e·mo·tion (ĭ-mō'shən) n. 1. A mental state that arises spontaneously rather than through conscious effort and is often accompanied by physiological changes; a feeling: the emotions of joy, sorrow, reverence, hate, and love. 2. A state of mental agitation or disturbance. 3. The part of the consciousness that involves feeling; sensibility.
Emotions really are annoying and not that helpful. I don't know what to do with them most of the time. The up and down and loop dee loops are only fun for a while. I don't know how to balance the seesaw and its annoying. I have come up with a list of emotions that have recently filled my days. They also happen to be the ones that flummox me the most.
1- Boredom. The inside of my house is only fun for so long. I have images in my head of me with a saddle and three kids hanging off of it. I know its my life stage and it goes quickly and I'll be sad when its gone. blah blah blah
2 - Rage. I must have some deep seeded aggression that makes me want to bite Sean for no reason (I did say bite). I found what I lost yesterday only after wanting to throw Griffins T-ball game ball through the kitchen window.
3 - Unpursued. Life happens and people are busy and no one thinks about me as much as I do and somehow it annoys me that my happiness is not the most important part of everyone else's day.
4 -Discontent. I have been on about every side of the fence and why does it still seem that wherever I am not there is green grass.
5 - Anticipation. My day seems to pass with me waiting for the best part to happen. So often the most exciting part is the walk to the mailbox.
I wonder if I should keep this all in my head...
But I guess if there is no emotion there is no love, hope, familiarity, togetherness, desire, courage, optimism, surprise, acceptance, delight, longing, honor. There must be a way to live in the middle, lean to an appropriate emotional side now and again but return to a balanced, upright, unconsumed way. The roller coaster is finally making me sick.
Happy Birthday to the most wonderful, creative, imaginative, loving, silly, compassionate, friendly, adorable - I mean handsome -, fun, sensitive, thoughtful, honest, caring boy on the planet. I am better because I met this little man 7 years ago.
I heard a friend talking about this the other night. This is noteworthy because it is the third time I have heard someone talk about this and it led to the hundredth conversation about it in the last two weeks. (I can't go any further without pointing out that after a ridiculously long time, I have figured out how to link something.) It is from the third chapter of the first book of the bible. Adam and Eve have just realized their nakedness after they ate the fruit they had been instructed not to eat. I think that this is at least a recognizable story for most people, I think most people have heard of the Garden of Eden and know about the apple eating.
I am fascinated by the thought of this and the repercussions it has had on us as a world full of people who most likely have relationships with other people. The tree that the fruit came from was the tree that would open their eyes so they'd be like God, knowing good and evil. That is all info that they received from, and believed, that a sneaky snake told them.
As they ate, they realized not only their lack of clothes. At that time, they realized the nakedness of their bodies and their emotions, their souls. So we all want to blame Eve for giving Adam the apple, giving us pain in childbirth, etc etc etc but so much more happened in that bite. Blame started flying, as did guilt and shame. Because of that, they did what they could to cover up what seemed to need covering up, their bodies, their heart and their relationships. Humans began hiding. We started hiding everything we knew about us from anything we thought we knew about anyone else.
In the last few years, the buzz word in churches and Christian circles has been authenticity. While I am all for it and think it is good and necessary and important blah blah blah, I think it is a little dangerous. For a long time, I had some friends who were so "authentic" and real and genuine and I was striving for authenticity in my life. v
There are things that we hide behind, every single one of us. We hide behind fear of just about everything, rejection, losing control, being in control, what other people think, we hide behind guilt, image, being exposed and the flip side of every one of those. It is all hidden behind a mask that we wear thinking no one else can see our mask and we are safe behind it. While that may be true, when we wear a mask, no one can see our face, our smile, our eyes, our tears, our scars, our joy.
I have found that in my life, I was able to hide very well. I hid from everyone I came into contact with until I became authentic. I was very authentic and relevant and more of a fraud than when I was hiding. It was hard work keeping up with what was my authentic self. I have found that it is hard keep up a front regardless of what is behind it, healthy person, image of healthy person, or incredibly unhealthy, addicted, shameful, hurt, afraid person. I was playing a character with the role of being authentic.
I wonder what would happen if we took off our masks and used that energy to connect in a real life, bonded, healthy friendships, if we genuinely loved people without the hope of anything in return. It is telling to watch the way someone interacts with another person who can do nothing for them. It is too hard to be a character.
