Patapalooza 2008

I think my first blogging post was about Patapalooza a few years ago. It’s that time again!

A friend of a friend has a parental vacation house in Maine on Long Lake. We go every year and so far, it’s been great. Last year was terrible as it was just after Jimmy died. This year? I hope it will be a blast! We are planning to leave a little early, and set up the girls with a movie and Go GO go!

The biggest issue with the weekend is that Crazy H will be there. Our friendship is very much being held together with a thread. She had been putting me on a pedestal and failing to see that I am a normal person. Just a normal person. She thinks that everyone is good with life, except her. Again, a failacy. Things have been strained between us because of this. Sigh… I need to let this go. She has to determine that she is who she is and I am mostly happy with who I am, so we will work on this.

 I think I will do my best to just enjoy the weekend. A quiet weekend in Maine? Yeah, I can do that!



My left eye has been twitching. I can’t figure out why, but it is slowly driving me insane.

When we were in NC, my dad asked Soleil to solve the following riddle:

" An airplane is carrying 10 American passengers and 10 Canadian Passengers when it crashes on the US/Canada border. The pilot is Canadian and the co-pilot is American. Where do they bury the survivors?"

 Soleil starts to think about this when Luna pipes up "Nowhere!"


"The survivors aren’t dead!"

Good catch little one! We’ve already managed to make Soleil think too hard about details. Of course, most adults get confused by this too!

The world in motion

This past week has been a crazy and tough one. The girls were clinging to me from the moment Jay left for Scotland to the moment he returned. Even in North Carolina, it was tough. It left me reeling and wondering about life in general. We have a very blessed life. Jay and I don’t worry about money. We started saving as soon as we got "real" jobs and have a nice nest egg growing. We have plans for future home expansion and we aren’t too worried about how to pay for it. The girls are healthy and bright. They have the normal emotional issues that all kids have, but they appear to be both physically and mentally healthy.  As long as the spacecraft is healthy and NASA funds it, we have stable jobs, and if we were to lose the spacecraft, I could switch to computer programming rather quickly. I have had headhunters come to me before. So we are blessed.

I watched the world a bit while we were on vacation. It was interesting. My parents are who they are. I wish they were a little different. Things I did not see when I was a child are crystal clear now that I am a parent. I understand some of my own motivations better. And I see why I am the way I am and why I have changed certain things. No, it isn’t a toxic relationship. Yes, I love them. But I am sure that I don’t want my children raised the way I was. I do things differently.

Now that Soleil is getting ready for 1st grade, I am starting to see the future a little differently. I went back to work part-time after her birth. I worked 3 days a week. Now I work 4. I am planning on staying at 4 days a week even once Luna is in 1st grade. (Our town has a 4 day kindergarten). I am planning on changing my day off to Fridays in 2 years, but the thought of it makes me giddy. In two years, I will be able to have from 8:35 until 3:30 ALONE. My time. To do what I want.

Parenting is funny that way. We all start with this idea that life will change when you have a child, but what you don’t realize is that you lose yourself in the process of gaining a child. You take everything you were and it becomes a sleep deprived jumble of emotions. You suddenly exist for nothing else but to love and care for this child. Any crafts, hobbies, reading, writing, any passion you had before a child leaves you as quickly as that first cry leaves your child’s body. It’s gone, in a flash, with little time to mourn the loss and even less time to prepare for the reality of it.

For the next 5 years, you start to slowly gain back who you are. It is very slow. If another child joins your family, it takes steps backwards. But slowly, you can read books again. You can sleep again. A morning with the paper and a cup of coffee is in reach. Granted you may have to stop a paragraph to solve the current "she said, she said" argument, but for a few glorious moments, you were just you. Not mom, not dad, not parent, just you.

I see this point rushing towards me. I am reading a book where the mothers are mourning the loss of their children as they are turning 10 and 11 and becoming "their own person, lost to her forever". I don’t see that in my children. They never were mine to control. They have always been their own persons. I am their guide in the world and the keeper of the peanut butter and jelly. I am the one who snuggles and cuddles, but I also try to let go when they beg to go on a ride at an amusement park alone. I can’t lose what isn’t mine. I can only love them and help them.

Now the girls are older. Older than before we left on our trip. I am a mother to a 6 year old and a 4 year old. The little kid phase is leaving and the kid phase starting. A new family moved into the neighborhood. Their girls have been at our house and our girls have been at theirs. Questions of dinners over and sleepovers have already been asked. "Are you okay with them?" has been asked and I actually had an hour of quiet yesterday as the four played together at the other house. And then they descended on our house and we had a hour of fun together.

Today, Soleil and I had a short time together. Her 6 year appointment was this morning. As we walked down the sidewalk, hand in hand, I told her that she doesn’t need to hold my hand, but it makes me feel warm inside. She looked at me and asked "Is that the love coming out of your heart?"

Yes, baby, it is. And my heart will continue making love for you and your sister.

Timing… It’s all about timing.

Visiting my parents. Hey! You get to hear my sucky parenting moment of the day!

On the ride from the airport  to the house, Soleil suddenly asks "Mom? How does a women get pregnant?" Great… So I told her that its part of the dad and part of the mom and she interrupts with "but HOW does it get together?" Um, Shit. okay. Well, you know when you love someone, they like to hug and snuggle and men and women can hug really close and fit together like a puzzle. And that’s something that grownups do.

IF my parents  were not there, I would have said "well, you know that you are different from boys." ….gotten her to fill in the vulva and penis part. Then explain that those fit together like a puzzle. And then the grownup thing, that this is not a kid thing. Man, I blew it I could not say penis in front of my parents. How fricken sad.

This parenting thing is tough.


On the plus side, Dr. Jay is in Scotland at a meeting and I now have a blackmail photo of him in a kilt!


When you least expect it…

I thought we had dealt with the adjustments to moving from preschool-2 to the pre-kindergarten room for Luna. We had talked about it, we had allowed her time to deal with fears and concerns. We expressed our encouragement for her to discuss how she felt. This morning it all blew up.

First, Luna refused to take off her jammies and pull-up. Full screaming and on the floor tantrum with leg kicking and floor pounding. Finally, we convinced her that it was in her best interests (ie- she could watch TV with breakfast) to get dressed. After breakfast, I turned off the tv and let the girls know it was time to get ready for the day. Soleil jumped up and got her teeth brushed. Luna started crying and complaining that her legs hurt. I asked her to get her shoes on. The next thing I knew, she was missing.

We looked everywhere. Finally, I was getting exasperated, so I told Jay to take Soleil to her camp and I would hunt down Luna. A little voice cried out "NO!" She was in the office, hiding under the futon that we pull out as a bed for guests. It took a bit of coaxing, but we got her out and in the car.

I have a strong feeling she is still dealing with this change. Poor kiddo. Billy Joel said is best, kid, "Life is a series of Hellos and Goodbyes". You’re just starting to hit this. We all have to learn to move on and meet new people. It’s hard. But we can all do it.