Weekly Photo Challenge: Everyday Life

Today I am adding this photo as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge and plan on doing one each week.  Although i am not a professional photographer by any means- I sure love images and love the challenge of capturing the “mood” in the moment.  This one is called “Hanging Under the Umbrella.”   Please “Like” if you like 😉

 

 

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Sentiments that Hit Home

My sentiments EXACTLY!

Sometimes as a mother the repetition of my domestic duties drive me to the edge of insanity.   If someone were to record the dialog that I create in my head as I’m doing chores I would probably be absolutely horrified… as would everyone else.

Pinterest was clearly created to give voice to my thoughts, and bring a sense of validation to my life.  A few of my recent favorites:

The other day I told my daughter to get herself her breakfast and she looked at me and said:

“That’s your job.”

“FAMILY MEETING!!!”  I screamed….

Needless to say we are all very clear now on roles and responsibilities.

Now my children can repeat after me:

“My mom’s job  is to stay sane while teaching me to be self sufficient, gracious, well mannered, and trustworthy.

There is something about the old time photo’s paired with my own stream of consciousness that I just find incredibly refreshing….

Thoughts Of Mothers Day

This is my first official portrait taken with my two children.  Why did I wait so long?! Last Saturday we lucked out with a beautiful afternoon and spent our time together in the competent and amazingly talented hands of  Terry Lee Cafferty. Terry Lee was offering a Mothers Day promotion at her new studio and I knew right away I wanted to participate. I’m still only ten years new at this mommy thing and who are these two look-alike children with their beautiful faces on top of mine?  I’m so happy we did this!

As Mothers Day approaches I think of my own Mother- a woman who has dedicated every cell in her body to making sure I am alive and well in the world and that nothing harms a hair follicle on my precious head.  I realize that the witchery of motherhood  comes as some instant hex when we deliver our tight fisted babe from the universal womb. Our instincts forever heightened and downright primal as we need simply tilt our heads in a certain angle in order to sniff the air- the scent of our baby inextricably glued into our every pore for ad infinitum.  I get it now-  no one could have ever explained how birthing another forever changes you.

My Mother- The woman who somehow just “knows” when something is not quite right  -the invisible thread.  Was it a message sent to her by way of  the wind? A tug in the umbilical aura? A shift in cosmic energy? How does she doooo that? Oh, yes… this is me now… I too can summon hurricane force winds and lift John Deer Tractors if given by threat to my children.  YES,  HEAR ME ROAR.

This beautiful creature – my mother, as time wraps it’s wisdom in a shawl of crinkled lines around her sparkling eyes
every
single
time
she looks at her children… her grandchildren
growing even more beautiful with age.

This being who brought me in, knew long before I ever would what it really takes to birth another, raise another, love another, bury another, honor another… what it takes to keep the memories of past faces and places like heart shaped moments on the tin of a freshly baked cookie sheet…  smell the goodness.

“Mom- i’m home!”

home again home again jigged de jig….

She was always there….

bigger than life …even when she wasn’t…

…  her face and voice the echo and compass inside the heart she grew, inside a heart that knew inside a heart of another, mother… hers.

Her love-  combined with the waterfall of (other) mothers…. never ending – it’s force coming down to cleanse and rebirth even the most prodigal child…

never did she lose faith or hope.

never did she stop giving.

believing,

loving.

and so…it’s mothers day, and I will follow her lead – with every cell in my body which inherently knows the true depth and power of  this love. This awesome mom- me power so pure and this connection so strong that yes, one gentle breeze might simply touch my cheek and I will know, oh I will know that moment before I know- because that is the power of mom, and somehow in this cosmos come hell or high water I will lean in with every fiber of my being to kow that my babies are alright and if that’s so – then:  ALL is right with the world….  YES. All is right with the world.

Happy Mothers Day.

A Poem to Set you Free

The Bird Nest by Linda Apple

This poem by Mary Oliver has been near and dear to my heart since I first came upon it in the book : Ten Poems to Set You Free.  Before I was finally able to find the courage to speak up about what I wanted in my life and assert my own needs I would go to the bookstore ( B&N) which is something I’ve been known to do all my life.  Somehow walking through the shelves of books, touching the bindings, or reading the back jacket made me feel safe and comforted.

