Magic In The Night

**Edited to add a Youtube video**
At the end of a long, hard day I make my way up the steps to take my place next to my beloved.
Nothing feels better than my side of the bed, feeling the warm, electric skin of my man on his side. It's what keeps me hanging on.

The steps lead me to my peaceful spot.
And as I ascend, ghosts of the day travel them with me.
Countless trips up and down them by clopping kid feet.
It reverberates and haunts - these apparitions that flash by and through me as I make my way up to the spot that is calling me.
I can hear the echo of a giggle or a jump from the last step to the living room floor.
But I know my kids are safe and sound asleep in their beds.

My kids.
My kids.
My kids.

They are kids.
As much as I hold on to the last shred of baby that they may still carry hidden.
It's the baby in them that only I can see, as their mom.
Their mom.
Their mom.
Their mom.

Sometimes I long to hold their little tiny baby butts in my arms.
To feel that soft, hard lump on my forearm.
To smell their baby smell.
To touch their baby cheeks.

I reach the top of the steps and all these thoughts float and disappear into the air with the ghosts of the day.
And I stand in front of two doors.
One is my refuge.
And one is full of magic.

The magic of what happens in the night when peace washes over these kids. My kids.
The magic that transforms them from the kids they are becoming
and shines a light onto the babies that are still there on the inside and by some trick you can still see only when they sleep.

It is a secret that I've kept and have now unearthed.
The magic that I see in the night.
To revisit that babyhood.
For only a minute before I bed down next to my love.
The love and the man that helped create that magic.


Just Because......

I am absolutely exhausted for no good reason and I felt like doing something tedious, I present you a complete list of artists that reside in my iPod right now. Feel like poking your eyes out with a shrimp fork yet? If the answer is no, just try to read the post below and you will. This post was inspired by a post over at Phenom's World. So you have him to thank for this :)!! (just kidding, don't send him any hate mail)

50Cent The88 AC/DC Aimee Mann Al B. Sure All-American Rejects Amos Lee Amy Winehouse Animal Liberation Orchestra Aqualung Aretha Franklin The Beatles Ben Folds Five Ben Harper Billie Holiday Blink 182 Blue Merle Bob Marley Bobby Darin Bonnie Raitt Bright Eyes Bruce Springsteen Cat Stevens Chamillionaire Cibo Matto Coldplay Colm Wilkinson Corinne Bailey Rae Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young Damien Rice Dashboard Confessional Dave Matthews Band David Bowie David Gray Death Cab For Cutie Depeche Mode Dire Straits Dixie Chicks Donovan Frankenreiter The Eagles The Eels Elizabeth Mitchell & Lisa Loeb Elton John Elvis Costello Fall Out Boy Feist Fergie Fiona Apple Foo Fighters Frank Black Frank Sinatra The Fray G. Love & Special Sauce Garth Brooks Glenn Miller Gorillaz Gran Bel Fisher Indigo Girls J-Kwon Jack Johnson James Blunt James Brown Jay-Z John Butler Trio John Corbett John Mayer John Williamson Johnny Cash Joni Mitchell Jose Gonzalez Josh Ritter Josh Rouse Joss Stone Judy Garland Justin Timberlake Kelly Clarkson Keren Ann The Killers The Knife KT Tunstall Led Zeppelin Les Miserables The Little Willies Louis Jordan & Chris Barber Lucinda Williams Ludwig van Beethoven Lynrd Skynrd Macy Gray Madeleine Peyroux Mahalia Jackson Mama Cass Mary Poppins Marvin Gaye Mary Chapin Carpenter Massive Attack Matt Costa Me'Shell Ndegeocello Merle Haggard Michael Buble Moms Mabley My Chemical Romance Mystikal Nat King Cole Ne-Yo Neil Diamond Neil Young Neko Case Nickel Creek Norah Jones Otis Redding Pat McGee Band Paul McCartney Paul Simon Pearl Bailey & Moms Mabley Peter Gabriel Pink Prince Professor Longhair Queen Rage Against The Machine Ray LaMontagne Rickie Lee Jones Riders In The Sky Robert Plant Rufus Wainwright Scott Matthews Shakira Shinedown The Shins Simon & Garfunkel The Smashing Pumpkins Snow Patrol Spinto Band Spongebob Squarepants Spoon Stephen Lynch Supertramp System Of A Down Talking Heads Teitur Tom Waits Tracy Chapman Van Halen Veggie Tales The Waitresses Weezer White Stripes Wilco Yo La Tengo Erykah Badu Sense and Sensibility Soundtrack O Brother Where Art Thou Soundtrack The Meters Alison Krauss Dolly Parton Willie Nelson Andrews Sisters Beach Boys The Beastie Boys Counting Crows Cowboy Junkies DJ Sammy Lauryn Hill Julie Andrews LL Cool J Marilyn Manson Papa Roach Puddle of Mudd Sarah McLachlan Seal U2 Randy Travis Ray Charles Jamiroquai Black Eyed Peas Beck Sia John Lennon Randy Newman Louis Armstrong Will Smith Raffi


