Warning Rated R

Did someone forget to post the Restricted rating outside the MOMA?

I was so disappointed yesterday when I wasted good money dragging my family to the Modern Museum of Art.  My daughter turned fourteen today and is a budding young artist.  I mistakenly thought it would be a good experience to take her to the MOMA to inspire her creativity and feed her love for the arts.  Boy was I wrong.

Apparently I was not taking her to the museum for an art lesson,rather a lesson in sex education.  As she so eloquently put it; “wow mom that was some kind of birthday present, fourteen penises in fourteen minutes.”  At one point my husband and I had to quickly redirect the kids and ask them not to look to their left because the painting was so inappropriate.  Whoever decided oral sex while shooting yourself in the head is art was a sick individual and whoever decided to hang it in the museum is just as bad.

Are you not supposed to have some kind of talent to be an artist?  No you just have to incorporate a penis, breast or sexual act into your painting, sculpture or photograph and POOF its art!

On a positive note we all enjoyed seeing the works of Van Gogh and Picasso.  The kid’s have a studied Van Gogh in school and have tried their hand at creating “The Scream” so seeing the original was an amazing experience.  (My eighteen year old contends his version is better than the original.)

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I am certain we missed many excellent examples of modern art from very talented artists and for this I am sad.  Perhaps the curators could contain the R rated art in one area so we do not have to expose our children to it in search of the real art.

Like life, art is a matter of perspective so I appreciate that what I see as pornography others see as art.  I just don’t get it!

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NYC Itinerary Please!

Okay folks looking for a little help here.

Small town family wants to see New York City!  What should we see, where should we eat?

Our eighteen year old son is visiting from Kentucky and we want to take him to the “Big Apple.”  Naturally he want to ride the subway and see Time Square but past there we are open to suggestions.  Send me your suggestions and help us make an experience he will never forget.

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The Sky Is The Limit

Daily Prompt 32 flavors: Vanilla, chocolate or something else entirely?

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Why limit yourself, if there are 32 flavors why not try them all?  This being said by the person who has moved eight times between two countries and three states.  Naturally I like to explore new things.

How do I know what my favorite flavor is if I haven’t tried them all and what about combining them? Maybe it comes from my love of permutations and combinations in math but once I’ve tried each flavor once I need to see how they are in combination with each other.  It makes my choices almost limitless.

Some may find this approach overwhelming, but me, I find it exciting.  Sure some tastings are not as satisfying as others but every now and then you come up with that perfect flavor and the failures make it that much sweeter.

Maybe instead of life being like a box of chocolates it is more like an ice cream parlor.  Step outside your comfort zone next time and maybe you find your new favorite!

 

The House of Mirrors

Today’s daily prompt: 1984; you are locked in a room with your greatest fear.  Describe what is in the room with you.

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I reach for the door, slowly turn the handle only to find that it won’t turn.  Anxiously I try again twisting back and forth but it is locked.  Quickly I turn  to find another way out but find myself trapped in a room with my greatest fear.

Everywhere I look I see nothing but my reflection.  A room filled with mirrors with no way to escape and forced to look at myself from every angle.  To the left I see the slight bulge that used to be a waistline, to the right I see the lines etching themselves into my face, straight ahead is my anxiety over what I cannot control, and behind me is my self-doubt about who I am.  In a futile attempt to escape the images I look up.  As scary as my reflections may be what I am faced with now makes my heart stop.  Above me is a clock.  The sole reminder that time keeps moving forward and I can not stop it or slow it down.  I drop my head and once again I am faced with my reflection.

Quickly I close my eyes and count to ten hoping that when I open them again it will all be gone.  In the background I can hear that insistent ticking of the clock., tic-toc-tic-toc.  Slowly I open my eyes, the mirrors are still there.  I look to the right there it is that same bulge, but wait is it not the reminder of the three wonderful children I have.  I glance to the right and take a closer look at the lines on my face are they not the etchings from a life of smiling and squinting to see things more clearly.  Straight ahead, is that anxiety or excitement?  Gathering all of my courage I know I still have to look behind me into the mirror of self-doubt.  I turn and look, there it is just as clearly as before.  The fear I have been feeling has left me and in its place is nothing but anger.  How dare I doubt myself, if it was anyone else I would banish them from my life.  I raise my fist and unleash the anger upon the reflection of my doubt.  The mirror shatters and lays in pieces at my feet in it’s place an open door lays before me.

I suppose life is merely a matter of perspective and we only have a limited time to make of it what we want.

Your Lucky Ticket

The house is quiet again.  The morning rush hour is over, the kids are safely (I hope) settled into school and my husband is tucked neatly behind his office desk.  Oh yes the joy of being a stay at home mom.  I am so “lucky” I can just sit around and do nothing for the rest of the day and wait for everyone to come back at the end of their day.  In the meantime what should I do?  Perhaps drive around town in my new Lexus, get my hair and nails done at the salon, buy a new outfit, book the family vacation, and lunch with the girls.  NOT!

I can’t count how many times I have heard “you are so lucky to be able to stay home.”  I want to scream in reply that it isn’t luck that has allowed me to stay at home.  I CHOSE to give up my career to raise our children, I didn’t win the stay at home lottery.  With that choice came a great deal of sacrifice.

However, if you continue to believe it is a matter of luck let me give you your ticket for the STAY-AT-HOME-MOM lottery.  Good luck!

