Thursday, March 19, 2009

Siblings and The Truth

Last night was my Moms' Group. We meet once a month with an MFT to discuss - well, anything and everything!

Last night one of the moms brought up an interesting issue. Her sons are 6 and 3.5. Her 6-year-old has always been a kid who tells it like it is. You can ask him, "who spilled that milk?" and he will answer truthfully. He's not sneaky; he's an open book.

Her 3.5-year-old has started scheming a bit. It's very normal behavior at this age. He'll come in from the back yard and say "Mom, he took my basketball!" She'll then ask the older one what happened, and he was nowhere near his brother. The little one was trying to get the big one in trouble.

The mom's concern is that she might be setting up roles as "The one who tells the truth" and "the one who I can't trust" by asking them to each say what happened and then always believing the older one. It's hard for her, because she can, in fact, believe the older one; she is aware, however, that this could be problematic.

We discussed just talking to the younger one about the situation as if it were true, without bringing the older one in. "If he took your basketball, what would be a good thing to say in that situation?" Perhaps it's not important to find out The Truth and What Really Happened. Perhaps it's just important to talk to the kids in a positive, constructive way and leave it at that.

It's an interesting idea to contemplate and try to keep in mind as we navigate this tough, exhausting job of mothering. Sibling dynamics are a minefield. I recommend the book "Siblings Without Rivalry" by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Previous chat: Saturday night, 3/14
Latest chat: Today, Tuesday, 3/17, innocuous banter, duration 10 min
Prognosis: positive)

And a Happy Saint Patrick's Day to everyone!

I had to spend the morning in a boring meeting for one of my volunteer duties, which was made even more difficult because I had two better offers!

One, the Kindergarten was having their big celebration in the park, in which they hunt for pots 'o' gold and leprechauns (and a school staff member dresses up as a leprechaun and prances around the far end of the park, then runs away and disappears before the kids can catch him/her), do rainbow-y and shamrock-y craft projects, have snack and green cupcakes, and play!

Two, my Irish citizen friend invited a few women over to her place for a morning tea. I would have enjoyed a cuppa, some soda bread, and great conversation!

But no, I was stuck for two hours discussing "systems and strategies for compliance" and other such yadda yadda, with The Boy in the chair behind me playing the DS.

When we were set free, we went to the park to catch the last part of the Kindergarten fun. We missed the leprechaun, though. :-(

Oh well, my perfect St. Patrick's Day it's not. Since The Hubby is away on a business trip and I'm parenting solo this week, there aren't any St. Patrick's festivities for me this evening, either.

But that's okay! I just really like this holiday and a few missed opportunities aren't going to get me down! It's St. Paddy's Day and I'm feelin' fine!

Monday, March 16, 2009

I've been lost in a time warp

I am dying to tell you all ... those of you who still read my blog ... and one of you is Margaret, who I ran into in the grocery store yesterday so already knows about this ...

I've been lost in a time warp.

My particular time warp is 1991. I've been sucked up by 1991 and wonder when I'll make it out of this vortex.

Can you guess what has caused this time warp vortex?

I bet you can!


Yes, I know, I was very anti-Facebook. No, I'm not sure how I feel about it now that I have signed up, but I was talked into signing up by one of my oldest friends last weekend.


Monday, I set up my Facebook page, not sure how many friends I wanted to have and trying to figure out what the Wall is, and what the News Feed is, and where I should be looking, and why isn't there an "About Facebook" button with some sort of tutorial? So I spent Monday clicking around and wondering about groups and fan pages and looking at the profiles and walls of the few people I had added to start me off. And snooping around the profiles of some other people from my past, not sure if I was ready to reach out to them.

Tuesday morning, just 24 hours after joining, I got a friend request that knocked me out of my chair. THAT GUY. The one who I met doing a show when I was 17 and he was 20 (we were near our 18th and 21st birthdays, though ... I was a senior in high school and he was a college dropout from Kansas who had come to California to crash with his dad). The one who, even though I had a long-time boyfriend who was away at college, I could not stop thinking about. The one who felt that he was too confused about his life and that I was heading off for bigger and better things (college at Stanford; and my parents were moving to Oregon to make it more complicated), so decided that we shouldn't have a relationship. The one who took me out on dates even though we weren't dating (the passionate talk and the making out sure made them feel like dates). The one who was a mother's nightmare (sorry, mom!).

The one who spent the last few months before I moved, while we did another show together, pretty much ignoring me and dating other people, but then spent the NIGHT before I moved telling me how much he loved me. The one who didn't call me for months after that, but finally did and we spent that night on the phone falling in love with each other. The one who promised this time would be different and he would be better about calling, but then broke that promise.

THAT GUY. We had such chemistry. We never did anything more than a little making out, but it was the talking and just the hanging out that we did SO WELL. We were so different, yet we seemed to fit. We were never given a chance, though.

I couldn't count on him. He had said all the right things but then not called for months too many times. I had given him enough chances.

I fell in love with someone a few months after that late-night phone call my freshman year in college. I would forget about everyone else I had ever known; I would forget my name; I knew that I would marry this man. And one year after graduation, he proposed. Yes, The Hubby!

