Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Getting Ahead

It’s spring now, and we’ve gotten out our Easter decorations.

The bunnies, chicks, and plastic eggs are fewer these days.  The stuffed rabbit that sang about Easter when you pressed a button on his belly is gone.  He is probably gracing the living room of some lucky child whose unlucky mama brought him home from the thrift store.  We still have plenty to cheer us up while winter hangs out a little longer.


We sprang ahead, giving ourselves an extra hour of daylight to do our outdoor work.   Because the air is still frigid there’s not much outdoor work being done here.  The patio furniture is still hiding away, the grass still sleeping under its hibernation blanket of a fresh almost-layer of snow, dead leaves and withered, clumpy grass from last summer.  The flowers are under there, somewhere.

It may be spring, but it’s still winter.

We are still wearing sweaters and boots, hats and gloves, scarves and socks.  All the cheery pastels and chocolate eggs in the world can’t change the temperature and intention of the weather.




We have to wait.  We can’t really speed it along.  We can unearth our flip-flops and forgo heavy coats for bare arms and legs but we look silly when we can see piles of snow and our teeth chatter from the cold.

We are to be patient.  The seasonal cycle has slowed.  Cold air doesn’t care about the calendar.  My resolve to weather the weather is crumbling.  I just want it to be over already.  I want to wash up all our winter gear and stuff it in boxes out of sight.




It is the same with other things.  We rush our children to grow – why don’t they behave the way we discussed?  We wish our spouses would catch up – why doesn’t he listen to me?  We want our family members and friends to get with the program already – why are they making the same mistakes?

We consider that they are not learning.  They are not doing enough.  They are creating their own chaos.  They are making our lives more difficult.  Why can’t they see it? 

We turn our thoughts inward.  I am no better than anybody else.  I am the same.  Why do I continue to spin my wheels?  There is room for me to move forward, do something different.

In these minutes, days, weeks, and months of winter’s desert cold, I would do well to remind myself to be patient.  To not get ahead of myself, the weather, those around me. 



Like the seasons, we all change when we are ready.  It might not be convenient; the weather is not always ready for flip-flops and egg hunts and daffodils when we are.  Likewise, people shift gears when they are ready.

When we step out in our spring attire too early, we are hit with the cold and are sent inside for more layers of protection.  In other cases, getting ahead of ourselves – or others – may be met with a push back, leading to the realization that we are pushing when it isn’t appropriate.  Relationships suffer; we grab loved ones’ hands and yell “C’MON!” while they dig in their heels.  Sometimes we can motivate them to take action.  Sometimes we are better off meeting them where they are and joining them in their stroll.

And when the weather outside doesn't seem to want to change, I will stay in, snuggle into my sweaters and socks, sip my coffee, and be more patient.




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If you could make up your own holiday, what would it be?  
Check out Coach Daddy today to see what other bloggers would choose 
for their very own holiday - it's a six-word challenge!

See you there!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Plugged In

My husband is a gadget freak.

He loves anything electronic, as long as it serves him and makes his life easier or more efficient.  If it’s new and bigger and better and faster, he’s talking about it.  Oh, how he talks about it.  He talked about wanting to get an iPad when they first came out, and finally got one two years ago.

I did the math, and that is about two years of hearing about how he wants an iPad.  It’s maddening, the frequency with which the love of my life can talk about electronics and how much he desires new electronics.

TVs, phones, computers, headphones, speakers, and I don’t know what else – the thingy that sits under the TV and works out whether we watch TV or a DVD? – I don’t know what that is.  But the man is obsessed.  Did you know that they come out with new electronics every 6.8 seconds?

I’m sort of a Neo-Luddite.

I rarely watch TV, have a three (four? five?) year old laptop, own a Kindle that I sometimes use.  I don’t get excited about gadgets, do not geek out when something that fits in the palm of my hand allows me to operate more efficiently.  We got a DSLR camera recently because our point and shoot was comically horrible, and I am still so discouraged that this new camera didn’t immediately improve my photography skills that I can’t even bear to figure out how to use it.  It’s overwhelming.

Do you need a nap?  I think I need a nap.

Up until 2012 I had a flip phone – you know, the one that was so small you could fit it into your sock?  Or lose it in the bottom of your purse?  My husband raged against its inadequacy.  It had a prepaid plan (hello, one-income family), had horrible service, and was never turned on.  He hated that I was not available every second, hated that I didn’t text because it was too hard, hated that I couldn’t use it everywhere.  I loved it for all of these reasons.

I’m such a fun wife.

So on Christmas of 2012 he gave me an upgrade: a rectangular smartphone with a slide-out keyboard.  I liked the keyboard, but because the phone was on the same network as my little flip, it still had horrible service in our area and the smartphone technology was just not up to par.  In addition, it had its own little quirks - sometimes it would turn off and I couldn’t get it turned back on.  It ended up lost in the bottom of my purse, too.  I actually hated this imposter phone.

Determined to make me love electronics, my husband purchased for me this past Christmas a real smartphone, the kind that has a touchscreen keyboard and all these linky-appy things that people use when they’ve got their noses in their phones.  He set it all up for me, and when he handed it over, he might have held his breath hoping that I would finally embrace the Information Age.

It’s sort of magic.  When I take pictures, the phone makes some of them sparkle.  When I first logged onto the phone, everyone who I have ever communicated with on the internet was right in my contacts list.  I can do facebook, twitter, read books from my kindle right on my phone.  A few times I have used it to give me directions!  The other day I toyed with the idea of entering all my activities into the calendar so I don’t have to drag my book calendar with me to the doctor’s office when I need to make an appointment, something that my husband has asked me to do electronically for a few years now and I have dug in my heels because you don’t need to know what I’m doing.

I love this phone.

I hate it when he’s right.

A picture of my phone, taken with my DSLR.  
Watch out, Annie Leibovitz.  I’m coming.
*******

This post inspired by:

Mama’s Losin’ It

Prompt 4: Something new you’re loving.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

DIY: Taco Pinchies

“AHMAHGAH I don’t know what to make for dinner!!”

This was the sound of my panic recently.  I ran out of ideas for feeding my family.

I’m not one to run out of ideas.  For years I heard people confess that they no longer know what to make their families for dinner, that they were sick of making the same things over and over, that they were tired of buying the same groceries every week.  Then Pinterest happened, and I stopped hearing it as often, but maybe it’s because I wasn’t really listening and  instead was being smug about always knowing what we’re going to eat.

I blame the loss of dinner mojo on our new crazy schedule.  Recently we’ve been so busy with practice and school functions and games and youth group that I haven’t cooked much at all, opting to make pots of things in the middle of the afternoon and then slapping spoonfuls on a plate prison-style when my family members wandered through the kitchen at any time between bus drop-off and bedtime.  Sometimes I’d even heat it up for them.  And sometimes they’d just eat Doritos out of the bag and I’d pat myself on the back for being awesome.

Then one day we were all magically going to be home at the same time FOR DINNER.  And I needed an idea.

My daughter said, “Mother dear, we could have tacos.”

I replied, “My darling, fruit of my loins, we have no taco shells.”

She offered, “We could useth tortillas.”

I lamented, “We haveth none.  Alas, our cupboards are bereft of all manner of Tex-Mex accoutrements.”

She was not to be beat.  Opening the refrigerator door, she exclaimed, “We have tube biscuits!”

I regarded my offspring as if she held the key to unlocking the secrets of the universe.

And this is what I made.  Hang onto your hats, because I’m about to blow your mind.



Taco Pinchies

Ingredients:

1 lb. ground beef.   You have some; I know you do.  If you want to use turkey, that’s fine, if your family enjoys eating ground turkey instead of beef with their tacos.  Mine doesn’t anymore, because when they complained about it once, I went crazypants on them and screamed “EEEEAT IIIIIIT!” until their plates were clean.

1 envelope taco seasoning.  Or half of one, or a portion of one, whatever you have.  Or you know what?  Just use a combo of oregano and cumin and salt and pepper and chile powder and garlic salt and whatever spice in your arsenal seems Mexican-y.  You know what to do.  What?  Is the president coming over?  No.  He’s not.  You will be seasoning meat in such a way that your loved ones will eat it, not the King of Siam, nor even Katie Couric.  Get a grip on your expectations, Fanny.

1 tube of tube biscuits.  I use Pillsbury.  Not the grocery store kind, because I am suspicious.  Although you know what?  Once I bought some brand name tube dough and when I popped it open, the seal must have been broken and the dough was rubbery and gray.  Ugh.  I almost baked it up anyway but I got hold of myself and chucked it.  I still think of what might have happened if I would served it anyway.  I saved my family’s life that day.

(As an aside, who out there also thinks that tube dough is dangerous the way it pops open?  The anticipation of the pop is unbearable.  Does the explosion have the power to maim? Is it going to put out my eye?  Will I lose a finger?  Do you think about this at all?  Or is it just me?  And my Grandmother, who put this idea in my head?)



Shredded cheddar, or taco cheese if you’re fancy. You fancy, huh?  We just use ched.

Taco toppings like sliced black olives, salsa, guacamole, lettuce, sour cream, onions, taco sauce, chopped tomatoes, or goat cheese.  Use any combination of your favorites.  The night I made this, we used taco sauce, tomatoes, sour cream, and goat cheese.  Yep.  You read that right.   Who’s fancy now, son?

And that’s it.  Now you know what’s coming.

Instructions:

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  I hate when I skip this step.  But don’t beat yourself up over it if you do the same.  You’ve done far worse than this.  Let’s talk about all the things you’re doing wrong with your life.

2. Crumble the ground meat in a skillet and fry it on the stove until it is no longer pink.  Drain the fat!  If you forget – gross.  Add the seasonings (the packet or your own concoction) and about a ¼ cup of water.  Cook and stir a little more until the water is absorbed.  Dial down the heat to keep it warm, although you know what?  Who cares?  You’re almost done with this already.  Go ahead and turn the heat off.  You’re the star of this show, chief.

3. Pop the dough and separate it into individual biscuits.  I used one tube of eight biscuits, but if you want more, then by all means make more.  We only have four people in our household, and hello, this isn’t the most healthy meal ever (because: biscuit dough from a tube AND ground beef) so no one needs to eat more than two of these bad boys.  This particular night, I ate only one and that was enough for me, and to give you an idea of my normal eating habits, over the past three days I consumed an entire bag of pretzel M&Ms all by myself.  So obviously I am a hog, and I still only ate one Taco Pinchy.

4.  On a cookie sheet, squish the biscuit circles down until they spread out a little.  Use your fingers or a spoon or a rolling pin if you like to wash kitchen utensils.  I used my fingers.  You’re going to scoop the beef filling into these babies, so make ‘em as big as you can. 

5. Scoop about 2 T. of the taco meat into the center of each biscuit circle.  Top with shredded cheese.  You know how much to use.  Gather up the edges of the circle and sort of pinch them together to close the biscuit up.  It will look like a little taco beanbag. 


Pinchy!

6. Bake ‘em in the oven for 18-20 minutes, or until they are golden brown.  Watch them near the end of the time, because on the tube it says 13-17 minutes but because of the meat and cheese they’ll take a little longer than that.  I think mine took about 22 minutes, but I was drinking wine when I made this and you know how that is.

And that’s it!  Serve them to your family and try not to scream in defeat when they ask, “What is this?  How do we eat this?”  Lay out the toppings, serve yourself first, and ignore their questions.  With any luck they will follow your lead and you won’t have to explain to your family HOW TO EAT FOOD.

We ate Taco Pinchies with cut up veggies and some leftover taco meat, which is a strange side for tacos but if you mix it up with goat cheese it almost tastes like something else.  I was pretty much the only one who ate any leftover taco meat, which could better account for why I only had one of them at dinner that night.

By far the best part of our Taco Pinchies meal was after I told my son and husband about how our daughter came up with the idea, and my husband praised her ingenuity and our son scowled, no doubt plotting how he will get back at her for being so perfect, she chimed, “Oh, I didn’t make it up.  I saw it on TV.”

And that, my friends, is why every single mom is crazy.

¡Buen provecho!

If you listen closely you’ll hear half a dozen people
pinning this recipe to their boards titled
“When I don’t care what we eat for dinner.”


Monday, March 17, 2014

Old School Blogging – Random Edition

Elaine from The Miss Elaine-ous Life has a new co-pilot this month for Old School Blogging, and it is none other than Kim from Co-Pilot Mom!!

Man, I kill me.

This month they’re teaming up to ask Random Questions.  I love random questions, because you can really get to know a person in a short time by firing random questions at them.  Like what’s your favorite soup?  And does gel toothpaste freak you out?  It’s like Getting To Know You Cliff’s Notes. 

So of course I’m playing along, because I never pass up an opportunity for all of you to get to know me better.  I’m a giver like that. 

So buckle up, everyone.  You are cleared for takeoff. 

*
*
*

Yeah, I know.

What is the last thing you watched on TV?  Ah, jeez, this is hard.  I watch so little TV.  The last thing I watched was an episode of Parenthood, the TV show.  I love that show.  It’s my favorite guilty pleasure, and it’s a really good show and not some nonsense that melts my brain.  Every single episode makes me cry - no exception.  The problem with never watching TV is that I never know when a new season has started, and I end up having to binge watch because I missed the whole season.  And I’m not much of a binge watcher.  I know – it’s un-American.

