Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Challenges and Changes

I'm giddy - my oldest comes home from college on Friday!  So looking forward to seeing him and observing how much he has grown and changed over the last months.

I remember my first summer home - I hadn't been that far away (in the same city, really) but I hadn't been home much at all.  I guess we go to college to have different experiences and "try on" new personas and such.  Well, I came home spewing the f word... it was just part of my regular speech in college, i'm embarrassed to admit now.  WTF?  No F-ing way!

Perhaps having younger children still at home (like 13 years younger than me) made my mom especially sensitive to my foul mouth.  She took care of my problem though.  One afternoon after one to many curse words, she grabbed my arm and marched me into the bathroom.

"Pick up that bar of soap," she said with frustration.  "Now, put it in your mouth and bite it! That'll help you remember to clean up your language around here."

I can still taste dial soap in my mouth - what a brutal and highly effective consequence.

I am anticipating that my Freshman's arrival home will bring some interesting challenges - hopefully he will be smarter than me.  But mostly, I'm just looking forward to see him.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Stressful Celebrations

The two of them stalked the short, gray-haired dance mom who walked the lost information from the results room to the results wall...one last dance, one last chance for a win.  

"Move aside, please," hollered the mom, pushing through the crowd of adolescent girls;  she struggled to be heard over the Irish jig lilting from the gym and the giggling, screaming, moaning crowd which parted reluctantly to let her through.

My Beautiful Dancer!
As the results were taped to the wall, I watched my dancer swing her arm around her best dance buddy's neck and the two closed their eyes in hope and in fear. The day had not been great for my dancer - three of four dances posted and no first places...no places at all.  She had felt good in her dances - but her dances were huge and very competitive - and Irish dancing is notoriously subjective to judge.

Squeals emanated from where the two girls stood, arms pulled faces close and tight smiles appeared on their faces...something good had happened, but we couldn't tell what.  They turned toward the gauntlet of moms, and the best buddy yelled, "Rebecca got a first!"

Rebecca held on to her buddy tightly, looking relieved to have placed first, but also slightly guilty that she had something to celebrate and her friend did not.  Congratulations were passed around and she graciously, calmly, respectfully accepted these.  Finally, we headed out of the building, finished with Irish Dance Competitions for a month.

"Whoo, hoo, A First!
" she hollered after leaping into the car and slamming the door!  

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Stress Test...

Feeling tense this afternoon - stressed out - at odds with the world - close to tears. All day, in fact.  Why? Not exactly sure - but a drive in the car with my newly permitted daughter helped cure me.

  • I practiced my isometric exercises (I was clenching my fists, tightly) while Rebecca drove carefully (read really slowly) around the parking lot.  
  • I worked on repetition, that's supposed to relieve stress, right?  " Stop... ...stop ... stop now! Turn.... turn the wheel... turn the wheel now." 
  • My core is feeling very loved, as my stomach muscles were tensed for a full thirty minute window - without breaks!  Isn't that the same as doing a plank?

Well, after returning home, I'm relieved to say that I feel more relaxed - and she did very well driving.  I'm going to remember this method of relaxing....It's available to anyone else who might need a stress reliever, free - call me.  Please.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

A Gift of Writing

Dear Mom,

As I considered the topic for my blog post for the last day of March, the last day of the Two Writing Teachers "Slice of Life" Writing Challenge, I thought I might pen a post to one of my favorite readers, who has been on my mind so much during the last couple of months - YOU!

Just wanted to let you know how much we love you.  We have been shocked (and are probably still in denial, to a certain extent) by your diagnosis.  We worry very much about not being able to be closer: to make dinners, to give you a hug, to just be there for you and dad.  I've admired how strong you have sounded when we have spoken on the phone; I hope that in a similar situation that I will be able to respond with the grace and strength that you have displayed.  I love hearing that you and dad are such a team - that's reassuring and reminds me that meaningful relationships grow only stronger when challenged.

Because we can't be there physically, to help you through this - and you will get through it - I will try to keep writing on my blog on a weekly basis.  I hope this gift of writing proves entertaining, perhaps comforting, or at least distracting, or even like a written hug sent to you every Tuesday from the Smith family.

Thinking of you every day - and sending you thoughts and prayers for strength and serenity.

With much love,