Mummy MIA

I will NOT gloat. I will NOT brag.  I am well aware that the success we enjoyed on our vacation to Disney World was an absolute crap shoot.  It could have easily gone awry.  It could have been filled with tears and tantrums, snot and sass.  We somehow dodged the bullet and had an amazing time.  O was unbelievably good.  He rolled with everything.  I am still amazed.  He exceeded any expectations I had (although, as you know, I kept them very low.). It was absolute joy and we can’t wait to go again.  Let the countdown begin! Again!

So since I can’t complain about my child’s behavior on our trip, let me let loose on a real parenting fail we witnessed whilst in the happiest place on earth.  Its unfortunate to see.  You think, wait, this is a place for family vacations and being together, right? I suppose there are all types of families and all types of a-holes.

We were enjoying the zero entry pool at the Animal Kingdom Lodge one day and this little girl decided to attach herself to us.  She was British and very chatty.  She was 5 years old.  I looked around to see where her parent or parents might be?  Strange to see a 5 year old on her own in the huge pool. She clearly could not swim, though she protested she could.  Her attendance to us became a little awkward as she started to hang on my husband while he was holding O to swim.  I told her it wasn’t safe for her to jump on anyone in the pool.  She then waded back to where she could stand on her own.  A woman appeared, who I assumed was her mother.  The woman told the little girl to watch her little brother.  And off the woman went.  To the bar.  In fact, the whole table of “adults” from that “family” were sat out of good view from the children in the pool.  Now little Chatty Cathy is in the pool again hanging around us while her 3 year old brother wades in shallower water.  He had swimmies on his arms, but really? 3!!! Alone in the pool with a bunch of strangers and his barely treading water 5 year old sister!  Mind you, this pool is HUGE.  I asked Chatty where her parents were.  She pointed to the bar area, “over there somewhere.”  What the heck, people!  Are you kidding me?  You don’t leave children (5 & 3) in the hotel pool by themselves.  Are you complete idiots?  As a parent, are you thinking, “Well, someone will watch them.”  ??? Like the parents who are actually IN the pool with their kids.  Like us?

Listen, I get that we ALL NEED a vacation.  I get that we are ALL in vacation mode.  But just because you are in Disney World doesn’t mean bad things don’t happen to kids there.  AND…you don’t get to take a vacation from your kids in Disney World.  If you wanted alone time, you should have left them at home and went to some adults only all-inclusive where the drinks are free, as clearly that is where your head is at.  As parents we don’t get to take a respite from our duties of caring for the well being of our children.  It’s a 24/7 job.  Sorry.  Even on vacation. And this isn’t about letting your children be free and not helicopter parenting…..this is about safety and, I don’t know, maybe spending some quality time with your children! Who am I to say, right? And, yes, it certainly does takes a village.  But when the parents vacate the village for the local watering hole, leaving their young to latch on to just anyone, it really pisses this villager off.  If you don’t understand the incredible privilege you have to be a parent, then you certainly won’t understand my point.  We GET to be their protectors!  It may feel like a job some days, but make no mistake, it is a special opportunity, not enjoyed by everyone.  It is my humble opinion, that if you piss away that time (yes, I just said piss away), you are a fool.  End of rant.

Until next time, I’ll try not to rage on.  Remember, behind every great kid is a mother who is pretty sure she is screwing it up.  Thanks so much for reading.  Xo

 

P90X or PB&J

I was at the park the other day with a bunch of moms and their children from my town.  I am, undoubtedly, the oldest of our group.  I realize that our ages make little difference.  We mostly talk about our kids.  We watch them interact.  We bond over parenting trials and triumphs. The differences in our children’s ages seems more apparent than our own ages.  At least from my perspective.  The other mom’s could totally be thinking, “Who is this old lady?”  Lol.  But, Ok.  I digress.

