[su_heading size=”18″]A Mother’s Love for Her Children[/su_heading]
Picking up the boys from school yesterday was different than usual. I watched lovingly as my little weeds emerged from school with backpacks on and friends abreast. They ran up to me smiling and giving me hugs. Excitedly they shoved their homemade birthday cards into my face. I told them to wait for Baddy and give them to me on my birthday or Mother’s Day, which unfortunately arrive back to back, but they were bubbling over with enthusiasm and couldn’t wait so I accepted their toiled over cards and hand-made beaded jewelry, my heart full with love.
I guess they are trainable after all. They made their cards last night when I was at the school preparing for my outdoor ed trip to Canyonlands with Brevitt and his buddies. Three days roughing it in the desert with three boys and three parents. The show “Survivor” comes to mind when I think of myself pumping and filtering our drinking water collected from a hole in a rock.
Before picking them up from school I treated myself to yoga and then a haircut. Looking like a friendly witch from the North with foil in my hair, I played with her one year old, Remington, a preciously sweet delicate flower of a little girl with clean clothes, a fuzzy head of hair and delicious smelling skin, reflecting her mother’s doting love. In the middle of drinking her mother’s milk, Remi would pop off the nipple and back bend to smile at me with her arms splayed out behind her, reminding me of my three babies who were all huge and total characters.
I left there reveling over the bond between a mother and her children and think of my children, on a good day, with complete and unconditional love. When the love is returned I am filled to the brim with warmth and satisfaction.
My love for my mother is differently the same. I may at times be the most difficult, obstinate daughter in the world with high expectations of her but my love for her is endless. Memories of her singsong British voice fill me with happiness and security. She is hopeless on the computer and her phone skills are not much better but her advice and insight is invaluable. Every accomplishment that I have ever made in my life has been encouraged, guided and celebrated by her. Before I call her I know that the chances of actually getting to her and keeping her on the line are slim. I will hear her answer the phone and then the fumbling will take place, “Hello…hello?…Jillian?….” and ends with “Oh Bugga, I lost her”, with me all the while on the other line saying, “Don’t hang up, I’m here, I’m here.” On the times that I do reach her, she is usually having tea with somebody important, or being guided on a private tour through the Metropolitan Museum or some other cultural institution.
My mother is the most loving, tolerant, generous person I have ever met. When she does not have her nose in a book or in the newspaper she is flitting about to museums and Classical concerts. She is the most informative person in the world and I cannot make a cultural decision without her input.
It was always a dream of my sister’s and I to build an English style cottage for her on one of our properties. She would have her independence but the children could be a part of her everyday life bringing her fresh eggs with toast and marmalade for breakfast and helping her in the garden.
Spring in Massachusetts is a far cry from spring in Aspen. Growing up I would open my eyes to flowers and a gift placed on my little night stand by my mother. I would spend the day playing in the warm sun in the cherry blossom trees, knowing that the day was all mine. In the evenings I would play SPUD outside with my sisters and we would enjoy the warm night air until our mother rang the dinner bell.
Back to reality, May in Aspen is not so majestic. As usual, the weatherman predicts 51 degree temps and high precipitation for this weekend. My children are cleaning the kitchen and allowing me to write for my birthday. They keep bringing me presents and placing them on top of my piles of papers on my desk. I am determined to have the weekend I deserve. The way I see it, having my special days in unison should allow me treatment fit for a queen. But as I sit here writing I can hear Tucker doing his morning routine of wailing for me and me alone to kiss him and help him to get out of bed. The children are arguing with daddy outside my office door interrupting my train of thought and no breakfast has been brought to me.
Life goes on as usual and I must lower my expectations. I suppose each year, with proper training, it may slowly sink in to my family that I deserve more. This year I will try to lovingly accept their minute tokens of affection while I passively take the time I need to feel special.
I would write more but it sounds as if I need to feed the animals in my zoo that I call home.
** PS – all that training has led to once again, getting double nothing! Oh well. I guess being loved is all that really matters (May 2018).
Every two to three years, I experience Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. During the rest of my existence, I consider myself a fairly easy-going, fun loving person. When there is an incredibly difficult task to do, I usually either procrastinate or decide it is not worth my effort. Realizing my priorities in life, I usually choose the family over my insane projects. But when I have my neurotic binges, I am not to be reckoned with. My whole world falls to the wayside. No friends, no family, no exercise, no showers. Just give me coffee and I am embedded in attacking the task at hand.
