Posted in Travel, Parenting, Lifestyle.

The Only Valentine’s Day That Mattered

I’ve never been much for the mushiness of Valentine’s Day or any day. It’s a commercial day. Lots and lots of people who want to make money will do just that; they will find a way to make money off of you and me. They will make money off of our broken hearts. They will abuse our misery. Or, they will get in on our happiness, but not because they’re happy for us. No sir, that is not the case. They will do that because they know we will fall for their terrible, miserable plots to sell us all those flowers, chocolates, and gifts. We fall for it. Well, I’ve always been too smart for all of that. I’ve always been too good for love. Yep! I know it.

Photo Credit: Markus Spiske

Until one day, I realized that was not what was going on. Valentine’s Day or any other day has to be what we make of it. Every day can be simple. Beautiful, unique. This is not one of those heartfelt stories where I become a believer in Saint Valentine, and everyone lived happily ever after. Nevertheless, it is one of those stories that made me believe in the more unaffected side of life.

As I mentioned, earlier Valentine’s Day has always been just another day for me for as far back as I can remember (and still is). One random day there was a knock on our door; This was after my husband, and I had been married for a few years. No one knocks on doors without calling first, so this took us by surprise. We opened the door; there stood one of my uncles and his wife. We have a HUGE family. We were not that close to them. They didn’t have any of their kids that lived nearby, so it was just the two of them.

Photo Credit: Markus Spiske

We were shocked to see them at the door. As we invited them in, they pushed a tiny box of decorated home-made chocolate cake towards us. We didn’t know what to make of it before either one of us could ask, they spoke, “Happy Valentine’s Day. We just wanted to show our close family and friends how much we love them, so we baked them these mini cakes. We hope you like chocolate. We can’t stay long because we have to cover a lot of homes.” With that, they turned around and left.

That was the only Valentine’s Day that has ever mattered.

Posted in Travel, Parenting, Lifestyle.

Not An Apology

You know what I want to do today, my friends? I want to apologize. I want to apologize for sitting a tiny bit to my side that made you feel like I was turning away from you. I want to apologize for continually moving around, which gave you the impression that I wasn’t interested in what we were talking about. I also want to apologize for not maintaining eye contact for too long. There are so many other little quirks that I could go on apologizing for. Such as, me always playing with my hands. I know it’s annoying to watch, probably, most definitely. I know it is. I will probably never sit next to you on the floor. I will find a seat close by and lean over to talk to you. This will seem rude and will be uncomfortable. However, that’s just how hanging out with me will go.

I can’t keep looking in one direction for too long; I start to get anxious. The kind of anxious they write in textbooks about.

I will make plans or accept your invitation then cancel on you the day of without any notice. Even though you might have seen me somewhere the day before and probably looked fine. My excuse that I am too sick even to walk will probably sound just like an excuse. Hard to believe. It’s not.

Nevertheless, I use it so much that even I try to come up with other random things to say when canceling plans because I’m sick. I wouldn’t believe anyone else. Why should you have to. I am sorry for putting you in that spot; I am sorry for being the one you always bail.

And the shifting side to side is a neat story; I have sciatica in a few different discs in my spine. It’s a real son of a bitch. I might really want to keep the conversation going with you, but my back might just be tired of that posture I’m making and decide I need a new one. That might offend you, I get it, but there’s no other way. I have two options; I can tell you my sob story, or I change positions to relieve the pain and then start up a convo again in a few minutes so you know I wasn’t trying to ignore you when I turned away and hope for the best. Normally I don’t share my life with people unless it’s in writing. Why I do it here? That’s because I’m not the only one impacted by the little things happening around us every day.

Who knows who else might read this out there and think hey, me too. Or think yeah, I know someone like that. They’re a real pain in the ass, real party poopers. Maybe I should call and check up on them.

I know what everyone reading this is thinking, or at least some of you. Get some meds in you and stop whining. Stop whining? I have a legitimate reason to whine and I stop? So not going to happen. I am on every medicine imaginable. I’m as active as I can be with my limited joint movement and chronic pain.

