#doitanyway, #freedom, #homeschoolingrealshit, Find A Way, parenting struggles

District 2020

We had a 13th birthday party for my daughter last week; decided to make it an 8th grade kick off as well. This means we invited the whole class, all genders, hoping the class would possibly get along…together. (This class has not worked since day one.) We also rented a dunk tank assuming this should be a hit; and perhaps they would forget they can’t stand each other😂.

My daughter kept warning me about the boys, she said “Mom, they have no consideration for anyone but themselves.” (Probably repeating what she had heard year after year from the teachers.)

I was getting the yard (arena) ready the night before. I ripped a piece of shipping tape off the side of the pool (kids tried to ghetto-ly hang some rope lights next to the filter. 😂) Suddenly, I feel a sharp, shooting, burning pain on side of my head. I thought for a second I electrocuted myself. Then I see a wasp flying around. I look under pool edge and there is a giant a yellow jacket nest.

I considered spraying it and removing it myself. However, when I googled what to use, it strongly advised not to do this alone. Then found some websites for bee removal services and “Swarm removal.” 😬 (Usually, I would ignorantly underestimate the situation and fearlessly proceed. Then I had a momentary flashback of THE HUNGER GAMES’ tracker jacker scene and….it is 2020.

The hive has probably been there all summer. Adults & kids have been here swimming almost daily; no one saw it or got stung. I email some of these services, receive some prices and then they explain this is a 3 step process that needs to start at dusk .

The party begins in 14 hours, there won’t be time for someone to do all these steps. I hope, pray and assume no one will see the hive. I am then distracted by a past winner, “Haymitch” who graciously drops off a cooler of Gatorade and cookies.

Good luck…

12pm: I notice on my phone the temperature outside is a perfect 84 degrees; I look out the window, not a cloud in the sky. The most perfect day. Despite the temperature on my smart phone, stepping outside is a different story. As I slowly slide the door open, I am hit with a humidity blast that feels like 110 blazing degrees.

I am pouring with sweat setting up the bean bag boxes and volleyball net. I stop to wipe the sweat from my brow that is stinging my eyes. As a stand still, I feel the sun searing through my sun-screened, pale af, freckled, perimenopausal skin.

12:30pm: Most of the “tributes” have arrived. The girls remain on the deck, staring wide-eyed at the boys who are violently shoving each other into the pool and holding each other underwater. The floats are mangled and destroyed within seconds. The girls remain shocked & terrified; unsure if they should enter the pool or get blistered in the sun.

1pm: The dunk tank has been delivered. As I am pulling our hoses to fill the tank, I hear “It’s a Yellowjacket!” “Omg there’s a yellow jacket nest!” “Awesome!!!”

To my horror, all the boys are now surrounding the backside of the pool armed with bean bags, a ball, whiffle bats, and a broom (where the hell did he even find that?) Immediately, I demand they drop their weapons and step away from the hive.

“You guys are going to get stung!“ I exclaim. The boys playfully reply, “No we won’t!” Or “We don’t care!” I try another tactic: “Would you care if I record you and send to your parents?” Most freeze and give that you-wouldn’t-dare-look. I glare back at them👇🏻.

All except one take the bait and retreat. The last is still laughing maniacally as he is shoving the broomstick into the heart of the tracker jackers lair. I remove the broom from the boy, he mopes away with his head down, temporarily defeated.

1:30pm: I witness the girls still standing on the deck with their mouths hanging open. I gently encourage the girls to go in the pool while boys are out. Thankfully, “Peeta” shows up with lunch!

While kids are eating, I hide the “weapons” in the basement. Then I hear a loud, thumping sound. I run outside and see a heckling boy sitting on the dunk tank seat. The boys have already begun throwing balls at the dunk tank target. The Problem is there is only one inch of water in it. I envision a Tom & Jerry episode (pic below).

Before I plummet into debt from a kid requiring extensive dental work or sustaining an injury in the empty tank; I completely over-react with a loud, shrilling, scream. Everyone looks at me, stunned. *Side note: My reaction is amplified due to the dunk tank manual boldly stating SEVERE injury should occur if dunk tank is not full or “damage to the tank will result in responsible parties assuming cost of repair.”😱🙈

👆🏻Me: Visualizing myself having to listen to my husband’s lecture about adulting and “dunk tank repair” is not being financially responsible. 😜

2pm: I regained composure and tell the kids how high the water needs to be in the tank before they can use it. I assured them I have three hoses going and it should be full in 20 minutes. This answer pacified them and the boys retreat back into the pool, while sporadically antagonizing the bees. I notice The grass around the pool is flooded (Tick Tock Tidal Wave).

2:14pm “Someone’s been stung!” I hear repeatedly by numerous girls. (Tick Tock Tracker Jackers)

As I am searching for a sting antidote in my closet, I remember something important from my kids toddler years.. At every playdate, it was chaos the first two hours; then magically the kids started to get along. The kids had to get used to and adjust to having another kid around. Epiphany: That is what is happening now! The two hour mark is in 15 minutes!

Stung tribute…Don’t say I didn’t warn ya kid.

I walk down the stairs and find the entire floor from the back door to the front is soping wet. I am blindsided with a smell of stove gas & wet dog combined with sewage. My daughter is shaking her head at me. I ask her, “For the love of God, what is that smell?” (Tick Tock: Poisonous gas) My daughters glares at me with contempt, that “mom-you’re-so-dumb” look.

“Mom! I told you this would happen! All the boys smashed into the bathroom and locked the door so we couldn’t use it! They don’t wear deodorant! Then one of them took a big dump!” My daughter exclaims.

For once, the Covid mask comes in handy as I cover my nose & mouth. I locked the front & garage door to prevent numerous, wet entries and dried the floor. I tell my daughter, “They are boys, they never hung out with you guys yet. They just need boundaries and limits; it will be okay. If not, they are leaving in 2 hours and we won’t have to do this again.”

“Two more hours of this!? UGH!” She exclaims and stomps away.

2:30pm Some of other boys have now realized that there are girls present. “Effie” shows up to help me (hallefuckinglujah!). We gather them all together to take a group picture. Immediately following the flash, the boys simultaneously charge at the girls, pushing them into the pool. The girls nervously laugh and Effie and I shrug in unison; “At least they are all in the pool together.”

The dunk tank is full. The girls huddle and watch the boys heckle, whips balls at the bullseye and dunk each other. This contained, organized activity has seemed to spark the interest of all parties. The boys surprisingly organize themselves into a line and take turns throwing and being dunked. I overhear one of the more advanced thinkers of the group (who has sisters 😂), “Aren’t we going to let the girls have a turn?”

With two other moms present to supervise, I take this opportunity to escape. I had some lunch, cooled down in the AC and changed my clothes. The fear-induced “hallucinations” begin to subside and I have an epiphany.

