Thursday, February 25, 2010

Night of the Living Dead!

I just finished writing about saying NO to volunteering at school when I got a phone call from my son’s high school theater teacher. At my son’s school, each February, for one week, they have what’s called Mini-Course week.

Last year, Kyle went to Death Valley and spent the week communing with nature. I spent the week worrying about rattlesnake bites and scorpion invasions.

This year, he opted to stay around Marin and participate in a movie-viewing course.

Today, they watched Night of the Living Dead.

Because of my sordid relationship to the horror genre, I was asked to come to class and speak about horror films, specifically, how horror films changed in the late 1960s.

At 9:30 this morning I found myself sitting in a theater watching Night of the Living Dead on a big screen. I was so excited. I don’t think I had seen this film on a big screen since I originally saw it in 1968!

It is such a classic. For $114,000, George Romero changed a genre.

I was much more excited than the kids. I’m not sure they found the film scary in the least. When it was originally released, kids were literally terrified. Nothing like this had ever been seen before. Parents used to drop off their adolescent kids at the movies to watch horror films on Saturday afternoons. But this film came as a real surprise. Children were left silent and shaking in darkened theaters. It ended up making millions of dollars and still gets a 96% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

It was clear to me today that horror films really do reflect the times.

Sitting in the darkened theater, I realized that I had a real contextual understanding of this film. 1968 was a pivotal year. The beginning of the year saw the Tet Offensive, and Walter Cronkite (the most trusted man in America) said in one of his broadcasts that perhaps the Vietnam War was not winnable. Martin Luther King was assassinated. Riots hit most major cities, and then Bobby Kennedy was killed. The summer of 1968 everything was upside down. By the time of the Democratic convention in Chicago, the world as we knew it was gone forever.

I remember all of this and more. I remember earthquake drills. But something much more significant, I remember Nuclear Attack drills. Yes! Once a year at my elementary school a booming bell would ring signaling an impending dismissal. We had to practice walking home quickly and orderly. I’m not sure about the logic in this, but it was taking control of an untenable situation—so the administrators created the drill.

The threats of my youth, beginning with the Cuban Missile Crisis and the assassination of JFK seem so much different than the threats my children fear. But are they?

When 9/11 happened both my kids were school-aged. Will was in kindergarten and stayed home that awful day. Kyle was in third grade and determined to be with his friends for this critical event. I let him go. The school happened to butt up against my backyard, so I let him go. I knew that I had to or I would scare him more than he already was. I let him go because it was the right thing to do.

The threats we face today seem insurmountable. But then again, in 1968 they must have felt the same way.

History helps us see the present more clearly. We hope we learn from our mistakes. But I also thought, sitting in that darkened theater watching flesh eating “ghouls,” that perhaps the only thing that has really changed in our world is the pacing of a horror film. No one has patience any more to wait in suspense for things that go bump in the night. I just fervently hope that we have the patience to act responsibly in a world spinning out of control.

I went to high school today and I learned that the more things change, the more they really stay the same!

What are the scariest movies you have seen? Have any movies shaped the way you see the world? Where were you in 1968?

Not wanted anymore!

I have been part of my kids’ public elementary school strategic planning committee for the last eleven years. It has been an extraordinary experience and one that has left me feeling like I have been able to contribute to my community and school other than just driving field trips, distributing hot lunches and helping with classroom parties.

Friday the group is reconvening and I got a call from our superintendent’s office explaining very nicely that they don’t want me this year. But that’s not all. The reason they don’t want me is that they want my eldest son to participate instead and they would worry that if I were in the room he might not be as honest or straightforward as they want him to be.

I’m not exactly sure how I feel about this considering this is my last year in the district. My youngest will be graduating from 8th grade this spring and heading off to high school.

I am being replaced by my 16-year-old!

Now, I must confess when we have had former students join in the planning process over the last decade I have hung on every word they say. Their perspective has been crucial in the decisions we have made as a committee.

