Welcome to my Universe!

Saturday, December 2, 2006

The Shadow World.

So, Seth is telling me about his super powers. He tells me, “I can sense things”.

He tells me that when he closes his eyes and gets really still, he can visit the “Shadow World”. He says that’s where people’s spirits go, but not their bodies. “But”, he says, “if you see me with my eyes closed when I’m visiting the Shadow World, don’t touch me or talk to me or you’ll bring me back to my body”.

He said he saw my spirit there once. When I asked him what it looked like, he said, “It looked like you, only it didn’t have a face”. I asked him if it had glasses, and he said no. I asked him if it was fat, and he said yes. Ha!

He’s five.

I really hope his spirit doesn’t get squashed in the spirit world. Oh, wait, that’s school that does that. So I guess we’re safe!

Monday, October 2, 2006

Eating vs. Playing

Earlier today, Seth and I were in town trying to kill some time, and we stopped at Chik-Fil-A for a bite to eat. We got our food and sat at a table right beside the door leading to the play area. Seth took a sip of his soda and went to play, leaving his food untouched. There was a family sitting next to us…a mom, dad, and two little girls. The girls appeared to be around 4 and 6 years old. They sat obediently at the table with their parents, and they watched Seth through the glass as he joyfully played all by himself in the playground. I heard the mom say, “You can play after you finish your chicken nuggets”. A few minutes went by, and a grandmother with a preschool boy and girl joined Seth in the play area. Again, the little girls asked if they could play. Again, they were told they had to finish their food first.

I wanted to ask them, “Who’s it going to hurt if you just let them do what they want? Who’s it going to kill if they don’t finish their chicken nuggets?”

I also imagined the eating disorders these girls may grow up to have, being forced to eat everything on their plates before being allowed to have any fun. I know that my parents used to do the same thing to me (and probably this couple’s parents to them too), and I have been battling my weight and overeating my whole life.

Finally one of the girls was allowed to get up and go play. The other one sat at the table, longingly looking through the glass at the other children playing. I heard her dad say, “You only have one chicken nugget left. If I were you, I’d be in a hurry to eat it so I could go play.” I guess she forced it down, because she joined the other children in the play area.

A few minutes went by, and a woman walked by us on the way to take her kids in to play. Apparently, she and the force-feeding mom knew each other, because she stopped at the table to talk to her. The conversation went something like this:

Mom 1: Is Katherine in kindergarten?

Mom 2: No, she’s in 1st grade. She turned 6 in August. She goes to ABC elementary school. Which school is Kaitlin going to?

Mom 1: She’s going to XYZ school.

Mom 2: Oh really!? Do you like it?

Mom 1: Oh yes, we love it! She goes half-days.

Mom 2: Oh wow! I didn’t know they did that anymore!

Mom 1: Yeah, it’s nice because she can ease into it. But Kaitlin really wishes she could go full days, because she doesn’t get to do any of the good stuff, like recess and art, on half-days.

Mom 2: Oh yeah. But full-days are so tiring. Katherine comes home tired and hungry every day. They’re just used to snacking all thoughout the day, and now they only get to eat at lunchtime! *giddy laughter*

Mom 1: Yeah, Kaitlin’s friends that go full days are all exhaused and hungry too. *laughs*

My feelings:

1. It’s a shame that a child has to wish to go to school so she can do “fun stuff” like art and playing outside.

2. The kids are tired because they have to get up at the asscrack of dawn and go to school!

3. What’s wrong with snacking all day? Nothing. And if you’re the kind of person who needs proof, studies show that people who eat small frequent meals are healthier and fitter than those who eat three large ones.

4. Why is it so funny that your kids are tired and hungry?

I think back to the days when I was blissfully oblivious to the fact that The Way Things Have Always Been Done might not be The Right Way.

Forced and/or scheduled eating, sleeping, playing, “learning”. Why?

Who’s it going to hurt if the child doesn’t finish all of her chicken nuggets? Someone might say, “Well, it will hurt the child to not get proper nutrition.” Is that a fact? Or is it just something else that you’ve been programmed to believe? In fact, I’d have to argue that it might actually hurt the child more to be forced to finish her food when she’s no longer hungry, especially if that food is processed chicken nuggets from a fast food joint.

……………..

Sometimes, it hurts to stand alone. It’s uncomfortable to let go of the ideas that were programmed into us, the ideas that allow us to justify mistreating our children and making them feel insignificant.

The rule: “If you don’t eat your meat, you can’t have any pudding.”

And then, questioning that rule: “How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat?” I think Pink Floyd was on to something.

Go ahead. Just let them have their pudding. When they’re ready for the meat, they’ll eat it.

Monday, August 7, 2006

Ozzfest.

For Chris’ 17th birthday, I bought four Ozzfest tickets. It was in Virginia Beach this past weekend. Michael and I went, and Chris took a friend.

