Thursday, July 24, 2014

I am guilty.

I spend a decent amount of time reading blogs and essays written by other moms. Moms who love their children as much as I do, moms who work just as hard, moms who would lay down their lives for their babies. Every mother can tell the story of each and every one of their babies - how they came to be, how they were born, and how they are loved. Sadly, so many mothers can also tell the stories of how their babies were lost.

Our world, as beautiful and wonderful as it is, is also relentless in its cruelty. Mamas should never lose their babies. 

I have not lost any of my babies and I feel such incredible guilt. Why do I still get to watch my children grow every day when another mother is forced to mourn her child? I am not better or more righteous than any mother. I do not deserve my children any more than anyone else. 

The other day I got to watch Munchkin as she rode her favorite horse, Thunder, during one of her weekly ride times. I don't often do this - always busy running errands or working - sometimes I sit in the car while she rides and play with my phone, calling it "me" time. My heart is always a little in my throat when she rides. She is fearless and beautiful and she amazes me as runs and sails over jumps. My head churns as I watch her. "Please don't fall. Please take care of my baby, Thunder. Please don't fall."  Because Mamas have lost their babies doing less dangerous things. 

A few months ago she was thrown off her horse and her head hit a tree. Her riding helmet cracked in the front, right where her frontal lobe is. She was a little bumped up, but otherwise fine, and just as I've always told her to do, she got right back on the horse. I'm thankful I wasn't watching her that day.

I watch all three of them take chances, they climb to the highest branch, swim past where the waves are breaking, fall off their skateboards, and do wheelies on their bikes. They are kids and they act just like kids are supposed to act. 

They are healthy, they are happy, they are smart. They have everything going for them and I feel like I hit the kid lottery with how great my babies are. They are all alive and I get to see them all every day. I get to listen to their problems and hug them and hold them and watch them grow. 

I am guilty and my heart aches for those mothers who don't get to hold their babies when they cry and don't get to watch them grow from babies to young ladies and men. Mine are healthy and happy and smart - and I am guilty.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Merry Go Rounds, Rusty Slides, and Polar Cups

(This post is inspired by a post from Jenny From The Blog.)

I'm pretty sure our population is only going to get stupider.

We're defying Darwin with all of our idiot proofing ways and in the next few generations I'm fairly sure we're going to have a bunch of morons bumbling around the planet knocking their heads on sharp corners and falling off of curbs.

My kids don't know what a merry-go-round is. When I mentioned a merry-go-round, they thought I was talking about a carousel complete with horses and benches and lights and music.

Carousels are boring, y'all.

You know what's not boring? A merry-go-round.

Think back to when you were a kid and you played on one of these babies. It was made out of hot metal that had been baking in the sun and you had to pull your shorts down a little and sit all funny on it so none of your bare skin touched the metal and gave you 3rd degree burns. If you were lucky, you had a cool adult with you who would push it really hard and you'd cling to the bars to avoid flying off and going airborne only to get a mouth full of playground sand (because we had sand, not mulch or AstroTurf or bouncy rubbery crap made from recycled tires).  If you didn't have an adult with you (because lots of times you were at the playground without an adult - this happened), you might convince another kid to push it, but mostly you'd get it going as fast as you could and then you'd fling yourself on to the hot, dirty surface and ride it until it stopped - eyes closed, head bobbing around, stomach reeling - it was pure joy.

When I was a kid, the playground was not the reason we were at the park, either. We were at the park because of some family function. Probably a picnic or a BBQ and the reason I was at the playground was because I bugged my parents until one of them said "go play"... and I did.

Sometimes my dad and older sister would play tennis at one of our local parks and I'd go along just to play on the playground. I would walk unsupervised to a playground in this park that was so surrounded by trees and foliage that no one would have ever seen if I had been kidnapped.  I would swing and slide and merry-go-round, usually without an adult in sight, for as long as I could.  And then my dad would take us all to go get a Polar Cup.

You wish you could have a Polar Cup right now.

But I have digressed.

I survived merry-go-rounds and rusty geodesic domes and broken slides and playgrounds where no adult was present. Because I wasn't an idiot. I knew that I could get hurt so I didn't do stupid stuff that would get me hurt. I didn't try to surf the merry-go-round by standing on the handrails and telling another kid to spin it. Other kids did, I watched one break his arm once. We all learned a valuable lesson that day.

But now our kids play on cushioned playgrounds coated with nerf and rubber. There are no sharp edges and no rusty nails and no surfaces that will burn their precious skin. Our homes are baby proofed and our lids are child proofed and our 5 year-olds are riding to kindergarten in car seats.

