This man was my first love, I still miss him every day. Happy Father’s Day.
This man was my first love, I still miss him every day. Happy Father’s Day.
We’re back from our whirlwind trip to NYC. Everybody survived. The kids had a fabulous time with their Nonni and the Husband and I suffered no untoward catastrophes. Phew.
It was a short, but sweet, trip. We arrived on Tuesday, to a drizzly, cold Manhattan, and I was quite verbally and repeatedly upset to have forgotten my new raincoat at my in-laws’ house. The weather, of course, soon turned to hot, sunny, and muggy and I immediately regretted all my complaining about the cold. My mother basically just complained about the fact that New Yorkers are like Europeans, afraid of the a/c… because they don’t live in the subarctic indoor climes she’s used to in Texas. We had good food, discovered some great new restaurants, saw old friends and new babies, and did a healthy dose of shopping.
The Husband spent most of the time working (he had to justify the pricy tickets and hotel somehow, right?) and I spent most of the time walking, which I’ll get to in a minute, cause first I have to open a parenthesis (or start a tangent, as usual) on the Apple store on Fifth avenue. Totally cool. I loved that it was underground, I loved the glass cube, the glass elevator, the whole beam me up, Scotty, feel of it all, I also loved the fact that it’s open 24 hours because if my iPhone goes belly up at 4am I need to be able to get it fixed right away. Life or death (and dependence on technology) and all that.
Back to the walking, two things: one, I’m pretty sure that the reason why I’ve gained weight in the last few years was because I went from living in a city where I didn’t have a car and the unpredictability of public transportation coupled with my lack of funds for cabs, meant that I walked most everywhere I went. Meaning miles and miles, and hours and hours of walking each day. It makes a difference. I’ve become so sedentary that walking around NY for a full day (and I’m talking about the kind of walking you do whilst shopping, not whilst trying not to be late for appointments) was incredibly tiring. I’d get back to the hotel exhausted, my feet and legs hurting, like I’d been trekking in the mountains. Painfully pathetic. Woefully wimpy.
And two, I saw this yesterday:
It’s positively genius. I think all offices should have it. I’m trying to talk my husband into making me something similar, as they don’t sell the original here in Italy. I spend so many hours on the computer each day, doing things that don’t require a lot of concentration so I’m pretty sure I could couple it with some coordinated motor skill type of activity… like walking relatively slowly…. without too many adverse consequences.
I could walk and read emails, blogs, facebook… I could, in fact, spend all morning doing it with a clear conscience, because I’m also exercising… pure brilliance! And it’s not like I have to do the whole production of changing into workout clothes and shoes, warming up, sweating, stretching and then showering, because it’s not that kind of exercise, you’re just doing the stuff that you’d normally be doing sitting passively on your behind, only you’re walking, strolling even, for a couple of hours at a time. Anyway, read this post by Anne-Marie from Cheeseslave, she totally convinced me!
Also, I’ve started walking with some girlfriends by a river bed around here (apparently this post has a theme, though, I promise it’s unintentional, I thought it was going to be a fun post on NYC not a long ramble on walking, but these things are generally out of my control), and when I say walking, what I mean is that ridiculous looking huffing and puffing, arm pumping, speed walking where you’re literally going faster than people who are actually jogging.
It’s a beautiful place that I’ve managed to completely ignore in the seven years I’ve been here, just fields and wildflowers , big, round, smooth, white, river rocks and the sound of rushing water. One of these days I’ll go down there for a stroll with my camera.
Anyway, my point is, though I’ve been going to the gym three times a week for months now, walking (or running) on an actual road (dirt, gravel, or cement) and on a treadmill, are two completely different things. The former is much harder, for some reason, much more painful, I feel these walks for days afterwards, but they’re also much more satisfying, the cool breeze, the changing scenery, the hot sun, the bees a-buzzing… very pastoral and relaxing, like a Thomas Cole panting. It helps in ignoring the shin splints.
This post is all over the place, as usual, but I guess the point of all this is my new motto, which is: when in doubt, walk, (Much better than my old motto, when in doubt, eat chocolate!) now all I have to do is talk the husband into thinking we absolutely cannot survive one more measly day without the treadmill/desk contraption. Then all my problems, real or imaginary, will be solved – or so, at least, I’ll think for at least a couple of weeks.
p.s. the title for this post is completely random, I just wanted something that rhymed and that’s is the absolutely first thing to come to my head, and then I couldn’t shake it off for the rest of the day.
