Wednesday, April 21, 2010

They Let It Be

Perhaps peer pressure has its place; perhaps not.  In-home make-up consultants can make for an interesting evening.  Pushy friends hijacked me, and I ended up having a pretty good time.  Not that the make-up or the demonstration were anything spectacular, but the people were ridiculous.  There were some teenagers and their Mom,  My friend, who ended  up two hours late, and some of her extended family. 

I swear watching these teenage girls made me glad that I have boys.  They thought they were so cute and funny, but really they were just mean hidden behind a smile.  I felt so bad for their mother.  I am well aware that I have conservative tendencies, but I really don't think there is a place for that kind of disrespect.  They weren't arguing, no one was in a mood.  Yet, these girls picked on their Mom until she excused herself to cry in the bathroom.  No one mentioned it, because they didn't want to further her humiliation.  Finally, I sat next to her and jokingly barbed back at these girls for her.  They laughed, but the oldest was annoyed, which made me feel better.  The Mom was thrilled to have someone on her side and began to give as good as she got. 

When did it become acceptable for kids to be that rude and insolent?  I know that children, especially teens, have a mind of their own and tend to be strong willed.  This woman lives in a home where her husband is king and she is but a servant.  That mentality has leeched into her children.  She has been broken.  For a moment that night, just a glimmer of peace set in, she was happier than I had ever seen her, all because someone thought enough of her to do something.  I think I was more shocked and disappointed at my friend and her family.  This lady has been close to them since they were kids.  Yet, no one said a word.  Everyone ignored it and let it happen.  This is not normal to me.  Though I never mentioned it directly, it was obvious she needed help.  These kids have never been told not to be how they are.  They have learned to treat people, women, this way.  What they don't understand is that they are young women themselves.  Will they expect to be treated that way too?  I guess that whole "do unto others" thing doesn't fly in their family.

This just makes me want to be a better Mother.

Give Me Back My Crayons

Twisted words and deaf ears.
All has been manipulated and misunderstood.
It can't be fixed.  
There are no repairs to be made, as more words make you guilty.  
Paths are altered by perception.  
An innocent smile can lead to sadness. 
What can be, often is swept away by the ramblings of others.  
A moment of doubt can end a friendship.  
What does it say about you, if you really don't mind? 
Pretty, pretty words to spout such evil.  
A beautiful smile can soften the blow.  
Why is it that memories are either good or bad? 
No one remembers the mediocre.  
Pain and sorrow, and pure joy, that is what lives on.  
Love will continue alongside of sadness.  
Yet the day to day nothing evaporates.  
In the long run, does it matter what you think he said, or what you thought you knew?  
If in a decade, you realize you were wrong, will it matter then?  
Can you trust yourself to know the truth despite the circumstance?  
Will love still be there anyway?  
Can a friendship last through the worst notions?  
Trust now and break later, or break now and believe later?  
Choice is colored by the voices of others.  
Don't relinquish control. 

Monday, April 19, 2010

I See the Rain

Gray skies and broken rain
Sliding down the windshield
A lifeline ever-changing
droplets, in contact they merge
Yet, some sit lonely, isolated
Only to be sucked into the paths of others
Left behind or swept away

As I sat it the  parking lot watching the rain on the windshield, I was reminded of how much it reminded me of people, of life.  There are some drops that sit stagnant, almost like they are afraid to move. They are often alone.  Though, at times they are grouped with others when, without warning, they separate as one joins the crowd and leaves the other longing.  A little shove from one nearby and the journey continues.  Sometimes there are many drops running alongside.  Other times the seem so tentative that they could be motionless.  They can trickle slowly or rush to an unknown destination.  Where there are two streams nearby, it is difficult to tell if the larger will devour the smaller, or if the smaller will draw life from the faster flow, thus reigning it in.  It is never the same path twice.  So many similarities and so many differences. It was beautiful and a bit sad.  I'd still be watching the drama unfold, had it not been for me getting swept away by the crowd.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Chicken Run

So, back to my chickens.  My oldest, who tends our flock, is a funny little bug.  He antagonizes the roosters then runs screaming when they defend themselves.  Yesterday, the chickens were running around the yard and he was in the pen gathering eggs and whatnot.  Well, one of the feisty roos kept leaping at him, quite agitated.  My boy was yelping and screaming "hi-ya" like some kind of kung fu master.  He had a garbage can lid as a shield, like some kind of gladiator.  It was so ridiculous that I couldn't stop laughing at him.  That's when I saw them.

