Monday, November 28, 2011

the spaces in-between the going and the coming...

Our fall is spectacular this year. Vivid reds and bright yellows overtaking the green. We in the land of nuance, where the change of season often flits by unnoticed. There is no subtlety about this Autumn, a photographer's dream.

The color guard marks the parallel growth of my children, also spectacular and extraordinary. My daughter has lost another tooth - the 8th of tiny little teeth that seem even smaller in hand. My son turned 8 last week. He takes up more room now, footfalls heavier on the floor boards, and his head bridging the gap between my chest and collar bone.

Last week I drank in my vacation in small increments -stopping to breathe in the peace of not being responsible for work. I spent time reading and eating, and sleeping the deep sleep of one without extra burdens.

Today my husband and I returned to work, and the children to school. All of us with obligations to carry out, and routines to follow. If I close my eyes, I can still feel the time off... fingers flexing, but not on the keyboard. It was a true Thanksgiving, and I am left with gratitude for family and for the spaces in-between the going and the coming...

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Sky Rockets

BOY and GIRL were busy watching their favorite “new” show, The Brady Bunch. Unbeknownst to JCK, this episode had Bobby Brady kissing his first girl -causing a vision of sky rockets to blast off in a bubble above his head.

Overheard by JCK’s husband:

BOY (the romantic): I’m going to go kiss Mom and see if I see SKY ROCKETS.

GIRL (the pragmatist): You won’t.

JCK was in her room packing for their Thanksgiving trip.

BOY: Mom! Mom! Bend down.

JCK: (always suspicious of possible launches on her being): Why?

BOY: I want to give you something.

JCK: O.K…..

BOY planted a big smacker on JCK’s cheek.


BOY: Darn it! It didn’t work.

BOY ran out of the room.

GIRL: I told you!

It appears visions of SKY ROCKETS are reserved for JCK’s husband...

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

You get beat up and you get chased by girls

I love the conversations I have with my son when I am tucking him in at night. It is a struggle to get to the tucking in get him to stop building Legos, or stop reading, and head to bed. Then, of course, there is that last bathroom stop and..brushing of teeth. BOY manages to drag this out for another 5-10 minutes. Finally, he makes it to his room and flings himself upon the top bunk, and shares what is on his mind - in that moment.

BOY: OOOF!..It's tough being a boy.

JCK: Why is it tough being a boy?

BOY: You get beat up and you get chased by girls.

JCK: Wow, that does sound tough.

BOY: It is...the girls run after me and try to kiss...

JCK: What? They aren't supposed to be doing that.

BOY: Well, they run after me and hug me and squeeze me.

JCK: Who are these girls? What grade are they in?

BOY: Mom, I don't stick around to ask. I'm running for my life!

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

schedule my own intermezzo

Returning to work full-time has had its share of dips and dives. I love the paycheck, partnering as an income earner, and helping my family financially. Sharing the weight of it with my husband -this piece is very good. I feel more empowered, taller, calmer - someone to be taken seriously. For better or worse...I perceive my world as being better.

The challenge continues to be finding the rhythm of my days, fitting in what absolutely needs to be done for our household, and fitting in what I need to keep myself invigorated and creative. That last treasured piece has felt a bit like ruins under my feet. But... I am beginning to salvage fragments, and am determined to create the whole puzzle- even if it looks misshapen. Balance, perhaps not. Perhaps never. Passionate drive, always...yet, so elusive it slides into the darkness.

My children have adjusted well to aftercare three days a week. It is pick them up and have them so happy to see me. They fling themselves upon me, wrapping their limbs around my legs... shouting MOMMY!! at the top of their lungs - faces covered with Happy Dirt, and mouths rapidly moving describing their day. Our evenings are fast paced- dinner, more times than not, is scrabbled together, then baths, and off to bed. The cherished story time often gets superseded by a game or all of us being just... too damn tired.

I'm not sure why I am so opposed to putting myself on a schedule. I know intellectually that my life will be the better for it. Yet, I avoid it at all costs, not wanting to be boxed in. There's that stubborn piece. The one that keeps me stuck, complaining that I don't have time for it all, when what I really need to do is schedule my own intermezzo. Excuse me...while I have a word with the conductor...

"Wisdom Follows" -painting by Chuck Gumpert.

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

the full force of a Raging Mother

I used to wonder why I was blessed with two challenging children. And, then I realized that we are all challenged and challenging in different ways. Each one of us flawed human beings, with demons that we exercise and need exorcised. Our children are no exception.

Tonight my daughter had one of her full-out tantrums in which she is so angry that she cannot see straight. She loses feeling of where her body is in space, and rages, flinging herself wildly around.

I handled it poorly. I met her anger force with mine. Not with physical force, but the full force of a Raging Mother.

That never works.

Later, after tears and hugs and tears again, we talked it through. She needs me now. More than ever. To guide her, and provide tools so that she can choose how she reacts to a situation in which she feels she has no control over.

We are both exhausted. But, we are on to something. A plan. One that will help facilitate a conscious negotiation, and not just a battle.

I rubbed her back as I sang to her tonight. It calmed us both. And, I ached with the thought that any of her pain had been caused by me...

Sculpture called "Comforted" at The Sculpture Gallery.

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