prep for the future


I finally got to enjoy the gift certificate my girls gave me for a mani pedi and it was wonderful. And then I ended up with an ingrown toenail followed by an infection. Yes, a gift that keeps on giving. It’s my own fault. I should have not enjoyed the massaging of limbs so much that I became blissfully unaware of the fact that the nail tech was cutting my nails rather than filing. So now I get to soak my affected foot in an epsom salts, vinegar, bleach solution followed by nail care as prescribed by my doctor…anything to avoid him taking a scalpel to my poor, swollen, angry-red toe.

Daniel is fascinated with this three times daily exercise of mine…the soaking of the foot….the drying of the foot…

“What’s the dental floss for?”

“Well I need to slide it under the nail like so in order to lift…”

“OH MY GAWD!”

Poor guy pales, turns away quickly and loudly retches.

“it’s okay, son. It doesn’t hurt.”

“Bleeccchhh!”

“There are far grosser things than this, son.”

“LIke what?”

“Um, catching your kid’s vomit with your hands.”

“EW!!!”

“I promise you that isn’t even the grossest thing.”

“I’m not doing any of that EVER!”

Hmmm…

Me thinks for the sake of my son’s future forever love of his life and any family they might have this needs to be fixed soon…for their sake and for his own sake so he won’t have to awkwardly apologize like Boomer Esiaison had to recently...I imagine not only to assuage some of his fan base (they all can’t be douche-bags, can they?). I’m sure old Boomer heard an earful from Mrs. E and didn’t care much for sleeping in the doghouse so to speak.

Having the privilege of seeing more babies being born than I can remember over the years, I have to say that I have seen so many different kinds of dads…the total hands on I’ll-do-everything kind of daddies, the dads who just might pass out if we don’t make him sit down now, the dads who do pass put, the dads who can scarcely look up from the game, Candy Crush, texts from his friends, dads who have fallen asleep because after 20 hours he is exhausted…YEAH…we wake those dads up so they won’t miss the big moment. Thankfully, most of these daddies surprise us all…especially their partners and their own selves as well. They go on to own diaper changing, well, some do. I know some dads refuse the diaper duty. The daddies on my watch soon learn they get one free pass on that with me because I come from the school of “You made this baby, you change this baby. That once earned me a tray of homemade tamales made by a lovely, elderly Mexican man who was amazed and amused that I could make his big, macho son change his daughter’s diaper because everyone knows that to “your average strong Hispanic man that is woman’s work” (his words, not mine). Some daddies grow with their babies being totally hands on daddies, taking a couple of the late night feedings, walking the floor, taking care of a barfy kid, taking the kids to the pediatrician, attending the parent-teacher conferences, jumping right in with child-care when the other parent is at work or out with friends or out of town without even calling on the grandparents to babysit or calling the wife asking when is she coming home…

and some daddies, well, some daddies don’t.

That’s okay…

I guess…

as long as both parents are okay with that.

Me?

I have been lucky to have a dad for my kids who was hands on from that very first diaper change, who has caught more than his fair share of barf and dealt with middle of the night barfy bedding. He has taken kids on occasion to the doctor, done some of the middle of the night feedings, walked the floor with a colicky-screaming baby even if he did have to get up for work in two hours, attended parent-teacher conferences and never once called on his parents to babysit when the wife was at work or out with friends or out of town because, as he taught me and his friends that they are his kids too and his job is to take care of them just like mom does…except for that breastfeeding thing because, well…

That’s the kind of daddy I hope and pray that my son will be…because frankly my grandbabies deserve nothing less. That’s the kind of man we are trying to raise this boy up to be.

Yeah, it’s a work in progress. He’s twelve. There’s time.

enough with the bright futures! stop growing up!


Look at those bright, happy smiling faces! Looking at them Timbuk 3’s song “The Future’s So Bright” starts playing in the personal soundtrack of my mind.

What?

You don’t have a personal musical soundtrack always playing in your mind?

What’s wrong with you?

Oh, never mind.

Back to looking at these kids. Some I have known for a few years now. A couple of them I have known since before they were even born. Now I find myself bearing witness to them growing up much too quickly from little kids…real little kids…babies even…into these confident, happy, smart people who (sooner than I will be ready for) will be ready to take on and likely rule the world.

I don’t think I am ready for that just yet. Not that I would doubt that they would rule the world benevolently and brilliantly. I’m just not ready for these kids to grow up.

Stop it!

And while you are at it, take off those damn shades!

