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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Good Day

Today we packed up our baby boy and his girlfriend and headed to OCCC to enroll him. We talked a little on the way, but mostly they listened to music with their ear buds. My oldest son met us at the school. After initial hugs and kisses the three of them walked to the main building as we lagged behind. The three of them were suddenly very chatty, talking about classes and stuff. I looked over at my husband and said.... "We just don't speak their language." He put his arm around me and assured me.... "It's just that they're young." Well.... I'm not sure what he meant by that... I'm young... I may not be 18 or 26, but I'm young. I could tell his girlfriend was a little nervous so I stayed with her while he went for testing. Finally, after doing this and that and that and this he came back with a small smile, sat down and showed us his ID card. It really happened. He is actually enrolled in college for fall. As we walked back to the car I told my oldest... "I can't believe my baby just enrolled in college." He said... "It's good mom, don't cry." "I'm not crying" I said. He laughed and said... "Oh, I thought I saw a little tear." I don't know what he was talking about. I was right as rain. My daughter met us at my son's apartment downtown and we walked to the arts festival, ate lunch and meandered down Thunder Ally. The kids walked and talked and laughed, seemingly glad to all be together. When my youngest was a wee one, and his brother and sister still lived at home, he used to ask me each night as I tucked into bed, when Bubba and Sissy would be home. I would explain to him where each of them were, what they were doing and when I expected them home. One time I asked him why he asked each night and he said.... "I just rest better when everyone is together." The last several years, he hasn't had much rest. My daughter is in the Navy and has been from hither to yon for years, while my oldest son spent several years doing mission work in different places. Watching them walk and talk made me feel like they were all where they should be... Together. On the way home, I looked at my husband and said.... "It's been a good day." He smiled and agreed. The chicks may not all be in the nest, but at least they will soon be in the same city together.... So everyone can rest better.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Strangled Sob Behind a Poker Face

I was a weepy mess last week for no particular reason at all and I'm not much better today. I know all good things much end, and yes I suppose new adventures are just a breath away, but gosh, being a mom is hard. Several months ago, my youngest sat on our couch and with absolute resolve and made it perfectly clear that he WAS NOT going to college. He did it in almost a temper tantrum kind of way... Well I say that, but actually no voices were raised or harsh words spoken, it's just that he was adamant that he would not go to college regardless of how we felt. The conversation left me baffled and confused. Although the subject of college had been discussed between his siblings and him, we had never broached the subject with him, nor him with us (yes, I'm sure that's bad parenting 101).
Early last week he gently knocked on my bedroom door as I was reading. He came into the room looking at his phone and in teenage mumble/murmuring speak, told me that he was going to Oklahoma City next week to enroll in OCCC. He said he had already sent his transcript in and just needed to sign up for classes. Much like the haircut, I tried my best to "Act Nach" and not torpedo him with the million questions inquiring mothers like to ask, so I simply said.... "Okay, is that something you would like dad and I to go with you to do?" I tread the waters very lightly with him because frankly, he doesn't quite know how to take me and I don't quite know how to take him which is a complete 180 compared to my older children. His teenage years have been a learning process for me that darn near required psychic abilities I do not possess... Psycho abilities yes, psychic abilities no. He shrugged his shoulder and said (in teenage mumble/murmuring speak) "Well, like sure, if y'all like want to go, that would be fine.... I guess."  Quickly my mind translated the message in "Uniquely Patterson" speak and determined the answer was... "Sure, I'd love for you to go." or at least I think that's the translation as I would like it to be. The idea that my youngest was actually going to leave, hit me in the stomach like a boxers upper cut. Parenting is a series of letting go. I absolutely don't want my children living their lives
around my wants, wishes or needs, but that doesn't make letting go easy or painless. I remember when each one of them were just learning to walk. After a fall on their padded diapered bottoms, they would look to me to assess if I thought they were hurt. The way I responded to the fall had much more significance than the actual fall itself.  They were more likely to burst into tears when I rushed to their aid as if something was wrong than they were when I simply smiled and encouraged them to get up, assuring them they were okay. The changes and paths they take in life as adults aren't much different.  When they come to me with decisions to make, or questions I don't have the answer for, I wish I did have psychic abilities or a crystal ball to direct them in the absolute perfect direction. As a mom without all the answers, all I can do is to let them know I support them 100% regardless of the choices they make.  I try to keep a sense of calm about me even when I desperately want to tuck them under my wing and never let them go. Watching their world unfold before my very eyes is both exciting and scary... A tiny part of me would like to fold it back up and start all over again.... Without the rookie mistakes I made as a young parent. The sound you hear as I watch them fly farther, higher and stronger from the nest is nothing short of a strangled sob hidden behind a loving smile and a very good poker face.

