Caution: Fat Girl Running Ahead! Please avert your eyes if it offends you.

I typically let water/insults/digs/annoyances run off my back. I figure the person spewing the insult doesn’t know me nor do they have any clue to my journey.

I run – A LOT for a gal my size. Running has done a few things for me:

  1. Running makes me fit
  2. Running tones my muscles making me firmer and less jiggly – true story
  3. Running makes my skin look awesome
  4. Running clears my head
  5. Running helps me think

There are a gazillion other reasons but those are the first ones that come to me. We could talk about this all day – but that is not my point.

I was running (surprise surprise) on Sunday along Rich and Famous Blvd. This is a busy spot for lots of city runners who like to have a view of the river valley. I am one of them. I like to see different things while I run. I was at about 6km into my 10km run when I passed two moms in their lululemon’s pushing two jogging strollers. They were both carrying – what I first thought to be coffee or lattes but after we spoke I suspect to it be Hot Water and Lemon. A trick of skinny people who don’t workout. They drink it to keep full and stay thin. In my day it was called a coffee and a cigarette. I ran by them and over heard them talk about me.

Skinny1: OMG look at the size of her ASS.

Skinny2: Why doesn’t she run on a treadmill so we don’t have to look at her.

Skinny1: I know right? I would DIE of embarrassment.

Skinny2: Why didn’t she just stop eating when she got the chance.

Me: (At this point I stopped and turned around) So I hear you have some questions for me. Lets have a quicky Q&A session right now shall we? First Question: It is 4 sizes smaller and 80lbs lighter than it use to be. Question 2: I have a BRAIN TUMOUR. It isn’t cancerous but it isn’t fun. I get dizzy on the treadmill. Besides, running 10km on a treadmill is dead boring and I never would have had the opportunity to meet the likes of you. (That’s right I played the brain tumour card, I am using it to my advantage when I can. If you don’t know the story about it then please click here and no I am not dying) Most people speak before they think but that requires common sense.

Did I really say this? Yes but not that last sentence because they j-walked to get away from me. Perhaps they will keep their comments to themselves from now on.

Is this a typical day for me running? NO WAY! Luckily the world is filled with kind and supportive people who are just happy for others.

Running on Sunday at about the 5km turn-around point I met a older (than me) couple out running both of them gave me a thumbs up. Most runners wave and say hi – but occasionally I get a “Great Job”  or “Keep going”. It is a lot like being in a race with fan support. On the whole, I find Edmonton Running Community to be supportive and kind. It is a lot like the running communities I have discovered on-line. People are kind, supportive, helpful and just plain ol’ nice!

Today I ran hills at Emily Murphy Park. I was the only woman out there today. So obviously I was the only fat girl. I was surrounded by an entire phys.ed class from the University of Alberta – all of them men and all of them in fantastic shape. I got a lot of cheers and some fellows ran with me encouraging me to go just that little bit farther before I die. I didn’t die, there is something about being able to focus on shapely young calf muscles that pulled me through. After they ran off and back to class, another young fellow began his descent, running towards me. He smiled and gave me two thumbs up as he passed.

Either I look like death warmed over when I run and people are surprised I am able to breath OR people are just simply nice and encourage each other.

I have had run-ins with lots of people who are repulsed with my body type. Joking about it with your husband or friends isn’t cool. I am sure YOU have some sort of short fall that you would be mortified if I pointed it out. Obviously I am thinking of one gal in particular who happens to be just mean to everyone. I bet she even kicks the dog when no one is looking. My point being is, if it doesn’t hurt you – leave it alone. This same rule of thumb can be applied to Gay Rights and Marriage. It isn’t up to you to judge them. If it freaks you out to think of them having sex, don’t think about it. It freaks me out to think about YOU have sex too – so I just don’t think about it. If you took the time you spent being mean to others and spent it on yourself working on what makes YOU happy, then I think you wouldn’t have time to hate everyone else.

Just let it go.

Be nice, even if you don’t mean it, because one day you will be treated nice back and it feels good.

This is me after running:

Caution Fat Girl Feeling Great AFTER HER RUN!

And you know something? I am starting to look great too :)

photo (17)

 

 

 

Alone

I was sitting at the bank the other day, when a man somewhere around my age, perhaps on the closer side of 50, came in with his dad. He walked up to the desk and asked the receptionist if she knew his father and pointed to the elderly man on his right. The teller smiled with sad eyes and said,” yes, we all know George.” I could tell be the look of pity on her face that this man had some serious struggles with his father.

