Monday, January 25, 2010

I Say Stuff

There isn’t a woman on the planet today who, while growing up, contradicted her own mother more than I did! Seriously. Talk about a personality clash – as a teen, I once told her that I was pretty sure we wouldn’t have been friends if we had gone to high school together. Am I strong willed and self-aware? You bet!

By the age of four (and up until I was about six), I had developed quite an elaborate parallel life for myself, which included not one, but two imaginary friends. Goompy and Gerti were my constant companions – in spite of the fact that I already had two younger brothers… and ultimately, I ended up to be the oldest of five (the first four of us were born within a five year span!) Goompy and Gerti helped me sort out all kinds of situations that I (we) encountered during my formative years. Vivid imagination? Got it! Do I think outside the box? Only when I’m thinking!

Yes, it was hectic – not to mention crowded, around my childhood home: a not-quite-big-enough house (with only one bathroom!) situated on a dead end street in the unincorporated part of town. Dad worked two jobs, while mom stayed home with us. And adding to our clan, were the scads of puppies and kittens that my parents fostered over the decades (back then it was common for people to abandon unwanted litters in the woods at the end of our street – sad, but true!) Now dogs and cats feel like my kindred too (once a Chocolate Lab, named Samantha, gave birth under my bed!) Can I tune out the distractions of daily living, and focus on essential qualities of life? Absolutely!

My dad died suddenly when I was 18. The gut-wrenching pain I felt, upon hearing the bad news… as mom informed me on the front porch, was immediate, and severe (cell phones had yet to be invented, and I was the last one home after a date with my high school boyfriend!) I wanted sooooo badly to turn back the clock… to tell him that I loved him… to feel his embrace… never again is forever. Am I keenly aware of the importance of spending quality time with family? Without a doubt!

Let’s fast forward here… as we do a flyover of my first marriage – 24 years to a tyrant, who wouldn’t change his ways, so I finally left him (but I did get to be a full-time mom to our two sons!) – insert divorce here – then becoming a Licensed Massage Therapist/Reiki Master (giving massage satisfies my soul)… BTW, I held a part-time job in a dental office from the time my youngest son was in second grade until I got my massage license in 2002… realizing that a guy whom I had worked with for over a decade (divorced with custody of his two daughters!) is totally my soulmate *giggles* then becoming his life partner and jumping “back in the saddle” of domesticity… you see, at that time when we started dating, the girls were only 12 and 14--my sons were already 20 & 24 (and I was having a blast on my own in an uptown high rise apartment!) so I reset my "countdown to empty nest clock" because life goes on… to becoming a mother-in-law right before becoming a military mom (thank you previously mentioned second son!)… then becoming a grandma (a baby is a gift of pure bona fide love!), and arriving at present day, with the publishing of my first children’s book, Baron Thinks Dogs Are People Too!

When I first held my newborn grandson, I felt a great sense of legacy, like a cosmic connection of maternal lineage. Here was the relevant defining moment for me… How would I maintain a bond with, and hand down bits of wisdom to my grandchildren (whose father is in the US Air Force) as their family moves to a new city every few years during their formative early childhood development? Baron's endearing story provides a way for me to do just that!

I’ve done lots of hard things in my life (doesn’t everyone over the age of 30 have a sob story?) But I don’t dwell on the past. Although, it is interesting to note (now that I look back on it) that each time I was hurt, and with every setback I encountered, it was the essential fortitude of my soul PLUS my deliberate focus on the present moment (in spite of whatever stressful situation I was in) that got me through to where I am today – offering you a nice little picture book with a well written simple story that you can use to capture the attention of the precious little ones in your life… have a quality moment, and a fabulous week!

I’ll be back here next Monday ☺