Michele Sbrana

A Few of MY Favorite Things

Michele Sbrana
A Few of MY Favorite Things

“Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes…warm woolen mittens….brown paper packages tied up with string”


Ah, yes, Maria Von Trapp and a few of her favorite things. I myself can’t help but daydream of a few of my own favorite things during these long wintery days.   During this season of short days and long nights one has time to contemplate a few of one’s favorite things while playing the 59th round of Monopoly with the kids.  I know, I know, all the magazines and books say I’m supposed to ‘live in the moment’ and ‘be there with my kids’...But let’s be honest for a moment.  Much can be accomplished up in the ole noggin while my son crushes me in a friendly game of real estate brokering--I compose grocery lists, prepare political writing campaigns, plan tropical vacations, organize my children’s wedding receptions and compose said article!


While Maria Von Trapp’s favs tended toward the poetic and sublime, my favorites ring a bit more true for the real life of a Mom today...but I’ll let you be the judge:


A Few of MyFavorites:


  •  Successfully making covert, undercover agent-like eye contact with the grocery clerk just back from his break that ensures he will choose you to be his first customer.


  • Finding one last roll of toilet paper way in the back of the cupboard…even if it’s the cupboard down the hall…. and being oh so thankful your children didn’t see you in this less than glamorous pose.


  • Remembering what side the gas tank is on, despite the fact that you’ve had your car for five years.


  • When the wedding gift blender finally dies after thirteen years of marriage so you can justify getting the one you’ve always wanted (And no, I don’t think it’s peculiar to care so passionately about small household appliances.  After all, we don’t choose our passions…they choose us.)


  • Finally using a recipe from Martha Stewart Living magazine after paying outrageous subscriptions rates for ten years.


  • Successfully sneaking soymilk into the kids’ breakfast cereal, bran into their muffins, and wheat grass into their morning smoothie.  Ah, the power.


  • Encouraging your children to run amok on the sales floor to attract much needed attention from the negligent sales manager.


  • Having the exact number of bread slices for sandwiches when your kids have friends over…mostly so you don’t lie awake that night wondering if they went home and told their Mom that they had to have the heel at the Sbranas… again.


  • Being able to vacuum not one, but two rooms and part of the hallway without having to move a dresser to find a new outlet.


  • Not needing to take an anti-depressant after reading an Oprah’s Book Club selection.


  • Rewarding yourself with one spoonful of fresh-from-the-grocery-bag ice cream without your children ever knowing.


  •  Drinking milk directly from the carton because your Mother used to scold you for doing it as a child but now you’re a grown up, so there. (Avoiding detection by your children is crucial.)


  • Actually having a supply of tissues, band-aids, snacks, wet wipes or bottled water available in the car when your child whines for them… or just knowing that said supply would allow you to take off for parts unknown, Thelma and Louise style, after dropping your child at school because you can’t take the whining one second more!


  • The first four musical notes of the Rugrats theme song.


  • Babysitters who can get your children to fall asleep AND who do the dishes, without charging so much that you have to take out a second mortgage on your house!


  • A ten-minute shower uninterrupted by fights, phone calls, or questions about why so and so’s mother lets him watch PG-13 movies and I don’t.


  • When your children (and your husband) finally learn that the fork goes on the left.


  • When the N’ Sync CD gets stepped on and split in half….accidentally.


  •  Finding a parking space in the shade, so you don’t have to wrestle for 20 minutes with the collapsible windshield shade that requires an advanced engineering degree to fold back to its original size…and a martini to calm your nerves after.


  • Remembering to buy a birthday gift two days before the actual party instead of buying the gift on the way to the party…along with wrapping paper, scotch tape, a card, scissors and a bow.  (Not to mention having to try and wrap it in the driveway before someone notices your arrival.)


  •  Walking away from the semi-annual parent/teacher conference with a huge sense of relief that your child has once again successfully hidden almost all the traits you experience nightly at the dinner table.


  • Sofa cushions in their rightful place.


  • Shop Vacs…which can vacuum up anything and everything wet, sticky, smelly, sharp or gooey (including, if necessary, a child) without making that horrible sucking-up-a-Tinker-Toy noise.  The roar of those things might cause permanent hearing loss, but the end result is well worth it.


  • Only having to pay your child $1 to play with your hair when your stylist would charge $50.


  • Finding out from a Mom of four grown boys (mature, responsible and happy, no less) that they all shared socks and underwear.  Phew.


  • Throwing caution to the wind and mixing colors with whites, and the laundry angels let you get away with it…just this once.


  • Someone (anyone, please) calling on the phone and beginning the conversation with the words, “Can I take your children…?”