Friday, June 22, 2012

Oh Happy Day

Angel Daughter Number Four graduated from High School yesterday.  So many mixed emotions are flowing through my heart.  I might need a drink.  Oh happy, happy day....

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Senior Prom, Sunshine and Standards

You are my sunshine,

my golden sunshine.
You make me happy,

when skies are grey.

You'll never know dear,

how much I love you.

Please don't take

my sunshine


I have been singing this song to my youngest Angel Daughter since the very day that she was born and as she got older, she began singing it to me, as well.  Maybe it was because this child was born with a particularly sunshiny disposition.(She sparkles when she smiles.)  With each one of my girls, I have special songs, sayings, or inside giggles that only we share with one another which has created very special bonds in the relationships within our relationships.  This actually makes quite a bit of sense when I think about it as every positive relationship in our lives contain special nuances that make each singular relationship unique.  It isn't really something that we set out to do.  When a bond is created, it is something that simply just seems to happen.  It is kind of like when a cricket rubs it's legs together to create a unique song.  Each relationship fosters it's own distinctive music.  Each relationship is extraordinary.  That is the way it is meant to be when done well.

Angel Daughter Number Four attended her Senior Prom last weekend.  I cannot believe that we have now experienced four of these momentous occasions.  I carry within my heart, memories of each one of these very beautiful days all very different while my feelings were so much the same with each one.  Another step closer to graduation.  Another step closer toward growth and independence.  Another view of my daughters as women.  Senior Prom does this.  It makes you look at your child through a very grown-up lens because, well, they look so grown up in their formal dresses and suits.  It can be a very sobering experience for a parent who really does not feel much older than the day that their child was born(all of us), but who is suddenly standing there wondering when their baby grew up.  Sunrise, sunset...


Gratitude...(look at those shoes!)



More laughter...

And her favorite guy in the world.

As we followed the girls up the very steep hill to take pictures, my husband trailed protectively behind our daughter to make sure that she didn't fall back on those crazy heels.  When she chose the gorgeous Ralph Lauren sequined navy gown to wear to her prom, I was very impressed as were the saleswomen who sold it to us.  Angel Daughter Number Four is obviously an individual who honors personal style and this gown was a bit more refined than what I expected her to select.  We found it only a few days before prom, and the saleswomen almost had tears in their eyes.  They told me about the "apron"(meaning the sides were cut out like a full-length apron with a bib on top but nothing underneath) dresses that some girls were picking out which left absolutely little to the imagination.(They said that they had sold hundreds!)  They told me about the proud parents who came in with their daughters and with tears in their own eyes, stood there and told their barely dressed daughters with breasts lifted up way past decency how beautiful they looked and what a perfect choice they had made.  I am not at all sure where these parents expect their daughters to go from there, but that would not have made it past me or my husband.  So, when AD4 came home with the very trendy spike-covered heels the next day,  to wear with her gown, I was pleased as punch.  Pleased to know that she was still being true to her own individual style and pleased to know that she would look like the beautiful eighteen year old young lady that she is.

As I watched her walk gingerly up the hill under the safe guidance of her father's hand ready to catch her at any moment if she stumbled, I thought about how this is one of the many ways in which I see him as a father.  This is how our girls see him.  As a protective force, always ready to catch them if they begin to stumble.
Soon after we arrived at the top of the hill, we noticed a stray piece of thread that was hanging off of the hem of AD4's gown.  When Mark leaned down to detach the stray piece of string from her dress, AD4 giggled through one of her sparkling, sunshiny smiles as her friends looked on and my heart caught in my throat.  This is one of the moments that I will carry in my heart's memory when I recall the Senior Prom of our youngest Angel Daughter.  My man, their father, who continues to set a wonderful, shining example of how a man should treat a woman, this is what they should wait for.  I pray, with all of my heart, that this is something that they will look for in the husbands that they will someday choose for themselves.  I hope that along with all of the lessons that have stuck and unstuck and sort of stuck up until this time, this one, this very important ideal, will hold a standard to which all of our daughters will strive for.  Wait for it, girls.  There are men out there who know how to be a man.    Settle for nothing less.  It is what you each deserve.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Universal Studios, Hollywood, Tour Guides and Why we All Need More

