Pain and apathy

This piece is written in response to a prompt on The Red Dress Club, a writers website I love.
 The Prompt: Laziness of the spirit. Apathy. Sloth.
It’s like a second pulse within my body this pain that silently steals my energy, sucking my life force with each focused thought, with each physical movement. I can actually hear the sound of the pulse while it robs my life.
As the sun rises its blazing glory ricochets off the snow through the window. When it reaches the room my eyes squint as the brilliance begins to create the excruciating stabbing sensation in my skull.  My hand moves lethargically, reaching for the sunglasses which have become my form of armour these days.
Lub dub…lub dub…lub dub
My gaze travels around the room, it touches upon the blankets and pillows left out from movie time the night before, the popcorn which Brad and the girls had enjoyed. School work waits to be put into the girls backpacks, the hardwood floors hold a layer of unfamiliar grime, and dishes wait to brought to the kitchen. These things are within my sight but they hold no meaning for me.
Lub dub…lub dub…lub dub
My finger applies pressure to the button of the recliner, as my feet lower my body becomes upright and the spasms of searing hot pain begin to wave through my neck and back. My facial muscles become set, my posture that of an aged person, my jaw is clenched.
Lub dub…lub dub…lub dub
My mind fights to rise above the robbery, repeating the Serenity Prayer within my mind, my hands brace on the arms of the chair and my muscles begin the herculean effort to become upright.
Lub dub…lub dub…lub dub
Slowly I shuffle down the hall, sidestepping the dirty laundry pile; my hand uses the wall for support. Crossing the threshold to my daughter’s bedroom the thundering pulse in my body overcomes me and I lean on the door frame.
Lub dub…lub dub…lub dub
Taking deep breaths I remind myself that this is just another bad day; I can rest after the girls go to school. My eyes reach the pursed lips of my 5 year old who looks so young, so peaceful it tempts me to snuggle into the bed with her and evade the demands of the day.
Lub dub…lub dub…lub dub
Nevertheless I paste a smile upon my face and walk gingerly to her bed; my hand reaches her brow and smooths the hair from her face while I whisper a morning greeting. Her eyelids flutter and the clear blue eyes focus upon my face as recognition dawns. A big smile travels across her face as she stretches and emits a loud, piercing, excited squeal.
Lub dub…lub dub…lub dub
Reflexively my hands cover my ears as she begins her day with the enthusiasm which is hers alone, asking why I’m wearing sunglasses, commenting on how bright Mr. Sun is…..
Lub dub…lub dub…lub dub
My body fully tensed I move out of the room, forcing my voice to be happy and loving as I tell her to begin the morning routine. When I reach the kitchen, I push aside dirty dishes and brace my forearms on the counter. I run the tap water over my wrists as I breathe deeply, praying to God for His strength.
Lub dub…lub dub…lub dub
It’s 8am and I know I’m exhausted, I know I’ve become emotionally detached and that the day has hardly begun. Thank goodness I’m a good actress, that I’ve learned how to trudge through the joyful child moments until I can sleep.

