Under My Umbrella

IMG_6444.jpgI had a dinky umbrella.

The cheap kind.  The free kind.  It’s black and has been blown and torn, uplifted and inverted.
It lies in state in my trunk, but I pull it out when it’s pouring because it’s all I have.  It hardly covers one person, so at rainy school pick-ups, my kids get it.

What do I get?  Drenched, duh.  #momlife

Matt noticed, so he got me a huge Oakland Hills golf umbrella.  At first, I was a little put-off.  It’s beautiful.  And huge.  And it has the Oakland Hills Country Club (OHCC) logo ablaze among its green and white canopy.


Would I seem too audacious if I actually used this thing in public?(I actually felt that way.)
The next downpour washed away any misgivings I had about this wondrous miracle!

Now I find myself Mary Poppins-style, pulling it out in even the most delicate mist because I feel so cozy and protected underneath its enormous breadth of coverage.

The ferrule of it flamed with finesse. (Yeah, I looked up the parts of an umbrella for this article: “ferrule” is for-real.)

You don’t know how good something else can feel until you’re underneath its canopy, and then you realize how little shelter you’ve survived beneath before.

Two weeks ago, I found myself alongside my ex-husband Eric; his girlfriend, Amber; and Lance–all of us there to cheer on Mady–our JV Redskin cheerleader.  #team

In typical Lance fashion, he was bored.  We told him to find something to do.  So he began performing the cheers aloud and in sync to that of the girls, front row, Phil Dunphy-style.  (He may be unofficially banned from the games because the cheerleaders were laughing so hard…well, all but one, who was purely mortified.)

Anyway, about halfway through all the fun, it began to sprinkle.  Then rain.  Then I remembered my umbrella from Matt in my car.

I ran out to get it.
And ten minutes later, I found myself huddled underneath the same umbrella as Eric, and Amber, and Lance.

There we were.  All underneath the same canopy of shelter.

What a long way we’ve come.  I couldn’t help but internally smirk at our tiny tableau.
Ten years ago could I have envisioned any of this?

But then again…

There were those vision boards I made with Mady years ago.  When we made them, and when I brought them up to her after the game, we laughed and reminisced (as only mothers and daughters can).  Later that week, my cheerleader was home sick.  And when I came home at lunch to be with her, she had dug them out for us to look at.  We stood aghast at all that we’d envisioned, which had come to fruition.

Vision Board 1

  • 3-year plan: I had known I’d need at least 3 years from divorce to recovery.  Check.
  • Zach Braff: I wanted a boyfriend who was both cute and funny.  Check.
  • Baby: I wanted another baby in my life.  And Amy and Paul brought Harper into the world.  (Who’s seen the end of Diane Lane’s “Under the Tuscan Sun”?  When her character Frances Mayes realizes she’s gotten everything she’s wanted, just not as she expected.)  Check.
  • Reese Witherspoon: I wanted to be cute and recover from divorce and forge ahead in my career, family-life, and romantic-life.  Check.
  • Social life: check.
  • Weekend escapes: check.
  • Wine: check.
  • Yoga: check.
  • Growth and change: check.
  • Wander: check.
  • Play: check.
  • Live: check.

Vision Board 2

  • Write: I began my blog.  I freelance for fun.  I journal.  I write because words live and breathe and flow through my third-eye chakra.  Check.
  • Nest egg: paid off my credit card and gained financial independence of my own accord.  Check.
  • Share: I knew I’d have to share my children. Easy? No. Easier when the people with whom you share them are great?  Yes.  Check.
  • Ray-Bans?  Check.  (Sometimes, it’s the little, materialistic things.)
  • Symbolic change of seasons: check.
  • Hawaii: finally got Mady and Lance to Hawaii.  Check.

I have to admit, the first time I heard about vision boards, Jenny McCarthy was talking about them on Oprah, and I felt so conflicted: did I suddenly have more respect for Jenny McCarthy or was I losing respect for Oprah for having a Playmate on her show to talk life goals?
Desperate, nothing to lose, I gave the vision board a shot.

And look what happened!

When I asked Matt what this blog should be about, and I showed him my vision boards, he asked me what was left to accomplish.

Good question.

Let’s see…Kenya, Bali, Paris, Bora-Bora, and Machu Picchu are still calling.  So is my goal to write a book.  #WIP

Guess it’s time to make a new vision board. What do I want my next three years to look like?  The next five?  Ten? Twenty?  So many new adventures await–through sunshine and rain.
What do you envision next?  And is your umbrella big enough to canopy all of your dreams?

(*This blog was inspired by a sister from another mother.)



  1. jmatteso
    September 23, 2018 / 5:10 pm

    This. Love it!
    Do you meet with other writers?

    • cutebutnotthatcute
      July 29, 2019 / 1:29 am

      Hey. What’s your forum?

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