Monday, February 28, 2011

Tales of Tying and Crying

We recently bought Ethan his first pair of sneakers that tie instead of Velcro.  Since Ethan is probably the only first grader left in the world who doesn’t know how to tie his shoes and I am the world’s worst teacher (no really, I am), this choice was not a good one for our family. 

After a very harrowing and unpleasant shoe tying session, and after both of us had dried our tears, I apologized to Ethan for not being more patient and explained to him that I just wasn’t very good at teaching people how to do something new.  “Yeah.  I kind of got that,” was his response.

So…unless Adam can start coming home from work well before bedtime to take over this shoe tying teaching business or we want to spend our weekends cooped up inside making bunny ears with our laces, or I want to spend my life savings on therapy for Ethan, I realized something had to change.  So, I found a great pair of slip on sneakers that don’t require any tying (or any other special skills that I am unable to teach for that matter).

I gave the new sneakers to Ethan the other morning.  He was thrilled.  So thrilled, in fact, that he performed a commercial of sorts while he put on his shoes.  “You just take them out of the shoe basket, put them on the floor, slip your foot in and presto!!!!  You have your shoes on!  No tying!”.  His voice rose an octave with each statement of delight.

Before I had time to go crawl in a corner and cry due to the failure of my parenting, complete laziness and inability to teach my son a necessary life skill, his excitement continued.

“You know what else would make your life so easy besides slip on shoes!?  The Twin Draft Guard!  If you ever start seeing your dollars start sliding under the door, just get the Twin Draft Guard and presto!  No more dollars slipping out by accident!”

Bewildered, I was certain I had heard incorrectly.  I looked down at the door and it looked pretty secure and draft-free to me…why (and how) would dollar bills slide underneath the door? 

“Dollars, Ethan?”

“Yes, your dollars.  They just start flying underneath the door and slide outside.  And then you lose them.  The lady on the commercial got a Twin Draft Guard and then she didn’t lose any more of her dollars.”

Then I realized he must have seen this:

I LOVE that the metaphor was lost on him.  His sweetness and sense of innocence made we want to giggle and cry at the same time.  I wish I could capture that forever.  And I also have to wonder… do you think the Twin Draft Guard people make any sort of mechanism to help with shoe tying?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tales of Where I've Been and Where I Am

I set out to write a very different post tonight than the one I'm about to write.  

When I logged into Blogger, 
and saw that October 27th was the last time I posted, 
it gave me pause.  
It was not only that it had been almost four months 
since I had anything to write, 
but my blog didn't even *look* the same.  
All the pretty images and borders were all gone 
and replaced with ugly "this image no longer exists" messages.

But it was the "this image no longer exists" messages that I found serendipitous.  For a few reasons.  

First, the post I was going to write tonight 
had to do with a workshop I am participating in 
that I am hoping will pull me out of a mindset 
that I have allowed myself to settle into 
that I no longer want to be in.
I had convinced myself I was starting to make some progress
and when I reread my last post from October, 
I was somewhat frustrated (completely ticked) to see, 
that thanks to my own words, 
there is proof positive that I am 
in EXACTLY the same mindset today, on February 24th, 
that I was on October 27th. 
That was the final straw for me.  
There it was, glaring at me, in black and white.  
My own self-pitying, over-analyzing, whining crap 
staring me dead in the eyes.  
And I'm sick of it.  I'm over myself.  

So the message "this image no longer exists"?  
Well, I want that to be true.  
I want this ridiculous mindset I'm in, 
this *image*, to no longer exist.  
This inner struggle I've had about 
going back to school, not going back to school, 
blah, blah,'s got to end. 

(And  you should feel grateful that I'm saving you all a lot of boring detail by not telling the latest tale of my recent tangle with organic chemistry and a hospitalized - and now healthy - little boy.  If I'm sick of myself, I have to imagine my close friends and loved ones have to be sick of me clamoring on and on too!)

So, saddened as I was that 
my beautiful blog was no longer beautiful, 
I loved that those are the words that I saw, 
garish and offensive as they were.  
They reminded me that not everything about me 
should be a perfect picture, 
and that growth and change are not seamless and tidy 
and don't always happen behind the scenes.  

And the message that "this image no longer exists
suits me right now. 
It fits. 
It's a great starting point for my journey 
of allowing myself the freedom to let go 
of my need to get to *what's next*.  

And that's partly why I have this blog...
to show my inner struggles for all to see 
(because we all have them and isn't it nice to know 
that we're not alone?) share what I know (not much) 
and what I don't know (a lot) 
and to share the process of learning, 
of tinkering with my thoughts, 
of cleaning up my messes, 
and hopefully, 
celebrating my small victories along the way.

Stay tuned...there will be more to come.  
And I promise I won't make you wait another four months.