Thursday, October 31, 2013

Vulnerability def. (Spoiler Alert!! this one is deep)

My sister recently introduced me to Brene Brown and after watching her TED talk I had to look up her website.  She is real and honest and self-deprecating - I love that and she was partnering with Oprah for an eCourse in art journaling and her book The Gifts of Imperfection.  Yes! This is just what I need.

My neighbor and I eagerly signed-up both committed to make more "me" time and excited for a good reason to bust out all our art supplies and organizational tools we hoard.  I mean own, I mean have just lying around the house. Whatever!

I will not re-quote the whole book or go into a lot of detail but she is a shame researcher who after 10 years of collecting this data and a non-breakdown but spiritual awakening she was inspired to write about how to live a wholehearted life.  Her main point is embracing our vulnerability.  So you can imagine my reaction to that.....HAHAHAHA, I got this!

I mean have you read my blog? There is not much I'm not willing to throw out there. Anxiety disorder, parenting screw-ups, general hot mess.  Vulnerability is my middle name.

Because she is big on definitions I decided to make sure that I had the definition.

 vul·ner·a·ble: open to moral attack, criticism, judgment, etc

Want to clear a room faster than a Vegetarian after dinner? Tell them your having a panic attack. Or explain why you chant STFU while your son screams and bangs his head against the wall because he doesn't want to wear pants to school.  Or show up to the Kindergarten sing 15 minutes late - with the toddler who doesn't want to be wearing pants.
You get the idea.  Anyway I was thinking that I had this course Aced already.  Not that we are being graded or that I have to get an A, but that's a whole nother blog. But as I read and thought and tried to feel what she is saying - wholeheartedly - I realize I have missed the point completely.
This is not a vulnerability contest.  Being the most vulnerable doesn't get you the A! (Darnit!) It gets you here...where I am.  Searching for answers, friends, love, approval.   Not that we all don't want those things but those of us with excruciating vulnerability are desperate.
Why? Brene writes..."I didn't want my level of self-love to limit how much I can love my children or my husband. Because loving them and accepting their imperfections is much easier..." than loving myself.  Exactly! I don't think you can be excruciatingly vulnerable and feel too darn good about yourself.
"Practising self-love means learning how to trust ourselves, to treat ourselves with respect, and to be kind and affectionate toward ourselves."  So in others words, we can't give what we don't have.
I told you this was deep....will that get me an A?
Brene Brown's TED talk

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Love and Boys.....

Before we had children I was convinced that if we had boys "the talk" would be his job, and if they were girls "the talk" would be my job. Silly me!

(Please feel free to re-read the blog regarding my first sex-talk with the 10 year-old....yeah it went THAT well!)

So I wondered into the 10 year-old's room the other night to make sure that he had picked up his room like I asked and tell him it was tome for lights out.  The room of course was a hot mess and he was snuggled up in bed still in his clothes reading the newest Percy Jackson book.  So I snuggled up with him and asked him how he liked the book.  "IT'S AWESOME!" duh, mom.

But then he closed the book and said, "Mom can I ask you something?"
"What does a crush feel like?"

Whoa! That's no easy question.  I have not thought about him in years.  I only remember one classic crush - you know that boy that you thought hung the moon - but he didn't know you existed.  How did that feel? How did that feel? Awful. That's not what I want to tell him because everyone should have a crush.

"Giddy? Is that good, like happy?"
"Mom, what does love feel like?"

Whoa! A one two punch.  Wow. Love. I know what I would like it to feel like for you my beautiful boy.  I want it to feel like sunshine on your face, ice cream for dinner, baby's laughter, and scoring the winning point all at the same time.

Love should be patient, and kind. Because Love is Hope.

Love should not envy, or boast, love should not be proud.  It should not dishonor others, or be self-seeking, love should not be easily angered, it should never keep record of wrongs.  

Love should always protect, always trust, and always persevere your heart.  Love should feel good.

At least that is my hope for you my beautiful boy - My Hope, My love.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I suck!

There are 2 words that you never want to hear out of your child's mouth.....

What happened? I was raising a little boy.  A sweet beautiful boy that laughed and giggled, danced in front of the sliding glass door so that he could see himself, showed me everything that he made in school, and would still play make believe with his little brother.

What happened? I now have a big tall beautiful boy who is worried about his hair, his clothes, and who is in the popular group.  And why isn't he?  He's sullen and moody and "bored".  His three favorite phrases right now are:
"You won't get it."
"Never mind"
"I suck"

Oh my beautiful baby boy.  You do not suck.  You are ten-years-old and growing up to fast.

You are light and joy personified.  You are smart and funny.  You are athletic and agile and quick and strong.  You are great at math and a voracious reader.  You are kind and honest and true.  You are creative. You are a leader. You are a good singer and a fabulous dancer! You are love.

But you will forget these things from time to time as hormones serge and friends come and games are lost and grades girls start to pay attention and then life gets harder and school gets more you yourself get in your own way.

