Mar 13 2017

Prettier When Wrapped: What’s So Difficult About Being Gifted?

Here, a gift for you.

Don’t open it just yet.

Admire the wrapping. Isn’t it pretty? Shiny and admirable? See how everyone is envious of your gift? How did it get that way, all perfect corners and crisp folds? No one wrapped it, no one demanded that outer cover that so many admire, it just is.

But isn’t it lovely? Everyone wants a gift like that, wants their child to have a gift like that. Everyone thinks it’s glorious to be the recipient of such a perfectly wrapped gift. Everyone also believes that anyone with such a gift must think they’re better than everyone else, but everyone would be wrong. No one brags about this gift.

Now, go ahead. Open it.

A box. A perfectly normal, perfectly square box, perfectly engraved with the word arodnap. The box feels unusual in your palms, warm and vibrant, as though it were too heavy for its size. It makes you feel slightly uncomfortable, though you cannot explain why. It’s simply a box, after all.

You find the flap, and you open the box.

Inside are layers upon layers upon layers of inner humanity: emotions, sensitivities, thoughts, passions, beliefs, a rage to learn, perfectionism, existential angst, intensities. You cannot see where one layer ends and the next begins; they are separate and yet one. They blend together and dance apart, they pulse with their own heartbeats, they swirl to the music only they create and hear. This inner humanity, carefully packed inside a perfectly normal, perfectly square box burns with an intensity that sears your very soul. You cannot look away, for these are your layers searing your soul and they demand to be let from the box, for that is where they thrive.

This is the difficulty of being gifted. The world sees a gift bestowed upon someone, wrapped in perfection. Shiny, clean paper, perfect corners and crisp folds. A handmade ribbon and bow. Handed over to someone, who is often unfortunately snubbed for simply holding this gift. The world doesn’t recognize (or perhaps doesn’t want to see) what is under that pretty wrapping: layers of intense inner humanity that are difficult to manage, under-appreciated by others, and can sear the owner’s soul without a second thought.

Giftedness is prettier when wrapped, or so the world thinks. But those in the know recognize the swirling music and dance of that inner humanity because it reminds them of their own, and appreciate the true beauty and awesomeness of giftedness.

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Today’s post is part of the March GHF Blog Hop, on The Difficulties of Being Gifted. It’s not all sunshine and roses, and I encourage you to follow the link and go read others’ thoughts on the topic.

 

Mar 12 2017

Silver noisy swear-stick 

I’m a simple pup. I don’t need much. Kibble, belly rubs, a nice poop without anyone watching (AVERT YOUR EYES!!!). I have a pretty good life, which is a good thing for an elderly dog to say. Once upon a time I was a stray, so yeah, I know how good I have it. My family is pretty fantastic, except for one thing.

When Mama pulls out her silver noisy swear-stick and starts making it wail. I don’t know what the hell that thing is, but when she has that thing in her hands my brain implodes and runs out my silky ears. And when she pulls out the tiny black pain-rod, I just want to stick my head up my own ass so I don’t have to hear it anymore.

What is she doing to those poor things? They are so loud and screech so high…my god I can taste every color in the Rainbow Bridge when they cry for help. And it goes on for hours. The torture the silver noisy swear-stick and the tiny black pain-rod endure! I’m suffering an auditory waterboarding, what is it like for them? And Mama doesn’t seem to care. She tortures those things, muttering under her breath and wiping the slobber from her face. Sometimes she even shouts in frustration, as though she were the one suffering. We’re all suffering here, Mama! I see you pull out the black gig bag of death and I don’t even break stride anymore, I just turn right around and go hide with Papa. He makes a nice low woof sound when he talks and that doesn’t hurt my ears. Just because I snurf at his door when you have little ones over with their silver noisy swear-sticks doesn’t mean I don’t want to be with him. I just want to roll over for the little ones; they give great belly rubs and ear scritches.

So Mama? Be nice to your silver noisy swear-stick and tiny black pain-rod. What’d they ever do to you?

