Monday, October 25, 2010

Monsters in the Closet

When you are a little kid goblins and ghosts come readily in your sleep. They represent the childhood fears lurking everywhere. Separation anxiety and darkness conjure up all kinds of scary thoughts that manifest into monsters. Growing up and becoming more aware of fiction versus reality helps the monsters fade into the woodwork. Nightlights are turned off and monster spray is discarded.
Growing up even more and becoming a parent brings back a lot of fear. At night the thoughts of bullying or disease wake you in the dark with a start. Tears of what if fill your eyes and catch in your throat. Monsters take a different form but are no less scary. What if my child doesn't have friends? What if my child can't learn to ride a bike or drive a car? Why is she squinting? Why is she sleepwalking? Being a parent is scary. Sometimes like a nightmare.
Fear is necessary when you love someone the way you love your child. Worry is the nature of the monster. You want the best. You want complete happiness. You accept the fear for them so they can focus on the important things. The things that make childhood memories. Birthday parties and sleepover. Cookies after school and laughter in the dark.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Annoyance: The Fabric of My Life

I am just an average girl going through life trying to grin and bear all the every day irritations that pop up. Mostly I just bite my lip and tuck the annoyance away in a sound proof cell in my head. Sometimes though the file just gets too full and everything just pours out. That is the point where I can not continue to be nice (even if it is in a rude way). That is the point where I want to scream. Must relieve the pressure....these are some things that irritate the life out of me:

First grade math that is so hard I have to actually spend time thinking about it.

Salespeople who pounce like hungry lions...drool and all.

Girl drama...can't we all just get along?

Pink eye(s)

Business travel lasting more then three days especially when sick kids are involved.

Food critics who don't cook.

Cleanliness critics that have maids.

Facebook depression.

Political calls from the other side that refuse to take a polite no for an answer and continue to call back until overt rude becomes the only response.

Silly Bands. They clog the vacuum AND the garbage disposal.

Socks. Finding matching socks for three children and myself is surely going to drive me insane.

Mulch. On the floor. On the couch. In the sink. In my bed.

Closet Car Texters. Don't admonish me for texting at a red light or checking Facebook in the parking lot. YOU do it too....don't pretend.

Allergies. Sinus pressure. Snot. Itchy eyes. Yuck.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Cultivating the Fairy Garden

From the minute I could listen my dad told my sister and brother and I stories. We would sit on his lap and hear about the little people that lived in the backyard or about where Mr. Rogers went when he left his show to go home. As we got older we would get a chance to add to the story. The more outlandish the better. We would take turns adding details and giggling at the shape the story would take. We grew up with rules but there was always room for imagination. We were encouraged to express ourselves. I loved having a license to push the limits of reality. It made me grow into someone with lots of layers and the ability to draw humor from peculiar places. It made me more empathetic and more sympathetic. Imagination helps provide meaning to experience and understanding to knowledge. So much of what we experience in life begins with imaginary play. It is almost like a dress rehearsal.

When I had children of my own cultivating imagination was right up there on the list somewhere between learning to walk and potty training. What I didn't realize is that my kids came with built in unique fantastic imaginations all there own. I didn't need to inspire them to love to pretend or spin fabulous tales. They came to me with that ability.

The older I get the more I become embroiled in the rules and laws that govern everything we do. It seems easier to just stay on the well worn path that everyone seems to be content following. Then I see my girls playing in their fairy town in the backyard or dressing up as doctors or brides and I remember. I remember how important it is to pretend and create. How important it is to step into the shoes of someone else and experience something new. Sometimes it is important to bypass the cookie cutter behavior. Sometimes it is important to remember that rules in imagination are non existent.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Quirks are Cute.

Recently I was cornered by a couple of friends and pronounced weird for all my oddities. I prefer to think of it as quirky. It sounds so much cooler. I am choosing to take it as a compliment. I am not humdrum or ordinary or boring. Regardless of what you call it they are right. Absolutely. I am weird. But aren't we all? I mean each of us is like a snowflake. Different and beautiful with our own set of strange. I thought I would share a few of my best quirks. I bet I am not the only one.

* I freak out over having drop in guests. My house is just not a drop in house. I don't just have hors d'oeuvres ready to serve and fresh hand towels ready to hang.

* Public displays of affection are not my friend. I don't enjoy hugs or kisses. I don't like proclamations of love. Don't really like tears either.

* I hate surprises of all kinds. They make me want to scream. I like to know what is coming. Presents, parties, life in general.

*I can't stand fish. To eat or really to look at...they stink and taste gross. But weirdly enough I love the ocean...

*When I read books I skip words and even sentences. I get the gist of the story but sometimes I miss details. No wonder I read at warp speed.

* I love pretty, expensive jewelry. I have a ton of it. I never wear it.

* I sleep in the fetal position on my right side. Knees pulled up to chest. Can't stand sleeping with anyone touching me.

*I don't drink milk or look at it. Seeing someone else drink it makes me gag.

* I am musically challenged. I never really listen closely enough to hear the words. Instead I make up lyrics.

* I can't draw a straight line to save my life or cut one for that matter.

* I am way to literal for math.

* I name inanimate objects.

OK I shared. How about you? What makes you you?