My yard is the “arena” and the arena in a CLOCK! Just like in Catching Fire! It’s just a GAME! Stop giving a fuck and just play the game!!!

3pm: I look outside at the “arena”. I see “Effie” & “Peeta” sitting on lounge chairs with their feet up. To my surprise, some of the kids are either playing bean bags together or making a whirlpool. What…the…

Toddler to Teen mindset: Every “play date” takes two hours for the kids to get along.
That’s just the way it is.

Haymitch shows up holding a 6-pack and provides some useful advice. We enjoy some cold, adult beverages as a team. We effin did it! It WORKED! We won!

I have a sip of the “adult elixir” and experience another revelation… “They are just kids! They are supposed to be assholes! It’s our job to teach them to not be! They do not know how to play the game yet! We have to teach them how to play!”

Peeta organized the bean bag tournament. The kids all sat TOGETHER and watched each other play. I couldn’t believe it. Haymitch periodically would make the kids stop and take cleaning breaks. They listened. It was an effin miracle! (A 2020 miracle …pssshhh. No way.)

The four of us are sitting around talking and laughing. Parents are starting to show up to pick up their kids; grateful for the long break from their kids after a five month quarantine.

My daughter whispers in my ear, “Can you text all the parents now before anyone else comes so everyone can stay later?”

“What!? I thought you couldn’t wait until this was over? Remember you were frustrated there was two hours left?” Stay later?!? She’s hallucinating; musta been stung by a tracker jacker. I still almost fall out of my seat.

Daughter: “Well that was before. It’s been SO fun. I never want it to end. Everyone wants to stay.”

“They do?”

“Yep. And…You. were. right. Mom.”

👆🏻HO.LEE.SHIT. Was not expecting that👆🏻Me, Mom…was…right?. Tears of joy welled in my eyes.

I really did win!

😂 #winningmommoment

#freedom

That Was Way Harsh, Tai

As my 14 loyal fans are aware😜, I am a huge fan of the REAL & RAW AF @markmanson
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He posts a free newsletter every Monday. I highly recommend it. How to sign up: https://markmanson.net/newsletter

It’s called MINDFUCK MONDAY. Which I usually read on Tuesday because I’m too tired on Monday to be mindfucked.😂
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Sometimes Mark is way harsh… and I want to crawl back in bed and hide under the covers. 😂 I eventually process and see where I’m wrong…or think more about what he means in ways that make sense in my brain…then move forward.


My kids are at this stage of where explaining to them how to make decisions based on their personal values needs to happen… (yes we should be helping them figure that out- knowing your teens personal values also helps us understand them better.) #homeschoolingrealshit

https://markmanson.net/values/personal-values-guide

Perhaps you don’t even know what your personal values are. It’s okay, just figure it out now by using above guide. It helps you understand why certain situations piss you off more than others.

By Teaching yourself, then you can assist the kids; and your spouse😜.

I am sure we are all teaching our kids the COST of their decisions even while toddlers; without even realizing it. Teaching them the consequences of their actions. However, I think with teenagers, we want to teach them the consequences BEFORE they actually make the decision. Then they won’t ponder “what would happen if I did this?” Example: “Will my mom lose her shit if I say this? Let’s try it….”

Teaching our kids the COST: I.E. spending a half hour reading before playing a video game and a half hour exercising may SUCK. However, what you do now sucks and you will spend one less hour with your friends online; but the BENEFIT outweighs the cost. The COMPOUND EFFECT of this sucking over a year equals GREAT, BIG, HUGE results.

This is also a great read to reinforce daily habits.

Here is an example of Mark Manson link from newsletter:

“Our minds are poor at compounding things over time. We overestimate the pain of doing something for 30 minutes today, without realizing the compounding effects it can have if we fail to do it every day for months and months on end.

Mark Manson

“For example, let’s pretend there’s some imaginary skill that if you practiced for 30 minutes a day, that you’d get 1% better each day for the next year. Now, let’s say you actually did practice for 30 minutes per day — how much better would you be at the end of the year?

But the real answer? You’d be 3,778% — or almost 38 times — better than you were at the start of the year.” https://markmanson.net/decision-making

Thinking of my shenanigans as a 13 and 14 year old has resulted in my having some minor panic stricken moments…

Now I am no expert, however I go with my gut with most decisions and in my few stellar parenting moments. Yes I think Mark Manson is brilliant. However, One thing I have that @markmanson doesn’t have is…offspring.

I have experience with my offspring. The vulnerability of loving someone so much that you created and you are 100% responsible for; that is some real, hardcore shit. Parenting ain’t no joke.

Before I had kids, I believed “KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.”

Post kids belief, “APPLIED KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.”

I thought and believed a lot of things before I had kids that completely changed once I had kids. My personal values are completely different now than they were 15 years ago. Or having kids strengthens the values you did have or causes you to modify your values.

Example: One thing I hated as a kid and teen and now as an adult is mixed messages. I did always value transparency. “Do what you say, say what you mean.” Clear communication and concise messages makes a difference to me. I’m not into games, assuming, expecting someone to know what I’m thinking.

I hate when people expect me to read their mind. I’m not a fan of those work emails that are vague, and sent as a blanket to the whole department addressing someone’s mistake (usually mine). “Please remember to not have sexual intercourse on your desk.” (That was wrong? Should I not have done that?)😜

Then everyone becomes paranoid, “Did I do that? I didn’t know we couldn’t have sex on our desk?!”

I would prefer my boss to address my screw up personally in 10 words or less; then give me the consequences. It sucks at first but I won’t ever make that mistake again. Then move on. The rules are in the handbook. No need to involve everyone. Sheesh.

I see this a lot with my kids. When I am not being clear or specifically asking them what I want them to do; this results in big arguments. They check out after about 10 words. So I attempt to count the words prior to addressing them.

1.) If 2.) You. 3.) Want 4.) Money 5.) You 6.) Have. 7. ) To 8.) Do 9.) These10.) Chores

As far as letting your kid know the consequences before the decision is made, then there is no assumptions. If we are upfront about our expectations and what the consequences are if they do not follow these expectations; there is less battles in the long run (compound effect).

Example: My son has not given me any indication that he has used alcohol yet or has tried to sneak it. However, the more I learn about alcohol and binge drinking; the more I wonder how me and my friends are alive right now. I think about how lucky we were. Anyone else relate?

Sadly, I know some that were not so lucky.

Anyways, I told my son one day in May this year while we were hanging out watching TV “Oh, by the way, If you or any of your friends drink alcohol anywhere, you will lose your phone for a month and no one will come over for the rest of the summer.”

His eyes bulged out of his head and replies softly, “We won’t. I won’t.”

Clear concise consequences stated before the decision. There is no “I didn’t know.”