I wrote this Tuesday May 28th, but only able to publish now…
It’s a funny thing leaving your kids and flying across an ocean. Last year, right about this time, I wrote a post, much like I’m doing right now, on an airplane over the Atlantic Ocean. Last time I was going to Brazil by myself to see my ailing grandmother (who has since blown out 103 candles on yet another birthday). The Husband and the Nanny were home with the kids, and though a bit nervous and guilt wracked at leaving the kids behind, one parent was home so I was pretty fine and ready to enjoy myself on the five-day trip. This time I’m flying to New York with the Husband, and I no longer have a Nanny. My kids are with their Nonni (paternal grandparents) and right before leaving for the airport I found myself handing my mother in law an envelope containing my will, a video for the kids, and instructions on their caregiving should they find themselves orphaned.
My parents travelled a lot when I was a kid. They travelled both with and without us, and they went all over the world. When they flew with us we all travelled together, when they flew without us they took separate planes. It was very matter of fact. They wrote their wills early on, they nominated a guardian for us, they took care of things. It must have been hard for them, but it was very normal for me. We knew about it, and it wasn’t weird.
So when the Husband asked me to go to NY with him for a few days, I immediately started thinking about the things I needed to do, not just the packing and the organizing, but the taking care of things. We’d been talking about it since The Boy was born, but I’m a world-class procrastinator and he’s Italian (that’ll become relevant in a minute) so it just never got done. When one travelled the other was home, and we know exactly what the other expects of us should anything happen. This time, though, we had no excuses.
Writing my will wasn’t hard. It was actually quite simple and straightforward. The hard part was thinking about what we’d want to happen to our kids. Have any of you had to think about this before?
Ideally, we would have liked young guardians so we went through all our siblings first… apart from the fact that we are total opposites on the religious, political, and quite possibly moral front, my brother is unmarried and still living the simple, single, lifestyle. Also, I’m not a huge fan of his girlfriend so his taste in what would presumably be my children’s mother figure did not bode in his favor. My other half-siblings are all in their fifties and their kids are all in their twenties and leaving home. I can’t imagine they’d want to have two preschoolers fall in their laps right when their getting ready to finally start enjoying some peace, quiet, and independence again. I don’t think I’d want my ability to travel at the drop of a hat and go out to dinner somewhere with tablecloths rudely taken away from me after twenty years of deprivation right at the finish line, would you?
The Husband’s siblings are more age appropriate but his sister is the one who wants to send us her teenage daughter to raise, so that doesn’t fill me with confidence, and his brother is… well… kind of an asshole.
And friends are always a tricky option when you have families as large as ours. So we were in a bit of a bind…
We finally settled on a joint, both physical and financial, guardianship of the two grandmothers. The kids have an awesome relationship with my MIL, and even though she’s older than my mom we think she’s a better option for when they are little, with the clause that they go live with my mom when they’re teenagers (unless they strongly object to this themselves).
Reading all this you’d think we were on death’s door. Of course we’re not, and we have a higher chance of kicking the bucket whilst driving than flying, but I guess it was as good a time as any to start thinking about it. But let me just say that it was absolutely, bar none, the hardest thing I’ve had to do. Ever. Having to sit down and actually think about and imagine my children’s lives without me was enough to make me want to surgically reattach them to my body and never, ever let them free.
And it made me realize just exactly how precious, how absolutely, unquantifiably, important they are to me.
Doing all this also made me feel a little weird. In Italy people do not talk about death. At all. I remember when the Husband got sick, I casually told his mom that he needed to let me know what he wanted in case something went wrong and she completely freaked out on me, it was strange and pretty much incomprehensible to me, because my parents had always been absolutely straight forward and matter of fact about this stuff. When my dad died we all knew exactly what he wanted without even needing to read his will, this made things easy for us and avoided much pointless arguing. Of course this time was no different, I called my mom and told her about my will and what was in it, and all she said was to write the kids a letter to read when they got older (this being the digital age, I left them a video), my MIL, visibly tensed, got tears in her eyes, and told me to stop talking. This morning before we left she took me aside, showed me a secret drawer and said I should put “those things” I mentioned in there, and then shot off like a cat on fire.