So I guess this is what people were doing being authentic. Maybe I am just learning what real authenticity means. Give me a few years and I'll catch up, I'll learn how to email soon.
I often wonder if I put too much emphasis on being funny. Before our first son was even born, my hope was that he'd not only be funny, but that he'd be fun and fun to be around. I definitely know my kids are crazy, they come by that naturally. Every once in a while they are funny, legitimately funny.
Griffin is thinking about what he wants to be when he grows up. So far we have narrowed it down to a professional skateboarder, an astronaut or a professional joke teller. He has been working on an original joke with Sean and it goes like this... "Why did the chicken cross the road?" "Um, I don't know, why?" "To get to the other side." As he tells the joke, Sean is encouraging him to add, "Hello?" to the punchline. So when he remembers, he adds the hello but the sarcasm isn't dripping from him yet as it does from his parents.
Over the weekend he was thinking about some new material. This is what he's come up with so far. "Why did the pencil cross the road?" "Hmmm, I don't know." "To get to Pennsylvania, hello!" I'm not sure this is a legitimately funny time but we are making progress.
This is one of the times that as a resident of the planet, I feel helpless. The world seems so big and spread out, California feels so far away. When there are things going on that just don't make sense, how do we figure out what to do? There are lots of reasons for things to not make sense and because there are so many situations that people feel like there isn't a responsible party, I think it is part of our human-ness to blame someone. Surely because something is so wrong, someone must pay, someone has to accept the fault.
I can't imagine the fear and the anger and the helplessness that the people smelling the smoke and seeing the flames consuming their houses feel. Grabbing everything that you want from your life before today that you'll want for your life tomorrow seems absurd. Trying to figure out what to shove in a box that will preserve memories seems so secondary to a future that will be tainted by the exact reason you are shoving crap in a box.
I heard on the radio the other day that there are many different groups getting stuck with the blame for the fires that are raging, destroying and displacing southern California. The president is being blamed, global warming is being blamed, terrorism is being blamed, arson is being blamed. Surely someone must take the heat. Someone has to be responsible for the hurt and the loss and the destruction.
There is a big part of that that I don't understand. I guess I just feel like why waste time, whip into frenzies, or push agendas because of all of unanswered questions and not understanding. It just seems to me that we should work toward stopping the problem. Shouldn't the why of the problem be second to the ending of the problem? It seems like fighting over blame while the problem is continuing seems silly.
Growing up near Cleveland lent itself to a very cheap form of entertainment, Indians games. They were terrible but had a small, devoted fan base that I found myself in, in spite of the DH. There were also the Cavs who were terrible and the Browns who were terrible. You couldn't afford not to buy a $4 Indians ticket and sneak down to the seats behind home plate. Ah, the days of Sandy Alomar (who btw threw Ricky Henderson out at second from his knees), Albert Belle and Carlos Baerrrrrrrrrga.
I love watching baseball and going to baseball games. I like how stadiums feel and the energy of a game. I love peanuts, popcorn and cracker jacks. Not so much cracker jacks but it seemed to fit there. I love paying $27 for a diet coke and a cold hot pretzel. It just seems like a very normal, safe, fun way to spend a day.
Sean and I were watching the Indians and the Red Sox the other night and I began my barrage of questions and requests for him to rewind the play because I was convinced I could see that the guy was safe while everyone else blindly accepted the umpires call. I also have what has to be an incredibly annoying habit of asking no less than 100 questions per game. That is any sport, ok any activity we watch or go to including things I have a pretty good grasp of understanding. I have an incredible husband who is the best, most patient teacher who explains things so clearly and without patronizing even if he feels like he is explaining to our 6 year old.
Through his explaining the most fascinating thing I have heard about baseball is this...
The umpires are taught to watch the bag and listen for the ball to hit the glove in order to call an out. I am fascinated by this. They aren't watching the fielding, the throw, the catch or the runner, they are using their ears to see the play.
I am trying to figure out how to implement this into my life. I want to be able to use all of my faculties to determine how I call a situation. I don't want to use just my eyes and get stuck needing someone else to make the final call. My eyes are too easily misled and tricked. When I make a call, I want to be sure. So I am listening for the ball, I just won't wear the baseball pants.
