Innocence


The ages of innocence

I watch them play

Carefree and unafraid

No worries today

They talk of their battles

Their games and their fun

They run wild and dance

Both inside and in the sun

There isn’t a worry

There isn’t a care

No one whining

About how life isn’t fair

Oh how I wish

Everyone could see

These children of innocence

And how loving they can be

 

 

 

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Happy Birthday to the Passion Twins


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Happy Birthday to The Passion Twins!

Yes today is the day that the Pisces Passion Twins made their way into the world 40-ish years ago and the planet hasn’t been the same since.

Yes JO, the mothership will come back for you one day. I hope today is not that day because we are long overdue for another visit. Preferably without detriment to your health!

JU I hope someone other than you sister cleans your home and waits on you hand and foot and yeah… I know. It’s a birthday dream that you pray will one day come true. The older we all get, the harder that is to accomplish! Of course the lottery would help greatly with this so maybe your man and I will play again and win this time!

Sometimes in life you are fortunate to meet extraordinary people that when you see each other, you immediately scream for joy because you know you’ve found a kindred soul. The bonus is when said kindred soul has a twin that you instantly connect to when you finally meet them. You just know it.

For me that started when I met JO, the “elder” of the two by mere minutes. That whole, “when our eyes met” thing was totally on but in a different way. We instantly bonded. We were instantly chatting and planning to visit. Not normal for either of us.

When her twin, JU, moved to town with her husband and son a few years later, it’s been “on” ever since!

Being best friends with twins is definitely not boring. Nothing ever is with these two! I always feel like I am the third sister and we’ve actually had several folks that thought we were triplets. I said even the devil wouldn’t be that evil to let all of us share a womb… 2 was enough!

I hate we are no longer in the same city so we can’t CELEBRATE! HO-LI-DAY! like we have for over 10 years. My gypsy travels moved me around and up until my son was born, I always went back to celebrate no matter what was happening. Even after I had him I went, but this year I couldn’t go at even a before or after week.

So I choose to celebrate two absolutely fabulous humans on their birthday by writing about how awesome they are and how lucky I am to know them.

These are the women who are artist, musicians, mothers, wives, friends, daughters, sisters and all around fabulous humans.

They make me laugh and have been there for me when I needed them, which has been a lot! One will tell you she doesn’t “do people” anymore yet she finds a way to see me every time I come to town.

When I got pregnant, they threw my first baby shower and “Better you than me!” was written on the cake! It was funny because it was so true. We all three had one male child and none of us wanted more. It was odd to see the boys I helped raise as teenagers holding my tiny baby though. Of course we took a ton of photos because there were our first boys with what we all knew was the last boy.

Through all the years, the laughter and tears, the diapers, potty training, changes of life, loss of friends and family, we are there for each other.

Today I celebrate their lives.

To the Passion Twins!

May all of your dreams come true and may Raul finally be your hot personal servant for all eternity, squared of course so there’s one for each of you!

Keep Hope Alive for a fantastic day filled with fun, laughter and a whole lot of well wishes!

I love you both so much, my sisters from another mister!

 

Generations X & A: Parenting from the broken hips & other fun science stuff


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I often read parenting articles and parenting blogs. Let’s face it, we live in a world where technology is literally at our fingertips. I learn so much and it leads me to research other interests and ideas. It teaches me things and helps me understand different perspectives as well as learn new things that are important to my growth as a human being and as a parent.

regardless of generation still a person

I have also learned which category I, along with the boy, have been labeled/categorized into. It’s quite entertaining interesting to say the least. Parts of it I can see as true and parts I just have to laugh depending on who’s spewing the data of said labels.