It think about what the committee will look like now. I can imagine that a young mother or father will replace me. They will listen to my son and do their best for our public school. But it’s done, over. My years of hard work for the public school have finally come to an end.

And it is bittersweet.

As a parent concerned about your child’s education, in a state that has massive financial woes you get involved. And I started out with gusto and fire in my belly.

Over the years you learn how to say NO only because you just can’t say YES anymore. And by the time middle school comes around you dodge the people in charge so you don’t have to say NO one more time. You really want to help, it's for our schools.

But I needed to get a life.

I thank every single parent who has volunteered. They have given my children so much more than just an education. Their hard work and love has filled the playgrounds and classrooms. Thank you. They have raised money, picked up trash, chaperoned dances, worked in the classroom. They have given all that they can and more!

As I write this I remember that I just got a call from the Principal’s office. I think she needs some help writing something for the strategic planning meetings.

Ahhhh, there is one more thing I can do.

I can write.

do you have problems saying No? Do you enjoy helping out in your community? What kinds of things do you do?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Is is Hot in Here?

I went on facebook just a moment ago and discovered an advertisement on the right hand side of my screen. It was for hot flash cream. I suppose it’s to prevent them not to get them. But I can’t believe they are targeting me. Why couldn’t they be advertising the latest four-inch stilletos? Is that the kind of ads you all get on your facebook page? Should I be insulted?

Yes, I am having night sweats and I’m a bitch more often than not. But really, do I have to have this ad pushed on me on facebook where I'm desperately trying to cling to my youth?

What ads are the men my age getting? Viagra ads I hope! Here’s my bitchiness coming out—it’s just that us women seem to suffer so much with the whole hormone, pregnancy, PMS, change of life crap.

Which gets me thinking about being a woman. One of the wonderful things is carrying a child. But in reality I could have done without the whole pregnancy thing. I would have been fine if hubby had carried our children. He would have done a much better job than me. I loved feeling their little kicks inside of me, but other than that I didn’t love pregnancy. Is that awful of me? I felt barfy half of the time, I couldn’t breathe the other half!

I’ll never forget after my second was born I peed for like an hour. I remember thinking that I must have lost 15 pounds in pee. I was so excited that I ran out shopping. I thought for sure I would easily slip into a size 14 pants. I was in shock when I couldn’t get them over my fat derrière.

But now I look at pregnant women with nostalgia. I don’t know if I still could get pregnant but I envy their glow. I don’t think I glowed. I barfed. I wanted to glow.

And now there’s hot flash cream to look forward to. Oh joy.

Monday, February 22, 2010

My Bad!

So many wonderful writers with small children using new media to express their hopes, their dreams, their fears.

Fewer older Moms blogging, but those that are share similar common goals. How do I stay relevant in a world filled with diapers, bottles, ear infections suddenly becomes how do I stay sane in a world of freak dancing, hooking-up, driving, girlfriends, less and less hands on mothering, more and more head tripping?

What can I offer the young mothers and fathers? Ahhhh. My mistakes.

Should have allowed sons to do all their own homework.
Should have allowed sons to forget to do their homework and suffer the consequences.
Should have allowed sons to learn how to self advocate.
Should not have hovered about so much.
Should have discouraged sleep overs (nothing good comes from sleep-overs)
Should have said NO easier and more often.
Should have insisted on more reading time.
Should have made sons put dishes in the dishwasher.
Should have taught sons how to do their own laundry.
Should insist on them making their bed every morning.
Should have encouraged sons to commit to exercising daily.
Should have discouraged so much organized sports
Should have encouraged pick-up games.
Should not have succumbed to fears that bubbles over in small communities of mommies.
Should not have worried the small stuff like grades and test scores and private schools.
Should have worried more about making good, compassionate people.
Should have not allowed my world to be completely taken over by theirs.
Should have gone away on more vacations with just my hubby.
Should not have freaked out when they got the 'wrong' teacher.
Should have had opera playing in my home as I cooked dinner.
Should have waited as long as possible to buy son his own computer(it's the beginning of the end when they have their own laptop!)
Should not have given sons an excuse to come home early from "outdoor ed" if they got homesick.
Should have insisted on earning money--babysitting, dog feeding, anything.
Should have always listened to my gut.

