Friday, May 17, 2013

Mother is God in the eyes of the child….

I am nothing if not a horror movie addict. Oh not the kind that really gets into them and watches them like a cult follower. I’m the ridiculous kind that has to turn down the volume at times, watch with a friend and have all the lights on. Addicted because I like to run up the basement stairs for fear my ankles will be grabbed by the monster lying under them or jump three feet to the bed so no hands swipe out from underneath it! That kind. So if you are too then you know where that line comes from. Silent Hill. (The first one not the dumb second one.) But that line… oh that line still haunts me, and not for the right reasons.

It’s true. Mommy can do no wrong in the eyes of the child. Not until that child grows up that is.

My daughter stayed home with me yesterday and I held her tight. Told her stories of her babyhood and giggled like girls. We had fun. She must have said to me that I was the best mommy ever like 30 times. It weighed on me. Mommy is God in the eyes of the child. It weighed heavily on me. I am my own worst critic and so I am always evaluating my own actions. This one sweet phrase from my baby girl sent my brain into a tornado like spin. Every thing I’ve yelled, every criticism I’d given, every time I’d shrugged away a hug while washing the dishes or loading the dryer just piled up on my soul. If you are a mother you know what I am saying because no matter how small your sin, you remember it. I carry mine with me. I think of them often and I live in almost fear of them sometimes. Fear that my kids will be taken from me for these sins. If you don’t appreciate what you have it will be gone. While they are small this is my fear. Fear that I can not protect them from every evil there is or from to world, and fear that my little moments of flaw will add up to one big universal IOU. Will they be taken from me if I do not relish every last moment with them as if it were the last. Take nothing for granted.

If I manage to make it past their youthful years into adulthood will they then come to collect on my bad debts? Will they languish over those shrugged off hugs or moments of yelling anger?   Will that be what they remember?

Every moment I ask myself these questions. I wonder if I am making mistakes and if they are the big kind that one can hardly pay for in one lifetime. Who has the answers? Guilt is the hairshirt I wear.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Groundhog Days of Our Lives- as read aloud at LTYM 2013 KC

     Once heard that the average toddler hears the word “no” over 200 times in one day. Yeah well, who do you think is saying it? Remember that movie with Bill Murray where he wakes up and keeps having the same day over and over? Of course you do, if you are a mother, it is the story of your life!

Here are just a few of the things I repeat daily;
“I don’t know where your (insert random object here) is. I was not the one who had it last.”
“Stop hitting your brother.”
“Stop picking your nose.”
“Hold my hand in the parking lot. Do you want to get hit by a car?”
“You have to taste it before you say you hate it.”
 “Your coat does not go one the floor.”
“Eat your dinner before you can have any candy.”
“NO! NO! NO!”
 “Stop sticking things in the outlets! While you’re at it stop sticking things in your nose too.”
 “That is not a toy.”
 “Please get down from there.”
“The word your looking for is WON’T not CAN’T. You CAN do it but you just won’t.”
“Poop, Butt, Fart, Turd and all poop related words are off limits!”
“Please be quiet.”
 “Apologize to your sister.”
“Stop hitting!”
 “Pick up your room.”
“You need a time out.”
“Get off of the ground this is a public restroom!”

And those are just the things I say to my husband.

No really… I could sing them like a deranged Christmas carol.
Three “Turn it downs.”
 Two “Start listenings.”
And a  “Do you have any sense?” 

  I say the same things day in and day out. At some point in time one would think they would get as tired of hearing them as I do of saying them. You would think they might just do what it is I was asking. Instead,  I speak and I think all they must hear is “WA WA WA WAH WA WAH.” At what point did I become Charlie Brown’s teacher? Do they think I like to sound like this?
     Honestly, it only contributes to my tired and listless appearance. The grey hairs are multiplying by the minute, the wrinkles invading.

 My youthful glow is slipping away like sands through the hour glass.

Sometimes it’s   ALL    sooooo    mundane.

It amazes me what actually excites me these days. A trip to the grocery store alone is a treat! Warm food is nice.. oh how I have missed warm food. A full chapter in a book read is great. OOOOO OOOOO how about shaving  both legs in the same shower? Yes... that’s a good one…
     Today is an excellent example; my six year old came home and put his coat on the hook instead of the ground.  I felt like a choir was signing hallelujah! My front room somehow seemed enlightened. The clouds in the sky suddenly parted and angels flitted about is little head. Had I actually finally been heard? I have only been saying, “Please don’t leave your coat on the ground,” for two years, three days, 16 hours, 23 minutes, and 15 seconds now.

