Monthly Archives: February 2017

JUST GET ME THERE

Yesterday my almost 17 year old daughter texted me from school that she didn’t feel well. I picked her up & brought her home. She laid in my lap for a bit then we both took a nap in my room. At 1:00pm on a Monday I took a nap in my big king bed with my big 16 year old, crazy smart, independent, gets straight A’s, never cries, unemotional daughter. I didn’t sleep. I mostly just started at her.

I remember being 18 & my heart was broken and I thought “Just get me to adulthood and a grown up life and none of this bullshit will hurt anymore”. I remember being 30 years old and having two babies, 1 and 3 and being an anxious ball of nerves. I remember they wouldn’t sleep. EVER. Or eat anything. I was exhausted and grumpy and anxious and barely left the house for fear of an all out wild tantrum in Target. And all I could think at the time was “God I cannot WAIT until they are older”. “I cannot wait until they sleep and don’t cry and don’t scream at each other and don’t follow me into the bathroom all the time.” “When they get older” things will be better. I’ll have a life again. Let me just get them grown. Let me just get older.
During Christmas time I always remember thinking “Holy crap just get me through these Holidays. I hate the holidays. Stressful. Just let it end.” When the kids were in elementary school I thought “Good grief just get them out of elementary school so there’s less class parties and field trips and crap.” Just get me past elementary school. Running 30 places in one week for soccer, cheer, school, DECA, friends’ houses had me wishing the time away so Maddie could drive and my taxi days would end.
As I laid next to Maddie yesterday I realized it took me 44 years to realize a LOT of things. Maybe its the magic age for me. Who knows. I guess Im a slow study. But it took me 44 years to learn Im not heading SOMEWHERE. There’s not a DESTINATION. Theres no rush to get to a dot on a map or a finish line or a goal. Its truly TRULY not about the destination. Its about the moments. And there’s some regret for not appreciating the little moments. The tantrums, days without a shower, screaming babies, running around like a taxi. I didn’t appreciate all of that. Not as much as I should’ve. I have always ALWAYS believed if I could “Just get past”, “Just get through”, “Just move further down the timeline”….that some magical room appeared where I’d have no stress, no anxiety, no worry, and be happy to have reached this finish line.
Only there isn’t a finish line to celebrate. Until I die. While I was running this race there were views. There were late night secret concerts. There was a walk in Vegas one night. There was a lunch with an old friend. There was a quarterback. There was a song in a car and a girl who died too young & that song still reminds me of her. Glad we had that song. There was a boy on some bleachers & an old man telling us not to fight. There was loss and joy and a moment on a back road near Aspen. There was a night in a lawn chair with my Dad. There was fishing in a boat with my Grandad. There was an ARD meeting at school where I learned to love my son for all that he is and isn’t. And quit fighting what I thought he SHOULD be. There was a drink in a brewery. There was the night before Maddie was born that I rocked in a chair all night. The last night before I became a Mom. And life changed. There was a dance to “Once in A Blue Moon”. There was a moment in an elevator. There was a conversation on a bus to a football game. There was a beer in a cemetery. There was a breakdown on a mountain I thought I couldn’t climb. And a man who helped me do it anyway. There was a conversation on my front steps at 2am when I was 18. There were elephants and dancing and music and concerts and funerals and weddings and kids’ plays at school and my Nanny’s cookies and sitting in church staring at a cute boy and sidewalks and a red car and a race and ice cream and yogurt and sitting on the hood of a car drinking Yoohoo and dreaming. And a million other beautiful, amazing, joyful moments I wish I’d savored……just a little bit more.
All the moments. All the little moments. And THAT is what its about. Life. And staring into her beautiful face yesterday in my bed, laying next to me, I realized that. There’s nowhere to GET TO. Im already there. In every single little moment. Now I know to stop and soak it all in. All of it.
It’s pretty cool being 44. Every little thing is pretty cool if you just look at it long enough. Soak it all in. Every. Little. Moment.img_0136img_0011
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AWAKE MY SOUL

I think because maybe Im from the South, white, female, or maybe look a certain way….people assume some things about me. It’s ok. We all do it. We all assume things about people, pre judge them, think we KNOW. It’s human nature to judge, assume, think we know. It’s also human nature to push our own beliefs onto others. We think that what WE believe to be true for us is what should be true for everyone else. We do. We think our own political beliefs, religious beliefs, morals, values, reign so supreme that everyone should abide by them. Guess what…it doesn’t work that way. It just doesn’t. And just because things have always been a certain way- doesn’t mean they always should be.

