Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Smuggies

Today I took my children to a music lesson. We sang and hit sticks together and had a merry old time. One mother was breast feeding while we sang. "That's right!" I thought. "I can roll with the new wave hippie moms." I stay at home with my kids, we sing, we breastfeed in broad day light and we have a good time doing it! After the class Teacher Beth, who sported a yellow kerchief in her hair; a sure sign of the modern hippie mom, overheard me telling Ellis that we needed to get home so I could start sewing. She asked what I was sewing and I excitedly told her that I was sewing my daughter's Halloween costume. Ellis looked at her and said, "I'm going to be Princess Peach!" That's when I saw it. The smile and nod... "How nice." I couldn't help but to laugh. I could tell right there that she didn't approve. Rowan chimed in that he was going to be Luigi. I could feel her trying not to judge me, but she couldn't help it. After all, I'm breaking a cardinal rule of the new wave hippie mom. I let my kids watch T.V. and play video games! (gasp!)
Teacher Beth then explained how her daughter is going to be a Native American for Halloween. She's going to have braids and a head band and feathers coming out of her hair from their chickens! She sewed her costume last year too, she had been Laura Ingalls! Thank goodness I knew who that was. I would have loved to have told her that my children were also literary characters two years ago too. Ellis was Alice and Rowan was the Jabberwocky, but I could see "the smuggies" behind her eyes and I didn't want to spoil it for her. She really is a sweet lady and was very kind to us, but it made her feel good that she wasn't subjecting her children to the horrible things that I do. I could have really made her day and let her know that for snack today we were going to have fruit roll ups, they have high fructose corn syrup.
I try to be a good mom. We stay away from sugar for weeks at a time before we lapse back into lazy snacks. I  am my kids' preschool teacher and take them on plenty of outings. I take my kids to church every Sunday and try to teach them to be good people. We raise chickens and eat their eggs. We try to plant a garden every summer. I can fruit and make pies and make dinners from scratch. I'm well on the road to the new wave hippie mom that I would love to be. But, there are some things that I'm just not willing to give up and so I'll never be fully initiated into the club. And I'm okay with that. I have my own kind of joy that I get from watching other people delight in how much better they are than me!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

