Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Alcoholism and bullet points

Let me preface all of this by assuring you guys that Cory does way more than his fair share of housework and parenting. He's the one that bathes the kids every other night 99% of the time and thank god because that's probably my least favorite thing in the world to do. 

I heard an interesting story on NPR the other day while driving to one of my 2.5 jobs (I don't really count photography as a full legit job most days) that most definitely hit home.

In short? Alcoholism among women, especially mothers, is a pretty serious issue right now. The woman being interviewed discussed the stress associated with working a day job and transitioning to mom mode when she gets home. Dinner, homework, baths, laundry, dishes....
Add, as we can in so many of our lives, financial stress on top of that and pass the booze please.

Sometimes I do this thing where I jokingly tell someone something that's totally true. Like when I told friends that if we could afford it I'd drink myself into a drunken stupor every single night. "I like the way it makes me feel. It makes me all warm and tingly inside...I can finally let go and just relax."

Every night when Cory leaves for work I wish I had something to drink. If I had access to it could I just drink a glass or two of wine or would it just progress from there? I have no idea. But I do know that alcoholism is a pretty serious issue in my family so ya know..it's in my genes and all that.

It's just something I haven't been able to shake from my mind since hearing it..that story. It's like we have an epidemic of exhausted parents running in circles trying to keep everything afloat yet feel like we're drowning way too often, hence the alcohol.

The solution? I have no idea. Except socialism. I'll take socialism..redistributing the wealth and all that. And I'm only sorta joking.

Bullet points:

I'm watching "Today" and they're doing a story on items in the grocery store geared toward men. "Powerful Yogurt" with the tag line "Find your abs!" And I just wanted to say that I'm offended for you, male friends. They've said the word "manfluence" at least a dozen times and seriously why am I watching this shit?

Eisley started following me on twitter. I have no idea why and know only two things about them: I want the adorable girl's house, wardrobe and body to go with the wardrobe. And two: adorable girl sounds like the chick from Sixpence.  

I've started watching "American Horror Story Coven" and even though I'm a 33 year old woman with 3 children I'm terrified that my mother will find out and haul me off to be delivered of the evil within.

The last book in the Divergent series came out and why didn't I know that was happening??? Why is Samuel L. Jackson doing commercials for a credit card? Why won't my hair grow faster?

Kanye & Kim got engaged and my only feeling about it all is that I'm desperately hoping Kelly Oxford graces us with something brilliant to say about the issue.

I've been listening to basically nothing but Katy Perry for two days and I'm not sorry because I owe the universe nothing. And speaking of Katy Perry watching this and crying is what almost made the kids late for school this morning.

What almost made them late yesterday? Drama over pajama day and so. much. sobbing from this kid...

Life is good
Life is beautiful
Life is stressful

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Good night

The house feels crisp and cool tonight. I'm basking in the kind of comfort that only a good quilt and mug of hot tea can bring and am thinking about a hot shower before bed.

I've been a big ball of emotions for the past few days. It's a yarn ball...the kind you want to unravel yet find nothing but layer upon layer of absolute mess the longer you work with it.

I gave my PLP (that's platonic life partner, guys) some terrific advice yesterday when she was feeling overwhelmed. "You have to let something go," I said. That's some solid advice...advice I have yet to take for myself.

But on the days when I feel well rested I find myself thriving on the chaos. It's one of the things I got from my mom that I don't necessarily count as something horrible to have...the longing for craziness in my life. If it weren't for it I probably wouldn't have three children that call me mommy.

Wonderful, silly, ridiculous children

with their freckles, dimples, stickiness and down right glorious giggles.

It's funny how you can feel overwhelmed and like you just can't stand any more then Katy Perry comes on your television and it all feels not just okay but....right? It's the Katy effect.......better than paying money out of pocket for therapy. Katy Perry in leopard print. Emotional healing.

Then there's community and having places where you can go to feel whole. And it doesn't matter if you find yourself sitting alone surrounded by dozens of people having their conversations, filling the air with laughter. Because you have your giant mug of warm caffeine and know that sometimes being alone by yourself is really all that you need.

I was asked by someone today if I could pinpoint the thing that people got from them. And I think I finally have an answer.

Just. You.

