June 27, 2012

Mommy Blogging?

I finally realized today why that designation makes me bristle so much. I am a parent of teens. I didn't really start blogging until five years ago when they were 9 and 11 (versus 14 and 16). I don't feel like I can claim the mommy blogger title accurately, since I have very little to say about diapering or baby food. The simple fact is, the days when that was my biggest decision are no longer significant. I used cloth and nursed until they could eat. Diapers were something I dunked in the toilet then wrung out and baby food just didn't hit our horizon. I was weird then, and while it seems that more moms today are doing this stuff, it's so scattered that their only community may indeed be an online one. I know when I was diapering my children with cloth I was weird. Or cheap. Or something like that. But I'm so over it. I have nothing relevant to add to the discussion because while in the day, it was monumental, today, it's the past. I am not a "mommy blogger" in the respect that my children need an adviser more than they need a mommy.

I think.

I still think I have something relevant to say. I may not be wiping noses, but I've not stopped being a parent. I am still mom and still the first source of all things answerable. It's amazing how much more often I have to humbly answer "I don't know" versus, "I said so". I always swore I'd never b.s. my children. I wanted to give them the best I could and inspire them to places past what I could give them. As we approach their first and last year of high school, respectively, I realize they have exceeded me in many places. I am so proud of them. 

Yet, they haven't exceeded me in seniority. I am here longer so that must count for something. Come to think, it counts for a lot. The things I have left to teach them have very little to do with coloring in lines, wiping their behinds, or memorizing the ABCs. I'm prepping to talk to them about what live without parents is like. I want to explain how different the world is when you're on your own.

Yesterday, my OldEnoughToDrive child took it upon herself to go for lunch somewhere. It wasn't an expected place and at first my heart lurched. We didn't discuss this trip. I realized how I must have sounded to her. Really? You need to know each mile of my travel? As if that would help me what?

So yes, I'm a mommy blogger. I don't diaper my children or arrange their food in smiley faces. I don't create craft projects to keep us busy on a summer day. I do love them and guard over them. I smile when college offers come in. I encourage when a new opportunity unfolds.

I am their mom(my) and I couldn't be more proud.

June 15, 2012

Changing your Fate: Disney's Brave

Disney's BraveHello, Readers!

A few months ago, I became an approved Disney blogger and receive updates on their new releases as well as games and activities to go along with the movies. This is a trailer for the Pixar film, Brave, which will be in theaters June 22nd. Summer movie season is upon us, and our family has always enjoyed the Pixar films, including favorites like the Toy Story series, Monster's Inc., Cars, and Finding Nemo. 

If you'd like to continue to see posts like this when a new movie is coming out, please leave a comment in the space below. 
I've included a few links to print out activities. 

Coin Archery

Wisp Maze

June 4, 2012

What does home mean to me?

This question was posed by a local non-profit that I follow, the Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland. As I read the question, I realized there was so much I had to say regarding home that a simple "like" on Facebook was inadequate.

I've had the privilege of living in many homes. As I try to remember them, I also try to figure out what they have in common. Here is the list of homes I remember.

  • As a toddler in a suburban home where we walked to the park, post office, and doctor's office
  • As a youngster on a small family farm where our schoolmates gathered because our yard was huge for sports and we had a pond for swimming
  • As a teenager in a South Florida city on a cul-de-sac where coconuts grew in our yard
  • As a high school senior in a walking suburb where I lived so close to my school that our home was often a meeting spot
  • As a young college kid living in a dormitory at a commuter university, surrounded by international students as well as kids who just had to get out
  • As a close to graduation college kid flexing the wings of independence in my first apartment, a basement level flat with ground level casement windows to greet walking by friends
  • As a young college grad ready to get married, in an upscale suburban apartment community
  • As a newlywed investing in our first home in the city with walk-ability, classic charm, convenience and affordability
  • As a young parent, expecting our second child, chasing the suburban dream, moving to a planned community in the suburbs complete with golf, pool, and tennis
  • As a relocated family, realizing that our planned community had a cost that didn't match the benefits, moving back to a suburban home sans planning
Repeatedly, the only commonality I can recognize in the assorted places I called "home" is that "I was there." But home is more than a residency question. Sure I was there, but what else made it feel like home? What made where I lived "home"? 

It was comfort and love. Living somewhere without either would have kept the place from being home, and relegated to to mere shelter. I have moved many times and in many communities. I can honestly say that they didn't always feel like home, especially where I live now, where I didn't know a soul for several years and where my children didn't grow up. But now I realize, I have both comfort and love and that my faraway town has become home. 

Shelter is where home starts. We take care of the most basic comfort first, then we add on. We acclimate, we assimilate, we make it home. 

The Glass CastleA few years ago, I read The Glass Castle. It's a fascinating true story of young Jeannette Wall's life. As a child of transient parents, her childhood was spent one step ahead of the bill collectors. Yet, as her story unfolded, even in horrid conditions, I found myself feeling a sense of home in some of her locations. I even understood her mother's sense of home squatting in a vacated NYC building.

So when I consider, "what does home mean to me?" My answer is simple. Home is where I find comfort, security, and love.

What does HOME mean to you? 


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