Category Archives: group writing project

Journey Into the Unknown

There are no books, no articles, no manuals, no sage advice from friends or family that can adequately prepare you. No matter how many millions of women have embarked upon this journey before you, no two adventures will ever be alike. It’s a non-stop head long dive into something different every day…

When my son was an infant, motherhood was about crying.  His AND mine. His because he was hungry or tired or wanted to be held or put down or had a dirty diaper that needed to be changed or a sock that was too tight or a light that was too bright. Or maybe he just liked the sound. Mine because HE was crying and I worried I’d never figure out the reason and what if I couldn’t stop him and I was so very, very tired and what had I gotten myself into and why didn’t my friends tell me motherhood was so hard and a kind neighbor asked how I was doing, and why wouldn’t he breast feed properly and was he gaining enough weight, and what was that rash on him, and why couldn’t I sleep if I was so tired? Why did I sit instead, anxious and waiting for his next cry and oh by the way, I had post partum depression.

When my son was almost two he threw a mighty tantrum and threw himself to the ground hitting his face on a plastic toy.  He cracked his forehead open and for one horrible moment motherhood was all about his disfigurement and the cut that had opened above his eye that looked like another eye oozing blood and OH! MY BABY WAS RUINED!  And it happened in the middle of a snow storm and where was the ambulance? Would it ever arrive? It was about the ambulance coming and taking us to the hospital where it was about fear, and would they think this was my fault?  It was about stitches and bandages and his smiles and flirtations with the nurses after he was all patched up and then it became about getting home safely through the storm that raged outside.

Last week it was all about starting Kindergarten and what time we would have to leave the house in the mornings to walk to school so we wouldn’t be late and what constituted an appropriate school night bedtime and what to pack for his lunch and what to pack for his afternoon snack and would he make new friends at school and would he measure up to the teacher’s expectations and would he have a lot of homework? It was about filling out paper work and joining the PTA and becoming room mother and reading all of the papers that came home in his backpack each night.
 
This week it’s about the crayon left in the backseat of my car which melted in the summer heat. It was a red and the color’s soaked in and now it looks like a horrific blood stain and how do I get it out?  It’s about his obsession with Star Wars and Harry Potter and LEGOs and fountains.  It’s about taking walks and hearing about his day at school, playing on the playground, learning sight words and counting down.  It’s about starting soccer on Saturday and taking him to his very first practice and his first time wearing cleats and shin guards and it’s about worrying will he even like soccer, will he get hurt, will he make friends on the team, and will the coach be nice?

Next week will be different yet again.  Motherhood cannot be predicted with any certainty beyond knowing it’s about love, it’s about worry, it’s about frustration, and it’s about love again. It’s an over-the-top adventure that cannot be understood until it’s experienced and it’s experienced only as it happens. 

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This essay was written as part of the September MommaBlogga Group Writing Project.
 

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Filed under group writing project, kids, life, MamaBlogga, motherhood, parenting

Blue Denim

Thank you, Mom.  Thank you for buying me my first pair of Levi’s when I was in the 5th grade.  My friend Ann had a pair, my friend Valerie had a pair, and even my friend Kathy had a pair, I think.  I didn’t know what Levi’s were exactly, but I knew one thing:  those pants, they wrinkled behind the knees!  I guess they got all wrinkled when you sat down and your legs were bent; like when sitting in class behind a desk all day.  But the best part was, when you stood up, the wrinkles stayed there and that was cool!  Very cool.  At least to me.  My pants, not so much.  Because you see, Toughskins from Sears were not cool.  I don’t think they even qualified as jeans.  Or at least they didn’t in 1978. Certainly they were not blue denim.  They were all large and roomy and funny colored (burnt umber?) and funny patterned (paisley tweed?) and they were made of some kind of strange material that wouldn’t wrinkle behind the knees even if you sewed them into little “behind the knee pleats”.  They may be different now.  I don’t know.   I haven’t checked Sears lately because of that whole thing when I was in the 6th grade and store security thought I stole I bottle of nail polish, only I hadn’t, and I was scarred for life from the accusation and the meeting with the lawyers and all that, so I avoid the store like I avoid the plague, whenever and wherever I can. 

I am pretty sure though, given the school cliques and fashion fads of the late 70s and early 80s that if you hadn’t bought me that pair of Levi’s, I’d have been shunned forever once I hit middle school.  I’d have been one of the nerdy kids without friends who dressed poorly not because they were poor but because their parents didn’t realize fashion was becoming the judge and jury of their kid’s lives.  As it was, I stared at my friend’s backsides the entire Spring of 5th grade, both at and below their waists, desperately trying to figure out just what exactly, they were wearing.  I didn’t understand that Levi’s were properly categorized as blue jeans.  I didn’t understand that Levi’s was a brand.  I didn’t know about brands.  I knew about pants.  Some pants wrinkled behind the knees and some (mine) did not.  It took me a while to understand the word was Levi’s.  I described it to you as a word on a brown square on the back of the jeans above the pocket and that the jeans wrinkled behind the knees and OMG!  I had to have a pair.  Please? Please? Please?!  And eventually I worked up the nerve to ask a friend where she got them and she told me, and I told you, and you took me there and angels sang the Halleluiah because now my pants would wrinkle behind the knees too! 