Justin Bieber – Wordfull Wednesday

Hello to everyone from a rainy day here in Ontario. We are hoping for a sunny day at some point in the next few weeks, I’m getting really bored of the Noah’s Ark jokes after having 11 out of 14 days be rainy.
So lately I’ve made a habit of posting photos and have failed wonderfully at “Wordless Wednesdays” so on the advice of another blogger I have adopted the term “Wordfull Wednesday”. But today I didn’t think I had anything to be wordfull about….what is a blogger to do when she is lost for a topic?
Why hit other blogs and websites and read until inspiration arrives of course.
Yesterday on Yahoo there was an article on Canadian pop star Justin Bieber met with Japanese children whose lives have been devastated by an earthquake, tsunami and an ongoing nuclear crisis that has forced thousands of families from their homes.
Two days before on the 15th Yahoo Canada’s top article was titled “Grumpy Bieber Draws Tiny Hong Kong Welcome. How fickle are we? The article explained that only 7 fans arrived to greet Bieber upon his arrival in Japan and asked could he be grumpy because of this?
From today’s article Justin Bieber tells Japanese kids: things get better “In Japan for several concerts, the 17-year-old singer spoke briefly with nearly a dozen kids, including some from Otsuchi, a northeastern town massively damaged by the March 11 tsunami.
Bieber has already contributed to a charity album “Songs For Japan” with artists such as Lady Gaga and Bob Dylan, which has raised over $5 million for the victims of the disasters that have left nearly 25,000 people dead or missing.”
Is it really necessary to write articles which are slanted such as this?
No the writer doesn’t actually state this is the reason, in fact he does refer to a statement from a fan saying that Justin was ill but really we all appreciate the negative spin he has provided.
I’ve never been a Bieber fan, well that was up until Friday when we rented his newly released movie Never Say Never. My girls have thought he was “da man” for quite some time and I have actively controlled their idolism of him by limiting the UTube video watching and CD playing. I personally don’t think it’s cute when a little girl becomes disproportionately obsessed with a star.
I have to say it, I now Love the Biebs!!
God has brought him to the world for a reason….this movie has brought such exposure to the trials of a single Mom and her faith. Her love for her son and how she maintains balance within his life during his rise to stardom.
I won’t give a full biography on Justin here but you can see it on Wikipedia, I’ll just outline the basics as I know them. Justin was born in 1994 and was raised in Stratford, Ontario, Canada….yup a fellow Canuk! His mother is Patricia Mallette who was a mere 19 years old when she gave birth. Patricia worked a series of low-paying office jobs, raised him alone in low-income housing. She worked hard at keeping Justin involved in sports and church and openly appreciates the unconditional support and love from her parents.
Apparently the Biebs was talented from a young age and his Mom and her friends from the church band encouraged his musical talents. Mallette posted a video of the performance on YouTube for their family and friends to see. She continued to upload videos of Justin singing covers of various R&B songs, and his popularity on the site grew.
The rest is history which we can easily find on the Internet.
The movie is fantastic and it left me with many things to think about. Encouraging my children is an easy one, but how about the struggle she must have faced raising this child? How easy it would be to focus upon the negative challenges rather than the beauty of each day with him?
. This mother is a true inspiration, staying true to her religions and moral values in the face of many offers which would benefit her directly. Word on the street in June/10 was that  Patricia turned down an offer from Playboy for $50K to post, citing her religious…..how fantastic is that? I’m just floored at the idea of having a bod worthy of Playboy asking!
 
At one point in the movie Patricia says “I want him to find his identity and worth not by what he can do but by who he is”.
I love this and it’s what I will continue to try and teach my girls.
Rock on Biebs!!

Sand,Love and God at MBC

I am writing this piece in response to a prompt on The Red Dress Club
This week’s RemembeRED memoir prompt asked us to write a memory of sand.

Last summer we took our first vacation as a family; we had rented a trailer at the retreat where my sister and her family had spent their summers for years. We had visited many times, enjoyed the location and time with family and returned home with a few memories. We also took away feelings of being uncomfortable; we had never quite fit in. This Christian retreat had amazing amenities, great kids programs but there were rules that cramped our style, more my style than hubby’s if I’m to be honest.
This year hubby and I decided to dive in and actually stay for a week in a rented trailer to experience what Muskoka Bible Center had to offer. The no drinking rule wouldn’t be an issue anymore; I wouldn’t be spending my evenings hiding wine in a juice cup on the deck. We still smoked but we felt we could work around that rule; it would be worth the discomfort. The “Modesty” rule for bathing suits at the beach was a no brainer; I had put on 30 pounds in a very short time since the accident. The sun could kiss my Buddha belly in the privacy of my own backyard thank you very much!
There is nothing pretty about being stuck in the car with two impatient children and a woman with fears of driving and back injuries my friends, the two hour drive took three hours with pit stops and sanity breaks. But we had finally arrived! Our trailer was amazing, the triple bunks were an immediate success! The views greeting us were breath taking.
I’d often heard the term “unwind” used for vacations but hubby and I had never before experienced the feeling. This week away we truly did. We left behind all the stresses of daily living and allowed ourselves to soak up each opportunity for growth which we happened upon.
It was a slow week, one which we took day by day.  Each morning hubby and I had time alone together while the children we in kids program, we attended chapel together and then took walks through the woodsy trails and on the sandy beach. We reconnected as we hadn’t in a very long time; we fell in love all over again.
Our afternoons were spent as a family on the beach, playing in the lake, making sandcastles, canoeing and making memories.

