Category Archives: Parenting

Hallelujah

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Hallelujah

It’s strange:

How I find myself here

Cutting my mother’s hair.

When I swore we’d never speak

Never give myself the chance

to destroy her…

Like I know I could.

Curiously ironic…

Such a moment of grace

And a realization-

“I forgive her”

And for once,

It’s not about her.

2018 year in review:

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2018 year in review:

Haven’t done one of these in a couple years. Seems fitting as I am in my 38th year… which is the year I’ve been thinking about since I was 19 years old.

It’s been a wild ride.

And a long life.

Hopefully, I get 38 more years.

1. Codependent is not the same as interdependent… no matter how you package it, some people will never understand the difference.

2. Never take friendships for granted; even after 28 years, they can end without proper maintenance. Even with proper maintenance, people grow apart. That’s ok.

3. There are social contracts that we all must abide by, to some extent. However, any social contract that requires you to be anything but your authentic self (save for concrete moral deviance) can go fuck themselves. This is your life. You probably only get one. Love it. Live it. Choose it. You’re the driver.

4. “Stairway to heaven” really is truth. 🎵“Yes, there are two paths you can go by… But in the long run…There’s still time to change the road you’re on.”🎵 Two paths. Fear or love.

5. If you’re all the way right or all the way left, you can’t see the whole picture. Take a couple steps back and listen.

6. Echo chambers are bad.

7. Sometimes the best thing you can do as a parent is stop parenting.

8. You can lose/leave most of your things and be happy.

9. Dogs really are better than cats. By a small margin. But still better.

10. Money definitely doesn’t buy happiness. Always choose the job that feeds your soul. If you’re doing things right, someone will feed your belly.

11. When you have enough to feed your belly, feed someone else’s. When you have enough to feed your soul, feed someone else’s.

12. Energy is cyclic. I knew that years ago but I was definitely reminded repeatedly this year. Be mindful of the energy you put out. It’s easy to become comfortable, complacent, and forget.

13. Choose love. Even if it ends badly, you will end up better for it. You can leave with love. You can lead with love. You can heal with love. Always love yourself first. Insert some cliche about airplane oxygen masks.

14. Experiences are better than things. But… sweet gestures are still sweet.

15. Excitement and exuberance count. More than you realize.

16. Gratitude begets gratitude.

17. Douglas Adams really is a genius.

18. You can be aware and understand without co-opting and/or being offended. It really isn’t about you.

19. Except when it is… if you have a boundary, don’t let yourself or anyone else violate it.

20. There is healthy shame and unhealthy shame… learn the difference.

21. People tell you who they are and what they want through actions. You have to listen and watch. They often contradict each other.

22. Timing is everything. Sometimes things circle back around when you’re ready, sometimes they don’t because they were only there for the lesson.

23. The world, and humans, haven’t really changed. Comparisons are moot.

24. You can’t save anyone but yourself.

25. And Hobo Johnson/Frank is a lyrical genius.

Huzzah. Xoxo

Call to action!

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Call to action!

Two of my favorite people and longest friends recently found out that their dream house that they’ve has been living in with their two wee kiddos has been infiltrated to the point of almost not being correctable by MOLD……. They are doing what they can (luckily it is summer so they can sleep in tents while they try to get it taken care of) but they need help.

I can not financially assist, but I thought I might be able to send a shout out to my followers (there are over 100 of you!) and if you all threw in a buck or two, that would be amazing.

 

Do a good thing.

Spend a buck.

Love and light!

AND SHARE!

CLICK HERE TO HELP OUT MY SOUL SISTER!!!

oh the shame, the SHAME!

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oh the shame, the SHAME!

As this is the first year that I am independently purchasing my kid’s school supplies, clothes, and general new school year BS without the aid of my student loans, suffice it to say things are rather lean…. So I told them to go through the first week with minimal supplies and figure out what they actually need rather than me just spending asinine amounts of money on things the Manchild will lose and the Girlchild will not use and I will just purchase the needed stuff later…

The Girlchild apparently made an editorial comment about this at a friend’s house so the friend’s mom bought her some supplies. DOH!

Way to make me feel like shite. YAY!

So I texted the girl’s mom to tell her thank you and explain my thought process rather than letting her think I was just a poor muthatrucka…I don’t think she believed me.