Mar 06 2017

Reimagining Chaos

So. I’m back. Miss me?

Has anything happened since the beginning of November? Is the world still spinning? Anything different?

I am. Different, I mean. Kinda. Sorta. More or less. I’m not the same person I was back then. Pfft, I’m not the same person I was at breakfast, because I just finished eating a couple of chocolate dipped macaroons I bought at a bake sale and frankly, my mind is blown and I’m really happy they’re gone because I would have eaten them until I passed out.

But yeah, I have changed. Have I met my goal of finding my truth, finding my voice, finding my funny? Ehhhhhh…yes and no. And that’s ok, life is in the journey not the destination blahblahblah, and I’m gradually making my peace with that. I’m stronger in my truth, more confident in my voice, and tickling my funny in the spot that only I know, until it pees itself from laughing. Get your mind out of the gutter, not there. Or maybe it is, I don’t kiss and tell.

Change is hard, especially when what you do affects others. But if there’s something I’ve learned, it’s that it is much more painful to remain the same when you are straining against your bindings, desperate to grow. Apologizing for that growth is ridiculous and I have enough absurdity in other parts of my life. We’re not the same people our entire lives, not even remotely. That was all over the news recently. Timely.

In short, I have become a midlife woman with just no fucks left to give.

If there are frozen cookie disks in the freezer awaiting the oven, I will eat one as I am baking, salmonella be damned. Washing it down with red wine kills the germs and I’ll be fine, right? I draw the line at eating off the floor; god only knows what was dragged in on the dog’s paws.

Our spring band concert last May had an unusual dress code requirement. Instead of the standard concert black, we were instructed to wear “spring attire.” I wore a strapless Hawaiian dress that could more accurately be described as a delightful purple muumuu…braless. With a light cardigan it was perfect. I have never in my life been so comfortable playing a concert. Just needed to be very careful when standing, because if I caught the hem with my shoe I would have flashed the audience and that concert was long past Mardi Gras, thankyouverymuch.

Gaze upon my garden! I have planted no fucks, for I have none left to give. Please do not share yours, I do not accept unsolicited fucks from others. Plus I’m tired. If I’m growing something, I want to care about it. And there is so much I just don’t care about anymore. The list includes, but is not limited to: fashion, 95% of the crap shared on social media, bad wine, others’ opinions. Others’ feelings will be given a sunny spot in my fucks garden, because I’m not going to intentionally hurt anyone’s feelings; opinions go straight into the compost pile.

Offended by my language here? Hm. Right. Sorry-not-sorry. Probably not going to change at this point in my life. If it’s any consolation I don’t swear as often as you might think in real life, and I have a rock solid filter while teaching. So please just clutch your pearls and move on. It’ll be ok, promise. There are lots of other websites and blogs that have incredible resources for gifted and twice-exceptional issues. Mine has resources plus humor, deeply honest poignancy….and a little fucking language. Consider yourself alerted. Bless.

I’m at the point of my life where I am reimagining the chaos. It’s always going to be there, it’s just shifting and taking different forms. I have no idea what those forms will be, I just know it won’t be the same chaos I’ve laughed at in the past. That chaos used to be potty training, wondering just what the absolute HELL was up with our oldest son, and trying to not lose myself in the stress of unyielding parenting (please go read that post, worth your time). But now? I have two teen sons whose stories are not mine to share…unless I get written permission, signed in triplicate, and notarized with the phlegm of a asthmatic centaur during a lunar eclipse in the last week of the old Aztec calendar. I’m an old married fart whose inner child is a 12 year old boy, and whose inner dude is a frat boy named Chad who is freaking out, wondering what the fuck happened. I’m moving into a new stage of life, one of evaporating storm clouds, of feeling and smelling and tasting the refreshed air after the tempest has passed, but still knowing that another could blow up with little warning.

Laughing at Chaos will always be where wildly different is perfectly normal. No matter your age or stage of life, that describes living as a gifted individual. But it’ll be less on parenting (unless I get that aforementioned approval…where can I rent a centaur?), and more offbeat observations on the world, giftedness, and the chaos that is a woman in midlife. I don’t need permission to write about myself…unless the centaur has other ideas, of course. They can be opinionated little pricks.

