Fire & Rain – The Remix

April 20, 2013 at 7:25 am | Posted in Kids, Parenting | 3 Comments
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Those of you who know me know that I love music. When I had children, I vowed not to get sucked into today’s tween rock and kiddie music. No Justin Roberts & The Not Ready for Naptime Players or Naked Brothers Brand for me and my kids. And certainly no Teletubbies! They would listen to some of my favorites – mostly gentle folk and acoustic rock music from the 1970s up to today. And this has gone over pretty well so far.

But after last night, I’m not so sure.

On the way home from a busy evening of karate, dinner with friends and an early-in-the-season ice cream cone from Ben & Jerry’s, my two little darlings decided to dissect James Taylor’s Fire & Rain on the way home. Maybe they were over-stimulated. Maybe it was the sugar. Maybe I need to re-consider my music choices after all. But this is how the conversation went:

JT: Just yesterday morning, they let me know you were gone…

“Where did she go, Mommy?”

“She died, Michael.”

“Why, Mommy?”

“I don’t know, Michael.” (Even though I do know – she died of a drug overdose. How does one explain this to a 4-year-old?)

“Maybe she ate too much candy.”

“I don’t think so, Michael.”

“Yeah, maybe she choked on a Tootsie Roll!”

“No, Brady, I don’t think that’s quite it.”

“Well, maybe she didn’t take very good care of her body.”

“Probably right, Michael.”

Suzanne the plans they made put an end to you. I walked out this morning, and I wrote down this song. I just can’t remember who to send it to…

“Why can’t he remember where to send it, Mom?”

“I’m not sure, Michael.”

“He’s stupid!!”

“That’s enough, Brady.”

I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain. I’ve seen sunny times that I thought would never end. I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend. But I always thought that I’d see you again.

“Why doesn’t he have any friends, Mommy?”

“Well, I don’t know if he…”

“Hey, Mom, why can’t he see her anymore?”

“Because she died, Brady.”

“Who?”

“The person James Taylor wrote this song about.”

“What was her name?”

“Suzanne.”

“How do you know that?”

“Because he says it in the song, if anyone was listening, boys.”

“Why did she die?”

“Haven’t we already been through this, guys?”

Been walking my mind to an easy time, my back turned toward the sun. Lord knows when the cold wind blows itll turn your head around

“Why is it cold where James Taylor is, Mom?”

“It’s a metaphor, Michael…”

“Maybe he’s on the moon! It’s really cold on the moon!”

“Brady!! He is NOT on the moon! You can’t even go there and you can’t breathe, so how could he sing? I think he’s in Antarctica.”

“Michael, he’s just trying to say that he’s sad about his friend.”

“No, Mom, he’s probably at the North Pole. It’s really cold up there and windy. Does he have to wear gloves to play the guitar?”

“He’s NOT at the North Pole!”

“Whatever, Mom.”

Won’t you look down upon me, Jesus, you’ve gotta help me make a stand. You’ve just got to see me through another day

“Is he saying a prayer to Jesus, Mom?”

“Sort of.”

“Why, what does he want?”

“Well, he just needs help with…”

“Hey Mom, if you say ‘Oh Jesus’ and you are not saying a prayer, Jesus won’t listen, right? He’ll be all like, ‘Oh no! Here comes that Brady again with his fake prayers! Don’t listen to him!’ And you won’t get what you want. Right Mom?”

“Uh, it’s a little more complicated than that….”

“Hey, Mom, does Santa need help from Jesus?”

“Santa?”

“Is he all ‘Hey, Jesus! I need to make some toys here! Can you help me?’ Next Christmas I’m going to leave Santa one of my dollars because it costs a lot of money to make all those toys. Then he’ll have more money to make toys. And he can help Jesus.”

“Ok, sure, guys. Why don’t we listen to some Iron Maiden?”

Parking Lot Angels

March 17, 2013 at 7:50 am | Posted in Parenting | 1 Comment
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I started this blog thinking I would write a lot about my horses, my obsession with the Real Housewives franchise, all things beauty-related, and other light-hearted topics. But what I’ve found is that I often write about what is in my mind and heart at the time, and very often that is parenting. I find parenting to be daunting, demanding and unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced. I thought since I could boss a 1,200-pound horse around and keep my business clients in line I could easily handle a couple of kids.

Haha, good one, universe.

As any dedicated parent knows, raising your children will challenge you on every level. And if you are blessed with one who doesn’t fit the “typical” mold – like my Brady – then you need even more patience, love and skill. These things don’t come naturally to me. Ok, well certainly love does, but patience, not so much. And skills have to be learned. I have so much to learn.

But apparently I have lots of help from above. Because just when I think I am the worst parent ever, when I am down in the dumps about my ability to deal, thinking no one could do a worse job… the strangest thing happens. An angel finds me. And this seems to happen most often in the supermarket parking lot. I’m not kidding. Four times now, I have had someone – generally an elderly person – walk up to me out of nowhere in two different Hannaford parking lots and say something like this:

Angel: “Hi! Was that you and your little one laughing just then?”
Me: “Yes ??”
Angel: “I worked in child welfare services for over 30 years, and it is so good to see someone taking care of their child in the right way.”
Me: “Thank you ??”  “Thank you!!”

Or

Angel: “How old is your little boy?”
Me: “3.”
Angel: “I can see you really love being a mother. Just by the way you’re talking to him and laughing with him. I see too many mothers acting like they can’t stand their own kids. You’re doing a great job!”
Me: (thinks: “I guess you didn’t see me losing it 20 minutes ago in the car.”) Says: “Thank you so much! You made my day!”

And the truth is, she really did. Because God knows I am trying! I guess He knows, so He sends me some angels to help me.

Even this blog has become a source of inspiration. A while back I posted an article about my struggle to restart my childrens’ book, which had stalled out creatively and energetically. Out of the blue, an old friend whom I hadn’t heard from in 20 years appeared in my Comments section with the most amazing advice on how to jumpstart my efforts. I took the advice, it worked, and now I am nearing completion on the book. Angel.

Where will you see or hear your angels today?  Will a random stranger approach you, or will someone close to you say just the right thing? Will you simply hear a whisper on the breeze or the muffled rumble of the ice shifting on the lake to tell you that change is coming, however subtle? If you are open to it, somehow you’ll get the message that everything is going to be ok and that life goes on, despite what may feel like small tragedies or giant victories.

Listen. Look. Pay attention. It’s there, it’s powerful, and you don’t want to miss it.

xo

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