Sunday, June 24, 2012


Remember being a kid?  Now that it's summer, maybe my son will.
The last time Dominic was written up on a disciplinary slip in elementary school-

Picture this:  three adolescent boys walking together.

Boy on right:  "Right ball".
Boy on left:  "Left ball".
Boy on right:  "There's a penis between us".
All three boys laugh.

I remember in third grade, all the boys ever did on recess was try to knee or punch each other in the balls.  I was barely amused, because I didn't really understand it.  Now I have a son, and I get it.  It's a right of passage.  It's part of growing up.  A necessary part of growing up.

I remember when recess was linked to words like shenanigans, tomfoolery, and immaturity.

I've said it before... my best memories from childhood happened when I was doing something I probably wasn't supposed to.  All children do this.  This is autonomy, children finding their way in the world without their parents.  Children trying out mature language and ideals.  Children getting an inappropriate education about intimate subjects from their stupid friends.  Shock and awe being silly and funny, making these scary subjects easier to handle.

On the playground in sixth grade, my girls and I talked about love, sex, and our periods.  (Not that any of experienced any of these-- but we had all types of discussions preparing us for them).  When I think back to these conversations, they were laughable.  But...they prepared me for the grown up world.  They prepared me for the intimate relationships I would have during puberty with other girls, becoming women.  They gave me a chance to speak frankly without the audience of parents, health books, and human growth and development films.

Granted... my son was stupid enough to take the role of "right ball" within earshot of a recess duty.  (They call the recess staff recess duties.  Duty.  Heehee.  Gets me every time).

So to Dominic and all the other gross, stupid boys out there- have fun.  Be disgusting.  We expect it of you.  Just look over your shoulder and check your audience now and then, ya jack wagons!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Summer break and childhood.  Two things have never gone together so well.

I remember the wonder of summer vacation.   We spent a lot of time riding bikes.  Walked to the local convenience store to buy penny candy.  Climbed trees in the woods.  Looked for crayfish in the local creek.  Fed apples to the neighbor horse.  Picked blackberries from the wild bushes near our house, which my parents would turn into shortcake and jam.  Hide and seek. Swing set. Popsicles.  Sprinklers.  T.V., video games, and movies on HBO.  One summer, I swear I saw Poltergeist and Grease 2 a hundred times. 

My typical childhood summer morning usually started with a cup of tea (that's right- I was a weird tea drinker since I was 8).  I would watch a rerun of Love Boat, put on my shorty shorts and tank top, and head out on my bike.

My dad's truck had an air horn that played Dixie.  Just like the Dukes of Hazzard car.  Pretty cool, huh!?  I knew it was dinner time when I heard them blow this horn.

We painted rocks, sold lemonade, made puppet shows.

My children have access to all of these things.  Well, we don't have a horse or creek nearby, but all the others are attainable.

So... why in the world are my kids so bored??

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Life list update

Update:  Thanks to my fabulous friend Janet, #31 was crossed off.  On the last day of school, the staff at my kids' school danced in a flash mob in front of the buses to We Got the Beat.  You rock, Janet!

1. Learn to play chess

2. Write a children's book

3. Publish a children's book

4. Ride Alpengeist

5. Visit Cedar Point

6. Visit New York

7. Live on the east coast

8. Walk or run a charity event

9. Volunteer for the homeless

10. Do something unexpected

11. Forgive someone when I think I can't

12. Go Parasailing

13. Lie topless on a beach in Greece

14. Visit Alaska

15. Ride in a helicopter

16. Make a difference

17. Be in two places at the same time

18. See Greenday live

19. Kiss passionately in the rain

20. Leave a $100 tip in a restaurant

21. Zip line

22. Become a bone marrow donor

23. Walk through central park

24. See the northern lights

25. Help someone complete a life list item

26. Get my masters

27. Teach college

28. Go to Vegas

29. Get another tattoo

30. Go skinny dipping

31. Be part of a flash mob

Friday, June 15, 2012

“Right now we're stading at a massive point of rebirth.” Lars Ulrich, Metallica

I've been pondering how to write about today.  This is the day my baby boy finishes elementary school.  As coincidence would have it, it's also one of my best friend's divorce day.  Heavy day to take in.

