family

Fresh Air, Fresh Hair

Don’t underestimate the value of fresh air or fresh hair. Today I had a little of both. This weekend I had a plan for me and my mom. Normally my weekend involves toting kids to activities or getting to point a, b and c at set times. This weekend was different. No have tos. Only want tos.

First event was sunrise yoga. I got a fresh start on crisp morning with some wonderful gal pals. This step was important. I stepped outside first thing in the morning. I had clarity of the mind. I was all-around peaceful. Ready for the rest of the weekend.

Stop two was a pick up. A kidnapping of sorts. I got to grab the beautiful, one-of-a-kind mother of mine. I was taking her from her home to get some fresh air and a haircut. 12 weeks she had been cooped up thanks to Corona. The opportunity was there and I took it and her. Off we went. The haircut didn’t take long but how she enjoyed the shampoo and the cut. She felt like a million bucks. Even if you can’t go places often feeling good about yourself is important. She needed and wanted the hair cut for that sole purpose: to feel good. I felt amazing for making it a reality.

We didn’t stop there. We packed up for a mountain escape to the amazing cabin in the woods. A short drive but one that yields gorgeous views.  From icicles on the rock formations to mist on the mountains, it’s part of the experience. She doesn’t like to eat in the car but I packed her some sweet treats for the ride and it made for a perfect picnic. No crowds in a restaurant to worry about. Just yumminess to go. 

The weather was perfect. The cool mountain air was just what was needed. Fresh air. No smog. No mask filtering the air. Just fresh, crisp mountain air. Secluded. Peaceful. Surrounded by amazing views. What more could we ask for on our escape?

We baked a chicken. We made a salad fresh from the garden and it was ever so tasty. Fresh bread warmed in the oven topped off our meal on girls weekend. Off we went into the darkness to view holiday lights. First stop was the small town decorations. Then into the hidden homes that each played 20-minute light shows set to music. It was a new, fresh holiday treat for us. Windows were down, fresh air flowing, holiday music was blaring and lights were flashing. A great way to make new memories in a new place away from the crazy of life the dark shadows 2020 had cast on many.

Tomorrow is not guaranteed. I never know how much time I have with my mom. For now, I enjoyed the peacefulness of fresh air and many smiles and giggles with the woman I have adored for years.

Many I know don’t have the luxury I have of still having their mom. I share mine when I can so others can have a sliver of her wisdom, her personality, and her sweetness. Getting to your 80s is a milestone. Still moving about and experiencing new things and places is a gift. Living through a pandemic and bending and flexing to rules and lockdowns is draining. Fresh air and fresh perspective can put the fog of tomorrow in the rear view, even if it’s just temporary.

challenges, family

Throwing Shit On the Wall

Today is a whole new breed of parenting in my mind. All the pandemic rules and woes that challenges today’s kids, especially teens. The entitlement attitude that’s hard wired into today’s kids that I know I never had with my folks. It all collides!

All the things taken away. I get it but I’m not not in control of the changes nor do I have the power to fix them. I can just put my head down and mutter through the chaos.

Kids on the other hand struggle. Their brains are not fully developed. They may not have foresight. Their executive functions may be clouded at best. They can easily fall into a dark place and not be able to find their way out.

Yet they still have academic expectations. Those don’t change. Our society doesn’t bend or flex. It’s all about everyone fitting into a simple box. The boxes are fixed by society. They were made many years ago and they surely didn’t take a pandemic into account. Pandemic or no pandemic, kids today are expected to put their head down and plow through the chaos and the changes. Can they handle this daunting task? Maybe the vast majority can but some just can’t.

What about those who love people and crowds? Those who are ignited by passions of others? Those who are hungry for engagement with others socially? Those who are stimulated through observations. A very creative style person who is high energy, high output? Do they get lost in the shuffle academically? I am living through this currently. It’s a hot mess to say the least. I’m not a bad parent nor is my kid bad. We are just dealing with the ramifications of life and the upside down world of today. Will we get back to normal? Is there even a normal anymore?

I’ve tried the reset button. I’ve tried the take away loved items. I’ve tried restrictions. All fall on deaf ears and limited action. The real world is a tough place. Adulting is around the corner. How will they understand the grass isn’t greener on the other side of the street?
Parenting has no manual. Life has no manual. I’m running out of gas In The emotional tank trying to keep things going.

Today life’s lesson is life sucks. You move on to tomorrow even if the same problem is right there again and again.  Off to find solutions for my many problems. I must be consistent and persistent to win the teen war. Here’s to throwing shit on the wall to see what sticks! I hope you enjoyed the fuckery of this post because it’s truly representative of my fucked up day and the people around me. Here’s to wishing 2020 goodbye. No wonder why their is a toilet paper shortage…shitstorms are everywhere.

family

Take the Detour

I had a weekend getaway on the books. About a 4.5 hour drive. Not super excited about it but the dynamic duo was on the move. In the car. Gassed and ready to go go go.

