Nothing Is Sacred

Becky's Take on Life, Love, Motherhood and Other Random Stuff

Torn May 11, 2009

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As far back as  can remember I wanted to be a mother. Second only to that wish was my desire to write.  As most writers and other creative types will attest, making a living doing something you love isn’t a likely prospect. What I need is one amazingly fabulous article to get picked up by a national publication.

Alas, I’m writing about affordable family vacations. *yawn* I firmly believe vacations should be expensive  and you should spend as much as you want because you are probably someplace you will never go again. Why not enjoy it to the fullest?

I digress.

I find myself faced with the possibility of taking a job with more tradtional hours, something I haven’t done since 1994, and hadn’t really planned on doing until my kids were several years older. Of course, I also hadn’t planned on being a single mother with a limited income.

I don’t want to spend more time away from my children since (most of the time) I actually enjoy their company (except when Zoe is in full mood mode, like now), but the need for food and shelter seems to outweigh the necessity of  being at home with them all summer. Especially since their grandmother will be able to care for them and take them to camps and enrichment programs.

I worry that if I’m not as easily accessible to them as usual that they might hang out with the wrong kids or forget to tell me something important about their day, or that they might not talk to me about the little things. I don’t want to miss out on a minute of Zac’s quirky humor or one of Zoe’s malaprops. I worry that they will start to share these things with my mom. She’s good, but she’s not me.

Only time can tell what kind of change this will bring into our lives. I just hope we can weather it like we have so many other storms and come out on the other side relatively unscathed.

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9 Years March 13, 2009

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9 years ago at this time I was going into labor– 2 weeks early. As I like to remind my son, it was a long labor, in which he resisted making his entrance into the world, so it culminated in having him surgically removed from my belly.

He was coming out whether he wanted to or not.

And never in my life have I been so glad to see a woman coming at my spine with a huge needle.

At about 1:30 that next afternoon the nurse stuck her head back through the OR door to inform us all that “Bubba weighed 11 lbs 3 oz.”

He’s been affectionately called Bubba ever since. And he’s remained as stubborn as he was that first day when he decided he liked the comforts of the womb, and he didn’t want to leave after all.

Since my children are close in age, I’m not sure I had the perspective on parenting that I thought I did after having had my first one around for only 21 months, but the last 9 years have taught me much.

9 years have shown me that I can do (and have done) things that would take down some very rock solid men. Witness me *not* turning my head away when they started stitching my one year old’s forehead shut, although I was tempted. The little dude who was crying and strapped to a papoose board needed me more than I needed to not have that image in my mind forever.

9 years have taught me that I can function on 3 hours of sleep, and I may nod off at inopportune moments, but usually not while driving.

9 years have allowed my ears and brain to know the difference between blood-curdling, “mommy, I’m hurt” screams, and blood-curdling, “I hate my sibling and am going to kill him/her” screams. One requires my immediate attention, while the other requires me to pray that some time in the future they will like each other.

9 years let me know that some of the most basic character traits must be genetic, but I still have no idea where that hard-headed gene comes from. *looks around the room innocently*

The last 9 year have been a learning experience, and yes, there are days when I know why some mothers eat their young, but there are other days that make it a completely worthwhile experience.

I’m sure the next 9 years will be equally filled with learning opportunities, and by the time I deal with all of the teen angst and social ills, I will be longing for the days of diaper rash, baby-proofing, and midnight feedings.

Happy Birthday ZJG! You’ll always be my Baby Bubba 🙂

 

I Am Not Old March 12, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Becky @ 10:41 am
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Of course, I am old, according to my children, but I remember thinking that my parents were old when they were 40.

Now, 40 is the new 25, right? Most 40 year olds don’t look 40. I don’t think I do, but when I asked my daughter she said I did. Pffffftttt! 

Science has brought us a long way in the last 30 years. We’re all trying to stave off aging by eating healthier, taking 2 handfuls of supplements every day, smearing ourselves with gallons of youthful potions, and pounding along on the treadmill until our teeth clatter out of our heads. 