At first I thought I'd use some quotes to reflect the day.  There is such change, such bittersweet, such melancholy.  But I'm just not sure these two events deserve the same feelings.

When you are in a child's life, the downfall, as I've said many times, is if you do your job, they move on.  The clear sign that I've given that child the support and tools they need is when they leave.  Or distance themselves.  Or grow up.  My boy is ready for the next challenge.  *sigh*

Divorce is a different kind of change.  It shares the same bittersweet and melancholy, but is entirely different.  I can't bring myself to type if you've done your marriage well because there is too much gray in that area.  When people get divorced, that doesn't mean they failed.  You give it your all, and sometimes, beyond control, it doesn't work.  Sometimes people grow and change in positive, distinctively different ways.  Sometimes dark times cannot be forgiven and forgotten.  My son and my friend's events share change and future, but divorce is plagued with the difficult challenge of rebirth.

So today I watch my friend and my son move forward.  Hesitantly move forward.  Change and growth are in the air.  So is a sadness of all that's left behind.

What do I write to them?

To my dear friend:  Learn and grow from the darkness.  Embrace the warmth to come.  You deserve all the friendship and love in the world.  If times get tough, just remember that tomorrow will be better.  You always have me.  And beer. 

Sometimes you have to kind of die inside in order to rise from your own ashes and believe in yourself and love yourself to become a new person.”

― Gerard Way

“Fear, uncertainty and discomfort are your compasses toward growth.”

"Sometimes, good things fall apart, So better things can fall together." 
 - Marilyn Monroe

For my son:  You have been a wonder to watch through these years.  You came into this world a silly blue eyed boy, and continue to live life with that happiness.  You are focused and serious, and then goofy and funny.  I love this balance you have.  I think it will serve you well in life.  You strive for greatness, which will be yours.

You'll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You'll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life's
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.
And will you succeed:
Yes!  You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)
be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
you're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!
-Dr. Seuss

For both of you.  When you feel scared.  When you feel frustrated.  When your locker won't open or you feel lonely:

"Taking one foot and putting it in front of the other, that is the only way to travel forward...If however you take steps forward whilst looking backward; well -then you will fall over because you end up tripping over something you would easily have seen if looking where you were going in the first place. So, when looking back just stay still for a moment, allow yourself to reflect, but then you must at some point turn around and just keep moving - or you will stagnant on the spot which means going nowhere at all."

 -Jacquelene Close Moore

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The bomb sniffing dogs at disney

It's just not a Persinger vacation without one odd story.  Well, maybe it's just not a Sam vacation.

Very first meal at the magic kingdom of Disneyland.  Redd Rockett's Pizza Port.  Love this place because I can get a real salad- not one of those iceberg lettuce things.

Large seating area, and we find our way towards the back.  We sit and begin to enjoy our $400 theme park lunch, and begin to notice that it is emptying out around us.

Then we notice caution tape roping off a fairly large seating area.  A seating area we are actually sitting in.

Now at first I was confused.  Disney is great at theming.  Cast members are always in the appropriate dress in the appropriate land.  Seldom do you see a mismatched cast member anywhere in the park, and if you do, they are sure to be fired soon. 

I should have realized that when I saw people dressed up like Dick Tracy's friends, they were security.  I'm sure just Tomorrowland security.  I'm sure the other areas have their own protocol.

Then my daughter says, "Oh- a dog!"  All the pieces start making sense now. Cleared out area.  Caution tape roping the area off.  Dick Tracy like security.  A dog wearing a security vest.  A lone backpack by itself.  The dog sniffing the backpack.