Everyday it is the same thing. My own mother got mad at me the other day and said. “He’s only six. You don’t have to be so snipity with him.” Yes mom he’s only but he can play Vivaldi’s Four Seasons on the violin so I think picking up his coat should be a no brainer??
I mean after all this IS a simple little task that his mothers’ sanity may hinge upon right??

I guess it’s a question for the afterlife. Right up there with why the husband won’t actually look for something before coming to you and saying he can’t find it anywhere! Where did the other sock go, and what is the meaning of life?

It seems I remember that I wanted nothing more in my twenties than to be married and have kids. Used to wish upon a star in fact.  Oh! Wish I may wish I might have this wish I wish tonite….
“Oh please give me a handsome loving and devoted husband and lots of beautiful obedient babies?”
        And now I want nothing more than to be swept away in a leer jet to Paris. It is no wonder women get hooked on soap operas and romance novels. They need to escape from the mundane, these groundhog days of their lives.
I guess I somehow thought it would be different. Thought it would be more glamorous? Didn’t June Cleaver seem a little more happy?
I definitely thought it would be easier!
I completely thought there would be less POOP.

WHO KNEW ? there would be so many bodily fluids involved in this job called motherhood??

I sometimes wonder if it’s only me?
But don’t we all go to our friend’s houses and see that gleaming picture above their mantles (you know the one you all have it!-----, husband, wife, darling children, picket fence, family dog.) I have to remind myself here and now, that it’s only a frozen moment in time when for the one split second of that camera shutter all was right in that mommies  world. A brief hiccup in time where everyone was quiet and everything was still.
The   picture   perfect   family.
 But remember this folks… no one takes pictures at a funeral. By that I simply mean…We all want to remember the good, the beautiful, that perfect life looking back from the gleaming photo above your fireplace.

But sometimes that just isn’t REAL!
Not what LIFE is really like at all...

That smiling mommy on the mantle! She was probably having a groundhog day of her own. She had just wiped her son’s nose with his sister’s “back up panties” because that is all she could find in her purse, then she yelled through gritted teeth, “Smile for the camera. Stop hitting your sister. Quit picking your nose. Where did that stain come from, you’ve only had this shirt in for two minutes?” Her armpits were probably sweat stained, her hair probably glued in place, someone probably has to use the potty, the kids probably had to be threatened within inches of their little lives-

And oh and by the way her husband just farted.

 Amazing photo by Karen Ledford

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Teaching my kids what they are worth

     How does a mom put a value on what we consider priceless? A tough question... but if left unanswered is maybe the most dangerous thing in the world. My job as a mother first and foremost is to teach my children that they have worth. That they are worthy and that they are therefore empowered and should feel confident. These things have been rolling around in my head. This job, raising kids, is so multi-faceted and so enormous. I feel like as of late, every time I turn on my tele or my radio I hear of a woman or a child being abused, killed, kidnapped, raped or tortured. I am tired. Tired of this.. of hearing this. If we all taught our kids their worth would this happen? If we taught even our boys this lesson would this happen?
     A friend posted this article about Elizabeth Smart. It opened my eyes. We are teaching our girls and our boys that a woman's worth lies in her -vagina -in her purity- in her looks ? None of these things are correct! And it sickens me to think of this. To hear that children of any religion or in any sex "education" (purposefully put in quotation marks) are being given examples of a doughnut or a cupcake being passed around the room and then asking them if now they want to eat it as everyone as touched it. Disgusting analogies and I'd like to point out that they are intentionally AIMED at women! My nine year old daughter will never be taught that when she chooses to have sex at the appropriate age for her that it will be to gain love and or respect. I have explained in great detail to my then 17 now 19 year old step daughter that when she does have sex that it should be because SHE chooses to. She should not do it with the hopes it will gain her anything. I did not lie and say it was magical or wonderful or powerful. I told the TRUTH. I said at 17 you will feel pain, embarrassment, uncomfortable almost shame. It will not feel "good" AT ALL the first time. Not for a girl. It is messy and at 17 you can not understand all the emotions you will feel or sort through them or cope with them so I asked her to promise me these things. That she would do it because SHE wanted to. Not because she was "talked into it" by a boy who WOULD feel good and who would get a release from it, who would not be uncomfortable or embarrassed most likely. I asked her to use precautions. I asked her to come to me and talk openly if she wanted to. I told her she would not be judged. I also explained that until she was comfortable in her own body and understood how it worked that she would most likely not have sex in a pleasurable way. I told her for me that was not until I was like 25! ha ha.. But I told the TRUTH.
     I will do that for my sons when the time comes. Tell them the truth. I will tell them that when a girls says NO it means fucking NO! ( by this mans rationale I could postulate that he deserves the electric chair) It's not a game. I will tell them that when they have sex it should be because THEY want to. Not their friends, not a girl. That their choices will effect them FOREVER. I will tell them that sperm once it enters a woman's uterus can create life. DUH! and that unless they are prepared to care for, support, and own up to the responsibility that that life brings they need to take precautions.
     I WILL NOT TEACH THEM ABSTINENCE!! I am not so old that I do not remember CLEARLY the feelings I had as a teen and the urges. To try to talk them out of what FEELS natural to them would be just plain stupid and fruitless. But I will arm them with facts and  more importantly I will teach them that I love them. That they are worthy of my love. They should be confident that I will love them NO MATTER WHAT. They will be taught that the value they place on THEMSELVES is the most important value of all. That this body is merely a shell and that silly terms and body parts like penises and vaginas are of no value but that what is inside of us- our beings, our souls- has no price tag and can not be replaced. Giving away that soul, allowing someone to hurt or damage it, allowing someones actions or words to alter it is the only sin here.
     I will teach them their own self worth and I BELIEVE with all of my soul that that lesson alone will be the one that shapes all of their decisions and not just the ones about sex. It will teach them to live the most joyous, successful and fulfilled  life that is possible. ( or at least I will die trying...)

