Thursday, April 25, 2013

Randoms on a Thursday

It is a sunny day in the neighborhood.

And I am doing nothing.  =D

Baby is napping, clothes are in the dryer, and we just got back from a run to the grocery store, for some much needed coffee stuffs.  It is a beautiful day, and it feels breezy and wonderful outside. 

I have been sitting on our still almost-new back porch area, enjoying the sunshine and paging through my new Game of Thrones book.  (I'm on Feast for Crows now, or Season 4.  There was a lot of internal debate regarding whether or not to continue on to Book 4, after reading Book 3, LOVING it, and completely ruining the third season for myself.  But let it never be said that I learned my lesson.  =)

The out-of-doors has put me in a mild sun-stupor, and I feel drowsy and happy. 

So I'll write a little wrap-up now, or at least attempt to do so.

Weekly Wrap Up

1.)  I went to the dollar store this week.

It was wonderful.  =)

I love the dollar store.  I love it so much.

I pushed Tookie around in a stroller, and we browsed and took our time.  We entertained ideas about planting peas in the back yard.  (Nope.)  We briefly toyed with the notion of reading some political non-fiction. . . but then rejected the idea immediately.  (Because we have met us.)  We got a plastic rake and some sidewalk chalk for the baby, and we considered wearing dozens of plastic rainbow-butterfly barrettes in our hair.  (We decided that the world was probably not ready for us with our hair bedazzled by a dozen rainbow-butterfly barrettes.  We have decided to wait until next month.)

And we got some blue plastic cups.  (In a 4-pack!!!!  . . .we got two.)  . . .I just *knew* that Michael would be freaking DELIGHTED when he saw them.  Because, as close friends know, he *only* drinks out of medium sized, blue plastic cups.  (Without a lip.)

He is a persnickety man, as he will readily admit.  But he is neurotic in strange and hilarious ways that are completely different from my own.  And I adore him.

So you only *imagine* my shock when he came home and discovered our new 8 blue cups (Suprise!!! =), and expressed dismay instead of delight.

I have to admit. . . I was baffled.

I said as much.


Ha ha.  =)  No, but that would have been funny.

What actually happened was:

"But you LOVE blue cups!!" I told him.

He walked to the cabinet, and opened the door where the cups are held.  There is not room for another single cup.  Not one.  Not even a sippy.  Unless we throw some away first.

(And I will be damned if I will throw away a perfectly good plastic cup.  So there.)

"We don't NEED any more plastic cups!!", said my beloved.

And he was quite right.

And so it would appear that my thoughtful, romantic gesture of bringing home brand new blue cups fell flat.

Alas.  =(

2.)  We had some family over last weekend.

It was great.  =)

The elder Spawn came, and brought his lady-friend.  She was polite and lovely and very sweet.  And he spent all day playing with and chasing the Padawan, which was also very sweet.  Took brought up the rear of the parade, watching their antics and giggling at the silliness.

And then we ate meats and potato salads and pies.  =)

And even though I somehow managed to completely screw up the key lime pie (which was the only food-related job that was entrusted to me), the taste of it was still okay.

It looked pretty ghetto, though.  Pretty ghetto indeed.

(What happened was that I tried to put on the cool whip topping before the green part had completely set up yet.  I guess.  And the cool whip must've been pretty hard, because it just seemed to sink to the bottom of the green part.  And when I tried to smooth it all out, and make it look nice, it just kind of sank into the green stuff a little deeper.  So it was all mixed together, and looked very accidental.  Which is NEVER what you want your pie to look like.  Or so I'm told.)

I derped it all up, and, consequently, decided to call it Derp Pie.

It was delicious, and even the baby liked it, going from family member to family member to get a bite.  Like a baby bird.  A baby bird with a fondness for Derp Pie.

Lovely day.

3.)  I am tired of writing now.

So good day to you, sirs.

. . .

. . . I say "Good day"!!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Mommy Meditations. A letter to my kid. =)

I sit in my usual morning-place, squooshed up to the family computer, perched on the ottoman that has served us as a desk chair for the last several years.  My little boy is waking up with strawberry milk and cartoons, about 10 feet away, on the living room couch.

(Covered in lots of snuggy blankets.  Cause that's how we DO.)

I browse the internet as I slowly wake up.  And I think about how unbelievably
quickly life moves. . .

I sip my coffee.  Perform small coffee contemplations.  I make hazy possibly-we-could-do-this-but-it's-not-written-in-stone plans for the day.

I think about everything my boy and I did yesterday while his Daddy was at work.   The fun we had visiting family and friends, doggies and kitties, and listening to music and chits and chats.  I feel a surge of gratitude.  I hold these simple, unremarkable, and wonderful times with him like jewels in my hand.  I marvel at how the seemingly unimportant things we did on some random Tuesday are now being sewn into the quilt of his childhood memories.  I wonder about many things, great and small, varying from "what is the nature of life?" to "why HAVEN'T we bought a real computer chair, and made an honest desk out of her?"