It’s fine, we did what we had to do, and now I hope to enjoy the four days the Husband and I have in NY together. He’ll work some, I’ll shop loads, my mom is joining us there, the kids are having fun with their Nonni, whose action packed schedule for the week rivals anything the Disney franchise could possibly come up with for coordinated family fun. And the small, innocuous looking, white, in case I’m gone, envelope sitting in the “secret drawer” has ensured my piece of mind.
Now tell me, have you done this? Thought about it?
These past two weeks have been pretty decent. The Husband was away for a few days two weekends ago for a trade fair, and again this week he was gone Monday and Tuesday giving speeches somewhere (I’m not very involved in his work life…), so I had plenty of relaxed bonding time with the kids. Is it weird, I wonder, that my life is so much easier when I’m alone with the children? I don’t mean long term, long term, I’m sure, would be a gigantic hassle, but just a few days here and there, if I’m the only adult around we can decide to have breakfast for dinner (something my Italian husband just doesn’t comprehend), or just snack in front of the tv, or spend the afternoon in bed reading books rather than being productive. Even the morning routines are more relaxed when he’s not around, of course, we’re always late, when it’s just me, mostly because I’m a much better procrastinator than my two preschoolers but occasionally a break from all the discipline and order is refreshing. As long, of course, as it doesn’t last too long, we need him to get us back on track, or our lives would be total chaos!
So anyway, he came back from the trade fair ten days ago and announced he needed to go to NYC and would I go with him. Our ten-year wedding anniversary is next month, so we had already decided to leave the kids at their Nonni’s house for a long weekend and go off somewhere alone. Initially, my reaction to going to NY was, absolutely not, remember what happened last time we were in the US?? But then rationality set back in and it’s not like his getting sick is related to our geographic position, right? Plus, I’m an awesome wife, I can sacrifice a few days of tedious routine, to accompany my husband to the city that never sleeps, where he has to work and I will have nothing to do but shop, eat out, and sleep in. With no kids. It’s my duty as a stay at home mom to set aside my engagements to stand by my husband. Right? Am I convincing you with this whole virtuous act??
Anyway. So we’re going next week. I’m taking the kids to Milan on Sunday, getting them settled with my MIL, who, incidentally, is over the moon at the idea of having her grandkids to herself for almost a week and The Husband is joining us there on Monday as our flight is on Tuesday (one of the major things that sucks about living where we live is that the closest big airport is in Milan, which makes travelling anywhere into a big two day production). And the cherry on top of this particular cake is that my Mom is joining us there for a couple of days. So to recap: the kids are spending a week in a place the thought of which gets them more excited than Disney Land, The Husband and I get to fly to New York in business class (company paying, and did I mention, no kids?), we get to stay in a nice hotel, I get to go shopping with no one breathing down my neck and asking me if I really need one more pair of shoes, in fact, I get to go shopping with my mom who likely will be all like, you really need another pair of shoes to go with that dress you just bought, and other than possibly a couple of work related dinner engagements we get to do all the stuff we didn’t get to do in Houston this past winter. I’m feeling pretty good about my life today. Of course, I have a whole host of insane worries that I’ll share with you soon enough. But for now, well, the sun is shining, the weather is finally a little warmer, and I refuse to think about the bad stuff, today is all about the blessings. Of which there are many.
p.s. this blog turned one year old this month, and my last post was the 100th post. So lots and lots of bloggy milestones!
Bed time routines are a bloody nightmare, am I right???
I am not a morning person, by any stretch of the imagination. I’ve never been one. The Husband, on the other hand, loses all cognitive ability after eight p.m. This was always a problem when we were younger and childless because he would clock out when I reached my energy peak, as you can imagine, this made many things difficult, not the least of which was sex. Over the years we’ve managed to find the middle ground on most things (the ones where both of us have to be active and present at least) and we’ve divided up the things that occur at our respective “best” times of day. Basically, I’m not expected to function rationally in the morning, so he takes over the child-readying operations while I’m in charge of anything that happens in the evening. It works out great for us. He gets up early, has a nice relaxed breakfast with his newspaper and no one talking and or needing anything from him, he makes everyone juice, he comes upstairs and wakes me and the kids, and takes care of all the wrangling, washing, brushing, and feeding that is necessary to get to preschoolers out of the house. While I only have to concentrate the two neurons that are actually active and awake in my brain on getting just myself washed, dressed, and fed in the absolute peace and quiet necessary to avoid my head exploding first thing in the morning.
