Thursday, June 17, 2010

game over

(Cue Pomp and Circumstance)
Our son graduates this week and I am flooded with memories. Soccer games, parent teacher conferences, California days, a young boy dressed as Thomas Edison...the list goes on. While I like to joke (I believe I even recently resigned) that I'm ready for him to move on and out, the truth is, I will miss it like nothing else. I will watch young mothers with an aching heart as they cheer on their children from the sidelines. What a journey it has been. I wouldn't trade a moment of it, well, maybe one or two. But in those moments I earned my mom badge.
I wear it proudly.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Ciggerest n poses

I have a huge craving to smoke cigarettes. But. I. am. not. a. smoker. This poses huge challenges in fulfilling the urge. See I have been vehemently against smoking since a very young age. My dad was always against it while my mom would sneak a smoke once in a while when at a party. So I just mimicked my father, as children tend to do. I made it through my teen years with out the nicotine addiction and was too busy raising kids to catch the fever in my 20's and 30's. Now in the dawn of my 40's, I find a few more free minutes in the day and a wee bit of stress to dwell on during those idle moments and I am delirious with the cigarette smoking bug.

Unfortunately for me (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), I have been so vocal and aggressive in my anti-smoking rants that it would be a huge blow to the pride to give in now. I believe I even once said, and I quote, "I would rather see my daughter giving a blow job in a gas station bathroom than see her smoking a fucking CIGARETTE!". Exactly. Just how do I light up now?

I also have a great desire to take up yoga. Like seriously take up yoga. I've taken a class here or there over the years. I live in a very yoga friendly place. Throw a rock and you are likely to hit a mat and its yogi. I love the individuality of it and the spiritual aspect as well. A new practice could definitely help me deal with some of the anxiety I now have. Days can be filled with stress from dealing with an unruly client to figuring out how in the world high school counselors keep their jobs. Yoga may be just the fix I need. Finding the right studio can be daunting though. There is bikrim yoga, hatha yoga, ashtanga...I mean, the list goes on to where I just give up and go back to craving a ciggie, a fag, a damn smoke.

So...what to do? I know right. If I take up yoga which is healthy and positive and good for me and then add in the cancer stick which is just unhealthy and negative and bad for me, I really am at the same place I am now minus a couple o' ben franks. Maybe I'll get a nicotine patch and do a sun salutation and quit worrying about it.


To whom it may concern,

I would like to officially submit my resignation as mom. I feel I am no longer qualified to raise people. The position has become beyond my education and skill. I am sorry to inform you I will not be able to train a new mom or wait until the position has been filled. If I have to wait for a teenager to come home one more night or see another one cry about orthodontia I just might eat my young.
Finally I understand Sexy Sarah. Sometimes the job just isn't any fun anymore.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Enough nuts

We've had 8 long torturous (literally) years of craziness and the end is finally here. Today is the last Sunday Dubya will be my president and the celebration has begun. Even across the pond, here in London, there is excitement in the air. Obama is in the papers, in windows, television and in our minds.

At the West Ham match today was a scrolling announcement, "Kick racism out of football". I can't imagine the same advert at lets say a baseball game but I really appreciate the honesty. We may not be as forthcoming with our race issues but we did elect a black man as the leader of our country so movement has been made.

I lift a glass to George Bush, the nuttiest president to have won (allegedly) twice but time is up, time to move out and move on.

