The Sky As Therapy

The Sky As Therapy
*****
“The sky is always there for me as my life has been going through many, many changes. When I look up at the sky, it gives me a nice feeling, like looking at an old friend.”   ~ Yoko Ono
******

With each passing year, I find myself more taken with natural phenomena while less impressed with material indicators of wealth many in modern society associate with success — McMansions, diamonds, exclusive club memberships, you get the idea.

Frankly, those sorts of possessions have never impressed me anyway.

If money were no object, I’d travel more and build a house exactly to my liking directly on the water.

I’d go hear more live music and probably spend more on higher quality cookware and instruments, but I live in a beautiful place and stand in awe regularly as I gaze out over the Atlantic at the vast sky that shifts throughout the day.

Clouds mesmerize me and take on a persona all their own, bewildering yet comforting at the same time, a reminder that I have everything I could possibly desire.

This post is a response to the Daily Prompt.

 

Advertisements

Enough With the Requests, Children!

Enough With the Requests, Children!

I wanted to have a yes summer.

I want to be a yes mother — Mary Poppinesque, eager and willing to provide fun and fulfilling experiences for my little lovables.

I suppose in many ways, I am doing that. At the same time, I want to raise functional adults. I also want my children to understand that we are responsible for our own happiness even when we’re doing the less glamorous parts of life.

And let’s be real — it ain’t all roses and unicorns.

Chores can be fun, and taking care of the things we’re fortunate to have is a worthy lesson, and frankly, while I’m at it, I also think a little boredom is good for everybody and fosters creative thinking.

So children, for the love, PLEASE stop inundating me with the never-ending requests. It’s wearing this mama out.

“Can I play the iPad?”

“Can I  please just watch this one YouTube video on how to do that thing on Minecraft?”

“Can I show Wallace this ONE little thing on Minecraft?”

“Can I get those remote control cars out of your car? I know I got in trouble, but I PROMISE I’m sorry and I’ll do what you say for the rest of the summer. Please, Mom, I promise, I just need to play with them for like, five minutes. That’s all…can I…please??????”

“Can we get a snow cone?”

“Can we go to a restaurant for lunch?”

“Can we  get an ice cream?”

“Can we have a playdate with Ava?”

“Can I go to Carter’s?”

“Can Everett come over to our house?”

“Can I, Can I, Can I, Can I, Can I, Can I?!” 

…on and on and on and on and on. Sweet Lord make it stop.

I’m feeling a little edgy this summer with the discontentedness.

I say yes a lot. We are beyond blessed and live in paradise on a beautiful island about five minutes from the beach where we go at least twice a week.

We have a pool in our neighborhood within walking distance where we swim most days.

They’ve been to several camps this summer and are participating on a swim team — all activities they’ve chosen, and they appear to be having a glorious time.

So forgive me, children, if I take issue with you always seeming to need more more more.

NO!!!!!!!!!

I’m not anti-technology by any means, but no, you may not sit in front of a screen from dawn to dusk. And no, you may not eat your way through a lazy afternoon. And no, I will not and can not play host to every kid in the neighborhood day in and day out.

I think I would have made a good 1980’s mom.

My mother was a teacher, and when she was on summer break after wrangling youngsters all school year long, she was done.

My younger brother and I got locked out of the house on the regular — If you’re thirsty, go to the hose pipe!

I’m showing my deep-south roots with that line.

And we did, and it was fine.

She also dropped our little asses off at the city pool when I was no more than seven, with just enough cash for a single-serving bag of chips and a drink each, and that was that.

No one drowned.

No one starved.

Last week was particularly rough in our household, so I pulled out the big guns and announced that we’re having a reset week — no TV time and no video games.

When Piers, my eight-year-old, starts on something he can not stop. I think Minecraft is an amazing game with loads of positives, but when it’s time to turn it off he has a complete come-apart. He’s also hyperactive, and the more he sits in front of a screen, the wilder he gets, and even though the games he plays and the shows he watches are age appropriate and relatively tame, he becomes volatile and argumentative in a way that doesn’t happen when he’s screen free.

