Thursday, December 20, 2012

If Snow White and Prince Charming Cheat, is it ok?

So, I'm a bit behind the times since I watch t.v. on Netflicks now.  My eldest daughter (9 1/2) and I have been watching "Once Upon A Time."

Basically, if you haven't seen it, the premise is that all the fairy tale characters have been cursed to live in our world, in a town called Storybrook, Maine, and they have no memory of their real (fairy tale) lives.  Instead, they have fuzzy memories of another life, all concocted by the Evil Queen, who orchestrated this entire curse to punish them all.  The  legend (known only by a little boy) is that Snow White and Prince Charming's daughter, on her 28th birthday, will come to the town and free them all.  As you can expect, the boy is in psychotherapy.  With Jimminy Cricket.  Who doesn't know that is who he is.  

It sounds crazy, but it's actually pretty cool.  And the story line going back and forth from the truth (fairy tale land) and our world is entertaining.  Really, I could go on.  But what is creating some interesting conversations between my nine year old andI has to do with the concocted memories.

You see, the Evil Queen must do all she can to keep Snow White and Prince Charming apart (I guess there will be a cosmic rift in her evil plan if they realize their love for each other).  So, Prince Charming's "fake" memories are that he is married - to someone else.  Who loves him (she has more of those "fake" memories).  The thing is, the connection between Snow and Charming is so strong, they can still feel the love.  Hence begins the questions from my 9 year old...  "Mom, why is it bad that Snow and Prince Charming just kissed?"  "Because he is married to someone else."  "Is it a crime to kiss someone else when you are married?"  "Not a crime, but it is a breaking of your marriage vows - your promises." "But Charming loves Snow."  "Yes, but he is married."  "But not really."  "Well, he thinks he is..."  Seriously....

I mean, of course we all want to defeat the Evil Queen's horrible curse, support 'true love' and all that...but really?

Friday, December 7, 2012

Hanging out the ol' shingle...

Yep - hanging out the shingle.  Striking out on my own.  Making a go of it.

For a public interest lawyer - always worked for one government entity or another - the idea of creating my own private practice is both exciting and terrifying.

Exciting when I think of the work I want to do - to quote my daughters "my mommy helps people get along who can't get along."

Terrifying when I think of navigating the world of limited liability companies, business taxes, special business bank accounts.  Billing.  Did I mention I have always been in public service?

I am, however, motivated, excited about the possibilities, and being encouraged at every turn by colleagues, friends and family.

So here goes!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Transition . . .

From World English Dictionary
transition  (trænˈzɪʃən) [Click for IPA pronunciation guide] 
— n
1.change or passage from one state or stage to another
2.the period of time during which something changes 
from one state or stage to another

... both a change and a period of time...

More later.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

So where are the holes.....

Binders full of do they keep them in?  Are they 3-ring-binders?  Where are the holes? Ouch...
(ok, so many places I could go with this....I'll leave the rest to Comedy Central).

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Score One for Healthy Skin

"Mom, how do I get this color off my legs?" said LittleBug, who has spent most the summer outside at various camps.
"They're tan.  That's what happens when you are out in the sun."
"But how do I get it off?"
"It's part of your skin - the sun changes the pigment of your skin.  It will slowly wear off."
"Oh, so by the time we ski, my skin will be normal again?  Good."

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Pet Heaven?

Recently, our older dog, Kaela, died.  It was hard on all of us.  For the girls, it was really the first death they have had to deal with.  We had a couple of fish that died, but given they were left-over snake food that just kept living, it was hard to get worked up about them.

Comforting children after a pet dies is hard.  I know learning to grieve is a part of life and tried my best to teach the girls how to deal with a loss.  I talked about how we will have our memories of Kaela and that we will always hold her in our hearts.

During all of this, I kept thinking it would have made it all so much easier if I could have just said to them, "Well, honey, Kaela is in Heaven now, looking down on us, playing with her tennis balls and chasing lizards."  How comforting that would have been to believe that -- to not really have to say good-bye, but just see-you-later.

But I didn't and can't say that because I don't believe it.  To me, that is a cop-out -- a made up construct to make us feel better as opposed to dealing with feelings.   The girls know how I feel; and we have told them about lots of perspectives and beliefs.  We have had many discussions about what different people believe and how religion is practiced around the world.  I've come to realize, however, that my discussions may not have been so high-brow and open minded as I thought.  In trying to present all sides, I have most certainly presented my view.  And it turns out, I have begun to alienate the girls, or at  a minimum, made God and religion topics you do not talk to Mommy about.

My husband told me of a recent conversation he had with LittleBug, one of our 7 year olds.  Turns out she is one deep thinker.  She was asking him if we hadn't had her, would she exist? (I know, seriously deep).  My husband talked to her about souls and various beliefs.  This led to a discussion about animals having souls and finally to God.  After a pause, LittleBug said, "Well, I know there is a God, Dad."  "How do you know this?"  "Because I think of Kaela throughout the day and who else but God would put thoughts of her in my head?"  (Yes, she really talks like that.)