I am here to remind you.  You do not suck.  You are the most precious gift the universe has to offer and I am so blessed to be with you on your journey.  You are loved and worthy and you are the best part of me - love personified.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Big Day

So after 10 weeks of sitting out, our ten-year-old tree faller was finally cleared to play this week. Today was the big day.  10:30 game.  He was up by 7.30 and after a half an hour of worthless TV we made some dip eggs and peanut butter toast. He started to collect is soccer gear as I collect the sleepy and unwilling little brother.

We piled into the car an hour before the game. Thank goodness because we did have to go back for something.  But with only a 20 minute drive we were still a good 25 minutes early.  Which was the plan, well Mom's plan anyway.  I knew that his nerves would get the better of him.

When we got to the field he sat in the car doubled over crying that he was going to throw up.  To which his mother, the non-athlete replied "Ok throw-up now then you'll be ready to run."  He gave me that look I used to give my mother when I wanted to say, "Shut -up Dumbass!" I was glad I just got the face.  I made him jog a couple of laps with me which was hysterical.  As I am trying not to look like I am dying my son who runs like a gazelle has now lapped me twice.

One of his teammates showed up and looked at us like we were crazy.  Z's mom breathlessly yelling instructions at him from 100 feet behind.  "Grapevine, high knees, skip, sprint" I swore I heard the kid say, Is that your mom? Now I'm sure he's totally mortified as other teammates start to appear because he ran to the bathroom.  When he came out to change into game gear the opposing team was starting to arrive.  We couldn't see the kids just that they were wearing the colors of his old soccer team. 

I watched his whole body sag.  I told him not to let that get in his head because no matter what it's just a game and his first one of the season - literally!  Then through that voice I don't often hear from my now big strong, tall as me, ready for the world, ten-year-old boy I hear, "Mom, I'm really nervous." I wanted to be Bounty-the Quicker Picker Upper so badly at that moment.  But instead, I committed the ultimate ten year-old boy mom sin - I grabbed him in a bear hug and kissed him on the cheek.

The seven year-old and I took our chairs and set them up on the side lines.  The other moms all gave me a thumbs up and a sympathetic he's OK mom look.  I was so grateful the coach didn't start him because my heart was pounding in my ears.  I could hear John Fogerty in my head....Put me in Coach I'm ready to Play - Today.

Five minutes into the game he put him in as Striker which is a position my son has never played to my knowledge.  One minute later he scored the first goal of his career and the first of the game.  Our bench erupted! Mom's were cheering, Dad's were whooping - one Dad came over to shake my hand and one yelled "Welcome back Z!"

I am not going to lie.  I was too shocked and proud and awed to speak.  I was stunned.  I was trying not to let the tears roll down my face as he strode back to position his teammates squealing and high fiving and he just shrugged with a slight grin on his face.  As if to say, "Aw shucks, it was nothing."

But it wasn't nothing, he has worked so hard for this moment.  From writing a contract promising his dad he'd practice everyday if he could join this new more expensive soccer team.  To going to every practice, scrimmage, and game and sitting most of that on the sideline with a bum elbow.  To hours of therapy letting mom and a stranger push and pull his arm until the tears ran down his face from the pain.

Yep, today was his day. A moment neither of us will soon forget. Today was his Big Day. Congratulations!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Out of balance

Are the stars out of alignment? It is time for a full moon already?  PMS - again?!

I am not sure what the situation, especially considering I am the only woman in the house but the balance is off.  Everyone is in a funk, a mood, a rut and since I am one of those, I am having a hard time fixing it.

The first thing to do was figure out why I want to put on my PJ's and sleep until Spring.  I've been blaming it on the weather changing from 84 degrees on Sunday to 54 degrees on Monday. That's weather in the Midwest and I've lived her all my life.  I know that it is coming.  But that doesn't mean I'm ever ready.

It wasn't just the weather though.  I knew there was something more than that I just couldn't put my finger on it.  Could it be that I got myself prepped and ready to start work this fall? And no there is no work.  I really do need to find some work and the stress of waiting to get the call to sub, but not getting the call to sub is crazy.  Well, that and I sort of forgot I was going to dip my toe back into the work world. Hard to be stressed over something you've never had.

That's when I figured it out.  We recently had to upgrade the Internet because our service provider stopped providing service.  This was making it very difficult to get an Internet connection.  We went with a package that not only gave us high speed Internet, which is an amazing thing, but also.....wait for it....Cable TV.

Yep, that's right.  We have not walked but RUN high speed into the 20th Century.  But it wasn't until this morning when I was laying on the couch for 3 hours watching a Brothers On Call marathon that it dawned on me. It's the cable!!

The Feng Shui has been destroyed.  The balance undone. And the only change is the addition of cable TV.  No wonder I'm depressed.  I didn't know all that I didn't know until cable came along.  I've decided there is only one answer - a total family makeover! (it was either that or replace the family and that sounded a little harsh after I typed it)

So stay tuned for the next episode.