It’s time lift a glass to the world with one hand while flipping it off with the other. I’ll bring the wine, you bring the treats.

Cheers.

Nov 10 2016

On hiatus

on-hiatus

Nov 09 2016

The end of the world as we know it

laughingatchaos-comWith the exception of a quick one-off post last week about my beloved Cubs finally winning the World Series (something I had to do, as I’d made over 30 references to them and their losing streak over the last decade), I have been quiet here. I could rattle off several dozen reasons why, but it came down to I’ve been ill, I’ve been busy, I’ve been stressed, and I’ve been struggling with words.

Ill? Yes, I’m still dealing with the dizziness that graced me with its presence on my birthday in September. Starting to sound like migraines with a vestibular component.
Busy? Yes, I gave the keynote presentation at the TECA conference this past weekend, and preparing for that took precedence over everything else.
Stressed? Yes, we had to lower the boom on a certain 2e teenager about his schoolwork, with the kicker being that if he didn’t show notable improvement by December that he was going to the local high school in January. We are seeing improvement, but he still has a month to go.
Struggling with words? Yes. Because reasons.

Regardless of who would have won yesterday’s election, it would have been the end of the world as we know it. With one candidate, it would have been the final punch through a glass ceiling. With the other candidate…

Again, struggling with words. Look, what can I say? So much has been said and written and shouted these last few months, but no one is certain what will happen now. There is no playbook for an election result like this. I have friends and family who are deeply frightened by his election, and with good reason. I am terrified about the future, and quite literally sick to my stomach. I’ve read a few postmortem posts online, but this one about why we grieve today resonated the most with me. I am grieving.

When I first started writing this blog, nearly eleven years ago, I was anonymous and took full advantage of that. I wrote on anything that crossed my mind. Politics (I’m deeply Liberal, in case you missed that), my support of same-sex marriage, frustrations with society and culture (I will admit that Britney Spears’ maturity has surprised me). As I began to write more and more about gifted issues those fell by the wayside. So did my anonymity. And over the last few years what has taken their place is a thick sheen of self-censure. I don’t put myself out there as I used to, for fear of alienating parents who are suffering as they raise their G2e kids. In needing to be helpful and welcoming I stifled my voice. And when you don’t allow your voice to sing, you forget how to use it.

I am taking an indefinite hiatus here. I have several projects I want and need to finish, and I need to get out of the screaming echo chamber that is the world for awhile. I need to find my truth, I need to find my funny, I need to find my voice again. If and when I return it will be with intention and humor and honesty from my soul, with considerably less self-censure.

The world is a vastly different place than it was yesterday morning. I am reeling and I need a break from the world.

Peace out.

Nov 03 2016

There is joy in Mudville

Since starting this blog nearly 11 years ago, I have made no fewer than 34 references to my beloved Chicago Cubs, nearly always referring to the heartbreaking and apparently unbreakable losing streak, and usually mentioning the end of the world or hell freezing over.

That streak is not only broken but shattered. And because it’s the Cubs, and because it’s the most incomprehensible World Series drought in the history of the game, it had to be

Seven games
Come from behind 3-1 in the series
Extra innings
Rain delay
Won on the road
I am exhausted to the point of incoherence. Voice is ragged. At one point I thought I was simultaneously having a heart attack and stroke; I couldn’t feel my lips. My heart is still recovering. A friend posted on Facebook that her Apple Watch thought she was having a heart attack. I have never seen such a game, of any sport, in my life. If it were a book or movie it would have been mocked for being such a cliche. And yet, here we are.

Thank you, Cubs. You brought some very much needed distraction this week, and this win was so, so deserved.

