Saturday, September 22, 2012

Shower, please!!!

I stood in the bathroom with Parker as he was shaving. yes, I am old enough to have a child that shaves…my youngest child, too! Amidst the hustle of the day, between long drives to the ranch to football practices ending WAY too late for a school night, a mother stands in the bathroom with her infant child now morphed into a semi-adult, to remind him to shave. Multi-task to get it all done. Rinse, wash, and repeat. Being a mother can become mundane…routine…There is only so much that can get done in a single day. As the teenage peach fuzz fell into the sink I stopped for a moment. I was remembering the crazy days when they were all babies…bottles, diapers, binkys, formula, baby food (infinity sign). I said, “Parker, I’m trying to figure out if life was busier than than it is now, or busier now than it was then. (yeah, he looked at me confused, too). You know what I mean. Little babies are so hard. They NEED you to survive..literally!!! THEY NEED YOU! I see the moms pushig those strollers and think THANK FUCKING GODDDD that isn’t me. It’s tough. It sucks. It makes you long for the days when it ends and you can at least fricken shower without those tiny little people watching. Actually, new moms schedule their showers. Yeah, it’s quite fun. “Oh no, I can’t do lunch because that’s when I can wash my body during nap time”..yeah, motherhood!!! And then, (drum roll) it happens. They are standing in front of you in the bathroom shaving!!! Here’s the trick moms and dads. The one thing they left out of the What to Expect When You’re Expecting series…. THEY STILL RELY ON YOU FOR EVERY THINGGGGGGGG. You may not be spoon feeding them mashed peas, but you are answering the phone call from a teenager who is ‘starving to death’ (p.s. the call is coming from upstairs because they are sooo tired/busy/Facebooking/Instagram/….. How dare you starve your teenager TO DEATH??? Then they need a ride to and from _________ (insert any place and everyplace). Then they have homework, clubs, football, shopping, riding, etc. Maybe it was easier when I could just put a book in front of them with some crayons, while secretly thinking, “shut up and color”. Maybe the days of choosing their dinners without having to be a short order cook were simpler. And other babies don’t have other babies over to spend the night, so that’s a bonus, too. I now understand why my mom used to say, “You’re driving me to drink” when I was little. Sometimes she would adjust it to, “You are driving me up the wall”. Well said mom, well said. So, as the delivery person of ‘awesome news’ I would like to say I think it just never ends…ever! I’m okay with that (eye twitch). It’s my job. Our jobs. As parents. We are raising human beings, people! We need to be involved at every step of the process. They need us. C.S. Lewis said, “The homemaker has the ultimate career. ALL other careers exist for one purpose only - and that is to support the ultimate career!” It just so happens that this career has no vacation time, pays nothing, and involves working with little soul suckers, but in the long run they are MY little soul suckers!!! It might not get easier, in fact it sometimes feels harder as they grow up. But, that’s my job ‘to grow them up’. Whether you are a new mom, old mom, step mom, surrogate mom, single dad, married, partners, or neighbors, it isn’t easy to do this when the result needs to be perfect. Thanks for listening, now go take a shower why you still have some time..hell, who knows, you might get a chance to drive yourself to drink…..

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Stop and Smell the Roses

I copied this story from a webpage named All About Women. I just had to share...

A sweet lesson on patience.

A NYC Taxi driver wrote:

I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes I honked again. Since this was going to be my last ride of my shift I thought about just driving away, but instead I put the car in park and walked up to the door and knocked.. 'Just a minute', answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.

After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90's stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940's movie.

By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets.

There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard
box filled with photos and glassware.

'Would you carry my bag out to the car?' she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman.

She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.

She kept thanking me for my kindness. 'It's nothing', I told her.. 'I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother to be treated.'

'Oh, you're such a good boy, she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked, 'Could you drive
through downtown?'

'It's not the shortest way,' I answered quickly..

'Oh, I don't mind,' she said. 'I'm in no hurry. I'm on my way to a hospice.

I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. 'I don't have any family left,' she continued in a soft voice..'The doctor says I don't have very long.' I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.

'What route would you like me to take?' I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator.

We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.

Sometimes she'd ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, 'I'm tired.Let's go now'.
We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico.

Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move.
They must have been expecting her.

I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

'How much do I owe you?' She asked, reaching into her purse.

'Nothing,' I said

'You have to make a living,' she answered.

'There are other passengers,' I responded.

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug.She held onto me tightly.

'You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,' she said. 'Thank you.'

I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light.. Behind me, a door shut.It was the sound of the closing of a life..