One of these many afternoons I found myself in the poetry section and this little blue book with a nest on the cover seemed to beckon me to open it.  I opened it directly to this page.  I remember my heart beating more quickly as i finished it, and a flood of emotion welling from me and I read it again and again as I just sat there on the carpeted floor in the safe haven of this poem that said it all, and I wept for joy…. it really did help set me free – nothing else could have explained what I was facing so eloquently… my family had no hope of surviving if I continued to remain a ghost.  This poem gave me the courage to do what I needed to do, and I hope it speaks to someone else out there today.  XO

The Journey

One day you finally knew

what you had to do, and began,

though the voices around you

kept shouting

their bad advice —

though the whole house

began to tremble

and you felt the old tug

at your ankles.

“Mend my life!”

each voice cried.

But you didn’t stop.

You knew what you had to do,

though the wind pried

with its stiff fingers

at the very foundations,

though their melancholy

was terrible.

It was already late

enough, and a wild night,

and the road full of fallen

branches and stones.

But little by little,

as you left their voices behind,

the stars began to burn

through the sheets of clouds,

and there was a new voice

which you slowly

recognized as your own,

that kept you company

as you strode deeper and deeper

into the world,

determined to do

the only thing you could do —

determined to save

the only life you could save.

~ Mary Oliver ~

Are You There Vodka?

Today I lost my son, and his play date.

They were just going to the basement to play… one minute I saw their small forms heading that way and 15 minutes later when I went down the basement to see how they were faring … there was no them.  (Our spacious finished basement is around the side of the house and you have to go outside to get to it!)

It was dark.
My heart sank.
My son does not turn off the lights- he only turns them on, which means that for the 15 minutes I was inside thinking they were in the basement….they were… gone.

Don’t panic. Don’t panic.

I panicked.

I began to call for them as I looked in the yard, and around the perimeter of the house, inside, outside, in the garage? while yelling their names.  I got especially wound up when I got to the part where my son’s coat was in a heap at the end of the driveway and a scooter lay on it’s side. I looked down the street. Could they have walked down the street? no. would they do that?

I ran to the neighbors house.. maybe they went to see T.J.?

I could see her son sitting quietly doing his homework when I knocked on the door and my heart sank even lower.

She joined me in the hunt and I got into the car and started to drive the new neighborhood. It’s windy out and it’s getting to be 4:00 soon and I can barely hear my own voice as I call into the gusting sound of the tree’s.

It’s way too quiet otherwise-  Where IS Everybody?!!

I drive around the block several times and I see two teenagers-  “nope” they say in that slouchy uninterested way.

I am coming out of my skin.

“If you see two little boys I want you to tell them to stay with you! and… don’t just SLOUCH there! DOOO SOMETHING! Don’t you have a BMX bike or something????!!”

I began to hyperventilate. My head started to hallucinate

“Um, yeah… about that little boy of yours you left in my care … um, … he’s gone.”

Police cars, siren’s…  ok SNAP OUT OF IT MONICA!!!  FOCUS AND CALM THE HECK DOWN!

Prayer:  “God… don’t do this to me. Don’t you do this to me. Not this. Not Now, NO. NO. NO.
“ok, please God, please… just lead me to these little boys…please make them be ok. WHERE ARE THEY ???!!!!

I saw the postman in the distance and honked him down like a crazy maniac…

“I haven’t seen them Mame”

I’m crying now. Oh dear God where are they?

“Please! please if you see them….” I’m begging him.

Back to the house: My neighbor waits in case they came back. Her face is grim.

Time is ticking. I make the decision now to call for back up – I’m unable to think clearly. I am terrified.

I dial 911

Crying harder now as my panic continues to rise…

“He’s blonde, freckles. khaki pants, 4ft, has a blue shirt on, with a white wolf… it’s Tea Collection (???)
I don’t even know what I am saying anymore…. It’s getting dark. His little friend …  brown hair…smaller, I don’t recall what he was wearing.. OMG where are they????

The postman is coming toward my home.. driving… like a bat out of hell… waving!!! OMG! WHAT?
“You found them?”

“Just a few streets over…  ? That’s far.  A FEW STREETS OVER? ARE THEY OK?”

I get in my car and follow the postman desperately scanning the street for them.  As soon as I am done hugging him and kiss every single freckle on his sweet face I will murder him.
They are obediently sitting, holding hands.. waiting..just as the postman instructed. Safe. Beautiful. Unharmed. Boys.

