Nope. Not me.

As we come upon the final days before taking you to college, I make a vow to myself. I’ll be strong, happy and excited, as you are. I’ll feel the optimism you feel, the readiness for you to leave us as I know you are.

I will not miss the sound of your infectious laughter in the house or your wonderful sense of humor at the dinner table. I won’t miss passing your bedroom and glimpsing you sleeping or listening to your music. I’m not at all worried about you being so far from home. I’m not concerned that you’ll make the right choices.

I will not overthink what you bring to decorate your new room, the space that will be your home for the next nine months and hope that you are safe and happy and comfortable.

I won’t worry if we prepared you well to be on your own for the first time.

I won’t cry when we say goodbye, when we drive away leaving you behind. I won’t see this as you wave from your building. IMG_3351

I won’t count the days until Parents Weekend or Thanksgiving break or end of term.  I won’t wonder where the time went, how fast you grew, how beautiful you are.

I won’t miss you.

Nope. Not me.

Summer Giveaway

Hi Everyone,

Happy summer! They’re here, those lazy days we spend under the sun, reading and relaxing.  I am thrilled to be a part of the Dog Eared Days of Summer Book Giveaway.

For 12 weeks, Dog Eared Days will be giving away books of various genres, from children’s books, mysteries, humor, adventure and historical fiction. We’re already in week 4, so check out http://www.DogEaredDays.com.

This week I’m giving away 2 copies of Both Sides of Love.

To enter, just click here: http://www.dogeareddays.com/book/both-sides-of-love/

Week4

I’ll be back July 23-29 to give away copies of Letting Go.

The grand prize giveaway will go to one lucky winner who will win all eleven books. It’s going to be a great season!

Don’t forget your sunblock. Happy reading!

~Kim

 

Mother’s Day

So, this happened in the blink of an eye.

Sixteen years ago I was in a mall parking lot, wrestling with a foldable stroller while my toddler waited in the car to be released from his carseat. A woman passed me and said “I don’t miss those days.” I glared at her, finally got the stroller upright and locked and watched her walk away, by herself, carrying only a small purse. The memory is so clear, it’s as if it just happened.

Tomorrow will be my 18th Mother’s Day. Eighteen years of celebrating the hardest, most rewarding job I will ever have. Through the years, this day has changed significantly for me. I no longer receive hand-made cards and gifts with cute rhyming poems, cut-out hands listing reasons why I’m loved. My sons don’t run into my room at six am, jump on me and try to pry my eyelids open because they can’t wait another moment to hug or kiss me.

I no longer want to escape for an afternoon, spend some time shopping by myself, eat at a restaurant where the only meat I have to cut is my own, wearing something feminine, a nice break from spit-stained jeans.

Now, I have more free time than I know what to do with. My boys sleep until noon on the weekends leaving my husband and I to eat breakfast alone, giving me a glimpse into our future. It will be just us again soon. He and I, before the adventure began.

I’m not saying Mother’s Day is not wonderful now. It is. I’m surrounded by three men who I love more than I thought was possible. I can’t ask for more. It’s just…different.

I am also fortunate enough to be able to spend the day with my mother. Many of my friends don’t enjoy the same luxury. Their Mother’s Day will be spent with the memory of the very first person who loved them unconditionally. If you have your mother, hold onto her a bit longer when you see her.  You don’t know what tomorrow will bring.

I look at the moms of young children, at the store, the exasperation on their faces as they try to focus on their task while the repetitive Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, follows them up and down the aisles. Don’t take it for granted, I want to tell them. Don’t wish for these days to pass because they will – without mercy. And you’ll be nearing fifty, getting ready to send your baby to college, wishing for one more peanut-butter crusted, sticky-hugged, Sesame Street filled day.

I am now that woman in the parking lot who passed the younger me, struggling with the stroller. With one difference: I do miss those days. I miss them like crazy.

Happy Mother’s Day.

The Harsh Truth of the Past

I am a sentimental, nostalgic person. I have every Hallmark card my husband gave me over the past 24 years, all of the homemade cards and gifts my children made for me in nursery and elementary school, their first written words, pictures, early spelling tests and photos. These days, memories are saved on computers and phones, but for much of my life, photos were printed and held in boxes or albums. And I have plenty of each. A snapshot from every phase of my married life and of my children’s lives.

Each of my sons has a full bin of infant and child memorabilia awaiting them for when they embark on a life outside of our home. Through the years, I’ve saved items I thought they might love to have one day: things I thought important to them at the time, including but not limited to: baby books (each have two, completely filled), plush toys and teddy bears, favorite t-shirts, bibs, pictures and more. They’re going to want this stuff. I just know it.

Wonderful, right?

Wait for it.

My mother likes to tell a story of how I loved a doll so much, I carried the head around even after it separated from the body. That’s right. I carried a doll’s head under my arm. Under the other arm, I carried my bottle. In my mouth, a pacifier.

She tells it with a wistful smile, basking in the memory of my cuteness. I don’t remember this doll at all, but I can recite the story back word for word, it’s so ingrained in me. It’s a piece of my past.

