Doing my part to disrupt the space-time continuum.

Posts tagged ‘parenting’

Snow Log – Day 4: Growing Increasingly Concerned

6 am: Every tick of the clock signifies another moment lost, buried beneath the snow and ice, hold-up in our home in Georgia. At least we are together and warm, I tell myself. At least we have cheese. But after 4 days, a stunning revelation has emerged: even cheese is not enough. And I’m troubled by the thoughts that haunt me … worried that we may plummet to depths, the likes of which, this family has never seen.

7:15 am: The disturbing behavior of my cabin mates gives pause to the thought that they, like me, may be on the verge of utter madness. I must keep a close eye on the small one. He appears to be up to something, coming in and out of the house with sharp icicles, pretending to harbor pride over the size of each one. But will he use them against us … or ME … his mother?! I’m careful to admire the icicles as they glisten in the light so as not to upset him … but I’m watching out of the corner of my eye for any sudden movement.

9:32 am: Found my larger cabin mate pilfering about in the kitchen claiming to be looking for another “coffee pod.” I think the truth is something far more sinister, for he NEVER has a second cup at home. I believe he’s plotting something and may have aligned himself with the small one. They’ll be growing hungry soon … I must prepare myself for whatever comes next … even if they turn against me. I must try to save this family!

12:47 pm: As predicted, lunch time is slowly bringing a level of angst to the males of my group in spite of the fact that the snow is, indeed, MELTING. It appears they’ve turned a certain measure of expectation toward ME to provide sustenance beyond grilled cheese sandwiches.  Being snow-bound has caused a discernible deterioration in my culinary faculties … yet I fear that if I fail them, they may resort to something so dark that I cannot survive the evil. I MUST think! THINK! What else can I do with this bless-ed cheese! There must be something!! I’ll send the small one outside for some fresh air so I can work without distraction.

1:15 pm: The small one returned hungry from “playing” in the slushy snow. The large one has taken a break from his “work” on his computer. I’ve contemplated the thought that they may be using some sort of telepathy to communicate. I’ve managed to convince them that sustenance is coming – at least enough to keep them settled for the time being. The small one has insisted that tomato sauce out of a can will provide him the nourishment he needs. But I don’t trust him with the sharp lid once it’s removed. The tall one remains stoic, but I’m not easily fooled. He’s tapped his cheese-tolerance, anxiously combing the pantry for something more … I fear he will snap like a mouse trap when he sees the paltry offerings. Then what?! My confidence in his ability to remain sane is waning. I feel his clouds rolling in. He is on the brink. As am I.

3:45 pm: They’ll never find me here! I’ve been hiding in the back of my closet for almost 3 hours.  I know I must escape and find a non-cheese food product lest the madness overcome us all. I’ve contemplated the worst: Baking a mixture of the remaining cheddar and the last of the prune jam at 350 degrees until golden brown. What I wouldn’t give for just 1 can of Spam …

No wait! That would be worse.

5:02 pm: I’ve not heard a sound in hours but I can hear the snow continuing to melt. Perhaps the males have devoured one another? Maybe the tall one overtook the small one and is lying in wait. Either way, I remain alone … here in this closet … wondering how we could have ever anticipated JOY in this snow storm to begin with. Georgians are not prepared for such an event.  I was not prepared. Next time, (if there IS a next time) I will take another course.

In the meantime, I’m left to consider my present circumstances  … cheeseless, Spamless, hungry and alone in this cold closet fearing I’ve lost my family in this snowy madness.

Awaiting Snow

Living in the South means that when the forecast calls for snow, everyone in my house gets REALLY excited! I am no exception!

I spent the day nesting and preparing. In my head, the dialog went like this:

ME: We might be stuck inside all day tomorrow because of snow!

ME: How exciting! Better tidy up so it’s a pleasant place to be stuck!

ME: You are soooo right! But what about food?

ME: Gosh! Let’s run to our local grocer and buy all the bread.

ME: Ok. Let’s get some of those little packets of hot chocolate, too. You know… the kind with those little mini-marshmallows.

ME: Isn’t it just STUPID the way ‘marshmallow’ is spelled?! It should be ‘marshmEllow’. How annoying!

