I Couldn’t Stand Being Left Out

I mentioned last week that I didn’t believe I had substantively much to offer here these days.  I’m saving my blogself for “The Road Trip” which is to commence in T-minus three days.  After rerouting no fewer than fifty-three times, at last our hotels are booked, activities planned and purchased where that could be done prior to arrival, and Caleb the Wonderdog has visited his day care provider, AKA my husband’s brother and his family, to acclimate.  *pleasedon’twreckalltheirshitpleasedon’twreckalltheirshitpleasedon’twreckalltheirshit* 

I’m 82.4% certain that this adventure is going to be pretty cool, and only 17.6% (but often it feels exactly like 100%) that my failure will go down in the annals of family history as epic.

I’ve dubbed 2017’s summer The Summer of Appointments.  I cannot recall two consecutive days where I haven’t trotted one or both children to a symphony of piano lessons, a dentist, orthodontist, orthopedic surgeon, pediatrician, emergency room, physical therapist, imaging department, or sports medicine specialist appointment.  And that doesn’t even include baseball practice or games, and my children do NOT maintain freakishly overscheduled lives.  Despite having been fitted for an orthodontic retainer of my very own at MY AGE, I must have been feeling neglected, left out.  I wanted my very own orthopedic injury.  Kid #1 has a broken collarbone and Kid #2 has that separation in his bone growth plate, but what about me??  I want to be like the cool kids.  Daddy, I want an Oompa Loompa, I want an Oompa Loompa right now!

Somehow I’ve destroyed my rotator cuff.

And yeah, I say “somehow” because I have not the slightest inkling how the injury occurred, aside from just being old(er).  Naturally I blame the dog for having pulled fiercely when I walked him, because he’s a total jerk on his purple leash, and only walks decently, OK, really, like a canine prince on his Weiss Walkie leash.  His misbehavior is the most likely culprit, legit.  In the runner-up spot for destroying my shoulder is yoga, but I do not believe that my centering has taken me this far off-center.  I don’t.  I don’t know how I wake up one day having lost the capacity to move, but who am I to argue with nature?  It hurts.  Like makes-me-cry hurts when I engage in certain angles of movement.  Getting old and overuse is Bachelor #3 for etiology, but I just don’t wanna go there. Crap. 

A short list of things rendered excruciating by a wrecked rotator cuff:

  1. Sleeping.  Holy shit you guys, what I wouldn’t do to sleep on my side or belly.  Or not wake up yelping in pain.
  2. Walking the Wonderdog, although with the Weiss Walkie leash, it’s mostly OK.  I feel like the Weiss people should flip me a couple bucks for my endorsement here.  Right?
  3. Putting on or removing a bra.  I have preparatory tears as I consider retiring to bed tonight.
  4. Sitting erect.
  5. Typing on my laptop.  I hate this computer, but until this week it hasn’t inflicted physical pain, just emotional.
  6. Hold the phone.  This is not figurative language.  It hurts to hold my cell phone in my hand at the position and angle needed to you know, see it.
  7. Washing my hair (and washing the floor, but let’s not fool around here–I’m no more likely to wash the floor now than I was before).  Most hygiene tasks are complicated–shaving my underarms or applying deodorant leap to mind–and if you think that’s too much information, clearly you are new here.  Welcome. How are ya?
  8. Cutting food with a knife and stirring.  Also, cutting pizza hurts like hell.
  9. Eating.  But I like to eat, so I suck it up.
  10. Pretty much extending my arm more than about 40 degrees in any direction, crossing midline, raising my arm, and moving my neck to the left.  Super for driving. And being.

I’m a quirky kind of ambidextrous.  I consider myself a lefty because I write and eat with my left hand; I also bat and play tennis left-handed.  But I throw with my right hand, cut food with my right when I eat (but when I prepare food, the chef’s knife is in my left), and I use a right-handed scissors.  What I do with one hand I absolutely cannot do with the other though. Drat my quirky.  It’s my left shoulder that’s jacked up, so my body is so confused.  And so, so tired.  I’d donate my spleen to sleep longer than three connected hours. Do you even need a spleen?  Like a lot?

Boo-hoo, Wendy, put on a brave face, load up with ibuprofen, and keep moving.  I am.  Like my firstborn, I am badass with pain.  At my husband’s insistence however, I made an appointment with my general practitioner yesterday.  I say my husband made me, but when I am willing to go see a medical professional for myself, you know I’m one step from the grave.  I don’t go to the doctor unless it’s categorically necessary.  Quirky one, right here.  But I went, was sent for x-rays, and referred to an orthopedic/sports med doc of my very own.  My appointment with the orthopedist?  September 14.  I’ll be paralyzed or have descended into madness from lack of sleep by then, so I’m gonna have to trust WebMD for all my physical therapy needs.  (Also, I’m gonna totally possibly hijack my son’s PT appointment this morning and inundate my ballplayer’s therapist with “hypotheticals” about rotator cuff injuries which are totally in line with pitcher’s rehabs, so my questions won’t sound completely out of left field. It’ll be our little secret though, OK?)

After a star-studded June and July, the Explanation of Benefits statements from our health insurance carrier have begun to roll in, and give it up for Wendy! I only snot-cried like once.  I don’t get paid again until mid-September, such is the life of a public educator, so I’m not all summer eager-beavery about all the checks I am going to have to write.  The Summer of Appointments price tag will run upwards of $4,000 out of pocket.  Maybe that’s not a king’s ransom for you, in which case, you’re quite fortunate.  It’s not going to bankrupt us, but I can’t say it doesn’t sting.  Oh, and I have “good” insurance.

As I checked into my imaging appointment yesterday, the receptionist informed me that they required a $50 co-pay prior to my admittance, and the facade cracked.  The guy next to me was yelling at the woman checking him in about not broadcasting his address (you know how they ask you questions just specific enough to confirm you’re who you purport to be? “And Mrs. Weir, you still live on South Sesame Street?” or “Your phone number ends in 7777?”), and I needed a moment.  Just a quick moment to collect myself.  My eyes prickled from pain, but also from that feeling of “Stop it, weird over-reacty guy! I just want to get out of here, stop yelling at her!” I stared intently into my purse, searching for please-don’t-cry-right-this-second.  Found it!

I’m down, but not out. Never out. I’m the mom, ain’t no time for pain. I got some great mail this week, and mail you can touch and hold from a friend who always seems to know just what you need never fails to buoy my spirits. And my shoulder. 

In my mind, my two sons and I are lined up á la those see/hear/speak no evil monkeys, except we’re bandaged, casted, and splinted. I’m the short, hunched over one in the center.  A modern day visage of Larry, Moe, and Curly, us three. 

What Kind of Grinch Do You Think I Am?

Visions of blogging sugarplums were dancing in my head, I swear!  Sweet dreams of authoring some magical piece about the warmth of chestnuts roasting on an open fire, or the spirit of jolly ol’ Saint Nick were had.  There are so many who do it so much better than I dare dream, so I am going to leave Christmas tale-telling to the masters.  I’m no Dickens.