Of course after dinner, I’m in charge of the reading of bedtime stories, brushing of teeth, and yelling like a deranged person to get the same two preschoolers into their damn beds and staying there. I’m also in charge of the repeated serving of water to quench the torturous thirst that presents itself whenever I try to leave the room. I imagine The Husband is sitting in bed, relaxed, and laughing at me the entire time.
Hands down, I think, bedtime is worst than the morning routine. I’ve done the morning routine, while barely functional, and it just doesn’t elicit the same levels of stress and murderous rage that the bedtime routine brings on. Every night, it’s one more book, they have to pee (again), they have to tell me something “super, super, important” right as I’m walking out the door, they lose their luvvies, they need me to tuck them in again and again, and they are so thirsty, so parched, that nothing less than at the very least three separate drinks of water will satisfy them. It takes half an hour to get them to settle down (after they’ve been washed and effectively put into bed for the first time), at the end of which I mostly just want to kill them. It’s very frustrating, mainly because without their constant interruptions and requests our bedtime routine is actually quite sweet. Once they’re in bed, I do a little bad dream banishing magic, I sing them a song, and then we say “good night, I love you miles and miles, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite”, except that the Girl for some reason didn’t get the bed bugs part, so she would say something unintelligible, which later turned out to be “no bugs bunny”. I have no idea why, I mean, she likes Bugs, Loony Tunes was her favorite show for a while there, and yet every night it’s “sleep tight, no bugs bunny”. So of course, all of us started saying it that way, because, honestly, who could resist, but I feel kind of bad for Bugs, banished from our bedtime routine, for no apparent reason.
So bedtime makes me crazy, except for that moment when two little voices yell “no bugs bunny, mama” at my retreating back as I hightail it out of their room for the fifteenth, and hopefully final, time.
Hi! It’s been awhile… We’ve had a few holidays here, April 25th (freedom from fascism day) then May 1st (labor day) which basically means long weekends, short weeks, and lots of time off from school… basically no blogging time for mom. Plus the weather has been positively dismal, rainy and gross.
Aren’t I a big round ball of sunshine? Glad I haven’t been bringing you down on this blog with my optimism?
Anyhoo… we’re just back from a weekend in Milan now, where we had our newest niece’s christening (I am so over packing and unpacking every other day, btw). And since we had the entire weekend at our disposal, along with free babysitting by grandma, we took this chance to see some of our old friends from our younger, party heydays. We all met at my in-laws’ house Saturday afternoon with kids to celebrate the first rain free Saturday in two months by letting the kids romp around the soggy grass (incidentally, my MIL is a saint, she had 40 people at her house for the baptism on Sunday and yet she let four sets – each composed of two adults and 2 kids under 6 – of our friends come take over her yard), the kids played really well, even though they hadn’t seen each other since last summer. The in-laws have a gigantic property (for Italy), so they got to run around and get muddy and we got some chatting and catching up done and the weather was just perfectly perfect and then that night various and sundry grandparents / babysitters allowed us to go out and enjoy a drinks laden dinner in absolute child-free peace and quiet.
Whilst in the middle of the very complicated problem of decided where to spend our first night in the big city in what seems like forever, I got to thinking about when, way back when, we left Milan for the rural haven (or hell, depending on my mood) in which we now reside. I was barely 30, skinny, no children, with lots of money to spend on entertainment and shoes and nary a care in the world (or rather, none of the earth-shattering, life-changing variety) and now I’m about 15 pounds heavier, more wrinkled and most of my money somehow gets sucked into the black hole that is child rearing (I need to stop blaming the children, all of my money is being sucked into the death star of a black hole that is the house renovation). I’m not complaining about this, I’m perfectly happy with where my life is right now (barring the added weight of course), but what got me thinking was that when I go back to Milan, in my head, I’m still that girl that left the city eight years ago.
I was thinking about what to do, of our old clubs and favorite bars, and suddenly I realized that I probably would no longer be let in. I’m too old, I no longer project the right image, I’ve got the mommy aura about me… (and honestly, I no longer own the right mixture of slutty and classy clothes and impossibly high heels, I would probably fall off of now). And that is all fine, I don’t really need or want to be that girl anymore, but when I left here I didn’t realize I was leaving her behind.
