Thursday, June 27, 2013

'Cause that's friends are s'posed to do....

So, here's the gig.  Most of you know that I'm turning 40 on Monday (and if you didn't know, well, you know now).  And if you've been within earshot, you know that it's been tough for me for some reasons that I can't articulate very well but they can best be summed up with the following points:

- I don't think I 'act' 40.

- I haven't done everything that I've wanted to do.

- My bucket list consists of things like "wake up on time without running to the bathroom at 5:30 without having a toddler hanging off one leg and another child emerging from the living room wondering if I could help her find the batteries because they rolled under the couch" and other things like 'actually shave your legs without missing a spot or finding said spot when you're walking into work by the hair blowing in the breeze'. 

- I'm not ready to get rid of my stupid ironic tee-shirts. 

- I don't wanna eat prunes.

- I wanna splash in puddles if I want to, damnit.

- I wanna be able to like One Direction and sing along because I know the lyrics, double dog damnit.

- Waving sparklers should count as daily allotted exercise, okay?

- Ice cream is acceptable for breakfast, right?

Okay, I guess my point is that I have a hard time conforming to 'society's' idea of what a 40 year old woman should look and act like. 

Thank god for my friends. 

They are my voice of reason. 

I've whined and bitched and pissed and moan about this birthday like no other and they've all come up with all of the reasons why I shouldn't hate it and maybe I should embrace all things that 40 is instead of what it isn't.  They reminded me that we achieve things like inner grace and we've learned how to make peace with all of the demons we had in our teens and twenties.  These beautiful voices of reason reminded me that I'm allowed to define who I am, what I do, how I react, and how I feel about everything in my world. 

These women, near and faraway, reminded me that it's okay to want/need/do all of the above and still not get carded for booze because I look 'mature'.  (Quit laughing, 'cause I know you are)

So for you, here's my *Hugs* and *kisses* courtesy of Mr. Bruno Mars:

I love you all, dearly.  And look forward to laughing, drinking wine, and singing with you on Saturday night.  Let's ring this thing in like it's 1999, bishes. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

This awful, beautiful life....

So while I was nibbling away on my ham sammie today at lunch, I stumbled across this article about parenting and blogging and how the trend lately is to relish your imperfections to the nth degree and that there is a level of pride at being really bad at being a parent.  The blogger who wrote about this trend also pointed out that while she's not perfect, she is however, trying to be the best mom she can be and more often than not, it's not terrible.  She also said about how she hopes that some day her children find her blog and that they cringe over the loving way that she talks about them.

Honestly, my first thought was 'WHOA, that shit goes on?  People WANT to be awful at parenting?'  and then I thought, 'I'm never ever perfect but I can't imagine my life without these people in it.'

All of it got me thinking, obviously, and more often than not it leads me over here to share things (and yes, I know I haven't been doing it overmuch lately but I'm trying to turn over another new leaf....hush, it might work this time).

And really my thoughts boil down to this:  I want my kids to know I love 'em. 

I write on my kid's facebook to drive him nuts (mostly because I can) partly and the other part is just my way of saying "HI, I'm thinking of you right now, gooberbutt".  

I, too, want them to read these words some day and think 'OMG MOM SHUDDUP' because they're so damned embarrassed by how proud I am of them. 

Don't get me wrong.  There are days when I literally cringe over the shit that comes out of my kids' mouths. 

Don't believe me?  Come sit by us on the bleachers during a baseball game and hand over a ring pop to either of my girls and they'll spill their guts, hanging me out to dry without a second thought. 

Like that they eat spaghetti-o's more than should be allowed or that sometimes they've literally got one pair of underwear left in the drawer before Mom hauls all of their dirty clothes to the laundry room.  Or how Mom cleaned out their big brother's room cussing a blue streak and that they heard some new words that day. 

Oy vey.

But sometime in the distant future I do hope they come across me talking how I got a little misty-eyed when the boy and I drove home from a ball game and sang Jack & Diane, laughing pretty hard when I jacked up the lyrics, and smile a little.

Or maybe they can remember the night when Sadie and I were lying in bed - head to toe - and I noticed a sore on her foot where she had had a splinter for awhile and didn't want to say anything, but we toughed it out, got it out, and hugged it out. 

