Feelings Never Quit Us.

This is the follow up to my post He Wants Me To Quit . Here’s how the conversation continued. 
I’ve always encouraged my children to talk to me, tell me how they are feeling. I want to be their outlet for letting go of bad and ugly they are holding inside. At 5 and 8 years old, their problems aren’t like adult problems but to them, those problems are gigantic. Things that happen at school with their teachers or friends can feel tremendous to a child just learning how to understand who they are. Add in some changes to their home routine and now you’ve created an emotional science fair baking soda volcano inside their little minds. 
Based on all of this, I took what my son said to me about quitting me job with validity. 

We can quit our feelings but feelings never quit us. They evolve into memories and I, for one, would like the memories I give my children to be happy ones. 

He will be 10 years old soon. Then 20. Then 30. He won’t care if I’m at home or at work because his life will be his to manage. Mom will be needed…wanted…less and less. 

Maybe it’s not just him that feels that loss when we aren’t together. Maybe I’m feeling that ache that we are apart as well. This time I have with him will be gone in a hummingbird’s heartbeat. Doesn’t it make sense that I take pause based on my son’s concerns? 

Honey, I know I am working a lot. More than I had planned to, actually. The reason I took the job is so I would have time to be with you and your sister because it wasn’t a full time position like your Dad has. I guess it doesn’t feel like that since I’ve been gone more than I said I would. I’m sorry you feel I’m not around. How should I fix that? Remember, I can’t quit my job but I can try and make some changes. 

“Don’t take extra days, Mom.” 

What if you are in school while I’m at work?

“It doesn’t matter. You aren’t there to say goodbye in the mornings.” 

So, that’s it. You need me to say goodbye.

“It helps me be better in school. I remember your words when we leave each other.”

Well, crap. If this is a guilt trip, it’s working. Let’s face it, I’m a sucker for my kids. They want me around. How can I say “No” to that? But, still, a compromise should be made. 

Buddy, listen… I won’t be there every morning. I just won’t be. If it’s not work related, it’ll be a school meeting or a doctor’s appointment. Stuff happens. It’s just how life is. I can be there on some mornings to say goodbye but then you have to make sure those mornings count. Tell me your feelings. Talk to me. Let’s discuss the day and what the expectations are. Does that make sense?

“What about hugs?”

What about them?

“I need the hugs.”

I do too.

What about giving extra hugs on days that I’m with you? Well, try it out and see if it works. Deal?

“Deal.”

And then we sealed it with a big, long, squeezing hug. A hug to seal all those feelings inside of both of us. 

Done and done. 

t.r.m. 

Root Beer Barrels and Joe’s Birthday or How We Went Crazy For Pee Wee Herman.

Netflix provided our family with a box of surprises in association with the original show Pee Wee’s Big Holiday. Here’s how it turned out…

When I was younger, I didn’t understand the appeal of Pee Wee Herman. I wasn’t a little kid when Pee Wee was popular so I just didn’t get it. Then the kids experienced a Pee Wee show on Netflix and they taught me why he is so special. 

I don’t want to tell you what happens during the show. I hope this post acts as a motive to get you to watch. Know that the movie is fun, campy, light-hearted and meant to create new fans of Pee Wee. 

And that’s what my kids are now. Big fans. 

The movie opens with Pee Wee living his life in Fairville. Things are pretty normal until he meets Joe Manganiello. Pee Wee and Joe are instant best friends so Joe invites Pee Wee to New York for Joe’s birthday. 

Pee Wee travels from Fairville to New York and the adventure is filled with shenanigans but honestly what else would you expect from Pee Wee?? 

Of course, the excitement of opening a box during individual scenes in the show was the cherry on top. 

The kids followed the roadmap as Pee Wee took his journey. Items included were mini pendants, balloons, stickers, ROOT BEER BARREL CANDIES, snacks and…

Special Pee Wee Herman t-shirts!! 

My kids LOVED the show and asked if there were any other Pee Wee shows like this one.(Not just like this one but close)

But I won’t spoil the show by giving you the ending. Does Pee Wee make it to New York? Will he be able to see Joe and help him celebrate? Will my kids stop asking for me to get them more root beer barrel candies at the store?

not the real New York


In addition to Pee Wee’s Big Holiday, here are some of the other shows me and my friends watched during April (and highly recommend): 

Marco Polo

One Hundred Eyes

Jessica Jones

Daredevil 

Cutthroat Kitchen

How To Get Away With Murder

Californication

Maybe watch these after the kids are in bed. 

t.r.m. 

He Wants Me To Quit

It’s been 9 months since I first went back to work. After years of being at home, I was able to get up in the morning and have a purpose other than sloppy breakfasts, packing lunches and yelling about where my kids’ shoes are. Being a Mom is priority one but even Moms need an outlet. 

My son has only known “At Home Mom”. Since he started kindergarten, I’ve been right there; to take him to and from school, help with homework, etc. Things are different now and he doesn’t like it. 

He isn’t selfish. He just wants his Mom available for him like she was before. 

I wanted something in my life that doesn’t revolve around my children. 

