Here’s what not posting about gratitude looks like

standard November 11, 2013 Leave a response

So, yeah.

It’s November 11th.

I’ve posted exactly one gratitude post.

On November 1st.

It’s not that I’m not grateful. I am. Overwhelmingly so. For so many things. It’s just that I posted ever day in October, and I decided it would be a hoot and a half to attempt doing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) for the second time ever (first time I got pregnant and slept my way through November instead of writing… whoops), and I have a couple amazing clients clamoring for my attention, and, frankly, my knitting was lonely (Knitting can get very lonely, and then it clamors for attention. Also, yarn begs to be bought. Totally. It’s all the yarn’s fault.). So I started worrying on November 2nd because I hadn’t posted yet, and then I gave myself permission to just… let go.

You can do that, you know. It’s amazingly liberating. So’s not blogging for 10 days. Which isn’t to say I haven’t written , I just haven’t blogged here. (Here, and here, but not here, here. Know what I mean?)

So, instead of blogging each day of gratitude, I’m living each day of gratitude. I’m not sharing it on Facebook, I’m not sharing it here, but I am spending some time every day thinking about the things I’m grateful to have in my life. The kids, the awesome husband, the sweet personable cat, the incredible friends, the house I love so much… all of it. I’m reveling in everything I have, and I’m being insanely selfish and keeping it all to myself.

I’m sorry.

But you understand, right?

And if you’re lucky I night do a stream of consciousness, “100 Things I’m Grateful For” post closer to Thanksgiving. Or not. We’ll see.

Tears on the last day of school

standard June 12, 2013 Leave a response

This morning I cried.

I didn’t want to, but I had a hunch I would.

Tears came to my eye as I saw the kids dressed nicely for their last day of school.

Tears came to my eyes as I watched the kids give their teachers their end of year gifts.

Tears came to my eyes as I held my sobbing Kindergartner when she was overwhelmed with emotion as it came time to say goodbye to her beloved teacher.

Tears came to my eyes as that teacher promised us that she’d keep an eye out for Little L next year so she doesn’t “get lost in the crowd” because she’s so well behaved at school. 

Tears came to my eyes as I watched the entire school create a ‘tunnel of love’ for the exiting 6th graders.

My hunch was right. Though, to be fair, the tears did more than just come to my eyes as as I held Little L tight while she sobbed, little face tucked into my neck, arms and legs wrapped tightly around me. We had to take a little moment to collect ourselves before we could leave the classroom.

Last year, on the last day of school, I hightailed it off campus, drye eyed and anxious to be gone, to be free of the school and its people.

Today when I look back at our morning and try to compare the two events I find that I really just can’t.

We were in such a bad place last year. So worn down by two cripling years. So disenchanted by the school and its community. So ready to move on and get on with a new version of our lives. I had some misgivings about having the kids home with me all summer, but I had an almost primal need to keep them close, to hunker down for a few months, just us, alone, so we could heal and gather our strength.

And it worked.

Even though I wasn’t quite sure what the school year would bring, by the time August rolled around we were ready to face it with a smile.

It was an amazing year. Little L learned to read, C came out of her shell, both girls thrived in their classrooms, made friends, and grew in every way imaginable. 

This morning Little L and I aren’t the only ones who cried. C cried too as we said goodbye to her teacher.

Despite the tears it was a beautiful morning. I left feeling loved and cared for. I left knowing that next year will be just as amazing. There were so many hugs, so many summer playdate plans made, so many gleeful “see you next year!” exchanged.

It’s a good place to be. A better place. I’m glad we’re in it.

Brave: My word for 2013

standard January 3, 2013 8 responses

This past month, between flights to Toronto and back, flights to Chicago and back, and lots of downtime in between I’ve plowed my way through more books than I think I read in all of 2012. One phrase in one book caught my eye and has been playing in my head ever since.

The gist of the phrase (forgive me for not finding the exact quote, there really were quite a few books it could have come from) was this:

Being brave doesn’t mean you’re not afraid to do something. Being brave means you do something despite being afraid.

People all over the Internet (ok, fine, all over Facebook) are picking their word for 2013; one word that they hope will inspire and infuse their year with meaning.

In hindsight 2012’s word was clearly “recover.”

2013’s word came to me this morning as I quaked at the thought of all the goals I’m setting for myself this year.

I am petrified. And yet I’m going to push through.

2013, your word is Brave.

This year I vow to push through my fear and see my novel published.
This year I vow to push through my fear of leaving Blogger and to finally migrate this blog to WordPress so it can grow into the vision I’ve dreamed for it for the last year.
This year I vow to push through my fear and embrace the goals we’ve set for Splash Creative Media.
This year I vow to push through the fear that life will come swipe me off my feet whenever I start to make progress.
This year I vow to push through the fear that no one will be there to help me see my goals to fruition.
This year I vow to shush the voice that whispers in my ear to not even bother to try because there’s no way I won’t fail.

This year I vow to be brave.

This is the stuff of family life

standard September 28, 2012 2 responses

On Thursday we get the Thursday folders filled with completed work for the kids and homework for the parents. On Monday we have to remember that it’s library day for both and PE day for the 2nd grader. On Wednesdays and Fridays the little one stays for aftercare and also needs a lunch. And of course there’s homework, consistent every night for the older child, completely randomly assigned for the little one.

On a good day I roll out of bed at 6am and head to the Y when I wake up slowly as my feet pound the treadmill and the sun comes up outside. On those days I feel pretty confident that the kids will have everything they need to get through the day.

On the days when my wily, half-asleep brain convinces me that I can run later and need to sleep more now, I wake up at 7:15, already behind, already knowing that I probably won’t get the backpacks packed with every single required item.

They say school is hard for the kids, but I think it’s equally hard on the parents. Who needs Sudoku or cross-words to keep your brain sharp when you’re juggling two people’s schedules as well as your own.

And yet, as annoying as it can be to have to pack the exact same lunch every day, as challenging as it might be to keep up with the tons of paperwork, I kinda love this routine. There is so much normal packed into the little details that dog our mornings.

This is the stuff of family life. Breakfast debris abandoned on the table, hair braided on the couch with Curious George yammering in the background for distraction, lunches packed and shoved into overflowing backpacks, permission slips almost forgotten on the dinning room table. All the little details we won’t remember in 15 years when we think of the hectic and sometimes peaceful mornings that made up our children’s childhoods.

When I get frustrated because Little L takes 45 minutes to eat one yogurt, or because someone’s shoes are lost again and not in the shoe basket where they should be, when I feel rushed because I’ve only just realized that we’re out of hotdog buns and I need to improvise a lunch for a kid who won’t eat it anyway, when I’m hungry and know that there’s no time for me to eat let alone pound a cup of tea, or when I want to scream because there are no clean socks even though I could have sworn I just did the laundry, those are the mornings I most want to stop time and soak it all in. Because one day the kids will do their own laundry, they’ll pack their own lunches, and as I sit at the table and drink my tea, they’ll wave goodbye from the door and run off to lives in which I play a minor role.

For now I’ll embrace the mess in the house, testimony to the chaos that rules my day and know that it looks the way it does because there’s more important stuff taking up my time and energy. One day our house will be spotless. I’m not anxious for that day to come.