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Posts Tagged ‘sons’

This has been a soothing time for us, with ups and downs as anyone is feeling in these “unprecedented times”. Although, the world has lived through times similar to these before I am sure.

But I am writing about my life right now. It’s hard to let go and realize I don’t have to run somewhere…at any time right now. My body, mind, and spirit are slowly adjusting to it. Things are stressful, Hubby’s work has slowed dramatically, my work has had a decent share of stress. I had one my beloved vestibular migraines from April 9-April 29, so that was fun. But I finally don’t look like I’m drunk while I walk around my house. And happily did not need to drive anywhere because I can’t.

And in this time at home I have rediscovered cards. How did I forget about the joy of cards? Younger Son is mildly obsessed, has over a dozen decks. He has several from a company called Theory Eleven. The cards were so nice I finally broke down and bought myself two decks. Not that I don’t still have my trusty Bee Peppermill deck of cards that I’ve used since my college days.

But these new cards are art. I felt a little guilty when I first shuffled them, starting to break them in. They’re gorgeous. We’ve been playing Go Fish, Palace, Gin, Gin Rummy. I want to remember how to play Spit and War. We also played Uno the other night. And a coworker told me about Pit. I ordered it online, it arrived, and we played it last night. All I can say is our neighbors may think us insane. Shouts of “Trade One! Trade Three! Trade Two!” echoing out of our living room windows last night. We were loud, laughing, and having a grand time. May have scared the dog a bit. Older Son was thrilled to FINALLY win a game.

My goal once the world gets spinning again is to keep this pace as best we can. We usually ate dinner together most nights. We often played games. But there was always a lingering presence of The Things That Need To Be Done, at least in my mind, and then I would speak about The Things That Need To Be Done, removing all of us from the moment. Living in the moment has been a beautiful accident with the way the world is right now. I pledge not to let go of that. This is that chance to see what life can be if one chooses to slow down, appreciate what one has instead of thinking about what one wants, and focus on what really matters.

It’s the simple things, like a beautiful (old) deck of cards.

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Lunch was actually at a little pizza shop. I will never complain about the price of pizza in my hometown again. A pizza in Manhattan requires a small loan. It was really good pizza.

Younger son and I went into New York City with the band and select Chorale for the musical field trip. This year’s show was Hello Dolly starring Bernadette Peters and Victor Garber. I thought the show was phenomenal- great costumes, sets, amazing choreography. And Ms. Peters is phenomenal. And I love Victor Garber. I had the good fortune to see Bernadette Peters in Annie Get Your Gun when a friend of mine was in the cast. It’s great to have seen her in a second show and I don’t know how she has the energy she does at age 70 because I, at age 47, was exhausted just watching the show.

It was a great day with younger son and I had a really fun time making that memory with him at his first Broadway play.

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Okay, first, it automatically capitalized Trump.

Second, this isn’t about politics. It’s about how easily I’ve been avoiding the vile, nasty behavior people have been exhibiting since the election.

On Facebook, I only check my notifications, wish folks happy birthday as needed, and then hop off again. 

Avoid Twitter completely, which I discovered is really freakin’ easy to do.

Technically I have an Instagram thing, but if you follow me, you know how well I took to that form of social waste my time media.

I read articles from BBC and Japan Times, use Messenger a lot, and find I have a lot more time on my hands. Yes, this blog is social media, but since comments are so freakin’ rare, it’s really more of a one-sided social media for me. As one of my friends from college would say, it’s between me and my voices.

It’s my journal nowadays, I suppose. Although I still journal on paper too. I post shit I don’t mind sharing with my five faithful readers.

Updates on some topics…

Wally is sadly still here. PB still hates him, and we all know I’m not fond of him. I did recently realize that although I love bread, the feeling is not mutual. Now, I won’t give that up, but I am going to curb it a bit. And I let myself have chocolate regularly again because when I stopped eating it, I gained ten pounds. Even my doctor was in favor of me taking that back. He realized I was more likely to keep exercising if I still eat chocolate.

