A conversation with my 7 year old son, Bryce.
Bryce: Why do you smell like you’re going on a date?
Me: Because I have a date with Daddy tonight.
Brcye: Oh…well….I guess that’s ok then.
It’s been so long since I’ve done this that I feel as if we’re on a first date, again. Honestly, I’m a little nervous. It’s been a while since we’ve spent any time together. Will you still like me? Will I say something funny or interesting, and will you laugh? Will we be able to regain that sense of mutual interest and connection? Will you text me later and say you had a nice time?
I promise that if you do, I won’t wait another eight months to respond. 😉
The past eight months has flown by in a whirlwind of activity. Work, kids, husband, friends, travel, work, kids, husband, work, family, work, PTA, kids and work. It’s all been good, mostly.
My job, which I started nine months ago, has been going pretty well. After six years as a stay home mom, I took a part-time position working for a music publishing company as a music coordinator and personal assistant. It’s been fun. We create and license orchestral music/sound design for movie trailers. I love music and movies, so it seemed like a good fit, although I have no previous experience in either industry. As it turns out, my penchant (read OCD) for detail and organization lends itself nicely to the trailer music industry. A lot of people ask me for examples of what we do. Did any of you happen to see the debut trailer for The Last Jedi? The epically moving, raise the hair on your arms music in that trailer just happens to be ours! Yes, it was a BFD. We celebrated the next morning after the release of the trailer with mimosas and French omelets. Just in case you haven’t seen it…
Later, my daughter asked me, “Mom, what did YOU actually do to contribute to that movie trailer?” I couldn’t tell if she was mocking me because she thinks I’m lame, or if she was looking for proof that I’m really as cool as I tell her I am. So I was honest with her and said, “Not a damn thing. My job is to do all the other stuff, so the people I work for can focus their time and talents on creating music for projects like this.” I’m pretty sure she took that as validation of her initial assessment, which is that I’m lame.
Despite how well my job is going, I will admit that I’m still waiting for my lightening bolt. For a long time I’ve had this sense that there’s something I’m supposed to be doing, yet I have no idea what it is. It’s like there’s a thin veil hanging over my life, and I can’t quite see through it, but I know the answers I need are on the other side. I’ve always envied people who understood their talents. People who have a clear vision of their path in life. Some people know without hesitation what they are meant to do. Their talent and drive toward that goal manifests itself clearly for them. For me that has never been the case. Despite doing well in the career/jobs I’ve chosen, I’ve always struggled to fully grasp my sense of purpose, and after celebrating another birthday this past September, I feel a sense of urgency toward whatever self-discovery needs to take place in order to put myself on the right path. I’m not afraid of hard work, I just want to realize what I’m supposed to be working toward so I can get on with it. Is it too much to ask to wake up one morning with a hand written note beside my bed that reads,
You are destined to become a dolphin trainer. Please make arrangements for whatever training is necessary to complete this task and file your application for employment at Sea World, as soon as possible.
I think I would take a clue like that seriously. I tried asking my kids what they think I’m good at. Their answers are ridiculous but I love their honesty. My son says stuff like, “You’re good at snuggles, Mommy. And you make the best meatloaf.” He also told me I was good at being a mommy, and he suggested I open up the baby factory and have another one so he could be a big brother.
So that’s where I’m at. Attempting to support one company on it’s path to greatness while I strive to discover my own. If any of you can relate, it would be awesome to hear about it. And by the way, to those of you who reached out to check on me during my little blogging hiatus, I want you to know how much I genuinely appreciated that, so thank you! 🙂
This is the conversation I just had with my son, Bryce (age 6).
Bryce: Mom, I love this rock! (It’s a plain river rock.) Can I carry it with me everywhere? Even on vacation?
Me: Sure. You really seem to love rocks. Maybe you’ll be a geologist when you grow up. (Case in point, I fished three rocks out of my washing machine this morning, because he picks them up everywhere he goes and leaves them in his pockets. One of them wasn’t even a rock, it was a broken bit of concrete.)
Bryce: What’s a geologist?
Me: A scientist who studies rocks.
Bryce: Oh, cool. But can I also still be a secret agent?
Me: Sure, buddy. You can do both.
Kids are awesome. 🙂
The summer has flown by, as I knew it would, and as I predicted, I only got about three posts up all summer. Figures.
But life continues to be busy. Since I got home from my grandparent’s house at the end of July, I hosted my college roommate and her family for a few days, was sick for two weeks with a nasty virus that closely resembled strep throat, threw a birthday party for my son and twenty of his closest six-year old friends, and got both of my kids back to school. So yeah, life and children continue to dominate my time and attention. Blogging has been on the back burner for a long time, and I’m hoping now that I have both of my kids in school full-time that I’ll have more time and attention for both myself and all of you.
