Letting Go is NOT Giving Up

August 31, 2010 § 4 Comments

This post is inspired by Heather @ Swiss Army Wife and her recent expression of the difference between giving up and letting go.  It’s a great read and I could really relate to it.

Heather wrote:

“To me, giving up means I felt defeated in some way, maybe I felt the situation was impossible.  I let it go.  I let go of the illusion that I actually have control over these children, as if they weren’t their own human beings.”

And that pretty much sums up my on-going parenting experience.

Despite being only 16 when I had Son, I had a keen internal idea, even if not fully conscious or outwardly expressed, that I didn’t own him.  I knew that his presence in my life was a gift and one that was eternally precious.

Not to mention that I was an uneducated teenage runaway, who the hell was I to dictate shoulds?  So even though I was completely unaware of it, from birth I raised my Son with the humility that we don’t really know anything and the determination to practice what’s right anyway.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I’m, by any means anything close to, a perfect parent.  What I am saying is that I never felt it right to try to control my children’s behaviour with punishment, threats and ultimatums.

That doesn’t mean I didn’t.  For years I did and I’m still trying to undo the damage that those mixed signals have sent.  Yes, even after 22 years of parenting I’m still learning and still making mistakes.

But what 22 years of loving another human being more than I thought possible has definitely taught me is that letting go of the idea that you have any right to control your child is NOT the same as giving up on them.

Thanks for the reminder Heather.


Life is Like a Timex

August 29, 2010 § 3 Comments

Anyone else remember those old watch ads…”Takes a licking and keeps on ticking.”

Life is like that.  It doesn’t stop just because you want it to, hope it will or even accidentally hit it with a hammer.

Son is officially moved back in and it’s a very one day at a time experience.  I feel like I’m working towards a masters in parenting, there will be no undergraduate degree for me.  I’m working towards tenure here people.

Oh, how I wish they gave grants for this sort of research and practice.  😉

On a much lighter note, the deck is moving along quite nicely.

Last month we started with post holes…

And we’ve actually progressed to full on frames and boards…

Already I can feel the afternoons calling me to stretch out poolside and read a book, maybe even write some more of mine or just sit with a glass of wine and enjoy the scenery and wildlife.

Anyone care to join me?  😀

Never Enough

August 25, 2010 § 4 Comments

There will never be enough time
There will never be enough life

There will never be enough of us together
There will never be enough one on one

We’ve never been just you and me for more than two days in a row
We’ve never been able to make out of our love a big show

So much time spent raising kids, paying bills and planning for tomorrow
Grasping desperately at the good times and less than bravely facing all the sorrow

We’ve never been just you and me for more than two days in a row
We’ve never had the chance to even notice each other grow

Still we’re here and still together
Still we’re working toward for better

And even though we have another 30 years or so
On the same team, working toward our dreams

It’ll never be enough

Sister Speak

August 24, 2010 § 2 Comments

This last 10 months has been the longest we’ve gone without talking.

It’s been heartbreaking for me and though I’ve tried to talk to her at least half a dozen times, all to no avail, I’m not the kind who gives up easily.

Today I thought I’d give it another go, for no other reason than she’s my sister and I love her.

This time she actually responded.

And I feel like a weight has lifted off of my shoulders. Still, I didn’t let the silence go unmentioned.

Me: You know I’ve called you at least half a dozen times.

Her: I know. I’m a bitch, what can I say?

Me: Well, I say you come by it honestly but at least you’re willing to admit it which is way more than she (meaning our mother) would do.

Her: Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Me: I’ve really missed you.

Her: I’ve missed you too but I’m going to go before you get all sappy on me.

Me: Okay, fair enough. But we’re still friends, we’re good right?

Her: Of course. You’re my sister. I love you.

Me: I love you too.

And there you have it.  Sister speak and sister love.  Unmatched in the world of female relationships.

If you have a sister that is nearby, hug her and appreciate her for everything that she is…because I promise you’ll find no better friend.


Home As Refuge

August 23, 2010 § 6 Comments

I really don’t know how to start this post.  There are many ways to spin the situation but frankly, I don’t have the energy.

Son, who turns 22 in two weeks, is moving back in.

The circumstances surrounding this development are frustrating to be sure, but not they’re not dire.  I keep reminding myself that it could be worse and that no one is forcing my hand.

I could just refuse to take him in and let him muddle through on his own, which frankly, I’m more tempted to do than my “I’m a good mom” sensibilities want to admit.

And I’m really not at all sure that I’m doing the right thing by letting him move back in. The previous times we’ve met this crossroads, things ended badly with harsh words between us and Son ultimately storming out.

Still, in the end, I want my kids to think of their home as a refuge.  A place they can come when the world is dishing out more than they can handle. When they find themselves in over their heads, I want my kids to trust that there’s a place they can go where they are unconditionally loved and where they are supported in doing their best.

The only thing I ask for in return is that they actually do their best.  I haven’t been seeing that from Son lately.  I’ve seen a mountain of drama and histrionics, seen a lot of deflecting of blame and responsibility but not nearly enough of him doing his best to own his choices.

I’m hoping that giving him this opportunity to step back, reflect and move forward in a more positive and practical direction will help him get his shit together.

I’ve made it clear that I’m at the end of my rope and that I expect no less than 150% effort on his part.

He promises to give 200%.

Time will tell.

Stop the World, I’m Gonna Barf

August 19, 2010 § 8 Comments

Not the prettiest title I ever came up with but it certainly sums up how I’ve been feeling lately.

