Fog Effect.

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If sudden could be quick enough, then maybe I would have time to know without thinking what the world I am to be. Whether we play games, set goals, or even converse with close ones, obstacles are almost inevitable. I have believed since I was young something more than what is, was going to be my life. However, 30 years later, I still believe with the same glimmer of hope, but feel rather frustrated, stunted, perhaps even disenchanted. I know that there was a time when I stared at myself in the mirror and determined that I was going to make my parents proud. I made a choice to be a wife and a choice to be a mother of three. Does life just stop? No. Of course it doesn’t. I just feel things are on pause, the eight year pause. I grew up learning to do all that I do to be constructive and not deconstructive. Time is of the essence and to this day, I can’t stand idled time. Time and age has been a sneak to me. Instead of cursing them, perhaps I ought to give a curtsy, with my tongue on fire as I bite it hard and taste the warmth and saltiness of my own blood, and give gratitude. I do all I can to not to be bitter or dissatisfied. I just wish I could see the truth clearer. To see through the fog that distracts and attacks the focus of my steadfast heart. Motherhood. It is the calling. It is this time I need to embrace as a blanket of warmth for the chilled soul my heart resides in.

Image Credit: Waterloo Bridge. Effect of Fog, by Claude Monet

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spe-cial.

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The definition of special is better, greater, or otherwise different from what is usual. Some synonyms would be exceptional, unusual, singular, uncommon, notable, noteworthy, remarkable, outstanding, and unique. Every day I realize that my third is growing more and more into just that, special. Sean and I have joked saying to each other how special he is or wow! that is so special, a very special choice you made there, putting a bobby pin in the car’s ignition. He is special. He is unlike his brother and his sister. I get frustrated with him, but mostly at myself thinking what right do I have to put him in a box or mold to be like someone else? He is his own unique, outstanding, remarkable self, with some pretty far out ideas, and does some pretty wild things that get him in noteworthy situations. And this is why I am dedicating this time….not sure how long it will be, but some time for sure, to put some of his awesomeness down on paper. I love this little kid, my little Dennis, I call him. He is special.
My morning was no different than any other morning, just I had gone to bed too late for my 35 year old frame, so to have him tell me at 6:30 it was time to go down-dairs and watch Paw Patrol, I was just not feeling it. He jumped out of my bed and ran into his room and I drifted back into sleep world. However, I woke up to him again staring at me. “DOWN DAIRS.” Soon, soon, I promised. Again I opened my eyes to see him staring at me, but in and out of consciousness I hear him tell me about a toy in his nose. I close my eyes again. Then I hear a noise in the bathroom. That is never a good thing with him. I do a supersonic flip out of the bed and run into the bathroom to find both drawers pulled out, scissors, toothpaste, make-up, and q-tips all over the floor. Grumble, grumble. I picked up the items with a foggy grace and stared at my ploughed through eye shadow, a beautiful array of shades of brown, stabbed to death by its loyal friend, the eye shadow brush, which is broken in half, as well. With a roll of the eye, insync with the roll of my head, I stare at myself in the mirror and realize how old I look and I really don’t want to watch Paw Patrol. I brush my teeth, as sweet little 3 brushes his, excited for this day.
Being that it is a Saturday, this means that child 1 and child 2 both have soccer games, but at different times. My mom came to meet us at the field and while we watched child 1 play her game, mom cuddled with little Dennis. She asked him if he was stuffy, for he seemed to be and when flipped his head back to tell her something and she instantly saw what appeared to be a fluorescent green bead stuffed up his nose. I went in MOTHER mode and grabbed his head a put my mouth over his, plugging his free nostril and blowing with all my might, which freaked him out, but did nothing for the green bead. I remembered when child 2 put a fistful of popcorn in his mouth last year, but somehow inhaled a kernel into his nose. It did go away in a couple of days, so the panic subsided, just not 100%. When we got home, he said how he wanted to get into his “yammies.” He ran upstairs to get his pajamas on, but while I was going to the bathroom, I could hear him screaming, thinking to myself his head is probably just stuck in his shirt, but no. He decided to go into our upstairs bathroom and shave his lips with a pink razor.
The special little boy with the band aid on his bottom lip and bead in his nose was just getting started, for it was just noon by this time. A half of a bottle of ketchup on the carpets going upstairs, a flooded upstairs bathroom sink, with soap suds covering the mirrors, nighttime was not coming soon enough.
My husband and I decided though, to try to once again to attempt the bead in the nose. So as I held him and tried to tell him stories or ask questions, Sean held a flashlight and a toothpick up his nose to maneuver the wee piece of plastic. When 3 had enough, we asked if he would want to try to blow his nose one more time, I held his free nostril again and like a rocket ship, that green bead shot out of his nostril in full force! FREEDOM!
Tomorrow is church. Lord keep us safe, especially our little Dennis.

