Monday, September 25, 2006

Blah, blah, blah, don't remember the next part, "New York, New York!" You know that song, right? "I want to wake up in a city, that never sleeps!" That one! I'm going there! ME, it's going to be some funky Carrie Link meets Carrie Bradshaw kinda thing, minus the sex, the Cosmopolitans and Manolo Blahniks. Actually, come to think of it, it will be NOTHING like Carrie Bradshaw's New York, darn. Nonetheless, it's going to be a far cry from Portland, Oregon, mothering, wifing, and all the other domestic bliss that is my life.
Don't get me wrong, I love my life, love, love, and a little more love. I also love total escape from it now and then. I love the chance to be "Old Carrie", the Carrie that doesn't worry about how and what everyone else is doing and what they need all the time. The Carrie that meets new and exciting people with new and exciting viewpoints. The Carrie that accomplishes more in a day than laundry and dishes, that can lie down at night and say, "Wow, I can't believe I'm here and this is my life."
Six months ago I was a different person. Six months ago I felt like a lone voice in the world, today I feel like part of a choir. A choir of women all across the country and world that want women to be empowered. A choir of women that want more for their lives and for other women's lives. A choir of women that understand synergy and synchronicity and the power of the human mind and spirit. I feel part of a collective of women that is making a difference in their own homes, neighborhoods, cities and states. Together we are doing what we can to make a difference in the world. We may never be famous nor go down in history, but the future will be markedly different for at least a few people, anyway, because we were here.
When I get back from my adventure the domestic life will resume, and it will be more rewarding, as well. Having gotten some of that other "stuff" out of my system I will be able to feel the deep satisfaction that comes from worrying about my family, and if everyone is where they are supposed to be, and if they have everything they are supposed to have. One extreme will bring peace to the other. The two extremes may help me find the balance in the middle. That's my plan, anyway. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

I love that poem, book, motto. It is so true.
One of my favorite people in the world is a kindergarten teacher. She has two rules posted in her classroom.
1) Be safe.
2) Be kind.
When someone comes up and tattles, she asks, "Is that safe? Is that kind?" If it is both, there really isn't a problem, and vice versa.
I have frustrated some of my faithful readers with my "control" of the delete key. I assure you, if I thought what was being written was safe and kind, I'd let it be. I welcome disagreement. I don't accept unkindness nor danger. There is a person stalking blogs with the sole purpose of being unsafe and unkind towards someone I love, and the people that love her. That is unacceptable.
If I am full of hot air, you are encouraged to kindly and safely express that to me. I will not delete such comments. When they become threatening and attacking, however, I will use my power to delete.
I think that is kind.
I think that is safe.
I think that is important.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

I took a dear friend to lunch for her birthday. We decided to order a glass of wine. While looking at the expansive wine list, my eyes fell on "Les Enfants Terrible". When the waitress came to take our order I said, "I'll have a glass of the terrible children."

"That's our most popular wine," she replied.

Enough said.

Friday, September 22, 2006

At this moment I am asking myself, when is it best to just go along to get along, and when must remain in the "fight" for what one so strongly believes?
I am thinking the answer is "it depends". Today I choose to be the Go Along Girl. I have hurt people. I have caused pain to those I love the most. That is not in alignment with the three tenents of love, peace and compassion on which I try to base my life. Perhaps greater love, peace and compassion will be the result, but for today I put down my sword. Today I choose peace at any price. Today I keep my eye on the smaller picture, and let the bigger picture grow out of focus. Today I want an immediate settling of the storm I've stirred.
Perhaps we will all see more clearly once the dust settles?
Perhaps we won't?
Perhaps it doesn't matter?
Perhaps being "right" is less important than being happy?

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Rojo quote of the day...

"Mom, the next time I'm a baby, I want you to pick me. When I'm a 100, I'm going to turn back to zero."

"I will pick you every single time."


"I promise."

"Don't forget?"

"I promise to pick you every single time and never ever forget."