You know how when you’re on a roller coaster ride and it’s not until it starts to slow down do you realize that you’re really not having as much fun as you had hoped or at least think you should be having? Then before you can even process that the ride starts to pick up speed again and it takes everything you have just to keep your cookies inside your stomach?

You all get that lame analogy right?

The thing is, my life is that ride and I bloody hell want to get off.  What I mean is, I want it to just stop so I can catch my breath, look around and decide if I want to keep riding this roller coaster or finally choose a different way to live.

Believe me, it’s not nearly as simple as it sounds.  At least it isn’t for a neurotic, often still thinks like a 16 year old single teen parent, cripplingly insecure woman about to enter the last year of her 30’s.

I have soooooooo much baggage and it weighs me down to the point where I can’t even move, sometimes even literally.  It used to depress me because I really thought it was my lot in life, my cross to bear.  Now though, now it just frustrates me and even pisses me off.

Still, I can’t seem to drum up the courage to just toss it. There’s a part of me that needs to examine every shred of it in case I might need it later.  An emotional packrat is what I am.  A hoarder of useless and worn out thoughts and feelings that serve no purpose other than to remind me what a rough time I’ve had.

Oh lord I’m pathetic.

I just realized that I have absolutely no point to this self-pitying rant so I should probably just end it here, run a nice hot bath and get into bed and watch a crappy movie (a good one would take too much energy to follow).

If you read this far thank you and I’m sorry.   😉

And then slowed the momentum…

August 18, 2010 § 3 Comments

I just picked Daughter up from a sleepover.  She was still in her jammies and barely awake, one of her friends was even still asleep.  Ah to be a teenager again!  Okay not really, actually not at all…you couldn’t pay me.   😉

Still she had a great time and got in some much needed socializing while Hubby and I got an even more needed break.

What did we do with a whole evening and night to ourselves you ask?

We fell asleep is what we did.  First we went out to our local hangout, had a couple of drinks and the best spinach artichoke dip that ever was and then came home to flake out in front of the t.v.  I managed to make it to bed before I fell asleep but I found Hubby snoring in his lazy boy at 1:00 am when I got up for a pee.  He was so cute.

Party animals we are not…well, not anymore anyway.  Back in the day, when we first met, we were often the last two still going long after most of our friends had called it a night (or passed out – whichever came first) and we kind of prided ourselves on our stamina.

But kids and mortgage payments will easily suck the party animal right out of a person.  😀

Other things, like the skirt I’m working on and the ever growing pile of cucumbers that are cluttering up my kitchen are just waiting for me to get my mojo back.  My momentum is kind of erratic that way.  One day I can get half a dozen projects going and worked on and then the next it takes everything I have to just get a load of laundry and the dishes done.

But I’m not complaining, no sir.  Life is good and I’ve still got a few weeks of summer left before the leaves start to turn and it’s time to start thinking about and planning for Christmas.

I hope everyone’s having a good week.

Cartoons and Bandages

August 16, 2010 § 3 Comments

One gone and finally doing fine
One left but no longer mine

Time took my babies
Replaced them with people
Leaving me only the memories

Of 2 am paces across the floor
And not even making it passed the door
Before they started crying again

Of bottles and diapers up to my chin
And patience that so easily wore thin
But grew as time went on

Of cartoons and bandages making things better
And throwing in a popsicle just for good measure
In case the hugs and kisses weren’t quite enough

Time took my toddlers and children
Replaced them with a young man and young woman
Leaving me only the memories

Of trips to the park and sitting in swings
Playing with toys, making up stories and creating things
Out of whatever we could get our hands on

Of over 35 cakes, and countless of candles
Of more presents than I think my mind can handle
Of not willing to trade a moment of it

Sure there’s stuff that’s been less than pleasant
But I swear to the heavens that here in the present
Time took that too

Leaving me only the memories
Of all the best stuff

Too Relieved for I Told You So

August 15, 2010 § 3 Comments

I don’t think that, as parents, we mean to be condescending or belittling when we say things like, “I told you so” in whatever variation it comes.

“Didn’t I tell you?”

“I said this would happen.”

“You didn’t listen to me.”

I really believe that for the majority of us it’s the simple expression of frustration that had your child simply heeded your advice, they might have avoided a current problem.

Because the real truth is that most parents hope that their kids won’t make the same mistakes they did.  They hope that their children won’t experience the same hurts and suffer the same losses.  It’s natural, right?

While it might be natural to not want your kids to experience the same struggles as you did, it is best to let them deal with their own.

My point?

Son came by today to wish Hubby a Happy Birthday and at the same time let us know that things with his roommates have improved dramatically.  He told us how he and his friends sat down, put all of their cards on the table and hashed everything out…like adults.

He said that things have never been better and that all the tension in the house has dissipated.  He’s no longer feeling like he needs to get out of there and is very much relieved.

Well, that makes two of us and I didn’t once feel the urge to say I told you so.  I guess I’m growing up too.


Speaking of Making Things Work

August 14, 2010 § 3 Comments

And this time I’m not talking about the ever elusive romp with the spouse…  😉

I’m back to the medieval costume business I’m trying to finally start after a near decade long hiatus.

Things are going really well and with my most recent project, what started as just a bunch of fabric and ideas…

in just two days has progressed to…

Now it’s just a matter of getting out the sewing machine and putting all those pieces together into one cohesive garment, without a pattern.

Just to make things interesting, while I was shopping for more lining, I came across the following fabrics in the remnant bin…

I wonder what I’ll make out of that?  I’m really excited to find out.


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