About 3% of the U.S. population has it and approximately 83,000 are women. Although there’s lots of guessing by the medical community, there’s no known cause, no known cure, and most people consider it a “catch-all” diagnosis. Even some doctors believe it’s a psychological condition. Hypochondria, anyone? Well, it isn’t in my head. Continue reading
A few months ago, my dad bought eleven chickens. He has since summed up the chicken caring experience like this, “Now I know when someone calls you a chicken, it’s really an insult.” Our little egg layers aren’t even laying eggs yet since they aren’t old enough to breed.
A few oddities:
One of our hens is a Silkie, given to my daughter by our neighbor who decided she needed a pet. J, who has unsuccessfully tried to name a series (and wide variety) of creatures Nala, now has a Nala of her very own. Apparently, Nala will be laying little eggs small enough that it’d take four or five to make a regular sized egg. I’ve never seen a chicken that looked like it had fur. Continue reading
Have you ever felt pulled in more than one direction at the same time? Of course you have. You’re eating breakfast, really enjoying that egg and toast, and your four-year-old says, “Mommy, I broke it.” That’s all they have to say before your previously tasty breakfast might as well be day-old grass.
Congratulations. You’ve moved from “woman refueling her system to face a busy day” to “Most High Inquisitor, ferreting out ne’er do wells”.
As a parent, you get to play many parts: peacemaker, disciplinary, live jungle gym…After you’ve been a parent for awhile, switching back and forth across these many faces becomes as easy and natural as breathing. Continue reading
It’s only been over the past few years that I started seeing my parents as people – mostly out of self-defense, I think. I’m a 35-year-old daughter, living at home with my parents and trying to raise three kids. I’ve had to learn to bite my tongue where my parents and I disagree. In the process, I’ve also had to learn that… wow… my parents are people, too.
They have their own set of insecurities and fears, their own strengths and weaknesses. It’s amazing, really, that I never noticed these things before.
I talk about my dad a lot. I mean, anyone who walks into our house automatically knows who rules the roost. He is the ultimate king of the castle, without a doubt. I’ve looked up to my dad for years. He’s been my teacher through much of life’s difficulties; I’ve learned a lot from him, both good and bad. I think it’s natural, then, that when I started seeing my parents as people, my dad was the first one I learned more about.
Lately, however, I’ve been much more interested in my mother. We never talked much when I was younger, so learning about my mom has been a surprising experience. Looking into the past and “meeting” the person she is now, I’m realizing that much of what I learned about being a mom and a wife has come from her. I’m a lot more like my mother than I’ve ever admitted… and I’m okay with that. Continue reading
I’m nesting. There’s no other word for it. For years, I’ve swallowed my OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) tendencies in order to get along with my children (otherwise, I’d spend all day yelling at them for things being out of place). Now, I crave order. A place for everything and everything in its place.
I crave the smells of a clean home. I crave the ability to spend time with my children. For the first time in my adult life, I fight with trying not to throw work into the wind and play with the kids.
I love them, you see. They’re so very important to me, and I’m watching them grow from the sidelines. I want to spend my days nurturing, raising and teaching them. How frustrating. My life – the dreary, always busy, always working life that has been my comfort zone for so long – is changing, and I want to embrace those changes fully. – And I can’t. Continue reading
I don’t talk much about my 15-year-old, D. Most of his story is his to tell. Yet, out of all the miracles that God has performed in my life, he’s one of the biggest.
When he was five, D went to spend the weekend with his dad and didn’t come back home. To make a very long story short, I didn’t see him again for 9 years. I worried about him – not knowing how he was doing, not knowing what he was going through, hoping that everything was all right and that he was living a good life. Continue reading
“We live in a world of perception,” my dad says, leaning back in his chair across from my younger, 24-year-old self. “For example,” he points at the kitchen table, “what color would you say that table is?”
I stare down at the table. It’s obviously brown. He obviously has some point he’s trying to make. –But I’m young and stubborn, and I’ll be darned if I’ll let him make it. “It’s light brown.” There. It’s not just brown; it’s light brown.
He sits up and leans forward, bushy eyebrows narrowed over sharp, blue eyes. “You’re right. It’s light brown. But,” he snaps, holding a finger up (pause for affect), “are you sure you’re seeing the same color of light brown I am?”
I started the section “Catharsis” as a catch-all of things that I need to get out, and hopefully make some sense of along the way. I’m hoping that one of these days in the future, I can look back through them and say, “Thank you, Father, for getting me through that one.”
I’m hoping that I can see with clear eyes– that I can look at the experiences, memories and painful moments I write now. Maybe then, I can see what I’ve done wrong and need to change, how I can grow to be better than I am now; more than I am now. I’m hoping, because something has to give; somehow I have to learn, because the consequences of not learning are too painful. Not just for me, but for my loved ones as well. Continue reading
Anger and I have been friends for years. We’re comfortable with each other, you might say. We move in the same circles. I’ve tried to “get a grip” several ways – it seems like a million of them -, and few seem to really work.
Battling anger with kids in the house is a fight especially full of danger. It’s so easy to explode. You wake up in the morning, full of optimizism and you think, “Today, it’s going to be different. Today, I’m not going to get angry. I’m going to take a deep breath, no matter what, and stay calm.” Continue reading
The day I turned 18, I was nursing three-week-old twin boys. For the next seven years, I packed a whole bunch of so-called “life” into my life. I’ve spent the past eleven years trying to fix the mess I made of everything.
When I came back home in 2001 at the age of 24, I came back with a chip on my shoulder and blame for everyone but me. I had a failed marriage, a 3-year-old and a baby with me. At that time, I was willing to push everything off on my parents.
It’s been a long road; I’ve fought addiction, depression, anger and frustration. At the end of the road is the “me” I am today, realizing that my parents are so much smarter than I am. Continue reading