Monthly Archives: September 2009

Journeys Shared Are The Journeys Worth Taking

life

I’ve made a conscious decision in my adult life to focus on people who reciprocate. I don’t mean in a tit-for-tat kind of way. I don’t keep score. I have some friends from far away that make an effort to visit and some that don’t. With some friends we need to talk a few times a week and with others we can pick up where we left off after months of no contact. I suppose my criteria is different depending on the relationship. But for the most part,  it has to feel like we’re both making an effort to nurture the relationship.

A very wise man once gave me the following visual about marriage. He said that there are times when a marriage is like this – and he made a fist with one hand and covered it with the other. And then there are other times when a marriage is like this – and he reversed his hands. But for most of the journey a marriage should be like this:

hands

He interlaced his fingers, joining them together.

That visual made such an impression on me. I was in a relationship at the time that was so lop-sided. I was codependently orchestrating our journey. I left that relationship – thank goodness. I’ve applied this visual to other parts of my life, both with family and friends.

I recognize that we need to carry the other person sometimes. We all have struggles in our lives where we need others to pick up the slack. And sometimes, we’re the one who needs to be carried. Being able to lean on your friends from time to time is essential. But for most of the time, for most of our journey, we need to be working together to nurture and care for each other.

Journeys shared are the journeys worth taking. I surround myself with people who nurture me and allow themselves to be nurtured by me. People that listen with their heart. Act with compassion and kindness. See with loving eyes.

These are the people who I make time for.

P.S. After reading what I’ve written I realized this may sound preachy. So not my intent. I’m struggling right now with my relationship (or lack there of) with my parents. I think I wrote this to validate my adult decisions.

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Filed under family, How We Roll, Marriage, People

May You Rest In Peace, Sweet Boy

This is not supposed to happen to MY baby girl. This happens to you other mothers out there. Not that I wish it on you. Of course not. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. But I’m just as bad as you teenagers out there. Thinking you’re invincible. Thinking that you’re so grown up. Thinking life won’t throw you devastating curve balls.

A sweet, kind, funny, adorable soul left this earth tonight and he was just 17. A senior in high school. His whole life ahead of him. And my daughter loved him. With all her heart. Her first “true love.”

I’m shocked. This CAN’T be happening. This happens in the movies. On TV. To other people. Not me. How do you help your daughter through something like this? I want to fix it. Rewind the tape. Stop all this from happening. Why? Why? Why?

I’m angry. How dare you take a piece of my daughter’s heart and then steal it away, never to give it back? How dare you treat your life so carelessly? Life is a precious gift. You threw your life back at God’s face. My daughter will never get to say goodbye, tell you how much she loved you ever again.

I’m scared. I want my daughter even closer now. Why do our children have to grow away from us? Make decisions that are risky, wrong, damaging? Why can’t we keep them close? Help them with EVERY stage? Keep them from every harm. Ward off danger. Wrap them in bubble wrap. Hold their tender hands always.

Go. Right now. Kiss your children. Tell them you love them. I don’t care what age they are. I don’t care if they pull away from you ’cause they’re at that embarrassed stage. You squeeze them. You hold them. You guide them. You play with them. Each minute with them is a precious gift. Don’t you ever forget that.

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Filed under Roadblocks

Son Drops the “S” Word! Queen Mother of Dirty Words! (To a 6 yr. old, that is)

“MOMMY! #2son said the S word!” shouted my #1son from upstairs.

My heart skipped a beat. I racked my brain, trying to remember when I might have slipped. Was it when I spilled coffee all over my blouse getting into the car yesterday morning? Or when I rolled through that stop sign and THEN saw the police car in my rear view mirror?

“MOMMY! #2son said the S word! He needs to go in time out!” #1 son is now standing in front of me, demanding  justice.

“What exactly did he say?” I said, sternly. “And remember. You’re tattling – so it better be worth it.”

I held my breath, waiting for his reply.

