Saturday, May 15, 2010

Worth Waiting For

I have this poem rattling around in my head. It has a part about writing on your hand in pen to remember stuff. I hope it sounds better than that when I finally get it out of my head and in to poem form. I hope it is worth waiting for.

Speaking of worth waiting for.... I FINALLY got my tattoo finished today! I wish I could make up some new words to express how much I love it. I think my tattoo artist, Chris Carter at Fate Tattoo, is one of the most amazing artists ever. I can't believe this amazing tattoo is on MY arm!

So... I need to get back in to writing. I need.... to do a lot of things. I really hope I can find some determination and motivation. Before I completely lose my ability to write. At all.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Blank Stare

My oldest son, Luke, is not very social. He is quite witty for a four-year-old and amazingly thoughtful when he wants to be, but he just doesn't seem to feel like he should interact with most people in the general public. In a way, this is quite irritating because I don't want to be that parent with the weird kid who won't talk to people. However, I kind of admire him. There are so many people I wish I could ignore or respond to with a blank stare.

I also can't blame him for not wanting to participate in the lame-o activities at school. They had a Mother's Day Tea at his school Thursday. Of course, the teacher had prepared a little song and dance routine for the kids to do for the moms. Okay, so it was more like songs with motions accompanied by a kid's sing-a-long CD than it was singing and dancing, but you get the idea. As soon as the teachers asked the kids to come up to the front for their songs, Luke looked at me and said, "I don't want to." I encouraged him to go up, but he gave me that look and an "Uh-uh." The teachers were looking at me and I told him again that he should go up, but it was obvious that trying any more than that was going to end badly. So I just shrugged it off and let him skip it. He sat in his chair next to me and watched while his classmates performed 'Skitta-ma-rinky-dinky-dink' and 'A Bushel and a Peck' with motions that included lots of hugging themselves, throwing kisses, and bouncing with their hands on their hips.

How bad is it that I was actually proud of him for not participating? Sure, I understand that participation and collaboration are important life skills, but what is it teaching him if he is forced to do something stupid just because everyone else is doing it? There is really only one outcome I can envision from this whole attitude of kids needing to do things for amusement just because all their friends are doing it. Is that what I want to be teaching my kids? I mean, sure, if they really like singing goofy songs and want to do it, that's fine. But if they hate it, why should they have to?

Now, I'm not saying I intend to teach my kids that it is okay for them to do whatever they want, whenever they want. They need to learn manners and responsibility and how to treat people with respect. But I also want them to learn that there are things they should not do just for approval or just because other people are doing them. They need to learn to evaluate what are those things that are beneficial to their lives and what are the things that add no value. I know I'm still trying to teach myself to say 'no' to things that add no value to my life but that I feel obligated to do anyway. How much easier my life would be if I had learned that lesson starting in preschool!

Luke still gave me the big, floppy, paper hat he made for me. And the card with a picture he drew of the two of us with the dog. And the flower with a snapshot of us glued in the middle. He still served me cake and he still sat on my lap while the teacher read the sad story she chose to try to make all the moms cry. His choosing not to participate in the singing and bouncing did not ruin the Mother's Day party for me. It made me hopeful that his future will not include too much time wasted agonizing over how to say no to something in which he has no interest but that he still feels he pressured to do because all the other kids are doing it.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Open Letter to All Tri-State Area Drivers

Dear Fellow Drivers -

As we are often sharing the same expressways and thoroughfares, there are a few things I would like to address. If we could come to an agreement on these infractions, I think our comings and goings would be much more pleasant. At least mine would be and that is what I'm really concerned about today.

If you are not passing any cars on the left, stop driving in the passing lane! It is called a passing lane for a reason and that reason is not so that other cars have to start passing you on the right. I do not care what great conversation you are having on your cell phone or that you are engrossed in your radio program. You are driving and you should glance in the rear view mirror every once in a while to see if there are thirty cars lined up behind you. Get the eff over and out of the way of people who have places to go.

If you need to check your make-up, take off your jacket, search for something in the back seat, text your BFF, or adjust your mirrors, the time for this is when you arrive at your destination and not when you have been stopped at a red light for five minutes already. When you are stopped first-in-line at the world's shortest turn light, you should be facing forward, hands on the wheel, eyes on said light, ready to gun it as soon as the green turn-arrow lights up. This will ensure more people than just you can make it through the intersection before the arrow light turns red.

USE YOUR TURN SIGNAL PEOPLE! This alerts the other drivers around you that you are about to do something stupid. Something stupid like turn left from the lane you're driving in rather than taking advantage of the well-marked turn lane you should be using. It also lets us know if you are about to change lanes into us without doing a shoulder check or so much as glancing in your side mirror. Car manufacturers have placed the control for the turn signal very conveniently next to where your left hand should be on the steering wheel. It is very simple to reach out with a finger or two to signal in which direction you are about to do something asinine.

Do not pull right out in front of me when I am driving along at good clip and then proceed to drive like your car is missing an accelerator. Unless you have been sitting at a stop sign for twenty minutes and the space between me and the car ahead of me is your only shot at getting out on to the main road, this is not acceptable. I will cut you some slack if I can see nothing but headlights behind me and you speed up to a suitable speed. But if you could have waited an additional two seconds and pulled out behind me, there is no excuse for slowing me down and getting on my nerves. Especially when it is completely obvious you are in no hurry to get wherever you are going.

If you do any of these stupid things and someone is tailgating you or honks at you or is yelling at from inside their car, you do not have the right to get pissed off, tailgate back, or make obscene gestures. You should take a moment to reflect on your rudeness and adjust your behavior accordingly. Take these words to heart. This really is for your own good.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Good Things Come?

I may have mentioned before that patience is not my strong suit. I was planning to have my tattoo finished today, but that didn't exactly happen. In a way I can't believe it still isn't finished after three sessions. However, my artist is AMAZING and pays such attention to detail (maybe a masters degree in painting will do that to a guy) and has put in at least ten hours on it so far. I know I am extremely biased here since this is that tattoo design I chose and it is on my arm, but can you believe how beautiful this is?

So even though I really wish it was done, I'm kinda getting the whole thing about good things coming to those who wait. Chris probably could have done this in fewer sessions, but would I really have wanted him to when it is turning out like this? And, truth be told, after five hours today I was getting tired of sitting and my arm was getting really sore. I know this will all be worth it when I see the final product. Soon....