Scribbling Dame

Preposterous Pondering.

The Gift of Stillness December 24, 2013

I love Christmas and always have. I have successfully turned my oldest into a Christmas enthusiast as well, which only makes it even more fun for me. I was always raised with the experience of Christmas magic, even when I was so poor that my family received the food drive donations from my school. However, all these years I could not really pinpoint exactly what was so magical about Christmas.

Presents are fun, but as you get older, of course, these are few and far between and become a lot of work to acquire and wrap. Parties and get togethers can be joyful, but also a lot of work, especially if you are trying to haul your kids to them and hope the fact that they’re sugared up and haven’t been to bed on time in who-knows-how-long doesn’t make them the living argument for birth control.  All those things can be fun and provide momentary joy.

I realized though, that the real gift of Christmas (or the holiday season, however you celebrate), is the forced stillness that comes with it. Eventually all the presents are purchased and wrapped. Most of civilization is closed. The parties are done and the food eaten, and you are left with the people around you and nothing to do. This is the magic of Christmas–a moment to just be, with the person/people that mean something to you, with no need to achieve or accomplish or work. This stillness gives the opportunity to reconnect to our hearts, our gratitude and our families and memories, and experience the awe and wonder and warmth that is our lives in the here and now. The Silent Night is a waking meditation.

I hope you all find peace in the stillness of the season and enter the next year rejuvenated.

IMG_2109

 

Embracing Woo-Woo December 9, 2013

I do not know where this term came from, but it is the perfect term for what I used to envision as hippie granola-kinda-crazy-but-always-sweet healing type stuff. I have always loved people who love woo-woo, because let’s face it, they are downright nice people who generally like helping others or at least listening to them. Still, for years, I have strongly identified as non-woo-woo. In fact, I would say I strongly identified as the opposite of woo-woo, which I perceived to be bitchy, kick-ass, step on anyone’s throat with a stiletto if I want, get-shit-done kind of lady.

I am stubborn and kick-ass and I do like a challenge. I’m not easily intimidated and I am confident, but I am not as anti-woo-woo as I once thought. Or maybe I’ve evolved.

woo.jpg

The truth about me is I’m really quite gushy inside. I cry at the thought of others’ pain and I can also tear up at the wonder that is the beauty in people and life. I like yoga and puppies and shit and I don’t even own a pair of stilettos. I have no desire to prove anything to anyone anymore. What a fucking relief.

Some of this softening is definitely due to hormones and childbearing and science, but the rest is most certainly due to a respectable quest for more fulfillment and my own definition of happiness in my life, and embracing more woo and woo-bringers. This quest has resulted in shedding a toxic work environment (for me), downsizing a house, making decisions without considering money, and trying all sorts of healing practices like acupuncture (no likey), meditation (still working on it), yoga (love, and still working on it), Body Talk (can’t even explain what that is) and only spending time with folks who not only say they care, but actively show they care (no fakes).

I have replaced so much of what didn’t fulfill me with better people, less stress, more gratitude, feeling free and generally being a nicer, happier person. All via woo-ness and woo-dom and woo-dwellers.

So, as long as it works and you’re not out there killing babies or something, go for it. Embrace the weird and the woo-woo. If you want more official word on this Deepak Chopra totally backs me up in this article.  

Also, as a fun aside, when I googled “woo-woo” this really awesome drink recipe came up, which you should also embrace.

 

 

Performance Management July 3, 2013

I had a realization. Some parents really care A LOT about how their kids perform.

I know this isn’t a grand revelation–I’ve heard of Tiger Moms and Helicopter Parents and Stage Moms, etc., but I’ve been going along in my own little world just trying to keep the kids alive, have a self identity and a good marriage so I haven’t really had the opportunity to see it in action.

Until last week. At the rec center tennis camp. I put my kid in summer rec center camps because I was scared to be alone with her all day all summer. Plus add in the crazy little one and I’m outnumbered. No way.

So she did tiny-tot beginner tennis camp last week. This was a thirty-minute-a-day “camp” for four total days. Hardly what I’d call professional tennis training.

I’d watch Sofia try and tap into her hand eye coordination, realizing that, like her parents, it’s highly likely that she’ll get academic scholarships over athletic ones. Sometimes she’d connect the racket with the ball, and the other 50% of the time she’d miss, and pirouette with her racket like the point of the move was actually to twirl and the ball was a footnote in her actions. She was a clown and I liked her flair, and most importantly to me she seemed to be having fun.

Three of the four kids in the class were similar in skill to Sofia and one little guy was pretty good. Yet I realized at the end of the class, I was the only one who didn’t care that Sofia wasn’t good at tennis. The other parents seemed genuinely distressed and distraught, which is a puzzle to me: what did they expect would happen in 30 minutes over four days for $24?

This is probably not going to be Sofia.

This is probably not going to be Sofia.

Don’t get me wrong–if my kid was the best in her class I’d make sure everyone knew she was my future tennis star, but the fact that she is probably a regular old goofy five year-old makes me just as happy. The last thing I want is for my kid to be incapable of having fun, because she is worried too much about being the best. The same goes for me.

How my kid performs does not directly reflect my worth as a parent. How my kid handles how she performs does.

Chillax people. It’s just tiny tots tennis camp. Your kid will not be a crack whore or car salesman if they have to retake the same level next week. Promise.

 

Seedy Mom Hangouts January 16, 2013

I’m back from writing vacation. Thanks for your patience.

As a mom, there are a lot of things I would never have done as a non-mom. Wiping asses, picking boogers and watching Dora are among them. Okay–you got me–I don’t watch Dora. That voice makes me want to kill myself.

The evil is real.

The evil is real.

Anyway, it occurred to me that there are plenty of places I would never spend my time before, that I now consider part of the mom experience. They aren’t actually “seedy” but they are definitely not places I will keep hanging out once the kiddos  are grown, unless something goes severely awry with my life plans…or my husband’s vasectomy.

1) Parking lots. I hang out in my car in parking lots all the time. The cart lady at Target totally knows me. Sounds fun right? It totally is, at least when compared to the fun of waking up your sleeping baby and then dealing with their cranky no-nap shit fest. I listen to the radio, rest my eyes, catch up on email (thank God for Smartphones) and generally people watch.

2) McDonald’s “Funland” playground. For an Oregon mom on a rainy day this can be a lifesaver. Yeah there are germs and bratty kids but there is also a free indoor playground and fries. Don’t judge me–we don’t go all the time.

3)Ikea. They have free daycare for an hour if your kid is potty-trained. Do I shop? Not usually. I’ll go sit in the cafe and have a snack, or find a nice living room set up and test out the couch, all in blissful silence. I have even had friends go there for a cheap date night.

4) The mall. During the day time, this is no place for teenagers. It’s all olds and mommies. There’s food there, and long walkways for your children to tire themselves on, and if you are lucky there’s even a play area. Again, inside, away from crap January weather.

Where are your seedy mom hangouts?

 

You Can’t Google your Grandma December 5, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scribbling Dame @ 10:57 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

2011 really sucked for me (and my family). I won’t go into the whole sob story of everything that happened, but use your imagination. Pretty much any shitty thing that could happen in a year did–except Cancer. No one got Cancer. So 2011 was the year of everything but Cancer.

Anyway, this post is not about shitty years. It’s about aging and Grandmas. I miss mine. They both died last year (around this time, hence my sentimentality) and while I always loved them and felt close to them while they were alive, it was during this year that I fully realized the influence and impact each of them had on me.

I would not have even thought about writing if it wasn’t for my Grandma Hendrickson, who let me type really bad poems on her typewriter (kitch!) and who let me order however many books I wanted from those book order forms you got from elementary school.

I would never have appreciated my education and modern-lady living if it wasn’t for my Grandma Ollie who always asked me about my latest travels and  talked to me about the things she wanted to do when she was my age, but just never could.

I learned tremendous amounts from both of them about what it means to be a good wife and mother. 

I also happen to be in a nebulous age category. I’m not young anymore because I have two kids, tired boobs, a mortgage, student loan debt, and graying hair. Professionally I am in my prime–experienced enough not to be an idiot but not too old so my skills are still relevant. This is why I had to leave my career last month. And, I’m not the old lady in most of my social circles, but I know my time will come.

So in this sandwich of life experience I am currently the mystery meat, and it is from this perspective that I realize the Youngs may just well lose the chance to experience the wisdom of their elders (affectionately, the Olds). In my younger siblings and other random youths I encounter, I see no signs of interest in the Olds, and I am witnessing a simultaneous hyper-connection with peers, and disconnection from everyone and everything else.

I don’t have a particular soapbox to stand on here, beyond to say that if you have influence over a young person, make  them take a minute to connect with the Old(s) in their life. At the very least they will hear interesting stories like when my Grandpa used to tell me about getting drunk in GI housing, and more than likely, they’ll reap far more like life lessons you can’t find in Wikipedia.  

Hug an Old today. 🙂

betty white

 

Letter to Santa November 14, 2012

We have made it. A day I have been dreaming of since before Sofia was even born. She is into Christmas–and I mean really into it. I have unabashedly groomed her for this since she was 2 weeks old. I wanted to raise a Christmas addict. This is largely because I am married to a Grunch. This is a Grump mixed with a Grinch, which is what my husband becomes around the holidays (he is also disappointingly apathetic to birthdays). He doesn’t actually steal toys from children, but if it was up to him, there would be no tree, no presents and definitely no christmas lights outside.

So I knew that if I was ever going to have the magic of Christmas live on, I would have to raise my kids to be so excited that their Daddy would have to play along. Mwaha haha haaa…(read as evil laughter).

So I won. Sofia is into it, and now that she is just shy of five, we wrote our first letter to Santa today, which I think is worth sharing:

Dear Santa,

I really love you. I’ve been a good girl this year. I love purple and pink and all the colors. 

I would like rainbow stuff, a rainbow Barbie, a pretty pink and white hair clip and also I would like a heart shirt that is rainbow. Also I want a new laptop [DVD player] and plug because I broke my other one. 

I’m going to make five cookies for you and also I’m going to give you a present that is nice. It’s a new car. 

Have a great day with your elves and your reindeer and also riding your sleigh. 

Love, 

Sofia

P.S. I am glad I have that whole car thing in writing. This will come in handy later I think.

 

One healthy baby, with a side of Percoset March 26, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scribbling Dame @ 10:37 am
Tags: , , , ,

So tomorrow is the big day. I can’t tell you how bizarre it is to know exactly when we are going to have a baby. It is a total mind fuck. We are at home today looking around the house thinking, “What else needs to get done before we have this baby?” And weirdly the answer is things like clean out the fridge and vacuum and get the dog groomed. Oh, and paint my toes and shave my legs–my last feeble attempts at staying girly and pretty before I become a human all-you-can-eat buffet. 

It’s also weird from another perspective this time, in that, we know our whole family dynamic will never be the same again. We will no longer be a threesome. My daughter’s entire existence is about to change. It sort of feels like the night before we neutered our dog. I knew things would never be the same for him again, and what was worse, I knew he had no idea it was coming. At least in Sofia’s case, there is more to be gained from this major life change than Chachi’s ball removal. Still, we will drop her off at her grandparents tonight knowing that her life isn’t going to be the same anymore. 

The nature of a countdown is also a cause of major anxiety for me. The unknowing of the first pregnancy/labor was nice in that I knew it was close but until I was in it, I could only think in hypotheticals. It is not the same as tomorrow at 5:30 a.m. a person will put a needle in my spine so that I don’t feel anything when they cut open my stomach, peel four layers of me back like an onion, cut open my uterus, wrestle the baby out and then put me back together again. (That’s the cliff notes version of a c-section for those of you who may think it is an “easy” way out. I might concede to easier than some vaginal deliveries I’ve heard of, but it is certainly not the get out of jail free card that some people seem to think.)

Image

Relax! You're life is never going to be the same again!

The nice thing about a second kiddo is that I also know how much of all this I will forget and not care about once I see that little face. I still distinctly the remember the first time we looked into Sofia’s eyes and it is the most enchanting thing I have ever experienced. I just have to get through the final physical hurdles of pregnancy and delivery and recovery. Once that’s done, I’ll be in a very tired, messy, state of heavenly bliss. It will be great to have a newborn again, and it will be fun to see Sofia become a big sister and start to learn about how they are the same and how they are distinct from one another.   

The reality of things is, the pregnancy and delivery is but a moment in time and I will be glad when it’s over because it’s everything after that truly makes kids worth having, for those of us who are so inclined.

Stay tuned for my next post, as I am sure it will lean far more towards the absurd and hilarious than the sentimental due to lack of sleep, constant leakage of fluids, and the realization that I still can’t drink even though I am not pregnant anymore… 

 

 
%d bloggers like this: