Monday, July 19, 2010

What?!?

Every morning before I leave for work, I do any left-over dishes and pick up the kitchen. This is my task. My husband does the family room. This is his task. If the kids wander up before I leave they usually watch a little Phineas & Ferb before breakfast - harmless, right?

There is never a morning I'm not rushing to sweep, wash and wipe before I head out the door, so more times than not I hear the buzz of the T.V. and the splash of water. But something my big kid said to me in the midst of my rush stopped me dead in my tracks...

E: "Hey Mom, look it's Chloe"
Me: "Chloe who? I don't know which one is Chloe"
E: "Mom, you know, Chloe"
Me: "No, I don't. I know Candice the sister? Is that Doofenschmirtz's daughter?"
E: "No, Mom, you know, Chloe - the one that's married to the basketball player"
(Tires screeching in my brain)
Me: "KHLOE KARDASHIAN!!!"
I dropped my sponge and ran to the family room.
E:"See mom, it says her name right next to her."

There in front of me on a kid station was a face product commercial with Khloe doing a testimonial of some sort - I didn't know which one because I turned the channel so fast, E's head spun. Next came the "how's, why's and huh's" of how my 7 YEAR OLD knows who Khloe Kardashian is. There are so many things wrong with this, I don't even know where to begin. Needless to say, censorship is once again alive and well at my house.



Thursday, July 15, 2010

Faith

Anyone who knows me well knows that I've struggled with the logic of religion and faith over the years. I was always the kid in Sunday school who asked "Why?" I still remember the annoyed look on the face of my thin, pin-curled hair Sunday school teacher when the answer "Because He's always been there" wasn't a good enough one for me.

I spent a lot of my life trying to quantify how it all works; the big picture. Finally, while I was in college (and on my way to a Catholic college) I read the Good Book front to back. Some of it was lovely, but there were other parts that I so disappointed in. I didn't want to be disappointed and I was so tired of all the questions I had, so I just stopped them. I let the notion of God as many people perceive Him go...I do not necessarilybelieve in God, but man, I really hope that he exists. The moment the doubt and the questions stopped my brain found peace.

Here's the part that a lot of people don't understand: I'm raising my children christian. "Why" do you ask? Well, because I do think it's important for kids to feel like there is something bigger than all of us and that no matter what, they are NEVER alone. Just because I haven't been able to steady my faith does not mean that they shouldn't have it either.

All of that said, this brings me to why I even brought all of this up...

My friend "J" and his lovely wife have 4 beautiful children and earlier this year they were surprised by the coming of twin girls. They were nervous about adding two more to their brood, but they knew they'd make it work. They discovered the twins had twin to twin transfusion syndrome, or TTTS. They went ahead and did a surgery they thought would help, but earlier this week they made the decision to delivery early because one of the girls was getting sicker which could affect the other healthier girl. They lost one of their two girls the other night and my heart is just breaking for them. I didn't know what to do for them...

I don't pray often and while I struggle with the notion itself I still find that I do it on occasion because, frankly, I don't know what to do. This was one of those occasions. The pain and joy they must be feeling in celebrating one life and mourning the loss of another is more than my mommy head can wrap itself around. I have relieved in knowing this family has faith to lean on.

For lack of knowing what else to do, I pray for them and I wish them peace in their heads and in their hearts soon.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Funny Little People

I hope you all had a fun 4th of July! The time off was much needed. Kids in general say the funniest things. Their inability to filter themselves and just call it the way they see it is priceless. Here are a few from our weekend that I had to write down because I didn't want to forget....

My barely 7 year old:

On an argument about wearing fancy white shoes to the 4th of July parade:

"Mom, what's more important--you or the country?!" "uh, me" "No mom. It's the country."

I was so caught off guard by the exchange that when she threw her arms up in disgust and walked out I didn't know what to say. Then, I laughed--but not in front of her :-).

On how white her belly is compared to her scary tan legs:

"Mom, I look African-American!" (with a big smile)

She's been fighting me for a bikini, but I want as much of her body covered as possible because she gets so tan - even with the SPF 80 we use. When I was growing up people were either black or white with no negative connotations either way. I don't remember African-American coming into thought or vocabulary until much later when I became aware of the "correct" way to say things. Her matter of fact use of "African-American" caught me off guard; I didn't know she paid any attention to skin tone much less the PC way to address it.


My 4 year old:

On how to ride a sheep at a Mutton Bustin' event at the fair:

"Okay, so you're going to want to hold on..." "Yeah, I got that part."

He's such a clown normally, but he was all business about riding this sheep. His big sister out road him for about a 1/2 a second and stole the 3rd place ribbon he wanted so badly. He hid under the bleachers and sulked near the sheep pen; he hates it when she gets the best of him. Next year, little man...


My 20 month old:

"No more ice cream" "Mom-EEEEE...." "Sorry, baby" "Why?" "Because your teeth will rot" "Why?" "Because it's not good for you" "Why?" "Because I love you" "Why?" "Because I do" "Why?"

I don't know why I fell for the "Why" trap, but I've done it with every kid ;-)


I just love my kids...They were in a funk for about two weeks, then yesterday the sea parted and out of nowhere I had kids who listened, kids who were kind to one another and kids who enjoyed each other and themselves. I know I've said this before, but sometimes its just knowing they have the capacity to be good little people is enough. Whether or not they make good on it is another thing all together, but I am hopeful :-).

Friday, July 2, 2010

Lucky Girl

Commuter traffic is mentally taxing. You can only think positively for so long before the annoyance of being stuck in a small box moving at a snail's pace pushes you over. I firmly believe that the 2+ hours a day I spend in the car getting to and from my job is better spent several hours of random infomercials.

Mondays are always the hardest day of the week for me. It is the furthest day from the end of the work week and Friday can never come quick enough. This past Monday was no different, except I was in the middle of my typical drive home during rush hour traffic when a car spun out of control near me causing the car in front of me to plow into the divider wall and me to plow into that mini van. I shut my eyes before the impact, told my self not to brace myself (then braced myself), then opened my eyes to dash lights, warning alarms, and windshield wipers going crazy. My small little VW Rabbit - or Bunny as our family refers to it plowed into the mini van like the bully on the block.

As I sat there in my car, shaking and stunned in the middle of the freeway I looked around at the mess. My first thought was "Thank goodness I'm alive and my kids were not with me," followed by "Life is too short to diet," followed by "I need to call my husband." I sat there for what felt like a really long time before the CHP officers showed up to take reports. By the time my family came to pick me up and get me home, it was dark and everyone was tired. The rest of that night is a blur...

I received the call from the insurance company late yesterday that my Bunny is being "totalled." My little car did its job and kept me alive and for this I am thankful. I confess that for the last few days I have driven home very anxious. As I pass the crash site everyday it is a reminder of what happened and how thankful I was to not be chit-chatting on the phone when the mess went down.

This experience has reaffirmed how important this one life we live is. I get one shot to get it right: to be a good wife, a good mother, a good person and to find happiness. I may not be able to quit work anytime soon, but I can try to make changes that ensure a happier, more fulfilled life. I do not want a life of regret and deprivation.


Have a fun and safe 4th of July everyone!