Now I am aware of the other loopholes that I would have also used with my parents, “You said alcohol! You didn’t say anything about weed or his moms prescription Xanax.”

That is where going with your gut and personal values comes in. Does it feel wrong? Then it probably is.

Last summer, we both told our kids that if they are in a situation that feels wrong; call us and we will pick them up…no questions asked. If they want to talk about it, they can, when they are ready. Also, they also won’t be in trouble for telling the truth.

It was premature to tell them last summer, but I think the shock value of this statement stuck with them so early. Like “what situation could I possibly be in that I would have to call you to pick me up?”

This year, my kids have been in situations that seemed like they are no big deal to me (their friend said or did something they didn’t like or felt wrong) and they came home early or asked us to pick them up. To them, it is ALL a big deal.

I hate FaceTime but I would prefer my kids do that with friends instead of texting. Texting is helpful sometimes, however so much can be misconstrued via text. I tell my kids “have conversations with your friends” and “don’t put anything in writing or post anything you wouldn’t want their mom to read.” Once it’s out there in the “cloud”, it can always be discoverable.

Dealing with peer pressure is difficult, even as an adult. When you do stand up for what you believe or stick with your decision; it stings like a mfer when your “friends” provide you with their consequences for your decision.

Teaching your kids/teens the crabs in a bucket metaphor helps them have a visual. The metaphor of someone pulling you back down “stay here and be miserable with me.” It tough time find a video of crabs in action so I edited one I found from you tube. https://youtu.be/UJdtaaDOkEo

Lastly, my last two parenting tips for yourself and your kids in “five words or less.” #parentyourself

“Nothing good happens after 2am.”

Even if your kids aren’t going to late night bars such as Brewbakers or Grouchos; 😜 staying up at home watching TV or playing video games past 2am is usually not wise. This is where your friends get overtired and start saying stupid shit to stay awake or act out such as kick you out of “video game party” (whatever the hell this is).

Stick with this mindset

How this leads to bad habits as adults=After 2am bad decisions. This is where those last two dranks throw you over the edge; leading to a massive hangover or blackout. Past 2am is where you have beer goggles and hook up with someone that’s a “full-on Monet”…(see below) you wouldn’t have looked at before midnight.

If you have a friend, preferably gay, that calls you “Duchess” or something close to that 😉 . Any friend that makes you blush with how special & supported they make you feel; keep this friend at all costs.
Questionable friendship?
#Beyourself, #brenebrown, #freedom, #opportunity, #simonsinek, brene brown, davidkesler, glennondoyle, Grief, unlockingus, vulnerability

Quarantine-ING

DO-Ing

typing, writing, blogging, documenting, lifting, texting, Editing, painting, cleaning, spraying, wiping, exercising, scrubbing, folding, washing, bringing, dropping, returning, buying, framing, ordering, shopping, selecting, carrying, drinking, posting, networking, punching, pushing, pulling, decorating, eating, spending, clicking, entering, hanging, filling, loading, unloading, tapping, cutting, pasting, organizing, sorting, driving, downloading, uploading, swiping, scrolling, teaching, knowing, competing, disciplining, tweeting, taming, fearing, sorting, worrying, numbing, controlling, binging, guessing, confusing, dying, producing, moving, locking, journaling, questioning, debating, arguing, avoiding, fixing, finding, searching, planning, resisting, wishing, looking, filling, running, circling, drowning, refusing, fighting…

BE-ing

Sitting, sleeping, watching, hydrating, laughing, smelling, crying, listening, hearing, seeing, dancing, playing, talking, touching, baking, prepping, praying, snuggling, creating, bathing, planting, soaking, replenishing, strengthening, zooming, holding, learning, riding, napping, enlightening, dreaming, calling, connecting, hugging, stopping, quieting, soothing, reflecting, enjoying, smiling, loving, empowering, grieving, pausing, living, giving, feeling, staying, appreciating, facing, unplugging, growing, resting, helping, healing, shining, hoping, fasting, unlocking, braving, allowing, permitting, surrendering

Which “ING” have you been doing?

Yea, me too…

I recognized this morning that “I’m doing it wrong.”

Weekend Goals

BE-ing

#freedom

Southside BLASPHEMY

This book was a tough read…
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Took me a long time to get through it…
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When I say this, it is because unlike Malcolm Gladwell’s @malcolmgladwell other books, this one touched on extremely emotional topics.
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I didn’t get it at first, as usual (I’m slow) or perhaps it’s the haze of cognitive dissonance…

I didn’t like it at first is because it made me feel things I didn’t want to feel.

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It made me think about topics I avoid…


It made me uncomfortable.

It made me nauseous…at times.

Then something clicked and I got it.

@malcolmgladwell pulls at your heartstrings with true stories, cases, that are controversial and breaks them down…

He discusses what WE can do to communicate better with people we do not know.

He reveals how some people “may not act the way WE think they should act”.

I will lightly touch on some of the topics in this book that I feel compelled to weigh in on so if you want to KNOW NOTHING about the book and read it yourself: please stop reading. (But begins you go, please enjoy this meme regarding “spoiler alerts” below 😂)

****Spoiler alert****

An intriguing example is when Gladwell explains the Amanda Knox case and what could have been done differently.

Malcolm clarifies that the whole ordeal Amanda was sucked into was because the Italian police didn’t think she “acted” the way she should be acting when her roommate was murdered.

Amanda didn’t “show emotion” or “communicate how she should.”

It’s seems like it should be such a clear concept, except we all know it is not. We all judge people on their behavior, their words, their actions. We judge because someone is not “behaving” the way we would.

On the opposite spectrum of innocence, Gladwell breaks down the Penn State/Sandusky scandal. (This is where I struggled the most with getting through this book.) Sandusky went years untouched and undetected because “he doesn’t act like a child molester” or “his victims don’t act like they were abused”. Sandusky was adored by all. Sandusky was a god on that campus.

Gladwell brings up many other controversial and historical topics such as Hitler, Sylvia Plath, and Gingis Khan.

Therefore, Gladwell solidifies his point that: The human race overall, sucks at talking with strangers.

Transparency is the idea that people’s behavior and demeanor—the way they represent themselves on the outside—provides an authentic and reliable window into the way they feel on the inside.

Malcolm Gladwell: Talking to Strangers
Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don’t Know https://www.amazon.com/dp/0316478520/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_9eWNEbRW7CFK5

Here’s the Southside Blasphemy:

BUZZKILL

But what does mean? What does “responsibly” mean? Is it like that vague moderation bullshit?


Gladwell painfully examines binge drinking and college sexual assaults. He breaks down the culture of socially-acceptable-yet-dangerous-binge-drinking and how this scientifically affects the human brain.

Gladwell goes into detail about black outs; the lack of communication between people while intoxicated and how so many assumptions are made. He brings to light how serious incidents are minimized and the misconception of society’s view of alcohol abuse.



