Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Closure.





Once in awhile I'll get a new friend request on Facebook.  Usually these requests are from girlfriends who I knew in grade school, high school or university.  I always eagerly jump to this new online friend's page to see what they've been up to and see who they're still talking to after all these years.    

I always love getting to know these people all over again.  It's like finding a new friend in your back pocket.  But you don't have to work as hard in creating a brand new friendship from the start....cause you already did that years ago.  It's a really good feeling.  Kind of like finding a $20 bill in your winter coat after pulling it out of storage.  Isn't that just the best?

Anyways, I digress.

Just recently I logged onto Facebook and saw that the tiny 2-person icon on my main page had a little red number 1 beside it.  

Eeeek!  A new friend! 

I quickly clicked on the icon while wondering who the new lucky candidate would be.

The picture popped up on my screen.  And when it did, my mouth dropped.  

I slowly took my hands off the keyboard and folded them under my chin.

It took me a while to realize that I was biting my left thumbnail.  Something I only do when I'm really nervous......


---------------------------------------------------------------

4 weeks earlier



"Babe.  Guess who I saw last night?" my sister's friend Bianka said.
"Who?" I asked excitedly.
"I saw...........

HOLD UP!  Wait a minute.  I just realized something.  If I say this person's name, then all of you....my Ridiculous Girl followers......will go on Facebook and look this person up.  I must protect his anonymity. I'll change his name.  Yes....that's what I'll do!  Ok....back to the story.....

"I saw ...Chazz!"  
(Sorry....that's the first name that popped into my head)

"You saw Chazz??"  Suddenly my eyes were huge.
"Yup!  And he looked GOOD!!  You guys would have made a smokin' couple!"

Chazz and I were a thing back in the day.  I say "thing" because it never really became official.  We sort of knew that we weren't meant for each other.....and eventually we both went our separate ways.  There were crazy sparks between us....but nothing to substantiate an actual relationship.  But there were crazy sparks between us...........wait, did I say that already??


"So....like, what happened with you two?  Do you ever talk to him?"  
I smiled and raised my shoulders to my ears.  
"Nope.  I haven't seen or talked to him in...... forever.  I guess he's become a thing of my past."


----------------------------------------------------------------


Well.....somehow my past had found me and jumped into my present life and right onto my Facebook page.


I couldn't help but wonder, if I had tried this relationship before and it didn't work.....then why was I being tested with it again?  And could I actually be friends with this person? 

This extremely handsome person.  

This 6'4" extremely handsome person.  


I got to thinking about closure and the steps involved in moving on.  Sure, there weren't as many steps in closing my thing with Chazz as there were with closing the relationships of my other boyfriends. But there were still steps.  And did it make sense to open up a box that was already sealed with tape and put into storage?
 
And who was Chazz now?  What was Chazz looking for?  Let's be honest.....Chazz never asked me to be Facebook friends with him when my status said "married".  

(By the way....I'm having a ridiculous amount of fun with this whole Chazz name!)



Anyway, I didn't quite know what to do.

I certainly didn't want to live in the past.  But I also wanted to be a grown-up about my decision.  But I didn't want him to think that I wanted to start something up with him again.  But....I also wanted to be mature and show myself that I could be friends with him if I really wanted to.

Arghhhh!!


I scrolled my cursor back and forth over the buttons "confirm" or "not now" as I stared at his picture.



But, after 10 minutes of debating with myself........I finally decided.



CLICK!


His blue eyes zoomed off the screen. 



Well, that's that.  


I feel good about my decision.


The End.







Wait, what was that?


You want to know what I picked??


Ha ha ha......




What do you think? ;)


















 











Thursday, 11 September 2014

9/11. Forever Remembered.




....continued from last entry....



I couldn't believe what I had just heard.

I looked around the cabin.  Even though none of the passengers were panicking, you could cut the tension in the air with a knife.

I was afraid to look at Mike.  I couldn't face him after I had just finished lecturing him on how flying was the safest way to travel.



