Thursday, May 31, 2007

Fickle Hand of Fate, Part the First

My aunt and uncle Rose and Elton will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary this weekend, and their children are hosting a party in their honor at Colorado College (where their son works) in Colorado Springs, CO. My sisters from Woodburn, OR and Omaha, NE are flying in to Denver tomorrow, renting a car, and driving to Colorado Springs. Susan, the girls, and I are riding with my dad and stepmom (and their dog) in their motor home. There is a motel at the RV park where Dad has a reservation, and my sisters and my own family both have rooms at that motel for the weekend.

If we ever get there, that is. Perhaps a chronology is in order:

(1) We left Dickinson around 4:30 P.M. to start our journey in the motor home. Dad and I were so busy talking that we missed the turn to Belfield (we had planned to take this route) and didn't realize it until we reached Beach. To compensate, we turned south at Wibaux, MT and planned to drive through Baker and Ekalaka and Alzada into WY, finally connecting somewhere along the line with either Highway 59 or 85.

(2) Highway 323 south of Ekalaka includes a long stretch of poorly maintained gravel road. At first this was merely annoying: bumps in the road, things rattling in the cupboards, dust clouds in front of the windshield, etc. The addition of rain made it slightly treacherous; there's a lot of clay in that area, and a motor home pulling a car makes for a lot of weight to be sliding around on wet clay.

(3) Who had time, however, to rue the bumps or bemoan the sliding about? The radiator promptly went out--letting every last drop of coolant pour out onto the road--leaving us stranded at the side of a gravel road in a thunderstorm at night in rural MT.

(4) Dad thought he had paid for emergency roadside assistance, but a few cell phone calls and a perusal of his policy manuals revealed that that was not, in fact, the case. Still he was able to convince someone to call around on his behalf for a mechanic. One garage phoned back to say that their tow guy wasn't feeling well but might be able to come out in the morning. A second guy phoned to say that he'd be right out, but that he was coming from Belle Fourche, SD--some 50 or 60 miles away.

(5) After an interminable wait, Jim arrived and willingly worked in the cold and rain to investigate the radiator, looking for a disconnected hose or other roadside-reparable problem. No dice. So he connected the motor home (which, faithful readers will recall, was itself pulling Dad's car hitched behind it) to his pickup and began to tow us up and down the wet clay hills and around the many curves of the wet clay roads in the cold and rainy darkness. In no time, he was burning out the clutch on his pickup. The tow chain also broke. These seemed like bad signs.

(6) Last resort: set Jim loose to drive behind us, use the motor home's fresh water supply to refill the radiator, drive ten or so miles until it drained out again, refill, redrive, and repeat ad infinitum--or until we reached Alzada. Jim returned to Belle Fourche to sleep, promising to return in the morning to lead us to Belle Fourche where he would begin repairs to the radiator. We parked outside a bar along the highway to sleep.

We're all cold and muddy, Abigail is feeling nauseated, and the fridge in the motor home is malfunctioning and beeping continuously to let us know that it is not operating on propane. We just want it to shut up so that we can sleep. Morning departure time will be here in about four hours . . .

The girls experience the joy of eating while driving along in the motor home . . . completely unaware that they are hours away from disaster! [melodramatic caption, much?]

Dad and Beverly's dog, Bandy--equally unsuspecting!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Our First House Party!

We've always liked hosting guests at our house. Years ago, we had weekly get-togethers (referred to simply as "Friday nights") with our theatre friends at one or another couple's house, and we were happy to have ours included in the rotation. Those nights started as cast parties for various plays but soon became weekly staples in our social lives, whether or not a play was going on. In more recent years, we were in the rotation of host sites for "game nights" when several couples friends with children would converge at someone's house, where all the kids would play together while all the adults would enjoy adult beverages and adult games together. Those get-togethers included more elaborate outings, too, such as the cooking game Stir Crazy, our own Amazing Race, and a Christmas luau.