Gladwell deliberates how men are called weak and berated if they don’t keep drinking, slam shots or chug beer bongs. He states how women are glorified if they can “drink a guy under the table” and how women are judged by “how cool they are” based on how much alcohol she can consume.



Then he dissertates the differences between men and women’s genetic make-up, how they metabolize alcohol differently and what happens biologically to the body and mind.

EYE OPENING.

I listened to this chapter with with different ears. As a parent, you have no choice but to imagine your kids in one of these situations.

I never considered teaching my daughter “how” to drink (not sure I am qualified either 😜maybe I need another adult to do that for me;). I never thought of teaching my son exactly how to “be respectful of women”, knowing how to ask for permission and when no means no.

However, if you are on the fence, here’s some tasty vodka to assist you loosen up to say YES! (Mixed messages)🤨

I just assumed that my kids would make good decisions based on how we raised them. However, Gladwell discusses how alcohol, and the impact of society & social media erases all of that.

Example: “Don’t do what I do. Do what I tell ya.” Didn’t even fly with me in the 70’s/80’s.

The impact alcohol has on sexual assault:

This part in the audiobook was exceptionally painful; listening to a real court case of a sexual assault between two freshman at a college campus. Listening to testimony of a 19 year old MALE who “assumed” the girl he making out with was “okay with everything” because “she didn’t say anything.”

In reality, she was in a black out; unconscious.

In the testimony, the 19 yo make speculates what happens; then when asked directly, he admits he truly doesn’t remember the situation either.

Yet here he is, in court after making some bad decisions he doesn’t remember while intoxicated as a freshman in college: facing a jail sentence, expulsion, felony charges and a 15-year listing on the sex offender registry.

I couldn’t help but have empathy for the female but also for the guy; he was just a kid who is 5 years older than my own son. He was clueless, naive, and he ASS-umed. I could actually see myself and our friends laughing about a situation like this – (hooking up with someone in a black out-where neither party remember or know each other’s names) in college or even last year. However, when it is your child, it is a whole different deal.


…This chapter lead to one of many future discussions with my kids about alcohol use and how we all, as parents, have to educate our kids on safe drinking. I can say I “don’t want my kids using alcohol” however I know they will. So atleast as parents, we need to specifically educate them exactly how to “drink responsibly.” Brevity is key.

“Drink responsibly” is the message that is repeated, but what does that mean? I had to figure that out for myself and it took 30 years! I still drink too fast.

Therefore, if we know this, we need to offer our kids some guidance on HOW to drink responsibly.

However there are so many societal mixed messages. The ambivalence is similar to Frank the tanks “I have a lot to do tomorrow, but it tastes so good as it touches your lips.”

(Speaking of mixed messages, coming soon is a spin off of this article regarding the D.A.R.E. program…gasp… yes I said it)

In educating kids and teens, you cannot always say a specific number of drinks or beers because everyone metabolizes alcohol differently. We also have to educate them on the social impact their “being responsible” might result in. Transparent Translation: their friends and peers might give them a lot of shit for turning down shots or not slamming beer after beer. We have to educate them that how much they can drink has nothing to do with “coolness.”

Peer pressure is real, even after you have kids and are an “adult.”😂

Example: I was at a party last year and another parent offered me a drink. I turned it down because it was already 3am and I had to get up for my kids games at 9am. He smirked and replied “You used to be fun.” My inner—insecure-socially-awkward-teenager-self-emerged and immediately wanted to grab a bong like Frank the tank and “show him”! Adult peer pressure is real.😂

As a 40-something adult, I STILL had to remind myself he is kidding, he really doesn’t care if I drink or not and he honestly won’t even remember saying that to me.

We all like to belong. We all want to be fun (Fun Bobby) https://youtu.be/3nJ_l5qMrdw

No one wants to feel “not fun” (turns out fun Bobby is not so fun anymore) https://youtu.be/Y9qR3y_oLXM

However, we all need to have these uncomfortable feelings and transparent conversations. 2020 Kids are fucking smart.

#freedom, #greatpretender, parenting struggles, vulnerability, Women's Fight

I am Henrietta Hill

The last three days have been interesting…

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It’s the First time BOTH of my kids have had projects at the same time.

(Be sure to check out hilarious science fair pics)

I hear myself sounding just like my mother and as much as I hated what she told me … she was right.

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I was so rotten as a teenager.

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But I guess that was my job.

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Maybe that’s the point of having kids. To learn how much of an asshole you were and truly appreciate your own parents.

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The other day, I said to my son

“I didn’t have kids to have them stare at a screen like a zombie all evening.”

His reply, “Then what did you have kids for?”.

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That’s a good question.

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I actually didn’t have an answer ….

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I always said I DIDN’T want kids.

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I was the oldest and I had to change three of my siblings diapers and feed them.

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I remember cleaning poop from under my brothers balls and thinking “The hell with this.”😂

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As teenagers, I remembered how atrocious my siblings and I were to my mother.

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I never understood why my mom wouldn’t just go to bed when I was out 😂🙈😜

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Now I pick my kids up bitching and whining at 9:30pm because I want to go to bed.

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I never wanted to deal with that.

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I wanted to avoid that struggle and stress; Just completely bypass that journey.

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Then I fell for how adorable pregnant bellies are, how good babies smell & how cute and funny kids are when they are little. I got suckered into it.😂😜

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My maternal instinct kicked in I suppose.

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My heart wanted something despite what my brain said.

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But still…What did I have kids for?

After I drive back and forth on 127th street twelve times in a day with school, practices, games while juggling work, laundry, appointments, and making dinner; I think of Henry Hill and the last half hour of Good Fellas.

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While he is driving around, the helicopter is following him yet he attempts to go about his overbooked day…paranoid.

•Henry: 6:55am Doing a line of Coke

(Me: 5:55am – Energize drank🤪)

•7:30am Henry: Attempt to drop off guns to Jimmy (Me: Attempt to drive kids to school as fast as I can while kids fight)

•Henry: Get screamed at by Jimmy that guns are wrong and the drugs are turning his brain into mush

(Me: Kids bitch the whole way to school that they are always late because of me.)

•Henry: Dropping off guns in a paper bag

(Me: Finally Dropping kids off at school with lunches. Kids bitch about what’s in their lunch)

•Henry: Pick his brother up from hospital

(Me: Pick up medications from CVS)

•Henry: Braise veal, pork shanks and sausage for tomato sauce and while also getting some other great ideas for an appetizer

(Me: Scrolling on Pinterest for something to make for dinner and then end up giving up and default to spaghetti and frozen meatballs)

•Henry: Pick up a morose Karen

(Me: Pick up annoyed kids from school)

•Henry: Ditch the guns at his mother-in laws

(Me:Drop one kid at practice)

•Henry: Go pick up Drugs for Pittsburg deal

(Me: Pick up one kid from practice, drop one at a game early, go back home to drop other one off to finish homework, go back to other kids game -now late)

•Henry: Go to his side chic’s house to have her cut the drugs while she berates him; he eventually escapes cackling and she whips a cup of coke at him.

