Archive for Personal Crap

06 Jan 2016

My Face Hurts

No Comments Personal Crap, Uncategorized

SO!

Let’s talk about all the reasons I sat in a chair today in a very clean medical-type office and let a woman inject many many vials of things into my face.

What in the fucking world could possibly have made it okay in my head to to that?

Why am I not enough when I look at myself?

Why can’t I allow myself to age gracefully?

Why do I not see my humor and heart as enough beauty to get me by in life?

What went wrong?

Oh, man. I have no idea! It’s not like I was ever this beauty who could begin wars or talk a bartender into free drinks. Wait, that’s not true. I got a lot of free drinks. And I talked myself out of two tickets when I was younger. One of them, when I was younger and braless. And I did have a “way” about me. Sex appeal, I guess. But I was no great beauty. And nothing I ever got that meant anything was because of my attractiveness.

I’ve never gotten an acting job as the lead girl or the love interest. All of my work has been character work, and rarely even attractive.

My husband fell in love with me because of my ability to laugh at myself, my utter lack of grace, and my honesty. And maybe my boobs a little.

None of my friends saw me and thought, “I must befriend that GORGEOUS girl so some of her BEAUTY can rub off on me.

I’ve never been that girl.

And yet I find myself looking in the mirror and not liking what’s happening. I don’t like those two lines between my eyebrows that make me look concerned all the time. I don’t like the drooping of my face, the loss of youthfulness, the shit that’s going on with my NECK that is beyond reason and apparently unfixable.

But why can’t I look at all of that and laugh it off? Why can’t I see it as the natural progression of life and allow it to free myself up to be ME? WHY do I HAVE to stay young and attractive? What does that get me? I can’t answer that. I really can’t.

And yet I sat there today and asked for Dysport in my forehead, got filler in those pesky anger lines, and then let myself be talked into more volume in my face. Because you can’t look “refreshed” when your face isn’t full. Of poison.

So now I’m having all these fears.

What if I just put a bunch of shit in my face and it makes my perfectly HEALTHY face… NOT healthy. I’ll never forgive myself.

What if it all works and I still feel unattractive? What then?

What if it works and I love it and I never stop filling my face with poison?

I could have had 10 great therapy sessions with the money I spent on those injections. Maybe that’s what I should be doing instead. Maybe I should be finding out why I don’t think I’m good enough just the way I am.

Because I AM! I am good enough!

Ouch. That outburst hurt. My face feels like someone punched me with needles over and over again. Oh, wait. They did.

I wanted to write this because I just felt like it might be good for me to put it out there that I did this thing. And now that you know, I can continue to be honest about it with you. I might tell you in two weeks that it’s the best decision for me. I might tell you I won’t ever do it again or that I’ve decided to cut my hair, stop wearing makeup, and start enjoying my aging process. I don’t know how I’ll feel about it tomorrow or in a month.

But right now I’m a bit mad at myself. And I also want to hug myself and ask me why It matters if I have wrinkles or not. Because I really do know that it’s not my face or my thighs or my ass that makes me who I am. I just don’t ever believe that long enough to LIVE that way.

I want to change the script. I really do. But right now I’ve got a face full of stuff that wasn’t in there before, and it’s continuing the script I was already writing. I’ll let you know what happens after the swelling goes down.

 

 

 

23 Apr 2014

My New Motto

8 Comments Health, Personal Crap, Uncategorized

Yesterday I visited a new chiropractor. It was both an embarrassing and enlightening visit. I was pretty out of whack, and the painful deep tissue stuff he was doing sent me into a sweating jag not seen since Albert Brooks in Broadcast News. This is how I used to sweat whenever anyone asked for my autograph in the Mad TV days, moving the uncomfortable teen who had just asked for my signature to THEN ask if I was alright or needed some water, or a chair. Or CPR.  Dr. Greg laughed when I apologized for the drips of salty liquid pouring from my forehead, chest, back, and anywhere else sweat can come from. He turned the air on full-blast when he had to apply heat to my lower back. When I told him I was mortified he replied, “Well, I’ve seen you at your worst now, so it can only go up from here!”

