Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thank You, Angel

I like to think of myself as a fairly capable, independent woman. I have a college degree with which I have earned a living. I can do my own taxes, budget my money, open pickle jars, take out the trash, paint the house, frame windows, teach my son how to be a good point guard, etc.

Then days like yesterday happen. I was downtown with a flat tire.

Okay, I've seen this done before. I know academically what is supposed to happen. So I got out the donut, jack, and crowbar. Now what??

I started to jack up the car, and when I say, "jack-up", I mean curse and yell at the little hooky thingy that doesn't seem fit to turn the nutty thingy that's supposed to raise the jack and thereby, the car.

Male to the rescue. Is there something in that teeny, little Y-chromosome that gives men the innate knowledge of such processes?

Thank you, thank you, thank you, to the anonymous young guy that moved the jack to the correct spot on my car's frame, inserted the crow bar into the hooky thingy so that you can get leverage to turn the jack-screw, and turned the donut around when I started to put it on backward. Who, no doubt, went straight home to teach his wife how to change a tire so that she will never be as idiotically helpless as me.

there is no
the end

Monday, January 26, 2009

Do You Know Where Your Kids Are ?... Right Now Go Look ..Now. ..Ray.

While Ray pines for some use of her genius mind other than changing diapers and issuing spankings when her "just as smart as her "children flush animals down the toilet, I can't help but feel that no amount of brains could have prepared me for raising kids. Now I do not profess to be any kind of intellectual, still I thought or rather believed naively that I possessed enough common sense to get the job done.

What I did not count on was that there would be numerous scenarios that had never entered my thoughts ..ever. For example have any of your children ever spilled paint on the floor ? Easy solution right ? Time out and a lecture about mess making. Well what if they kept doing it everyday for a year. What if they ate the paint ? What if it was crayola paint as opposed to exterior paint. Would that make you less angry ? What if they painted each other as a sort of kind service to each other ? Do you keep punishing or just learn how to clean fast. If you don't punish for each and every crime will they end up in jail because they you let everything slide and they think they can get away with everything ? Or if you over punish will your children grow up feeling pecked to death and plot your death ? Every situation calls for thought and care and every situation is different and Ray's kids are undoubtedly pouring paint on the floor right now or very soon.

Honestly no college course can prepare for the intuition needed to handle a child. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to raise children. It keeps me busy enough so I don't have to think about how screwed up I am because my own parents royally destroyed my life by under-punishing me.


Friday, January 23, 2009

Why Do I Have A Brain?

...and speaking of whiny posts.

I realize that I made the choice as a grown adult of sound (at the time) mind and able body to stay at home with my children. Even if I knew then what I know now, I would still make that choice.

That being said...

I can't help but feel like the "job" I've chosen requires very few skills and even fewer brains. In fact, in the "real" world, the tasks I do everyday are done by the lowest educated, least skilled people in the workforce. Dishwashing, vacuuming, toilet cleaning, laundry doing, stain removing, butt wiping, nose wiping, vomit disposing, Barney-enduring, you get the picture. Most people wouldn't do this job for any money in the world.

Having a brain just makes it all the more frustrating.

Oh, I've heard all the reasons why we, as women and mothers, should pursue education. What if we don't get married? What if our husbands lose their jobs or die? But really. What aspiring athlete would work so hard if they were told they would only get playing time if no team ever wanted them, or that they would only be second string and never get to play unless the superstar gets injured? Is that all my brain is good for? As back-up quarterback?

I know some people say we're better mothers if we can teach our children why rainbows appear in the sky, or why ice floats, or describe what irony is and site examples. Is that why I studied so hard in college? I have yet to hear my children ask what a LaPlace Transform is, or why the leading edge of supersonic airflow drastically increases drag.

Don't get me wrong. I am grateful that I can stay home with my kids. That my husband is willing and able to provide for our needs and make that possible. I cherish the small, precious moments of snuggling and reading a book, the poignant observations on life and the world around us seen from a child's unique perspective, and the peace of mind that comes from knowing that I am a significant part of that world that influences my child.

