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Emily Morrison

Emily Morrison

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Wednesday, 29 January 2014 17:16

Are you an Epimetheus?

I know what you're thinking, and it's a good question. Who or what is Epimetheus? For all of you who are not up on your Greek mythology, allow me to enlighten you. 

Back in the day, about 1,000 years before the birth of Christ, the Greeks wrote about gods and goddesses, giants and monsters, virgins and sacrifices. Good times, I've heard. In the last decade or so, Hollywood has churned out some epic movies on these epic myths: 'Troy,' 'Alexander' and the 'Percy Jackson & the Olympians' series to name a few. Nothing really beats Brad Pitt in a loin cloth, but Collin Farrell with blond highlights is a close second. Recently, Logan Lerman's 'Aw shucks, me, a demi-god?' portrayal of Poseidon's son, Percy, has struck a chord with tweens and teens everywhere, so Greco-Roman myth has happily seen a bit of resurgence in today's pop culture.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014 23:20

In praise of middle-aged mothers

Ever had your house cleaned from top to bottom without lifting a finger? Ever arrived home after working like a dog and found logs on the fire, a meal in the fridge and the surface of your kitchen counter clean and clearly visible? Chances are your home has been visited by the same house sprite who generously sprinkles her fairy dust over the abodes of adult children everywhere: YOUR MOM. 

I don't know why they do it or what the exact cut off age is, but the mothers I know (my friends are all over 30-something) just can't stop mothering. Funny thing, that maternal instinct doesn't seem to ever shut down. Middle aged moms keep doing laundry, bringing meals, letting the dog out, buying tablecloths and arranging centerpieces for every season (pumpkins for the fall, holly berries for the winter, Easter lilies for the spring and fresh lilacs and linen candles for the summer). Moms swoop in to save the day in their retirement cars and comfortable shoes without every expecting more in return than a phone call. 

Wednesday, 15 January 2014 22:52

A rat's paradise

Life's a rat race to the finish sometimes. We all want to get to the cheese before some other rat noses his little whiskers into our gouda. Though it's painful to admit, sometimes we just have to concede that we're not going to get there first. In fact, we might not get there at all. When we accept the smelly crumbs we come across and start picking up the pieces, sometimes where we end up is even better than the rat's paradise we envisioned.  

In my life I have three unshakeable priorities: my family, my career and my writing. Now that I've added a marathon to the mix, I suppose you could say I have acquired a fourth: training for the marathon. And church on Sunday. Oh, man, I can't forget about Baby Jesus. But that's it: Kids, teaching, writing, running and sweet Baby Jesus. That's it for me. 

Wednesday, 08 January 2014 14:48

Give me a break...'

'Give me a break. Break me off a piece of that kit-kat bar.' I'm not one to complain much, often, a lot. I don't usually gripe about life's little letdowns or spend too much time bending people's ears on all the ways my existence falls short (my nightly phone calls to my mother don't count). Yeah, I sound off about my power going out, kids getting sick, loathing of winter, lack of Christmas spirit, anonymity, soccer motherhood, domestic squabbles, cat who sleeps with her derriere in my face, missed doctor's appointments, less than stellar moments of motherdom, busy schedule, hatred of Barbie, messy house, teaching woes and physical imperfections, but I'm generally a positive type of gal. Can't you tell? 

My vacation felt like one catastrophe after another. Our house remained off the grid for seven days. I took two of my kids to the E.R. on two separate occasions (one of which was on Christmas day). The driveway was almost impassable and the relatives who were driving some distance to see us had to drive clear up to the big city of Bangor before they could make it to the big city of Bucksport (falling ice closed the bridge). We've lost every birch in a 10-mile radius of our home, and to cap things off, I'm going through a life change that has really taken the wind out of my sails. Happy Holidays.

Monday, 30 December 2013 23:37

Powerless, again

I have 34 minutes of battery life on my laptop to write this story. I must be quick. I must be concise. I have been without power for 21 hours. 