When the evening rolled around we would reluctantly leave our spot on the sand and return to the trailer. The girls would sneak out each evening while we were preparing dinner to go “frogging” in the gully behind the trailer and return covered in mosquito bites, victorious with a bucket full of slimy friends.
This week allowed all four of us to see God’s love for us, we were surrounded by His unmistakable beauty. There really is no place like Muskoka Bible Center, it was surrounded by water, rocks, trees, wildlife and people filled up with a love for God which brought out the best in each of us.
We revelled in it.
When it was time to leave  I felt a deep desire to stay. I didn’t want to face the realities the world and risk losing this feeling of connection with God. We knew it wasn’t possible to stay; we had to figure out a way to bring the feeling home with us!
When we expressed these feelings to other families there, they understood and gave some tips for keeping God in the forefront of our family.
Upon returning home we made the commitment to attend our church, to become involved. We have since attended regularly, volunteered our time, involved our children in activities whenever possible. Here at home we speak God’s name and Word often throughout the day, we consider God’s opinion when making choices and allow our children to see us doing that.
We are no l
onger afraid of walking this journey with God, we’ve found our purpose. We don’t give up and do our own thing when it’s uncomfortable, we remain steadfast in our resolve to keep this connection we felt that week away.
————————————————————————————
Romans 12:1-2
Therefore I exhort you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a sacrifice – alive, holy, and pleasing to God – which is your reasonable service. Do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God – what is good and well-pleasing and perfect.
Ephesians 6:14-17
Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
AA Big Book, pg 130

Those of us who have spent much time in the world of spiritual make-believe have eventually seen the childishness of it. This dream world has been replaced by a great sense of purpose, accompanied by a growing consciousness of the power of God in our lives. We have come to believe He would like us to keep our heads in the clouds with Him, but that our feet ought to be firmly planted on earth. That is where our fellow travelers are, and that is where our work must be done. These are the realities for us. We have found
nothing incompatible between a powerful spiritual experience and a life of sane and happy usefulness.

Alcoholism – Changes aren't easy

This piece is written in response to a prompt on The Red Dress Club, a writers website I love.
This week’s prompt was to write about jealousy, an emotion that often brings out the worst in us.
The sound of my child’s scream had me opening one eye, lazily turning my head in the direction of the interruption. As I had suspected it was a scream elicited by play not by injury; I resumed my position of relaxation with a sigh of pleasure. The sun softly baking my skin after a season of sweaters and socks was blissful. As I leaned over to light a cigarette the cool wind picked up and traveled across my flesh bringing goose bumps and a full body shiver.
Fighting to convince myself to stay in my sun-seeking state of mind, I inhaled the nicotine and thought to myself “Who cares what people think, it’s May, I’m not a total freak for lying on my front lawn in a lawn chair in a tank top and shorts. My Grandmother would be here in bra and panties if she were alive.”
Sitting there that day I felt wonderful watching the gang of children on the street noisily playing, running from one front yard to the other like a gaggle of geese. I reflected upon my journey up to that date. I embraced the changes, praising God for the love and support those around me had given me.
As 5pm rolled around the neighbourhood got busier; the adults in the ‘hood were returning from work. Greetings were yelled across the road, smiles and laughter as we acknowledged the weekend state of mind which was upon us.
By 5:30 I was wearing a sweater, reluctantly conceding that it wasn’t quite summer. I resumed my position on the lawn and watched a van pull up at my friend Tammy’s across the road. A man, a woman and two little children emerged. The door to the house opened and Tammy’s two adorable little girls ran out to welcome their friends. The four children chatted and squealed as Tammy and her husband emerged from the house, greeting the other couple.
The children’s antics amused me, I watched as my children and their gang made their way over to meet the new additions to the flock. Memories of times spent with this family on a Friday evening flowed through my head. What fun it had been the spring they had moved in; realizing that we had children the same age and so much in common. Our families had shared some great times, emerging each spring excited to spend time together after practically hibernating the whole winter.
As I sipped my coffee a sinking feeling was coming over me. “Why isn’t Tammy waving at me, inviting me over?”
The man carried a case of beer to the front step and the familiar sounds followed; the case being ripped open; the clinking of the bottle; the sound of the cap being twisted off. These sounds produced a physical reaction within me. I imagined I could feel the cold beer travelling down my throat; the fullness of the flavour saturating my palate. Immediately I pushed those thoughts from my mind, replacing them with the efforts of the past year and a half. Glancing at my children I felt my resolve strengthen, they reminded me of my choice to live life fully.
There was still a nagging feeling in my chest, a tight nasty feeling which I hated to acknowledge. The question remained, what had changed, what was the reason for my exclusion from this happy group?
Was it the fact that I had stopped drinking alcohol?
Did I make our friends feel uncomfortable now?
Was my mind playing tricks on me?
Standing with a sigh, I called the girls inside for dinner.