"In a zoo in California, a mother tiger gave birth to a rare set of triplet tiger cubs. Unfortunately, due to complications in the pregnancy, the cubs were born prematurely and due to their tiny size, they died shortly after birth. The mother tiger after recovering from the delivery, suddenly started to decline in health, although physically she was fine. The veterinarians felt that the loss of her litter had caused the tigress to fall into a depression. The doctors decided that if the tigress could surrogate another mother's cubs, perhaps she would improve. After checking with many other zoos across the country, the depressing news was that there were no tiger cubs of the right age to introduce to the mourning mother. The veterinarians decided to try something that had never been tried in a zoo environment. Sometimes a mother of one species will take on the care of a different species.
The only 'orphans' that could be found quickly, were a litter of weanling pigs. The zoo keepers and vets wrapped the piglets in tiger skin and placed the babies around the mother tiger."
As I read this the other day, it got me thinking. I have friends who are adopted, friends who have adopted and friends who are adopting. But I was born into the family I was raised by, I am not an adopter and wasn't an adoptee so I don't get it on a level that some do. j I love adoption, I love it. I think this is one of the times in that I wish I could just open my brain and let people see in because I am having a hard time putting words to my thoughts. Actually I should probably just keep my brains to myself. m I do know this though. As someone who has decided to give all that I know of me to all that I know of God and live in a way that goes with what I think he asks of me, I at 23 years old, was adopted. I became part of God's family and am his daughter and he my dad. (I sometimes hate to use language that is "churchy" because I loathe churchy.) Its just true and I am not smart enough to think of a better way to put it, just that I am now part of his family. And of course the pig into tiger family as I am into Gods family analogy stops working eventually because God isn't the tiger sad and depressed and needing something from me to improve him. I guess more often than not, I feel like a little pig trying to be a tiger when all he asks of me is to be a little pig, be honest about my piggyness and he will put a cute little red bow in my pig hair and cover me up with his tiger blanket and cuddle me. As long as I let him.
I don't get doctors. I am frustrated with doctors. I have been seeing a doctor lately who is consistently late or out of town. The shortest I waited for an appointment with him was 35 minutes, the longest an hour and 20 minutes. And this same doctors nurse just called to cancel an appointment I have waited for two months to get therefore the appointment to go over the test that I was supposed to get at the first appointment has to be rescheduled because we can't go over test results before I have even had the test. I should probably call that nurse who got stuck making the phone calls today back because I really wasn't all that kind to her. I want to put my foot through this computer I am so frustrated and the computer didn't even do anything.
I don't understand the rules doctors live by. I think there's some hidden subculture in doctordom of ridiculousness. I think they sit at their little doctor meetings in their comfy scrubs wrapping their stethoscopes around their necks and testing each others reflexes trying to come up with the most outrageous policies with their messy handwriting. There is also a bookie there taking the over/under on how many people will put up with them. I think it is all part of the oath they take...
"I swear by Apollo Physician and Asclepius and Hygieia and Panaceia and all the gods and goddesses, making them my witnesses, that I will fulfill according to my ability and judgment this oath and this covenant: I will soak my hands in ice cubes then feel their neck for swollen glands. I will not be easily accessible. In good faith, I will make appointments to tell patients what doctor they need to see next instead of by a simple, easy phone call. If I fulfill this oath and do not violate it, may it be granted to me to enjoy life and art, being honored with fame among all men for all time to come; if I transgress it and swear falsely, may the opposite of all this be my lot."
Well the old gal is back again tonight. Of the eight front teeth in Griffins mouth, he has two left. There is a gaping hole in the front of his mouth, four teeth are missing on the bottom and two on the top.
He is thoroughly convinced he won't be able to eat tomorrow.
The tooth fairy will make her 5th appearance at our house tonight. As the boys and I were brushing newly holed mouths because a kite string tied to a tooth yanked the sucker out, getting ready for bed, and interestingly enough reading about Junie B's tooth falling out, talk of the tooth fairy began. Griffin had some thoughts about her that gave me warm cockles.
So here is what he told me...
"Mom, I think the tooth fairy is one of God's angels. Otherwise, thinking about somebody coming in my room could be scary."
(He should save the money she gives him for therapy later.)