We are Oscar Mike!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Gluhwein is to be sipped while shopping at an outside Christmas market in Germany. Unfortunately, I wasn't at a Weihnachtsmarkt but was very honored to be sharing a glass with some lovely new friends in the warmth of our dining room. I thought it tasted much like a really good bottle of cherry flavored NyQuil heated to 170'.
So, this hot alcoholic beverage has got me do we, as parents, keep warm during the bitterly cold season of adolescence? The opportunity to second guess eachother turn on eachother, and eventually part ways can grow on an hourly basis. At the end of the day, the children will be gone and we will have to face our relationship head on. I speak of the marital relationship, particularly the two people who created this family unit but that is often not the case and therefore can refer to 2nd marriages and beyond. Regardless, if you have survived first your own teenage years and then your children's, you may find a few minutes when it is all said and done, to look at yourself and your partner and take stock. Just how much collateral damage was there?
There are days that it feels like war and much like the warring factions of Falluja, it isn't always easy to tell who is on who's side. It is important to determine early on (end of grade school at the latest) which team you will be on. Are you a Jet or a Shark? The kids never seem to have this problem but us parents can really screw this part up. Get a game plan and go forth. Strike early and don't leave any men down in enemy territory. Those youths are dangerous and can easily brainwash a lone parent, watch out for traps which can come in the form of last minute school projects and a late night drive to Kinkos. 
In the quest to make moral, healthy and happy people who go off to college and don't take all of your money, you can certainly risk your friendships, partnerships and especially yourself if you aren't very careful. Be gentle with the parents you know who are fighting this fight and be reverent to those who made it. These years are not for sissy's and leaves many in therapy for years to come or at the very least, committed pill poppers.
So here we are, back at the Gluhwein. What is your glue-wine that keeps you warm and loving your mate in the cold? In the old days, when wine went bad they added spices and honey to make it good again. If you find your whine has gone bad and is no longer appreciated, try adding something sweet and mull it over a bit.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

How long did the last supper take?

My mother-in-law once told me that when she quit smoking she worked puzzles to help her take her mind off not smoking. I can't say I'm giving up any bad habits but with Mark off on a much deserved surf trip, I realize I am trying to quit being so bored out of my mind! It's really quite pitiful and I should spend a moment or two figuring out how not to be so co-dependent but that is for another day. Don't get me wrong, a moody 13 year old and uncontrollable 16 year old will definitely keep one, how shall I put it...occupied, but I really miss my best friend. So, in his absence, I have been working on puzzles. We found a 500 piece of "To My One Desire" from a garage sale for $2 which it turns out was missing 3.5 pieces. (Yup, a piece was torn in half.) The kids and I skipped church, the street fair and even lunch to put those pieces together. It was sheer heaven! To spend, literally, 8 hours just inches from my teenagers (without screaming, crying or lecturing) while we came together in a common cause was absolutely the very best of days!
Eventually Monday came around without a garage sale in site so we ran to Target and purchased what has to be the most unbelievably difficult jigsaw puzzle known to man-a 2000 piece depiction of Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper. I understand it took Leo over 3 years to paint the famous fresco. I'm not sure I will get my Target version done in a faster amount of time. However, if it means a few more stolen moments with the young ones, maybe I too, as Da Vinci is said to have, procrastinate and revel in the peace a puzzle can create.


Last Friday morning, while waiting to "close the deal" with an O.C. non-profit (that really does some wonderful work from gang prevention to sheltering homeless teens), I found myself flipping through a parenting guide. It was several pages with colorful cartoons and lots of really helpful information for parents of little people. It was brilliant! I had forgotten all the hidden dangers and possible death traps. With the turn of each page, I mentally checked off each tip. I had always checked the water temperature before putting the baby in the bathtub and only once or twice let a screaming boy out of the car seat while the car was moving. I realized I hadn't been too bad of a mother! They had survived without being mauled by a rabid dog or gotten their heads stuck in a rickety crib but then I got to the end of the booklet and was crushed, devastated, to be honest. It took me to maybe age 4 or 5. I scavenged the coffee table. Where was the "how to keep your teenager alive" booklet? Or the "how to keep yourself alive while raising a teenager" leaflet? No where. Nothing. Not even a post-it with suggested curfew times. Throw me a freaking bone people. What kind of an outfit was this? But, alas, this is where most parenting advice ends and here is where I begin. I'm committed to surviving these tumultuous teen years. So...that's why. And, no, I still don't know if I closed the deal.