Saturday, April 24, 2010
A few days ago I received a text on my new work mobile from a local number, which stated simply, "Miss you man". Now, those who know me well know that I don't typically respond to missed phone calls or elusive texts from phone numbers that I do not recognize. These three words however made me stop and think. The tone and use of these three words sounded like a male voice, and held a hint of sadness in them. "Miss you man" held a certain level of importance that I could not seem to let go.
I responded simply, "Who is this?", thinking that perhaps someone had accidentally sent a message to a misdialed number and would want to know so that they could send it again to the correct recipient. I neither expected to receive a response, nor did I expect for those three words to have the following meaning:
"This is my old roomate's number, he passed away...always text him every now and then, sorry for the inconvenience".
These words stunned me. They hit straight to the heart, and in that moment I cared as much for this stranger that I only knew through a few lines of text on an anonymous phone, as I would for a friend in need. We shared a poignant moment of our lives in common; we shared the feeling of loss of a loved one. I too have lost a good friend, a best friend, much too early in life. I felt compelled to respond yet again. "Awww. No inconvenience. Happy that I inherited the number of someone special. What was his name?" I had to know the name of the person that I was now tied to. the previous owner of an intangible item. A phone number. Something that I never had given any real level of importance before.
He responded once more: "David Ellsworth...he was only 26. A good man, enjoy the rest of your day". I thought of John. My dear friend who passed away when he was only 25 with the light of life still ahead of him. After a long and trying fight, he lost his life to cancer at just 25 years of age. I responded just once more, "wow. I lost one of my best friends to cancer when he was just 25. I still think of his often. One never things that they will loose a friend so early. Thank you for sharing. You can text him at this number any time. I will think of it as John Biggs who I lost too early".
It was a cathartic experience that I shared with this stranger over the wave of a text transmission. One that I would never have thought that I would experience with my mobile phone, an item which I would generally like to run over with my car.
This post is dedicated to the friends and family that we have all lost or will loose. It is also my way of demonstrating that all people, from all walks of life and places in the world are interconnected through the fundamental phases and life experiences that we share. We are human after all, and while we have many lovely differences which make us unique, we are united in more than we often realize.
Monday, March 15, 2010
I can't help but notice my own behavior reflected through the eyes and expressions of my children. The way that my son and baby girl open their mouths as wide as possible when they smile. The way that my son rocks to the beat of a song or claps his hands to a melody; Right on count. “Rock it out Senator”, I say. Or “Break it Down Baby”! The way they belly laugh, like the world is so delightful that it tickles their souls to be alive (even the 4 month old laughs as though her life depends on each chuckle!). From high-fives, to “Chao”, “excellente!”, “Yee Haw” and “oooooooooo-mmmmmm-gooossssshhhhhh” to “thank you baby Jesus for my baby sister”, I am struck at how my little Senator mimics the expressions of my hubby and I. I am amazed when my baby mimics the movement of our eye browns, or tries with all her might to carry on a conversation with us (she sounds like a drowning cat!). I can’t say that I am proud of every moment that I have as a parent. I am not proud of every action or choice that I have made, but I am proud to be their mom. I am proud, and blessed to see myself in their eyes, hear myself on their tongues, and watch myself in their actions. It makes me want to be a better me. A non-complacent me. A selfless me. A Mom. (I applaud all the mommies out there who have figured this out- I am still a work in progress).
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Whenever I run into a wall (figuratively speaking) with entertainment ideas for my kids, I try to think back to those childhood days when life seemed a lot larger, buildings and people were taller, the days, weeks and months went by much more slowly, and the possibilities were endless. I put my feet back into those size 6 toddler shoes and ask, “What would I do if I were 2 years old and was bored with my toys on an ordinary xxxday night?” On this particularly ordinary night, in our unassumingly ordinary house, watching ordinary nighttime TV which replaces our need for thinking or talking out loud, having just eaten another underwhelming ordinary meal, I decided to introduce the Senator to the extraordinary life of imaginative play.
I leapt to the floor and growled at my son. I started with low growl churning up from my stomach, the way one’s cat or dog might moan when they hear a noise outside. I scrunched up my face and clawed at the floor, wide eyed and threatening to charge. The Senator looked at me with a puzzled expression at first, wondering what planet his mommy had just returned from. I clawed the floor again, rolled my head back and “roarrrrrrrred” like a lion and looked him square on in the eye. His expression grew from puzzled to concerned as I let out another roar and began to step forward, still threatening to charge. I cocked my head to the side with another belly growl and waited. I watched as the spark of understanding began to pour over my son’s face, realizing that a game was afoot. Understanding quickly turned to acknowledgment of the rules of engagement as he sank to the floor on all fours, ready to pounce back towards the mommy lion standing before him. We reared up on our hind legs and galloped around the “Saharan Desert” dining table roaring and giggling to our hearts content.