Recently Mom found a box of my childhood memorabilia in her attic and brought it over. Excited, I foraged through it but was quickly disenchanted when I uncovered what waited for me. Inside I found all sorts of pieces I didn’t recognize including these corrective shoes for my severe pigeon-toed problem which, thanks to selective memory, my brain blocked out.

FullSizeRender

I wore this barbaric apparatus

I pulled out old report cards (note to self: hide from boys), school pictures illustrating questionable fashion sense and bad hair. (A perm, Kim, really?), and yes, the infamous, beloved, body-less doll.

This is no longer a sweet story but a creepy glimpse into my neurosis. I took the dismembered head and body out of the box and my children, 17 & 15, recoiled. I think my husband crossed himself but I can’t be sure. I was so totally focused on this horrific display into my past.

 Issues? Who me?

Staring at this disturbing time capsule, I came to the conclusion that some things are better left to the merciful mind, where time and self-preservation nestle reality within soft, rose-colored memories.

I placed the doll back into the box, along with the metal-barred shoes, the lackluster grades, the photo of me wearing a quilted shirt and frizzy hair, and replaced the cover (tightly). This box has a new home in my basement, in a dark corner, under thick cobwebs and hardened paint cans.

Maybe I’ll re-visit the boys’ bins.

Years from now, I’m sure I’ll look back on this new discovery with fondness.

 

 

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – Both Sides of Love by Kimberly Wenzler

I am so pleased to be featured in Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore, part of a wonderful, comprehensive site that offers something for everyone. And just in time for Valentine’s Day. For views on books, music, humor and health, please visit Smorgasboard- Variety is the spice of life. Have a great day everyone.

I doubt that it has escaped your attention that it is Valentine’s Day on Tuesday.  So what better way to start the week than sharing some romance. I would like to welcome Kimberly Wenzler to …

Source: Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – Both Sides of Love by Kimberly Wenzler

That Was Us…Then

I am a big fan of This Is Us, the new heartwarming drama on NBC. The show, still in its first season, is about the family lives of several people who share the same birthday. It’s told in a time-hopping fashion, jumping from the 1980’s to present day. Rebecca and Jack (played flawlessly, in my opinion, by Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia) are a young couple raising a family in the 80’s and the story of fraternal twins and an adopted brother continues in 2016.

I think one of the reasons I love it so much, in addition to the endearing characters and humorous, emotional storylines, is that the part of the show that takes place in the 1980’s reminds me of times that I loved and miss.

This past Tuesday, the entire episode took place in 1980. It was Jack’s birthday and his wife, Rebecca was extremely pregnant with triplets. My son happened to be in the den with me, working on his laptop as I watched a scene where the couple was upstairs in their new home when their telephone rang. Jack ran downstairs to answer it in the kitchen.

I turned to my son, who was watching.

“Back then, phones were attached to walls,” I told him. “You could walk only as far as the length of the cord. It was not smart. It had one sole purpose.”

He kept watching.

“You had no idea who was calling until you answered and if someone called the house while you were on the phone, they got a busy signal and hung up. You missed the call.”

He looked at me.

“I know,” I said. “Barbaric.”

It was a beautiful episode, it always is, with poignant sides stories involving the delivering doctor and a policeman, but I won’t give too much away. The hour culminated with the birth of the babies, the euphoria and  devastation that Rebecca and Jack experienced.

The final scene showed Jack, Rebecca and their children, at ten years old, watching home movies of the day they were born.

“We used to watch home movies exactly like that,” I told my son who had returned to his laptop. “The films had no sound, you know.” He brought his attention back to the TV to see what I was rambling about. I smiled to myself remembering how my brother and I watched the choppy, silent snippets of our lives while our parents tried to fill in the details. When the screen turned white and the spool let go in a clattered release, we rushed my father, in our delicious anticipation to see more, as he struggled to set up the next film. On and on we’d go until the last reel was wound.

Good times.

“You know,” I continued, “in the ’80’s, when we took pictures with a camera we had to wait for days to get the film developed. Yep, three days to find out your head was cut off or your eyes were closed.”

My son leaned forward and closed his laptop. “I don’t understand,” he said, pointing to the TV. “Who are the kids watching the home movies?”

“Those are the children that were born in the previous scene.”

“Who are the adults they keep showing on the coming attractions for next week?”

I explained. Then added: “The story takes place in 2016 with flashbacks to the 80’s so the viewer gets a full picture of the relationships between all of these people.”

He thought about it. “Good show,” he said. “I have to do some research.” Then he stood, holding his laptop and left the room.

Yes, it is.

Emotionally depleted, as I usually am on Tuesday nights, I pulled myself from the couch. “Hey Zach! Let me tell you about Encyclopedias…”

 

 

Hello 2017

Hello 2017.  1405325_orig

I would like to start the new year by thanking you all for your support and kind messages in 2016. I am truly grateful.

As we embark on another new year, I wish for you more happy days than sad, friends and loved ones to surround you and memorable moments that you’ll hold onto forever. May your year be filled with books that make you love, laugh and cry, music that swells your heart with emotion and may you unwrap each day and view it as the gift it is. Time is fleeting, friends. Life is wonderful and unpredictable.  But it is ours for the taking. Let’s make the most of it, shall we?

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Happy New Year.