17 September 2009

define crazy?

Once upon a time I was a young girl of 8-10 years old. I was a strong willed child and had discovered that when I spoke my parents actually listened to what I said and found value in it. So at times that I was in trouble, I began to refute my case every single time I possibly could. Every attempt at disciplining me became a battle of wits with me trying desperately to disprove my parent’s evidence of my wrong doings. As you can imagine, this began to wear down my parents and my dad finally said something once to try to stop the constant debate that I insisted on, something that has stayed with me to this day. I’m sure he was just an exasperated parent that wanted to smack some sense into my head, but it stuck.

Before I tell you what he said, I first have to give you the history. I have a crazy Aunt. Not just a little funny, we’re talking about major mental illness, hears voices, wants to shoot people for walking in front of her house, collects feral cats, and has inappropriate nakedness. Even as children we knew that Aunt P was different, we loved her anyway. She always had tons of Avon make-up that we played with (the really bright, loud colors) and her room was like a little girls treasure chest of dress up stuff (hats, feathers, & costume jewelry). We got some good laughs when she flirted shamelessly at a restaurant with the whole family sitting around her, we loved that she named her cats all kinds of silly things (e.g. fluffy butt because his butt was fluffy) and when she told us she wouldn’t wear bras because it could give her cancer. Our parents used to tell us what she was like before and it was like they were talking about someone else, they showed us pictures of a beautiful young woman that was a cheerleader surrounded by friends, a college graduate looking on to her future and also a bride ready to start her life with her husband. I couldn’t imagine sliding so far from the perceived normal to what she has become.

So, my worn down Dad threw his hands up one day and yelled at me. He said, “You have to accept responsibility for your actions, you’re acting just like Aunt P did, I don’t want you to end up like her.”

He got my attention. I may still have debated with him every now and then, but that statement was in the back of my mind. I began to really examine myself and wonder if what my perceived view of my actions and myself was accurate. I began to accept criticism to a fault, taking ownership of someone’s statement and replaying their assessments over and over in my mind. I second guessed myself in disagreements because I wondered sometimes if what I perceive to be right and true is really just twisted around in my mind. I think about what it’s like to be mentally ill. Does she know that she’s different from everyone else? I’ve grown out of some of these insecurities but still to this day I wonder if my moodiness is a sign of something to come. If someday I’ll just wake up and not be in touch with everyone else’s reality.

08 September 2009

girl's best friend.

I miss my dog. It was so hard to let him go.

Some of my favorite memories of Drew:

He loved to lay out in the sun.

Every first snow he ran around like a crazy puppy rolling and digging, he would look up with snow all over him and crack me up.

When he wanted our other dog to play he would grab a ball, hold it out the side of his mouth, run up to Griffey and stop inches from his face and then run back and forth the length of our yard hoping to be chased.

He once destroyed our kitchen floor, he must have gotten an edge and just went to town, we came home to a large hole in the middle and the shreds of floor around him.

We tried to lock him in the basement once and he ate half of the bottom step.

He accidentally got locked in our daughters bedroom and he dug into the carpet and pulled half the room up and then ate the carpet pad under it.

He had a fear of fireworks that would send him into a crazy run all over the yard looking for someplace to hide.

When he was scared he hid in the bathtub, it was funny to pull back the curtain and see him sitting there.

He would swim for hours in the pond and when he was too tired to swim he would walk the edge half in half out of the water not ready to call it quits for the day.

He was scared of feathers discarded in the yard by ducks and geese he would sniff and jump and then finally grab them in his mouth only to jump and try to spit it out.

He would greet us each morning and after work doing "scooby talk" he would go on and on Rrrr rrr rrrrr rrr, it was so cool.

He had a huge crazy grin.

He would never leave your side when you were sick. He would hear the garage door open and sit up straight and want to see who was home but would stay right by your side until you got up.

He would tuck himself next to me on the couch while I was reading and keep my feet warm.

He knew how to open the back door to our house and let himself out often, so I would constantly
be closing the back door.

He loved and protected our kids so much that he made an attempt at Grandpa while he was wrestling with the kids.

He was completely devoted to us.

03 September 2009

the joy of parenting.

Ahhh, the joys of being a parent.
It never fails to amaze me that right when I think I have my children figured out, the rug gets pulled out from under my feet and I’m wondering , “What the hell just happened”!

My son just turned 10 last weekend. I am so proud of the empathetic, smart, honest, and happy child he is growing into.

He also has developed a strong sense of integrity (10 year old style); he feels very strongly that if you make a promise to him you have to follow through. For example, last week when he had his sister swear to God that she would not tell on him for having his friend over before I got home, but she told on him, so he felt that it would be appropriate punishment to kick her in the head for “breaking a promise to him and God”. Also, I am so glad that he has become so confident in himself that (he gets this from his father) he feels the need to, one up everyone especially his sister… if she got a score of 560 he reminds her that at her age his scored 1200. My son also has a great sense of humor but sometimes goes a little too far for a laugh, like depantsing a classmate while they hang from the monkey bars.

It seems as a parent there isn’t really ever a coasting time, the checks and balances we have carefully placed are constantly needed updated, to ensure that our children stay on the paths that will help them grow into an adult. It seemed so simple when we started…love, food, shelter. It is so much more…but the love we get in return is invaluable.