No one has a life that's identical to someone else's and it's really beautifully poetic when you stop to think about it. Some lives run parallel at times, but then we all verge onto our own paths until they meet up again.

We've all had different experiences that have taught us different lessons. Even the same experience can teach two people something completely different. And those lessons don't only benefit us but those around us if we're willing to open up and share every once in a while.

Sometimes it's a funny story. Sometimes it's a story that moves someone to tears. Sometimes it's nothing but staying completely silent and a furrow of the brow to show concern. That happens to be one I'm really skilled at. I've never been much for words but have mastered the furrowed brow.

The thing my brain is trying to tell you while I'm up way past what should be my bedtime is that we all have wisdom and good things to give. And it doesn't always have to be obvious does it? My favorite grocery store here is one filled with fancy cheese and a truly magnificent bakery. Their prices are somewhere between Crest and Whole Foods...a nice almost comfortable middle ground I can venture to when longing to be spoiled. It's the smiles. Everyone there is always smiling. They talk to my kids...they talk to Cory about his Doctor Who shirt...they have halfway decent sushi that won't land you on a toilet for hours on end. Those people in that grocery store? Sometimes they make my day.

And that's what they have to give. Just themselves.

Now I give you picture dump for posterity from our weekend in my favorite town last weekend. It was beautiful and I, once again, was energized by the craziness of it all.


Sleep well, friends. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Hitting pause with my reader

I read a really eye opening quote recently that's been on repeat in my head all day.

"The days are long but the years are short." Apparently it's from this book which I obviously need to read.

Run here..run there... hurry hurry hurry. My word for 2013 was supposed to be pause and I still haven't learned where the damn button is hidden in my life. And it leaves me wondering whether any of this will even register as memories ten years from now when my children are all teenagers preparing for a life completely separate from mine.

I've had conversations with a few people recently about society's big rush when it comes to educating our kids. We want them reading fluently by the time third grade is done. Sight words are being sent home in kindergarten. KINDERGARTEN, you guys. When 5 year olds should be coloring and eating glue we're forcing them to memorize words in preparation for reading.

There are some fascinating documentaries on Netflix right now full of tragic stories of parents desperately working to get their toddlers enrolled in the most prestigious pre-schools in hopes of an ivy league future.  It's seriously like that horrible pre-school in "Daddy Day Care" with Anjelica Huston in her severe kitten heels. This shit's real, you guys...

Really though, what's the hurry?

It was a constant battle when Elliott was in kindergarten.

He needs to memorize these sight words.
Why doesn't he know his sight words?
Are you drilling him on his sight words?
He's behind on his sight words.

Truth: I never drilled him on those stupid sight words. He's proven to me that his memory is more than adequate with his Doctor Who knowledge. The 10th Doctor's timeline? He can give you a run down from Rose to Donna and back again. Amy and Rory Pond? Their whole life story's in that tiny head too.

The kid just wasn't ready to read. And guess what?

I.didn't.panic. Because I was the exact same way.

She's not reading yet. Why isn't she reading? Shouldn't she be reading by now? The story I'm told is that one day nearing the end of first grade I picked up a fucking book and started reading...and basically haven't stopped since.

Sometimes that puzzle piece just has to fall into place. And if the piece is still floating around somewhere else it really is gonna be okay. Because guess what....

the piece finally found its groove and fit right in.

So when I'm being told that his handwriting needs work...that he shouldn't be mixing capital and lowercase letters....that he can't be writing his name in cursive until his printing is better....

well, I deal with the public school system that I appreciate so damn much and never take for granted the exact same way I do my mom.

Nod. Smile. Agree. And let Elliott write the way Elliott wants to. At school he can write in print with the appropriate dotted i's and crossed t's. 

But here at home Elliott will still look like ELLiott because that's the way his tiny little left brained mind sees it and I wouldn't have it any other way. 

So if you were to peek into my living room right now you'd see that I hit pause. There are banana peels scattered here and there, blankets covering the couch and books a plenty. My kids are almost as sticky as my kitchen floor and dinner was far from perfect nutrition. 

And in spite of it all I feel at peace because tonight Elliott will read me another story at bedtime and I'll be reminded that we are, in fact, doing this whole parenting thing the right way at least a good three-quarters of the time.