Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Summer State of Mind

I woke up this morning on the couch after a sporadic and restless night of sleep. I had four girls sleeping, or more like giggling, the night and early morning away in a tent in the back yard so I was snoozing with one ear and one eye open. At 3 o'clock they were so loud I would have sworn they  migrated to the family room with me. I sent them a friendly text asking them to please quiet down, and they did. Such are the marvels of modern technology: I didn't have to get up off the couch to scold them. As I waited to drift back off, I could hear only their muffled laughter and comfortable chatter and it made me smile. It brought back so many memories of all night truth or dare contests and countless seances. Light as a feather stiff as a board...echoed in my dream sleep. The girls lasted the entire night in the tent only to emerge in the morning when the sun quickly turned the cozy Coleman into a sweat lodge. Peanut spent the early morning keeping watch on the tent sharing my disbelief that they were still in there. They came out looking wilted and weary. I found our entire stash of candy (now mostly wrappers) in the tent along with their sleeping bags, and the source of their unwavering energy and subsequent crash became apparent. Again I simply smiled: it's summer so lack of sleep and gorging on junk food is no big deal. They had all day to suffer through sleep and sugar withdrawal with little else to worry about.

The girls gathered around the island and I made the second breakfast of the day: pancakes to order. I had already made Teddy a stack this morning before his golf tournament. As we were well on our way to the course, he realized he forgot his golf shoes. This is the kind of oversight that would normally rattle me, but not in the middle of summer. I turned around without even a slight surge in my blood pressure and returned home. Lack of warm-up time before his tee time: it's a first world problem.

The rest of the day was mostly lazy. We were all tired and hot, but not cranky. Ted wasn't even pissy at his disappointing 90 for 18 today. Tomorrow's a new day and he'll play a new course. Lil and I ate ice cream for lunch and then took naps. We just finished Father of the Bride and it was better than the DNC. I got a stash of movies for the sleepover, but the girls no longer need moms to plan their entertainment. That is both happy and sad. Thankfully, she still enjoys watching movies together. Ted and I even hung out watching trash t.v. in bed in the heat of the day, and I didn't feel the least bit guilty for any of it. Summer is about taking it easy, spontaneity and ice cream. Life's all about moderation and mindfulness. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

two day pass

this weekend was the hottest of the year.
lily had a softball tournament.
4 games in 3 days.
the girls conquered the heat and the humidity.
they were unable to defeat their opponents.
 they ended the season without a win.
and yet it was a mostly positive experience of teamwork and friendship.
they improved every game and they never hung their heads or gave up.
i was pleasantly surprised when t. bone decided to come to the first saturday game without invitation or insistence.
of course, he spent most of the game playing catch with a family friend.
yet he came, he saw (probably more than i did despite the fact that i was mostly watching intently), he cheered.
then ted disappeared until sunday evening swimming, pokemaning and biking around with friends.
mike had a blast particpating in the high school foundation's golf outing on saturday. 
then sunday after 2 steamy games, he napped, i read the girls and lily hung out with her friend in the air conditioned house.
the girls stayed home and made themselves dinner which is something i think is something.
the rest of us attended the baseball banquet.
we thought we'd just make an appearance and then it was 2 1/2 hours later.
the focus was primarily on varsity so many players weren't called out.
coach called teddy up for the 7 or so games he played on varsity this season,
and he encouraged him to work hard in the off season so he can earn his starting spot next year.
i think he's motivated because he had me wake him up early monday morning to go workout.
he ended up going back to bed, but it's a start.
mike and i ended the weekend with a movie...13 hours.
i was on the edge of my seat for the duration even though i knew the outcome.
the forecast for the week ahead is hot and full.
it's summer folks.

Monday, July 25, 2016

On My Mind Monday

There are those survivors of disasters whose accounts never begin with the tornado warning or the captain announcing engine failure, but always much earlier in the timeline: an insistence that they noticed a strange quality to the sunlight that morning or excessive static in their sheets. A meaningless fight with a boyfriend. As if the presentiment of catastrophe wove itself into everything that came before.

Emma Cline
 The Girls

This was not on my radar, but then I was lured in by the cover. I sped through this over the weekend remembering how vulnerable and naive I was when I was a 14 year old girl. It was both fascinating and frightening.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Grateful Friday

Today I give thanks for...

Getting up early this morning. Even though I wanted that extra hour of sleep, I also wanted to hear the buzz about Trump's speech last night on GMA first thing. I fell asleep about half way through his 75 minute rally, but I thought he was doing a pretty good job. As much as I lack affinity for either candidate (affinity being a kind word), I think this is fascinating stuff. And entertainment aside, it is my duty to be informed so I can cast my educated vote.

The right to vote. I've voted in every presidential election since I turned 18 and all elections the past decade. It really gets me fired up when I hear people say that they're not going to vote in November. It's reckless.

Getting to work early so I can leave early.

An extra day off this week and every week for the rest of the summer. 

Air conditioning. It's been brutal here all week. In the 90s and humid. It's the kind of weather that gets me looking forward to fall, and I don't want to wish away the second half of summer. 