So we are at the park and someone brings up some work out DVD. I was going to write video, but that really glorifies my age.  It may not even be a DVD, but some type of “on demand” thing you can subscribe to.  You, by now, are getting the idea that I have no clue or interest in any kind of P90 X, Y or Z.  Someone brought up the 30 day diet or challenge or fix… or something.  Again, I have no clue about anything paleo, Atkins or Zone.  I had to actually google “diets” to find those.  Did you know there is something actually called the Taco Diet? You literally only eat tacos for thirty days.  That’s insane.

When I was younger (in my 20’s and 30’s) I was a vegetarian.  When I turned 40 I started incorporating meat into my diet.  Not a crazy amount, but I realized I really liked a good steak every now and then.  I ate clean.  Healthy.  Fast forward to present day, 47 year old me.  I’m on the PB&J Crust diet.  It’s when you eat the remnants of your child’s meals to stave off hunger, or, let’s be honest, just because it’s there.  My breakfast intake yesterday consisted of 1 spoonful of yogurt, 1 peanut butter covered slice of banana, and a morsel of spinach banana muffin.  All from the picked over plate of my son.  My lunch was the diet’s namesake, a PB&J crust, plus 1/4 of his unfinished sandwich and a handful of graham bunnies.  Delicious.  No wonder I eat all Willy Nilly the rest of the day.  Now this isn’t everyday.  There are days when I am actually conscious when parenting and make myself egg whites and avocado.   But some days it’s like I am in a trance and what happens between my hand and my mouth is all but a blur.

Now I can tell you for a fact that my younger self would have never let herself eat so poorly.  She would have never let herself gain 5 0r 10 pounds.  It just would not have happened.  But as I age and I don’t have to think about wearing costumes onstage now, I am way more relaxed about what I eat and, in turn, I am more relaxed about what I look like.  I think there will be a limit to my madness.  (Like I’m pretty much there.) But I can’t imagine myself being crazed to be thin, like I was when I was younger.  I remember believing my worth was directly correlated to my appearance.  I suppose, in my line of work, there may have been some truth to that.  But I think I took it further than just work, especially when I was 20 & 30. I think I believed that I was lesser than if I wasn’t aesthetically at my best.  Ah, youth! This 47 year old feels sorry for that silly girl.

Don’t get me wrong.  I want to be healthy.  And power to any mom who gets herself to the gym!  I admire anyone striving to get back their pre baby body.  But I gotta be honest, being over forty puts you at a big disadvantage.  Recovery from anything takes so much longer, let alone pregnancy and childbirth.  Ugh.  This PB&J Crust Diet is all fad and will have to go, for sure. But as long as my clothes fit (cause I LOVE my clothes)  I don’t mind too much if I’m a bit softer.  Well, a lot softer.  I’m the happiest I’ve ever been and it clearly isn’t correlated to my appearance these days.  I guess it just means that my mind is the healthiest it’s ever been.  And I’ll take that.

Until next time,  keep fighting the good fight.  And remember behind every great kid is a mom who is pretty sure she is screwing it up.  Thanks so much for reading! Xoxo

 

 

 

 

Great Expectations: How to Enjoy Disney World With Your Three Year Old

As I write this, I am sat in the window seat of a 747 with my son next to me and my husband on the aisle. We are headed to Florida. Disney World to be exact. I am mildly relieved, thus far, as with only one hour to go, things have gone pretty well. One word. iPad. I think I should write Apple a thank you letter.

I’ve decided the only way to approach this vacation is to anticipate it being the most stressful, horrible, un-relaxing experience I could imagine. That way, anything more positive than that is a win. I think it is the only way to approach ANYTHING with a three year old. That way we are not imposing unrealistic expectations on our son and, somehow, it helps to keep our sanity intact. There will no doubt be backlash later in the day for allowing two hours and forty minutes of screen time, but for now, all is quiet on the O front. And I’ll take it where I can get it.

They say flying in the morning with a child is best. I kind of have to agree. Our son, at least, is the most agreeable early in the day. This ungodly hour (5:30 am takeoff) won’t wear well on us later today, but again, for now, there is a sense of peace and calm. One Bloody Mary each and all seems right with the world and our present situation.

