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Category Archives: New Adventures

The Worst Is Yet To Come

I checked in with my voice of inner wisdom a few weeks ago. Tara Mohr, in Playing Big, introduced me to that voice, my inner mentor. When I get overwhelmed with questions that seem to have no answers or I feel like I am failing, I find my way back to that voice.  My inner mentor, is connected to the Divine and has that peace and confidence that I lose when I get wrapped up in the anxiety that comes from perfection-seeking.

That’s what she told me a few weeks ago when I asked about my dad. “How am I doing?” The answer came back, “You are doing great with your dad…. but things will get worse.
And you will still be ok.”

I am stepping into the parenting-my-parent role. Perhaps with his diagnosis of Mild Dementia this week, I have jumped, not just stepped, into it.  I am in the movie, “Groundhog Day.” Dad and I have the same conversation about the same aspects of his life every week. “What do you mean I ……?!” he asks with genuine surprise.  And I tell him, again, the status of his health or his finances.

And I will still be ok….

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Happy Halloween Anniversary

Dear Hunter,

I didn’t have time to write this before Halloween…what, with the never ending laundry, dishes, diaper-changing, cooking, nursing routine around here… I am surprised anything else ever gets done at all. And, when I search my heart, I am o.k. with that.

But what I wanted to tell you on Halloween was a little story about dad and I.  You see, six years ago on Halloween we went on a date. We had met for the first time a couple weeks earlier and set up a real date for Halloween.  I guess you could say it was an enchanted evening…

After primping and preening and trying to figure out how women wear lipstick with out it smearing on their teeth and ultimately opting for just some lip gloss, I met your dad in Seattle.  We stepped into an empty elevator and as it lifted us up the outside of the building, giving a great view of the city lights, your dad kissed me for the first time. And I think we were lost in that moment …stretching it … letting time move around us. And when the elevator stopped, we stepped into a whole new world…. a world we began building for ourselves.

The evening moved along in sweet fashion. We had a lovely dinner and took a cab to a little joint at the edge of Belltown in Seattle where we were the only customers.  All the ghosts and goblins had gone on their way, apparently to cause mayhem down the street. We shared a bottle of wine and chatted for a couple hours, at least.  And then all hell started breaking loose. The Halloween festivities got crazy that night in Seattle.  People really did wreak havoc in the city. Cabs were a hot commodity and eventually our server drove us back to the starting point of the evening in her own car.

When the date was over, and we were set to go our separate ways, your dad got real serious. And it started to rain, which is normal for Seattle. He looked at me with rain drops on his glasses and said, “I want to do what it takes to make this work.”  In that moment hundreds of thoughts raced through my head and they went a little like this: What the???? Huh??? Uh. Too soon.  Too serious. Is he for real? What do I say to that? Um, ok. What the ????  But what came out of my mouth was, “So, do I.” And so, son, we did.  And every day we continue to do what it takes to make “this”… this relationship we have… work.

So, there you have it… how Halloween got to be our anniversary.

Love,
Mom

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2014 in Letters To My Son, New Adventures

 

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Hand Hand Hand

Dear Hunter,

Your vocabulary and pronunciation continue to expand so rapidly that I have a hard time keeping up with all the new words you know and use, especially since the pronunciation for many of them isn’t quite what it will be in a few months.

One word I know is “Hand.” It comes out as “hanh.” But when your little fingers reach out for mine, I know exactly what you want. You want to take me some place, show me something you find fascinating or you want me to take the good china out of the cabinet so you can play with it. I know these days, when you want me with you, won’t last forever so I do my best to let go of the laundry folding, dish washing and electronic distractions, take your hand and follow your lead.

You have shown me rocks I never would have seen without your keen eye. You pull me out of grown-up-ness and back to little-hood with peek a boo and toy tractors. I play in the dirt more with you than I ever did when I was a child. We walk down the gravel road to see the neighbor’s horses. We blow bubbles. We chalk the side walk – and the fence and the doors and the house (dad didn’t like that much, but he got over it when the rain came and washed it all off).

Thank you for showing me the world through your eyes. Thank you for taking my hand. And just so you know, it will always be there for you.

Love,
Mom

 

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Brave Twirl

Dear Hunter,

Every day you inspire me to be brave. With each new discovery you make, I first take a deep breath and then, depending on what you are doing, I take a step forward or backward. I come toward you to share in your discovery or be closer if I need to pick you up when you fall.  I move away to give you a sense of autonomy and mastery over your world and body.