Being sick for two weeks wasn’t fun. I went to the doctor about five days into it and she ran all the typical tests to rule out bacterial infections. It felt like my head was going to explode, and every time I swallowed it felt like my eardrums were bursting and I was trying to swallow crushed glass. Fever, fatigue, and all the glamorous parts of feeling like total shit. My husband had to be out-of-town for work for several days, so taking care of the house, kids, and all the pets when all you want to do is lay down and die was no picnic. Unfortunately, the doc couldn’t give me any drugs because it was a viral infection, and it took a solid two weeks before I felt human again. To add insult to injury, going to the doctor in the first place is always such a mind-fuck. I already felt like shit, and have you ever noticed that going to the doctor makes you fat? Seriously. I walk in and immediately feel like I’ve gained ten pounds. Then the nurse puts you on the scale and you realize that in the two hours since you got dressed and hauled your sick-ass to the clinic, you really must have gained ten pounds because their ancient scale, that must be counter-balanced with massive invisible boulders, says so. Why don’t doctors use modern digital scales that will weigh me the same as when I’m at home? And now that I feel like a sick, ginormous, fat cow, I have to sit, forever, in the little room and wait. And there’s a mirror in there that is now confirming what the scale said. Somehow my face looks heavier. My ass seems to be climbing up my back and my muffin top is more muffin-y. And now I want to cry because my throat hurts, my ears hurt, I can’t get any meds, and just walking in the door made me feel like Martha Dump Truck.
Damn, I’m glad that’s over.
My son’s birthday party was fun, and humiliating. But I found my self-respect at the top of a bounce house, so that was an unexpected bonus. We had the party at Pump It Up. If you’re unfamiliar with the Pump It Up franchise, it’s basically a party venue with giant inflatables. Each room is a massive, two-story room with multiple indoor inflatables, like bounce houses, obstacle courses, rock climbing walls, and things like that. We had the Glow Party, which is like a super cool rave for kids with music and glow in the dark everything. I had promised my daughter that I would do some of the inflatables with her because as the big sister, she was the oldest kid at the party and didn’t really want to hang with the six-year olds. Thank God it was dark in there. I was a little dressed up for the party and my nice jeans were somewhat confining. Also, you have to wear socks in these things, and I quickly realized that with
socks on it’s hard to get any grip on the structure with your feet. So, I was attempting to climb this two-story monstrosity that was part rock climbing wall and part slide in tight jeans and slippery socks. You see where I’m going with this? You had to put your feet on these small squares and then use alternating tether straps for your hands to climb up. Well, the tiny-made-for-five-year-old-feet squares would collapse under you if you didn’t move fast enough. Half-way up there was this ledge you had to get over, and then another ledge all the way at the top. I fell trying to get over the first ledge. Kids were flying past me and laughing as I flailed and dangled by the tether straps. Did I mention it was also pretty steep? And also that I’m not a ten-year old? Anyway, I dug deep and hauled myself to the top, and as I was struggling to get over the second ledge, and considering saying fuck it and just letting go, my son’s friend from his class was sitting at the top of the ledge, and she was watching me as I hung on the tethers. She’s an adorable little girl and she says, “Keep going Mrs. B! You can do it!” Sweet Jesus. How do I fail in front of her now? I couldn’t, and it was ugly, and I’m glad it was dark in that room, but I managed to get my fat ass over that ledge and to the top. I was sweating and tired, and when I went down the slide it was so steep and fast it actually launched me out of the shoot and I landed in a heap in front of several parents watching from below. There was no way to play it cool, so I laid there like a lump, catching my breath. Thankfully, several parents said how impressed they were that I even attempted to get to the top, so at least I got some street cred out of it. Or they were just trying to make me feel better. Either way, only one other parent attempted the same structure and made it to the top, so that makes me one of the cool moms.
My kids went back to school on August 31st, so I had three days last week of blissful alone time. I’ve never had that, and I savored it. I read several of your blogs, did some housework, ran errands without children, and met friends for lunch. It was heaven. I’m really looking forward to this school year. And for the first time since my oldest daughter started school eight years ago, I didn’t cry at drop off on the first day. I fucking celebrated and went out for sushi!
Life is good, people. Life is Good!!!!!!
My five-year old son, Bryce, just finished his first regular season of Little League Baseball. It was a fun season and all the boys seemed to learn a lot and have a good time. They slowly progressed from chaotic dog piling on every ball to learning to work as a team, and for the most part, learn the boundaries of each position to support each other on the field.
During our last game of the season Bryce was placed in the position of pitcher. He didn’t really have to pitch to the kid at bat, but he maintained that position for his team. There was a coach positioned several feet in front of him and the coach pitched to the kids since the five-year old division is a combination of live pitch and t-ball.
So imagine this adorable five-year old kid in ‘baseball ready’ position, on the pitcher’s mound, in plain sight of everyone. (I was watching the game from the dugout, helping another mom to manage the boys and organize them during each inning transition.) I’m watching Bryce, shouting encouragement to him and the rest of the team, and then I see him use his ungloved hand to go in for a deep and prolonged wedgie grab. His hand was on the outside of his pants but he was working the angles, maneuvering his hips to get a good handful of whatever he was looking for.
