Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Our exciting 2005 vacation

I thought I'd share the poem I wrote about our cross-country trip in 2005. I didn't include the car breaking down on the way to Vegas, or the soaked clothes in the luggage rack, or the luck of getting the last room available in a sleepy Illinois town at 10pm. What I did include was the illustration of the process by which we obtained something much more permanent, the scar on James' head.

Our exciting 2005 vacation

FLIP goes the feet and splash goes the head
AHHH! says the mom as her heart fills with dread
DOWN jumps the dad with the training of a Marine
UP lifts the kid, his head covered in red and green
PRESSURE thinks the aunt as she carries him toward the car
MOVE thinks the Mom as her feet feel stuck in tar
OPEN flies the door to the zookeeper's lair
WOOSH goes the faucet as we try to wash his hair
EEEEK yells the kid as they prod and poke his cut
TISK says the mom it'll need stitches to be shut
ZOOM goes the car as it seeks medical care
FLASH goes the card but is it taken here or there?
SIT STILL she repeats as the hour passes by
TWO is his age, and to his credit he did try
AHHH! says the kid as the wound is opened wide
SORRY says the doc but I have to get inside
THROUGH goes the needle and out the other side
ALL DONE says the doc as he shows his work with pride
SIGH go the parents as the kid falls fast asleep
BACK to the house where the aunt his siblings keeps
PUKE goes another kid all over the kitchen floor
SIGH goes the Mom, disaster is what vacation’s for.

Lest there be any confusion, the fabulously Harry Potterish purple line is a bunch of scratches, the stitches were in the dark area in his hair, just follow the part and you'll find the spot. If you ask him, he'll tell you the scar in his eyebrow is from the "fall in the duck poop water" but that's from a fall out of bed a few weeks later. The scar on his chin is yet another accident. Can anyone tell I''m raising a boy? (He's cute too!)

Friday, June 23, 2006

The lesson we can learn from grapes

A week or so ago I was shopping in a big warehouse store and stopped at a sample table. Usually these tables offer a tidbit of some delectable precooked prepackaged and pre-calorie infused treat offered in mass quantities that can be served to your visiting dignitaries within minutes of leaving the walk in freezer in your house. I buy these treats for my kids on occasion, the boxes last us for weeks. It's an easy alternative to the "Perfect Mothering" that I plan to discuss in a future blog. This particular day, though, at this particular table, the product being portioned out to club members was grapes. I popped one in my mouth, and then one into each of the eager palms presented me by my adorable children, and told them I wasn't going to buy them a whole 4 pound box because we had 4 pounds of strawberries at home.

The demonstrator overheard my comment and quickly used the sharp brain under her white paper hair net. "Have you ever had them frozen?" I admitted I hadn't, and she started extolling the raptures of the all-natural slushy-like virtues of the frozen grape. My kids were now drooling and I promised to keep the idea in mind.

A few days later the strawberries had been sacrificed to the ravages of the blender and I decided to pick up some of the fore mentioned grapes. Once they had been procured I let them sit in the fridge until I found time to clean and freeze them.

This brings us to this morning when I decided to take advantage of my children's preoccupation with their breakfast to complete this task. So while they concentrated on getting pre-packaged and pre-cooked waffles smothered in whipped cream (three pack of cans, near the milk) and syrup into their mouths I started divesting the grape vine of it's burden young.

Now most of the grapes came right off the vine and plopped cheerfully in the bowl to await the baking soda rinse that would free them from their pesticide coating. There were those few grapes however that clung tightly to their mother vine and ripped part of the vine of with them. These had to be retrieved from the bowl and the lingering vine portion carefully removed. I thought for a while that it was the fault of the individual grape, but upon closer inspection I discovered that it was really the fault of the vine.

You see the vine was weak because it had been pouring it's nutrients into the grape long after it should have started to let go. The healthy sections of vine remained intact because they had the floral integrity to let go at the proper time. The broken and withered sections had made the classic mistake of mothering to long.

