It’s been a while. I’ve actually logged in and started writing, but never finished a post, or just never clicked the publish button. I miss writing though, and it felt like the time to catch up.
So from my past posts you saw I was trying out the whole “living the yes life”. I tried saying yes rather than no to new opportunities and events. It was fun, I learned a lot, I enjoyed myself, and I even lost some weight. Things were trucking along. Then my favorite excercise class got cancelled. Summer showed up with birthdays most weekends. Work geared up with new challenges. Life got busy with too much yes. So now I am learning how to gracefully say no to some things. It’s a learning process, because no so often comes with that thing called guilt, and I am no so good at handling the guilt aspect of it.
One of my biggest “yes” moment this year was allowing my son to sign up for football. I love football, and buy tickets for us to go to NFL games as our “romantic trip” each year. That being said, I learned that it’s a different feeling altogether sending my son out on the field. The time commitment is huge…5 nights a week, plus games on weekends. He asked me to do it. He wanted to do something new this year, and had been showing a lot of interest in football. Each of the kids choose one sport/activity per season. I’ve offered them to do more than one, but they generally prefer to stick to one thing. This one is the work of 7 activities.
When I learned of the schedule, my brain wanted to bleed out onto the floor. As it is I work full time, have another child who does gymnastics that I have to coordinate for, 2 pets, a husband and a house that is the messiest it has ever been. I am in chaos. A LOT of chaos. Now there are many of you out there who handle all of these with no problem. You are skilled, and oraganized, neat freakish and super moms.
I am not any of those things.
I am a domestic fail, tired (hot DAMN I am so tired), I am figuring out this mom thing as I go, and I do it mostly by myself since my husband works opposite hours. It’s not pretty, it’s not graceful, but I get a lot of it done. Not ALL mind you, hence the messy house. I am that mom screeching into the parking lot at the last minute with kids still putting cleats on, or me jumping out to quickly braid hair before gymnastics. That movie Bad Moms? Yep. That would be me.
Now I have spent 11 years protecting my son. Keeping him safe. When a kid shoved him a playground I close talked that kid and told him not to lay one single finger on my kid again (I love a good close talk when you need to get a message across). Now, by his choice, I am sending him out on a field to be shoved and pushed and knocked down. Coaches are gruff. He’s going to get banged up and bruised. I have to stand or sit there and hold it together and not want to run out and snap legs when someone hurts him. I have to remain tough and straight faced. It is just so HARD. The only reason I do it is because he seems to kind of love it. Even on the hard days. Yesterday was hard. He went down and didn’t get right back up. He was hurt. He was frustrated. He questioned his ability to do it all. He came home, and I fussed over him a little. He let me. In the car this morning I reminded him that not everything will come easily to him. He’s always been that kid that’s learned things quickly. I reminded him of his frustration when he tried a Rubik’s cube. He had gotten so angry at his inability to solve it. I had explained to him at the time that most people couldn’t solve them, but that I knew someone who could, and there were certain tricks to solve them. He sat down and damn if he didn’t teach himself how. Before long, he was testing himself on speed of solving it. He reached in his bag this morning and low and behold, was his Rubik’s cube. Before long he was quickly working on solving it. mI asked him “do you still want to continue with football? do you still kind of love it?” He said yes. So today we go again. I will proudly watch him succeed, and I will proudly watch him fail sometimes too, because the kid is giving it his all.
The little one, who I have always referred to as Tiny Diva in this blog, has lost a lot of her Diva-ness. She had been a tough cookie from 2-4, but she has now settled in to herself. I’ll call her LM, for Little Mama. Gymnastics has been a huge saving grace. My sister in law noticed how flexible LM was and mentioned she might be good at gymnastics. I signed her up, and the benefits have been enormous. My daughter, who was struggling in school with some self confidence issues, started picking up steam and having more faith in herself. She has better self esteem, more confidence, and has a good body image. We talk a lot about being strong and healthy, and that happy girls are pretty girls. My favorite shirt of hers has the words “princess” and “diva” crossed out, and it says “SMART, TALENTED GIRL”. The girl who used to pretend like she didn’t know things is coming out of her shell. She is learning the fine line between being a leader, and being bossy. Sometimes, it’s a difficult conversation to have. Women are often told that if they are leaders, they are bitches, bossy, a nag, etc. Growing up, I remember being told not to voice my opinions so much, to be quite, to fade into the background more. I’m working on finding a good way to explain how to be a leader, without being bossy and making other kids feel like she’s ordering them around.
Our beloved cat passed away a few months ago. I had to make the decision to put her down. She had cancer. It was heartbreaking. We all felt the loss, even the dog. He seemed down and I often wondered if he knew she had died. He didn’t quite seem himself. Our family seemed incomplete to me after a while, and I started looking at Petfinder to see if any cats “called” to me. I scrolled through endless pictures over a few weeks until I found a cat that caught my eye. He was an orange tabby, about 6 months to a year old. He looked stoned. He reminded me of the comedian Jim Breuer. Someone had put him in a box, duct taped it, and left him outside of a store on March 11th. I was in a wedding that day, and I remember it being bone chillingly cold when the wind blew. I felt awful for this poor cat. I emailed about him. I told my husband who seemed less than inclined to get another cat. “I want you to come with me to see him” I said. He didn’t sound thrilled. I said “he kind of looks like Jim Breuer”. “What time are we going?” he replied. When I commented I was surprised in his change of heart, he responded “You just told me the cat looks like Jim Breuer, how could I not go meet him?”. We drove all the way up to the rescue, only to find out the cat had gone to the vet for not eating. After a few days, the rescue called and asked if I wanted to foster him. They thought the cat might be depressed in the shelter environment and wanted to see if he would improve in a home environment. Well, let me tell you, the cat eats more than the dog. He’s now a member of the family. He’s a nutjob, full of energy, and wants love the most when anyone is in the bathroom. He will knock on the bathroom door to come in, and even try to turn the handle to get in. Every night he and the dog go to each kid’s room to say goodnight. He fits right in.
So there you have it. Life right now is about preparing for school starting, football, work, gymnastics, football, pet hair creating tumbleweeds in my house, football and trying to get things done. It’s a happy time, if not chaotic. Just like my son is learning something new, I am learning a new schedule, new ways to make it work. Anything that brings more chaos is just not something I have time for. I’m keeping things as bare bones as possible, and I’ll work up from there. In just 3 weeks my whole schedule changes again. So that mom cheering wildly on the sidelines, or from the balcony at gymnastics? The one holding a vat of coffee? That will be me. I may be in chaos for a while, but it’s a happy chaos.