We landed in Dayton Ohio within 1/2 hour of the pilot's announcement.  And within seconds of landing, Mike was on a payphone letting his mom know that he was ok.   There was no way that his mom even thought we were in danger....so I was frustrated and irritated that he left my side.  I was still confident that there was nothing to worry about, but if there was, why wasn't Mike protecting me? 

My thoughts were interrupted when suddenly I heard my name being announced over the speaker system.  Who knew I was here? 

I ran to one of the check-in counters.  The attendant handed me a phone.

"Leo!  Are you ok??"

It was one of the secretaries from our office back in Toronto.   I was very confused.  Even though most of the world had known what was happening in New York by now, we in the airport still had no clue.

After assuring her that Mike and I were ok, I asked her what was going on.

But before she could answer, something caught my eye.  

"Never mind.  Finish looking for the others.  I'll call you later".

I hung up the phone and walked slowly towards one of the restaurants in the airport.  There, in the bar area, was a crowd of about a hundred people staring blank faced at the TV.  

I made my way up to the front of the crowd and stood beside 2 pilots.  I looked up at the screen, and watched plane #2 hit one of the Twin Towers in New York.

I gasped ......and my eyes filled with tears.





For the next few days, we were stranded in Dayton, Ohio.  Flights were grounded, and every other means of transportation was impossible to secure.  

Mike and I ended up finding a hotel to stay in while we searched for ways to get home.  

We were both in completely different states of mind.  While Mike panicked and worried about how to get home to his parents, I sat on the bed in a state of utter sadness watching hours and hours of coverage of the tragedy that had just occurred.  I still couldn't believe that this had actually happened.


I cried for days.  I cried for the mothers who lost their children.  I cried for the wives that lost their husbands.  And I cried for the firefighters who risked, and lost their lives at the mere chance that they could save another.  

We had soon learned that our American Airlines flight was probably targeted by the terrorists as one of the planes to hi-jack.  Apparently the terrorists were looking for larger planes traveling from the East coast to the West coast.  

I couldn't understand why so many people had lost their lives ....and yet my life was spared.  






After 3 days, we had finally found a rental car that needed to be returned back to Toronto.

As we drove home, images of the terrorist attacks replayed over and over in my head.  As I sat in silence, Mike went on and on about how he would never fly again and how unsafe the world was.  As he spoke, he pushed the "lock" button on the rental car to lock the car doors.  He told me that "we were driving in an unsafe neighborhood".  I looked at the speedometer.  We were driving 110 kms/hour on a highway.  Unless someone jumped onto our car from a bridge above, there was no way we were in any way "unsafe".  But I didn't want to comment.  I just leaned on the side of the car door and went to sleep.



When I woke up, we were home.  

I slowly climbed out of the car and walked to my door.  I heard Mike following close behind. 

When I stopped at the porch, I turned to look at him.  He put both of his hands on my face and kissed me.  We looked at eachother for a few seconds.  

We both knew.

He whispered, "I love you.  I'll call you later" ....and walked back to the car.

I sat down on the porch and watched him drive away.




The next day we broke up.



After 9/11, I knew that things would never be the same with us.....and with the world..... ever again.







Tuesday, 9 September 2014

September 11.





This Thursday will mark the 13th year anniversary of the September 11th attacks on the United States.

I'm sure most of us remember vaguely where they were the minute that first plane hit the Twin Towers.

I remember exactly where I was.......


---------------------------------------------------------

"Mike!  Hurry up!  The limo is here!"  I yelled as I struggled pulling my luggage out the door.

I stopped to look back at Mike who was hugging his mom for the 20th time that morning.  I rolled my eyes and continued yanking on the suitcase which was stuck in the doorway.

Ten minutes later Mike finally got into the backseat of the limo.  His eyes were puffy and red.

"Oh my God.  Please tell me you're not crying over your mom??  We're only going to be gone for 3 days Mike!!"

"No!  I'm not! (sniff).  Let's go!" 


Mike was my boyfriend 13 years ago.  At first, our relationship was fun, and exciting, and romantic. But a year in, and I realized that Mike and I were 2 completely different people on 2 completely different paths.  