Then, as I am now an indentured servant with $23478398475845 in student loan debt to Sallie Mae (and considering the fact that my beautiful paid off car was accidentally killed because I forgot about the &*^*^%^* timing belt which caused me to need to buy a new car and have a car payment)…. I have NO effing expendable cash…. So I am down to using credit cards to buy groceries. Yay.

I go to Winco to buy groceries, spend an hour shopping, unloading, ringing up, and DOH!

Winco doesn’t take credit cards.

The shame, the shame.

F**k me.

Someday I will have a really awesome job with a really awesome salary. Until then, I am a poor muthatrucka. White person poor, but poor all the same. Relativity boys and girls, relativity.

Shattering patterns, one crisis at a time….

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Shattering patterns, one crisis at a time….

So you know that dumb cliché that your children are your karma for what you did as a child?

Payback is a bitch.

Today marked the third LARGE parenting crisis I have had to deal with in the 16 years I have been a parent. Oddly enough, all three of them have happened when my children were the same age as I was, when I experienced practically the same crisis.

It’s really freaking scary. I have made bad decisions as a romantic relationship role model, that is for sure. But as far as everything else: school, work, self-advocacy, critical thinking, self-esteem, encouraging uniqueness, supporting their choices, not being a blind follower, talking about sex, drugs, and unconditional love, etc….I rock that.  I couldn’t imagine having to deal with any of the things I experienced because I have prided myself on being such a “better” parent than I had. And I am a better parent, my toolbox is better stocked. My education is more complete. But better is a relative term, I suppose.

The main difference between my parenting and my childhood is that I have made it a point to do the absolute opposite of what my parents did; in these specific situations.

And it’s hard.

I panic.

I don’t know what a “normal” parent would do.

I don’t always know what the appropriate thing to do is.

I know what I would tell a client.

I know what I would tell a friend.

But they aren’t my kids.

They aren’t me.

They don’t have my experiences.

And therein lies the rub.

All I can do is hope I have interrupted a pattern. Hope that when it’s my children’s turn as parents, that they don’t experience these crises. If they do, I hope they handle it even better than I did.

Ye’ olde family traditions

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Ye’ olde family traditions

When I was growing up, one town that I lived in frequently seemed to have an alley behind every street within its old city limits. We usually didn’t have much money and so when holidays came around like Memorial Day, Mother’s Day and Easter, instead of buying my family flowers (for them or their gravestones), my mother would drive down alleys letting me spot and cut beautiful escapee flowers.

It was really one of my favorite things to do. Lilacs are my grandma J’s favorite and so when those were still in season (depending on when Easter landed) we would scout those out first. I remember the joy and the feeling of responsibility I would get from riding with the door slightly ajar, no seat belt, while my mom would drive slowly down the alleys letting me jump out with scissors to run and steal flowers.

As a parent myself, I cringe at the memory…But as my inner child, I still remember the sneaky happiness. I am quite certain no one would have complained had they seen us cutting their alley irises or tulips, but it sure felt naughty which was part of the fun. There a few times they may have complained upon seeing me squeezing through gaps to reach beautiful flowers IN their yards but…..

I digress.

As an adult, and I use the term relatively, my bestest friend Pippi and I did the same thing. I even continued the tradition with my own children when I lived in that same town again. However I usually parked and walked or would follow the kids down the alley. (Traditions evolve you know.)

We haven’t found any alleys where we are now. Not for lack of trying either. Every year I see the flowers growing in spring and I mourn for my alley escapades.

I’ve seen some pretty gorgeous daffodils on a couple of shoulders and exits near my house though….they might just be fair game.

Happy whatever you do today!

I have been thinking too much lately…even more than my “normal.”

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I have been thinking too much lately…even more than my “normal.”

And in those thoughts, I find myself again looking at the results of particular decisions and paths that I have been feeling unsure of lately. But in this examination with the benefit of hindsight, I find that I am ok with my world right now.

*Forgive my vagueness in the forthcoming thoughts, but I really don’t want to expose anyone’s stuff on my blog.*

For example, we all (in my experience anyway) want to do things differently than our parents, whether in a huge way or a small way. Sometimes, we find ourselves as parents seeming to repeat our parent’s mistakes or even doing things “worse” in our perception. But after a crisis, with the added layer of experience and evolution of thought we sometimes can look at something we think we were doing wrong and realize we did it right. We just didn’t know it then. Perhaps something that your parent did and exposed you to, allowed to happen, taught you to teach your children something different that people found particularly developmentally inappropriate, something kids should not be exposed to in order to save their innocence of thoughts. But because you taught them, because you told them something earlier than the experts suggest: you taught them to address a problem rather than to hide it and allow it to permeate their childlike minds.

