Thursday, October 25, 2012


I am. Up alone, catching pre-halloween Sandra Bullock in Practical Magic. It's sad. Me and the movie.

Tonight my boys school had a Halloween dance. It's ridiculous and hilarious and so so cute.

My Seth loves this. He has all the moves, not missing a beat in the middle of the dance floor.

Well, at least he used to.

But this year, this year he's seven and a half.

And then, you're almost eight. That age where you start to notice what other people think of you.

And that makes you feel like you can't leave it all out there on the dance floor.

It breaks my heart a little. Seeing part of their amazing-ness dull a bit. Because other people might shun you.

I've read that our monkey roots made that very strong feeling happen. Because if the other monkeys shunned you, you would be alone. And without the group, you would actually die.

It feels like that is still true sometimes, that you would die if this person didn't like you. And never more than as a kid and a teen. Do you remember?

Eventually, you out-evolve that feeling. Well. Mostly. But I hate watching my kids deal with it. Squashing their individuality and delightfulness, on purpose, in the meantime.

We made their Halloween costumes this year. And they turned out awesome. So cute. A ninja and a knight. Seth's armor used up a LOT of duct tape.

I like homemade costumes because I find they usually turn out the best. You know when you look around a Halloween party and the best costumes are homemade. Often clever, funny, thought out. Unique, like a good piece of art. A found object marvel. The creativity is why I love Halloween.

But in a kids eyes, you can be super proud of your costume, as my boys are this year, but it's not good until it's passed the kid test. The 'is it good enough to be worth being different' test.

They did. Mostly well received. Their friends loved their handmade swords.

Until I overheard a conversation with Seth and one of his buddies.

"Why is your costume made out of cardboard?"

Said ever so innocently by the kid who meant no offense and had just never thought of why you would ever make a costume.

But, to me, Seth was thinking "Because mom said costumes are expensive", all of the sudden devaluing his costume. I instantly wished I had also mentioned all the other reasons I love handmade and feel store bought is for my too busy last minute Halloween years. That consumerism is a problem for our Earth. That the process is the most fun part, that I like to share making with them, that they learn great skills doing it. That I feel good spending the time with them. That when I stick them in a store bought costume it becomes this symbol that I can't seem to give them enough of my time.

Well no, that last one I would keep to myself. That's just a bit of my own crazy he doesn't need.

Mothering makes me cry.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Lemon and ginger, with honey. 1 am tea.

Maybe it will make being up when I'd rather be sleeping a little more enjoyable. The pretty little yellow box does says it's naturally caffeine free. I should drink this all day. Maybe I would not be in this not-sleeping situation in the first place.

Overwhelmed. That’s the reigning feeling of the day. I keep thinking that I will eventually get the hang of it. Of everything. I would like in general to feel more zen. Maybe I should become a yoga teacher. That would zen up my day.

But I don’t feel like I’m getting the hang of it. My life is oscillating between hectic and exhausted.

One of my most treasured things to do is to pour myself a coffee in a quiet moment, settle in at the dining table and peruse through some of my favorite blogs. The posts are like bitesize chapters, the characters women (mostly) who I have grown to love. I have a list of well-written favorites, stories with no end. I haven’t done this in months. So this morning, sensing the hectic and exhausted in myself, I took the time to do just that. One of the blog post’s I read was about another mom’s day to day. The rhythm with her kids sounded so wonderful. Today though, the inspiration was also sad. It made me wistful about what I’m not doing with my kids. Really, it just came down to speed. I need to slow the heck down.

Why can’t I do everything and do it well? I feel like I was tricked, in the great feminist theory.

I’ve had a couple random days off in the last two weeks, glimpses of weekdays I don’t usually get at home. Quiet daytime with the little ones, afterschool calm with the bigger boys. No hurrying anywhere. And last Thursday morning while Claire was at preschool, Max and I went for groceries and to the bank. Just us. It’s delicious, when I have time with one. And the two year old I just want to pause in time, pointing his little finger and naming everything. Pushing the amazing door opening button.

There was this waitress I used to work with. She was a hardened old lady, so gruff. Discussing my then two baby boys one day, she threw out the “Enjoy them while they’re young”, a phrase I’ve grown used to. An irritating, panic inducing phrase I might add. But then she continued, with “I have three teenagers now, when they get older they’re just hard and really irritating.” I remember gaping at her in horror, that she could talk about her precious children like that.

But now, as my oldest hits double digits, I find myself silently repeating that they are precious to me, as a mantra while they’re making me absolutely crazy. It’s not innocent toddler busy-ness anymore, or just jostling for Mommy’s attention. They call me on my shit. They are sure to let me know when I suck. I’m not sure my self-esteem will be able to take teenagers.
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