"I think she comes, takes the tooth and leaves a toy and thanks God for the hole in the little kids mouth that lost a tooth because losing teeth means you are growing up and she thanks God for helping them grow up."
Then he mused for a moment about what she does with the teeth.
"I think she gives them to God and he gives them to the babies that are just getting teeth."
Then another thought...
"I think she gives them to God and he keeps them all. I think he keeps them to remind him of all the kids he loves ... Good night mom, I love you. Oh and mom? I will show you what she brings as soon as I get up."
I often think I should have been a doctor. I am completely fascinated with how the body works, all of its systems, blood, diseases, how to fix diseases. For the most part I have a pretty strong stomach and it seems to take a lot to gross me out. (Except for vomit, then I'm done. But my kind of doctoring somehow wouldn't involve vomit.)
I saw some pictures yesterday and I just don't know what to think. My stomach flips and I can only look a little at a time. Here is what I saw...
WARNING THIS IS GROSS!!!
(I am even putting spaces here so you have to scroll down and want to see this.)
Hmmm, how did the get those marks? That's not that gross Annie.
I remember so few first days of school (although seventh and ninth grade are burned into my brain...that's another days story). - I remember even fewer that I got to start out with my best friend. I am so glad for Griffin. He has a best friend he never wants to be apart from that he gets to live next door to, ride the bus with, have classrooms next door to each other, eat lunch together, play dodge ball on Wednesdays and have recess together, 2 of them. - After the bus came home at 6:00 tonight, an hour and a half late, he came inside and the first thing he asked was, "Can I go play with Kendrick?"
We have another weekend of visitors...and I honestly don't know if Sean, Griffin or I am the most excited. I have butterflies as Friday nears, Sean is longing for the adult-no-interruptions-after-the-kids-go-to-bed-conversations and Griffins head is about to explode. I can't think of a better way to break up what has become the monotony of summer.
Flashback 4 years...
Friday - We moved to Pennsylvania today. I guess this is my time to learn how to spell Pennsylvania. Not sure how I feel yet but it is beautiful. Sunday - We made it to church and seemed to like this one. What was super fun is we met a guy, Stacy, who is also our neighbor. He and his wife, I think her name is Kim, have 3 kids and live across the street. I hope she and I can be friends.
Back to today...
My goodness how true those words became. From pre-school, new babies and 112 steps door to door to more babies, less fingers and 438.4 miles door to door, these are friends. Life friends. Good, real deal friends. Great, wonderful, pick your superlative friends.
There is something to be said for spending time together. I love quality time but I LOVE quantity time. Relationship just comes out of being with someone and experiencing the day to dayness together. Things are learned through time, favorite colors, favorite foods, family stories, unmadeup faces. Not much is able to be hidden when the doors are unlocked. Reality of life meets projected image. And I wouldn't have it any other way.
We have a big weekend coming up. Friends of ours are coming through Cincinnati and we get to see them. (He played baseball with Ken Griffey Jr.) (Actually against him.) (In high school). We thought we'd try to grab dinner and go to a park with all of our kids but instead, they are coming here for dinner and staying with us. So we are trying to figure out where to put everyone, what to eat that is kid friendly and easy and all I really want to think about is after the kids go to bed, what the adults will get to talk about.
This guy is a friend of Sean's from UC. He is a guy who I think highly of and who I am so grateful for. Had it not been for this guy and a handful of others, I wonder where Sean would be. They were a group of guys that loved Sean and cared about him without an agenda. Even though I don't know some of these guys well, they are so important to me because they are such a huge part of who Sean is today. So thanks Scott, Steve, Drew, Dave, Ted, Rick, Tyler, Erik, Kolia and so many others.
I am impatient. I do NOT like to wait. (Although compared to my grandpa-in-law, Sean and one of Sean's college roommates, I probably do better than I think.)
Waiting is so hard. For kids, little is harder than waiting for your birthday, for next Christmas, for summer vacation. For adults, the great job, meeting their spouse, or for some, summer vacation.
But I am realizing today that waiting for only a couple days stinks. Whether it is waiting for my oldest son to come home from Grandmas, for Sean to get home from work or whatever else grabs my mind and won't let go. So I must practice waiting today. When each phone call jolts me and seems to give life to the moment I will wait. When every few minutes seem impossibly slow, I guess I'll wait. When each hour that ticks feels like last week,