I am however, acquainted with a talented bunch of writers from whom I will steal.  And by steal, I mean share selected works with you.  Because Christmas is about giving, y’all, not stealing.  Geez, what kind of Grinch do you think I am anyway?  What follows is a  short compendium of blog posts that, for various though not necessarily linear, logical reasons to you, struck a nerve with me this past year.  Consider this my gift to  you:  I am going to shut the heck up in deference to these people whose tales beg to be read.  Merry Christmas.

Ghosts of October made me miss my best friend acutely.   Like @seanpcarlin, its author, my best friend Deb is a transplant from a four-season climate to southern California.  Sean captures the crisp of autumn in a way you can smell and feel the chill in your very bones.  Sean is an author–a for reals writer–and all-around good guy.  My best friend is a librarian, and reading his post made me feel like they’d met for coffee in an alternate universe.

Doug Warren is a blogger I met last winter in one of WordPress’s Blogging U courses.  He’s a musicologist of sorts, and has been turning out Spotify playlists and recommendations I love.  Though having a full time job significantly cuts into my listening time (stupid reality of paying bills and stuff!), I do enjoy the playlists he pulls together.  Please enjoy this classic Christmas collection. Your ears will thank you.

I was recently introduced to the term inspiration porn.  You’re flooded with quotes and memes and life hacks if you visit social media in any capacity.  Jackie’s blog used to be titled Diary of an Inspiration Junkie, but as she has morphed, so has her blog. I never understood how inspiration as a package, so to speak, can backfire on a person, on us all, and Jackie illustrated that for me.  Read her insightful and forward-leaning response to it here.

You know that I celebrate a “concentrated hobby” with a certain Canadian musical foursome.  I know what you say about me–I mean I’m right here in the room with you when you say stuff, people, so I can hear you!  I have Barenaked Ladies; my friend Jennifer has Hamilton.  Neither of us is alone in our, ahem, focus, and both of us freely admit to inching one pinky toe over the line when it comes to the musical loves of our lives.  #ATL2Lin_Manuel was her hashtag and rallying cry, and by the powers of the Great White Way, Jennifer and her daughter got to to see Hamilton’s original Broadway cast in one of its final performances last July.  There were tears shed and cheers heard from NYC to ATL to MKE.   Read about Jennifah’s road trip of a lifetime, complete with Broadway-style show stopping finale here.

And because I am who I am, here’s BNL’s Elf’s Lament.  It’s the best lyrical holiday ditty of all time.

The psychology minor in me loves The Psy of Life blog by @calicojack always, and even a little more for this one: His post was written after he read something I wrote. It’s an indescribable compliment and a recognition I’ll never forget.  I had written about my Facebook life, observing how some people overshare on social media.   Yikes! The stuff people broadcast when they’re down and seeking comfort (attention?) is something to write about. Read what I wrote here if you wanna.   Jack explains the psychological and biochemical processes underlying human behavior, plus he uses genteel and sophisticated phrases like “blog whoring” and “shit show,” so I’m pretty sure we’d be best friends in the real world.

I’d previously taken this and run with it, but if you didn’t read it when I recommended it before, do read it now.  It’s a gift that looks AMAZING on you and totally doesn’t make your ass look fat.  Wil Wheaton, yes, that Wil Wheaton, writes so well. Read his post.  Follow this advice.  This is the moment.  Do it.

This IS the moment–Merry Christmas, friends.  Thank you for being here with me.  You, my dear readers, my individual and collective therapists you, thank you.  You’re a gift I treasure each day.  Your readership, your feedback means the world to me.  Space here allows to me to call out but a handful of blogs today, but there are so many voices worth hearing, so many stories that demand telling.  Keep writing, keep reading. Do more of what makes you happy, and keep being kind to one another.

I love receiving gifts of all stripes (red and white wines equally appreciated), but so far, this is my favorite physical gift of this holiday season.  Who knew a decorative little tin box was specially crafted with me in mind?  Profanity DOES make talking fun!  I’m totally putting that on a tee shirt.

 

 

 

Complicated

Note to readers:  If you’re a male, you might, maybe, possibly, potentially be just a hair, say a teensy smidgen offended at the gross generalizations I am about to lay down.  They’re gross generalizations and super-stereotypes. 

If you recognize shades of your own behavior in any one of the following items though. . . well, stop it!  Or do it! 

(Also, with the addition of a male canine at Chez Weir, I am feeling outnumbered.  I can barely breathe here because Caleb [yes, the kids have chosen to stick with Caleb] rarely, if ever, extracts his head from my rear end.  I fully and openly acknowledge that I can be a most magnificent pain in the ass to the Y-chromosome carriers I share my life with.  I’m anxious, I talk a lot, I can adopt one mother of a sarcastic tone, and these are just a few highlights.  I know I am not above reproach.)

Unless I am at a restaurant or fast-food joint, I rarely add ice to my beverages.  It’s not that I’m not pro-frosty beverage, it’s more that mostly I drink stuff directly out of the fridge, and it’s already sufficiently cooled.  After dinner tonight, I was dying for a Coke Zero.  (You’re so welcome, Coca-Cola, for the free endorsement here)  I also rarely seek a glass vessel from which to drink my adequately cooled beverage, but tonight for whatever reason, I was in the mood for a pint glass of Coke Zero over ice.  Glass pint, check; room temp Coke Zero, check; ice cubes, not a one.

My husband consumes and chews ice like it’s his job.  There was a time in recent history when I was sure his ice chewing would be my undoing, so constant was the jaw action, but lately I guess I’ve been distracted.  And also since I used to listen to music through headphones so loudly that they’d bounce off my head, I am finally willing to admit that my hearing acuity may have taken a slight dive, and I can’t hear him.  Or tuned it out.  Probs both.  Being a cheap-ass, I never quite understood why people purchase ice for home use.  I mean, sure, it’s ice and it comes in swell cylindrical shapes which do possess a simply superior mouthfeel and glide as if made of, well nevermind. . .  They are made of ice.  It’s ice.

But with a minimum amount of exertion, anyone can make ice for free.  See, your fridge comes with these little plastic or silicone trays.  They’re also available for purchase in fun shapes or just your standard twelve if you need or want more.  If your fridge is newer, you probably don’t have them because holy crap!  You have an icemaker and have reached the pinnacle of culinary technological advancement!  If you’re an old school girl like me (until Saturday anyway when the new appliances are scheduled for delivery), you can make ice cubes.  Let me elucidate:

Fig 1:  Turn on your faucet.  You’ll want a low-to-medium flow so as to avoid splashing and water waste.  Believe it or not, if your tap flow is too forceful, you’ll end up with very shallow trays, not filled well whatsoever.

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Fig 2:  Place the empty ice cube tray under the running water.  Fill all twelve compartments with water, oh, let’s say about 7/8 of the way filled.7111-zoom-a

Fig 3:  Walk over to the open freezer.  Wait, maybe open the freezer should be Fig 1.  You pick.  If you choose to renumber here, it’s OK.  Do what works for you.  See how flexible I am?

twist-and-serve-ice-hrf224fw-haier-224-litre-fridge

Fig 4:  Place said ice cube tray in the freezer and close the door.

