Sunday, August 31, 2008

Things you just didn't know

I admit, I had no idea how hard being a parent was going to be. I just didn't. Especially the beginning, oye, the beginning! And then there was a lull in the difficulty, and now, a new difficulty has reared its ugly head. Nope, not the terrible twos, although, they are terrible, it is the paralyzing fear that your child will suffer other children's cruelty.

When I realized I wanted to have a baby I wanted to see life again. I was thinking about all the cool stuff, like learning to ride a bike, a first kiss, eating ice cream as it dripped down my face, you know, the Hallmark card crap. I failed to remember that life is hard, people are mean and children are violent, rotten creatures. I think it is important to note that my son is truly a docile soul. He watches everyone and everything and when he is ready, he decides who he will play with and what he will join. He chooses his friends carefully. The other day, Steve caught a bigger boy pick on O while we were at a play date. I was furious. I wanted to kick that 5-year-olds ass. But, I can't. Talk about egging on bullies (your mom rescued you, blahblahblah).

But, the more I learned about the story, the prouder I was of my son. This bigger child wanted to put some stuffed animal in O's shirt, O wouldn't let him and stood his ground. The bigger boy got mad and probably shoved him, but O still wouldn't let him. I was so proud of him for saying NO, you will no do what I don't want you to do. Now, I just need to teach him to shove back...see, O, is 3'3+" tall, according to charts, he is likely to be over 6'4". He is almost as big as this 5 year old. And he is pretty strong. I am sure he won't have many bullying problems later in life, but, I know I will restraining myself from roughing up a 6 year old...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

It really does get easier

When our boy was born and the subsequent months that made up the first year, I battled post-partem depressed pretty badly. I had a terrible time adjusting to this new person in my home and the addition to the very tightly guarded membership to the Stracey (steve and tracey) club. I was certain that it would be hard and would never let up. I had lost all faith that I could be a mom and enjoy it.

Many, many people including the wonderful woman who treated my depression said over and over again it will get better and easier, just cut yourself some slack (note: I never cut myself any slack, ever, seriously, ask Steve). Slack cutting is just not one of my strong suits. Either way, I got through it, however tenuously I would hang on some days.

And then today. Today, we got to so something so unbelievable normal. Something from our old life that we really loved doing (no, not smoking!). We went for a hike. In the woods. With Owen. He actually walked on a trail with us. I am pretty sure it was a glimpse into what heaven could be like, except for the million other people with the same idea crowding the trail...and all the people smoking as they hiked (honestly, you know you are in Ohio when people smoke and hike). But, still, a hike, together. It was awesome and it is getting easier and, I lost 8 pounds over the last three weeks, so I am kinda on a roll. I have a lot more to lose, but, 8 is a real beginning!

It is a wonder to focus on so little beyond own well-being and that of my family. It really does make it easier to do the things I have been ignoring for the last two years.

Friday, August 15, 2008


I come from smokers but I waited to start until my early 20s. I quit in 2001. I am not one of those people who can smoke only when they drink, I am either smoking or I am not. A few months ago, I started again. I was so disappointed in myself but yet, there I was smoking three cigarettes a day, one during his nap, one when he went to bed and one before we went to bed. It was so decadent. Each one I finished I would be so sad that I would obsessively wash my hands and change my clothes and but soap in my hair so I wouldn't smell like cigarettes, which I am sure I did. I don't want O to be like this and I certainly don't want to be the smoking mom, that is GROSS!

I was stressed and under pressure, but truthfully, those are all excuses for the fact that I love to smoke. Problem is, can't smoke, it will kill you and probably turn O into a smoker as well. Two HUGE whammies against this disgusting and delicious habit. So, like the first time, I have taken up running again to fight the smoking urge. Nothing keeps you off the butts like running. You really notice a difference when you aren't smoking. And I am doing pretty good, three days in and no big urges...still love it, though, which makes me hate confusing...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Starting to come together

I am running again, feels great. Also, I finally grew my hair out enough that it doesn't look hideous. But, best of all, I think I am beginning to accept my new role. I am trying to be present in his days. Some days it is hard. Some days, I just want to blog and do "work". But, I am now starting to put that aside and really play. It is pretty kick ass. We are having fun and when I take the time to listen to him and what he wants, we don't have a lot of challenges, just laughs and harmony. I think our Chicago break did us some good. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Lucky for me, my kid rocks

So, the feelings of humiliation and failure have passed with two successful runs and some time with another mom who is great. But nothing can make you feel better than a loving little face that is grateful to have your attention and time. Thinking back to yesterday, I realized that O was a complete gem of a child. He was patient and flexible. I am so fortunate to have a great kid. He is smart and sweet, a wonderful combination all that and he in funny. I am a lucky gal when I stop being so wound up to realize how good I have it. Thanks Internets for all your kind words and IMs. I REALLY, REALLY appreciate it!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Because sometimes, you just have to cry

I get back from a great weekend visiting my parents and then this morning, overslept, missed Gymboree, missed my morning run, had no food in the house and no grocery list, suitcases everywhere and nothing unpacked, laundry everywhere and toys strewn about. My to do list feels epic and I am overwhelmed. I get very upset when there is chaos in my house and today was like a tornado. It culminated with me spilling my lunch all over the kitchen floor. I just cried. And cried and cried. Sometimes, that is all you can do.

I think it is great to have Steve at home, but when he is here on days like today, it is embarrassing and even harder to hold it together. I never thought there would be a down side to this, but this is it. When I am feeling like a failure and holding myself together by a thread, I have an audience. blah. But then he helps and I need it, but I wish I could do it all myself.

Friday, August 1, 2008

life on hold

Some days are so blissful, peaceful and wonderful and then some days are restless and doubt-filled and hard. And through no fault of my child, today was the later. O was a great kid today. No tantrums of merit, no demands, just his normal sweet self. Me, I am just feeling like my actual life is on hold right now. But this is my actual life. I know my career is on hold and in some ways there are so many things that have also been suspended: sleep, dating my husband, hikes, bikes, dinners, vacations, being a two-income family. Needless to say, I think I need a cocktail...