Expecting nothing from the first time you take your child to Disney is easier than it sounds. If we truly expected nothing, we probably wouldn’t go. Or at least we would go somewhere way less expensive. That way the sticker shock wouldn’t slap you across the face and add insult to injury. So as much as we tell ourselves to have no expectations, you kind of just do. And if you are like me and my husband, you grew up going there with your family and you have all sorts of memories and attachments to the place.

I guess I have to remind myself over and over that my child is only 3. I have to try and put myself in his shoes a bit on this trip. If I get tired and overwhelmed, what must he be feeling? If I am hangry (yes, hungry and angry) how does he feel? There is much to enjoy, of course, BUT it’s all new to him! His senses will be on overload, no doubt. It’s entirely unrealistic to expect him to just roll with everything and foolish of me to think it could even be possible.

So these are my self imposed rules: I will try to keep my cool. I will try to let go of any expectations I might have. I will try to take in all the magic of each moment. And, if certain things aren’t quite magical this trip, well, there is always next time. Here’s to a wonderful vacation at Mickey’s house. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Until next time, keep your fingers crossed for me. And remember, behind every great kid is a Mom who is pretty sure she is screwing it up. Thanks for reading! Xo

Pink or Blue

“When you ask your child if they are a boy or a girl how does he or she answer you?” This was a question on a progress evaluation for O from a preschool playgroup program he is involved in.
I had never thought to ask him this question. So I followed directions and asked him. His answer was not what I anticipated. So I asked again. And again, he repeated his answer. “I am a boy or a girl.” Maybe he didn’t understand the question? I asked him if his cousin Nora was a girl or a boy. He said, “A girl….or a boy.” Clearly gender is not on his radar yet. At three and a half should it be? I don’t know.

We knew the sex of our child before he was born. It was obvious when we had our amniocentesis and we wanted to know. My practical nature was more than happy to know. We didn’t go crazy with blue for boy stuff, but he did have a nautical themed nursery. It was grays, blues and greens. I dressed him in basically what people gave me….so lots of boy stuff. Onesies with sayings like Handsome like Daddy, Little Slugger. His toys were lots of cars and trucks mixed in with a cooking set and a pink interactive picnic basket he just adored. I honestly didn’t give it much thought. The only hand me downs he got were from other boys, though I would not have minded putting him in a color typically associated with girls. In fact, people always thought he was a girl. “Oh! She’s beautiful!” “Thank you, yes I think he is.” “Oh, I’m so sorry!” (As if they had said something truly awful). I was never phased by it. He was a really pretty baby. I honestly didn’t care if anyone thought he was a girl.

Fast forward to present day in the toy department at Target. It’s a frequent destination on our travels. O has his favorite toys and every visit he will bee line for the “Our Generation doll” aisle. He asks me to help him get the big car (which happens to be pink, as it is marketed towards girls) and the camper so he can play with them. His latest interest is the new laundromat and, of course, the ice cream truck. Have you seen that thing? It really is amazing! He can spend 30 minutes playing with these items. I literally have to coax him away.  He tends to put one of his matchbox cars (which he is rarely without) inside these setups. We sometimes get odd looks from other parents and older children, as if to say, “Why is your boy playing with girl toys?” I don’t acknowledge the looks and they go completely unnoticed by O. I have heard Fathers, after looking at us, tell their sons, “Let’s go look at some boy toys.” I have even heard men and women tell their sons, “You don’t want that. That’s for girls.” The level of ignorance is staggering.

We are so offended at the abundant misogyny in our society. We are so astounded by the gender inequality that is rampant in our culture. And when I say “we” I mean many of us, but certainly not all of us. Yet, aren’t we sort of setting it up right from the start? We have these picture perfect roles for our children to fit into and we seem to unapologetically, and I’m sure, quite innocently, jam it down their throats without much thought to what their thoughts or feelings are (or will) be as they become more gender aware. It starts at these gender reveal parties which seem to be all the rage these days. Pink or blue? The term for these events should really be sex reveal parties, as that is what is actually being revealed. Just because you have a child born with male genitalia, doesn’t mean he is going to identify with being a boy. But if you think about it, the child, before even being born, is being expected to fit into our idea of what his or her identity should be. Blue is for boys. Pink is for girls. It’s just so banal.