Me & the fam have been playing games practically every night. Board games, card games, and sometimes just games on our devices, all in the same room. A little solitary, non-thinking time, but not alone. Together.

Banging my head against the wall at times about my teenage sons, but I know how blessed I am. I have two unique, bright, talented, funny, loving sons who are traveling their life paths to the march of their own drummers. And the time is passing very quickly, so I focus on them. And with how uncool I am now, I have more time for real conversation with Hubby or time to do hobbies that I forgot I enjoyed.

I like living mostly unplugged. It makes it easier to see the good that’s all around.

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I’ve been avoiding Instagram. Well, social media in general, including this blog. I finally logged back into my Instagram and saw this post.

The date at the bottom says: 52 weeks. Yes, a year since I took what would become my final picture of me and my Bear. We saw Bear a lot between this picture (April 1, 2015) and the car accident. But still, some picture had to be my last one with him. This is a pretty good one for it to be. Each time I look at my 15 year clock, I think of him. He had to open the gift-wrapped box in the parking lot, like a little kid, so he could see what the gift was and then, open the box to see the actual clock.

Younger and Older Sons have cried this week. Both miss him so much. Younger son got his baseball jersey today, looked at the number, and was somewhat indifferent, but he didn’t say he disliked it. When I said Bearpaw must have picked it for him, younger son asked why. I reminded  him that Bearpaw was born in 1939, so 39 was perfect for him. His smile beamed from ear to ear. He doesn’t cry going to the ballpark anymore (the last time we saw Bearpaw was at the ballpark). He is beginning to love baseball again.

52 weeks. I sang “Happy Birthday” to him at the cemetery this past Thursday. It’s still so surreal.

And, as a geeky side note, ’39 by Queen is one of my faves.

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In 1993 I walked out of a movie theater scared to death that the T-Rex was going to swallow me whole on the way home. It was one of those movies that changed the way you look at movies. I loved everything about it. I loved Spielberg for making it. In the second one, I loved that Spielberg again had a dog eaten by the scary creature, a very hungry T-Rex (first dog was eaten in Jaws). I love Jaws and watch it regularly and always on the Fourth of July (Amity, as you know, means friendship). These movies are a part of my mind’s eye.

My sons have grown up watching Spielberg movies and tonight we shared seeing Jurassic World in the theater. Sunday we will see Jaws in the theater and celebrate 40 years of Bruce.  Older son’s room has dinosaur murals and Younger Son’s room has Bruce painted on one wall of his ocean mural. I love the movies that Spielberg creates, in whatever role he plays. You can just tell when he has his hand in it. To see my sons walk out of the theater tonight with huge smiles on their faces and to hear them talk incessantly about the movie on the way home are memories that will warm my heart for a long time.

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We have stayed up late the past few evenings playing Battleship.  Not the newfangled electronic version, but the classic peg and plastic ship version.  It was Hubby’s when he was a wee small boy.  The boys love when they win and hate when they lose.  It’s been several nights chock full of learning how to be a good sport.  The marathon series of games helps that lesson.  There is always another game and another winner.

Life is about winning and losing.  There is no way of getting around that.  The “cards” you are dealt may not seem fair, but truly is what you do with the cards that matter.  You can always discard them and hope for better.  You don’t need to sit there and bemoan your lot in life, change the cards and see what happens.

We are trying to help Younger Son realize that he can change his cards.  Fourth grade does not have to be remembered as the year of the bully.  It has been filled with so many wonderful events, life milestones, and new accomplishments.  And I do believe I am seeing some signs of him moving forward in this idea.  As with anything with nine year olds, it is two steps forward, three steps back, but he is getting there. A more positive outlook, kind words, kind actions, and allowing himself to be and feel happy.  We slowed things down, as much as we could, and it is making a difference in helping him remember that the bully has no power over him.

He likes quoting Sarah.  “You have no power over me.”  He is re-embracing his uniqueness and savoring marching to his own drummer.  He is remembering that he is an Addams!  He’s remembering he can sink that Battleship!

