Monday, September 26, 2016

What Makes A Long Life?

Lest you think that last week's post would predict a continued rough patch, we had a really great weekend.

But today is actually one of the biggest days, and one of the biggest trap doors, even though I knew it was coming.

By the end of today, Drew has officially lived longer than Connor. This year will be a series of 10th birthday parties for Drew, and his friends, and every time I will celebrate the amazingness of those roughly 3654 (thanks, leap years!) days. Inside, though, the realization that the decade, the double digits have been breached and it will make me sad to know that with all the things Connor did accomplish in his short life, that wasn't one of them.

But, he did live roughly 3280 more days than they told us they expected. That's a pretty good over. If I were better at math, I could interpret that better. But I'm not, and have accepted that.

One week until Drew is 10. He's very excited. Which means that he won't see anything from me except for huge smiles for him.

Friday, September 23, 2016


This week has been especially trying for the boys, and I cannot figure out why. But on two consecutive days, they seemed to have lost their damn minds.

Day the First - Tucker's turn. Instead of listening to his soccer coach, Tucker spent most of his practice roughhousing with teammates. I personally adored it when one of them (who mostly Tucker ignored) said to him, "Tucker, why are you doing this, stop it!" AND HE DID. That showed me that my kid can in fact hear. I eventually had to tell him that soccer is a no hands sport and if I saw him put his hands on another teammate during practice I would send him to military school.

Yes. Military School.

Now, I think we all know that I will most likely NOT send my son away. His response was, "You know what? You just need a vacation. You should just go away. We'll listen to Dad and then when you come back we'll be good." So I asked where I should go, and his immediate and emphatic response was, "Minnesota."


Anyway, I then explained that military school meant going and living elsewhere without us. He broke down in the saddest tears I have even seen him cry. Now he's terrified of me. But at least he's being more compliant and doing what we ask without it becoming a threatdown every time.

Day the Second - Drew's turn. Drew has this tendency to decide if I ask him to do something unpleasant (like hang up his backpack, or walk through a room to put his shoes away) by staging a passive resistance revolt. So yesterday, done with his crap, I dragged him off the sofa by one foot. To say he was shocked and terrified is an understatement. I sent him up to his room. He stomped up screaming, "I'M RUNNING AWAY!" to which I reminded him to pack a bag. Then I sat in the office and heard him go out on the roof over the office from one of his bedroom windows. All the while, I IMed Lee to tell him that Drew was actively in the process of running away. Then, from upstairs, there was a very scared, "Help!"  Away I went.

Drew was stuck on the roof. He had also bent the screen and it  could no longer sit in the window properly. Neighbor kids came by while I struggled to remove the twisted screen so he could get back in, and he very calmly said, "I got stuck." When he got back inside, he broke down and said, "I didn't want it to show how scared I was."

THIS IS A BREAKTHROUGH. He's never once given a rat's ass about that. So, part of me is crazy proud of him for learning this skill, and part of me is horrified that he has to quash his broadly emotive personality. Truthfully, in the long run, he has got to learn to control his emotions for long term happiness. However, I love that peer pressure has never gotten to him until yesterday. 

Either way, I'm hoping that I don't have to continue to threaten to get anything accomplished. I may make them salute me to remind them that there's always the chance I will send them away to learn to follow rules.  But don't tell them I won't. 

Monday, September 12, 2016

Like a Volcano

Things have been building. Years like this are hard - politics are so present and so invasive, and it can tear people apart, people who up until now have happily co-existed.

When I was much younger, I was shown the world of campaigning and politics, and I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed helping leaders get re-elected. I enjoyed helping candidates get the word out when they were running in their first race. Of course, I wasn't given a lot of choice...I was 8, 9, 10 and some days were volunteer days at the local office, or papering the neighborhood, or whatever.

I discovered though that when you are a 10 year old girl your opinions about the greater good are not really playground material. I put it away after struggling for years with it being the first thing forward about me. Boys in high school called me a "communist" which was ADORABLE. It's a good thing, I think, that I have the quirk in my personality that gives me the power to not give a crap what people think or say about me.

Entering into adulthood, I sort of let it all go. I took care of me, I took care of mine, and I stood up for people who needed standing up for, or animals, or elements of our environment.

Now here I am, on the cusp of 43, watching my male children learn what's right and wrong, and trying to guide them to make sure they know things like when someone says stop you STOP. I do not feel as though I have a lot of support in this. The very privileged world I live in makes things like tickle-fights and other seemingly innocuous "activities" blaze with red flags around me. They NEVER stop when I tell them to stop. I have to force them. I have to find a way for them to understand.

And we have a woman running from president of the United States. A woman who, when I was younger, seemed to permit what I thought was impermissable occur in her life, which in many ways destroyed my estimation of her. Now, of course, the benefit of age and hindsight has taught me that my judging in those years was unwarranted because you never know how you will handle something until it is planted directly in your path. She's a mother, a grandmother, a politician, a statesperson, and without question fully qualified. And yesterday, she was publicly ill and now that's a THING. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Guess what, as a mother, daughter, Realtor and housewife, I am sick quite often. And you know what I do more often than not? I get up, take some medicine and get shit done. That's my job. Getting shit done is now my primary daily responsibility, and we're talking low-level stuff like laundry, bedmaking, and staying on top of contracts for clients. I stay in bed if I have a fever or am actively barfing. Otherwise, I'm on my feet, making lunches, bossing kids, and generally sucking it up.

Guess what, people? Everyone gets sick, even the president. Frankly, if I were president, I'd be sick a WHOLE lot more, because the stress and the pressure must take so much energy from you. I imagine I'd have a complete set of false teeth stemming from so much teeth grinding that the dentist would just say, "Sorry, they're all nubs and have to go. On the plus side, no more cavities!"

She's been sick all week with an infection that in fact can be cured with rest and antibiotics, and people are wasting time discussing whether or not she has "it" in her to handle the presidency?? When the alternatives are a xenophobic megalomaniac and a candidate who has almost no focus on foreign policy, we are wasting precious moments and fleeting seconds even considering them? She could destroy either or both of them together in a debate on foreign policy right now, hopped up on antibiotics and resting.  If they debated today, she'd still roast them.

Do you think that in the 4 years she was Secretary of State, she was never sick? Do you think that in her 8 years as a federal Senator, or 8 years as FLOTUS or 8 years as FL of the state of Arkansas she was never sick? COME ON. That is insane.

It's starting to boil over. All the latent feminism I've been storing inside is starting to come out. My poor kids better watch out. My poor husband too. Because I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it any more...