Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A "Lucky" New Direction

A little over a week ago I got news that I never saw coming.  The kind of news that sucks the wind out of your sails and sends you reeling.  My job, the position I have loyally held for nearly 9 years, is being eliminated.  HR did the best they could to reassure me - they reminded me that I still have my job until June; that they will do the best they can to help me in any way I see fit; they assured me (rather emptily) that everyone who "touched this decision in any way feels horrible about it".  At the time, with tears streaming down my face, as I struggled just to suck air, not to mention try (rather unsuccessfully) to make eye contact, all I really heard was "blah, blah, no job, blah, blah, no money, blah, blah, no purpose".

I took a day to feel sorry for myself.  I cried.  I got angry.  I made immature and bitter remarks.  I had a pity party, felt like a loser, questioned my self worth.

Then I picked myself up, brushed myself off and started making lists.  I made "plans".  I did research.  I dusted off my resume and I started applying for jobs.     

Don't get me wrong.  I still feel like a loser,  I worry every second about what will happen or what I'm going to do...but I can't let this get me down (for long).  My husband needs me to be positive.  My kids need to know that nothing is wrong and that even if Mommy is talking about new jobs for whatever reason, that they don't have anything to worry about and their world will not change in any noticeably drastic ways.  I just can't allow myself to have to say "No, can't play football this year because Mommy lost her job and we can't afford it",  or "I know all the other kids are going to the roller skating party but it's expensive so you can't join them".  That, to me, would be the ultimate failure...letting my boys down.  So I have to do whatever I can to make sure those words never have to be uttered. 

The good news is, I am pretty "marketable" as far as having a wide variety of "skills" that should afford me the opportunity to land SOME job, doing something, somewhere.  Sure, I'd love to take this opportunity to find something I really figure out what I'm good at and do what makes me happy.  But that is (and really should be, I suppose) trumped by the necessity simply to ensure that I continue to have a paycheck in 10 short weeks when my job ends.

So, if you are so inclined, prayers are welcome.  If you know of any openings, please share.  Otherwise, just wish me luck.  I'm going to need it.  

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The revolving door of parenthood.

You know the're going through a revolving door at your local restaurant, shopping plaza or hotel lobby.  You hustle your littles into the all-too-tight space ahead of you and then squeeze in behind them, go a half turn through the door and then lead them out safely on the other side.   It's our job.  That's what we as Moms, Dads, PARENTS, do. 

The other day my boys, ages 6 and 8, and I were traveling through one of these doors when they rushed in ahead of me.  They filed into the section before me and I followed, one compartment behind.  Well, I got out on the other side and they did not...they kept going.  And going.  And going.  They were having the time of their lives just spinning around.  Of course I ushered them back through as soon as their fun became distruptive to others trying to get in, but until then, they carried on without me.  This has become a metaphor for my life with these boys lately. 

I understand that's how it works.  We guide them and steer them - Teach them, enourage them, support them.  Then they get independent and disappear into the revolving door only to come out on the other side unassisted.  With me standing on the outside watching them through the glass but unable to reach them.  I'm just not sure I am fully prepared for this new back seat "supervisory" role that I've inevitably been assigned. 

I love that my boys are growing up, don't get me wrong.  Besides, Nate has always been an old soul anyway...light years ahead of his age in maturity and self reliance.  I (half) joke all the time that Nate has never really needed me.  As a baby, he would crawl to his bedroom door when he was tired and sit outside it until I put him to bed. 

At swimming over the weekend I was chatting with a mom-friend of mine who is still very much in the throes of all things baby and toddler.  As she stepped out of the water with her infant in one hand and her toddler on her heels, she noted that I had been relieved of my "going in the water duties" now that the boys were older and could swim on their own.  I agreed, pointing out it was just one of many new breaks I'd finally earned as a result of their growing up.  I smile on the outside.  But inside I cried a little.

Sure, it's great to send them outside (with very little assistance needed beyond "Mom, where's my hat?" and "Help!  I can't get my boots on over my thick snowpants with my gloves already firmly installed on my hands" - ok, so they don't actually talk like that but you get the point...) but I never quite know where I stand.  When my needed assistance will be replaced with their new found confidence and skill.  Who can guess when my advice will be put out of business with wisdom of their own.

I don't know that I'll ever get used to this ever-changing "normal".  Just when I think I have it down, something changes. I will always beam with pride as new achievements are realized and skills are learned, of course.  But inside, I also realize that the end of my parenting job is one step closer.  That before I know it I may read my last goodnight story or hear my last "MOM!" holler for assistance in the bathroom.  And that makes me sad.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


Ugh.  I'm doing it again...I have so many thoughts jumping around in my head...there are so many things happening.  Yet I sit down, start a post to share my thoughts or feelings and then I get stuck.  My words suddenly make no initial concept just isn't being communicated.  It's so frustrating. 

I need this venue.  It helps clear my head, organize my thoughts, and reinforces my sanity.  Yet I can't seem to effectively write a coherent sentence.  I think it's a vicious cycle.  Too many thoughts are overwhelming so when I sit down for my "therapy" everything sort of falls out in crazy and chaotic ways. 

Yet I have to keep trying.  It's important.  I don't want to let another year go by without sharing anything.  I'll go crazy. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

A lesson learned...through his eyes

My 6-year-old keeps a photo of me in a frame on his shelf above his bed.  It's a ceramic frame he and his friends painted, decorated, and put their names on for his 5th birthday party at one of those paint-your-own-pottery places.  The photo of me is from 1994, my senior year of high school.

