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Interesting Facts

September 26, 2014

Written by Marykate O’Malley, mother of three wonderful children, Gladwyne PA 


You know when you go to a new parent’s night and everyone goes around the room and introduces themselves and you are asked to provide an interesting fact. So you say something like, “I am Marykate, my interesting fact is that I am the second oldest of 10 children. Or I once went paragliding in the Swiss Alps, or blah, blah blah, blah, blah”. What I really want to say? Something like this…


I have a tendency to sing “Oh What a Beautiful Morning” to my children, in the morning. Even when it is not in fact a beautiful morning. And they just woke up. And I have had 2 cups of coffee to make it a most enthusiastic rendition.


One of my most effective parenting techniques is hanging things over my children’s head. “You can watch the movie after you get on your pajamas”. “You can have dessert after you eat your vegetables”. “Finish your homework and then you can play outside”.


My favorite jeweler is my favorite because my he would fix my grandmother’s rosary beads free of charge. And he is not even Catholic; he is Jewish. And while swapping out a watch band or fixing a link on a necklace that snapped he tells me about growing up in a working class neighborhood in Philadelphia, and his loving wife of over 40 years. And he says things in a raspy voice rich with age like,  “Kid, don’t ever change”. And when he says that, for him, I don’t ever want to.


The other day I went outside to get something from the car and as I was walking back to my house I peered into the living room window. It was dark outside with the light already changing, waiting for no one. The room warmly lit, my son sat at the piano, his teacher next to him leaning over him, offering instruction. And the vision was so kind and loving and I felt like I had the gift of peering into my own life from the outside. A stranger looking into her own living room window, with fresh eyes, and seeing such beauty.


My son is obsessed with Cristiano Ronaldo. I think he thinks he is Ronaldo. But smaller. He has his jersey. The Portugal soccer bag. I turn on the ipad and Ronaldo is the screen saver. I log onto my PC, a large Ronaldo looks back at me. He asked he if he could get his haircut like Ronaldo, with the zig zags. You know, for his soccer tournament. Which my oldest describes as “the World Cup for kids”. This surprised me since she and her sister spend tournaments practicing braiding techniques and occasionally glancing up to inquire who won. My son agrees with the World Cup analogy. It gives weight to his haircut argument.


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Listening to my daughter and her best friend since three chat on the phone is one of the cutest things I have ever heard. Overheard.


If there ever was a George Bailey for today, it would be my Uncle Bill. I am so grateful to have him and my darling Aunt Betty in my life.


Sometimes I reward myself with little things like this – I am going to leave all the lunch dishes in the sink until dinner and load the dishwasher then. Or I should run to the supermarket but I am going for walk. Or maybe it’s – I need to return that phone call but instead I am going to read, and not email, a book. A grown up book. Call me Rebel Mom.


And finally, sorry to end on a downer, and something well, gross. My youngest had the stomach bug, and there are some kids who are neat and others who well, it’s dramatic. And I have been cleaning for days, and cannot get the smell out of my carpet. I scrubbed and cleaned, and used intense cleaners, and aromatic cleaners, and no avail. And a dear friend – thank you – you know who you are just gave me the best tip that I need to share with all of you – Simple Clean. You need to dilute it and it is sold at Home Depot and hardware stores. Thank you, thank you God.


What is your interesting fact?


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1 Comment »

  1. Anne Schenendorf

      on September 27, 2014 7:13 am

    I love love LOVE Your perspective MaryKate!!!!!! I am grateful the sweeties wake up to your voice! Mom’s voice is still my favorite and I’m sure they are enchanted by it- and they always will- until they are old and grey(I have greys, they are covered by hair dye). 😉 The Ronaldo haircut situation made laugh so hard it woke up Greg- who can sleep through anything. 😉 Don’t worry- he’s back asleep. Love you sweet sister!!!


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