Say 'Ello To My Lit'le Friend

We have two small flower beds on either side of our front door.
And this "little" guy has been hanging out near the Calla Lillies and the front of the house.
Rav absolutely hates spiders.
I'm not really a fan of them either.
But they serve a purpose and I can't bear to bring this guy to a brutal end.
I'll let him hang out as long as he sees fit and take care of the pesky mosquitos.
Everytime Gracie sees him, she exlcaims Look! See him?!?! See the ginormous spider?!?!


The Art of Calling 'Em Like You See 'Em

My daughter has recently become very interested in other little girls.
So when she sees them when we're out at the store, waiting to pick Connor up from school, or walking by our house she waves enthusiastically and says hello.
Seems rather harmless, right?
It even seems a bit nice.
I should be proud that my little girl is so friendly.
I am. Really.

The other night the famiglia de Ravioli was heading out to pick up a dress that my BFF's daughter was lending me for that wedding we attended on Saturday.
We were walking out the door and as we are doing so, Gracie spots two girls walking down the sidewalk in front of our house.

Like the sweet little darling she is, she is waving at them like there is no tomorrow and saying Hi!!!! (she's so enthusiastic about this)
The older of the two girls (in her teens) smiles, laughs and says Hi.

Gracie is so enthusiastic, remember.
She is still waving and saying hi.
But she hasn't heard a response from the younger girl. Only the older girl.
The younger girl is wearing a black eye patch.

We've seen her before in the neighborhood and she is always wearing the eye patch.
So Gracie in all of her waving enthusiasm says
Hi, pirate!!!!!

I quickly scoot her over to the car, where I commence doubling over and try to stifle fits of laughter.
Because it was so wrong.
And she didn't mean to be.
But she was.

Rav caught on to what happened (he's a quick one, my man).
And we're both caught in a fit of laughter that is probably considered inappropriate.
But what are we to do?

The kids catch on to what we are laughing at.
And the entire way down to my BFF's house we hear from the back seat, in unison
Hi, pirate!!!!


Sunday Morning Song of the Moment

Last night, Rav & I joined his parents, his three older brothers and their wives at a wedding for a childhood friend of all of the Ravioli brothers. (if you'd like to check out my brother-in-laws post on the wedding and some pictures of the famiglia de Ravioli, check out fatmarc)

It is very rare that all 8 of us (the brothers and the wives) are together in one room anymore because of busy lives, geography, kids, etc.
So when we all get together it really is a treat.
And we are often looked upon as that table or oh, those people.
It's not a bad thing. In fact it's quite funny.

The wedding took place in a beautiful church in center city Philadelphia.
The bride and groom were stunning.
Both families looked wonderful, proud, and happy.
The bride is of Philippine descent and it was lovely to see some of her culture blended into the ceremony.
All of the guests made the walk to the venue which was just a few blocks away.
And the reception venue was absolutely gorgeous.