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The other day we went to the local science center. It is always an adventure and my boyfriend was thankfully there to help me hobble make it through the experience without falling out! Can we say food court and I had to use threats of leaving on the boy so mommy could get some carbs so she didn’t pass out! Along with the awesomeness that he carried my bag that I insist on taking and it’s got enough in there in case some catastrophe happens. I’m weird like that. We also used the elevators instead of climbing flights of stars. Small moves Ellie. The place is just plain fun where we enjoy ourselves and I am a big kid too. I also wanted to put things in their proper places in the Itty Bitty city but yeah, I refrained for the most part.

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There is so much to take in and absorb. Even as an adult you would be hard-pressed to not find something you found “cool” in there! I did see one dude napping but that was on the 3rd floor and honestly he did have a comfy spot to sit in and I admit I was jealous of the spot as I was tired but still having fun and by the time you get there I’m sure we’d walked a few miles!

I also enjoy people watching, when I’m not trying out the experiments and checking out the exhibits.

There are multi-generational families that visit and all of us are there because we have a child in our care and we’re tired of being home and TVs and personal technology. Yes it’s a science center but it’s hands on and yes, technology is used, but it still makes it interactive for everyone. (I’m talking about you, my sciatica, acting all mean cause I needed the exercise!*sorry!)

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This is where I realized there was also some sort of weird “grouping” of people, if you will, who handled their charges differently. I know this also can go into another area of people who just don’t pay attention to their darling ‘lil rugrats, helicopter parenting, etc but that’s a whole plethora of other topics!

gen x dates

I am referring to the categories/labels placed on those of us born in different “eras”. It seems to have started with the Baby Boomers (those born 1945-1964), followed by Generation X (those born 1963-1980), Generation Y (those born 1981-1994) and of course, Generation Z (those born 1995-2009). Now we have moved on to Generation A (those born 2010 – 2025). Just refer to here for the breakdown! http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/diet-and-fitness/talkin-bout-my-label-20110720-1ho7s.htmlI am of the Generation X and the boy is Generation A. I have friends with kids in Generations Y, Z and A…. I get so lost trying to figure it all out! It’s like my family tree with extra twist and turns!

gen a

Confused yet? I sure as hell was! I really had no idea! I just knew there were people of all backgrounds, races and ages and we were all, at some point during the fun, family outing day, having some kind of “moment” with our kids. The fun was watching it happen too!  

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It was obvious with the parenting styles and ways folks interacted with the kids. Heck, I was even in battle with someone else’s kids for a bit there when the boy and I were playing with the foam block and pegs… pegs make for good swords and the blocks can be used as shields or projectiles. That one got a bit dicey and I had to pull out the mommy, “Ain’t nobody got time to get injured here, be a bit more careful.” Never did see those kids’ moms but they apparently thought I was cool. It seems I always end up helping parent someone else’s kid and for the most part, I’m okay with it. Especially in small situations like that where I can bail when my kid bolts to the next area that strikes his fancy! I know they can’t leave without an adult so it’s all good! I just wonder which Generation adult they were with!

I leave you with the magic of my boy’s Jedi mind, he hands down relaxed his mind to “beat” 2 adults in the move the ball with your mind game. He even switched sides to make sure he really was that cool! He closed his eyes and meditated to get that ball there! Have to admit I was pretty impressed on that one! It also showed your brainwaves…way cool exhibit and a fabulous way to get him thinking deeper!

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Have fabulous day and Keep Hope Alive!

 

 

Recovering the Saturday after Christmas


364 days til christmas

Recovery from the holidays, specifically Christmas, can be a challenge. It seems so much goes into the planning and presentation. After every one oohhhhs and ahhhhhs it appears to get devoured within minutes. Everything that was so pretty and organized is demolished within such a short period of time. I always mean to take before and after photos but forget.

I am usually helping make part of it and I always seem to be cleaning up.

Of course I am also all up in it with the boy, a big kid myself. I cut back on the Santa as well as what I was giving him, but he still had so much! Of course family and friends add to the bounty he receives so he is not wanting for anything. It’s funny to see him tear through gifts, say a brief thank you to the givers and rip into another gift. It’s funnier as he’s soooo excited because, hey let’s be real, it’s usually toys.