The two gentlemen took a seat beside me and the father kept saying “They stole my money”. The son sighed and said “dad, you are confusing the issues. There is no record of you purchasing a money order and why do you think you bought one? You have no need for a money order. These people are professionals, they are not out to steal money from their clients.” He leaned his arms forward on his knees and placed his head in his hands and just sighed. I could tell he wanted to be rescued. I wanted to place my hand on his shoulder and tell him it will all be okay. But that would be a lie.

It’s not going to be okay. That moment when the child becomes the caregiver is painful. I watch my aunts and my parents go through those same frustrations. I know one day it will be me and my siblings going through the same thing. I watch the stress levels of everyone rise, from the parents to their children. One can’t help feel it too. I worry about my parents and they worry about their children and their parents and I worry about my kids and it all becomes a vicious cycle.

I wonder about how it happens. That very moment where my grandparents went from being in charge, being strong, looking after my great grandparents, to relying on others to help them get through, needing someone to make choices for them. As a child, I was shielded from the struggles my grandparents had with my great grandparents. I remember my great grandma living at my grandma’s house. I remember when she went from looking after little details, cooking meals and being an active member of the household, to being cared for. Meals brought to her, medications lined up and eventually the decision to move her into a care facility. I don’t remember being aware of my grandparent’s struggle, their stress or agonizing over decisions about what to do. What likely had happened was my grandfather made the decisions for my grandma. He took care of her like that. He would rescue her and make her feel safe. I’m sure that is what she misses most about him. Because seriously, that’s all any girl wants. Women are capable of making decisions, being strong, holding it together, but that one person who can make them feel safe and protected is the ultimate.

When I looked at that man who was my age, I had a moment of clarity. Although I am removed from caring for my parents, I am in a different situation. I am still feeling that at this very moment. I want to be rescued, made to feel safe. I knew that son had wanted go back to the time where is dad was the protector and made everything safe. I long for a simple time where I could crawl up to couch and snuggle between my parents. I am lucky that I am not alone like that man in the bank. I have my family supports and the clarity of mind from both parents. I understand that everyone has the sense that the future is unknown. It makes it hard to plan for, but it is one of those leaps of faith that anyone who has a desire to do great things must take. It just happens to be my turn to face the unknown.

Things I learned in Preschool

Another year has passed by and I sent my lovelies off to kindergarten today. I cried during the good-bye song. I never do. 25 years and I can hold it together But this group was …. different. I cannot put my finger on it, but they were special in the way that I marveled at how smart there were. Not once did I have to say “It is not okay to lick the bathroom floor” Yes I have had to say it in years previous. I couldn’t trick these kids. They were on to me. Too smart for you Miss Tourist! It’s true, they were. I learned some cool stuff anyways. It is ALWAYS a good day when you learn something new, in this case -it was a good year because I learned 7 new things.

1) Kids don’t taste like cookies. One day I was sitting at the manipulative table talking with a young girl. We were discussing what made a nice person. We talked about being kind and helpful. I said to the child “you’re so sweet I bet if I ate you, you would taste like cookies”
The child replied, “no, I’d taste like skin”

2) Not all kids want to be teacher when they grow up. Shocking isn’t it? Around the circle we went asking what we were going to be when we grew up. I heard a Captain America, Teacher, Dad, but my favorite? A Psychologist. What 4 year old knows that? That was awesome.

3) When you live in a large family, sometimes you don’t know everyone. A mom brought a puppy to school to show the class the new family member. I asked the little boy (who was the owner of the puppy) what is your pups name? His reply with wide eyes innocence, “I HAVE A PUPPY????”

4) Four year olds know all about sarcasm. I often sit at the snack table and ask all kinds of questions. For example “what did you eat for breakfast?” The focus for me is to hear sentence length, content, vocabulary and if the child can follow the direction of the conversation. At the beginning of the year they would just look at me and blink. By June they would say “My mom made bananas and cereal. I then had cheese”. I would mess it up and pretend I didn’t hear what they were saying. So my reply would be “You had bananas, cereal and FLEAS? Is you mom crazy?” Today I knew they were ready to graduate because I received a sarcastic reply “Yes Miss Tourist I eat FLEAS for breakfast…”  That was AWESOME!