I was hoping that a trip together would bring us back onto the same path. 

Mike and I were flying to Napa Valley California with my company for a client appreciation wine tasting event.  

Perhaps this trip would soften things between us.  We were starting to drift apart, and I needed to get out of our daily routine and have some fun together again.  Nothing like fun in the sun (with wine) to shake things up in a relationship.

We were the first from my company to leave for the trip, flying from Toronto to Philadelphia, and then from Philadelphia to California.  Everyone else was leaving Toronto later that day.  

Our flight to Philadelphia went smoothly and soon we were boarded on our American Airlines flight to California.   


After getting settled in, soon after take-off, I looked around the plane hoping to see stewardesses pushing food carts.

"I hope they serve breakfast soon" I whined, "I'm starving.  What time is it?"

"It's 9."  Mike answered quickly, "Babe.  Feel my back.  I'm so sweaty"

I didn't want to feel Mike's drenched shirt, but I knew he would keep talking about it if I didn't.

I knew it was Mike's first flight, but I really had no idea why he was so nervous.  I had flown hundreds of times before.  It was the most relaxing way to travel.  If only my damn food would come.....

As if the pilot read my thoughts, he suddenly came on the speaker system:

(static) Hi folks.  Just wanted to let you know that we're experiencing some troubles.  Breakfast will be delayed.  (static)

"Ugh!!  Give me a break!!  I'm sooo hungry!  This is beyond annoying!"  I looked around the plane to see if anyone was as frustrated as me.

"Babe, feel my back again.   I am seriously sweating right now".

"Mike!  Everything's going to be fine.  We're going to get there safely and have a great time."



But for some reason, I didn't believe my own words.  

Something was wrong.  

The energy in the cabin had changed.  I wasn't sure why, but suddenly I felt worried.



As if the pilot read my thoughts again, his voice boomed on the speakers one more time.....


(static) Folks.  We're going to have to get out of the air immediately.  There is terrorist activity in New York (static)...











 ....will be continued on Thursday, September 11th.







Sunday, 31 August 2014

Back to school.





Notebook?  check!

Writing utensils?  check!

Snacks?  check!

More snacks?  check!


Ok!  Perfect!  All ready for school!

I gathered everything up, walked up the short flight of stairs to my office and threw everything on my desk.


Yes, you heard correctly.  I said "my" desk.



I..........ladies and gentlemen..........went back to school.  


I'll pause for a moment while you get your gasps out.


........... 



Ok....you're probably done.  I'll continue now.



After a year of having no luck in securing a job, I decided, back in June, to take an online course.  I figured that this was the best way to become more employable in a world that has literally, thousands of people applying for every one position.

Signing up for this course was the best....and worst decision I've ever made.

As if I didn't have enough going on with my life, I decided to add yet another challenge to my plate!  Sure!  Why not?!  Pffftt!!  :/

At first I was very excited.  I went down to the college and eagerly stood in line with a slew of 20-year olds.  I watched how they stood there like zombies, glued to their phones.  They all looked so unhappy and boring.  I obviously didn't want to stand out in my new setting, so I casually took out my phone, took my cute Gwen Stefani ponytail out, messed up my hair, turned my smile upside down and started texting people.  And then to blend in even more, I looked at the girl next to me and said "I'm sooo over this line-up."

She looked up from her phone and said "I know right??"


Excellent.  My first college friend.  Things are going just as planned.


It took me a while to register, but after all was done, I was BACK IN SCHOOL! 


As I drove home with my registration papers, I reminisced about the last time I took a course.  I had to delve deep into my memories...... it was a LONG time ago.  But soon thoughts of biology and chemistry classes at my Alma Mater bounced around in my head.  I got a teeny bit nervous as I thought of how stressful the exams were.  But I quickly put that thought aside.  I ace'd university....and I was gonna ace this simple little course.



3 days later I received my textbook in the mail.  I excitedly signed the Fedex tablet while announcing to the driver "This must be my textbook!  I'm taking an online class!  I haven't been in school, for like, 20 years!  Crazy eh??"

