Monday, April 20, 2015

You Can Do Anything for Ten Minutes


Scrolling through Facebook today, I came across this entry:
"You should read what these writers in the flash nonfiction class are creating. There's much to be said for completely letting go for ten minutes and putting words on a page."

That was all I needed to start and write --- not only can I do that for ten minutes, I would love to do that for ten minutes. Writing freely but not as SOC -- writing as nonfiction, with the urgency of a stream of consciousness.

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I fought the different that I was growing up. I wanted to be like everyone else. I think all small children do. We want to blend in and not be the odd child, because to be accepted and included, you have to be like everyone else.

I was the opposite of everything I needed to be to blend in as a kid. I needed to be prepared and organized, and instead I would find myself in the middle of a morning in a 2nd grade classroom, with the teacher, Mrs. Quill, announcing that it was time for everyone to take out their salt maps.

It was as if I had just woken up from a two month coma. Salt maps? What is a salt map? When I turned around to mouth "What the heck?" to my classmates, I saw their bodies move like robots programmed in unison. Every kid around me reached under their wooden chairs and brought up re-used pizza cardboards that had somehow been made into blue and green maps of the world.

When was this assigned?
How did they all know?
I had perfect attendance and yet I had no idea about this twilight zone episode playing out before me.

I could understand English, I never feel asleep at my desk. I won a blue plastic statue of the Virgin Mary for perfect attendance, for goodness sake.

I continued this state of bewilderment shock and awe throughout my grade school days. I would walk onto the playground in the mornings, waiting for the school day to start. Me in my uniform, and the other children

in shorts (trip to the beach that day)
with  paper bag lunches (trip to amusement park that day)
and sunglasses? (trip to the zoo that day)

My heart would leap out of my chest on every single one of those mornings. School was a constant playing out of The Big Reveal, and me never knowing what the kids knew that I didn't. And why? How?

Why didn't I ever know anything?

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That was actually 17 minutes, but it was fantastic escapism.
I hope you give this writing exercise a try.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Funny Thing Is, He Still Looks the Same


Since he was three years old, he's wanted to fly.

He would wait every year for August, when the county carnival would come for five days. We would be at the gates by noon so he could buy the tickets he needed to be a pilot for a day. I would go through a $20 dollar roll and it was enough to ride until dusk since the old rides were a third of the tickets as the modern ones.

I lament - and often. I sing my rendition of "Where did my baby go" and the 85 mph cracking velocity of feeling your children grow up is something that is definable. Loss, dispossession, unhaving. I remember the days of him riding on that airplane carousel, and they seem so far away. That serious look on his face, if it weren't for the picture, I would have forgotten how he never rode the forgotten rides of old bombers with a smile or laughter. He was at work, he was seeing himself one day, there.

In the early days of parenting, on through the rush of childhood, and the dizzying breakneck of high school, we only feel the tasks. We don't have the time to remember, there is an after that.

But once we arrive in a new land, we begin to understand the landscape. We are there, with them, as we always have been, traveling forward. Their goal was growing closer.... we were inching toward it all along but when it's visible, not as a threat looming to take something away from us but more of an entry to a new view. It's our hands we now see, that were the ones on the potter's wheel, witnessing a taking of shape.

Today is my son's first birthday away from home. I sent him helium balloons and money, but, dear baby jeebus it's a long day without him here. I have what feels like a golf ball stuck in my throat from missing him so much. I know today is different for him, I know he's happy, as anyone would be when they finally get to hold their prize.

How is it that our children grow up, when they still look the same.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, my son. I miss you, I love you forever.



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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Crash Course in Motherhood Fashion



I'd take the socks off but I'm not at Phase 5 yet.
I'm always looking for fashion ideas. I could post every day about the smart outfits I see on my favorite fashion blogs DudeMom and Already Pretty but I'm not a fashion blogger, so. But that doesn't stop me from window shopping and daydreaming on their sites.

I could be like them, if I didn't have the shortage of items required, like tops and bottoms. My closet is full but not with what they have. Over here, it's time for a long overdue Goodwill Drop and Run. The kind where the receiving clerk chases me down with, “Hey! We told you last week! We want vintage not 1992!”
 
