Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sarah Amber

So I have decided that this post will be dedicated to my baby sister Sarah. Call it prophetic, call intuition, call plain crazy, but before my mom was even pregnant with my sister, I knew she was coming. I was eight years old when I told my mother, who at that time had four children, that she was going to have a baby and that her name was going to be Sarah. She laughed, she told me that it would be my daughter, but I somehow knew intuitively that my sister was coming! When she was born, my mom told me that I just took over, I was her second mom. I can remember rocking her to sleep, feeding her bottles, and singing to her when she cried.

Now she is seventeen, she is beautiful, vivacious, strong, and full of possibility. I am amazed sometimes at the person she has become. Five and a half years ago, she moved ten hours away from me and I miss her a lot. This is her last year of high school and she has promised to come home, to come back to live with her second mom. A part of me wants to hold her to this, but another part of me knows that there is a big world out there waiting for her to explore and so my wish is that no matter what, she will do more than I ever did - I hope she will travel, that she will live and live and live before she settles down.

I love you baby girl! You are the closest I get to peeking ahead into Madison future … And if she’s like you, I am one very blessed Mama, twice over.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

To “Those” moms: Why Can’t We All Just Be Friends?

The most unexpected thing that I have experienced in becoming a mother has had nothing to do with my daughter; instead, it has everything to do with other mom’s.

I had no expectation whatsoever of other mom’s beforehand, in fact they really didn’t factor into my ideas of my impending motherhood at all. Towards the end of my pregnancy though I decided that I should try to find a mom’s group to join for two reasons: a. for friendship with other women who were also moms and b. for something to occupy my newly open schedule, as I’d always been working and/or going to school before pregnancy so the thought of hours at home with no “duties” or “assignments” seemed rather bleak.

Oh if I’d only known the disaster that was ahead of me … Instead of finding support, understanding, and friendship I ended up with cattiness, judgment, and enemies. Oh, lordy! I was too open, shared too much, and was too nice so basically I was trampled on and left for “dead.” Is it really any wonder that some mom’s high tail it back to work as soon as possible? It was like high school all over again, complete with the entire unspoken BS, underlying expectations and of course the “in crowd.” I was part of the “in crowd” and then for reasons I still am unsure of, I was “out.”
I could go on but why? There is no purpose in glorifying the drama. All I want to say is that this is RIDICULOUS!! We are supposed to be the example for our children of how to be respectful of others, to embrace difference, to treat others with kindness, and to be proponents of peace – how is that possible if we can’t even operate this way with our own peers?

Motherhood should not be treated like a competition, rather as a journey. Imagine we all traveled on the highway the way many moms’ go about motherhood – there would be an overwhelming number of tragedies and deaths!! Instead we should go about motherhood as we do a highway drive, with respect for the other “drivers,” with the knowledge that our choices have consequences. We cannot drive without regard for the law, if we do so we jeopardize the wellbeing of ourselves and of others. In the same way, being a “mean mom” not only harms others it will harm yourself as well. You hurt other people and isolate yourself. Negative energy breeds negative energy and no one likes a Negative Know it All Nelly.

I am a firm believer that “it takes a village” to raise a child so lets do this together and stop trying so hard to prove that we are perfect, that we have it all together, that we are better …

“The way of peace is the way of love. Love is the greatest power on earth. It conquers all things.” - Peace Pilgrim

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” - Mother Teresa

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Wabi Sabi - Beauty in Imperfection

Perfection will never be attainted, beauty is found in the mistakes we make, and true happiness is found when we let go and just live! I read this article today and thought it was worth passing on:
“In Japan there is an entire world view that appreciates the value of the imperfect, unfinished and faulty. It's called Wabi Sabi, where the first term refers to something simple and unpretentious, and the second points to the beauty that comes with age. Wabi Sabi is the aesthetic view that underlies Japanese art forms like the tea ceremony, calligraphy and ceramics. It's an aesthetic that sees beauty in the modest and humble, the irregular and earthy. It holds that beauty comes with the patina of age and in the changes that come with use. It lies in the cracks, the worn spots; in the green corrosion of bronze, the pattern of moss on a stone. The Japanese take pleasure in mistakes and imperfections.

Day by day, tiny specks of us float away. No matter which exercise or diet regimen we follow, no matter which self-help guru or meditation practice we follow, nothing will dispel the reality that we are not built to last. Death is our supreme limitation, the final proof that perfection was never meant to be part of the human experience. A hundred years from now, there will be all new people. Sooner rather than later, we shall not be here: no eyes, no nose, no ears, no tongue, no mind, no you or me -- gone, and who knows where, if anywhere.

Yet knowing the extent of our limitations, feeling our soon-not-to-be-hereness in our bones, is the best condition we can have for waking up to the miracle that we are here at all. That is the brilliance of the human design plan -- the built-in "defect" is the very thing that can spur us to drink down the full draught as it comes to us.

How did this happen? This incredible feeling, thinking, sensing, moving, joyous, painful, doubting, wondering life -- what keeps it upright even now, right now in this unrepeatable moment that is already gone? No answer to that, merely the gasp of the breath as it moves in and out, and the pleasure of knowing that for now we are here and not elsewhere.

Better to taste it now -- this gritty, imperfect life that we have -- than to defer it to some more perfect future that may never come.”

- Excerpt from “The Pleasure of Not Being Perfect” by Roger Housden