Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Early Dementia?

So, I'm cooking dinner - following a recipe from my in-laws - and I realized that I don't have 3 things out of the 10 in the recipe.  Not that note-worthy, except that I had read the recipe over at least 2 times, made a grocery list, and went shopping.  And now have no onion, not enough ketchup, and no Worcestershire sauce.  A few substitutions later, we will still have edible sloppy-joes.  But still, it makes me wonder....

This past week we have been looking into buying a new car -- my first brand new car!  We were so close to putting down a deposit to get them to bring in the van in the right color, but there was a feature wrong on the car they had found.  Thank god - because, what I had been hearing as "fully refundable" deposit to see the color, etc., was actually a non-refundable deposit!  At least 3 times I had heard wrong!!  Perhaps it was just wishful thinking, or maybe the salesman had not been totally forthcoming earlier?  But, yikes...make me wonder.... 

Thursday, May 14, 2009

New Path

Tomorrow I am going to an all-day training on being a mediator.   Of course, mediation is something I do everyday -- just with smaller people and (sometimes) smaller issues.   So this should be a piece of cake!   

Well, I'm nervous.  I'm nervous about talking to people (can I prevent myself from going on and on about my children?)  I'm nervous about sitting and listening all day (I'm so used to being interrupted every 45 seconds, I think my brain may go on overload if I have to maintain coherent thoughts all day without breaks.)  I'm nervous about being able to absorb new material (yes, it is true I did go to school for 19 years of my life, but in the past year, aside from the stolen time reading novels, true learning only occurred in snippets, here and there.)  And of course, I'm nervous about what to wear -- what do people wear to these sorts of things?   So really, it is embarrassing - things that used to seem second nature to me (getting appropriately dressed, maintaining conversations, etc.) now seem daunting.  

But it is a first step -- a first step out of the house and on a new path.  And I'm sure by tomorrow evening, this will all seem silly and I would have had a fabulous day and be full of life!  But for now, I'm nervous...

Sunday, May 3, 2009

"Yeah, Mommy!"

Her eyes shone as she said, "You looked like a champion -- like one of those women on t.v."  Her little sister chimed in and said, "You looked like a shooting star!"  To what do I owe these accolades?  Mommy is taking gymnastics!  

There is nothing like doing a tuck somersault into a foam pit, emerging and hearing, "Yeah, mommy!"  My girls are young enough to think this is really cool, not totally embarrassing (I can just hear it in a few years - mom, really, do you have to do everything I do???)

I would have never dreamed I would be doing this - cartwheels, seat drops, learning flips.  In my mind, I am not athletic.  I swam as a kid -- lifeguard, swim team, etc.  But that was pretty much it.  I can remember some ill-fated gymnastics class at the YMCA when I was little.  It seemed like everyone else could touch their nose to their knees or do a handstand.  Not me.  But now, at 38, every Wednesday night, I leave the kids with my mom or husband and literally take off (on the trampoline).  

I did it because of the coach.  My girls attend a small start-up gym owned by an amazing coach.  She is always upbeat and can break everything down so much that the kids learn amazing things without being overwhelmed or frustrated.  "Come to my class for parents," Coach said.  I did and now I'm hooked!   This is probably the one thing I am doing just for me and it feels great.

That first night, when she taught me how to do a seat-drop, Coach said  "I knew you'd be able learn this quickly because your kids are so good. "  That gave me pause - I have never thought that I could do anything athletic quickly or easily.  This is redefining my entire self image (and a heck of a lot cheaper than therapy!)    For the past month I have been learning new things, and becoming so much more confident about what I can do physically.  And let me tell you -- jumping on a trampoline is addicting!

Now we'll just see if I'll be able to walk tomorrow...

Saturday, May 2, 2009

MA - Mom's Anonymous

Last week, a friend confessed that she loves to read true mom confessions - a place where we can all go to express our anger, fears, screw-ups, and, occasionally, joys.  This seems like a good thing to me - we need a place to go to vent or just see that others think that raising children isn't such a joy all the time.  

Today my mom gave me Anna Quindlen's "Last Word" from this week's Newsweek to read.  It is about parenting and how we all need to stop pretending that being a parent is "easy and intuitive."  She goes on to describe a couple of studies demonstrating that just having parents join a type of parenting support group can actually produce better parenting.  This makes sense, right?  If we keep all of the struggles, fights, and breakdowns to ourselves, they just build up.  As does the guilt.   But, if we talk about how hard parenting is, we will help ourselves, our children, and others.  She called it "AA for mom's:  'Hi, I'm Anna, and I repeatedly ignored demands for juice and then snapped because the whining was driving me insane.'"  Love it!

So, I'm detecting a theme here.  More and more, the conversations I have with friends - close friends that I "confess" things too -  are about how hard being a mom really is.  How it is truly, and insanely, harder than anything else we have done.  And we have all done some pretty amazing things, way (way) back when.  

I recently came across a description of parenting that was both accurate and terrifying.  So, I will share it so you too can nod, agree and then say very loudly - well now what???

"There is no harder job than parenting.  There is no human relationship with such potential for great achievement and awful destructiveness, and despite all the experts who write about it, no one has the slightest idea whether any decision will be right or best or even not-horrible for any particular child.  It is a job that simply cannot be done right."
(excerpted from Orson Scott Card's Ender in Excile, page 300)