Rav & I have become quite the wedding connoisseurs lately, as we have been to approximately 11 weddings in 4 years.
And this wedding was pretty tops for many reasons.

The friendship, love, and harmonious blending of different cultures, backgrounds, orientations was so elegantly pulled off.
And there are many details I could delve into.
But the bottomline is that all of the exterior things, the things that categorize people really shouldn't matter.
And this couple got that - gets that.
At the end of the day, love is love. It has no bounds and it doesn't exclude.
It is there in the beginnings and endings of the days despite the petty trappings we try to confine love to.
Love doesn't always conform and love doesn't look for norms.
Love just is.

When we were seated at our tables we were given a card that thanked the guests for celebrating, it offered an email address where you could send any pictures you have taken of the day to share with the bride and groom. And on the back of the card was this wedding favor:

In lieu of favors we have made a donation to "Freedom to Marry" to support those who are denied the right to enter the institution of marriage. Today we celebrate the finest and most noble expressions of marriage - love, commitment, and responsibility - while rejecting discrimination and prejudice.

I thought this to be the most noble gesture two people could make on a day to beat all noble gestures.

My heart forever melts for this couple who so rightly love each other and love others so eloquently. I raise my glass to J & K. A couple so deserving of a love and life full of endless possibilities.

This song is for them (it is the song they danced to) and for all of those who have someone but by some ridiculous right-wing agenda cannot enter into the institution of marriage.

I hope you enjoy Forever by Ben Harper


The Sweet Sounds of Morning Conversation

Me: (laying in bed, stretching, yawning) I got absolutely no f*cking sleep last night.

Rav: (laying in bed, stretching, yawning) I think I slept OK. Until that little bitch Dora woke me up! The TV was on all night and I didn't hear a thing, but I heard that sh*t at 6:00 a.m. and popped right up.

Me: (now laughing) Me too!!! I had finally fallen asleep and that f*cking song woke me up out of a dead sleep.

Rav: (now getting pissy and singing) F*cking "Dora, Dora, Dora the Explorer!"......"I'm the map, I'm the map, I'm the map. If there's a place you gotta go, I'm the one you need to know. I'm the map". F*cking Dora. I hate that little b*tch.

Me: (laughing uncontrollably and thinking to myself that this would make great blog fodder).

It's the little stuff, you know? The little stuff like cursing like sailors at 6:20 a.m.

It truly is the sign of a great day ahead.


The Day My Heart Went Walking Outside Of My Body

About an hour ago, we dropped our first-born off for his first day of all-day kindergarten. As much as I have been looking forward to this, I was the only tearful mom in the school lobby. I couldn't hold back the tears off happiness for my boy's new adventure, the longing of days now gone by, worry, and trepidation from starting something new. This is the first real step in the separation that begins between momma and her cub. It is necessary and hard.

But it is good too. Deep down I am happy.
My heart aches a little for the profound silence in the house.
But it is good.

My main goal is to have my children fly - to soar. And they are getting there.
His feet are just barely off of the ground. But they are. And I am proud and happy.


Making the decision to have a child - it's momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking outside of your body. ~ Elizabeth Stone


Beware: kids next door are the nasty neighbors

Today I was getting dressed to head into my new/old work to get the room set-up for Open House next week.
And while I was getting dressed I had the TV tuned in to the Today Show (I don't even know why I torture myself with it anymore).
And when I happened to turn it on, the segment that was on was about Tips To Avoid Nasty Neighbors or some such nonsense when you are in the market of buying a new home.
Some of the "tips" made sense. Most of them seemed utterly ridiculous. And some tips were missed all together.
Some of the no-no's were:
-don't buy a house that is on a garbage route (um, hello. aren't we all on a garbage route?)
-don't buy a house that is next door to a Halfway House (this bothered me)
-don't buy a house near a 4 way stop/intersection
-don't buy a house near a bus stop

Some of the one's I think were missed were:
-don't buy a house near train tracks
-don't buy a house near a nuclear power plant
-don't buy a house near an airport
-don't buy a house on an ambulance route
-don't buy a house near a highway/freeway/or road
-don't buy a house near a foghorn
-don't buy a house near a firestation
***note*** some of these are my being irritated and sarcastic

But what really bothered me was that the woman who was being interviewed made the suggestion that you go and ride by the house you are looking at during rush hour so that you can see who the screaming moms are. And you can see which houses use a basketball hoop, a skateboard ramp, and/or trampoline.