(Me: Make my kids do science projects and get the shit off dining room table while they bitch the whole time that they have to do this project. Get this project out of my life!!!)

•Finally eating dinner

••Like me, Henry did Not anticipate any setbacks like:

•Henry: The guns will be wrong and he has to figure out how to get money back.

(Me: Return some gifts the kids said they wanted for Christmas; but changed their mind- if I don’t do it today within the 30 day mark I will have to accept store credit🤬)

•Henry: Argue with his wife, Schmooze side chic to get drugs, and debate with his drug mule

(Me: Debate with old man about who drives where and why he thinks he can sit on the couch while discussing this.;)

•Henry: Give instructions to his old babysitter now drug mule only for her to ignore what he said, do exactly what he said not to and also forget her hat

(Me: Tell kids how to do science fair poster measurements, they say they understand, get annoyed with me and then they do exactly what I said not to do, all crooked- plus forgot science book)

•Henry: Almost getting into a car accident While looking at helicopter

(Me: Trying to find the away game location, not looking in front of me and almost back ending someone)

•Henry: When picking up his brother from hospital, the doctor made him sit down for an evaluation because he was so stressed out. (Me: Sitting at game with massive RBF, other parents who got it together ask me if I’m ok.)

Then all that shit doesn’t matter suddenly because the Cops arrive as Henry is about to leave to get his old babysitter’s hat. All the craziness Henry Is doing, doing, doing, STOPS. All that business aka BUSY-ness stops. There’s a GUN to his head. He HAS to stop!

Me: In an attempt to maximize some time, I think it’s a good idea to put two boxes of Christmas decorations away in the shed while kids doing project. It’s dark out and I trip on a frozen hose (that’s been left out since summer🙈) and completely wipe out on my right side smashing into the frozen brick-like ground. I’m tangled in the hose as if a boa constrictor is wrapped around my legs. I can barely get up my right arm hurts so much.

I’m laying on the cold, hard ground, wailing in pain, furious with myself exclaiming “everything sucks!”.

I manage to roll onto my back – still entangled in the stiff, frozen snake-hose. I continue to sob feeling sorry for myself as the pain slowly subsides.

I stare up at the lightly snowing sky.

I stop crying.

It’s so quiet and peaceful. I laid there for what seemed forever but it was probably two minutes. Had an Epiphany:

Who cares when I get all this done? What am I in such a hurry for?

I surrender. I raise the white flag.

I walk back into the house using only my left arm, laughing at myself thinking of Molly Shannon walking without using her arms. None of this matters. Now I can’t use my right arm so I’m forced to stop.

.

I sit down with the kids at the table. I let them ask me questions.

I let them TELL ME how they are going to do their project. I STAY QUIET. I let them tell me what they learned. I’m actually learning something new as well. I laugh at some of the pictures they found.

Instead of “getting it done” I realize I can enjoy the process of getting it done. I need to stop and BE where my kids currently are.

They just need me there for reassurance. They want to make sure they are doing it right. They need me to be PRESENT… KINDA like a mama bird does before she kicks them out of the nest…

I never thought I would miss them being toddlers and I totally do now… My heart hurts when I see pictures or videos of them when they are little. I stare at my toddler nephews in awe and amazement.

.

I suppose I will miss being an unpaid Uber driver, them saying mom 749 times a day and all this schedule craziness as well someday.

.

I had kids to enjoy them.

.

Just as Henry is alive and free, he is bored as hell and “there’s no action.” He misses “The Life”. I suppose I will too. However, I refuse to be bored…I plan on binge/watching all the shows I don’t have time for now😜

#henryhill

#motherhood

#gretchenrubin

#goodfellas

#freedom

This is Us?

I’m in that phase of marriage where I find myself often pondering…

“What the fuck was I thinking?”😂😂😂 Anyone else??🙋🏻‍♀️ Please comment below…let’s cut the bullshit cord.

It feels good to just say it.

I’ll say more…

We have nothing in common. We are completely different individuals. How did we end up together? We don’t make sense.

All I remember, honestly, is we both “taped Seinfeld” everyday. He told me that the first night we met, 22 years ago (wtf) at Reilly’s daughter. I gushed “so do I”.

I later discovered we both wrote our favorite part of the episodes on the video cassette label. I knew it was “love”.

Reality, I was drunk most of the time for one. He likes to eat a lot, so do I. We both liked pizza. We both liked movies…comedies and could quote them.

Jerry: What percentage of the population do you think is good looking?
Elaine: Like twenty, twenty-five percent.
Jerry: More like 4-6 percent.
Elaine: How are all these people getting together?
Jerry: Alcohol.

https://youtu.be/kS_jdcV5QsM

I could tolerate him sober. He made me laugh. Like laugh really hard. He still does. Especially when I want to punch him in the throat. He would also make me laugh at myself; I would rip on him back.

I’m not sure what happened besides the buzzkill of having kids, housework and bills.😜

We “can’t stand each other”. https://youtu.be/AjoTTva-FK8

George “Can’t stand ya.”

I can’t stand him.

However, a lot of what I “can’t stand” about him; is what I wish I could be: organized, punctual, focused and unemotional, .

The truth is, you have to reach a point where you can’t stand yourself any longer.

As a counselor, I am truly convinced that everyone has to truly DISCOVER what they need to do to change on their own…I would say this all the time to myself or to patients. Except this time I truly believe it…

https://markmanson.net/no-you-cant-make-a-person-change

Examples…I have read books for years to learn how to change, get organized, be more productive and I somehow would fall back into old habits. Why? Because I didn’t truly believe it would work, I didn’t set my mindset 100%, I got lazy, went back to comfortable, did it for the wrong reasons, and gave myself an out etc.

Personal REAL examples:

My old man and I argue often about what he thinks “clutter” is and what I think “clutter” is. When I say argue, I mean like I-would shank-you-if-I-could-get-away-with-it fights…about clutter!😂

Until one day, I became disgusted with my own clutter one too many times that I had to make the decision: “I have to do something about this.”

I am ashamed to admit it …🙈

Here goes…

Everything my old man has said to me is in GRETCHEN RUBIN’S book.🙈

“Inner order, Outer calm.”

