Monthly Archives: May 2016

Daytime moon

I sometimes feel like the daytime moon, out of place but brilliant in the big blue sky.

Causing wonder and curiosity in those who notice me. Rare and unusual. Deeply marred with scars.

They’re used to seeing me in darkness, mournful and weeping, brooding. Or perhaps I’ve been lighting their way.

There I am, hung above, always present, though sometimes unseen.

There I am dented and dusty, damaged and ignored, but shining on anyway.

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Protect and serve, any way you can

Anyone who has know me for awhile,  especially my childhood friends, will tell you of my protective nature.   I have always been drawn to fight for people outnumbered and outgunned.

It started when I was very small,  fighting little boys on the pre-k playground who were being brutish little bullies.  

By the time I was 8 my aspirations hit the big time.   My dream was to be a Marine.   I was devastated when someone told me that women couldn’t fight on the front line.

Next I decided to be rich somehow so I could drive around big cities on a bus,  collecting homeless people and bringing them to apartment complexes I’d paid for, supplying them with clothing,  groceries,  and resources so they would be able to recover from whatever ailed them,  gain employment,  and get back on their feet.

The world hasn’t made me any less protective.   I remember being in a rehab facility a few years ago,  taking on the “cool chicks” who’d been picking on an awesome little lady who felt alone and outnumbered, until I arrived.

I feel like I was born with it.   Circumstance has only made it stronger and looking back through the history of my family this trait may be genetic after all.

I have a great uncle,  Uncle Lloyd,  who made the brave decision to martyr himself on a battleship.   He and a few others locked themselves behind a door to seal the sinking ship so the others up top could survive.  My father himself fought as a Marine during the Vietnam War.   Enlisted as a minor teenager,  sent overseas when he had just turned 18.   Marine Corps,  Hard Core.  Semper Fi.

So many men in my family have been active in the military.  My grandpa fought in WWII,  cousins,  uncles,  heroes.   But,  the women have been spectacular pillars of strength,  as well.

My Grandmother attended a private college during a time when most married women had babies and fed men for a living.   Nothing wrong with homemaking,  I’ve been doing it for almost ten years,  but that example carried through our family’s history,  making education a thing of importance to the young women I’m related to.  The other grandma went in the other direction,  beautiful,  fiery,  smart.   She raised 7 children on a farm,  working from dusk until dawn selflessly to keep her loved ones happy and safe.

Then there’s my Mama.   The Mama eagle.   She worked hard every day.  I never saw that woman give up.  She did the most difficult thing a mother can do.  She turned me away so I could save my own life.   She set boundaries and rules while I was going wild.  I broke them.  There were consequences.  They led me to feel the full gravity of the pain I was causing myself and my loved ones, which is the only reason I found long lasting and absolute recovery at such a young age. 

She died fighting.  A prolonged and painful battle.  Cancer.  But,  she smiled,  she laughed,  she held me,  she held my children,  she won if you ask me.  She didn’t let that disease beat her at all.   It’s what killed her, that’s true, but it didn’t beat her for even a second.

Protection,  strength,  bravery.   Lofty ideals to some.   They aren’t just applicable to mutants in movies.  They are attainable to anyone who makes the right choice despite the consequence coming their way.   Choose.  You are what you want to be.  People like me will help you become it.   Find us on the internet,  in a friendly smile,  a kind gesture. 

Most importantly,  pick yourself up along with all of the others you assist.   Helping others doesnt hurt if you don’t let it.  Choose who you are and be that person and one day you’ll look at your idols and see that you’re becoming them and that you yourself, have become an inspiration to someone else. 

No excuses,  no justifications, nor self preservation, ego or pride will take you as far as integrity does.  Decency doesn’t hurt either.  Love and kindness are always good.  Just be who you want to be. 

It’s hard to be new.  It’s difficult at first,  but you can do it,  I did.  I set myself free.   And,  I have a gut feeling that it’s my duty to help you do the same.

Call me pretentious and ostentatious or grandiose if you’d like,  but I don’t care anymore.   When I was a little girl trauma trapped me in a lonely dark place and I WISH I could’ve gotten on the internet and found words like these.   I’m 32 and the internet was new when I was in middle school.   Encyclopedia’s didn’t give out information like this and loneliness is what was killing me,  slowly.   So,  slowly. I wasn’t brave enough to ask for help to benefit myself back then, though I’d fight for you until it killed me.