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This process seems to me to be fairly uncomplicated, yet every man I have ever lived with, and if the internet is to be believed, a great many male inhabitants of first world countries, struggles with this labor-intensive process.  Help me out here, guys.  Why is it so complicated?? 

While I’m on a roll here, may I offer some helpful suggestions guaranteed to prevent your wife/girlfriend/sister/mom/mother-in-law/daughter/neighbor lady from losing her mind?

Pro Tip 1:  Try opening the door before standing there staring at it for an extended period of time.  Sometimes it’s not locked.  Also, knocking.

Pro Tip 2:  Do not yank a pair of shorts from the middle of a basket of folded laundry.  Put your shit away.  All of it.  You do nothing but create Mount Washmore when you upend a basket of nicely folded clothing.  Related–the laundry baskets?  Those white, rectangular receptacles filled with your clothes?  That you pass by seventeen times as you go up and down the stairs?  Your vision is not that bad, I know this.

Pro Tip 3:  Toothpaste is meant to be washed down the drain, not to serve as an artsy turquoise accent to the sink bowl.

Pro Tip 4:  Toilet paper is conveniently located in the vanity under the sink.  For when you use the last square. . .  You don’t even have to get up.  But please do.

Pro Tip 5:  Empty cups and dishes with nothing left but crumbs have no place in the fridge.  It’s called a sink, and it’s kissin’ close to the fridge.

Pro Tip 6:   Blankets can be folded.  You might want to remove your stinky socks first.

Pro Tip 7:  Close the door when leaving the house, especially when the air conditioning is on.  What?  You born in a barn? (I wish there was a way to convey facial expression via text because I just channeled my mom and made the “holy crap, I just became my mom” wide eyes.)  Conversely, when the door is closed, say to my bedroom or bathroom, it’s a surefire clue to stay the hell out.  Seriously.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I feel a whole lot better!  Whew.

It really isn’t complicated, fellas.  I leave you with this:  You can do/not do many dingbat things, but if you bring me a dish of ice cream, unsolicited no less, after you fumble on the ice, you are still a hero.  I’m not taking all of it back though because I’m a helper, see, and I think my pro tips are solid.  I stand by ’em, no doubt.  Plus, crabbing about silly (un)complicated stuff like this takes me away from the real world.  In my real world, in my city, there are some very real and complicated social issues including rampant gun violence and rioting.  I have dedicated my career to serving inner-city youth, and my heart breaks to read about unrest and destruction where I work.  I just don’t have it in me tonight.  I am happy to report however that Puma, a dog we intended to adopt but didn’t because she was kind of a b with a capital B, got adopted by another family.  Yay!

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/complicated/”>Complicated</a&gt;

 

Play Ball!

Evening two of the quote challenge finds me home alone.  It’s my little guy’s first baseball scrimmage game tonight (last week’s scrimmage got snowed out, not rained out, but cold and snowed out–yes, that happens here in Wisconsin in April).  I was already committed to a meeting at the kids’ school this evening, so after it and inhaling a bowl or two of cereal and picking up groceries minus saline solution–looks like I’ll be wearing the specs tomorrow–I’m home alone.  Being alone in my house is one of my favorite conditions, but I am missing being at the diamond.  Picture and text updates are a gift of modern times, but they don’t come close to being there.  Can I admit I’m a teensy bit relieved not to be a momsicle, out there freezing my keister off in the 38 degree Fahrenheit weather?  Only a teensy bit.  Really.

God, my kid loves the game!  

In the spirit of @thebaseballbloggess, I wish all you fastball-throwing, second base-stealing, catcher’s mask-flipping, sliding-into-home plate-beating-the-tag, bottom-of-the-ninth-walk-off-home-run-sluggers and fans a happy new year!

Baseball, it is said, is only a game. True. And the Grand Canyon is only a hole in Arizona. Not all holes, or games, are created equal.

–George Will

You could be a kid for as long as you want when you play baseball.

–Cal Ripken, Jr.

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On my  Day 2, I nominate the following bloggers for the 3-day quote challenge

The Baseball Bloggess

Winnipeg Arts Hearts and Smarts

The Road to There

If you accept, post 1-3 quotes for 3 consecutive days, and nominate 3 fellow bloggers to do the same each day.

TGIF TMI

I routinely facilitate group discussions for work.  Sometimes my group size is 20, sometimes 40, and sometimes 200.  I’ve alluded to this before, but I’m not a superfan of the icebreaker activities.   They’re purposeful in their way, but they’re contrived and inauthentic, which is why I’ve adopted the “What’s Your 1% Skill?” method.

 

Snow. April 8. Super high-quality pic, but see, you’re not supposed to drive while taking photos.  Or is it not take photos while driving?  I was at a red light–don’t judge so harshly, people.

It was snowing this morning.  Yes.  And I wanted to do something that might get people talking about something other than the weather.   I had a 40-size kind of meeting this morning, and it went better than I’d anticipated.  I don’t often, but I sometimes feel that no matter how much I prepare, I remain unprepared.  I went in feeling blind today, but it turned out well, even without the icebreaker.  I work with these really smart, challenging minds, and deep, thoughtful professional conversations were the outcome.  Friday morning felt like an upset victory of sorts for WW.

I’ve had an exhausting week.  For reasons I don’t fully understand, Wednesday night was a tear-filled one for me.  I’ve begun to think about our new kitchen project with my son’s declination in mind, and that sucks.  I never know how or why neuronal pathways connect in the ways they do in my brain, but biology won this week, and I was feeling sad.  I was looking ahead, and I could “see” my older son losing his ability to walk.  I could “see” him fall down and not be able to get up, and I could “see” him wheeling around in our newly-designed kitchen.  Are these daymares?  The opposite of nightmares?  What do we call them?  Because calling them the future makes me kinda pukey.  Definitely teary.  I digress.  I was going to write more about my daymares, but choose instead to answer stupid icebreaker questions posed by titans of business, industry and professional development.  My husband says this is way too, too TMI territory.  He’s probably right, but it’s Friday night and I’d rather be a glib open book than a sincere, pained open book tonight.  Plus if you know me, you know many of these ridiculous answers to banal questions anyway.

What color is your tooth brush?  Pink and white

What is your favorite summer activity?​  Not setting an alarm.  Oh, you mean something active?  Walking or running or watching my little kid play baseball.

If a movie was made of your life what genre would it be, who would play you?​  Comedy.  Obviously.  If I were 20 years younger, Amy Schumer.  She killed it in Trainwreck, and has the nerve to say all the shockingly inappropriate words that we all think, but don’t dare verbalize in polite conversation.  I would die before saying some of the stuff she does, but I laugh my butt off at her performances.  I’m about 97% inappropriate in the way of things I find funny, and this is not news to you, dear reader.