It's an easy mistake to make, or at least I would assume so. (I'm trying hard not to make it.) It starts with a simple gasp of concern the first time the wind wiggles your precious grape within in your grasp. It's so tiny then, just a bud really, and you pull it close hoping to protect it from unnecessary harm. As it gets older it grows and being the good vine you are you keep it safely nestled in the heart of the bunch. When it's time to receive its dose of pesticide you make sure it gets covered, but worry that the powder will stunt it's growth.

Every day you pour everything you have into your little round joy, and you try not to think about the day of harvest when your little seed bearer will head off into the world. You stick with your darling until at length your resources are depleted, your once strong stem is withered and dry, giving every last drop of moisture, nourishing to the very end. Then one day some hot young red-head comes along and pulls him away. You have been giving for so long, you don't know how to let go, so the force with which she pulls snaps you in two.

So there you are, broken, depleted, and unable to free yourself from the bond with your off spring. Your world has changed and yet you try to live vicariously. You hope that sticking close to your little bud grown big will give you just a taste of what life was once like, back in the vineyard. The simple truth though is, this isn't your place, and there isn't enough of you left to go on.

So mothers, take a hint from the stem laying bereft and broken in my garbage can. Let go. Release your child a little at a time until the day comes when your child goes off on it's own. Do this and there will be something left of you when your child is gone. Start today. When your toddler stumbles say "Whoops! Haha, did that floor jump up and get you? Well stand back up and try again." When your child is learning to write her name find the point at which you stop putting down an example to follow. When your child is struggling in school, guide and teach, help him grasp the concept, don't do the homework for him. You have to let go!

That, my friends, is the lesson we can learn from grapes. Now I need to go put these in the freezer.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

So I've joined the internet soul bearing...

"Why not?" I think to myself when I finish reading the blogs of a friend.

Actually I could think of several reasons right off the bat against Blogging.

One of which is that everyone is doing it. Those who know me well know that a good deal of my self image is wrapped up in the fact that I'm different. Some may say strange, many have said crazy, I've also heard weird, oddball, and nuts. Most of these terms are derisive in nature and most people would take offence at such labels. I, however, welcome them because every one of them set me aside as one of a class of people who aren't afraid to be who they are. I am not afraid to be who I am, because I am Thora. I'm ever-changing, complex, quirky, and wonderful. So avoiding the ruts of normal behavior and not blogging isn't a very good reason not to blog because a blog by a slightly nuts red-head is always worth writing, right?

Another reason not to blog is that it's going to be read. Normally my thoughts can flit un-checked though my brain and have no effect on my relationships with others. Here I have to carefully measure the possible outcomes of each sentence so as not to cause hurt to those with whom I am temporarily miffed. I can't just say " _____ is a total harpy and I could happily go the rest of my life with out ___ presence." One simply can't say those things online, one has to scream them into a pillow and try not to get any feathers in one's mouth.

Yet another reason for not blogging is time. I never have enough time. I could certainly blame this on my children. Three kids is a bit of a plate full, but certainly not as difficult as imagined by those with a phobia of pint sized humans. My kids are pretty good kids, and I encourage them to play with each other quite a bit. The real time hog in my day is the computer. That's right people (gasp) I spend a lot of time on the computer.

Now, in my defense, lest I be labeled as a video game addict, I spend most of that time on boards. I spend my day reading and posting on sites that electronically link me with people around the world who share my interests, if not always my views. One is a board full of LDS parents. Well okay, so we have some posters who aren't LDS, and some that aren't parents, and some that aren't either, but they just spice things up. The other is a board for Harry Potter fans, and is full of amazing people around the globe who share one common thing, we all love the HP books. Just about everything that could be discussed about the works of Jo Rowling has been discussed, so until book 7 comes out we are mostly just chatting and sharing the joys of being a HP fan.

My frequent posting on these boards however has only whetted my appetite for a place to store all the random thoughts that flow through my fingers. So I think that perhaps I will store them here, so that the contribution that I make to the big support group called the internet won't be lost in cyberspace when the pages expire and the threads get muched. In the very least I will have collected them, and could print them, and they won't be wiped out by the latest upgrade Joe does to my computer.

So here it is my friends, the debated against blog that came to be, and it's written by no one other than the one and only me.