I made it to freedom before the darkness took over.  I was given innocent’s to defend and a purpose to fulfill. Not everyone is this lucky. 

So take my words with you,  wrap them around your heart like armor, because you are not alone.  I can’t physically shield everyone I feel called to.  I’ve learned some don’t deserve my protection, as well.  Ive also learned that many do, but can’t have it without drowning me too. So,  if all I can give are my words,  please take them.  They’re free. They’re free of agenda,  cruel intentions,  or any desire for reward.  Just take them.  They’re yours now.  Be safe.  Be free.  Be happy.  You deserve it.

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One more unsolicated and probably obnoxious word of advice.

Not that you asked,  but while it’s on my mind,  I’d like to offer this statement: Accentuate the positive to eliminate the negative. 

Kids with a fuzzy view on morality and right from wrong are always gettin’ into sh**.   If all they hear is stop,  no,  don’t do that,  get down, etcetera, their world will be dark and negative.  So will their self image.  Trust me,  I was a problem child myself.  Luckily,  my parents were/are amazing.

I’ve found my children who have difficulty determining the difference between detrimental and positive behavior make better choices when they are praised for the good they do with enthisiasm,  rather than only receiving the stern reprimands that are the more common choice of discipline.

The “troublemakers”, myself included,  hear the bad things about themselves much more often than they hear about the good. 

Adding positive remarks to the corrections in their behavior being made helps kids, kids like mine and kids like I was, realize that they aren’t bad people. 

Ok,  I’m f***ing DONE!   I promise.

For now… 

Take and break

Hi.
Having a good day? 
Well,  let me go ahead and ruin it for you  if you happen to be a middle child by drudging up some possibly unpleasant memories of your childhood. 
Unless your answer was no.  Then we’re good here.
Let us proceed then.

I have three kids.  They are all incredible little humans and I am incredibly proud of them all.  They’re each unique,  talented,  and special.  Each has a gift given to them by nature or God himself.  Having children really woke the amateur sociologist in me,  sincerely,  and I have been doing experiments on them since they were born.  Nothing cruel, like depriving them of affection like they did to those Russian orphans and those poor little monkeys.  I promise.  Harmless, all of it, but…SCIENCE!

Being analytical,  curious,  and outward thinking,  I took it upon myself to at least attempt to solve the world’s greatest behavioral mysteries! (Insert maniacal laughter). Here is one thing I have learned about those poor little Middles.

There seems to be a reoccuring issue,  something I like to call the “take and break dilemma”.  Let me explain with a clear example.

My Middle had a birthday recently and I noticed something. As soon as he got a new toy out of the box,  Big brother would try to manipulate him into letting him play with it.  In fact,  at times,  as Middle played with one of the new toys,  Big was in the background opening up a box.  He claimed he was trying to help Middle get at his stuff faster,  but it was obvious to any intelligent adult what was really going on. Big shouldn’t be punished about this. His tactics were innocent. He’s still learning the boundaries of brotherhood himself but, that is the “take”.  

Middle idolizes Big,  relies on him for assistance in many areas and thusly feels an automatic sense of pressure to comply to his requests. 

Meanwhile,  Little is grabbin’ sh**,  left and right.   Haphazardly tossin’ sh** around like a maniac.  She doesn’t know any better,  really.  She has been given indestructible baby toys her whole life that haven’t nearly as many removable and delicate pieces.  She’s still learning to take care of material goods. And there’s the “break”.

Middle loves his baby sis.  He protects her and falls for her big brown eyes and pleas every,  single,  time.  He and Big receive swift punishment if Little is hurt,  physically or her feelings,  because,  from the moment they met her,  she was fragile,  small, and guarded by the adults.   Something Middle and Big can’t remember mommy doing for them in their infancy, but are seeing clearly with the Little. I’m sure he feels that if he says no and makes Little cry,  he will get in big trouble.

Middle gets something new and it is RIPPED from him with Big’s manipulation and absolutely DESTROYED by Little’s carelessness.  Bummer,  dude.  Sincerely.

How can a kid enjoy their stuff when they live in a state of pressurized paranoia, feeling they have to share the newness under the direction of adults,  being conned into submission by the wisest of the siblings,  and being fearful of the inevitable damage that will be done by the smallest?   Poor Middle.  

This particular problem effects Middle more because,  well,  he’s right there in the middle.  He’s big enough to have stuff that still interests Big and little enough to get things that Little is beginning to enjoy.  Big wants nothing to do with Little’s things,  Little doesn’t understand the belongings of Big.