#FlyTheW

Sep 24 2016

Happy #$^%#&$ Birthday

Happy #$^%#&$ BirthdayIn a year’s worth of days, there are usually a few that stand out, no? Ones you’d like to acknowledge and perhaps celebrate. Major holidays, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, come to mind. Days like your anniversary (or Divorceiversary, if that applies). Birthdays of your children and significant other, even if, like me, you’re not much of a party planner and would rather scoop your eyes out with a spork than plan something. And…your own birthday.

My birthday was yesterday and I got to spend part of it in the ER. And, just to shake things up and keep us on our toes, this time it was for me. Because nothing, and I mean nothing, screams hey let’s ring in year 43 with vertigo, nausea, vomiting, and dehydration. I have no idea what came out of nowhere and attempted to abduct my will to live, but it came screaming into my life first thing Thursday morning and is still giving me the shifty side-eye today. After a few hours of bad Food Network (seriously, I don’t have cable…when did it become the Guy Fieri channel? I miss Emeril, at least with him I learned to cook something) and a refreshing cocktail of saline, Valium, and Zofran, I was sent on my merry way. It must have done something to improve the situation, because today I’ve miraculously achieved a semi-vertical position, whereas before I’d attempt it and could only manage dizzying myself right into dehydration, which, may I say, is no fun. Also, and it must be said… Pro tip: if you haven’t stumbled your way to the bathroom and made a little tinkle in over eight hours, you’re probably in bad shape. Pro tip part deux: if you did finally manage to stumble your way to the bathroom to make a little tinkle and it had been a whopping 12 hours since the previous visit and you had had a bag of saline in the interim, you were really freaking dehydrated and maybe you need to date Gatorade exclusively for the rest of the weekend. Yellow Gatorade really is the way to go. Red is disturbing if, heaven forbid, it makes a U-Turn and revisits you and Blue…if you’re drinking something blue what the hell. The only reason anyone should be drinking something blue is because they live on Tatooine and are whining about power converters. 

So now I’m on diet of Dramamine and ibuprofen and simple foods like broth and rice; Zofran if I need it and lordy lordy I pray I do not. I was planning on starting the Whole30 after my birthday, I just didn’t expect to start with a big ole’ BANG like this. On the bright side, nothing but broth really sounds good anyway and I’m pretty sure I’ve lost a few pounds since Wednesday night. Um. Yay?

Since I’ve missed my birthday (and I say it’s considered missed if you’re sick enough to sleep through 90% of it, as I did) I have a choice to make. I can just keep saying I’m 42, which is entertaining to me and me only, or I can celebrate my life the next 363 (I’m writing off today as I still can’t move my head without the world going a little loosey-goosey around the edges). Guess I’m going with the latter, because if I go with the former it’ll do nothing but throw the universe outta whack and I’m not up for that level of responsibility. Right now everything is already pretty screwed up, I don’t need to add to it.

So Happy #$^%#&$ Birthday to me. 2016 you’ve continued on your suck streak, do appreciate <sarcasm font>. Time for some broth and water and maybe even some buttered toast, if I’m feeling reckless. 

Cheers to 43, may it only go up from here.

Sep 19 2016

The rise of anti-intellectualism and its effect on our gifted kids

the-rise-of-anti-intellectualismA disturbing trend in society is getting worse. It can be seen most notably in the current political climate, but it also has its talons in medicine, science, and education. I expect to see it dig deeper into other areas, such as the arts, as time goes on. It’s nothing new, has been happening for decades, but it’s reaching a nauseating fever pitch.

It’s the rise of anti-intellectualism. Have you noticed? Discounting or distrusting someone smarter or with more experience in an area, simply because they are other. Ignoring science in favor of erroneous graphics-heavy information on a random website. Skipping over statistics and proof because it’s uncomfortable and instead parroting the rantings of someone who shouts what you’d rather hear instead. Closing ears and minds and hearts.

Others have written about it much more eloquently than I (and for pete’s sake, take the five minutes and read these):

Anti-intellectualism is killing America

Anti-intellectualism and the “Dumbing Down” of America

And this one especially: Anti-intellectualism is Biggest Threat to Modern Society

For whatever screwed up reason, our American culture celebrates and encourages ignorance. I don’t understand it, I’ll never understand it. It makes me crazy and I despise that aspect of our culture. It’s embarrassing and yet it persists.