So basically, what I’m saying is, we need to be more present, in my opinion, more present in the present (if you’ll allow me the awkward phrasing) because we lose it without even realizing it. But that disconnect between what goes on in my brain and the actual reality is always a bit disconcerting, like my brain still thinks I’m 25 and skinny, but my clothes, unfortunately, wholeheartedly disagree with me, so it’s always a bit of a surprise when I look in the mirror. Or the fact that I’m often shocked at having to make adult decisions, like, shouldn’t someone more grown up than me be here to tell me what to do? And then I realize that someone more grown up than me is geriatric and, quite likely, enjoying the freedom of their retirement, and doesn’t give a crap what I do anymore. How and when did adulthood sneak up on me? And where did the party girl go? Cause she was undeniably stupider than me, yet infinitely more fun. (Also, much, much, better dressed).
This has been a strange week, what with the Boston Marathon and West, Texas, and I know I should probably be writing about that, but something else happened and it’s what stayed at the forefront of my mind.
On Wednesday, I had to go sign some documents with The Husband for the never-ending saga that is the house reno, and since we were done early we managed to get a rare, quick, lunch together. We were chatting about his brother’s baby’s christening that’s in a few weeks, planning travel (it’s in Milan) and dinner out with our friends and whatnot, and I remarked on the fact that I thought his brother would have asked him to be the baby’s godfather, whereas they decided to ask the other uncle and our niece. And The Husband’s matter of fact answer was that they made the better choice since his life expectancy wasn’t very good, and then he went right back to eating his sandwich.
I was kind of shocked and speechless by his answer. I was also surprised to be shocked and speechless. I know his life expectancy isn’t very good. He signed dozens of documents when he was undergoing treatment that stated that he understood the risks of chemo, and radiation therapy, and the transplant and blah, blah, blah. He’s been on some heavy duty drugs for the three years now. We know. But, since he’s always seemed so removed from his illness, he always seemed to do everything the doctors told him, but without ever truly thinking about it, he seemed to ignore the illness and his recovery in a sense, I always thought he avoided thinking about all the negative implications.
It shocked me because I had never really thought about the fact that he lives his life with the uncertainty of seeing his children grow up, with the thought that at some point, some possibly not too distant point in the future, he’ll leave me a widow and our children orphaned.
It shocked me to imagine that he doesn’t think he’s going to be around very long.
How do you live like that?
The leukemia is in remission, he should be relieved, he should be looking forward and thinking about his future, instead with every handful of pills he takes every day, twice a day, he thinks that his life expectancy isn’t very good.
I realize I’m not saying anything new, we were aware of this, but I never really thought about it, about how it impacted him (ridiculous, since he’s the one it’s impacting daily). It just made me really sad for him, to think that this is how he lives his life, with Damocles’ sword overhead. So with tragedy and death all around us these days, this is what I’ve been thinking about, the uncertainty of life and the gift each day that we have really is.
This weekend the Husband took the kids to Milan to visit his family. The kiddos love spending time with their Nonni (grandparents) and I get a relaxing weekend at home… alone… pure bliss! Though, I do miss them lots (between cocktails and visits to the spa and hanging out with my friends with nary a child in sight…) Also, my Husband’s family gets to do whatever they want, feed them candy, take them on adventures, without my disapproving, party pooper presence. So it works out all around.
Friday night I had “the girls” over for dinner, mostly because I needed to practice my Margarita making skills – on a side note, it took me thirty minutes in front of the liquor aisle at the supermarket to locate the tequila, there were 25 different types of rum and more different grappas than I could count but only one, lonely, half-hidden, bottle of insanely expensive tequila, which I thought was pretty weird… Anyway… one of my girlfriends wanted to hone her cosmopolitan making skills as one of her 40 things to learn before 40 bucket list, so much alcohol was consumed. Surprisingly, everyone was eager to taste test our creations. We had a lovely meal, followed by drunken dancing, and then we sobered up with a hilarious movie before bidding each other good night at the ungodly hour of 2am. All this happened while wearing drawstring pants, not a stitch of make-up and with nary a high heel in sight, basically, the perfect evening!
This is the second child and Husband free weekend I’ve had this year, and I’ve got to say that every couple of months or so it really is a lifesaver (or, less dramatically, sanity saver).