Now, let me give you some background.  I don't talk to my neighbors much, don't know who most of them are and I'm not that interested to find out.  We live where people keep their fences closed and can't be bothered.  Works well for the most part.  Anyway, I look up and see this crowd of people.  My neighbors, many of them, from across the street on the other side of the pen were just watching the show. They were standing there all King-of-the-Hill-style with beer in hand.  A line of men watching my boy dodging chickens like it was some kind of training, like in Rocky.

Finally, after feeling so badly, they sent their son (my boy's friend) to see if he needed help.  Of course, he was fine and just being him.  I tend to think that they only sent help because they noticed me watching them, actually I was hysterically laughing at my boy genius, but still.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

So I Took a Whole Day Off

If I write down all the little things I do during the day, it may seem like a lot.  So then why doesn't it ever seem like I get anything done?  Besides the laundry and dishes and floors and garden and chickens and let's not forget four kids and a husband, I (like all parents) try to squeeze in some "quality time" with the boys.  Sometimes just making one on one time to help with homework uninterrupted has to suffice.  Yet, other times, I'm helping them sound out words and playing whack-a-mole like a crazy person.  They laugh hysterically at my antics.  Ah, if they only knew the wonderful stress relief it provides.  There never seems to be enough hours in the day.  In my defense, I do have some burgeoning physical issues that I'm working through, but I am still mobile so I do what I can. 

After days of pushing myself to the limit, and being forced by pain to watch all the work I did be undone due to a temporary lack of mobility (I have joint issues that flare up if I over do it), I decided that I wasn't going to do a gosh-darned thing today.  Well, I dried the towels that I started this morning, before I came to this decision.  Other than that, I did my basic taking care of kids thing and that is it.  I played the wii with the boys.  That was interesting.  When they got a bit too rowdy, they grabbed a shopping bag and went through the house picking up any little bits of trash they could find.  Yay me, I didn't have to bend or look at the confetti-lined floor that seems to come along with children, and they got a new and very constructive so-called time out.

It was nice not worrying about things.  I ignored my piles that need to be boxed up.  I never went into the kids' room after I heard the dumping of the toy bin.  Why get myself all worked up.  The mess will still be there tomorrow and we'll deal with it then, when I am prepared to do so calmly.  I didn't do a single dish.  I didn't unload the dishwasher.  I had a very lazy day off, sorta.  The mess grew a bit, but I so seldom get a chance to watch they boys interact.  I'm to busy chasing after them telling them not to do things, which I still did to a much lesser extent.

The only trouble is, it's scary how easy it is not to pay attention to the work that needs doing.  It would be no trouble getting used to.  I'm the only one around here who seems bothered by it.  Perhaps this is because I claim the mess as my own, though we all contribute to it.  Well, I'm willing to share the blame and responsibility.  I'll get this place ship-shape, but then things they're-a-gonna-be-changin'.  I'll never be organized enough to have bins with individual names on them.  You know, the one those really anal (God love 'em) people have in which they deposit things that they've picked up throughout the house.  If I find the oldest's DS it goes in his bin, Hubby's screwdriver would go in his.  It is such a wonderful fantasy of an idea.  I am just so not that person.  I'm more the type of person that would gather up the things the kids left strewn about the house and dump it in a pile in front of their doors and tell them, "whatever is left here by the time I count to ten is garbage". Then I'd watch them come running.  Once it's gone, there are no reminder bins to look at.  But that's just me.