7 Year Itch?

    As of September 11th, Bobby and I have been married for 7 years. It feels like much longer, maybe because we dated for 3 years before we got married. It's been a wonderful 7 years and we were able to go away together this weekend and reflect on them together. Typically, the saying goes that every 7 years you yearn for some change in your life, but as we looked back we've had nothing but change! We decided that at this point now, we couldn't be happier! I feel like we have changed a lot in the last decade, and for the better. How nice that we could grow together as a couple and as a family. After this weekend, it was very clear to me how lucky I am and how much each of us have grown. Let me tell you a little about it.
    Saturday, the 10th was very busy. We had soccer in the first part of the day, and then I helped at a wedding in the late afternoon and evening. By the time I got home later that night, my hips were VERY sore. But I didn't want to complain to Bobby about it. We got up early on Sunday and I was already feeling emotional. I usually try to glaze over September 11th, try to focus on my anniversary, but this day was hard. I kept welling with tears. Chandler and I were both to speak in church and although I was excited, I was a little nervous too. Chandler spoke first and he was so amazing. I really cannot think of a prouder "mommy moment"! He wrote his own talk, and then spoke slowly and clearly. I ended up being very pleased with how I did with my talk, I was glad that I had practiced so much before hand, and I didn't even cry. Then Bobby and I ran home and packed bags for the children and for ourselves. I was feeling pretty emotional because I must have been more worried about the job on Saturday night and the talk Sunday morning more than I had thought. Now that those things were over I was ready for an emotional release, but instead I needed to focus on packing (fast) and sending the kids off for the next 3 days without tears. So I needed to hold it all in.
    We were finally on the road and I was worried about getting there on time because we had massages scheduled at 4. We would probably arrive around 3:30, I didn't want to be late. About an hour into our drive we got a phone call for our wonderful friend who was watching our children, she told us that we had not put the children's luggage in her car! I couldn't believe it! We had been so hurried and so worried about the kids being comfortable, that we completely forgot to move the bag! I felt my mood begin to take a rapid downward turn, but told myself that being upset about it wouldn't solve anything. I was determined to be in a good mood and not let "the natural man" take a hold of me!
    As we entered into the Sonora area my earlobes began to get a funny itching sensation, as we moved further towards Twain Heart and further up in elevation I began to feel the sensation moving to my cheeks as well. We arrived at our bed and breakfast just at 3:30, our room wasn't ready and we would have to wait. Although I was feeling uncomfortable and just wanted to relax, I assured them that we were fine sitting in the front room to read until it was ready. By the time we got to our room about 15 minutes later, my palms were itching and my whole face and neck were totally red. It was 4 o'clock and the massage therapists were not there. Our appointment must have been sent for 4:30 we thought. Our hostess provided me with an allergy pill and I knocked out on the bed. Waking up 45 minutes later extremely groggy, I realized that it was 5:15 and there was still no sign of the therapists. We called up front to find out that there had been some sort of mix up and the hostess was frantically on the phone trying to find people that would come in on short notice. Again, not her fault, no reason to be upset, right? At 6 o'clock we were fortunate enough to have 2 massage therapists arrive, or so we thought....
    Now maybe it's that Bobby and I are ruined. A few years back we had the most amazing massages EVER! So now, of course, everyone else is compared to these others. But in this case, I really think it just wasn't that great. For starters, whenever I have ever had a massage there is usually gentle, relaxing music playing. These two must have had a very different idea of what type of music should be played. I was laying down on my stomach with my face in that circle thing with my eyes wide open, thinking, "What the heck????" First it was like these romantic love songs, which I'm sorry, are just creepy when some stranger has their hands on you. It then moved to this like... new age world music? Imagine energetic, almost techno music with a man yodeling/singing over the top of it. It reminded me of some sort of thing I would hear in a  yurt full of hippies trying to find their inner energy or something. It was totally ridiculous for a massage and totally weird. Not to mention that I think I was being massaged by Darth Vader. This guy was breathing so hard through his nose, at first I thought he was wearing a mask or something because it was so loud! The massage was terrible and I really just couldn't wait to get off the table. By 8 o'clock I was starving and we left for dinner.
    It really took all my mental muscles to stave off the crankies by this point. We ate at an Italian restaurant with fantastic service, great atmosphere and horrible food. Thank goodness that Bobby had me laughing so hard at the table over our terrible massages that it didn't bother me too much. Unfortunately, it bothered my stomach and I felt sick the rest of the night.
    The next morning, Bobby and I left for Yosemite. My hips were still very sore and my lower back was stiff after the terrible massage the day before. I didn't want to complain to Bobby. I knew that he wanted to take a little day hike and I wanted to be accommodating. It was a beautiful day and Yosemite was PACKED! There were a million people there. I hadn't been able to find my shoes before we had left in such a rush and had only packed my Converse. I like them for when I need to wear them for short periods of time, but not for when we need to do a lot of walking. It was nearly lunch time and we didn't have any food with us, but I assured Bobby that I could do a quick 3 mile hike with him and then we could go to lunch. When we got near to where we were hiking we saw that the road was closed and that we needed to hike an extra .6 miles. No problem, just smile. We began our walk. I was fine when it was flat, but then we began our incline. My hips began to hurt immediately. Bobby started talking about how excited he was to do the John Muir Trail in two years and I snapped! I want to take that hike with him so badly and it was apparent that I was probably not going to be able to even finish this little one. My hips were screaming and my pride was hurt. I have an injury that most likely will never get all the way better. I took all the frustrations and emotions from the past 2 days and pushed them all into this. Then I let loose on my poor confused husband. When he tried to talk to me I told him that we weren't having a conversation in front of the bajillion people around us. Instead of getting angry, he asked me what I wanted to do. When I couldn't give him an answer he told me that he didn't feel like walking after all and led me back to the car. When we got to the car I finally explained how badly my body was hurting and how hard it was for me to admit that I couldn't do the things I used to do. He let me cry it all out. I told him how sorry I was that I had ruined our day. He said that I hadn't ruined the day at all and that we could still enjoy the park in so many ways. What should we do first?
    I sat there in that car and thought about a few things. 1. How selfish I was being. 2. How wonderful my husband is. 3. How this conversation might have gone 5 years ago. Let me tell you something I've learned about marriage. You make your own happiness. Even though the day before had been crazy, I still had a great time just being with Bobby, because I had decided to. Had I been totally honest with Bobby on that morning I wouldn't have put myself in a situation where it was harder for me to keep my control. I saw what I had done wrong, admitted it and asked for forgiveness, and then MOVED ON! We had a wonderful rest of the day. We enjoyed each other's company and had a great dinner. Bobby was so understanding and just so happy the whole weekend. He went through a lot of the same things I did and didn't get upset. I didn't need to either. We decide to be cranky, or we decide to be happy. We are at a point in our marriage that we decide to be happy together no matter what we come up against, even if it's each other! I'm so thankful that we have learned these lessons together and I look forward to another year of happiness.