Monthly Archives: May 2012

MOTHERHOOD

Standard

From the moment the once enticing fragrances of coffee brewing or burgers grilling sends you running to the toilet to hurl your cookies, motherhood challenges you. Suddenly eating saltines before you rise is a prerequisite and laying in a sea of cracker crumbs becomes a way of life.  Your boobies start hurting, the scale takes an unprecedented leap and veins pop up like roadmaps in your legs.  But nine months later after nine agonizing hours of labor and an emergency C-section, there she is.  All pink and wide-eyed and fragile as a baby bird looking up at you as if to say, “I hope you know what you’re doing.”

Fact is, you don’t.  And it’s a little scary at first. Should I lay her on her back or her side or stomach – do I have too many covers on her – is she hungry or thirsty – did I eat today – is she hot or is she cold – why is she screaming – is she wet or dry – did she poop AGAIN – how does this diaper work – when do I get to take my shower? Ah, where is Dr. Spock when you need him?  But somehow you manage when intuition kicks in.  Suddenly you know what to do, and the baby flashes that toothless grin at your melting heart as if to say, “Way to go, Mom.  Good job!”

Infancy flashes by in a wink of an eye.  Before you know it, they are two years old and running away from you with their ponytails flapping in the breeze. A petulant “NO” becomes the only word in their vocabulary. You’re thinner than you’ve ever been in your life for all the chasing you do. But then they go off to kindergarten and you get to sit down once in awhile…until the second one comes along…then it’s no holds barred.

Now they’re in school and you’re working and driving them to dancing lessons, soccer and lacrosse games, cheerleading and birthday parties and life is screaming by at the speed of light. The house is a mess and laundry never gets done because by the time you return home you fall into bed and crash to sleep. Grade school, middle school and high school are all whizzing by and you’re tired and wish you had a life of your own.

Then you take them to college and squeeze them so tightly they can’t breathe and tears are pouring from your eyes, and you can’t stop them.  They graduate, they get careers and they’re off on their own, and you sit with that life of your own you wanted so badly where you can do anything you want, and now you can’t remember why or what that actually is.

You want to go back and hold that little baby one more time and read her “I Was So Mad” or “Goodnight Moon” as you sit together in the rocking chair.  You want to watch Sesame Street with them and color and play Barbies and have a tea party or a lemonade stand where they sell cheese doodles and fruit punch.  But that time is gone – in a wink of an eye.

Motherhood – it’s exhausting and amazing and the best thing you’ll ever do with your life…that is until Grandmotherhood comes along.

My beautiful girls – Katie and Megan.

Advertisements

A WALK IN THE RAIN

Standard

I’m a walk-a-holic, so if I don’t get in my 2-3 miles a day (which isn’t really much), by nightfall my muscles start atrophying. And, although I like to blame my rambunctious lab Bella as the reason I’m so obsessed, it’s really my choice. There’s no stress reducer in the world like a brisk walk on a sunny day with a cool wind at your back. Pounding that pavement is so much better than, say, downing a triple layer fudge cake imbedded with chocolate chips.  I’m sure Dr. Oz would agree.

So off I went on this dark, gloomy day with Bella in tow.  Although there was only a light drizzle as I pulled out of the driveway to go to the park, by the time we made it there it was pouring rain.  Bella was itching to do her duty, so there was no other choice then to zip up, pull on the hood and get out of the car.  I opened the hatch and Bella reluctantly stuck her snoot up and sniffed the air.

“Let’s go,” I coaxed…

“Come on, girl,” I pleaded…

“Get out of the damn car!” I yelled as I yanked on the leash. Bella leapt out of the car into a huge puddle and drenched what was left of the dry part of my pants. Off we went to the tune of my saturated sneakers squeaking and squishing.

What’s nice about a walk in the hammering rain is that you walk faster, work up more of a sweat quicker and cut the time of the walk in half.  Add to that the fact that since you are the only whack job crazy enough to stroll along in the sopping wet, you can retreat into the solitude of a private park and do some soul-searching without anyone trying to disrupt your train of thought by saying hello. “What is the meaning of life?” “What is the purpose of my existence?” I ponder. I start getting lost in my thoughts until Bella gives a monstrous shake and douses me with a heavy spray of muddy water startling me back to reality. The soul-searching question becomes, “Why am I not getting in from the rain?”

