Sunday, November 18, 2012

All romantic musings aside...

Four weeks in and just two posts. Already I'm neglecting this thing.

I've come to realize that I'm nearly at maximum capacity. Every time I add a new thing, something else pops out of place. I've been trying not to take on even more - it's not easy. I actually really do want to bake and do crafts for the school Christmas show and...and...and.

Saturday nights are my only real "me" time.

I'm not complaining. My job as mom is an honor and I give it everything I have. I make fun happen all week. After work and school we read books, do homework, build Lego towers, look at stars, climb trees, paint pictures, swim, play piano, Google for answers to the bizarre questions he asks. Weekends, we have big, romping groups of boys sleep over, I take the kid on educational outings (or just to ride roller coasters). Always, I cook dinners, sew patches, cuddle, go for bike rides, play tooth fairy and plan fantastic birthday parties.

And so some Saturday nights, as last night, I give up sleep for catching up. For sitting down and wrapping my head around my hectic life and all the pieces of it, making sure as best I can that nothing - and nobody  - gets left out.

It's my turn to host Thanksgiving this year, mostly with chosen family. I'm so lucky to have a wonderful, vibrant group of friends. There are many more I wish could come.

Sunday today. My "day off." Got up at 7:30. Did some much-needed errands. Replaced a broken toilet seat. Fixed a favorite toy. The mailing list for the writer's group I help with is ready to go but still haven't gotten to the Cub Scouts website or planning the next fundraiser which is coming right up. The laundry is done but not folded. Some bills are paid, others will wait. Twinkly lights were strung across the garden seating area, the menu is planned, shopping done. House de-cluttered but not clean. That'll happen before people arrive. Did some weeding and re-planting so it's pretty for Thursday. Pieces of various puzzles have been re-organized. Caught up with an old friend while cleaning the kitchen. I even watched half a movie while I did some other things! Didn't get to work out, but there was kitten poop to contend with and that's my excuse for the evening. I'm sleepy.

I got enough done today so I won't be in a panic this week; a good place to be on any Sunday night in my book.  Next weekend, come hell or high water, even if my long list of waiting projects sits and rots, I'm going to the movies. A real, live grownup movie. I want to see Cloud Atlas. I want to see Lincoln. I want to see... it has been way too long since I've been to the movies. Once upon a time, nary a weekend went by without my seeing at least one on the big screen. Of all the things I don't get to do as much as I'd like, I think I miss that the most. On the other hand, I really need to get over myself. I choose where my time goes. Feeling vaguely sorry for myself for even a moment over the way I'd like things to be doesn't help anything. I've got my eye on a distant mountain-top. None of the minor pitfalls like boorish ex's, to-thin wallets or kitten poop will dissuade me. And if that's all I have to complain about? I've got a lot to be thankful for.

All romantic musings aside, mostly because I don't have much time for them right now, this is my life. Pull back the curtain and you'll see the wizard working frantically to make effortless-seeming miracles appear all over the place.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Orange Shirt Days


“Does your child have any other shirts?” you might ask.

“Why, yes! Yes, he does. A whole closet full.” I would say.

“Is there something wrong with the rest of his shirts?” you could logically ponder next.

“No. Not really. No, there is not.” I would say, were you to ask.

At two years old, getting any clothes on him at all was a situation - tantrums! I finally realized I was making it worse by trying to force it so I just let him be in a diaper until he felt like putting clothes on. Usually by the time we arrived someplace he'd want them on. Sometimes not. Sometimes people stared. Once a woman said something snide and I offered to let her try to dress him. Literally – like I handed her an outfit and hoped she’d have better luck than I did.


At three, my son had to wear a Spiderman costume every day. And night. So, fine. I bought four of them and he wore them. What do I care, really - it's his body, his sense of self and style - and he wanted to be in charge of it. I’m cool with that.

 That calmed down for a bit and then it was Superman. We had two Superman costumes and I made four blue shirts with red capes sewn onto the back. People would say, “Hi Superman!” everywhere we went. He loved it for months, then got bored with it and then embarrassed by it.