Hootie-Hoo hit four and my latent creative desires have been emerging full throttle. I have no control over them. Baddy came home, exhausted from dealing with the pain from his cracked scapula, hoping to find me as he usually does on Fridays, on my second glass of wine. But alas there was no spread of crackers, cheese and pepper jelly. The hearth was cold, and his wife was fuzzy, not from wine but from having been in website hell. He remarked that the scene looked exactly as it did when he left eight hours earlier in the morning. There I was, wearing the same headset, waiting the expectant six minutes for a web-site technician to try and walk me out of my misery. He laughed and commented that he could see how this was how it was going to be now. Hello honey, glad your home, just talking to my Publicist. He was ready for a fun evening spent lounging with the children in front of the fire, maybe next Friday!
Poor Baddy, the week he cracked his scapula and needed intense nurturing just happened to also be the week I decided to take my writing online. I should have heeded the warnings. When your server says that they have technicians on 24/7 it means that you will be entrenched in hell, devils and all, trying to design your own web-site for 24/7. Dont even try calling those technicians at the witching hours, it will be the closest you get to talking to “the other side”. Shrouded in cigarette smoke, wearing eau de Cafe, their skin an opalescent green they will smoothly convince you that everything will be ok, as long as you sell your soul to the internet. They repeat everything you say and leave you with long, impending sighs. Just get me on the right track and eventually I should be able to figure out the *&*%in program by myself, one would hope.
I contemplate my options. I could start from scratch and erase the past one hundred hours of pain I have endured or I could hire a website designer for a mere few thousand dollars. Ill keep plowing forward. I must remember that my goal is to make money, not to plunge us into further debt. When I call for the umpteenth time, I am grateful to receive a real technician on the other end of the line. I tell him to look at my past calling record and treat me with kid gloves. Ouch, he comments. I see that you really have been having a rough time. You called, waited the usual six minutes, got disconnected, called again and six minutes later got connected to billing instead of technical support, they put you on hold for another six minutes and now you have me. What can I do for you? You can take me out to the pasture and put a gun to my head, is what you can do. I have been trying to create my website by myself for five days. Three of those days I have slept a maximum of four hours obsessively trying to get website savvy. Give me an expert!
My friend suggested that I take a web-site design course at the local college. Others have suggested that I can now start teaching web design. The pitiful truth is that I am no closer to understanding the HTML or CSS language than I was five days ago. My brain is not made for technical knowledge. It is amazing that I can replace the windshield washer fluid in my Vini-Man. There are other people much better designed for designing than me, I just wish that they would focus on what they are supposed to be designing and stop reading those geeky manuals!!!
[su_heading size=”18″]Mom Health Food[/su_heading]
When the boys were younger, my sisters had a grand ole time making fun of their “granola, health-nut” little sister. I never bought candy or cookies unless they were made with natural ingredients. Living in the country has made it even easier to live naturally. I love knowing the cow, Maisy, who produces our raw milk for us. We visit her weekly at the ranch behind our house. Our fresh eggs come from our neighbors chicken coops. I’m thinking of purchasing a goat, we’ll name him Goatee, after all of Wade’s shaving experiments.
The family is not so keen on living like Little House on the Prairie. Wade thinks his coffee tastes too much like an animal. It does not ease his mind when I tell him that in the winter Maisy’s diet changes as she switches from munching on grass to the less appealing hay bales. The kids are beginning to refuse to eat anything that isn’t white. “These pancakes have that natural stuff in it”, they proclaim as they push their quinoa pancakes aside.
They beg to have play dates at their friends houses where the poor parents watch astonished as the boys raid their pantries shoving Lucky Charms and root beer into their little mouths. They return home in sugar comas, bloated and wan, and accuse me of never ever feeding them cheese dogs or corn dogs for dinner. I feel victimized and am beginning to cave in. Who am I to deprive my kids of the good stuff that I grew up on. Our cabinets were filled with Yodels and Ring Dings. I think I still have the plastics from those delicious desserts clinging to my insides.
My focus and my battle today is not what to feed my children but how am I going to feed my children. My friends and I have all smartened up and started a BYOF club when we ski with the kids on weekends. No more $5.00 lifesavers or $50.00 lunches spent in the mountain restaurants. Instead we smuggle in our overloaded backpacks and break all the rules made for us poor folk.
The food aisle at Walmart is where I hang out now instead of the toy aisle. My sister’s have changed their tune and are admonishing me for giving in. I inform them that I make up for the junk food with my famous smoothies. The kids hardly notice that they are loaded up with fish oil, wheat germ and Emer’gen-C. They will even drink the veggie juices we make together with my Jack Lalane Power Juicer.