I honestly do appreciate the length Disney takes to ensure a safe environment for my family.  For all the families.  Apparently a left bag triggers a response team.  The bomb sniffing dog, followed by a hand inspection, ensured that the backpack was, in fact, just a forgotten article.

The part of the story that makes it weird is this:  It was an odd sight to see.  We know that fire trucks, medical care, and security are in the park, we just don't usually see it.

The part that makes it a Persinger legend:
Um.  If they were so concerned about everyone in the restaurant blowing up that they cleared the area... why didn't they move my family out??

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Fond memories my kids don't appreciate

My early years are filled with lots of southern California memories.  My grandparents lived in Orange County, near Laguna Beach.  I can fondly recall the adventures I had with them... Lion Country Safari, Dana Point, Busch Gardens, Queen Mary. 

Lion Country Safari was an outdoor drive through park full of animals.  I remember the ostrich that stuck it's head in our window.  I remember seeing the lions lounging in the sun.  I remember the little hippo pedal boats and the snow cones.

Busch Gardens had a bird sanctuary, boat rides, overhead trams and unknown to me at the time, a free beer sampling tent.  I sometimes went there on my birthday.  Looking back, I'm thinking my parents were pretty smart.

Dana Point, located near Laguna Beach, had a beautiful bluff setting where I enjoyed taking photos and watching the sailboats come across the bar.

Queen Mary was one of my favorite memories.  I loved exploring it, not even realizing the historical importance of these old ships.  I loved the shark tank, and all the valves and dials in the engine room.  I marveled at the tiny sleeping quarters and large dining halls.

Thinking my children had missed out on this wonderful experience, I took some time on our vacation to take them to see the Queen Mary.  Anticipating the excitement on their faces as the ship came into sight, I didn't tell them where we were going.  As we rounded the corner for the amazing first glimpse of this valuable relic, I noticed... a commercial cruise line sitting next to the Queen Mary, dwarfing it in comparison.

The trek from the car was equally unimpressive.  Dominic actually, in a whiny kid voice, announced he didn't want to get out of the car.  After yelling and threatening careful persuasion, we walked toward the boat.

They were not impressed.  They were actually bored.  They questioned did we have to actually go on the ship??  I managed to engage them for a half hour.  Part of that time was spent finding a bathroom.  I did get them to pose for a picture though.

They truly hated me had a great time!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Happiest place on earth

Just returned from a family trip to Disneyland.  A week of crazy, excited, sometimes tired and crabby, living the life family fun. 

So here is the discovery I made that warms my heart.  Ripley really is my girl.

Ripley has been waiting with anticipation for this trip, finally tall enough to ride the coasters.  She has been measured over the past few weeks, looking for any indication of growth.  She has tried different shoes on.  She has practiced standing tall.  Last we measured, she was 47.5 inches with shoes.

Hmm.  You need to be 48 inches to ride California Screamin'.  We planned around this.  Maybe the height markers are not perfectly accurate.  Maybe, like the last trip, we will buy her bejeweled Minnie mouse shoes with a heal to push her over the edge.  She continued to practice inhaling, and pretending an invisible string was pulling her up by the top of her head.

We told her to be patient.  We would assess the situation, and figure out what to do.

Upon entering Disneyland, Ripley wanted to go on Space Mountain first.  She was plenty tall to go on this ride, but had never been.

Her anticipation while waiting in line was contagious.  She had a million questions.  She bounced through the line on her toes.

Then we reached the ride platform.  My girl- my chip off the old block, mini me, uttered a sentence that I will remember for the rest of my life.

"Can we ask for the front row?"

*big smile*

And she loved it.

The second official ride choice for our 2012 Disneyland trip... Space Mountain again.  Front row, please.

Eventually, the time came that we entered Disney California Adventure.  The moment of truth.  Was she tall enough to ride California Screamin'?

Whew.  It's all good.
So she really is my girl.  She has figured out that the happiest place on earth is actually the front seat of a roller coaster.