That’s why I wanted to tell you that this is my medicated, exercising, healthy as can be, self. With all that said, I’m not changing and I want to apologize for that too.

No matter how much I write about it or talk about, in the end everything comes down to just one problem: if we cant see it, it must not exist. Since I don’t look sick I must be either exaggerating or straight out lying.

Well, I apologize for you not having enough faith in me to believe that I wouldn’t lie or exaggerate about such a condition. If you ever said you were in pain, physical, mental or emotional I would believe you.

Turns out this isn’t really an apology after all.

Posted in Travel, Parenting, Lifestyle.

Hey Kid

Listen kid; I love you. You are me, reincarnate. Nobody else could have made me feel this incompetent and challenge my every sense to this extent. Nobody. Nobody could love me this much either. This wholly and unconditionally. You make me hurt to the point that I cannot comprehend it myself sometimes. I’m on my knees. Literally on my knees. You’ve lost something under the sofa or the bed or some other place, apparently I’m the only one whose around that can do the bending, sitting, standing, or whatever seems to be the most painful task of the moment. Most of the times, I got you covered kid. Sometimes though, geez, hit the pause button, would ya?

Like I said, I love you more than existence itself, but you’re not very like-able all the damn time. For example, right now. What is the need to jump on your brother’s side of the bed while brushing your teeth? WHAT? Just WHAT? I don’t like it. He’s screaming to tell you that he will not sleep on his bed after you have sprinkled your teeth goo on it, and I’m screaming for you to get off the bed, and you’re just jumping away. So, I ask the question; which I have asked in our many conversations during evaluations of situations like these, “when you are getting so much positive attention, why look for negative attention?” I’m here, I’m talking to you, I’m spending time with you. So why turn it into me raising my voice or speaking in a negative tone? It’s better when we are ALL having fun. Isn’t it?”

We’re cut from the same cloth, you and I. I do get it. I am your mother, however. I also need you to stop it right this second and go brush your teeth in front of the sink, or your black-panther superhero doll disappears. Ah! That’s better.

Sometimes love and understanding is not enough.

My solace in all this, you can take care of yourself and then some. The world is not patient. The world will teach tough lessons. The toughest, harshest situation you have to deal with right now is me telling you playtime is over. The worst evil deed under your belt is breaking your brother’s lego plane, which he took hours making, and maybe throwing stuff at his too. Kid, the world will teach you some real evil tricks so I like that you can hold your own. I like that you can break shit when you’re angry. I also like that you can count to ten and then come ask for a hug when you know you need to calm down. I know I need to teach you the balance. I know we are far from it right now. We have to look into doing that without killing that spirit that makes you want to take out every single plate and bowl in the house and kiss it just because you’re in the mood.

Kissing stuff randomly is fun. Wouldn’t want that to be a thing you stop doing, even if that means every single dish has to be washed.

You know why I started writing this; it was because you told me that you wanted to lie down next to me. I asked you if you were done. Time to play so that I could get back to work. You responded with “I am your most important work, ill pay you in hugs and kisses.” I know it sounds adorable when you hear it, but when a child won’t leave your room and you have deadlines, not so much. You want me to yourself. Im realizing we need boundaries. Im realizing you need to understand that I’m always here for you but you need to start seeing me as an individual. I think that’s why sometimes I don’t like you. You are inching into my existence. You want to take over my life. That’s not your fault however, at some point in your life I gave you the message that that was how it was supposed to be. No more mister. There is a whole world for you with me in it. I shouldn’t be your whole world though.

Where do we start? Let’s see, let’s start with my whole life being about watching the two of you sleep while I rush to finish this because the list of very important work I need to do in the morning is not more important than the cuddles you’re going to ask for super super early in the morning.

No. Let’s start with you bringing me down to my knees for your useless tasks. Yes, I think that’s a better place. I’ll take the cuddles for a little while longer.