I do have regrets when I visit the pantries of my Organic friends like Pam and Shannon who are extremely healthy with their kids. They drink pomegranite smoothies and almond shakes for dessert. Their cabinets in their kitchen are custom made for bulk, including twenty-five pound bags of almonds.
A bear broke into their house one day but left soon after in complete disappointment. He was sure not to visit again. What was the point? All the food stored in their cabinets was the same that he could find for himself in the forest. Trying to not waste food, Pam insisted that they keep the nuts that the bear had been nosing around in. Shannon finally put his foot down and threw them away after biting into a long, thick bear hair.
In the spring my plan is to build a new vegetable garden with the children. Maybe I’ll even invest in a green house. I have just brought home all the compost books from the library. Why not bring it all on; new dog, garden, compost. Wade walks into the house and looks in total fear at all the library books strewn about the floor. I assure him that all will be fine.
Rising to a snow storm, I sluggishly forced myself out of bed keeping my eyes half closed as I crawled on all fours into the bathroom. The full moon had as usual tilted me on my axis and I was up all night writing. Sometimes the full moon has me waking the boys to run outside naked at midnight amongst the silhouetted mountains, other times it would be best if somebody took me out to the woods far, far away and left me with a good book, a pen and a ream of paper, my music and a wood burning stove to keep me warm…oh, and wine and cheese, and a cashmere blanket…and some hot stud who finds my insanity sexy.
It was going to be the perfect powder day for the masses who have moved here for a day like today, but not for those of us who had little children with quads yet developed for billowing snow pillows. Nine inches to me with little kids meant enduring in the gondola line overly hyperactive, gortex-laden, childless “boy-men”, reminding me of my sordid past, as I wait to hand the torch (and the kids) over to Baddy. I envisioned myself in the gondola line singing lalalalala into the ears of my boys as these self-proclaimed “mountain men living to to ski and skiing to live,” share their enthusiasm for all the pow pow, “BRAAAAHHHH”…. “DUUUUDE, FUUCKKK!!!!”
Baddy was however, chomping at the bit to meld in with all of the testosterone injected energy and plunge into the untracked powder. His plan? Laps in powder until wife and kids show up and then take over so mommy can get some. He didn’t seem to notice me lurking in the shadows with hair larger than usual, fangs extracted. My thoughts growled desires for him to take the boys with him. Maybe, if I stood still long enough focusing on these thoughts, they would enter his brain as if they were his own and he would sweep up his pups and save them from the she-wolf, but his mind was elsewhere and he was not going to let anything darken his lit up interior and off he galloped into the storm, leaving me heaving and despondent, froth foaming between my lips.
When yet another loud sword-bearing rowdy boy was dropped off later in the morning, I poked my head out of my office from where I was writing. “Don’t worry,” I assured the dad, “I will get out of my pj’s and take the boys skiing”. He looked at me with a glimpse of recognition that perhaps his boy was not safe but clouded by the 9″s of snow on his brain, high-tailed it out the door.
I somehow gathered myself together and loaded up the boys and all of our equipment into Vini-Man. The youngest, still biologically connected to his mother’s moods, was being extremely sensitive and needy, melting into a puddle at any beastly sign emitting from his monster of a mother and asking for hugs. But beasts are not inclined to hug when their fangs are out while wrestling and getting banged up with the attempt to load unyielding ski equipment and so he ran off to the sound of “mother fucking fuck fuck” gurgling from the depths of the mom-beast.
I found him lying on his back in his freshly laundered ski clothes, smack dab in the middle of a cold, wet, mud splatch. Looking up at me with those luminous hootie-hoo eyes he said, “hi mother fucking fuck fuck”. We are all going to damage our kids in one way or another – that moment was not the denouement, there were surely more to come.
I finally managed to get the boys all into the gondola line when I realized that my ski ticket was no longer valid. Too late, the boys were already on the lift. I turned around and in disbelief saw Baddy quietly standing there watching the whole debacle. “You’re on” I said and slunk away. With icicles hanging from his beard Baddy took the torch and ran with it. I plugged in my ipod and began my skin up the mountain slowly shedding my furry burden of an exterior.
An hour and a half later I returned to the family apologizing for being psycho mom and my bad behavior was shoved under lock and key. The boys forgave me and climbed into my lap.
