Category Archives: home

An open letter to my daughter.

My beautiful amazing young woman.  You are perfect, just as you are.  You are brave, smart, loving, fun, spontaneous, beautiful, and kind.  I am proud of you.  I love you.

I am terrified for you.

You are turning into a woman.  You will soon have more and more freedom in your life, and while I know you are smart and thoughtful and will do your best to make good choices, I also know you are kind and generous, and may be mislead by the people in your life.

I know that the world holds opportunities and pitfalls, heroes and villians, teddy bears and monsters.

I can no longer protect you from life.  I cannot wrap you in my arms and make it go away with a kiss and a chocolate.  Now you begin to face the real world.  You will begin to see the harshness in addition to the beauty, the pain in addition to the joy.

Now the growing pains begin in earnest.

There is no way for me to stop you from embracing life and all the bruises that follow.  All I can do is promise you this:

I will speak openly and honestly with you about topics that embarrass us both so I may better fit you with appropriate weapons for your future battles.  I will not let discomfort prevent me from sharing with you the knowledge I gained from my own encounters.  I will hand down my armor in the clearest way possible.

I will keep the lines of communication open.  I will let you know that nothing you share with me will ever make me stop loving you, and I will reinforce the fact that there is nothing you can’t tell me.  Tell me anything, tell me everything.  I would rather know it all and be in a position to help you through it, than blindly fumble in the dark while you suffer.

I will not judge you.  I will worry about you.  I will work hard to make you understand the difference.  I will listen to your troubles and talk with you to help you make the decision that is best for who you are, not who I am.  If I get angry or sad about what you tell me, I will let you know the source of that anger or sorrow, and I will not let it get in the way of helping you. I will continue to love you and to listen.

The world is full of sharp and dangerous places.  I can’t stop you from wandering into them.  My parents couldn’t stop me.  All they could do was listen.  All anyone can do is provide you with a soft place to land when the sharpness cuts too deeply.

Let me be your soft landing place.  Let me be the place you run to heal.

I love you.

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Where’s the damn manual??

Why isn’t there a manual for life? Why do I have to make decisions and choices? No one told me when I was younger that growing up meant having to make things up as I went along.

Last week I was thrilled at the idea of working full time outside the house at the D.A.’s office. This week, after watching Otter respond to my being gone for classes and dental appointments, I have a hollow space under my heart at the thought of leaving him, and Monkey, to 40+ hour a week non-mommy care.

Now, if I work from home I will feel guilty if I don’t earn enough money, and if I work outside the home I will feel guilty about being gone so much. Are there any guilt free choices at all?

What do I do? Do I believe in myself wholly and throw caution to the wind, along with an advertising budget, equipment costs, and god knows what else to establish my own practice? Thereby giving up the chance at mentor-ship, a steady paycheck, and guided experience so I can spend more time with my little man, easing his transition to big kid, and be here for after school, sick days, and dinner time for both kids? Is that the right thing to do?
Or, do I focus on my career now, having given him nearly two years with a nigh constant mommy, and embrace my steady, if likely paltry, paycheck, and some solid training to go along with it?

I will likely earn a lot more sooner if I stay in my own practice, and succeed at it, than I will ever earn at the D.A.’s office. However, my chances of earning a ton in the future increase significantly with a few years put in at the D.A.’s office. Of course, any future position would likely be at a major law firm, thereby requiring 60-80 hour work weeks, so I would probably never see my children again there either. My other choice would be starting a law practice, which I can continue to do now, right?

I am talking in circles to myself, going over and over these issues, and finding myself less able to decide between them with each passing day. What choice should I make? Do I listen to the ache inside my heart responding to Otter’s increased neediness caused by my recent absences? Do I listen to the sigh in my head at the thought of passing up another career chance? Do I go to therapy to reconcile the damn voices in my head, just in case I am actually losing my mind?

Will one of you friggin brilliant friends of mine write a damn manual on how to do this shit already?

Twas the week before xmas…

and all through the house, the creatures were stirring, especially the mouse.

The stockings were precariously hung from the chimney,

strung on a heavy snowman, flake, Santa, and tree,

awaiting a tug from chubby baby hands,

to pull them from the mantle to crash when they land.

The children were increasingly sleepless in bed,

knowing sometime soon presents would greet them instead

of a sleep deprived mama and cranky mad dad,

wishing the holiday didn’t make sleeping so bad.

The recycling bin bulged with emptied bottles of wine,

as the parents sought strength in some alcohol time.

And yet, in the madness, a strange sense of calm

as the lights from the tree cast a glow like a balm,

and the family spent more time close and nearby,

as they peered out the window and watched the snow fly.

Though the season is rough it’s a great time of year,

to spend more snuggle time with the ones we hold dear.

Happy Holidays everyone!! We wish you the best!

A whole lotta love…

The closer I get to returning home the harder it gets to go. I never thought I would say this but New Jersey isn’t such a bad place to be. Maybe it’s the people, maybe it’s the proximity to NYC, but being here doesn’t have the sting it used to.