I didn't pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day,I could hardly talk.What if that woman had gotten an angry driver,or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

On a quick review, I don't think that I have done anything more important in my life.

We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments.

But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

"Words, for all they were flimsy and invisible, had great strength. They could be fortified as a castle wall and sharp as a foil. They could bite, slap, shock, wound. But unlike deeds, words couldn’t really help you. No promise ever rescued a person; it was the carrying-through of it that brought about salvation."

Thursday, August 9, 2012

"But what if your obsession has nothing to do with drugs or thrills or money? What if what you want most in the world is to recapture the way life was a week, a month, a year ago-and you are willing to do whatever it takes?"
— Jodi Picoult, Perfect Match

"Like a missing tooth, sometimes an absence is more noticeable than a presence."

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Michelle Featherstone - Coffee & Cigarettes

“This was the reason there was music, she realized. There were some feelings that didn't have words big enough to describe them.” 

(Please turn off music on lower right of blog page to listen)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Olympic Rings

I wasn’t born with the ‘watching sports’ gene. I have never had a favorite team. I was raised in a house where the Miss America contest was what brought the family together for a night of personal selections and discriminating tastes. I have never felt a particular affinity to my college team. I was on the cheer team in elementary, middle school, high school, and college, which had NOTHING to do with the love of the game and everything to do with the outfits we got to wear! But come to my house and you will see a room devoted to sports. Which sport you ask? All of them. Cause naturally what a NON-sports loving girl does is marry a SPORTS FANATIC! When I married him on the beach in Mexico we had to “hurry it along” because the Suns were in some playoff. Yup, I still said “Yes”. It could have been my last clean break. So here I sit surrounded by sports memorabilia about to admit a very strange fact about myself. You see, I absolutely am bored to death (yes, to death) watching sports whether on TV or at the event. I would rather take a hockey puck to the eye than go to a game. I do however love the crowd watching. I once sat through an entire playoff game and DID NOT once watch the game. I believe I was searching for the cotton candy guy. My strange fact: I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE the Summer Olympics! Perhaps because I only have to watch it once every four years. I watch the trials. I follow the athletes on every social medium available. I ‘LIKE’ their photos on Facebook. I’m opinionated about their apparel and where it was made. I follow the torch (and have been known to use my ice cream cone as a replica). I bought the Life magazine that chronicles each American athlete’s road to success. I study their family lives and I look for the traits that make them posses that drive and that spirit. Over the years I have studied my fascination with the games and have concluded that I like the Olympic games because of its representation of what is possible with hard work, a loving family, and personal drive. Are we all born with these genes or do they develop over time? Did Michael Phelps mother give birth to a mega-athlete or did her kind words and loving support let her child know that he could do it? One Olympian on the equestrian team said,” You know you are truly dedicated to something when you lie about being hurt so no one will make you stop” after he fell off of his horse. That’s drive! A coach of an athlete who was injured said, “as she fell down on her ankle I knew right away she was out for the rest of the game but when I got to the bench she was ready to go back on the court. When I asked her about it she said the ankle is a long way from the heart”. Olympic athletes are everyday people that found their passion. Sure, some of them are born into families where mommy and daddy were fierce competitors. And some were regular kids whose mom and dad put them in the water, or in a gym, or on a horse, or on a field with a ball, and said, “I like watching you have fun”. A favorite quote of mine is “Mothers don’t just drive their kids to practice, they drive them to greatness”. This I find is part of the ‘magic ingredient’ to making a child successful. A lot of what a child can do in their life begins with what is between their ears. GET YOUR HEAD IN THE GAME. We hear this all the time when watching sports. What are you filling your child’s head with? This might be what separates the average from the elite. This year 205 nations will participate in 300 events. There are 10,490 athletes competing in the Olympic Games this summer, and 4,200 athletes competing in the Paralympic Games. That’s a lot of mommies and daddies doing their jobs! I am blessed with athletes in my family. I didn’t feed them any special meals; read them any special books to give them the drive that they have (good genes, maybe, but that’s a given). I put them in the car or on the plane and sat on a hard bleacher or a grass mound and WATCHED. That’s it folks. There’s the magic ingredient. You don’t need a mother and a father; you don’t necessarily even need two parents. You just need someone who’s got your back. But it’s more than watching them. I have seen their tears. I have felt their defeat. I have seen their eyes light up with nervous energy and excitement. I have listened. I have let them have space. I cheered. I videotaped. I sweated. I’ve clenched my hands in prayer. I’ve hugged. I’ve been their soft place to fall when their landing might have been a little rough. So, as the Olympics are about to begin and new seasons are starting in our own worlds, let’s remember what it takes to make a champions, whether on the field or in the classroom. It’s hot; we’re tired from work; there are To Do Lists; dinners to be made; life going on. The best athletes are made from INSIDE the home. So I’ll watch the Olympics from open to close and remember that there is a little one in the stands or on the couch that wants to be just like them. I can take care of the support and they will have to believe that they can do the rest! Dreams aren’t things that don’t come true, those are just fairy tales.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I might get bogged down on the thought of blowing out one extra candle on the birthday cake, but when I stop and look at my life I cannot believe that I could fit ALL the love into such a short amount of time.

