The difference between having teenagers and having toddlers or babies is that teenagers like to sleep. They are a little like vampires – they go out after dark and then sleep for most of the daylight hours. Teens shun activities that take place before noon – especially activities that involve being seen in public with their mothers. That is why none of my children showed much enthusiasm when I suggested that we get up at dawn and go to the Mystic River dam to participate in a town tradition called “The Herring Bucket Brigade.” Heck with ’em. If my kids didn’t want to be with me, I knew that I would be welcome by the herring.
Herring (which until yesterday, I had only seen pickled in sour cream sauce) leave the ocean and swim upstream to the lakes in our town where they marry and lay eggs. The only hindrance is a dam which prevents them from reaching the choicest spawning grounds. The role of the Bucket Brigade is to scoop the herring into buckets and hoist them over the dam.
So, instead of my kids, I summoned my friend Beate (Bee-ah-tah), also a mother of teens, and together we snuck off for a morning devoted to scooping herring and hoisting them in buckets over the dam where they could experience connubial bliss and then die.
It was wet and it was really early. But we were rewarded with the thanks of the burly Fish and Wildlife guy and free donuts and coffee. After a hour of saving hundreds of fish, we returned to our own sleeping spawn.
I went on New England Cable News to flog my book.
Me on TV
Okay, it was a three and a half minute segment – but I worried about what to wear. I went shopping yesterday for something normal — something that didn’t have enormous buttons or a pattern that looked like it was from the wardrobe department of “Laugh-In.” There are no clothes for normal women. Who wears those little cropped coats?
I ended up with my own plain blue shirt, and after watching the video – I can’t believe I cared at all. I should have worried about what was going to come out of my mouth.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Turns out that hosting Japanese middle-schoolers is a lot like having more of my own kids. They are all losers. Yuki ( pictured in the center) lost his red “Happy Coat” somewhere between the school and our house. Without it, he would not be allowed to perform the traditional dance that his group had practiced for a Pops Concert at the Town Hall. The chaperones weren’t happy, and I was hearing rumors that I, as the responsible adult, would be stuck with the $200 “Happy Coat” replacement bill. We searched the house, we called
the school, we notified the authorities…no “Happy Coat.”
Yuki wore my husband’s red windbreaker and they put him in the back row at the Pops Concert. (Yuki is on the left. I think the windbreaker is brilliant).
Then, a tiny miracle occurred. Someone at the Pops Concert mentioned to a friend of mine that she knew someone who had found a “Japanese robe – a lot like the one these kids are wearing” blowing around on the street. Two days and a few phone calls later and the “Happy Coat” was in my hands. I am happy to report the the Japanese students have safely returned to their home in Nagaokakyo and that the “Happy Coat” has been shipped by air mail.
Here’s a little Mother’s Day greeting I thought you might enjoy.
Happy Mother’s Day!
What better excuse for a party? I invited friends and neighbors to take over the local coffee shop after hours. The cops didn’t come, but a drunk crasher did make a brief appearance. Look for him in the orange jacket.
It’s almost like being there. Really.