“He said ‘Shut up’ and you’re not supposed to say ‘shut up,’ ” #1son said, triumphantly.

I breathed a sigh of relief and said, “You’re right. That’s not nice and we don’t say shut up. Just ignore him.”

I led #1son back upstairs to play so I could finish dinner.

“Mom, there are two S words, right?”

Oh no. Heart pounding, I scowled. That darn husband of mine. Letting loose like a sailor in front of the boys. Leaving me to deal with potty mouth. Next I’ll be getting phone calls from parents. I could just see it, unwrapping the bar of soap, placing it between his teeth – my husband, not the boys.

“Riiiiggghhhtt,” I said very slowly.

“Yep. There’s shut up and stupid. And I don’t say those words. Those are bad words!” #1son says, proudly.

My heart starts beating again at a comfortable pace. I’m able to exhale with ease.

How I dodged the bullet this time, I honestly don’t know.

Thank goodness it wasn’t the F word. (Freak, people. Geez!)

13 Comments

Filed under children, funny

Smilin’ Into The Weekend

It’s been a long week. It’s been a tiring week. I am so ready for the weekend. And judging from some of your posts out there? You are, too!

Take the few minutes to enjoy this video. If you aren’t grinning like a fool by the end there is something seriously wrong. I know this was first introduced about 6 months ago – but watch it again. Really. It truly sends me to a happy place every time I see it.

If you’re in the mood for more fun check out Shauna’s latest post on her blog Is It 5 o’clock yet? I almost posted this one but she beat me to it!

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Filed under Music

Shoppin’ The Refrigerator

My husband loves leftovers for lunch.  And he’s a saint for eating them up for all of us. Unless, of course, he forgets it on the counter. All day. Until it grows its own goatee complete with gray hair. Typically, because he is so good at eating them up, there are few leftovers. More often than not, I have to use a sharpie to mark MY lunch for the next day – because there are just some things that are better as leftovers like meatloaf, chili and scalloped potatoes.  

Last night, I went to make dinner and the refrigerator was full. To the gills. With what? You guessed it. Leftovers. I don’t mind leftovers but I like to cook. New things. But I hadn’t been shopping for days and the refrigerator looked full. So I scratched the menu for the evening and called the kids to the refrigerator. I handed each one a plate and told them they were shoppin’ the refrigerator. Huh? the confused little guys asked. Shopping? Our refrigerator? For dinner?

With meal tickets in hand (one meat, one starch, one vegetable and one freebie) they picked and choose to their hearts delight. There was so much excitement they couldn’t decide.   I had to pull all the available choices out for fear that the milk would spoil while they stood there gazing longingly at the titillating selection.  #1 son chose spanish rice, beef tenderloin, green beans and sausage. #2 son chose beef tenderloin, sausage, macaroni and asparagus. (Can you tell my boys are meat eaters?) #1 daughter (with her spanking new drivers license) was out “running errands” and conveniently went the fast food route as soon as she heard the menu.

And after every plate was heated up all I heard was munching. Crunching. A little slurping. Thank goodness, no burping. And then, “Mom? Can I have more (fill in the blank)?”  There were no complaints. No bargaining. No questions about what was for dessert so they could decide how hungry they really were. They finished their plates (and they were heaping because I was trying to clear out the refrigerator) without complaint.

Pinch me. I must be dreaming.

These are the very things we’ve eaten over the course of the past 3 days. And at each of those meals I have heard, “How many more green beans do I have to eat?” “Do I HAVE to eat the asparagus?” “You gave me too much rice.” “This meat is too chewy.”

But last night, because THEY got to choose, they couldn’t get enough. I think I might be on to something.

Then my husband came home. “What’s for dinner?” he asked brightly. Leftovers. “Oh.” His face fell. I guess he really does just like leftovers for lunch.

Well, 2 out of 3 happy eaters ain’t bad.