I swear this is not the cold meds talking.

and thus begins my favorite year


The clock struck midnight and thus began what I truly hope to be my favorite year. It definitely has to be more of my favorite than 2010 was because 2010 sucked almost as much as 2009 did…right? Of course I’m right. It’s my warm, fuzzy, optimistic logic and I am going to run with it.

But first I must toast the year with this glass of champagne. The day goes on with lots of cuddling and snuggling under warm, fuzzy blankets watching old movies with my boys. I can’t imagine a better way to begin this year…can you?

Only a day has passed and yet I can’t help but feel optimistic. I always begin it that way. Everything is fresh, shiny and new. Of course there will be mud and muck, scratches and dings that will mar my shiny, new year, but for now I can’t help but enjoy the freshness of it all with the promise of good things to come.

But back to reality…

Today was spent with Holly…in the ER.

Just last week, Holly announced the happy news that she and Ben were expecting, that Hazel would be a big sister.

See?

Good things are coming in 2011.

But early this morning sudden intense pain, bleeding, an ultrasound and blood-work, as well as the brusque, matter of fact pronouncement by the female ER attending, declared that this little bit of happiness was not meant to be for the summer of 2011. My heart aches for Holly. I’ve been in this position not once, not twice, but three times. It never was easy but it certainly was made all the more painful with a callous, “these-things-happen-sometimes” attitude. The idea that a female practitioner is so much better in times like this is such bullshit. This particular ER doc announced the news to Holly in the same manner she might have confirmed that she had strep throat or perhaps a sprained ankle.

Yes, these things do happen.

It’s life.

Unfortunately, loss is a big part of life, life in what I hoped to be my favorite year.

We left the ER with our daughter, sharing hugs and tears and made plans for Hazel for the next day so Holly could rest and recuperate a little before we headed back home to the Big Top where I crawled back under the warm fuzzy blankets, watched one of my favorite movies ever and cried…for my baby girl…for her angel baby…for my four angel babies.

Two days down, only three hundred and sixty three to go.

future self


Imagine yourself five years from now. What advice would you give your current self for the year ahead? (Bonus: Write a note to yourself 10 years ago. What would you tell your younger self?)
prompt by Jenny Blake

Dear Me five years from now,

My God! You are fifty-three years old! It’s hard for me to imagine even if it is only five years from today. I do hope that you are still taking care of yourself and I’m wishing that you are running even faster than you are in 2010. If not, well, that’s okay because there is no shame in running a granny pace…no shame at all.

In 2015 you will be the mother of FOUR adult children. Wow! I do hope that the younger two make you just as proud as the older two are in 2010. Your little man won’t be so little anymore. He is a teenager! Of course you know that because you are living with him and all the teen-aged angst and drama that a thirteen/fourteen year old brings. Relax! You have survived raising four teenagers before him so you will survive this.

Last night, in 2010, you got to witness a once in a lifetime or more event. It was the first total lunar eclipse on Winter Solstice since 1638. The last time an event like this took place Galileo was under house arrest for his scientific views that collided with the Church. Unfortunately for Galileo, he was blind at the time so he, the astronomer and scientist, didn’t get to witness it. But you did last night. It is likely that this will be the only time you get to witness such an event as the next total lunar eclipse takes place during Winter Solstice in 2094!

Yes, you were kind of geeky standing outside your workplace with a co-worker witnessing this event taking place. How fortunate it was that the clouds cleared away in Modesto long enough for you to see it. You did consider yourself lucky as you heard from friends near the Big Top complaining of the cloudy night sky hiding the moon from their view.

You are, you know. Lucky that is. You are very lucky. True it has been a lifetime of pain and disappointments that you have lived through but still you have managed to enjoy many, many blessings with your family circus, your vocation, your health, your friends and so much more. Five years ago, as you stared up at the December night sky, there was so much personal uncertainty going on in your life that was always there to torment your mind and soul with worry and fear when you would let it. I can’t begin to imagine or predict if any of it has resolved and how it did. God I hope that it has resolved! I hope that you are less troubled with the worry and anxiety that has plagued you in 2010. If not I hope that you will focus on the grace, blessings and good fortune in your life. If you take a moment to reflect on the fifty-three years you will see although the bad has often been very, very bad, the good through the years has far out-weighed all of that bad. Fix your eyes, your mind and your heart on that truth.

How lucky you are! You always have been.

How blessed you are! You always have been.

May you always be.

Love,

your forty-eight year old self