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When Your Best Isn’t Good Enough

IMG_6406I wasn’t going to write tonight.

What I wanted to do was to turn out the lights, curl up in a ball and shut out the world.

What I really wanted to do was to turn out the lights, curl up in a ball with my sweetheart, and shut out the world, possibly hearing those magic, fairytale words, “It’s ok”.

I don’t have a sweetheart to curl up with, and I can’t sleep. Right now, it’s not ok.

You see, today, despite always trying to be kind, loving and the world’s greatest promoter of open communication, I was hurt by two people very dear to me.

Call it what you will; lying, omission, whatever.

Being played for a fool, and not being trusted with emotional content is the emotional equivalent to tunneling through my heart with a grapefruit spoon. It’s messy, and it hurts like hell.

When someone  isn’t honest with me, I figure it’s for one of two very basic reasons; They’re afraid of being judged, or they’re an asshole.

Very few people I care about would fall into the latter category. So that makes me think that it’s something that I’ve done wrong. I must make them feel like I’m critical…They must think I’m stupid…They must be ashamed and are afraid to tell me…I’m a terrible person who makes people feel like they can’t talk to me….

And so it goes. I beat myself up and feel like my best just isn’t good enough. I feel like I’ve failed the people whom I care the most about.

Guilt, sadness and feeling inadequate; The trifecta of feeling like crap. There is never any rejoicing in being lied to or taken for a fool.

I practice what I preach when it comes to matters of the heart. I leave it all out there every day. I don’t miss an opportunity to let someone know I’m thinking of them, and I always, always, always tell them I love them.

Life is, by the way, a matter of the heart. Just in case you forgot what being a human being is all about and have mistaken it for a game of who can acquire the most stuff, the quality of your character matters, not the quality of your clothing.

I know that being able to open yourself to love is the cost of being loved. In other words, if you put it all out there, like I do, it’s a risk. But it’s a great risk. If you don’t allow yourself to be seen (in the spiritual sense), you don’t allow yourself to be loved, nurtured, or to grow in the warm light of relationship.

As my humble roots might mutter, “If you half-ass it, you’ll get half-assed results”.

For wearing my heart on my sleeve, I’ve had it beaten up, mocked and treated like hell.  It’s a tough old heart, but it’s just as tender on the inside as it was when I was a school girl with the school girl crush, and that’s the way I plan on keeping it.

After all, if you don’t put it out there, the right people will never be able to capture and care for it.

When your best isn’t good enough, it’s ok to be sad, to cry, to feel alone, and to dig your heels in and battle on in the name of all that you believe to be good and true.

 

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Not-So-Little-League; an Adult Obsession

thesearekidsToday was not a good day in the land of mom, or local little league for that matter.

For years I have been grateful to the coaches and volunteers who have come together to help kids in our city play sports. I’ve been a hockey mom, a soccer mom, a baseball mom, a football mom, a curling mom, a basketball mom, and a happy mom.

I have also been an annoyed mom.

Annoyed when adults with something to prove take the fun out of the sport for kids. I’ve seen parents yell at their kids, other people’s kids, and act like barbaric fools over kids’ sports.

Most of the time I wear my trademark grin, and waddle away silent, with a happy kiddo. But not today. Today I lost my ever-present-cool, and let someone have it. The only thing I regret is that every single parent who has ever interfered in their child’s sports like a whiny six-year-old didn’t get the full lecture.

Let me lay out some basic rules for you over-enthusiastic-never-made-the-team-I-live-vicariously-through-my-own-child goombas;

1) It’s a game. Play by the rules and honour sportsmanship above all else.

2) It’s a game. Cheer for the great stuff going on at the rink, on the field, on the court. Don’t shame a kid because they aren’t a professional athlete.

3) It’s a game. Your ego means nothing. How the kids come off the field/ice/court/whatever is all that matters. Are they smiling? Do they make everyone on the team feel valued? If you can answer yes to both of these questions nothing else matters.

4) It’s a game. DO NOT use the words, ‘sign’,  ‘draft’, or ‘release’ when you’re talking about kids and sports. If you find yourself using these words and taking yourself seriously, clearly you need to march your chubby-has-been-buns off to an old-timers team and get busy. You are not helping the kids, you are pathetic.

5) It’s a game. Thank your coaches. It’s a huge commitment, and a good coach is a blessing.  Goodness knows that I haven’t a clue about how to be a good coach. I just know that my child has been blessed with some amazing ones.

6) It’s a game. Don’t play politics with minor sports. Kids need this now more than ever. If you want to play politics, start reading and paying attention to our career-quasi-Hollywood politicians already in office. That’s a sport for adults.

7) It’s a game. It’s not all about winning or losing (although winning is indeed pretty darn sweet). It’s about commitment, integrity, and getting better than you were the day before.