Tonight, I will try my best to get a good night’s sleep and not let the moon wreak havoc on my temperate again. Hopefully, I will not wake up to a pile of bones laying next to me and human hair betwixt my teeth.
[su_heading]Dreaming About A Lecherous Husband[/su_heading]
I may not go out much any more but I sure do have fun when I am in a dream state. The only problem is that I dream that Baddy is also having tons of fun, without me. He is consistently lecherous, doesn’t love me any more and smugly tells me about all of his conquests. It is ironic that I create this world because he is so loyal and true to me in real life. He endures all of my moods and is the only one who can make me laugh at myself when my hair is Medusa style and I am ready to blow up the world. When I wake up mad at him he knows right away that he is in trouble. “Dam”, he exclaims “it’s so not fair that I am such a philanderer and I am not even privy to it.”
So what is my problem? I guess I’m deeply insecure and should see a shrink but have no money and definitely no time.
My dreams can be so disturbing that they wake me up. The last time this happened I dreamt that Baddy and I went to a beach in the early evening with a group of young surfers in a place similar to Sayulita, Mexico. We sat down in the warm tropical breeze and watched the huge beautiful waves. We were partying and having fun.
Suddenly, I was in the trickest bar in the world, walking alone through rooms that were open to the outside tropics. Each room had a different theme with great music and drinks to match. The first room was sexy and all black with purple lights and I was wearing a white mesh t-shirt with white boot legged jeans. Outside were stone steps that climbed down to the sea and people were sitting everywhere dangling their feet in the warm water and laughing. I began flirting with some Argentine boys. They liked me and wanted me to go off with them. My chief admirer was gorgeous but he had a really long mullet. He wanted to know if I liked him and I told him “yeah, all but the mullet.” I hurt his feelings so badly that there was no returning and he faded out.
Baddy faded in and came up from the beach with his buddies. In my dreams Wade is always so cute and the life of the party. A very drunk, small, dark eyed, dark haired, mysterious Argentine girl came in behind him. She was not beautiful but magnetizing with an amazing body. She was wearing a thin tight fitting t-shirt and a big wide belt. Her jet black hair was tied back in a pony tail with a wide headband. She came up from behind Baddy, wrapped her arms around him and told him she loved him. He looked back and smiled. I jumped up to defend what was mine telling her that he loved me and than I picked her up from her armpits and threw her out of the window. Her male friends were hanging out at the bottom of the fire escape and they thankfully caught her. I walked inside, slightly embarrassed, and felt Wade’s eyes piercing into me. In a flash an Argentine menacingly approached me with a fork and put it under my eye. He told me that the girl was his friend and demanded to know why I threw her out of the window? “Lo ciento, perdonna me”, I pleaded, “she was trying to take my Baddy away from me. He is my love”. I feel like crying just writing about it months later.
In my next dream Baddy informed me that he had met somebody else. I asked him if anything had happened. He told me that she wouldn’t let him do anything because he was married and he thought that was bogus. He went on to tell me that he called and called her and when there was no response, he went over to her house. She was sick but still climbed on top of him. I told him that I was going to divorce him and that he would not get any of my Madoff money. I kept telling myself that I was dreaming, that Baddy would not do that to me. I woke up and realized that it was not a dream. How could I ever trust men again?
I was now in Nantucket and couldn’t find the restaurant where my family was waiting for me. I had grown up in Nantucket but was still always lost on the cobblestone streets in the fog. I walked down the stairs to the restaurant and all my friends were there. I was miserable, ready to die. Did they all know? My family was sitting at a round table and I sat next to Baddy. He acted untainted by my misery. He ignored me and had a big smile on his face because he was now in love with somebody else. When I finally did wake up I wondered if maybe I should stop using my Progesterone cream!
Last night I dreamt that all bloggers gain twenty pounds from sitting at their desks all day writing. I wondered if it was worth it and contemplated giving it up.
My writing is really getting the best of me. I have become obsessive and realize that I have started something that I cannot finish, ever. Poor Baddy is not getting any attention at the moment unless I am dreaming. I get exasperated with him that he can’t finish cooking the dinner, clean up and put the boys to bed by himself. What makes things worse is that the boys all want mommy. I am so popular with my family but at the moment don’t desire all the attention. I feel like I am trapped in a William Wharton novel and slipping over to the dream side.
If we teach our children to reason with one another through rational thought and discussion instead of fists and harsh words we are providing them with valuable skills to help them to survive.