If you could be any flavor of ice cream what ice cream flavor would you be and why?​  Vanilla.  I like vanilla, it’s the finest of the flavors (bonus points if you sang it).  OK, I’ll play along. . .  Vanilla is the base; it’s reliable, predictable, and sometimes it’s amazing. It’s almost never a deal-breaker, and you can add anything to it and make it better.  So I’m vanilla, reliable and generally non-offensive to the masses; my loved ones, friends, and hobbies are the hot fudge sauce and salted pecans.  Sorry if you’re allergic.

Are you a morning or a night person?​  A to the M.

What is your favorite hobby?​  Currently?  Writing this blog.

What is one thing that annoys you the most?​  I have to pick just one?  Ridiculous, untenable mandates issued by autocrats. Make your own assumptions.

What is the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?​  I eat most anything, but I don’t order weird stuff just ’cause.  I ate raw oysters once.  Not a fan.

What is your favorite thing about someone in your family?​  It’d be impossible to whittle down to one.  My cousin Paul, a/k/a Brooklyn Paulie, has the BEST, naughtiest laugh, and we laugh like complete idiots every time we’re together.  The 2001 Canton Slurpee Incident nearly rendered Paul, his wife Kathy and me unconscious.

What is one of your weird quirks?​  Isn’t that sorta redundant?  Weird quirks?  Who has typical quirks?  If your quirks were typical, they’d not be quirks, aaaaand I think we all understand now the direction we’re headed.  I’m a word and grammar nerd.  Not in my own blog writing of course, but in formal writing.  Please DO NOT MISUSE the word myself.  I will have to break up with you.  It’s a reflexive pronoun; no one can do anything with yourself but yourself.  Don’t ask me to join yourself for coffee.  Can’t be done.  I can’t come to the meeting with yourself; that’s a job for you alone.

Describe your self in 3 words.​  Strong.  Kind.  Funny.

If you could trade lives with anyone for a day who would it be and why?​  Ed Robertson’s wife. You have to ask why? (KIDDING, Honey.  You’re a better husband that I could have hoped for in my wildest dreams and I love you the bestest, you know I do.  I mean that sincerely.)  But I don’t deny my little celebrity crush. . .  Who’d I trade with?  I’ve no idea.  Someone influential in their benevolence and kindness to all.

If you could talk in your sleep what would you say?​  Please let it rain money, please let it rain money, please let it rain money.  And world peace.  And eradication of fucking muscular dystrophy.

What is the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?​  Think or verbalize, “shit.”  Truth.

What is your favorite joke?​  Knock-knock.  Who’s There?  The interrupting cow.  The interrupting co. . .  MOO!  I crack up every time.   I’m not much for telling jokes; I’m a much better story-teller.

Where is the worst place you could get stuck?​  Anywhere Naked and Afraid is filmed.  Kill me now.  NOW.  What are you waiting for?

What is the one thing you own you wish you didn’t?​  Debt.

Describe the perfect kiss in 3 words.​  Really?  This kind of thing is so not my wheelhouse.  Knee-weakening, genuine.

What is your biggest addiction?​   I will eat peanut butter M&M eggs until my face hurts. I might need an intervention for my music hobby.

Do you have a song that reminds you of a relationship if so what song?​  I have a song for every  single detail of my existence.  Currently I’d say I totally heart two relationship songs.  “Take Us Home” by Alan Doyle is one which reminds me of the early years, that new love that steals your sleep because you don’t want to miss a minute.  “Toe to Toe” by Barenaked Ladies is the other.  That one speaks to me about the long haul, the depth and constancy of true love, even when it’s imperfect, which true love is.

This is my hand
Take it now it’s yours to keep
These are my eyes
Look into them and you’ll see
How a rainbow needs the rain
Or it will never shine again
It’s the same for you and me

These are my footsteps
Falling surely next to yours
This is the moment
That we’ve been waiting for
It’s our story now to tell
Raise the curtain, ring the bell
And open up the doors

Hey, altogether we will be
We’re forever you and me
Hey, the sun will show us where to go
Love will give us heart and soul
And take us home

These are my arms
Come to them when you’re cold
This is my shoulder
Rest your head and dream of home
For there’ll nights and there’ll be days
It seems a long, long ways away
But we’ll make it now I know

This is my song
It’s the only one I know
This is my heart
Take it with you when you go
I wanna thank you for the show
No one wants to dance alone
I’ll see you down the road

 

 

I’m convinced that I am stronger when standing in one place
Just sometimes I don’t have the choice

There are instances when I no longer see your face
But I can plainly hear your voice

So we go
Toe to toe
Never knowing what our cards were

Even though
Blow by blow
We can not let down our guard

We should know
That if we show
Just a small amount of kindness

Then we won’t go
Toe to toe
Anymore

Love’s a gamble
They say you can win the lottery
It depends on what you bet

There’s a body of water
Dividing you and me
I’m not afraid of getting wet

So we go
Toe to toe
Never knowing what our cards were

Even though
Blow by blow
We can not let down our guard

We should know
That if we show
Just a small amount of kindness

Then we won’t go
Toe to toe
Anymore

More than half a life away
It’s gotta amount to something

We’re still standing here today
It’s not a hit and run thing
It’s gotta count for something

So we go
Toe to toe
Never knowing what our cards were

Even though
Blow by blow
We can not let down our guard

We should know
That if we show
Just a small amount of kindness

Then we won’t go
Toe to toe
Anymore

How many books have you read so far this year?​  Woefully few.  8 thus far.  I have been racking up the hours reading blogs on WordPress though like it’s my job.

When I dance, I look like…?​  I am suffering some type of neurological event.   I will say that I am a pretty good chair dancer though.

If you were famous what would you be famous for?​  Can you be famous for realizing only in your mid-40s that you’re pretty awesome and that your friends and family who helped you realize you’re awesome are a bajillionfold more awesome than you, and you want the world to know how kick-ass your peeps are?  That.  Or my incredible sense of comedic timing.  Or Name That Tune.  I’m AMAZING.

What is the worst job you could have?​  Something in a factory where it’s repetitive.  Or cardiothoracic surgery.  Tough call.

What is the thing your most afraid of?​  My children or husband being in pain or suffering in any way.  I would do anything to prevent harm or pain from coming to my family.

If you could paint anything what would you paint?​  I would give a million dollars (metaphorically speaking, of course) to paint a fucking straight line and/or not to slop all over every other damn thing but the paint’s actual target destination.

What celebrity annoys you the most?​  If I answer, that would acknowledge and give weight to the individual’s inane celebrity status.  Turn off the TV, change the channel.  Yawn.

What is the most interesting thing you have in your purse/wallet?​  My migraine meds?  Oooh.  No. I know!  A ticket stub from the first of three BNL concerts I attended last June.  Row A, Seat 9.  Frontest, centerest seat in the house.  Thank you, good night!

What is your life long dream?  Living it.  Only with less money and a smaller parcel of real estate.

Have you ever tried to do something you know you would be really bad at, what was it?​  Every craft I’ve ever attempted.  I was terrified to do any public speaking at first, but now I’m pretty good at it.