Looking at this list, I realize something astonishing. I know that most of my mistakes come from a place of love but I also realize they come from a place of fear. As a doting mother I want my sons to have choices. You will hear yourselves say this time and time again. And you will want to swoop in and fix things so that none of their choices will be taken away. But as I sit back and think about the choices I have made, I realize I have perhaps taken away some very important, basic survival skills. I created less resilient kids! This is not a little thing. Disappointment is a huge part of human development. But like most of my contemporaries, I couldn't stand to watch my children suffer disappointment, so I hovered ready to sweep in to fix problems way too early.

So today I leave you with this: Don't be afraid to let your children fail. Be there to pick-up the pieces, hold them tightly and love them, but let them fail. And make sure you define success for yourself and your family. I encourage you to Challenge Success and read Denise Pope's wonderful book, "Doing School: How we are Creating a Generation if Stressed-Out, Materialistic, and Miseducated Students."

I realize that the reason we don't want our children to be disappointed is that we want them to come away from childhood with their self-esteem in tact. Failing and then picking oneself up and figuring out how to go forward from that failure is what creates real self-esteem.

I hear next month if my youngest will get into the independent high schools he hopes to attend. For a moment today I began to worry about the disappointment he will feel if he is rejected. I stopped myself. I will love him no matter if he gets in or not. I will be there to help him understand the situation. And I will gently encourage him to go forward to one of the great public high schools and turn the situation into something great for him. That in the end is success and that will create real self confidence.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Wonderful Rainy Me Day

A strange thing happened today. I wanted to spend the day with my husband. I wanted to leave the kids at home. This hasn’t happened in, well, in forever. I have always seized the moments of ‘family’ time and enjoyed sharing all my experiences with my children.

Today, on a rainy San Francisco Sunday, I had no desire for the kids to be part of my lazy day with my hubby. We had a plan. We drove to Sausalito and sat in a cozy bar at a hotel that sits at the base of the Golden Gate.

Heat lamps and warm blankets adorn the patio seating suggesting everyday is winter at the base of the Golden Gate. Tom and I wandered inside and warmed our wet toes on a roaring fire. I sipped peppermint tea and dined on a Dungeness crab BLT. It felt deliciously decadent. And I didn’t miss the kids for a moment.

When we climbed back to the car I told Tom how great it was to be just the two of us. I told him I didn’t even miss the kids. He didn’t either.

We drove back home in silence. What had suddenly changed in me that I didn’t need my children to make me feel complete and why did this happen today? Don’t get me wrong; I was delighted to open the front door to their smiling faces. But for the first time I had not invited them to join us.

In fact, I didn’t even tell them where we were headed. I just escaped. And I had a lovely day with my husband. Just the two of us.

I remember when the kids were little and we tried to do date nights. They felt like guilty pleasures but somehow we always ended up talking about the kids. Not today. They were not on my mind today. Today was all about hubby and me. Am I beginning to dream?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Hangin' Out and Hangin' On!

I sit just beyond the family room in an office filled with boxes. I listen to the voices of my thirteen-year-old and his two friends. I can't hear the content of their conversation just the wonderful intonation of their changing voices.

They laugh. They tease. They debate. They are three boys on the verge of becoming men.

I love being in close proximity to their spirited conversation. They are so alive.

I took them to lunch and they ate huge burritos. They'll be hungry again in moments.

In twenty minutes I must leave to pick up my 16-year-old from school.

This is my day. For a moment I pretend that I resent the confinement to 'their' schedule. But I can't lie, not even to myself, I love the rituals, the blessed children "hangin' " at my home. What will I do without them?

A text, a quick phone call, perhaps a video chat--that is what the next phase will be.

Will I survive the quiet and the endless hours of my time? Will I sit and write and become a recluse? I fear this a bit. I have a tendency to 'hole up' when the world outside feels too frightening.