So what does that mean for our gifted kids?

Well, where should I start? Lack of funding for gifted education programs, for one. How about gifted girls hiding their intelligence? Or maybe the incessant drumbeat of “giftedness isn’t important” blog posts and memes. Our kids pick up the signals that intelligence isn’t valued in today’s society; it’s not hard for them to make the leap to “oh, I’m not valued.” And that, my friends, is wrong on multiple levels and in multiple dimensions.

These kids need intellectual peers, and that kind of peer group is so incredibly hard to find, especially in the same age range. But a group such as that is a safe haven, a place to truly be themselves, away from the anti-intellectualism of outside society. A place where curiosity and questioning and intelligence is celebrated and encouraged. And maybe, a way for them to figure out how to nudge society away from the ignorance edge.

I don’t have answers, I just have a sad resignation that our society and culture is so screwed up, and a long list of sci-fi books to read to pull me out of that funk. The best I can do at this point is help the gifted kids in my life find their peer group and keep it front and center in their lives. They need it and oftentimes they don’t realize just how badly they do.

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14203124_10157486198685002_6096535802774310422_nToday’s post is part of September’s GHF blog hop. Please hop around and read the other participants’ submissions; you may find yourself an intellectual peer group.

Sep 01 2016

Circle the Wagons

Way back in the early days of western expansion, settlers in their covered wagons would draw their homes on wheels into a circle at night to protect their cattle. A wagon circle wasn’t intended to be a mobile fort to battle Native Amercians and bandits  (although it did serve that purpose as well), it was to ensure the safety of the vulnerable. It was a community drawing together for the protection and good of all.

Is it time for the gifted community to circle the wagons?

This week I was reminded once again why finding and being part of a gifted community is so vital to a parent’s well-being. After I and many others wrote rebuttals against yet another “gifted doesn’t matter” post, internet trolls came lumbering out from whatever dank hole in which they live when they aren’t belching out parenting criticism. The newest cry I noticed was that gifted parents were playing the victim card because we were advocating for our gifted children. That we dared speak out. Yes. How dare we. The nerve of us.

Is it time for the gifted community to circle the wagons?

There is such a rise of anti-intellectualism today. If you are intelligent and curious you are something to be feared and disparaged. Accompanying that, if a lie is told often enough and with enough conviction, it’s perceived as true, however wrong and perverted it may be. Think I’m nuts? Look at the current political climate in the United States and tell me I’m wrong. Now look at how society treats the gifted population. G2e people are intelligent and curious, therefore something to be feared and disparaged. Then consider “gifted doesn’t matter” and “every child is gifted.” Tell that lie often enough and loud enough and to a large enough population that isn’t interested in learning about the topic, and it’s perceived as true, however wrong and perverted it may be. 

Is it time for the gifted community to circle the wagons?

Parents raising gifted kids, especially very young ones, tend to be very isolated. They see their kids hitting intellectual milestones light years ahead of their same age peers and have no idea what is going on. Talking to other parents they’re perceived as bragging, which would be amusing if it weren’t so distressing, because those same parents are also probably dealing with an intensely asychronous kid and are exhausted beyond coherent speech. This is even more pronounced in underserved populations and in countries where giftedness isn’t understood and is far from supported. Supportive gifted communities are desperately needed there.

So is it time for the gifted community to circle the wagons? Should we gather up our most vulnerable and ensure their safety, so they can survive and thrive? The frightened and overwhelmed parents, the kids who say they are obviously aliens because they don’t know anyone else whose minds work like theirs, the underserved populations that are overlooked because of language and socioeconomic barriers? Is it time for us to close ranks and and stand shoulder to shoulder against anti-intellectualism and the shouted lies from those who don’t live this experience? Is it time for the gifted community to draw close and protect ourselves and our most vulnerable?

Is it?

