Life may be a bitch, but…

…I tend to think that’s exactly what makes it so fun.

I alternately love/hate my life, as does most of the population. It’s up; it’s down; it’s beautiful; it’s loathsome; it’s fatal; it’s vivacious; it’s serene; it’s complicated. It’s amazing; all of it; really. A lot of people take life for granted. They want things to be easier, but then, when things are easier, those same people can never be content with their own complacency and settle, eventually, for seeking out the excitement that makes up the innate tug-of-war that is human existence. The give-and-take measures us, just as our love, our knowledge, our hope, and our generosity, do.

They think that theirs are the only lives that mean anything and, for their tiny scope and little bitty parcel of World, that is true. In the grand measure of things, however, we all fall miserably short of what really matters. It’s onlytruly relevant, if it’s relevant to you?

Well, pardon my French(ish), but, who the fuck are YOU? Who, for that matter, the fuck am I??

If I don’t know you, I don’t want to hear your life story in the checkout aisle and I assume the same, in the reverse. Nonetheless, I will grin like the cheschire cat at your kid, just to let him/her know that grownups can be okay, every now and again. Just to let them know that they matter. 

Most people don’t care about other peoples’ kids. Other peoples’ kids are other peoples’ problems, and all that jazz. First of all, they’re NOT problems; period. Second of all; too many people don’t care about their own kids, and it’s our job, as role models, in general, to always remain positive influences in the lives of others; children and adults, alike. My livelihood is to teach other peoples’ kids, and I can’t imagine anything more rewarding. Just as, with my own daughter, life is hard and crazy and spectacular; every day with those kids, presents challenges I never dreamed would occur, spontaneous little outbursts of crazy, and hardships aplenty.

There are things that jolt you, things that wake you from the dreamland of your boring every-day, to pull you into the absolute perfect balance of our lives. They may not be my kids, technically, but they are my kids, in every other way. Each day is full of stupid, mundane, little nerve-racking annoyances and, at the end of every single day, I sit at home with my one daughter and my boring television, or book, or chess game against the computer and think; What a great/terrible/crazy/awesome day, that was. All of the little things melt away, like a bad dream, and only the good of the day remains, in the smells on my shirt, in the smile on my face, and in the purity of my heart, kept young, forever, like the mythical Peter Pan, who also surrounded himself with the only love that counts. The love of your children.

Thanks, for reading. Sorry, I’ve been such a slacker.

-J-

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Hello world!

You can teach a new parent, old tricks…

        First up, sleepless nights.

        No one ever said it would be easy, true. However, it’s nearly impossible to explain, to some young couple with the open road of life stretching out before them, exactly how difficult parenting can be. It doesn’t come with a manual, but (hopefully, anyhow), a blog. If my stories and experiences as the parent of a toddler, can help anyone floundering, floating, or (even) flopping, I guess I won’t feel so badly about my own expertise with the new and improved “three F’s”.

       Every parent has wondered; through sleepless and colicky nights, through teething and fevers, through what seems like endless and pointless potty training; if we’re just plain lousy at this whole thing. We’ve all wondered if God is trying to punish our children, by electing us, their parents. I’ve questioned this myself, through bottomless tears of frustration, in the utter ineptitude and incompetence with which I seem to be handling this entire endeavor.

       It is equally impossible, it seems, to describe to this same young couple, the love who swells with your belly and bosom (too often, thighs and feet, as well); unconditional, boundless, illogically serene. How all of one’s priorities change, so that things once important, are demoted to trivialities, hardly worth a mention. How a future rolls out, before you, of long days and endless nights; of school-years and summers off; of the same movie forty-seven times, and not a single ball game. Bottles, to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches; diapers, to underpants; high school, to college…the story never changes, only grows.

      In those first (very) unsure days, of motherhood, I cried right alongside my sometimes inconsolable daughter. The hardest parts, by far, were the nights (and days) where she’d bawl, despite being full, clean-diapered, and cuddled. No position, if you ask me, feels so inadequate, as a parent who can’t know why his/her infant is upset. It is a complete and all-consuming frustration.

      My daughter was around four months old, when a lifesaver of a couple (also new, first-time parents), suggested ‘Gripe Water’, an all-natural, all-around tummy soother, with ginger, chamomile, fennel, caraway, peppermint, and other herbs. As I recall, it was actually my ex-husband who discussed it with the other husband, a co-worker of his, and we bought it as soon as he got home that day. At my wits’ end, I didn’t research it, to confirm it objectively or concern myself with all of its ingredients. I simply took the word of parents who used it, and bought two different brands.

     It didn’t matter, in the end. No Google search, or questions to my doctor and pharmacist could have told me with any more certainty, than what my peaceful, clean, happily slumbering angel, confirmed. It was a question of colic, gas, and experience, but ‘Gripe Water’ was  the universal answer to a troubled tummy.