Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Health Care Debate. "I wish I had more......"

A funny thing happened while I was attending the book fair for 2 of our grlz last week. I learned a lesson that I wish the Democrats in Congress would heed. Health care for all is an ideal I wish we could afford. But reality bites.

I went so I could buy books for the grlz and participate in their joy as they made their special choices. Chelsea's went smoothly, thus I was unprepared for how I'd feel during Chloe's fair. My heart still aches.

I saw out of the corner of my eye her classmate Stephanie sobbing. Their teacher was trying to console her, but her attempts were in vain. I approached the teacher and asked if Stephanie was upset because she didn't have any money. When that was answered in the affirmative, I asked if it would be OK if I bought her one. The teacher hemmed and hawed, obviously torn between 2 valuable lessons: generosity versus contentment. Well, just call me "Mrs. Soft-Touch."

I put my arm around this fragile, embarrassed 9-year-old and asked if she'd like to pick out a book. In a whisper, she said "Yes." I told her to pick something less than $5 because even I was on a budget. It was one of those days where I felt like I really made a difference.

How does this translate to the health care debate? The teacher told me almost 1/2 of her class had no money. She informed me that I couldn't buy for everyone. Oh, how right she was! As much as my heart longed to give each child a book, I simply could not. My family would go broke. While not a perfect analogy, the sentiment, emotions, desire, and heartache are similar.

Congress, pay attention! We simply cannot give everyone health care because we cannot afford to. I know you long for every man, woman, & child to have access to quality health care. So do I. However, you have not been entrusted with the power to take what is not yours and give it to someone else whom you deem more deserving. You have been entrusted with the good judgment and common sense to make very difficult decisions about how to balance the interests of every man, woman, and child you represent. To be irresponsibly generous now will have disastrous consequences later. Please be wise now for the sake of the future of all children.

Monday, March 1, 2010

I was running . . . . . . .

I still crack up at the way mildly-retarded Forrest Gump told Jenny that he had been running. Now, granted, the man was a little nutso for running non-stop for who knows how long. And perhaps we runners are mildly retarded in general. However, I love this little happy place in which I find running cathartic, therapeutic, and **GASP** fun. My running is mine all mine. No little people allowed.

I have never come up with fabulous, big-cash slogans like "Sh** happens" when I am running, but I do gain access to a special piece of myself when I am pounding the pavement. As a mom, I have discovered that although I have not lost certain parts of me as a woman, they seem to be misplaced. Creativity. Meditation. Quiet spirit. Smarts. Yeah, I used to actually be smart. Here's the cool thing, though. When I am running, my blood pumping and my lungs expanding, I am transported to the place where I feel the most myself. It's magical. Spiritual.

Forrest ran to deal with pain and loss. Whether dealing with post-partum hormonal hell or pervasive, debilitating depression, I know deep in my heart that my running has time and again saved me. Forrest stopped because he was tired. I will stop when I am dead.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

You Complete Me

I had one of those moments today, as rare and beautiful as a pink diamond from an African mine.
Sean had gone down to the city last night for a long-overdue overnight with our best man, Noel. As I dropped him off at the train station, I was feeling a little less than whole. BUT, I was going to a friend's surprise party: babysitter lined up, outfit in mind. Ahhhhh.... a night out complete with the use of big words like "bathroom". But as mommyhood would have it, 2 hours before I was to leave for my grown-up night, Chloe came down with a fever. With tears stinging my eyes, I cancelled my babysitter, changed into my fat pants, ordered pizza, gave tylenol to my sweet, needy 9-year-old and hunkered down for the night. As bedtime approached, I began mental preparations for frozen margaritas, some kind of bad-for-me food, and several episodes of Lost (we're on Season 3 for any spoilers out there). No matter my self-indulgence, I ached for big people company, especially that of my main dude. His texted pics of fancy drinks and tales of chasing buses and laughing with his friends only intensified my self-pity.
Now on to the diamond moment. Absence truly does make the heart grow fonder. Sean had a blast with Noel, stepping into a very different way of life, that of his single, successful, yuppie friend in Chicago. But, we both couldn't wait to be back in each other's arms. For all of it's faults and limitations, our safe, suburban existence really is home. When he got off the train, I experienced some of those butterflies of yore. How fun! I missed them. God knew I needed to feel like a grow-up. The baby went down and the big 3 grlz played for 2 hours without interrupting us. We lingered with one another, talking, laughing and re-connecting. Yeah, babe, you really do complete me.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Mama's a Boob