Sunday, September 17, 2006

Nurturing, that's a good thing, right?
Not making a big deal out of everything, keeping it together, remaining pleasant, what's wrong with that?
If you asked all the women I know who they think are good mothers, they would describe the most nurturing, calm, pleasant, "nice" women they know.
Not the shrieker, she's a bitch.
Not the one that lets her kids figure out how to get out of their own problems, she's heartless.
I had lunch with a woman that has breast cancer. She told me that in the "energy world", the people involved in alternative health care, the belief is that breast cancer comes from over-nurturing or under-nurturing, and suppression. Usually over-nurturing our husbands and children, under-nurturing ourselves. Suppressing negative emotions, for years.
I can't get this out of my head. I know so many women that have had breast cancer, they are indeed, among the nicest women I've ever known. I'm not sure that had they been meaner, louder, more demonstrative and less nurturing to others that they would have had a different fate. I'm not sure if this belief can ever be studied and documented to the medical profession's satisfaction. I'm not sure it even matters. What matters to me, anyway, is that too much of a "good" thing, any good thing, can sometimes be worse than not enough.
Do you ever hear anyone describing a "good" mother as someone that has these traits? Yea, me neither.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I'm Dead Serious...
I think I've found the solution to all my problems. I'm going to commit some kind of crime that automatically puts me straight into solitary confinement. How bad could that be? Three squares a day provided by Uncle Sam? S O L I T A R Y. Bring it on! How is that different from serious Buddhist monks that go off, alone, and contemplate for months/years on end? The only wrinkle is I'm really not that much of a criminal, so, I'm taking suggestions. I draw the line at murder, but maybe a nice little bank robbery? Would I have to be armed? Would I have to scare people? Don't want to do that. Could I just walk myself down to the police station and confess to a crime I didn't commit? What's a mother/wife/daughter/aunt/sister/friend/
volunteer/employee gotta do these days to get a little time alone?

Sorry - a bit distracted by the constant humming/recorder music, couldn't get the photo to go with the posting, I'm sure you understand.