Fast-forward several months to a new house in a new city in a different state. Three people who work in my unit (at the university) are leaving--two to different units on campus and one to a different state for her husband's job. Susan and I hosted my coworkers at our house for a "thank you, farewell, and good luck" party for those folks. We had 32 people (15 of them under the age of 10) here for supper--and, God bless this home, we had plenty of room for everyone. It helped that the weather cooperated. The kids played in the back yard, in the front yard, on the driveway, in the garage, in the neighbors' yards with the neighbor kids--they kept themselves occupied. The adults gathered around the island in the kitchen (where all Midwestern get-togethers tend to wind up, anyway) and in the living room and out on the veranda.

It was a potluck, so everybody brought something. I tried to smoke everybody off the place by grilling hot dogs and hamburgers--patties with such high fat content that the flames were leaping like nobody's business (but, oh, how moist they were!), and the smoke was a-billowin'. We bought about 15 12-packs of about a dozen kinds of pop and filled a 90-can-capacity cooler out on the veranda. We also supplied hamburger fixin's, potato chips, and disposable plates, cups, flatware, and napkins. Items that others brought included crockpots of Mexican beans and rice, Midwestern baked beans and hamburger, and spicy meatballs in a cream sauce; macaroni salad, watermelon, herb bread and cheese dip, pudding salad, and pizza casserole; and, for dessert, pistachio salad, pineapple upside-down cake, and vanilla bean ice cream. There was so much food left over that everybody in our unit is planning to spend our lunch hour tomorrow walking to the Moberg house (for exercise), eating leftovers, and then walking back to campus!

We have had our neighbors over "of an evening" for beverages and dessert on the veranda, and a university colleague and her husband and their daughter have been here a couple times for supper. We also have a few more couples who will bring their kids over and join us for supper in the next few weeks, once we coordinate our schedules. We've also had family over for supper on several holidays and other occasions. However, this was our first time hosting a large group of people in our new home, and we were happy to have the room to do it. Thank you, New House!

Monday, May 28, 2007

A Beautiful Memorial Day

After my morning shower, I stepped onto the veranda to sample the weather and found it so temperate that I remained there, prompting my three children--one at a time--to join me for conversation and cuddling. Susan was making a big breakfast (ham/cheese/red pepper/onion omelettes, lemon poppyseed muffins, grapefruit, juice, coffee), and she served it on the veranda, so we ate outside, too. Then we started looking at the dozen or so pots of flowers that Susan potted yesterday (while I mowed the lawn, planted moss roses on the west side of the house, and got sunburned), which led to further weeding, which led to digging out the tiller, and soon a day's worth of tasks unfolded before me. But now all the bicycle tires and basketballs are aired up, and my work bench in the garage is organized, and everything that we planted yesterday is watered, and a faucet in the powder room is repaired, etc. It was such a lovely day that we ate all three meals outdoors, including grilled bratwurst for dinner and grilled marinated venison steaks for supper (along with baked beans, grilled potato/onion/bacon packets, watermelon, and homemade rice pudding for dessert). Oh, and did I mention my sunburned neck from spending two solid days out in the sun?

Ours is the kind of neighborhood in which a neighbor will stroll over to our backyard to discuss gardening when he hears me starting up the tiller, and his wife will pop over later in the afternoon to compliment us on our flowers, and the couple across the street will grab a box of popsicles to offer the girls when they ride their bikes over to visit, and another neighbor will launder and deliver clothing that our kids had left over at her house when playing there with her child. It's awesome. It's also awesome that our children can be off playing with neighborhood children, running among various yards, checking in with us occasionally but otherwise keeping themselves occupied with their friends . . . and all the neighborhood adults keep an eye on them.

Our girls found a turtle in the street this morning--yes, a turtle!--and "rescued" it. They put a little water and a rock in the bottom of a large plastic pail and placed Shelly (get it? "shell"-y?) in it, from which she spent the rest of the day trying in vain to escape. Susan diced some carrots, cantaloupe, and lettuce to feed Shelly (thank you, Internet, for knowing what turtles eat), and our daughters and a couple neighborhood girls spent the day hauling around Shelly in her pail in a wagon tied with a jump rope to a bike (this they called "giving her exercise"). When the girls wondered whether Shelly would drown in the large amount of water they had provided in her bucket, I suggested they put an even larger amount of water on the stove, boil it, and let Shelly live in that along with some chopped carrots, celery, and potatoes. No dice. At the end of the day, I was going to repatriate Shelly by driving her to nearby Patterson Lake. This prompted one of the neighbor girls to convince her parents to borrow Grandma's aquarium and turn it into a terrarium so that Shelly can live in the girl's bedroom instead. Good luck, Shelly; I tried.