When did you last step outside? What were you doing?  I went outside to put some trash in the can, because there were several bags in the garage, which is my first step of trash hauling.  It will sit in the garage for a day or so, and when I’ve amassed several bags, I transfer them all to the outside can.  And now you know every single detail of my garbage habits.

What is on the walls of the room you are in?  I’m in the kitchen, and other than cabinets, we have one picture on the wall – ONE.  Huh.  I never noticed that before.  Here’s a picture of it:  


We got it at IKEA.  Arty!  
In other news, we should redecorate.

If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy?  My house.  A Mercedes. Clothes.  Diamonds.  A vacation.  I would not be a millionaire very long.

Tell me something about you that most people don't know.  This is hard!  I feel like I spill all my dirty secrets on my blog, and that everybody knows everything about me.  Except for the private things that nobody needs to know.  Okay.  I have selective claustrophobia.  I’m okay in elevators, but an airplane isn’t big enough inside, and I don’t like to sit on the inside of a booth.  OMG that is so boring.  Who DOESN'T have selective claustrophobia?

Who made the last incoming call on your phone? This is so sad.  It was an 800 number.  I missed it, darn.  Before that it was my husband.  I missed that one, too.  I don’t know why my husband calls me on my cell phone.  I never answer it.  Because I’m usually home, and we have a land line.  Can someone tell me why people call cell phones instead of home phones, especially when they are your husband and know that you never answer your cell phone?

If you could change something about your home, without worry about expense or mess, what would you do?  I would get hardwood floors everywhere.  I would get the entire yard landscaped.  I would get the upstairs repainted.  I would hire someone to come in and decorate and replace the tacky IKEA art.

What was the last thing you bought?  Gas.  My son and I were on our way to pick up his friends to take them all to youth group, and I looked at the gas gauge and it said “0 miles until empty.”  I panicked and gingerly drove to the gas station, praying that we wouldn’t be stranded on the side of the road.  We were late to youth group.

Would you go bungee jumping or sky diving?  Sky diving.  It feels like the possibility of banging your body against the side of a mountain is less when you’re jumping out of a plane. 

If you could eat lunch with one famous person, who would it be?  Well, it would have to be someone who eats food.  Someone who likes to drink wine.  And someone who is smart and would be a good conversationalist.  And it would have to be a woman.  Does anyone famous fit this bill?  How about Tina Fey?  Does La Tina eat food?

Which store would you choose to max out your credit card?  It would have to be some kind of modern-style furniture store.  Like BoConcept or something.  I would be able to buy a sofa and one chair.

Is the glass half empty or half full?  I broke all the glasses.

What's the farthest-away place you've been?  Germany.  That doesn’t seem very far.  I want to say Fiji!  Or Bora Bora!  Or Argentina!  Or The North Pole!  Ew.  Maybe not the North Pole.  It seems cold there.

No thanks, Santa.  I'm good.

What's under your bed?  An under-the-bed box filled with book jackets.  You know, the paper covers on hardback books?  I don’t know.  A back massager and a neck massager.  A heating pad.  You know, normal stuff that all hip, interesting and painfully cool people store under their beds.

What is your favorite time of the day?  Early morning.  No one’s up except me and the fine people of the internet who don’t ask me to bring their sports stuff to school or ask me to make them a sandwich.

What inspires you?  Other people.  When I see or hear that someone did something amazing, I am inspired to do the same.  Also, if they personally encourage me, I’m all in. 

This is Old School Blogging at its finest, people.  Want to play? Join Elaine and Kim – link up on either of their websites, and tweet at them (@elainea and @copilotmom, #OSBlog) when you come up with your own answers to the questions.  Follow Elaine around so you can always be up-to-date on the next Old School Blogging opportunity.  She’s cool like that.  And follow Kim around too.  She totally makes more airplane jokes than I do. Have fun!

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Too Much?

When people are young their parents sign them up for activities after school and in the evenings under the guise of keeping them busy, so they will stay out of trouble. 

Idle hands, you know.  They do the work of the devil.  Or so they say.

I am a stay-at-home mom, and my hands are often idle.

After all, the dishwasher only needs to be emptied one time when the dishes are clean.  The clothes – once they are folded and put away, they are done.  Cleaning can always wait.  I can fill my days with tasks, but I don’t have to.  I am my own boss.  There is no time card to punch, no performance evaluation to wring my hands through.