River's bead

Fear is real.

Driving the other morning I was strangely awoken by the realization of the different layers of fears that occupy my mind. There was a time in which I would have a reoccurring dream when I was about 8 years old where twin girls, like the ones from The Shining, would beckon me to play with them and their red wagon. We would be on the field of the school that was up the road from my childhood house. I remember never wanting to play with them and would wake up in the midst of the struggle trying to run away. It was weird and it was bizarre, it also was a realization of the realness fear could play in my life, even through my dreams. As I was driving, through the small city, in which I reside, I began to visualize each random layer of fear that tries to inhabit me on an hourly basis. I am only being honest. I fear so many different things, but they are all categorized. I am sure I am not the only one, but there are times in all fairness I feel like a lone vessel, trying to figure it out. I have the fears of a daughter, wanting to please my parents, I have the fears of a wife, making sure I sustain a healthy relationship with my husband, I have the fears of a mother, desiring to be the best role model to my children, a safe person, a stable figure in which instability will not be something they will resent, but at the same time, wanting to be the fittest for their ever creating minds and developing behaviors. As a sister, I want to be in sync, but not conformable, as a friend, I want to be a non-toxic person. I want to know I won’t be insulted or rejected. As a stranger, I fear judgement or ridicule, as a person, I fear misunderstanding or manipulation. There are different fears for the different roles I have in my daily walk. I have to continue die to those fears and allow for them to not control me, or I would never get out of bed, or my house, or my car. Fear is real, however I am more real and it is a constant choice each waking hour to not let fear take me down into a place no help can be found.
My favorite verse in this song is, “I have my fears, but they do not have me.”

30 Day Challenge: Day 3

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Popcorn.

Seriously, why does food have to be so good? I am finding probably the biggest challenge of this 30 day challenge is not eating after 7pm. I remember my grandmother always saying to eat after this time was a mistake. Everything my grandma has ever said, I kind of have taken to heart, even if it doesn’t make sense half the time, for it’s a sense within itself, I guess. I am not a huge night time snacker to begin with, but I just find time such a beast in the way of wanting to get all the things I want to get done in the 10 hours I have. Honestly, can it really be done?! When 3 was born, it was like the clock lost 2 hours and from that day forward, I always feel like I am running about 2 hours behind schedule. It is a chasing, answering and sharing life with little kids, planning and making meals often not appreciated, and all this with glimmer of hope that there will be at least an hour sometime in the evening to just SIT. There are times when my dinner is instead a nighttime snack, my favorite being homemade popcorn. It takes me to my happy place. Popcorn, seriously? But popcorn and I go way back. Not to date myself, but I remember in high school after one of our school plays, the group and I went to go see Austin Powers in the movie theater. I remember the awkward silence after I told my friend, the one I was in the play with, that I didn’t share and I wouldn’t share my popcorn with her. Oh…high school, how I don’t miss you. Unfortunately not much has changed. I will make the children popcorn, but when they are all nestled away in their beddies, I, without hesitation, reach for my vintage yellow Pyrex bowl and make a fresh batch of popcorn just for me. Aside from all of this, I am staying focused and steadfast. Run, really I am going to.

Image credit:www.popscreen.com

I am Mother, hear me roar…

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Motherhood. Motherhood blankets around me like a familiar fragrance. The scent of low self esteem mixed with over confidence, the uncertainties of direction and vocation flood my mind with images and sentences, while my arms struggle to carry the large paper bag full of groceries, I purchased as if with a blindfold on. What am I to make with all of this? How am I to prepare with these tiny tinctures, questionable edibles, and elegant fixings? Oh there are days, hours, and weeks in which I travel through the day as if on cruise control. Am I enjoying the scenery? Do we ever? Instead, I am fussing and fixing. I am planning and signing. I am answering and demanding. I am apologizing and excusing. I am showering and I am bathing. I am feeding and I am wiping. I am referring and I am wheeling and dealing. I am not a gambler, but I am taking risks beyond measure. There are choices, voices, and stirrings to prevent burnings. For me to sit back and relax seems so far from my reach. My eyes fail to stay alert, they are closing without my knowledge. When they open, it is a new day, but the scenery behind me will once again be a chaotic blur like a drunken stupor, but it’s not. It is motherhood at her finest. It is me in the refiner’s fire. It is me in the lions den with three little kids. It is me in the greatest chronicle of my life.

Cabin in the woods.