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This is part of the September blog hop hosted by Hoagie’s Gifted Education Page. All opinions expressed here are mine alone. Check out other posts on the theme of community at the link above.

Aug 26 2016

Flashback Friday: I Want to Hug My Poor Self

flashbackfridayBeing as organized and Type-A as I am, you’d think that my files would be perfect and easy to access. You’d only be half right. I can get to any paper files or anything in Evernote in 30 seconds flat. My digital storage is a dumping ground of nightmarish proportions. If I think about it too long and hard I start to get the shakes. Finding anything in there requires a solid block of time, prayers in seventeen languages, and the tears of a Vestal Virgin.

On the upside, digging around this morning trying to find a short bio for a couple places that need them, I found some ancient journaling gems from before I started blogging.

And I just want to go back in time and hug my poor, parenting-young-intense-boys-not-knowing-WTF-was-going-on self and give her a glass of wine. And a back rub. And a copy of the book her future self would write, because she sure as hell would need it.

A few of the choice tidbits, with more than a little of it redacted:

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2/9/05

Andy continues to amaze me.  He is so smart.  He can spell: stop, exit, mommy, Andy, Jack, on, off, go, and who knows how many others.  He just won’t hold a marker or crayon and write out letters.  Gotta work on that.  I just spent a whole lot of time researching kindergartens.  I have no idea where he is going to go.

note: He wasn’t quite 4 here, and 11+ years later he still hates using writing implements. At this point he’d also been reading for awhile and was demanding scientifically accurate bedtime stories about the solar system.

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1/10/2005

I have ten minutes of peace left.  I live for naptime, I don’t know what I would do without it.  All I ask is for some time alone every day, so that I can recharge and not want to scream when a child asks me for the umpteenth time to do something for him.  But now Andy has come out of his room for the 4th time, ensuring he’ll be in bed early.  More time for me, I guess.

So much for timely New Year’s goals.  I wanted to start this journal six days ago.  That’s what you get when you’re sick and have kids and are trying desperately to keep up.  I’ve decided to keep this journal for awhile, practice my writing, and eventually work my way into writing a blog.  I’m afraid that if I went straight into blogging that I wouldn’t be very good, that I wouldn’t keep it up, that I would have nothing to say.  By practicing here, for my own eyes, I can get ready for it.  And I can see how fast I can type in the limited time I have.

I just feel words screaming to get out these days.  I feel I have so much to say and I just can’t get them out fast enough.  My mind races with conversations to the world that I would love to have; I have trouble falling asleep because I can’t stop writing in my head.  I keep wondering if I should be a writer; I’m certainly not doing that great of a job as a music teacher.

Well, my peace is up; it’s 3 o’clock and Andy is up from “Andy Time”, also known as my time for me.

note: The kid STILL won’t stay in his room and leave me alone and it’s 11 years later.
note: Apparently I had PLENTY to say, because I’ve been blogging for 10 years and counting
note: I did become a writer, and I’m now kicking ass as a flute teacher.
note: Still looking for that “time for me.”

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1/14/2005

I love going out with my husband.  We don’t do it nearly often enough, but I love going out with him.  It reminds me why I love him, why I married him, why the hard times are worth it.  I just enjoy being with Tom, just being with him.  We don’t even really have to go do anything, but just the two of us, I just love being with him.  He makes me laugh, he makes me feel all warm and loved and I love him for it.  I need to remember this during the busy and difficult times, when I want to pop his eyeball out with my thumb, just to hear the squish.  Marriage is tough, they don’t tell you that at the wedding.  I saw a friend last month and she was still all starry-eyed from getting married in June.  Yeah, marriage is great, wonderful, all that…for about the first 24 months.  Then it starts to get difficult, then kids show up and it gets really tough.  But you hang in there, and there are times when you remember why you love that man so much and it’s great again.  But it’s not moonbeams and roses anymore, it’s something different, something deeper and more meaningful.  But you can’t go back to that newly married feeling, nor would you want to.  The replacement is so much better.