On a scale of 1 to 10 how “cool” are you?​  See how this dial goes up to 11?

How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?​  Between showering, dressing, eating, ironing, preparing breakfast for my children, and hair/make-up it’s about 1:45.

What is the one thing you have always wanted to do?​  Write a song on guitar.

What TV cast would you want to save you in the apocalypse?​  Ed’s Up.  The Walking Dead would be a close second.  I think their experience says it all really.

What store do you shop at the most?​  Target.  I dare ya to get out of the red-bullseyed monster in under $100.

What supply in your house is running low?​  Patience.

What is the most delightful word you can think of?​ Delightful.

What is your least favorite beverage?​  Beer.

If you were stranded on a tropical island what 2 things would you want with you?​  Who can answer this?  I’m an ass if I don’t say my family and I’m a liar if I don’t say my fully-loaded and always charged iPod.  Two.  Both true, by the way.

What is the first thing you notice about someone when you first meet?​  First instantly?  Face, as in eyes/smile.  First generally?  Communication skills.

What was your favorite book growing up?​  Charlotte’s Web.

​ What compliment do people give you the most?  That I’m helpful.

If you where running for office what would your campaign slogan be?​  I will lie to you less than any of the other assholes against whom I’m running.

March Madness

I’ve written before that I joined our local chapter of the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Facebook page last year.  The group is designed to provide parents/caregivers some type of what, outlet?  Common ground?  Support?  At the time of that particular post I remember writing that I’d been pretty much mute there.  Well that almost changed on Friday.  Almost.

Last Friday, the group’s moderator, in the spirit of #FeelGoodFriday, asked members to share good things that happened that week.  I started typing a message, but stopped.  Back space, back space, back space. I began anew, read my draft, and deleted the whole of it again.  I started a third time and just closed my Facebook app.

There is a wide range of types of muscular dystrophy, some significant and handicapping from birth, others less so in the immediate, more progressive, like my son’s–present at birth, but with symptomatology growing over time.  It’s important you understand the range; it’s an important part of and in preface of the tale I am to tell about the highlight of my son’s athletic career.

In keeping with the NCAA basketball tournament (yawn. . .  sorry, it’s not my thing, but it’s also not entirely not my thing), my son’s physical education teacher coordinates a 2-ball tournament.  The middle schoolers and some teachers form 2-person teams, and the brackets begin.  I wish I could tell you about 2-ball, but my 12-year-old isn’t exactly loquacious, no, he is more of the 1-2 word answers these days. . .  Understanding what the game entails would certainly add context to my story today, but it’s hard to capture nuance when all I get in return is a yes/no.  It’s actually harder, because even to formulate questions absent fundamental knowledge is a trick.  I’m pretty good with words and can inference like nobody’s business, but alas, no match for the 12-year-old.  We’ll have to suffice with it’s a basketball shooting game played in twos, where each player has to make a certain number of shots from around the key, and both players have to do this in less time than their opponent.

The night before, my big kid makes an offhand reference to the tournament finals being held the next day, Thursday.  My husband and I give him the “do your best, have fun, work hard, be a good teammate” blah-de-blah (except really and sincerely we mean that and we say it with enthusiasm, not blah-de-blah, but the 12-year-old doesn’t rise to our enthusiasm–shocker, right?).  Near the end of my workday Thursday, my friend Shelly, who happens to be a teacher at my son’s school as well as the mom of one of my son’s friends, texts me this:

Make sure you ask about the 2-ball tournament, just in case he doesn’t say anything.

In reply, I write:

Oooh, I’m intrigued.  He did mention it for the first time last night, so at least I knew it was a thing.  I’ll let you know what I hear from him.  Should my stomach be hurting?

My little kid comes home hooting and hollering about the 2-ball tournament, how much fun he had watching it, how a bunch of classes were watching it in the gym while other classes watched it on the school’s closed circuit TV channel, and how big a deal it was.  My big kid?  “Oh yeah, we made it to the finals, but we lost to the twins.”  So I spend the next four hours trying to extract details from the kid.  There’s a a pulling teeth metaphor that could fit here, but really, getting the story from my kid was harder than that.  Much harder.  Thank stars for Shelly, whose follow-up made me cry in the good way:

It’s a big deal in the middle school!  Kids are in teams of 2 and each player needs to make 5-6 baskets at certain marks before the other team of two.  He made it to the championship round!!!  He and his partner beat some 8th graders (who were sore losers) and Mr. M (the gym teacher) and his partner. IT WAS AWESOME!!  I thought he might not say much, so I wanted to make sure you knew!!

Holy crap, you guys!!  Good parents that we are, we marked the occasion with frozen custard (you don’t? what? why not?).  We celebrated at Kopps, a local burger joint for an almost-victory cheeseburger as large as your face (NOT an exaggeration) and dish of custard so creamy it could stop your heart.  Yum-may.  Finally, thanks to Shelly, I feel like I get it now, I get what a big deal this is, and I say to my kid that not only did he make it to the finals, but also was probably (most definitely) the only kid in the tournament with MD.  Then finally he smiled for a moment, genuinely and thoughtfully, and allowed the acknowledgement.  I was glad I had sunglasses on.

So.  Back to the MDA Facebook page, #FeelGoodFriday–Why was I reticent to share my son’s slam-dunk kind of day with the MDA group?  Why didn’t I want these people I don’t even know yet to know about my kid’s success in a basketball shooting contest?

Because some of their kids can’t walk, have never walked.  Some are on ventilators.  Some have health complications so significant that families can’t leave their children alone.  I’ve cried for a year and some now over my son’s disease.  Not every day, and not the ugly crying I did when we first learned about his diagnosis, but I weep for a future limited by this awful disease.  The world is not kind to those who are different, and I worry so for my son.  This is not to say that his future is limited.  No.  It’s just that it’s going to be so much harder than it is for an able-bodied individual.  Would I seem like a giant jerk sharing what is likely the pinnacle of his “athletic career” with parents of kids who have never walked?   I mean, my kid made it to the finals of an athletic competition.  OK, I’ll grant it’s not FIFA or Wimbledon or the Grey Cup, but he had a day of success in a contest of athletics.  And luck. He had pots o’good luck on St. Patrick’s Day to be sure.  Not bad for a German/Polish kid, huh?  He doesn’t get those often, friends, no, he doesn’t.  My mother-in-law, a saint right here on Earth, always says that someone’s always got it worse than you.  She is correct, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it, right?  Somehow though, celebrating my son’s almost-win felt a little in-your-face.

And that is how I knew I crossed over into the Bizarro World.  Sometimes the view from Wendy’s cortex is blurry, dontcha think?  It’s OK though, I think I like it here.