What is the deal? Why are you targeting "screaming moms" and kids?

Look, I understand kids are noisy.
And so are their parents.
I understand people wanting a peaceful place to live.
And if you can believe this or not, people with kids even want a peaceful place to live.

Is it seriously offensive to hear kids at play?
Is that really such an awful sound?
Are we becoming so serious and uptight of a society that we can handle hearing a lawn mower symphony at 8:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning, but can't handle the giggles of kids who are bouncing on a trampoline?
I would certainly rather hear the sounds of police and ambulance sirens than hear kids playing basketball.
Woudln't you? (again, with the sarcasm)

Like I said, I totally understand kids can be a royal pain in the ass.
They make noise.
Is that such a news flash?
But I almost feel that people with kids are being lumped into the not in my backyard, not in my neighborhood pot.


I Love You, Man!

It's been just barely over a year since I've started blogging.
And from time to time I go back and reread all of that "original" content and cringe a bit.
Back then I was trying to find my voice here, trying to figure out what it really and truly was that I wanted to say, and trying to figure out how much of myself I wanted to expose.

I tried to figure this whole blogging thing out.
And I'm not sure if I've really made any progress in that department or not.
Because much of it still baffles me.
Trying to assign 3-D circumstances to 2-D interactions can be difficult.
And finally letting go a bit and ignoring my statcounter was a HUGE help.

What caught me most off guard is the sea of friendly voices, supportive voices that are so willing to lift others up (including me).
You've done it time and again and I am so grateful and lucky.
I put a post up about a serious thought, issue, a happening, a funny little tale, or where I gush about my kids and my man and you all respond.

Some of you have even been kind enough to nominate me for awards.
Awards that I've lost the buttons for because I've changed my template so many times (and forgot to save those things before I made the change).
Some awards I could easily get the button for, but to be honest have been just too lazy to put up (mostly because I feel that maybe I don't deserve them).
You all always think of me.
And I, you.

Yesterday, Mary-LUE awarded me the following award:

And I believe the deal with this award is that I have to pass it on to 7 people. I really don't know how to pass this on to only 7. So, the only fair way I can think to do this is if you are listed in my blogroll, I am formally passing this on to you. If you have this award already, then bonus. If not, the button is now yours.

Because each and every one of you deserves it.

For any men in my blogroll - that would be you Denguy and Phenom's World - sorry about the girly button. You don't have to display it. But know that I am passing it on to you, as well.

So, seriously....look over there. If you are there, the award is yours. Don't be shy. Take it.

And, thank you for being friends.


Sunday Morning Song of the Moment

As you know, I've been struggling for content. And a silly little story came to mind that I thought I would share.
Picture it.
In an elementary classroom about 20 families squeeze in the hot, cramped art room.
Some sit down at tables.
Some stand around the perimeter of the room.
They are all there to take interest in pre-reading for their soon-to-be kindergartners.
As the princpal addresses the families, the famiglia de Ravioli is hanging in the back.
The kids in seats at the table.
The parents propping themselves up against the counter.
The kids are behaving.
The parents are listening.
And then their daughter......she makes her presence known.
Their daughter dressed in her little pink and purple plaid halter dress and her Janna's.
She couldn't look more like a little girl if she tried.
She is sitting primly in her seat, staring straight ahead at full attention, listening to the principal.
And then. Then.
She busted one.
A loud one.
She turns to her parents, who despite themselves and their daughter are giggling and laughing up a storm, she beams a beautiful smile and says Ooops! I tooted!!
Yes, Jess. I even detected a mighty wind. As mighty as it could be coming from a 3 year old.

