Here's an open letter to my new neighbor.
Dear Sir (who walks his dog, among other activities to avoid his family),
Thank you so much for bringing my inadequate parenting to my attention. I truly appreciate it, as I mentioned when graciously closing my door this afternoon. I don't know whether I was more stunned that such a young man of your age was so prematurely bald or that you actually said that at last night's association meeting, my family was mentioned. How lovely to know that you all, in your many years of parenting (like three, tops?) have taken the time to comment (gossip) about me and my kids.
I really appreciate how you've gleened (on the few occassions that you ARE home to tend to your pregnant wife and baby... and dog) that you have noticed that I am "hardly ever" with my children. As I mentioned when you rang yesterday, I sit at a distance where I can see them. What that means is, you don't hover over kids, you let them play. Kids that have every action controlled tend to grow up to be balding weenies who are never home.
I failed to reciprocate my observations (critique masked as neighborly concern) by mentioning that YOU might want to spend your spare time with your wife. She looks like she is about to pop while chasing after your toddler who is still too cute to mock you and spit in your face despite all the love and smothering you shower on her. But I digress... your wife... she could probably use your help on your days off. You know, those days that you take off on your expensive ten-speed in your matching top and bottom bicycle outfit that shows... well... your "religion." And don't say I didn't warn you, but she smiles an awful lot when the mailman comes to do his "deliveries."
So, again, Mr. Weenie Balding Man, thanks sooo much for pointing out that my children ride their bikes without their mother hovering. It makes me realize that I may actually be doing it right this time.
Oh, and don't hesitate to call when those precious little kids turn all nasty-ass teenager on you. I've got some great sage advice. You know, the kind that comes from being a mom for twenty years. Yep... two-oh.
The Single Mom Across the Way
PS: I'll put those curtains up in my dining room just as soon as you bring them over as my new housewarming gift. Ciao!
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Here's an open letter to my new neighbor.
So, if you ever visit my "Cool People" section, you'll meet Little Purple Cow, author and photographer of Cool People I Know. She has challenged herself to do a daily self portrait. I shuddered at the thought. Me on the other side of the lens? I was nervous about capturing my image only because some days, my situation feels so raw. Then I thought about the things others would think... that I'm so self absorbed or boy does she look old... then I thought... F*em.
I'm not sure I can hold to the daily self portrait, but I think I'd like to track my restoration on a monthly basis. This is 03.01.08. I obviously ruminated over this decision for a while. Maybe the April issue will come out on time. That is, if I give myself permission not to care what you think.
Friday, March 21, 2008
When life gets you down, there is nothing better than a stupid and meaningless Japanese game show to make you laugh. I feel less human for watching this, not because of the disfigurement due to marshmallows and rubber bands but because I almost lost all bodily functions laughing my butt off.
God I hope you can see this:
Friday, March 7, 2008
This has been a challenging season for me, not because of what has been happening but because I have had to forcibly shift my way of thinking. Each night, I go to bed feeling like Syciphus wondering if I will ever get that bolder up and OVER the dang hill. I'm mentally and sometimes spiritually exhausted.
But that doesn't always mean I get to actually sleep.
A few nights ago, I collapsed into bed after our nightly routine of pajamas, brushing teeth, and prayers. I begged God to send me some sort of uplifting words or images in my dreams. I tossed and tossed and finally got comfy.... just as the electric company parked out on my street to do "regular maintainance" at 1:00am. Being the middle of their workday, they didn't think twice about leaving radios on and truck doors open. After I thought I had blocked the radio out of my head and started to drift off again, they began pulling out all their tools. Apparently the next thing they are supposed to do is drop them all over the asphalt so that it echoes throughout the street and ping right into my dark room just for the purpose of startling me awake.
Heavenly Father... zap them... HARD. Oh yeah, and send me a soothing dream.
An hour later, it was dark and quiet... until a little voice came crying into my room. Something about having to go potty and the lights not working. I forgot about the outage and thought, "Oh man! Did we forget to pay the bill???" Thirty seconds later, I had the presence of mind to fumble us towards my bathroom before having any incidents that would keep me awake any longer than necessary. Once she was tucked back into bed, I prayed to God for the third time that night to visit me with his dreams. To reassure me that all would one day be right. But I just tossed... and tossed... and eventually went to sleep in fits and bursts, but no deep REM.
The next day, I was at the computer attempting to put our most recent drama in perspective and not give it any more power than all the good that has been coming my way. I was happy to take a break and answer a call from my City Girl daughter. "Is everything okay, mom?" I stammered a little and then just admitted that no, in fact, things were pretty tough. I told her about the previous two days and tried really hard to hold back tears of despondency. "I thought so..."
"I had the weirdest dream about you last night."
After talking and reading and praying, we realized that God had visited me through my beautiful daughter. The vision he gave her translated into something meaning that things were going to be okay. Specifically, to learn from the situation, not to dwell on the negative, and that soon I would be cleansed from my troubles and disappointments.
God comes to us in all forms. It's our job to be present and listening when He comforts us. They may seem like little miracles sometimes... Nothing that the Vatican would consider big, anyway. But for the receivers, these miracles are as big as the parting of the sea in order that those in captivity would be set free.
Saturday, March 1, 2008
I don't normally read anything that says FW: FW: FW: You have to read this! They bog down my in-box. They list the most trite advice. They come with silly cartoons of animated animals and dancing flowers.
But sometimes, they come just at the right moment.
I got one of those sappy advice emails tonight. I know my friend means it as an electronic hug, so I opened it. There were some things about exercise and food and all that. It all made sense but nothing that stood out to me. Almost at the end, I got to the good ones. The following was the portion of the list that I found so timely for me and, I think, just great advice for being a decent human:
25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
(CAN I GET AN AMEN?!)
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words:
"In five years, will this matter?"
27. Forgive everyone for everything. (eeeekkkk... )
28. What other people think of you is none of your business.
29. Time heals almost everything. Give time time! (Yeah!)
30. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
(I am living walking proof of this one!)
31. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
(Oh my soul... yes... yes...)
Numbers 25 and 31 are my life right now. I'm working (really trying, anyway) on Number 27. The others are just good ways to live. I wonder what life would be like if others followed, or at least moved towards some of these ideas. Hmmm... that would be nice. Less grumpiness. Less misunderstanding. More time spent on the positive. More time smiling.
And then I woke up.
Which one(s) stand out for you?