For so many years, I consulted my boobs for indications of what was coming next. They're aching: Maybe we're finally pregnant! They're the size of my husband's HUGE head: I did, in fact, give birth and am now expected to feed a grl with my "grlz." There are ever-increasing, wet spots on my shirt: It's time to bolt for the grocery store door, get home to put in the again-forgotten breast pads, take a deep breath, and feed a grl (AGAIN!). They're so teeny that I have to shop in the training-bra section of Kohls: Motherhood has delivered another humbling blow and I need to see a surgeon for my "Mommy Makeover."

Well, I no longer take cues from my boobs, but I sure have a knack for acting like one. This morning, our oh-so-distractable 7-year-old Chelsea had fallen into hysterics when she couldn't find the new book she had in her hands approximately 36.5 seconds before said meltdown. So here's my moment: The bus is fast approaching and I have the perfect opportunity to instill a life lesson with patience, gentleness, and grace. Yeah. Instead of modeling a gentle, carefully thought-out re-tracing of her steps, I blared condescending, anxiety-ridden criticisms and commands. Shame on me. Tears increased, guilt pummeled me, and I had another mess to clean up.

Despite my boob-like actions, I managed to redeem myself a bit. Due to myriad of opportunities, I've become better and better at admitting my mistakes and asking my grlz for forgiveness. As I sent Chelsea onto the bus, her still-glistening eyes sent me the message of unconditional love and acceptance. Oh, that I can strive to impart the same to our kids.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Humble Poopy-Pie

Just as I was walking around all puffed-up, feeling as if I was finally entering the technological age, I stepped right into "it". That's right, there are all sorts of indignities when potty training a 2 year-old. Sophie has decided to wear panties and, when Sophie decides something, well, we've learned to go with it. I'm so desperate to be done with over 9 straight years of diapers that I'm, probably unwisely, following the lead of Queen Sophie. Needless to say, this pint-size tyrant continues to bring me to my knees. She's tinkling in the potty, but continues to fill her nice, clean panties with oodles of poop.
I pride myself on being able to change poopy diapers like a champ, almost always avoiding contact with said feces. However, this night I am completely distracted with beginning my blog and I failed miserably to focus on the location and consistency of Sophie's "gift." As I was trying to peel off her Elmo panties without smearing the poop all over her legs, my nicely manicured nails slipped and my entire hand became immersed in, covered with, and totally stinkified by her poop. Having begun to practice law, I decided to invest in my professional look by getting gel nails. I have been schooled in just how much fecal matter can lodge itself under fine, professional nails. Tomorrow? Manicure.


I am sitting here dumb-struck, frozen as a deer in headlights. GASP! I've created a blog. Why? Hmmmm....I don't have a succinct, intelligent answer to that question. All I know is that I've been ruminating on this idea for years, trying to figure out if it was worth my time. Wait . . . I don't have any time to spare. But deep inside there's this insatiable desire to journal the often-ridiculous, totally-amazing, completely-draining life I lead. As a mom of 4 daughters, ages 9, 7, 5, and 2 1/2, I sometimes stand amazed at how I end each day feeling like a jumpee who's fan has been turned off. I LOVE my life, but I SO wish there was at least a small sliver of mama-pie left for me at the end of the day. Ok, I'd take a few crumbs. With a giant scoop of ice cream, they might even be filling