let’s be honest

For mother’s day, all I want is 8 hours in my house, alone, so I can do whatever I want to, not what I need to do. For some reason, mothers don’t say this even though I suspect most of us would take this over any other gift. Society says we shouldn’t say this out loud; I say that being true to oneself is more important than worrying about what makes others uncomfortable.

I want everyone to leave immediately after I’ve cleaned the house so I don’t have to be distracted by all the cleaning I have to do while they are all gone. (No, I am not kidding.)

I want to go to the bathroom alone and not worry about the trade-offs of shutting the door while I go. No pounding on the door. No yelling for me as if I’ve left the house in the middle of a dire crisis. No having to ask if everyone could please leave the room so I can wipe my butt.

I want to be able to sew without having to worry about where I placed the scissors.

I want to be able to knock out a project or two in one focused effort and feel good about accomplishing something tangible.

I want to be able to read without having it cost me sleep I dearly need.

I want to be able to eat food I LOVE – a nice spinach salad with blue cheese crumbles, dried cranberries, strawberries and walnuts.

I want to be able to look over my “lot” in life with a cup of coffee in hand and think, truly think. Focus on my blessings instead of what could be better.

I want to be able to not feel like I have to rush in the last 30 minutes or 60 minutes , or whatever, to do what I want to do. Instead, I want to think 30 minutes, and they’ll be home! They’ll walk in the door and we’ll greet each other with joy because we genuinely missed each other. They can tell me about all the great things they did while away, and I’ll be able to truly concentrate and listen because I’m rejuvenated and refreshed.

I don’t want to have to wait until they are in college because I strongly suspect I’ll wish I were spending my time with them instead.

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Some days it feels like I’m parenting with a giant red F across my forehead.

On the day with a seemingly permanent red forehead tattoo, the 10 year old asks for the exact amount of minutes before “I’ll be in” to tuck him into bed and send him off to his dreams with a kiss.

These days, it feels like I’ve done all sorts right.

Despite the red raw marks all over my forehead.


time for a little ME

Rae is at it again, and I’m very happy about it.

It is just the nudge I need to get sew something for me ONCE or twice. Considering I purchased some wonderful patterns and fabric already, I’m already set!

I am going to participate!

What about you or you or you?


I heard this song on the radio today while in the car driving to work.

I sang my heart out while smiling because when Jack and his little ten year old friends hear this song, they rock out too. It is so fun to see them giving it their all including special emphasis on “a Ferrari.”

I need to remember this when he is running around with these same friends at 17 past curfew.


the Easter Bunny has help this year

It was freezie weather today for this neighborhood!

It is Saturday night, and my house is nearly 80 degrees because of the incredibly beautiful day we had today. I’m all right with that when it is April. July, not so much. I’m enjoying the heat while sipping a CC7, my favorite drink of summer until the mint leaves are ready to Mojito.

I’ve been wanting to try this for a couple weeks, and what better than a 80 degree house to help the dough rise? I originally saw this over at Annie’s, but have seen it pop up a few other places since then. She says to put on ALL that sugar, but I just couldn’t. I stopped about 1/4 cup short.

Just got word that the UMD Bulldogs won the Frozen Four! I attended college there for one year and absolutely LOVED it. Ended up loving my alma mater more, but there are few places more beautiful than Duluth.  The hills. The view. The Lake. The campus. The hiking. The pizza.

God, I love that place.

This week, Jack, out of the blue, came out after waking up and said, “I don’t think I believe in the Easter Bunny anymore.”

Mom: Well, why is that?
J: Well, it is pretty impossible for a BUNNY to carry enough stuff for all the kids in the world in a basket ON his arm. I mean, really! I don’t think so.
M: (in my head) Yet somehow Santa CAN??? (out loud) Who do you think does it then?
J: Parents.
M: Are you sure you want to know the truth? (nod) Yes, it is the parents.
J: I thought so.
M: Well, this kind of works out well because I have an idea…

While it was fun to play Easter Bunny for the first few years, it starts to wear on you as the kids get older and more numerous and harder to buy for. Plus, these kids have generous grandparents who don’t miss a single holiday. Because of this, I’ve been thinking that more participation from all would be a lot more interesting and fun.

My idea, then, was that we put everyone’s name in a hat and draw. You purchase $10 worth of items to fill that person’s basket for Easter morning. Mom will still take care of the candy.

After I shared that parents would pay for the $10 per person, Jack was all for it. Since Troy was here this weekend, Jack couldn’t wait to draw names and go shopping.

So, tonight at dinner, we drew names. I got Troy; Mila (who was shopping with me) got Daddy.

Jack immediately started fretting about what he could get his person.

After dinner, we headed to the dollar store where we each grabbed a cart and started shopping. On the way, Aaron was not convinced by any of it. He only saw that we were going to blow $50 (5 people x $10 each) at a stupid dollar store.

For the first 10 minutes, Aaron was completely cart-less and sulked. Then, from behind me, I heard a familiar voice ask me if I were to choose an ice cream scoop, which would it be?

