Like mother, like daughter…and some horn tooting :-)

It has come to my attention over the past 6 months, that two of  The Beans are gifted writers. Sugar Bean is making straight A’s in Advanced English, and Butter Bean was named “Writer of the Month” for her class in December. Woo-hoo…they can take over the blog when I die, right?!

So, it really came as no shock to me yesterday when I picked Sweet Pea up from school and she announced that she’d been given an award for writing at the morning assembly. Another chip off the old block….yippee 🙂 Normally, I would have been there to see her receive the award, but for some reason, I didn’t get a notice about her accomplishment. Apparently, the Korean Parent’s Association presented awards to the students based on an essay each of them wrote about New Year’s Resolutions, to commemorate Lunar New Year.  And Sweet Pea was one of two students to win in her class. She received the certificate pictured below, along with a Barnes and Noble gift card!!

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 This in itself had me BEAMING with pride. 

What brought me to tears, literally, was when she showed me her essay. It’s short and simple, but so powerful. Especially to a mama who is trying very hard to make sure her Beans realize the importance of  these lessons, through living examples like this.  Anyway, here is what she wrote, and illustrated. I believe it speaks for itself:

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If you look closely, you can see the two kids depicted on the left are saying ‘No toys’ and ‘No fair’, and on the right, there is Sweet Pea holding bags of toys to give them as they exclaim “Toys!”, “Yay!”. What an incredible drawing. Even if My Bean is the artist, and I do say so myself.

I wept silent tears of joy all the way home from school, knowing that even when The Beans have bratty, selfish moments, and I would swear it’s not….parenting by example really is sinking in 🙂

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Hoops and hurdles

never be afraid to let your feelings flow

Confession time.

Last night, I did something unabashedly selfish, and I am not the slightest bit ashamed to admit it. After helping with homework (times 3), cooking dinner, feeding The Beans, washing tiny bodies with lots of long hair, and making sure all little people were situated on the couch with a bowl of their favorite ice cream…..I vanished.

For a whole 45 minutes.

This is how it went down…

I grabbed my yoga mat, headed into our guest room, and closed the door. Yes, I considered locking it, but figured there was no point, because as I suspected, everyone who even gave a shit about where I might be, was eating ice cream. Then I used $1.29 from an iTunes card that belongs to Sugar Bean, and downloaded “I’m Alive” by Kenny Chesney (with Dave Matthews) to my iPhone. Once it was done, I jammed some headphones into my ears, set the song to repeat and hit play. Instantly, the world stood still. I was whisked away, and dropped right into my idea of Heaven. Left with nothing but my thoughts and music as therapy. Finally, I sat down on the mat, closed my eyes, lost myself in the lyrics and just breathed. And stretched. My entire body, part by part. The reason I say ‘part by part’ is because I not only stretched my physical limbs, but also my emotional ones. The inner most muscles and particles that you can only reach in moments of desperation, despair or heartbreak. The ones you should stretch all the time, but you can’t. Because it’s too painful.

Yeah. Those ones. 

Of course,  I was brought to tears. Silent, soul-shaking sobs in fact. I realize  I’ve been doing a lot of crying lately, but I know it’s not because I am weak; but rather because I have been strong for too damn long. My life has been a series of hoops and hurdles. I jump through a few hoops, earn a brief water break, hang my head and catch my breath, only to look up and face a long track full of hurdles to jump over, one by one. Honestly, I’m convinced I’ve lived at least two past lives: one as a circus dog, and the other as an Olympic hurdler. The skills are coming in handy, as I’ve become quite adept at hooping and hurdling. Dare I say, mastered the technique. What else would you expect from a perfectionistic Capricorn though? Maybe that’s why this path has been chosen for me. It makes for a good show! Thanks, God. Really. I mean it. Being good at something is a blessing, after all, and I’m good at two things….TWO! Yay me!  God, I know you are laughing, and it’s okay. My life is tragically funny.

Anyway, I came to a couple of conclusions last night. One, is that I don’t know rabbit turds from jellybeans about the proper way to do yoga. However, if what I did is even close to the real thing…..I am soooo in. Sign me up, baby! Best 45 minutes I’ve ever stolen for myself. Second, I am done hooping and hurdling  for other people who have no interest in helping themselves. From now on, this is my 3 ring circus/course, and unless the obstacle has a positive impact on my life, or the small people I brought into the world, I’m not bothering with it. This doesn’t mean I will stop helping people when they need it. I am a nurturer by nature. But there will be a catch. They must help me help them. Period. Otherwise, they can jump inside their own hoop and shimmy ’til they drop. And their hurdles? I know how to walk around those. Why this change of heart, you ask? Because 34 years is a really long time to hoop and hurdle.

And I’m exhausted. Plus….it makes me feel like this, when I do it too much. 

Okay, I’ve rambled long enough, and was just reminded of a hoop I have to jump through in about an hour and a half, so I’ll wrap it up here. In case you aren’t familiar with the incredibly soulful and inspirational song I listened to at least 20 times last night while vanishing from my life for 45 minutes…..I’ll leave you with the lyrics. Here they are:

So damn easy to say that life’s so hard
Everybody’s got their share of battle scars
As for me, I’d like to thank my lucky stars
That I’m alive and well

It’d be easy to add up all the pain
And all the dreams you sat and watched go up in flames
Dwell on the wreckage as it smolders in the rain
But not me, I’m alive

And today you know that’s good enough for me
Breathin’ in and out’s a blessing, can’t you see?
Today’s the first day of the rest of my life
And I’m alive and well
I’m alive and well

Stars are dancin’ on the water here tonight
It’s good for the soul when there’s not a soul in sight
This boat has caught its wind and brought me back to life
Now I’m alive and well

And today you know that’s good enough for me
Breathing in and out’s a blessing, can’t you see?
Today’s the first day of the rest of my life
Now I’m alive and well
Yeah, I’m alive and well

~Kenny Chesney & Dave Matthews

Breathe in, breathe out. Be well.