English:

English: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

5) Sometimes science experiments go very wrong and scientists never cry. We had 6 caterpillars this year and watched them change into chrysalis and then waited FOREVER to change into butterflies. Only two turned into beautiful butterflies. One had shredded wings. Two never made it to the chrysalis stage and one never came out of his chrysalis. The children decided that the butterfly with the shredded wings would be bird food. I swear to GOD that is what they said. “Poor little doody is bird food. Game over Miss Tourist” We talked about the other one that never came out, BIRD FOOD they all chimed in! Wow… practical yet heartless. No one cried.

6) No one likes food. We put a variety of fruit and veg on the table every day with the single rule of you must try. Try means touch, taste, sniff or lick. It does not mean swallow. Although swallow is what we hope for. We hear a lot of “I don’t like…” what ever is on the table and then we ask have you tried it today? Of course the answer is NO. Today we had a gift of Rainbow bread from student. I judged it just like my table companions. Only I never judge out loud. One gal said, I HATE RAINBOW BREAD it is DISGUSTING” I was inclined to agree, but we all had taste it before the ice cream celebration sundae social could begin. So we all poked it, sniffed it and then ate it. I am happy to report we did not die after swallowing it. In fact, it tasted just like White Toast. The young gal who denied liking it, divided up the Rainbow bread for her peers. She gave everyone a single piece, and 5 for herself. Apparently she didn’t hate it today.

7) I learned that this group was the very first group who really knew what it meant when you said, today is the last day. One fellow who was arguably the brightest in the class, didn’t seem to understand. He said, if today is the last day, what will happen when we get on the bus tomorrow? I explained to him, the bus won’t be coming. School is over for 64 days. Where will we go? he replied with a look of panic on his face. I held both his hands and explained again, Your mom will look after you. You don’t come back here anymore because today you are smart enough for kindergarten. He looked at me with a sad expression and said, but what happens to our school? Is it closed now for 64 days, just like the sandbox was when we put sand in our friends hair?

He walked away, and then came back to hug me. He finally understood – or perhaps he was in denial before. This was the class that cried when we group hugged, and didn’t want to run around the trees while we waited for the bus. They stood close to their teachers, held our hands and talked a lot about “remember when”.

You want to WHAT?

 

Dear Mommy DaVinchy, Mommy Einstein, and MommyMythBusters,

I feel your pain.

English: An afterburner glows on an F-15 Eagle...

English: An afterburner glows on an F-15 Eagle engine following a repair during an engine test run November 10, 2010, at the Florida Air National Guard base in Jacksonville International Airport, Fla. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I just spent 30 minutes in discussion the 16 year old talking about strapping jet engines to his back and creating a series of controlled explosions to have him move 20km/hr with wheels strapped to his feet. He has created the plan, done the physics and discussed the “fun factor”. Before he sourced his materials he wanted approval for his project.

After listening to his argument for Pro Jet Packs – I said no. Listing the reasons as to how it would effect me.

  1.   Being a minor, I am responsible for his well being. I did mention once he turns 21, has a job and an engineering degree – I’m cool with it.
  2.  I do not currently have the time to to be engaged in regular meetings with a social worker from Family Support services due to my lack of judgement of letting my son play with rocket fuel.
  3. I have better things to do than sit in emergency waiting for details of fractures, comas, burns and lobotomies.
  4. Financial implications. Alberta Health does offer support for stupid acts of awesome, however they do not offer a pharmaceuticals plan. I would need Extra coverage from Blue Cross and I am currently not in the position to gain coverage for above and beyond the reasonable amount required by the average citizen.
  5. I have no desire to be on Dr. Phil explaining the reasoning behind not being a parent.

You see, I have a big opinion about parenting. I shall share this public service announcement with you:

If you choose to have children and KEEP them, then you must accept ownership. Part of this ownership is to be a PARENT not a friend, pal or buddy to your child. That is not to say it is not okay to enjoy them in a friend capacity, however – get your own PEER group for extensive sharing, exuberant activities and so forth. Being the parent requires the ADULT (you) to make JUDGEMENT CALLS on the activities the minor in your care wishes to make. This includes things that are life altering (wear a helmet when you ride your bike) and remember SAFETY FIRST. It is advisable and acceptable to say NO on occasion and you do not need to give an explanation. You are the PARENT. Do not worry if your offspring is going to hate you, THEY ALWAYS DO! They hate you because you are too strict, or they hate you because you are too lenient. You can’t win – so take my advice and do the right thing. JUST SAY NO! I do however, find it helpful to explain your reasoning as to how you came to this conclusion. It is important for emerging critical thinkers to understand all the steps involved in planning.

