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90 Days In The Sun - With Sons

I am a cookbook author and freelance food feature writer. I have three sons and as the solo parent, naturally am the only female in the house, discounting a semi-residential squirrel we think is female (it's the hips - says oldest son). Life with 'my three sons' is not unlike living with Larry, and his brother Darrel and his other brother Darrel. My sons, 10, 14, and 17 were largely home with me, 24/7, for the three summer months.

Parents are known to roll their eyes when it comes to navigating free, unstructured time with their offspring. No doubt, it can be a challenge. So, how did we spent our summer vacation, you ask? Well, here is the view from abroad.

Early each morning we would all rise early and meditate together. By 6 am,
chanting and meditation done, we opted for our usual tea blend of ginseng and hemp and munched on tofu multi grain scones the boys would bake fresh each day. Then it was on to feed our wild bird family, untangle all the wind chimes, light the incense, and tend to the sourdough starters we keep on hand for our organic baking.

In the background, there was always a Solitudes cd - the boys favored Loons in the Adirondack With Leaky Porch Swing, with Celtic Guitar in the background.

The long, hazy, days of summer were largely filled with our Pilate classes (my youngest son is in Advanced), yoga, and boning up on our feng shui know-how. Lunchtimes were spent at various poetry reading groups in Montreal or simply strolling through our many museums. So often, I had to beg the boys to get them to leave the museums most days! How they yearn for those excursions! Other times, we just would spend hours and hours at a do-it-yourself ceramic café where the boys made a ton of tea cups and butter dishes I am sure we will get to use one of these days.

Late afternoons found us having tea at the Ritz or just as often, all together at home, taping Oprah and watching old Oprah shows or simply catching up on our needlepoint. The only tensions arose when a particularly good Martha Stewart segment vied with Doctor Phil - so much good stuff to watch and discuss!

Evenings were spent at chamber music concerts or lectures such as Finding
Your Inner Ornithologist or Tarot for Teenagers or our vegan gourmet supper
club.

The days habitually finished with moon gazing, decaf cappuccinos and Oreos,
and reading The Ballet Shoes Series. All of us are movie buffs so I confess, Sense and Sensibility got raves here, as did Strictly Ballroom and When Harry Met Sally. We even bought the sound track cd's - the boys were that enthused! The one time I wanted to rent Rocky 4 and Terminator I got scathing looks and wagging fingers from the boys.

All in all, a gorgeous, glorious, new age summer of sensibility with my trio of guys.

Ok, the truth? How did we really spend our summer vacation? I tested recipes for my new cookbook - shrieking for two months solid I would never make my book deadline. The boys broke a few neighbors windows, saying it was MY fault since I am ignoring then by being on the computer too long and they were forced to turn things up a notch in the backyard. We lived either at one of two local fast food places (both of which now us by name AND our orders). We could be found either there or from 5 pm till about 10 pm almost any night, on any a number of baseball diamonds ...since all three boys are avid (as am I) baseball fanatics and are on teams as respectively pitcher, catcher, and a stellar right fielder (that would be Ben, my ten year old - voted Most Spirited player on his team because he has a grin like Alfred E. Newman and a constant chortle to match) .

The only one who watched Oprah was me and that was with my middle son
hissing in my ear "Dr. Phil is one geek. Seriously".

Evening down time was usually Oz, The Sopranos and Malcolm in the Middle and every baseball flick you can rent. The only incense we had was enough to
carbonize the hard drive in my computer - the repair of which took up much of August and all of my webmaster's patience and good nature.

We did fit in some great family times, and got to catch the Simpson's Live.
Somehow, with baking, writing, working at the 'home office' and simply being
Mom (i.e. on a good day that means I am a princess; on a bad day it is more
like "STELLA!") and loving my sons, we managed another wonderful, special,
unique summer chez nous.

In the end, it was a wild and too-short summer all the same. School is a
blessing but you know something? Even though I couldn't wait for them to go
back to school...the house is strangely quiet. Hmmmmm..just enough time for
a cup of tea, Style magazine, and a few minutes of a good romantic comedy,
before that school bus rounds the corner!

Marcy Goldman


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