1. Call doctor re: Rojo's meds - describe insomnia, incessant humming, defiancy, crying jags and constipation as result of new med
2. Address insomnia, humming, defiancy, crying jags and constipation for the FOUR day weekend he now has, after being in school for a full 6 1/2 days.
3. Try to not go cuckoo as he follows me around the house for 14 straight hours, four straight days, humming the theme song from "The Pink Panther" while blowing into his recorder.
4. Continue to do my work for which I am being paid to do, but must now do while accompanied by said "music".
5. Prepare 3+ meals a day times number of people living in/visiting home, since we wouldn't want anyone to have to eat what others are eating, that's so passe.
6. Keep up with laundry, house work, bill paying, phone calls, friendship crisis', etc., with said "music" 2" away at all times.
7. Don't forget I have a daughter, too, that is also home for 4 days, has plans, would like to be taxied back and forth to said plans, but boy with recorder doesn't want to go, so figure out how to pull that off.
8. Answer husband's requests sweetly and patiently, all the while enjoying the "music" and constant presence of beloved son.
9. Make plans to escape in my "free time".
10. Keep sense of humor. That which doesn't kill us, only makes us funnier.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Yesterday was 9/11, a day all of us that were cognizant five years ago, will never forget. Everytime I look at a digital clock and it says 9:11, I pause. Everytime I see the number to call for emergencies, 911, I'm saddened. That day forever changed our world, globally we will never be the same.
Five years ago today, 9/12, my own personal world was devastated. The two days are forever linked in my heart, my mind and my rage.
I was walking with Kathleen on the morning of 9/11, it was only 6:00 AM here in Portland. When I got back home my husband had the TV on and told me of the attacks.
I wondered how we were all supposed to shower, get dressed and go about our day after that. I called my children's two schools to see if they were still meeting, and yes, they were.
I held my five-year-old son's hand and walked with trepidation into his Pre-K class. I thought for sure I would detect something different in the air that day, but everyone seemed to have signed a covenant to pretend nothing was wrong. Who were these people?
For weeks I had been meeting with this teacher. I'd carefully gone over the facts of my son's special needs. I'd shared his IEP (Individualized Educational Plan) that qualified him for services with Portland Public Schools. I'd been very clear about his challenges, strengths and areas with which she'd need special help. We were set. They were ready for him. This woman had taught pre-school forever, there never had been a child she couldn't teach. She welcomed the challenge. I had even made the mistake of prematurely relaxing.
On the morning of September 12, 2001, only a few days into the new school year, the teacher called me and said this situation wasn't going to work afterall. His needs were too great. I needed to move him to a different classroom. She had thrown up her hands and was all done.
My first thought was not, "What am I going to do now?" but "Who dumps this on someone 24-hours after 9/11?"
I was in no way prepared to deal with this second level of loss, fear and anxiety. I was not in my right mind. How was I to make an educational switch for my son under these conditions, and this quickly? Placing him in her class had come after months of visiting pre-schools, interviews, meeting with doctors, consultants and therapists. Now I had to start over from scratch? She generously agreed to let him finish the week there, but by Monday, I was to have made other arrangements.
I did.
I do.
Nobody is pulling that same rug out from me ever again.
The world may have been forever changed by 9/11, and there isn't much I can do about that. My son's world, however, is a whole different story.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Sorry, I just have to go one more round with the "Why does everyone cry except me?" question. I was at a gathering of women, all of us mothers of children with special needs. This gathering is ripe for tears, by nature of our common denominator. Some women shed a tear each time we meet. Some shed several, several times a meeting. Me? Dry as a bone. I mean I'm moved and all, even a tint of sadness at times, but no tears. I'm thinking there must be something wrong with me.
One of the best criers said that after she turned 50, she just cries all the time. Her friend told her when she felt the tears coming, to say to herself, "Can of beans." There was nothing emotional about a can of beans. They were completely uninteresting and would invoke no sentiment whatsoever. HA! I cannot imagine a can of beans without laughing now! I cannot go down the canned food aisle of the grocery store without giggling! Think about it, c'mon, beans, they're funny! See? You're smiling right now, aren't you, it's 'cause of the beans! Funny things, beans.

Friday, September 08, 2006

A friend told me her teenage daughter had been bitterly complaining about "all" her chores. She had two. Take the garbage to the curb 1x a week, and to empty and re-fill the dishwasher 1x a day. The daughter couldn't even believe the demands on her time, the cruelty, the injustice.
My friend was seeing a parenting coach at the time, and the coach had her write down every single chore required to run a household. Each chore went on its own 3x5 card. Grocery shop, mow lawn, pay bills, cook, clean bathrooms, etc. The stack was impressively large. She laid them all out on the dining room table, had the family gather round, and pick up all the cards that represented the chores they routinely did (not just supposed to do, but actually did). Big surprise! The girl picked up two cards, the other children picked up maybe one card, the husband picked up a few, and guess what, the table remained covered with cards!
What does that tell us? It tells me there's going to be a run on 3x5 cards.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