But this is not the point. Sometime after he removed the heat and started kneading my muscles again, he asked what my stress level was. Any time any doctor has ever asked me this question, my immediate response is, “It’s HIGH!” But this time was different. I wasn’t sure how to answer because I WAS sure the answer wasn’t “It’s HIGH!” I searched my brain for the correct thing to say. And then, “It’s not so bad, really.” “Huh”, he said, “Because usually people with this kind of knotting have very high stress levels.”  I thought again, really considering everything in my life. “Yeah, no. I really don’t have a lot of stress right now.”

Let me stop here and say that my life is basically the same as it’s always been. I don’t, however, have a father who is dying, a mother who is in deep mourning, or a small baby who needs me for every little thing. So, I need to make it clear that things now are certainly easier than they were a two and three years ago.

Now, for the other things that have changed.

A year ago I cut out gluten. I did it in the hopes to have more energy and less bloating. Six months into it, I discovered I was slightly allergic to it which made me even more resolved to cut it out. I believe with all my heart that, even though it did very little to help my bloating, it cut my anxiety levels by more than half.

Six months ago, I cut out dairy. I think this helped, too.

But here’s where the actual work comes in:

I went to a therapist I had been seeing off and on for years. She gave me ways to change my behavior instead of me waiting for everything around me to change. Little things that I do now have saved me from tons of stressful moments which would have turned into stressful days and weeks. I won’t spell it all out for you here, because I believe it’s all different for everyone and what I had to change is not necessarily what you might need to change. But what I will say is that, if every day feels like a weight on your shoulders and you find yourself slamming your desk or your steering wheel, or screaming because someone angered you, or crying because it’s all just too much… Think about the common denominator and what you could possibly do to change it.

Last but most certainly not least: Garrett is the wisest boy in the world.

When I was at my height of stress and anxiety, he was as well. He would see me exhibit all of the above behaviors and I would just want to die when I saw the look on his face. But I couldn’t stop what I was doing. He asked me too many times if I was okay or if I was mad, and he began finishing my sentence when I would say, “I’m not mad I’m just… FRUSTRATED.” He began showing signs of stress, too. I was desperately trying to fix it.

Then one morning as we were having our typical mental breakdowns trying to get out of the house, I told him we had to rush because we only had two minutes. He looked into my eyes and calmly said, “Mom, we can rush. But we don’t have to worry.” The difference that made for me is immeasurable. I actually HEARD him. We can rush. But we don’t have to worry. I hugged him so hard and I told him that could be our motto from now on. That was about two months ago and we have not had one bad morning since. We still rush around a bit but if either of us feels distressed, the other will say, “Rush but don’t worry!” and it all goes away.

It’s so simple. It’s painfully simple. And you can apply it to every single thing in your life.

Rush but don’t worry.

Have a party but don’t worry.

Get the laundry done but don’t worry.

Cook. Or don’t. But don’t worry.

Go to that meeting. But don’t worry.

Yes, it’s easier said than done sometimes. But, far more often than not, it’s easily done.

The cat pukes on our blanket for the second time this week. I want to scream but I did that the last time. So this time, I put all the shit in the washing machine and I move on with my day.

I have a few of G’s friends over for a play date. The house isn’t as clean as I’d like, and when they leave there will be an even bigger mess. So? Live in that moment. Don’t worry. It all gets done.

If I have an audition and no time to prepare, I figure it out. Worrying only makes it impossible for me to learn my lines or find the character’s voice.

I breathe a lot more now. In and out slowly. It’s much more nourishing than my heart beating out of my chest while my fists clench and unclench. I also work out five times a week. I know, without a doubt in my mind, that this is beyond helpful. And I know so many of us don’t have the time. I thought I didn’t have the time, but I go right after drop-off every day, or I’ll go at 4:00 when kids club is open, and take G with me. I work out with friends, and it makes all the difference.

I don’t have a full-time job. But I do have auditions. A lot of them. And I have the unsettling feeling of not knowing if I will ever work again, or if I’ll make enough to get health insurance or if Russ were to stop working, will I ever be viable enough in this business to pick up the slack? My schedule is never the same, and this is hard too. I also know that things come up to throw a wrench into the system now and then. There are emergencies and disasters and surprises we never see coming. And I hope those things are few and far between, but I also hope I am able to deal with them well.

Rush but don’t worry.

I promise if you can adopt this principle, your life will change. Or it won’t. But don’t worry.

