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In conclusion

15 Apr

Consciousness is a bitch. No two ways about it.

When the grass I thought looked greener fades in comparison to the side I just came from, well, I’m smart enough to turn the hell around and haul ass back. First he’ll take me in his big bear arms, then I’ll remember the day on the Pier, and after that it’s always okay.

This time I think that now is better even, because there are more rooms in the house with long warm limbs and tousled hair that smells like puppies. Four of us in all that make this place the home I always call plenty, enough, and mine.

I promise him that’s not what I was running from. He knows. That itch, it moves me, sometimes to wild places. He loves me for it, and I can’t live without it.

Mostly I find more good. More life. More to love.

Other days I find the green dream I’ve been combing my fingers through has turned brittle in my hands, weightless and vacant. Washed out in contrast to the cool floorboards that creak under the weight of my feet in the morning, at midnight, and every splendid hour in this place. The space that’s ours, that’s safe and home and only for us.

This last shit storm, if I’m being honest, was partly okay. The other part, well, you’ve gotta’ know what you don’t want to know what you want. No two ways about that. The thing about me – I always think I know.

But there are times when I can feel my youth. When I have to turn the hell around and head back to where I came from. When what I thought I wanted turns dry and dangerous under the sharp light of day, and the instinct pinching at the back of my arm makes me snap, fast, back to myself, then fall into him, and snuggle down with the others who make it all okay.

Still, in the back of my mind I hold tight to the thrill, the energy, even the hurt. Maybe I’d take it all on again, someday. A wiser me would do well there, I think. Grace, poise, valor. Maybe it’s in the cards for me. We’ll see.

But that’s not the point here. Not now, or even ever, I might say someday when I’m old and what’s done is done.

The point today is all chickens and fresh baked bread. All bare feet and laughter. All here and now and ours to live, as long as we choose to notice it.

What exactly is it about absence that makes the heart grow fonder? Maybe it’s consciousness.

That sneaky little bitch.

Anjale signature WEB

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Top 10: Things to do at 5:30 am

5 Feb

Anyone ever notice I’m a list-maker? There are a lot of reasons I love lists, which I plan on sharing with you soon. But today, because I’m turning over a new leaf, I’ll share with you this: the first installment in my new and recurring “Top 10 Lists”.

Are you shocked by the title of this post? I am too. And so is my husband. And yes, that number refers to the time I set my alarm for this morning. Yes, it was on purpose. Yes, it was dark. And yes, I was productive or something in that quiet, coffee-filled hour before the kiddos woke up. Is productive a relative term? You decide, in today’s installment of:

Top 10 things to do at 5:30 am.

1) Clank around the french press/coffee mugs/refrigerator, wake up the dog, and then blindly ignore his pleas to be let outside. Your excuse will later be that it was dark and you didn’t see him there, but as you’re cleaning pee stains off of the chic and over-rated “unfinished” wood floor, some part of you will be making a mental note to be a better pet parent tomorrow.

2) Clank around the laptop/desk drawers/pencil holder, wake up the 4 year old, and then pretend like you don’t know he’s peeing all over the toilet seat in your bathroom. Also pretend like you don’t know he probably did it because he thinks it will be funny for you to sit in it later. Continue reading

Dear You

29 Jan

I’m having a serious love burst right now and I’m not afraid to show it. This post is gonna get mushy and I’ll probably refrain from cussing. Now you know.

As you may have seen in my post last night, this weekend was confusing, at best. The family time was invaluable, the kids loved playing in the mountain-rain-that-my-bastard-iPhone-weather-app-said-would-be-snow, and I got plenty of snuggly couch time with all three of my boys.

