…my brain on a Monday¬†

  
“This is your brain…this is your brain on drugs… Any questions? “. You may recall this powerful Public Service Announcement funded by the Partnership for Drug-free Kids. It ran in 1987. This ad has always stayed with me… I’ve created many versions of this PSA in regards to my own brain…some are quite funny and some…well not so much. 
Today’s brain PSA….
AND…this is my brain …on Monday! 

Did you see that shirt I just had? Where’d my pants go? I just had them are you kidding me? Is that my phone? Can someone shut the alarm off?  Anyone? Hello? Ok…found pants…where’d my shirt go?

Never mind I will shut the alarm off… Thanks though! 

Coffee water is heated…start making it…

Recycling has to go to curb…why is it cold out?

Shirt? Do we have zip lock bags?

“What day is it? A or B? ” she inquires…

Huh? I have no idea…brain frantically searches…am I supposed to know this? Did I lose that memo? 

I ask…what do you mean? (Even though I have quickly figured out that she means that she wants me to open the app on my phone and find out for her)

Ok… Where are my shoes? Where are your shoes? What the hell is my name? Oh yeah phone… Where’d I put it? 

Umm…”I don’t even know where my phone is” of course I find it…and I look up what day it is…I don’t know if it’s A or B … But you have English 

Did I make my coffee? Have to bring the compost buckets out.  Was that the microwave?  Wait a minute… Where’s my phone?  Is that the recycling truck I hear? 

Should I start the car? Zip locks? What am I going to pack lunches in? There’s my shirt! Is the water hot enough to make my coffee? Yay! A new box of zip locks! Excellent! Two lunches to pack… Coffee? Did I start the car yet? 

“I can’t find my fleece!” Hmmmm. My brain scans to visualize where I last saw that fleece… Maybe the stairs? Must pack those lunches… Oh the water is hot again…start the coffee… Fleece?  Did I forget to buy creamer? 

“I can’t find my iPad”…. Couch? Kitchen? Fleece? Near the backpack? Wait a minute! The fleece is right here…  The fleece was found and the search party wasn’t called off.  Not a surprise! 

Lunches!!!! Finish making coffee. iPad? Where did you use it last ? Searching….searching… Is it in Dad’s office with your bass? No! Ugh! Ok…lunches done…is this my coffee? Can someone see if the car is started? 

“The cat? Mom we don’t have a cat! ”  sigh… 

Why????

 (Insert expletive here) … What? “My iPad was underneath my backpack the whole time! Can we go? Mom I’m going to be late”

Really? REALLY?? REALLY???!!!!!

Sigh… This is 15 minutes of my Monday morning… Today’s coping strategy? 

  
This has been a public service announcement from my brain on a Monday…

Advertisements

The Persistence of Memory

Please note my use of ‘an’ and not ‘the’. ‘The’ edge does not exist in my world. There are a plethora of edges …each with their own neatly organized list of criteria for going over. Sometimes it’s pretty… This time it was not. 
By nature, I am a fixer…and tonight, this is what led to my demise. And now, the backstory. I received a Starbucks gift card for Christmas from a treasured family that I do elder care with. Lately, my nine year old has become fond of the double chocolate chip frappaccino… A little too fond , so fond in fact that I searched up the copycat recipe on Pinterest. I scanned the recipe to be certain that all of the ingredients were within grasp. Sweet! Ready to roll! I was having a proud frugal mama moment.  
I gathered the ingredients, the nutri ninja base and cup,and the cover with the blade that makes all the magic happen. I even had the whipped cream and a recycled frappaccino cup. I followed the recipe very carefully making sure that all ingredients were measured to the ‘t’. I was happily tallying all the money I’d be saving by this fabulous idea as I placed the cover on the container. My heart was beating happily in anticipation.  
I placed the container in the base and pressed down to engage the motor. I could hardly contain myself! I was celebrating victory inside my head… What a party …champagne, chocolate fountain….

