Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A very good night.

A very good night tonight . . . .

Softball game started out blustery, cold and whippy windy with icy little pellets of rain pelting the backs of legs . . . . . cold little girls bundled in jackets and hats . . . . but with the best attitudes in the WORLD . . . . And . . . though nobody keeps score . . they won . . . .

Our girls hit . . . and they ran . . and they fielded. The made plays at every base. My own player had an out at first base, hit a line drive right past short stop, and scored. My buttons are bursting with pride . . not only as her mom . . but as the assistant coach of this team. This team -- with first time players who -- only 3 weeks ago, could sometimes throw, but not always on target . . . could catch, but only sometimes . . . and couldn't hit the ball off a tee much less a coach pitch ball! I'm SO proud of these girls!

And a very good night kept right on going tonight through chicken soft tacos for supper . . . amid giggles and laughs from the kids, who laughed with each other, joked and played through dinner. Gelatto topped off the night . . . . along with the most hilarious car ride home. Middle was in RARE form with jokes rolling off of her tongue like a stand up comic. She even had her MOTH laughing . . . .

Such, a good, good night . . . no hesitations, no reserves . . it's been a long time since MY family has been together laughing and having true, grade A, honest to goodness fun. And I'm reminded: don't we all deserve it? Isn't it nice to put everything else aside!!!

Monday, June 18, 2007

My Son.

My son is a good pretender. My son, when he pretends, embodies and truly believes that he is INSIDE the story line he is pretending. If you've been reading my blog . . you know he's been dubbed the Bipolar Pretender. One day, he truly believes he is Clifford. He eats on the floor, directly from a plate, and wears a dog leash clipped to his beltloops. He communicates only in woofs and whines and wants to be scratched behind his ears. The next day, he's become Superman -- and will tie a dishtowel to his neckline and zoom around the house rescuing damsels in distress. He will go into closets to "change in", emerging minutes later with hands on his hips, chest protruding and exclaim, "I'm here to SAVE you!"

My son, lately, is Captain America. Every red, white and blue starred and striped thing is a "Captain America" flag. Imagine his delight in the dollar row at Target . .(what, with July 4th coming so quickly!!) He believes the Gods of the Boy Toys have sent these Captain America themed objects especially for his viewing pleasure. Captain America has a shield. And, my son doesn't. Lucky for me, his ingenuity and willingness to improvise has kicked in, and he is tossing paper plates around. Captain America is also known to have a sword from time to time. My son uses a long handled shoe horn . . . (you know, for mothers who have herniated disks in their backs.)

So, I've set the stage .. here is the script.

My son has effectively taught himself a game of fetch. It's lovely. He's self entertained, self-sustained . . and can go for hours. First, he pushes his sword-shoe-horn down one leg of his pants, in the back side of course. MOTH and I have a knack for making stubby children, so keep in mind that his sword-horn is the exact length of his stubby little leg. It's most humerous to see him run -- peg-legging through the house or across the yard. Next, he finds a plate. He puts on his best hero voice, proclaims that he's "going out on patrol" and proudly slides the screen door over. He surveys the backyard for "signs of trouble" . . and then begins "the game." In the game, he first uses one weapon, then the other . . as he fights his way across the lawn to fetch the first object. Yes, folks, we are throwing paper plates across the lawn -- then fetching them as we use a shoe horn for protection.

The funny thing here . . . is that this had become normal to me. I was on the phone with Homestead explaining what he was doing . . . and she nearly crashed the car she was laughing so hard. I've a tilted sense of normalcy, I reckon.

Although, I (personally), think the funniest thing happened today -- when he asked for a snack. I provided it to him . . then looked out the window to see him scooping fruit snacks off of his shield-plate . . into his mouth . . using his sword-horn.

Aim Low and Be Right on the Mark, I say.

Remember dating? Remember when you thought you might like to date somebody . . . but didn't want to take that step? Remember when you thought you might want to TRY and spend some more time with someone - but didn't want it to be in a dark movie theatre, where conversation would be nil and the lack of light would heighten other senses. Remember thinking dinner was too much of a commitment . . because what if, just what if .. . they were a complete yutz .. and then you'd be stuck with sucky company and a bill, compounded by the excruciatingly painful process of completing a meal.

