"All great changes are preceded by chaos." - Deepak Chopra
"Opportunities to find deeper power within ourselves come when life seems most challenging." – Joseph Campbell
"We were made to cooperate and connect, not to compete." – Lynne McTaggart
"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Bloom where you are planted.” - Mary Engelbreit
Another terrible tragedy in the news. Another mass shooting in the U.S. The biggest one to date. Another barrage of news stories and FB posts pontificating about the details, the whos, hows, whys, and what ifs about the event and the people involved. My head is swimming with endless debate about gun control, LGBTQ (human) rights, alleged terrorist connections and religious affiliations, stories of the victims last moments, the accused’s past and current relationships, and family history. The list goes on.
All of it makes me want to cry and kick and grab people by the shoulders and scream at the top of my lungs, "STOP THE MADNESS! Why can’t we just stop the fucking madness already? What the hell is wrong with us?” Wait, don’t answer that... I think I have a theory.
Like so many of you, I am completely overwhelmed with emotion and almost at a loss for words. But, I am trying my damnedest to conjure some up, even if they are rough and messy and bordering on inarticulate, because saying nothing is just not an option. Saying nothing feels like a cop out to me. Saying nothing, means we have given up, and giving up, giving in to the dark side, should never be an option. EVER.
Recently, I had a conversation with a couple of friends about how I'm glad my kids are getting a little older and more independent. I even admitted out loud, that the baby or toddler stages were never really my thing, and that I white knuckled it through most of those years. I knew it was only temporary and that we could handle anything for awhile. Mostly, and in spite of a crapload of chaos that came our way, we did. Although I wouldn't give myself any awards for being the best baby momma on the planet, our kids came out of the baby/toddler years relatively unscathed. At least it seems that way so far.
I've always known I would be a better parent to older kids. You know, the kind who can rationalize, at least some of the time. Don't get me wrong, I love kids! I spent over two decades working with them in some capacity. Babies? Of course they're adorable. It's just that they're even more adorable when I don't have to wake up at 2 a.m. to feed them, or worry every five minutes about why there's no noise coming from the other room. I prefer it when those are someone else's problems to deal with. So now that our kids are at that (sometimes) rational stage - almost 12 and 9, I'm loving it in so many ways. But truthfully, I'm also panicking a little.
I recently started reading Jen Mann's book, People I Want To Punch In The Throat. This was part of my mother's day gift. My husband knows me well. He actually bought it for me because I'm a fan of Jenny Lawson (The Bloggess), and she endorsed this book. It's a series of stories from Jen's real life. Bad ass truth telling is my favourite style of writing. It's what I aspire to be brave enough to do, and so it goes without saying that I like the book. In fact, it inspired me to write this post. But since I'm not really a throat puncher, I decided to title my own list, 'People I Want To Smack In The Head'. It seems more true to form.
The perpetrator, feigning innocence
Several years ago, a cat adopted us. No, I don't have that backwards, I mean SHE adopted US. She literally walked into our house one day and never left. We called her Nigella. She is adorable, and clearly knows how to get what she wants. Before her, we always considered ourselves more dog people. But now we're cat people too. Nigella is the chillest, most affectionate, low maintenance, least annoying creature on the planet....except for one small thing. She's a total serial killer.
Stevie (my mom), circa 1980 something
Mother’s day is quickly approaching and naturally, this always shines a light on the mother-child dynamic in people’s lives. I’ve read a million blog posts, articles and Facebook memes where people gush and romanticize about their relationship with their mothers. This is lovely and genuinely beautiful that some people have nothing but positive, heart swelling memories of their moms. They may remember their childhoods (accurately or otherwise) as being full of hugs, homemade chocolate chip cookies and milk, calm, lilting lullabies, heartfelt talks and bedtime stories. No word of a lie, these are some of the memories I hope my own kids have.
However, can we all just admit that this is definitely not everyone’s reality? Not everyone’s relationship to their mom’s is a Hallmark card. The truth is, a whole lot of folks had/have a tenuous relationship with their mothers. Some may be completely estranged from their moms for a whole variety of not so warm and fuzzy reasons. Some people may have lost their moms in natural or unnatural ways. Others may have a hard time relating, and not know how to, or be unwilling to, go about repairing the bond that has been damaged over time.