Confidence

confidence – freedom from doubt; belief in yourself and your abilities;
Today was a day when confidence punched me in the stomach, my 7 year old daughter wanted to ride her bike to school by herself. She would have a mere 3 minute bike ride with crossing guards to assist her on her way.
My mind was screaming NO!!!!!
My baby couldn’t do it, not without me there.
What if she gets scared and doesn’t know what to do?
What if her amazing bicycling skills failed her?
What if a car doesn’t see her and hits her?
What if ….
Sydney is our first born daughter and she’s always been an amazing mystery to me.
Sydney was born three weeks early in an emergency situation, she was healthy and totally normal except when it came time to sleep. She would get so overstimulated we would have to swaddle her, use a pacifier, hold her while patting her bum whispering shhh, shhh, shhh until she finally settled.
 She was a big baby, she learned to sit up while the other babies were already crawling.
Sydney would watch the other babies and be content sitting until the day when she effortlessly crawled over to the dog to play.
This daughter of mine is a thinker, she doesn’t share her frustrations until they seemingly overflow from her in a fury. When I ask her how her day was at school she answers “fine”. If I ask what she did she responds “I forget”. Thankfully I can communicate directly with the teacher on a daily basis right now but it’s presented a challenge when Sydney is stressing about something and unwilling to share.
This little girl has held my hand up until today, the time hadn’t yet come where she would be doing something independently. I’m one of those Mommies who stand and watch gymnastics instead of simply dropping her off and getting shopping done. It’s just the way I am.
And so Sydney and Hubby have been preparing me for this day, there have been conversations about her riding to school, the route, how to get around people on the sidewalk and the safety involved.
But I wasn’t ready.
My gut was turning, I was sweating and yet….I did what we do as Mothers, I let her spread those darling little wings.
The time had come for me to step up and meet her level of confidence.
She was ready, and the fact that I wasn’t shouldn’t have held her back.
Yup I got through it, the only way I knew how; by following her.
You didn’t seriously think I’d allow a 7 year old to ride alone did you?
Although she would have preferred to have the umbilical cord cut for this achievement she was very proud of herself and Mommy wasn’t having an anxiety attack.
Baby steps.

