Category Archives: growth

Where Dog Ownership Conflicts with Shoe Ownership

I am insane Duh, Wendy.

If we go by that definition of doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result or perhaps even if we don’t use that definition.

Here’s what happens:
When I come in from a run with the dog and by “run” I may mean mostly walking, I take off my shoes (not that anyone else does around here…or not that I’m bitter) and put them here–
shoe basket

Later, every day at some point, the dog gets excited about something near the front door, evil brown truck, a dog getting walked, a raccoon ambling by, whatever. With her emotions overflowing, she then needs to put something in her mouth I have no idea where she could have learned this….
dog with shoeShe doesn’t chew it or eat unlike me; she just walks and wiggles around with it in her mouth.

Oh, that’s so cute, Wendy. That shouldn’t make you crazy!

Except that 9 times out of 10, the dog ends up like this–
griffon shoe distributor–which has earned her the title of “Shoe Distributor.”

This time I was lucky. It got dropped early on, not out in the weeds grass or piles of old leaves where I find it weeks later wet and 3 shades darker from the Pacific Northwest treatment.

The crazy enters when it’s time for me to go walk that very dog and either have 2 right shoes or 1 shoe from each pair (yes, I have left the house with two different shoes on) or 0 shoes. At which point I holler “What the hell?! Have you seen my other shoe??! Where is my other shoe??

And the Hubs says, without any show of even pretending to consider the matter, that stock comeback gem of husbands all around the planet: “I don’t know.”

So, all that *waves hand in large circular motion* makes me CRAZY.

And I keep putting my shoes in that basket.

And my dog is almost 12 years old.

I am insane.

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!

“I See France,” a 10 minute play by Wendy Wallace

Ahem! Sharing time, everybody!

For your viewing pleasure, this is the staged reading of my play, “I See France,” from last August’s Island Theatre 10 Minute Play Festival (and winner: Best Adult Play will wonders never cease).

Bronsyn, Ruth and Marybeth play the main panties (Brava!!). Take 9 minutes and watch. I hope you enjoy it. 🙂

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?