For example:

OffSpring – it would be cool to put on a cape and jump off a 3 story building.

Mom – No it wouldn’t and here is why…

Do not be afraid of NO. Practice it in front of the mirror. Say it out loud. Get use to hearing yourself say it. Then practice it on others, not just your child. It is OKAY to say no.

If you cannot think of a good explanation as to WHY they should not do something, then one of two things is happening.

  1. Their request is reasonable
  2. You do not have the know-how to understand consequences. If this is the case, then by all means allow your offspring to attempt this outrageous request. Darwin called it survival of the fittest. Natural selection by elimination has been done by nature for years. This is how humans keep the gene pool strong and healthy.

My 16 year old ended the conversation with “Well, now I know where the line is”

Damn straight Offspring, but don’t get too comfortable, it is my prerogative to have that line be flexible and move as I as fit. After all, I AM THE PARENT!

 

Random Momness

Today has been quite the random nonsensical day! The odd quirky things that happen to me as odd thoughts run through my head are to obscure to keep to myself. Therefore I must share.

  1. String Mittens! How random is that? I grew up with mitts hanging from my sleeves because I was notorious for loosing them. I often had a single mitt or two right mitts. In fact, I currently have 2 left red Canada Olympic mitts in my cubby at the back door. I work with preschoolers – 32 of them actually. Only 2 use string mitts. One child wears them because I am sure her mom grew up with them here in Edmonton. They just make good sense for young ones. They ALWAYS know the mitts are hanging from the sleeve for the moment of need. The other child, is what I lovingly refer to as “an out of towner”. That means they are born some place hot – that means anywhere that isn’t spelled C A N A D A. Only this child wears the string on the OUTSIDE of her jacket. Odd… but common. I attempted to sho the child how to wear the mitts. I was told in no uncertain terms I was WRONG. Fine… But tell me, what is the purpose of the string then? For that random moment when you need a skipping rope? Strangling your brother? Tripping up your feet so when you fall your hands are strapped to your sides and can’t save you? Please tell me! I am now curious. For all you Out of Towners and Locals If you are looking for gorgeous mitts and sweaters and things, check out my favorite knitter Margaret at Knit Pickers. I love her Barn Sweater Touque and Scarf – I have been meaning to order a pair and will get on that soon. I’m sure she will add an idiot string if I ask her too!!
  2. I mother everyone. Random…but true. I have a student who accidentally calls me “Mum” hmmmm maybe I need to look at how I am treating him a little more closely. Sure I have favorites, but not all my favorites call me mum. THEN, after my son’s curling match today, I gave his teammate a lift. The manboy who is over 6 feet but has the face of a 12 year old was going to take the bus home. Yikes. It was dark, it is not the nicest of neighbourhoods, I would be up worrying about him all night, so I gave him a ride. He was very gracious and appreciative, his mom taught him excellent manners! (there is nothing I despise more, than giving some kid a lift and they never even say thank you! TEACH YOUR CHILDREN MANNERS PLEASE). Then there is another manboy friend of my son. He posted on facebook that he finally understood his math after hours of study. I wanted to post a long and encouraging comment…but high school guys don’t want a dodgy old mom commenting, so I liked…I probably shouldn’t have even liked – but I LOVE this manboy! I would adopt him if he needed me too. Speaking adopting…never leave your neglected child within arms reach of me. I will mom them and them try to keep them. Some people love cats, I like to mom kids.
  3. I am an awesome mom to strangers but a sucky mom to my own… I went to the curling rink to watch my son’s first match of the season. I sat for 5 minutes then fell asleep for 30. Random… Clearly I am tired. Well why not? I have been dreaming of beetles crawling in my hair and on the back of my neck so I wake up scratching my head. Not enough sleep… RAID!
  4. I have been doing a bit of Character Development for a pal of mine over at Back of the Packer It has been DECADES since I have developed original cartoon characters. I must say, it has been so fun! I have been doing this in support of his drive for 12 marathons in a year. Yes that is a random goal, yes my support of him is odd and random – but that is the type of friend I am – unexpectedly random. He is raising money for Make-A-Wish foundation. Since I love to mom kids, I love this charity too. I know children who have been on the receiving end of wishes and I cannot tell you how wonderful it was to see their joy! It does a mom’s heart good. Support kids charities!!!
  5. I read ABC Head Start’s Blog today entitled ‘Do you speak Head Start?” Why yes I do! I know…that is random. It is like knowing a second language filled with hidden meaning. Don’t know what I am talking about? Head over to her blog, its great…and a bit random.