Hehe. I knew he’d come around!

In passing, I mentioned to that familiar voice something I would like.

We lined up cart behind cart at the check-out with each cart bagged separately. Each kept his or her eyes away from other carts.

On the way home, Jack said how he really thought hard about each purchase to make sure the person would like it.

I (heart) that! It was EXACTLY what I was aiming for!

Mila and I chose for Daddy several things that he could really use. Traditional flavored Tootsie Pops (he HATES the new flavors), bubbles (Mila cannot get enough), a back scratcher, flash cards to share with M, daddy loves some good radishes and he loves to plant flowers for his M, shower scrubbie, lint roller, car wash rag-thing and fake money (since Dad was saying how he was wasting his money).

For Troy we also choose many things he could really use! Gatorade, pocket tissues, a tripod for his Flip Video, pencils, chapstick, Chiclets!!! (it took a lot of control to not grab those for my own basket!), ear plugs, candy that Mila nabbed and stink bags.

Initially, I thought $10 was too little given that I spent more than $50 on Easter for two kids, but next year I will probably lower it to $8 per person, particularly if we stick with the dollar store.


a walk away kind of week

It is so easy for me to walk away from this blog for a week at a time. Particularly when I fall into the ruts of “life” which is to say barely keeping my head above the chaos around here.

Days are nicer which means going outside to play with a 15 month old. In case you don’t know, this involves picking up and dropping balls repeatedly. Then, doing it again. It also involves pointing at squirrels and birds. (This I like.)

Soccer practice started last week, then it snowed twice.

Rediscovering the sofa table under all the junk.

Having difficulty getting into my book. It is tough to follow this.

Thinking class prep is about an hour, only to finish three hours later.

Adding to my list of homemade birthday and Christmas gifts with fun and interesting finds.

Planning April Fool’s jokes.

Unfortunately, it is has also been a difficult week with family near and dear to me. The kind of difficulty that makes you want to yell and scream and cry, but instead you walk away and cry instead because you realize that the divide is large, oh so large.

I’m not good at walking away silently. I prefer to let people know exactly where I stand (stood) before I start walking away.

But, this time I’m learning something because someone else’s silence is deafening. This silence screams approval of the trespasses. It is crushing in its effectiveness.

So, I am silently walking away this time though it goes against everything I believe in. It goes against fighting for what I believe in.

Damn divide.

 

 


One Thousand White Women

I’ve been spending as much time as possible reading instead of a lot of other things like blogging. I feel like I really hit the jackpot on my last library trip, so I haven’t been getting much sleep. Between the books and the croup-y baby, sleep has been sparse for me. In fact, I stayed up until 1:30 am finishing this book last night only to lay there thinking about it at least 30 minutes after I completed it.

One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus was absolutely worth the dazed, tired feeling each and every morning that followed.

This piece of historical fiction is inspired by an even in 1874 in which the great Cheyenne “Sweet Medicine Chief” Little Wolf went to Washington D.C. to meet with President Grant in the hopes of making a lasting peace for his people.

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To secure the peace, Sweet Medicine Chief Little Wolf asked President Grant for a gift of 1,000 white women to become wives of the Cheyenne and to show his people the ways of the white man. The children born would then be a sort of bridge between the two cultures ensuring peace well into the future. In exchange, the Cheyenne would provide 1,000 horses to President Grant.

Since the Cheyenne are a matrilineal society (tracing ancestry through mothers, not fathers), the children would “belong” to the white man’s tribe; thus, the Sweet Medicine Chief offered the highest of honors known to his tribe. In reality of course, an appalled President Grant refused the offer.

One Thousand White Women, however, imagines that President Grant secretly agreed to the offer in an effort to move the Indians onto reservations more quickly.

The voice for most of the book is May Dodd, a scandalously sexually liberated woman who fell in love below her station. She has two children with her lover before her family has her committed to an insane asylum for her trespasses. It is there that she is recruited for, and agrees to participate in, President Grant’s secret “Brides for Indians” program. After two years, all the women will be free to leave the program and will receive an unconditional pardon from the jail, asylum or prison they were recruited from. May knows it is the only way to see see her children again.

The story is told through the journals May keeps upon leaving the asylum, her journey west and her experience becoming a squaw.

We learn about May and the other “Brides for Indians” who head West.

We learn about the West.

We learn about the Cheyenne people, beliefs and practices.

We learn about the United States’ Indian policies during this time period which lead to the killing of thousands of Native Americans, including May Dodd.

I found this book on International Women’s Day sitting on the shelf in the Good Reads section of my library.

I was intrigued. I was swept away. I have added it to my Good Reads section.

This is not a political book hell bent to revisit policies from this time. It is an attempt to tell the complicated story of a clash of cultures that resulted in the destruction of a land and a people. It is about friendship and women. It is triumphant and lovely and engaging and sad. It is, without a doubt, a book that celebrates women and relationships across cultures.

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