Then it’s happens… clothes. My sister-in-law and I laughed so hard because he went in for the grab with excitement on his face and he just stopped. He was instantly perplexed. Why would he get clothes? Grant it cool looking clothes but yet not toys? It’s Christmas who gives toys besides parents and grandparents? Well, aunts, uncles and friends but it always throws him!

The joys of being young and saying what you are thinking. “Mommy this food is nasty! I am so not eating this!” Not the discretion I have been working with him on, but at a table with 7 adults and his cousin. Did I mention his aunt, bless her as she teaches kids and she knows how they can be but still, is the one who’s food he deemed “nasty”?! She and I were trying to not laugh while another cousin and new spouse looked mortified.

They have no experience with children, as was evident throughout the night! Or shall I say smaller children. The boy is 5 and his cousin, whom he calls his little brother, is not quite 2. It was asked, how we “make them eat.” Words like behavioral and eating habits were used to ask about our children. Also, when they offered to play with the boys, they quickly learned rules changed and organization and order were not on the schedule! Seriously, give a five-year-old Lincoln Logs and a remote control car and things are going to be demolished. Your “follow the directions” log cabin you built for him? Maybe you understand when I said it’s like your favorite character on the “Walking Dead” or “Game of Thrones”, it will die so don’t get attached! Yeah, I meant that! It wasn’t just pretty words or me being nice.

Recovery is a nice word for it. Today we recover from the maos of the Christmas holidays! I hope you all do have a fantastically, fabulous Saturday and get to relax.

As always, keep hope alive!

day after xmas

Good manners and kindness should be a part of everyday life


Growing up in the south I was taught from an early age to mind my manners.

Yes mam, no mam, thank you mam please. It was a little chant I was taught. And of course yes sir and no sir.

I was taught to be polite, respect my elders and not interrupt others when talking unless it was an emergency. I was taught to think of others and to be kind. Failure to mind my manners could find me in a lot of trouble with my parents and grandparents.

I still say mam and sir to people, both younger and older and even my age. It comes from getting in trouble enough that I just said mam to all females and sir to all males. It isn’t always easy and I do slip up sometimes, but for the majority of the time, I stick to what I feel is the right way to be.

I am teaching my boy to “mind his manners” and raise him the way I was raised. Sometimes it is a challenge.

It seems to many, that manners and being polite and kind to others isn’t on the top of their list of priorities.

This is something I truly cannot understand. I realize that the mam and sir are more southern, but manners and consideration of others is something that should matter to everyone.

We have a society of “me” people. People who seem to forget or don’t care about others. If you ask them “Would you like a drink?” we get a “yeah sure” instead of “yes, please.” Still 2 words but just nicer.

My boy is 5 and when he gets excited he sometimes forgets and interrupts myself and others. I gently remind him to wait and he will apologize. What is sad that so many adults feel like they have the right to interrupt anyone and say what they please with no regards to how it may make someone feel. If adults do this and children see it, why wouldn’t a kid mimic said adult?

We need to think of others instead of being so selfish. We need to stop and think before we open out mouths. We need to be a bit more compassionate towards others.

Tis the season to help others. Why not start with the first person you see today? Why not try to at least go out of your way to be nice and use your manners every day for the rest of the year? It isn’t that much longer, only 2 more weeks.

I challenge you! Maybe it will stick with you and you will carry it over into the new year. Just think if everyone helped one person a day and said kind words and used their manners for the next two weeks how many people could be affected? It would be a bowl full of positive. It’s worth a try!

Keep Hope Alive!

We can do this!

Missing my boy


I hate this emptiness.

My boy goes to his dad’s for a few days every other week.

You’d think I would be used to it after 2 years but I’m not.

I am already dreading his 2 weekends in a row away from me.

God knows I do need a break.

I know he will have fun.

I can’t help but worry.

It isn’t like we didn’t try to make it work.

