If not now, when?

Like so many others lately, I’ve started reading Gretchen Rubin’s “The Happiness Project.” As I’m reading, I alternate between feeling totally inspired and totally overwhelmed; I can absolutely see why she decided to make her changes over the course of  a year, rather than tackling them all at once. I’m only reading about her changes and I’m exhausted.

She does make a lot of points that really speak to me, though. Most pertinent to my current situation in terms of parenting is her approach to her temper and her patience. Before I had kids, I wouldn’t have called myself a yeller. If you met me today, I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t think that I’m a yeller. (As an aside, I mean a yeller to be “one who yells” not “one who is yellow.” Just thought I would clear that up.) One of my biggest pet peeves is that my children don’t listen. OF COURSE they don’t listen… they’re four and one! What do I expect? Well, I think I sometimes expect them to meet me halfway. And why would they? They haven’t learned to do that yet! The word “compromise” isn’t in their collective vocabulary. And yet I, a thirty-one year old, expect my children to act as I, frankly, am not. I don’t want them to have bad tempers, but how can I expect anything more of them than I do of myself? This is all a very round-about way of saying that parenting is a freaking black hole of paradoxes and I am ILL EQUIPPED at times. Thank goodness for people like Gretchen Rubin and every other mama-writer on the internet who make me feel like we’re all ill equipped together.

However, I DO want to make positive changes, and what better time to start than now? As Rubin says, what you do every day matters more than what you do every once in awhile. So I need to work on my everyday behavior and interactions with my children, starting now. It’s always said that all people want for their children is for them to be happy, right? So I want to teach my kids how to learn to make themselves happy. It’s the least I can do while I’m learning it myself.


A Brisk Clap and a Move On

Well! Nothing like completely stepping away from all things internet-esque for, uh, a month or so… we went to my happy place (Pawleys Island) for two weeks and lo! There was no internet and it was AWESOME. If you can escape civilization for any period of time, I highly recommend it. We ate seafood, we sat on the beach, my children both came back with foot injuries… you know, your basic good vacation. So other that the fact that small A is now on both oral and topical antibiotics for TEN DAYS (yes TEN DAYS have you ever tried to give an eighteen month old antibiotics even once let alone three times a day for TEN DAYS sweet fancy bananas you can see why I’m going crazy here right?) we had a lovely time. Also, we drove back from the beach with my mom and then stayed with my parents in Louisiana for five days, which was heavenly, and then my mom drove us all the way back to Austin and stayed for three days and I guess what I’m trying to say is that I did indeed burst into tears when I watched her drive away this past Monday.

However, for a more cheering mental picture, I invite you to feast your eyes upon the sartorial stylings of Miss Georgia. Said outfit was donned for a brisk walk around my parents’ land during which she examined the beehives and turned the compost with my dad. So you can see that the dress was a necessity. OBVIOUSLY.

{note: I think this is her zoolander face.}

Anyway, being with family for so long just reinforced my feeling that I really hate living so far away from my parents. My girls adore them. When we’re all together I run a distant third to G and Bopa, and please believe me when I say I’m not at all offended by this and hey, did you know it’s really nice to be able to eat your whole lunch without someone on your lap? Well, it is. They’re just so great with the girls and they answer all the questions Georgia has that tend to drive me a little batty, and they carry Adele as much as she wants to be carried, and I’m so beyond thrilled that my girls are going to know and love and remember my parents for their whole lives. It really makes me teary to think about it.

Not as teary as I was when my mom drove away, obviously, and not as teary as Adele was when she saw my mom’s car disappearing down the street and let out a piteous wail that I’m sure alarmed many of my neighbors. We’re getting along ok, but man, life is  so nice when my mom is around. I miss her.

{g and the girls on the beach, early morning, low tide}