He looked at me with a blank stare.   "Yeah.  Crazy".  And he walked away.


I ran inside and ripped open the package.  I pulled out the most gigantic textbook ever.  


I was flipping through the 600 pages over a glass of wine that night when I got a text message from my BFF.

I still can't believe you're taking a class.  I'm so proud of you babe!  Good luck studying tonight! xo

And one by one, family members and friends all sent messages and emails saying how proud they were of me.  And how they couldn't believe I was back in school after all these years.


I suddenly started getting really stressed out.  Why was everyone making such a big deal about this?  Should I be worried?  

And then my nerves REALLY set in.  

What if I didn't pass?  What if I blanked during the final?  When would I find time to study?  Would I have to miss episodes of Bachelor Paradise for this??  Oh brother...I'd better not!


But even though I had doubts, I knew I just had to do it.  There was no turning back now.  


And then I started doing the calculations that every student in university does halfway through their course.....

If I average 70% on the assignments,   then I'll only need a 60% on the final to pass.  Ok....I think I can do that......




The night before each assignment was due, my girlfriends sent me "support" texts:

How's the studying going?
Don't worry, you'll do great!
I'm going to the liquor store, do you need wine?

Honestly, what would a girl do without her besties?


There were 4 assignments in total, so every 3 weeks one was due.  I'd put the girls to bed, and then go straight to my laptop where I'd work for hours and hours until everything was completed and submitted.



It is now September 2nd, and exactly 3 months since I first registered for my class.....and since I first met my new best friend in college.  Who, by the way, never texted me?  I'm sooooo over her.


Anyway, I'm almost ready for my final exam.  Turns out I scored just a tad higher than what I had originally hoped for.......













And once I finish this exam, I don't think I will EVER take another course again because I am sooooo over school!


 





Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Get rid of the floaters.





The other day I ran into an old friend.  

She asked how my separation was going.  I told her that it was still a challenge.  That the girls and I were still struggling financially, but that I was moving on and making things work.  And above all, I was happy again.

I guess that she was not satisfied with my answer, because she kept pressing.

"But, like what's going on right now?  Where is he living?  Do you ever talk to him?"

I tried to end the topic.  I shrugged my shoulders, looked up and gave a guttural laugh.

"It is what it is.  I'm fine.  Everything will work out."

But she STILL wasn't satisfied.

"Right....but isn't it SO hard??  Like....it's gonna take you YEARS to get over this.  And after everything he's done to you?  I mean.....it's soooo not fair......."

As she went on and on....and on, I realized it was time to make my exit.  I was not interested in this conversation. 

"Sorry, I just realized what time it is.  I gotta go.  I'll see you around."  

I turned around quickly, rolled my eyes and went on my way.  But I could hear her disappointment as I left.

"Oh!  Okay.  Well, no matter what I support you.  I got yer back girl!  I'll CALL YOU!  LET'S DO LUNCH ONE DAY!"  She yelled to make sure I heard her.  

But I was already in my van driving away. 




I couldn't stand people like this.  People that were only interested in the negativity and gossip.  These were the same people that yelled "I got yer back", but then ran to your ex and everyone else to tell them where they saw you, what you were doing, who you were with, and even what you were wearing. 

As I drove away I thought to myself....well, another one bites the dust.



In the past 2 years, I've had to move on from several people like this.  Anyone who didn't support me 100% needed to go.  I couldn't have friends or acquaintances in my life that I didn't trust.    




When I first got separated, I remained friends with these people.  They said they supported me..... so why wouldn't I believe them? 

I soon realized though that these friends were just "floaters", floating between me and my ex, trying to get gossip and trying to figure out the entire story.  When I confronted one of them recently (in Walmart of all places), she tried to defend her side saying that she just wanted "the best for both of us".  

I didn't buy it.

 
Because the "best" for me was to move on and build a new life.  And somehow with these people, I was stuck in a world that revolved around my ex and my divorce.  It was very negative and very unhappy.  




