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Tag Archives: life

Life with Maura, day 5077

12 Apr

It is spring break, so my brain is officially mush. The teens can smell the weakness I’m emitting.

But right now, three out of four of the offspring are passed out in their beds. The fourth – who is actually the fourth – has slothed her way to the sofa to watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Eventually, though, she got hungry. Maybe it was the smell of my freshly brewed coffee that awoke a hunger in her. But either way, she schluffed from the sofa into the kitchen, pulled out bread and the jar of Nutella, and did her interpretive dance that says “Mom, make me a sammich.”

I didn’t want to make a sammich. I was sitting down, with my laptop and coffee.

“Why don’t you just eat some of the pizza in the fridge?” I suggested. Because cold pizza for breakfast is a family tradition.

Maura seemed to like this idea, and pulled out the pizza box. She tried to walk out of the kitchen with all the leftover pizza.

“Maura, no, just take one piece.”

“NO!”

“Maura…”

“Fine.” She put the pizza box on the counter and went back into the fridge to pull out the 2 liter of rootbeer I got to go with said pizza last night.

“No Maura, it is too early for soda.”

“NO!”

I got up and took the 2 liter from her. She balked. “It’s too early.” I stated again, putting it in the fridge.

“Noooo!”

She lunged for the fridge. I found myself splayed across the fridge doors doing my own “Nooo!” right back. Because this is what my life has become – guarding the refrigerator like the Crown Jewels, begging teens to not eat every damn thing in there.

Maura then went over to the counter and banged the jar of Nutella.

“Want me to just make you a sandwich?” I said with a sigh of defeat.

“Yes!”

Maura left the kitchen to return to her couch slothing to TMNT and I made the damn sammich that I should have just made in the first place.

And I’m still trying to drink my coffee.

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art credit – Mike Mitchell

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Realities

30 Sep

I sprained muscles in my back. It’s part of living the dream here. Maura’s now bigger than me, and I have a wonky back, so if she tackles me wrong, that’s it, I’m done for.

Reality? I need to get into shape.

Reality? I need to heal these injuries before I can start working out again.

Reality? I’m kinda lazy and like to eat.

Reality? I need to stop farting around and get into shape. After I heal. Thank goodness I was matched with the perfect massage therapist at my chiropractor’s office – she also does sports therapy and so is helping me with these injuries.

******

Yesterday, Maura buckled herself into the car all by herself. She was a little “help” and I was all “You can do it” and she got it, and I was all “OH YEAH! THAT’S HOW YOU DO IT!” and we high fived.

Reality? My daughter can finally buckle herself.

Reality? She’s 13.

Reality? This can be a reminder that wow, she is so far behind.

Reality? I actually look at it as “SEE! Never ever give up!” because if she puts her mind to it, she’ll figure it out, even if it takes years of practice.

*****

After Maura buckled herself up yesterday, we went to the “mall” and stopped at Old Navy. She picked out a cute dress, a button down shirt, and a pink wool coat. We went through the whole “Make sure you find the right size.” song and dance. Then we came across a pink wool coat.

This is the coat from Old Navy. This is not Maura in the photo.

She wanted it. I wanted her to try it on. She did NOT want to try it on.

Reality? I caved finally to avoid a meltdown because she’d been so good about sizes on everything else.

Reality? I chose the wrong size.

Reality? I had to hide the coat from her so she wouldn’t wear it while eating food, or take it to school this morning.

Reality? I will be returning to the store to exchange sizes.

Reality? This is a normal thing in our life. Sometimes it’s tiring, but then I remember the time when she didn’t understand sizes at all. We’ll get there with trying on things eventually.

Reality? It’s the right coat for her b/c it’s just one button and the button is big and she can button her own coat herself thankyouverymuch!

*****

This is how we roll, minute to minute, day by day. There are compromises and cave ins and celebrations. There isn’t always rhyme or reason to our ways. Our reality is that life is constantly throwing stuff at us, and while I’ve never been sporty, I am scrappy! Life isn’t easy for us…but then again, life isn’t easy. Period. Anyone who says anything different is trying to sell you something.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must go exchange a jacket before someone gets home from school.

 

Reclaiming, not reliving

11 Aug

I get it. As a woman who’s hit her fortieth year (and a few more), I’m deemed no longer young. I’m okay with that…probably because I still don’t fee old. Tired, sure, but old? Nope.

I also recognize that I’m in a new stage of life. I am no longer a new mother, young mother, or mother of small children. All my offspring are now teenagers or beyond. My oldest child is twenty.

I remember being twenty.

This really is a weird place to be.

