Things About The Weather

Ever since I was a kid, I've had this sneaking suspicion that while God probably doesn't give a whole lot of credence to my rambling, nonsensical, teenage girl prayers for the most part, He always seemed to get my weather requests. If I prayed hard enough for rain. Voila! Rain! Same with sun, snow, or temperatures over 70 degrees so that my mom would let us wear shorts. Sometimes I forget about this wizard-like-control-of-the-weather deal that me and God have, so when it reoccurs to me I have to test it out. Now don't get me wrong, I am one of winter's biggest fans. Two weeks ago I was singing Christmas Carols and still relishing the soft white blizzards. That hit every. single. day. But today I realized that half of my physical problem is that I have been wearing shoes for almost 5 months, non stop. This has got to end. Much like most of your body heat escapes from your head, most of our earthbound joy is absorbed from our feet (I totally just made that up, but let's go with it). And encapsulating all ten toes, crusty heels, paint-chipping toenails and even plantar warts, inside of fuzzy boots and warms socks and suffocating shoes has nearly killed me. It's time to wage war on winter. It's time for flip flops. 20 years ago in February I was playing soccer on a muddy field with snow and ice around the edges BAREFOOT. I know some of you were there, Pete, Amber, Em... Michael... And all of you WaterHooligans... Don't deny it. I have been so busy growing up and being smart and doing the Best Things that I have forgot how to determine my own seasons. How to reconnect with the outside world. How did I get so distracted? How do I ever expect to get better if I don't get a fracking pedicure and get back out there???

please note the footwear... this was clearly not a barefoot game -
unless Justin is back there putting his boots back on?

Rise with me, army of toe-breathers. don your springtime footwear (or none at all) and claim this season as officially Springtime, come heck or higher snow lines. (It's ok if you wear a beanie with your flip flops, since most of our body heat escapes out of our heads...) Crank your car heaters up full blast on the floor setting and embrace the enlivening burn of snow between your toes. Remember being young and stupid and making bad choices that nearly caused frost bite! Live in the now that is this lionlike baby March - dominate it with your bare feet and transform it into a lamb with me!

Ok, so maybe I have been reading too much Shakespeare and Divergent and I am looking for my own French Castle Wall Held By Rational Adults to storm. But seriously. A week on the couch and what do you expect?

Things That Hurt, and Things That Don't

This morning I woke up to a phone call from a young girl in Vietnam who is coming to live with us for the next school year. I spoke to her and her parents in small and confusing sentences, about how excited we all were to meet each other.

When I got out of bed and shuffled out of my room, I found a letter from another young girl. One who already lives with me. One who is not excited about living with me and whom I have hurt and mishandled.

The letter was brutal. It was young. It was carelessly honest, spewing out words that will never be retracted, but will be remembered. The first thought that went through my head was : oh man. Did I ever say these things? To my mom? Because the sting was real. Even though I know that this is part of growing up. I know that growing pains aren't just felt by the kids that are growing, they are felt by the people growing them. I know I can not take it personally, however personally it was written. I know all too well how the lack of maturity is also the lack of a filter. I know to set the letter on a shelf and put it away, inside of me, and take out the things that I can hear: You Never Listen; You Humiliate Me; You Judge Me; and work on those things. Address them with my actions more than my words. This anger is not remedied with seven hour long conferences. It is remedied with compassionate parenting, but firm parenting. I have given all of my children, and in fact all of the people in my life, far too much liberty with me. I have allowed them to blame their poor choices and bad attitudes on me. I have enabled their excuses and I have tolerated their justifications. Me, of all people. I have spoiled them. I am an enabler. A DIS-abler. Because really, I have disabled them, thus far, to being successful in relationships and taking responsibility for their actions and attitudes and behaviors. I will try to listen, and respond with truth, even if it is inconvenient for them. I will try to discipline without humiliation. I will try to never judge, and always remember my own careless youth. There is no perfect parent. There is no manual on raising girls. Trust me, I have searched. There is only heartache and joy and learning on both sides. And I am learning. So it she. But it stings. For both of us.

One more day, home from work, endless hours to face my physical pain, my failures as a mother, a wife, a friend. Free from distractions. I have all day to read books or watch TV, and I find myself staring at the wall thinking: Ok, what next? How do I take the next step? What is the next step? Where do I go from here, other than the bar? The bar. That sounds very appealing.

Too much snow, too much gray, too much hurty couch time. I need to go for a jog in the sunshine with a keg of beer at the other end and happy dancing daughters singing my praises. Wouldn't it be loverly? Soon. It's coming. I can taste it. There was a speck of blue sky this morning when I got up that was pushing back the clouds. It lost the battle, but maybe tomorrow. Maybe winter will give up the ghost and springtime will come. Or maybe I can make my own sunshine out of hope and determination. (and a little bit of whisky?) I am ready. Or I will be, as soon as I shave my legs...

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