Over the years, I have gone from busy bee to bonbon eater.  My jobs aren’t time-sensitive anymore.  No one will starve if I don’t make them dinner.  I don’t really toil at keeping people alive, despite my assertions.  I choose to do some things and leave the rest.  I put off projects because there is always tomorrow.  I am the Scarlett O’Hara of this poor girl’s Tara.  I hear friends and family members lament that they don’t have time to do it all, and I think, well, I do.  Meh.  I want to tell them: it all can wait.

Sometimes this makes me think I have too much time on my hands.

I can enter any room in our house and find ten things that need to be fixed or updated or changed or organized.  I won’t do any of them.  I rarely start projects I won’t finish, so I don’t.  Somewhere out there, someone is thinking, “Lazy.”

But I don’t feel lazy.  I don’t watch TV, don’t really eat bonbons.  I stay home because I want to be present, take care of the details of my family’s life.  Being here is my priority, my number one deliverable.

Are my idle hands hurting anything?

I pursue paid work sporadically; I don’t do enough to call it a career.  Writing is a hobby that I treat as a job, but one that doesn’t mind if I take a week off to catch up on housework or errands.  It’s really only for me.  It doesn’t benefit anyone else.

When I worked for pay my house was always clean.  When the kids were small I worked though their nap times and even took exercise classes in the evenings.  I did it all, and I got paid.  I also burned out.  Doing it all is not a sustainable lifestyle.

It’s a hard thing, not to be paid for working.  I allow myself to idle because I can be resentful at not being recognized for my efforts in the way that our society displays worth.  Nobody really cares about clean windows and floors.  It’s hard to be motivated when your work is not valued.

This can be true in any job.  Although we may complain about them, we all choose the tasks we do.  We might feel stuck within these tasks, whether they take place in an office or in prison or at home.  We are all given the same amount of time, and we might decide to be idle once in a while, wherever we are.

Being stuck at home, with time on my side, really isn’t so bad.  Sure, it can be boring and tedious, but what job isn’t at times?  I’m not going to get into trouble if I decide to binge-watch Parenthood instead of scrub toilets and fill out permission slips.  It doesn’t mean that I have too much time on my hands.

Or does it?

*******

This post inspired by:

Mama’s Losin’ It
Prompt 4:  Something you have too much of.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Shot Down

“Come to the PTO meeting” said the paper my daughter brought home from school.

I hesitated.  Meetings really aren’t my bag.  I mean, I volunteered at school sometimes.  I’m not officer material, not interested in heading up large event committees.  I am conscious of not spreading myself too thin.  I served here and there, helped out in the classrooms a little, had even organized a small celebration for students who were named Good Citizens each quarter.  The Nerd Party, I secretly called it.  In the most loving way, of course.  My kids were sometimes two of the nerds who were celebrated.  I was always happy for those kids.  And honestly, if you have to throw a party for a large group of kids, you want the group to be comprised of ones who are being celebrated for good behavior.  You just do.

But I had never been to a PTO meeting.  It seemed painful – a bunch of parents and teachers sitting on uncomfortable chairs in the library, signing up for things like setting up and tearing down and serving punch.  The letter brought the guilt in a big way.  “You’re a slacker,” it should have said.  “You’re ruining your kids’ memories.  They will suffer because you were too lazy and selfish to get involved.”

So I went. 

As I sat in the student-sized chair that threatened to embarrass me by either tipping over or bending under my firmly adult weight, I signed my name to the attendance roster and shook the thoughts from my head that I didn’t really belong there.  I was a parent, after all.  I had as much of a say in what goes on in these meetings as any other person in the room.  Furthermore, I had ideas.  I was always gifted at brainstorming, and I would not volunteer for anything too big.  I could help, but I wouldn’t over-extend myself.

After I nodded my hellos to all faces familiar and unfamiliar, the meeting started.  Matters discussed first were previous events: how things went and if they were a success.  I listened to the positives and the negatives, and noted the complainers.  Why do people insist on complaining about things in the past, I wondered.  There are always people who have nothing good to say about anything.

Then, a call for new ideas on how to improve a time-honored event at the school – Grandparent’s Day.  Logistics were the topic at hand.  The previous year, grandparents complained that they didn’t have enough time to visit children, that parking was inadequate, they couldn’t take children out of school for lunch, they couldn’t eat lunch at school because the cafeteria was too small.  The parents and teachers argued about every detail – the teachers thought the time was too long, the parents thought the time was too short, everybody thought the parking was a mess.  And what to do about the students who don’t even have grandparents?  They are left out every year.  There were no viable solutions, only complaints and arguing.

