camera update

May 11, 2008

ok, well, my amazing camera got stolen, as you may remember.  and i was totally heartbroken.  so jay took me to circuit city and we bought a little $100 digital camera to assuage the grief.  i was thrilled!  it’s no nikon d80, but hey, it will capture my child and at this point, i’ll take anything.  even drawing lessons.

so.  my better half took the camera on his fishing trip this week.  here’s a little excerpt from one of our phone conversations:

him:  today was a little interesting.

me:  really…?

him:  yeah…you know, things were kind of, you know, off.

me:  really…?

him:  <silence>

me:  well, what happened, honey?

him:  oh…well, you know.  um.  well.  so i went out on the creek, right?  and um, i took the camera out of my pocket.  and i dropped it right into the creek. 



why i love comast

May 8, 2008

ok, so i get a comment on my post the other day–you know, the one about caleb peeing on the cable box and irreparably shorting it out–from COMCAST.  yeah.  it was their national headquarters and god only knows how they ended up on my blog, but thank goodness they did.  and they wanted to HELP.  i know–i nearly had a heart attack, too. 

at first i thought it was a hoax, so i emailed the lady and in turns out she was for real.  and she contacted the regional office on my behalf to see what could be done about the box.  and they called me within a couple of hours and left a message:  “ms. wolf, this is so-and-so from comcast and we’d be more than happy to replace your cable box free of charge.  i can have someone out today.  would 2 to 5 work or would 5 to 8 be better?” 

i am totally serious.  you cannot make this stuff up. 

and then a guy showed up a few hours later and set up our new box lickety split.  i’ve put our little angel to bed and am now eating popcorn and watching a movie.  it doesn’t get any better than this.  thank you, comcast!

i just found out yesterday that p. green is dying of stage 4 brain cancer.  p. green, my high school english teacher.  p. green, the invincible, stronger-than-words black woman, always with a shock of unruly hair (think don king) and and equally unruly, unconventional teaching style that combined a little intimidation with tough love and equal parts passion and brilliance. 

she taught me to be unashamed to write.  she taught me it is okay to be unabashedly smart.  she taught me it is okay to go into the world and do what you love, no matter what people say or think.  she taught me to love learning.  she taught me that i was pretty alright.  for a white girl.  seriously though, she taught me i was really loved and important and that my life mattered, that everyone’s life matters.

every teacher i’ve ever had is suspended in my mind, un-aging, un-dying.  like a mountain in the landscape of my learning.  because they are part of me forever, i guess i just sort of thought they would be in the world forever.  but even mountains meet the ocean at some point. 

and so p. green will soon merge into the great deep.  and it is just too soon.  i always thought she would be one of those maya angelou-esque elders, spreading unapologetic wisdom and inspiring many more generations of writers.  i thought she would be a grandmother.  i surely did not think that the last time i saw her would be the LAST time i saw her.

it was five or six years ago, maybe longer.  i went to the high school where she was a principal and sat in her office for close to an hour, chatting.  “kelly wolf, are you writing?” she asked.  “well…” i stammered, “a little…in my journal.  and maybe a little poetry now and then…”  but that was a lie.  the truth was that i was so lost and i had put writing, the great compass of my life, in a drawer somewhere and forgotten it.  i was depressed and aimless.  i was desperately trying to remember who i was.  and the only things i was writing were checks. 

she looked into my face for an elongated, slightly uncomfortable moment.  “THAT is NOT what i mean, kelly wolf.”  i was busted.  i suddenly felt like i was fourteen years old again, getting caught skipping class in the girls bathroom.  “you need to WRITE.  you know you are a writer, don’t you?  you are a wonderful writer.  keep writing.  write, write, write.  promise me you will WRITE!” she commanded in her inimitable, unmistakable voice that echoed down the halls of every school she inhabited, somehow finding its way into every corner, every classroom.  there was never any question if p. green was in the building.

and so, p. green, you are in a coma in a hospital and your family has respectfully requested that there be no visitors.  cancer is devouring your gorgeous mind.  and i cannot visit you and tell you that i am writing.  but i tell you, i am writing, p. green, i am writing!  i know you can hear me.  i am writing, i am writing, and i will not stop!  i promise you.

this one, p. green, is for you:

Sometimes a body


kin lie somewheres a long time

and not see.  And then one morn’—

maybe it’s early and the dew

ain’t dried up yet and the mist she lies

on yonder hill like a brand-new wife

atop her brand-new husband and

all them trees thar inna field

give their shinin’ leaves like a offerin’

to a brand-new sky— and in one

holy moment a body rises up

a-seein’ and a-seein’

and ain’t nothin’

inna whole world

kin stop it.


after our bath this morning, my sweet little boy got out of the bath, walked over to the cable box on the floor and promptly peed on it.  a hissing noise accompanied by steam/smoke ensued, followed by a loud blue, popping flash of light.

racing my child

May 6, 2008

um…how, pray tell, does one clean the house faster than her child messes it up?!  i feel like i am living in the movie “groundhog day,” which, by the way, i did not find funny at all.  i literally scoot around the house, sometimes surreptitiously, trying to race my toddler into a room and manically clean it (much the same way one tries to dig a moat and make frantic repairs to a sandcastle as the tide sends waves relentlessly closer) before he a. finds me and b. finds a way to trash the room, which he usually accomplishes in about 7 seconds.  the child’s creativity in this arena is quite impressive.  

and at some point as this scooting and moat digging is taking place, my lovely, lovely boy will, as if on cue, walk past me with a load of doo doo in his diaper that could make a dinosaur faint.  the joys are unending, i tell you. 

oooooh dear.  i’m afraid someone in the world needed my nikon d80 camera with the external flash more than i did because it seems to have been stolen out of my car.  i hope the human being who took it is finding as much joy photographing their life as i have been over the last fourteen months, photographing my angelic son.  from toothless grins–oh how i used to love to kiss that baby’s gummy grin–to first steps to playground antics…i loved capturing all of it.  the silly and the sweet, the sleeping and the wild playing.  the first spring, the first fourth of july, the first fall leaves, the first snow and back again to the  all-too-brief bradford pears trees’ baubles of white confetti.  

every day without the camera feels so wrong.  caleb one-ups himself every single day.  just when i think he couldn’t get any cuter, well…you know.  and i have no proof, no record, no way of capturing these days that go by too quickly, these days i want to remember forever, these days i want plastered to the walls as i grow old.  every time he does something dizzyingly adorable, i try to commit it to memory, straining to remember the double chin that begs to be nuzzled, his funny little buddha belly, and that look of deep curiosity he gets when he finds a caterpillar in the grass.

i wish i could crystallize the image of my son today in the may sun, beneath a canopy of waving green hands, smiling his daddy’s wide-mouthed smile at me.  i would print it–real large–and frame it so i could always remember a time of blissful spring days at the playground, when it was just caleb and me, before the second baby came.  i would remember a time when everything was in balance–the sun in just the right proportion to the breeze, our past and our future eclipsed by the beauty of the present moment–a time when, without any effort at all, my heart was a place of prayer.