I like to think I will be dreaming of something to look forward to--a special trip, an opera, a show on Broadway. But will I continually want to share these experiences with my children?
Life keeps on moving. I am so acutely aware of this right now. The end seems closer than the beginning. And I have the wisdom to know that I can't control this, but not the fortitude to be at peace. Not yet. I'm working on it.

I received a call this morning from a friend who just returned from touring colleges with her eldest son. A text this afternoon informed me of another friend's college tour with her eldest daughter. I knew both these kids when they were five. Soon these mothers will send their children off to college. What then?

At times the letting go feels right, appropriate. Other times, it feels like I am living in a parallel universe. One thing is for certain. We cannot predict the things that await us. We must hope or pray to have the courage to accept the challenges with grace and dignity and little bit of 'piss and vinegar' as my mother would have said.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Want to Hook-Up?

When I was a kid my Dad used to say things like "Cool," and "Daddy o." I rolled my eyes. He was so old fashioned. The '60's came and went and I was left saying, "Man, that's groovy," or "that's a bitchin' car."

And when a guy liked a girl he asked her to 'go steady.' What a nice way to describe a relationship, steady. I was asked to go steady when I was in the fourth grade. I got really nervous so I immediately went into my 'ask a lot of questions' mode. I was on the phone with this poor boy and I asked him what it meant to go 'steady.' He told me, he thought it meant holding hands and walking down to the record shop on a Saturday.

Doesn't that sound nice?

Kids don't go steady anymore. They "HOOK-UP!" Now, this makes me nervous so again I go into my question asking mode. "What does it mean to HOOK-UP?" I ask my kids and any of their friends that know me well to indulge my curiosity.

I have come to learn that HOOKING-UP has several different meanings. One of my kids explained, "Hooking-up is like when you're at a party and you just hook-up with someone." I still didn't get it. I asked him again. (I am fully conscious of one's need to be persistent to get any kind of real answer.) He looks at me like he can't believe I don't understand, "You know, like you make-out." AHHH, I know what 'make-out' means. We used that word way back when. But wait, does it have a new meaning. I need to inquire further, "Is making out like french kissing?" I get eye rolls which means, duh...I used that word too. In fact I think our generation invented duh. (Thank God for Homer Simpson) So, I have new found resolve. "So hooking-up means kissing with tongues?"

This is when I almost lose them. I plead for them to answer me. How will I ever know if they won't tell me?

Casually, one of my kids says, "It also means like having sex."

OK. So now I'm completely confused. If I hear someone say "I hooked-up with that girl at the party it could mean kissing, but it could also mean a lot more?"

What happened to "Let's go steady." I liked the steady thing. I understood it.

Now, I have a final question, and I'm going to march into my son's room right now and interrupt his studying--I 'm going to ask, "What do you say when you are going out with a girl--like when your facebook status says 'in a relationship?'"

Pause for answer.....walking my computer over to his room...knocking on his door...he is looking goes. Question asked....

My son's expression of bewilderment....


Imagine that. My father used to call it dating too. Some things don't ever go out of style.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Dreams they are a 'changing!

My father walked me down to the shore of our house in Malibu. He pointed to the horizon. Your true love is out there, somewhere. You will find him.

My father and mother had a wonderful marriage and my father tried to instill in me a belief that certain things are heaven sent. I'm sure he thought he was the luckiest man in the world to share his life with my mother.

This romantic notion has stayed with me my entire life. I dreamt of finding my soul mate and I kissed a lot of frogs along the way. But I met him. In the right time, the right place and I have never doubted for a second that he was heaven sent.

Together we started a family. I dreamt of this my entire life. I love kids and would often joke that I wanted at least ten! Two seemed so much more realistic. Perfect in fact.

So, we began to raise our family. A lifetime of dreams and hopes and prayers--it has been a wonderful journey. I just never realized it would go so fast. My youngest is only 13 but still I can feel the urgent beat of time. It pounds my eardrums like a Native American ritual--telling me time goes by.