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I am not bitter. I used to be, but through time, bitterness has become a forgotten person, an old story, a vintage headline. Today I am in a continual process of learning and accepting. I am embracing, and yes, let’s be honest, sometimes rejecting the ongoing whirlwinds and twisters of an identity, a destiny, an image, and a stereotype, and all the misconceptions and misunderstandings that go along with that of MOTHERHOOD. I am the mama in the hood. Sometimes it is difficult to imagine life before all this, before life became so practical and inconvenient, so easy, but yet so complicated. I like to watch people. I am fascinated. What compels or leads, influences or helps-whether past or present- to choose the choices we choose to make for the day? Is it an image we are aspiring to be?- Or not to be? Some folks appear gravely lost in thought, while others are engaged in silent conversation through iphones, smartphones,blackberries-oh my! While others carry the weight of their world on their faces.

For myself, I cannot escape the thought that each one of us has come from somewhere. As I am a pioneer for this life, I am paving a path for my children. Those before me, like great grandmothers and grandfathers, did so with such limitations. They had limited resources and linear dimensions. Our 3-D omniscient society has become the big brother it fought so hard not to be. George Orwell was right. 1984 has come and is not going anywhere, anytime soon. There are times I want to escape and build a cabin in the woods, like Thoreau. How inviting it would be to live off the land, to bake fresh wholesome bread, hearty stew, and paint autumn skies with fallen leaves with the resources at bay. To have the heat from the fire soothe the dampness from the children’s faces as they lay on their multicolor earth-tone oval wool rug, drawing their favorite things. My love would be outside in the mass of solitude cutting wood and carving pieces of it to make furniture for our quaint little life. But life isn’t quaint. There are meetings and deadlines, agendas and commitments, interruptions and phone calls. There are places to go as well as places to be. It is history repeating itself in full force. Nothing is new, this has all been done before and this will all be done, once again. However, how wonderful it is I am doing this- this life, this journey, this age in year, with the people I have grown to know and to love so deeply. My busy life may not be the cabin in the woods, but in my heart there is a solitude unquenchable.

Chapter 1

No one really told me or should I say prepared or forewarned me of the pressures motherhood would entail.  I remember hearing the horror stories after horror stories of women going in such great depth of detail to be sure I heard every gruesome, grotesque, and squirmish moment they had when each went into labor and then the aftermath of tearing, ripping, being cut, and so forth.  The blood, the pain, the sweat, the screams, yes, all were a messy contribution to the delivery of a baby, however, no one cared to shed some light on the pressures of making ends meet, having enough food in the fridge, gas in the car, money in the bank, or clothes without holes or shoes being too small.

I drive a lot on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  Ok, it is not that much, but when we share a car and those are the days I have the car, it seems like a lot more than not at all.  As I drive, I think. I think and I think and I think.  The background sounds of music, kids, and perhaps the odd horn honking from behind, don’t compare to the loud words blaring in my head on cruise control. The thoughts come like a news headline typing words out without a break, without a breather, man, don’t they ever stop, I ask?  How can they, they are everywhere.  Everywhere I look, I am reminded.  Bumper stickers, billboards, restaurants, schools, children, low income housing, fancy cars, dream homes, farms and fields, closed for the season fruit stands, gas stations, pollution, and so many other little contributors to take my attention from reality into some twisted defiling realm where fear lives.

I thought starting new schools were chaotically arduous. I thought Math 11 was impossible. I thought deadlines for essays were brilliantly challenging. I thought the thought of dating was embarrassingly dreadful, except of course, when I met the only man I ever really dated and then married, but all these thoughts and worries, don’t truly compare to the heaviness in my heart I have at the moment of obsessively obsessing for the greatest life for not myself, but for my kids.  It is a profound ache, an indescribable longing to touch the hem of God in a way I have never done before, with a faith that can only cripple the fear with an authority to speak the truth despite the dramas and questions that puzzle my being. As a mom, and as moms, we pour out all we have to be all we are.  As a university student, I was naive to the responsibilities a wife and mother would have.  I would tell my friends, that one day my kids would come home from school to fresh baked cookies on the table and we would sit on top of the table and eat them. Last week my friend asked me, remembering my declaration of freedom, if we have eaten cookies on the table, yet.  I told her, “No, the table we have is over 100 years old, I don’t want to break it.” My slight declaration of freedom had been orderly suppressed with caution. When did this happen? Why did it happen? I am not going to blame it on life, disappointments or discouragements, instead I am going to embrace it as part of the process of my maturing and my developing of character.  It is part of the small stepping stones designed for me to skip across with renewed advantage and regained strength.  Not by my might, but by His.