The other day, John and I packed up the kids for a raucous Sunday morning at Chuck E Cheez and a nice quiet lunch at an Italian restaurant. We were feeling brave and had an extra dose of parenting confidence that day.
This is rare so we decided to seize it.
Which is good, because most of the weekend we were hermits. After going through the requisite number of coins at Chuck E Cheeze, we decided it was time to move on to the fine dining portion of the day. So we went to one of those “fancy” restaurants, where they put out those big sheets of white paper on your table and the waiter or waitress comes over and writes their name for you, in case you are like me and too slow to catch it as our youngest tries to eat one of the crayons.
A few days after our son, Nico, was born, we had to rush him to the hospital with a fever. The long and the short of it is that we had to be admitted to the children’s ward for a few days because the spinal tap showed he was positive for Spinal Meningitis.
Once I moved past the shock and horror and the tremors had abated long enough for me to calm down and think as clearly as I could over the course of the next five days, I did what I normally do in situations where I lose control and have to watch something hard transpire.
I shut down.
New Year’s Day, 2012
I was tired. I was sitting at my brother-in-law and sister-in-law’s house, waiting for a funeral that shouldn’t have been happening. I was exhausted, emotionally drained.
So I did what any normal person would do. I insulted the gay people who were sitting next to me.
Because if I have learned one thing in life, it’s that when the going gets rough, just take it out on the gays.
I was sitting in family’s house, mourning the loss of my seventeen year old niece on New Year’s Day.
In a house crowded with her memories, her parents’ grief and so few “right” words. Because really, what ARE the right words?
2 Days Ago
Two days earlier, I had been standing in my kitchen, preparing for New Year’s with my mother-in-law. We had just been to Wegman’s, where we sampled too many cheeses. But we were excited. For New Year’s Eve. For a brand new start.
Over the past few weeks, I have written some pretty heavy pieces that would fall under the general “parenting” category. And I guess this is natural because I have two precious kids (who did not act so precious this weekend. Or come to think of it, rarely at all these days) who impact my writings and musings on a daily basis.
I don’t consider myself a “Mommy Blogger” though I guess it makes sense that I could fall into that genre. I think it’s clear that a lot of times when I reflect on mistakes I have made or about the life I am striving to lead, I think about how I can pass on some of those lessons to my own children.
I read a great post yesterday that really made me think. The post was called, “I Want My Kids to Fail” and was about how we handicap our children by making their lives too easy and not allowing them to appreciate success more deeply. This is especially true when success comes easily, without the challenge of obstacles.
After reading the post, I thought a lot about it. I realized the gravity of what the author was saying and I have to agree. Though I think its probably one of the hardest things for a parent to want for their child-failure-I believe that understanding what failure means is the only way that a person can truly comprehend the value of success.
I thought about this in other areas of life as well. I am a mother who wants my children to be happy in life. But not only happy – I want them to be well-rounded, empathetic, loving, and appreciative so that their happiness is not so…
It’s a greeting used very commonly by Indians and, for those of you who have ever been to a yoga class, its most likely something you are familiar with.
At the end of a yoga class, before you walk out the door, the teacher will usually lift their hands together, clasp them and slightly lower their head and say “Namaste.”
This simple gesture where the forehead meets the tips of your fingers in your gently clasped hands is one of the most beautiful salutations that can be made to a person.
“Namaste,” the class will respond before rolling up their mats and going on their way – to run back into their cars, grab the kids from daycare, make that run to Starbucks.
What is lost in that exchange is the absolute beauty of the word.
Translated from ancient Sanskrit, the word roughly translates to:
Well, at least I have some WTF? moments. Not so much things like walking into a client meeting to find boogers all over my suit jacket. That’s almost sweet if I don’t think about it too hard.
I mean more along the lines of my current issue.
I feel kind of like yelling “WTF?” with my son, Nico’s current obsession with his father. If Daddy is not around, he is alright with me (depends really), but if John is anywhere within the vicinity, we might as well just forget about it.
“Daddy!!!!” He wails painfully in my ears as he tries to launch himself from my arms and leap towards his father who is about ten feet away.
It’s been a week since I last wrote to you. I know you are waiting.
Like another 12 years.
Last week, the letter I wrote to you was about walking and standing tall. Today, I wanted to write to you about something a little different and maybe something that’s not as easy to understand.
It’s shame. How to live with it. How to move past it. How to never let it defeat you.
As you know from some of the stories I have told you, there was a lot of love in my childhood. But there was also a lot of pain. Sometimes I would gasp out loud to think what people would think of me if they knew the kind of pain, grief and sadness that my family struggled with.