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Vajazzled and Vajaded

Oh how I have wanted to write this week. But my brain is like scrambled eggs and mashed potatoes right now. Can't seem to focus on any one thing for too long. Then it sort of hit me. Yup, that's just exactly what I NEED to write about. I've been bitching for years about this right here on this blog. All that we do as women. I have read and listened to and overheard these same sentiments from woman of all race, ages, and cultures. It's seems to be universal. We all suffer from this over extension of ourselves. But are we pariah's ? Is this a self inflicted wound? I dont know. Feeling tired, defeated and downright FREAKED out about the upcoming speech on the 11th, I can barely form a coherent sentence.

I have been under so much stress from the extra time commitments that I feel like I'm living someone else's life. Tired, bitter and jaded party of one- Your table is now ready. 

The first night I met all my cast members we were talking in smaller groups and one or two of them where using a word I'd never heard of! Jenn kept saying something about "Vajazzling." I thought she was saying Vajasoline? In my own head I formed and awful image of some weird  greasy glitter laden coochie lube? ha ha . (Ok so here I will insert that this is a weird jump from where I started but I promise I will circle back around and I also want to point out that I already warned you my brain is mushy!) I was like- "Jeez I want to be at that end of the table! Their conversation is way more twisted (and therefore WAY better!) So I, not caring one ounce that I am a nerd and have no idea what they are all apparently well versed on, ask what is that??? To my horror I find out that it is a new THING, women are  doing to jazz up their cookies! baaaaaa haaaaaaaa I am simultaneously cringing and cracking up. Opps, no pun intended. This shit is just plain crazy. First your fingernails and now your who-has? Come on- Is this a joke?

 It's not enough I do all the housework, take care of the kids, volunteer my time to my community, and service my husband, plan and decorate for all the holiday's, but NOW- add to the list decorating my punnaner! Like some sort of deranged Christmas Tree? Like a disco ball hanging there between my legs.

I was suddenly bombarded with images of my husband coming up from eating at the Y with a bedazzled chin and a mouth full of jewels looking like on F'ed up version of Lil Wayne. Totally crying laughing now. How had I never heard of this?

Oh I know! because I'm way too busy to even brush my hair let alone have my lady bits diamond encrusted!.. ( also I'd like to point out all my clever euphemisms for the vagina! So mature.)

I'm too tired for rhinestones. Plus I'm just worried I'd be walking my kids through the school halls while little jewels fall out my pant legs."Mom looked what I found n the floor!" -"DROP THAT!! Oh my god you have no idea where that's been."

Women since the dawn of time have done it all. We have juggled this circus of a life and now we are clowning up our vaginas in order to make them more attractive? Oh lord help me. Where does it stop. A man would not be caught dead with a bedazzled penis. Ladies, we must put an end to this insanity.

Oh it seems hopeless sometimes.  I think the Mayans may have been right... the END IS NEAR and that end sure is a shiny one.