Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Grateful Thankful Blessed

This time of year some people like to post on social media daily reasons they have to be thankful.  I've tried this, really I have, but I quickly lapse into  "Thankful the dog didn't poop on the new throw rug" or "Grateful for cheese." I am not naturally the sentimental type (sarcasm and snark are more my style) and I don't have one of those signs that say "Grateful Thankful Blessed."   Yet I do have one or two (or 30) things for which I'm thankful:

1. Dogs (even if they poop on the new throw rugs)--live-in crumb cleaners and unconditional love.

2. Cold, clear mornings of fall--because we know what wet, dark days are like.

3. Coffee, coffee, coffee--enough said.

4. Lindt Lindor Dark Chocolate Truffles--dark chocolaty creaminess at only 75 calories and 7.5 g fat per

5. We Rate Dogs--sometimes the only bright spot on Twitter/Instagram/Facebook (They're ALL good dogs.)

6. Husband who doesn't expect me to be "normal"--because why be average?

7. Kids who aren't "normal" (well, one of them is, but we make allowances for him).

8. Sno-Isle Public Library (even the teeny-weeny Lakewood/Smokey Point location)--books that I can read for free? Yes, please.

9. A free press--journalists may be the only thing that saves us from our current political "situation."

10. Netflix--binge watching an entire season of a show in a weekend is the only way to go (unless it's  "The Walking Dead"--that I do not recommend).

11. SNL--because sometimes you need to laugh at it all or you'll (rage) cry.

Mirage Hotel pool, Las Vegas
12. Garlic--good for you, adds deliciousness to most any dish, keeps vampires at bay.

13. Las Vegas--the Disneyland for grownups (please don't bring your kids); sunshine and cocktails.

14. Preschool teachers--they teach your kids how to learn before they have to learn; and they deal with a lot of fingers in noses.

15. The internet--what did we even do before the Worldwide Web? Just not know stuff?

16. Elections (and the voter's pamphlet)--if you don't vote, you don't get to complain; it's a thing. (We voted on it a couple years ago; Referendum 86934-09-218B, aka "Show Up or Shut Your Pie Hole.")

17. Target--because who doesn't love a good deal on toilet paper AND a pair of cute boots?

Diablo Lake, North Cascades
18. North Cascades National Park--beautiful campgrounds, hiking trails, and stunning scenery. (Don't tell anyone; it'll be our little secret.)

19. School Bus drivers--they are the unsung heroes of the public school system, true story.

20. Our neighborhood/community/school district--we live in a small community where even if you don't know someone, your kid is probably in class with their kid, or their cousin is you hairstylist.    And they'll probably let you borrow a cup of sugar, or fill you in about the recent car prowler (but please don't ask them to participate in your kid's fundraiser--nobody needs more wrapping paper).

21. Our house--the back deck is rotting, the carpet needs to be replaced, and there is approximately 10,000 tons of dog hair in every nook and cranny. But it's cozy and ours and home.

22. Texting/FaceTime/Snapchat--do people actually call each other on phones anymore (like it's the  1950's)? If my daughter didn't insist she FaceTime the dogs, I might never hear from her.

23. The diversity of political candidates--love 'em or hate 'em, maybe it's time to think outside the "old white man" box (no disrespect, Joe and Bernie)

24. Elected officials who really care about their constituency--if you hide from your voters and side with the big business, maybe  "public representative" is not your calling.

25. Cyber Monday--because who even goes Black Friday shopping anymore? (Unless it's online, then "Hooray Black Friday!")

26. Pie, mashed potatoes, and all the Thanksgiving fixings--bring on the fat pants.

27. US Post Office--I'm continually amazed that anything I drop in the mail box actually gets to its    destination (and getting personal mail is the best).

28. Smart phones--Computers. In. Your. Pocket.

29. Soup--chicken noodle, potato, or bean, nothing's better on a dark, cold day.

30. Finally, that there aren't 31 days in November (PHEW!)

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Happy (Non)Mother's Day

It's Mother's Day, a time set aside to thank the mothers in our lives (and spend too much time and money looking for the right card/flowers--and if you're like me, remember that the US Postal service will take TWO days to get a card to my mom in Vancouver).

All the sale ads and Facebook posts got me thinking about all those who may not be mothers themselves, but who also deserved some recognition today.

To the friends and neighbors who help you coordinate rides and play dates and what the theme is for Wednesday's Spirit Week at school. Who keep an eye on your kid when they're out in the neighborhood and don't judge you when they hear you yelling at them (because they know we all lose it now and then).

To the teachers and coaches who encourage your kids to try their hardest.  Who notice when your kid is having an off day.  Who keep in communication with you, but still make the relationship with your kid focused on them.

To the parents of your kids' friends for mothering them when they're away from home. Who host sleepovers and make that special breakfast you've never made (and introduce them to foods they'd never eat at home).  Who hug your kids when they're going through their grumpy teenage phase and will barely talk to you, much less allow physical contact.

To the strangers in the grocery store who smile at the baby and don't mention they should be wearing shoes.  Who give you a reassuring smile as you struggle to try to herd three children past the toy section, negotiate peace between siblings, and still remember to get everything on your list before someone has a melt down. (And who don't give you the judgy look when someone ultimately does have a screaming melt down.)

To the grandmas who hold the babies so their daughters/daughter-in-laws can have one moment's peace. Who bounce and coo and spoil.  Who notice every wonderful trait and love your kids almost as much as you do. (And who also refrain from giving too much unsolicited advice.)

To the aunts, who remember their nieces' and nephews' birthdays, who ask about your kids' milestones (without comparing them to their own kids' accomplishments), and who will also happily hold a screaming baby for however long it takes.

Happy Mother's Day to you all! Thank you for being my village--I couldn't have done this parenting thing without you.