What did those kids do to that nice lady?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


I’m so lucky tiptoe into my Children’s room at night and watch them sleep.  I’m so lucky to feel their breath on my face as I lean in for one more silent kiss.  I’m so lucky to quietly sneak around their room, turning off their bed lamps, leaving them in a quiet whisper of darkness as they tangle themselves in blankets.  I’m so lucky to be awoken each morning by the footsteps of Daughter as she makes her way into our bed to snuggle for a few precious minutes before announcing that, really, Mama...it’s time to wake up.  I’m so lucky to be able to get frustrated with my Children.  To put them in time outs.  To laugh at their jokes.  To listen to their extremely detailed stories.  They are mine.  And I love them more than anything.  The thought of losing them is so extremely painful that one must not think of it.

As I watch the coverage of the Boston bombings, my mind can’t help but wander, wondering if our city, our town, is only a news story away from being the next sensational act of terror.  Why couldn’t it be?  Why shouldn’t it be?  This new reality...this constant threat of lives destroyed by shameless terror attacks...is this the world my Children are inheriting?  As I laid in bed last night, my mind swirled with thoughts; dark thoughts.  I thought of all the places we go as a family where something like this could happen.  I wondered how we would stay together.  How we would survive.  What would we do?  The tears squeezed out from my eyes and I rolled over to ask Husband...what is going to happen?  How does this keep happening?  There is no innocence.  How can my Children live in this world when there is no innocence left?  He held me tight and let me cry.  I’m so lucky.

It seems almost cruel that in such times of tragedy and terror, we are reminded so much of the beauty and inherent goodness of humankind.  Strangers helping strangers.  People concerned more about the welfare of their neighbor than themselves.  How a nation that is too often divided and hateful to each other can still unite and put aside all of those differences to help lift one another up.  Don’t we learn from this?  When will we learn that we can always act in kindness and love?  To be patient and tolerant of those around us?  Can it last longer than a few weeks?  A couple of months?  How long before we argue about guns?  How long before we berate someone for being different from us?  For having different beliefs, different love?  How long?

As I woke up with my Children this morning and hustled them along in their morning routines, Son was enthusiastically explaining to me how some people live in space.  Can you believe that, Mama?  Some people live in SPACE!  Oh yes, they do, Son.  Isn’t that amazing?  And Daughter piped in explaining that of course there must be a mailman in space, too.  How else would those people in space get their mail?  I smiled and laughed and almost suggested that maybe their families on Earth would keep their mail for them until they return from space.  But then I thought better of it.  

Let them keep that innocence.  Just for now.  

Space Mailman.  Totally exists.  

God Bless you, Boston.   

Monday, April 15, 2013

Little Lessons

As a parent, I can feel intimidated with the responsibility of teaching The Offspring the basic lessons of life.   Lessons such as the golden rule of treating others the way you would like to be treated. I often wonder if I will be able to teach compassion and generosity. Will they be able to lose gracefully but also win graciously? I worry that growing up in an affluent community will make it difficult for them to realize that less is more and more is just...more.  But, most importantly, how can I ensure that Son and Daughter grow up to be Kind Human Beings?  I mean...isn’t that what we all really want?  Children who mature into healthy, adjusted Adults who aren’t douchebags? 

But these thoughts are quickly interrupted when I realize that, once again, Daughter has run outside to play with no pants on.

And I remind her, once again, that pants are...necessary.  

And...once again, I am reminded that as a parent, I am not only responsible for teaching Major Life Lessons, I also have to teach The Offspring that People Wear Pants Outside.  And: We Don’t Lick Our Sister.  Also: Please Stop Eating Your Shirt. And let’s not forget: Please Attempt to Appear to Live in a Home That Has a Bathtub and You Actually Use It.  Oh, you think that the desire to wear underwear comes...naturally?  No.  No it does not.  Neither does brushing your teeth.  Or not walking around with a rat’s nest on your head.  Mention the words ‘brush your hair’ to Daughter and she will react as if you just announced it was now time to pour hot lava on her head.  Hey...peeing feels good.  Try to do it more than once a day.  

These lessons...these daily reminders to behave and dress in a somewhat appropriate manner while respecting the laws of basic hygiene, are not the lessons I dreamed I’d be teaching my Beautiful Geniuses while they were growing safely inside my body.  I was dreaming of the big picture; the end result.  How they would be so funny and happy and successful and love to try new things and go on adventures and eat sushi. I didn’t realize that most days, the opportunity to teach Major Life Lessons would be in the tiny, minute to minute victories that sometimes pass by without you even realizing.  Keeping my cool instead of losing my mind.  Accepting 107th daily Go Fish invitation instead of doing the dishes.  Taking the time to give a neighbor or stranger a hand.  Because it’s only when you recognize yourself in your kids do you realize one of two things: Wow...do I really sound like that?  Or: Wow...I created that Little Human and he is awesome.

And let’s face it; being awesome trumps being a douche any day.  (And seriously-stop eating your shirt. It’s gross.)