8) It’s a game. Have fun with each other. Enjoy the time you get to spend with other parents who want the best for their children. Revert to your childhood, and enjoy being out and active with your community.

After a week of over-the-top bullying by adults trying to run little league like it’s the MLB, I thought that sharing some of my tips might be helpful, inspiring, or even just reassuring to other parents.

It’s about fun, learning and not about making it such an over-the-top-ego-circus that you tick off the momma. ‘Cause when the momma gets angry, ain’t nobody having fun.

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For Our Kiddos on Mother’s Day

mammaMother’s day, next to Valentine’s Day is a quintessential ‘Hallmark Holiday’. After all, great mothers are celebrated every day through the wonderful relationships which they cultivate with their children.

Whether you are a biological, surrogate, adoptive, or fur-baby Mama, you wake up every day, and do your best to make another  being feel confident, capable, loved and secure.

As a mother, I often reflect upon what being a mother has meant to me. All of a sudden, my baby has turned into a handsome, capable, thoughtful 6’3″ (and growing) young man with his own perspective and life.

I do believe that had it not been for motherhood, I would have been found dead in ditch somewhere by now, with fabulous stilettos, a designer bag, and a great tan.  Ah yes…becoming a mother certainly sets a girl’s priorities straight!

Motherhood is a journey of a lifetime, often only realized and experienced in retrospect. In present moments, we are bustling to cook a meal, do homework, get to practice on time and make sure everyone has what they need for the day.

…and then they grow up. Just a little bit. A little more independent. A little more sure of what their preferences are. A little bit more their own person.

You notice when you give them a kiss good night, or when they walk in the door after having been away for a few days. Your baby isn’t a baby, or even a child any more. They have, in those rushed moments, turned into a young woman or a young man, and they are their own person.

Sometimes, even when life happens right in front of us, it’s only through recollection and nostalgia that we piece together how those tiny babies we gave life to have become the wonderful, awesome people that they are at this moment.

From all of us moms out there to all of our kiddos –  Thank you for the most amazing times of our life.  We love you.

….did your take your jacket?….do you have enough money?….call me if you need a ride, even if it’s at 3am…

 

 

 

 

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Getting Mr.WantYouNeedYouGottaHaveYou & My Priorities Straight

Oneroom bathroom
Oneroom bathroom (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Once upon a time there was a man. A very handsome, powerful, kinky man. And I wanted him. All the time. Even when I didn’t feel  like moving or eating or breathing, the thought of him made my body feel like it was on fire. In a good sort of way, not like I’d caught some weird V.D. It was more like I was on a long, slow burn from the inside out, and his body was the only thing hot enough not to burn inside of it.

Everything about him turned me on. He was the only man I had ever met, EVER, who made me feel like a tongue-tied, fumbling little girl. Exhausted, and at my wit’s end, I would make time for him, steal moments to call, to email, to get my bikini line waxed and read up on foot fetishes, being submissive, and other wonders that took me away from single-parenthood and my work.

I didn’t see him often. Being unavailable was part of the charm that had me spellbound. He was a wizard of titillating anticipation always leaving me wanting more.

My  friends, I am going to tell you a story of how disastrous a hunger like this can be for a mysterious, powerful, man. It’s not nearly as dangerous for a mother, because us moms have our priorities straight.

Way back when, I had turned the tables on my Mr.Want-You-Need-You-Gotta-Have-You, and had become somewhat aloof and unavailable. Truth be told, I was beginning to realize that no, I would not change this power-hungry man. Instead, I would just keep getting more and more hurt by his lavish love-making, and cruel absences.

My aversion made him even more determined to have me fall head over heels for me. In his quest for being craved, he made plans with me for a Saturday evening. Curious to know what his motives were, and hankering for a thorough and proper….evening, I arranged to get a sitter, and have him over for a few hours. I never arranged for a sitter. But this, him, the thought of being lost in his wild fantasies for a couple of hours was too much to resist.

The day before he was supposed to come over, I came down with a wicked cold-fever and all.  I called to let him know that I was not well, and that I didn’t think seeing one another would be a good idea.  To my utter surprise, he said, “ Let me come over and take care of you.”

What? Was this really happening? Was this finally turning into something special? Was my Mr. Want-You-Need-You-Gotta-Have-You turning into Mr.I-Can’-Live-Without-You? Wow. Another shining example of why, at any moment, a single-gal’s bikini line should be immaculately groomed.

After I got my kiddy packed up for a few hours with his great auntie, I came back home. My kiddy was psyched for a few hours of play time, and for the very first time since I’d met Mr. Want-You-Need-You-Gotta-Have-You, I was excited in a relaxed way to see the number one guy on my man-list.