My closet is made up of the 5 Phases in my life:

Phase 1. Survival
 
Phase 2. Slept in it? Woke up dressed in it? Guess I did.

Phase 3. Errands

Phase 4. Surprise! It's Clean Shirt Week!

Phase 5. I think I'll Care Week

Phase 6. Church Day

I am a busy mom of three, and I need what I have. Since you're here, I'm taking a gamble that you're like me, so I am going to share my tips and tricks to help you on your busy mom personal journey. And I promise you, you don't even have to learn how to use belts to accessorize.

Biggest mom fashion game changer I made was to adopt the uniform. For the first five years of my kids' lives I lived in my black cardigan with husband's T shirt underneath. Smart, chic, and no nonsense. I only replaced it because the elbows got shiny. 

Into the second decade of mothering, I learned to work with my budget of $65.00. Full disclosure: it's actually $70.00 but I need to have money left over for a breve latte. 

-Flats need to be the first thing you buy. Faux animal print flats take you across your day of many purposes: from school drop off where you are the fashion envy of the mom minivan queue to the ten items or less check out lane, your cheetah scheme pointy toed self says, Yeah. Feline. I went there.

-Next, get yourself a flowy purple top. Like the kind Pioneer Woman wears. Flowy is key, because hides the flab, hugs the curves. And BONUS: color of royalty! That's what you'll tell yourself all day now that you know this, what do you think Lordes is singing about? So, have at it and plunk down the cash on your next Kmart run.

-Pair the blouse with stretchy pants, call them yoga pants, whatever, we all know, STRETCHY PANTS.

Can you picture me now? I'm killin' it. Purple top, black stretchies, awesome cheetah flats.

Go ahead. Quit wishing and be me. Start out with $65.00, spend $19.99 on the shoes, $23.00 on the blouse, and $14.99 for the stretchy capris. Come home Sexy, Sophisticated and Snazzy with $3.02 bouncing around in your pocket after your Starbucks stop. 

You're not just a mom in a T shirt anymore. Never again look like you just woke up and put something on. Or slept in it.
 
Even if you just did. (see Phase 2)
 
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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

What Does The Great Dane Say



The Great Dane says, It's a Listen To Your Mother book giveaway! Just in time for you for Mother's Day! Click on over to the fabulous  BonBon Break for details, and enter to win a free copy of LTYM's newly released anthology, What She Said Then, What We're Saying Now, featuring 56 wonderful essays all in the celebration of motherhood!

See you there!

BonBon Break.  A space for moms to simplify and connect.   
BonBon Break, an online magazine for modern moms, cuts through the internet chaos to bring you advice and inspiration.  Simplify your life and connect with other moms as you peruse recipes, parenting tips, crafts, humor, and more.
Find answers to everyday questions like –
  • Where do I find the best products for my family?
We highlight exceptional women like you who write about everything from day-to-day events to extraordinary parenting moments. We take pride in showcasing their material in a way that respects and honors bloggers’ individual sites, creative rights, and content.
What questions can we answer for you?  
 
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Sunday, April 12, 2015

In Case You Missed It



Something is always going on in the internet. Every day, all day, I shout out from my kitchen chair, "I have to share this!" Thinking I'm going to save the week's highlights for Sundays... these here, are too good to miss:

In Case You Missed It:

There's this huge announcement.

Guess I counted myself out too early, according to this 65 year old mother-to-be.

Gwyneth, ah Gwyneth. You never fail to try.

Think yoga only looks right when you're in perfect form, supple, lean and mean? There is a site dedicated to the real world of yoga possibility. My Real Yoga Body, "We aim to broaden the visual representations of peeps doing yoga. MRYB didn’t feel represented out there in yoga land, and also realized that we weren’t rushing to put our bootylicious, over-25 selves out there either. This page was started as a personal challenge to celebrate all of the Yogis and Yoginis out there. We want to see youngins’, oldins’, slim, zaftig, male, female, strong, getting strong, restorative, accomplished, burgeoning, all different colors and flavors, falling down, flying, levitating, lying on our backs half asleep!"  CHECK THEM OUT.

For online viewing pleasure, the National Women's History Museum Exhibits. Yes, you can read, see, and be fascinated by the immense amount of life changing achievements by women, all online. I'm hooked.
Happy reading!
 
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