When my current job was presented to me, I was reluctant. I had never worked in the field of employment that was being offered. I was green from being out of work. My concerns regarding my physical capabilities and my enormous self-doubt swirled in my head every time the position was brought up in conversation. Despite the minimal hours (2 days a week, 8 hour days) and what days my shifts would be (Fridays and Saturdays, which would allow my husband to adjust his schedule one day during the week), I considered declining several times but we needed the extra income and that need trumped any other obstacle that blocked my heart’s decision. 

So, I became an employed person once again. 

When I broke the news to my children, the responses were mixed. The girl was thrilled as only a girl can be about something that sounds like good news.  The boy was instantaneously mopey, hesitant in his reaction and voice.

“A park ranger?  Do you even know how to do that?”

 “Not yet but I’m going to learn.”, I said enthusiastically. 

And that’s what I did. I learned. I trained. I failed and I succeeded. I stuck with it and now I love this job. The days are challenging and sometimes scary. Emotions have to be checked. So do egos. But unlike other occupations I’ve had, I get to leave everything at the door. Work does not follow me home. No phone calls or texts (unless someone needs a shift covered). Once I leave, I leave. At home, my focus returns to my children and that makes my grateful for this job. 

Lately, my two days a week schedule has become more. I’ll pick up a shift here and there. If it works with my husband’s schedule, then getting extra cash in the bank account is always a plus, right? 

Still, my son doesn’t like it. Not after I picked him up in my uniform so he could tell his friends that “my mom’s a ranger with a badge!”. Not after I brought Park Ranger swag like Smokey Bear comic books and friendship bracelets to his class to share. He doesn’t want a mother that is also a park ranger. 

He wants me to quit. 

This is where my “parent” heart splits from my “non-parent” heart. Having the opportunity to work right now is a freaking blessing. It’s a want AND a need. The good outweighs the bad and that bad outweighs the ugly except the ugly in this scenario is my son’s feelings. His heart. His childhood memories and as much as I stand my ground and tell myself that this is part of life, as a parent I make the decisions with my husband and we need jobs to provide for our families and he will understand later on and it doesn’t matter that he is so upset, it does matter. He matters. His feelings matter. Because he is my son. 

It’s time to sit down and talk. 

t.r.m. 

How I Ignored My Husband On Our Anniversary.

I wasn’t trying to ignore him. It just sorta happened. 

My husband and I were at Disneyland creating memories for our 11th wedding anniversary, and by memories, we were standing in line at Splash Mountain trying to remember Matthew McConaughey movie quotes….you know, like all couples do. Alright alright alright.

I looked away for a minute and saw a female Disney employee alone with a cell phone attached to her hip. That’s weird, I thought, nudging my hubby to show him. We casually watched her as the line progressed and others joined her. Our view was blocked from other people walking by but then, I saw why this Disney employee was alone in front of our ride.

She was a private escort for Samira Wiley and Lauren Morelli.

Now, if those names don’t sound familiar, you might not be watching Orange Is The New Black.

pousseylauren

Samira plays the character, Poussey on the show and her partner, Lauren Morelli, is one of the head writers on the show. I was beyond elated!! Poussey was one of my favorites so this was a celebrity sighting worth all my giddiness. I don’t get giddy most of the time over celebrities. Living in Los Angeles most of my life, I have seen my fair share of famous actors. When I managed my Starbucks, it was frequented by a few celebrities as well. Rob Riggle, Virginia Madsen, Jim Caviezel to name a few. But Samira? She’s on one of my favorite shows to date and I was in awe. Girl crush awe.

My husband showed little interest as I rambled omg omg OMG OMG under my breath. I tried my best to stay focused on him but I was giraffe-necking around the area to get one more glimpse of Poussey. 

Once we were at the gate to get on the ride, I saw the Disney lady waiting at the exit “She’s on the ride!” My husband smiled at me as I acted like a 5-year-old meeting Mickey Mouse. I knew it would be a long shot for me to see Samira and her group again so I let it go in my heart but not my head. 

Me: “Why take a chance on going to Disneyland with people like me? I would just ruin their trip with all my sly stares and whispers.”

Hubby: “She probably doesn’t care. She just wants to enjoy herself like us.”

My poor husband. Clearly, my focus was not on him. Happy Anniversary, darling! Pfft. 

We continued on with our day as we had planned. Late lunch at Blue Bayou. Is she here? Is that her? Oh, maybe not. Oooooo, chocolate mousse! Riding California Screamin’ because we don’t have our kids with us. There she is. WALK FASTER! Enjoying cocktails at The Cove Bar next to the waterfront and reminiscing about our last anniversary here. Waiter, if there is an employee walking around with a celebrity at the park, are they paid extra or is it just a special privilege? 

After our drinks, we were getting tired and needed a pick me up before going on the ride, Soarin’. We ordered coffee and I ditched my husband for a restroom break. I was finally refocused on our day and vowed to be a better date to my loyal long-time partner but when I approached the area where he stood, he said:

She just went inside the bathroom

WHAT?!?”

shhhhhhhh….

What?!”

Her escort is right there (pointing 20 feet away). Be COOL!

