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September 2015

August 2015

Decoding the Cosmic Memo: Please Claim Your Baggage

I am a relatively firm believer that everything happens for a reason... or at least, everything is an opportunity for growth and enlightenment. Messages from God, the Universe and/or my inner child are all welcome.

I just wish they'd send an email every now and then.

Whether it's hormones, the full moon or my birthday (today), I've been feeling pretty emotional lately. The weekend involved multiple journaling sessions and long phone calls, as I worked through some typical childhood baggage that is seemingly, finally ready to be processed and jettisoned. And while it feels pretty good to let it all out, it's (still) a bit of a challenge to patiently devote the time necessary to take good care of myself.

Yesterday I found myself crying in the shower...

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American Kids in Paris

Originally published on August 01, 2009

 

A family vacation in a foreign country can open your hearts and minds to the wonders of another culture, while drawing you closer to each other.

Okay, it’s true. We’re on vacation... again.      

In fact, we’re in Paris! 

C’est magnifique.       

Why, given the economy in general and my lack of employment in particular, are we out on the road again? (Technically speaking, we did not drive to Paris. But you know what I mean.) 

We are in Paris because the world is a wondrous place and it is worth stretching ourselves a bit to see it (in my humble opinion.) 

We are in Paris because my seventy-three-year-old mother has wanted to get back to France for the past several years, to retrace her father’s steps when he served in the 51st Pioneer Infantry in World War I. 

We are in Paris because my children are entering puberty and I am in the midst of perimenopause and for whatever hormone-induced reason, we seem to do better when we travel. 

Something about a moving target...

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There is No Such Thing as a Stay-At-Home Mom

Years ago, I left corporate America to "stay at home" with my children. I had a vague idea that we would spend our non-school hours doing crafts around the kitchen table and climbing trees in the backyard. Maybe we'd plant a garden.

Class, meet Naïve Mommy.

We did do a couple crafts, and we planted zucchini one summer. I'd forgotten that an early childhood mishap with a sapling in our backyard had ruined my sons for tree climbing, apparently for life.

And forgive my rosy glasses, but a precedent had been set. I know for a fact that my mother stayed at home for years when I was young, because she had no car and my father worked long hours and there was no public transportation in our semi-suburban neighborhood. Mom stayed home, we stayed home, everyone stayed home. (Except Dad.)

Well, that was a long, long, long, long time ago.

As most of us have now realized, today's children do not stay home. They go to play dates and soccer camps and Little League games. They go to the mall and a friend's swimming pool and trampoline parks. They go to football practice, cheerleading practice and drama club practice.

They go on dates.

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Do You Need A Lift?

I remember fondly the days when I could carry my children in my arms. Nothing felt better than their little arms and legs hugging me, trusting me to hold them steady and keep them safe. And on those nights when they fell asleep in front of the television and I would gently scoop them up into my arms and carry them upstairs to their beds? They would rest limply in my arms, a secret smile on their lips because of course they were at least partially awake, but didn't want to admit it, just in case I would make them walk up on their own.

As they grew older and heavier, I got in the habit of giving them piggy-back rides up the stairs at night, with them groggily strangling me from behind. I always kept one hand free to grasp the railing, just in case one or both of us lost our balance, but we never did. It felt good to carry them even as they grew; it somehow boosted my confidence in my ability to lift them up in other ways. So long as I could carry them, they would never be left behind... physically, spiritually or metaphorically. They were safe.

My older son says that he knew he had crossed into young-adulthood when he started waking up on the family room couch as the sun came up, his mother long asleep in her own bed. And while we both laugh at this observation, for me it is bittersweet. I never really expected to carry him for his whole life, but I kind of wish I remembered that last trip up the stairs... wish I'd known at the time, this is it.

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