I listen to my little boy (the one I waited for for a decade, the one I was beginning to doubt I would ever actually see) walking around and alternating between mumbling under his breath, and positively screeching, as his daddy tries to sleep.  . . .

"Ash!  Da-da. . . da-da-da-da.  Da-DA!!  Ash SHOES da-da. . ." 

And I think to myself that I don't even care that he's not saying 20 - 24 different words (as the pediatrician indicated he should be), because the ones he IS saying are making up the most beautiful song I think I've ever heard.  And the joy I find in being here with him. . . in doing nothing but being here with him. . . makes me feel as if I'm gonna burst.

Now, even as I write this, I think to myself:  "Some people are going to think you're full of shit.  Some people will say:  Nobody's happy ALL the time." 

And they would be quite right.

I'm not happy all the time, either.

I'm moody, and overly-sensitive (personally, *I* don't believe that last bit is true, but my husband swears to it, and so I will give him the benefit of the doubt), and prone to anxiety.  I can be a verifiable WRECK at times, and to deny it would be untruthful, and just a complete waste of time, besides.

But I sit here, and I think.

And every once in a while, I look up and stare into the den.

And there stands this little boy. . . still in his soft pajamas, curls all over his head, strawberry milk droplets on his shirt and untold amounts of snot (I'm sure) on his sleeve.  And he is walking around singing to himself, and brandishing a plastic sword.

He sings, and he slashes the air with his weapon, and wipes at his nose, and smiles at me when he catches me looking.  (Which is a lot.)  He looks for a kitten to cross his path, a kitten that might be picked up and carried around, smooshed tight to his little chest, in his best approximation of "I'll care for you, sweet thing."

. . . And I don't even know when this happened to me.

I don't know WHEN was the moment that I became this huge softie . . . and I'll admit to being a little confused, a little flummoxed.  Because I've always been a bit of a bad-ass (in my own mind), and because this tendency to morph into a puddle of feelings every time a certain boy lights up a room. . . it has sneaked up on me and caught me quite unawares.

But I look at him.  This sturdy little boy that loves sweet things and saltines, outlaw country music and kitty cats and back yards. . . and suddenly it's just all OVER me.

And all I can think is:  This is going by too fast.  Please slow down.  I'm afraid I'm going to miss it.

Oh dear God. . .

What if I miss it??


And the thing is. . . I will.

I will inevitably miss something.  Something important.  

I will be feeding the cats, or taking up the tea, or switching the clothes over to the dryer. . . and I will miss it.

I won't see the smile.  Or the belly laugh.  Or the happy-dance.  Or his sweet little growing brain put two and two together and get four.

The fact is that I am human.  And I'm not going to see it all. I'm not going to get to marvel over every second of it.

I'm going to have to pee sometimes.

So for all those little moments that I'm gonna miss, and for all those times when my head is killing me and my angel has not STOPPED asking questions all day, and for all those times when I WISH I had taken 5 seconds to NOT respond in anger, but I didn't because--again-- I am human. . . I would like to say this:

I see you.

I see you just as you are.



I am fully present for this moment that we're sharing, and I see you for the person, and the child, and the miracle that you are.

And it's too damn much.  (In a good way.)

And mommy's crying again. 

(You'll roll your eyes at displays like this when you're older, I'm sure of it.)

But your mom has been given the gift of perspective.

It is heavy to hold at times. . . this all-the-time knowledge that so many suffer.  Are suffering.  Are confused, and cold, hungry, scared, alone.

It keeps me up at night, many nights.  Worrying and weeping for people I've never met, and a few that I have.  And for the longest time, if you'd asked, I would've told you it was a curse.

But I look at you. . . and that's all it takes.  The tears come.  They're tears of gratitude, and I really don't know what address they should bear.

But they're there. 

You're healthy.

You're happy, and safe, and WELL. 

And it is so rare.  And it is more than I could ask for.

It is, honestly, such an enormous gift that I can't even comprehend it. 

So mommy cries. 

She cries for happy reasons, and for all those people that don't have their happy reason right now.

And this over-sensitivity, this "too-much-perspective". . . as heart-breaking as it can be to deal with at times. . . is starting to seem less and less like a curse.

More and more, it is starting to feel like a gift. 

A gift that. . . maybe I haven't 100% figured out how to use just yet.  . . . Like those dreams that I have that I'm levitating. . . then I wake up and can't figure out which muscles to flex.  The knowledge is there. . . on the tip of my brain.  But I can't figure out how to reach it just now.

So I'll wipe away tears, and I'll get you more milk.

And I'll just feel grateful, for right now.

Grateful that I was here for this.  Grateful that I saw you, and grateful that I was seen.