So there are some of the random things that happen to me today. My favorite was a random story a student told me this morning, keep in mind he is 4:

The was an ocean and a forest and a knight and a princess and a boy who was a big boy and a boat and it roweded it. The Forrest and the Ocean and the Knight and the Princess and the big boy and a boat and the moon and the knight….

I lost interest at that point… It takes a lot to keep my mind in random mode.

Should I be the Adult or the Mommy?

I am faced with a dilemma that has me worrying about the right thing to do. The way I see it is I can be the Adult or I can be the Mommy. Neither of which is bad in my books, both sides just have a different perspective. I am often heard saying…Be a Parent! This time around, being the parent may not be the right thing to do.

Here is the situation, and your honest and objective opinion is welcome. GeneticOffspring has received a juicy part in the High School Play. He is about to be 16 ( Holy Mother Mary and Joseph!) and is in grade 10 at a Catholic academic high school. The part was meant for a grade 12 student, but the teacher/director  thinks that G.O. is mature enough and serious enough to portray this part with the require respect and emotion. The character is a gay student who is being emotionally abused. G.O. was told to go home and discuss this with his parents. The part can be rewritten so the gay aspect of the character is removed. The fact that the character is gay is not primary to the story line, but it adds an important element.

G.O. then says, So – what do you think? Hmmm What do I think, well that is EASY. As an adult I think it is a challenging role that will add an empathetic element. I think G.O. would be brilliant. I think he should decide if he wants to do it.

As the Mommy? ugggg I don’t want him doing it. Why? I am concerned about ramifications for the next 2 and a half years left at that school. I am concerned some emotionally immature goon would start bullying or teasing in a way that is NOT appropriate. I also think I am projecting my school experience onto him. The Mommy in me is slightly scared for my boy. The Mommy told G.O. she wanted to talk to the teacher.

I went to pick up G.O. after play practice today and he came sauntering out with his drama teacher. It is winter, and the guy comes out in a short sleeve button down shirt and sneakers. I offered to go inside and the teacher said, no it’s nice out. I had questions.

1 – is there a matinée that is open to the whole school to see?

2- does the teacher expect the same ramifications as I do?

3 – what if I say no?

4 – What if I kidnap my son and keep him in a cage? What does G.O think will happen with his peers?

The Drama Teacher said he doesn’t think forcing students without the maturity to deal with the content should have to go to a matinée at the school. If students want to see the play, they will buy tickets and come in the evening. This was a HUGE relief for me! The arts community look at subject matter differently then people who are not interested in the arts. The Drama Teacher was also concerned about the possible ramifications, but was quick to say that his group (drama and improve) were extremely tolerant and supportive. This came as no surprise to me, I understand how the arts community works and what type of person is attracted to this group.

If I say NO – then the part would be rewritten and its no big deal. Then I asked G.O. what he thought. He isn’t sure, and is quite torn. His first reaction is “how would his peers in the gay community react?” He doesn’t want to offend them. He hadn’t really thought about peers who may bully him. He didn’t think this was the big issue.

Now THAT is interesting to me. This made me so proud of my boy. He is concerned he may offend a demographic that he is about to portray. He doesn’t see large, meaty overgrown boys with narrow attitudes as a problem. He deals with them with humor. He needed to in gym class and now they are friendly because G.O. is funny. Self depreciating humor helps apparently.

The drive home from school yielded conversation about choices. I said to him, what do you want to do about this? He said, I am not sure. Then I replied, what if I said no. His response was the one I expected – I would be furious! There’s my guy! I raised an independent thinker who is capable of making smart choices for himself. I have given him all the possible scenarios I could think of, and some from my friends who think the answer should ABSOLUTELY NOT. I have shared thoughts of friends who think it is a great idea. Then I said I see it in two lights. The Adult in me says DO IT, the Mommy says NO WAY! He asked from what point of view am I going to judge this situation.

Crap.