What a mess, I thought.

You know that feeling you get in your chest when you have something important to say, that sort of tightness and fast heartbeat that indicate that you need to get it out or you will regret it later?  Yeah.  I need to ignore that feeling.

I raised my hand.

I cleared my throat as everyone quieted for me to speak.  “Um, it sounds as if there really aren’t any solutions to these problems.  Grandparents aren’t happy with the way their day is run, teachers aren’t happy because it’s a wasted school day, and parking is a real problem. We are wasting this meeting arguing about it.  Have we ever considered scrapping the whole idea?”

The looks on the faces of the parents in the room told me that nobody had considered scrapping any sort of PTO tradition EVER in the history of PTO traditions.

Suddenly one woman shot out, “Easy for YOU to say!  All of your kids’ grandparents live out of town!  They probably won't come anyway!”



* * *

Meetings really aren’t my bag.




Monday, March 3, 2014

Transition


And just like that, I’m no longer a parent of little kids.

How did that happen?  It was amazingly fast. 

Our kids are big ones now.  And getting bigger, if our orthodontist is to be believed.  He took an x-ray of my son’s hand the other day and said that he has 70% of his growing yet to do.

This is ducking-through-doorways big.

The size I can take.  I can even take the growing senses of humor, intelligence, and the fact that we are all finally enjoying the same types of movies.  I’m slowly getting used to the kids staying up until MY bedtime.

But being a parent of big kids is harder than I thought it would be.

And not because of the behavior issues.  Sure, there are the new attitudes and words and whabang your offspring just zinged you with a truth that you didn’t even see coming.  The you don’t know mes that simultaneously wound me and cause the corners of my mouth to turn up a little. 

I don’t know you?  What DON’T I know?

Turns out it’s kind of a lot.  I don't know what they are thinking right now, how they feel about war, or death, or that their best friend has the mouth of a truck driver.  If they have that mouth.  How many times they say “My mom is clueless” or “She’ll never find out” or “I’m not telling her.”  If I’m finally, finally, dumber than everyone else.  It’s hard to give up the knowing.

It’s hard to put the old habits away, to say no to things they ask of me not because they can't do it themselves, but because they’re feeling lazy, uninspired, or rebellious.  Cleaning rooms used to be a formality; after they cleaned I’d swoop in discreetly and re-order things.  I’d discard stained clothing and outgrown shoes.  Now I peer into rooms and close the door against the mess, reminding them to sort through their piles of crap.  They roll their eyes at me.  We know, mom.

Making meals, social plans, decisions to stay at home or join me on errands – these are, for the most part, their choices now.  I no longer need to micromanage their work.  I try to.  They rebuke me.  We’ve got it, mom.

The girl – still a tween, still in elementary school – still needs me to do things.  To tell me things.  To have my hands at her arms’ length.  But sometimes I sense that I’m her crutch.  This is how it starts.  I pull away at these times, not wanting to create a dependency that is spawned by doubt in her own abilities.  The perfect storm of femaleness and adolescence is knocking.  We dance together, pushing and pulling.  It’s uncertain which one of us will lead today.

I reminisce about the olden days, a lifetime ago when feeding schedules and the fear of a ringing phone waking napping kids after a sleepless night ruled my consciousness.  When I’d collapse at eight o’clock after a day of taking care of small bodies and needs had ended.  I don’t want those days back, but I do wonder exactly when it happened that 8 pm isn’t the end of the day anymore.  Sometimes the day ends after I go to bed.

It’s hard for me to change, to not see myself as caretaker, hero, and boo-boo kisser.  I can say eat your vegetables and no more cookies but a week ago there was a whole pack of Hershey bars in our pantry and now it’s gone.

I didn’t even get any.

Where is my place in this system?  My role is shifting – I didn’t authorize that.  What is happening?  I’m not ready for these changes.  I haven’t organized everything yet.  I never got comfortable, never had the opportunity to say I got this.  I’m expected to be even more flexible, more on my toes, more go with the flow.  At least I know why my ability to plan things has all but vanished.

These kids.  They are aging.  Changing.  They are forcing me into it, too. 

Our interweavement is unraveling. I’ve got to keep my eye on their escaping threads, while at the same time keeping a handle on my own.  I don’t want to watch them go on without knowing my own ends.

This transition is hard.  The worst thing about it is although I saw it coming, I never really knew what it would look like.


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