I don’t go to church. I like God though. I like to shoot guns and I love gay people. They should be able to get married, be as miserable as straight people are, then get divorced. What the fuck business is it of yours anyway? NONE. I hate romantic comedies. I love movies with fast car chases and guns. I think pot should be legal everywhere. Its absolutely ridiculous that its not (my belief). I think people should take personal responsibility for themselves. And not complain so much. I think organ donation shouldn’t be a choice. You’re dead. You don’t need that shit anymore…give it away.  And I believe in God enough to know we should give medical care, love ,compassion and refuge to everyone who needs it. I’d rather be in a ball cap and hiking shoes than glammed up—but I LOVE getting glammed up sometimes. I carried lipgloss to the top of my 14 mile hike up Pikes Peak. Because no self-respecting girl summits a mountain with un-glossed lips. Im cynical. Im sensitive. Im nostalgic. I’m smarter than people think I am. Someone called me “obviously hot” recently and Im not sure I like that. I don’t want to be obviously anything.
I can’t remember anything. I can squat a lot of weight- more than you’d think. Im self-conscious of the ass that people sometimes compliment. I have two tattoos and plan on more. I don’t know how I feel about marriage. True story. For me anyway. What works for YOU doesn’t work for everyone- and you assuming it does and thinking it should makes YOU the one with issues. I’d rather listen to old music than new music. Wine gives me a headache- I try to be sophisticated and act like I like drinking it but truth is Id be happier in a tank top and cut off jean shorts in a lawn chair drinking Coors. Im a hippie who wants to smell good. I love Texas. Despite leaving it. I hope my Mom knows that. Im my VERY happiest on top of a mountain. Alone. I like to speak in public. I dream of living alone in a cabin in the mountains. I love rap music. I can still do a very good toe-touch at 44 years old.
I have a secret (not so secret) crush on Jason Bateman. I love Aspen. A lot. I sometimes hope I get reincarnated as Hunter S. Thompson- because how fucking insane would that be??!! I love my friends so very much. I’d kill for them. Id bury bodies for them. I sometimes wonder if I should be a parent. And how much my kids’ therapy will cost. I’d rather be complimented on my writing than my abs. Im funny. I think Im funny. I got arrested in Mexico once. Lets not tell Karen Ellis that. I ran through the McDonalds drive through in my wedding dress just minutes before I walked down the aisle and ate a happy meal. I believe in soul mates. I believe in crazy, balls to the wall love. I love to have fun. Id rather go to a concert and walk around all night in a city than go to a fancy restaurant. I actually HATE fancy restaurants. The best dates cost the least amount of money. Sandals with socks should be illegal (my belief).
I think you can search for the meaning of your life for all of your life. And that is ok. I believe in going as fast and as hard as you can for as long as you can. And then you’ll know when its time to take the steps a little slower. To look around a little more. I believe in the crazy amazing shit you feel deep in your soul when Charlie Robison is playing live. I say yes more now. Than I ever did before. I think people can change behaviors but never really change who they are deep inside. I think maybe you were always that person deep inside…you just finally learned its ok to set your soul free.
If I could pack a back pack and get on a trail and hike 1,000 miles with no cell service I would. And I might. But I’ll have lipgloss of course.
And I believe in love. And me. And hope. And letting my kids know its perfectly ok to be who you REALLY are without fear of judgment from those around you. The opinions of others have no bearing on the life you were meant to live. So live it. Be true to YOU. You do you 😉
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ROADS

