Archive for June, 2009

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Awareness in the Air

June 27, 2009

Expect this to be a day of Healing, Awareness, Harmony, and Gentle Order.

-Naomi Rose

Not this day. Where’s the Healing? Awareness? Harmony? Ha! Definitely no Gentle Order on this travel day.

It began with no running water and yes, I had to fly. On an airplane. Although believe me, I would have preferred to fly on the wings of some magical dragon.

Travel days start early in the great white north. Two things are necessary at 4:30 a.m., a shower and a cup of coffee. I got neither.

Instead, I put a baseball cap on my fine looking hair, piled three kids into the car, and drove. Not so far. Within fifteen miles, my youngest threw-up. We arrived at the airport, changed clothes, and found coffee. Until someone ran into me and spilled it all over my jacket. At least coffee smells better than throw-up. Maybe that was my healing harmony.

Maybe not. My husband said good-bye at security check, and my two-year-old performed a stellar tantrum. She cried so hard that snot slid down her nose and onto my shoulder. It didn’t help that I had to send her doll through an x-ray machine. Ever try to remove a screaming toddler’s shoes in front of a hundred strangers ready to call you a bad mom if you raise your voice? So okay, maybe my day did have some awareness.

By now, we were late, so we ran. I hauled three kids, two pink backpacks, and a suitcase of my own down the corridor as fast as I could. You know that feeling you get when you wonder, gee, will I see someone I know travelling? I prayed NOT to have that happen. Apparently, it was not a day for prayers. A voice from aisle ten said, “Hi Carrie”. It was hard to find a good response with coffee, vomit, and sweat settling on my skin. I bit my tongue and said hi with as much gentle order as I could muster.

I won’t bore you with the details on the plane. If you have kids, you know what flying’s like and if you don’t, you’ve probably had to sit near kids. You know too. Fun, fun.

We arrived in Detroit, and no one at baggage claim came with a cart and a hand out. Too bad. I would have paid big bucks for help. How do moms travel with strollers, car seats, suitcases and exhausted kids? I don’t remember.

After waiting in a long line with whiney kids, we smashed into a compact rental car and headed for McDonalds. Nothing like a McShake to improve the day, until of course, a truck swerves into another truck. Brakes slammed, and I skidded off the road. Safely, thankfully. However, the backpacks behind my kids’ heads slid onto their heads and caused them to spill all the milkshakes and food down their fronts. More tears.

We arrived an hour later at our friend’s house. We did not give them hugs. Instead, I asked for a bar of soap, four towels, and marched us directly into the shower. Fortunately, there was running water at their house.

And, there it was. I finally found healing, awareness, harmony, and gentle order. In the shower. Thank the good Lord my kids are older. I don’t think I need to find any more awareness in the air.

Happy summer travels!

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Don’t Blame Erica Jong

June 12, 2009

You take your life in your own hands, and what happens? A terrible thing: no one to blame. –Erica Jong

Could someone please explain this to my children? Seriously, what would they do without Mom to blame?

At our house, you can hear someone ask, “Where’s my blue shirt with the butterfly on it?” “Who moved my homework?” “Where are my ski gloves?” or “Who took my snack?” at any given time on any given day.

My answer, of course is Poltergeist. The Borrowers. Mysterious fairies live in our house and eat my kids’ homework. But do my kids think so? No sirreee. Mom did it.

Just exactly when do we grow up and learn not to blame? Can we, as adults, embrace personal responsibility and stop blaming the driver in front of us? The weather? The teacher? Okay, so maybe I won’t stop blaming the parent who screams at kids on the soccer field, but he’s an idiot.

Waking up to the realization that we are in control of our actions and reactions to life is not an easy task. We can’t control snow in the spring, but we can fix a pina colada and crank the heat and pretend. In fact, I’m headed to the bar right now.

When we blame others, or the weather, or circumstance we find discontent. Once we own up to what is, we can begin to truly let go and live.

First, I have to go find my car keys. My husband stole them.

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Did Chief Seattle Smell Stinky Feet?

June 1, 2009

All things share the same breath- the beast, the tree, the man, the air shares its spirit with all the life it supports. -Chief Seattle

Chief, did you ever breathe the stink of boys’ socks after a basketball game? How about adolescent girl perfume? And smog from the city? Somehow, I gotta think the breath of today is not the same as the breath of yesteryear.

Do we really want to share our breath? Do we really want to breathe at all?

Yesterday, I caught my six-year-old rolling upside down on her bed with her feet in her face. At least she wasn’t standing with her toes in the toilet like she did when she was two, but still. What was she doing?

I asked.

“I’m smelling my feet! Wanna smell?”

No thanks.

“But they smell good! Come on, smell!”

So I did. Good, would not be the adjective I would use, but I didn’t say so.

Maybe letting our children develop a healthy sense of who they are, even if it includes odorous body parts, encourages self-esteem. Besides, do I want a daughter adorned with Chanel, sporting perfectly pressed ribbons, and who wears make-up and high heels? I do not. While sticking one’s toes in one’s nose might not be the most lady-like habit on the planet, it does allow for exploration and eventual self-confidence.

If I try hard, I can get over the smell of stinky feet and recognize that to a six-year-old, a whiff of a toe may be divine. The old Chief was right. We are all on this planet breathing the same air that gives us life. Maybe we won’t like the same sweet smells, but, recognizing that we connect through breath is the first step toward a more peaceful existence.

On the other hand, they do sell some mighty fine peppermint foot lotion. . .