And that brings me to the song for this week.
It's pretty standard.
But it always makes me happy to hear it.

Just Thinking About The Weather

I'd say that I'm pretty in-tune to my surroundings.
And my senses have been operating at a heightened awareness lately.
I'm not really sure what that is all about.

Yesterday, for instance, I was driving home in the Rover with the kids and had the windows down. And next to us in the fast lane were two tractor trailer trucks. And the noise that the trucks issued was almost more than I could take. In fact, I thought my eardrums would burst and my head were about to explode.
Maybe it's the sign of growing older, maybe it's just this heightened awareness.
I'm not sure.
But I think it's my senses.

Usually I can feel things, sense things around me.
Often I know what is going to happen before it does.
Sometimes there is just a vibration or something that I can just pick up on.

This morning I've woken up to a drastic change in the weather/air here.
Rather than it being 80 degrees at 8:00 in the morning with 95% humidity, it's more like 60 something degrees and not one ounce of humidity.
There is certainly a fall feel to the air.
I want to run out right now and buy Connor a bunch of school clothes.
It just has that feel.

As the pot brewed it's coffee, I turned off the air conditioner and threw open all of the windows.
A slight breeze pushes it's way through the screen and makes itself known across my skin.
And it feels wonderful.

I'm not delusional.
I know that August is not quite done with us and will probably find the time to beat us with high temps and high humidity.
But I feel a break.
A release of something with this new breathe-able air.

Next week, Connor will begin his formal public education.
He will be entering all-day kindergarten.
Gracie begins her second year at preschool.
And I begin my new/old work at the preschool.
As well as my classes starting up.
Which I am more than looking forward to.
My brain is in desperate need of a jump-start.

There is a change brewing.
I feel it in the air this morning.
I think I can even smell it.

And I haven't been this excited in months.
I couldn't tell you why.
But I am.


Politics of Commenting and Blogging

I've stated on here before that when I started this blog, I simply started it for me.
And no one else.

I didn't expect to find the community that rests here.
I needed to pour myself out and release some things from the traps of my mind.

I struggled to get readers for awhile, and then found that I had some regulars.
During the winter time, I had ample time to blog.
There wasn't a lot going on during the cold months that kept me from it.

And I have been feeling guilty about feeling like I am taking lately, more than I am giving.
And now that my situation has changed, I am trying to make my rounds - like I used to do.
But life is here. It is in my face.
I found that I am not able to post as much as I would like.
I start to and find myself staring at a blank post page.
And I have nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Not only that I find that I am lurking.
I am still supporting you all and reading.
But I am all out of things to say right now.
Just because I don't comment, doesn't meant that I don't value you or your content. It just means I am listening.

And I have found that sometimes it just isn't enough to be here.
It is expected that I deliver content and comments.
That practice is bugging me.
I read plenty of people that I comment on & never hear a word.
But I still enjoy what they have to say.
I don't take it personally.

I am coming to my wits end with blogging.
And quite frankly, am contemplating just walking away from the whole freaking thing.


Education of Youth

This weekend, the famiglia de Ravioli (that would be us: Rav, Connor, Gracie, & myself) went to a party that was thrown by a fellow eye-talian family. They have become good friends of ours.

The party was to celebrate their middle child's 5th birthday (he & Connor have been friends since they were in the two-year-old class together in preschool), as well as, to celebrate our friend finishing up residency and moving on to becoming an attending physician at a hospital in our state.

These friends of ours know how to throw down and put on a party.
It is always a good time.
They have old friends they still keep in touch with.
New friends (us) that they have invited into their lives.
And the nice thing is our friends have great friends.
These parties that they throw aren't the exclusionary kind.
Everyone feels at home. Everyone is friendly and open.
It is just a good time.