Remember that moment when coffee got popular and provided everyone with the perfect first date? Could be short, could go long. Not too expensive, just a delightful taste of potential conversation . . . and heck, it could drag into to a muffin or scone, right.

And remember the sense of relief that washed over knowing that you didn't have to have a dinner date . . didn't have to "dress" for it .. . didn't have to "dress up" for it . . didn't have to put on the mask of who you weren't. Remember thinking, "I can wear whatever I want when I go for coffee." And remember thinking with relief and accomplishment, as you walked away from the coffee shop, "Hmmm, that was just right . . .and it was a damn good latte, too."

So, the point of this illustration in reminiscing .. . is that our expectations of those dates and what we prepare ourselves for both outlines and defines the entire experience. And that . . sometimes, it really is best to aim low and be right on the mark. It can be much more satisfying that setting the bar high and continually failing.. . don't you think?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Operation Basement

Operation Basement is now underway . . . .

These things are done: bidding, estimates, choosing a dude to do the job, floorplan, layout, little details and pricing.

Walkthrough with the framer guys . . . .
Walkthrough with the blue print lady. . .
Measuring, measuring and more measuring . . . .
The kids thought watching the forklift deliver framing supplies yesterday was GREAT fun.
The kids think watching the guys take the supplies through the window is GREAT fun.

Framing starts today . . . . Yippee Kai Yi Yay! I can't wait to see walls up! I'm gaining 2 bedrooms, a rec room, what has been dubbed "the theatre room", an unfinished storage space and a bathroom. Did I say yee haw???

I love this print so much . . . I ordered it and wake to it EVERY morning.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

In Middle-Land

Slug bug has become a popular game in our car.

"Slug bug, blue."
"Slug bug, white."
"Slug bug, light yellow . . . "

"I've got 3."
"I've got 3."
"I've got 3."

"No, you don't, you didn't see the white one, you only copied me. You only have 2."
"Yes, I did. "

"Slug bug, Invisible."

"You can't call invisibles."
"Yes I can. Slug bug, Invisible."

Middle: "Well, in middle-land, I can call Slug Bug Invisibles."

I'm pondering this:

I had a conversation with a person . . . she who shall remain un-named . . . about friends. Girlfriends, to be specific. She (and I) , the un-named one ( and me), are making the transition from acquaintances to friends. She's a a reliable kind of friend . . who responds with honesty and insight into most every inquiry. She (in my opinion) has a grounded take on life in general. Life with kids. . . . life as a working mom . . life as a woman, life as a partner in relationships that have both blossomed and flopped.

She started this thinking escapade with a comment something to the tune of . . . being disappointed in some things because she thought she was getting into a place where women would and could support other women . . bounce things off each other . . be honest, help and interact with each other. Only part of that can actually be quoted . . but you know, it's the jist.

And, that sparked lots of conversation about editing . . . about this perception that we project . . . ironically, to those both close to us and those who are far away. Lots of conversation followed about how stifling it can be to constantly censor, to feel tamped out by the impression and the judgement that will surely follow.

So, for days, I've been pondering this, and I have tangential and somewhat unrelated thoughts on lots of semi-similar topics. And, a few resolutions. Heck, it's half a new-year gone by . . time for some new resolutions. I'm 20 pounds lighter and did a good job with my January 1st set!!

Thoughts on me. I'm a fun person. I used the life of the party. I didn't get out much as a kid, didn't break rules and didn't push boundaries or limits. When lots of my friends were smoking and eating watermelon soaked in vodka at night, I was just playing golf by moonlight. I have a pretty good sense of humor and I'm confident. I'm well spoken, fairly well written and have a good sense of justice, peace and good. I worry less now about what people think of me that I have in previous decades. Ironically, I'm more judged and less defended now, too. And that part really sucks. In my college days, I was surrounded by equally witty and lovely women, who would defend me. Now, many of the people who surround me are powerful people -- very capable of exerting or extending and opinion . . and having it stick. The powerheads around me now are better listeners to THEIR other friends than they are to ME ... . and I often feel like that's in direct opposition to the things I provide them with. So, I find, I'm increasingly bothered by being judged. I'm growing a tougher skin. Most unfortunately, I'm also becomming a tad bitter.

