about Blogs book exercise mamalougues contact Image Map

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Off limits

The school that I attended as a kid was set on an enormous piece of land. When the weather was nice, we were set free to roam. We would play capture the flag and the safe area was a center patch of trees.  Once on the island I knew I was safe and everybody knew they couldn't touch me.
At our house, my body some how has become home base.  If any child at one time is touching me he has amnesty from any harm at the hands of his brothers until he lets go. This has proven to be difficult when I'm trying to make dinner and have 2 or more boys holding on to my legs.

Everyday when I arrive at work I settle in by getting a cup of coffee and reading the news.  Despite my therapist's strong suggestion to avoid news because most of the time it isn't news unless its tragic. 
I came across the story of a kindergartener who was taken hostage by a gunman from his school bus.  Of course this is following numerous school shootings. Under that headline was a story of a two month old who was kidnapped and next to that story was a man who beat his toddler to death.
My mind is racing and my heart is heavy and  I can't seem to move past it. I have become consumed with anger and I must know, is anyone off limits anymore?
Even on a sinking ship women and children get priority.  Today women may not be held at such a high importance on the list because most of the time they can take care of themselves, (and everyone else around them), but when did children, even babies get thrown in as fair game as the targets of ones rage?
This should go without saying, but apparently it needs to be said again. 
My children, your children, our children, are OFF LIMITS.
I wouldn't have dreamed that the recent victims of the worst tragedies in our history have been kids,
most the age of a kindergartener. It is also the age of my Jack. Let me paint a picture of what that age looks like.  Last night he had a bad dream about a tyrannosaurus and slept next to my bed.  This morning I woke him up by nuzzling in his mess of blond hair and rubbing his back. His first sleepy words were "mommy." He ate strawberries for breakfast with chocolate milk. He had a break down (much in-part to the sleep deprivation) because he didn't want to make his bed because he technically didn't sleep in it.  He kissed me goodbye when I dropped him off at school.
Is this the profile of someone on a hit list?
Maybe this isn't new, and the media is exploiting children for ratings. I don't recall such horrific acts of violence towards babies in my lifetime until now.  Isn't there a gentleman's agreement that children are just not part of the game?
I wish the people who are responsible for these crimes could see that I don't view them as a misfit, or a bad guy or even a villain. I view them as cowards, weak and unreservedly pathetic to prey on a child.  I also think the media should not exploit these criminals because that is what they want.  The outcome remains the same so do we really need to know who they are?
I am not an advocate for guns and if anyone attempted to harm one of my boys I am confident I wouldn't need one.
I haven't spent time in prison, (believe it or not) but from what I understand is that even amongst some of the worst criminals an act against a woman or child is still considered to be an abomination only to be settled in the court of the prisoners and unlike kids, they have the wherewithal to fight back.
Unfortunately, most of the cowards kill themselves before they can face the consequence. 
The increasing trend to kidnap, kill or hurt children has reached a point that even the worst criminal should see that the only statement they are making when they hide behind a gun and kill a kid is that they are pathetic, sad souls.
We need a break from this violence and be able to trust that our schools are their island of safety. And  always know that no matter how far they stray, you will always be their home base.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Kiss my grits, World.

Can you sue someone for exposing you, unwillingly, to an environment that makes you so stressed out you want to eat gobs and gobs of chocolate?  And the reason you have access to the chocolate is because it is placed in a bowl 5 feet away from your desk for mass consumption?
I know a few lawyers, I might look into that.
Last night I was awakened at least four or five different times. The first time was from my bladder. The second was the dog's bladder and the third, fourth and fifth was a toddler.  We placed a small air mattress next to our bed so that when he gets scared he can come into our room but not sleep in our bed, or on my head as it turns out.
He decided to tell me that he didn't like the bed. "No Bed, Mommy's Bed" at a volume loud enough for me to hear, but apparently not for Don's ears.  Don has been working on Oscar's speech.  When he wants something he has to ask the entire question " May I have some more apple juice please?"  This two second phrase takes him about 5 minutes and he decided to practice it at 3 in the morning. MAY.......I........HAVE........SOME.......MORE......APPLE........JUICE.....PLEASE.
After the fourth or fifth time, Don heard him and got him a drink.
Before I knew it my alarm was going off and it was time for me to go to Crossfit. If you are not familiar with Crossfit it is a place you go to get your ass handed to you.
By 5:30 I was running suicides and by 5:45 I was dead-lifting 195 lbs. 
When I get back home I am greeted by Don mumbling something about coffee and one or all of my sons who are shocked that I would leave the house so early and not place breakfast on the table before I left. Followed by a simultaneous breakfast order that I am expected to immediately fill.  I wish I had a little bell and I would ring it for Mel to come around the corner and I would say " kiss my grits". Even Mel in his sailor hat couldn't keep up with my boys who must have a tape worm living inside of them.
Note* That Alice reference just shows you how crammed my brain is with useless information, especially from a show that was created before I was born.
In one of my first job interviews, I was asked  if I could have one super power what would it be. First of all, that is such a dumb interview question.  I don't remember what I said, but I'm sure it was something stupid like flying. If asked again, I would say I want a pause button.
The only catch would be that if I paused the world around me, they wouldn't age but I would. So if I paused it, say 2 hours every day for a nap then after about a month I will have aged 2 days longer than everyone else, and that wouldn't be good.
I digress.
The pause button would allow me to collect my thoughts and come up with something really witty in response to something that my boss said to me. Or allow me to take an uninterrupted shower without hearing phantom kids calling my name. Every time I step in the shower I think I hear someone screaming my name, even when they are not home. 