We went to couples therapy before we even got married, however in hindsight, I realize we shouldn’t have married just because I got knocked up.

But it was a miracle I was able to have a child, our families felt it was right and we had been best friends for so long.

I was in a whirlwind of shock.

I tried so hard and I know he did too.

But if we are honest, it wasn’t the best idea.

And a treasured friendship was shattered.

But we got a beautiful, smart, willful, amazing child from it.

So I work on the “co-parenting” thing.

But my arms ache for my little mini me in male form.

And I breathe.

Because I can’t do anything else.

I write for him too so that one day he knows how much it hurt me to let him go but that I had to.

I know he will understand.

He just came to me, put his little arms around my neck, and said, “Mommy, I know you’re working but I just had to tell you I love you and you’re the bestest mommy I ever had.”

How could I not miss that?!

I have written how much it meant to me to be his mommy. How I never thought I would be a mommy. How happy I am he chose me to be his mommy “this time” as he puts it.

His journals from his mommy.

Stories and poems of my life before him, my thoughts and dreams and how he was a part of my dreams.

Later I will be mom or even mother, but for now I am mommy.

When he is not with me I miss him more than I ever knew was possible.

I love this child with a feral intensity that I didn’t know I was capable of.

I’m thankful he has family on both sides that love him and want to be with him.

I know how precious that is.

I know I want only the best for him but I can’t do everything.

I know I make mistakes and that I am far from perfect.

I know I can’t control how everything plays out.

I know I will never stop loving him no matter what he chooses.

I know I will never stop fighting for him and being his strongest supporter.

I know I will never stop teaching him how to be a better human being.

I know I will never stop disciplining him, even when he’s 30 because I know I will always be his mama. No matter where I am.

So now I will write in his journal and look at pictures of this beautiful creature I created and be thankful I have him for the time I am given.

Because I am thankful I have him at all.

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Songs, music and the patchwork of my life


Anyone who knows me knows I have an issue with matching songs to artists and vice versa. Heck, I may not even know all of the words to a song but it’s got a loop so I will sing said loop and often learn that is not what is being said at all. Also said loop will get stuck in my head and drive me crazy!

That all said I am not the one you want for musical trivial pursuit!

However I do love music and of course songs will play somewhere, the grocery store maybe, and I recall that time of my life.

Like memories, we have songs that can do place you somewhere else in time.

Both good and bad memories, some even bittersweet.

Like the song “Yellow” by Cold Play.

Go on those who really know me be impressed!

I love that song.

I also associate it with heartbreak and the ending of a time in my life that I thought would never end. I also see it differently as it was played at a close friend’s funeral. So fitting really. He was a DJ and it was one of his favorite songs. He was also engaged to my then sister-in-law.

So yes, it has a deep meaning for me.

The boy and I love Queen, pretty much everything as I am educating him as I can and his dad has a greater collection and introduces him to other musical genres as well.

We love “We will Rock You”, “We are the Champions” and “Another One Bites the Dust”. Yes I am all about the classics.

We rock out to those some mornings going to school.

It’s one of the few times he gets to hold my phone! But whenever it comes on the radio or in the store, he squeals out “Mommy our song!” so we sing and dance if possible!

Recently it was “Ice Ice Baby.” Oh yeah word to ya mother!

We had video and a dance party.

A part of me was dancing like I was in a club, yet dancing in the kitchen with my kid! I was laughing at the hilarity of our dance and the memories and knowing I am making new memories with him now from songs I enjoyed.

I have learned I have to pull up the lyrics as some songs aren’t quite appropriate for a 4 year old!

Some radio station was playing NIN “Closer” and bleeped out the inappropriate parts.

He caught that. So he asked me what they were saying. Oh joy!

I actually had to pull up the lyrics because, again, I could not recall them word for word and they play it on the local rock station often.

Talk about getting creative!

The “I want to f*%$ you like an animal” became “I want to play with all the animals”.