We finally made the trek up to the magical land of Hollywood(over two hours with Los Angeles traffic) so that we could go on Angel Daughter Number One's Universal Studios tram tour of the famed back lots.  Little did I know when I was a small child of eight years old visiting Universal Studios, Hollywood with my family from back home in New York, that I would someday have a daughter who would work as a tour guide at the studios.  Back then, I watched in awe as Alfred Hitchcock stood on the set of a movie that he was filming and stopped to wave at our tram.  Forget the fact that I did not really understand who Alfred Hitchcock was.  He smiled at my brother and I which really impressed the tour guide at the time because he said that Alfred Hitchcock NEVER smiled at anyone.  Funny how that left such an indelible impression upon my young, still-developing brain.  As I intently listened to my daughter's spiel over the intercoms on our recent tour, my "Alfred Hitchcock" memory came flooding to the frontal most lobes of my mind and seemed as clear as if it had happened only yesterday.  And yet, here I was, with the family that Mark and I created, feeling as if that moment could have happened in a totally different lifetime.  Maybe in some ways, it really did...Who knows?
The lovely tour guide did turn the camera around on us which was very cute.  I'm not exactly sure if all of those puzzled looking folks behind us realized that we were her family, or just a crazed bunch of tourists who really wanted to sit in the front rows.  There were another two full cars behind ours, as well.  Lucky for us, we do have our connections.
Not that there is any kind of family resemblance or anything that might tip people off to the possibility of nepotism.

AD1 puts on a very entertaining tour filled with corny jokes and lots of interesting information.  It was very impressive that she was able to talk for OVER AN HOUR without a full script in front of her.  Our other three Angel Daughters loved going through Whoville which is where The Grinch Who Stole Christmas was filmed.
Even California natives enjoy being consummate tourists when their own sister is the tour guide!(or when they get to go through the actual Whoville!)

AD1 used computerized controls to set certain exhibits into motion during the tour.  She used her special powers to strategically time it so that the shark from the movie Jaws would pop up out of the water just in time to scare the bejesus out of us.  Meet Bruce.  Bruce is one of the mechanical sharks that was used in the movie.  When he suddenly pops up out of the water and lunges at you, he seems real.  Very, very real.  Fun stuff!
As AD1 sat and talked to Mark and I, the other angels decided to ride Jurassic Park.  I watched as rider after rider came down the hill to huge splashes.  Most of them got soaking wet.  Then, there were my girls.  Not only had they strategically placed themselves in the middle of the car, but they were all covered in yellow plastic schmattas which they had purchased in the gift shop on the way in to the ride so they shouldn't get drenched.  They were prepared!
There was no way that they were going to get wet!  They even ducked down and held each other as they descended down the watery mountain.
Making sure that the coast was clear of any impending droplets, they began to emerge from their safe little bubble.

Necessary primping ensued...

And then, at that moment they realized.  Why in the world aren't we wet???

All of that planning for the onslaught of a water-logged soaking, and not a single drop touched their precious plastic garbage bag poncho covered bodies.

Such is the day in the life of a Jewish American Princess.  I don't know what else to say about that.

Except, that my insane children got me to agree to ride on The Mummy!  Try to ignore that lady in the second row.  Instead, please direct your attention to the man sitting next to her who looks like he is about to embark on a lovely Sunday ride.  Honestly, I  just do not know sometimes...
On the way up to Hollywood, we were treated to some sights that can only be witnessed in Southern California so I thought that I would share a couple of them with you.  This is the famous Capitol Records building.  There is a blinking light at the top of the building that blinks out the word "Hollywood" in Morse code.  It has done so since the building was completed in 1956.  The entire building is round and is meant to look like a record player.(Remember those old dinosaurs?)
And then there is this Ferrari which lists for approximately $390,000 but that is only if you can get one.  The demand for them is so high that people are willing to pay an extra $100,000 just to jump the waiting list.  Um, yeah.  It's a car.  Good to know that there are some folks out there who have much more to worry about than paying this months mortgage.  Just thought I would share...

Life is pretty good in the Four Angel's Momma household.  There have been a lot of changes, but mostly for the best.  Spiritually, I am feeling much more connected these days.  Interesting how that happens when we do not really expect it.  Sometimes I think that we are going along, just going along, as God, our angels, the Universe, whomever, remains quietly in the background observing but not really intervening.  Then suddenly, like a parent who has stepped back to allow for more independence and growth, God just knows when we need more.  I needed more.  I needed more from my family, my husband and my children.  I needed more from myself, I needed more from some sources that I understand that I will never get it from and that is okay, but mostly, I needed more from God.  And maybe, just maybe, there are times in our lives when we are too shut down or shut into ourselves to hear the subtle messages which quite possibly, are always there, sort of like the lights blinking out the word "Hollywood" in Morse code from atop the Capital Record's building, or the Whos on the tiny speck in Whoville.  I really do not know.  What I do know, is that I am receiving more these days, and that I am trying my very best to make sense of the blinking-light messages that I am receiving more and more of with each new passing day.  My soul is open to it all.

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