In the past 2 years, after having separated not only from my ex, but also from these floaters, I have opened up my world to meeting a whole new group of people.  People focused not on my divorce or my old life or my ex's life, but rather on new adventures, positive energy and amazing journeys.  These are fun and amazing people who work hard and stay focused on living the best life possible.

And not surprisingly that none of them.....I repeat NONE are interested in gossip and drama and negativity.




Because at the end of the day, you can sit and wonder what's happening behind your neighbors' closed door......or you can go and open your own door and start living your own fabulous life.



I choose door #2 :)








 


























Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Now that's service!



You may not know this about me, but I am very particular about my van.  I am quite proud of it, and I like to keep it super clean and tidy.  Everything has its place ....my coins, the kid's DVD's, my MAC lipsticks (red and nude), extra snacks, water bottles, 5 pairs of sunglasses, and Polish eucalyptus candies.

I also have stowed away in the back several cleaning products.  Glass wipes, tire wipes, shine wipes,  ultra-shine wipes and baby wipes.......for the delicate and hard to reach areas of course.

After my car has been through the car wash, and I have painstakingly detailed the entire interior myself....I walk around my van smiling with my arms crossed and wash cloth thrown over my shoulder.  I wink at people as they walk or drive by so that they know that this sweet ride belongs to me.

Knowing all this, it should come as no surprise to you then, that I always have my gas topped up, and my oil changes up to date.

A few months ago, I took my van in for its regular oil change.  As always, I had a million and one things to do, and was very pressed for time.  So I decided to try an oil-change drive thru. 

I had never been before so I was curious as to how long it would actually take.   I made sure to grab a magazine and a large coffee because I was convinced that this would take much longer than their advertised "9 minutes or less".  Pfffftt!  Ya right.

As I pulled up to the building, there was a sign that directed me to drive around to the back.  Hmmm.... this was a little sketchy.   Perhaps their plan is to drug me for several hours and then when I wake up, it'll seem like the oil change was only 9 minutes.....?  I figured this probably highly unlikely though, so I proceeded.

As I pulled the van around the back, the garage doors to the drive-thru immediately started opening.  And as they did.......... I was surprised at what I saw.

I saw 6 handsome young men dressed in coveralls all standing and waiting for me to pull through.


Good God! 

What is happening here?


This was very unexpected.  I expected old, overweight mechanics covered in oil stains.  This was far from it! 

I suddenly became very self-conscious.  In a panic, I changed the stereo from Ricky Martin to Guns N Roses.  And then I quickly glanced at myself in the rear-view mirror.  If there was time, I'd re-apply my lips.....but I feel like that would be a little too obvious now .....and possibly a little too sexual....?


I pulled the car into the garage while one of the guys motioned for me to keep coming closer.  After he motioned for me to stop, one of the other young men ran to open the door for me.

"Hello Miss.  How are you today?"

He offered his hand to help me out of the vehicle and then took my keys.

"Umm....I'm fine...thank you"

And then suddenly I felt my inner charm come out.  I flicked my bangs out of my face and in one smooth move pulled off my sunglasses and threw my purse over my shoulder.  I walked away from the van and felt my flowy skirt swoosh from side to side.  It was all so glamourous......in the oil-change drive thru.

Just so you know, "Charming Leo" only comes out once in a while.  I never know when she's going to make an appearance, so it's always a nice surprise.  Some days everything goes off without a hitch, and I'm super sexy and romantic.  But most days I end up walking into a car just as a handsome man says hello to me.  I'm very often a complete disaster.


Anyway, back to the oil change.  I waited off to the side while my van was being serviced.  I pretended to look at my magazine but was sneaking peaks at the cute guys tending to my car. 

I couldn't help my mind from drifting.......

The large garage doors slammed shut.  A spotlight suddenly beamed onto my navy blue Dodge Caravan.  Six gorgeous men in tight white shirts, black pants and leather jackets all jumped onto the hood of the car.  And before you know it, a young and sexy John Travolta runs out and starts singing Greased Lightning.  I then waltz in all sexy with my big poufy platinum hair, super tight leather pants, 5 inch platform sandals and whisper...."tell me about it, stud".......



