Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Parenting, For Realz

When I was in my early 20s, my best girlfriend was in her late 30s. She has 3 kids and had been married a couple or 6 times. I've always admired her faith in love and marriage...if not her choices in men. At that point, I was recently divorced with no kids. She would tell me about things that went on in her life and I watched how she handled her kids.

I often asked her "do they hand out crack in the delivery room so you can keep up with those kids??" I was amazed at how much she did with them, how little she slept, and how high-maintenance kids are in general.

Imagine my horror when I discovered that there are, in fact, no stimulant prescriptions handed out in the delivery room.

What I did discover, though, is that with my role of "mom" came a sense of responsibility that outweighs stuff like sleep, illness, and the general sense of "I don't wanna." There's all this unimaginable love and protectiveness and stuff. Not to mention all these stupid principles I have that make me feel guilty if I'm not a responsible parent giving my best effort to nurture good, responsible individuals.

The things that get done? Get done because they have to be done. My inconvenience? Is irrelevant.

Poopsplosions must be managed. The unending step-sibling argument storm must be weathered (seriously, do siblings ever get along??).

When Boo gets up at 3:45AM, decides it's "morning," and begins getting dressed, I must haul my happy ass out of bed & get him back to his bed. Without waking the rest of the household. Except the dog loaf. It is impossible to get out of bed without rousing the dog loaf and inciting the 120 decibel ear flapping.

Lunches must be made, homework must be done, notes to teachers must be written (and if they are to be written legibly I must write them), appointments made, chauffeuring to be done, peace maintained, medication dispensed, backpacks assembled, "whys" answered, laundry done, meals prepared, punishment doled, and snuggles stolen.

Sleep is foregone. Showers are skipped. Privacy is eliminated. Money pours out like a blast from a fire hydrant. Corporate casual must be pulled from the wrinkled heap in the laundry basket that has been waiting for a week to be put away and hopefully has not been peed on by any members of the household. Grown up TV is relegated to illicit late-night viewing. The illusion of maturity must be maintained. Swearing must be curbed. Phone calls from angry teachers and parents regarding the swearing must be dodged. Sex is relegated to clandestine secret ops only to be completed by the most elite of special forces. The good snacks must be stashed to be consumed only during ugly AM hours or while engaging in illicit late-night television viewing.

All of this for the loving gratitude of my darling children. Ahhh, listen to the sound of that gratitude...

(crickets chirping)

"I don't like these pants."
"these shoes are too tight."
"I don't want to wear socks."
"but I wanted that one."
"I don't like that food."
"you're mean."
"I don't want to go to bed."
"how come you didn't get me that one?"
"I want that."
"I want that, too."
"he's looking at me! Make him stop looking at me!"
"can't you do that instead?"
"I don't wanna."

Sigh. You're welcome guys.

I think I'm beginning to understand the reason parents push their adult children to create grandchildren. It's not because they so love the pitter patter of little grandchild feet.


It's revenge.

(insert creepy pipe organ music and maniacal laughter here)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Perhaps I'm a masochist. Or just stupid.

I scheduled my routine feminine grooming maintenance for Tuesday of this week. Due to the poor coordination of my "cycle" and my paychecks, I was "a bit" past due for said maintenance.

And by a bit? I mean it was waaaaay too 1969 down there. I'm not that natural. So not. After 30 minutes with my esthetician, all was cleaned up and ready to go. And a bit chafey. Fun.

For Wednesday, I scheduled my graduation present to myself. A lovely phoenix on my right shoulder blade. Note that the bra strap you see? Is a racer-back. Without that context, the placement of the tattoo would be weird. And I would have a very fat shoulder.


As you might notice, my skin is pretty red. 2 1/2 hours of tattoo leaves one rather sore. So now I'm chafey and sore. I'm thinking perhaps I should schedule a nipple piercing or something for this afternoon just to round out the pain trifecta for the week.

In what universe was I thinking that a Brazilian and a tattoo on successive days would be a good idea? Are there restraints & ball gags in my future? Or am I just a dumbass??

Wait. Don't answer that...


P.S. I am planning a follow-up to my previous post (A Requiem for My Dream). Possibly tomorrow. Not today. The feedback I've gotten has stirred my brain, but my thoughts are not yet congealed. I would prefer to wait until they are rather then dump a senseless gooey mess out there

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Requiem for My Dream

I have been giving my blog a lot of thought lately. I have been all guilt-ridden for not posting as frequently as I think I should. As frequently as I really ought to if I want people to keep reading it.

I have still been reading a few others' blogs because they bring me joy to read. I look forward to reading posts from these people. Not out of any sense of obligation, just because I like to read what they have to say.

In doing this, however, I have come to a realization about my writing. It is a realization that I've already had in other aspects of my life, but not about my writing.

This realization? Makes me rather sad.

In other areas of my life, I never had any real passion for the subject, so the realization wasn't so bad. About my writing? I am sad. For this is one thing I have always loved and have believed that it was something at which I was at least moderately adept. I have believed that with practice and hard work? I could take moderately adept to some kind of wonderful.

But practice doesn't replace ability. Practice only refines what is already there.

My realization? Is that I'm just not meant to create. I am unable to craft something from nothing.

I know this ability when I see it. I'm the daughter of a creator. I'm the wife of a creator. I'm actually the ex-wife of a creator, too. And I? Am not a creator.

What I can do? Is see what makes something a worthy creation. I know talented versus well-trained but passionless musicians when I hear them. I know good photography when I see it. I know an artist with genuine talent when I meet them. I know good when I see it. I see the qualities of their gift and their passion that allows them to create something wonderful from the depths within themselves. But I do not have these qualities within myself. When I look inside myself? I do not see those raw materials that, with inspiration, create beauty. My depths are full of feelings and mush that all turns to imitation goo when I try to do anything with them.

I had hoped that maybe I just didn't have creative musical ability or creative artistic ability or creative photographic ability or the ability to create pretty solutions to problems. I had hoped that my lack of creative gift was because I hadn't found the right "thing" yet. I don't think that's it. I think it is more a general lacking of the ability to create.

What I can do? Is tinker with something existing. I can tweak stuff to make it a little better or a little different, but I have to have something to start with. Someone else has to do the creating before I can do the tweaking.

I guess I'm a tweaker. Isn't that lovely.

So where does that leave my illustrious blog? I don't know. I'm a bit of the competitive sort, and I'm not real big on propagating mediocrity. While I never had any dreams of quitting my job & writing for a living, I still prefer to be among (or at least in the same ball park as) the best if I choose to do something.

I said I started this blog for myself, and that was mostly true. But honestly? There was a part of me that wanted my writing to blossom into something beautiful. Sadly though, while I gave it my best, it has kind of withered, like so many of the plants I've tried to nurture over the years.

Ironically, I'm going to try gardening next spring. Let's not discuss my head and its sandy location.

Please understand that I'm not fishing for anything. For the most part? I keep my self-pity fishing pole stored under my bed for occasional use on Hub when I need a little verbal stroking & he's not getting the hint. Comment as you like, but I'm not trying to incite anything. I feel as if I need to explain why I have not posted lately, as well as mourn a dream. My realization was a surprise to me & hit harder than I would've expected.

Will I continue to post? Possibly. Even probably. Writing is a compulsion for me, regardless of it's quality of content. But it has become like that friend you have. And you really want to take it to that level beyond friendship. But that friend? Has other ideas. Other loves. The friendship means to much to me to abandon completely. But I am sad that we cannot have the love affair that I had hoped for.