ME: Yeah! I know what you mean. It IS stooopid. Now I’m mad. Let’s also get oatmeal. Oatmeal is a great breakfast for snowy days.

Then I cleaned all day.

Right now, we’re hunkered down in our tidy, snuggly home …. fireplace ablaze, marshmallows melting in hot chocolate … and we’re waiting – waiting – waiting for snow. It’s just so exciting … in spite of the minor spelling annoyance.

Happy Snow Day, Y’all!

 

 

The Fascination of A Dead Frog

We walked side by side after the rain stopped. The park was almost entirely empty. I guess no one wants to  go for a walk right after it rains. He ran on ahead toward the creek.

The thing about 10 year old boys is that anything that’s gross, sticky, bloody or puky is THE most fascinating thing beyond all human reason. “Mom! Mom!” he yelled,  “LOOOOOOK! It’s a FRRRROGGGGGG!”

By the time I’d caught up, he was knelt down on one knee. “It’s deeeeaaaad,” he said in a low, slow and reverent tone as he poked the remains of the decedent with a stick.

It wasn’t just dead. That fucker was flat. Flat-Dead. Squished … as if  he’d gotten trampled by an entire HERD of bull frogs.

My son was spellbound by the crime scene. “Ew” he whispered, “Look at the guts.” I leaned in closer looking more at my son than the remains.

“Oh,” I said, trying to lighten the moment, “I’m sure the little guy is fine!” I nudged my son gently with my elbow. “Looks like its just sleeping,” I tried to coax a smile.

Silence fell. Blink – pause – blink.

“Mom…” he began as his voice grew frustrated, “Really?! I mean … No. Just … ugh … No! It is NOT sleeping … It’s deeaaad!” Poke. Poke.

“Aw, c’mon now! Don’t be so negative Mr. Gloomy Pants!” I encouraged. “Give the poor little guy the benefit of the doubt! Maybe he’s just tired or maaaaybeeee….” I said trying to rouse his sense of humor, “Mayyybeee he just got back from a huge frog party and he needs some time to recuperate? You know … take a nice little shower? Maybe knock back a juicy quarter-pounder … with cheese?”

Blank looks on 10-year-olds are hard to ignore when they last 6 hours. It’s even harder when you can clearly see the wheels turning as they inwardly battle the inevitable, horrible truth: That they share YOUR DNA. Finally, he broke the silence,  “Do you SEE that gray stuff? I’m like a thousand per cent sure it’s his brains.” Poke.   

I was determined to make that kid laugh, even in the face of the gruesome scene that lay before us.  “Well … that doesn’t mean he’s not okay in a manner of speaking,” I began. “I mean, you could wear him as a hat or maybe you guys could hang out and play Wii? Look!” I said as I used a twig to lift what I think was a leg, “He’s flat enough that I bet you could use him as a Debit Card! You know …  you could do a little shopping…?”

I bit my lip and waited for a grin, a chuckle … a something… but no. He sat back on the concrete in utter defeat with his head in his hands. All hope was lost. His mother would never be anything other than weird and that frog would ever be anything other than dead.

I put my hand on my despondent little guy’s shoulder and proceeded tenderly, “Son … Seriously… Never mind what I just said … ” Slowly  he raised his head and met my eyes. “Honey … Dead frogs don’t make good Debit Cards … just trust me on this one.”

A Sunday Night Rant About Leggings

I did NOT brave the perils of Black Friday, but I did venture out into Crazy Shopping Land ever-so-gingerly on Saturday. It was disturbing.

In spite of the title, I do love Leggings. They rock. You put on a long shirt or sweater, slip on a pair of Leggings and some cool, hot, sexy boots or shoes and by golly, 48 looks GREAT and the world rotates more smoothly just so you can walk it without falling on your pushing-50 fat ass.

But when that sweater or shirt does NOT cover the bum that’s stuffed in tight Leggings, you catapult yourself and your Leggings into a world where Leggings become ASSINGS.