The departure time wasn’t set in stone but time was on our side. No rush rush rush. We had a cushion built into our drive. How would we use our time? What would we do when we arrive?

There was a stop for gas. A stop for a coffee. Then there was a spontaneous adventure. A detour that took longer than the drive itself.

A quick chat at the coffee window led to a sweet downtown spot with some unique shops to browse. We may have been masked indoors but outdoors we could enjoy the fall weather and stroll in the quaint city.  We walked. We talked. We browsed. We never bought anything, but we looked at many things. We smelled the crisp fall air. We went in stores with so much flair. We people watched. I’m sure we were watched.

 As the evening arrived, We smelled all the scents of restaurants prepping for dinner. We explored a new city. A small city tucked away off the highway path. It was just what we needed.  We smiled. We giggled. We enjoyed our time. We snapped a few pictures. It was fun. Oh how fun spontaneous turns can be.

We can all get bogged down from time to time. Find a way to step away and enjoy what’s around you. Take the unplanned path. Visit a friend you haven’t seen in a while. Take the scenic route to your final destination. 

The hotel was still there when we arrived. We didn’t miss a beat but it seems we missed a lot of traffic. Roadway construction it seems. Our unplanned detour saved us some time while yielding many memories. 

Thank you coffee guy. You added some extra sunshine to my travels unexpectedly. 

coaching, family

Vroom Vroom

The engine has started. The permit is in hand. She checks the mirror to make sure she looks cute. Yup, that’s a correct statement. Here we go. The car is in motion with a teen operating the vehicle!

Month one is here. We make it to the highway. We hit the country roads. We yielded in many scenarios. We drove in the dark. We even drove in the rain. We got gas and she pumped. Big deal for her. We passed a cop which made her super nervous.

My favorite trip was to Chick-fil-A. She wanted to maneuver the drive thru, place her order herself, pay and make sure she could get to the window to get the food. That ending part wasn’t so pretty but the long arm reach was fun to watch. She was sad however when she realized she couldn’t eat the hot food while driving.

So many firsts for her. So many stressful situations for me. We are working on it together. We have time to focus without distractions. It’s been a good first month. Well I should say most of the month was good. A few disagreements on what is left and what is right. I figured that was a prerequisite for the permit but I might have assumed too much. I guess when under pressure you might hear go right and go left?

I’ve decided to document this roller coaster ride with her because it’s time I won’t get back. It’s a memory I won’t be able to recreate. It’s a time to build her up and coach her on something that will give her independence, achievement and a right of passage. She is my youngest child. My last time to make an impact on roadway safety.

From the copilot seat, I survived some more miles of behind the wheel training. I’m learning new ways to cope with stress, anxiety and fear. All of which I don’t normally have to deal with unless I’m buckling that seatbelt to go for a ride with permit girl.

Until next time. Drive safely. Be patient if you see a slow driver. They could be learning to drive.

family, Teddie Aspen

Dog Lessons

It wasn’t long ago I was digging through boxes leftover from my childhood home. I ran across an American Kennel Club certificate. Maximillian was his name.

I had heard his name many times in my life, often with a sneer from one of my brothers. They loved their dog, and I was the reason we got rid of him. Maximillian, the prized pooch, couldn’t stop knocking me over as a newly walking toddler. So, he had to go.

All this to say, I didn’t grow up with dogs. I had a cat named Snoopy I treasured but was allergic to (a story for another post), but never a dog. I just didn’t get dogs. Never wanted one. And who knows, maybe I was even a little scared of them from all my hard knocks as a babe.

As an adult, when my family wanted to get a dog, I resisted. We even had a dog live with us for a while that didn’t really work out. We ended up taking him to a new home where he could have the room and attention he needed.

Then Penny came along. My sister-in-law became her unexpectedly permanent foster mom. She needed a place to live and a family to love her. Would we be interested? I didn’t really want this at all. We could take her for a 2-week trial to see if we could handle it.

And she never left. We live together but I wouldn’t say she loves me. Still, my heart softened seeing how much everyone else loved her. She changed our family.

And then came the dog that I really did love. Chester. The unlikely, homely, wiry guy from the pound. The underdog. I didn’t even know why we would ever need 2 dogs. I was just getting used to 1! Then Chester who got scared by sudden movements and noises, Chester who always backed out of the room…Chester came along. He was very shy at first but eventually came around and became sweet, playful Chester. He loves to run and bound through the woods, and his sad eyes will pull at your heart strings every time. Chester changed my heart about dogs.

Now there’s the newest member of the clan named Nash, who I’ve taken a liking to. I even embrace my extended family and friend’s dogs. Heck, I even get to walk dogs and dog sit once in a while. Truthfully, I still don’t know how to act around dogs, and they can tell. It doesn’t come naturally for me and maybe never will. Thankfully, I’ve learned that many dogs are pretty forgiving if you at least try. They teach me about protection, loyalty, priorities and unconditional love. They seem to bring out the best in people just by being there and present in the moment. That bowls me over in the best of ways.