Perhaps in another situation, what you felt you were teaching your children was to be compliant and to be passive aggressive, and called it “choosing your battles” like your mother taught you….But what you were really teaching your children was to maintain and be strong until they had the proper fortifications to change their own path.

And yet in another, maybe you thought you were giving your child an easier path, teaching them nothing but to look for an easy way out or to depend on others to do “it” for them, but really, you were teaching them that there is no set way to do things and there is NOTHING wrong with doing things different from the masses and asking for help to do it since there are no directions for this method. This is the very definition of change.

In fact, nothing has ever changed in this world for the better without someone doing something outside the “norm.” Take heart people who are movers, shakers, boat rockers and/or parents: You are probably not messing up. 😉 You are simply doing something different, which is scary. BUT not necessarily wrong. Take faith that in the future you will understand the choices you make today and the path they lead you down tomorrow. You are cutting a path for others. Embrace your machete.

change  (chnj)

v. changedchang·ingchang·es
v.tr.

1.

a. To cause to be different: change the spelling of a word.
b. To give a completely different form or appearance to; transform: changed the yard into a garden.
2. To give and receive reciprocally; interchange: change places.
3. To exchange for or replace with another, usually of the same kind or category: change one’s name; a light that changes colors.
4.

a. To lay aside, abandon, or leave for another; switch: change methods; change sides.
b. To transfer from (one conveyance) to another: change planes.
5. To give or receive the equivalent of (money) in lower denominations or in foreign currency.
6. To put a fresh covering on: change a bed; change the baby.
v.intr.

1. To become different or undergo alteration: He changed as he matured.
2. To undergo transformation or transition: The music changed to a slow waltz.
3. To go from one phase to another, as the moon or the seasons.
4. To make an exchange: If you prefer this seat, I’ll change with you.
5. To transfer from one conveyance to another: She changed in Chicago on her way to the coast.
6. To put on other clothing: We changed for dinner.
7. To become deeper in tone: His voice began to change at age 13.
n.

1. The act, process, or result of altering or modifying: a change in facial expression.
2. The replacing of one thing for another; substitution: a change of atmosphere; a change of ownership.
3. A transformation or transition from one state, condition, or phase to another: the change of seasons.
4. Something different; variety: ate early for a change.

How many tools are missing from your toolbox?

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How many tools are missing from your toolbox?

One of my best lifelong friends and I were having a conversation about being in relationships and trying to raise teenaged children when we basically raised ourselves and don’t have any sort of healthy relationships to model. Honestly, we still don’t. When it comes down to it, everything I know about being in relationships and raising children has come from television or trial and error. We are simply just a generation that is missing tools from our tool box, or maybe we are not able to read the schematics. Maybe it is outdated technology. I don’t know.

Recently, I feel I have learned a lot from my studies, as far as theories and developmental stages; relationship dynamics and the like. But honestly, it’s all been practice. Hopefully, my kids aren’t as effed up as I think I am sometimes. It seems that I try very hard to balance being a friend and an authoritarian with being nurturing and not trying to make them be anything but themselves. I want them to question authority and the status quo, but do what I say, when I say it. Cause I said it. Meh. Sometimes it works. More often than not, someone ends up mad, sad, or both.

The first 10 years of each of my kids lives were relatively easy. I believe it’s a combination of hormones, theirs and mine plus the additional stresses of a regular life plus graduate school that have led to our mutual frustration. But all in all, I think they have it pretty good. Me on the other hand, I feel like a nutcase most of the time. I over think everything and vacillate between being a tyrant, a mama bear and a big sister as my parenting role. Perhaps it comes from my combining Roseanne Conner, Charlie Salinger, and Benny Lopez. If I had to describe my parenting style, it would definitely be like a big sister. Which if you subscribe to the idea that we learn more from our siblings than our parents, great. But if not….

