Sunday, September 30, 2012
So, I took off my glasses and went to school. Since I was, in effect, blind without them and unable to distinguish the faces I passed in the hall, I cheerfully greeted everyone. I was no longer a shy girl. Instead, I was a girl who didn’t know a stranger -- literally.
That shy girl still lives inside of me, however. My natural inclination is to avoid things that make me fearful, and people are high on that list. I still have the same fear of rejection or sounding stupid. I fear it right now as I write this column, but I’ve done it anyway.
I read a quote recently by a hero of mine and most girls from the 1980s, Michael J. Fox. He said, “What other people think of me is not my business.”
When I’m expressing my opinion or, sometimes, even dressing for the day, I repeat this. And it helps.
As the years went on, I’ve continued to “fake it until I made it.” My first writing job is a good case in point. I went to the local business expo to allow the kids to sample some candy and pick up a few freebies.
“Why don’t you get a job while you’re there?” my husband teased.
“I believe I will,” I retorted, not amused.
As fate would have it, an editor for a regional magazine was there. My son, who is not shy, began chatting with her, and I suppressed my shy inner self and asked, “Do you need any local writers? I have an English degree.”
“Sure!” she said, and pressed her card into my hand. Days later she called and arranged to meet me.
“Oh, and bring your clips,” she said.
I assured her I would, hung up the phone and immediately googled clips. In case you are wondering, they are writing samples, and I didn’t have any. So, determined to be able to tell my husband that I had, indeed, gotten a job, I searched through our hot attic until I found my old college term papers.
Sunday, September 23, 2012
(Just teasing – sort of.)
I understood where she was coming from. It’s a fine line between being an overprotective, hypochondriac mom who rushes one’s child to the doctor for a nosebleed or a handful of splinters to the mom who brings her kid in for his well visit only to discover that he has dual ear infections and a bad case of bronchitis.
I have been (and done) both.
When my first child was born, pre-Internet, I used my well-worn copy of “Your Child’s Health” to attempt to diagnose what was going on with her. The online photos may gross me out now, but I can tell you rashes were particularly difficult to interpret based on descriptions alone back then.
My older daughter was somewhere between the age of 4 and 6 when I took her to see a local longtime pediatrician.
“I keep calling her name and telling her to do things, but she doesn’t acknowledge me,” I said. “I think there is something wrong with her ears!”
A sly grin crossed the doctor's face, but he went ahead and performed a hearing test. To my surprise, it was perfectly normal.
That’s when it dawned on me -- something the doctor had already determined but was respectful enough not to dismiss. She wasn’t hard of hearing. She was just ignoring me.
That same doctor had been there earlier when I brought my daughter in for the first time at the age of 15 months. She had what I thought was a tear duct infection since she was 3 months old. I went to various doctors and tried all types of prescription drops and answered endless questions from strangers such as “Why are her eyes watering? Has she been crying?”
It turns out her tear ducts were clogged, and she, my baby, my first baby, needed surgery. Who knew? Thankfully, the doctor did.
I’d like to think now that I’m on my third child, I have a better idea of what requires a doctor’s visit, and maybe I do.
I once brought my son in and told the nurse, “He doesn’t have a fever. He’s not complaining, but every once in a while, he coughs.”
Sunday, September 16, 2012
“Mom, did I tell you that the tea you made is very good?”
That was better than expected. In the South, praising one’s sweet tea is the ultimate compliment.
“Now can you sign my book,” she said.
Giveth and taketh away, I thought, as I signed my name in the “Paying compliments” column.
She was still gathering signatures as I drove her and her friends to Cotillion.
“Be sure to watch me proper rise when I get out the car,” she said, “so you can sign off on it.”
I smiled to myself. We drive an Expedition. I couldn’t wait to see her proper rise out of that.
“I forgot my gloves,” said one of the girls hurrying back into the house to get them.
“Good thing you found them,” my daughter said. “I took mine off last time because they were bothering me, and I had to hold a boy’s hand, and it was sweaty.”
“You mean you touched a boy’s hand without a glove?!” asked her friend.
“Yes, ewww, it was gross,” she said.
At this point, I broke the chauffeur’s code and acknowledged I was listening to their conversation.
“Well, I hope you didn’t say anything,” I said, feeling sorry for the poor nervous fellow.
“No, but I made a facial expression to let him know!”
“I hope we don’t have to close dance,” said another friend.
Again, I, being a mom, could not resist.
“Why, because of the sweat?”
“Mom, you know why - Awkward!”
After a few giggles, the girls debated what kind of punch is served and whether or not they would try any tonight. Soon, we reached our destination.
“Have fun, wear your gloves, and don’t forget to proper rise on the way out,” I said, amidst their laughter.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
How the award works:
•If you are nominated, you’ve been awarded the Versatile Blogger award.
•Thank the blogger who nominated you and include a link to their site.
•Copy and paste the award to your blog.
•Share seven random facts about yourself.
•Nominate 15 bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly and include a link to their site.
•Let the other bloggers know that you have nominated them.
So, without further ado, I give you my nominations. Each of them brings something unique and refreshing to the blogosphere. All of them have written at least one thing that has made me laugh, cry and/or think. Some I have just discovered, and others I’ve been following for years. I apologize for those I've inadvertantly left off. Hope you enjoy.
Mamas Against Drama
Writing as Jo(e)
Swimming in the Trees
Momalog - Good enough parenting, one day at a time
I miss you when I blink
Sisterhood of the sensible moms
Life your way!
Tea with friends
Oh boy mom
The good foot
Happy little feet
The Martha Project
Sunday, September 9, 2012
Now that I’m of a certain age, I agree. It is weird. But, unlike my dad, I’ve noticed a few telltale signs that have given me just a hint that I might be older than I feel. Below is a compilation of a few I’ve noticed and/or observed:
You covet your neighbors’ refrigerator, specifically the stainless steel with the freezer on bottom.
You get excited because you got a text, and you see that it’s from your pharmacy telling you that your prescription is ready. And then you get even more excited.
You’re still waiting on leg warmers to come back in style. Please come back in style.
You have to explain what your slang expressions mean to your kids.
You look forward to your doctor’s appointment.
You begin sentences with “back in 1983 ...”
You occasionally say “car phone” instead of “cell phone.”
You’ve been known to listen for a dial tone on said cell phone.
The interns at work are younger than your daughter.
You stop asking if your outfit makes your butt look big because (a) you know it does, and (b) you don’t care.
When you wake up in the morning, you are truly glad to be alive.
You forget and refer to your deceased loved ones in the present tense.
When you tell people at your high school reunion that you are glad to see them, you mean it.
Your hair dresser is your best friend.
You have socks older than your children.
You pray the kids don’t put you on “What not to wear” because you don’t want to give up your favorite gray sweatshirt with paint on it.
You know how many calories and grams of fat are in 12 almonds.
You have learned to forgive people, including yourself.
You know your limitations, yet it doesn’t stop you.
You value good toilet paper.
You start caring about the weather.
You write thank you notes -- and mail them.
You miss your grandmother’s cooking.
You’ll pay an ungodly amount of money for two ounces of wrinkle cream.
You won’t pay more than $2.50 for a head of lettuce.
You would seriously consider killing for good homemade fudge.
Your kids are taller than you, which they think makes them smarter.
You know they never will be because you are older, and if you’re living right, wiser.