Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Love Hate Relationship

Trying to listen to the radio with the kids in the car is becoming increasingly difficult. I find myself hovering over the volume button- ready to censor the rogue news story about how thongs are dangerous to your health or the latest casting for "Fifty Shades of Grey." 

Have you heard Pink's latest song? The one where she wants to punch you in the face, and you need to shut up but it's "true love....truuuue love?" My kids think that is hilarious. They shake their heads, and giggle and talk about how insane that is.

I remember in high school my English teacher told us the opposite of love was not hate. It was indifference. I didn't get that at all. Indifference? How could that be? 

Fast forward 23 years and I completely understand. There is a fine line between love and hate. You can't feel that deeply about anything, or anyone without coming from a place of reckless abandon. My favorite line from John Greene's Fault In Our Stars is when he talks about not just choosing who you love, but "who you allow to hurt you." I loved (and hated?) that. 

It was 55 degrees this morning- and delicious. My dogs kept running around my postage-sized stamp of a backyard, wondering where the heat went. The windows in the house are open, and I feel like my house just farted out 4 months of stale air. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Breaking Bad


hello. Hello! Hello?

It's been a while. A few days ago, my girls and I were making a list of things that make us happy. They wrote about Rainbow Looms, I wrote about television shows that teach me how to cook meth in the desert. I loved "Breaking Bad." I love "Downton Abbey," "Newsroom," "Orange Is The New Black" and "Madmen". Why? The writing. I love, love good writing. I like the act of writing. I like savoring my words, or just throwing them up and walking away and never looking again. It is good therapy.

Side note about "Breaking Bad"---- I just finished reading the book Heidi with my youngest kid. After we finished, she said, "Mom? You know what I didn't like? I don't like how good Heidi is all the time." Heidi needed a little bit of Heisenberg in her.... I guess we all do. I find myself having conversations with my kids to encourage them to make mistakes. Go ahead- get the tally on your behavior chart. Know what it feels like. Learn from it. If you're not comfortable testing the waters in 2nd and 4th grade- you could suddenly be 50 and find yourself in an RV in the desert, cooking meth. I don't think anyone wants to grow up to be Walter White.

Lots of people are spending the month of October by writing 31 posts. I can't commit to that, but I can promise myself that I will return here frequently. 

We are knee deep in a new school year. The newness is no longer there, and the morning routine is starting to feel drudgery. I find myself with pockets of time that are boring- and then hours of non-stop running that leave me tired and cranky. This year's theme is apparently, manic depressive.

My oldest child just left for a four day, school chaperoned camping trip. Four days. That's a long time to be away. It will feel like minutes to her, because that's how things roll. It's a harbinger of things to come-  the delicate dance parents must do to let go when you need to, and hold on when you have to.

I already miss her.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Feeling It

On my birthday, I toasted a thank you to the friends surrounding me (before the table caught on fire), and drunkenly emoted that I still felt like the same 7th grade girl on the inside.

For the most part, this is still true. My sense of humor is the same (lucky is the husband that gets the brunt of this). I part my hair on the same right side, and I still love the book Little Women on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

But, I am starting to feel my age in different ways. "Risky Business" was on tv the other night, and I suddenly found myself cringing during the party scenes. I felt empathy for Tom Cruise's parents when the crystal egg was tossed through the air. I'd kill my kid if they threw that kind of party in my house. Same reaction with "Weird Science" and "Ferris Bueller". Old age is cinematically creeping in.

I no longer associate with Laura Ingalls- I'm more a Ma girl now. Why didn't she tell Pa to go soak his head when he wanted to leave that little house in the big woods? Who willingly lives in a house made out of a grass hill? Who makes their dog walk UNDER the wagon and practically drown? Oh, Ma- you needed to give Pa a day or two of the prairie silent treatment.

I remember picking my grandmother up at the airport when I lived in Honolulu. I was 15, and had an orchid lei in my hand when I gave my grandmother a big hug at baggage claim. In her french twist and travel pantsuit, she was the grandmother I had always loved. She asked me if I had any bubblegum in my purse. I raised my eyebrows in surprise as I handed her a piece of watermelon flavored Bubble Yum. Despite her Revlon lipstick coated lips (Cherries in the Snow), she blew the biggest bubble I have ever seen, and laughed when I clapped my hands in surprise. "Don't you forget..." she said. "Every woman has a young girl inside of her. The trick is not to forget her."

Thursday, January 3, 2013


New year.

It's the last night of my holiday vacation- wrapping up an eight day California gorge fest of family, friends, food & fun. You know you've done it right when you're craving quiet, kale & a can of Slim Fast.

I've been thinking of my new year- and the resolutions it brings. Usually I have a pretty good idea of what I want to focus on, but this year, it didn't come easily.

For the last few days of my vacation, I'm at my parents' house. Along with my 2 girls, we are helping them babysit my little brother's children. They are on a much anticipated cross country jaunt to wedding. Their children are 13 months and 3- and adorable. It's the first time they've been away from their parents, so we were all a little nervous.

The first night- my year old nephew woke up around 1:45am- crying. My parents and I took turns walking him. We tried various pacifiers. Warm milk. Lullabies. He was pissed.

I took him into a bedroom and laid him on the bed. He instinctively grabbed a nearby teddy bear and gave it a hug. In my weariness, I told my nephew, "Teddy needs to go to bed. Help him go night night."

To my surprise, my nephew immediately stopped crying, patted the teddy bear, covered him with a blanket and snuggled down next to him. He kept giving the bear reassuring pats- and in focusing on the bear, forgot about his own sorrow. He fell asleep almost immediately.

There it was. My new year's resolution. To focus on others. To find the teddy bears that need help so that in helping them, I help myself. 2013- you are already teaching lessons in unexpected places.