Suzanna shows off Shelly. She's a good-sized turtle! And what's a turtle doing wandering the streets of Dickinson, ND? The world may never know.

Hillary is learning to ride a bicycle. She's going straight from a trike to a bike, training wheels be damned. You go, girl!

Sunday night we went to St. Patrick's Cemetery in Dickinson to visit relatives' graves for Memorial Day. Here Susan and the girls are at the grave of Sue, Susan's mother who passed away eight years ago.

Saturday night the girls posed with their second-cousins at Makenzie's graduation party: from left to right, they're Shantell, Makenzie, and Paige, my cousin Darren's daughters.

Makenzie, Paige, and Shantell have two little kitties. Hillary helped me to cuddle one of them.

Although their last day of school was Wednesday, Hillary's class celebrated their kindergarten graduation on Tuesday. Do you think she might be a little proud?

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Let the Summer Begin!

This past week was our daughters' last week of classes for this school year. I think they could have shut 'er down a week earlier; I'm not sure how much academic work was done in the final days of the year. (Suzanna is watching over my shoulder as I type this, and she says, "None. Just letting you know. None.") In the days leading up to Wednesday (their final day), Suzanna's class went mini-golfing, watched movies, had a picnic, and on the last day went to the West River Community Center to swim and play basketball and enjoy the playground there. Abigail's class bowled instead of golfed but otherwise did the same activities. Hillary's class went to Fisher Park, hosted a Mommy Makeover Day, and had a kindergarten graduation party. Her incredibly thoughtful teacher gave each student a DVD on which she had had one of the class's more tech-savvy dads burn a slideshow set to music.

The slideshow features photos of the class throughout the year displayed while a series of appropriate songs plays, one of which especially tugged at our hearts. It was Lonestar's "Let Them Be Little" about enjoying children while they're still children ("'cause they're only that way for a while"). While we sat around the computer watching the slideshow and crying over the words to that song as photos of little Hillary and her classmates flashed on the screen, our daughters came over to us and wiped away our tears and rubbed our backs and gave us hugs--which, of course, made us cry all the more. Billy Dean's video for his version of the same song might have the same effect on you; give it a try!

So, although the weather has been cool and overcast this week, school is out so summer has begun. After Memorial Day the girls will begin their summer activities, including basketball camp, basketball league, gymnastics, children's theatre camp, summer reading program (theme: "Saddle Up and Read, Bookaroo") at the public library, and swimming lessons (not all simultaneous, by the way).

Oh, and their final report cards came home with them on the last day of school, too, and I'm happy to announce that they all passed and will advance to the next grade in the fall: Suzanna to fourth grade, Abigail to third, and Hillary to first.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Congratulations, Makenzie!

We are stuffed! We just returned from a graduation party for my cousin Darren's daughter Makenzie, and her mom Sheri fed us all very well (in that typical western ND way that I remember so well from my childhood): two different kinds of barbecue (from eight roasts that she cooked and pulled apart), homemade baked beans, an Italian pasta/vegetable salad, a creamy cauliflower/broccoli/onion/bacon salad, a cherry/whipped topping salad, olives and raw veggies and dip and ham/cream cheese/dill pickle wraps, watermelon, numerous kinds of chips and dips, and an assortment of beverages. Midway through the evening, they served champagne in honor of the event, and a little later, Makenzie cut and served her cake. (The focus on the food should tell you something about my priorities in life!)

Sheri and Darryl (her fiancé) have a home in the country northwest of town. They've done a nice job of redecorating it and landscaping the yard and cleaning up the out-buildings on the grounds. It's all in a very beautiful setting: rolling hills, a long and curvy road from the county road leading over a meandering creek into the yard, pasture land surrounding the yard, lots of trees surrounding the place, etc. It was a sunny day with a cool breeze, so after getting a tour of the house and grounds and loading up our plates, we gathered outside to visit into the evening.

Makenzie and her sisters Paige and Shantell were great hosts to our girls and the three boys who were there. They played on the trampoline and played "kick the can" in the yard, and the older girls drove the littler kids around the yard on the six-wheeler. There were horses to see and dogs and cats (and two five-week-old kittens) to play with, too. As the sun began to set, the air cooled off considerably, and we gathered up our shivering, chattering children (and their shivering, chattering dad) and drove them home, popped them in the shower, and tucked them into bed.

It is good to be near family and be able to take part in their special occasions. We would have been at my cousin Brenda's daughter Meghan's graduation last weekend, too, but for the girls' dance recital on the same day. I know the food there would have been delicious, too--more motivation to attend!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Date Night = Fun for Everyone in the Family

Thanks to my boss, Susan and I had a date! My boss (and friend) Mary Jo offered to come over and spend tonight with the girls so that Susan and I could go see Spider-Man 3. We invited Mary Jo and her daughter to join us for supper at our house first. Then we left them at the mercy of our children.

The line to the ticket counter at Cinema Three was long and snaked out the entryway to the Prairie Hills Mall (where the theater is located). As the clock ticked closer to 7:00 P.M. (show time for Spider-Man 3), we were nowhere near the front of the line yet. Mercifully, most of the people in front of us left when the ticket counter announced that Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End had just sold out. We got into our theater late, but they were just beginning the previews, so we missed nothing.

Susan and I enjoyed the movie (more on that later here). We returned to a houseful of pretty ladies. They had had a fashion and dance show using the dress-up clothes and Suzanna's CD player. They had styled each other's hair and done one another's makeup and applied perfume and painted their fingernails and toenails. They had had popcorn and pop and watched the Disney channel. They were eager to show off their appearances and replicate their dances, and it got them all riled up again--just before we sent away our babysitting guests and tucked our own munchkins into bed!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I'm Back

"Where have you been?" you may be wondering, due to the absence of posts this week. I was on the road again for another conference. This one was a student affairs conference at the Wellness Center at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. (Sorry, Grand Cities friends: no time for socializing, so you didn't get any calls from me this time.) It featured very worthwhile workshops on the student affairs profession as well as on assessment and budgeting in university student affairs. It also gave me an opportunity to get to know better some colleagues from my own campus.

The setting was very impressive. Go ahead--click on the Wellness Center link above. It's a fantastic facility, and I was happy to have gotten a tour midway through the conference. Following the final workshop session, we also got a tour of the American Indian Student Services Center, another new facility that was impressive to see.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Ballet, Bandy, and Brownies

Friday afternoon, the girls' Aunt Cheryl watched a bit of their dance rehearsal (for "Dancing to the Stars," 4:00 P.M., May 19 and 20, Stickney Auditorium, Dickinson State University). She was in town for her son Arron's baseball game and stole away to catch a little culture before heading back to Mandan.

Yesterday afternoon Grandpa and Grandma Moberg drove down from McGregor for the dance recital. They also took the opportunity to introduce us to their new dog, Bandy:

(That's not Bandy; that's Hillary goofing around on her daddy.)

Perhaps it's needless to say that Bandy was a big hit. She is very excitable and generous with her sloppy kisses. I ran around a bit with her outside, and the girls had their turn after the recital. She's funny. However--just as some childless couples feel about other people's children--we were happy to play with her and then send her back with her owners. When we can enjoy other people's pets, why commit to the hassles and obligations of having our own? Three daughters is work enough.

The weather has been cold and overcast yesterday and today, so it was a bit depressing to be out and about. Once inside the auditorium, however, we warmed up with pride at the sight of the girls' dancing:

Suzanna (second from left) and Abigail (in the front on the right) tap to Tony Bennett's version of "Shine on Your Shoes"

Hillary's ballet number: Josef Strauss' "Jokey Polka"

Hillary's tap number: Adriana Caselotti's "Whistle While You Work"

Suzanna and Abigail's ballet number: Johann Strauss' "Tritsch-Tratsch Polka"

Cold weather be danged, we grilled supper for Dad and Beverly after we got home: salmon, potato packets, and Italian vegetable packets. For dessert (not grilled): brownies and vanilla ice cream. It was fun to visit with the 'rents and give them the Grandparents Day cards that the girls had been saving for whenever Grandpa and Grandma returned from life on the road. It was also fun to meet Bandy and let her get to know us a little better before we join her (and Dad and Beverly) for a road trip in their motorhome to Colorado Springs, CO in a couple weeks (for my aunt and uncle Rose and Elton's 50th anniversary celebration, courtesy of their children).