Monday, April 22, 2013

All the King's Horses and All the King's Men

Hey, it could happen to anyone... But it doesn't, it happens to me. This phrase should be tattooed on my head as a warning to anyone who dare trust me with anything.
Friday morning I received an email from a co-worker who was scheduled to be out of the office that day. The email said her daughter had ordered her a floral arrangement and had it delivered to the office. She asked if I or the other girl up front saw it delivered, if we'd please see that it had water and take good care of it until Monday. Later Friday morning the florist delivered the flowers to my office. As you can see in the picture provided, it was a beautiful arrangement. Being a diligent soul, I ran to the kitchen for a cup of water. When I watered the plant, water began spilling out and over onto my desk. Oops, must have watered a little too much. I picked the plant up and took it to the kitchen where I poured, not too much, but not too little water out of it. Satisfied I had accomplished the task in a satisfactory manner, I headed back to my office to take a picture (living proof) that the arrangement had arrived at my office and left for her office in one piece. I turned from the sink and took one step which landed in a drop of water that fell on the floor then everything happened at once. The plant went sailing up into the air like a bouquet at a wedding as one of my legs flew up and out like a ice skater at  beginning of a
spin, while the other knee twisted into odd angles. The upper half of my body lunged toward the plant as I tried to catch it before it fell to the floor. The plant and I landed with a resounding thud at the time.  The bud of a Lily that had yet bloomed bounced in one direction, a couple of leaves scattered like fall foliage  and a few of the things they had put in as filler lay in the hall.  Yes, the hall was filled with floral carnage and I lay frozen staring in udder disbelief. I COULD-NOT-BELIEVE-MY-EYES!!!! I stared at the mangled mess wanting badly just to cry!   I gathered the amputated buds, leaves and filler and took them into my co-bosses office to tell him that I literally could not be trusted with ANYTHING. It's simply amazing my children all made it to adulthood with me as a parent. They probably would have been better off being raised by apes. He listened to my sob story as he covered his mouth with his hand. I'm certain he wasn't holding back a cough. Other shameless people stood in the doorway grinning like a Cheshire cat until I cut them the evil eye causing them to duck back to where they belonged. He got up from his desk, asked if I was hurt, then took the plant gently from my shaking hands, assuring me super glue or tape would not be necessary. "She'll never know the difference, it looks fine, just throw those away." He said about the missing parts I held in my hand. He carefully delivered the flowers, newly arranged as they were, to the her office. He said snapping a picture as "Proof of Life" would be a wise decision, so I did also capturing one of the amputee's as well. Later as I relayed the calamity to a co-worker, telling her how absolutely horrible I felt because this was a special arrangement for a special occasion and I felt horrible, horrible horrible!!! she said.... "Don't beat yourself up over it, it could happen to anyone. If it had to happen, be thankful it was her, she is the most forgiving and least judgmental person I know." She was right, the recipient does hold almost super-hero status in my eyes (Great mom, great grandma, superb cook, all around creative Martha Stewart-ish, freaky intelligent and extremely beautiful). Pretty much everything I want to be when I grow up.  I checked on the plant first thing this morning. I was fully prepared
to snatch it from her desk before she arrived and transport it immediately to the nearest florist to administer CPR if it hadn't survived the weekend. Luckily it seems to have recovered from it's trauma. "All the kings horses and all the kings men" seemed like an appropriate summation when I left the office Friday evening. But now it may be a "Let sleeping dogs lie" kind of day.