And that will be enough.  =)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Hope You're Proud of Yourself, MTV

So this morning I was browsing the interwebz, sipping on my iced coffee, and trying to keep pop-tart crumbs from getting everywhere as little Took sat in my lap and munched his (not incredibly healthy) breakfast.

And I happened upon an article about one of the girls from Teen Mom.  (I call her a "girl" because she is a girl.  If it ever becomes apparent that she has made the leap to womanhood, I will adjust this post accordingly.)

This was not the exact article that I was reading this morning, but it's close enough:

So. . . now that I'm typing, I don't even really know what to say about this. . .

She is of legal age (I can only assume), so I suppose she is free to do whatever she wants.  And, believe it or not, I'm not judging her.

I do not think she is a "bad" person.

It's just that reading this article makes me want to cry.

It's not so much that porn stars exist. . . because they have for quite some time.  The oldest profession, and all that.  I guess the real problem that I have with this is that this is just a GIRL.  Obviously a bit of a dim bulb, but someone's daughter nonetheless.

And she is just one of countless others that found herself willing to do literally anything for fifteen minutes of scandalous fame.

What was she thinking?? I found myself asking.

And the answer is:  She was thinking she wanted to be famous. 

She wanted her name on the web, and she didn't care how it got there.  She wanted pretty little things to dress herself in, and pretty little things to drive around in, and pretty little cocktails to drink in pretty little bars where you have to be "somebody" to get past the velvet rope.

. . .And apparently this is all it takes to be "somebody" today.

She was probably thinking that Paris Hilton, and Kim Kardashian, and God only knows who else, made sex tapes, got their names in the headlines, and then recovered from it well enough, no real damage done, and that she could, too.

What she was probably NOT thinking is that once you have destroyed your dignity, it is gone.  And getting it back is a tough road that many aren't willing to travel.

We are born naked into this world, and screaming.  Hopefully, we have loving parents that take the time to guide us and patiently direct us, and to teach us what it is to be noble, and true, and strong.

And we then take that nobility and truth and strength, and hope against hope that it is enough to guide us through the pitfalls of this life.

In a very real way, in times of trouble, terror, and strife, our dignity is all that we have.

And this child has tossed hers to the wind.  Exchanged it for the chance of being a recognizable face, with no care at all as to what she is being recognized FOR.

And yes.  My heart weeps for that.

I'm not saying that I'm better than her, because I'm not.  We all have to find our way through this world.  We are all on our own paths; all learning the same lessons, just in different ways.

And while I would REALLY like to shake my fist and roll my eyes at "society", and demand accountability not only for this girl but for every one out there like her. . . I can't.  Because I am a PART of society, am I not?

She is not just that nameless "someone's" daughter.  She is MY daughter.  And yours, as well.

And we have failed her.

We have failed her by making it cute, and profitable, and not really that big a deal, to get rich off of a sex tape.  We've failed her by glamorizing those that have failed to offer any real contribution to society.  We've failed her by making it seem that the important things in life are things that fit on your wrist, in your pocket, or in your garage.  We've failed her by letting a television do the majority of the at-home parenting, and by accepting the ridiculous, mindless shit that we see on it as something we can't do anything about.  By having a mindset of "Oh well, I guess that's just the new normal."

We've failed her by saving our pedestals for our Princesses, and pushing our peace-makers to the back.

And we have failed her by making all of this possible.  By NOT drawing a line, and saying "Here it is!  HERE is the line!  THIS FAR, and NO FARTHER!"

. . .In the world we live in, parenting is quickly becoming the most difficult, and sacred duty that one could have.

And with so many among us ignoring this simple fact, I feel that it falls to the rest of us to pick up the slack.

Even if you don't HAVE children, by your example of what a good, and decent, and FULL life is --- you are a teacher.

And so am I.

And my teaching is going to begin with turning off the tv.

I won't watch MTV.  (And no.  This is not a boycott.  Boycotts want attention.  This is merely a personal choice.)

I won't watch ANY network that glamorizes idiocy and panders to the lowest common denominator.

I won't view it as simply a "guilty pleasure."  Because BY this guilty pleasure, we are inadvertently SHOWING our children what is acceptable and what is NOT.

I will draw the line.

But I won't stop there. . .

I will TEACH my child.

I will teach him about nature, and beauty, and art.  I will show him that standing outside on a sunny, windswept day is about the best feeling in the world.

I will encourage wonder, and questions, and do my best to strengthen creativity.

I will lead by example.

I will show him the magic of books, and music, friendship, and love.  I will teach him the joy of a really good meal, shared with the ones that mean the most to you in the world. 

I will do my best to show him a quiet life, and the beauty therein.

I will show forgiveness, and patience.

I won't exalt money, and I won't spend my life chasing things that will all be removed once I am buried.

I will teach him what is sacred.

And, if I am successful, I will teach him above all to love, and honor, that which is sacred in himself.