Getting everyone in the car and to school/daycare on time every day is an act of divine intervention. This morning Fin told me he HAD to show me a flasher on the internet. As alarming as that sounded, I felt I needed to look. It was an origami thing. He is slightly obsessed with origami and a flasher is a thing... (I can't even describe it). Anyway Jeremy Shafer (orgami guru, and Fin's idol) recommends a special paper for the flasher and you can only get it by calling this number in San Fransisco because they don't have a website.  After I looked at it, I said no, so he was pouting and repeating that he NEEDS a FLASHER from SAN FRANSISCO.
By the time I arrive at work, I feel like I have already put in a full day and I'm ready for a nap. Hence the pause button.
Life moves too fast. I need to figure out a way to slow it down.  Despite the San Francisco flasher, I know that the majority of my stress is self imposed.  I am the only one who can let things get to me enough to cause me stress.  What is it exactly that I'm yearning for? Perfection? Maybe perfection is more about the journey and less about the result.  Maybe all the bumps in the road are meant to slow me down because if the road was smooth,  I would probably be pretty dull, which would result in my kids being even more dull.  The chocolate that tempts me every time I pass it may be an effort for me to stop and talk to the office assistant.  Or a covert operation to fill my mouth so I stop talking, who knows. 
If I have a point, it would be this. Lack of sleep, demanding boys, annoying bosses, origami, apple juice and  useless sitcom knowledge have all led me to this place right here, doing what I love...writing. Besides, if I didn't have any bumps I would have nothing to write about.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My infinite clock

Yesterday my alarm clock failed me.  Every week day I set it for 5 a.m. and like an old friend it never fails me.  I get up, reset it for Don and go to the gym.  This particular morning I woke up on my own at 5:40 to a flashing clock. But it wasn't flashing 12:00 it was flashing 3:14.
I reset it for Don and was on my way.  When I returned at 6:45 the house was dark.  Again, the clock was flashing 3:14. Why the clock is flashing the three most significant digits of π in the decimal form is beyond me.  It did remind me of why I work out in the morning, especially after the holidays.
I was very upset about this.  I unplugged it and plugged it in. Still 3:14.  He said we really didn't need it anymore because we have our iphones and we can use them from now on. He was not going to fix it this time.  He had glued and taped it over the years, and this was his deceleration to get rid of it.

I have had this alarm clock from April 7, 1992. My grandmother gave it to me for my 15th birthday when she  learned that my mom was still waking me up for school.  She said it was time I got myself up.   Through the years it has traveled with me to 3 states, and so many apartments I can't keep them straight.  It has old stickers on the side of it.  It has absolutely no decorative integrity whatsoever.
But it has been a staple in many different decors on my nightstand.  Thank goodness it can't talk.
Still, it has woken me up for some of the most important days of my life.
The day I got my drivers license. My high school graduation, my college graduation, my wedding day, my first job interview, three scheduled c-sections, numerous flights, and it has never failed.

It sounds crazy to be attached to an object, but I can't help but be.  I looked online to see if I could get it fixed.  There is no trace of it ever even existing. And to think that it was pretty revolutionary back then because it had nature sounds (which I never figured out how to use).  In fact, to this day Don has never figured out how to use it, I personally think it his attempt to avoid getting up.

If a clock can have significance, this one to me, was the beginning of my independence.  Whether or not my grandma thought of it that way, I'm not certain. She may have been annoyed with my mom's attempt at keeping me a child, or my resistance to acting like an adult. Whatever her reasoning, it worked.

My grandma died from a very aggressive form of cancer in 1997. Of all the important things my clock woke me up for, she was only able to witness one.  She never knew I graduated from college (at the time, my behavior would not have predicted any collegiate pursuits).  She never knew of Don and I know she would have loved him.  Although the last words I ever said to her were "so many men, so little time". She laughed out loud, little did I know how little time there really was.

All of this occurred to me as I was about to unplug my clock for the last time.  Sometimes you forget how much you miss someone until out of nowhere you want to call them and you can't. Today is one of those days.

As much as I don't want to admit, its a testament that I'm old enough where appliances I have stop functioning because they are old, not because they are broken. I kind of understand why my dad still has his ugly transistor radio with a dial.  You never know when you may want to listen to the radio and a plug isn't readily available...

It has given me no choice but to forge ahead.  I used my phone's alarm this morning and kept waking up for fear it may fail me.  I don't trust a fully charged cell phone, yet for the past 20 years I put all my trust in an electronic that couldn't function if the power went out.

I don't like to hold on to things that don't work, even if it has some memories attached.  I will throw it away and move on with the times ( pun intended).  Anyone who knows me, knows I am a bit superstitious. So I started thinking about the number that flashed 3:14.  It may mean different things to different people, but to me it represents an infinite number.

My grandmas gift was more than just a clock, it woke me up for the best days of my life, and I like to think that was her little nudge each morning. Thanks to her, I am an early riser, I will admit some days were dark or sad and some I would like to have forgotten completely, but regardless of the outcome, each day is worth waking up for.