Sunday, March 21, 2010
Some Shots Are Just Going to Fall
Please note my ridiculously fast healing gums.
Hi. It's been a while. I'm tired of feeling badly about blog neglect. There's got to be a support group for me right? We could meet and exchange fake names and discuss why it's not OUR fault the blogs are being neglected, it's our camera's fault (it's still not working right) or the scanner won't start (really - by the time any of my techno problems are fixed I'll just have to donate them to a museum - my stuff will be right next to the atari game console and the football phone) or any number of other daily blogging dilemmas. I'll bring the city-punch (aka tap water).
The only thing more exhausting than the feeling of actively neglecting something is trying to chase the ever flowing fountain of things that spring in my mind to write about. You better believe that I have things to say. That those things are intelligent, witty, slightly off-color and would totally blow your mind. Just trust me. But I just can't seem to get my act together. You must be wondering "How does Pieface actually sustain lives, feed babies, return phone calls, answer emails, etc. etc. when she can't even keep a simple blog updated?" And the answer to these and many other questions is "barely" (all except the feeding babies part - I'm pretty dedicated to that).
So my deepest apologies. Really and truly, if you are reading this (and I'm not sure if anyone still reads this) BUT IF YOU ARE please know that this neglect is nothing personal, that I love that you're reading and I love your comments. Yes, even you; person-with-the-Asian-keyboard-who-posts-random-Confucius-style-comments. Thank you.
I guess I've been feeling lately like I'm just barely making it as a mother. This is by far the hardest gig I've ever had, which may not speak much for me by way of character or capability. Some days it seems like everyone else has their act together and I keep seeing other people being the kind of parent I always thought I would be. But I continue to fall short. And it's frustrating. I would be lying if I said I haven't cruised the Craigslist classifieds looking for a job that would pay enough to send my kids to a place where the childcare professionals could take care of them. At least they have child development degrees, liscences, certifications. Which isn't as flashy as a Sociology degree, let's be honest. But the Sociology degree hasn't really helped in this current parenting job I've landed (I don't even want to think about my Communications minor or Inter-Personal Communications Associates degree - jeesh). Toddlers just don't appreciate synergy like they should.
Yes, there have been some pretty hard and long days.
And what's worse is that I get frustrated about being frustrated. I know. I'm ridiculous. But there it is.
So, after some pretty crazy days (and the realization that my education and skills are outdated and I could probably make enough to send my children to the double-wide day-care next to the train tracks and the cock-fighting ring, but not much more) I went looking for answers. And people, answers are what I found (thank you Internet).
I've been looking at this thing all wrong. Motherhood is a relationship, not a job. This might sound obvious to you, but it was enlightening to me. Because I was looking for some kind of validation or self-evaluation check-list. Something to tell me I was doing a good job, that my kids will one day contribute to the greater good, that The Red Baron would stop saying things in public that would cause a scene like "Don't touch me, you're hurting me!!" or that the Little Man would stop running into busy parking lots by himself. But I'm not going to find that stuff anywhere. I just have to do my best and pray that everyone's going to make it. Because my wagon is hitched to the motherhood bull, and that's where I want it. I want it hitched to the bull.
Also, I was reminded of something an old basketball coach once told me (get ready for a high school sports anecdote). She was a quasi-scary lady; very militant in our conditioning, not afraid to yell or demand respect. When she didn't get the respect she wanted, she stomped over in her ill-fitting early 90's track suit and took it. The ill-fitting track suit was the only thing keeping me from developing a deeper fear. The pants would ride up so high it was hard to take her seriously. She told me not to expect much playing time because I lacked the level of skill she preferred in her players but I had a good attitude so I could be on the team. I was excited at the chance to learn more and hopefully prove her wrong. Throughout the season I improved and somehow along the way picked up a perfectionist tendency. I would mentally beat myself up if the person I was defending scored too high or did too well (and this happened often), hindering my ability to effectively play the offensive game. Finally, she took me aside and said "Look. Some shots ... they're just going to fall. There's nothing you can do about it." (For some reason I want to start chanting "RU-DY! RU-DY!" right here).
After giggling that her faded navy blue running pants were bunched up to the bottom of her sports bra, I realized she was totally right. Some shots are just going to fall. There is not a single thing I can do about that. Sometimes the Red Baron is just going to be impossible and I will look like a crazed maniac dragging her dead weight out of Target. And sometimes the Little Man will defy all reason and only speak in dinosaur roars for days and wear Thomas the Tank Engine underwear as a hat. And there is nothing I can do about that (besides take pictures that I can't upload onto my blog). It's up to me to decide that we're going to roll with it, make sure no one gets hurt and move on. That's my job. And until recently, I didn't get that. My days have been looking up ever since coming to that realization. And motherhood is fun again.
Confucius says: "When you have faults, do not fear to abandon them."
Dude. Confucius. You totally get me.
That's me in the middle. With a tiny bit of crazy-eye.