It’s a habit as a parent to tell them to share.   Share it all!  Share it now!  Share!  Share!  Share!   I know I’ve done it.   My fear of them growing to be greedy and selfish caused that annoying tic.  

But,  poor Middle has ALWAYS had to share.   Even his mommy.   BIG had years with no competition.  Middle had to deal with the confusion and frustration of a first time parent of two.  Honestly,  having a third was easier than having my second.  All the kinks were worked out by the time number three came into being.  Those kinks were worked out on poor One and Two.  Baby number three had a professional parent from the very beginning.

While working out those kinks,  mommy had to gently and patiently teach Big to share mommy,  to detach and become more independant,  to require less from momma bear.  Less attention was given to Middle in order to fulfill the needs of Big,  but Little never had to deal with this because Middle was born to share mommy. So Little got all the attention she needed because Big and Middle had already been taught that mommy only has two arms but one big heart made for three.

Middle has always been required to share.  So,  and this is just me,  I don’t make him share it all,  at least not right away.  

He needs to feel special,  important, a priority.  When he gets new things,  when they all get new things,  they’re not forced to share immediately,  or even at all if it’s a very special thing.  I allow them all to make the choice,  let them rub a little of the newness off of their toy before everyone else gets their turn.  If they haven’t made the decision to share after a few days of play, we have a discussion about the importance of having a gracious nature and they usually turn their “my stuff” attitude around.

I feel the need to be very attentive with my kids,  every child is unique,  they know the same rules apply to all in most situations but,  because they’re individuals,  sometimes different rules are enforced for each.  All the while, they’re told REPEATEDLY (to a degree that must annoy them) that my love for them is equal,  never divided, always multiplied.

Middle’s struggle with the “take and break” scenario is something I monitor very closely.  

Obviously, the importance of personal time and special activities designed for each individual child to experience with each parent is very important.   I feel it’s necessary to seperate their experiences in their youth to help foster their own personal identities as discovering one’s self is difficult enough without constantly being grouped and lumped together.  By giving them a baseline of interests and qualities to look to for guidance during the safety of their formative years is incredibly beneficial.

From what I’ve seen,  no child struggles more to find their center than the Middle.

For this reason,  I feel the need to make sure they aren’t constantly being forced to place their things into the destructive hands of the Little or be subjected to the misguided reasoning Big uses to get at Middle’s stuff.

They all need to be taught ABSO-FRIGGIN-LUTELY EVERY SINGLE EFFIN’ THING.   It’s exhausting to help children form beneficial behaviors and perceptions.  Other than natural instinctive body functions,  we are all born clueless.  Thoughtful measures are taken,  research is done.  Sh**,  I even survey my friends and family and develop statistical overviews and conclusions.  Nerd.

I can’t help it.   I was born to evaluate and decipher,  reform not conform.  I hope parents and their kids can benefit from my hours of informal behavioral studies. 

I have no degree.  I am not a professional anything,  anywhere.  But,  I am dedicated and diligent.  I’m well informed and well practiced.  I’m a mommy.   Good ‘nuf.      

Bee-tee-dubs, this mommy thinks the hours of tireless introspection, research and fact checking,  objective cross examination of multitudes of opinions,  is worth every ounce of intuitive understanding these kids will gain and have engrained in their subconscious minds. It is worth the effort,  sleep deprivation,  and the “diligence wrinkles”.  That’s what I affectionately call the marks between my eyebrows from pondering and thinking things like,  “Why the eff would any creature,  anywhere, ever, think it was a good idea to smear poo all over the television?”.  All while making that face.  You know that face.  The one that is often accompanied by a hand over the mouth that is desperately holding in the obscenities as you realize you’re about to have to lysol and q-tip someone else’s sh** out of the cracks and holes of an old t.v.  Sigh.

The “Fun with Feces” phase is proof we came from monkeys.  Only explanation,  man.  No other sense can be made of the amount of excrement I have cleaned out of hair,  appliance’s,  and off of other children.   “Look what’s in the toybox, mom! “. Yikes,  dude. 

Sincerely.

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Page added.

If you’ve ever struggled through an abortion or miscarriage,  I recently shared a personal story under the title “Annalise” that you may identify with.  It’s listed under the “from my mind” page.  Check it out.