I know there are a million schools of thought on how much TV time is best, and if Piers were of the more laid-back variety, I’d be less rigid, but if there’s a screen, he’s glued to it. Needless to say, we’re figuring it out as we go.

My seven-year-old is different and can take it or leave it, and overall seems better able to self-regulate, which is ultimately what I want for them. Those well-meaning folks at the baby shower weren’t lying. Parenting is no joke.

This tech-free week might send me right on off the rails.

So tonight we were at a swim meet and I overhead a conversation between Piers and one of the moms who was helping his age group line up for events. Some kid had brought a Kindle Fire and the mom was trying to figure out who it belonged to.

“Piers, is this your Kindle?”

He got this overly-embellished, starry-eyed look on his face and said, “I can only dream…”

The woman was taken aback, but she grinned, and said, “Calm yourself, Hon. It’s a Kindle. We’re not talking fine diamonds here.”

He’s rather quick-witted and nothing is ever lost on him. He quickly retorted, “You obviously have no understanding of how deprived I am when it comes to technology.”

She threw her head back and cackled out loud. Good thing he was blessed with ample charm and that she was blessed with a healthy sense of humor.

I held my tongue and silently rolled my eyes.

Child please, you haven’t the faintest idea about deprivation, but I’m a little concerned we’ve got a serious case of affluenza on our hands.

Happy Summer!

***Daily Post/Daily Prompt – Deprive***

Don’t Cage Rosie

Don’t Cage Rosie

“Ma’am…your dog’s out again.”

It was the same neighbor, same annoyed demeanor, same judgement, same clench in my gut reflecting my own frustration with Rosie.

“Fucking dog…” I muttered under my breath as I quickly located a leash and some kibble treats to bribe her back to our yard.

A perfectly pleasant backyard where our milder tempered canine can hang out all day, content as…well, a retriever in mud.

Why can’t Rosie be content?

Today I was further miffed because we had all been making more of an effort to take her out for walks and rather than appreciate it, she thanked us by breaking out AGAIN.

I quickly recognized that my human logic was not Rosie’s, and even though expecting gratitude from her was about as ridiculous as expecting an elegantly wrapped birthday gift from my lemon tree, I couldn’t help entertaining the idea that she actually grasped the fact that we were attempting to accommodate her wanderlust.

My mind went to all the hard places.

Our neighbors hate us. 

We’re gonna get thrown out of the ‘hood.

She’s gonna get spooked, kill a cat, knock over someone too feeble to recover and boom, we get hauled in for manslaughter and our kids won’t have parents.

I hate my inlaws. They should be dealing with this instead of us. We have enough shit in our salad.

I hate Gil. He’s allowed his mom to think we love dealing with Rosie and her antics.

I hate life.

In case you haven’t noticed, I can spiral with the best of them.

I spent the next forty-five minutes trekking through the drizzly rain and humidity, akin to a hot jog in a ziplock bag, until I exhausted all reasonable places she might be exploring.

I took a seat on the front stoop, defeated, all because of this damn dog who causes more grief than we have room for these days.

I was also worried and only wanted to feel her wet nose on my arm and hear her musical bark letting me know her food was dwindling and that she could see the bottom of her dish.

My love/hate relationship with Rosie is going on six years now. As her temporary keepers, we were helping out with her care after my father-in-law died unexpectedly…and then, all of a sudden, without much discussion, she was our dog.

My father-in-law was drawn to Rosie because she was different, a bit wild with unconventional wolfish looks. He lived his life as a voice for the underdog. He adored her and defended her relentlessly when she tested everyone’s patience with her refusal to be tamed.

Rosie has never met a fence she can’t escape.

I relate to Rosie in more ways than I care to admit.

I hate feeling caged and need my freedom.

Like Rosie, I struggle a bit with neighborhood life.

I find myself rolling my eyes at the Homeowner Association rules, and if circumstances were different, Rosie and I would  both be living with a broad radius from others.

