Tag Archives: Parenting

Happy Anniversary International Dad

Sometimes words just can’t express what one feels. This is so true when I think about the International Dad. Father to our kiddos. My hubby. The big guy. I fall short, because I am overcome with appreciation and love.

I spent the last years of my childhood and all of my adulthood with him. The majority of my years. And I hope there will be many more years with him because we’ve got a lot to realize. Tomorrow is our anniversary and, like the majority we’ve marked through the decades, we will celebrate this one out of town.

So, to my man… You are the love of my life. You help me balance life, and me. You support and encourage me to continue to seek, discover and grow.  To be tenacious about accomplishing my goals. To set boundaries and stick to them. To embrace humor as a friend.

You are my “home.” I am exceptionally fortunate and grateful that I share my concerns, dreams, love, and life with you. You bathe me in your light. Happy anniversary, baby!

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Filed under Multicultural Families, Parenting, The International Mom

Time for Me

I need to connect with myself. As a young child I did this many summer mornings, lying on the still dewy ground among the aromatic wild grasses and flowers in the meadow close to home. The soft rustling of the plants in the humid breeze and the hum of birds and insects cavorting around me registered, but I was lost with my imagination as I watched the clouds form pictures in the skies overhead.

As a young adult I re-embraced my love of horses, purchasing two and riding almost daily—for hours. I found that the time spent grooming, training and riding my horses brought quiet contentment after the relentless grind of selling diagnostic equipment to labs and hospitals. I loved mashing my face into and breathing in the fragrant coat of my horse, before and after riding, storing that unique scent within my being, along with the rhythm of riding. And I called on those memories when I was unable ride due to weather or my schedule.

Upon becoming a mother, my outlets to center myself began to disappear. After J arrived home I sold Spencer (my gelding). I soon followed with the sale of Persephone—my mare, who I had raised and trained from foalhood. Although joyously vested in parenting my two, and soon welcoming A, and then G home, I felt disconnected from me.

I guess my hubby knew me better than I knew myself. He sensed the disconnect within me and encouraged me to write, and so I did. And after getting over my fear I discovered that writing “centers” me, similar to when I use to ride and watch the heavens. I also realized that writing gave me a voice.

It is challenging to find the time to write for any concentrated time, so I have to schedule it.  I was fortunate to have four days of concentrated writing in Austin at the Stories from The Heart conference, created by Story Circle Network for the purpose of women sharing stories through reading and writing. My proposal was accepted, so I taught a workshop on blogging. I also coached other writers, wrote in other sessions, connected with old friends and met new ones, cried and laughed with “sisters,” and read at open mike night. Despite the delayed and bumpy flight home, I arrived home kinda “noodley,” feeling inspired, creative, and renewed. Connected to myself. Centered.

Connecting with self is important. We need to replenish. We need to center. What “does it” for you? Schedule some time. For yourself. Soon.

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Filed under Events, The International Mom, Writing

Not What We’re Used To

Spring break and the kiddos get restless, so we figured we’d hightail it up to Chicago for a few days, with an overnight stop in Valparaiso so that I could attend my first rehearsal with the other cast members of Listen To Your Mother (You really should come if you live in the region; it’s going to be amazing! More on this soon, I promise.)

We spent the day at the Indiana Dunes; it was sunny, but cold and brisk. We picnicked anyway, enjoying the sounds and sight of Lake Michigan from another perspective.  The kids burned off some energy running and then summersaulting down Devil’s Slide and trekking back up only to do it again and again.

On Friday we headed into Chicago, to explore some venues we hadn’t visited for some time—the Field and Lincoln Park Zoo. When we’re out as a group, we’re used to the myriad of looks and stares, and sometimes comments. We experience this less in a city the size of Chicago where diversity abounds, and perhaps that’s some of the comfort of why my kids love the city so much.

Invariably when out for any length of time, Mother Nature “calls.” We’ve always had a rule: young boys NEVER go into the bathroom unattended. It may appear that I feel this way because I don’t trust my sons to do their business and come out. Not at all. My (our) concern is the about who is in that men’s public bathroom—might he be a peeper, or someone who exposes himself to or molests young boys in bathrooms? It happens. More than we want to admit.

So, of course G had to use the restroom at the zoo, and Mark accompanied him. A maintenance guy, about Mark’s age, was in there cleaning and turned around after G had locked the stall door. Mark stood in the doorway, while G attended to his business.

Maintenance Dude: (pausing in his work) “Can I help you?”

Mark: “I’m just waiting.”

Maintenance Dude:  “Who are you waiting for?”

Mark: “Him.” (And motions to the stall.)

Maintenance Dude: “Oh, your grandson.”

Mark: “No, my son.”

Maintenance  Dude: (Nodding, with a huge smile and the “manly,” “he-he-he,” slap-on-the-back kind of approval) “You’re not shooting blanks! Good for you!”

I guess he kinda missed the obvious…

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Filed under Family, Growing Tweens & Teens, Parenting, The International Mom