I am getting a little more comfortable with my eventual journey--the kids will leave and I will make some kind of new life. But what are my dreams now? Are my dreams meant only for my kids or do I have some left over dreams just for me? I think what I am really asking is am I too old to dream? Is dreaming for young people just starting out? Now that I am firmly in mid-life, am I too realistic to dream?

I sit outside on this beautiful Northern Californian day. The sunshines down on me like a torch lighting my way. But I can't see my way yet.

When I was single there were so many days, so many lonely nights when I would think that I would never meet the person my Dad promised was just beyond the horizon. But I kept on dreaming. And waiting. Tom was worth the wait!

So, I ask the young mothers whose blogs I read and love, old friends that have known me for forty-five years, cousins,brothers and sisters-in-law, my incredible mother-in-law and father-in-law, and dare I even ask my children or the friends of my children-- am I too old to dream? Deep within me, on this perfect day, I know if I stop dreaming then I might as well just die.

But my dreams they are a changing. I can't just dream for smooth waters that bring health and happiness to those I love. I need to dream something for myself...something I really want. I just can't think of anything that I don't already have.

Valentine's Day 2010

This must be 2010.

Tom and I went to visit my mom in San Francisco. We thought my 13-year-old and his buddy would like to be dropped off in the city to hang out alone for their very first time in San Francisco.

We handed them forty bucks and told them we would be back in about an hour and a half.

Kyle left earlier that morning to surprise his girlfriend at Berkeley. He was really excited about Valentine's Day. It was his first with someone he cared about that wasn't his mother. He had the day planned. He was to drive across the Richmond Bridge and surprise her in Berkeley, pick her up, drive across the Bay Bridge and take her to Golden Gate Park where he would row her around Stow Lake, then he would drop her off at Bart and he would make it home via the Golden Gate Bridge.

Now, I hate to sound like a giant party popper, but I sat in mom's room and looked around at all the pictures I had hung for her last year. Almost everyone in the pictures had died. My stomach churned. I thought about Will in the city for the first time alone and quickly remembered we dropped him off precisely where most of the damage was done during our last big earthquake. And I couldn't even go to the places my mind wanted to, thinking about all the potential dangers Kyle could find himself in with all those bridges, cars, boats, and parks. The walls in mom's room started to close in on me.

Then I thought about my mother's twin sister who would have turned 88 with my mom. My stomach was now doing flip-flops. I had to sit down. Breathe I commanded. I watched my husband feed my mother an entire piece of marzipan cake. She seemed to be so happy and so alert. I wanted to enjoy her birthday but I couldn't.

Too much sadness and anxiety for one day.

We picked up Will and he was fine. We arrived home when the sun was setting. Tom and I took a long stroll along the water. We held hands..

"Do you think Kyle knows to leave the park before it gets dark," I broke the moment.

Tom is getting used to broken moments.

I was getting sick of myself. I found all my candle sticks and an entire box of candles. I filled the living room with candle light. Tom played music.

Finally I was experiencing some peace.

"What time is it?" I asked Tom who was cooking ME dinner.

Now, came the countdown to Kyle's arrival home.

I tried to stay in the moment. The candle light and soft music helped. I enjoyed. I really did. That is until I started to really think about the time.

He was later than he should be. When would my son walk through the front door? I practically held my breath.

I picked up my cellphone to call his girlfriend. And as soon as I did I heard that amazing sound, the front door opening. He was home.

I sighed a long deep sigh.

I placed my head on Tom's lap and watched the Olympics. It was perfect.

"I love you," I told all three of them but I don't need Feb. 14th to tell you that.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Valentine's Day

Valentines day is my mother's birthday. It would have been my Aunt's as well. It was great celebrating Valentine Day with them because then I never had to worry about what I was going to do on Vday or with whom I would be celebrating. I was always with Mom and Auntie.