So now my question is, where is the balance between teaching our beliefs to our child, but wanting her to share if her beliefs differ?  More deep thoughts . . . .

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Growing Up Scared

Growing up scared - or scared of when she'll grow up.  My eldest, QueenBee, has always had attention issues. Mostly she has trouble transitioning, but also missing details.  Generally details that don't matter, but occasionally, there is a whopper.

Today, she wanted mac-n-cheese, so she got out one of the instant single serving packets, and read the instructions.  No worries - she is a wiz at math, no issues with measuring, understands microwave oven safety.  I step out of the room for 2 minutes and come back to smoke pouring out of the microwave.  She hadn't added the water.  No water, just microwaving dry noodles in a bowl.  A bowl now cracked, the noodles almost ash.

I was so flabbergasted, that aside form running around opening doors and windows before I rush the cremated remains outside, I didn't even yell.  Just told her to read the directions again until she figured out what she forgot.  After a few reads, a soft, "oh...."

Yeah, "oh" - I mean, not a tragedy - no one was injured.  But what about when we move on to things more dangerous than microwaves?  The idea of her driving a car gives me a deep clenching feeling in the pit of my stomach.  How can she possibly figure all those buttons and knobs?  The girl who overthinks bike-riding so much that every time she looks at an obstacle, she crashes into it?

Maybe she will outgrow this....but my hopes are slim.  She comes by this honestly.  My dear husband, who thinks and operates much like QueenBee, in a non-linear fashion, told me about the time he changed the tires on his step-mother's car - and forgot to reattach the lug nuts.

God help us all - stay off the sidewalks in 7 years.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

On Our Way to Hunger Games?

Is a real life Hunger Games possible?  On one level, it is reality t.v. gone bad - way bad.  On another level it takes the 1% - 99% dichotomy to an district that is supported by 12 others.  Both the book and the movie are dark - certainly a gripping tale, but dark.  Could our society get to a point that this would be acceptable?

The selfishness, the "me" generation, the disconnection of people in real time, more connection through technology - are these all signs that one day will be pointed to as the tipping point?  Is humanity hanging in the balance?

I want to say no - of course not.  We have learned lessons from history.  We are a civilized society.  Then I turn on the t.v. and hear the hate pouring out - calling a female student a slut because she is standing up for the belief that as a society we figure out what is best, what can help people, and we take care of them.   The idea that sacrifice must be made for society to be strong seems lost.  There is so much us versus them...she is not one of us, he doesn't look like me, they don't talk like me.  It is disheartening.

Friday, January 6, 2012

When I was 5...

Ever go along, day by day, and suddenly realize your kids have moved to a new developmental level and you didn't notice for a few months!  Each child has really started blossoming in new and different ways.

For LittleBug, I now believe the turning point was when she managed to stop sucking her thumb (with the help of some appliances) a few months ago.  But we didn't notice it then.  In the last week, though, I realized she is just blossoming.  The quiet, prone to crying child now has a new favorite saying:  "Best [fill in the blank] Ever!"  Today, when I asked how her night was with my parents (she chose to go stay over night without her sisters) she said "Best Night Ever!"  After the new Muppet movie, "Best Movie Ever!"  After our day spent in pajamas, playing games, and getting lunch at the In&Out drive-thru, "Best Day Ever!"  Her sunny side is shining through - love it!

For LadyBug, her twin, it is a time of memories and introspection.  A lot of sentences begin with, "When I was 5..." or "I haven't done that since I was 5."  Try as you might to convince her that 5 months ago - heck, even 9 months ago, she was 6, she will hold her ground and insist she was 5.  But the interesting thing is that she is telling us how grown up she feels.  And I can tell.  She is very into brushing her hair and getting ready now (didn't realize this could start so early).  She easily volunteers to do chores, like throwing the ball for the dog or collecting recycling.  Now along with the helpfulness of "growing up" come the fits and stubbornness, of course.  Hoping that is a phase.  Oh, and ever since New Year's Eve, instead of "I haven't done that since I was 5," she now says, "I haven't done this since 2011!"  Did I mention her ever developing sense of humor?"

QueenBee, our 8 1/2 year old, is now showing such responsibility - yeah! She has her own room now which she keeps as neat as a pin.  She decided she was brave enough to get her ears pierced and has cleaned them daily with little reminder.  She empties the dishwasher and cleans up.  Now, lest you think it is all roses, she still doesn't ever seem to get to piano practice and sneaks and reads Harry Potter into all hours of the night.  But still - it reminds me of something my mother told me when the girls were all little.  She said each age with me, it would just get better and better!  (of course I was an angel, right mom?)

Postscript:  As I was writing the above ever-so-glowing post, things disintegrated here  - fighting over using the other's brush, refusing to brush teeth and whining for mommy to pick out her books.  Ah, reality - punctuated by moments of brilliance that keep us sane!