Tuesday, March 22, 2011

When I Grow Up...

Who really grows up wanting to work in the real world?  When I was growing up I wanted to make movies or be a writer.  I asked my assistant and she wanted to be when she grew up and she said a police officer or a vet (until discovering she liked to push the legal limits and couldn't stomach needles).  When I ask my kids what they want to be when they grow up they give me the best answers.  As simple as they are, they actually make me happy.  Right now my son wants to be a race car driver (a step up in excitement from the previous "scarecrow" profession), my Big Girl goes between wanting to be a crystal hunter and a nurse.  My Baby Girl just keeps me guessing...

No one grows up saying "I want to be a drug addict" because it sounds so fun and lucrative.  My younger brother is a drug addict and I haven't talked to him in eight months.  When I did talk with him (I called him to wish him a happy birthday), he didn't even know who I was.  I watch my parents struggle with the guilt of watching their son kill himself and feeling helpless to stop it.  The guilt of "what did we do wrong" is the only thing my parents agree on - but on separate sides of the country no less.

I have come to terms that I cannot save him - even though I wish I could.  I have accepted that the only thing that makes me feel better is trying to ensure my kids do not choose this same path.  My kids only know they don't see my brother because he lives far away.  I don't tell them about the drugs, the jail time, the skanky girls or that I don't even want him to know where I live.  I don't want them to know him the way I do. 

My whole point is that no one grows up wanting to be a failure at their one shot at life.   Every baby is perfect when they are born and he was no exception.  But life happens and everyone copes differently with the hand they are dealt.  There are no longer any valid excuses as to why he is who he is, but that doesn't stop me from thinking about him all the time and hoping that he decides to make a real life for himself. 


Monday, March 14, 2011

My Sweet Boy

My girls are loud and outspoken, sweet and loving.  They demand my attention even when I'm too tired to give it; they do not accept the word "No" well and I do not foresee this changing anytime soon.  My Big Girl is sharp and quick to point out  an instance 4 years ago where I playfully swatted her on her bum - admittedly harder than I had intended and that I "hurt her on purpose."  The Baby gets babied because she is the baby.  But not my Little Man...

He is my middle child, my smart and handsome little prince.  He is well behaved, but fiery when pushed to his limit.  He is not a dweller.  He doesn't remember what he was upset about 10 minutes ago, much less 4 years ago.  As long as you have a heart beat, he'll talk to you and be your friend.  He is kind and patient and loves both my husband and I so deeply and genuinely.

Yesterday, he got really upset that his big sister was going to a classmate's to work on their Science Fair project and ran upstairs and hid under his bed crying.  The incident was out the ordinary and kind of baffling.  It had to be something else besides his sister going to a friends to do homework.  I thought maybe something was bothering him and this just iced the cake??  I didn't really know...

Maybe he just needs some time for just him, I thought.  I offered to take him to any kids movie of his choice.  He declined.  To make matters worse, he said "Mommy, now that you go to work you don't play with me as much anymore." The flood gates of my mommy guilt came sweeping in...My sweet boy who is so patient and rarely complains and doesn't dwell noticed this. I almost started crying; I could almost cry now thinking about it.

I needed something really good to try and redeem myself as his mother.  I offered him a trip to his favorite park since the sun was out, albeit barely.  "YES!" he said excited.  Great!  Fresh air AND it's free!  I headed back to the house to quickly to pack up snacks and shoes for the Baby Girl.  He smiled all the way to the park.  I'm not kidding, the moment we pulled up and unbuckled the rain started.  Then got harder.  "Sorry, Buddy" I said.  "It's just too wet."  He let out a huge sigh, hung his head and began buckling himself back up.  "Thanks for trying, Mom."  I know this small gesture of appreciation is just that, small, but it broke my heart.