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Filed under children, Edibles, family, funny

Wordless Wednesday – Welcome Fall!

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Filed under nature

Tunes for Tuesday – Without You (Rent)

I’ll never forget when my grandmother died. It was very sudden. She was an amazing woman. So bright and energetic and fun. She had this amazing calendar, in her head, of every birthday of anyone who was important to her. She knew every  President and First Lady’s birthday that had served in her lifetime. She knew my ex-boyfriend’s birthdays. And her birthday cards to us always arrived exactly on that day, except Sunday of course. But it always amazed me how she timed it to arrive – no matter where in the country we lived, no matter how unreliable mail service can be – exactly on time.

My sister called  from 1000 miles away to tell me. I was so stunned but I had a little girl and I had to keep going. I remember I had to run to the store.

“Without you, the seeds root
the flowers bloom
the children play
The stars gleam
the poets dream
the eagles fly
without you” –  As I was driving to the store other people were driving, running stop signs, children were playing on the lawn, the wind even dared to continue to blow. I couldn’t believe the sun was shining. Didn’t they know my grandmother had just died?

“The Earth turns
the sun burns
but I die, without you” – I actually felt a piece of me missing. And I had so much regret. My last image of her was her standing, with her arms crossed across her chest, in front of her house as we drove away. We had visited, but not as long as we said we would. And we had cancelled dinner with her, wanting to get to the airport a little sooner without having to rush. She was disappointed. She was trying not to show it. But I still die a little each time I remember. The last afternoon I spent with her I disappointed her. I took for granted that I would be able to make it up to her on the next trip.
“The world revives
colors renew
but I know blue
only blue
lonely blue
willingly blue
Without you” – My world has been a little empty without her. I miss her feisty nature. Her quick, political banter. She was a die-hard Democrat. I swear I boned up on the Republican issues just so I could spar with her. She died just before the Bush/Gore election. How she would have loved watching them count chads. I missed her so much that Thanksgiving.

“Without you, the eyes gaze
the legs walk
the lungs breathe
The mind churns
the heart yearns
the tears dry without you” – She died 9 years ago and some days, like today, it feels like yesterday. I still dream about her. I think of her every time I see a cardinal or work a crossword puzzle. I drink coffee out of a cup that reminds me of her. I hate it that she never met the two little boys named after her husband and her son.
“Life goes on
but I’m gone
’cause I die, without you
without you” – I have experienced other loss in my life but her death hit me the hardest. For days after she died I honestly couldn’t believe that people were just going about their lives as if nothing had happened. Didn’t they know that a beautiful soul had just left this earth? Didn’t they know that Elsie was gone and the family and friends that loved her  were deeply grieving?

I still miss you so much, Grandma. So very, very, very much.

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Filed under family, Music

The Grass Isn’t Greener. It’s Just Different.

A close friend was going through some struggles in her marriage. And if you believe in coincidences, a blast from her past appeared unexpectedly. They ran into each other at a sporting event. She was with her husband and 2 other couples. They chatted about old times and he encouraged them (a few of the people in the party, including my friend)  to stay in touch.  Well, she did. One thing led to another and they were about to do something they probably shouldn’t but she stopped.

She has a loving husband. Beautiful children. Comfortable home. Good job. Loving friends and family. She was so embarrassed and upset that she had been tempted. But things weren’t as perfect as they seemed in her marriage and she started listing all of the cons in her relationship with her husband. The magic is gone. He doesn’t appreciate me. His priorities always take precedence. And on. And on.

I asked her to look at the pros. But all she could think of was the excitement that this ex was providing. She was so caught up with the magic she couldn’t see why they had ended it so long ago. And I told her; The grass isn’t greener. It’s just different.

wooden_fence_green_grass_scrapbooki

Some varieties need more attention, more water. They need to be cut more often and edged a certain way. Others are less needy. You can skip watering and let nature take care of it. It doesn’t need to be weeded or fertilized. There are so many varieties out there. You have to decide which variety is best for your lawn, where you’re living and how much time you have to devote to it. You make your decision and then work with it.