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Brick Wall

After having enjoyed several weeks of uncanny energy and focus, I hit the proverbial wall, understood only by those who have hit similar walls with their injury or illness. Upon realizing the wall has been reached, which is usually when I have basically face planted with it, I struggle with overwhelming panic, frustration and yes, a very deep despair. I hit the Internet and Google myself to death, looking for answers, advice and validation. I always come away with the same conclusion...  This is the new norm for me. Knowing first hand that it cycles in and out, helps a little, but only on the days when I'm cycling up and not down. This week I took a MFS (mental Fatigue Scale) just to see if it was as bad as it appeared to be. I scored a 30.5, this isn't a test you want to
to score high on, which is above the level of someone working with a mild TBI, above the level of someone on sick leave from a TBI and above the level of someone who has suffered a stroke. The results didn't exactly lift my spirits, but they were no surprise. The one thing I know is.... I may be down, but I haven't been overcome. I'll keep trudging along like I have for over 3 years, until the tide turns (oh and trust me it will turn). When  it does, I'll soak in the energy like
a dry sponge and cherish it until I'm rung dry and hit the wall again. I may not have a green thumb, but I'm determined to have roses (without thorns please) growing on my proverbial brick wall so when I've got my nose, face planted in the middle of it, I'll still be able to smell the sweet aroma of life.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Merry Little Muse is Getting Mismatched

My merry little muse has been missing in action as of late.... Either that or I've simply stayed out of trouble and had nothing note going on. I do believe I have stumbled unto a new obsession though, so if you're wondering what to get me for Christmas, Birthday or just because I'm such an awesome human I'll tell you what it is so you can be on the look out for it. Surprisingly it's not shoes, in fact you don't even wear it. It's mismatched china. I happened upon this idea when I was browsing the Internet looking for something interesting to do for one of my friends who asked me to decorate for a mother/daughter tea. Our babies were born around the same time, and our older kids are exactly the same age, so we've been on the same life path for a long time. Unlike my graduate, hers will be involved in every activity available and she is going to be one busy little bee between now and
graduation. I on the other hand, will probably be doing good to get mine in his cap and gown to actually go to graduation.... TOTALLY another blog in itself. So, yes I am kind of sad not to be really up to my chin in graduation stuff, but then again, thinking about it all just makes me tired and kind of glad my graduate is low key, laid back and could care less. I'm doing the tea in a "Key to Success" theme, using skeleton keys, candles, quilt tops and banners.... Very shabby chic. When I started looking at tea parties I noticed how pretty tables looked with a mix of different
china patterns used together. It's simply adorable. I emailed my daughter and told her about my new obsession. Just like a chip off the ole block she replied that she had been thinking the same thing and that we should each start buying two table settings when we find one we like so we would have a matching mother/daughter collection of mismatched china!!! Isn't that a cute idea? I can't wait to find my first set.... I'm on the lookout and I'm taking my muse with me. If you have any you'd like to get rid of, let me know... I know my husband will be so excited.
My official first set plus a set of 4 yellow/green cuties I couldn't pass up for $2.50 each.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Language of Baby Love and Women

Our office gave a co-worker a baby shower this week. It's been a while since one of our own has had a baby, so we were all looking forward to it. The shower was held after lunch in the accounting meeting area. We all gathered with our pretty pink packages and anxiously awaited the arrival of the mommy to be. The majority of the women in the office are past the baby phase. Most are either raising teenagers or waiting for grandchildren. I'm not quite sure why, but none of the men showed up for the shower, which should probably be considered just plain rude :-) The mommy to be arrived in all her glory that comes with being pregnant. She is a beautiful lady. She seems excited about the big event, yet a little nervous since she has one other child and he is now 17. Yeah, that's a bit of a gap. A lot of things change in 17 years, especially baby equipment (that
could be taken more than one way LOL). She sat in the front and began to open the gifts. I wish I had the audio of the oohs and ahhh's said in unison every time she held up a darling outfit or a neat baby item. It sounded like a celestial song being sung in a language only understood by women. It's a language of excitement and joy created by the wonder of experiencing the sacredness of having held life within your womb. It's during times like this, when my mind goes back so many years ago.  I remember  waiting with anticipation for my little ones to arrive. I would sit in the empty nursery with a blanket or clothing, and imagine in a few short days the item being filled with a squirming bundle of beautiful joy. Oh how I miss those days.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Passive Aggressive Road Rage