I just hope that when my children are grown and gone, I will have two brain cells left to rub together.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Books are like friends in so many ways. They fill our discretionary time with wonder and excitement. They can be informative, intriguing, frustrating, comforting, inspiring, and humorous. Relationships with some books are endearingly deep which you reinforce, perhaps with marginal notes, again and again. Some books are shallow and flippant - a passing acquaintance - which you nurture no more than is necessary. But like friends, books are indispensible. While they may have no survival value, they certainly bring value to survival. When a book comes to a end, it's like the close of a friendship, a destination reached, and a journey completed. Not all the moments may have been beautiful. Some may have been painful. Some ugly. But every book we read, like every person we meet, affects us and molds us, like each tiny tap of the sculptor's chisel, into the person we are.

And in case you were wondering. I just finished reading David McCullough's "John Adams" and I feel like I've met a soulmate some 230 years removed. And I think I've fallen in love, with John Quincy Adams. Too bad he's been dead for 160 years.

there is no
the end

Thursday, January 8, 2009

To Move or Not to Move...

No, this is not a post about bowels.

I have found that there are two types of people in this world - those that move and those that don't. No question which category I fit into. I've never lived more than 4 years in any one place in my entire life. But I've lived in places and met people that are of the other type and I have found no correlation to income, education, or level of curiosity, outgoing-ness or adventure that distinguishes the two groups. There are just people who are willing, even excited, to pick up and move, and people who aren't.

I remember a guy I studied in college with who loudly claimed that he would rather be a ditch digger in Utah than an engineer in Texas. (and he wondered why I wouldn't go out with him.) I know people here in Hawaii - in their 40s - who still live in the houses they grew up in. And then there's Ambie, whose children had the same Kindergarten teacher she did. I've heard people say that they choose not to move for the sake of their children. Then their children grow up and move away, and they're still there!

I'm not going to say that one group of people is superior to the other. But I will say that there are experiences and life lessons that come with moving that you cannot gain any other way. For one thing, you cannot come to know a place or a people by just visiting no matter how often or how long. All my life I've visited Hawaii, had family here, stayed for over a month at a time - but when I moved here for the first time, I felt like a foreigner. It's a whole different ballgame. Like the difference between looking at a picture of food and actually eating it.

By moving around a lot, you learn that "home" is not an address or a zipcode, but a person or group of people. I have to chuckle when I hear grown adults say, "I'm going home this summer" or "for Christmas" and I think, I'm sure your spouse will be thrilled. What do they call the place they have their underwear drawer?

Moving takes a brand of courage that dwarfs other actions we label as courageous. We may look at someone who has climbed Denali, bungee jumped, or scuba-dived at night in shark infested waters, and think, "wow, they're brave". But would they be willing to move to a foreign country where they spoke not a word of the language and knew not a soul, with 6 children ages 2 to 14, and be 6 months pregnant, in a harsh, snowy winter? And feel not fear or self-pity, but exhilaration and excitement for new opportunities?

That was my mom.

I know that some people shake their head and pity me or think they've discovered the cause of my "eccentric nature" when they hear about my nomadic life. But to those of us who've moved - a lot, the book "Who Moved My Cheese?" is a no-brainer. We adapt. We adjust. And we find happiness wherever we are.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Disney = Dissapointment

Lets get the new year off to a great start with a couple of good whiny posts.

School is out and due to the frigid temperatures we find ourselves turning to the good ol' tube for entertainment.So here's my gripe.. when did Disney get so teen? What used to be good wholesome cartoons has been replaced by some sort of demented beauty pageant for sexy preteen girls. Remember Goofy, Donald, and Mickey ? Replaced. Instead you will find a daily lineup of cute perky prepubescent looking teens like Hannah Montana,Cheetah girls and a whole slew of wannabes. Interestingly enough many of these poor kids who have been thrust into the limelight boast pop albums, clothing lines and perfumes as well. The whole Disney teen world is a multi billion dollar industry with Disney breeding and pumping out pop stars like a giant evil machine. I guess Disney couldn't pass it up; sex sells right? Good clean stuff doesn't bring in the same revenue as scantily clad teenage girls. I miss the classics and would be thrilled if Disney would consider yet another channel, except this one would be the good cartoons from my childhood.I may have just realized why we choose not to watch TV much in the first place.

there is no
the end