Tonight at bedtime, we were doing our nightly routine of "Day Talk" (where we tell each other, hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute, about our days) and Alex said something about how he loves that photo.  I asked him if he even knew who it was and he said, without hesitation, "It's you, Mommy".

Now, I look at that photo and I don't see me.  I see a 17-year-old version of who I used to be.  I see a young, thin, pretty girl, with the whole world in front of her.  She had adventures to go on, wild animals to tame, and dreams to conquer.  A far cry from the frumpy, old, haggard version of me before him.

But here was my sweet, innocent, 6-year-old saying, without skipping a beat, "It's you, Mommy!"

I jokingly responded, "How do you know that's me?!?"

"Because I see your same eyes."

"The same smile"

"The same hair"

"The same teeth"

"The same..."

He looked at this picture of me from 20+ years ago and he saw me just as he sees me now.  He didn't see the absence of wrinkles then vs. today's dull, lack luster skin.  Instead he looks past my greying hair and the no-longer-straight and certainly no-longer sparkling white teeth I once sported in my youth.  It didn't even phase him that the girl in that picture is easily 100 lbs lighter.  That she saw hope and promise in a world she has since become skeptical of.  He simply saw ME.  He saw his Mom.  He sees the same person NOW that I was back then.  And in that did I.  Now to practice holding on to that...

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Catch Up

Seeing as I only posted once (ONCE!) in all of 2014 (with the excption of my "getting back on the horse" post from the other day), there is so much to catch up on!! I'm realistic that there is no way I'll ever cover evrything though so consider this a highlights reel. :) In January we brought home a kitten, we promptly named him Kirby...and then he spent the next week sleeping in husband's firefighter bunkers (pants) so the boys renamed him "Bunkers" and it stuck. Bunkers is a big cat now, but he's so sweet and we all love him so much. He's a great "mouser", loves to be outside stalking things (he's even gotten scrappy with a fox), and is a HUGE cuddler (especially with 3 AM) :)

Alex with Bunkers

A week or so later we got a new puppy, Rosie (named by Nate after Rose from the Titanic movie he was then obsessed with). She was so beautiful, sweet and added a whole new dynamic to our crazy household. Truth be told, she was a bit much for us though. We had definitely bitten off more than we could chew. Six months or so later, after much dissention, many conversations and a whole ton of tears, Rosie went to live with a friend of a friend who had the time and love Rosie so much needed and deserved. 

We've had our share of fun scouting adventures - zoo sleepovers, an overnight (with Uncle Noah!) on a battleship, a fun night sleeping at the Niagara Aquarium, Pinewood Derby, Rocket launch, and the highly anticipated "ceremony" making Alex an official Tiger Cub (after 2 years of tagging along with his big brother, it was very exciting for him to receive his very own cub scout shirt!).

July marked our bi-annual summer camping trip to the 1000 Islands. This year we traveled with some fire department friends and their granddaughter who was visiting from California. The boys loved having a new friend to play with for the week and it was a great time (that could be a post all its own!).

Nate is in the 3rd grade and is such a sweet, responsible, RELIABLE, 8-year-old. He truly is my grumbly old man and definitely my rock. He's so helpful and independent. He's doing beyond fabulous in school! His biggest issue is that he worries way too much and is way too hard on himself. He's a bit of a perfectionist at times. This year Nate has joined intramurals and chorus, both of which allow him the distinct privilege (?) of being able to ride the early run bus twice a week. We were able to attend his first chorus concert in December and I am so proud to watch him. He loves to sing!

Alex is in 1st grade and is doing very well. His teacher is great and has figured out a way to keep him in check while still allowing him the opportunity to "be a crazy little boy". He is definitely my little character. He's always funning, being goofy, making faces, and never quite takes much of anything seriously. Even when he's in trouble he is trying to crack a smile. It's part charming and part evil.

Earlier in 2014 we found out that Alex has a moderate high frequency hearing loss in his left ear which essentially means nothing except to say he will never respond well to a dog whistle - ha! Seriously though, after seeing many audiologists, an olaryngologist and an ENT specialist, all have concluded that this will not cause him any long term detriment. It has obviously not impacted his learning or his speech in any way so now we monitor it every 6 months to make sure the loss isn't progressive and move on.

Both boys are keeping very busy with their activities (Gymnastics, soccer, baseball, scouts, swimming for Alex and Baseball, archery, BB gun, scouts, and swimming for Nate).

I am (still) Treasurer for the fire department and Daddy is a Captain so we spend a lot of time up at the fire hall for monthly meetings, training, raffles, events, fund drive, and general paperwork. The boys, of course, don't mind as the fire hall is their second home :) Nate especially loves it...he'll bring his gear with him to the hall, put it with Daddy's and wait for "the call". He even has a number (he calls himself Hulberton 3) and department friends have dubbed our house "Hulberton Station 2".

The biggest event for us in 2014 was our much anticipated trip to DISNEY!!! We had talked about it for years so the reality was long awaited! The details and photos of our trip I'd like to save for another post but it was so much fun!

So, in an effort to actually post this before 2015 has come and gone, I will consider this as thorough an update as I can for now...moving forward from here :) Can't wait to share more in the new year!