m focused on the excitement of sitting back and watching my daughters experience childhood and high school.  The thought of that innocence being ripped away by shootings in their schools never enters my mind.  And it shouldn’t.

As I watch all the money being wasted on political slander that election season brings…I as a parent wish there were a way to funnel that use of funding into metal detectors in schools.  Seems like a no brain-er to me.

I don’t know about you, but I want my kids to look back and remember the songs they jammed to on the radio, while aimlessly driving around town…just to drive.  Or, while hanging out at the park, on the beach, or around the homecoming bonfire…or through the Walkman headphones they ever-so-stealthily snuck into study hall to listen to the music their parents have a problem with…(Ok, so that was me…and it was Nirvana and Pearl Jam…also on the high school sound track.)   That’s the experience they deserve.  An innocent one.

Happy Rocking Out in the Mini-van (you know you do it…)



Another head hangs lowly,
Child is slowly taken.
And the violence caused such silence,
Who are we mistaken?

But you see, it’s not me, it’s not my family.
In your head, in your head they are fighting,
With their tanks and their bombs,
And their bombs and their guns.
In your head, in your head, they are crying…

In your head, in your head,
Zombie, zombie, zombie,
Hey, hey, hey. What’s in your head,
In your head,
Zombie, zombie, zombie?
Hey, hey, hey, hey, oh, dou, dou, dou, dou, dou…

Another mother’s breakin’,
Heart is taking over.
When the vi’lence causes silence,
We must be mistaken.

It’s the same old theme since nineteen-sixteen.
In your head, in your head they’re still fighting,
With their tanks and their bombs,
And their bombs and their guns.
In your head, in your head, they are dying…

In your head, in your head,
Zombie, zombie, zombie,
Hey, hey, hey. What’s in your head,
In your head,
Zombie, zombie, zombie?
Hey, hey, hey, hey, oh, oh, oh,
Oh, oh, oh, oh, hey, oh, ya, ya-a…