Friday, February 29, 2008

Am I the Kind of Person Who Can Do This?

If you had asked me last week if I could survive three additional boys living with us, I would have said no. I'm not that kind of person. Deep down in my heart, I know for sure I am not that kind of person. If I was, I would have had more kids!

I tried to say I couldn't take care of these kids for five days/six nights. All my friends knew I didn't have the strength. I said I couldn't do it but the mom called in desperation with no other options. She has another dream of this next best position and the mandatory trip required to be successful. I felt like I had no option and agreed.

On Tuesday, the day of arrival, I finally went to a yoga class. My goal was inner strength to center me for this ordeal. What I truly forgot about was the physical pain a new class brings. I didn't know the class would be an hour and a half. The owner is a friend and I always meant to help out her business by taking some classes. Yoga at home when I feel like it is more my style. I'm not a "joiner" when it comes to exercise because I hate to exercise.

By Wednesday I was popping pain killers all day but I had inner strength. As a matter of fact, I completely surprised myself with my positive attitude and ability to handle it all - different drop offs, a preschooler again, some crying, no backpacks, nonstop requests, no socks or underwear, no long sleeve shirts in winter, no phone calls - everything. I was on a dedicated high and could handle anything.

Last night my head was killing me. I never sleep but I slept for eight hours and was still drained this morning. Some one's eye was just hurt playing and they are yelling. Only two more days to go, but it is the weekend and there is no school.

Someone commented that I must be really good friends with her. As friends go, I would say that I am not. I just feel that if life had dealt me her hand, I would want someone to be there for me. I always admire how she never gives up. I've always been sure I could not be a single mom but really you need to take it one day at a time and hope for the best.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

What Happens When Your Kids Aren't Friends?

When I was a kid, I remember my mother wanting to take me to visit a friend of hers for coffee in the afternoon. The friend had a son, Freddie, who was exactly the same age as me. I didn't want to go. He wasn't my friend. She showed me a picture of the two of us sitting together before we were even one year olds. The idea being that we have known each other forever and wouldn't it just be great to see him again. Of course, I went. You really have no choice as a kid.

Now that I have two kids, I realize the same situations occur. I drag the kids to be with families and the kids really aren't their friends but they make do. Luckily, we have Nintendo.

This past week I realized that my son wasn't invited to another boy's party. The mom and I are friends and I thought the boys were too, but apparently not. That's okay. When I asked my son who should be invited to his party, he named 14 kids but not her son. In the past they were, but now they are not.

Every year I make my kids invite everyone to their parties, even if the festivities are in my house. That's how you get 18 kids in the living room. The thought of leaving someone out or excluding one of my friend's kids is unacceptable to me. In my mind, everybody has to be included. I would never want there to be "hard" feelings. Friendship is more important than anything else.

Lately, I'm beginning to feel like I'm the only one that thinks this way. Other people seem to exclude friends without a care. She's not really a part of this. Her son is not really friends with my son.

All this makes me feel hardened. I'm thinking I need to exclude people in order to be like everyone else. Friendship doesn't need to be a priority. Has everyone else given up like me? Does everyone else just not have the ability to think of other's feelings?

I know a mom who used to make her first son sacrifice what he wanted for the good of the others. With her second son, she decided to do what was best for him and not others. I agreed with her decision at the time and I realize I may have come to the same conclusion. It's sad to look out for yourself and not others.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Tustle at the Voting Machine

Today I went to vote in the presidential primary with my two sons in tow. One wanted the woman and the other one wanted the black man. I was undecided, which is highly unusual for me. I picked one yesterday, then stood in the parking lot and couldn’t decide.

I’ve been talking to two friends who were both undecided too. They were not enthusiastic about either candidate. One is a gay man and the other a Jewish woman. I’m a Christian woman for the record. Why were people turning out in record numbers? We weren’t inspired.

As I was voting I couldn’t vote for the candidate I had decided upon. I flipped. One son was happy and the other screamed loudly, “You’re voting wrong! Can I vote? You’re voting wrong, noooo!” He almost seemed like he was going to push me out of the way and take over.

It was music to my ears, and a bit embarrassing. He felt strongly about a candidate. He had been having 5th grade discussions at school. Parents had been encouraged to explain their thoughts on the Presidential election. He’s a cub scout. I put great emphasis on participating in public life. Always take them to vote with me and they always get stickers.

HE WANTS TO VOTE!

I’m hoping, I really am hoping that I’m raising them right. I want them to have opinions, feel free to express them, and vote. His frustration with me was terrific. Just six more years!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Power Trip at the Grocery Store

Today it happened again. I bag my own groceries at the supermarket and the person in front of me stood in my way. This happens quite frequently but lately it's every time.

This older woman has all her bags in the cart and stands blocking the checkout aisle where I need to put my groceries in the bag. Even after the groceries have come down the belt the woman just stood there blocking me. I'm forced to have the check out person hand me the items, so I can put them in the bag.

I would chalk this one up to this one person just not realizing it, but it is every type and age of woman and it is every week. Why can't they move down to the end of the aisle and fuss with their wallet like I do? I don't think it is any more of a risk to take a few steps to put away your credit card. They all realize what is going on. They know they are inconveniencing me. I would move out of someone's way.

This is the ultimate power trip. It happens when people are driving too. They have that space, even if just for an extremely small amount of time, and they are not giving it up. I drive around blocks rather than block traffic. Some people's self importance is unbelievable. Why aren't people more considerate of others? Can't we put ourselves in other's shoes?