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Category Archives: Waxing Philosophical

What Happened to ME?

 

Dear Readers,

I have not posted here in a while. Life, as they say, gets in the way sometimes, even in the way of things that we love. But, I’ve come to the realization that I want to do more writing. I’d love to even monetize it somehow. And I won’t get that opportunity by ignoring the blog or the readers, will I?

So, I came back. 

It took a few tries. I had forgotten my password. (Am I the only one who hates everything having a password these days? Sheesh!) But, I figured it out and took a peek at the blog and found a draft from ages ago. I read it and, of course, it still resonated with me. So, upon giving it a little thought, I’ve expounded on it and posted it here. The newer writing picks up with ‘Am I complaining?…’

I am shocked that the passage of time has allowed me to think through this issue and come to a more positive outlook. I’m certainly glad of that, though. 

I’d love to know your thoughts on this. Please leave a comment in the comment section or on Facebook.

THX!

Mama

 

freedom

For 35 years, it was all about me.

I lived where I wanted, ate what I wanted, did what I wanted. Heck, if I suddenly got the urge to go buy a half-gallon of Starbucks Low-Fat Latte ice cream and eat the whole dang thing right out of the container… I could. And I did. (At least once, that I care to confess.)

Marriage at 29 shifted things… a little. Not much. But after that I had to consult someone else before most major decisions.

But when our first child was born in September of 2004, my world as I knew it simply vanished. Now, I know this is a universal law here. It happens to every, single, solitary parent on the planet. However, no one prepared me for it. Even my mom. (Sorry, but if you did, I wasn’t listening, as usual.)

Now hold on a minute.

Stop.

I just wrote and wrote and wrote, re-read, then deleted a whole segment about my shocking difficulty with breast-feeding and the horror of postpartum depression. This is not the ME I am referring to here. No, that was some major crap, don’t get me wrong and probably has a lot to do with what I’m going through, but the selfish thing I miss the most is FREEDOM.

This isn’t about how hard it is to be a mother. It’s about loss of FREEDOM. Plain and simple.

I can not simply jump into the car and drive somewhere. Not to Walgreen’s, not to Starbucks, not on a crazy spur-of-the-moment road trip to see some band in another town. Now, I never did much of the latter when I was single, but I love the idea of it now. Because I can’t.

 

Am I complaining? Kinda. But not really. I love being a mother. I love having created a family. But I do, honestly, miss the freedom.

So, what’s a mama to do?

The answer is quite painfully simple: NOTHING.

Until the kids are out of the nest, until they have been properly emancipated, there’s no freedom for either of us.

Whoa. Think about that.

Putting it into perspective, I’m not the only one suffering from a lack of freedom. Would my first grader rather NOT have to get up, dress and go to school five days a week? Certainly. Does my fourth grader really lavish the idea of sitting in her desk for 80 minutes and have her fledgling writing skills assessed by the state? Nope. Certainly not. They have ZERO freedom as well. Hmmmmmm. My husband has to work to pay our living expenses and keep us insured and fed and protected. Would he rather go golfing or lounge in his boxers in front of ESPN all day? Sadly, yes.

So, I am gonna make an effort to stop this woe-is-me mentality and, although I may occasionally long for the freedoms of my young adult lifestyle, I will try to truly relish the moments of motherhood. These years are fleeting after all, right? Soon, the kids will move away and I’ll be able to have that freedom back. Okay, not exactly the same kind of freedom. Then it will be the freedom to shop for adult undergarments or pick the restaurant where we’ll use our senior discount any day we want to (assuming it’s before 4pm). But, that’s how life is, isn’t it? We will be totally blessed to have lived so long to enjoy it.

Life is like a really good book. The more chapters the better, huh? I’ve been told on more than one occasion that these parenting years are the ones we will look back on the most fondly. I hereby promise to make the most of them. No more belly-aching about loss of freedom. Nobody needs to eat a whole half-gallon of ice cream anyway, right?

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Posted by on March 3, 2015 in Waxing Philosophical

 

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Dear Daughter: The Postscript

Dear Daughter: The Postscript.

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2013 in Waxing Philosophical

 

Dear daughter, let Miley Cyrus be a lesson to you

Dear daughter, let Miley Cyrus be a lesson to you.

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2013 in Waxing Philosophical

 

Proprietary SECRETS: What’s A Mama To Do?

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The ingredient list reads: sugar, stevia, natural flavor.

Okay. It’s packets of a sugar/stevia blend that I’m attempting to use in my coffee each morning to save some calories while still ENJOYING my coffee. What the heck is this natural flavor and why is it in there?

My thinking: Isn’t it sugar (which is sweet) and stevia (which is also sweet) and aren’t I adding it to stuff like coffee and tea? Why is there an additional natural flavor involved?

Of course, I have 1,238 other things I NEED to be doing while the littles are at school, but I can’t stop thinking about this mysterious natural flavor.

So, I called the 800 number.

Trish was vibrant and pleasant and sounded like a real woman I would probably be friends with if we met in a social setting. She proceeds to search for the answer to my query. As she digs deeper and deeper into her database, I joke, “Well, it must be some super secret if you’re having trouble finding it!” Her reply, “Right?!”

Finally she finds it, buried far, far below where no one has ever searched before… Because let’s face it, most people don’t even bother to READ the dag-gum label, much less question a mystery ingredient and if they do, they NEVER take the time to call and ask, “What the heck are you people putting in my food?!?!?!?”

The answer?

It’s a BIG FAT SECRET!

I was right. OMG!

It read something like this:

“The natural flavoring is a proprietary blend which meets all FDA approval.”

Huh?!

So Trish and I had a good laugh over the fact that I was RIGHT and that they really don’t want us to know what’s in the stuff, then she says, “May I send you some coupons for more of this product?”