He probably does everything in this book, (cantstandya) 🙈 BUT when he said it to me, I couldn’t hear him. 😂

He would say “if you put everything in the same spot, you wouldn’t spend so much time looking for it.”…

I heard “I’m better than you because I’m organized” I heard condescending tones and criticism…My brain translated his words into “you will never be good enough” and I felt pressure to be something that I am not. “I’m just messy” I thought. He’s just a heartless, smug mo fo😂

“Oh that Michael. I hate him. He’s so smug.”

https://getyarn.io/yarn-clip/ad4bcd28-7aa9-4941-8e04-628809420685#BkuxdoY6oS.sms

It’s fascinating to me (and annoying) how the brain is and how it functions combined with emotions. Everything is so difficult as it is, couldn’t cohabitating be easy. Sheesh.

Gretchen Rubin explained the WHY you should put everything in the same spot and the HOW. She provided solutions that made sense to me; which provided me with my own ideas that made sense in my messy brain. Her ideas made me excited to change. I don’t have to live with her either so I can hate her all I want.😂

Example: “Tray of Requirements”

(This is a constant blame game in our house…”where are the fucking remotes?”)

Whisper “cantstandya” to the melody of “by mennen” commercial

I can’t stand Gretchen Rubin! That is the beauty of an unbiased person, counselor, author etc. However, I respect Gretchen Rubin. Also she shares her own embarrassing clutter issues so you don’t feel stupid or alone. Delivery is everything- a subtle reminder to you smug mo fo’s- cantstandya.

The best part of advice from someone you don’t know: The emotions are removed so if you hate them, it won’t effect a long term relationship.

When my old man would say things about some of the kids toys or “to just get rid of it”. My kids and I would view this as heartless and cruel.

When discarding something, I always try to fix, reuse or donate. The problem, I put it aside to fix and I don’t. Which is what Gretchen Rubin says to do as well but also – “if it will take less than a minute, just do it right now” . She also states-Finish the project or abandon the project- it’s clutter. It causes underlying anxiety and stress provoking.

With clothes, instead of just dumping a bag on their porch; now I will ask someone I think of who could use the item or fit in it. At least give them an option- don’t dump your stuff on someone else to ease your guilt. Don’t just throw it out either. We are fucked with the state our planet is in but that’s a whole other topic. Anyways, back to how much I cant stand my old man 😂

I think, “He SHOULD do what I do.”

He thinks, “She should be like me.”

Gretchen Rubin explains the WHY you need to let go of some of the toys, clothes, belongings of the past and EMBRACE WHERE YOU ARE NOW.

My take on what Gretchen states…

If you hold onto clothes from a past career “in case you go back to it” you are never fully embracing the present, the career and position you currently have. That part of you is now in the past. You are not truly accepting you can handle this, this is what you want or you are afraid to fail.

If you are a New size from losing weight or body shape changing from exercise, however, you hold onto the past clothes “in case”…. You are not trusting yourself. You are letting yourself off the hook. Getting rid of those clothes will force you to stay accountable. BURN THAT BRIDGE. That’s what is meant by BURN THE BOATS. Then you are forced to figure it out…

It’s all about our perception. I have now learned to stop wasting energy explaining things to people bc no matter what, they will have to make the decision on their own. They will have find their own ways to learn it that makes sense to them…

Exception for kids… teach them by leading by example, they won’t care – but you pay the bills…

My kids have been actually excited and impressed with what I’ve accomplished and now they “want” to hang out where I’ve organized; yet seem respect the area. Gretchen Rubin symbolizes this by using this concept: “Fix the broken window theory by Thomas Merton”).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broken_windows_theory

And whenever you are wondering “what the fuck was I thinking?” Watch this clip:

https://markmanson.net/no-you-cant-make-a-person-change

#freedom

A League of MY Own

I don’t know all the rules or fundamentals of baseball. It’s not easy for me to sit and watch an entire game-especially on TV.

I know the basics. I played when I was young. I watch my kids.

However, going to a live professional game to me is so fun.

What I love is about it is THE ATMOSPHERE! The ENERGY! The PASSION. And Of course I LOVE THE MUSIC!!! My kids games would be so much more fun with music😜

How boring would a live professional game be without 🎶 music???!!!!

I love watching people getting fired up, the pain of defeat which fuels players to try harder or be phased out. I love the passion, the getting angry, the rivalries and people becoming ecstatic… experiencing joy or pain!

As a therapist…I LOVE EMOTIONS! I am fascinated by them.

I don’t care about every play or rule. I don’t care who wins most of the time. I do love seeing the home team win and how everyone reacts…and the songs they play…the food they serve…I love baseball hats and spirit wear.

What I am mostly attracted to is the human drive of dedication, motivation and consistency.

While my husband watches live games knowing every rule and why…”Tsking” and shaking his head at me with his smug “you-don’t-know-anything-about baseball⚾️” attitude.😜

I smirk, laugh and agree with him, he’s right…I don’t. I don’t what he knows. So what?

What I do know a lot about is dedication and consistency and sticking with something when it gets tough. I worked out have done every day since he has known me. And before he has known me. I have never given up and never will.

Anyways, On Thursday, I walked around Yankee stadium…alone …and people watched. I went to the museum inside- no one else in my family had interest. I love learning about the legacies left, the pain, the thrill of victories, the daily earning of success…I love everything about the game.

Metaphor of Me,above, imagining I’m about to hit my old man’s square head😜

I also LOVE baseball movies…I cry every time I watch The Natural. I cant even talk about the movie The Pride of the Yankees, Lou Gehrig or even Gary Cooper without getting choked up. I can watch Sandlot and A League of their Own; over and over.

I love people and what’s important to people.

I also love the baseball innuendos too 😜😂

There are so many metaphors in baseball that applies to life in general.

“You just can’t beat the person who never gives up.”

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“Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.”

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“Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.”

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All these are said by The Great Bambino; who I remind my son, the Sultan of Swat had the most strikeouts too…

There is no failure if you don’t try. I try and fail almost every.single.day. Some rare days I kick ass and hit it out of the park.

👊🏻I may not be a professional, paid athlete… But I CAN train like one.

#baseball

#baseballlife

#prideoftheyankees

#ironman

#thisis45

#thisisforty

#thisisfortysomething

#thisis40

#takeaction

Watch Below:

Read below:

https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/hlg-why-marriage-is-just-like-baseball/

Read to see Lou Gehrig was a real class act:

https://www.azquotes.com/author/5413-Lou_Gehrig

#freedom

Ode To My Mother

I remember being kid and sitting on my ass on the couch with my siblings. We were watching TV while our mom cooked us breakfast. We would start bickering and saying dumb things like “Mom! She’s looking at me!”

“Mom! He’s sitting in my spot on the couch!”

My mother would storm in the room to break it up and say things like “Thanks! Happy Mother’s Day!” Then we would laugh at her and get along again because we became connected in making fun of her.

We didn’t get it.

We didn’t know.

No matter how many times she would say it.

We didn’t grasp what it is involved in being a mother or what this day meant.

I cringe now at my ignorance and selfishness.