Tonight I went to see Sex in the City with Ellen and Tiff. We had dinner, drinks, a fantastic movie about love, and lots of laughter.

On the way home I thought about family. How lucky am I that I have people I love so much, both here and back in Colorado? In the past two years I have found this amazing group of people I can call my own. Some of them came here with me, and our bonds were strengthened in the move, but some of them are new to my heart. These people love me when I am noisy and obnoxious, forgive me when I hermit away in my house for days on end, and are willing to overlook the fact that I wore cheap high heeled red flip-flops to go see a movie filled with Manolos.

I am sad that returning home means leaving… home. In the not too distant future I will not be a train ride away from Broadway. I will no longer go down the shore. I won’t here people say “whattaya gonna do?” and “fahgeddabowdit”. I won’t go berry picking with the Moms Club or shopping at Wegman’s. No around me will know what a pork roll is. There will be no more super fresh fish, and no more Sunday gelato. Everyone will think I am the pushy asshole when I get behind the wheel of my car.

Living on the East coast is all about surviving on the East coast. No one meanders through life here. It’s rush, and push, and get the fuck outta my way you stupid ass what on earth do you think you are doing!! It’s an attitude I have learned and adopted through two years in one of the most populated States in our nation. I have found the checker at the Wegman’s who will sneak me into the express lane, the waiter who will pour me the strongest drink, and great friends.

Somehow, out here in the last place I ever wanted to be, I found a whole lotta love.

Leaving is going to break my heart.

Vacation…?

Right. So going somewhere to hang out for a few weeks used to be the way to refresh and relax. Used to be, as in, before I had two young people to care for during the weeks of “vacation”.

The time change coupled with the break in routine completely borks my children’s circadian rhythms, they don’t ever want to go to sleep, are so tired they fight sleep like crazy, and are generally sleep deprived. (This of course leads to a generally insane behavior, at least on the part of my 6 year old, though the baby can be nuts too.)
So instead of relaxing and lazing the day away, I am eternally engaged in the struggle for master of fate with my daughter, while trying to calm a really cranky boy. The struggle with my daughter looks a lot like boundary pushing, arguing, rule flouting, whining, and losing the ability to say please and thank you. For the baby, it just means being unwilling to sleep during the day, ever, and therefore being too tired to be happy with anything, resulting in lots of crying fits.

Ack!! Headache central here I come!

I love seeing everyone, and have been pretty good at limiting the social events to a minimum, but I still have the desire to lock myself in a room and be alone for a few hours. I spend a lot of time alone at home, so it is strange to be surrounded by so many people now. Wonderful, as I get to fill my days talking to people I rarely get to see, but strange.

I think I am going to have to hide in a closet for a few days when I get back to Jersey!

Hmmm…. the warm glow of the Rocky Mountains…

So far I have missed two exits to and from Boulder due to mountain ogling and prairie dogs.
On the way to Hatchet’s house the other day I missed my exit because I was busily showing Monkey the fat and happy prairie dog colony that had sprouted along the sides of the highway. Happily, missing the exit meant I got to drive towards the mountains and stare lovingly at them longer. How I miss their ever present profile against the sky!!
On the way home I missed the exit for the highway because I was too busy watching the sun light the clouds behind the mountains in golden gleaming rays.
I feel my muscles unclench a little more each time I get to look at that lovely backdrop. I seem to be able to breathe the thinner Colorado air, resplendent in it’s late summer crispness, more deeply, and to relax more while doing so. Hmmm…. yummy Colorado air!!
It’s funny, I took the mountains for granted while I lived here, generally using them as a compass point to orient myself with, but not imagining that other landscapes in other places would seem emptier, more naked, because there were no mountains spiking up into the sky.

A good day…

Today was a good day. Mom and I took the kids to the mall, where Monkey ran around like a fiend in the Petri Dish and Otter practiced his standing. We were there originally to find Croc’s and petti pants, but failed to leave with either.
After the mall we went to Las Delicias for real Mexican food.
Mmmm…. chicken flautas in guacamole…. mmmm.
After our food arrived, Otter began looking from dish to dish, and person to person. He was watching us eat with a great deal of interest, and began to get his little sad face when he realized there was no plate for him. Poor guy! He really wants to eat!

I took pity on him and gingerly smeared a tiny bit of guacamole on my finger and offered it to him. He sucked it right off my finger, happy as could be, and began to scoot towards the bowl. I gave him a few more tastes, but really not much, as guacamole is a little too complicated to be a first food. (The recipe they use there if fairly simple, it is not the three-alarm chipotle pepper madness I make, but more of an avacado whip.) He loved it, and was much happier sharing in the feast than he had been watching it.

After lunch we returned home for a lazy day of snuggling and reading before dinner. Then I left Monkey with my parents and took Otter to the Village Inn of my youth to meet Coni for coffee. She and I haven’t had the chance to sit and talk for a long time, so visiting with her refreshed my soul. Coni is one of my Angels, and has been as long as I have known her. Having the chance to talk with her for hours was an amazing gift. I feel more at home, and more relaxed, than I have in a long, long time.

Home is beginning to work it’s magic.