Sunday, March 29, 2009

Smart Computers

Computers now days are supposed to be smart. They know everything about us: our social security numbers, where we shop online, what celebrities we might have secret crushes on. Right? Then why are there a few things they just can't get straight? I mean, if they were THAT smart, then I'd stop getting emails about breast enhancement surgery. Case in point?

Although I had a wonderful experience at the hospital where I recently gave birth, I was asked three times about my mother. Apparently the computer system was smart enough to know that I was her daughter and it linked us together. What the computer system was NOT smart enough to know is that she had died. I had to explain this three times, to three different people: once before my son was born, once after he was born, and the two days later when we were back for a bilirubin test. It was not something I wanted to be reminded of at any of those moments. And how do you explain it? She died? She passed away? She's deceased? Then the person who asked mumbles "Oh, I'm sorry" and then is embarrassed. Yeah, awkward.

When I told my father about it, he said, "Yeah, I got a call less than a year ago from the hospital asking how her cancer treatments were going. I had to tell them that she'd died--over five years ago." 
"Well, somehow that information is STILL not in their computer system," I told him. 
"Why does the computer make the connection anyway?" he asked me.
"Oh, probably in case I don't pay my bill, they want a way to find me," I said.
"Well then, that's where you made your mistake. You should've just said, yep, she's my Mom--send the bill to her."

Oops. That would have been funny, Dad. And smart. Very smart.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

His Eyes

My pediatrician told me that by about six months my baby's eyes would stop changing and become the color they will always be. Right now, his eyes are brownish in the middle and blue/grey on the outside. To me, they look like the color of storm clouds--gathering. Will they stay this way and what does that mean?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Chivalry Alive

I was at the pool yesterday with my kids at swimming lessons. There was a Mom, dropping off her son. Since he was early for his lesson, he headed to the balcony to wait. I heard his Mom tell him that either she, or his Dad, would be back to pick him up. He nodded and climbed the stairs. I was behind him, carrying my sleeping baby in his car seat. At the top of the stairs, the boy saw me. He stopped and waited and held the door open for me. His Mom was long gone, out the door, but I wish she could have seen him. Surely, she'd be proud: it was so thoughtful and sweet. See, chivalry is not dead, not in that ten-year old boy. Perhaps, then, there is hope for all the world.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


My daughter has a friend at school. Her name is Rose Marie. She has long, bright carrot-colored hair. I met her once, at Albertsons. She's gorgeous. She smiled shyly and I instantly liked the girl. My daughter likes her too. She comes home with stories of Rose Marie and tells me how nice and how beautiful she is, both inside and out. 

One day my daughter told me that she feels so sad for Rose Marie for one reason. It seems that she goes to speech therapy. 

Lots of kids do. I tell her. Not to worry. She'll learn to say whatever sounds she's struggling with. Just give her time.

Oh, I know, Mom, my daughter tells me. It's just that the only sound she has a hard time with is the "R" sound. She makes it more like a "W." My daughter is disgusted when I look at her blankly. "Mom, her name STARTS with an R." Oh. Yes, it does. "Mom. I just want her to be able to say her own name, the way it's supposed to sound."
And that's my girl. Always waiting for the day when a good thing will happen. Even if it happens to someone else.