Tomorrow, is a family day, one of those rare moments where a few extra dollars and Hubby's day off actually coincide.  I'm hoping it will be great.  After tomorrow, Spring Break is officially over and I can concentrate on what is left to do around here.  However, that still leaves the rest of tomorrow, after we return, to do nothing but bask in the glory of my laziness.  Yeah, I could live with that.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Mommies Are Allowed

Piles of crap seem to be boxing me in.  My world is slowly shrinking along with my floor space.  I think I have become a pack-rat in my old age.  Never did I used to shed tears for donating things that we no longer use or need.  However, the birth of my last child has turned me into this hording machine.  I intended to keep only the items that have been through all of my boys and some select ones from the baby that I especially enjoyed with him.  Yet, it seems that I am unable to part with anything.  I have diaper boxes full of clothes all washed and folded and separated by size.  I just can't seem to actually donate them.  Knowing that it is ridiculous is not helping me purge my house of this uselessness.

Hubby, in his infinite wisdom and kindness, brought home a bunch of giant boxes.  He isn't making me throw things out, just pack it up into stackable things to move to the shed.  At least he knows better than to press the issue.  I think the act of packing things up for good will probably turn me into an emotional pile of mush, through no fault of my own.  I guess things really are different with your last baby.  He is almost 8 months old, so I have a lot of stuff to pack up, but he's still a baby, my baby.  I have been fighting the urge to wean him, despite the fact that he bites like a rabid dog. 

My oldest is on the cusp of puberty and we have conversations like regular people, not kiddie conversations.  My middle two are all about "I can do it by myself".  Then, there's the baby.  He's the one that can't get enough of me.  He's still at the stage where I'm his favorite thing in the world.  He's the only one that is happy in my arms for long periods of time.  If I could, I'd probably hold them all day long.  As it is, I can only hold the baby until I need to be doing something else. I do get intermittent spontaneous hugs and kisses from the others.  Well, sparsely from the oldest.  Actually, threats of public displays of affection have persuaded him to do my bidding on many occasions. 

Don't get me wrong, I get all excited when the baby does something new or when his personality comes through.  He is a very joyous baby with the best laugh in the world.  He is on his way to being very mobile and I am thrilled for him.  At the same time, my heart is breaking.  I am well aware of the ridiculousness of this whole thing, but too soon it will be him running to be with his brothers and away from me.  I will soak this all in.  I will enjoy the feel of him in my arms and the look in his eyes when he rubs my cheeks and finds my nose.  It is too soon for him not to be the newborn he was just yesterday.  I look at him now and he's 4x the size he was.  He is his own little person. Yet, I still see the sweet little lump that he was.

I can see that he is going to be hard to let go.  There are 6 years between my first and second child.  It was bittersweet to see him reach all his milestones.  It is still bittersweet to see him grow into this little man.  He is my first baby.  He made me a Mom.  The next two were on top of each other.  They are a handful and I love them dearly.  It was different with them.  There was always something going on and things to do.  I was younger and rushed through it all.  With this one, I'm a bit more settled.  He is four years younger than his closest brother.  He is everyone's baby.  The boys embraced him from the beginning and each have a bond with him that is different than the others.  They are the ones that spoil him, if you can really spoil a baby?

I already miss the infant he was as we head down the road toward toddlerhood.  Oh, but there is so much joy to come.  With each new skill, with each smile of beaming pride, there is joy and love.  With this one, the last one, everyone is enjoying him.  We all have fallen in love with this mild-mannered, sweetheart of a baby.  He is the most laid back of them all.  He is making it easy for us to go GaGa over him.