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Roughing It

Last night was the girls' final dress rehearsal for their spring dance recital ("Dancing to the Stars," 4:00 P.M., May 19 and 20, Stickney Auditorium, Dickinson State University). While they rehearsed, Susan and I bought a bunch of flowers to put in pots in front of our house and on our veranda. We got several large pots with plants already in them. They can take full sun, so we got them to decorate the cement pad between our driveway and our front door on the southwest corner of our house. We already have several empty pots, so we got potting soil and several flats of a variety of flowers to pot as we see fit. They all take partial sun, so they should enjoy living on the veranda on the east side of our house.

While Susan picked up the girls from dance, I placed the potted plants beside the driveway. We ate supper on the veranda and then hung out on the bench outside the front door while Susan deadheaded the plants and the girls jumped rope, played in the grass, danced around, etc. It was a gorgeous evening: slight breeze, not too warm or cool, no bugs (well, Susan did kill one mosquito). We even went as a family for a walk around the block just after dusk.

When we returned, we decided the weather was just perfect for a campout. We don't have a tent or cots, but we do have sleeping bags and a lovely veranda. So the girls and I (Susan's back is still not tip-top, so lying on a tile floor all night did not entice) laid out some quilts, put our sleeping bags atop them, got our pillows and blankies and stuffed animals, and snuggled up for a night sleeping in the great outdoors. We heard birds and squirrels and breezes through the trees and soon were off to slumberland.



The serenity ended about 1:30 A.M. when the artic gales awoke Daddy. Abigail stayed asleep, but Suzanna could not get warm enough and commenced a routine of continually scootching over next to my sleeping bag, shivering, re-scootching, re-shivering, etc. Hillary had scootched her little butt right out of our shared sleeping bag, so I scooped her up, pulled her back in, and pinned the edges of the sleeping bag on either side of her, using my arms to hold it down. She buried her face in my chest and wrapped her arms and legs around me to stay warm.

This I took to be a sign: Time to move indoors. That we did, and I'm sad to say the weather is no less chilly and windy this morning. Our plants and bags of potting soil are still waiting on the veranda while we sit inside warming up over ice-cream-caramel rolls, scrambled eggs, bacon, and coffee. It's a reminder of why our family chooses to "go camping" in this manner: sleeping outdoors is fine with me so long as the comforts of home are from one inch to three feet away.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Makeup and Music

Yesterday was a busy day for our camera. Hillary's kindergarten class had "Mommy Makeover Day"--a chance to celebrate moms (a slightly belated Mother's Day event) by giving hair and makeup products to five-year-olds and letting them loose on the women who birthed them . . . and who then had to return to work displaying their children's handiwork. Susan was delighted to report for an after-school meeting and later to be seen on campus when she dropped the girls off for dance rehearsal. Wisely she chose to wear sunglasses to hide the "football player" look that Hillary had crafted for her (and nice hair, too):

Hillary displays a gift she put together for Mommy: a marigold planted in a bee flower pot with the poem, "A Marigold for Mom."

Hillary's class also sang their Mommies a special song (to the tune for "Sing a Song of Sixpence"):

My mom's number one,
the best mom in the world.
She is not a boy,
but she's kind of not a girl.
I don't know her age;
I ask, but she won't say.
I'll stop asking soon and wish her,
"Happy Mother's Day!"

Anyway, Susan got "made over," attended her meeting, shuttled all the girls to campus for their penultimate dress rehearsal for this weekend's dance recital ("Dancing to the Stars," 4:00 P.M., May 19 and 20, Stickney Auditorium, Dickinson State University), washed her face and repaired her hair, picked up food from Quizno's, brought it to campus for us all to eat quickly following dance rehearsal, helped the girls get cleaned up, and then ushered us all to the girls' 7:00 P.M. piano recital in DSU's choir room. Whew!