Thankfully this memory helps me in not expecting my kids to get it either.

I think it’s our job and the FATHER’s job to also teach the children what being a mother means and what we want/need…ahead of time. All year long!

Mom’s all truly want peace.

Mom’s all truly want appreciation.

Mom’s want acknowledgement.

Mom’s want gratitude.

Mom’s want empathy.

Mom’s want to be left alone at times, without guilt. So we can re-group and be a better mom…because we have the space to take care of ourselves…our mental health…our bodies.

Not only on Mother’s Day, but everyday.

I learn this a little more each year.

Unfortunately, I empathize with my mother each year and attempt to forgive myself for how I treated my her.It took me 44 years but I believe I truly get it now. I know she would love for me to say all the words of wisdom she taught me.

However, she did something better than words; SHE LEAD BY EXAMPLE.

She always pointed out the light in the darkness.

She didn’t say “class never goes out of style” and “you are what you surround yourself with”…she showed us.

As much as I am sure she wanted to let us watch TV all day and leave her alone; she only allowed us to watch Channel 11 and PG rated movies. I loved Mr. Rogers and Sesame Street even as a teenager 🙈. I learned to read before kindergarten because she read to me and by watching Sesame Street.

She made us watch old movies no matter how much we argued and debated. We fought hard to watch the latest movies. Now all of us appreciate Hollywood, taste and class; instead of the latest trend.

She didn’t tell me not care what people thought, she lived it. (Example: she dressed the part for everything! She wore a little leprechaun outfit with pointy elf shoes at the parish St. Patrick’s party.)

She didn’t tell me to allow my faith to guide me; she practiced this literally everyday. (Example: When I was a teenager, I was A BEAST! I always had to have the last word, I hit below the belt with my mouth.)

When I was on her last thread of patience…she would leave and walk to Mary’s grotto and pray. (She didn’t drive either).

She always went to church. Prayer was her white claws;). She didn’t drink alcohol, smoke or have any vices, still doesn’t. She volunteered her time despite having 5 kids; one with special needs.

She didn’t tell me to take pride in my work, to always make people feel special and important; to do the best job possible no matter how small. (My mom was a cashier at neighborhood store and took pride in selling cigarettes, lottery tickets and over-counter stuff. She took the time to smile, remember everyone’s name, and make them feel important.) Honestly, no one has ever forgotten my mom and how she made them feel. People from my neighborhood ask me immediately how my mom is doing like I’m chopped liver. (My mom loves hearing this.)

She didn’t tell me to have gratitude, write in a gratitude journal or to appreciate every day as a gift. She lived it everyday by saying small things like “today is the last day you are eleven” or “today is the last day of your thirties “😂 or “be happy to be alive”. She has taken the train and bus to concerts or activities even alone because she appreciates every event, every effort, every thought. She never wants to miss a moment. She loves life.

She didn’t tell me to see the good in everyone and not to judge. She showed this by how she treated all of us, our friends and especially my brothers friends who practically lived at our house. No matter how much trouble they caused her, how rude they may have been, how late they stayed, how loud they were or legal stuff they got into; my mom was someone they all came to for help. She welcomed them with open arms and only saw the good in them. She truly saved a lot of souls. She knows all of their names and their story.

She didn’t tell me to SHOW UP and stick with your word and your commitment; she was the queen of this. She didn’t tell me to “put some lipstick on, drink some coffee, listen to some gangsta rap and handle it” she actually did.it.every.time.

She does love coffee and strongly encourages anyone to drink it. She doesn’t like gangsta rap, however her appreciation of music and The Beatles worked for her every time. This made me also love music; real music. I was always amazed at what my mom would be dealing with, how much she would be crying, how angry she would be but still always show up to something in public. She would put on some lipstick and mascara; put a smile on her face and show up to whatever she committed to…no matter what chaos or tragedies were happening behind closed doors.

She didn’t tell me why fit in when I was born stand out. She took all of her school volunteer jobs seriously. Example-she volunteered to be “picture lady” once a month and taught a class about a work of art. Everyone else’s mom wore whatever, honestly I can’t even remember who’s mom was picture lady now. My mom “became the painting!” She dressed up as each painting! She wore a raincoat and galoshes to match a fisherman painting. She wore a bonnet, blue coat and brought my little sister to become “Mother and Daughter” by Claude Monet.

As much as I was embarrassed, I learned so much about art from her. I now have a deep appreciation for art, music, words and life. I’m glad she stood out and now it’s a beautiful memory. She knew my teen brain judging her would pass. Now I think it’s awesome what she did.

She didn’t tell me to laugh at myself, she did all the time.

She didn’t tell me not to give up; she never did…EVER. Still hasn’t. No matter how many times her heart was broken.

I also learn everyday from my moms personal struggles. Watching her selflessness and also mistakes taught me that:

•You have to take care of yourself first no matter what

•No one is coming to save you

•If you want something, you need to work for it everyday

•Marriage is no guarantee and as much as you want to stab him, it’s better to stay married and forgive to keep everyone on the same page. However, if you are the only one fighting…and have no choice but to do it alone…you WILL SURVIVE.

•Marriage is a commitment and you honor your word.

•Inconsistent discipline is no joke.

•Compromise and picking your battles is grounds for survival

Motherhood never ends.

The learning never stops…

As I watch her enjoying her latest grandkids; I am starting to understand how the heart continues to grow three sizes with each addition to her tribe.

Her LEGACY continues to grow and I hope she realizes this now. She is appreciated, adored, loved and cherished. If she doesn’t feel that way, that’s up to her to believe it 😜

#freedom, parenting struggles

It’s gonna be…Oh wait… it already is

The last few weeks of April are hell for Justin Timberlake. All the memes and jokes flood social media stating that “It’s gonna be May”. (If you’re not familiar with why he hates May-here

In a *NSYNC song, “It’s gonna be Me”, JT says the word ME in a strange way that sounds like MAY. Despite JT putting himself out there thousands of times and killing it, this one cringey flub consumes all of his massive success and talent every year during the month of May…👈🏻 Here he is, as an adult having to do it…again.

img_5678

I dread May as JT does, however I have no famous memes to remind me, until it is already here, and then I remember. The end-of-the-year-last-minute chaos with all the school functions smashed into four weeks. When all the sports overlap, the parties and the calendar resembles a Tetris game. This game of a calendar is perfectly “NSYNC” 😉 to remind me on the hour that:

I. AM. A. Fucking. Mess.

I.Cannnot.Do.Anything.Right.As.A.Mom.

justin-timberlake-jtimberlake-whitepeoplehumor-i-fucking-hate-may-me-irl-32649878

Every year it gets worse because the kids become wiser, smarter and catch on to how inadequate at this I really am. They remind me every 6 minutes of something I did not do or they need (Mom, you forgot to give me money for this.) Along with, Can we go here? Can we get this? Can we invite this person over on Friday? (It’s Monday). Following the question drill, I continuously put it back on them. Did do you do your homework? Did you study? Did you brush your teeth? Do you have practice? Do you have a game? Did you wipe your ass?

