Category Archives: Tessa

Perfect Moment Monday: The Promised Land

Tessa and Reed each took up something new this Spring. Which means that Roger and I did, too.

Reed, born into the Red Sox Nation (his dad’s bloodline), is now spending two hours a week developing his skills to possibly be a  contributing member of that nation someday (or just to have fun).

And Tessa spends two hours a week cheering and dancing.

Which means that Roger and I spend several hours a week in the Spring air on camp chairs, talking with each other about how amazingly well (and fast) our kids are growing up.

These are the quintessential parenting moments I had in mind those 40 years (give or take 35) we wandered the fertility desert.

I have arrived at my own vision of the Promised Land. Only it’s so much better than I could ever have conceived.

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Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between.

Once a week we engage in mindfulness about something that is right with our world. Everyone is welcome to join.

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Perfect Moment Monday: Shiny things

This is on my nightstand. No reason .

~~~~~

We’d made a deal, Tessa and I. If she could go four days in a row without any arguing with me — not over clothes, homework, TV, eating, bedtime, bathtime or anything else — she could get her ears pierced early for her birthday.

(Secretly I half-predicted enough false starts to take us all the way to her 2012 birthday.)

This arrangement was set on a Thursday night.

Friday was very pleasant as Tessa was on her best behavior. Granted, during the school day she wasn’t with me, but during the times she was, I heard “OK, Mom!” over and over.

Hear that? The angel choir?

Saturday and Sunday were the same. No fights with her brother. All chores done happily. Appropriate clothing chosen. Agreeable to a fault. Toys put away.

The transformation was amazing. I no longer had to exert such control over her because she was now controlling herself.

Which, of course we noticed and praised and reinforced in every way we could think of.

I wish there were more of a plot line (well, not really), but Monday went off without a hitch, too. So Tuesday after school, Tessa and Grandma and I went where every pre-teen girl on the planet seems to go to get her ears pierced (do you know how many such videos are on YouTube??):  Claire’s.

And Tessa grew up from this:

to this:

In more ways than one.

I am quite enjoying this new relationship with my very grown up girl.

Ear Images: © WriteMindOpenHeart.com. May be used only with attribution and linkage.

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Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between.

Once a week we engage in mindfulness about something that is right with our world. Everyone is welcome to join.

To participate in Perfect Moment Monday:

  1. Follow this blog.
  2. Between Sunday night and Tuesday night, write up your own Perfect Moment.
  3. Use LinkyTools below to enter your name (or your site/blog name) and the URL of your Perfect Moment.
  4. Visit the Perfect Moments of others and let the writers know you were there with some comment currency.

Once you make a Perfect Moment post , you may place this button on your blog.What Perfect Moment have you recently been aware of? Visit these moments of others and share your comment love.

 

Do Over: “I’m a Bastard, Right, Mom?”

As you may recall from my last post, Tessa and I began a conversation about the meaning of the words bitch and bastard. We covered the terms and I was feeling confident.

Until she said the words expressed in the title of this post. That means I’m a bastard, right?

bastard in adoption

Though it was clear there was no negative meaning granted by her (it was said matter-of-factly, as she was just trying to put pieces together the way kids do) I, myself, felt a shock at the declaration and was unprepared both by my reaction and how to proceed in the discussion.

So instead of showing my discomfort or handling it inadequately, I pointed under a chair and said, “Oh, look! Is that bit of tinsel left over from Christmas?”

OK, I made up the tinsel part. But I did use the Shiny Things tactic because is tends to be as effective as it is sneaky.

As my readers pointed out, the conversation did need to be gotten back to. So during a relaxed time together yesterday, I broached it anew.

But this time, I was guided by the collective wisdom of those of you who kindly stopped to leave your insights.

~~~~~

Tessa is breathless, taking a break after dancing for the umpteenth time to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” in our living room. I’ve been masquerading as the entire audience at Radio City Music Hall.

“Tessa, do you remember the other day when you asked about the word bastard?”

“Yeah…”

“I’m wondering how you heard it used.”

“A 6th grade boy yelled it at a guy who stole a basketball from him.”

“Oh. So what do you think he meant by that?”

“That he was being mean.”

“Yeah, that he was being a jerk, right? That’s usually what people mean when they use that word. It’s kind of like the male version of bitch. And you know that both words are meant to hurt and are very disrespectful and very inappropriate.”