Leggings are called Leggings for a reason. They are intended to show ONLY your legs as opposed to the butt cheeks. I’d bet my 3rd child and every ounce of that left-over turkey rotting in my fridge that the designer of Leggings said to herself upon the day of the Leggings conception, “Hey. I shall create this tight, clingy, flesh-hugging leg wear for people who want to COVER the derriere with camouflaging outer wear. Rather than accentuate the butt-crack, flabby fanny flesh or sagging, flailing ass blobs – my creation will HIDE those great Continental Divides.” That’s what she said. She did. I just know it.

LEGGINGS ... not ASSINGS!!

While out shopping Saturday, I saw no less that 6 women wearing Assings where Leggings should have been! And I was only out there in the wild jungle of shopping hell for 1 hour and 46 minutes! And NO … I was NOT at Walmart where the Seniors at the entrance pass out Assings and request patrons to wear them while shopping.

I was not happy. Not happy at all.

Now look at what Assings has made me do …  I’m forced to drink heavily. See? I told you this was “Serious Stuff”.

photo by fliker’s kiwinky

Rose-Colored Glasses, Crocs and a Big, Green Booger

My 3 kids amaze me.

Each is unique, smart and beautiful. Of course, I’m the materfamilias, so it’s not like you’re gonna hear me say, “My kids suck! They’re gross! Ew!” Lucky for me, they don’t suck and they aren’t gross so when I blather on and on about the wonders of my kids, all you can really do is just sit there and look pretty.

2 of our 3 kids have jumped the Mother Ship and are now navigating the wonders of the world on their own. I no longer get to screw up their lives on a day-to-day basis … only intermittently and even then, my efforts aren’t taken as seriously as they once were. Damn kids.

Me in my Rose Colored Glasses

When it comes to how I view my offspring, I am quite guilty of donning the proverbial rose-colored glasses. But for me, it’s not that I don’t SEE the flaws. Oh, I see them. Like a big green booger, I see them clearly. It’s just that the glasses help me focus on the potential found even in a booger if it belongs to my kid. It could be formed into something useful, I tell myself, Perhaps glue or add glitter and bedazzle  some Crocs with it. (Crocs are so ugly, they’d probably look BETTER with a glittery booger stuck on them.)

Anyway, the point is this; I think most of us moms do that sort of thing. Not, bedazzle Crocs with boogers, but we view our kids with a hopeful eye and a vision for the future that often INCLUDES the flaws, the weaknesses and the imperfections.

It’s probably true that we’d prefer to view our kids as perfect and overlook the flaws entirely. But in my opinion, if we’re smart, we won’t do that. Instead, we’ll embrace the imperfections every bit as much as the perfections and in doing so, find ourselves  balancing in that wondrous place in the middle where unconditional love lives.

The fact is, it’s often our flaws that make us interesting, unique and … well … US. That’s all the more reason to slip on the Rose Colored Glasses for a clear view of the very things that make our kids the spectacularly unique creatures they are!

On Being A Mom

Motherhood

Giving all of me until
almost none of me was left
Inconceivable it seems
to know not
was it gift
or theft
?


Me and my youngest when he was 3. He's 10 now!

I wrote this poem over a decade ago when my two oldest children were around 8 and 7 and before my youngest was born.

I LOVE being a mom with its many extremes of emotion. Nothing else in my life has the power to consume me like the love I have for my babies. This love has pushed me to the very edge of who I am, tapping into the raw parts of my soul, demanding I play many roles that have stretched, stressed and challenged my strengths and weaknesses.

Momma Bear defends – Doctor Mommy heals – Parent Mother disciplines –  Therapist Mom supports. Homework Mom just says, “Go ask Dad.”  Every year of development has demanded I step up and play a new role. And what worked for one child didn’t always work for the other!  Where was that freakin’ parenting manual when I needed it???

Anyway, over the last 2 decades I’ve often surprised myself by doing pretty damned okay. But there are also a few  dismal failures I can barely face all these years later.  My kids will undoubtedly face those  same failures on a therapists couch somewhere in their 30’s.

Fact is, giving everything for my kids has been both gift AND theft. I freely gave of myself and sometimes it was probably more than I should have …  AND parts of me were stolen when I wasn’t paying attention. There are so many gains and so many losses in life and mothering has been no exception for me.

And I wouldn’t trade it for the entire world.