I suck at Wordless Wednesday

Hello bloggy friends, today I am writing about what I’m grateful for. This is not only because I have a titch of writers block but because it was supposed to rain here and it’s been a lovely, sunny spring day.
I’ve seen other blogs where they participate in “Wordless Wednesdays” but come on, as if I could be wordless! So mine will be something more like Julie’s trying to use as few words as possible Wednesdays!
Woooohoooo.
Today I was determined to spend time outside enjoying the weather, so out to my backyard oasis I went. Click Here for a bit of background if you’d like catch up on our little slice of Heaven.
Today I was thankful that we had purchased a new patio set last year so I could sit comfortably listening to the damned black crows chasing away a lovely Blue Jay while my freaking dog was attacking the neighbor’s dog through the fence.
I’d like to divert your eye from the unopened pool, the snow blower and the toboggan which are both waiting to be stored for the summer; draw your eye to the lovely apple green of the cushions and umbrella, notice the sunlight flooding my oasis. 
Now you’re getting an idea of how I roll.
This next picture tells a thousand words for me. As you may have deduced I have significant short term memory issues, I write about it though out my blog, Click Here for a taste.
Today for whatever reason my alarm on my phone hadn’t gone off to remind me to eat and by 1pm I was feeling weak and shaky. When I’m like this it’s hard to figure out what to eat, I’m grateful that I can always remember how to make a cheese sandwich with Granny Smith Apples!
Yup it’s fatty-bum white bread my friends, yum.
Diet Pepsi = yum.
Without my wicked awesome prescription sunglasses this girl would be lost, I’m blind as a bat and wouldn’t be able to sit here ignoring my dog’s horrific antics at the fence while reading a great book.
It’s Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyers, fantastic.
Within the picture below you can see the bane of my existence right now.
HAY.
I took the advice of the oh-so-knowledgeable Garden Center Lady in the fall and spread my Halloween hay over my gardens.
Dumbest move I’ve ever made!
The freaking hay is everywhere, the fact that we have river rock gardens helps the pain-in-the-ass factor rise dramatically.
But there’s also green there, see it?
I’m focusing upon that. My tiger lilies are coming, spring has arrived.
I’m grateful for the cycle of life.
I’m grateful I have a hubby with a strong back and 2 little ladies whose little hands will be removing each bit of hay from our backyard oasis.
They’ll thank me when they’re older.
I find tagging this with Motherhood amusing.

Spring weather brings out rockstars and princesses

Here in Suburbia, Ontario, Canada we get proper Winters. When I say proper I mean from November – April it’s cold and generally snowy. Because of this when we notice the white stuff beginning to melt  many of us here experience a strange feeling of pent up excitement.
SPRING FEVER!!
This feeling had hit the little people in my house a few weeks ago and the kids enjoyed the one warm day with a great Canadian past time, road hockey!
Upon waking the following morning we were greeted with snow again.
Today however Spring has truly come, the warm sun is accompanied by a warm breeze and my hostas are beginning to peek out of the soil.
Hubby was at a friends house fixing the brakes on his SUV so the girls and I decided to enjoy the weather with a walk.
Miss Coco Bean was super excited to hear the W word spoken and immediately began tearing around the house, leaping furniture like a deer emitting a whining sound at an uncomfortable level.
Have you any idea what a bloody ordeal it is to get these two girls out on a simple walk?
I kid you not it was 20 minutes that Miss Coco Bean and I waited while they dressed for the event.
20 minutes of a impatient Boxer whining and “talking” at me.
Finally they were dressed.
The Rockstar took the lead
 (seriously if you knew how long she searched for sunglasses you’d understand Coco’s panting face.)
And we were off!
Princess Chelsea had chosen to go with a lovely Pink Camouflage shirt with the warning message “Drama Queen” printed boldly on the chest.
Yeah like the Disney hair piece and bubble gum pink boots wouldn’t have given that away.

We enjoyed a 5 minute walk before we had to stop for a rest, trying to keep it upbeat and positive I decided this was the perfect opportunity to snap a picture of my two lovely daughters with their awesome dog.
Look how happy they look.
(This took 7 attempts, eyes were closed, little sister couldn’t get onto the fence, big sister got angry, there was a headlock involved…) 
We walked for about 15 minutes, I personally chose to focus on the sun and enjoy the day.
After the girls gave up trying to annoy one another they began noticing the new plants emerging from gardens and buds on the trees. 
The discussion revolved around the changes and new life which accompanies Spring. 

It was a simple outing, the preparation of the attire actually took longer than the event.
But it was special, it was something we’d been waiting for months to do.
How many people can say that they went for a walk with a Rockstar, a Princess and their dog on a fine Spring day?

