It takes a village to raise me…

Here’s a glimpse at the team that keeps my shit together for me.

Totally made up scenario: I have the flu and a sick baby.

Brother’s response: Harden the fuck up.  You have a baby to take care of.  Get your lazy ass out of bed and take care of your baby.  It’s not his fault or his problem that you’re sick.

BFF’s response: Kids are assholes.  Why in the hell would your baby get sick the same time as you.  I should come kick his cute tiny baby ass for you.  Assholes!

Hub’s response: I’m going to call your mom.

Mom’s response: Oh honey, I’m so sorry. I will be there in an hour.

I love my team! ❤

You know what, Mom? I just don’t like you…

Yes, this is what my life has come to.  I’m just that mean bitch who says “no” all of the time.  I’ve totally fucked up dinner.  The kitchen is trashed.  Numbers 2 and 3 are whipping up a cookie concoction.  Number 4 is just so hungry that he’s stealing the food that I was nibbling on before dinner.  Number 1 is convincing me that he needs to go to the basketball game.  I have a splitting headache because for some damn reason I thought it would be an awesome idea to start a job that is VERY noisy when I hate noise.  I’m telling 4 to stop eating before dinner so that I can secretly eat when he’s not looking. He looks at me and says “You know what, Mom?  I just don’t like you!”

Well, hell, I don’t like me either.  I send him to his room to think about it.  He comes out in 5 minutes, still pouting and proclaims “I don’t like you” again.

Holy shit.

There’s no way to salvage this.  McDonald’s it is.  I’m going to bed.

Spirit of a child

On a recent trip abroad, we came across language barriers. Most Americans do not bother to learn more than English. Myself included. I slept through two years of Latin. In most other countries, however, the majority of people learn English, as it is the universal language. I found myself very grateful that they took the time to learn my language. I realized what pretentious assholes we are by yelling at others to learn English while they are visiting from other places.

Having said all of that, I discovered that there is a better universal language. It’s the spirit of a child. Our little man found a kindred spirit in an old German man. Little man is 3. Old man is 88. He spoke enough English to get by, but not fluent. Certainly not enough to carry on a conversation with a 3 year old. They communicated like I’ve never seen before. Their eyes and happy souls spoke volumes. They knew what they were talking about. I’m sure they talked about cars and girls. They probably discussed avionics. Maybe they got around to Greek architecture. There were fond farewells and promises to meet again.

There were no frustrations. There was no miscommunication. There were only smiles and sparkling eyes. Sometimes our mature analytical minds over analyze and ruin the whole art of communication. We forget that our body language says more than our mouths ever will. We forget that eyes are the windows to our soul. We can fake smiles with our mouths, but not our eyes.

The spirit of our little ones is a beautiful thing. I’m so grateful that his new friend was just as amazing.

Random acts of humanity

As all of this technology gets more advanced, life seems to be more complicated. Everyone’s schedules are booked to the minute. Most people are oblivious to the world outside of their bubble.

As I sit here at the doctor, there are people from all walks of life. No one greets each other. No smiles are exchanged, except for a few old timers.

I’ve done some experimenting lately. I’ve been looking at name tags and thanking people by name. I did this once at McDonald’s drive thru and the guy looked at me like I was insane. If I do it at the grocery store with an older cashier, I don’t get the funny looks.

Where is the breakdown. I know the WWII generation were taught manners. Where is the disconnect? Are we too busy for a moment of kindness? Can we step away from the flow charts and spreadsheets in our minds to use someone’s name and look them in the eye?

I would like to challenge the world to do just that. Look someone in the eye and acknowledge that there’s a human in front of you. The service industry workers are not robots (yet). They are humans with hearts and souls. Find something nice to say, strike up the nerve, say it and make it genuine.

back porch coalition

I’ve spent a lot of time with my paternal grandmother.  She always said I was an old soul.  We’ve spent countless hours talking about the good ole days.  She was born in the early 30s.  They were sharecroppers.  They lived in South Georgia and they were poor but found happiness in family.  Of course during that time, most everyone was poor.

There was one story that stuck with me.  There was a code amongst the farmers at that time.  If someone really needed help, they were to go to the backdoor to knock.  If someone came to the front door asking for help, don’t trust them.  Even though that was a very segregated time in our country’s history, for that community it didn’t matter.  Anyone could knock on the backdoor.  What a novel concept.  I am a dreamer.  I swear that I  can save the world and everyone in genuine need.  By nature, I am a mender.  My mending has limits though.  I think everyone should do their part.  I feel that where there’s a will, there’s a way.  I feel if you want something bad enough, you will find a way to make it happen without putting your hand out.  And so my dream was concocted.

back porch coalition

I would like to create a place in my little town where people in need can go to receive and offer help.  In the perfect world scenario, there would be an old fashioned account book where you could log hours.  There would be a community board for needed and offered services.  There would be a community garden available for anyone who spends the time to tend to it.  There would be a general store available for staples, canned goods and household items donated.  There would be hand tools available for loan or trade.

