This morning, between a bout of tantrums and refereeing, and hearing myself screech, “I said get your shoes on! I’m counting to three now!”–I had a powerful memory of my younger, single, childless days.

I  remembered the sweet simplicity of lolling in bed, of watching the news without any demand on me to get up and get the kids moving…I remembered what it was to jump into my car and drive to the nearby coffee place for a cup…I remembered the freedom FREEDOM of my life, the way it was.

Except it wasn’t. It does a soul good to remember that sometimes, the good old days never really were. Yes, there was spontaneity and there were casual moments sitting in a cafe and reading…but there was stress, and loneliness, and frustration, and monotony. So as the New Year approaches, let us all be thankful for the present moments in our lives…they are precious indeed.

So we just got back from Maui.  Totally gorge. 

I can think of nothing, really nothing, as welcome as lazing by a pool, with the ocean next door, with nothing to do except keep an eye out on the kids.   Oh, and napping! And cocktails, too, of course.  I want to say that I am totally reinvigorated…ready to start writing, full of energy for putting pen to paper and creating.  But I’d be lying, big time.

See, strolling about in the sun really just makes me want to do more of it, more relaxing, more indulging.  Writing is hard work, as you all probably know.  I’ve got to get back to it, but for today…I’m just going to bask in the residual glow of my vacation.  Ahhhhhh.

What to write about?

April 30, 2007

I was looking at some writing prompts today, trying to get inspired.

I saw a suggestion about creating one’s own list of writing prompts by randomly, swiftly naming 10 things one may write about one day (don’t hold your breath!).  Here’s mine:

Makeup application techniques, spa days, toddler behaviors, celebrity gossip, depression, publishing without publishing contacts, sustainable passion, neighbor block parties, get-rich inventions, and the role of hospice.

So that’s my random, top-of-the-head list.  What’s yours?

Motherhood.

April 26, 2007

A story I wrote (nope, not autobiographical, though I certainly relate to the character) has been published at Wheelhouse Magazine.

Parenthood is tough, isn’t it?  In case you don’t know, let me tell you: it is.  Big time.

So this is a little story about a woman who has just had her first baby and is struggling with something like postpartum, something like fear.

Take a look: http://www.wheelhousemagazine.com/fiction/one_year.html

Why are they called the Terrible Twos?

My eldest is three and a half–an age where he is establishing his independence and where whining has become a hard habit to break.

The tantrums have subsided…thank you thank you…but the whining! I think this particular tone of voice is unbearable. The exchanges are equally frustrating. Here’s an example:

Mommy! I neeeeed my milk cup!

Son, it’s right there (I point to the table where son is sitting)

Mommmmmmmmyy! YOU GET IT FOR ME!

Are you kidding? Pick it up. It’s RIGHT THERE!

WAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! PICK IT UP FOR ME!

Then the time-outs begin. Ah…the Terrific Threes.

Literally.

March 14, 2007

My three year old caught me by surprise yesterday morning. He charmed me, really.

He said: “Mommy, I’m growing up!”

I felt conflicted, and thought “my baby is growing up, changing…already establishing an independence, moving away from me. Waaahhhh!”

I didn’t respond at first, too busy mourning.

So he said: “Mommy, I said I’m growing up!”

And I said: “I know, sweetie!” You are getting to be a big boy.”

And then…the best. He said: “Yep! I’m NOT growing down!”

He’s still my baby. For a little while, at least.

The hard stuff.

March 1, 2007

My kids’ pediatrician has a saying, “What is easy becomes hard.  What is hard becomes easy.”

He’s referring to things like having your baby in a crib versus letting your baby sleep next to you.  It’s hard to let a baby “cry it out”–but it becomes easier.  If you let your baby sleep in the big bed…that’s easy for a while (no tears!), but it becomes hard when they are big enough that they are taking up a lot of space.  Think about this concept in relationship to pacifiers–easy at first, but it can be hard to take a pacificer away from a four year old!

So, I’ve used this notion as a guiding principles when it comes to child-rearing.

But, I realize it has a place in my own life, as well.  From self-control in eating, to writing on a regular basis, to cleaning the house…what is hard becomes easy.  Taking the easy way out will eventually demand it’s payment.

Sass.

February 7, 2007

My three year-old has come up with quite a few interesting phrases recently.  I realize, of course, that he’s parroting back to me things my husband and I say.  But there are a couple humdingers that he’s picked up from other kids.

So here I am, mid-thirties, already lecturing about having a sassy mouth.  I’ve refrained (barely) from shouting, “Don’t you sass me!” and “Don’t get fresh with me!”  But I have resorted to saying, “child, we don’t say that in our house.”

His response?

“Hey lady, re-lax!”

I’m not kidding.

Playing nice.

January 19, 2007

Observing my 3-year old son playing with his friends is like taking lessons on leading a good life.

The other day, a little girl from down the block came to play for a few hours.  The first hour or so was fine: 2 kids exploring through the toy bin and then snack time.  Easy.  But then, the struggle to share and be kind to each other began…struggles that any 3-year old must wrestle with.

The “he touched me!” and “she took it from me!” began.  I’d tell the kids to “hey, work it out; be nice!” And they would.  Most of the time.  When they couldn’t work it out, I’d intervene with a suggestion that they hug each other and say they are sorry to each other, so that they could continue playing. It was sweet.  They’d quickly hug, say “sorry!” and move on.  Beautiful.

When do we lose that? That easy ability to take things lightly, to move on in the moment, to let go of small slights.  Watching these kids, I told myself to remember this lesson–say sorry quickly, accept others apologies quickly, move on, have fun.

What do you want to be?

January 9, 2007

At my older son’s preschool today, they had a big sheet of paper on the wall with the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” The kids all had their answers listed on the paper.

The question stopped me for a moment, and made me wonder what I would have answered when I was a kid. Easy. I would have said “ROCK STAR!”

I distinctly remember standing in front of the bathroom mirror as a kid, holding my hairbrush like a microphone, and belting out the lyrics of the song “Gloria” by Laura Branigan. There was a pipe in the back yard that gave off the best reverb…so I’d put the hairbrush down and go sing the song again out there. After a while, I tired of “Gloria” and moved on to Kim Carnes’s “Bette Davis Eyes or “Making Love Out of Nothing at All” by Air Supply.

My other idea was to become a Solid Gold dancer.

Obviously, neither of these early ambitions became a reality.

My son’s answer to the question, by the way, was…..drumroll……

A fire truck.

Yep, he wants to be a fire truck when he grows up. Grandiose dreams evidently run in the family.