The Husband came home Sunday night and asked me to consider having his 16 year-old niece come to live with us. I know, kind of an intense subject matter for a Sunday night post relaxing weekend.
His niece, is a really sweet, slightly troubled, girl. We had actually considered this two years ago when she started high school, but decided we couldn’t accept the responsibility of a fourteen year old (the Husband had just had the second transplant and the Girl was one and a half). And now the situation presents itself once again, and I’m unsure what to do.
Our niece, let’s call her R for simplicity’s sake, has just been suspended from school for two weeks, she’s probably going to fail the year, she got recently put in a body cast for a pretty severe scoliosis that nobody noticed, and is generally left mostly to her own devices. I’m not making any judgments on her parents and their parenting, they had an ugly divorce, and other varied and sundry family drama, and since I’ve never gone through that and don’t have teenagers I can’t say one way or the other where the blame lies (if blame can even be assigned in a situation as this one). What I do know, is that we could give her a stable family environment. What I don’t know is whether I’m capable of handling a teenager, cause if it’s your own teenager you’ve raised her year by year yourself and you sort of ease into it, we would be leaping from preschoolers to at teenager with no intermediate preparation whatsoever.
I wouldn’t want to screw up the situation more than it already is, but on the other hand, we love her and want to help her, and maybe being in a new environment, having to make new friends, away from all the drama that inevitably falls on her doorstep every day, could be beneficial.
Right now we’re trying to think of all the possible scenarios, and we’re trying to figure out if we’re up to it and how it would affect her, us, and our children, then we’re going to sit down and talk to her parents (separately, but hopefully also together) and to her. In the meantime, I wonder, does anyone have any advice?
It turns out that, according to some, I’m a bit of an army general whereas according to others, I’m a bit of a pansy ass. It baffles the mind.
My in-laws were here for a few days at Easter and they kept remarking on how “good” the children were and how they do things that “other children don’t have to do” and I’m such a “good mother”, the subtext of which was clearly how the children are poor, over-burdened, little soldiers, and I’m a slave driver. (And when I say subtext I mean my father-in-law literally saying the words under his breath). All this because my kids help “set the table” (I put that in quotes because while the five-year old kind of knows where the utensils and stuff go on the table the three-year old dumps everything in the middle and just spreads stuff around randomly), and unset the table (what’s the opposite of “set the table”? we used to jokingly say dress and undress the table when we were kids, which regularly prompted my brother’s catch phrase “but mom we haven’t been properly introduced” to which much hilarity ensued… or not, anyway…), and vacuum under the table with the dust-buster, and clear up their toys, and change their own clothes, and generally try to help out around the house. All stuff we did when growing up (despite the fact that my mom generally had between one and three maids in the house at any given time). I don’t feel like a slave driver, it’s just stuff they should learn how to do (also, if they don’t do it, I have to). I realize I’m the opposite of the typical Italian mother, who still irons her kids clothes when their twenty-five and in graduate school and living away from home, but I think that if though they may not consider these things normal they should at the very least be proud of their grandkids for being able and willing to do this stuff. Whereas, I’m sure, there are conversations going on in Milan between my MIL and her friends that go somewhere along the lines of “can you believe she makes her children set the table? What kind of lazy ass mother is she?!” Ah, the joys of cultural differences.
Speaking of cultural differences, on the other side of the Atlantic, in the sweltering heat of Houston, my Mother thinks I have forgotten the meaning of the word discipline, because my kids want my attention right now even when I’m speaking to another adult, because they jump on the couch, because I, *gasp*, allow them to take all the living room throw pillows and blankets, dump them on the floor, and then keep score to see who can jump farther from the couch to the pillow pile. My children whine and complain when I send them to brush their teeth, they dare protest when it’s time for bed, they have (occasionally) thrown a tantrum in a public place… Her favorite refrain is “your children’s behavior is a reflection of you as a mother, you have to take pride in them”, like I should only be proud of them when they’re well-behaved, or rather, I should take pride in myself when they’re well-behaved. Or something along those lines.