[And that mommy only uses them when stupid people in stupid BMWs cut in front of her when their lane ends, even though they had plenty of chance to merge sanely way back there and not come thisclose to hitting mommy’s car in a stupid game of chicken. But I digress.]

Dramatic: “I know that, Mommmmmm.”

“And you also know that bastard can mean someone who was born to parents who weren’t married, right?”

“Yeah, like Crystal and Joe weren’t married when I was born.”

“That’s true. You know, I always thought it was crazy to have that word be about a kid — even a baby — when the baby really didn’t do anything except be born.”

“Mom. It’s not like they’re saying the baby is a jerk.”

“Of course not. No baby is a jerk. But in the olden days when unmarried people were not allowed to live together, it was a rude word that described a child born to them.”

“That’s so not fair to the baby!”

“Exactly. Sometimes a word says more about the person who uses it than about the person it’s about.”

“I know, Mom. You’re telling me not to call people names, right?”

[Unless they are really, really stupid drivers.]

“You’re so smart. Hey, another thing. The other day you wondered if you were a bastard. What do you think?”

“Wellll…I kinda am because of Crystal and Joe. But I’m kinda not because of you and Dad.” (pause) “But I definitely am not a jerk.”

“Most of the time (smiling).”

“Mo-o-o-om (smiling back).”

“These days, we don’t talk bad about children for anything that’s really about their parents. So no, I cannot think of any way that anyone would consider you a bastard.”

“OK. Mom. Wanna watch me dance again?”

Perfect Moment Monday: Swearing on

Back in high school, I went skiing with our church’s youth group. It was miserable and I swore off skiing forever.

That was before I had a husband to please. Six years ago, I succumbed to said husband’s requests to ski again. It was still pretty miserable (especially on my left, black-and-blue hip) and again, I swore off skiing forever.

That was before I had children to please. In January, my extended family shared a weekend in the mountains. Only my parents and I remained in the cabin while the others skied. When Tessa and Reed returned from the slopes, they plaintively asked me if I would pleeeeeeaaase try skiing so that we could do it as a family. (Coached — ya think??).

I was momentarily touched and said yes, I would try again sometime. Hoping that they would forget.

Well, they didn’t, and this past weekend we four hit the slopes. Even I!

One thing that made me hopeful is that since my last foray onto the slopes, I’ve taken up yoga. In theory, my balance should be better and my core should be stronger.

But you know what made the biggest difference between the last two times I tried and now?

This time, I cared not a whit what anybody else on the slopes thought of me — in fact I didn’t even notice other skiers and snowboarders. Previously, I was paralyzed by the thought of what I might look like to all the hot-doggers on the slope — I foolishly let the imagined thoughts of others derail my efforts. This time, I was fully in myself, focusing only on the task at hand.

Another motivator? This is my era of facing fears.

I took a group lesson with “Dutch,” a 60 year-old former stud with a current swagger, who looked and sounded like Ah-nald. After learning the basics of moving around in skis, we headed uphill on the magic carpet and later graduated to a small ski lift. Getting off it was the scariest part of the lesson; I bobbled a couple of times.

And got back up.

The kids were taking a more advanced lesson nearby, and would cheer me on whenever we were within shouting distance.

Other than getting off the ski lift, I stayed upright almost the entire lesson. After my 5th or 6th run, Dutch commented on my style. “Lah-ree! You have SOOO much cahn-trol. In fact, you haff 110% cahn-trol. Could you give up a little bit of cahn-trol?” Belly laugh.

Clearly, he didn’t know me.

The half-day lesson ended at lunchtime and Roger, fresh off the double diamonds, skied down the bunny slope with me. “Did you have fun?” he asked, hopefully.

I couldn’t say that I had fun. I could say that I accomplished my goals by showing up and booting up, by finishing the lesson, and by showing my kids that it’s all about trying, even if you’re grown up.

And this time, I’m not swearing off anything.

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Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between.

Once a week we engage in mindfulness about something that is right with our world. Everyone is welcome to join.

To participate in Perfect Moment Monday:

  1. Follow this blog.
  2. Between Sunday night and Tuesday night, write up your own Perfect Moment.
  3. Use LinkyTools below to enter your name (or your site/blog name) and the URL of your Perfect Moment.
  4. Visit the Perfect Moments of others and let the writers know you were there with some comment currency.

Once you make a Perfect Moment post , you may place this button on your blog.What Perfect Moment have you recently been aware of? Visit these moments of others and share your comment love.