04 Mar 2013

How Lena Dunham Makes Me Feel

34 Comments Personal Crap

I’ve been thinking a whole lot lately about Lena Dunham’s show, “Girls”. Specifically, I’ve been thinking a lot about Lena Dunham and all the nudity.

I know a lot has been written about it, and I think I’ve been spending this time ruminating and deciding how I feel about all the hubbub.

First, I should say that I have watched, and will most likely continue to watch, every episode. When the show first began I was completely enamored, and beyond excited to see a show about, well… Girls. I loved the writing and the dynamics of the characters. I instantly loved Lena as Hannah, and all she represented.

As the show has gone on, I have become less enamored, but no less excited to watch. I still feel there are moments of, if not brilliance, then at least pure relatability, in each episode. There are times I rewind, just to hear a line again, or see an expression. I am in awe of Lena’s early success, her amazing drive, and the fact that she clearly has no fear of “putting it all out there”.

Which brings me to the nudity. Or, partial nudity. Or, wait… Is constant partial nudity just complete nudity? Either way, I want to talk about it.

I think I get what Lena Dunham is doing. And I might be COMPLETELY wrong here. But this is my take. Or maybe I should say, “This is how what Lena Dunham is doing, by showing her body so frequently, has affected me.”

Lena is 26-years-old, and according to everything the media tells us, she is not in “perfect shape”. She is a tad on the pudgy side, clearly not into lifting weights, and seems against plastic surgery to enhance her breasts or suck fat out of her thighs. I know these things because I see her entire body weekly on my television.

At first, I was offended. WHY do I want to see this girl naked?? Then I became bored. Oh, there’s Lena, naked again. Then a lightbulb went off. OH MY GOD, I thought to myself, LENA DUNHAM WANTS US TO KNOW THAT IT’S OKAY TO LOVE YOURSELF!!

Again, I might be reading too much into this. Lena might just like being naked on camera. But I really think her nudity comes with a message. And to me, that message is that we, as women, are not the sum of our body parts. What matters is what our bodies are housing: Our brains, our hearts, our creativity, our passions, our desires, our kindness, our strength. We have little to no control over our bodies, so why should they be what defines us? When I die, will the mourners woefully touch my casket and say, “She looked great in 2011, when she got down to 123 pounds.”?

The point is this: If I had one THIRD of the confidence in myself at 26 that Lena does, I might have been as successful as she is. At the very least, I would have wasted SO MUCH less time complaining about my body. Which, I will say (after years of therapy and a ton of 20/20 hindsight), was pretty fucking spectacular.

Had I had just a scrap of Lena’s “my body does not define me” attitude… Oh the places I could have gone. Or maybe it’s just the opposite. Maybe Lena’s body does define her. Maybe it defines her as a lovely, adorable, perfect woman who is absolutely fine just the way she is. THAT is the point. Why should a woman only be defined by long legs, a flat stomach, perfect breasts, and a perky ass? Few women posses these qualities. Most have short torsos, or torsos that are too long, saggy knees, chunky ankles, one breast bigger than the other, and dimpled skin. And maybe those ARE the things that should define us, at least physically. WE are okay, just the way we are. And it breaks my heart, truly shreds it to pieces, that I am fortyfuckingone years old, and I am just now grasping this. What a waste of years.

Lena scares us, as a society. She’s throwing herself in our faces and saying, “I am enough.” How dare she.

Thanks, Lena. I mean it when I say you might be the reason my feelings about myself are changing. Even if you didn’t have any message to begin with… I got it loud and clear.

07 Jun 2012

Proud Aunt

11 Comments Family, Personal Crap

Today my 14-yr-old nephew graduated from his very prestigious, private middle school, and Russ and I were there. There were only 17 kids in his graduating class, so they each got to give a speech, most of which were fantastic and funny and heart-warming. His was lovely. He was poised and eloquent and funny (the trait everyone in my family finds most important), and as he was speaking I pictured him at 2-yrs-old, naked, dancing in the foyer of my brother’s house to the Blues Clues song. The same people were there then: His grandmas and grandpa, and my father who has since passed. I was there, Russ was there, and of course his parents. I will always remember how hard we were laughing, and clapping to him dancing. And that was 12 years ago.

So, of course today I thought of Garrett and how, in a flash, he’ll be in middle school and high school and college. I thought of all the things he’s showing an interest in now, and how he can play with a friend in the backyard for a good hour or so without coming in the house. I thought of how seriously he’s taking his karate and how much he wants to learn how to play guitar and soccer. And how each day he’s a little bit more his own person.

