Monday, February 22, 2010

Not One of My Finer Moments

Yesterday was a GLORIOUS day. The sun was out, the kids were playing, I had some flowers to arrange on my front deck. What could be better? What could be more zen then arranging flowers, in the sun on your front deck while your children play joyfully near by with their shrieks of joy filling your ears. Yes it was a darn near perfect day.....until.....

Sophia plays basketball and Bob is her coach. It's a great learning league and great fun. Sophia's game was at 1. I got a call from Bob at 1:30. My immediate thought was Sophia had been hurt. No. He tells me that his car has just been towed. He gives me the phone number of the place that towed it.

I am PISSED!!! These guys wait around until all the cars are parked and then the cruise the lot. There are signs but honestly I haven't read them. I know that the parking is for the NECC (NE Community Center) and that is where the basketball takes place. Apparently, and I have not seen this for myself, they say you have to have a sticker.

I call the place and some woman answers. I am REALLY MAD. She tells me to calm down. WTF? NO I AM NOT GOING TO CALM DOWN...You JUST TOWED MY FRICKIN' CAR. We yell back and forth and she hangs up on me. I call back and yell some more, "YOU DID NOT JUST HANG UP ON ME!" She says she did and she'll do it anytime she is speaking to someone who is so rude. Please, like there is ANYONE who is kind and sweet right after you have towed their car? She must get this all the time AND you took the job stupid. You know what you are going to get. She insinuates that she is only an answering service but when I ask what it's going to cost she gets on a radio to the tow truck driver. Now she is a lier too. I get out of her that it is going to be $216 and I can pick up the car in 20 min.

I pick up Bob and Sophia immediately following basketball. Sophia is confused because they came in daddy's car. I tell her that daddy's car got towed. Good for Bob for not telling her. I drop Sophia off at a buddy's house. The moment the door closes I go into a total rant again. Not at Bob but to Bob. He says, "Just keep your cool until we get the car back." I promise to try.

We arrive at the scum pit. I mean it. This place is in a scary area and it is gross. I walk in and say, "You have my car." I give her my driver's license. I can tell by her voice that this is "my friend" from the phone. I am trying to keep my cool but it is REALLY hard. I haven't been this mad in years. As a matter of fact I remember the last time and it was 27 years ago.

She says, "It will be $247" I say, "You told me on the phone that it would be $216" She says, "That was an estimate." I ask to see it. The "hook up" fee is $157. I say, "The sign posted behind you says the "hook up" fee is $110. She says, "That's an old sign." I loose it. I go ballistic, really, totally out of control. She is yelling just as loud and still can't understand why I am so mad. I stayed a good distance away from her for fear it could come to blows. That's all I need an assault charge. I used all my least favorite words....a lot. I was hoping she'd hit me. Then I'd have something on her. She didn't....we both calmed down.

Bob is standing behind me saying nothing. It's his way. Next he goes to the car to get the registration.

"My friend" and I are in the office alone. She apologizes. I apologize. Really, what the hell good was it going to do? I was so mad I could hardly write, I was shaking. I complete the transaction. Bob gets his car. We leave.

On the drive home I start to calm down. I TRY and see this from "my friend's" perspective. When I walked in she was reading a romance novel behind a messy desk. Obviously she needs to escape from the hell hole she is in. She is morbidly obese. That does not come with out pain from somewhere. She is missing at least half her teeth. And she works at a tow yard where I am pretty sure she gets yelled at a lot.

I have a beautiful life and I know it. A healthy beautiful family, a wonderful husband, comfortable home, amazing friends and so much more. For goodness sake, I was sitting on my deck in the sun arranging flowers with my joyous kids running around before this all went down. I feel a bit bad for taking out my anger on that woman. I go back and forth. She was dishing it out pretty well too. I am sure she has had lots of practice.

So that was certainly not one of my finer moments. I am really glad my kids didn't see me like that. It's not good for anyone to be that angry. After seeing that woman I am glad she didn't stroke out or have a heart attack. She probably hasn't been to the doctor either since I am fairly sure she has never been to a dentist. I am going to take this in for a while and maybe, just maybe I can send her a note. In the mean time I will pray for her and for me. Neither one of us had one of our finer moments.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

It's the Little Things in Our Ordinary Days

I have been trying to take in all the little things. I want to make sure that I can recall with relative accuracy what this time looks and feels like. This blog has been great for documenting my family and what we do, how it feels and what it looks like to me.

It's been about a year and a half since I started blogging and already there are days where I go back and read some of my entries. I especially like when I read something that I forgot about and am able to take a little of my own advice. I can see my own wisdom. So often we are our own worst critics. I'm not sure why but we all have a little negative voice in our heads. Why? Life is hard enough and I am pretty sure that I am my toughest critic and that INCLUDES my mom. I love your advice mom!!!!

I am not sure why but lately I have been getting lots of signals to notice the little things. For me it is the day to day that I want to remember. The big events are great but I love our daily life. I love to hear my kids playing together. They laugh a LOT. Yes they get hurt and cry or tell on the other ones but for the most part their time together is joyous.