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 Please don’t get me wrong, I am happy with the choices I have made.  I wouldn’t exchange my time with my kids for any amount of money but it wasn’t always easy.  Through our sacrifices my husband and I have been able to carve out a comfortable life for our family and we now have some of those extras that we once had to forgo.  All I ask is that instead of looking at me and saying “wow you are lucky” look at me and say “wow you’ve worked hard to raise your family.”  It is the same respect I give you when I admire your promotion or your ability to balance your career and family.

What we do in life is not about luck, it is a choice.

 

It Just Wasn’t In The Cards

“Sandra you have a call on line one.”
“Hello this is Sandra can I help you?”
“Hi Sandra it’s Dr. Elliot’s  calling.  I have reviewed all of yours and your husband’s test results and I’m sorry to inform you but you do not qualify for the fertility programs.  It would be my suggestion that you and your husband consider adoption because it just does not appear that you will ever be able to conceive and carry a child on your own.”

I didn’t say a word, didn’t ask any questions and didn’t say good-bye.  I gently placed the receiver back into the cradle and walked away.  It felt like time had come to a stop, there was no movement, there was no noise, there was only me in darkness and silence.

That feeling of helplessness, the dull sick feeling when you realize that you are no longer the one at the reins, overtook me.  All my life I had dreamed of being a mother.  It was all there in my ten-year plan; Finnish college, get a job, get married, buy a house, start a family. A simple plan laid out in black and white.  I wasn’t asking for anything major like trying to become the CEO of a large corporation or a super model, I just wanted to be a mother and have a family.  Now I was having to ask for a miracle.  My body had betrayed me and in a way that I had no control.  You can exercise to stay fit, diet to lose weight, meditate to reduce stress but there is nothing you can do to produce if your body does not want to carry a baby.

I was no longer in the driver’s seat just a passenger who had forgotten to put on her seat belt when the car came to an expected stop, slamming my head into the windshield and being rendered unconscious.  There was a blackness, a total nothingness followed by that slow awakening.  Awakening into a state of confusion asking myself who am I, where am I?  I looked around to see if there was anything I recognized but only saw pieces of an old life with shattered dreams.

It is at these points in our lives when all control is removed from us and we are brought to our knees with helplessness that we have the greatest choice in who we will become.  Will I be a victim of my circumstance, bitter and resentful for what I can not have, or will I rise above the circumstances and grow from my experiences.  Will I stand alone in the darkness or will I reach out for help.  Someone once told me that God never gives you more than you can handle.  I told them they were wrong, God gives you more than you can handle so will reach out to him for help.  In my moment of helplessness I had a choice, I could curl up and feel sorry for myself or I could get back to my feet, wipe away the tears and the dirt, and start again.

Life is like a poker game, you are dealt a hand and you have to play it.  Sometimes it is best to throw your hand in and start again, sometimes you can bluff your way through with the cards you are given and sometimes you will be dealt a royal flush.  So having kids wasn’t in the cards for me. I had to reexamine the cards I was given and decide how I would play them.  I still had a terrific husband, an amazing job and faith.  Those three were enough to keep me in the game.

We are never truly helpless because we always have control over the decisions we make with the cards we are dealt.

(p.s.  I got my miracle and have had three beautiful children.  Apparently that faith card is the ace in the hole)

 

It Was the Best of Times, It was the Worst of Times

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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness. It was a time when I wanted to throw my hands up and declare that I couldn’t do it any longer, it was a time when I feared that it would all come to an end too quickly.

The place may not be England or France and the time may not be 1775 but it still remains an age of competing and contradictory attitudes.  It is the age of  parenting teenagers.  When I first read Tale of Two Cities I was but a teen myself.  It is funny how those words have stuck with me for thirty years and how they came back to me in a new light as I attempt to survive my children’s teen years.

Watching your child transform from a boy to a man, from a girl to a woman, is both the best and worst time of your life.  The pride you feel in their accomplishments is overwhelming but the mistakes they make can have unbelievable consequences.  I remember the first steps my children took, that excited nervousness as they put one foot in front of the other, toddling from side to side, quickly regaining their center and finally falling onto their well padded bottom.  I stood with my hands reaching out for them with their little hand reaching back for me.  I was there ready to catch them if they should fall, protect them from injury.  Flash forward and I am watching them drive out of the driveway for the first time.  I stand at the door with my hand raised above my head waving good-bye, they are not looking to me at all but only seeing the road ahead of them.  They are on their own, I am not there to protect them any longer and if they should fall I know the consequences are much greater.  It is their right of passage, their key to freedom, their road to become their own person.

My job description for the last eighteen years has been to prepare my children for independence.  Allow my children to develop their personality, build their self-esteem, nurture their dreams and make them believe they can do anything they set their mind to.  I have done my job well.  My children are well-adjusted, independent thinkers, that want to spread their wings and fly from the nest we have shared.  My first child has left the nest, he is thriving at college and I can see his siblings watching him and counting the days until they can follow in his footsteps.  They all have big dreams of what they want to do, a doctor, a lawyer, an engineer.

So I hold my breath and continue along the path of the best of times, the worst of times, the age of great wisdom and the age of foolishness.  I will cheer them as they succeed, I will pick them up when they fall.  I will allow them to make their own mistakes, and will attempt to steer them clear of foolish mistakes.  I will hold them tight in my heart but will let go of control.  I will allow them develop their own life separate from mine.  I am the mother of three teenagers.

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