I also thought about how there’s a good chance he will not go to prestigious, private schools, partly because we might not be able to afford them, and partly because I’m just not sure that’s the route we’d choose to go. And I wonder if the “less” prestigious schools will be enough for him, and if I’ll just give up in a couple years and find the best private school there is, and do whatever it takes to get him in there. I thought about the choices we have to make for him before he can make his own, and how much I hope and yes, even pray, that we make the right ones.

I felt so proud watching my nephew. I tried to imagine what my sister-in-law was feeling, watching her baby boy all grown up. He’s chosen to go to boarding school for high school, half-way across the country. Just thinking of that made me weep today. In September he’ll be there and we’ll be here, and Garrett won’t get to see his cousin as much anymore. His cousin who he looks up to so much. His cousin who, just moments ago, was 2-years-old and dancing in the foyer, naked.

31 May 2012

Rituals and Revelations

11 Comments Personal Crap, Toddler

I have to stop waiting for huge revelations before I sit down and write. I have small revelations daily that are worth saying a sentence about. Or I could just write about my day and hope two or three people find it interesting. So I’m going to try to not let another month go by without putting words on my screen. Honestly, I’ll try to not let a week go by.

Jesus. This blog is starting to sound like my 12 year old diary. Each entry started with “Sorry I haven’t written in such a long time!”

Today I had three (Count them. THREE) auditions. I drove past a Hollywood Star Tours bus and almost rolled down my window to shout, “Hey Tourists!! You’re looking at someone with a one-in-seventy-three chance of booking a radio campaign for Volkswagen!”

But I also had a revelation. So here goes:

I have started at least 100 daily rituals since G-Man came along. I’m going to list as many as I can think of here, in hopes you’ll giggle or snort, and that you’ll tell me some of yours. I will put them in whatever order they come to mind.

I put a cup of ice water or juice in my car before I get G from school. He expects it there.

I sleep nightly with Penguey (G’s Penguin), a dinosaur blanket, and a black and white checked blanket. G insists on all of this. Apparently, Penguey loves me and Penguey can’t sleep without the black and white blanket because it reminds her of water. And the dino blanket is orange, which is my favorite color, so G can’t bear for me to be without it. I officially am unable to fall asleep unless I’m spooning Penguey.

Every night I put a magic spell on G’s water so he doesn’t have any dreams. Nope, not even good ones. Here’s how it goes: I hold the water and sing “No dreams Garrett, No dreams Garrett, No dreams Garrett, No dreams Garrett, No dreams!” Then I wave my hand over the cup and make a wind noise with my mouth. Then I touch the cup and say, “BING!” Then G pats the cup and blows on it. Then I kiss the cup and I kiss him. Then we each take a sip. Then I say “GORK” and he says “TWO AT A TIME!” I swear to god it’s the same thing every single night.  If he has any dreams, I get the blame.

The newest ritual is that, before bed, G takes this blue goo he got in an Easter egg and puts it in a “pajama egg”. Then he puts it in a tupperware thing and puts it to bed. In the morning, “Eggy” or “Slimey” gets his “clothes egg” back on and comes out to play.  I am, of course, in charge of picking out the eggs.

Every night I rock in G’s room as he falls asleep. This started about 8 or so months ago and I’m not sure when it’ll stop. Now the rocking chair is gone in favor of his giant bunk bed, but we still call it rocking. Now I “rock” by lying on the bean bag next to his bed and playing Words With Friends or doing a crossword on my iPhone for 15 minutes. Every night.

Whenever I am going anywhere without G, he stands at the front door and waves and yells, “I LOVE YOU” until my car is out of sight. Of course, I yell out my window and wave out my sun roof, too. Conversely, if he goes anywhere with Daddy and I stay home, I stand at the door and do the same thing. And he yells out the car window, “GOODBYE! I LOVE YOU! HAVE A GREAT DAY!” It’s priceless.

For two solid years, every time I leave G at school I wave to him. He stands at the window, his friends behind him playing with blocks or listening to “Free to be You and Me”, and he waves back. I wave and walk until I turn the corner. Then I wait a second and pop back out for one final wave, a blown kiss, and a thumbs up. I can’t believe it’s gone on this long. And I’ll do it as long as he lets me.

