Dedicated to the writers/bloggers of tomorrow…

oops.THAT Word.

 

To be fair, it was only the ‘ess-word’.  I mean, it’s not like I flashed the EFF or SEE words. And it was a total accident that, of course, caused an eruption of hearty laughter….in Sugar Bean’s 7th grade, Advanced English class last Thursday.

You see, after Sugar Bean oh so proudly told her teacher that I write a blog, she began following, and then asked me to come and speak about the benefits of good grammar skills in everyday life, the advantages of having an English degree, and the blessing that came from writing my thoughts down right here and having them turn into a job. That pays. A little 🙂

Anyway, I was delighted to go in and speak to the students. I’ve never been asked to do such a thing. Of course, that could be because I’ve only had a blog for a little over a year, and it’s hardly proper for the under 12 crowd, don’t ya think? So I prepared ahead of time, decided the key points to talk about, and then chose 3 posts to read aloud. Sugar Bean helped in the selection process. If you would like to read the selected posts. They are here, here and here. I had planned to read this one also, but got completely flustered after “Cold Turkey” popped up onscreen while I was searching for “Good Morning, Radio Listeners”. (wtf is that about?) I had all the selected posts pulled up in different tabs on my laptop, so I could easily navigate from piece to piece, but God decided to laugh at my technical preparedness, and throw me out of sync. In other words, I couldn’t project the screen of my laptop onto the wall of the classroom. Not for lack of trying though! Luckily, my blog isn’t blocked on the school’s server (although I’d throw down a heavy bet in Vegas it is now) and we were able to use Mrs.W’s computer. Short on time, and not really remembering how to open a new window on a PC, I decided the best way to find each post quickly was to simply search. BAD IDEA. After reading the first post, I typed in the keywords for the next one into the SEARCH BOX, and was taken to a post accompanied by an image with a caption containing the ‘ESS’ word. Oh, and the background was bright yellow, as not to be missed.  Of course, the projector was working very well that day.  GO ME, right? 

Fortunately, the class was only exposed to it long enough to read it, and react with roars of laughter. Once I realized it was there, I scrolled down and pulled it from view. Then I scrolled back up by accident 2 or 3 more times, inciting more hysterics. So, I’m oh for three now.

Oh well. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. Or at least that’s what Mama always said 🙂

All in all, it was a very good day. I never lost their attention, and believe they genuinely enjoyed what I had to say. The word on the street is they told Sugar Bean I was pretty, and thought I was younger than I am. That’s ALWAYS a plus! They may have even learned a thing or two, who knows? A couple of the students had questions, and although I didn’t have time to discuss them in class, I want to now.

The first question is: “Do you blog everyday?” 

The obvious answer to this is NO. However, I do write everyday. I keep a journal in my purse, and I am constantly jotting things down in it for publication later. At any given moment, my brain has 8 gazillion thoughts running through it and it’s necessary to record the ones that shine. Or else they will be gone forever…lol. I want to blog everyday, eventually. But honestly, if I put down ALL my thoughts and adventures here….someone would show up at my door and fit me for a nice jacket and room with padded walls. So I’ll just stick to publishing the important stuff. For now. 

The other question is: “Do you want to write a book one day?” 

OMG, yes. That’s a dream of mine, and honestly, I didn’t know it was a dream until I started writing. That’s years down the road though…I think. I’ve got so much more living and learning and storytelling left to do, right here on this blog before I have enough to make a whole book worth reading. As I discussed with the class, my soul-sister whom I’ve never met (but will very soon), Glennon Doyle Melton–the genius behind Momastery–has written a book. Due for release  to the public on April 2nd. In a magical moment 2 weeks ago, I was contacted by TLC Book Tours about posting a review of her book, Carry On, Warrior, here on my blog. After I peed my pants, I enthusiastically accepted. The book arrived a few days ago….

It's REALLY here!

It’s REALLY here!

And I’m reading it…right now.

Thanks again, to Mrs.W, for making me feel like a ROCKSTAR by asking me to visit my Sugar Bean’s class. And thanks to the class for laughing at the inappropriate image your eyes were drawn to. That totally turned the day into a post 🙂

 

 

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Eye Yoo Wee, Mommy!!

beachgirls

I hadn’t planned to write today, as I already have a good kick-ass post scheduled for Valentine’s Day. (Yes, that’s what is known in Hollywood as a ‘teaser’, so you’ll need to come back to see what the fuss is about)

However this morning for some reason, I kept thinking about when Sugar Bean was a toddler, just learning to talk, which inevitably reminded me of the day I was almost in tears….convinced she would NEVER say ‘I love you too’ despite me saying ‘I love you’ to her 8,000 times a day. Then my mind connected the dots of ‘I love you’ with the upcoming holiday, and….BAM…here I am…writing, in the middle of the dang day when I’m certain there is laundry to be done, errands to be run, babysitters to book (this has so far, been an unsuccessful task I might add)…you get the point. Because the story of her 1st “I love you, too” is good for both a tear, and a giggle.

Back to Sugar Bean.

As I mentioned, I constantly tell The Beans I love them, all day long, every day. It’s nauseating, I think. Since you never know when life will catch you by surprise, cut things short, leave you hanging…and because, I can’t remember either of my parents ever saying it to me –although I’m certain they did– I want to make sure it’s fresh in their minds. Even if the last words they’ve uttered to me are “YOU ARE THE MEANEST MOMMY EVER!” because I’ve refused some request. Anyway, I started doing this immediately after Sugar Bean was born. So, by the time she was 18 months old and talking up a storm….you can imagine my disappointment at the fact that she never seemed to say ‘I love you”, “I love you too” or anything that sounded close. To me.  What did I know? I wasn’t given the ‘Toddler Talk for Dummies Guide”, as a shower gift.