My story begins on a Saturday night with my son's runny nose. I can bet money on the number of times Jack has gone to bed with the sniffles and woke up with a full-blown head cold. For most kids, this is no big deal. Average kids can weather 12 colds a year and keep on going. Jack has asthma and ill-formed eustachian tubes. Add these two unfortunate circumstances together, and you get a kid who makes a lot of mucous with no way to drain it from his ears. I blame the genetics from my husband's side of the family, but really, blame is of no use. One hundred or so ear infections later, the only thing that is of use is antibiotics, and lots of them. 

Thursday, 26 December 2013 14:07

Mom's Christmas wish list

Any parent worth their salt tells their kids the same thing around Christmas time: 'Please, don't get me anything!' Before I had kids, I used to think this was a tricky ploy parents used in a subversive effort to suck more out of their children. Reverse Psychology 101, textbook material. It's sort of like people coming over around dinner time, announcing they're starving, then watching you chow down. You feel bad for people who say they don't want anything, especially if these people gave you life.

This year, my children are actually at an age where they can accompany one of us to the store and pick out their own gifts for us. They've amassed some allowance money, squandered some birthday cash and stolen from tables and dressers in our home. They have money to burn (even if it's not theirs and all in change.) With her fortune burning a hole in her pocket, my 8-year-old asked me what I'd like for Christmas this year, so I gave her the parent party line, 'Please, don't get me anything for Christmas, sweetheart. Your love is enough.'

Tuesday, 17 December 2013 21:54

Winter, you wench, you.

She comes into your house in the form of runny noses, persistent coughs and double ear infections that take two rounds of antibiotics to cure, and then she just straight chills. She drips her wet, snowy self all over your hardwood floors and makes no apologies. Not one little, 'Oh, did I do that? Who, me, Winter?' Worst of all, she makes you outfit your kids like giant, mismatched marshmallows who have lost all sense of balance and mobility. Bad news bears, bad news. 

I understand we live in Maine. I get it. The Northeast doesn't exactly promise sunny and 75 more than two months out of 12. But come on, negative 30? Who's down with that? How can I send my little marshmallows off to school prepared to face recess in the sub-Artic? 

Thursday, 12 December 2013 00:22

Kamikaze Christmas

Why is it that before the drumstick hits the table, the tinsel is on the tree? The yams don't even have time to linger in the fridge before Black Friday shoppers slug it out in the aisles. Don't get me wrong. I love the eggnog, the house lights, the Christmas specials on TV, the food, the fanfare, but I just can't get into the Christmas spirit yet.

Here's why. My mother-in-law has cornered the Christmas market. This woman decorates the doorknobs of her home. I'm not kidding. She has so many decorations that I suspect if Charmin came out with reindeer-themed toilet paper, she'd wipe her hiney with Rudolph's red nose. How can I top that? 

Tuesday, 26 November 2013 23:47

Thirty minutes of fame

Have you ever felt like you're on the verge of saying or doing something brilliant, but you just don't know what yet? In fact, you're so convinced that you will be revolutionary, you have already envisioned your 30 minutes of fame right down to the last millisecond.

If you're an athlete, you're hoisting the Lombardi trophy while the crowd goes wild. If you're a singer, you've just won 'The Voice' and Blake Shelton wants to do a duet before you do drinks later (though you're pretty sure he's crocked already). If you're a working fool, you're giving your speech at the Employee of the Year conference while that harpy shrew from accounting plasters a fake smile over her loser face. If you're a writer, you've just signed a movie deal after 10 straight weeks atop the New York Times Best Seller List. You're so profoundly talented, you pee excellence.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013 20:38

How much breast is best?

Some people might say I nursed my son too long, and it's definitely a matter for debate. He consciously remembers nursing, unconsciously fondles my mammary glands, and occasionally asks if I make milk anymore. I know what you're thinking. What kind of hippie-loving, rainforest-hugging, leg-hair-braiding mother am I?

Actually, I am none of the above. I am a teacher who wears comfortable shoes, slays whole rain forests with one-sided photocopies and shaves her leg hair according to the seasons daily in the summer, weekly in the winter (the other two don't count). I am not one of those women who belong on an Oprah Winfrey special or the cover of 'Time.' Nor do I agree with the American University professor who breast-fed her child in front of a captive audience, her students. Come on, lady. Let's have a little more decorum behind the desk.    

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