Tuesday, July 13, 2010

It's just a can of paint.

It’s been 4 years. The can of paint is still sitting on the shelf, smeared and dented, no longer sticky but covered with my paint-laden finger prints from the first time I opened it. It’s a can of paint among dozens of others, sitting in the garage, all full or half-full, of various shades and finishes. Each representing an unfinished project, an abandoned remodel, a wall left untouched. But only this can of paint, this shade of lilac, this abandoned dream, can take my breath away and reduce me to tears. Or could.

It’s just a can of paint, but for so long it was so much more. It was the promise of a life according to plan. It was tea parties, pretty dresses, pig tails and nail polish. It was girl talk, life lessons in feminine wiles, and the passing on of heirlooms, few as they may be. It was the prospect of raising another like me, only better, less broken. It was wrong. I was wrong.

It has only ever been a can of paint. The dreams, the plans, the prospects were mine, and when they didn’t materialize, I tossed them all in that can and tapped the lid shut tight, just not tight enough. Every time I saw it on the shelf, the wound ripped open, my heart broke a little bit more. But that was me, not the can of paint. I didn’t get what I knew I wanted, what I thought I needed. I got something better, something more, but I couldn’t see it for the can of paint in the way.

He was not what I expected. He has become so much more. He is red and yellow, not lilac and white. He is dirt and pirates, a monkey in a cape instead of lace and nail polish, or pigtails on a princess. He is snotty kisses and raucous laughter rather than dainty pecks and tender giggles. He is so different, and yet so very much the same. He is me in miniature, only funnier and with more fire, more righteous indignation and determination to make the world what he sees it should be. He has my heart. He is my heart. And there is no can, color, or finish of paint that will change that.

It’s time I threw that can of paint away.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tiger Woods Does NOT Owe Me An Apology.

And I'm so fucking tired of hearing about his stupid press conference on Friday, and the speculations that he's going to apologize to America for his philandering while announcing his return to or retirement from golf. Who cares? Seriously. I'm not his wife. I'm not his mother. I'm not his employer, his friend, his child, his anything. Where he put his dick is none of my business or concern. Do I think he's a complete douche bag for cheating? Yeah. Sure. But I don't know his life, or his wife, or what led him to that place. And do I need to know all the gory details about who, how many times, where and how? Fuck. No. Nor do I want to.
I don't understand why the general public feels entitled to know the intimate details about a person's life because they happen to be a celebrity. He was unfaithful. It happens. There are millions of people walking the planet who've strayed down that same path, and I would no sooner walk up to them and demand to know where their dicks have been than I would Tiger Woods. And yet, every news channel, every magazine, every sports section of every paper is salivating at the opportunity to do just that. It's annoying. It's obnoxious. It's the furtherance of the sense of entitlement that has permeated every aspect of society, and it's sickening.
And I don't give a shit that some people look up to him and/or call him a role model. That's your decision, not his. He didn't ask to be your hero. He asked to play golf. You gave him that status in your life. He didn't seek it out. And if you taught your kids to idolize another man, to hold a faulted, imperfect mortal like themselves to and exalted, idealized, and impossible standard of perfection, that's on you too. Time to explain reality.
He's an athlete, not a god. He's a man who plays golf. Let the man play golf. Let his wife worry about where he's been. And for fuck's sake, quit talking about his douchey behaviour. I'm sure his wife is sick of hearing about it too.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

TILTing on Top of The World

There is a raging party in my sinuses right now, so this week's TILT is going to be short and sweet.

I love that new and exciting things are on the horizon for Ninja. I wish he was as confidant in himself and his abilities as I am.

I love the sound of my boys playing and chasing each other in the living room while I make dinner in the kitchen.

I love that Oscar is so excited by being able to do new, but simple, things.

I love that Victor makes a point to ask at least one good question every day at school so he can tell me all about his question and the answers he found when he gets home.

I love that this weekend Oscar will finally get his birthday party, roller skatin,g friends, cake and all.

I love that we are fortunate enough in this life, in these times, to be able to give him that party and these memories.