Suzanna and Abigail have been taking piano lessons from Leah, a college student majoring in music. Lessons have been right after school on Fridays in the music practice rooms on campus, making it easy for the girls to walk over (a five-minute journey), have their lessons, and then join me in my office (a one-minute journey) so that I can take them home. Leah's piano teacher, a piano instructor at DSU, had a recital last night for her students, some of whom (like Leah) give lessons to students of their own, who were also invited to perform.

Suzanna and Leah played a duet called "Colorful Sunset" by Nancy Faber, and Abigail and Leah played a duet called "Donkeys Love Carrots" by Nancy and Randall Faber. They each did very well and have a fine musical sense when it comes to maintaining tempo and playing dynamics (which were not high priorities for a majority of their peers last night). Another performer's mom came over to talk to me before the recital. She was Susan's bank coworker years ago, now living with her husband in Dickinson and a mother of three. It was nice to reconnect with her and will be nice to socialize with her family in the future.

Abigail, Leah, Suzanna, and Blanche (another student of Leah and friend of the girls)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Master of My Fate

What do you think of this classic William Ernest Henley poem?

"Invictus"

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Sandy's Big News

I've been sittin' on this news for about a week, not wanting to steal my sister's thunder. But now that she's gone public with it, I will, too! Congratulations, Sandy!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Happy Birthday, Buddy!

Today's guest blogger: my sister Cathy!


Buddy is the black-and-white kitty on the left. My nearly 14-year-old Spooky is the black kitty on the right. He's (Buddy) my "little old man," and she's (Spooky) my little "chub-a-loni." This photo was taken when they were both staring at the plate of food on my lap. Today marks the birthday of my oldest kitty, Buddy. Not so amazing, right? Well, Buddy is 20 years old today! Now that's amazing to me! He's thin, walks carefully, and still receives I.V. treatments twice a day (for kidney disease) but is doing well and still plays. In fact, he was chasing me through the house again just this past Sunday! I'm impressed with the little guy. :-)

P.S. Hey, Cathy, tell my faithful readers how you decided upon May 15 as Buddy's birthday.

Get Outta Here

I deliver the girls to their schools each morning, and Susan picks them up each afternoon and shuttles them to dance or takes them home, depending on the day. (On Fridays after piano lessons on campus, I take them home.) When I drop off Suzanna and Abigail at their school, they give me smooches, collect their backpacks, get out, and walk themselves into the school as I drive away. When arriving at Hillary's school, I have usually parked, shut off the vehicle, gone around and opened Hillary's door for her, offered to carry her backpack, walked her in to hang up her backpack, walked her to the playground, and waited there for the playground supervisor to arrive before smooching Hillary and then leaving.

Well, as the year has progressed, that routine with Hillary has evolved into more independence for her. She is fully aware of her upcoming sixth birthday, and she wants to be "a big girl" in many ways. Most recently she has had me leave the vehicle running while I come around to open her door, smooch her at the vehicle, and then watch her walk herself inside the fence (around the playground) before I drive off. Last night she mastered the trick of opening the sometimes-uncooperative passenger-side rear door from the inside all by herself (it requires throwing one's weight at just the right spot on the door while pulling the handle at just the right angle), so this morning she wanted to do everything just as her sisters do: Dad pulls up to the sidewalk; Daughter unbuckles, leans forward, smooches and hugs Dad, and exchanges wishes for a good day; Daughter grabs backpack and gets out of vehicle; Daughter walks self into school.

All went well, and I watched with pride touched with a bit of sadness at the continuing loss of Hillary's five-year-oldness. Still, I remained at the sidewalk to watch her maneuver through the gate and make her way into the school. But she didn't give me that opportunity. For me to do what I do with the other girls, I needed to drive away as she was walking, not wait around to watch her get inside the building. Here's how she reminded me to do that:

"You can just leave now."

And I drove away.

(The Tom Hanks movie Big was made into a musical featuring a beautiful song called "Stop, Time." In it a mother reflecting on her son's growing up wishes that she could stop time, singing, "Nobody warns you of this parent's paradox: You want your kids to change and grow, but when they do, another child you've just begun to know leaves forever.")