As I lifted the cup from the base, all of that frappaccino goodness poured from the bottom of the cup. The cover that holds the blade had loosened during all that magic. My brain immediately flashed a view of the masterpiece that is Salvador Dalis melting clocks…so aptly named the Persistence of Memory.

  
And so it was the persistence of the memory of all the bank I’d be rolling by making this beverage at home that fueled what became my undoing.
You see… The ninja comes with more than one blade cover. Aha! And guess what?! Each cover has a sweet little gray piece of rubber that is called the gasket. There it was! A loose gasket and a blade without one. Just as I began rejoicing the solution ….it happened. Why wasn’t this gasket fitting soon turned into ‘if it’s the last effing thing I do in my life …this gasket is going to fit!”  

  
I tried a knife, scissors, a chopstick… Nothing …a corkscrew…Nothing! I googled it… Watched YouTube video clips… Nothing! Two long hrs passed, peppered with colorful expletives… I had to get to bed… I stomped into my husbands office and chucked all the parts onto his desk with a gruff “Over an edge!” 

I went to bed… Still reeling and muttering to myself. The freshly washed Starbucks frappaccino cup remained empty among the disaster of the kitchen counter, the empty green straw leaning wearily against the side of the cup.

When I woke the next morning, I went to investigate the progress. Part of me prayed my husband was unsuccessful … Like that would make me feel less of a failure! At first glance it looked like that was the case… Gasket still laying next to the blade cover. Maybe I’m not as hopeless as I thought! Ha! He couldn’t do it either… Let the rejoicing commence! 
“You couldn’t do it either huh?” I was feeling better. Both of us had failed to get into the Mensa club of the nutri ninja! 

Then it came, like a wall of embarrassment … Red hot cheeks… “Um… There’s already a gasket in this cover”, he stated.

No need to share the rest of my reaction… After all, there were three blade covers… The gasket-less one in the sink. Sigh… Fast forward 25 minutes…..

  
…and as I handed the crisp dollars to the lovely barista I inched slightly towards the plateau… back up from ‘an’ edge that I had been sent over.

…mama

…Mama

Powerful word… Joyfully anticipated from the lips of infants…

Enjoyably received in the ear eagerly awaiting to be called this most blessed name

Such strength , and power to make ones heart skip a beat, to propel one into running to aid, to comfort…to love.

It’s a word I will never tire of hearing…
One that my heart will swell with love to receive again and again…and again…

One that I pray escapes the lips of my elderly children someday as they find their way back to my arms…I’ll always answer to… Mama

20130812-130258.jpg

20130812-130342.jpg

looking for time…

Waking up early for more time in the day… More time to do more…

Rushing to get it all done or just shutting down and avoiding it all together because that just seems easier…

Overwhelmed by it all… Closing up even more and retreating as time slips faster into the darkness of my curled up self…

Taking the first step…being brave… Mornings first deep breath and stretch, I find thankfulness for waking…

I pause…and breathe … and grow…and awaken to the quiet, find comfort in it, restoration in it

I hear birds outside and inhale the richness of my freshly brewed coffee… Has it ever smelled so good?

This moment of pause becomes the foundation of my day… In this moment of pause, I have gained time …somehow stretched my minutes, and enjoyed it… I inhale the truth of Be still…and know …I exhale and sink into this cozy place

God whispers to me in those moments and He says just what I need to hear…’ You do not need time to do more… You need more time of doing less’

…a little quiet

Peace and quiet is waaaaaaaaaay underrated !

Even small brief moments can restore and heal and bring us to a place where we can reach the fullness of a breath…

Where we can see and hear and know comfort in our heart with some clarity…

Where we can exhale with awareness that we are no longer holding our breath…

20130718-111928.jpg

Cheerios and kindness…good for your heart!

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYofm5d5Xdw&feature=player_embedded

Cheerios… Good for the heart! Earlier this week I read an article about the recent Cheerios commercial featuring an interracial family. My heart grew… Being a cream Mama of coffee milk babies and wife to a sweet chocolate brown husband, I related!