I love the smell of my kids after they have been playing outside. It is just fresh and sweet and lovely. Their cheeks are bright, their smiles abundant and their stories generally hilarious. I find myself staring at them smiling only hearing the tone of their voice and not really the story. Most of the time their stories are hard to follow so the excitement and enthusiasm are much easier to pay attention to. I nod and say, "uh huh" a lot, not knowing what I am responding to. It doesn't really matter for the most part. To me I am absorbing them in the moment for all time. I know that they will only be little for such a short time.

As I sit here I can hear Bob reading to the boys. They get so excited for story time. They each get to pick out a book and then flank daddy for a few minutes. Just the guys.

Sophia still listens to me and wants my advice. We talk a lot and I try and explain life on her level. Yesterday we talked about how silly boys, even the tough ones, can act when they like you. She thought that was really funny that they act weird. She wants to know what it was like when I was younger and how I handled things. She gazes at me with her big blue eyes, her blond-golden hair and a sweet innocence that only a child has. It's precious and fleeting. I want to tell her everything so she doesn't get hurt or make poor decisions. Yet I know I can't protect her from everything and really shouldn't. Some things we have to learn for our selves. I want to hold her gaze in my heart so I never forget her at 9.

I told her that when kids get into their teen age years they often don't want to talk to their parents. She was shocked and said she'd always want to talk to me. I am going to make a contract that she'll sign so I can have that in writing. She keeps asking me to write the contract. I better before this moment slips away.

Kees can pronounce all his letters now. It's great and sad. His lisp was so cute but I knew we shouldn't encourage it. For a while "L" was the only letter he couldn't say clearly. I would say, "Say LLLLLLLeek" Kees would say, "LLLLLLlllll-Week." He started out calling Coulter, "Tohtah" then, "Cohtah" then, "Cohter" and now it's like the rest of us, "Coulter." I knew it would come but I do miss the sweet baby sound of his lisp. He still has his baby laugh but that too is changing.

Coulter is getting so big too. His tiny bit of baby fat left in his face is almost gone. The shape of his face is more like Sophia all the time. The kid has lost all the fat in the rest of his body. I'm tellin' you, if you aren't an Olympic Athlete you'd pay big bucks to have abs like his. The kid is ripped. But I miss his baby fat. He still occasionally makes a specific noise that reminds me of when he was really little. It's a sigh at the end of his laugh, after a big laugh. I can't put my finger on it but when I hear it his baby face comes rushing back. Just another little thing, an everyday thing.

I find myself missing my babies. There was a 2 year old blond boy at church yesterday and from the back it could have been one of mine a few years ago. I found myself missing those babies. I was trying to remember them at that age. Did I appreciate them enough? Was I gentle enough? Why ever did I get frustrated? How could I be mad at a little person who was so innocent and little? Yet I know I did get mad, I yelled. And that is that little voice in my head telling me maybe I wasn't good enough.

So I remind myself that I did the best I could. I did have the joy (and frustration) times 3. There were lots of raspberries on bellies, silly songs, Music Together, books....lots of books, OMSI too many times to count. I am pretty sure they were not neglected and they did and still do feel loved. But I miss those babies occasionally, I am sure all parents feel this way. It's hard to remember exactly how I felt and what they were like. I have snap shots of their beautiful faces and most of those snap shots were from ordinary days.

I will continue to try and capture their day to day in my mind. I want to remember 9, 6 and 4 and how precious they are NOW. The fact that Sophia at 9 will still play fully engaged with Kees at 4 is wonderful. I mean that in the truest in I am awed by how full of wonder they are to me. I have a hard time sleeping with them all in our bed but I love their little bodies all warm and soft next to me and all wrapped around me. Getting everyone up and ready for school can be exasperating but hearing their stories of lessons learned at the end of the day makes it all worth while.

I am blessed by my family and I pray that they feel blessed by me. Today was just an ordinary day and it was exceptional at the same time. I hope I can remember it exactly how it was in all it's ordinariness.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Crank it UP!

I like music of all kinds. Lately I have been into Lady Gaga and Black Eyed Peas. My kids seem to like it too. I know there are some lyrics in there that are not appropriate for them but I believe, like when I was a kid, they go right over their heads. The boys certainly don't hear them and the time of two when Sophia has caught one I tell her, "That's not for you to say." She understands.

Today I decided that to turn it up. I turned on Lady Gaga's Poker Face, clicked Genious (Love that feature!!!) cranked it up and walked away. The boys went into the office, closed the door and played. Bob, Sophia and the dog went up stairs to read. I was totally happy going through the mail infront of my Happy Light listening to the tunes.

I think the reason I like it loud is that nothing else filters in there. The boys could have been fighting but I couldn't hear them. The dog could have been barking but I couldn't hear her. Sophia and Bob could have been playing a game or having a tickle fight....who knows. It's better then silence. My happy music cranking and that is all I can hear.

I think teenagers turn up their music so they can't hear anything but it's different. They don't want to be bothered by people telling them what to do or nagging (in their mind). They go into their whole own world devoid of responsibility or really anything but themselves.

I just needed a break from people yelling mom, asking for something, fighing or just the phone ringing. I couldn't have heard that either. Now I feel energized, the mail is caught up and I actually drove all the people outside to the park!!!! Remember when that is what kids actually did every day? That is a whole other blog entry.

Have a great day and spend a little time with your favorite tunes. AND CRANK IT UP!!!!!