I slipped into some jeans and a cozy sweater. It was a far cry from the high heels, garters, and wicked lingerie that usually made it’s way to his fingertips. He was coming over to take care of me after all, and it was time, so it seemed, to let my guard down and be taken care of.

He called on his way, and asked what he could bring me. Not knowing the first thing about being taken care of, I said that I didn’t’ need anything. He arrived at my door with my favourite tea latte, and a stack of magazines and books that he bought, hoping that I might like some of them. A girl could get used to this.

With my stuffy nose, and jitters from my feverish chills, we snuggled up together on my duvet, and set about the business of cuddling, reading, and tea-sipping. This was the tenderness that I imagined couples indulged in nightly. I have such a good imagination don’t I ladies?

After a few minutes into the snuggling, he softly  kiss my parched lips, taking my chin in his large, strong hands. Surely to God this must be love, I thought, hoping that he wouldn’t take too long, because I couldn’t  breathe out of my nose.  I was snotty, and fevered, and he was kissing me! Yay! Triumph!

During round two of the tender, I-need-to-kiss-my-sweet-baby-girl-to-make-her-feel-better,  the phone rang. Now, any mother knows that when your kid is away, you jump at the sound of the phone ringing.

Who else could it be? All of my friends knew what was happening at my place, and wouldn’t dare call and interrupt.They would be far too busy crossing their fingers, chanting ancient incantations, and praying I didn’t say anything stupid and ruin it.

Nope the phone ringing could only mean one thing. My baby needed me.

I picked up the phone, “What’s wrong?” I panicked as I heard my son’s crying in the background.

“Something is wrong with the kiddy, he’s burning up.” I could hear the panic in my aunt’s  voice.

“I’ll be right there. Put a cold cloth on his head and make sure he’s not covered up.”

In an instant I turned from women-to-be-delicately-cared-for to scorpio-mom-on-a-mission. “Get up and get in the car!” I yelled at Mr.Childless-What-The-Hell-Just-Happened.

“I’ll just go home and let you do what you need to do,” he said, getting up and heading for the door.

“Get in the god-damned car. I might need to hold him and you need to drive.”

He knew by the sound of my voice that there wasn’t a choice. I would tear his testicles off with one swipe if he disobeyed. Within a moment we were in my car, and racing down the city street to get to the most important guy in the world.

Mr.Childless-What-The-Hell-Just-Happened  was tall. Very tall. Like over 6’4” tall. In his shock, and hurry not to lose his life to my mother-rage, he had stuffed himself in the front passenger’s side of the car, and hadn’t thought to move the seat back. With his knees touching  his ears, he looked like someone had abducted him at gunpoint. This was not the evening of manly caring for his little woman that we’d agreed to.

At my auntie’s home, I ran in, scooped up my kiddy and fastened him, his snotty nose, and screaming, fevered self into the car seat, and made a bee-line home.

At home, I stripped him down to nothing. “Ah, is there anything I can help you with, or should I just go now?” my servile sexy man asked nervously, still in his shoes at the front door.

His tone was obviously pleading, and although I knew he was out of his depth, I looked at him disgustedly, thinking, “You testicle-deficient coward. Of course I need you! I’ve got a sick, screaming kid and you’re just standing there like a dork.”

“Run a cool bath,” I said, as I took my baby’s temperature. 103.5. He needed a dose of acetaminophen and cool bath to bring this temp down.  My wee little kiddy walked to the bathroom, shivering from the cold he felt from being so fevered. His crying had subsided with some cuddles, knowing that mommy was going to take care of him.

Mr. I-Will-Never-Ever-Date-A-Woman-With-Children was so keyed up, that when he tried to turn the water on in the tub, he pulled the cold water off. OFF. Like, totally off the wall.

When I walked in the bathroom, my sexy man was standing there with the cold water knob in his hand, and my wonderful kiddy in his fevered state was taking a wiz on Mr.Wonderful’s designer pant leg.

This night had turned into more entertainment than I had bargained for.

“I think you should just go home,” I said, taking the knob from my man’s  hand and screwing it back into place.  I didn’t follow him out, instead I helped my wee little kiddy into the tub, and washed his little body down until I could feel that he was cooler to the touch.  I didn’t’ even hear the door shut.

I dried my kiddy off, got him in some light jammies, and tucked him in beside me, moving the swath of books and magazines that my Mr. Want-You-Need-You-Gotta-Have-You had brought for me to make me feel better.

With my little bruiser snoring quietly in my arms, two tea cups sat cold on the night table. Although I knew that the chance for the night we had planned would never happen again,  looking down at my child, I could have cared less. Dozing off with my babe in arms, I giggled out loud at the sight of my little one peeing on that man’s legs.  And the world was good.