I know this Vday I will go to the Jewish Home and celebrate with Mom. I will bring her a Princess cake and lots of chocolates. Tom will be with me and this makes him particularly happy. He has no stress on Vday because it is all about my Mom. He doesn't have to scramble for reservations or come up with some creative way to surprise me. He knows I hate Valentine's Day and he also knows I love him.

I love my birthday, Easter and Christmas. I can't wait for Passover. I love to sit at a Seder table and listen to the stories of my ancestors. I just don't like Valentine's Day.

What is the purpose? I know to sell cards and little crap but really? Did I ever like Valentine's Day?

I remember those little heart candies that had words written on them. I liked those. I recall getting cute little 4" by 4" cards from all of my friends. That was kinda fun. But all too soon it turned into "Who got the dozen red roses at the office?" or "Can you believe my boyfriend is taking me to Switzerland for Valentine's Day?"

Come on. Group vomit here!

And then there are all those awful chick flicks that come out right before Valentine's Day. (I must confess the one that open's Friday looks a tad promising)....But come on, can't we do better.

I want to know your best and worst Valentine's Days! What did you do? Who were you with? Does anybody else hate Valentine's day?

I'm just thankful it's Mom's birthday. I always have a great day because of her.

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Strangest Three days in NYC

We left for the airport Thursday afternoon for a 3pm flight to New York City. I had to stop by the hospital to say another good-bye to my beautiful Aunt. I gave her a kiss and watched as she lay peacefully in her bed.

We rushed through the airport and boarded our Virgin America flight. My little cousin was having a marriage reception, and everyone I asked said I must choose life over death. So I did.

We landed at midnight and finally got to our hotel at about 1 AM. Of course, because of the time change, it was dinner time for us.

Probably because of all the stress my back was killing me. I mean I could barely walk the two blocks to Carnegie Deli. But I did. We chowed down on pastrami sandwiches the size of Carneige Hall. Will had a foot long hot dog filled with grilled onions. Ahhh, New York!

Two hours later, I awoke with searing pains in my stomach. I had the worst intestinal thing happening. In a city that never sleeps, my bowels were very much awake. I was miserable. Every time I feebly made my way to the toilet my back screamed out in pain but it was my intestines that were on fire. And I spent most of the night on the lovely little porcelain abode.

I finally feel asleep around 11:30 AM and woke about 2 PM--just in time for the reservation I had made at Mikimoto in the meat packing district. I stood up and made my way to the kid's room. They were fully dressed--a miracle. I took one look at them and knew there was no way I was going to make Mikimoto--Iron Chef or not. I went back bed and stayed there for most of the weekend.

I was determined to make it to the wedding. I had just flown thousands of miles and left my dying Aunt, and I was not going to miss the event. I ran over to a beauty salon looking like a chewed up piece of hot pastrami and asked Ernesto to make me beautiful. He was kind not to laugh. He washed my hair, blew it dry and curled it with a hot curling iron. My "practically perfect in every way" husband sat with me just in case I had to make a quick get away to a clean toilet. But I let Ernesto do his magic and thought about my Aunt who used to go once a week to the hairdresser. She then would cover her newly done do with what she called a babushka to keep her hair from falling flat. I loved her babushkas! I was lost in reverie when the call came, right there in the beauty salon. Auntie was gone.

Now, poor Ernesto had to deal with a sick, ugly looking chick who now was crying. He stroked my head tenderly, and I thought it quite fitting that I was sitting exactly where I was.

Time passed too quickly. I had to rush back to the hotel and put on my black tie finest. This I could have lived without. Auntie hated dressing up and I so get it now. And stockings! I had to wear stockings. I haven't worn stockings in a decade. The only consolation was that with the stockings I could go without my spanks which I could not have been able to put on my gurgling, aching stomach.

Tom got the kids into their tuxedos and with all the cufflinks and pocket squares and tiny little tuxedo hooks I was starting to feel sick again.

I lay on the bed fully dressed not sure I was ready for a life of 'life!'

But I did it!

I watched lobster tails and oysters pass my way. I declined the ten glasses of champagne that were offered to me. I watched Will gorge himself on endless Chinese dumpings and small glasses of wild mushroom soup--and dinner had not even been served.

