Friday, November 9, 2012

Them and Me

Watching, the sight of them walking from the car this morning brought me a glimpse of the future. I see them but sometimes I get a glimpse of what will be. This won’t the first or the last time they will be walking away from me. With each step they take, they grow. The hardest part for me is that I know they are walking towards their own lives, their lives without me driving them to soccer, baseball, school, tucking them into bed, hugging them and the luxury of looking into their faces every day.

They seem so little, so fragile, but today, today I saw them age about 5 years. I saw the trio of teens leaving me to engage in their own world of giggles, smiles, learning, having relationships that I am not a part of. I immediately missed them.

The logical, inevitable truth is they will age, they will change but there is part of me that doesn’t want to let go. I want to keep them nuzzled in my arms, enveloped in their smell, mesmerized by their smiles, gob smacked by their presence. This is the unsaid truth about being a parent. The one truth I am still not prepared to deal with properly.

To love someone so much is addictive, I for one do not want treatment. I am addicted. The rain outside coincides with the beating of my heart and the tap, tap, tap of the drops marks the progression of time. My time with them is unknown, but every second, minute, hour or day is locked away in my heart.

Cherish them, love them, just be for them.

“I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.”
― Pablo Neruda

Friday, August 17, 2012

Weasels grow, Weasels roll

Here we are at the beginning of another school year.  The excitement, the anticipation, the school supplies.  All three sat on the floor on the eve of their first day going through the list of items they needed, carefully placing each supply in a special place in the back pack.  I watched their faces.  Their movements have changed. Their expressions have changed.  Chronologically I know they are older but the difference is I FEEL them being older. 

Their words are heavier, their thoughts are complicated, their emotions are bountiful.  It's coming.  The moment these looks on their faces will transform into eyes of mistrust.  It's coming.  The days of "you just don't understand" or "you never listen to what I have to say". 

It's coming.  The rolling eyes, looks of embarrassment, sighs of exasperation and frustration.  I know I shouldn't roll my eyes but hey I am just a mom.  Oh, you thought I meant them?

Well, you are correct.  I will be on the receiving end of many years of tripled eye rolling, tripled looks of embarrassment, tripled sighs of exasperation and frustration.  I am moving closer to filling the role of the stupidest human on the planet.  I am stock piling my tissue, I am gathering my literature pamphlets of:
"What to say to your teen when you got nothing" or
"What to do when they gang up on you" or
"Little woman, big stick, three weasels" or
"How to outwit, outplay and outlast your teen" or
"Where to hide your car keys effectively" or
"Teen boy, how much do they really eat?"
There are few things that books can not do for you, that is to know your kids.  Sure I can read all the theory and yes some of it may work.  The ultimate skill I must have is to KNOW my child(ren).  I know them.  I know the looks, the body posture, what their words really mean.  Sure, someone may ask me what they may want for their birthday and I may hesitate, honestly, kids change their likes and dislikes on a daily basis.  I don't care about that stuff.  I care about what is in the inside of their hearts.  I care about how to reach them when they glaze over like a jelly donut. I care about my mutual trust with them.  I care about the long term relationship. 

My weasels are fabulous, however by no means perfect.  I wouldn't want them perfect I want them real, confident, fallible, happy people.  I want them to discover dreams, I want to find love, I want them live life, I want them to know unconditionally their momma loves them. 

Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.
~ William S. Burroughs

Friday, July 13, 2012

They don’t even know God’s favorite color!

A couple of weeks ago, in the typical chaotic fashion of the evening routine of baths, pajamas, and bed my older daughter comes wandering out of her bedroom after 45 minutes of ruminating in her room.

“Momma” she says. Yes I say. “I need to talk to you.” The look on her face is one of perplexed emotion. I immediately stop what I am doing and invite her to sit down with me on the couch. I look into her eyes and it is clear to me that she has the weight of the world on her little shoulders. Man this is something serious. I cringe inside when she starts, “Momma, I need to talk to you about some things.” I say tell me what they are and we will talk about them one by one. She does, and we go through the first two mine fields with relative ease and come up with some satisfactory plans on how to alleviate her worry. It was the last two items that put me to the test, literally.

As she summons up her courage, she takes a very deep and soulful breath, looks me straight in my eyes and clearly states “Momma, I hate God for taking Grandpa. Why did he have to take him away from us?” My throat dries, and my mind begins racing. How do I begin? I say, Kat hate is a pretty strong word and I am not sure that is the emotion you are feeling. Could you be really angry with God? I say to her, I am, I am angry, sad and confused why Grandpa died. We move in and out of the delicate dance of what she is really feeling and try to attach the appropriate words.