I'm typically not a road rage kind of girl. I was raised in Tulsa and learned to drive in traffic. I liken it to a good cup of Starbucks. Growing up in Tulsa, I used the drive to work as my caffeine. It was a game to see if I could make it to work without ever having to use my breaks. I knew exactly when to change lanes because a certain street would get clogged and I could weave in and out of traffic with the best of them. It was a huge adrenaline rush. Although I have been accused of driving fast, I usually only do so in residential-ish areas. I'm not one to rant and rave every time someone around me swerves or drives like a moron... but that's usually because I'm in front and they're in back of me so I don't see it (hehe). When I was 16 or 17, I ran across a road rage paddle. It was so cool... It looked like a ping pong paddle with all the rants people say when they're behind the wheel of a car... Like "SAME TO YOU TURKEY!" or "GET OFF MY TAIL!" You could also flirt with them with the one that said... "YOU'RE CUTE" Each rant had a  little tab. You just put your finger on the tab of the rant you wanted and flipped the paddle over and held it up to the car next to you as you passed them. I got very good at flipping people off with my little road rage paddle. After all, I was a good girl and knew without a shadow of a doubt that flipping people off any other way would send me straight to hell in a hand basket. The paddle was my way of rebelling while staying firmly within the 29 prominent teachings I was raised with (But that's another blog altogether). A few days ago I was wishing I still had my road rage paddle (I wonder if they still make them?) I'm very conscientious that the left lane is for the fast and furious drivers. When I'm in the fast lane, I always move over when someone comes up behind me. I was coming back from Oklahoma City, jacked up on Starbucks and be-bopping to some John Mayer as I passed cars in the right lane. There wasn't anyone behind me, so there was no need to actually speed (more than 5 miles over the limit) and I was keeping a close eye on my rear mirror. I glanced in my rear view, everything was clear. I still had a couple of cars on the right to pass so I stayed in the left lane. I glanced up again and all of the sudden there was a black Lexus SUV looming behind me and all I could see was it's grill. I quickly scooted between two cars on the right... But I wasn't happy. Later, I smirked and laughed as I buzzed through the pike pass lane while he had to stop to pay toll. "TURRRR-KEY!" 10 minutes later here he comes again, just as I'm passing two cars. I could swear he sped up when he saw me. I thought...."Alright Buddy, you play aggressive? I'll give you a taste of passive-aggressive. When his grill filled my rear view mirror and he had no where to go... As the there was another car in the right lane (the one I was passing), I slammed on the breaks and just like they taught me in drivers ed, I turned on my blinker, then slowly and carefully merged into the right lane. I think the car in the right lane wanted to flip me off when he saw what I did, and I'm sure MR. Big Black SUV was probably saying a few choice words as well.  There was no doubt he could read my body language as he passed me in his big black monster SUV. When he pulled off at the McDonald's on tollway... I really wanted to pull off and tell him exactly how much of a total jerk I thought he was.... But I didn't, my body language said all I had to say...

Monday, April 1, 2013

Modern Convenience..."If Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy."

This weekend our microwave oven bit the dust. It was well over due if you ask me. The little rollers that rotate the plate, had actually worn through the metal so you could see this pretty glow coming from underneath the plate. Since green isn't one of my favorite colors and I was sure I was being contaminated by evil rays coming from the glow, I had my son haul it out to the trash. Easter afternoon my son came home from work and I told him I had some left overs from the feast my daughter had made. I heard him in the kitchen fixing a plate and remembered.... "I'll need to heat that up" Then I got to tell him the story all parents wait with bated breath to tell their children... About the good ole' days when we didn't have microwave or texting!  Shocking now to think we lived in such conditions and made it to adulthood unscathed. :-) After he ate, he left with his girlfriend to go see a movie. As he was leaving, he asked if I would still be up when he got back, because he'd probably want another plate of left overs and didn't really want to use the stove. I just chuckled and said "Yeah, well I may just run to Wal-mart and get a new one." Everyone knows I just abhor going to Wal-mart. It causes me great angst and usually results in simmering anger. But our microwave oven was out, and a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do to survive. Yep, you guessed it, it was "Big Girl Panty" time.... Survival of the fittest. I was headed to the jungle.  When I got there I grabbed the buggy and headed straight for the necessities department.... The aisle where they keep the microwaves. I pulled one off shelf, threw it on my buggy (it's not rocket science, it's just a microwave) then whipped out my measuring tape to make sure it would fit in my microwave cubby and made a run for it. For maybe a split second I considered picking up a few things we needed like dog food, milk, eggs, but the thought didn't linger and I made it out with the bare necessity I came for. On the way home I began to feel a little spoiled knowing we would probably survive the week without a microwave. Those modern conveniences really do come in handy and they make me happy. What's the saying??? "If Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy."