Thursday, June 21, 2007

A little happiness

Oh, I forgot, through all my cyberwhining, one thing that is bringing me such happiness. It is Harry Potter. Some may think, quite mistakenly, that it's a book series just for kids...but, oh no, it is not. As Harry gets older and matures so do the themes in the books. I am rereading #4 right now and having a great time. I love the way I get taken away to a completely different world , it is such perfect escapism. Sure, there are more adult books out there, but ya know, except for fun stuff like ChickLit, I don't need to be dragged into someone else's dysfunctional life. I already have one of my own...thanks! So, HP really fits the bill . And to think the Order of the Phoenix film will be out soon, and the final book too. July should prove to be a fun month.


If I hear,"Mom!" one more time I'll....

S C R E A M!

I know I must sound like an ungrateful b*tch, but I give and give and give and the kids take and take and take and I feel like I am going to explode. Thank God for blogs!

Okay, I feel better now!


Nothin' Doin'

Okay, so I love the idea of Summer break. (Though I truly loathe Summer.) No schools to get up and take kids to, no homeschooling to do with Autumn. So the theory is great, but the practice SUCKS!

First, and I will whine a little here...I hate Summer. I am not one for heat and humidity. My idea of the perfect vacation would be roughing it in the alps with Bear Grylls. ;-) I do not look at posters of Hawaii and swoon. I have been there done that and I'm done.

Second, my kids absoutely SUCK at entertaining themselves...with the exception of Andrew. What the heck? I was happy to do my own thing without interference as a kid and a teen. I know all the books I encourage folks to read, regarding parenting, talk about playing with your kids, but sometimes that can be...well...boring. Especially, when the ideal parenting play time is me playing some mindnumbing video game. I LOATHE video games. Ugh!!!! However, with the exception of Andrew , who is 17 and now seems to really "get" the idea of just "chillaxing" (to coin a phrase of his) , the other two Autumn and Ben need "activities" to do or "people" to see. And I am now feeling like a haggard camp counselor, instead of just a mom, who needs as much a Summer break as the kids.

Third, what is wrong with me that I want them to just figure it out for themselves and leave me the heck alone? I truly love hanging out with Andrew. He's got a great sense of humor and fabulous taste in music (if I do say so myself). Autumn is happy to hear stories read aloud or do art projects. Ben, on the other hand, is unquestionably the toughest one. He can not seem to be happy by himself. He needs someone to watch him play video games (or play them with him). He berates me for not reading to him, however, whenever I offer, he isn't interested then. He wants someone to see or someplace to go almost every second of everyday, and still it doesn't seem enough. And me? Well, just the mother guilt and vastness of Ben's boredom are enough to exhaust me so much psychologically, that I feel physically tired when I wake up in the morning! Ugh!!

John Taylor Gatto, one of my heroes, said in an essay, that he remembered his grandfather telling him that there was never a reason to be bored. You know, if you are bored then find something to do. I could always find something to do, Robert said he could always find something to do. Why do I feel so damn guilty that I don't have my kids' lives planned to the minute during the Summer? Is it really my responsibility to keep them busy and happy? Or if I continue to coddle them will it mean that I will raise adults who can never just be at peace with themselves? If my kids are constantly looking to people, places, and things to fill the inevitable holes that will crop up in their lives , will they ever be in a quiet enough place to let God fill those holes?


Monday, June 18, 2007

Can't finish what I start

Okay, so a TON of stuff has happened since I posted last. All very "blog worthy" things, but I can never seem to find the time to write anything down. Geesh!

April: We adopt a rescued Samoyed who we named Ghost. Ghost turns out to be a Ghost when 3 weeks after owning him we have to return him to the rescue place because he doesn't want to get along with the cats. Meanwhile, said Cats are scared sh*tless and we never saw them for the three weeks Ghost was here. There is a happy ending...Ghost got adopted by a law student and is apparently very happy now. He was an awesome dog! We really did love him. But Milo, Toonces and Ginger were here first.

May: We decide that we really are a "cat house" after all and that if we are going to add another pet, it should be a kitten. Since the others were rescued as older kittens/cats, we figured a baby cat would be a great choice. God worked that out by having me visit Jennifer while her pest control guy was there and his cat had just had kittens. Thus, Ninja, at 8 weeks, (cat #4) had entered our lives. After a couple of weeks he was quite accepted and played with by the boy kitties, but Ginger is still very "talk to the tail" about it all.

June: This month brought the joys of our faith and the sorrows of life right into my house. First, I taught CCD for the week at church. Andrew helped coz Claire was helping. They did a great job. This was the first year teaching that I didn't have Ben or Autumn in my class. Come to think of it, I have never had Autumn. So, it was really nice just being with my co-teacher, Bird, and 10 really great 4th graders. We had such a good time and I think they learned the most important things. At the end of the week we did skits based on the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy. It was great!

Then we had a fabulous time with good friends over that weekend. The the sad news that my Grammy had passed away. What broke my heart the most was that she was alone when she died and Dad was supposed to be there. Hmmm, Dad, there's a person worthy of his own post.

Grammy was the grandmother I was closest to. She always loved me because I was the "girl" she had been waiting for all her life (since Dad is an only child). I spent alot of time with her over my life and loved her very much. Even though things between dad and I are strained I owed it to Gram to be there when she was laid to rest. Now she can be with Poppy and Mom. May God rest her soul.

So, I made plans to drive to St. Augustine to attend her burial. Low and Behold the Lord sends a helper in my friend, Patricia. She offered to come with me and what a blessing she was to have on the trip. The drive went fast. We even prayed the Rosary before we got to the gravesite. That definitelt put me in a peaceful place.

After the burial, and spending maybe 15 minutes with a Dad I have not seen in 4 years...we left the cemetary. We took a mini-pilgrimage to the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine. It was so beautiful. I would like to go back and spend more time just studying the paintings on the ceilings, windows, altar. It was a very inspiring place. We went and prayed in the Adoration chapel which was really nice. Then we headed back to the car and saw a sign for a tiny Greek Orthodox chapel and toured it. It was really small and very cavelike. The murals and icons were really prettty.

We drove home and listened to How to Know God's Will for Your Life by Rosalind Moss. I really liked it and highly recommend it.

Father's Day was really wonderful. We had a nice peaceful day. Well, ti was peaceful after our morning with Ben, who darn near exploded in Mass, but we sat near Sara and I whispered to her to "Pray hard for Ben" and I called in the Holy Spirit and all 3 Arch Angels. Well, it worked because he was seething and by 2/3 the way in to the Mass he has calmed down and was actually happy. Praise God!

Robert loves a big deal made for Birthdays and Father's Day so I made him a fabulous dinner that took all afternoon to cook. Roasted herbed Leg of Lamb (I hate lamb, but he loves it, and this was for him), Haricot Verts, Roasted garlic potatoes, homemade butter rolls (they rocked!) and Chocolate souffle with Creme Anglaise. Yum! He was very happy and I am glad, coz he's a fabulous Dad!

Now, all the kids are happily preoccupied and Iam going to steal away to read HP4 . I just love Harry!