Prior to our move a year ago, we didn’t have to keep Rosie fenced in. It was an option, but she quickly showed us that if we’d let her roam free, she’d come back happily.

She simply wanted to explore, without constraints.

I get that.

I also have no doubt that if Rosie were allowed to roam the neighborhood, she’d be its most upstanding canine citizen.

But just as I have to live amongst others, Rosie can’t gallivant as she pleases.

We dogs and humans have to compromise.

We have to make the best of less-than-ideal circumstances, and Rosie’s and mine could certainly be worse.

As I turned to go inside and passively wait for Rosie’s return, a black streak darted in my peripheral right.

I instinctively knew who it was.

I also know that standard tactics don’t work with Rosie.

She spotted me from the neighbor’s yard and stared me down. I used my best actor skills and glanced over nonchalantly, as if I hadn’t spent my entire morning searching for her.

“What’s up, Ro?”

I went inside and waited.

Less than ten minutes later I opened the front door to find her lounging on the porch. I casually invited her in — her choice, naturally.

Like so many, Rosie wants just enough freedom to feel that she can do as she pleases. As long as she’s granted that…she’s more than willing to abide by the rules.

Response to today’s Daily Prompt

 

 

Prompt Challenge Day 1: My Current Relationship

Prompt Challenge Day 1: My Current Relationship

I ran across this 30 day challenge and thought it would be a good place to start this blogging adventure. I have no idea where it originated. Perhaps I’ll look into it…but I’m afraid if I promise too much here I’ll never actually WRITE. I’m striving to put as much down as I can in ten minutes, with little to no editing. Depending on my day, I may or may not come back to tidy things up later, but either way, I’ll have some sort of post for thirty days straight. Here we go:

 

I once believed in soul mates.

I thought Gil was mine.

We celebrated (and I use that term lightly) sixteen years of marriage this month.

We detest each other.

If I’m honest, and trust me, it’s painful to put my feelings into words, I’m not sure we’ve ever been happily married.

I’m here because I’m emotionally spent and two kids later I’m not sure I have it in me to be a full-on single mom. I doubt myself in many ways and more than anything I want what’s best for my children.

What is that exactly?

Is it better for them to have two parents living in the same household?

It’s not your typical war zone, but it’s hardly pleasant when we’re both home — a rarity at best.

We HAVE separated in the past. I rather enjoyed our separation, but he is more about staying together than I am.

I’m trying for the kids.

I want peace and have no hope for any of it as long as we are married.

My former therapist once said, “The reality is that if you guys can’t communicate now, things will be a million times harder on that front if you divorce.”

Obviously I’m paraphrasing, but that was the gist.

This morning was a train wreck. All we had to do was get our children to the aquatic center for a swim meet by 7:45. It sounds simple enough.

Gil had a gig last night after work. He plays guitar and base and though he no longer is a regular in a band, he’s searching for the right fit.

Before he left last night I asked him to not drink too much so he could at least help me get them there. Yes, that might have been rude or unnecessary, but Gil is prone to drinking too much, especially when he’s playing music.

My clock went off at 5:45; both kids were in my bed, and there was no sign of Gil. I found him on the couch and the entire room wreaked of stale alcohol. Maybe my warning turned into a self-fulfilling prophecy. (end of 10)

Who’s the Prophet Here?

Who’s the Prophet Here?

Creating more ideal circumstances is a theme.

A prophecy?

No.

Or is it, perhaps?

Why then, am I stuck?

Don’t ask if you don’t want the answer.

It’s that prickly, painfully colorful burst.

The inner reality that you of all people don’t want to know.

You like fluidity.

He likes concrete.

You long for meditation but avoid it because if you allow yourself to know you must act.

Procrastination feels safer.

Yet not acting IS acting, damn it.

She calls to you on the riverwalk as you move your legs faster, eyes downward.

She knows.

And your awareness of this fact makes you shiver.

Another year.

Requirements.

Holidays.

Less of you.

More of him.

Listen to her.

You’re the only one who truly knows.

 

***This is in response to a prompt on The Daily Post.