For a good long while after that he didn’t care what he wore. Lucky me! Occasionally he’d prefer the Lego shirt over the plain one, but usually would just put on whichever clothes I handed him without comment.

Until...two weeks ago. He will ONLY wear these exact blue shorts and orange shirt. He owns other blue shorts and other orange shirts – they are his favorite two colors after all – but he will not wear those other, disgusting, uncomfortable, “scratchy”, imperfectly heinous sets of clothing.

That's my kid in front. The one in the orange shirt.
I just roll with it. I wash them far, far more often than any piece of clothing should be washed before it falls apart. I’ve warned him that eventually they will do just that. But in the end, it’s simply not worth the upset for us both to fight him over it. He’s a good boy over all – kind and smart and pleasant and fun - I’m very lucky. But he’s almost as stubborn as his mama. I get creative, do some song-and-dancing and a lot of turning-things-into-games and much of giving-him-options in order to get things done. I pick my battles with this kid. I’ve learned over the years that when he says he’s NOT GOING TO WEAR ANYTHING ELSE, he damned well means it.

It is hard to know what goes through their minds. I remember too well being a big person in a small body, looking at all the people in big bodies around me and wondering why everybody treated me like I was kind of dumb. It was lonely. I understand him. I really don’t mind whatever he should ever want to wear. I just don't like doing laundry every day.

This too shall pass. I wonder what's next?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Rising from the Ashes

This used to be a mom blog. I don't know what it is now.

I started blogging here in 2007 when I was married lady with a one-year old son. I shut it down in January 2011, when I realized how naive I'd been - not fully cognizant of just how broadly public anything on the internet really is. All earlier posts are suspended for now.

I had a good run here. Over 850 posts with 4500-something comments on those old posts. I was in a new city, in a marriage that was rough at its best and I was desperately lonely. This blog and the connections I made here helped me feel like I was a part of something. I still have some friends I made here from that time - but now we chat on Facebook. I've missed blogging, but with learning how to be a single mom and starting a new business I just couldn't keep up with it - and somewhere along the line I realized that my blog needed a lot of clean up.This had always been a place just to communicate, tell stories, share my life and thoughts, but as my marriage fell apart and the divorce process commenced, it had also become a place to kvetch. I didn't want to be a person who had an unfortunate story to tell. I didn't want complaints to be the mark I left on the world. I did that for a while, but it isn't who I am.

There was also a lot of funny, crafty, interesting and occasionally bizarre crap posted here. It's a shame to throw out the baby with the bathwater, but I'll bring back some of those as I have a chance to go through them.
I have changed so very much in the past few years. I have grown up, lost some shackles and blossomed. I have shed a lot of so-called problems and a few so-called friends. I have learned where to be forgiving and where to draw the line. I found my integrity. I've lost a lot of weight, started running, learned a lot about other people and gotten know myself a whole lot better. I quit the business I started and then started a job I love. I've put together a whole new life with my sweet little boy, who I'm ever-thankful for.

And here I am. Hoping I haven't undone all those friendships I created back then by dropping off the face of the earth - or at least that I can rebuild them, make new ones here. It's time to write for myself again. It has always been my favorite thing to do. I'll make the time, somehow.

People who are the busiest people I've ever known now tell me that I'm busier than they are, and in a way that is probably very twisted, that makes me proud. I beat the crap out of every single day I live now. I'm making life into what I need it to be for myself and my son. Each day is fast and full.

When I have down time it is well-earned and it is far more enjoyable than ever before. I have a wonderful kid who I adore. I wake up every day excited to talk with him and he makes me laugh like nobody else (see Shit My Kid Says!). I have great friends, an amazing support system in place. I have help. I give back as much as I possibly can because that is where the fun is. I'm happy again. Not content - but happy in the overcoming of every day's obstacles, in making progress toward better things.  I think I'm happier this way than I ever was before.

It's time to create what I have really always wanted.  I'll be around here along the way, sharing pieces of my life and hoping to inspire and be inspired.

Fastening my seat belt. Come along for the ride.