You know what I want O to be? Happy. I want him to be so freaking happy and secure in his own skin. I want him to beam joy.  I just can’t see that happening if he isn’t allowed to be his true self, whatever that true self may happen to be. I have many friends, who from a very young age, felt they were different. And from a very young age, knew who they truly were wasn’t going to be accepted by their parents. So they hid their true selves from their families, or they denied their true selves altogether, only to come back to it as an adult with a plethora of issues. I can’t imagine anyone wanting that for their child. And yet…

Because of my theatre background, several people have asked me if we plan on Oliver taking dance or theatre lessons. I don’t know. He is certainly exposed to it. He sees the shows I direct. He sings with both me and my husband. I will let him decide. Just like we will expose him to baseball or other sports.  If he wants, he can play. If he’d rather take dance, then he can do that. If he wants to do both, then fine. He needs to lead us.  I believe that our job is to show him the possibilities. He must choose without feeling he is letting us down by following his own path. I think this starts way earlier than most of us think. (Pink or blue?)

We talk so much about raising girls to be strong. And I support that wholeheartedly. But you rarely hear about raising our sons to be caring and empathetic. Why is that? Why are we so afraid to teach our sons traits that are associated with being female? Won’t it make them better Fathers, husbands and caretakers? Won’t it teach them how to be better men? I think so. But that’s just this Mommy’s opinion. So don’t jump all over me for expressing it. But it’s worth a thought or two, don’t you think?

Until next time, keep fighting the good fight, and remember, behind every great kid, is a mom who is pretty sure she is screwing it up. Thanks for reading! It’s good to be back. Xo

Back In The Saddle

Well, hello! It has been quite a while, friend. My hiatus from writing just might be over. I have taken a long enough pause to re-group my thoughts, to step away from the rage inspired by ridiculous politics, and to muster the courage to feel that, somehow, perhaps, my words might actually matter. It has been a long needed respite. If you have stayed with me through this nothingness, I’m truly grateful. I couldn’t expect it of any reader. If you are new to my musings, I invite you to go back to the beginning. Take the journey which will lead you to where we are now – an advanced maternal age mother (now of three years) navigating her way through preschool pandemonium. I have matured in my mothering, but the certainty of it all still eludes me. I feel I am now wise enough to know the uncertainty will most likely never go away.

I have not stopped thinking about writing. It has always been at the forefront of my thoughts this past however many months. I’d have to go way back to see exactly how long it has actually been since my last post, but I think it was last May. Even before that, my posts were becoming few and far between. After a gut wrenching election cycle, the state of our nation was really getting me down. It felt like I couldn’t not make every post about something political. That isn’t what I had set out to do. Also, I began teaching voice and acting at a fantastic arts academy. It takes up quite a bit of time for prep work. Time I used to use to write. The teaching has now expanded, which is brilliant, but again, I only have so much time. I chose to let this go for a while. Did I mention that I have matured and realize that I can’t actually do Everything?

I feel ready to give voice to this next phase of motherhood, however tight my time may be. My little O is no longer a baby. (That is super hard to say!) He is 3 1/2 years old. He is tall and full of personality. He has the energy of the Energizer Bunny and the mood swings of Sybil. He is funny, emotional, and all over the place. He is imperfectly perfect. I don’t want to miss chronicling this time in our lives because I am crunched for time or because I get lazy. This blog is ultimately for him. So here I am. Back in the saddle.

Until next time, keep fighting the good fight. Remember, behind every great kid is a mother who is pretty sure she is screwing it up. My current life story! Lol. Thanks for reading. Xo

Happy Mother’s Day Mommy

My to do list has hit overload.  Our yard is a disaster.  I am on duty to fix every Lego demolition and Troublesome Truck mishap for the foreseeable future.  (Mothers of little boys will understand).  Yet, on this Mother’s Day weekend,  I feel compelled to take some time to express my gratitude for the greatest gift life has bestowed upon me.  Yup.  Motherhood.  A gift, you say?  Oh yes, indeed.