Every 12 year old has a cell phone and we'd rather they stay inside playing video games after school than ride their bikes to the neighborhood park without us watching their every move. We hover and fret and if they fall we're right there to pick them up and dust them off and kiss their booboos.

And they're growing up to be wimps.

But if you try to fight it, if you try to let your kids have that freedom to learn and grow and fall down and pick themselves up, you're shamed and judged. Or worse, some other parent does it for you. As if the worst thing in the world is my 10 year-old out riding his bike while I'm at home folding his laundry.

It's time to cut the umbilical cord and let our babies go, y'all.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Things I learned from Facebook today

Did you know you can make homemade creamer? Like - instead of buying a chemical concoction to put in your coffee every morning, you can just make your own and not have it be like pouring a carcinogen down your throat every day.

You mix 1 can of sweetened condensed milk with 2 cups of milk and whatever extracts you want in there to flavor it (almond, vanilla, cinnamon, whatev) and BAM! Delicious coffee creamer. Probably costs less, too.


American Apparel should probably pay closer attention to what gets Tweeted and Tumbled by their 19 year old employees. Oops. Way to celebrate our Independence, AA!


This one was interesting and totally had me going - but it was proved false by 

Onions are crazy toxin absorbents. So if you're sick, you should slice one and put it in your sock and it will make you better. Evidently this can work against you if you slice an onion and then put it in your fridge to save. It will absorb all the toxins in the fridge (do our fridges have a lot of toxins in them?) and then you'll eat it on your burger or whatever.

Too bad that's not true. 


People love to take pictures of their feet while laying in hammocks. A lot of them make these pictures their profile picture. I think they're trying to make everyone else jealous - but I'm not fooled. It's napalm hot outside right now, I'd rather be in here in my air conditioning than on any beach with my feet in a hammock.


Grasshoppers are loaded with protein. And people eat worms. Lots of worms. Gross.


Holy jeez, I have to try this. We have mangoes coming out of our eyeballs around here every summer and cutting them is super messy. Figures I don't have even one whole mango in the house right now.


If this is any indication, tests to become a US Citizen are way easier than I thought they'd be.


So much about poop. But I totally learned some stuff.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Spaz prepares for her 1st kid to go to high school.

I found some pictures of Bug today when I was cleaning out some boxes from my old office and my heart just melted. My first baby, Bug saved me. Bug forced me to grow up, to put someone else's needs before my own, to start taking responsibility for myself and to make decisions that would benefit him. Before Bug it was all keggers and parties til the sun came up.

Before Bug came along I barely gave a thought to the future. I knew that one day I'd probably need to think about all that stuff - but it seemed so far away and so unimportant. The only thing I really cared about was not missing out on any fun. Ever. I was barely 22 when I discovered that Bug was growing inside of me and something immediately changed with that positive pregnancy test. My friends were still kids, my boyfriend was still a kid, but I was immediately not a kid.

I was a really, really stupid adult.

Not every decision I made after that was a good one - but every decision I made after that was for Bug.

I can remember so clearly the first moments Bug and I had together at home for the first time. My mother brought us home from the hospital because my then husband was working. She helped me carry my newborn and all of the stuff from the hospital into the living room of the little townhouse we lived in and she helped me get comfortable on the couch. And then she left. With barely a kiss goodbye, she left the two of us alone. For the first time ever.

And I looked at my brand new son sleeping in my lap and I was overwhelmed with my need to provide him with the entire world.  We lived on that couch for the first week of his life. A small bassinet next to me, trying to breastfeed and change diapers and sleep and memorize every detail of his little squishy baby face. Those first days are a blur now, but I have never shaken the feeling of ferocious protectiveness I had when I first became a mother.

This year Bug goes to high school. He is FOURTEEN. He'll be (hold me, I'm feeling faint) 15 before 2014 is through.

Do you remember being fifteen? For me it was a year that changed who I was. It was the year I officially went from nice kid to anarchist. I am not ready for a fifteen year old.

Bug's voice is deep and he has hair in weird places. He's going to have to start shaving soon. He wears men's clothing and shoes and uses copious amounts of Axe body spray.  He is obsessed with his computer and the world it connects him to. He writes programming for things I can't understand and sleeps until 2 in the afternoon.

It has not always been an easy journey with Bug and we're just getting started with the rocky teenage road that lies ahead of us. I'm hoping with all that I can hope that Bug finds his way this next four years of high school. I'm hoping he can start seeing that his future matters and maybe start making decisions for future Bug.

He's a brilliant, funny, genuinely good person, my Bug. He is blessed with a heart big enough for everyone who crosses his path and a brain smart enough to take over the world.