If you can get over the feeling about wanting to pop out the eyeball.

note: I still love that man, and twenty years of marriage has seen us weather some serious stuff.
note: I thought my writing sucked at the beginning and only improved over the last several years, but that line about the eyeball made me laugh out loud and wonder why I never used it on this blog.

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1/20/2005

I’m so tired of being stressed and feeling like I’m behind when I’m really not.  I need to be in control.  There, I said it.  I’m a control freak.  I want things to go well and get stressed out when they don’t.  That’s why I’m having such a hard time with Andy.  He wants the control also.

note: Oh, honey. Babe. Sweetie. Here, have some wine. He’s not even four yet, the age when you were quite sure you weren’t going to let him live to see age five. You’re barely at the starting gate of the flaming fustercluck the next eight years will bring. You don’t know what you don’t know and honey, I wish you could have been better prepared for the journey ahead. 

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1/29/2005

So what I’m wondering is, HOW THE HELL DID I GET HERE?  I mean, last I looked, I was a high schooler with a future in front of her, the rare date, all possibilities there.  So time blinks and now I’m a wife, a mom of TWO BOYS!!!, a stay at home mom.  Hello?  What happened?  How did I go from kicking ass on the concert stage to changing innumerable diapers a day?  (Made worse by the preschooler with diarrhea today).  I’m even typing this right now with a baby squirming on my lap.  What the hell happened?  Most days I feel like I’m having an out-of-body experience, though that could be the sleep deprivation catching up with me.  How did I end up being almost completely responsible for a husband, two kids, a house, and everything else in our lives?  How did that happen?  Granted, it makes sense that I do it, Tom works so much and I’m a SAHM, but huh?  What happened to ME?  What happened to MY dreams?  What WERE my dreams?  Did I ever really have any?  I know I always planned to be a stay-at-home mom, but was that my lifelong dream?  If so, why did I bother to go to college and grad school then?  I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.

note: Well. Damn. Where do I start? Eleven years later I’m still a SAHM, but now topped with a delightful reluctant homeschooler sauce. I’m a teacher, a writer, a flutist, an advocate, a volunteer, and somehow manage to balance all that with CFS so sleep issues never again become issues. My dreams are well underway, made considerably easier to chase with kids old enough to not only wipe their own butts but make their own meals. Kinda. Blog post for another day. I know what I want to be when I grow up, I’m living it now. 

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2/20/2002

I can’t let myself get that overwhelmed again.  It’s one thing when it’s just yourself, or married and you both kinda go your own ways.  It’s another thing entirely when there’s kids involved.  I was so stressed that I wasn’t a good mom.  In fact, I didn’t like being a mom, and that’s just not me.  I absolutely love being a mom, it’s what I’ve always wanted and I love it.  But I got so stressed and burned out that I couldn’t enjoy it and I saw it as just one more thing I had to do.  I never want to get to that point again.  It was frightening.  It has to get better.  I’m tired of always feeling on the edge of tears, that anything could send me over the edge.  I need help with things, and I feel I can’t ask for it.

note: Bwahahahahahahahahahahahaha….gasp….hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!! Oh girl, welcome to the personal challenge of your next dozen years! You’ll eventually crash enough times that self-care and searching out assistance become a huge priority. You’ll also fall in love with Malbec, which helps but isn’t the answer. In 2015 you’ll get a chronic fatigue syndrome diagnosis and finally get serious about sleep and boundaries and saying no. But honey, you are going to suffer hard before you get there. Hang tight.

 

We went to the pumpkin patch this afternoon.  Last year Andy was too little to enjoy it; he couldn’t even sit up!  This year we chased him all over the patch.  He was more interested in stomping on the dried vines than choosing a pumpkin, though.  He is such a little boy, loves to play in the dirt.  He is so very inquisitive—what’s that, what’s it do, what’s over there?  You can just see him sucking in information like a sponge.  He’s amazing.  He’s very two, but he’s amazing.

note: Yeah, you gave up wearing shoes with laces shortly after this because of that chasing. And him sucking in information like a sponge? It will never, ever end

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