You remember hearing about that 2-year-old Colorado boy who died earlier this month. According to police, his mother’s boyfriend allegedly hurled him across the room. He died from devastating head injuries the next day. When the toddler’s grandparents heard about the injury, they rushed to get his grandfather, who was on a business trip at the time, on a plane so he could see the little boy.
He got to LAX a good two hours before his Southwest flight, but long security lines delayed the grief-stricken man, and TSA and airport officials were unyielding. Frantic, his wife phoned Southwest, trying to get help. When the tearful grandfather finally arrived at the gate, breathless and shoe-less, 12 minutes after the plane was due to depart, he found the Southwest pilot waiting for him on the jetway. “‘They can’t go anywhere without me, and I’m not going anywhere without you,'” Nancy Dickinson said the pilot told her husband. The little boy died the next day.
We were so stunned by the demise of Gourmet magazine last week, it’s taken a while for the rest of Conde Nast’s news to sink in too. It’s not just Gourmet going under, it’s Modern Bride and Cookie too. We’ve always been big fans of Family Fun Magazine and its accessible, affordable craft, cooking and travel ideas for families. But Cookie never really grabbed our attention. At first, we thought it was because our kids – them! not us! – were aging out of that demographic. But Amy Wilson’s Babble.com piece, “Why Cookie Crumbled,” makes us re-think that and realize why that magazine always made us feel so disengaged. We’ll give you a taste here (follow the Babble link for the rest):
“The idylls of Cookie’s pages, featuring toddlers in patent leather and cribs lined with flokati, altered not a whit with the collapse of Wall Street and our entire economy with it. Though Cookie’s media kit indicated that their readers’ median household income was $80,616, it would have taken five or ten times that amount to live the life depicted in its pages. And even if readers might once have aspired to that kind of lifestyle, when our gilded age came to an abrupt close, Cookie seemed suddenly – and glaringly – irrelevant.”
Interesting piece in this morning’s New York Times about a major, high tech makeover of the Disney stores you see in every mall. Apparently Disney has recruited Apple’s Steven Jobs and is planning to turn the old toys-on-shelves model into interactive “imagination parks” instead, a kind of entertainment hub to woo kids with such attractions as high tech, interactive trees and in-store theaters that let you watch your choice of film clips, do karaoke or do a live video chat with Disney Channel stars. It goes beyond the video screen too. If you’re watching Disneys’ “A Christmas Carol,” for example, the store could fill with the fragrance of Christmas trees. Hold a Cinderella doll or tiara, and an embedded computer chip signals the magic mirror nearby, so Cinderella can appear and talk to your child.
Thinking about your mom? We are too. This morning’s “My Mother, My Friend” story in the Times and Trib drew some of the most lovely little tales about mother-daughter friendships. You may need a hanky to read some of them. Here’s our fave – a letter from Diane Gibson-Gray, about how the relationship between a young mother and her loving mother-in-law can outlast the marriage:
I am not only lucky but so blessed to have my ex-mother-in-law, Aloha Baker, in my life. I met her in 1974. I was 18 and pregnant with her son’s child and scared to death. He had just told her that we were going to get married. I just knew she was going to be angry and tell me how I ruined her son’s life, but instead she was gracious and kind. She was wonderful to me that day and has never stopped being wonderful.
I was only married to her son for a few short years, but our mother/daughter relationship has lasted a lifetime. She is my best friend, my confidant, my strength. She is the one I call when I need advice or I need someone to gently remind me that I am not the center of the universe.
When I remarried 25 years ago, my husband became her son-in-law, and when we were blessed with a son he became her grandchild. And she and her husband, Jack, are part of our family, forever!
— Diane Gibson-Gray
Lovely, huh? Click “comments” and tell us about the wonderful mothers in your life.
As we mentioned yesterday, we were smitten by Family Fun mag’s mother-daughter tea party ideas in the May 2009 issue, and loved the idea of some gentle, conversational games to pass the time and build connections. And this one – She Loves It, She Loves It Not – was particularly adorable. All you need is a daisy and a group of mothers and daughters. One player holds the flower and plucks off a petal as she names something her mom (or daughter) loves. The next player takes the daisy, plucks off another petal and names something her daughter (or mother) loves not. The daisy circles round as mothers talk about their daughters, and girls talk about their moms. Sweet for a mother-daughter tea party and for a Daisy Scout troop meeting too …
Happy, er, tax day. In an effort to put a little cheer into a gloomy day, we asked readers to write some IRS haiku – hey, if you can’t inject a little levity (or bitterness) into 17 syllables, there’s no hope to be had! The full collection is posted online, but here’s a little bit to cheer you…
Tax collector wrote
“Loved your creativity,
— Marilyn Slade, Pleasanton
Not just rob me blind,
But make all the instructions
Confusing as hell.
— Cynthia Bass, Danville
Remember the era of goldfish swallowing, raccoon coats and phone booth stuffing? OK, neither do we, but we remember the pictures – especially the iconic shot of 22 St. Mary’s College students stuffed into a telephone booth that appeared in Life Magazine. Well, this is the 50th anniversary of that stunt, so our buddy Matt Krupnick ventured over to Moraga to watch the college kids try to beat the 1959 record, with some kibbitzing from original phone booth stuffers, including Benicia pharmacist Ray Motta. “Several former students,” says Krupnick, “who became intimate with the phone booth in 1959 watched Wednesday as a new generation — some of whom likely have never been in a phone booth — clambered into a glass box on the school’s chapel lawn. Paramedics stood by as the occasional groan rose from the bottom of the pile. All were unscathed… The box, however, was a bit bent out of shape over the ordeal.”
Here’s hoping the kids don’t try to beat any other records. PETA would be all over that goldfish thing.