Monday, July 20, 2009

Stress Management

I have been known to those close to me, or stuck with me, to be somewhat quick tempered. It is something I have sought to mitigate the majority of my adult life. I have seen some successes in those efforts and sometimes wonder if more label remains than reality, but whatever the case, I have been extraordinarily lucky in the teachers put in my path. Some that I have been fortunate enough to walk pretty fair distances with.

On this particular evening, we had just come home from the grocery store. I was trying to get the groceries unloaded, the fridge wiped clean, and the vittles put away just so. As an aside, is it a typical part of midlife to become particular about the direction food labels face in the refrigerator, or is this just my personal brand of OCD? Also, the matter of the proper size container to store leftovers in has become problematic. When exactly has this become even something to notice? Now, I notice. It mustn't be too large as to occupy too much space on the shelf or mislead me in meal planning, yet if said leftovers wind up imprinted with any design from the lid of any container as a result of being jammed in it, I am not happy. Yes, I'm afraid I have a lot of problems and I need help. I am quick to add that despite my many problems, I am very grateful for shared responsibilities in the kitchen.

Meanwhile, Nathan, our resident electronics expert and music aficionado started spinning discs at too high a volume, turning all the fans in the vicinity on and off repeatedly, letting the dog in and out of the backyard multiple times, all the while explaining all of these activities in detail to his "kids", and intermittently tossing random objects into the air exclaiming "catch!" to no one in particular.

Shaun who had helped unload the car of groceries, went so far as to unload the items from their bags onto the counter, then knew to step away. It was 5:30 and someone's blood sugar or anxiety level was going to incite a meltdown at any time and he knew it. He readied himself between the deep breathing (sighing?) going on in the kitchen and flying monkeys in the family room as a goalie might before his net; knees bent, arms forward, eyes darting, prepared to lunge in any direction.

I juggled and jostled items in my best effort to do too many things at once and as they toppled out of my hands, a "damn it" escaped my lips. The little boy that seems to have developed selective hearing, amazingly heard my frustration and though I expected a reprimand, from around the refrgerator door, I received a gift instead. Dolt that I am, I still am learning to see and accept the gifts all around me, but this day, I was stopped dead in my tracks at the thoughtfulness and presence of my sweet boy.

"Mommy, are you having a hard time?"

"Yes, actually I am."

"What can I do to help you?"

"Well you can turn off the music for 5 minutes, that would be really helpful, thank you for asking."

But alas, before the request was even made, it was done.

Not only is the little guy around here pretty amazing; the bigger one, I think I'll keep him too.

Tree of Life

There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.
Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Tonight Nathan was helping to prepare dinner of a simple green salad and barbecue chicken pizza with Gouda cheese. He loves the Dutch delight and even more so since his preschool class was assigned Holland for International Day in May. Yes, Gouda cheese is the best and one of the things that makes it the best is the wonderful red wax that it is packaged in. A simple pleasure, but a pleasure nonetheless to peel away that wax in one soft piece revealing the mild goodness within.

Nathan was up at the prep counter, standing next to me on his chair in our kitchen. The salad was made, table set, all that remained was to assemble our pizza. Instinctively, he knew the Gouda must be freed from it's encasement unmarred, whole and beautiful. He worked slowly and methodically. Deep in concentration a question came to his mind, and for me, the Gouda will never be the same. "Mommy, is this the same kind of wax that comes out of my ears?"

Friday, July 3, 2009

What else is there really?

As we were leaving music class last Saturday, Nathan spotted a dandelion full of fluff, just waiting to be wished upon. He yanked it out of the ground, thought for a moment, took a deep breath, and blew that weed to smithereens. He answered my expectant look, "I wished for love."