But I just couldn’t shake that bad-mommy feeling. That question…should I have been more vigilant in protecting my son? So, last night, I told you all about it. I put it out into the world for the singular purpose of getting the heavy load off of my knotted shoulders. And what happened, for me, was exactly the thing I needed to make this all feel OK again. Continue reading

Kicking my own (bad)ass

23 Jan

Hey all, any of you noticed it’s 2013? Whenever the hell did that happen?! I’m wondering if you feel like I do at the beginning of the year. Maybe like you need to poop out a 5 pound turkey/pie/alcohol baby? Or like you have ten thousand things you would like to commit yourself to but those darned 2 weeks the kids were out of school really mucked up your to-do list so now you’ll be playing catch-up until Spring Break? Or like this new year has so much gorgeous promise to fulfill that you might just burst from excitement before anyone can say “resolution”? I thought so, me too.

Here’s how this worked out for me this year. Continue reading

The kid’s gone crazy

30 Apr

So I know we all feel like our kids are heathens sometimes; unruly, disobedient, the worst of the worst. And when, through some inexplicable turn of events, you find yourself to be the parent of the worst of the worst, well, there’s truly nothing worse. Unfortunately for the adult contingent, there are no rules when it comes to the parent-child standoff. No three steps in the opposite direction before turning to fire. No rules of engagement to reduce operational risk, or define appropriate constraints and stuff (thank-you Wikipedia).

Anyway, I’ve felt this way periodically since my first son was born, initially when he was screaming his infant lungs out at Target because I’d miscalculated his feeding time, then at the park when I pulled the “I’m pretending to walk to the car without you” move, and many times over in various parking lots, frozen food sections, and notoriously in the middle of a school assembly.

The only saving grace is that with my first son the operative word has always been “periodically”. There was always that “oh crap I forgot to change your diaper so that’s why you’re screaming” moment, or “oh right, you skipped your nap three days in a row so I’ll forgive your delirious headbutting” allowance. With number two, however, all rules have changed. His tantrums are chronic, decisive, and unwelcome accessories to our daily routine.

Take today, for instance. When I picked the little dude up from school all seemed well and good. He even reported that one of his teachers was out sick so he had to be Ms. Gina’s “assistant” in the classroom (Ms. Gina is apparently a saint). He ate a hearty snack in the car on the way to art class, and sat through the hour like a champ. He was proud of his finished picture and didn’t hit his brother or friend in the back seat on the way to hip hop. And for the first ten minutes of big bro’s dance class he even sat on my lap and watched like a benign and obedient four year old. I was seriously dewy eyed – and judiciously deceived.

We all know when our children are teetering on the brink of a breakdown. Today I made the mistake of ignoring the warning signs. The restless pulling of my sweater, twitchy inability to sit still, high pitched whining over the sub-par volume of the Fart app. These were all warning signs; ones that I know, but carelessly ignored. Until he headbutted me. And, as outlined above, all rules were out the window.

There’s more to the story, but it’s not really relevant except to say that we oscillated between peace and power struggle for the next few minutes until little dude was overcome by the apparent urge to sock me in the kneecap. For that he landed some hard “thinking time” in the car while I pretended not to hear him breathing fire at me from outside. And though he fell asleep on the drive home, I can’t justify the kid’s behavior because he was tired; he’s four years old and does this every-single-day between 3 and 6 pm. We call it witching hour, and it’s grating on my already over-taxed mom nerves.

So tonight I’ll do what I always do: pour a glass of wine and turn to the parenting books. You should see my bedside table. Really, it’s a wealth of psychological insight…and vampire romance. Both essential for effective parenting. At times like this I wonder if I’ve got it right, if my I’ll-show-you-by-trapping-you-in-the-car parenting is whittling my son into one of those teenage cat slayers. If all of his spitting, hitting, scratching, and biting are a sign that I didn’t hug him enough as a baby (he’s really snuggly…maybe he needed more?). Or maybe today he really was just…tired?

What I do know is that for all of his challenges that little bugger is worth the fuss. Contrary to how it seems at the moment (to both you and me, I assure you) the kiddo is overwhelmingly loving, he’s audacious, he’s 100% boy (except for that whole pink cake and puppy party thing). And although his brand of tantrum is twice the storm of his brother’s, I guess I kinda’ can’t blame him. After all, I know perfectly well who he gets it from 😉