That’s all I can think of right now, because it’s 9:16 and my brain stops working at 9:14. But I’ll add more as I think of them.

PLEASE share some of yours!

30 Apr 2012

Twelve

12 Comments Family, Personal Crap

12 years ago today, I got married.

12 years ago today, I was 28 years old.

12 years ago today, I wore a princess dress.

12 years ago today, I vowed to love and cherish.

12 years ago today, I exchanged rings with the kindest man I know.

12 years ago today, I danced to YMCA.

12 years ago today, I couldn’t believe how lucky I was.

12 years ago today, I had a huge zit on my chin.

12 years ago today, I had my bags packed for Maui.

12 years ago today, my face hurt from smiling. (And the zit.)

12 years ago today, I sat in a hotel room at 2AM, eating burgers and reading wedding cards with my new husband.

12 years ago today, I was not yet a mom.

12 years ago today, my dad was still alive.

12 years ago today, I shared the most important day of my life with many people I no longer speak to.

12 years ago today, I was just a kid.

So many things have changed in the last 12 years. But the constant is how much I love the man I said “I do” to. We have been through some rough patches, we have lost some people by choice and others by fate, we have gained new friends who bless us daily, we have become parents and that has changed us. Through it all, we have not only sustained… We have flourished. And we are lucky, and we are blessed. And we work at this thing every day.

12 years ago today, was the beginning of the best part of my life. I am grateful beyond words. I would fall to my knees and thank God and the Universe every day, if my knees weren’t 40 years old. Somehow I got to marry someone who not only made this world a better place for me to live in, but made ME better. (And, I wasn’t so bad to begin with!)

I wish I could re-live that day, 12 years ago, over and over. And I wouldn’t change a thing about what has transpired since. And now that I see my husband, my partner as a father… It makes me think I was a pretty brilliant 28-year-old, marrying a man with the qualities to not only be my rock, but to raise a son who will be the same kind of man his daddy is. And that is also changing this world for the better.

12 years ago today, I won.

Happy Anniversary, baby. 12 years ago today, we danced to “Fly Me to the Moon”. And these 12 years have flown by. Let’s do it all again. What do you say?

23 Apr 2012

CONTROL

14 Comments Family, Personal Crap

So, remember the last post where I told you my husband and I had a fight about my “issues”? Well, my “issues” are that I use quotation marks too frequently. HA! Kidding. That’s not the case at all. My “issues” are that I’m a control freak. I guess that’s just one “issue”. But since it permeates every second of every day and affects almost everything that goes on in my life… It’s plural.  “Issues”.

I recognize that these issues are completely common among every woman that I know. As a gender, we enjoy knowing what’s going on at every moment and we enjoy even more when we know how whatever is going on is being handled. It’s what we do. It’s how we get through our days. It’s why we have purses filled with “just in case” supplies. It’s why we leave 30 minutes early to allow for traffic. It’s why our families don’t go hungry when the fridge is empty… We froze a few meals, just in case.

So, yes. I’m a control freak. And I feel it serves me well in most cases. It makes me look like a super mom or a super friend or a super daughter a lot of the time. But when it comes to my relationship with my husband, and probably my son, it doesn’t always serve us well.

Russ pointed out to me that I try to control everything. Everything. I second-guess things he does, I question stuff that doesn’t need to be questioned, I make suggestions to fix things that aren’t broken. I am not good at letting him, and probably my son, do things the way they do them. That’s not good for a marriage, and I’m pretty damn sure it’s not good as a parent.

I also think that my need to do everything exactly the way I need to do them is part of the reason I have such poor time-management skills. I take G to school and I hit the ground running. But by the time I’ve worked out, shopped, done laundry, and caught up on calls and emails, it’s time to pick him up again. I’ve done nothing creative, nothing to serve my career, and often nothing to feed myself in the way that allows me to feel whole. This is my fault. If I passed ANYthing off to my husband, and allowed him to do it the way he would do it, it would open up time and space for me that I am sorely lacking. That I’m sure we all, as a gender, are sorely lacking.

Holy shit, that is one humongous revelation. Not only am I making my husband feel like he doesn’t know what he’s doing half the time, I’m also robbing myself of precious time and energy. I’m honestly just realizing, as I write this, that my husband pointing this out to me might be the best thing that’s happened to me in a long time. And, by the way, I knew he was right the second it came out of his mouth. It was just hard to hear, and to process. But I absolutely knew he was right.