“Sheesh mom!- we were just SSSPLORING!” My son say’s as I try to hastily wipe the tears from my face and stifle a sob of relief.

THANK YOU GOD. Thank you.

Are you there Vodka? It’s me again.

It’s the little things.

It’s the little things.

A bowl of raspberries with a whipped cream top.

Cut out hearts.

Heart felt cut outs.

A handmade paper rose can smell like two dozen on a summers day.

Subtle touches-a lingering touch- a tender touch- I’m touched.

Inhale the love, breathe in… deep…

You are safe.

Absorb the love- like a sponge.

One moment without a Hallmark moment….

The real deal. Raw. Pure.

Love.

Happy Valentines Day

-MR 2012

 

 

A Love So Powerful

Shaw Age 2

There are those days as I wait for the kids to return from a weekend away with dad, when I physically ache for them.  The best part of any divorce is that you get a break.

The worst part of divorce is that you get a break.

I had this really unbelievably morbid thought today as I sat here aching: It’s that I can’t even imagine the pain of what it must be to lose a child, or have your child be physically hurt.  I know what you must be thinking… why would you even go here…?

I think because lately I’ve been watching TV again and I am privy to all the things that go on in the world that I was blissfully ignorant of before and when I hear about these things it makes me lose a piece of my heart and soul every time.  Just even the fact that it’s a part of the news along with every other happening and… then the weather… like, the fact that the world does not actually just stop rotating on it’s axis in response to a child’s pain or suffering just confounds me…

How would that be possible?

On a lighter note (oh thank God, you must be saying…)   both kids got home from school safe and sound.  I’ve not seen them since Friday morning when I dropped them off at school , and I felt like a puppy at the window- acting a bit like one too,  practically slurping their faces off with happiness… home again, home again, oh boy… wag wag.

During our after school snack my daughter informed me that her class is performing a play , at school. She said that’s three hours long and so I should start practicing sitting still starting, like now ( no comment) and then she said…

“and I need to warn you mom, it’s a little violent”

really? I asked… “In what way?”

“Well, there is a hanging- because, see it’s -old fashioned… back in the olden days when they killed people”

and then I thought to myself… “wow, right… she does not really have a concept of what the real world is like”… she does not have a concept because I have shielded her from the media, news and violent and devastating things since the day she was born, but one day, she’ll find out… and when ever that someday comes – it will be a someday way too soon.

I wish she never had to know… that she would continue thinking that “hangings” are the worst of it, and that this form of barbaric behavior is a past tense but I know i can not shield my baby forever…

It makes me realize though, how critical our role: as mothers-   It’s OUR LOVE for our children that is the only thing powerful enough to stand firm against the wrong that is done… mothers united with mothers who are united with mothers, all over the world.  Deep thoughts I know, but damn if motherhood does not make it so.

Divorce and Columbus

Sunlight by Christian Bothner

It’s a beautiful day. I wonder when winter will arrive in New England but I am not going to complain.

The winter used to scare me – a few years ago I was so overwhelmed and depressed and in denial I was unable to get out of my own way (bed).  Those days are not easy to forget, and yet… I tried every day to “feel better” – the irony is that I only started to really feel any better when I just allowed what was – to “be.”

Getting a divorce is like being in terrible storm at sea.  You think you are going out on that fishing trip of a lifetime and what you get is a hurricane of epic proportions – that was never on the weather indicator.

I have so much compassion now for those who are trying to raise sails on turbulent and treacherous oceans -and like the Rime of the Ancient Mariner  

“water water everywhere… and not a drop to drink”

Thirsting for resolution, peace, understanding, a map… solid ground.

My unanswerable question: “Is there ever going to be a time when I am happy again?” , “Will my family survive this passage to new lands?”

and then one day… after many many days of darkness, the sun finally sent it’s light to find us again… and the shore seemed less of a mirage and more of a possible destination than it ever had before.

I’d cast my net’s to fish for “a better way” of dissolving the life I knew… surely there were more productive places for that elusive catch- deeper pools where answers and possibilities swam like schools of an undiscovered species.  Could we navigate toward those? Pull up the nets filled with more humanity than the ones that come up -the “norm” –  pulling everything, including the demise of it’s natural habitat with it.  Was there a more sustainable way?

You can go out there alone I’m sure, but thank god my fishing partner was willing too, and helped me with the wild tangle on our decks to hurl and cast for deeper territories.

