Thursday, February 19, 2015

The only good that can come of this is that maybe someone else can prevent it from happening again....

Bug was only 3 and Munchkin was barely walking the day they walked out of our townhouse and through the neighborhood. Across the street and into a different pod of town-homes where a neighbor found them. Bug was wearing shorts and no shirt, Munchkin had on a creeper with little roses on it. Both were in diapers and had no shoes on.

I had put them in front of the TV and gone upstairs to take a shower. The Man was upstairs with me and we were talking while I showered. We were probably upstairs for 15 or 20 minutes. I had locked the front door.

I got out of the shower, got dressed, and wrapped my hair in a towel before going downstairs to check on the kids. The door was wide open and they were nowhere to be found. Presumably, Bug had unlocked the door, unlocked the gate to our courtyard, and walked through the neighborhood to explore, Munchkin following him.

I ran frantically through the neighborhood, checking with all of our immediate neighbors. No one had seen them. When I got to the next street over I saw the police officers holding my babies and talking to some neighbors I hadn't ever met.

After a little bit of police harassment, some admonishment, some making me feel like the worst parent in the history of the universe, an open case with the Department of Children and Families, a couple of home checks, and a trip to the health department to check on Munchkin's well being (she had some bruises they wanted to check out), I was cleared as suitable to raise my children and we were out of scrutiny. We put locks way up high on the doors that they couldn't reach even with a stool, we locked Bug in his bedroom at night so he wouldn't wake up before the rest of us and go adventuring through the house, and we told ourselves we were lucky that nothing worse had happened.

And we were lucky. We were so very, very lucky. When I read stories like the story out of Toronto today of Elijah, a precious 3 year old boy who wandered from his home into below freezing temperatures and sadly did not recover, my heart breaks into a thousand pieces. Elijah's family was not lucky. I can't even grasp the pain they must be feeling.

Please tuck your babies in tight, put locks way up high on the doors, install alarm systems. Whatever you have to do to make sure your little explorers are safe, please do it.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Midlife crisis: take 2

So my last post was pretty depressing and this one might not be much better. I haven't posted since then because frankly, I just don't feel like I have all that much to say. Do you really care what my Top Ten favorite snack foods are? I never wanted this blog to turn into a load of useless drivel or a forum to advertise "mom products" or whatever. It was meant to be a place for me to write. It has followed a bit of a mommy blog pattern because that's really what my life has been about since I had my kids. Like most moms, I guess.

Being a mom is great. Probably the greatest thing I have ever done. Probably what I'll be remembered for within my family. I feel like my identity is so wrapped up in being a mom that I've forgotten who I am. Who would I be without them?

Scrolling through Facebook today and I came across a post that said "Have you ever wondered by mirrors flip things horizontally, not vertically?"

Nope. Never even considered it. Because I don't wonder things anymore. I don't ever take the time to just wonder and think and ponder. All of my brain power is used up remembering things I have to do and places I have to be and things I need to pick up from the store. I have no time to think about bigger issues or things that "really matter" because by the time I feel like I can stop doing all the necessary tasks for the day and I've made my mental list of all the things I need to do the next day, my brain is tired and the only thing it's good for is watching something stupid on TV that doesn't require much thought.

It makes me sad for The Man sometimes... he likes to talk about big things. He is interested in things and wants me to be interested in them, too. And I used to be interested in things and be able to have intelligent conversations about them. Now I'm just waiting for him to stop talking about physics so I can remind him to call the washer repairman in the morning.

With this totally full but yet so empty head, I feel like I have nothing to contribute, nothing to write about, nothing to say that matters. I'm not even sure where to begin to combat this issue - does it just stay this way until my kids have grown up? Will my brain come back? Will I just be a "mom" forever with no real thoughts or cares of my own? Has anyone gone through this and come out the other side? 

I don't mean to be a downer, y'all. Really, I don't. Overall, I'm not an unhappy person. I'm just somehow bored and busy all at the same time.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

This is the stuff that makes up a midlife crisis.

I am stuck in a rut. And yesterday I had a little bit of a mental breakdown over it.

After a whole day of sitting behind a desk listing Fifty Shades of Grey tee shirts on eBay, I realized the day was growing late and I needed to think about what to make my family for dinner. I ventured into my kitchen and found it a disaster, the dinner dishes from the night before still sitting there untouched. In automatic mom mode, I simply pushed up my sleeves and started washing them, all the while thinking about what to make for dinner.

It was half way through the nasty sink dishes that I just realized I hate this. And yes, I'm trying to be mindful and stop focusing on the negative and try to be there while I do these menial tasks that just have to be done. But yesterday was hard for me. Because isn't that what prisoners do? They try to just get through every day of their sentence, doing their menial tasks, trying not to be angry, trying not to hate it. Except this is my life forever. There is no end in sight.

Yes, I realize I don't have it as bad as a prisoner. I can go jump in my minivan and go to the grocery store whenever I want to. I can spend all my money on my kids with wild abandon at any time. I have such freedom, really.

Is this who I really am? This frumpy mom character who puts on make-up twice a month maybe and whose life revolves around when boneless skinless chicken breasts go on sale at the grocery store? Is this me now? I used to be something more... I once stood at the precipice of a million paths.... and when I took a step, this is the path I chose.

I don't know how to get back to myself, to the person I used to be before I became everyone else's person.