Wednesday, June 10, 2015

For Now, Us Takes A Back Seat

Today Clif and I "celebrate" 9 years of marital bliss.

I put celebrate in quotations because other than a quick kiss on the cheek and a whispered "Happy Anniversary" followed by a mumbled "You too" before I left the house this morning, there won't be any typical celebrating.

We won't toast champagne over an elegant steak dinner.  We won't lie on the beach for hours as our fruity drinks sweat in the Caribbean heat.  We won't spend all day watching a movie marathon with take-out on our couch.

This week has seen little shut eye with a coughing Cohen, a puking Freddie, and a big school project that Ainsley needs to finish before tomorrow.  I think both of us would trade the beach for a secluded bed in a dark room for the next 72 hours.  Still, beats last year when we were battling the lice.  That is actually one of my favorite posts.  It is absolutely the truth about marriage.

I think back over the last nine years.  Nine is not a very exciting anniversary.  Just shy of that decade mark. Years behind our predecessors.  Years ahead of the newlyweds out there.  Still, a lot has happened in nine years.  We've been broke, we've been uprooted, we've grown our family, we've lost loved ones.  A lot of life happens in nine years.  And when you start stacking nine years on top of nine years on top of nine years, before you know it a lifetime will have passed.

So last night, Clif and I were joking about our anniversary and how it never seems to be about us anymore.  I said "I passed right by a CVS today on my walk and I didn't even go in and get you a card."  He said "Well, I didn't get you one either."  And we laughed.  Because we both think cards are a waste of money but it is a small, fairly simple gesture.  Yet neither of us took the time to do it.

"We aren't very good at making it about us," I said.  And he said, "Look around.  How could we possibly?  Don't worry babe, one day it will be all about us again."

And he's right.  One day there won't be sick kids to sit up with.  There won't be projects cluttering the kitchen table.  There won't be babies being born the day before with birthdays to celebrate every year.  There won't be lice to comb out and kill.

One day, we'll be able to celebrate our anniversary for weeks at a time if we so desire.  For now we'll just take the quick kiss on our ways to our respective days.

So Clif, Happy Anniversary.  We have seen ups and downs.  Good times and bad times.  I don't have time for you and you don't have time for me.  But we still love each other and we've agreed to stay on the least until next year.  We're already planning a 10 year anniversary vacation...without the kids.  After that, I'm not making any promises.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Little Tiny CEO

Dear Cohen,

Two years.  This is where I'm supposed to say, "I can't believe you are 2" and I can't because you're my baby.  But then...when were you not a part of our family?  A part of me?  It doesn't seem like I just met you two years ago.  It seems like you've always been around.  So much so that I recently looked at old pictures from before I was even pregnant with you and thought "Wow, life must have been so weird then."

Strange how a person can come into your life and just make it the new normal without a word.  There's no great shift.  Just all of the sudden you exist and it's like you always have.

But two...

Two is so much bigger than you were a year ago.  And just completely on the other side of the world from where you were 2 years ago.  You amaze me.  You are light years ahead of any other two year old I've ever known.

I guess that's the curse/blessing of the 3rd child.  You're going to grow up so fast.

Already you are so independent.  You want to be just like the big kids.  We aren't even allowed to consider a highchair these days.  Strapping you in takes an act of God.  You'd much rather sit in a seat and come and go as you please.  Sippy cups?  No way.  Pass the big kid cups.

You follow Ainsley and Freddie everywhere and pitch an absolute fit when I don't allow you down to the playroom or outside without me.

You started climbing out of your crib a month ago.  I'm not really sure what to do with you there.  Ainsley and Freddie were over 2, more like 2.5, when they did it.  You no longer want anyone to take you out of the crib.  You can do it yourself.

You want to brush your own teeth and read your own books and get your own milk.

You have lots to say, and even more to do.  You're always busy.  Always talking.  I can remember you as a tiny thing, thinking how could you possibly ever talk or walk.  But you can and you do, because that's how it goes.  We spend so much of our grown up lives not changing, that watching a baby become a toddler, then a kid is incredible.

The older kids like to play "punch buggy" in the car.  You are not one to be left out.  So randomly I'll hear you yell "Buddy!  White!"  You have a favorite Knock-Knock joke...

You: "Not - Not."
Us: "Who's there?"
You: "Tow."
Us: "Cow who?"

You ask questions and then more questions and when we answer you reply "Ohhhhhhh" like it's so logical.

When the others ride their bikes, you ride yours.  Down every hill, around every turn, you are right behind them.  You can ride a scooter like a pro.  You can climb up any playground structure.  Just the other day, I turned for a handful of seconds, and when I looked back you were teetering on the top rung of a ladder about 7 feet in the air.  Reaching your tiny foot over to the landing.  Babe, that ladder was not made for a munchkin like you.  It was not made for little toddler legs.  I sprinted over, screaming for you to wait, but you had already made the leap and just giggled down at me as you ran to the slide.