I love putting the boys to bed at night. I love that they fight over who gets to read with Ninja and who gets to cuddle with me. I'm not looking forward to the days ahead when they don't need or want that quiet time with us any more.

I love being back at work after a long vacation.

I love validation.

I love Vlad and Sergey and every other student who has landed in my classroom for how hard they work and all that they accomplish.

I love that I get to be a part of that work, and a witness to their successes.

I love they have so many successes to share and celebrate, and that they remember to come celebrate them with me.

I love that I get to do something every day that matters so much. I GET to do it. And I know how fortunate I am in that.

I love my mentor in my grad program. She's funny. She's smart. She's a smart ass like me. And she's a realist. I love her for her cool and collected demeanor, her sharp wit, and her absolute refusal to be anything less than direct and honest with me but in the nicest way possible. I love that she gets me and my inane/insane ramblings and pointless rebellions. She rocks and again I know how fortunate I am to have her.

I love that I have the opportunity to earn this masters degree to further my work with these kids.

I love that my favorite student got to choose her classes for next year, and she tried to sign up for my classes twice to fill her day. :) I had to change it to make room for classes she needs, but again, I love validation.

I love efficiency.

I love going to the gym, being sore, and feeling like I've done something for myself at the end of the day without ripping off the people who depend on me.

I love that I've finally allowed myself to be a priority in my own life on occasion without feeling guilty.

I love Biggest Loser for inspiring me to do so.

I love my people and the fun, wisdom, and stability they add to my life.

I love that Kim and her family are on the road to better.

I love that Teri is too.

I love that Millie had an awesome birthday, and that she got to go to Vegas.

I love seeing everyone's childhood pictures. Some look so different and some so much the same. I love that we are willing and able to share a piece of our younger selves with each other.

I love that I apparently have no concept of what the word short actually means judging by the length of this TILT. :)

What are you loving this week my lovelies? I hope it's lots.

Peace out, homies,


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Tot-sized TILT

Tomorrow is Oscar's 3rd birthday, so today's TILT is all about Os!

3 years ago on this day, at this time, my contractions had just begun. I was excited and nervous, feeling like everything was different and yet the same as when I went through it with Victor. I had a million thoughts running through my head, but none of them prepared me for the wondrous little boy that greeted me at the end of my labor. I love that he has been a surprise a minute since the second he was born.

I love Oscar's energy. It's exhausting, sometimes frustrating, but absolutely amazing and entertaining to be around.

I love Oscar's perspective. He sees things in such a funny and creative way sometimes, and has begun to be very descriptive.

I love Oscar's language. He says the funniest things, even to the point of cracking himself and everyone around him up.

I love the way Oscar says his brother's name-Wictah-and always at the top of his lungs!

I love that Oscar loves his brother more than anyone else, more than his toys or movies, more than his friends.

I love that even though they are three years apart, Wictah and Os are the best of friends (most of the time).

I love Oscar's facial expressions. He is a clown. He is adorable. And he knows it. You can always tell when he's up to no good. His sly little grin and furrowed brows give him away every time. He has such an expressive face for such a little guy.

I love that Oscar is, unabashedly and unapologetically, his own person. His personality is strong and unique. I know, without a doubt or reservation, that I will never have to worry about him losing himself to someone else's ideas. That boy has known he was the boss since he took his first breath.

I love that where other kids his age are timid, shy, and afraid of the world, Oscar is bold, brave, and confident in his position on this rock.

I love, that in the quiet moments, when it's just Oscar and I, I can see the man he will become, and I am already proud of him.

I love, that even though he is a monster much of the time, Oscar is still my baby, my little boy, looking to cuddle in the middle of the night, when he's feeling tired, or just feeling like some quiet time.

I love that I am his safe place, his soft place to land, his comfort.

Mostly, I love my Oscar.

These guns should be illegal.
Dance of the Sugar Plum Oscar

All he wants for Christmas is his neck!