My life has been a series of revelations, from love to motherhood to backbone to acceptance. But it’s also been a series of reminding myself to be myself.

See, as a mother, and as a woman, it’s easy to try to conform to what society has deemed acceptable for women and mothers. And once you reach a certain age, you’re supposed to conform even more, or it’s seen as trying to relive your bygone youth.

But is it reliving? Or have some of us just decided to reclaim the person we were before life and kids and career happened?

When I was in high school and college, I had an eclectic look, a bit of “thrift shop meets donation bin meets sale rack” that I tried to morph into a Victorian/gypsy look. I loved long skirts and flowy things and bangles and hoops. I had the perfect shade of red lipstick. I was not cutting edge, except maybe that I was a bit grungy before grunge happened, as I didn’t have money for new clothes, and loved flannel shirts. Most likely, I probably either looked slightly homeless or if I was going to a dress-up party.

I was okay with this. It suited me.

Then I got married, had babies, and little by little, conformed. I stopped wearing bangles on my wrists because bracelets would dent a sleeping baby’s head, and good moms didn’t have babies with dents in their heads. I stopped wearing hoops and dangling earrings because sparkly things hanging from my ears were so very tempting to tiny fingers, and I didn’t feel like getting my ear stitched up after a toddler ripped out my earring. Red lipstick could get smeared, and really, who had time for red lipstick anyway? I was a stay at home mom. No one saw me much anyway. Clothing had to be washable and practical. I was also a young looking young mother, so felt judged every time I stepped outside, so tried to at least look the part of somewhat respectable human being.

One day, when I was in my early thirties, my mom complimented an outfit I had. “I have that same outfit!” she said.

I was slightly horrified.

Mind you, my mother has always been magnificently stylish. She can magically transform curtains into an outfit a la Scarlett O’Hara, and had a shoe collection I am still mad that I could never fit into.

But my mom and I have always had two very different styles. We’re also different shapes and sizes (she’s taller, hence why I never fit into her shoes.)

I can remember the outfit she complimented. Navy gingham shorts and a navy polo top. It was a cute outfit, even I knew that. But it wasn’t very “me”. My mom and my daughters look fab in polo shirts. Polos are one of Maura’s most favorite things. She looks fabulous in them. Me? I realized I kept trying to like them but never really did. My best friend? She can rock a polo. Me? Not really.

And I realized…I was trying to look the part of a proper maternal sort. I wasn’t trying to look like me. The only problem was, I didn’t know who I was anymore besides a mom. And then, Maura’s issues reared their heads, and once again, fashion was the least of my concern, especially as Maura used me as a kleenex for the next five years (okay, she still does.) Slowly but surely though, I figured out what was the new me – the me that was wife and mother and music lover and wannabe writer. Things started sliding into my wardrobe, much of it with the help of my husband, who also remembered the girl who wore flannel and hoop earrings and fake Doc Marten shoes. When I felt like I couldn’t buy myself a new pair of Doc Marten boots, he got them for me as a Christmas present. They’re kick-ass, and I adore them. Of course, getting the boots meant I had to get clothes to work with them.

So now? Now my kids are older, my need to blend in is once again erased, and I’m remembering the things I once loved, and bringing them back into my life. Am I reliving my youth? No. I’m just able to pull out the bangles I have kept for years in a drawer and wear them again, and add to my collection. Wearing hoop earrings is no longer risky. I have time to put on lipstick and go out. I finally figured out eyeliner. One of these days, I may actually figure out how to French braid my own hair, and then watch out!

No, it’s not reliving my youth. I was too nervous to dye my hair when I was younger, and to be honest, I liked my natural hair color. Now that greys are creeping in and all sorts of fun colors are out there, I felt ready to dye my hair. I have tried wearing my hair more shoulder length, and while it looked good, I feel more myself with longer hair so have been letting it grow out again, which means I’m putting it more into braids and buns like I used to (but not French braids because I’ve yet to figure out that great mystery.) I grabbed a couple maxi skirts the other week off the clearance rack at Target and am rediscovering how much I enjoy wearing skirts, especially now that I don’t have a toddler trying to hide under it or hitch it up, or a preschooler I have to scoop up off the floor. And I’m wearing bangles and bracelets again. Yesterday, I didn’t, and it felt weird not to have them on.

It’s not reliving my youth…no…it’s reclaiming parts of me that I put away for a while, joining it with the things that I’ve also claimed as my own along the way. Because at heart, I’ve still got a lot of that twenty year old girl in me, and that’s okay. That girl was pretty damn cool – she can just afford to buy full price Doc Marten’s now.

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