I replied with, I am confident enough in your abilities to make the right decision for you. His dad and I did all we could do to provide him with values that would help him make the right choice. It is important for me to have an independent thinker for a son. He is capable. This is where the mommy shuts her mouth and trusts in her son. Therefore the adult must be supportive of what ever decision he makes.

Knowing him the way I do, he will discuss this with his friends and then choose to do the part. I am sure his mind is already made up. I am pretty proud of my boy the man my boy is  becoming.

What would YOU do?

Do Your Eyes Light Up?

This is it. My last day of vacation before I head back to the nuthouse I lovingly refer to as work. This is the most ready and excited I have been about returning to work since….. hmmmmm…. since…. Since I was disillusioned after graduation? Maybe. I am ready. What makes this new school year different from all the others? Good question. The classic teenage response is “Idunno”. Alas, I am not a teenager, those days have long since passed me by, and all I can say is THANK GOD, Who the hell wants to be a teenager again? Except I would kill for that figure I had when I thought I was too fat then. I wish I was that fat now…

Back to the “what makes me so ready this year”? Well, first of all I need routine. Sure I love two months of chaos but I need to get back in the saddle of predictability and timetables. I eat better, work harder and get more done. Secondly, I really miss my team. We went through an awful lot last year and I miss the support and friendship. I am looking forward to seeing them tomorrow. Thirdly, teenagers are driving me bonkers, or to drink, or both.

I have to say, as my kids get older I do enjoy them more. Sure I miss their cuddly little bodies and cutie pie faces, but the humour, wisdom and just plain fun out weigh the kiddy years. My age has something to do with it too. Being a mom is just plain tiring. The less they need me, the more I find out about myself. Win/win.

I was listening to an interview with Toni Morrison, a brilliant author and wise woman. She was asked to depart with a gem of knowledge or word of wisdom before the interview ended. She said

Do your eyes light up when a child enters the room? Do your eyes sparkle with the love you feel for them?

Hmmm, good question Toni. Do they? As most of you know, I have worked with children for a very long time. I started my first day of “real” work in 1988. You do the math, just don’t tell me. In that time I know I have made a difference to children because they approach me now that they are adults and like to reminisce about wacky and fun things that happened in the class room. But did my eyes light up?

I can list on one hand the adults in my life whose eyes lit up when they saw me. With the expectation of two adults who have since passed away, I still have that amazing connection with those adults who felt I was important enough to them to show the love in their eyes. I still miss those two who passed every single damn day. My children have a connection with adults who se eyes light up. I know those relationships will last long into their adult life.

For as long as I can remember, I loved the energy of being around kids. I had lost that feeling in the past few years. Working with different teams that were not a good fit, eat a little bit of your soul every day. That makes it hard to love the work you do. Yet, somehow, my little pals always seemed to make me smile or laugh. They bring me a rock or dead flower, an apple core or a picture they drew and say it was for me. They would cuddle up in the library and put their little head on my arm as I read to them. They would hug my leg and yell “look at me!” every time they went down the big kid slide. I remember most of them. Every year a few make quite an impact on me and they stay with me. I can see their 4 year old face in the adult they become. I’ve tied a billion shoes and and have said endlessly, “if you are big enough to go to school, then you are big enough to do this yourself”.

On Tuesday morning the bus will come to school, filled with little ones and their mommies, they will be clinging to the legs of their moms and crying their little hearts out. I will make eye contact with them and smile. They will see in my eyes that I am happy they came, so when June rolls around, I will be the one crying. I miss extra squeezy hugs over the summer and stupid knock knock jokes.

When you take your kids to school the first day, look in the teachers eyes. Do their eyes light up when they see your child? Look in the mirror when they come home. Do your eyes light up?

Mine do.

Because I am Your Mother!

I spent the most delicious day yesterday hanging out with my ChatterBox. Very soon she will be 13. First of all – How did THAT happen? I remember when she was this cute little bundle of bald sleeping in my arms…. but I digress.

I must admit, I have fantastic, responsible, funny offspring. I truly enjoy spending time with them because they are fun. With that said however, I have had a conversation twice now with ChatterBox that disturbs me.

We were sitting in a restaurant, enjoy lunch when she announced that she was my best friend. WHAT? UM no… I AM YOUR MOTHER! So I launch into a tirade about the difference between moms and best friends…she said, “GEEZ mom, I was only joking and I get a lecture out it?”