We metamorphasized into jungle snakes and plain rabbits, hopping around the dusty kitchen plains, and then became eagles soaring high above the cloudless living room skies. We spent the better part of an hour imagining that we were animals, airplanes, trains and cars, zooming around the house, laughing until we were so tired that we collapsed into a mother-son ball on the living room carpet, back to the ordinary room where we had begun our evening adventure. My son’s eyes sparkled with joy as well as with a hint of gratitude that his mommy is both willing and joyful to join him on the floor and engage in playtime. My heart grew as I realized that we had just turned an ordinary day into the extraordinary without leaving our home or spending even a penny. This was indeed a day that will live with me for the rest of my life as a reminder that these moments, the kind I forget to photograph or write down in my journal, are the ones that make up a life less ordinary. These are the moments, collectively, that makes my life miraculous and blessed beyond description.
The number of times I have had to clean up vomit in the past 30 days – 10
The number of times I wiped or suctioned noses clean in the past 7 days – 105
The number of times I have changed a diaper in the past 2 years and 3 months – 1,986
The number of stubbed toes, bruised elbows, head bumps, scratches, my-shirt-is-caught-around-my-face boo-boos that I have kissed in the past 7 days – 25
The number of temperatures I have taken, clothes I have changed, tears I have wiped, medications I have administered, band-aids I have placed…I lost track
The number of times I hear “I love you” each day – PRICELESS
Monday, February 22, 2010
With two children, I am constantly at battle with the temperature in our home, convinced that they will freeze to death if it is too cold, or sweat to death if it is too hot. (Are you noticing a death theme here? It is really very morose once I say it out loud!) Our house was built in 1925 and has a floor furnace which nicely heats our dining room while leaving all other rooms at varying degrees of cold, and in the summertime, window air conditioners which cool both the dining room and The Senator’s room to perfection, and leave all other rooms at varying degrees of MISERABLE. I have calculated that I spend, on average, a minimum of 6 minutes each day “managing” the temperature gauge in our home. That loosely calculates to 42 minutes per week, 3.033 hours per month, and 36.4 hours per year adjusting the temperature in my home! Over the course of a lifetime if we are to stay in our current home, I could end up spending over 2000 hours or upwards of 12 weeks monitoring temperature in my home! I think we need to invest in central air!
Sunday, February 21, 2010
The roles of my lifetime continue to grow with every year. From the more mundane yet somehow fulfilling exercises of certain glamour-less roles that muddle my daily routine such as Temperature Monitor or Recycling Commissioner, to the never-ceases-to-be-extraordinary title of Mommy, my many roles in life seem to compound together like some brilliant chemistry equation in order to conceive this one remarkable (and I say remarkable because I believe that each gift of life is remarkable) life.
A wise friend recently told me that he was struggling with the desire to achieve all of his life-aspirations immediately, when he realized that if he lives his life as an authentic man, a man who is confident in himself and in the integrity that he holds so dear, a man who is true to himself and others, the aspirations of his heart will surely come in time. I too strive to live my life authentically, to be true to myself and to others, and to value each role that I have the honor of playing in this remarkable life that I have been given. I have finally come to understand what my friend already discovered, and this wisdom has empowered me to make a new commitment.
My commitment: I, “Mrs. X” (aka. “Everywoman”, have decided to make a commitment this year to myself, to my first fan who has promised to read my thoughts even if no one else does (Minkey- you know who you are), and to anyone who stumbles upon this blog, that I will document these roles that I play, with the purpose of finally embracing the craft of writing which I hold dear to my heart (I am actually ok if there are no other souls who hold my particular writing dear), of documenting my perspective on a few authentic and most precious moments in life, and to pay homage for the silver lining in every cloud that I see. For in spite of many tireless efforts to try and prove to me that the glass is half empty, I, a Pollyanna-inspired Everywoman, will always believe the glass is half full.
I dedicate my words to my greatest inspirations: My husband, “Mr. X”, My two year old son, “The Senator” (as I fondly named him in the womb for God-only-knows-why), and to my 3 month old daughter, “Parsnip” (also fondly named in the womb after a favorite root vegetable).