I thought a lot about what he said.  I realized that because he's not loud and demanding and because he's such a good little boy, he may be getting less attention than the girls.  The day before we left his baseball opening day early to make it to his sister's last basketball game.  Then we went to her softball practice ti bring cookies (that he doesn't even like) before heading to his first game.  We ran around a lot of the day for her.  My Big Girl gets a lot and is vocal about feeling like she's been shorted in anyway, all the while my son just quietly puts up with it, not complaining and staying in line.  I think this is really what he was upset about (getting shafted) but didn't know how to explain it.

I need to work harder the older they get.  Sure, they're tough when their babies but their needs do not subside along side the diapers.  I need to remember just because they aren't screaming at me doesn't mean they don't need me.  Kids are really good about telling you what they need...as long as you're listening with you eyes and your ears. 

Post Lag

Just a side note today...for whatever reason (probably my fault) my post from last Thursday posted to today...Sorry for the weird time lapse...I'll try and post something newer in the next day or so. 

Have a great week!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Another Day, Another Rain

After a few nice days of weather, the rain is back and the day is gray.  My assistant has been out on vacation all week (at Mardi Gras!), so I get the brunt of her work on top of my own.  In a weird sick way, I kinda miss my old job as an assistant.  It was totally devoid of any real responsibility and if you had a problem you just asked someone.  Now that I'm that "someone" who gets asked, well, it kinda sucks.

I feel like I'm going crazy today and I have not yet determined whether it is just a case of bad PMS or if it is a genuine disappointment in humanity.  It is entirely possible to HATE my job without being ungrateful that I have one.  Of course I'm thankful for a means to support my family, but it doesn't mean that I'm satisfied with the way I've chosen to accomplish this.

My poor sister who is younger and working on her Masters said to me the other day "I can't believe people can't find the time to take a break to get a drink of water, much less lunch!  This just isn't right!"  All I could think is "Welcome to being a Grown-up."  So wrong...

Happy Almost-Friday (less than 24 hours, but who's counting!)


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

And Life Goes On...

It's been more than a few weeks since my last post and my apologies for lagging.  I had been sick with a respiratory infection - which doesn't happen often - and life seemed to move by just as quickly despite this.

Work has been busier than I would like.  As environmentally friendly as I like to think I am, it is RUINING my work life.  LEED certification in San Francisco is the new big thing and everyone wants to be a part of the vinyl emblem stuck to a building's exterior.  If you ask me, it's a waste of my time tracking and compiling data to support our insistence that we are "greeeeen."  Why can't we just BE green without having to flash our Prius pride on every freakin' corner.  I bet the amount of paper I blow through to PROVE our projects are environmentally friendly defeat the actual purpose.

My Baby Girl is one of the toughest kids I know - just ask her brother.  Late last week, she sliced her toe open on a piece of tile stuck in the side of a shoe which resulted in an emergency room visit and some Dermabond action.  The ER was even more awesome than the last time I was there a few years ago for my son.  Some poor woman sat in the waiting room for 3 hours (!!) crying and my baby pointing and loudly asking "Why is she crying?!"  Thank goodness for nice nurses!  At the end of all that we were instructed to keep her off her feet for 3-4 days.  Shat two year old wouldn't want to do THIS I ask you?  Needless to say, we were back in the Dr.'s office just a day later trying to put it all back together again...

There is not a lot that has changed here with me.  I wish I could say that there is...but I am still here...plugging away at my grand plan to escape this place.  I like to think I'm getting less bitter about this whole working thing, but why start lying to you now?  I think I have half the money for our home addition saved - and by half, I mean half of what I think it'll cost not what the architect thinks it will cost.  We've scaled back what we want to what we need so when I do get out of here - and I will - our home will hold all of us.  If we don't do this before I quit someday, we'll never fit into our modest house....yes, mother, I know families of 20 manage to live in a straw hut with no running water and a can for a toilet and manage to be content.  If you want me to admit I'm a whiner and I'm shallow, then I guess I am.  Hey - you raised me!  ;-)

On that note - have a good week everyone!  The storms are supposed to ease up for at least a few days...