Thoughts on girlfriends. I believe and practice this. There is a true and distinct difference between a friend and an acquiantance. They are not to be confused, and not to be taken lightly. I have 3 girlfriends. I'm not certain I am capable of adequatley maintaining more than that. The stakes of SOME friendships are very high. One of my FRIENDS, has a (reported) FRIEND who called her last week and ripped her up one side and down the other . . . . . for working (thus, ignoring the friendship.) Heeellloooo??? WTF? This is not a friend I could keep . . see, maintenance fees are too high. On the flip side .... I have a friend, whom I have known, for um .. . . well . .. 16 years, I think. We try to see each other annually -- and while we both long for more, when we get together, time stands still. Minimal maintenance and maximum payoff. THIS is a friend I can keep. I'm honest when I say that I think she'd say the same . . . I don't think she's disappointed with the way our lives have paralleled, support from me . . . or, well, really anything I can put my finger on.

And here is something else. I'm a generally likeable person. For the most part, when I meet new people, there is some sort of a connection. I'd say I'm an extrovert. I'm easy to talk to and simple to interact with. In previous decades, my feelings could be a touch hurt when someone really didn't like me. I remember distinctly one "friendship" that ended when my college next-door-roomate and I had a disagreement . . that went south . . . and then further south from there . . and then struck a polar ice-cap and stayed. The most painful radiating effect of the whole sour friendship was that she was a talker (therefore had a wide circle of influence, and her opinions of me were known both far and wide in a small college community.) I, was not a talker. I tried my level best to come from a place of higher ground, thinking I hated what she was doing, and wouldn't stoop to that level . . . wouldn't play by those rules . . wouldn't be a part of that game. Lo and behold, it took me about 3 years to recover. Now, typing this, there's a painful twang of memory -- and I wonder if there has been recovery? Ooh, still tender there now that I drudged that up. And the moral of that story - is that some friendships are not meant to be. And that, is okay.

I'm resolved, suddenly and needingly to: have thicker skin. I will not be hurt and wounded when I'm not liked or approved.

I'm resolved, today . . but not always . . . to speak. I bite my tongue frequently and firmly to keep from hurting feelings. Then kick myself later for having not spoken my mind. I'm done biting my tongue. My THREE friends pretty well understand not to ask my my opinion if they don't REALLY want an honest opinion. I believe I'll adapt this with my acquaintances as well. I plan to practice it at PTA tomorrow.

I'm resolved today . . that I don't need more friends or higher maintenance fees. I really am good with what I've got . . . my blessings abound and I want not.

I resolve today, too . . . to censor wisely but not completely.

Finally, the image we project . . . the image I project. I'm not always okay. I'm not always strong. I don't always have it together. Sometimes, I need to call a friend a be teary. I need support, too. Truth is: I really don't know what image I project. I imagine (but I'm not sure) that I seem stable . . . okay . . together . . . strong most days. But the truth is . . I'm tired. Today, I'm overwhelmed . . . . I've had a long day full of kid stuff and mom stuff. My husband has been working since 5 am. It's 8:42 and he doesn't think he'll be home for another hour. I'm in the home stretch with the kids . . and it's been a good day, but I'm tired. My back is hurting, my eyes are burning . . . . I have to rise early to accomplish my "work" tasks before the kids rise. I have a list of tasks to get through tomorrow -- NONE of which can be delegated or avoided. Here's the deal with how I feel tonight, though . . . pretty damn good. . . . I should feel tired. And I should be overwhelmed. But when I reach down deep -- I'm damn proud of myself for all the stuff I did today and all the crap I accomplished . . so tired and overwhelmed seems pretty realistic. And tired and overwhelmed to me doesn't mean I want to stop swimming. I don't need drinks and I don't want any drugs. Just a pillow . . .

. . . . and it would be nice if these gale force winds would stop blowing.