One of the reasons parenting is so exhausting, in addition to all the usual running around, is that you’re giving your all (and then some) to teach your kids how to live. I was struck by this thought today: it’s all up to Paul and me. Yes, other people come into play: grandparents, friends, teachers, other people in the line at Starbucks. But for the most part, the shaping of their character — the teaching of right from wrong — is in our hands. With newborn babies, our main job is simply keeping them alive. But later on? You have to teach them how to be. Continue reading →
Learned an expensive lesson this week, people. Resolving to turn over a new leaf and actually cook, I went to the grocery store and shopped like a fiend for a week’s worth of meals.
Here’s my lesson up front: don’t plan meals for every night of the week, because as you know, hardly anything in a middleaged mom/wife/woman’s life goes exactly as planned (probably hardly anything in anyone’s life goes exactly as planned), and the food that doesn’t get cooked will sit around your kitchen being passive agressive. Let me explain. Continue reading →
Stephen King once wrote this great short story called “Word Processor of the Gods” about this writer who discovered that, when he typed a sentence about the picture that hung over his desk, and then deleted the sentence, the picture disappeared. The character thought long and hard — actually, no, he thought for about two minutes — and went on to delete his wife and kid, then gave himself the wife he should have had and the kid he should have had and the life he should have had, and you get the point. Anyway, how often in life have you wished with all your heart that you had a delete button for the things you’ve said and done? Continue reading →
You know how your kids can wear you out faster than anything and you wind up acting more like an immature child than they are? Here’s an example of a 20-minute drive, with Michael being purposely, annoyingly contrary and Liz being teenage-girl-whiney, that has left me with the desperate need to run away from home and become a waitress at a truck stop in North Dakota. Continue reading →
As you know if you bothered to read my last blog post (don’t know why I’m feeling a little snippy all of a sudden…it’s totally cool if you didn’t read my last post, although you should. I’ve been told it’s my best yet. By my mom), you know that I took the month of July off. Here’s an accounting of what I lost and gained through my smart decision to not work.
I refused housework and laundry again today in order to go “day-camping” with the kids and a couple of their friends yesterday. Packed up snacks and firewood and hot cocoa packets and chairs and sleeping bags to wrap around us and hats and mittens and my camping hammock. Enjoyed a gorgeous, sunny, cold autumn day on the lake with a campfire and four delightful teenagers. Really, I am not lying: the teenagers wanted to spend time with me! In the outdoors. With no phone service! And it was their idea!
I also managed to spend some time alone in my hammock, on a hill above the lake, wrapped in a sleeping bag with my face in the sun.
The view from my hammock
I started out reading, but soon I drifted into some daydreams and put the book down to follow my train of thoughts. Such as: Continue reading →
Discovered this morning that I left the stove burner on all night. Said a prayer of thanks for still having a house. And a family!
Middleaged friends, are you this bad? Is your brain your enemy sometimes?
About 10 years ago, I told a therapist I was worried I was going to get into a car accident because my mind seemed so foggy when I was driving. I couldn’t focus on cars or traffic signals because I was constantly distracted. The kids were about 5 and 3 years old, so obviously they distracted me in the car. (And at many other times during the day. Well, MOST other times during the day. Okay, ALL day.) The therapist suggested that, like many middleaged women who work and have children, too much was going on in my life. If I truly worried I was going to get into a car accident (and I truly was), I needed to do something about it. I wanted to knock her down and pull her hair: what the hell did she expect me to do? Give away one of the kids? Spray lavender on my pillow and take to bed for a week? Continue reading →