At dinner, I sat and ate rolls. Three to be precise. I stared at my lobster salad, lobster bisque, perfectly cooked lamb chops au jus, creamed spinach and twice baked potato. I had to leave the room after the wedding cake was cut, because I couldn't bare to look at the pastries that were pouring out of the kitchen.

I danced. I celebrated. I didn't have to go to the toilet once!

The next day, we caught a flight home. That was yesterday I think. We flew back, and the boys were able to watch the Super Bowl flying high above the clouds. I read my book and looked forward to my own bed.

I fell to sleep quickly last night at about midnight (thankful for all your helpful sleep hints.) At two in the morning, I heard a strange sound coming from Kyle's room. I knew that sound. No, it couldn't be! He was violently throwing up. Tom and I both spent the night up with him. It has been about twelve hours, and he is finally feeling better. I love how kids rebound.

And in all this I have not had the quiet moment of peace I really need to mourn my Aunt. Maybe it's her way of saying, "I'm gone, I'm at peace. Don't stop your life because of me."

But Auntie, I want to, because I love you. You will always be my second mother.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

One Sheep, Two Sheep, Three Sheep, Four...

Why is insomnia a part of menopause? Is it because then in the middle of the night when I wake up in a blanket of sweat I can think? No good thinking comes about at 4AM. I know. I have been up thinking at 4AM too many times.

Last night, I willed myself not to think about my Aunt so instead my mind wandered to the absurd. I worried about missing my last two dentist appointments. I worried about forgetting to return important e-mails. I worried about Kyle's stupid SAT. I worried about not sleeping. I worried about worrying.

I would have been better off thinking about my Aunt.

Now, I'm exhausted and not sure how I am going to get through the day. But I will. It won't be pretty but I'll manage.

I just don't understand why this estrogen thing has to be related to sleep disturbances. When we are tired everything seems so much worse. And I don't need things to seem worse right now. Hence, I worry about not sleeping.

So many of my friends function wonderfully on only a few hours of sleep a night. I don't. I need a solid seven or eight hours.

Sleep has always been a problem for me. Even before this wonderful time in my life I had a difficult time sleeping. But never like this! I am so envious of my husband who puts his head on his pillow and is immediately fast asleep. I listen to his breath for hours tossing and turning until I finally fall asleep. Then just a few hours later I wake again. Shake the sweat from my burning body and try again.

He always tells me to get up and read or something. BUT, I don't want to read. I want to sleep.

I love the feeling of a good night's sleep. The restful, calm way you go about your day. I love the extra patience I have when I am fully rested. Everything is more fun, makes more sense, brighter, fuller, more engaging when I have had the proper rest.

I remember feeling that way back in my mid-forties. It was wonderful.

I am reading so many wonderful blog posts from new mothers. How I remember those sleepless nights. And then right when you think you can't take it anymore, your precious child finally sleeps through the night.

Do you think that will happen with me? Do you think that when I finally just can't deal, my hormones will settle down and I'll be able to sleep once again?

Does anyone have any good sleeping tips? I desperately need advice.

(please excuse typos, grammatical errors, lousy writing, etc.--they are partially due to lack of sleep.)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tonight I Will Be Sad!

Everyone is so quiet in my house. Like little mice, my three boys are treading very lightly tonight. So quiet, so very, very quiet.

They are used to seeing me upset, angry, happy, crazy, even a little wild. They are not used to seeing me so sad.

My sadness makes them feel bad. But I can't hide it. Not today.

Today, I said yet another good-bye to my wonderful Aunt. I am so lousy at good-byes. I have said too many good-byes. But she is not yet ready to die.

Peacefully, she sleeps. Regal, she looks. Solace, I feel in knowing that she will never have to watch her twin sister, my mother die. Small comforts, but I will take them tonight.

I will find a way from the sadness to the brightness and lightness of a life filled with wonderful memories, but not tonight. Tonight, I will be sad.