Maybe it is because of life experience or maybe because of my job, I think there needs to be a clear and distinct line between Mother and Daughter. Tell me if I am wrong please, I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject.

There are topics of conversation that I would NEVER EVER discuss with my daughter. Sex being at the top of the list. Quite frankly, she does not need to be that familiar with my private side. Not that my best friend and I just talk about sex, we trouble shoot, empathize, commiserate and support each other in ways my daughter should never have to be concerned with. Conversely, there are topics that I do not want to hear out of my daughter’s mouth. Now when she is young, I want to know everything. When she is an adult, no thanks.

I think a mother and daughter should enjoy each other, love spending time together, laugh and be silly or cry and be serious. I think the mother role should be respected and not cross that friend line. I have witnessed mothers want to hang out with their teen and adult children at clubs and parties, it’s just not for me. I believe a parent should be separate from those activities so when the child needs you, the relationship isn’t scarred by mom wearing a lampshade at the Frat party the night before. That is when lines get blurred and child becomes the parent. I have seen it in my students. They are the caretaker because the parent wants to be the friend.

Get your own friends parents! Family time is different. Children need boundaries. They crave it. They want to know you are in control. Whether you are or not, if they perceive you as in control they feel secure and confident. This leads to a better sense of self. Say what you mean. Stand by your sentiments. If you say ” please stop or I will take away your…” and they don’t stop, TAKE IT AWAY! They have to know you are true to your word! Be the parent not the best friend.

Thoughts?

Putting My Best Foot Forward

Today was wacky. I had a heated conversation with a colleague about what I know and don’t know. I was so angry by the time the conversation was over I wanted to walk out never to return. Instead I kept my composure, defended my position and used conversation skills I have learned in my course. Does it matter in the end? No not really. I was seriously offended though. I put it aside and went swimming instead of stewing about it. My arms hurt but I feel good. I thought about why she might say those things to me. Clearly we do not share the same belief system or values. I was questioned as to why I work so hard at what I do if I am not loving it any more. To me the answer is simple. If you do a job, do it well or go home. Just letting things “go” or ignoring situations is just not how I was raised. My Grandfather would be rolling over in his grave and my mother would ground me. I have set goals for myself and I know I will not achieve them if I do not put my best foot forward. I need to shout those goals to the Universe so everyone knows what my intentions are. Do you hear that Universe? I do not want to keep my regular position anymore, I want more.

To achieve those goals I need to remind myself of beliefs and values that are important to me. Genetic Offspring showed me his Power Point Presentation on Beliefs for his Religion class. It has inspired my list. I am writing them down because I need the reminder.

  1. Family First Always. Sometimes I forget how much my family means to me. I am not just referring to the ones living in my house. I mean the ones down the street, across town, in another city and over oceans. Family is my reason for almost everything.
  2. Doing the Right Thing is hardly ever easy. I wish it was easy. If everything was easy, life would be boring. However, would it kill you universe to make some things easy?
  3. Great Wisdom often comes from children. I have learned amazing things from my children. I don’t just mean the answer to scientific questions, but the maturity my children deal with social issues, personal problems and road blocks inspires me to be better. I think all parents can learn from their children. If you are childless, you can still eaves drop on conversations of children. Not only are the a great source of entertainment but profound things often come out of those mouths.
  4. Trust your instincts. There is a little voice or a feeling. Its something or someone trying to tell you something. Listen to that gut feeling. It is usually right. Trust yourself, you have your best interest at heart. Don’t let yourself down.
  5. Show Kindness to others. You would think this would be easy. I see children who don’t know how to be kind to each other. We need to teach that. It isn’t instinctual. My ChatterBox is the kindest person I know.
  6. Magic/Miracles/Pixie Dust are real if you believe in hard work. All of it will happen if you work for it. Look at me, I am working hard for it, a little pinch of Pixie Dust and I’ll have my goals in my pocket.
  7. Nurture yourself. I never use to believe this. I have started practicing it. It’s true, it makes a difference. You have to love yourself first then other things fall into place.
  8. No is as important as Yes. Learning to say no has been liberating. It ties in with nurturing myself. Hard to do, but essential.
  9. Yes is as important as No. Saying yes to things you normally wouldn’t do is also liberating. Hard to do, but essential.
  10. Family First Always – but don’t forget you are part of the family too.