I’m not arguing the merits of healthy living, after all, I have enough lettuce, carrots, and other veggies in my fridge to feed an army of bunnies for several weeks. What I do wonder about is why we are all so desperate to NOT get older. We’ve all heard it, with age comes wisdom. In many cultures, the elderly are revered. In our culture it is more important to not get old and to have everything bonded, nipped and tucked. It won’t be long before most of our society is walking around looking 30 on the outside, but with the insides of a 70 year old. 

I see lots of 80’s nostalgia things these days, and, admittedly, I had a good time in the 80’s, but I also had really bad hair-do’s. Is it a longing to be the teens we once were? The ones who were on the cusp of a changing world? We saw the Cold War end and watched the walls of communism fall, and had hopes that the world our children would live in would be a better one. It’s not, and, unfortunately, no amount of botox can change that.

I prefer not to return to the days of my youth. I know so much more now than I did back then, and all the mistakes I have made have served me well in one way or another– even though they seemed devastating at the time. So, we should all keep eating our veggies, and contorting ourselves into impossible positions during yoga class, but we should also remember that 40 isn’t necessarily so much older, as it is wiser.

 

Morning March 11, 2009

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I’m thinking of getting up a petition to have all days start at 11 a.m. There would be no more of this dragging ourselves out of bed at 6 a.m. and turning to caffeine and a handful of supplements to get our aging bodies moving. Everyone would start their day refreshed and would get so much accomplished!

“What?”, you are saying. If so, you may be one of those annoying morning people who bounce out of bed with a bright smile, ready to face whatever your day may bring. You can tune out now.

Everyone else, listen up! We all know that as we get older we need more sleep than we did when we were a college student, partying until the wee hours, and crawling to classes the next morning in sweats, t-shirt and a funky looking ponytail. Anyway, your employer probably frowns on you coming to work dressed like that, unless, of course, you work at a gym. Just think of sleeping until 8 or 9 a.m., enjoying a leisurely morning, dropping the kids off at school, and arriving at work looking totally refreshed.

I love this idea because my morning usually involves me rolling out of bed at the last possible second, shaking my children violently to get them awake, (really, these people could sleep through nuclear warfare) then spending the next hour and a half repeating the phrases “eat your breakfast,” “wash your face and brush your teeth,” “get your clothes on,” “yes, you have to wear socks,” and “hurry up,” all while I try to turn my physical self into something resembling a human being. So, I end up putting my makeup on in the car.

I imagine a morning of sunshine, birds singing, and people knowing exactly what they need to do to get ready because we’ve been doing it like, virtually every morning since they could walk upright on their own. There would be no more bad hair days because I would be able to fix my hair while I was fully awake.

I realize the village elders had to get cracking early to make every second of daylight count, but we have electric lights now, so most work can be done any time of the day! I could be so much more efficient in a world where the day starts at 11 a.m. What is so wrong with that? Nothing, if it saves the sanity of people everywhere, and maybe keeps a few people from going postal.

 

Blossom March 8, 2009

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I thought perhaps I should introduce the family member second  in importance only to the children. That would be Blossom, a German Shepard/Collie mix that we rescued after she was found on the side of the road and taken to a local vet clinic. She is, literally, the best dog I’ve ever owned. (If you are wondering who names a German Shepard “Blossom”, she was named after a Powerpuff Girl by my then 5 year old.)

Blossom is no ordinary dog. She was defnitely someone’s pet. She has been trained and trained well. I still find it hard to believe that someone intentionally left her behind. Most likely she was lost and her owners had to move before she was found. I am sorry they lost their pet, but I am grateful to have had her for the last 5 years.

She is a firm supporter of “no child left behind”. No kid in this house goes anywhere that she doesn’t know about it. If they are in the backyard playing, she is on terror alert red from her post beneath the tree. At night she stations herself in between bedrooms so she will be able to tear the leg off anyone trying to get to “her kids.”  (I’m going to allow a rare moment of sentimentality here and say that I do thank her for looking after “my babies.”)

Of course, as all dogs do, she has her quirks and even a few faults. When she sheds I can sweep up enough hair to stuff a sofa and two armchairs, and she is rather a sloppy eater. Neatness may not be her forte, but she does have a skill that is unmatched among other dogs (okay, just the ones we’ve had.) She’s a player. She has never met a tennis ball she didn’t  have a love affair with.

She knows what the word “ball” means and she can also spell it, because  when we say “b-a-l-l” we are suddenly presented with a damp, yellow, spherical object on the assumption that we are proposing a game. She also knows the word “park,” which is her favorite place to play. Don’t say it unless you want her to stand at the door barking for 15 minutes.

Frankly, it’s an addiction, and it’s not getting any better as she gets older. Having been unable to locate a 12 Step group for this particular problem, she is left to grapple with her demons. It was the never ending quest for a ball game that made her the model for the “depression hurts” dog. You can see it on her face every time she is refused a game.

In addition to her love of ball, Blossom also enjoys chasing squirrels, armadillos, and birds out of the yard and sleeping 22 hours a day.

 

You can eat on those?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Becky @ 2:02 am
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My family and ex-husband will tell you that I am far from a domestic superwoman. It’s not that I don’t try, but it always seems there is something far more interesting to do like hang with my kids, play word games on the computer, or read a good book.

I bought that book that has American women everywhere whipping through their housekeeping in seconds a day, shining their sinks and bouncing around in their laced up tennis shoes. My hope was to let my love of reading take me to a new level of cleanliness. The author lost me when she suggested I should be cleaning with my hair fixed and makeup on. My definition of  blasphemy is wasting good makeup and hair on a cleaning sweatfest.

In an effort to reduce some of the clutter, I have begun going through  my mail when I bring it in and tossing the junk, yet somehow junk and clutter spontaneously reproduce on my bar and kitchen table. At this point I would like to mention that I do not store things on the stove. Asking a friend where her misplaced checkbook could be, she replied to me that it was on her stove. This made it clear to me she wasn’t eating at home much.

But, I digress– back to my table. Over the years I have beome convinced that table was there to catch my kids backpacks, coats, stray mail, and other bits of detritus that no one has bothered to put away. Who knew you could serve a meal on one?

I felt better knowing I was not alone in my plight, when, just today, my friend K shared some wisdom with  me, “I really did see this on TV…the surface was bare except for plates and such, and the people sat around it eating. It was wild.”

Having discovered this revolutionary new idea for using the common table, I am vowing to once again find the surface of this utilitarian object and put it to its proper use. I can’t wait to hear the “oohs and ahhs”, and see the glow of joy on my family’s faces as I serve them a gourmet meal at our clutter-free table. Okay, okay, maybe I will just start with mac and cheese.

 

This Is No Pleasure Cruise March 5, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Becky @ 11:43 pm
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If you’ve come here to read about the joys of motherhood, the warm, fuzzy moments of parenting, the aha! moments that make each day brighter, run far and run fast.

Even as I am writing, I have an almost-nine-year-old boy who is raging around his room because I had the nerve to take his Nintendo DS away when he hit his sister while they were playing. I am an abomination among mothers, because, as he explained to me during his rant, if I loved him, I would know that he hit his sister on “accident.”

So, I am the worst mother ever. I am a divorced mom with a son who will be turning 9 next week, and a 10 1/2 year old daughter with more attitude than Mike Tyson. Fortunately, the kids have a really great dad to make up for my shortcomings in the mommy department.

My marriage wasn’t my first failure in the relationship sector of life. And a brief investigation into the merits of a dating site convinced me that the only available men in my part of the country wear camouflage and think that dead animal heads constitute interior decoration– or at least their photos would lead you to believe that. Alas, I’m not interested in dating Jed Clampett, so I remain unattached.

This is real life. It’s not pretty. It’s complicated, messy, and can turn you into a raging lunatic. Your only option is not to take it too seriously. I maintain that laughter is much healthier for you than tears.