While at the party, I buddied up to my friend's BFF, D. D works in a neighboring state with the deaf/blind program. She is so knowledgeable when it comes to special needs. We have talked extensively about Connor.
After she made herself a few Cosmos, D informed me that she doesn't think Connor is ADHD. She informed me that he is just flat-out brilliant. She discussed, at length, that she thinks he is working on a cure for cancer right now. And not only that, she mentioned him working for NASA and receiving full academic scholarships to Harvard, Yale, and every other Ivy League school you could think of.

Let me stop here and say that I'm not fishing for compliments nor am I trying to gloat. I'm truly getting at something here.

She went on to say that I need to nurture this boy. To get him in gifted and talented programs. To do whatever I had to do to get him into "extra" academic activities. She even said that if there is a Chess team for kindergartners to get him on it.

I realize that what she says is true to some extent. What mother doesn't think their child is brilliant? However.....
However, the problem with this that our education system in all its glory, and really I can only speak for our state as I have actual working knowledge of it, is bent on making sure everyone passes standardized tests. It seems that it is a machine, a social engineering machine, to pump out likeness after likeness. Actual grades don't really count anymore in our state. You simply have to pass standardized tests to move on. Basically.
I've recently learned that in the high school I graduated from there are no more college prep classes, average classes, and remedial classes. Everyone is lumped in together and expected to all meet a middle of the road standard. And in the high school I graduated from, the students are no longer expected to read novels. Just a few chapters of Julius Caesar, To Kill A Mockingbird, etc will suffice. There really is no reason to, you know,
read a whole book.
That is simply crazy talk.

I understand that, in theory, this is meant to help more children to be successful by aiming for the middle of the road. But what will the end result to this really be?

The other problem and panic I have when thinking of Connor's future is the unlikely-hood of being able to afford a private school.
As well as finding ways to fund extra activities that may be able to pick up where public school leaves off.

So while public schools in Delaware are aiming at mainstreaming and aiming for the middle of the population, it in turn, is leaving out kids who are on the higher part of the academic scale. As well as, the kids on the higher part of the academic scale, but on the lower part of the income scale.

I see all of this as ways to yet again, divide classes and to pump out watered down kids. There really is no motivation to aim higher. Just as long as you meet the minimum requirement and the generalized standard.

I don't want to play up to the side of the scale that only interjects on behalf of the higher end of achievement.
What service is this doing to the lower part of the scale who struggle to meet that general standard?
Being thrown in a class that basically caters to the middle and says sink or swim to the upper and lower halves, seems rather exclusionary.
How frustrating it must be for the learner who has a bit of a harder time.
There are brilliant minds who don't flourish in a traditional academic setting and we are leaving them up to their often broken devices.

I think it is faulty logic to paint every student, every learner with the same brush.
A lot of kids are being left behind with the education we are saying is acceptable.

I am here to say that I don't think the education we are offering is enough
nor acceptable.


It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.~Albert Einstein

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.~Nelson Mandela

All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.~Pablo Picasso

Don't limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time.~Rabbinical Saying

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.~William Butler Yeats


Knowing When To Walk Away & Knowing When To Run

The three weeks or so leading up to the start of this new job were really disheartening for me.
The people I shared the news with IRL seemed less than pleased about the prospects of me taking this job. For many, many reasons. Reasons like my safety & well-being, how I will tackle my classes while working a crappy shift, getting Connor to and from school, etc.

And let me explain something about where I was going to be working. I would be working at a facility that has been operating at double-occupancy for pre-adjudicated juveniles. There are kids sitting in that facility right now who have been sitting in there for over a year awaiting their Superior Court trial for murder.
For many kids, in that section of the detention facility where I would be working, there is a revolving door.
There is a heightened sense of tension in there. Kids that come in don't know when their leaving, what their outcome will be. Many times, there families are done with them, so they don't get visits.
And often, the ones that have been in the detention facility for awhile see their friends leave or have visits from family.
It's just a really tense place.