Thank you my friend.  Thank you my Co- Parent, Thank you my Wasband for trusting – despite the days we starved on that cold cold sea and wondered if we would ever reach the shore, and battened our hatches against the gales that threatened to destroy us all… thank you for believing that the two of us – even though we failed at the navigation … succeeded in the destination.

I will always love you.

M

Playmobil Is A Little Different In The Childerness

The finger is healing up.  Now it just feels like a massive callous and kind of “thick” where the stitches are.  It’s pretty gross. I’ve decided I don’t much like stitches or knife wounds and still cringe every time someone wants me to cut them some apple wedges.
I think I need therapy.

While being home on pain killers I’ve wisely invested the time looking into my children’s latest obsession Playmobil.  

Now- per usual, I can completely get into a toy created in Europe and although there are a ba-zillion tiny parts to them, they are kind of amazing. I mean, the detail is INCREDIBLE.  The little farm with the tiny little apples in the tiny little bucket… However, THE PRICE! Maybe it’s the fact that I was in retail and get how inflated some things are in terms of cost- (& I know they are imported) but still!  So I’ve been on the search and lookout….

Consignment Stores, Craig’s lists, eBay, Facebook shout outs…

I did win an auction on eBay but in doing so have learned much more about people who are not my tribe but non-the-less know how to make a living collecting and buying from garage sales and “lots” to resell in auctions like the one I was suckered into winning.  It was of course down to the wire… you know, like I discovered the “massive pile of playmobile” being auctioned off in the last 2 minutes only to discover after winning that there are like , oh say 2,716 such “lots” that get auctioned off daily.  I thought i was bidding on a bunch of sets.

NO.

No that’s not the case at all.

I was bidding on a bunch of “pieces” in order to complete the sets I do not own (Vicoden is not my friend.)

SO, $60.00 and 640 pieces later I think I actually managed to find enough pieces to create a jalopy playmobil motorcycle.

My kids were initially so excited to open the box and I anxiously awaited the praise and accolades that were sure to follow , but while i was busy patting myself on the back for such a clever find they started sifting through the mess (packed in a black garbage bag inside the box= never a good sign) and I started realizing as they pulled out handfuls of pieces – little.tiny.pieces. that we were going to have to make the best of this situation.

The cries of joys were soon followed by cries of disappointment and me, Pollyanna trying to make the best of a dismal situation.

Thoughts started to race through my head.. what can one do with such a mess and tangle?

This afternoon they continue to play Hoarders and Sanford and Son Playmobil  (the lastest and greatest of all Playmobil collections) complete with a junk yard, a junk yard Dog, old tires, A jalopy jeep,  a bath-tub on the lawn and several other yard ornaments.

Instead of them emulating a great zoo, pirate, or farm scenario with the tiny little buckets of perfect red apples they were dreaming of – they’ve instead accessed the underground imaginative world of transients, the deeply disturbed, and garbage collectors.

There’s nothing wrong with this picture. Nothing at all.

love Playmobil.

BCOC (Big Cat on Campus)

Mr. Goodbar has a new name… so I am happy to use them interchangeably as I see fit (naturally)

His new name is “Big CAT” not ,

Big Man
not
Big Dog

but

Big CAT

Do you want to know how this new name was acquired?  Of course you do, and guess who’s gonna tell you? (It occurs to me at this moment that he may forever regret moving in together)

So, last night we are on the bed and like clockwork our two cats Blue and Bella climb into their usual positions. which, if your a Ragdoll Cat (the best kind of cat who are not like cats at all but instead rather act like small dog’s) would be right up next to us as if they too will recline beside us watching back to back episodes of Bones.  So – the four of us are in position when Mr. Goodbar gets affectionately bit  as they will sometimes do as the sheets and covers move and they think – represents a play opportunity.  It happens a few times and Mr Goodbar says:

“OW!”‘ a few times…

and then the next thing I know the CAT says:

“ME-yelp!”  and moves location.

“What the heck was that?” i ask making sure the cat is ok.
“I had to bite his ear….” says Goodbar without blinking ….

“So he know’s who the Alpha Cat is….. ” he continues…

“You know- like the BIG cat in the house ” he finishes.

(Oh, yeah, – now we all know who the Big Cat is… beware!)

“MEE- ROW!” BIG CAT… “MEE- ROW!!!”