You are fearless.  You have no caution flag, no yellow light...just full-throttle.  You run.  You go.  You jump.  And you don't want any hand holding or help along the way.  Railings were not made for you.  You walk down stairs with your hands behind your back, defying us to stop you.

You have epic light saber fights with Freddie.  You already have the fighting stance.  You color with Ainsley.  You pick your colors carefully even though right now they are all "bue" or "yeyow."

When we try to get you dressed, you have very strong opinions about your style.  Yesterday we went through every single pair of socks you own.  All of them discarded to the floor with an "Ah na yike dat sock."  You ended up sockless.

Today it's choosing socks but one day I think you'll be tackling stock options or magazine covers with the same decisive authority.  You'll go far, little man.  And no one's going to help you.  You're going to do it all on your own, because that's the way you like it.

Happy Birthday Cohen!  We love you as big as your personality, as loud as your screams, and as funny as your knock knock jokes.


Thursday, June 4, 2015

Thinking Outside the Box

For a moment, let's take Caitlyn Jenner out of the picture.  Because let's face it, she - along with all of the Kardashians - is a fame whore.  And to paint her as a hero because she's brought attention to a topic...well it's slightly ridiculous.  She said in an interview that you don't go through a sex change for media attention.  Well, I would disagree with that when it comes to anyone associated with the Kardashians.

True, Caitlyn has stirred up some emotions, and people are talking about it.  But I don't see her motives as selfless.  Liberals are singing her praise.  Weeping at her new found freedom.  The religious right is calling her an abomination. A slap in the face to God's awesome and perfect plan.

So let's take her out of the story.  Let's instead just talk about the topic.  Instead of it being a 60+ year old reality TV star, who may or may not go to any length to remain in the lime light...let's imagine that it's a no-name college boy or an unnoticed high school girl.  Let's put those people at the center of this topic and let's talk about them.

And instead of focusing on what our society labels us, let's broaden our mind and view gender and sexuality on a spectrum, rather than a box you check.

I think we could all agree, without screaming at each other, that there are different types of boys and girls.  There are girls who like to wear dresses and pig tails and there are girls who like to play in the mud. There are boys who love to sing and dance and there are boys who'd rather spend their days on a ball field.  Doesn't make these kids any less of a person or girl/boy...just means they're different.  We're all different. We're all unique and no where will you find a person just like you.

I think we can also agree that as these kids age and grow, different sexualities emerge.  And I'm not talking about homosexuality vs heterosexuality...though that is a part of it.  But even within our own "categories," can't we agree that there are different tastes?  A man may like only blond women.  He may only like to have sex in the mornings.  We don't put him in a "blond women, sex in the morning" category, he's just a heterosexual man.  And we don't think it's weird that he doesn't find Zoe Saldana attractive, because he's more of a Reese Witherspoon guy.  Right?

So instead of having these groups, why can't we look at both gender and sexuality as a spectrum?  That over here on the right you have heterosexual people who are horned up all the time and will drop their pants at any moment to get laid, then all the way over on the left you have homosexual people who would do the same.  And all through the middle you've got everyone else that fall, just somewhere.  Some women are attracted to men, but just not all that in to sex.  Some men are attracted to men and have sex once a week.  Some women go out every weekend looking to take home a new person.  Some women cheat.  Some guys are uber loyal to their spouse.  Some men save themselves for marriage.

Am I making my point?

If not, well here it is.  I've read multiple articles lately that talk about not messing with what God created.  I agree.  I believe in God, I may not attend church every week or memorize bible versus, but I believe.  And I pray.  And I tell my kids about him.  And I agree that God is perfect, and he has a perfect vision, and we are all made to perfection...fat, tall, thin, dark, smart...whatever.  And I believe that God does make people all over the spectrum.

So why is it so strange to believe there are men out there that feel more feminine?  And why is that a sin? God did make these people.  They exist.  It's not just Caitlyn Jenner.  There are lots and lots of boys out there being made fun of for painting their toe nails.  Did God make a mistake with them?  Because my sweet, sensitive, 5 year old loves to have his toe nails painted.  In fact, he and his 2 year old brother are sporting fuchsia toe nails right now.  Just like mommy.  So is that a mistake?  Do they not fit into the correct box?  Are they just trying to be something they're not to garner fame and attention?

I personally, don't believe that.  I just think when God cut us all out of his fabric he spiced it up a bit.  How boring would it be if we all looked the same?  Just as boring if we all fit in the same box.

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