Monday, May 28, 2012

How I Quilt

I don’t pretend to know what love is for everyone, or HOW a ‘relationship’ should go. Everyone’s different. I know what it is for me. I know I didn’t marry him because he was perfect. It is more likely that I’m attracted to the imperfect…the one with the ‘broken wing’…rough around the edges. I have a superpower of seeing the ‘heart’ of a person…what really makes them tick; their REAL side that they don’t show to the outside world. I often stand in amazement and watch him genuinely care about another person. I watch him hurt when people are struggling. And I wait, because I KNOW he will be anxious to share these feelings with me. He knows I will understand these things like no one else does, or would even understand. This side of him makes those rough edges not so apparent to me. That’s what a relationship is. The person someone wants to run to when they have news, heartache, or a jarred memory. It is your soft spot to land where you know you will be understood and welcomed. It’s the place that only the two of you can understand. One statement about marriage I read was: Why is it important for people to get married? Because we need a witness to our lives. There are a billion people on the planet. In a marriage you promise to care about this person’s everything. You’re saying “Your life will not go unnoticed, because I will notice it”. It is that patchwork of memories that you can pull up in a minute…that recollection of memories past. It can be as mundane as the day-to-day events, or as spectacular as the planned trips and holidays. These are all weaving who you are as a couple. It is understanding their weaknesses and strengths. It is giving that ‘last bite’ (which we know as the BEST bite) to the other person because you KNOW how much they will like it. It is not always the ‘take your breath away moments’ that young love relates to in its fairy tale. This is when you know that marriage is about the history and familiarity, and the people that are effected because of those memories. You see, anyone can have a lover, but true love is the stitching together of days, years, events, tragedies, raising of children, letting go, and hanging on. Anything else is fantasy. I have read article after article of couples that have been together for years, decades, and they NEVER say what keeps them together as being passion and fiery lust. It isn’t those sexy nights that are often too infrequent because there’s a kid in your bed with a tummy ache or a phone ringing in the middle of the night from a teenager ‘checking-in’. It is ALWAYS because they genuinely cared about the other person’s needs before their own. They ‘like’ the person for who they really are. LIKED!!! You see, that is important when the first person you see at night is the same person you see each morning. ‘I like you’ means ‘I relate to you so much and I like who you are’. It means “I have been watching you year after year and I still want you in my life’. It means you know their faults and weaknesses and you would still be their friend, even if you weren’t married. There is no better feeling in the world than when we can tell what the other person is thinking with just a ‘look’. That something that only the two of us ‘gets’. As Rocky said, “ I got gaps. You got gaps. We fill each other’s gaps”. I know that if my husband ever wanted to leave, then I would have to go with him. It might not be perfect, but it is who we are and quite frankly, I think we are doing a pretty darn good job of being ‘US’. We are here because we know there isn’t any other place quite like OUR place. Happy anniversary…

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

March 28

We pulled in and saw a man grieving by the freshly cut mound of flowers marking his loved one's spot. A wife possibly. Hopefully not a child. I remember those first couple days. Every minute, every breath, every daily visit for those first months. The pain mixed with loss, mixed with confusion. But the years go by and the visits become less frequent. But within the blink off an eye an event brings you right back to that heaviness of loss. I laid the flowers on my great grandma's grave, my gramma's, my papa's, and lastly hers. I laid each flower with an audible 'thank you' for being responsible for bringing her into this life. For this was her birthday and as she never forgot mine, I would never forget hers. Neither will my children. It's one of our frequent trips. Sometimes to mark a holiday and sometimes we just need to feel connected. As I place the last flower on her grave I glance at the date: March 28, 1942. Without realizing this, it is my Mother's 70th birthday. And it hits me like a ton of bricks. A wave of grief. And then they start to fall. And fall. And fall. And all I can tell my daughter is what I know someday she will feel about me. That this is the crappy part about life. The losing. The remembering. As we walk away I look down and find a rock in the perfect shape of a heart. I think, 'my rock, my heart'. I listen to the signs and find comfort.

Friday, January 13, 2012

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