Daily Banter

Kid: “Mom, I asked you to make me something to eat.”

Me: “Yes and I replied …Can’t you make something yourself?”

Kid: “We have no food.”

Me: “Yes we do.”

Kid: “Like what?”

Me: (Grrrrr) Pizza, chicken strips, PBJ, We have Lunchmeat, make a sandwich. Carrots and hummus, chips and guac, apple or banana with peanut butter, string cheese.”

Kid: “I have that everyday, I had that for lunch.”

Me: “I don’t know what to tell ya, figure it out.”

Kid: “You don’t even care.”

Me: (Blood pressure rising) “This isn’t a restaurant. You eat what we have in the house.”

Kid: “Can I have some money then?”

Me: (biting lip/clenching fists) “For what?”

“Kid: “To ride my bike to Subway?”

Me: “Ummmm, NO.  I just named like 10 things we have in the house.”

Kid: “Yea, but I don’t want that.”

Me: “If you don’t “want that” use your own money and go to Subway.”

Kid: “NO! I don’t want to waste my money on that! You’re supposed to feed me.”

Me: (Face getting red) Please leave the room. This discussion is over.”

Kid: “Thanks a lot! You don’t even feed me!”

May: $#&%*@%&$*@&!%#

I am sure we all remember the day when we first realized our mom’s flaws and she really doesn’t know what the fuck she is doing. I remember that day, when I first “saw” my mom without the rose-colored glasses. We all remember when our mom says stuff that makes us cringe. When you realize that she is funny-looking when she is angry and you want to laugh because she looks funny, but you know she’s angry…that realization.

I noticed my mom’s humanness in about 6th grade (same as my daughter, awesome, good times.) I was at school wearing my brown “weskit” uniform vest when I discovered my little brother’s brown socks were static-clung to the inside of my vest. Later on that day, my mom brought my lunch to school for the 45th time that year and finally my classmate asked me, “how come your mom always brings your lunch to school late?”  I never even considered this as weird until someone pointed it out. Then the little realities continued to trickle in and I gradually realized my parents were frauds.

I remembered this “weskit” incident this past Tuesday when I didn’t check the hot lunch schedule and realized that morning my kids did not have lunches; AND we had zero food for them to make their own lunch. They outlandishly claim they told me the night before.

I went to the doctor straight after drop off in the clothes I slept in to get urgent meds for a UTI. I then dragged myself to target to get food, threw it in their lunch boxes and hobbled to the school entrance. Usually when I have had to do this countless times over the years, I am buzzed right in. Not Today.

This time, when I rang the bell, the woman at the front desk said over the intercom outside, “Can I help you?” She didn’t even recognize me! I assume she thought I was some homeless lunatic; not that I blame her. She even asked me my last name and kids names. Huh? Doncha know may?

This incident triggered the downward spiral of me screwing up over and over every few minutes: at work, at home, at school, with my kids, with my friends, and with my family. It was as if I turned into Mr. Bean overnight, again! Everything I touched, said or did turned to shit. #theshittouch

Which you know how that goes; the more you think about it, the more it happens. I could not snap out of it.

Today was exceptionally brutal and I could not even consider anything I usually do to end this tailspin of humiliation.I wanted to blame someone for the self-created web of hell I got myself into. I woke up late, I made about 700 mistakes before noon, was tardy for every patient appointment (I mean how can every ramp be closed at once on 90/94?) and all I could think about was crawling back into bed and hiding under the covers.

This fantasy was interrupted when my daughter called because I did not pick them up from school. I knew I wouldn’t be able to, BUT I forgot to arrange a ride. Then I receive a text about something I volunteered for at school which I had no recollection of until that moment. For the love of God! Please leave MAY alone!

I sheepishly go see another patient, (husband and wife married 60 years, who primarily speak Ukranian and Russian; they insist on not using a translator. They say “We want to try to speak to you in your language.”)I was ready to thank them for their patience with my inadequacy. Instead, I am greeted with a hug and exclaimed, “We are so glad to see you!”

(I turn around thinking there was someone else behind me.)

They continue, “We are very happy! This is a big day in our country!”

They both describe why they are so happy, adorably, in their accents and broken English about Victory Day. I am ashamed to admit that I did not know what they were referring to.

Wife: “In your country, May 8th, 1945, the war over. On May 9th, 1945.. the war over in my country. I remember I was so happy. It was so long. I was four years old when war started, my parents tell me we must move to Siberia. It was so cold there. Me, my brothers and sisters would lay down on the floor with head in knees, so scared, hearing planes. My mother would hide bread high up so we not find it and give us a tiny piece once a day. We so hungry, we beg my mom everyday for more. We were so cold. We were so scared.” Tears glaze over her eyes, her husband holds her arm. My eyes well up now. “My husband, he had to go to Siberia too and wait for war to be over, not us together (she laughs nervously), but he had to do same.”

Husband: “Yes. Excuse me. I go. Same.” (He Shakes head, becomes choked up.)

Wife: “So every year, this day, we are very happy. We thanks God. We hear on the radio, war over, my mother, my father, my brothers, sisters, we hug, we cry, we thanks God. We can go home. We remember everyone who die.” She holds her hand to her chest, does sign of the cross and looks up.

Husband: “Excuse me. We want you to have this. We are happy you and your family do not have to have war. Please. Take. We happy today.” (He says excuse me before he says anything in english, it’s so cute!)

Culturally, it is very rude not to accept gifts in their country and they insist on giving me European chocolate after each visit. Today was, well, above and beyond. I imagine if I refuse to take it, he may react the same way the Ukrainian man in the Seinfeld episode reacts to the game of risk when Kramer refers to the Ukraine as “weak”.

ukraine gif

This Seinfeld clip of the Ukraine makes me laugh, finally. I walk to my car holding candy, feeling humble, grateful, tearful and smiling. That visit knocked me right out of my tailspin. I thought about her mother, in fucking Siberia (for real) for three years! I thought about her trying to keep her family alive and having to give her kids a quarter slice of bread per day.  I thought about the guilt she felt when her children complained of being terrified, hungry, bored, and cold every day for three years. Now that is some real motherhood struggles right there. I feel foolish now for even being stressed. None of it matters.

I am back to loving life while being a jack ass. 

I thanks God too.

All the stuff I was dealing with is nonsense.

It’s Insignificant.

It’s Motherhood.

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And Justin Timberlake…he’s a bad ass.

Justin

And the Ukraine is sure as hell not weak.

https://youtu.be/lZfJ1ZP3Ywg