Or maybe they can remember sitting up on Sunday nights after everyone was in bed and watching Hallmark movies and sobbing our eyes out. 

Or maybe they'll remember having a fever for a week straight and we went to the ER and Mom sat there all night and maybe she was scared to death but she didn't say a word except that it'd be okay. 

Yeah, because I want them to know that I'm not the best Mom in the world.  I'll never do some things right but I'd like to think I get it right some times and that maybe no one is going to love them quite like I do (or their Dad does). 

And I also want them to know that my life wouldn't be nearly as wonderful as it would be without them, hands down, bar none.  I wouldn't be as brave without them.  I wouldn't have found my voice without them.  I wouldn't be as loving without them.  I wouldn't be me at all without them. 

So, I hope this embarrasses them when they read it some day and they'll just shake their heads and say "Oh, Mom, you silly....goose."

I mean, honestly, by the time they get around to reading this, the hubs and I might be living in a cabin in the woods because the zombie apocalypse has occurred and we needed to get the hell outta dodge.  And maybe they'll be in the cabin next to us.  ;)

In closing, I leave you Darryl Worley's tribute to .... life: 

My fave lyrics out of it: 

I laid in bed that night and thought about the day
And how my life is like a roller coaster ride
The ups and downs and crazy turns along the way
It'll throw you off if you don't hold on tight
You can't really smile until you've shed some tears
I could die today or I might live on for years

I love this crazy, tragic,
Sometimes almost magic,
Awful, beautiful life

P.S.  I promise to get to the 40th birthday business....just not today. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

The life of a River Rat....

Somewhere on the Iowa River this weekend, the hubs & I decided to have our own homegrown shindig for my *gulp* fortieth birthday.  But, I'm going to forgo that subject just yet.  Don't worry, we'll come back to it. 

First though, I wanna include these photos from Saturday.  We don't often get to go out overmuch and the hubs gave me the option of lunch & a movie or a day on the river.  As much as I wanted to see the Star Trek movie, I wanted a day out on the river more. 

We had a drought in our region last year and didn't get out in the boat hardly at all and I really missed it.  I'm not the best fisherman but I can sit in my chair, drink a beer or three, and chat away like it's my job when the occasion calls for it. 

Here's the view that greeted us as we loaded up into the sand pits to take off into the river on Saturday morning:

When we moved here back in 2000, little did I know how very much I'd come to enjoy my days out on the water.  I grew up in a small river town but nothing like this.  Being on the river, in a boat, is such a social thing in addition to fishing, running bank poles, and so much more.  And as long as I've been married, we've had a boat and a motor.  It hasn't always been the brightest, fastest, or best but it's always been fun. 

I can still remember playing a game of horseshoes on a sandbar one sunny afternoon and we had gotten a babysitter and the hubs ran back into town to pick Arik up.  And when they rounded the last corner towards the sandbar, Arik was in the front seat (gorgeous little three-year-old) and completely sound asleep. 

There's something comforting about being on the water.  Or relaxing.  One or the other.  Either way, you can crank your radio or not, fish or not, or just roll along with the current and just watch the world. 

With all of the flooding this year, it's been a little dicey getting on the river and sometimes access hasn't been available or advised but it's been slowly dissipating and here we are in the back water off of the Iowa River.

We saw eagles, swallows nests, touched a couple bridges that you normally can't reach, and chit-chatted with some friends.

That's the other thing.  River folks are the best folks, seriously.  You need an extra life vest?  Sure, someone's got one lying around.  Your kid is hankering for some Sprite?  Yup, got an extra in the cooler over here.  Who forgot the sunscreen?  We've got some in our bag.  And god forbid you have motor troubles, but if you do, help is a phone call away.

I love the days when you turn the bend and see five or six boats anchored down on the sandbar somewhere and you pull in and bury the nose of the boat into the sand and kill the motor.

Time passes differently on the water.  It can be slower or faster depending on the level of joy you've got going on at any one given time.  It can be quiet and relaxing or it can be loud and crazy like any other get together around town.

But it's always going to be one of my fave places to go and get away.

(We'll revisit my 40th bday partay in the next blog post ;) )