Eventually, I would think about THAT GUY. I had written about him in my diary, after all, and I like to reminisce. When I got internet access and learned of yellowpages dot com, I looked him up. Other search engines came out, and I looked him up. I went to the memorial service of a mutual friend, and not finding him there, asked another mutual friend to see if she could find him and give him my phone number. I Googled him. Thinking he might have gone into the industry, I imdb'd him. I always found many listings for his name, but no way to tell if any of them were the right THAT GUY.

Eventually, I decided that it would be best not to know what happened to him, and certainly best not to find him. Despite the way things went between us, I have treasured memories of the time we spent together and the things that were said. I decided it was best to preserve it as it was.

And the next day, THAT GUY. After all those times years ago that I tried to find him, it took less than 24 hours on facebook for him to find me! After SEVENTEEN YEARS. I stared at the Friend Request, trying to decide what to do. I went out for the day and thought about it. I went back and forth, feeling my heart beating in my throat.

I came back to the computer late in the afternoon. I didn't know what I was going to do. Staring at the screen, I took a deep breath and clicked "Confirm." I would just let whatever was going to happen, happen. I figured it would just be "hi, what are you up to? I have three kids. oh" and not much more, like what happens at high school reunions, and frankly, I worried that that would be a blow to my self-esteem yet again. But I had no idea what usually happened on facebook, so no idea what to expect.

Almost the very second my finger came back up from clicking "Confirm," a chat window popped up. I didn't even know there was chat in facebook! THAT GUY. Talking to me, live in a chat window. I almost threw up. I couldn't hear my kids playing right behind me, what with the beating of my heart. My fingers shook. I got all sweaty. And I remembered that it was his birthday!

We had a short chat. My exploded brain remembers it went something like:
me: "I can't believe I'm talking to you right now. Isn't it your birthday?" him: "Yep." me: "How old are you?" him: "39." him: "Your kids are cute." me: "Thanks, yours too!" him: "You look happy. Is it true?" me: "Yes, very." him: "I'm so glad to hear that." me: "This is weird." him: "Should I not have found you?" me: "I don't know yet." him: "I understand if you don't want to acknowledge me, but I have thought about you a lot." me: "I don't believe you." him: "well, it's true. I was a total mess then and I missed out on you. I'm so sorry." me: "I cannot believe this is happening right now."
And some pleasantries, and then I had to go make dinner.

And then I told The Hubby about it. He did not think it was a big deal. Why was I making a big deal about it? he wanted to know.

Because my not-a-relationship with him never had an ending! And I was not sure that I wanted it to have a postscript. Some things are better left alone, to reminisce about in our private thoughts.

The Hubby thought I was being silly. "Why don't you suggest that you two get together? Your kids can play."

"That would be WEIRD!"

"No, it's no big deal."

Well, he doesn't get it (I thought to myself).

The next day, a chat window popped up again. This time, our chat was longer, and it briefly touched upon the past.

Another day, another chat. Again and again. More delving into the past.

Then when he asked again if we should talk about exchanging phone numbers, I took a deep breath and punched my cell number into the chat window. Then I received a text message. Then I received a picture on my phone of his Wii avatar. Um, ooookay?

I told The Hubby about it. "Maybe it's weird," he said, thinking. "No, I'm sure he's just being friendly," he finished.

Saturday night I was up late after everyone went to bed, and another chat window popped up. This time, we really got into the past.

At some point, my fingers typed out the gist of my worries. "What if we see each other and find that we still have that chemistry?" I asked.

"I don't know," he said.

"I do know that the phrase "unfinished business" has never been more apt," he said.

"Yes! You get it!" I cried. Knowing that he totally understood what was weird about this was, for me, a huge relief.

Just knowing that I wasn't the only crazy one here has really calmed me down about the whole thing. It seems counterintuitive, but that's the effect it has had on me. My heart rate slowed back down; my fingers stopped shaking.

I was never sure if, back then, he had strong feelings about me or if it was all my overactive imagination. All these years, I have thought I might have been a silly 18-year-old girl about this. Finding out through these chats that it wasn't a figment of my fluttering heart actually is helping me exhale and move on to whatever this is going to be NOW.

This story is not over. We'll have to wait and see how it all unfurls.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Where did February go?

Hmmm. It's March now.

I'm not sure how that happened.

I feel like I've been buried under a huge pile of volunteer duties. I can think of three big things right off the top of my head that I've been working on during the last two weeks.

I've also been going to the gym a bit more. I've been pretty good about going to a class twice a week since early October, and during the last couple of weeks I have been extra focused on making sure I get there. I am seeing NO RESULTS. Wheee!

The kids and I went to the zoo the other day. We enjoy reading maps! (We also enjoy watching industrious little orangutans!)

This month we started letting Turbo go outside in the back yard! He is very happy with the arrangement!

I think the tooth fairy is moving in! Since January 22nd, my two girls have lost seven teeth! Seven!

In fact, they lost four during the last week of February alone, including one each last Saturday! That's right, a double-tooth-fairy-visit!

And it's not over: Middle Girl has one more loose one, and Big Girl has three loose teeth!

They are falling out left and right around here!

My poor Boy keeps pulling on his teeth and despairing "when will I lose a tooth?" I can't blame him feeling left out right now!