With all the whining, crying, puking, and so on, I still, undoubtedly, LOVE, that I get to be O’s mom.  I have said it before, but it bears repeating.  This is the best job I have ever had.  And to top it off, there is a day set on the calendar to celebrate it! To honor it!  What? It’s like winning the lottery and then someone sets out a day to bring you another boatload of cash.  I am sure there are some mommys out there thinking “Here she goes.  Jacked out on Baby Magic again! Freaking Pollyanna Mommy!”  Can’t help it though.  I’m just super happy.

I can’t help but wonder if I am happy BECAUSE I understand what a privilege it is to be a mother.  It’s like the rules of gratitude and happiness.  One really begets the other.  What’s that facebook meme I often see on my feed?  The happiest people are not the ones who have everything, but are the ones who believe they do.  Motherhood seems to be a lot like that.  I’m sure it isn’t about having a super awesome child, as we ALL do!! (Am I right?)  I find it very hard to stay stuck in the “poop” of the day, so to speak, when it is so joyous being around my little guy.  He’s hilarious.  And sweet.  And ingenious.  And so fun to be around (99% of the time).  I choose to deal with the 1% of bad and focus on the awesome rest.  Truly, none of it is actually bad.  That’s the wrong word.  A more apt word would be difficult.  But, anything worthwhile has its difficult moments.

It’s funny, but motherhood is nothing like I thought.  It is so so much better.  To be a mother is the most rewarding job, the biggest challenge and the greatest joy of my life.  It gives my life a meaning I didn’t know existed.  I thank O everyday for choosing me to be his mother.  Maybe when he is older I will bring him breakfast in bed and get him a special gift on Mother’s Day…. Oh please! I’m not THAT cracked out on Baby Magic!  I’ll let him think the day is about me.  But I’ll always think to myself how lucky I am to be his Mommy.  Always.

Happy Mother’s Day! Thanks for reading! Keep fighting the good fight, and remember, behind every great kid is a mom who is pretty sure she is screwing it up! Xoxox

 

A Mother’s View

 

A friend of mine sent me a little blurb on Messenger this week. He was in Mykonos and was fondly remembering the fantastic times we had there. Lots of great food, great wine and lovely views. Mykonos is a truly beautiful island. It is everything you imagine Greece should be….and then some. I spent a lot of time there. All over the Mediterranean, really. I feel I know it so well. The many cafes I have frequented. The fun company I kept. The delightful repose of a lazy afternoon with the sun on my face and wine on my tongue. Is it possible it could seem like yesterday and yet be so far away?

My life is not filled with days in Mykonos anymore. Or touring ancient ruins or magnificent art galleries. My frequent flier miles are actually in jeopardy of becoming inactive.  As I sat today in the Starbuck’s Cafe inside my local Target, I thought of my former life. My son was sitting across from me eating the peanut butter and jelly sandwich I brought with us. I was enjoying my usual dark roast with a splash of vanilla in it. There were big windows looking out to the vast parking lot filled with suburban vehicles and lots of Moms with children in tow. I quietly giggled to myself. So THIS is my view now….THIS is my frequent cafe? Well, yes…..I suppose it is.

Another friend of mine who was also in the business is now a Mom of four beautiful children. She posted something on Facebook about how so many of her friends were going to exciting Broadway openings and how her life seemed so boring in comparison. Now I can’t imagine life with four children is boring, by any stretch of the imagination. It is not quite as glamorous as life on the stage, I’ll give her that.  But I have a hunch she wasn’t truly complaining. She is a rockstar Mom and lives quite the charmed life. She is gaga for her kids and rightfully so. She enjoys them. It is evident. I think she was doing that thing that moms often do. We whine. We complain. But it’s mostly crocodile tears.  We don’t REALLY want Calgon to take us away.  Not for any real length of time.  We have hit the jackpot and if we are smart, we learn to appreciate that fact quite quickly.