Things That Do Not Suck Even A Little

I blog in mood swings. I’ll run a streak of emotional, not super fun posts alternating with a run of goofs. In case you’ve not been keeping score, this post will begin a run (I sure hope anyway) of the random good stuff variety.  I have a blinding headache at the moment which I’d hoped would dissipate by my being otherwise focused here, but it would seem that the migraine is going to win tonight despite my efforts to distract my ache from my brain.  Migraine 1, Wendy 0 tonight.  Migraines are the only thing that sucks today.  Read on–

The award for “These People are Entirely, Completely, Utterly Kick-Ass” goes to my MDA walk supporters.  You know who you are, and now shall the whole world know about your generosity, your true kindness in supporting the MDA because I have asked you to.  We each have a limited amount of dollars earmarked for the greater good, and that you have chosen to donate to a cause because it matters to me means more than I’ll ever be able to say.  But that won’t stop me from trying.  Thank you Amy Van Ells, Rosemary Walecki, Valerie Hoehnke, Margo Turner, Lisa Nassour, Dena Rubnitz, Terry Radtke, Rosita Hill, Tracy Klement, Janet Sandner, Bek Szypula, Nikki Leininger, and three donors who have elected to remain anonymous.  My heart overflows, and you know that my eyes are leaking.

image

So far, so good for Team Greater Than Gravity. Click on #whyIwalk to visit our team page.  No pressure or anything, but I will totally thank you like the supernova rock star you are the next time I run an honor roll.  xoxo

Tulips are my favorite flowers, a sure harbinger of spring and warmth.  What I love most about spring is the hope it ushers with its breezes.  Last weekend I noticed the first of several hundred bulbs just peeking through the soil. I stopped dead in my tracks and did nothing more than take a deep breath and smile.  I smile every time I look at them, and I’ll continue smiling until the last petal drops back to the earth.

No comparison to Mother Nature, but Eric Carle’s art has never, ever let me down.  I stumbled up on this scene somewhere on Facebook, and it’s simply too beautiful to keep to myself.

I’m a member of an online blogging group, and check out which blog they selected for their featured blog of the week.  I’ll give you a hint:  it’s MINE.  Bloggers are a wonderful, talented lot, and I am grateful to be included in and recognized by this group.

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I write primarily about one son, but I have two.  My younger son, 10, extends kindness and silliness to everyone he meets.  He is generous of time and heart, and is possibly the most thoughtful child born to this earth.  Last weekend my little one attended a rock/gem/mineral show with his BFF.  His BFF’s mother told the kids they could buy one thing to bring home, and my little guy immediately drifted off to a jewelry vendor to purchase something for me.  His friend’s mom, a super cool badass in her own right wrote me this about the experience:

He is SO SWEET.  Honestly I think he’s the sweetest little boy I have ever met.  I told them they could each pick out one thing for themselves and he instantly started looking at jewelry.  Warmed my heart right up.  You have a very special human being.

She’s right.

He puts it around my neck every day.

I learned recently that I am not the only one to whom #fontsmatter.  I have a draft of a blog post titled just that, #fontsmatter, but it’s still in its infancy.  My co-workers think I’m a little off-kilter for my obsession about fonts and kerning, grammar and spelling, but I am not the only one!  This shirt provides a wonderful example of precisely why #fontsmatter.  #fontsmatter, but I cannot make all the photos in the post the same size, and yes, it’s making me a little nutty.  Couldn’t do it even if I didn’t have a killer headache.

MY SONG!  I own this song (as in I purchased the CD and mp3, but I TOTALLY own it in the figurative kind of way too, even Ed said something to me about “my” song last summer and he co-wrote it, so I feel completely confident in asserting ownership, or. . .), so I can hear it whenever I choose, but there’s something special hearing your song come up randomly on shuffle.  Yeah, I totally don’t need the lyrics, but I think we can all agree that I am a master screen-shotter.

Last, but not least, we have this old photo.  This was taken on my birthday last September (how else does one celebrate if not with a margarita?), so it’s not technically accurate for this week’s things that don’t suck, but frosty beverages never suck. Not ever.

Cheers, y’all!  Thank you.  I literally and figuratively raise a glass in your honor.

Hidden Costs

A few years ago, my friend with muscular dystrophy had to purchase a new van.  See, Adam is a psychologist, and has to get to the office to work.  But before he was a psychologist, he was a PERSON–still is, naturally–whose needs include leaving the house to you know, LIVE LIFE, so he needs wheels, as do we all. Unfortunately, muscular dystrophy doesn’t allow nimble grace in the way of ambulation, so vehicles designed for persons with disabilities tend to get the shit beat out of them.  Adam’s new van cost about $60,000.00  Yes, 60K, sixty thousand dollars, for a minivan, not a super luxe high-end Bose stereo, fine Corinthian leather (who remembers that commercial?), teak wood inserts kind of van.  No, just a Dodge Grand Caravan equipped with a ramp and transfer seat.  Holy shit.  Adam would have more equipment granted him if he were to identify himself as disabled alone and not earn income, but he doesn’t.  It’s a kind of effed up system where a disabled person person with a disability (because after all, we’re people before we’re things, except jerks probably, because being a jerk kinda leads all other designations).  Wait.  Let me begin that sentence again:  It’s a kind of effed up system where a person with a disability employed full time incurs more significant disability-related costs than a person whose disability is such that he cannot be employed, right?  Like, come on, universe, there should be something in return for working hard while maneuvering a body that doesn’t always want to cooperate, right?  Free minivan, anyone?

When I got home from work Thursday, my son was limping around the house.  I’ve made mention of this before I know, but my son does not tread lightly.  His gait is purposeful.  His efforts to step gingerly were significant, so I know whatever happened really hurt. He was putting on new pants, I mean clean pants, because he had fallen on the way home from school.  Of course, I’m all “Ouch!  Holy cow, Honey, geez what happened?” (See, I try not to overreact because I fear he’ll take my lead and freak out himself, so if I play it cool, he’s less likely to freak out too, but make no mistake, I freak the hell out) to which he replied that some other kid wasn’t looking where he was going, rammed into him, and knocked him down.

I felt immense pride in his first aid effort.  By the time I got home, he’d cleaned and bandaged the bloody wounds, quite capably I’m pleased to add.  At the crash site, he didn’t cry (so he said), but got up and walked home.  Friends, that he didn’t cry frightens me–the gashes and bruises on his knees were not insignificant.  I would have cried, and I’m a badass with pain and illness.  I was all prickly hot and then instantly ice cold seeing his knees.  Since his diagnosis, I’ve come to believe my son’s threshold of pain is jacked up.  He is bruised and battered often as he routinely trips and falls and/or bumps into things.  His proprioception isn’t great and he is a GIANT 12-year-old; he has too little awareness of his body in space.  You know when you crash and you’re like, “HOLY SHIT that’s gonna leave a mark?” He can rarely recall the source  of the contusions he gets.  This tells me he feels pain differently, or that pain is so routine, it doesn’t pay to attend to it.  *sigh*

Anyway, his pants disintegrated–holes torn through and through.  It prompted me to check his stack of sweatpants, to see if he had holes in others.  He does.  He probably hurts more routinely than I know; hopefully not so badly and visibly as this fall, but still, he falls.  When your children get past the you-give-them-their-bath stage or it’s winter time, you don’t see your kids’ bare bodies very often.  He’s so banged up.  So banged up.  And he so rarely even draws it to our attention.  His bruises are on the outside; mine for him are less visible to the eye, but they’re there.  On the upside?  My wonderful friend Rebecca volunteered to cut off the pants from knees down and convert them into shorts.  Glass half full right there.  These remarkable friends I have?  How could I not be glass half full?

