Category Archives: aging

Nothing Gradual in Graduating

Today, the Kid graduated from her elementary school (it goes to 4th grade here, then to middle school). She’d gone to this same school five years, since kindergarten, probably the longest she’ll ever go to the same school God willing, she won’t become a 5th year college grad.

She had the annual tug-o-war…
4th grade tug-o-warand the “moving up” assembly…4th grade moving up assembly
ending with her…officially graduated.

Some may complain that this generation of kids gets way too much acknowledgement, awards for showing up at school, ribbons for participating in your third soccer game. No one applauded the end of my 4th grade or 5th grade or 6th grade.

Even if these moments are the equivalent of a torturous Barbara Walters interview (“that must have been hard, losing your dad at 3…”) and I’ve run through my allotment of Kleenex, I’m glad we’re stopping to notice. I’m glad someone is making us stop and pay attention to this milestone.

How many have we buzzed by in this kid’s 9 years? And how many more will we, accidentally or because we’re tired or busy or preoccupied or stressed out?

No, I say let’s all take a break from our personal, inner world of drama and our busybusybusy and focus our eyeballs on what’s happening right in front of us, in our very homes and neighborhoods: a kid graduated, a dog napped more, a baby napped less, a friend moved, a teen took drivers ed, a grandparent slowed down, a cat didn’t come home, even a tree didn’t sprout leaves like it used to.

Time marches on. You can squeeze your eyes shut, walk your feet faster, fill that calendar as much as you want or you can take long baths, plan big, slow vacations or breath in as deeply as you want. Time? Still marching on.

But if we’re all left feeling like spectators, let’s at least take a moment to do just that – spectate. With eyes and hearts wide open, we can watch and see and soak it up until we’re fully saturated and leaking out our eyes and cannot soak up anymore.

No, it doesn’t feel gradual at all. It may have slowly crept up on us, predictably coming along, but then BLAMMO, we’re hit right in our sweet spot. Ready or drunk not.

Leaving us happy and sad and proud and fully and completely saturated.
final bus ride
Congratulations, all you graduates out there! You are loved!

In the sun and in the clouds

[I’m writing this outside at Bainbridge Bakers, and a sparrow keeps hopping up on the chair next to me as he looks around. You’re a bird, wouldn’t a tree be a better lookout? But it’s as if a companion joined me for tea drinking, so I won’t complain about that.]

I’m in a mood.

And my brain keeps arguing with me. You should be happy. You should be relieved. Not bummed out, you freaking idiot.

My brain is kinda mean. Is yours?

My play was performed.

My kid turned nine.

School started.

And I didn’t even have a mimosa this year. That tells you something.

But I also know that while I can get busier and distract myself by plunging into something new, those blues will still be sitting there in the chair next to me, softly chirping, until I have a conversation or twelve with them.

Like running awhile…and then walking. Thinking of other things…and then listening.

And like everything else, I know it will naturally change and be replaced by something else eventually, I promise, Hubs!.

[By the time I’ve finished this blog post, the bird has hopped away and a person has asked to sit in the chair for some sun, next to me but turned away. Another companion, except we’re parallel sitting. My husband would strike up a conversation. Not me. But I’ll sit by her and feel less lonely, shifting a bit already.]

Accepting Lessons in Rejection

She just doesn’t get that it’s over!” my eight year old said as the phone rang for the final time. It had been an on-again/off-again friendship with another eight-year-old girl.

Oy, these girls. I cringe. They are madly in love with each other one minute, speaking to no one else, then someone does something or nothing, and voila, rejection.

Why is it those sticky lessons for ourselves land right back at our feet as parents?
I feel for her when she’s on the pointy end of that weapon, and I worry when she’s grasping the cold handle charging toward someone else just as inexperienced as she.

But experience seems to have little to do with emotion. Even as an adult I’ve felt the pain and continue to feel it, being dropped like a hot potato, bouncing a few times and rolling to a stop before I even absorb the facts of the situation.

And rejection finds you everywhere hey, y’all! let’s be professional writers!.

A friend actually not me this time recently told me how the rejection from therapists’ offices in her hunt for a counselor nearly pushed her over the edge. I personally still have to psyche myself up for babysitter rejection. Facing “no” after “no,” I could have sworn I’d been blacklisted by some secret island teen girl club for offenses unknown too measly a tip? too messy a house? no good booze to sneak?.

I wonder if offerings like “just keep busy, dearie” or “shake it off” are the right route, or the right-enough route for an aching kid.

I mean, keeping busy is swell so long as it’s not to stay one step ahead of your aching heart. Then suddenly you are on that hamster wheel of life, moving and going nowhere.

Downright inspirational, I am, right??

We want our kids to rebound in life. We hope with all their hi-speed clicking they will have a new, hi-tech emotional Teflon coating. But there is nothing hi-tech about pain.

It leaves us feeling helpless if we sit in it. Or next to it. Or *gasp* smell it on someone else.

And feelings, like a three-year-old, demand to be heard. Muzzle them and they whine persistently until satisfied or that’s what my kid always did.

Maybe the only lesson is to sit still with it, something my child is not so good at a trait she comes by honestly.

If she and I can notice and not squirm away, maybe we both will better accept that when you open up, you will sometimes get stung.

Young or oldish, compassion, resilience, and a greater sense of being alive can come from it after we sober up and stop yelling profanities.

And that’s all way better than living a closed-up, ignorant life without heart, right?

Do you have any helpful methods of dealing with rejection?

The Shiny Coat Series: A Dip into Food Detox’ing

So, we just ended early finished a 3-week food detox here, the Hubs and I. I would have written about it as it was going on, but I was too weak and mentally incapacitated way bitchier than normal and who needs to read bad news, right?

Here’s what we didn’t consume: wheat, dairy, sugar, caffeine, alcohol (excluding a glass a wine that time or two), beef, pork, and corn.

What’s left, you say? Just all that crap we’re supposed to be eating all the time anyways–vegetables, fruits, other grains, beans, nuts, seeds, etc. Plus, we took extra supplements and stuff that were supposed to cleanse the liver.

I did this detox before, all by myself, and I have to say I was much less tempted then. It seems when you have a partner, you also (or, me and my devilish mind) potentially have a partner in crime. I kept offering to cheat. Wanna have some wine? Just one? I will if you will…

When I was detoxing alone I was all, “NO, I can’t possibly have wine because I am DETOX’ing, thanks for remembering, and how can you sit there drinking in front of me?? It must be because you really don’t love me at all, do you? And probably never did?!”

Detoxes make me more dramatic. It’s the sugar deprivation.

This time if I was testy, and I’m not saying I was, it was only because the Hubs lost 9 pounds in 8 days or some such b.s. Meanwhile, yours truly lost +1 pounds.

I was hoping to jump start eating healthier with this detox, but I was so lazy this time around, we ended up subsisting on rice cakes with almond or cashew butter. There were bits of rice cakes everyfreakingwhere. Can I just say after O.D.’ing on almond butter, I was ready to propose to the cashew butter. You’re so creamy, you’re so smooth, and…and…my mouth is now watering.

If you do it right, you can also test for food sensitivities at the end when you’re all cleansed, but we pretty much launched directly into pizza and beer which blew that idea into outer space. I recommend at least easing your way back into other foods. Your gut unlike my vengeful bastard will thank you.

The liver part of it I can’t really say. I think liver stuff is subtle, unless you’re really in trouble. I think my skin improved, my concentration improved, and I felt clearer mentally. Everyone should try it at least once. It will make you try new foods, show you see how your body feels without its regular standbys, and shake things up a bit. That’s always good, right?

Next up: I started drinking coconut kefir every day to add flora to my gut. Stay tuned for what will be a riveting report!

Another Easter Bunny Bites the Dust

Yes, it was probably about time. The Kid is eight, after all. Eight and half, she’d say.

Yes, I was careless and maybe wanting to be found out. I left the jelly bean bag in the cabinet where she could find it. Where she could put two and two together. Where she could begin that bumpy journey of losing her innocence.

“Mom, why are these same type of jelly beans in the cabinet that were in the eggs I found in the yard?!” she accused this weekend.

I had a choice. I could continue the lie with a oh-no-they’re-different or it-IS-odd-isn’t-it? But I took a few seconds and bit the bullet. I confessed. Those plastic eggs in the yard, the ones we reuse each year hello!, I put them out there.

And guess what? My little sophisticated, singing and dancing, runway modeling, eight-going-on-eighteen daughter cried. A lot.

And then created this gem for me:
I’m a “tairable person.”. .

We’re both still sad here. Her, for the loss of the Easter Bunny and being lied to by her parents.

Me, for her taking yet another, big step into growing up, up and away.

Damn bunny.