The other mom starts cracking up, and I shout to Bryce and give him the what-the-heck-are-you-doing-face. He looks up at me, smiles and gives me a thumbs up. And then he goes right back into the ass-grabby position, but this time he takes his glove off and is digging at his butt from both the front and the back. He’s bent forward, looking between his legs as he attacks himself, and he’s digging for gold like a marathon miner. He’s in the middle of the field just going to town, completely oblivious to the game continuing around him. Balls are flying past him and he’s more concerned about whatever is going on in his pants than the rest of the inning. He ignores my shouts to pay attention to the game.
At the end of the inning the kids all run back to the dugout and I start checking his pants, thinking (hoping) that surely all that ass-grabbing had to do with his sliding shorts either riding up or being bunched wrong under his pants. So I ask, “Why were you digging at your bottom out there? Are your sliding shorts riding up?” And in front of everyone he says, “Nope, I was itching my butt. I think I sharted and I need to wipe it.”
My kid used the word sharted in front of his team and other parents. The other mom next to me is thoroughly losing her shit with laughter. As my face turned red with shame, I looked at her and said, “Please inform the Delegation of Perfect Parents that I will have to forfeit my membership and my Parent of the Year award…again.”
Me: What do you want for your birthday?
Bryce: A Dj set! (He then starts to imitate scratching records with motion and sound.)
Me: So you can drop a fresh beat?
Me: Where did you learn about DJ turntables and scratching records?
Bryce: America’s Cutest Cats!
Happy Friday everyone!
Recently, my family and I were over at a friend’s house for their son’s birthday party. It was a party for a four year old, so there was a lot of fun stuff going on. There was a clown doing balloon sculptures and face painting. There were awesome little arts and craft activities and a bounce house. Of course, all the kids LOVED the bounce house. So, imagine lot’s of young children running around a picturesque yard with no shoes, squealing in delight over the endless fun of the afternoon.
And where there’s fun, there’s bound to be drama.
I was sitting on some patio furniture talking with friends when I see the hostess of the party run into the back door of the house with another mother and her child clutched in her arms. They were frantic. I could tell something bad had happened by the way the women were reacting and rushing the child into the house. A busted lip? A cut to the forehead? Did the child need immediate medical attention? Stitches? Who knows….it’s not my circus, or my monkeys. My kids were not involved, so I thought the best thing to do was to not over-react and let the adults in charge handle the situation.
A few minutes later, the hostess of the party (and I should mention she is a good friend and a great mother) poked her head out the back door and asked me to come inside. I gave my husband the ‘uh-oh’ look and walked into the house, where I was met with complete chaos.
Both my friend and the other mother were frantically rushing around and talking loudly in panicked voices. The child that I saw being rushed into the house, a beautiful little girl about five years old, was sitting on the bathroom counter with her feet in the sink soaking in cold water. She was crying uncontrollably. I didn’t see any blood or immediate signs of injury.
My friend says, “She stepped on a bee and we’re not sure what we need to do! We took out the stinger but she’s still crying and it’s swelling! I knew YOU would know what to do!” There was a first aid kit on the counter with all kinds of gauze, medical tape and bandages spread out everywhere.
What? They think I’m the most capable adult to handle this situation? When did I become the most adulty adult? When did I become the person you grab when you don’t know what to do?
I looked at the girl’s foot and there was no swelling. There was a tiny red mark where she had been stung. That’s it. She was simply terrified and carrying on because the adults in the room were upset. I guess I’m still surprised how many parents don’t realize that if you don’t lose your shit in front of your kids, more often than not, your kids won’t lose their shit either. I realize that sometimes it’s hard not to freak out when your child is upset or in pain. And it’s even harder to be objective when it’s your child whose experiencing something traumatic. But kids need to have faith that their parents can handle anything. They need to know that you are in charge and you are capable of seeing them through the tough shit in life. And when you’re five, your first bee sting is some tough shit. I guess my ability to keep calm in these situations is what makes me the most adulty adult. Sigh. That thought is so depressing.
I didn’t do anything heroic to save the day. I asked the sweet little girl what her favorite song was and asked her if she could sing it to me so I could hear what I was certain would be a beautiful voice. She immediately stopped crying, beamed her pleasure at me with a toothless grin, and began belting out Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. While she sang, I put a Band-Aid over the red spot on her foot. All better.
Her mother threw her arms around me and hugged me so tight, thanking me for my help. I left the room and went back outside to sit by my husband. He asked what happened and after relaying the events to him I said, “That I’m the most adulty-adult at this party really scares the shit out of me.” 🙂
Same Shit, different Dave
Listen to your inner self..it has all the answers..
Chef, Blogger and Food Photographer
Finding my way back out of motherhood -- while mothering
storytelling the world
Dr. Jennifer Molidor
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sailaway from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~ Mark Twain