"Ma'am??  Ma'am??  Your van is ready."

My body jolted back to reality and I cleared my throat.

"(ahem!) Yup! Yes!!  I'm here!"  Oh brother.  Disaster Leo has returned.

The cute man at the counter looks at me for what seems like an eternity and smiles.  He probably thinks I'm a complete moron.

"That'll be $33.50"

I hand him the money and he says,

"I hope we'll see you again."

I grab the receipt and he walks me to my car.

I think to myself....oh....you'll see me again Mr.Greased Lightning......



The men are back in their 6-person line-up and saying good-bye as I get into my car and drive away.   

Whoever thought of this oil-change drive thru is a genius.  

And also a woman.


---------------------------------------------------------------


A week later my friends and I go out for dinner and then dancing.  It was a stressful week for all of us and we just needed to unwind and have a little fun. 

We were dancing in our usual circle when I felt a tap on my shoulder.  I thought it was my friend bringing our drinks back from the bar, so I turned around mid-dance.  I was thrown off when I came face to face with a very cute guy.  I knew him from somewhere.....but I couldn't place him.


"You don't remember me, do you?"  he said, obviously noting the confusion on my face.

I smiled but scrunched up my face and shook my head no.

He said "I remember YOU."

And then suddenly it hit me. 

"Oh!  You're the guy from the Oil Change place!  You gave me my receipt!"

He started laughing.  "Well, I actually own the place" and then he paused for a second, "You know...... you created quite a stir when you came by last week".

"Me??"  I acted surprised.

I wasn't really surprised though.   Charming Leo is really quite fabulous.

"Can I get you a drink?  Red wine?"

I smiled and nodded.



I checked him out as he walked to the bar.   

And all I could think of was how happy I was that I tried that oil-change drive thru. 


I mean........you just really can't beat that kind of customer service ;)











For more hilarious clubbing adventures, check out:


I bet you look good on the dancefloor

MexiCanada 







Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Tragedy? Or just spoiled rotten?





It was one of those mornings.


Molly was at my bed at 5:30am.  Lola followed close behind.  Against all my wishes for a longer sleep, these 2 little people had somehow convinced me to get out of bed. 

I made it downstairs, and with both eyes closed, managed to prepare breakfast for both girls.  I only opened half an eye to make myself a coffee.  I was tired.....but I didn't want to get burned.  Remember that whole McDonald's fiasco?  I knew I wasn't going to get a million dollars if I spilled coffee all over myself this morning.

By 7am, I had already dealt with 2 of Molly's tantrums and spilled milk.  I felt like crying but remembered that saying "Never cry over spilled milk".  So I whimpered instead. 

By 8am, I was involved in a lengthy negotiation with Lola over which outfit she wanted to wear to the zoo.  Her outfit made her look like a 90-year old lady going to "games night". 

By 9am, Molly was arguing over which shoes she wanted to wear.  Apparently Mommy's leopard print stilettos were going to be "puh-fect fo da zoo".

Sigh.

I filled the van with toys and movies and snacks in an attempt to keep the girls quiet for the 1/2 hour drive. We had a brief argument over which DVD was going to play on the way there.  Molly wanted
The Little Mermaid, Lola wanted Mermaid Tale and I wanted Finding Nemo.  Hey....if I was doing all the work, I should be rewarded with a little Ellen Degeneres humor right?



It was 9:30am by the time we picked up Mama.

Mama jumped in the car, cheery as always and asked how my morning went.

And with that "invitation to vent", I exploded.  I went on and on ...and on about my horrible morning.  

"....and then Molly screamed over a toy that Lola was playing with.......that's when I spilled the milk.........then I walked into the dishwasher.....look at my leg??!!  LOOK AT MY LEG!  This is gonna be one NASTY BRUISE! My morning was a tragedy Mama.  A Goddam TRAGEDY!"

I was so angry.  This morning couldn't get any worse.


