Monday, November 29, 2010

Not Me! Monday

The Monday after a holiday weekend is rough. So rough, in fact, it is forcing me to bring back an old favorite: Not Me! Monday. Are you feeling silly that you couldn't remember your own phone number when asked by your child's teacher? Embarrassed by tearing up over a Christmas song by a bunch of Chipmunks?? Well don't be! Join in with this little outlet that helps me admit some of my many imperfections and makes me reveal a few moments I might rather forget. You might find it as therapeutic as I do!

I'll go first!

There is no possible way I went into a school conference with boxing gloves on (in a figurative sense of course..ahem...or at least hidden in my large purse) and a page of notes ready for a throw down only to be informed that my child is exceeding all expectations..NOT me! I certainly wasn't so shocked that I stared blankly at a form when asked to make sure the address and phone number were WAY.

I could never have bought my six year old a stuffed Rudolph because I thought he was soft and adorable and I certainly didn't hold him on my lap while I watched TV and I was NOT a little sad when she asked for him back..nope not me!

I did NOT get up at 5am on Thanksgiving to go shop for bargains and I could never have enjoyed every minute of it. NONE of my crazy friends went with me, they would never get up that early:)

After saying I would never ever go out on Black Friday I could never have decided at the last minute to give it a whirl. I certainly did NOT skip a run to shop and there is no way that I ate hot Krispy Kremes two at a time...nope NOT me!

When I saw there was an Everyone Loves Raymond marathon on I certainly did not giggle to myself and settle in for an evening of viewing pleasure blocking out all the laundry and dishes I had to do.

There is no way I crossed my arms and cussed a few times inside my head when someone threw down a 76 point word in our iPhone Scrabble match. I could never have waited hours before I could bring myself to make my move all the while contemplating forfeiting the game..that would have been childish and silly!


Thursday, November 18, 2010


Every single year the holiday season seems to get here faster and faster. As a matter of fact everything seems to be traveling at warp speed these days. When I stop for a second and turn around and look I realize I don't have babies anymore. Which is probably good because I never completed baby books for any of them. If you know me at all you know I am not a baby book kind of gal. I can't be that organized. Pictures in chronological order with cute little sayings are beyond me. That doesn't mean I don't want to make memories with my children though. I like the kinds of memories you build year after year. The kind you start before they can talk and continue for so many years that they begin to preempt you by asking when they are going to happen. The kind of memories that create tradition.

To me tradition trumps tangible memories. But that is just me. I find no worth in framed elaborate family trees with the names of people I never knew on them or written recipes of great great great Aunt Sarah's pecan pie on the original smudged paper. On the other hand taking that recipe and using it with my kids year after year to shop for the ingredients and then bake the pie together is something that brings joy to my heart. Those are the kinds of things I hope to pass on to my kids. Those kinds of memories that live in the mind and soul. The kind that keep you going during your very first quarter at college until that long awaited holiday break. The ones that replace the sugar plums dancing in your head. The things that matter beyond wrapped gifts and glittery decorations.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Trends are usually things that don't actually conjure up emotions for me. Sometimes I follow them sometimes I don't but they certainly don't get under my skin and make me take a stance. Yesterday I read about a trend that infuriated me. One that I think messes with childhood magic and family tradition. The NO SANTA trend. Many people just starting their families are making a conscious effort to raise their children without the Santa Claus story. Without the traditions of the chimney and the reindeer and the stockings hung on the fireplace. They are choosing to tell their children Santa is a fake made-up story and the only real story is the one of Jesus. I take offense at this. I certainly would never tell someone who believes in the story in the bible about how Christmas came to be that it was a fake. I think the two are very different, very separate stories. One does not make the other smaller or less significant.

To me Santa is a gateway to all the things that are sweet and innocent about childhood. Letting your child believe in something that they can't make logical sense of fosters their imagination. I for one want my children to have faith in things that might be. I want them to feel the tradition that I felt as a kid. I want them to simply be children. To believe, sight unseen. It only lasts for such a short time and stripping Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy from them could be as detrimental as any other childhood trauma that causes them to lose their innocence. I don't remember the exact day I found out Santa wasn't real so it must not have caused too much pain. As a matter of fact there is a little piece of me that still believes in the fantastic magic of Santa because he encompasses the spirit of Christmas....and after all that is the spirit that parenting is all about.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sweet Ride

Last time I got in my car I noticed the melted crayon on the console and the wrappers on the floor. I saw the rip in the back of the seat and the crumbs permanently ground into the carpet. The van that I fervently fought getting 8 years ago. The one I was sure I wasn't old enough to own. The one that blended into the family as easily a much wanted new puppy.

When I drove that car off the lot I promised myself I would hold it at arms length and not let it become a part of us. The van had other ideas. It became a second house. It came with us to preschool and play dates. It weathered vacations and vomit. It affectionately became the red mommy bus and the M van. It provided diversions of movies and music. It kept the kids far enough apart that spats were short lived yet close enough to be able to play games and read together.

The minute it was paid off I started to imagine myself driving something much hipper. I saw myself in something new and shiny without the sliding doors and wiggles music. I would think of myself driving my new wheels with the breeze in my hair and a smile on my face. The last time I caught a glimpse of the war torn insides I realized a few things. The grass is always greener. That van encompasses my girls' childhood that is quickly slipping away. It is a scrapbook on wheels. As much as I want to pretend I am done with my minivan days I think I might hold on to it for a year ...or maybe two.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Fantasy Ticket

The election brings out so many wolves in sheep's clothing. The candidates promise rainbows and butterflies. They assure everyone of their moral and ethical quality. They all make promises that are impossible to keep. They want to present an ideal that we can't say no to no matter how much of it is hogwash and bullshit. Finding someone in the world of politics that is honest and straightforward is nearly impossible at least on the winning side. Americans want it all. They want their cake and to eat it too... with extra icing even. We buy into what we see as the perfect scenario. The problem is there is no perfection. Everyone has faults and over estimations and mistakes. Politicians are people. They sleep and eat and poop just like everyone else. They have wives and husbands and children who miss curfew. They get speeding tickets and forget to mow their grass. Human.

No one person can fix the problems in our country and no one person can cause the problems. There is enough blame to be distributed evenly over all parties. The fantasy I have is that everyone stops throwing blame onto other people and begins to really listen and work together. We all want things to be better. We all want the troops home and the economy to recover. Shut up about why you are better then him. Play nice in the sand box and build an America we can all be proud of.