As I sat on my uncomfortable aluminum chair in my very basic Starbucks/Target cafe,  I began to wonder… Did I miss my old life? Did I long for more glamorous times? More carefree times? I sipped my basic coffee and let the questions seep in.  The answer is no.  Unequivocally, no.  Then I thought…If I had to give up the life I have now and go back to the life I had before….Would I miss this?   Would I long for the joy my family brings me?  Would I miss the meaningful simplicity of an ordinary day? There is no question.  Of course I would! My heart hurts just thinking about it.

I realize not everyone has been quite as lucky, as perhaps I have been.  I got to to see and experience the world and I enjoyed a very glamorous career.  Had I just kept going, I am sure I would have told you how happy and fulfilled I was.  Because I was.  I didn’t miss what I didn’t know.  But now, after sharing my life with my love and having our child, I feel like life has a new meaning and purpose.  That’s the jackpot I mentioned before.  And trust me, I don’t take any of it for granted.  To find this kind of happiness at this point in my life is the freaking Holy Grail! It’s Mount Everest!

I will never forget my old life.  The breathtaking views from atop Santorini and along the Grand Canal in Venice are ingrained in my mind.  The glamourous costumes I donned were a privilege to wear.  The thrill of performing for thousands of people is in my veins.  My experiences are forever a part of me.  I am grateful for all of it.  I fondly reminisce, but I don’t miss it.  What I would miss is the sweet smell of my little boy’s hair…The sound of his laugh as I tickle him…and the soft kiss from the man who sees me as his one and only.  I’ll be sure to pour a glass of wine, sit out on our deck, watch the sunset and drink to that! Yassas my friends!

Until next time, keep fighting the good fight, and remember, behind every great kid is a mom who is pretty sure she is screwing it up.  Thanks for reading.  Always. Xo

 

 

One of THOSE days

It is one of those days.  There has been a gray gloom hovering over New England this past week.  The temperature has not gone above 40 degrees and the chill in the damp air seems permanent.  I am not impressed.  Who knows if the bulb flowers will actually bloom this year?  They had started to pop up weeks ago only to be covered with a layer of icy snow that just wouldn’t melt.  And though the snow is all but gone, their fate is still unknown.  As April approaches, only days away, the bone chilling temperatures remain…accompanied by rain.  What I wouldn’t do for a patch of blue sky and a 70 degree day!

My will for indoor activities is fading and my patience is growing thin.  It’s times like these I feel like I am losing the good fight.  Poor O must feel couped up like a chicken without a barn yard or a cow without a pasture.  (We’ve been playing Farm a lot!).  He is such an outdoor boy, but I just can’t bring myself to brave the drizzle and chill.  He wants to be outside playing in the dirt.  (Well, it’s mud right now). He whines.  I want to scream.  So I call my husband at work and whine to him about my day’s plight.  It doesn’t make me feel better because I know I am being ridiculous.  Yet, it takes everything in me NOT to turn on PBS Kids and get on with MY day.

We color.  We do stickers.  We read.  We play with Legos.  We build a garage for his cars.  He empties the utensil drawer in the kitchen.  I check the clock. It only 10:02!!!! Holy Crap! There are still two more hours til lunch! How am I gonna get through this day?? I know I am not the only mother stuck in the house on a rainy frigid morning with her toddler! Why does it feel like I am?  Because that is motherhood.  We are this incredibly resourceful army of women who collectively are going through pretty much the same things, and yet we feel isolated.  Because on days like today, who the hell wants to brave the weather?  Who wants to sit on an icy bench at the playground and watch my child go down the slide while my butt cheeks freeze off?  Not this lacking Mama.  I need to curl up under a blanket with a cup of hot tea.

I always find this time of year the most challenging.  Winter seems to hang on, out staying its welcome.   By this point, were all pretty much sick of anything pumpkin.  And the romance of hibernating with all that Danish hygge has hit the annoying point.  You can only light so many candles!  The novelty of winter is gone.  Add a stir crazy toddler to that recipe and you get what I call, “One of those days.” I can only hope it doesn’t last.

So that’s where I’m at.  I basically just want to complain.  Pretty much like my son.   I want to will the warmer weather to take hold.  I want to bask in some freakin sunshine.  I want to be hot! (Who’da thought, huh?)  So Mother Nature, hear me now.  As one of the leading Mothers of this earth, you need to lend your earthly sisters a helping hand.  I can only imagine I speak for many mothers when I say, we are getting to the end of our ropes here.  Bring on the warm weather!  Inspire us to frolic outdoors with our children.  Invite us to lay on the warm grass and gaze at the cloudscape.  Implore us to plant seeds and watch them grow.  It’s time.  Thank you.

Until next time, keep fighting the good fight, and remember, behind every great kid is a mom who is pretty sure she is screwing it up.  Thanks for reading friend! Namaste.

 

 

Hope Springs Eternal Mommy

It’s March and it’s snowing. That isn’t uncommon for New England, yet I find myself thrown by it’s sudden presence.  It was 60 degrees and sunny the other day.  Mother Nature is playing games I do not appreciate, just adding to the sense of Topsy Turvy the world is in.  I sit here watching the snowfall.  I am nursing a dreadful cold.  My feet are up and my head is buzzing from my latest dose of Sudafed.  The alternative is conjestion that rivals some of the worst I’ve known.  So Sudafed it is.  It’s Winter in Spring, the head of the EPA says carbon emissions don’t hurt the environment, and I feel like my country is shifting into reverse.  Ladies and gentlemen, the world is UPSIDE DOWN.

The truth is, I have no words for the spiral we are in at the moment.  My sense of self preservation says to focus on what is right in front of me.  My work. My family.  Doing the good I can do in the small everyday sense.  Practicing kindness, generosity, and acceptance.  Keeping an awareness of the bigger happenings, but not letting them deflate me.  But that is proving to be quite a feat.  Everyday it is some new crazy absurdity being revealed from our government or some completely unfounded insane tweet consuming my newsfeed.  It’s a level of insanity hard to dismiss.

And then, I breathe.  Simply my mind remembers the new cd I have of the Broadway Cast Recording of Dear Evan Hansen.  The music is uplifting, inspiring and all together gorgeous.  It is my new “go to” cd in the car. The lyrics are poingant, personal, yet universal, and filled with soul and human spirit.  Dare I say, the music makes me hopeful?  Yes.  I’ll say it.  Art is like that, hence why it is so important.

Then, I made a very last minute decision to attend a town hall meeting being held by our U.S. Representative to Congress, Joe Kennedy III.  Saturday afternoon and there were a million other things on my radar. I was feeling stuffy and horrible, but something inside me told me to go.  So I did. Seeing and listening to this young, smart, compassionate man talk about what he thinks our responsibilities are to each other, as citizens of this country and as human beings, was inspiring.  Uplifting.  Dare I say, it gave me hope in this “post truth” era?  Yes.  I’ll say it.  What I saw, was the future of our country before me.  In some strange way, he spoke and I felt better.  Less anxious.  Less afraid.  He answered questions with respect and empathy, but also knowledge and authority.  I honestly thought to myself, This man is going to be our President someday.  He gave me hope.

As a mother I find myself in a perpetual state of worry about the world we have brought our son into.  I worry about his education, his safety, the environment.  You name it, and I’m sure I’ve worried about it at some point.  To say I’ve been overwhelmed with the “goings on” in our country is an understatement.  But then I realized, that a moment of hope seems to beget the next moment of hope,  and the next, and so on and so on,  Suddenly, all around me, everyday, are moments of creativity, moments of profound inspiration, and moments where I am in control to be kind and generous.  Moments where even I can change someone’s life for the better.  And it fills me with hope.

True vision and hope are impervious to the bombardment of negativity and malice assaulting our society.  This malevolence has no defense against what is just and right.  Just like a lie has a way of making its way to the surface of truth while destroying its keeper in the process.   You may disagree with me, but I don’t know if I will ever live to see a woman president in the White House.  I think it is a hurdle too high to overcome at the moment.  Sexism, I fear, is ingrained in the fabric of our flag.  It is my hope, though, that my son will see it.  But what I am certain of, is that he and I will both see the honor of the office restored.  I’ll be awful proud to say I met him and that he gave me hope  when I sorely needed it, one cold Saturday in March, not so long ago.

I hope you are well, my friend.  And hopeful.  Life without hope or creativity or inspiration is a tough life.  Keep fighting the good fight and remember, behind every great kid is a mom who is pretty sure she is screwing it up.  Thanks for reading! Xo

 

Being Alive

Ok.  I’ve crunched through my bowl of low salt popcorn.  I drank my second 12 oz glass of water for the day.  I’ve watched a bit of spirit crushing C-span.  I’ve gone through the news and political blurbs that, lately,  hurt my brain.  And yet, here is the ironic truth…..I remain happy.  I am happy because I am grateful to be here.  Not just to exist, but to be alive.  Truly alive.

The other day I was listening to the Broadway channel on Sirius XM, as any good musical theatre geek does.  Raul Esparza’s rendition of “Being Alive” from Stephen Sondheim ‘s musical Company came on.  As I drove,  the words he sang seemed to penetrate me in a way they never had before.

Somebody hold me too close.
Somebody hurt me too deep.
Somebody sit in my chair,
And ruin my sleep,
And make me aware,
Of being alive.
Being alive.

Somebody need me too much.
Somebody know me too well.
Somebody pull me up short,
And put me through hell,
And give me support,
For being alive.
Make me alive.
Make me alive.

Somebody crowd me with love.
Somebody force me to care.
Somebody let me come through,
I’ll always be there,
As frightened as you,
To help us survive,
Being alive.
Being alive.
Being alive!

Its a song about the fundamental need we have to be needed and loved by another being.  I think when we accept that we, indeed,  have just that, life gets a whole lot brighter, even in the midst of hardships, depression and crumbling governments.  I talk a lot about gratitude and perspective. If ever there was a time for people to take control of their perspective, it is now.  My top priorities are my son and husband.  My husband is my person, like in the song.  He is my someone and my O is the natural extension of that love and connection.  They are my everything. I choose to make them my main focus. Of course there is room for other things in my orb, but I am making sure to balance my intake of the negative world and alternative facts, with that which inspires, empowers, and enriches me.  I’m reading this and I am sounding a lot like some tripping ethereal hippie.  I assure you, my walls aren’t melting and my feet are planted on the ground.

You may think I’m coo coo for Cocoa Puffs, but I truly feel I owe my wonderful life to my husband.  Had he not risked revealing his true self to me all those years ago…  Had he not been so fearless in his love for me when I was still the coward…I would not be this unabashedly happy today.   And, he made one hell of a baby with me!  I tell you, I owe everything that matters to him.  Obviously, I could go further and thank my lucky stars, or the Universe or, duh, God.  Absolutely.  And that is the whole point.  What is going on right now in our world is abominable, I’m my opinion.  It is a sad and deplorable time in our country.   But it is only a tiny piece of time in the puzzle of our existence.   It cannot take over my mind.  I am in this fight for the long haul.  What kind of warrior would I be if I just crawled under my covers binge watching Netflix in comatose denial?  I will not give up any part of my wonderful life to the threatening darkness.  I can be involved, informed, even irate and still be happy.   I will remain happy because I am choosing to be.  Because my husband and son deserve me to be.  And my vigilance and resolve to make this world a better place will only strengthen.   For me, that is what it means to be alive today.  Thank you, my love, for making me ALIVE.

Until next time, keep fighting the good fight and remember behind every great kid is a mom who is pretty sure she is screwing it up! Thanks for reading! Peace! Xo