The Insensitivity of Youth

This is a Fiction piece written in response to the prompt on a website I love, The Red Dress Club.
Someone has stolen something from you (or your character). Something of tremendous value. What will you do to get it back? Or will you give up?
The sun was hot on Cheryl’s forehead as she sauntered along with the type of self-absorbed confidence only an over indulged pre-teen can. From a house behind her a girl of approximately the same age hustled out the door yelling her name trying to catch up to Cheryl. Cheryl didn’t alter her course; there was a slight tilt to her head and rising of her chin in response to the call.
“Hi Cheryl, I love your top, it’s really hot out today huh?” the girl said quickly as she stumbled into step with Cheryl.
With a sideways glance Cheryl responded “Did you get it?”
The girl hiked her backpack higher on her shoulders and hastily said “Oh yeah, here, but I need it back at the end of school” as she held out a bracelet she had been carrying.
Cheryl clipped the sliver cuff on carelessly with a sly smile on her face, “Okay, so now you’re my best friend for the day and you can sit beside me at lunch.”
The other girl smiled happily and they continued down the road towards Canterbury Middle School.
Anyone observing would quickly notice Cheryl’s appearance of confidence, her stylish attire and knowing gaze. They might hear the other girl’s nervous laugh at each exchange between them, notice how she fidgeted and seemed to fawn over Cheryl.
You see the other girl was me. I was 12 and I really wanted to be Cheryl’s friend. Cheryl personified everything I wished I was. She was popular, pretty and smart.
She even had a boyfriend!
We had been in school together since kindergarten and although our Mothers had once been friends we hadn’t been friends in years.
Everything changed when my Mom died.
Oh what it would mean when the kids at school knew she’s my friend!
I’d get invited to boy & girl parties, I could eat lunch with the cool kids; people would talk to me finally!
I couldn’t wait.
That day was wonderful!
Children I had known forever suddenly paid attention to me, gave me friendly smiles and included me. I ate lunch at a table full of people talking with me, far away from my regular table where it was quiet and lonely.
This one lovely day at school in Grade 7 changed my perception.
These kids showed me what it felt like to belong again.
On the walk home from school that day Cheryl gave me back my bracelet and said “See ya”.
I was so happy I gave it no thought; I told her I’d see her tomorrow and rushed home to gush into my diary, capturing each event in detail.
I still read that diary wondering at the insensitivity of youth.
You see the next day when I arrived at school and animatedly began telling Cheryl and her friends about my evening at the Car Show with my Dad I was greeted with blank stares.
I’ll never forget the feeling of my heart sinking as the understanding began to dawn. I pushed that feeling aside and valiantly tried harder to engage each one of them in conversation.
The change would have looked subtle to an outsider but I knew in my heart that I was excluded, alone again.
I watched with a cold heart as they all walked away from me, together as a group.
When Cheryl turned around and walked back towards me my heart began to warm up, hope was filling me.
“Don’t look so sad, the deal was just for yesterday.”
As I watched her walk away the sense of belonging left me yet again.



Legacies from Mother to Daughter

Legacies…..
I’ve been all sappy since I wrote my submission to The Red Dress Club challenge last night and today I was pondering what my legacy to my daughters would be….Talk about total Mommy Sap here!
Perhaps it’s the Irish in me (I claim a fair amount of Irish blood but my Grandmother was just 1/2 Irish, shh don’t tell anyone) but when I think of my own legacy my first thought isn’t money or material items.
Will my daughters use my token words?
Those words which my Mum used, the same ones my Grandmother probably taught her?
When their children fall will they say “up you get poppet”?
Once they are back on their feet will they say “way you go then”?
When their children are feeling aches in their bodies while growing will they tuck them into bed with a water bottle, lying them on their sides with a cold, damp cloth on the forehead and a kiss upon their cheek saying “Ni Ni, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite”?
See there’s the emotional Irish side of me.
There are so many legacies handed to me from my Mum which I already see myself using daily. It seems that with the birth of my children all the memories which were stored in my subconscious have kicked into gear.
I’m grumpy in the mornings just like my Mum, generally running late and STRESSED!
I love socializing just like Mum.
I love a good book just like Mum.
Wish my boobs would grow to her size. Wait was that out loud?
Who knew I’d dig going to second hand stores and finding treasures like my Mum?
I say the same prayers to my children that were said to me, I kiss the boo boos the same way as she did, I sing the same little songs to my babies.
Funny how that works.
Last summer our little family went to a Christian retreat 3 hours North of our home called MBC for a week. This was an amazing week for us filled with learning about God, spending time on the beach, going frogging and just relaxing doing life together.
Now there’s a legacy.
While we were there I took a short photography course and spent the week taking over 600 photos which I will share overtime on this blog I’m sure. There is one photo I want to share with you.
This is where you may be thinking….OK Sassy Sober Julie it’s a photo of hands, cute Mommy and Daughter…nice but what’s so special?
It’s not just hands.
It’s my legacy.
It shows 4 generations of hands.
I have exactly the same hands as my Mum’s
 My Mum has exactly the same hands as her Mother’s
My young daughter has exactly the same hands as mine
Therefore my daughter has my Grandmother’s hands in hers.
These hands hold my legacy.