Happy birthday, my littlest love! Thank you for three of the most fun filled and exciting years I've ever known. You never cease to amaze or entertain. :)

All my love,

Friday, January 1, 2010

A word of caution

To the ASSHATS in room 301:

Being a parent, I understand that children are often inconvenient. I totally get that they can delay or derail your plans, and it can be annoying. But you made them. So deal with it. And when I say deal with it, I don't mean wait until your 3 year old falls asleep and then sneak out of your hotel room, leaving her alone and unattended for who knows how long so you can go do whatever it is that is more important than caring for the child you created.

You are lucky. You are more than lucky. You are absofuckinglutely fortunate that it was me who found your daughter screaming in the hall, and not some predator. She was alone, nearly naked, half asleep, and scared out of her mind, wandering the halls looking for you, screaming for you, crying into every doorway she stumbled into begging for her mommy and daddy to come out and take her back to bed. Do you realize that the town your hotel was in is in the top three for percentages of sexual predators and Megan's Law listees in the state? Have you read the paper or watched the news recently? Do you understand how quickly your whole world, and hers, could have changed because you wanted breakfast and she wasn't up yet? Do you care?

I sat with her, in my pajamas, not fully awake myself, for ten minutes while another guest at the hotel went looking for you. The hotel staff combed the entire floor of the hotel and the dining areas, calling your names, asking for the parents of ****** to come to the desk or return to your room, and you were nowhere to be found. After 15 minutes, you wandered up, coffee from the coffee shop down the street in hand and paper under your arm as if nothing had happened and all was well with the world. Meanwhile, your daughter was sobbing hysterically into my shoulder, convinced you had abandoned her, and the hotel manager was contemplating calling CPS. When you reached for her, she leaned into me and away from you. I can't say that I blame her.

And when you laughed about the situation, I could have punched you in the mouth. Really. You're very lucky I wasn't fully awake.
If your coffee is more important than your daughter, you've no business being a parent.
Next time, I won't be there and your daughter may not be so fortunate.
Get your shit together.


The Bitch down the hall

Thursday, December 31, 2009

TILTing into the new year

This year seemed to fly by and crawl along all at the same time. It's amazing how independent of reality one's perception of time can be. This is the last TILT of 2009, and so it seems fitting that it encompass all of the things I have loved and been loved by in this year of awkward advancement and self discovery.

As usual, I love my kids.
I love that Victor sees the world in his own matter of fact and analytical way. Everything is a puzzle for him to put together, a mystery to be solved, a clue to be read. I love that I can see his wheels spinning when he's picking something apart in his head. He sees things in such a direct and literal way, black and white with very little grey. He asks such great questions and believes there is an answer to every one, it's just a matter of finding it. It is a magical and amazing thing to see. I also love that Victor has discovered knock knock jokes.

I love that Oscar always has a song in his head and a laugh in his belly. He is ever the entertainer and the adventurer. But no matter what he's doing, he's humming a tune, singing a song, and dancing to the rhythm of the music in his head. Where his brother sees lines and grids of black and white, Oscar sees swirls and squiggles of color and texture. I love that he is already unapologetically his own person.

I love Ninja. I've come to realize over the curse of the last year that I take much of what he does for granted without meaning to. He loves me for who and what I am. And even when I try my hardest to push him away, he is steadfast and true, a constant in the chaos. I know for certain that my life would have taken a very different, and not better, path had I not met him when I did. Thank you seems so inadequate, and yet so necessary.

I love my job. I was out of the classroom last year and can honestly say that I have never felt as dissatisfied with my life as I did then. Returning to work confirmed for me that I am in the right place doing the right thing.

I love that I still have a job I love when so many of my friends have lost or will lose theirs. I feel extremely fortunate and so very, very grateful.