I’m so glad my friend decided not to go back to her ex. She’s making it work with her husband. But recently she told me that when I told her about “the grass not being greener” she was just listening politely to me. She didn’t really get it. It didn’t hit her until the ex said something that dragged her back to reality. It brought back all of the reasons why they had broken up and she didn’t want to deal with such a high maintenance lawn.

She liked her life the way it was. She was familiar with this variety. And while there was some weeding to do and she never could quite get which fertilizer to use when; it WAS a beautiful lawn.

(The topic for this post was inspired by MamaBlogga’s Friday post.)

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Filed under How We Roll, Roadblocks

What Do You Do With A Goofy Sailor?

Our youngest, age 5, has become a little too comfortable in his classroom of late and his teacher brought it to our attention. I asked her to text me with updates. It’s been well over a week since we talked so I thought things were going well. Yesterday morning we received our first text from her.

“#2son has needed constant redirection and has been excessively silly today. Have a great weekend! – Mrs. Wonderful”

I begin to laugh. And then I think, there’s some great blog fodder in here, I know it. But I’m laughing too hard to type.

First, let me say #2son’s teacher truly is wonderful. I love her to death and she is perfect for our son, hence the name Mrs. Wonderful.

But there’s this part of me that wants to say, then deal with him. What can I do about it from home?

Then there’s the part of me that wants to do what my friend suggested and text her back with “Well, then TGIF, right?”

Then there’s another part of me that knows exactly, EXACTLY, what she’s dealing with and I’m with her – what can we do about it?

And still another part of me is still cracking up over the quick little sentence closed with “Have A Great Weekend!”

#2son is the class clown. And adorable. And sweet, imaginative and funny. Needs redirection? All. The. Time. Excessively silly? You betcha. He wants to be an actor. He performs in front of the mirror constantly. He is continually in Imaginary Land. His world is punctuated with sound effects. One day he’s fighting aliens. Or a sailor on the high seas standing on the couch with his spyglass looking for shark. The next day he’s a pirate, or Yoda, or Spiderman (especially funny when I see him trying to adhere to the walls).

 

When he got into the car at carpool I asked him how his day was. “Good,” he replied. That’s not what Mrs. Wonderful said, I told him. “Oh,” he said. Long dramatic pause. Then he said, “Well, it sure was good to ME!”

See what I mean? I started laughing all over again.
Thank goodness my husband is the disciplinarian in our family. Obviously, I’m not cut out for this.

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Filed under children, funny, Motherhood, parenting

Help! I’ve Been Splogged!

I kid you not. Splog is a legit blog term. It’s a spam blog. And it. Could happen. To you! Bwaaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa….

Seriously. I’m not sure how I found it but one of my snazzy posts that I created for Country-Fried Mama’s new meme (Mmm, Mmm, Memory) was snatched up by a stealthy splogger (try saying that fast five times). This splogger copied it and pasted it and posted it on her site. Granted she gave me credit by adding my site address to the end. But it was a bit unnerving to see it posted there. And there were many others, too. Maybe yours.

I’m perplexed. Flummoxed, even. (I just had to throw that word in there. A friend of mine used it in a sentence and a fairly famous radio host accused her of not knowing what it meant. I think *he* didn’t know what it meant.) So, I’m flummoxed. Stealing other material seems like such a nasty thing to do. Didn’t you have a rule-following English teacher in high school (me) that beat the definition of plagiarism into you (see previous post here)? I suppose by definition you haven’t plagiarised if you gave me credit at the end. But it still feels creepy. And it can’t be right.

How common is this? Has it happened to you? Now I’m going to be looking over my shoulder every time I press the Publish button.

How I hate it when my rose-colored glasses get a smudge on them.

Sigh.

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Filed under Plagiarism, Roadblocks, Soapbox