Mama sat quietly listening to my rage.  And when I finished, she took a long, slow breath and in a very calm voice she said.....



"Dis is not a tragedy.  Do you vant to know what iz a tragedy?  Tragedy is growing up in Poland in communistic times, vere nobody had anyting.  Der was no money.  Der was no food in da stores.  Vomen vit babies had to line up at 5am just to get a small loaf of bread and a piece of meat.  My fadder had to bribe a store owner for supplies like toilet paper.  Ve had no clothes, no DVDs, no big cars, no "Treehouse TV", no barbies......ve had nutting!  DIS is a tragedy."



Gulp.

And just like that, my morning went from tragedy.......to pure guilt.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Growing up, my sister and I were always taught to appreciate everything we had.  Very often we were told stories of my parent's upbringing and challenging times in Europe during the communistic regime and World War 2.  

As a young boy, my father was forced to live in a small war camp with his father and sister and 30 other people.  By the age of 7, his mother had already passed away from Tuberculosis.  The conditions were horrible.  There was nothing to eat and definitely nothing to play with.


My parents worked very hard to teach me that life is not always fair......a lesson that I am still learning to this day.  But when it comes to the materialistic side of things.....somehow society had gotten the better or me.


After Mama had put things in perspective for me, I turned around in the van to look at my kids.......but instead was hit with a sea of pink and purple "things".  DVD's, toys, books, games and computers.....all packed into one vehicle for a simple 1/2 hour car ride.  And somehow, I was still frustrated.

I couldn't help but wonder. In a world where we strive to have it all....and end up with an excess of "stuff".......are we really making things better?  Or are we just spoiled rotten?



When I compare how my mother raised me to how I am raising my children, the differences are shocking.  

Yes, I am a loving and compassionate mother to my children like Mama was to my sister and I.  But back in the day, there were no playgroups, or YMCA's or Early Years Centers.  We only had one car and my dad used it for work, so we couldn't go anywhere far.  There was no money for fast food, or expensive coffees, so my mom slaved away in the kitchen all day preparing healthy meals and home-made snacks.  I had one Lego set and a few Barbies and 3 teddy bears.  I played alone while Mama cooked and cleaned and folded.  It was up to me to stay entertained.

Now, compare that to how we raise our children today.  Our children have it all.  Most homes not only have bedrooms for the children, but they have separate toy rooms for the kids.  And usually these rooms are filled to the brim with toys that are probably replaced with new ones every 6 months.  Even in the past 2 years where things have been financially strained for me, my children have never gone without toys or teddy bears or TV.  Even without personally spending a dime, my children are constantly showered with elaborate gifts for their birthdays and Christmas from family and friends.  Heck, even Valentines Day and Easter come with their own set of presents nowadays!

Almost everyday a playdate or excursion is planned.  Moms are running themselves ragged.  But at what cost?  We are exhausted.....and we end up teaching our kids that what we have is never enough.


When it comes to raising children, I think sometimes I need to step back and look at how Mama did it.  

She didn't have my fancy van with all the bells and whistles.  She didn't have a stroller that opened and closed with the push of one button.  And she certainly didn't have TV, or DVR's, or Netflix.  

But there was NEVER a day that I didn't feel like I wasn't the most important thing in the world to her.  Somehow, without all this "stuff", Mama figured it out.  She did it all.......and on top of that raised 2 happy and healthy kids.


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The other day I took the kids to the beach.  In my rush out the door, I completely forgot the sand toys.  I was so upset with my absent-mindedness.  How the heck would the kids keep entertained for all those hours?  



Well, I guess the kids are smarter than me.........because they spent hours having fun and building sand castles with......their HANDS! 

Can you believe it?  ;)



I think when it comes to parenting, I have to remember that even without all the stuff, the kids will be alright.

Because I can recall that some of my best memories as a kid were spending all day in a bathing suit by the water and playing in the wet sand.


I guess some things just never change :)




 







This blog is dedicated to one of the funniest comedians I've ever watched.  Robin Williams, thank you for always making me laugh.  You are already missed.