I rush Bella along now and can tell she is really disappointed that she hasn’t had the opportunity to yank me towards another dog because there is no other creature existing in this place at this time.  Then she spots a squirrel scaling a tree and makes a mad dash toward it through the saturated grass dragging me along like a rag doll.  She boisterously jumps up and down on all fours at her newfound prey, and I am now dotted with mud from head to toe.

I give up.  I’ve had enough. Mile or not, atrophied muscles or not, I’m done. I pull her along the trail towards the car, rain now coming down in sheets and barely make it to my vehicle as I hear thunder clapping in the distance.  Bella happily jumps into the car, I follow, and she immediately shakes again and sprays the whole car with wet and mud. “Excellent…” I mutter.  I drive home with the stink of wet dog permeating the air as Bella sticks her big square head between the seats to help navigate the road with me. The stench is so bad, I can hardly breathe. She turns toward me and gives the side of my face a big, wet kiss.  “AARRGGHH! Thanks, Bella,” I say as I pat her soaking wet head, “Glad you had fun.”

Here’s hoping the sun will come out tomorrow…

GO OUT DANCING THIS WEEKEND…IT’S IMPORTANT!

Standard

I got to thinking about what type of person I would have pictured meeting and greeting visitors at the luxurious main reception desk of a huge, new, metropolis hospital I stopped at last week.

A:  a poker-faced security guard

B:  a straight-laced, no-nonsense elderly woman with her hair up in a bun and glasses way down on her nose

C:  a hip, pretty young chic with perfect hair, makeup and manicured nails smiling seductively

D: or how about a cheerful, late 50-something gentlemen with a sunny disposition, a chipper Morgan Freeman-type voice and a twinkle in his eye?

The answer, of course, turned out to be: D.

As I waited in the reception area to pick someone up, I had the pleasure of witnessing a real angel in action. His mission seemed to be sprinkling good cheer and laughter to anyone who crossed his path.

Everyone who worked there seemed to know him, and he knew most of them by name along with little details about them.  “Well, good morning to you, Doc,” he sing-songed to a tired-looking doctor in surgical gear.  “You go home and have a wonderful day.  Play ball with that little boy of yours. And don’t forget to get some rest.”

“Oh, now, let me take a look at that handsome little gentleman,” he said to the new mom and dad taking their newborn baby home. He walked out from behind the desk, and I noticed his pronounced limp. I wondered what he’d been through. Whatever it was, it hadn’t affected his demeanor.  “He’s going to bring you lots of joy,” he continued. “ I’m going to see my grandson this weekend, and I can’t wait.”

“And how can I help you get to where you need to go?” he asked a bewildered-looking older man coming to visit his sick wife.  He then gave the man explicit directions to her room and repeated them again so the man would get it right.

“The cafe is right over there,” he directed two younger girls looking for the cafeteria. “They make the most delicious desserts. Be sure to treat yourselves!”

His upbeat attitude was infectious – nothing but sweet and nice and positive and kind.  It was hard not to smile as I watched him interact with those around him.  One woman giving her visitor’s pass back said to him, “You have made this whole trip to the hospital so much more enjoyable.  I am so glad to have met you.”  He tipped his imaginary hat and said, “Thank you, kindly, madamYou just made my whole day!”

“Go out dancing this weekend…its important!” he called out to two stiff-looking salesmen in three-piece suits as they rushed past his desk.  They paused and looked over their shoulders at the neatly dressed receptionist who was grinning from ear to ear.  They actually cracked smiles and their faces didn’t even break!

I never even got his name, but I waved to him as I left.  He broke out into a huge grin and said, “Now promise me you’ll enjoy this perfect day!”  I promised him I would.

So, I’m thinking I might go out dancing this weekend…it’s important…how about you?