So now what do I do with all of this new information? I put myself and my husband to work. I pass some things off to him and I embrace the way he does them. I stop micromanaging every freaking thing he does, from making lunch to buying birthday cards. I let my son throw things around a little more and I help him pick it up when there’s time. Holy shit, guys! This could change everything. This might make my marriage EPIC, and it might just make my son like me 20% more than he already would have when he’s an adult.

Are you WITH ME?? I think you’re with me. I even think you might be letting go a little bit, too. Am I right? (Seriously, I need to know. Am I right?) Whoops. As you were.

18 Apr 2012

Bliss and B.S.

14 Comments Family, Personal Crap

One of the things I find fascinating about marriage is how it can change from Bliss to B.S. in a matter of days, or moments. The reality is that living with someone day in and day out… FOREVER… Can be challenging.  I personally find the challenge to be pretty spectacular. But it is a challenge, nonetheless.

Last Friday night my husband and I had a date night.  It was pretty much perfect. We went out for sushi, had a great talk, laughed, flirted… All the things you do before you’re married with kids. It was lovely. After dinner, we stopped by Trader Joes to pick up a few items we needed, then arrived home to see G-Man still awake and in his pajamas. After sending my mom home and getting the little rascal to bed, Russ and I enjoyed some fantastic, uh… Adult time, then settled in to watch three glorious episodes of Breaking Bad.

Earlier in the day, we had looked on-line to find a movie and realized we were missing the perfect opportunity to watch our favorite show. It was one of those moments where you know you’re with the ideal mate, who finds it just as exciting to sit on the couch with you, as staying out late.

Much of Saturday was spent reveling in the fun we had the night before.

Sunday was far less fun. Sunday was spent arguing. Sunday was the day I found out I have things I need to work on. Sunday sucked. (Yes, I will share my “issues” with you later.)

Sunday night as I was getting ready for bed, we hashed it all out. It was a productive, yet painful conversation and it helped us both to understand what we were dealing with. It was one of those moments where you again realize you’re with the ideal mate because he’s willing to do whatever it takes to talk it over, work it out, and make it good again.  It wasn’t fun. It was marriage.

I read a quote from Heidi Klum about how her divorce to Seal was a curveball, and how she had pictured her life as a happy couple with tons of kids and “a beautiful garden and trampolines and swings and things.” I think this image of marriage and family is a killer of marriage and family. Yes, I want the swings and trampolines and fun vacations and a giant playroom and love and beauty and, and, and… But THIS is not what it’s about. You have to work at a marriage and at being a parent. So much of it is easy and fun and lovely, but so very much of it is not. And when you’re exhausted and impatient and nearly 15 years in… It’s work. All of those “things”, all of those “extras” are part of it, if you’re lucky. But you don’t get to keep any of it if you don’t do the work.  Not to imply that Heidi and Seal didn’t work at it. I don’t know their deal. I just know that the whole “Princess and Prince riding off on a white horse” fantasy is just a fantasy,  (no matter how many times you publicly renew your vows.)

Our 12-year anniversary is in 12 days. It’s been a marriage filled with a ton of B.S. But, because we are lucky and we work at it, there’s been two tons of bliss.

03 Apr 2012

Flawless G

6 Comments Family, Personal Crap, Toddler

It has come to my attention that many of you who read this blog think I’m some sort of “great” mom. I realized I write a lot of stuff that makes me look like I’m super in-touch with my kid, and that I do and say all the right things all the time. You know that’s not true, right?

I mean, everything I write here is true. But I don’t tend to sit down and write right after I’ve made a huge mistake, or had a horrible day, or lost my patience.

I thought it was only fair to let you know that today I lost my patience. It was a good day, but I have a sore throat and I haven’t been getting enough sleep and I haven’t had a second to exercise since last week. So I’m bitchy and tired and a little bit sick. This morning we had a three-hour play date at the house of a friend from school. They had a blast and I loved talking to the mom, but after three hours of repeating myself, answering questions, putting costumes on G and taking them back off, walking up and down the stairs, and in and out the back door… I was tired.