Ok Whimsy, you need to pull out all the stops, dig deep into your theological musings and try to enlighten her. I say to Kat I know it doesn’t seem fair that your Grandpa left us so soon. It is ok to have those angry feeling with God, he understands, he has his reasons and those reasons don’t always agree with us. She looks at me quizzically searching for the clarity in my words. She is still listening which is good. I tell Kat while I am not particularly religious I do find there is spirituality to the world. I say I want her to find her own path and her own way that she can talk to God.

I say for example while you are lying in bed you can talk to him. She cocks her head to the side and says “Does he send notes?” In between the tears in her eyes I say not necessarily. He speaks to each one of us differently. I say Kat you know when your cat comes into your room at night and lays on your belly. You know that feeling in your heart you get when you pet Ollie? How you start to feel better? She nods yes. Well Kat that is one way God speaks to you. That is his note to you. He comes to us in weird times and weird places. He has so many people to care for and so many places to be he tries to talk to us in the best way our hearts will hear him.

I tell her that God has many names in this world, Jehovah, Buddha, Allah, Mohammad, Jesus, as many ways there are to celebrate God that is how many names he has. I ask her if she would like to speak to one of his workers. She knits her eyebrows together in a very tight frown (family trait), crinkles her nose and emphatically states “No! They don’t even know his favorite color!” I giggle, well, I…..well Kat you are probably right but I have a feeling that God has many favorite colors. Kat says “like what?” I point out the back window at the tree gently swaying in the wind. There! I believe that is his favorite color. She turns and looks out the window and gives me the kid version of pishaw and pffttttt all at the same time. “Mom, Mother Nature made that!” I say who do you think is his right hand woman? “Mother Nature?” she says. Yes, Kat Mother Nature. They make so many wonderful things together.

After another half hour to the forty five minutes we have been talking, negotiating why Mer Mer the cat died and why did he leave her behind, she and I move on to what was primarily on her mind, Grandpa.

“Momma, how did Grandpa die?” Ok, I thought I had narrowly escaped the whole theological discussion without pinning her to one way of believing.

On a side note, my goal is to educate my kids about the different ways to celebrate God; I am not particular as to how, as long as the positive message is in their hearts. I grew up a haphazard Catholic, the church, mass, baptism, communion, the whole bit. I dabbled with other churches but what it really came down for me is that the institution, the organization of a religion is very distasteful to me. I am not infallible, nor do I want my kids to have beliefs they are infallible, there are too many layers in this world to deny the differences and celebrate those things which make us unique. I don’t want them to have the fear of infallibility. I have my own mind and I want my kids to have theirs. My job is to help them navigate through the garbage, and believe me there is plenty of garbage out there, and allow them to make the best decision they can because they have the knowledge to do so. I didn’t get the choice; I don’t want the same for my kids.

Well, Kat, Grandpa had an accident, a very bad accident. I can see the tears welling up in her eyes and it breaks my heart all over again. I say listen Kat, take a deep breath, you can’t hear me if your emotions overwhelm you. Count to ten and I will count with you. She asks me again what happened; I can only respond with no one is really sure what actually happened. I give her my guess and let her know that it is only a guess. I ask her, Grandpa made a big impression on you huh? She nods yes. I tell the stories of when Grandpa was there when she was born, how Grandpa would teach her so many naughty things at the dinner table, how he would escape with her in his arms and how I was so upset with him when he scared her with the towel.

Kat’s face lights up, she giggles and smiles broadly. That smile she has, it is his. That smile that envelopes her whole face. That smile lights up my whole world for that moment. I tell her that she was Grandpa’s only rosebud. I tell Kat Grandpa’s giggles touch my heart, and that I can hear his mischievous laughter.

The yawn, her eyes become droopy and I know she is done. Our theological discussion is tabled for the moment but I know she will be back. I have a lot of reading to do. If I am going to give her the answers I had better know the material. Her mind and heart are sated for the moment.

One mom lives for another day.

Kat scoops up her Oliver and carries the cat into her room to go to sleep.  Five minutes passed and she comes storming out of her room with eyes on fire.  "You told me that God was in the cat and he bit me in the face! He bit me in the face!"  My eyes glazed over and all I could think in my head is Oh F**K, this cat has completely thrown me under the bus! I say quickly, that was the cat part of him, that wasn't God biting you.  Remember I said that God will speak to you through the cat?! Yeah, that was just plain cat part.  That was Ollie.  She gives me a wary eye and it is clear Ollie will have to find another place to sleep for the night.  Great.  Nice work cat!

Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.
~ William S. Burroughs

Saturday, June 16, 2012

What Now?

Now and then I pace my place
I can't retrace how I got here
I cheat the light to check my face
It's slightly harder than last year
And all at once it gets hard to take

It gets hard to fake what I won't be
Cause one of these days I'll be born and raised
And it's such a waste to grow up lonely
I still have dreams, they're not the same
They don't fly as high as they used to
I saw my friend, he's in my head
And he said, "You don't remember me, do you?"
I still got time, I still got faith

I call on both of my brothers
I got a mom, I got a dad
But they do not have each other
So line on up, and take your place

And show your face to the morning
Cause one of these days you'll be born and raised
And it all comes on without warning

Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer. ~ William S. Burroughs

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Human Condition

My Human Condition you ask? First I have to find it, just… let… me…pocket…..AHHHHH there it is! It’s a little dusty, definitely worn around the edges, a bit wrinkled, oooooh looks a bit bruised. Yikes, gonna have to tend to that one. Is that a bald spot?

Perception is the one of the major defenses for the human condition. We all do it. Why should you be any different? The perceived look of your skin, how many children do you have and “just how did your body just snap back so fast”, the consistent declaration of togetherness whatever form that may be. Perception, yeah that’s right, perception. Our human condition has been refocused on how others perceive us; our validation, our woe, our worthiness, our actuality.

Perception even goes as far to exist in the mirror. I look into the mirror and I am blinded by perception. My effectiveness or lack thereof is controlled by perception. Should I care what I think? Should I care what others think? Who the frick is me? Our demons managed on the end of string, our successes tittering on top of a pole, while me, just me is desperately trying to perceive I can manage it all.

Look at me! Look at me now!” said the cat. “With a cup and a cake on the top of my hat! I can hold up TWO books! I can hold up the fish! And a little toy ship! And some milk on a dish! And look! I can hop up and down on the ball! But that is not all! Oh, no. That is not all... “Look at me! Look at me! Look at me NOW! It is fun to have fun but you have to know how. I can hold up the cup and the milk and the cake! I can hold up these books! And the fish on a rake! I can hold the toy ship and a little toy man! And look! With my tail I can hold a red fan! I can fan with the fan as I hop on the ball! But that is not all. Oh, no. That is not all...”

My perception has changed over the years, some good, some bad, although while I struggle to perceive my actual self, I manage to patch the holes left behind; smooth, clean spots for new things, new perceptions. As the years roll increasingly faster by, I wonder if ever I will reach a point where reality trumps the perception of what I want, what I need, how to love and be loved. The indelible mark of the human condition is ever present.

“It is not the consciousness of men that determines their being, but, on the contrary, their social being that determines their consciousness.”
― Karl Marx

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Nature's Inventions

The face of spring has come.  With it comes renewal, renewal of hope, renewal of survival, renewal of promise that all things can be beautiful in their own way. 

Human subtlety will never devise an invention more beautiful, more simple or more direct than does nature because in her inventions nothing is lacking, and nothing is superfluous.
Leonardo da Vinci
The subtlety of nature, the precision of development simply amazes me everyday.  When I look outside to see beauty of nature, beauty of survival, makes me believe that I am capable.  There is purpose, there is meaning and therefore my own existence is not lacking. 

These are Nature's inventions.

These are my inventions.  They are sublime, they are meaningful, they lack nothing.  This trio allows my life to have meaning.  Nature allowed my body to grow three perfect, little beings.  I look into their faces, I see hope, I see what happiness is supposed to be, I am blinded by unconditional love.  For them I am grateful. 

Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world.

George Bernard Shaw
They are my windows to which I can see the world where as an adult can lose sight of what is really the truth.  Their windows are illuminating, optimistic, and lovely.  From them I take a page of insight and remember that life will be ok. 

And this piece of Nature's inventions, the jury is still out. 

Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.
~ William S. Burroughs

Thursday, April 19, 2012

This Face

This face.  This face is my morning, this face is my midday, this face is my evening.  This face is my moon and stars, this face is the sun of my life.  This face will be nine soon.  Everything with this face is growing, loving, learning, sharing, caring and a complete maniac.  This face questions everything, this face scrutinizes each and every word you say, this face says "There is no try, only do".  This face warns me of the coming storm in a few years when this face will tell my face that I know nothing and I couldn't possibly understand.  This face will want to call boys, this face will giggle with girlfriends, this face will want to borrow the car.  This face will want to go to proms, this face hopefully will go to college, this face will succeed.

This face, well this face is everything I will ever need. 

Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.
~ William S. Burroughs