You all know I have stressed out about this for far too long. I've chronicled that pity-fest for so very long

I would come home from training & tell Rav stories about staff members who were assaulted and are still out on leave because of their injuries.
And Rav, trying to be supportive of my decision, told me I would be fine.
But then.....
Then he started hearing first-hand accounts from coworkers (who used to work in that facility) just how off the hook it is.
And he didn't say anything. He was trying to be supportive.

Last week, I sat talking to my BFF on the phone. And she noted how awful I sounded. I told her that the transition has been hard, I was not getting any straight answers from anyone regarding my shift, if I would be alone on a locked unit, etc. That I was just not feeling this. It just wasn't feeling right. Whatever that is. And rather than feel better as time went on & making peace with the changes, it has been feeling increasingly worse.
I got off the phone with her and turned to Rav and said, I so want to ask her if she would hire me back to work at the preschool.
And then I cried, no scratch that, I sobbed for about 40 minutes.
I explained to Rav that I feel guilty because I feel like I am not doing a great job as a mom because I'm working and yet I feel like I'm letting my family down financially because I want to walk away from this job. That everything about this feels so wrong.
Rav was supportive and great -as he always is.
I wiped away the snot and the tears and I called my BFF back and asked her if she would consider hiring me as a teacher at the preschool she owns and operates (the preschool I have worked at for years before leaving to stay home with the kids). And she was surprised.

See. Way back when I was nursing Gracie and Connor was just barely 2, I opened my big mouth and said I would never work at the preschool again. I just didn't think I had it in me.

So, you understand her surprise. We talked and I explained why I had said that.
And it has come to pass that I will be working at the preschool.

I have handed in my resignation at the detention facility and gladly take on this new/old position.
And it feels right.
Getting Connor to and from school? Not an issue.
Taking my classes to finally finish my degree? No sweat. In fact, I'm carrying 5 classes this semester and feeling damned good about it.
Taking care of my family? No biggie.
Working almost full-time? Maybe still not financially setting the world on fire. BUT. It's an income and is a much better fit for all of us.

I have felt a 10 ton weight lift from my back.
We have partied this weekend with some old friends and made some new ones.
I feel a love and admiration for my man grow by leaps with every new hurdle.
And my daughter curled up on my lap and lay like a baby - she wrapped herself in a blanket - and just stayed there, looking up at me as I rubbed her cheeks and whispered to her. She even followed me into the shower, the actual shower.
Connor has been happy to be home and have me home.
And I know that I've done the right thing.
The right thing for me and my family.

And I once again have learned that I should listen to my gut.
Not only that, walking away and/or running away, sometimes aren't bad things.
I do have guilt about the possible irresponsibility of this.
As well as, guilt towards 120+ kids I've never met. 120+ kids who will not have me work in the facility. Someone who would show them kindness and compassion and empathy. My bleeding heart can't reconcile that part. That I can't put my money where my mouth is. I talk about wanting to help and feeling so much for so many. And I walked away.
And maybe in time I will be able to reconcile it without rationalizing too much.
My time will come to do it. I know that.
I think right now though, my place is still right here.

I want to thank you all for your support of me during this time. Listening to my constant whining when so many other bloggers out there are facing really frightening health scares and real issues.
I have climbed out of my self-pity pit.

I'm back, baby.


Sunday Morning Song Of The Moment, by Rav.

It has been several days since Tabba has posted anything. I thought I would post the song of the day today for her. As you all know, Tab recently took a position and began her training. She has had a pretty rough two weeks. This song is one of my favorites, as it never fails to remind me of all of the things we do for each other. All of the sacrifices and hardships we endure, for one another. It makes me realize that no matter how crazy life gets, we can always make things better just by being together. Tab may have posted this one before, but I couldn't find it in the archives. If so, who cares, we could all use a little more dixie chicks...


Summer Doldrums

I've noticed that, as the summer heats up and the days meld into one another, I have become less and less active out here in this blogging community that I have found.