Here’s the scenario:

Mrs. B needs her shrubs trimmed.  She’s an elderly lady and can’t stand the heat.  She does, however, make a delicious marmalade.  She comes to the Back Porch and drops off a dozen jars of homemade marmalade.  She in turn posts a notice on the board for hedge trimming.  Mr. X would like to get a homemade quilt for his wife.  He comes to Back Porch and takes the job to do Mrs. B’s yard work in exchange for a quilt handmade by Mrs. F.  And so it goes.  Everyone has something to offer.  Everyone has something that they need hired out.  I understand that there are people who physically cannot contribute.  They would be given assistance in exchange for a hug.  Everyone’s hours are equally valuable.  Clout gets you nowhere in this shop.  Kindness gets you everywhere.  Guess I’d better look for a shop and money to get it going.

when i grow up

It seems that a lot of time is spent priming kids for what they want to be when they grow up.  Starting from birth, a lot of parents (myself included), start driving into their kids that when they grow up they can be something really badass.  You can be an actor, a racecar driver, a football player or a singer.  Then we do all of this shit, go to this practice or that and next thing you know, they spend the first 15 years of adulthood stoned drunk and slutty.

I’m wondering if we should be a little more realistic with our kids.  So here’s where this started with Bubba.  Years ago, when he was 4 or 5, he wanted to be a garbage man.  It’s super cool to get to ride on the outside of a truck.  So I broke it down for him.  We even googled the wage of a garbage man.  I explained to him that on that wage you can’t buy the hot car that he desired.  Now that I’ve grown up, how do garbage men pay their bills?  There has to be a way.  We’ve had the same garbage men for years.  Must be a good company.  Do they let girls drive those trucks?  Ok back on track.  Bubba still doesn’t have a plan.  He’s almost in high school.

I’m questioning this whole philosophy.  Why do parents pressure their kids?  On one hand, planning ahead is awesome.  On the other hand, what percentage of kids grow up to be what they’ve always dreamed they would be?  How often do you hear of hotshots saying that they dropped out of college and their parents were pissed?  Or finished college with a doctorate and wound up opening a mechanic shop because that’s where their heart is.

Hell, I planned on living on a big farm with a bunch of rough and tough football stars that I called my sons and now I’m fat, living on a funny farm with weirdo non-athletic types that I love more than life itself.  Luckily I didn’t go with plan A which was to be an astronaut since they’ve shut NASA down.  That would have sucked for me.  Then I’d probably start blogging about “oh poor me, I don’t get to saddle up on a rocket anymore.”  That would be lame!

I think planning life so far in advance is like making a birth plan.  As soon as shit hits the fan, like contractions, you can use that birth plan to wipe your ass when you shit yourself pushing a watermelon out of your woohoo.  Life happens.  Dreams change.  You think you’re going to get all star NFL kids, but you get one that stumbles over a piece of dust, one that dances to her own beat, one that’s out of this world and one that just wants to run you over with his bike.

I often wonder what I want to be when I grow up.  I imagine myself in all sorts of jobs.  Then I think, I wonder if they are okay if I stay home and read Hungry Caterpillar when my little Avery has the sniffles.  I wonder if they will let me take the summer off to go to the beach.  I wonder if they are okay if we go on vacation a lot.  Then I realize that I don’t keep up with my chores as is, how in the hell am I going to get a real job.

This was further confirmed when Fiona couldn’t go to sleep tonight.  She went to IH to request help.  He was clueless.  She said, just do what mom does.  I then realized that I have magical powers.  For job security pruposes, I won’t tell anyone how to do what I do.

Who needs to be a squillionaire?  This shit is priceless.  Who needs to fly a Learjet?  We can just fly by the seat of our pants.  I’ve got the best job right here.

just call me agnes…

So, I’ve recently realized that I have multiple-personality disorder.  Only 2 people know about the real me, let’s call me Agnes.  Everyone else knows the married, stay at home mom of 4 blah blah blah.  She’s sometimes lets an Agnes-ism slip.  Most people are shocked and think she’s crude and a bit too rough around the edges.  So this is the more real me.

I think I’m still a cool 20 something (plus 50+ pounds and a decade or so).  I start a hell of a lot more than I finish.  Things sound a lot better in my head than they come out.  I think I can conquer the world but rarely make it off the couch.  I really want to be a 50’s housewife minus the foofoo shit.

So we’ll get started with this.  I will introduce my people.  The names have been changed to protect the innocent.  My darling hubby’s name will be IH.  Luckily, he knows that I have a few screws loose.  The oldest boy is Bubba.  He’s a young teen and he smells.  Enough said.  The oldest girl is Georgia.  She’s almost a teen and almost smells.  The youngest girl, Fiona is still in the single digits.  She’s as smart as a pre-teen and as annoying as a toddler.  Speaking of toddlers, our baby boy Avery is awesome (and smelly).

Nice to meet you interverse, I hope I can make the wild and crazy translate from my head to the keyboard.