“I want to feel you from the inside” became “I want to see you inside” like the house because that’s rational for him, he was 3 when he first heard it. Fortunately through the whole song I make up and sing loudly new words to cover the blank spaces if he asks!

I never thought a lot of the “profane” language in songs until I had my child.

It never really bothered me and it still doesn’t. I just have to really censor what he listens to!

I had to change a fabulous Tool song recently because there was no way I could fill in all the blanks they left out on the fly and he was upset because it had a “really good beat of the rock and roll” as he puts it! Yes it does my son, but I really don’t want to explain why you heard certain words and I definitely am not ready to explain certain adult content to you yet! He may be almost 5 but really I am just not ready to subject some things on him. He will already hear and learn more about the world than I did at 5 because there is so many outlets to get information!

Another favorite of mine is “Me and Bobby McGee” by the late, great Janis Joplin. I am a huge fan and even do karaoke with that one and a few others.

It reminds me of my youth and life in general.

How I once could just GO if I wanted to and how people can slip away in the blink of an eye.

It also comforts me to sing and it’s one of my go-to songs.

Like “Amazing Grace”. I always sing it acapella but can play it on the piano.

It was one of the first songs I learned on the piano and my daddy’s favorite song.

I long ago stopped singing in public, other than the occasional karaoke or family/friends gatherings, but I sang that song in front of a few hundred people at my daddy’s funeral last year.

He had asked me if I would sing it at his funeral and I promised I would.

I sang acapella and I sang it to him, to my family and friends.

I blocked out everyone else and just sang my heart out through my tears.

I still sing it now, I have sang it to the boy too since he was a wee one, but it can be bittersweet.

I’ve gotten better singing it to him, I don’t cry as much, but sometimes the tears still happens.

He will always take my hand, kiss me on the cheek and tell me, “You know Pops and I love that song and we love you singing it, right Mommy?!” To which I cry a little more but they are happy tears. And somewhat a little bittersweet too.

I guess you could say music is the patchwork in my life that fills the void with sounds of my memories.

Have a fabulous day!

What was I thinking?!


I am wondering when I decided to try and become Martha freaking Stewart/ June Cleaver/Carol Brady – ISH?!

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When I decided I was going to try to be so “together” and make all of these fabulous plans, cook these fabulous meals and do all of this adult stuff with “style”. What the hell am I thinking?!

I AM FABULOUSLY GRACELESS!

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I try to try but as my good friend says, and I concur, “That totally smacks of effort!”

I am just a “normal” (ok maybe not normal normal but somewhere maybe within 1000 miles of there) female, mother, daughter, sister, friend, human who works daily, often times moment to moment to get through this thing we call life.

Sometime after I had my boy, at the ripe “advanced maternal age” – a term I am willing to throat punch over – of 39, it was like I caught a virus of how I needed to handle moving onward with my life now that I had someone I was also responsible for and sending out into the world.

I wanted to make sure my boy’s life experience was as fun and educational, obviously filled with love which is perhaps the easiest part and no brainer, as possible.

I have OCD and accept it. I work to make it more balancing than having it control me. I try to always have “a plan”.

The first year of parenthood was awe inspiring and also something out of one of the seventh rings of hell.

My routines, logic and plans were quickly tossed out the side window in order to make room for this creature who had captured my soul the minute I found out I was pregnant but who had tossed the my existence into some crazed notion of a life I had no idea how to navigate through at times.

I think it’s fair to say every first time parent has pre-conceived notions of how they will raise their children, handles situations and how life will flow along.

I think it’s also fair to say many times that idea is full of a big old diaper of the worst poo imaginable.

cartoon multi mom

I guess I have always done my marching to some random garbled beat in my own mind.

I have my oddities and own side effects, some I am working on and others I chose to keep because they are just the core of who I am.

To say my life has not gone “as planned” is a gross understatement of massive proportions.