I said, “Sure! And let’s hope the proprietary blend doesn’t kill us!”

And don’t get me started on that label’s last line which explains that they LIED about the calorie content! It’s rounded down to the nearest 5? What?! Can I do that when people ask me my age? Or my weight? Sheesh!

 
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Posted by on January 25, 2013 in FOOD!, Waxing Philosophical

 

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Goodbye 12, Hello Lucky 13!

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{That’s us, last week, in front of the signal mirror from the deck of the USS Enterprise, on display at our second* favorite museum, The National Naval Aviation Musuem (check it out here) It’s not the most flattering photo, I know, but Mike’s dad was a Commander on this vessel, so it’s both meaningful and FUN!}

Okay. It’s New Year’s Eve.

Sigh.

It’s all the rage to stop briefly on December 31st and ponder the year that’s ending. To stop and consider what went well, what sucked and how much we have changed – for better or worse. I used to love to think back on all the New Year’s Eves passed and compare: Where was I living? What kind of work was I doing? And in the years before Mike, who was I dating? (Sometimes these changes were monumental!)

But after 13 years of marriage and the addition of two kids the years now seem a muddled mess. Same house, same “job”, same unresolved resolutions. Really only the kids change now. I can’t believe this is Emily’s 9th NYE and David’s 6th. They are both old enough to kinda start understanding the idea of what a calendar year is and why we celebrate tonight’s rollover. Of course, they really don’t fully grasp the concept of time yet. And rightfully so… They just get up, eat, play, eat, make a mess, eat, bathe and sleep. (Nice work if you can get it, huh?)

But this year I want to do more with them in regard to looking back, being thankful, learning lessons and making plans to do better in the new year.

My years may seem like repetitive patterns, but theirs are just beginning to show remarkable personal changes every 12 months. The ever-expanding vocabulary, new interests, new friendships, old familiar friendships, and deeper memories!

Here’s part of my plan:

Over the next 30 days my kids, Mike, and I are taking the SendOutCards 30-Day Gratitude Challenge. Sending a card a day, for 30 days, to someone for whom we are grateful… teachers, friends, business associates, the guy who makes my latte, the folks at Publix… It’s a beautiful way to start a new year, don’t you think? If you’d like to take the challenge with us, click here or visit my website here. I think you’ll find that it’s a true win-win situation, as YOU gain immensely from showing gratitude (and only spend 62¢-a-day to do it!)

I believe the kids will learn to look at the people in their lives in a new way, by really examining the intangible gifts we receive on a daily basis, both big and small.

I sincerely hope your New Year’s Eve celebrations are joyful and safe and that your fresh start in 2013 is just the springboard you need to reach your dreams!

Happy New Year!

Lela

*Our favorite museum is our local gem, The South Florida Museum. Click here to check it out!

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2012 in Waxing Philosophical

 

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Sometimes Being a Parent is HARD. Period.

Okay, I debated it.

Hubby and I discussed it.

I sought council from friends, family, clergy, psychologists, et. al.

Then I did it.

I spoke to my children this morning before school about the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy.

I didn’t use gory language. I didn’t focus on the madman. I didn’t use the words shot, shoot, kill or gun. I simply told them that something sad had occurred on Friday. That a man was upset and made a poor choice when he hurt some people, including some kids their age.

I explained that kids at school might be talking about it or they may overhear teachers talking… [In fact, I wasn’t sure if the Principal might say something on the morning announcements (God forbid).] I told them I wanted them to hear it from ME.

First, I assured them they were safe. I assured them that the teachers and staff at their school knew exactly what to do. I told them these types of things have happened throughout history, but they are very, very rare, which is part of what makes them even more sad. I told them again they were safe and very much loved.

Then I shut up.

And the questions started:

“Is the bad man in jail?”
“Did people die?”
“How did they die?”

It was not a fun conversation. It’s not one a parent dreams of ever having with their brood. But, I must say, I loved their thoughtfulness and their eagerness to ask questions. And their questions were completely appropriate, which kind of surprised me, although it probably shouldn’t have.

We focused on the heroes of the day: The school’s principal, teachers, the community’s first responders, the doctors.

I kept reiterating that they were safe and they were loved and that God was in control and to be trusted… No matter how crazy it all may seem.

I advised them, if a kid starts talking about it at school, for them to hold up their hand (in a STOP sign) and say, “I’d rather not talk about that.” Now, will that happen? I doubt it. I was a kid once, I know how much – even now – I enjoy discussing stuff like this. It’s sensational. It’s bizarre. It’s exciting, especially to a child. But I am hoping they can muffle the ‘noise’ on the playground or the lunch table and help squash the gossipy mess that spills out of kids’ mouths.

So, as I go about my daily work I can’t help but wonder what the conversation will be like in the car after school.

I hope this tragedy doesn’t come up.

But, if it does, at least I know I was the one who told them first and not some smart-mouthed kid who has been allowed to watch CNN all weekend and has all the gory details memorized. That was my greatest fear. I grappled with not saying a word. But I know it can happen. Some boy told my girl IN KINDERGARTEN what sex was – in his own graphic, yet amazingly accurate way. She luckily thought it was gross and went on about her business, but to think of her hearing about this from that same child sends chills down my spine.

Why is parenting so hard? Because we know crazy and evil exist. The kids see some in movies and books, but this is very much real and they need to know it, yet not fear it. Walking the fine line between equipping our children to cope and protecting their innocence is what makes it so difficult. At least for me.

I would love your feedback on this. What did you decide to do in regard to this subject? Do you find this kind of parenting thing hard? If not, how/why? What’s your secret? We all have our own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to parenting… I’d love to hear some thoughts on this.

 
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Posted by on December 17, 2012 in Waxing Philosophical

 

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