I am so proud of my boys.  I just knew that there would be jealousy and the like.  I was wrong, so wrong.  They all help without being asked.  They all get joy when they make him smile and they all go nuts when they get him to laugh like only little ones can.  My boys, though rowdy and energetic, are gentle and kind.  I love them all.  Having them the way I did has allowed me to simultaneously bask in the different stages of growing up.  When the middle ones test their boundaries, I see how the oldest one is growing into this peaceful and brilliant young man.  It lets me relax knowing that it will calm down soon enough.  When the oldest is on a hormonal bender (he is at that age), I see the middle two with their cars and trains and tickle fights and remember how sweet he was when he was little.  Then I look at the last one and I remember them all and how different they were and still are.  I can see very clearly how they have always been who they are.  The stubborn one was born that way, as were the sensitive and the lazy.  I look at that little chunky one and try to see who he will be in a year or five.  Then I look again and he is still just a baby.

So, it will probably take me a whole lot longer than necessary to pack up these mountains of baby stuff.  I know that I will be loving it when it's out of my house and not reminding me of how tiny he was.  For now, it will be hard and I will be emotional.  I'm a Mommy darn it, I'm allowed.

Friday, April 2, 2010

A Hero in Gublerland

A little while ago, during a bout of insomnia, I found my way to Gublerland.  "What is that?",  you ask.  Well, it is the brainchild/ alter-ego/true soul of Matthew Gray Gubler.  I found it by accident and have been drawn back to it during subsequent bouts of insomnia, though it does warp dreams once sleep finally takes hold.  This site is full of interesting bits.  It's like a treasure hunt of little things to find and open.

On his way back from the bathroom, my oldest peeked over my shoulder.  I heard a sleepy, "what is that?" from behind me.  Scared me half to death actually.  Anyway, he pulled up a chair and I explained who the man is.  "He's that guy on criminal minds.  You know, the nerdy one.  Oh, he was the voice of Simon the chipmunk".  My son looked at picture of him and just couldn't see him as Simon, but thought it was neat anyway.  I'm putting this on here not because I'm his biggest fan, though I might be now, but because of what he did for my son.  Okay, he himself didn't do a darned thing, but his website sure did.

My son is very shy.  He is wonderfully creative and musically inclined.  Yet, he has a confidence issue.  Okay, maybe that isn't entirely correct.  He just thinks that nothing he does is perfect enough to be good, and if it isn't "good" to him how could anyone else stand it.  In reality, this kid is amazing, (perhaps I'm a bit biased).  Despite our diligent encouragement and the fact that we point out things that he enjoys regardless of their lack of perfection, he still is very hard on himself.  Enter Gublerland.

As he pulled up a chair beside me, I was scrolling through some artwork on the  Gublerland site.  My boy, was not impressed so much by the pictures themselves, as by the form or style.  You see, Gubler's art isn't perfection, by any stretch.  It is warped and twisted and glorious for what it is.  My son was enthralled.  He kept asking questions and was wide-eyed and finally understood what we have been trying to teach him.  He never has to be perfect.  When it comes to his creativity especially, he can just feel his way.  He learned, or is in the process of learning, that a drawing of a dog doesn't have to be a perfect replica to get the point across.  He learned that warped and twisted is perfectly acceptable, and not to be suppressed but celebrated as a different piece of who he is, (not that he's all dark and twisted, but we all have our moments).  He learned that a lopsided smile can be beautiful.  He learned that ordinary and extraordinary are just two steps apart.  He learned that if so many people can like the paintings and sketches that he was looking at, then maybe, he's a lot better than he thought he was.  Oh yeah, he also couldn't get enough of clicking on little oddities to see what weirdness would ensue.

Since that night, my son seems much lighter.  It's like he has been released from the doubt that bound him.  He doesn't believe that he is amazing, but he does acknowledge that he has some talent.  He is beginning to take the time to enjoy his endeavors more.  He isn't lost within himself while doing something that he loves. He is allowing himself the first steps of freedom.  This is something that, try as I might, I just could not teach him.  It is one of those lessons that he needed to learn in his own time, his own way.

So again, I say Woo Hoo, and a huge thanks to Matthew Gray Gubler.  Long Live Gublerland!