Blingy Club Mommy

When my first daughter was born I was eager to know all the information a Mommy would need, I scoured the Internet for months preparing myself for illness, developmental milestones, the newest learning toys and anything that I could add to my arsenal of Mommy hood to prepare myself and my Darling Daughter.
Fast forward 7 years, add another child and the challenges of life and here I am.
Unprepared.
Now let me state that in my opinion we’re always unprepared when in experiencing anything for the first time but usually I have a heads up on things which are predictable.
My girls are in gymnastics, I’ve noted this in the past I think but with this sieve of a memory who knows..
My youngest has been in the gymnastics club for a year now, seriously this kid is a mini Mary Lou Retton
Okay I’m dating myself but Mary was the most AMAZING gymnast when I was growing up.
My eldest decided to join the gym in January and her confidence is growing. She is an amazing child who sits back and watches how something is done until she gets the confidence to give it a shot. I didn’t know how this would pan out but with the help of great coaches she’s shocking me with her enthusiasm.
My Girls spend a ridiculous amount of time practicing cartwheels, handstands, moving the furniture to use as mats…you get the picture. It’s a constant avoidance of little heels flipping in the air here.
I’m teaching them the ins and outs of the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser for the footprints halfway up the wall.
Here’s a pic of my youngest at the gym, my eldest doesn’t allow me to take photos there, it’s “too embarrassing”
So now I’m a gymnastics Mom and apparently (I have a thing for titles) there’s a whole subculture here I was unaware of.
Sitting watching my girls the other day I saw some of the parents wearing really cute jackets with the Club name Bedazzled on the back. Of course I wanted one, I love a bit of bling!!!
OK so I wanted to sparkle and belong to the whole Blingy Club Mommies 😉
So I very nicely said Hi in my most charismatic way and inquired politely about the jackets……I received the cold stare, looks exchanged by these Blingy Club Mommies and then a sigh….response: Only competition members can purchase these jackets.
There it is folks an entire aspect of this Club I was unaware of.
A feeling began to take me over, a voice from that Black box of my mind screamed EXCLUDED!
Dear Lord why didn’t I KNOW?
I thanked them, keeping my outward appearance of “being in the know” and resumed watching my girls practice.
Now my fellow blogisphere friends we all have felt this feeling.
Of not being aware of something, of feeling unprepared but for myself it’s an irrational reaction which takes place inside of me.

I was instantly offended by those Mean Mommies behavior, excluding me, by their obvious condescension. While this should be annoying it shouldn’t make me feel the need to “fit in” at 38 years old.

It was a knee jerk feeling.
It’s a character defect, one which I’m glad I’m aware of.
Because I didn’t react, I didn’t go to the coaches and ask for my children to be evaluated, to demand they be accepted into the competition level of training, I didn’t make a fuss.
What I did do was take a breath and realize that I have these tendencies, shift my perspective and watch the competition kids, appreciate their efforts and then move my gaze to where my eldest was learning the bars.
I saw her timid smile as she spoke with her coach. I saw her trying her best and enjoying it.
I laughed with her as she clumsily tried again and again.
I watched my youngest perfecting her cartwheel and looking around to find me and jump up and down waving to me.
I was proud of my girls.
I was proud of myself for accepting my defects and working on changing them as clumsy as my efforts are, they are consciously progressing.
So while I may one day be a Blingy Club Mommy today I am happy being just a normal not always prepared Mommy of 2 FANFRIGGINTASTIC Gifts from God.