Then we came home and I had about 10 minutes before my friend dropped off her two girls so she and her husband could get something done. These girls are delightful. They are well-mannered and lovely and awesome. But after four hours of the three of these kids, who after dinner stripped their clothes off and did some tribal chanting for 20 minutes… I was BEYOND tired. I had played cash-register and legos, taken them for a walk, made them dinner, got them numerous drinks and snacks, and played stomp rockets with them.

After they left, I was done for the day. Done. G had done absolutely nothing wrong, but I was finished with the day. I couldn’t talk anymore or listen anymore, or repeat myself or clean up one more thing. I yelled a little and so did he. We talked about how we both get frustrated with each other when we’re tired (okay, that was the in-touch part), but when the clock struck 7:23 and I wanted him to brush his teeth and get in bed… There was no discussion.

I told him he had done nothing wrong but I couldn’t say one more word and was done. He didn’t question it. It was like he totally got it and was just as done as I was.

Then he asked me if I was getting up with him in the morning or if Daddy was. I told him I would and he gave me a big smile. Then I told him I was banning all fun in the morning and if he had any fun, he’d get a time out. This made him giggle. Then I told him no giggling and I tickled him until he almost passed out. Then I told him there was seriously no more talking and turned out the light. Then he told me he loved me and I told him I loved him and that we were really, really done talking now.

He was asleep in 30 seconds. I should go to sleep, too. And yes, I realize the above paragraph makes it sound again like I know what I’m doing. But I wanted you to know that a lot of those great moments come AFTER moments of failures, or simple mistakes, or total impatience, or or or…

None of us are perfect. We all fuck up daily. But maybe it’s in the small, quiet moments of redemption when we are at our best. That last-ditch effort at being perky or kind or loving.

It is G-Man who brings those moments out of me. He is the one who knows what he is doing. He gives me the chance to be great at something. Actually, he gives me many chances every day. With him, I have a reason to tickle someone at my most exhausted. Without him, I’m just exhausted.

01 Apr 2012

BORED

8 Comments Family, Personal Crap, Toddler

It happened. Mark it down. At four years, six months and fourteen days… My son got bored.

B.O.R.E.D.

It’s truly the first time I’ve really seen it happen. He was so sick of everything it was palpable.

“Who can we call???”

“Where can we go???”

“Pleeaassee mom!! I want to GO somewhere!!”

I called a few people. But when I got a response it was already 6:30, which is dangerously close to bedtime and we’d have to turn around and come right home.

“Sorry, buddy. It’s not gonna happen tonight.”

This didn’t go over well. He cried. Then he threw a paper airplane at me.

“Go to your room”, I snapped. (I mean, it was a paper AIRPLANE. The fuselage could have caught on fire and maimed me for life.)

He cried harder but obediently walked to his bedroom, turning dramatically around half-way there to say, “I’m sorry, Mommy.”

This damn kid. He’s too much.

A few minutes later I went to him. He was on his rocking chair, legs crossed with a book sitting on his lap. He was flipping through the pages, looking at hippos and memorizing their behaviors.

We looked at each other, and I remembered something I had promised myself when I was seventeen and had just gotten my heart broken, only to have my parents tell me it would be alright and to come watch Jeopardy with them.

I promised myself I would always remember what it felt like to be a kid. I promised I would remember the pain and anguish and confusion and that I wouldn’t turn into an adult who forgot they were once young.

“Garrett, I remember how awful it feels to be bored.”

“When you were young or old?”

“When I was young. I remember getting so sick of my house and wanting to go anywhere…”

“Because you hated your house?”

“No! Because I was so bored.”

“Oh yeah. I’m really bored.”

“Well, I know. And I’m sorry. And I totally understand how bad it feels.”

“I’m really sad about it.”

“I know.”

“Mom?”

“Yes?”

“This book has a lot of pages. Like a hundred.”

“I know! Let’s look at the last page and see how many.”

“Whoa! 32! That’s MORE than a hundred.”

“Well, it’s not more, but that’s okay. Do you want pancakes for dinner?”

“Can we go somewhere?”

“Not til tomorrow.”

“Okay. I have to pee.”

“Well, let’s go do that.”

The ironic part is, since G-Man came along I don’t think I’ve been bored for one hot second. Today we played with legos, watched TV, played video games,  did a craft project, grocery shopped, and went to the bird store to look at parrots. But I remember how that wasn’t enough sometimes. And I’m so grateful I remember. I hope he really, really knows that I do.

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