I like rules. No, scratch that, I love rules. Rules create order, order creates predictability, all things I thrive on, yet never seem to have. If you give me a rule I will follow it to the letter, forever. If someone tells me never to do something, that's it, I'm never doing it. Likewise, if told, especially by a teacher, that there is a right way to do something, I'm all about getting it right.
These tendencies served me well in school, especially in writing. I knew and loved all the rules of the English language. They were games to me to be played for fun. The rules made sense, there were inherent rewards for their adherence. Nothing was more satisfying than an A on a paper.
Since finishing school I've continued to write and to read. What I've discovered has been quite disturbing! Some of my favorite writers completely disregard my sacred rules! They begin sentences with "And"! They drop the "ly" on their adverbs! They have paragraphs with fewer than 3-5 sentences, some even have paragraphs containing only a single word! What the hell? And (it's OK to do that, I've learned), they are getting something much better than an A, they are getting published! They are making their way to the best-seller lists, they are even changing lives with their errant ways!
This has thrown me into a complete tailspin. If these writing rules cannot only be broken, but by being broken can possibly improve writing, what does this mean?Does this mean that other rules may perhaps need re-adjusting? Breaking? Abolishing, even? Oh my God, I just did it. I broke some rules. Where's the lightening? Where's the "F"? Maybe good writing doesn't have to be done well...
I am a new woman, in only one day (really, 4 hours, but who's counting?). My new favorite holiday? Labor Day, People! Christmas Schmistmas! That's the holiday where I knock myself out for MONTHS, only to have it all over in 20 minutes! Not my Labor Day, Baby, no, my Labor Day comes after I knock myself out for months to be rewarded with nine months of bliss! Oh sure, I love my children beyond measure. I just don't remember ever signing up for the 24/7 365 deal. Where is the 40-hour a week mother schedule? Sign me up for that one! I could actually be a good mother Monday through Friday, 9-5, possibly even great, but WHO among us is a good mother all the live-long day/week/month/year after excruciating year?
Yesterday my kids began 7th and 4th grades. It was a teaser day, really, over at 12:00. By the time I did all the first day of school rituals, shared a cup of coffee with old and new friends at the hospitality reception, it was nine o'clock. I saw mother after mother with tears in their eyes. Tears. Please, would someone tell me what is sad about dropping your kids off at school when you are going to see them in three hours, now, and we just found out next week they have two days off already? I don't get it. One mother e-mailed me and said she'd be the mom at drop-off with Vodka in her coffee cup, and tears in her eyes. I told her to look up when she got there, 'cause I'd be the one dancing naked on the roof.
During our hospitality hour a few friends and I were discussing this, two with tears in their eyes, two of us with barely concealed glee. We decided that it was not so much sadness as easily expressed emotion. The two of us gleeful moms readily admitted we just weren't the crying type.
"Yea," said one of the criers to my fellow gleeful mom, "but you cry at "Snowdogs! You have displaced emotion!"
I've been chewing on that ever since. I am also guilty of displaced emotion, but mine comes in the form of rage, not tears. I can get outraged at the drop of the hat, but sad? Not so much. It takes a lot to make me cry, it's just such an exhausting and messy production. Rage, though, that'll fire you up! I'm thinking a tea/coffee metaphor is coming!
Rage is for us caffeine junkies, the ones that like to get "up". Tears are for the tea lovers, the ones that like to come "down". What do you think? Pure brilliance or pure b.s.? I'll let you decide, I gotta go now anyway, only one cup in me, and that ain't gonna do it for all I have to get fired up about today!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

I am so beyond ready for school to start, I can't even tell you. No amount of Top 10 lists can adequately convey the tenuous grip I have on my sanity. Just to give you some indication of how bad things have gotten, I've composed a little list of the crazy cuckoo levels to which I have sunk:
  • I wrote with a blue pen in my checkbook register. I have had this same checking account since 1981, and have only used black, ONLY!
  • I didn't iron the wrinkled balls of 100% cotton that used to be my pretty pillowcases, before shoving pillows into them.
  • I went to bed without washing my face or brushing my teeth. Again, something I have not done since 1981.
  • I (briefly) considered buying the DVDs of "Alf" when I saw them advertised in the paper!
  • I decided I needed a haircut and determined it couldn't possibly wait the 4 weeks remaining until my scheduled appointment. So while driving down the street and seeing "Supercuts" in my peripheral vision, I swerved the car in, had six inches chopped off, paid, and was back on the road in less than 1/2 an hour.
  • I have declared war on alternative spellings of names. STICK WITH THE TRADITIONAL, People! C'mon! I'm fragile! I can't take it! These impossible to remember names are the last straw for me!

The list goes on and on, but I think you see what we're dealing with here. The scene here is not pretty, not pretty at all.