The scene would play out like this, day after day….

Me: “I love you.”

SB: (smiling, silent) 

Me: “SB, mommy loves you.” 

SB: (still smiling…giggles…runs off)

Me: (furrowing my brow)

She did, however, randomly utter the words “EYE-YOO-WEE”….a lot. But never really in response to my endless, sappy proclamation. Which always left me with a puzzled, “WTF?” look on my face.

This went on for months, I tell you. Until one afternoon, The Man and I were in the car cruising down Beverly Boulevard on our way to who knows where, with Sugar Bean strapped into her car seat in the back, happy as a clam, when I looked at her and said “I love you” and she responded with “Eye yoo wee too mommy! Eye yoo wee too!” 

WHAT!???!! 

There it was!!! My heart swelled with joy, and my eyes with tears. Then I realized, all those months, my dumb-ass thought she didn’t love me, when she had been saying it all along.

Unsolicited.

Needless to say, I made The Man pull over so I could yank her out of her car seat and shower her with hugs and kisses 🙂 The following Christmas, I took her to a cool new store called Build-A-Bear and (after two hours of coaxing) recorded it on one of those thingys you stick inside the paw of the bear, and gave it to The Man as a gift, hoping to capture it forever. What they don’t tell you is, the recording devices have a shelf-life, dammit. Still have the bear, but he no longer has Sugar Bean’s voice. Now that she is older, I receive beautiful things like this, which will weather the test of time, both in memory and in print 🙂

The moral of this story is: Leave it to a toddler to come up with a freaking genius way to say “I love you” that sounds nothing like it, but really sums up the meaning quite well.

“EYE + YOO+ WEE”

I + You = We

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In the eyes of others, I’m strong enough.

you-are-enough

Deep down, I’ve always believed this statement.

Otherwise, I would be perpetually angry at God for weighing me down with loads much heavier than my tiny, 40 year-old body can carry at any given moment. Fortunately, the days when I get pissed at you know who, and wonder why, despite the fact I am commonly seen in yoga pants, she can’t remember that I haven’t lifted weights or seen the inside of a gym in ages…are infrequent.

That being said, I had one yesterday.Truth be told, it began Tuesday night, sent me into a full-on, Southern Bitch “TAY-ER”, and culminated in a surprise visit from Aunt Flow…in the middle of the night. Go ahead, gasp. But remember: you were warned about TMI showing up here. 

It all leads back to my desire to contribute somehow, to our family piggy bank, yet being clueless how to do it. My job title, since 1999 has been MOM. It’s full-time, requires a ton of skills, and the schedule is pretty rigid. Problem is, how do I suddenly fit in another job, that pays in dollars, during a recession, without compromising the responsibilities of my number one job? For the last 13 years my salary has come in smiles, hugs and giggles, which I happily deposited straight into my heart. Yes, I have a college degree. IN DANCE AND ENGLISH. Fields I never established careers in, because life nudged me in the direction of motherhood. Who is going to hire me? It’s quite the conundrum. Anyway, it’s the days when I begin to reflect on my current job, and my need for an additional job that I end up feeling completely inadequate in every way. Just like a big, clumsy failure. Factor in that old bitch, Aunt Flow, and it’s the perfect storm.

But I digress.

While taking a break this morning, which is code for ” I sat down because I was woozy from the muscle relaxers calming the cramps”, I decided to clean out my purse. And, lo and behold I found something great. Reassurance. In the form of an essay Sugar Bean wrote as an assignment in her 6th grade class. She presented me with it a couple of weeks ago. I cried for days, and then put it in my purse so I wouldn’t lose it. I’d like to say I didn’t forget about it, but, that would be…well… a lie.  Blame it on the distraction of 6th grade math homework.

But I found it today. (Thanks, God)

The person I admire greatly is my mother, Nancy. She is 5 feet and 1 inch. She has a skinny body and is usually in sweats or t-shirts from Alabama. She attended the University of Alabama, and moved to California 15 years ago. She drove all the way by herself across the country. Her parents died when she was  at a fairly young age. She had to fend for herself when they died. She has 3 older sisters and 3 older brothers, but they all live in Alabama. When she came here, she didn’t have any family. Now she has friends from college here. She has an English degree and a dance degree. I cannot believe that my mom did all that by herself.

I also admire her because she is very strong and brave. She believes everything happens for a reason. She loves everything she does, and enjoys life with my dad, me, and my two sisters. She is very tolerant and has a high patience level. She is a strong, composed and beautiful lady. Even though we are going through tough times right now, she always finds a way to give to others and make them happy. I love her with all my heart. I hope to be just like her. She is very kind-hearted and sweet and is raising us to be too. She always makes us laugh, and comforts us when we cry. Man, she has a sense of humor! She is very persistent and determined, and teaches my sisters and me to always put others first. She is currently trying to help our family by looking for ways to get a job to make money. She loves the medical field and forensic crime investigation. 

I love her soooooooo much. Now you can see why. She is strong, loving, funny, caring, brave and kind, and an awesome cook too. I hope you get why she is the most stupendous person in the world. She is the pillow beneath my head. I love her with all my heart, to the moon and back.”  

~written by my precious Sugar Bean, aged 12

If I never have another job besides being a mama, that’s okay. We’ll make it.

Because with a performance review like this, at least I know I’m doing the job I was blessed with to the very best of my ability, and that is all I can hope for .