After this weekend, softball is over. It's been a long season. She's busy with games and practice usually 4 nights a week. That's too much for summer in my opinion. 

Camp Grandma. Lily had a fun overnight this week that involved lots of time in the pool and a visit to the movies.

Pokemon Go. I cannot believe I'm actually saying this, but Ted went out for 2 long bike rides today to catch Pokemon and to crack his eggs. If not for this ap I fear, he would've watched tv all day.

Middle of week end of day picnic dinners on the beach.

6 weeks of summer left.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

On Everything

I'm waiting for Lily to wake up so we can begin our day's adventure. She's not one to sleep the day away like her brother, but this is her first week with true summer freedom since summer began. I want her to enjoy it although I'm not exactly sure whether she'll be happy or grumpy when she wakes only to realize I've let her sleep half the morning away. Teddy's not here. In true teenager fashion, he came home from spending all day at an amusement park yesterday only long enough to pack a bag to spend the night at another friend's. I asked for a hug. He pulled the "sweaty" card. I took the hug in spite of the perspiration. He's almost sixteen so I'm aware this is all natural and healthy, yet I cannot help but fast forward to that time when he's not even passing through anymore gathering things for the next stop.


I came home from work yesterday spent. I woke up at 2:45 and worried until it was time to get up. This doesn't happen to me often, but when it does, it's usually a Sunday night. I intended to take a nap so I put on some mindless television and then got sucked into an old episode of Teen Mom...the one where the adorable couple (who remind me so much of me and my high school love) decide to give their baby girl up for adoption. I sobbed. I was wrecked for them and for all parents. We all have to give up our children at some point. Kahlil Gibran was right in On Children:

"Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you.
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you."

Still children always need their parents. I need my mom. There's something I want to tell or ask her every single day and I'm going on 47 here. We're never too old for their comfort, wisdom or support despite the fact we travel through know it all and do it all phases. I'm uncomfortably in the phase where I realize how little I know and how much I need. I only expect to know less and need more from here on out. Yet there's a certain freedom in accepting one's faults, flaws and shortcomings. There is peace in knowing and loving oneself as is. It's called humility, grace and also maturity. 

How many times have we heard it said that we cannot love another deeply and truly until we love ourselves? I believe it. We cannot give that we do not possess, and yet even in dark periods of self-deprecation or loathing I still love my children unconditionally because they are me despite all the wisdom in Gibran's words.

Monday, July 18, 2016

On My Mind Monday


two day pass

it's that time of year when before i know it, it's the weekend again.
every day is different, and life is peppered with spontaneity.
it's hard for the type a planner i tend to be, but only when i resist it.
when i lean into the freedom, i reap the benefits of living in and for the moment.
unfortunately, something's got to give.
usually it's blogging and cleaning and sleep.
i'll survive.
so will my house and my history.

this weekend kicked off with lily's acting camp performance.
the actors gave us glimpses into what they've been devoted to the past couple weeks.
we were treated to a little improv, quite a rousing scene from hamlet and a lively lion king number.
she had the lead in a vignette during which she played a compelling autistic girl and was excited about it.
they closed the show with on broadway and i couldn't stop smiling.
she went with an old friend and they made new friends.
every year it's an all around well worth it experience.

that evening, while i was busy in the kitchen, i finished the bottle of freakshow that jess and i started the night before.
it was delish, and fitting as it seemed to perfectly sum up the people i had to deal with this week...i won't say where, but i bet you could guess.
i baked lily's now famous s'mores cookies for a family reunion mike was attending, and i put together a beach picnic for the girls all for saturday.

saturday after the boys went on their ways, the girls headed to windmill beach.
the water was warmer than it was during our midweek gloaming dinner, but still frosty and not for the faint of heart especially since the air was cooler and the westerly breeze constant.
we had a ladies lunch on the deck and spent the rest of the glorious afternoon beachside.
while i was the first one in the water wednesday, i didn't get beyond my lower extremities this time.
the girls were submerged for hours...surprisingly.
actually until their lips were blue and their teeth chattering, and still they wanted to stay.
they made friends with dogs and waves and a giant beach ball they blew up all by themselves.

we left just before gloaming and stopped for dinner on the way home.
it was the kind of day one doesn't mind lingering or lasting forever.
but it ends and too soon.
such is the fate of all good things.
i slept the sleep of the dead saturday and woke to a dreamy still sleeping house sunday.
i finished one book then picked up another and felt nothing but gratitude for quiet and coffee and other people's words.
sunday was a rough one for me...complicated, hormonal and sad.
i'll leave it at that.
the good news is that i know exactly why i felt the way i did, and it left me missing my mom something fierce.
it hurts to miss her so viscerally.
but i welcome the pain because it reminds me of what i lost and what matters.
last night, lily and i ended the weekend reading love and gelato aloud in bed.
i picked it up from the library for her and she sort of dismissed it, but we were both quickly drawn into this story about family history.
we read...we bond.
this is what matters: time, connection, intimacy, vulnerability.
this is what matters to me.