Monday, November 15, 2010


Sometimes you write with a specific reason for doing so. And sometimes you just write for the sake of writing. Today, I’m doing the latter. I just feel like writing something. I suppose it will just be generalities, stupid, pointless things strung together into one blog for no other reason than the one I just stated. I feel like it.

I like driving in the fall. A few days ago, I was coming home from dropping Ashton off at school, and a leaf blew across my path, skittered against the windshield, and kept on going; sailing across Pembroke Ave., on a mission to land somewhere, and perhaps be picked up by a small child who collects pretty colored leaves. Watching the leaves fall makes me a feel a little melancholy... the year is fading slowly, trying to retire with as much dignity as she can muster. Like a little old lady whose hair is falling out, but she still dresses in her finest clothes, hoping it’s what people will remember her for.

There’s a Volkswagen repair shop that I pass every day on the way to and from the school. I always wanted a Beetle. Not as a “real” car, you understand, just a fun, cruising around car. I’ve always wanted to throw my grocery bags in the front of the car instead of the back. A young man, maybe 19, 20ish is out in the parking lot every morning, working on all the Beetles and Rabbits. Some days he wears a ball cap. I imagine his name is Chad... he looks like a Chad to me. Sometimes an older man stands out there and watches him work. I wonder if it’s because Chad is doing it wrong, or if it’s just for the company. I figure old Mr. Beetle is young Chad’s mentor, and maybe gave him the baseball cap, too. I think he and Mrs. Beetle invite Chad over for dinner once in a while, and send him home with a foil wrapped plate of pot roast and mashed potatoes. Chad looks like he could use some good home cooking.

Christmas is coming up. I really do “wait for it the whole year long”, even though this area isn’t really a Marshmallow World in the winter. In September, I get the box of Christmas movies out and coerce my kids into watching them. I justify it by telling myself that the Charlie Brown movies come in a box set, and I need to get The Great Pumpkin out for them to watch, and well would you look at that? The Christmas one is in there too! Well, I don’t see any reason not to watch it, seeing as it’s already out. And if we watch Charlie Brown, we may as well watch The Polar Express, and White Christmas, and all the other ones. The only one I don’t watch until Christmas “season” is It’s A Wonderful Life. That one is special. In October, I start listening to Christmas music in secret. I don’t listen to it in the car, but I turn it on while I take a shower, or when I’m cleaning or folding laundry. Over the past few years, though, I’ve been getting sad come November. I’ve begun to see how very quickly time goes by the older I get. And once it’s November, the whole Christmas season just rushes by in a whirl of parties, programs, and colored lights. I don’t love Christmas for presents, or family get togethers, or church programs. I love Christmas simply because it is. I love that it’s special. It’s so special that it gets its own movies, cookies, stories, clothes. And I’ve realized that I don’t love Christmas Day so much as I love all the days leading up to it.

I’ve started letting Chloe choose her own clothes. This is a huge step for me. She picks things like, brown and teal leggings with a plaid skirt and a purple shirt. With sparkly gold shoes and Hello Kitty socks. I absolutely hate it. Who knew it would be so difficult to watch her prance around dressed like that? She thinks she’s absolutely beautiful. Her own words. “Mommy, I am so absolutely beautiful in this!” What can I tell her? “No, my dear, actually you look rather like a homeless child who stole from another homeless child who stole from a bag lady who stole from Lady Gaga”? Of course I can’t. So I just let her pirouette and preen, and resolve not to leave the house. Because she is absolutely beautiful in the fact that she knows it. Somewhere along the way, every woman’s self confidence and security gets destroyed, and I’m determined my daughter's isn't going to be destroyed at all if I can help it, much less by me.

That's enough rambling by me for today. What’s going through your mind this week?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Mother, Heal Thyself

As a child, being sick in my household was golden. It was a rare treat. I’m aware that this might sound strange to some, but in a family with 6 kids, anything that got you Mom’s undivided attention was a plus. Being sick got you the comfiest corner of the couch, ice cream, soup and ginger ale, supreme domination over the television, and in my case, fruit cocktail baby food. Not only did it get you special treatment, it got the other kids in trouble (insert Snidely Whiplash laugh here): “Don’t you fuss at her, she’s sick!” “Don’t you change the channel, she wants to watch Pink Panther!” and my favorite: “Don’t you dare even think about touching that ice cream! She’s sick!!!” Even the worst illnesses were enviable at our house. Adam broke both of his legs (two different times, not at once), and he got the whole couch, and a neon green cast, and crutches, and the front seat in the van. One year, Nathan contracted the flu and it went into his brain stem. Granted, this was a major illness, and potentially fatal. He couldn’t speak, couldn’t walk, and had to relearn how to write his name. But I mean, he got a fruit basket from the church. Hello? A FRUIT BASKET, people! I can still taste those pears in December (if this sounds callous to you, you have to remember that I was only 8, and my parents downplayed the seriousness of his situation to us- and they were pears. In December.).

Well, I’m all grown up now, with kids of my own. And being sick is not a treat, it’s just one more pain in the butt thing to deal with while dealing with all the other pains in my butt.

I woke up Saturday morning with sinus pressure that slid straight into my ear when I rolled over in bed. There was no preventing it. It just happened. I don’t know how many of you have had ear infections as an adult, but for those who haven’t, let me enlighten you: &*$%#%@^$%@!@&#^!!!! That about sums it up. They hurt like hell, hell, hell. I’m sorry, there really is no other way to put it. The pressure is unbearable. In two days I got to the point where I was praying for my eardrum to just burst and have done with it. I honestly don’t know how kids do it over and over and over. To make it even better, I got laryngitis too. So on top of the constant pain in my ear, the stuffed cotton feel, the fluctuation between ringing, radio static, and the ants from THEM sounds, I now sound like Eartha Kitt as the cat in The Emperor’s New Groove (“Is that my voice? Is that... my voice?!”).

I’m not complaining though. No, of course not. Mothers aren’t allowed to do that when we get sick. We just push through, the troopers that we are. The kids still have to get ready for school, they still need to eat, and have diapers changed, and matching socks found. Life stands still for no woman, ear infection or no. But oh, I miss being a sick kid. All I want to do is curl up on my bed, watch Pink Panther, and eat fruit cocktail baby food. Unfortunately, that’s not feasible for me now. But I can take steps to not push myself so hard.

So yesterday, after three hysterical meltdowns as a direct result of trying to be super woman all weekend, I came to the following conclusions: While I continue to be sick,


1. Make sure I take my antibiotics religiously.
2. Take care of my kids basic needs.
3. Listen to my Phil Wickham Christmas album over and over, because it makes me happy.
4. Drink plenty of fluids, even if it hurts to swallow.
5. Thank my husband for taking care of the kids and washing the laundry last night.
6. Write a blog about being sick. Ha!


1. Worry about the piles of laundry waiting to be folded.
2. Sort all the Halloween candy.
3. Answer anymore phone calls after I have told people to please not call me because it hurts to talk.
4. Let the dishes in the sink drive me crazy.
5. Leave my house unless absolutely necessary.
6. Convince myself that I have to be all things to all people.

And maybe I’ll buy my own fruit cocktail baby food.