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Dirty Hands

Me: How did your hands get this dirty?

Younger Son:  Well, I fell off my ripstik and then landed…

Me:  Why didn’t you wash them?

YS: I’m a boy. We’re dirty.

Me:  You know, boys can be clean.

YS: Yes, but mostly we’re not.

He ate his sandwich with those hands.  A quadruple decker PB&J.  With those hands.  Ew.

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Sadness, heartache, grief, worry, concern, some more sadness, frustration, anger, are all emotions and feelings I have had as a parent.  I worry about my sons everyday and everyday they find new ways to give me attitude.They are experts at that now and deliver it with such finesse they should offer training workshops on it for other kids.  They always seem to know just how to dig in and make my heart weep just a little bit.  The angry “I know, Mom” response is probably my favorite because it’s rife with the conflict they are feeling.  They do know I am right, and they hate it.  They do know that they know better, and they hate that probably more than they hate me being right.  They get so frustrated that they forgot to make the better choice again.

So I pray every morning on the way to work that they will have good experiences at school each day.  They will make the better choice when facing tricky situations.  They will remember that they are 11 and 9 and should be having fun in their childhoods and not take it too seriously.

They don’t call me anymore after school.  They are too big for that.  Which means when I get home around 6:15 we get to have the conflict about homework, again.  I wish I could make them have the realization that they could have their homework done by 4:30 if they choose to, but I can’t.  So that means resistance when I get home since I want it completed and they want to keep riding their razor ripstiks.  Only one of us can win this battle, and it usually is me, and this is a battle to win.  Smaller ones I let go because the adage is true, you have to choose your battles.

Because at the end of the day, when they are asleep in their beds, and you can still see the baby inside the boy, parenting sucks a little more love into your heart, and it sucks a little more breath away as you listen to them breathe.  Parenting sucks a little bit of cynicism out of your system every day as you listen to their conversations, without them knowing because jeez, Mom, you wouldn’t understand, and you hear the optimism coming from their minds and souls.  It sucks a little bit of your learned prejudices and behaviors out of your system as you remember that these are learned aspects of life.  It sucks a little bit of the tiredness you feel after working all week and infuses you with energy to see their smiles when they wake up in the morning, thinking of the important things in life: playing with Legos, riding a skateboard, staring at the clouds, making your cat dance, picking a flavor of ice cream at White Dotte, arguing who is better, Iron Man or Spiderman, and creating magical treasures using only glue, yarn, and popsicle sticks.  These are some of the secrets they don’t tell you about parenting.

That and the amazingly high number of times you will hear the word “poop” in a day.

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I got home a little after midnight from a long but happy day at work. I was fortunate enough to end my day with a Mr Holland’s moment from two of my tutors. I did not realize until after they gave me those wonderful moments how much I needed those moments.

I said hello to my sons, to my husband, and to my dog. The cats ignored me as they typically do. It was a good day at work and I had fun. It felt like a day at work from a couple of years ago, full of fun, but also productive.

And my older son said he was happy that I had fun at work today. He said he knew I had been sad at work lately and was happy that today was fun. He told me I should enjoy work. He then gave me very wise advice. He said choose a job that you love and you will never work a day in your life. And now I have to Google if it really was Confucius who said that, since that’s what the eleven year old claimed.

Okay, it is typically attributed to Confucius, but there are some raging debates that it couldn’t have been him. We’ll let it lie. Because it’s already out there.

I haven’t quite been sad at work, but it’s hard to explain to my sons without making them worry. There has been a lot going on within the boys’ lives and so it’s been very tricky to balance it all. My heart has wanted to be at home when they are home, but that’s not how the job description reads. I’m fortunate-I can take time off as I need to in order to handle much of what is going on. But I still worry while I’m at work.

I know, I know, worrying gets you nowhere. But I’m a mom. And tonight I’m a grace-filled mom and wife who had a fun day at work.

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