I’ve faced the questions since my daughter was born thirteen yrs ago. As we went to dinner to celebrate my finishing graduate school and were waiting for our table, the hostess looked at my newborn and then at me… Puzzled… “Where did you get her from? ” keep in mind… Less than a week post 12 hrs of labor with no meds to bring this beautiful baby into the world, I did not receive this question lightly… Even more appalling was that my husband was standing right behind me holding the baby gear. Want to know my response? I took a deep breath and said matter of factly… “From my uterus!” And so it went… With two beautiful baby boys to follow…more questions came, comments, glares of disbelief and so forth.

I’ve learned to respond more out of love and kindness…it educates and surely hurts my heart less!

My reason for focusing on the Cheerios commercial is this… It did not make the news because it was a brilliant advertising choice… It’s in the news because some people began responding to it with such hate and disgust that youtube had to shut down the comment section. That breaks my heart… I teach my children and the children that I work with at preschool and in kids church, that we treat people with respect and with kindness… That being kind and loving grows our hearts… Just like Cheerios makes our heart healthy!

…is THIS thing ON??

…is this thing on?

Many times as a parent and teacher of young children I find myself in the throes of a recurring Ally Mcbeal moment. The scene…an empty stage, spotlight aimed at a single microphone, audience is hushed and still in anticipation…across the stage struts a small child who grips the microphone with both hands and boldly clears their throat, confidently taps the microphone a time or two and asks”is THIS thing ON?”

Next moment… Wham, I’m back in reality which most often than not finds me with one of my own children or a preschooler standing with arms folded or hands on hips in front of me… The expression on their face demanding an answer to the question… “Is THIS thing ON?????”

I am pleased to report that I have grown to be very comfortable and adept at welcoming the challenge…I have learned to remain calm ( for the most part) and meet the child where they are at. I can recite the expectation, offer a choice, throw in some humor and roll with it.

Point in case, in the recent past, a beloved preschooler of mine stepped up to the mic… With verve and audacity he grabbed that mic with both hands and shouted…”IS THIS THING ON?” When I came to from my Ally McBeal moment I sat him down, sat next to him and the dance began. I laid out the expectation of reasonable behavior and waited… I acknowledged his body language and verbalized what I heard his heart saying…and I waited…I validated his feelings…all feelings ok…taking those feelings out on others by invading personal space not ok…and I waited. I looked around the room as he sat next to me… Even took a phone call on speaker… As he sat next to me… I spoke about how awful he must be feeling on the inside to be so visibly upset on the outside… I encouraged calm breathing and the return to peace in his heart and body…and I waited. Several more times through the process, he stepped back up to the mic… Each consecutive time his voice a bit quieter…his stance less confrontational… The answer was sinking in, the message getting through… Yes the mic is on… Yes I am being heard… I am supported and loved… My needs will get met… My feelings are ok but not all my responses to those feelings are beneficial. Here’s where my honed talent comes in: humor!

After about 30 min I offered the following…
“It looks like you would really like a hug from your Mom! Here’s my suggestion …would you like the short version or the long version?” I was not surprised by the answer… He wanted to hear both prior to choosing. Here is the short version , “hug?” And the longer version begins as I stand tall and refer to a non existent long scroll of a message . ” my dearest mother, I am wondering if I were to stand up and move towards you with my arms extended outward, if you would then also stand up and move toward me. Perhaps then if you were to also extend your arms toward me and we moved closer to one another, then maybe we could embrace in what is sometimes referred to as a hug? ” This elicited a fabulous giggle but did not keep my beloved preschooler from stepping up to the mic one more time and with a tiny whisper ” is this thing on?” As we moved towards gathering his things together he pondered long or short version as his mom and I stood close awaiting the end of the test. I jumped in before he voiced his request and I asked him for a hug… I then asked, ” long or short ? “. His reply, “short!” He looked toward his ever patient mama and said, “hug?”
It took us 40 min to get to that moment but through it all, we stood firm, we rode out the test not waivering in love or expectation. And that’s what it all comes down to …not getting stage fright when someone steps up to the mic and asks, “is THIS thing ON??”