Let me just say, alot has changed since we went 3 years ago. Or rather, I have changed.

I am older now.

We arrived a little after noon. The boys wanted to see the WHOLE day. I only cared about seeing main stage, which didn’t start until after 5 pm. Actually, I only wanted to see Disturbed. The adults and teens parted ways right after we got into the gate, because they wanted to get into the thick of the crowd in front of second stage. Michael and I walked around for an hour and a half and did some people-watching (or freak-watching). It was HOT and we were miserable. I said, “Let’s go out to the car and sit in the A/C for a while. (this was about 1:45). At the gate, there was a sign that said, “No re-entry”. I thought about it for a minute, then said, “Fuck it…I can’t stand this heat all day just to see one band tonight. Let’s go.” Besides, everything I had heard so far all sounded the same, and I wasn’t really into it. Chris and I both had our cell phones, so I called him and told him we were leaving, to keep in touch and I would be back to get him when the show was over or whenever he called to tell me he was ready to go, whichever came first. He had his friend with him so he didn’t really care.

So, Michael and I went to Hardees to sit in the A/C and drink sweet tea. Then we went to the beach.

Ok, let me back up. I must tell the story of the blanket and the bottle top.

The night before we left, I looked at the venue website to see if I could take lawn chairs in, etc. It said that lawn chairs weren’t allowed, but blankets were. Also allowed, one factory-sealed bottle of drinking water per person.

At the gate, I was told, “Due to the nature of this show, blankets are not allowed.” I threw my blanket up against a tree outside the gate, in a pile of blankets thrown there by hundreds of other people who had been misinformed. I had to wonder, is this really just a pile of blankets, or are they weapons of mass destruction? What vile harm did they think was going to come from people bringing blankets into the amphitheater?

Even more puzzling…Michael was told, “take the cap off the bottle”. Ok, maybe they want to make sure it’s sealed, or that it’s really water inside it. Then he was told, “throw the cap inside that trash can right there”. Our bottle of water was allowed, but the cap was not. Apparently plastic water bottle caps are deadly weapons too.

So, we left and I retrieved my blanket from the pile beside the tree. I said, “This is my last Ozzfest. I’m too old for this shit.”

We drove east until we ran into the beach. We took our deadly blanket and sat beside the water, with hundreds of other people. It was very crowded. We stuck our feet in the water, then we laid on our blanket to relax. He said, “This is what were missing the last time we were at the beach.” I vowed to take a blanket next year for us to lay on.

We laid on our sides, facing each other, talking. I finally had the courage to ask him if he was going to want kids. Because, you know, I have to worry about it now or not at all. As I’ve already said, I’m getting older. I’ll be 37 in four weeks. I had been afraid to ask him because I was afraid he was going to say yes. He said he didn’t need that to be fulfilled, so that idea was put to rest. I told him I had been thinking about it and had been afraid to ask him. Phew.

I also told him I had been thinking about marrying him. As in specifics. I described an intimate ceremony on the beach next summer, with just immediate family and my kids there. We talked about dates. I thought Friday, July 13 would be cool, but he’s too superstitious and struck that idea down. I blushed and said that I couldn’t believe I was talking about marriage. Just then, we heard some people cheering and clapping, and we looked to our left just in time to see a couple dressed in white kissing while a cheering crowd looked on. While we were talking about getting married on the beach, a wedding was going on just a hundred yards or so from us. Serendipity, again.

So, tentative plans for a simple beach wedding next summer. Me, of all people. I can’t believe it.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Friday, July 7, 2006

Finally, a healthy relationship.

You know what? I’m happy. My home is a haven of love. My men called me tonight (I’m at work). They all took turns telling me they love me. Michael says, “They are awesome kids”. And Seth, in his four-year-old voice, says, “Michael, you’re a good man.” From the mouths of babes.

He is a good man. He is better than I thought he was, back when I first started thinking he was a good man.

As I have for the past several years, I sit and listen to people’s relationship woes. I take notes. I read books by Dr. Laura and some Buddhist guy, listing all the wrong reasons that people enter into relationships, get married, have children, give up their selves. I have formulated theories in my own mind. I have gained clarity over some of my past relationship mistakes. The more I think about it, the more I observe the way it’s “normally” done, the more I sense how many of the status quo are empty and dissatisfied, the more I think that I have found something extraordinary here. Rather, we have found something extraordinary together.

Love. Acceptance. Friendship. Support. Mutual Respect. Honesty. Similiar values. And a willingness to trust, to stay open, to continue to grow and learn from each other.

There is a refreshing lack of insecurity, suspicion, jealousy, and possessiveness. There are just two whole, mature people, enhancing each other’s lives instead of BEING each other’s lives .

Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Bumper Crop.

This is from my Earthbox garden. This is just what I picked today and yesterday. We’ve been eating tomatoes at every meal.

I forgot to get pics of the seven HUGE Japanese eggplants I got the other day.