Boxes are like clouds

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When you look at a box,  what do you see?   This one started as a rocket ship then it was a submarine,  currently it’s a slide,  next it will be a television,  last in line is the classic puppet theater.
 
Creativity with kids goes a long way.  Imaginations need nurturing,  and having children help you transform a box into something spectacular is one great way to get them to think outside of one.

I was born with a wild mind.  Had my creativity not been fostered,  I would’ve been lost to the world’s darker side,  of this I’m certain.  My parents saw something special inside of me.  I was a storyteller,  an artist,  a poet.  They appreciated every blue ribbon drawing and praised me for every trip to the young writer’s conferences I’d won my way into with essays.

I have three children,  and as I’ve watched them grow,  I’ve realized that some children are born with definite ideals while others wander aimlessly in gray areas and uncertainty.  I was always a wanderer. 

Right and wrong weren’t clear to me.  I knew if I hurt someone,  stole something,  broke something,  there’d be consequences,  but when it came to a moral compass,  mine was spinning wildly.

Then there is my sister.  She seemed to know everything.  She’s my big sister so I idolized her for her ability to do the right thing effortlessly.  She was just so damn good,  all of the time.  Honestly,  it’s amazing how good she is.  An angel,  really. 

Then there was me.   “Little sh**”,  “Troublemaker”,  these were my nicknames.  I took pride in my ability to stir things up.  There are benefits to being a wildflower.  No one can predict the power within.  No one sees it coming.  God gave me the element of surprise when he put this blonde hair atop my head,  disguising my big beautiful mind.  Wink wink,  smiley face emoji.

Having an ability to decide north from south outside of the magnetic field most find shelter inside of caused some trouble and confusion,  I’ll be honest,  but I found that it’s pretty rad to be able to think laterally. No one sees the world like I do. No one can explain it using the words I choose. In a world full of folks who fight to fit in,  I felt the need to stand out.  

I’m only called odd because I’m unexpected.  Im only labeled as weird because I’m unique. I like that.   I don’t want to be you,  I don’t want to blend in.   I just want to be me. Strange and unusual.  Bold and brave.  My place is wherever I decide I want to be.  I fit in wherever I go.  

It’s nice to be a lunatic. Sincerely!

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Chaos and Calm

At night, when the television volume is set at 2, when earlier in the day it was barely audible at 25, I begin to wonder which noises are missing.  How many words had I ignored from people I neglected to hear?  How many songs had floated over me and landed atop the ears of my neighbors instead of on mine?  What was the deafening white noise made of?  My mind was made to dissect things.  I want to know.

Where did it all go?  Where did they go?  Had they needed me?  Had I failed them?

Had my whispers ridden the wind to follow someone home and hit their ears at a time when they required companionship?  Did they assist someone, hold their hand to help them rise out of loneliness?  Had this all happened without me knowing?

Did my eyelash fly away and travel to a toe?  A toe that began to itch as a dagger flew overhead.

Had my tear joined a river?  Had it caused a distant dam to break?  Did it flood a hidden village in the distance?

Had a hair come loose from my head?  Had it flitted off and acted as a binding in a nest of an eagle that would grow and inspire a poet’s words? Words to change a man?  A man who would change history?

I’ve come to know some things in my life.  Things that are fact to me now.  Things I’m certain of.  One such thing is this, everything means something.

Absolutely everything has an effect.

Sitting in this musing, wondering where the noise has gone, I find within my soul the sudden urge to scream into this darkness.  I want to yell loudly.  Something good.  Something great.  Something powerful.

I feel the need to create some positive chaos by shouting out into this quiet night, disturbing the peace.  It’s in my nature.

Tranquility leaves me stagnant and mossy if I linger too long inside solace.  I need to breathe it in sometimes, that’s true, but I know I can’t stay.  My reality has always moved hastily and loudly, in jolts and rushes, forward and back. Peacefulness is only a place to visit briefly.

Comfort for me lies in a riot, a rally for change.  Naturally, that is where I’ve been found. That’s where I feel my spirit is most powerful, accepted, and strengthened.  I am not as familiar with chirping crickets and cool night mists and floating fog.

I prefer red/green/yellow shining off of streets, the smell of hot highways, the buzz and hum of power lines and people.

But, here in the silence another part of me wakes.  One I don’t know by name yet.  An introduction is being made.  She finds refreshment in this place and I’m realizing I am becoming whole again, comfortable anywhere, as chaos and calm coexist in me now.