But if anything, I haven’t been cool all day. I’ve ignored my husband pretty much since I saw my girl crush celeb so it was either SHUT UP OR SHOW UP. 

I watched as they exited the bathroom and as they walked in front of us, I blurted out…

I DON’T WANT TO INTERRUPT  YOUR DAY HERE BUT…

WE ARE NOT STOPPING RIGHT NOW!!!, said the Disney escort lady. 

I paused. 

…BUT I’M A HUGE FAN. I LOVE YOUR SHOW!!!

My heart raced as I thought about what I just did. I stood there feeling stupid and foolish. I should have just stayed quiet.

Suddenly, Samira stepped back from her group, looked at me and with her hands clasped together, she gave me a sweet silence bow and mouthed thank you.

Inside my own body, I passed out. 

Hubby looked at me and said “We good now?” I hugged him tight and told him that it was all worth it. Okay, I shouldn’t have ignored my husband for a celebrity but he’s been with me for over 14 years and married for 11! He knew what he was getting into when we exchanged rings. “For better or for worse, even if the worse means crazy antics over a famous actress.”

So, Samira…where ever you are, thank you. Thank you for indulging in a 44-year-old woman who stopped your day just to tell you that you are amazing. My husband says he likes you too but maybe next time, try not to visit Disneyland on March 17th. He kind of wants it to be our day. And sorry for all the stalking. oxoxo.

P.S. I’ll be impatiently waiting for June 17th.

t.r.m. 

Blogger’s Note: As a writer for NETFLIX, I talk about shows and movies that I think you all would enjoy. As you can see, this post took a different turn from my normal promotional pieces. I hope you enjoyed it just the same. oh, and FYI, celebrities DO pay extra for an escort inside the park. Because you need someone to verbally keep away the crazies…like me. :) IMG_3158.PNG

Brothers and Ballerinas. 

It started with a gift. 
My daughter has been asking for a ballerina outfit for a few years now. A “leo-tUDE and fluffy tutu, please?”, she would beg. Growing up, I also wanted to feel like a graceful swan and twirl around until I lifted into the sky. It didn’t take much inner voice convincing when I saw that pale pink dance costume at Target. 

After school, my girl saw the outfit on the table as she dropped her backpack on the rug. “Is this mine?”, she asked, picking up the tulle skirt with spots of shiny silver. I smiled as her brother encouraged her to put it on. 

5 minutes later…she was covered in bandages, her face streaked with tears.

  
The minutes that past between my daughter putting on her new outfit and when I was soothing her pain on the couch inside were some of the most important of my life. 

Once she had her tutu adjusted, I asked her to come outside so I may take pictures. “Twirl!”, her brother repeated, in which she complied. She posed, spun, and lifted her arms as she had seen many times in movies and shows. “Twirl!!”, he brother kept encouraging and she did. She twirled, lost her footing on the sidewalk and landed face down on the hard cement. 

Her whole body collapsed in sorrow. “I’m not a good dancer!”, she moaned, tears heavy on her cheeks. She had scraped her chin and cheek, both knees and the palms of her hands but it was her heart that was the most damaged. 

My son started crying. 

While tending to my girl with kisses, hydrogen peroxide and words to calm, my son came and hugged my daughter. He told her that he was the reason she fell. She told him that she fell because she wanted to twirl. He apologized and she hugged him saying it was okay and that she loved him. 

I just stood there, trash wrappings of bandages balled in my hand. I watched them be siblings. I watched them care for one another. I watched their dynamic.

I watched and I cried. 

I have 7 siblings. I’ve never felt the emotions toward them as I see in these two children before me.  

My son led his little ballerina sister into the big room. They sat on the couch together and every couple of minutes, he would touch her cheek where the tears fell. He would get up and be silly to make her laugh. He distracted her from her fresh bandages and newly stained leotard. A warm bath and the washing machine can fix the exterior damage but my son was the healer of her heart. She was dancing one minute and falling the next. He told her…

Even big people ballerinas fall. They get hurt too. But they get up. They always get up. 

This was the piece of my childhood I never felt as a little girl. A big brother who was by my side when something that feels so big goes so wrong. The amount of unconditional support my 8 year old showed my 5 year old made my heart ache. I missed this part, living with my older brothers, having them protect me… If it did happen, I don’t remember. I’ve forgotten those days in my kinder years and there isn’t evidence to show otherwise. I’ll live here in this moment, feeling the feels as I watch my children live out my sibling wish. 

My daughter can say, “When I was 5, he was there.” I can only hope this remains a constant. For now, this is etched in my head for eternity. Even if I can’t remember feeling like this with my own siblings, I can live these minutes with my children. Please don’t let these minutes fade. 

After the silly dances had ended, it was just them two. Side-by-side. He had comforted her to slumber and he was adamant to stick by her. So, they fell asleep like this: 

 
Today, I learned….

Ballerinas will fall. Brothers will be there to pick up ballerinas. Ballerinas live to dance another day. Brothers will be there to watch them dance and encourage them to twirl. 

Maybe it’s time to contact my brothers and ask them if they will watch me dance.

t.r.m.