I love that I have the honor of doing something that makes a difference. As I was grading finals, I came across a note one of my students wrote me on the back of his test. He has been in my classes for 4 years. When he entered my class for the first time, he had only been in the country for a few days. He had a vocabulary of about ten words in English. He was shy and scared. For 2 years he did very little, and became one of those students you love but want to hurt because they just won't help themselves. He could not read. He would not write. Last year, he was in someone else's class, and he was in constant trouble and pretty rude to his teachers. But this year, things are different. And he wrote me a note telling me so. His note was a thank you note and an apology. He told me that he knew he had been difficult for everyone for the last three years and he was sorry for being rude, but he wanted to explain. He said that he could not read, he could not understand how the letters worked together or what they were supposed to sound like, and he was embarrassed. He said that this year, I taught him how to read and now everything makes sense. He said that for the first time since leaving his village, he feels like he can do something more than work in his uncle's store when he graduates. He said for the first time, he's thinking about graduating instead of dropping out. He said for the first time he actually wants to do his work and reads at home. Because he can. And he said thank you. He's not embarrassed any more.

I love constant and continued friendship.

I love that this year I was able to take my family to some of those constant friends. My worlds collided, and it made things so much more wonderful.

I love that I finally feel like an adult. I'm not a grown up, but I am an adult. I've never felt this confident, self assured, or independant as I have come to feel in this year.

I love that as a result of that confidence, I finally feel as if I deserve this life. I no longer feel as if I have to apologize for being me, for having what I have or doing what I do. I love knowing I'm worth loving.

I love that I have people who love me enough to tell me I'm an asshole when I need to hear it and expect me to do the same for them.

And I love that I have other people who call or text or email to remind me that my life is pretty amazing, and that I deserve for it to be so.

I love that I have found a place to be. Victor set me back on the path to finding a spiritual home, and Sara drew me a map. I love that in finding Beth Shalom, I found a community of people who take me for what I am and like it. The fact that I am ambivalent about the existence of God isn't an issue. I am not a pariah, an infidel, or an outsider. They want nothing from me and are always happy to see me. They are home.

I love Facebook for bringing new and different people into my life, making it all the more rich and varied.

I love the music I've discovered and the emotions it stirs.

I love that this list could go on and on. I am fortunate and grateful. I know how very different things could be.

I hope that this year ends on a high note for all of you. May the new year find you healthy, happy, and hopeful.

Thank you for being a part of my world. Be safe out there tonight so you can continue to be so.

Peace out, homies,


Monday, December 28, 2009

The Why Of It All

I found Jillian Michaels on Facebook today. Someone else became a fan and I followed a link. This is what greeted me at the top of her page.

"He who has a Why to live for can bear almost any How"- Nietzsche. So true. Weight loss is hard. So how do you tolerate the "how" of it? The answer, "Why" is weight loss worth it. Example: are skinny jeans worth passing on donuts? Is avoiding heart disease worth 30 min of exercise? With the new year upon us, meditate on your "Why". Then begin educating yourself & acting on the "How".

Nothing could have been more appropriate than that quote on this day. I've been thinking a lot lately about why I do things, and more often than not, I find my motivation is exterior. I have become one of those people that rarely does anything for herself, and suffers for it. My kids, my husband, my friends never go without if I can help it. But I often do. I don't want for material things. I have more than enough food, a beautiful home, too many possessions. But I don't make time for myself. I don't take care of myself. I don't do for me what I do for others. And really, I think that the reason is that I've never felt like I deserved it. There are a million and one reasons that I could give for why I feel that way, but really, none of them matter.At this point, they have all become excuses. At some point, as an adult, you need to stop thinking about the negative lessons you learned as a child, let go of the impressions of yourself imposed upon you by others during your formative years, stop blaming your parents for your habits and predilections, and get the hell on with being a healthy and productive human being. And that's where I am. I've finally realized that, while it may be noble to live for my kids now, at some point, they will grow up and and move on into lives of their own, and I will be left with the repercussions of my current neglect. And I've only just realized that I deserve better.

I need to be the reason I get off the couch every day and go for a run. I need to be enough. My life, my well-being need to be what picks my ass up and pushes it out the door to the gym at 5am. I need to be my why. I am worth losing weight and getting healthy. I am worthy of it, too. It's just taken me until now to realize it.