Raising our three boys ages 4, 7 & 9, has given me a completely different perspective on the perplexities of life. I was born the youngest of three girls and boys have always been my distraction and my muse. Can this be the explanation as to why I ended up with three boys of my own? I admit that I appreciate the quirky jokes that life plays on me but this one seems somehow…illogical. Yes, I am sporty, young at heart and very playful but I sometimes wonder if I have the proper constitution to watch as they live their lives to the ultimate degree.
Accepting that boys love to hurl themselves off of great heights is not an easy task for any mother. I try my best to instill life’s learned lessons into their heads in order to keep them alive. The boys are excited to join the Freestyle team next year and I can’t help but wonder how I will ever be able to be proud of them as they catch air on the enormous jumps, some which are built for the X-Games. It is a mental challenge to allow them to just be boys. I have had to learn from Baddy to not be a helicopter parent but my nerves are not as calm as they use to be. It is a fear of his that he will come home one day and find a note stating that I have flown off like the irresponsible Mayze in Horton Hatches the Egg, never to return.
Just the other day Thumper and I sat on his bed, his beautiful, velvety green eyes filling with tears. Feisty-One hates me, he said all depressed. I couldnt express to him how my life long goal is to raise safe, happy, healthy, intelligent, caring children who will always love each other and protect each other from harm. Every tear that dropped made my heart ache. Instead, I became the voice of reason explaining to him why his younger brother was retaliating and teaching him how to prevent further upsets.
Would that I could always take each child to a private place to discuss their troubles and help them to better understand lifes dilemmas but I have learned that letting children resolve their conflicts without interference by a parent is an important aspect of parenting. It is all about letting go while still being there. If they are not trying to destroy each other physically and there is no blood being shed, than I try to stay out of it.
Life is unpredictable and time and patience are not always on our side. It is impossible to stay? consistent in a house filled with flatulent, hip hopping, highly energetic boys. Occasionally music is the tool I use to lure them away from fighting with each other. Maybe this is why my boys are so in to music and dancing.
The children have accepted that their parents are not always equipped with sound reasoning and I know that they appreciate the times where they are able to escape the sit down chat. I certainly cannot reply upon Baddy in the morning. He is catatonic and not capable of thinking logically until his full pot of coffee has triggered his brain to function. In return, he does not look to me for assistance when I am hormonally challenged or when the clock hits 5:00pm, on any given evening.
The time out theory never has worked for us but I have experienced deep moments of regret when observing friends who have clearly mastered this practice. A few Saturdays back, we went with our friends to a candy store after skiing. One of the teenagers became self-appointed mayor of the candy line and created a bartering system that ended up in total chaos. His mother sternly told him to take a time out. He looked at her and pleaded silently for her not to do this to him in public. In complete disbelief I watched him as he slouched his head between his shoulders and shuffled off to some dark, secret place to reflect upon his wrongdoing. I realized that I had misjudged this alien theory but recognized that my window to train my kids with this useful tool was now firmly shut.
Usually our method of communication works wonders on our children completely changing aggressive behavior. But sometimes Baddy and I are at our wits end and feel completely defeated. As in the time when I picked the boys up from school and took them up to Aspen for an afternoon of scootering and ice cream. That evening the boys were more zany than usual, a tough feat. Time Out, I yelled. They stopped what they were doing and looked at me with large innocent eyes inquiring as to where the football game was playing. Go to your rooms, the whole lot of you, I demanded. They continued on their tirade in total defiance.
Nothing we could do or say could stop our Tasmanian devils from launching off of every piece of furniture and landing on top of each other in hysterical fits of giggles. As Baddy picked them up by their ears I swore to him that I would never again give the children ice cream after 4:00pm. We shouted out threats and warned them that if they did not stop terrorizing each other Baddy would personally go out and make it so they would never see the ice cream man again.
As parents, we all battle with the issue of time. More often than not we are giving our children the short end of the stick by shouting out demands to shape up or ship out. Unfortunately, we are not super heroes and can only do our best in any given situation. Baddy loves to use Dr. Evils zip it method where every time they open their mouths to say something he interrupts saying, shhhuuut or zipppppt until they forget what they were whining about.
As they grow up, the boys are learning how to get what they want by applying our logic. Their ability to manipulate and provide stronger evidence to support their issue at hand gets more and more impressive.
We cannot always be the voice of reason or bring humor into the equation but one thing is for certain, if we teach our children to reason with one another through rational thought and discussion instead of fists and harsh words we are providing them with valuable skills to help them to survive.