Archive for April 2015

Simple Pleasures   Leave a comment

There’s nothing like the joy you get from experiencing something after you haven’t had it for a time.

And it seems for me it’s true that it takes missing something to truly relish it.

You just don’t comprehend what it means to miss something if you have it all the time.  I’m sure if the weather was only sun all the time, I would be unable to delight as deeply as I am in this wonderful 65 degree sunny weather we’re having this week.  It might be OK, but I would take it for granted.

Or take for example a night of sleep.  I don’t sleep well generally speaking.  Sometimes it’s insomnia; most often it’s just waking up and rolling over about forty times per night, so when I get up I am not rested.

But that’s nothing compared to those nights when you don’t sleep at all.

There is nothing I know of that’s miserable in quite the same way as a night you spend awake, longing for your eyes to feel heavy and your thoughts to get fuzzy, but instead you just keep thinking, droves of ideas and images whizzing through your head, anxiety stirring you around.

After a night like that, experiencing a night in which the peaceful buzzing of a fan is actually soporific is so nice.  Waking up after sleeping a stretch of 8 hours is positively blissful.  There is nothing else like waking up and realizing your nightmare of wakefulness is over, and you’ve slept most of the night.

Extrapolating to other situations–there are many blessings I’ve never had to miss.  I know I can’t appreciate them the way someone who is missing them could.

But I’ll surely do my best.

Posted April 28, 2015 by swanatbagend in gratitude

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Fail Mom   Leave a comment

In a previous blog post I mentioned that the primary maternal role I did not expect was that of Fail Mom, and that it deserved an entire entry.  So here goes.

I sincerely hope I am not the only person in the world to have assumed success at parenting with no logical reason to do so.  I can think of some reasons why we think motherhood can’t be too difficult.

1. We have forgotten any agony our mother expressed while she was raising us.

2. People have been having children and raising them to adulthood for how long now?

3. Anyone can have a baby.

4. I’m an intelligent person.

5. Everyone is doing it.

These are all understandable assumptions based on basic observations.

But, the key assumption we make is that we are logical, moral people.  We can observe other people saying and doing things to their children that are clearly not the right thing to do.  It’s just so obvious that one should ignore the tantrum, not buy the candy, correct misbehavior, teach necessary skills.

Ah…but we don’t realize how the complexity of life creates challenges we can’t imagine.  We don’t understand that the love we have for our children will twist our reason.  We can’t imagine the responsibility for another life in our hands.  We think we have, but we haven’t.

So we end up being unfair, impatient, even mean sometimes.  We are inconsistent.  We let them have pineapple Fanta even though it has food coloring in it.  We pick up the mess they made because we’d rather not have to ask one more time.  We scream at our child for throwing up on his bunk bed stairs.

We push them into activities they don’t benefit from, just because we think it would be a good idea.  We don’t actually listen when they are trying to tell us something important.  We spend much more time staring at electronic screens than we do at their faces.

There’s a Baby Blues comic I love which has a place of honor on my fridge.  Each frame shows the mom doing something for the kids that before parenthood, she knew she would never do.  She tells her daughter she’ll help her figure out how to do the math later; for now here’s the answers.  She tells the kids they should finish brushing their teeth in the car.  She sends them into the den with cookies to watch TV, so she can finish making dinner.  She burns the dinner.  Her husband says, “Shake it off.  You’re human.”

Her response: “I was a great mother–until I had kids!”

Exactly–I’m human–and having kids has taught me that.

Posted April 2, 2015 by swanatbagend in motherhood, parenting

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They Never Saw the Grey   Leave a comment

I’m young at heart.  Now I know why “older people” want to be seen that way.

Of course, I never thought about what women older than me wanted when I was 25.  Now I wish I had.  I’ve probably missed some pretty great opportunities to have a lot of laughs and to gain a lot of wisdom.

I’m not saying that I personally have that much wisdom, but I do have something to offer.  Friendship.  Loyalty.  A sense of humor.  The time to hang out.  Hands that know how to fold a mean pile of laundry.  Ideas for how to teach your children.  Ways to prepare some pretty delicious food.

I can offer my friendship to any other woman I meet.

I just doubt that many of the women I see on a regular basis realize I have something to offer.  I’m not perceived as a potential friend because I’m older than they are.

It goes without saying that those people who haven’t let age even come into the equation are deeply appreciated.  Jennifer, Mangala, Erica, Toby, Esther: these women never saw the grey.

 

 

Posted April 2, 2015 by swanatbagend in community

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Generation Gap?   Leave a comment

I have a question.

Do youthful people the age of my children want to be greeted and acknowledged by adults instead of ignored?  Or, do they really not want to be noticed?

I know for teens the stereotype is their attitudes about their parents could be summed up in one word: embarrassing.  However, other adults who are not one’s parents don’t have that reputation to overcome.

The way I remember it, there were some great people I knew when I was a teen, some at church, some at school.  Some were people Dad brought home from work for dinner.  When those adults shook my hand and greeted me, I felt good.  If they asked me about myself I didn’t mind talking.  I appreciated being acknowledged.

The sweet older ladies at church always seemed interested in how I was doing.  Several of them gave me cards or gifts when I graduated from high school.  Some even when I got married three years later.  That kind of attention and care is truly sweet.

I liked it.

So, now I’m the (relatively) older person.  I like to meet people and talk to them and I really don’t care what age they are.  And, I’ve noticed that adults in general seem to only talk to other adults.  They don’t interact with the children who are also standing right there.  Why is that?  Am I missing something?  Doesn’t every person deserve a greeting and an acknowledgement?

Not to mention what I’m missing if I only initiate a conversation with people who are in my immediate demographic.  How dull.

I’d like to hear your opinion.

Posted April 1, 2015 by swanatbagend in community

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