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My First Forsythia! March 4, 2021

yellow flowers blooming agains a brick wall
Spring forsythia in bloom

The first sign of Spring!! Is this early? Spring can't come too early for me.

When I was little forsythia was one of my favorite words although I could never remember it; I'd say,

"What's that yellow flower again?"

Forsythia-what a great word. That and espadrilles; the exotic shoes my mother wore with laces around her ankles that I thought were just fabulous and made her look like a gypsy.

This reminds me of one of the most fun thing about raising children--the way little kids make up their own words--sometimes improving on the original. Like the kid who called the place where you keep the food cold the Ray Ray Frasier.

There's a quote that I can't find--but I really love it. It's about "the funny words and pet names, little private jokes and phrases that families share." I think it's either Nabokov or Tolstoy--those guys knew how to go deep and at the same time hold onto the fun things.

In our family when we say good-bye we also say I la. My cousin Kate recently said, "Where does I la come from anyway? Is that some Scottish thing?" No, Kate. Long ago when our grandmother would put my Dad to bed she'd say, "I love you," and he'd reply "I la." It stuck so much that Dad once told me, after he hung up with his broker, "I almost said 'I la!'"

I once asked Dad where the garbage can was and he replied sternly, "In this house we say Bobo Can."

My brother Larry called his favorite food, baked beans, chocolate beans, and on a really good day, sparkling chocolate beans

I was at the beach with my friend, Nori; Jessie and Sam were playing in the waves but Nori's daughter, Eugenie, was scared of the noisy water and cried for her mom to pick her up. Nori did and said, "It's Ok, look, I'll move back so the waves can't get us." Eugenie patted Nori's cheek and said, "MmmmmMommy Good Girl!"

Now whenever I find that I actually paid that bill, or put my glasses where I could find them again I give myself a pat and say, "MmmmmMommy Good Girl!"

Two friends wrote back to my blog about William Steig that their families all say "Frank U berry mush" in honor of Doctor Desoto.

Of course, one person's sweetness is another's treacle. Dorothy Parker, reviewing Winnie the Pooh in her New Yorker column, Constant Reader, wrote, "At that point, tonstant weader pwomptwy frowed up."

That was not easy to get past spell check!

So tell me your favorite family colloquialisms.

I promise to love them as much as you do.

And remember, Saturday, March 13 at 5pm EST.

March 04, 2021

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