And then there is romantic relationships. Oy. I really, really suck at them. It’s true. Some days I just feel that relationships are a tool themselves to learn from, other times I feel like that is a rationalization of someone who sucks at relationships. I have control problems and get in relationships with people for all the wrong reasons and don’t give things time to develop. I know this. Plus, I am constantly evolving and becoming a different person it seems. Now, this may sound like the rantings of a borderline personality issue, but I have explored that. It’s really not. It’s simply a matter of the fact that I am just starting to get a grip on who I am and who I want to be as an adult.

I grew up really fast and skipped some steps; it left me a completely developed underdeveloped adult. 🙂 And now that I am going back and reexamining and reprocessing those pieces I had to put off in order to survive and adapt, I am finding myself drawn to things and becoming a person I would have argued with you about 16 years ago. C’est La vie.

So what’s the score? How do you cope? Do you just keep on keeping on and let the chips fall where they may? Sigh. Usually I try to be pretty upbeat, funny or proactive about my posts and life in general, but sometimes I am just soooo fucking tired. It’s been a long life.

Creepers!

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Creepers!

Given the populations I have worked with and my own issues, one could say I am a hyperaware parent. I wouldn’t say I am a helicopter parent, but I am slightly untrusting of the general public and probably have inflicted this upon my children a little too much.

However; I have always worked to make sure that they are critical thinkers who listen to their guts and stay aware of their surroundings. I think it is a good skill set which balances with the hyperarousal I may have passed on 🙂

The Girl Child initiated a conversation with me around Christmas about how it is kind of a mixed message that from birth we tell our children not to talk to strangers, take candy from strangers, etc. but then encourage them to sit on Santa’s lap, take candy from him, tell him secrets and expect him to break into our house and give us gifts. All classic grooming techniques.

I immediately thought of Jon Benet Ramsey, who was murdered around Christmas and was told by “Santa”  he would bring her a special gift after Christmas. No one has ever proved Santa did it, but that’s where my money has always been….Don’t worry, I didn’t share that thought pattern with her.

Just this morning, we watched a commercial that had M & M’s dressed as the Easter Bunny, sneaking through someone’s house and leaving candy for children. The Girl Child said, “See? Another creepy thing that we tell kids its ok to let in the house and as long as they bring them candy.”

The next commercial was one of those Febreeze commercials wherein they take people into scary looking places blindfolded and ask them to describe what they smell….

We looked at each other, reading each other’s minds.

These people let strangers with cameras lead them into scary places because they are told what? Who cares. It doesn’t matter what they told them. They have been told their whole lives strangers with cameras, ahem, candy won’t hurt them. Or will they?

We live in a weird damn world of conflicting mores and social rules.

I am surprised there hasn’t been a string of Santa, Halloween, Easter Bunny, Febreeze hostel serial killer situations in the media.

We want to think that the people we need to worry about all look like the people in this video:

But they don’t.

Have we outgrown the safety of our own traditions? Anne Frank said “Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.”

Do you agree?

Do we need to change the mythology we pass onto our children?

“The world has changed. I see it in the water. I feel it in the Earth. I smell it in the air. Much that once was is lost, for none now live who remember it.” ~ Galadriel

20 things I wish a mother had taught me. Any mother. Even yours.

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20 things I wish a mother had taught me. Any mother. Even yours.

Mind you some of these things I know how to do, NOW. Some of these things, I have not yet figured out, but I am working on it. I am not going to note which are which.

  1. How to crochet;
  2. how to put on liquid eyeliner properly;
  3. how to sock away money in case you ever have to leave;
  4. how to pick a proper wine;
  5. how to effectively and consistently maintain the role of parent while not damaging children’s souls;
  6. how to swim underwater without plugging your nose;
  7. how to be brave no matter what it may cost you;
  8. how to stand up for yourself and others despite the sorrow it may bring;
  9. how to continue to nourish your own soul while providing others roots for their own without doing all their gardening for them;
  10. how to cook for exactly the amount of people you need to cook for, not 3789639465349756349 extras;
  11. how to know when someone is lying to you;
  12. how to deal with rejection and failure;
  13. how to let go of control;
  14. how to see the good in others when the bad stands out;
  15. how to do basic maintenance on a car;
  16. how to get rid of aphids;
  17. how to roller blade and/or ice skate;
  18. how to tell your child, “Oh that sucks.” without wanting to fix it for them;
  19. how to slow down and appreciate what you have;
  20. how to teach love by being love.
That is all.