I remember it like it was yesterday. I was 19 weeks along and the obstetrician said “something is wrong”. Something is wrong. There was no heartbeat. Our baby had passed away in utero. It wasn’t my first miscarriage. And it wouldn’t be my last. But damn that one hurt more than the others. I curled up in a ball and promised God or whoever that I would do whatever to have a healthy baby. Anything. I wondered what I’d done to deserve this much pain. And if I’d ever be a Mom. I thought about the kind of Mom I’d be. The kind of child I’d have. And though I’d suffer one more pregnancy loss before Maddie came along….I got to find out what being a Mom is. And I will never, EVER take that privilege for granted.

On my 16th Birthday my Dad took me to the DMV and I got my drivers license and I drove myself to school that day and life was never the same again. There’s a freedom that comes with driving that is like no other. And lets be honest…once a kid has that license…your relationship with them is never the same again. I drove where I wanted. And pre-GPS, pre-cell phone days, its likely my parents had no clue where I was most of the time.
Maddie got her license today. In the blink of an eye I went from staring at her breathing ALL NIGHT long to make sure she was alive to watching her drive away alone in a car. There were days, especially when I had two awful toddlers, that I thought parenthood was the dumbest thing I’d ever done. They never slept. They climbed the walls. I rarely showered. I had no life. I felt like I would be eternally stuck in a house with non-speaking, non-toilet trained, non-logical mini humans that obviously hated me.
And then I blinked. And she drove away.
I feel myself aging. My skin is less taught. I have age spots. I cannot see at night very well. I hurt a little more after workouts…for longer than before. And mostly I feel a slowing down. A patience in me I never had before. And its sort of beautiful. I was such a helicopter parent for so long. Saving them, rescuing forgotten homework and left lunch boxes. Finishing book reports for them. I quit doing that a few years ago. It came naturally. Slowly. Over time. They failed. They fell. They still do. Often. But if Im there to catch them every time, to fix it for them, to make it right, Im not letting them become adults. And it hasn’t been as hard as I thought it would be. Letting go. For a control freak, thats a BIG deal. I could put a band aid on a scraped knee….but the “boo boo’s” that happen now…broken hearts, broken friendships, tough decisions…I can’t fix those. There’s not a band aid for that. And as much as it hurts to watch I know they will be stronger for it. No life can be fully lived without some sorrow.
There’s this RIDICULOUS feeling I have about my 16 year old daughter. I trust her. Dumb. No one should ever trust a 16 year old. I don’t trust her to never drink or never smoke pot or never make a bad decision EVER in the remainder of time she’s in this house. That would be ignorant. I watch other parents think that they have “that one kid that would never”. You are wrong. You are VERY wrong. They all do. You just don’t know it. And I know she will. But I have a strange feeling of trust. That when she does, if she does, she’ll make the right decision.
When I was 18 I was at a friend’s New Years Eve party. I drank too much. It had iced on the roads. At 2 ish am I had a choice. I could slowly drive home in the Z24 Chevy Cavalier. Or I could make a phone call. I made the phone call. My Dad drove to pick me up from my friend’s house. On the drive home he said “thank you for calling”. That’s all he said. I went to bed and at 7:00 am he banged on my door and said “get up we have to go get your car, I have things to do. Asshole. My head was pounding. He made me pick up dog crap all day in the yard. With a hangover. The smell made me vomit. I deserved it.
I hope she knows she can call me. I hope she knows enough to trust herself and her instincts. I hope Ive done good. I hope she lets people in. And maybe trusts a little. And listens to music loudly in the car and jams out and waves at cute boys and drives her friends to cheer practice. I hope she knows what comes with all that freedom. She doesn’t leave for college for 2.5 years but today seemed like an ending of sorts. Because I know it is. And I cried. Damn, time flies. Here’s to all the roads she will travel. I hope a few are dirt. And I hope a few lead back to me occasionally. e1cb7376d39c09e102943c45607fb50c