I try to walk the middle of the road… I do that a lot, lately. We had plenty of help around the house, but my mom made sure we learned how to do everything for ourselves, we learned to cook, and clean the house, and do laundry, and iron, and sew buttons… but our house wasn’t a lot of fun, there was a lot of tip-toeing around and not bothering the adults. Whereas my in-laws, as well as most Italians, like to complain (or pride themselves on) how many sacrifices they make for their children, how they’re still at home when they’re thirty-five, how no one wants to get married, because, let’s be honest, why should they? They live rent free in their parents house, with a free maid (their mother) and all the freedom in the world. How today’s youth is so entitled… but who made them that way?
And how on earth did I become the bad guy in this in the eyes of two completely opposing camps?? Walking the middle ground is hard, neither camp is happy, and I get a lot of crap from both of them. But I’m sticking to my guns, because I strongly believe in discipline, but I also very much believe in fun, and the two aren’t mutually exclusive. My kids need to learn how to do practical things, it’s part of my job to teach them, they need to be well-mannered, and learn patience (gradually), they need to be respectful, and independent, and responsible, but they also need to have fun and make messes, and do stupid things, because how else will they learn? I didn’t have a bad childhood by any stretch of the imagination, but I also didn’t have a lot of fun, or rather, there was always a limit to the fun we could have, we couldn’t make too much noise, too much mess, and when we did scoldings and guilt would ensue. There was lots of guilt and a fair amount of fear and I don’t think fear equals respect. I want my kids to respect me, to know when and where there are limits but also when and where it’s ok to cut loose, and I absolutely, positively, don’t want them to fear me or my reactions. So to some I am too strict, and to others I am too lenient, I just hope I manage to straddle the “just right” position at least half the time.
Do you have family members judging/questioning your parenting, and if so, how do you deal??
Hello friends, and happy Monday!
This week I’m going to be bad and not follow Stasha’s Listicle prompt, sorry Stasha! But I’m hoping once you see my list you won’t mind, or care at all, in fact….
Because, you see, I’ve been watching altogether too much tv lately and I’ve noticed a decided decline in my cognitive ability… in fact, I seem to have developed a schoolgirl crush on Ian Somerholder.
This is Ian Somerholder:
Or rather I’ve developed a schoolgirl crush on Damon Salvatore, the character he plays in the Vampire Diaries.
I’ll let that sink in for a second. And for those of you new here I’m a “respectable” 37 year-old wife and mother, the reason behind my watching the Vampire Diaries is beyond even me. I blame the novelty of Netflix, and the abysmalness of Italian television programming (and quite possibly the fact that too much television kills brain cells.)
In the last six months since my mother revealed to me the secret of streaming American shows abroad I’ve watched more shows than I will admit to and developed a series of truly improbable crushes. The last of which is Ian Somerholder, because though a tragic douche in Lost, in the Vampire Diaries he’s terribly sexy (and he knows it, if the number of gratuitously shirtless scenes in the show are any indication).
I’ve also managed to crush on Kris Holden-Reid from Lost Girl (has anyone even heard of this show??):
Matt Bomer from White Collar
though he’s undeniably hot, his costar Tim DeKay is sexier in my opinion, there’s something almost feminine about Matt Bomer, delicate features or something that makes me want to look at him but absolutely not sleep with him (which is fortunate as I’m positive he would absolutely not want to sleep with me. So we can just be friends, Matt, ok, just walk around shirtless every once in awhile and I’m happy):
Jonathan Rhys Meyers from the Tudors, which, incidentally, is a really good show.
There’s something about him that makes him seem a bit psychotic or serial killer-ish, which made him perfect to play Henry the eighth – who was not renown for being especially stable – but he doesn’t fill me with confidence as to my safety around him, which is, of course, not a problem, as I can’t imagine us ever running in the same circles. Also, he’s probably a perfectly nice guy.
And my longest standing crush:
Yes, I’m predictable, Ryan Gosling, but how could I keep him out of this list, I mean, just look at those abs!
Is it sad, I wonder, to occasionally sit at traffic lights and daydream about these total hotties falling madly, passionately in love with me? (with their shirts open, of course) Or does it mean that they’re just doing a really, really good job at whatever they’re doing?
Anyway, there you have it, five of my most recent crushes for this week’s Listicle, I feel like I’m providing a public service today by helping you start your week out right with a little eye candy!
p.s. While diligently and meticulously scouring the net for half-naked pictures of the above-mentioned (and, though arduous and tedious work, I did It just for you), I found out that Bradley Cooper has a pretty hot bod. Who knew?!