Not to say I don’t love my life. I truly do.

That’s the crazy part.

I saw life before and after having a kid as one way.

I learned before I even had him, life did not always go as planned. Sometimes it went very poorly and how you chose to handle it makes all the difference in the world. So I would modify my flow.

After the boy came bouncing into My world, everything I knew turned upside down. From my hospital stay, to the first years, to the “un-coupling” of his dad and myself, Life freaking Changed.

This did not, however, change the file in my brain that I needed to strive to be more like the mythical TV, movie and reality moms. You know the ones that have it all?

not me cartoon mom w balance

Still having themselves, the job, the kid, the organized house and schedules with all the fluff.

And I just snorted laughing at reading that sentence because no matter how much that particular file in my brain wants and strives to be “that perfect” I Know it won’t ever happen!!

I am very okay with that!

I went from the free-spirit, flexible, OCD, semi-organized life to one where I am responsible for another human and my schedule and plans are somewhat regimented.

I am still a free-spirit and still flexible. I’ve had to work hard on my OCD and organized is all relative in how one’s perspective is!

Still the BEST part is The Boy.

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I’ve had a lot of “accomplishments” and proud moments in my life, but having my son is the absolute, hands down, most fabulously amazing creation and contribution to this planet I could have ever even hoped to offer.

So yeah, I may look a hot mess, I may not have everything as organized in my home as it “should be”, but I can guarantee my boy is happy and well-adjusted and learning to roll with the punches and accept folk for who they are. He is learning the meaning and value of doing as you say and how to treat others. He is learning while he is the top of my world, in life everyone matters and deserves respect.

He is most definitely loved by many. My love for him and the miracle that he is cannot even be articulated well because it is too vast and made up of things I didn’t know existed before him.

As for me, well I am not completely giving up the ghost of Martha, June, Carol and the other mamas, but for now, I am me.

me in beatles shirt

I will take a line or page or two from them when I can but in the end, I have to say, I think I am doing alright!

I hope that you are doing alright too!

Have a Fabulous Wednesday from the Queen of Gracelessness!

The beach is in my soul


At the time this article goes out I will have officially been gone from the beach for at least nearly 20 hours… almost a full day.

I will have woke with my last view of the beach for a while.

Of course I will photograph it but often I don’t need the visual reminders. Not of this place.

I always walk out onto the balcony, look around and then close my eyes and breathe it all in.

balcony view

The sights, the smell, the endless ocean with all of its vast adventures.

The Life.

I can be anywhere, any room, any situation and just Stop.

I can smell it. The salt and sand and tropical smells.

I can feel it. The breeze blowing off the Gulf of Mexico caressing my skin. Rain or shine it feels so different, so alive.

I can see it in my mind. I can close my eyes and see all hours of the day or night here.

For all of my existence I have come to this place.

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This body of water.

The beaches along the Gulf Coast have helped shape who I am as a human being.

As I am sure they have shaped thousands before, even now and after I am gone.

I’ve seen the sun rise, mid-day and setting sun. I have sat on the beach from dawn til dusk and dusk til dawn.

I have slept on the beach.

I have played in this ocean and learned of the creatures that live here and respect them. Even if I am not fond of some of them this is their home. Their space.

I have walked these shores with the ones I love and those that are no longer here with me to walk in the surf or sit in the sand and stare out at the beauty.

But here I feel so close to them.

I feel close to all of those I love and care for.

I love sharing this Oneness of everything with my boy.

beach crab catchin

My amazing miracle that constantly blows my mind and fills me with love.

He reminds me of this place.

We came from this place.

The place where I am close to everything, call it God, the Universe, all of those things we cannot articulate into words but its right there.

It is where I can and do find my soul. I nourish it.

I find it and I replenish my being.

And I can come anytime I want.

I just have to remember the way.

This time, I know that I have found it.

I will not forget it.

Life is too precious to let myself forget this and how to mend my soul.

pier balcony view