My husband took big kid shopping just now because he needs shoes.  He goes through shoes quickly because he walks heavily and the soles wear more than they would for a child with a more typical gait.  He needs pants too, obviously.  And while none of this comes close to Adam’s $60,000 van investment, shoes and clothes aren’t free either.  What a weird revelation for my weekend wanderings.  Yet at the end of today’s story, I’m encouraged, not the other way around.  He took care of himself.  He didn’t ask for help.  He is stronger than I ever dreamed.  How I love that boy.  Have you seen these shirts?  Yes.

hero t shirt

You can buy yours on redbubble.com  

And The Winner Is. . .

ME!

Some Fine Print:  Some super kickass things happened to me this week, and I want to do this right.  This is a long one.  Grab your snacks and beverages, find your comfy spot.  You might want to take a run to the restroom before you start.  It’s OK, I’ll wait. . .

Deflection and deprecation are my default settings when given a compliment.  Today, I shall hike up my big girl panties, and say a proper thank you like a proper grown-up should.  Today I shall acknowledge the kickass head-on, give sincere, heartfelt thanks in return, and pay it forward.  Sure, there’s probably more to a proper acknowledgment of wonderfulness than the tossed salad I’ll be plating here for you, but my inner self is DYING to default and insist this is a series of errors, because come on, seriously, me?

It’s been a few weeks since I began Blogging U.  In this time, I’ve read blogs by terrific people writing on topics I never knew existed.  I get that my blog serves a fairly niche market–there aren’t a great many parents whose children were diagnosed with MD driven to launch a blog immediately after that diagnosis.  I wasn’t expecting to find others chasing quite the same thing I was after.  I wasn’t expecting to learn about the myriad topics my classmates hold extremely close and dear.  And I sure wasn’t expecting this:

The Liebster Award is a newcomer award given by bloggers to other bloggers.  It creates a great platform for new blogs to be discovered and build communications. The best thing about this award is, it creates a lot of encouragement and support within our blogging community.

liebster

 

OR THIS:

Bloggers are a cool lot.  Most people I’ve “met” in my class aren’t professional writers.  Many are like me, and just have a story to tell.  I was nominated for the Liebster Award, by Ioana, a music teacher in Romania who writes at Music Teacher Lifestyle.  Check her out!  I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by two different and lovely examples of humanity, Pointless & Prosaic and  Joanne at Beyond Mummy.  Check them out too.  Seriously you guys????   Thank you.  Thank you.  And thank you some more.  It’s true that it is an honor to be nominated.  I’d like to nominate you right back (can I do that?).

There are rules to follow upon acceptance, and I’m probably breaking them by co-mingling them here, so don’t hate on me, dear readers.  I am full up to overflowing with happy.  So here’s whatcha gotta do-

  • Thank your nominator.  (Of course!)
  • Share the award on your blog.  (Of course!  Can I wear it on a t-shirt?)
  • Answer the 10 questions asked to you for the Liebster, or state 7 things about yourself for the Versatile Blogger.
  • Ask 10 questions to 10 new nominees who have fewer than 300 followers
  • Notify them via social media

So for the Versatile Blogger Award, here are seven factoids about me.  A few of them have been recycled from a a post I developed last summer when I was feeling pretty cheeky and still ring true.

  1.  I’m ashamed to admit my iPhone is more a distraction than I’d ever have thought.  I might be one of those people.  Crushing candy is a poor excuse for a life, but its brainless distraction provides a balm for my oft-times melting mom-wife-professional brain.  Pinging off sassy text messages to a couple of friends and groups who get me is a lot of fun too!  I think I am funny in my text exchanges.  Sometimes I am.
  2. I love to travel, but don’t travel much if I have to be the travel organizer.  I’m responsible in all aspects of my personal/professional life and for pretty much everything for my family, but I don’t always want that “honor.”  I love travelling when someone else is planning.  I’d go anywhere, but the reality is that I stay pretty close to home.
  3. I will never play Bingo because the thought of yelling “bingo” is so ridiculous and horrifying that I will never even buy into the game.  Bingoers do not screw around, people, and they frighten me a little.  Maybe more than a little.  I can get up in front of an audience to talk with no problem whatsoever, but never is enough times for me to play Bingo.
  4. It was terrifying to reveal to others that I blog, and I wish more than anything I hadn’t a reason to feel I needed to get it out, write it out, work it out. Who cares about me and my tale though?  You.  What a gift.
  5. I almost never react to anything appropriately.  I over- or under-react much of the time.  French fries soggy?  WHAT?  WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS INJUSTICE?  Tornado zip through the center of my house?  Meh, we’ll figure it out. . .
  6. I joke and squawk about my Yahoos–my boys–yes, all three of them, but I love them beyond measure and would do anything to protect them.  The moment I knew I was pregnant with each of my sons, I knew they were boys.  The universe had a plan for me, and the plan was that I would not be the mother of girly-girls.  I do find fart jokes and potty humor funny, thank you very much.  I’m kind of an adolescent boy trapped in a middle-aged woman’s body humor-wise.
  7. I am ferociously loyal–to people, institutions, geographic sites, you name it.  I do believe that change is good and all, but my heart is torn when I turn the page.  Some things earn and deserve my loyalty, while others do not.  Doesn’t mean I won’t remain loyal, and loyalty is sometimes my undoing.

Here are seven new-ish or new-to-me blogs I’ve really enjoyed getting to know.  You might too–

The Road to There

It’s About Time 22

SpinningHead

Amy Morris Jones

Pointless & Prosaic

Schmaltz and Menudo

Finding Joy Again


The Liebster posed these 10 questions.  I liked them, so will ask the same of you–