The thoughts are harder to grasp at.
I have to scratch and dig and heave.
The raw emotions and passionate thoughts are not flowing like the river that they once were.
My mind has become an arrid wasteland.
Every so often a thought bumbles and rolls around inside my head and is quickly gone.
Much like the tumbleweed in a bad Western movie.
It makes its entrance.
Skitters across the screen.
And then it is gone.

The flame and flicker of my heart, my passionate heart
my often electric mind and spirit
is a tiny, dull blue flame.
It is still there.
Just not quite the presence it once was.

I stare at my blog page, my sidebar, and long for you all.
I long for your stories.
And I long to comment.
I find that it is all an immense effort.
To construct a post.
To comment properly.
Reading is the easy part.
It's just trying to get around to all of you whom I adore.
And to comment.

What I am finding though, is that many of you seem to be in a similar boat.
That there are larger gaps of time between posts.
Which is to be expected.
The summer is a busy time.

However, what I am detecting is a tired.
A blanket of blue.
Is that my perceptions/projections?
Or are a lot of just feeling.....



Another Saturday In August

Yesterday, my BFF's middle child, her son, was united in wedded bliss.

Are you scratching your head over that one?

Yes. I did say my BFF. She's a bit older than me. By 20 years.
That's just how I roll people. Most of my peeps are older than I.

Anyway. It was her son's wedding & I woke up not feeling up to attending.
Not because I didn't want to go and have a fun night or celebrate this relationship, this marriage, between the lovely couple.
But because that meant another day (and night) away from my kids.
A month ago, I was salivating over the thought of the kids spending the night away from us.
Now it is totally different.

Gracie had fallen asleep while I was getting ready - tearfully - getting ready.
I did my hair and makeup (holy shit, I wore makeup) all while she drifted on cotton candy clouds and held onto the wings of butterflies.
When she woke up, I was standing at the end of the bed, fully dressed and getting my shoes on.
Gracie popped up and looked at me wide-eyed and said Wow, Mommy. Look at you!!
Buttah, I tell you. I melted like buttah.

Anyway, after dropping them off with my mom to spend the night, we headed off to the church.
The ceremony was lovely. My BFF looked stunning, her son handsome and the bride beautiful.
The reception was held at a lovely place along the water.
Drinking was done, but not in excess, between Rav & I.
My BFF even threw back a few - which she rarely does.
We all hit the dance floor and barely took time to stop cutting it up.
Our heads thrown back, our mouths wide open.
Laughing, chuckling, yelling, hooting.
To see my friend so happy, to see her let go like that made me so happy.

To dance, and sing, and grind with my man on the dance floor made me so happy.
And when I picked up the kids I missed them
I really, really missed them.
And I've been trying to make sure I capture every moment and make it as quality as I possibly can.

For tomorrow starts another week.

Congratulations, J & D. You two make such a beautiful couple. I know that there will be many, many years of happiness ahead of you.

And yes, YOU looked gorgeous my darling. You were radiant and glowing.
And I am so proud to be your friend.


Longing A Little

I am emotionally and physically exhausted.

The last part of the week kicked my rear pretty good.
While it wasn't as crazy in regards to shuttling the kids and the adults to and from where they need to be, it was tough in the aspect of sitting in a conference room for 8 hours listening to spearkers about suicide awareness, emergency procedures, eyeing up a box of confiscated contraband, and listening to tales of escaped juveniles and attacked staff.
It's a lot to take in all at once.

I have to say, it totally sucks that I can't check in on everyone out here in blogland like I would like. I'm not able to comment and barely able to post anything riveting.
I'm simply too tired and too pressed for time.
That being said, I find myself thinking of you all during the course of the day.
I have been drawing strength from the supportive, caring comments that you are leaving me.
And I can't thank you enough for this friendship that I did not expect to find when I started this wee little blog a year ago.

Hang in with me while I adjust.
Trying to find time to do all of the things I need and want to do is a balancing act that I have to work out. And it's not a strong point of mine.
While I may not be commenting, I'm popping in and reading when I can.
And I am thinking of you all.