And from there I was pretty much set.  I came to understood the power of  brands just as they became important.  I learned about things like Izod and Calvin Klein and Gloria Vanderbilt and Sassoon Jeans and Docksiders and Vans and O.P. (who the hell thought corduroy shorts would be a good idea?) and I had just enough of these fashion essentials to get by.  Just enough to fit in.

But that first pair of Levi’s.  I wore them out!  I wore them until they were two sizes too small and threadbare and even then I couldn’t bear to part with them.  I cut the legs off and wore them as shorts for just one more summer and then eventually, I sewed up the bottom leg holes and stuffed them with old rags and clothes that didn’t fit and sewed up the waist and I made a pillow out of those Levi’s.  It was the heaviest pillow in the world, considering I’d stuffed it full of my old Toughskins, but it was mine.  A cool pillow that looked like a pair of Levi’s denim shorts.  My Levi’s. Thanks, Mom. 

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Author’s note:  This essay is an entry in July’s group writing project over at MommaBlogga.  This month’s theme is “Thanks, Mom.” and participants were asked to write about something they are grateful to their mothers for.  A winner will be picked at random to recieve a $30 Amazon gift card.  Go ahead and participate.  You can win!  I know it’s possible because last month, I was the lucky winner!  Yes, Really!  Look here.  So you see?  All you have to do is enter and this month, the winner could be you!  But, uh, I hope it’s me again 😉

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Filed under blue jeans, cliques, fads, fashion, group writing project, Levi's, life, middle school, mom, Sears, thanks, Toughskins

Okay, Listen Up!

I’m participating in a group writing project over at MamaBlogga in the hope that my post will be the one randomly chosen to win a $30 gift certificate to Amazon.  There’s a new CD by Augie March that I want to buy and I haven’t found it anywhere locally, but I saw it on Amazon.  Hope, as they say, springs eternal.

The theme of the writing project is “Three things I want my kids to…” and then the writer (that’s me!) fills in the rest.

Here is my entry:

Three Things I Want My Kids to Understand NOW, RIGHT NOW!  NO, Actually, Make that YESTERDAY!!!

And by kids, I mean Snags, the child of mine who’s just lost his first tooth, and Pee Pee, the dog who WON’T STOP PEEING ON THE FLOOR.  Snags is 5 and just learning to read; Pee Pee is 12, but she’s a dog, and hasn’t shown that much intelligence.  So that means somebody is going to have to read this to them.  Preferably a policeman, or some other figure of authority, because it’s pretty much been proven that when I talk, something shorts out in their ear to brain wiring, and I get nothing but a blank stare in return.

So here they are, the three things I want my kids to understand, and to eliminate all confusion, I will clearly indicate to which child each item addresses:

To Snags:  Your teachers are not smarter than I am.  I know you think they are because they teach you things all day long like your ABCs and 123s and witty songs and words woefully mispronounced in Spanish.  But most of them are young, barely out of high school, with just enough child care classes in their back pocket to get them through the door of your preschool.  They are all nice young women and I’ve no doubt that if and when they finish college, many of them will be smarter than me.  But I am here to tell you that contrary to what Ms. Becky says, YOU DO NOT PUT SUNBLOCK IN YOUR HAIR.  Your hair will not get sunburned.  So please.  STOP. GLOPPING. IT. ON. YOUR. HEAD.

To Snags: Remember when we read the Berenstain Bears book The Berenstain Bears Get the Gimmies?  I bought that book to try and subtly teach you a lesson.  Since subtly seems to have flown right over your head, I am simply going to give it to you straight: You cannot get something: a toy, a book, a candy, and most especially, not a fountain, every time we are out.  When I say “I don’t have enough money to buy you a fountain” on any given day, I mean it.  The ones you like the best cost upwards of $100 and I don’t have that money lying around.  And no, I can’t “just use PayPal!”  In order to use PayPal, I have to have the MONEY in PayPal in the first place.  Which I don’t.  So please, STOP. ASKING. 

To Snags and to Pee Pee:  You are both old enough to handle going to the bathroom yourselves, and in the appropriate place.  Snags, that means you must learn to wipe your own hiney.  You’re 5!  I’m pretty sure your Kindergarten teachers this fall won’t consider hiney wiping to be one of their duties.  And yes, I agree poop is gross, and it’s even grosser when you get some on your thumb, but you don’t have to cry about it.  That’s why we have toilet paper.  First, use some.  Not the entire roll; that will clog the toilet again.   Then if you still get poop on your thumb, use some more and wipe it off.  Then wash your hands.  And then wash them again.  And maybe, especially for the times you get poop on your thumb, wash them a third time.  And Pee Pee, please, hold your bladder until it’s time to go outside.  I KNOW you are doing this for spite.  Any dog that can sleep from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. without having to urinate in the middle of the night can surely hold it for an equal amount of time during the day.  You may not have noticed that the grass from the back yard does not extend into my kitchen, but if you’d look at the floor, you’d see that while the grass out back is brown and crispy and dying, it’s still brown.  My kitchen floor is gray and blue.  And then sometimes, yellow.  It’s the yellow that I don’t like.  Keep it to yourself.  Save it for the brown grass. STOP. PEEING. ON. MY. FLOOR.

That is all. You can go play now.
 

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Filed under Augie March, group writing project, humor, MamaBlogga, Pee Pee, preschool, Snags, sunblock, three things