  1. If you had the awesome opportunity to live anywhere else than where you are now, where would you want to live and why?  During the last year, my husband I have been (not entirely) joking about moving to Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  Hogtown is a beautiful metropolis with incredible parks and natural beauty to boot.  I would like to live in a place that values education and educators and the greater good.  Plus if Trump wins this election?  I can’t even. . .
  2. What kind of music do you like to listen to – your favourite singer/composer?  Easy one for anyone who knows me.  I live and die by the band Barenaked Ladies.  Ed Robertson writes words and melodies that make my head spin.  Kevin Hearn and Jim Creeggan are insanely talented musicians whose songwriting is honest and heartfelt, and the backbone Tyler Stewart provides beats a rhythm alongside my own heart.  On top of their talent, individually and collectively, they are each decent, kind, generous men.  I have met the band several times, and they have made ME feel like the rock star.  I love them.  BUT I do listen to lots of other genres and artists–I enjoy styles ranging from classical to swing to jazz to disco to pop.  I still get a kick from my hair bands, and their oh-so-sweet 90 MPH guitar licks too.  I don’t much care for country or hip-hop and I can’t do rap.
  3. What is your favourite blog to read? The Bloggess.  Jenny Lawson.  I so admire her. Someone once said that my writing style reminds her of hers, and I was knocked out.  Then in the next breath I was terrified that Jenny Lawson would read something I wrote (hahahahahahaha) and think I was copying her.  I’m not.  I’m my own special brand of goof.  I’m the one without taxidermy.
  4. What’s your favourite activity on a weekend?  Ummm. . .  Honestly?  My favorite part of any old weekend is the part where I don’t have to set an alarm.  I still rise with the birdies, but I don’t HAVE to, and therein lies the difference.
  5. What is you favourite book?  Jane Eyre is one of my faves.  Wonder by RJ Palacio is another; The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon still another.  I never know how to answer this.  Read Wonder, and always be kinder than is necessary.
  6. Why did you decide to blog?  My older son was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy last year. That day marked an after for me. For the first few days after the day, I could manage little more than crying.  Sitting at a computer forced me to do something else long enough to stop crying once in awhile.  It was also an easy way out–if people asked how I was or what was new, I could say, “Here, read this,” and not have to talk about it.  I write like I talk, and the format fit.  Writing has always helped me organize my thoughts.
  7. What is your favourite movie?  Not sure I have one absolute fave, but here are a few movies I can never shut off once I stumble upon them:  Singin’ In The Rain, The Princess Bride, Shrek, The Hangover (yes, really–some of the best lines are Bradley Cooper’s facial expressions and pauses–if it’s on, I am IN for at least the first fifty-four minutes), The Replacements, Sixteen Candles is 80s perfection.  I’ll think of ten more as soon as I post this.
  8. If you could give only one wise advice to a 15 year-old, what would it be?  PLEASE know that it’ll take at least another lifetime before you are wise enough to know better.  You will love your future self, trust me.  OR Don’t be a dick.  I know it says one, but they’re both really important.
  9. Who is your best friend and what are his/her biggest qualities?  My best friend, Deb, and I were new girls in Mrs. Peterson’s fourth grade class.  We were close friends and we weren’t close friends for periods, and it took til college for us to understand we were best friends.  Deb is brilliant, wise, funny, silly, unfalteringly fierce and loyal.  Our long, shared history and my deep affection for her makes her the closest thing to a sister I’ll know.
  10. How long did it take you to finish this post?  First run through, about 40 minutes.  Don’t even ask about the edits.

It’s impossible to short-list my blog loves here–so many good writers telling stories about subjects you’d never dream demand to be read.  Please keep writing, so I can keep reading!  Non-bloggers and fellow bloggers alike, read down and see who strikes your fancy.

Now you’re up:  If you choose to accept the nominations, please pay it forward.  At minimum, I guarantee you will add joy to someone’s day, and it won’t cost so much as a penny.

Not Your Average Jen

Barenaked Ladies Fans

The Psycho Mother

The Wheel World 91

Music & Words

Journal Entry 356

Diary of an Inspiration Junkie

Ameena’s Musings

Successful Strategies

Mindful Lifter

 

 

Hiding Out

One of my recently assigned Blogging 101 tasks was to develop a post from a comment or feedback I’d left for another blogger, to expand my response to their post and/or link back to it.  Something like that.  I’ve discovered some super slick, talented writers in the two weeks I’ve been at it here, but I’m going rogue on the assignment.  I know, right?  I’m usually such an obedient little student.  

I received feedback, game-changer feedback from fellow bloggers. I giggled.  I teared up.  I yelled “holy crap!” out loud.  I sighed in deep, grateful contemplation.  But it’s not them to whom I will respond here, though they’ve inspired me to be sure.  I’ve responded to their unbelievably generous comments, but my responses will never adequately convey the depth of my gratitude.  And why do I type “convery” EVERY SINGLE TIME I attempt to type “convey?”  Same goes for langauge (NEVER, EVER get it right) and reiumbursement (just once, please?).  Ahem.

Instead, I’m going at this in reverse.  A comment that resonated with me in a big way was left by one of my Barenaked Ladies tribemates, who wrote this:

I don’t share on any social media like I once did, and people said that they missed me. I guess the reason I don’t share any more is that I am so concerned about the image my extended family has of me. Once I became Facebook friends with all my brothers and sisters in law and my husband, I don’t want to share my feelings. I feel too exposed. It’s funny how I can share with my BNL friends or theater friends, but I can’t share with the ones I care most about.

She is not alone. She got me to wondering, why do we show only pieces of ourselves to others?  Why do we hide from, or if not hide, not reveal our whole selves to those who allegedly know and love us best?  Why does the blogosphere know more about my feelings on MD than my own mother?  How is it that my tribe of #Ladiesladies (yes, the hashtag is necessary as #Ladiesladies is a real thing–check Twitter if  you doubt me, go ahead, I’ll wait) knows me better than some of the friends I spend time with routinely?

My husband knows I’ve been blogging over a year now, but he only recently asked me for my web address.  I’ve sent links to my parents, but have received not one syllable of feedback from them.  I have a huge passel of in-laws who have read a post here and there, but I don’t talk much to them about my son’s muscular dystrophy.  I don’t talk about it much at all to the people who should be most invested.  That’s weird, right?  My family doesn’t find me inspirational or funny or especially interesting–just Wendy, and this blog?  It doesn’t exist or is deemed self-serving or folly.  Maybe both.  It’s also not that they don’t care, let me be clear, I know they care deeply about us.  It’s not that I need to fulfill a role as the “MD mom” or have that define me within my family or friend groups, I mean, I’m the only one, so obviously the role is no one else’s. It’s not essentially me, but it has become a facet of my essential being.  Why don’t they know it?   Why don’t they know how my kid’s status has changed every, single thing for me?  They do. Do they?

Is it the blissful anonymity the internet affords?  Is the internet invisibility cloak why I can share so openly online?  Where I can drop a comment with my keyboard but not have to speak the words?  I can put something out there, but not have to respond NOW or ever really should I elect not to, as a traditional conversation would demand.  

Online we get to pick. Online I get to share what I want, on my terms. I geek about music with my music people, because they GET ME musically. I geek about writing with writers because they GET ME as a blogger. I geek about MD with, well no one, ’cause well, who would celebrate that?  So I drop my MD ruminations right here, neatly packaged and mostly grammatically correct, and I move onto tasks like laundry.  Maybe that’s it–we seek validation and celebration from sources we are sure to find it. My nearest and dearest don’t spend hours selecting vocabulary words or parsing grammar; they don’t care to discuss why the bass/piano outro closing Brian Wilson is mesmerizing (but they totally should, come on!).  It’s not that they don’t care, they don’t care like I do.  And that’s OK. Right?  Right??

I know who will care though, and I gotta go tell ’em!  Right now.  When you find your tribe, love them hard.