You recently learned how much fun it is to twirl in circles, get dizzy and fall down. And my first instinct is to tell you to be careful, that you are going to fall.  But my brave self tells me that you have to learn how to fall, how to crash in to things and learn how to get up even when it hurts. So, I laugh with you as you twirl, giggling all the way to the floor. Sometimes the twirl ends with tears and a bruise or two. I say, “Yep, that hurt, buddy. Do you want my help?” Sometimes you do, sometimes you don’t. You get more sure-footed with every twirl, though. And I get braver.

I hope you never forget how much fun it is to twirl, my dear boy. You’ve reminded me what a joy it is to play and get dizzy and silly and giggle, falling down.

I love you,

Mom

 

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In-Between-ness

Moving from one place in life to another is not easy.  I am recognizing what it takes to move, whether it’s a new job, new life stage or new state. It’s all an upheaval of epic proportions and not for the faint of heart.

There is a space of ‘in-between-ness’ with certain moves where time feels like it slows or gets measured differently.  When I was waiting for my son’s birth, in those last few weeks of pregnancy, I was between being a mom and not being a mom. I felt like I would be this behemoth woman forever and that my son would never be born. I measured time by the numbers of doctor visits we went to each week.  And I called this place my state of grace.

Most in-between spaces don’t even come close to that.  They are messy.  Literally.  Moving a household is a messy job. And it produces insanity in typically sane people. I know, I recently moved (OK, it was 7 months ago now…but I remember it like it was yesterday!) from one state to another.  And leaving friends and comfort zones like the favorite Pho restaurant can feel pretty sad. OK, so I am not really sad about leaving the Pho restaurant behind. But I definitely miss the pals!

Changing jobs… definitely ranks high on the stress and mess scale. Even a good job shift isn’t easy.  Learning new people, new systems and again, leaving a comfort zone of the “known” increases the blood pressure.

Getting through that in-between stage can really suck. But coming out on the other side, looking back and saying, “wow, I actually did THAT!”… well, I think that is pretty dang cool.

So, if you are in that in-between stage with something… hang in there.  If you’ve made it through, pat yourself on the back and say, “Job well done.”

 

 
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Posted by on December 10, 2013 in Lessons Learned, New Adventures, Uncategorized

 

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Clean Floors

My 11-month old cleans my floors, how lucky am I? The dust mop sits in the corner of the laundry room collecting… you guessed it… dust.  And my son pushes and pulls himself along the wood floors gathering dirt, dead bugs and crumbs from under the high chair along the way.

There are a couple of glitches in the new floor cleaning system, however. Hunter does one pass, not quite the length of  any given room and he’s just not very wide. Also, he picks up every dog and mommy hair between his little thumb and forefinger. Holding them up for me to see, he squeals in delight when he slurps them down as I am rushing to grab them from his grasp or mouth.  If I am fast enough to grab at least my long hair and pull it out before he can get the whole thing down, he bellows in protest and scrambles to the carpet on hands and knees, thus not even finishing the floor job.

Sometimes he’s industrious and actually washes the floor, too. He sits looking at a spot on the floor and then spits and spits and spits on it.  Once he has a nice puddle he slaps his hands in it, laughing at his own ingenuity in creating a pool of water in which to play. When that activity gets old, he crawls through the puddle of spit on his way to something new and exciting (like pulling the schnauzer’s beard), leaving a nice slug trail in his wake. But once it dries I can say I have a spit-shined floor.

Now that he’s napping, I think I will go commission the dust mop….

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2013 in New Adventures

 

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Twenty-Five Years

Tomorrow marks the 25th anniversary of my graduation from high school. If I had known on THAT day where I would be on THIS day, I would not have believed it.  But when you are 17 years old (or 25 years old, for that matter), no one can really tell you anything.

Many of my 20-something choices were sketchy and I have often wished for a do-over on some of those.  Getting married at 19 falls into the “wish-I-hadn’t-done-that” column.  Same with dropping out of college (to get married, no less).  REALLY regretted that one over the years.  And sometimes it took more than once to learn a hard lesson.

I have much to be grateful for over that time span, too. My parents are still walking the earth with me.  I met fascinating people like the Discovery Channel crew who were in Talkeetna, AK and went on to climb Denali and document it over the internet. I hopped a flight to Switzerland to spend a long weekend with buddy from Smith College (because I eventually finished college and even a Master’s degree along the way).

Looking back, the joyous moments outweigh the thorny ones. The loving, smart, sweet people out-number the crazy, manipulative, angry ones. Looking forward, there are new lessons to learn, interesting people to meet and sparkling adventures to be had.  And I am up for all of it!

 

 
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Posted by on June 2, 2013 in Lessons Learned, New Adventures

 
 
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