Saturday, September 22, 2012

Shine Your Light

Such great words of wisdom that came from a great, albeit petite, woman. They have been resonating through my brain since I heard them.

Her message was simple yet clear: "Turn your light on. You don't have to be Oprah Winfrey or even me to change the world. All you have to do is treat others with human dignity and kindness. Shine your light! And, when you leave here tonight and someone f#*+$@g pulls out in front of you in traffic, shine your light on them!"

I'm not sure how literally she meant the traffic part, like, turn your brights on the jerk, or what. But, I get it. She was basically talking about the Golden Rule.

And, yes, the "she" to whom I refer would be the one and only Madonna. Surely you didn't expect that I wouldn't wax somewhat poetic about my Madonna experience? 

Let me just say this. It was worth every penny. And then some. My Madonna delivered. Her show, in a nutshell, was nothing short of fanfuckingtastic!

I feel as though Madonna and I are somewhat kindred spirits. Two single moms working hard to provide for our children and doing our best to ensure they live their lives by following that Golden Rule. It's almost a sisterly type bond.


Only a few glaring differences between the two of us gals.

Nonetheless, her message came through loud and clear. It's the whole Golden Rule/Karma thing. The one thing that my mother tirelessly tried to get through my brain. "Do unto others", "live your best life", "be kind to people"....that's how you leave your mark.

It's not a new lesson by any stretch, but, the messenger, I suppose, is what has me thinking about it so much. I mean, Madonna told me to shine my light, so now I gotta figure out how exactly I'm going to do that.

Okay, the easy part should be being nice to people. SHOULD be. I, however, have worked in retail for 21 years. I'm a tad tainted. But, okay. Fine. I will do my best. My mother was one of the nicest people in the world. Surely I got some of that?

As for the living my best life part, well, I think most of us can say that that is a constant work in progress. I'm not always sure that I am but I am always at least trying to live my best life. It's like she said, you don't have to be Oprah or Madonna to make a difference. But, if you're living your life with great passion and consideration for how your actions will affect others, then I think you're doing your part for the universe. As I've heard said, what you put out there comes back to you in tenfold. Good and bad. Yes, indeed, Karma is a bitch.

Now, her show wasn't all sentiment and sunshine. Quite the opposite, in fact. It was fairly dark and provocative. But, it was awesome. I left entertained and enlightened.

Who'd have thought?

So, shine your light, people! Or just tell me shut the hell up. Either way, be happy. It's good for you. And the universe.  :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Storm Warning

Son #1 is and has always been a sizable fellow.  He is also a contradiction of terms...a gentle giant, if you will. The child has the looks and stature of a linebacker and the demeanor of a kitten.  You get my point.

So, it puzzles me how this 5'3", 140 lb., size 10 shoe wearing 10-year-old boy could have a ridiculously weak stomach. It's almost comical. He did not inherit this trait from his mother. I'm not a puker.  This isn't necessarily something I'm proud of, however it makes me very curious as to how I could have a child who is so extremely the opposite case.  If someone within a 10 mile radius of my son vomits, he will also.  I shit you not.

Puke boy also has a few, um, we'll call them, anxiety issues.  Most notable of which is that he is not fond of storms. Of any kind. And, that is putting it very mildly. 

So, how fantastic for me that the back-to-school-let's-all-share-our-germs-after-3-months-hiatus season and hurricane season go hand-in-hand. It is a remarkable time of year in our home. 

Recently my good friend and I took our kids out for dinner to a local restaurant. It had been a stormy day but had subsided so we figured it was safe to go out. You see, my friend is equally as fond of storms as my son is, so, we had to be certain that the barometric pressure was in check and that there was no storm front circling the vicinity....and that we were in a building with a strong foundation and storm shelter, should one be necessary.

Now, allow me a bit of back story. Since it had been a stormy day, I had taken my boys to a movie, where, of course, large amounts of popcorn and candy and soda are consumed. I think it's some sort of rule or law. So, we obliged.

And, then, we felt compelled to cap off the day with a meal of pizza and cheese sticks and french fries....I don't remember thinking that was a bad idea at the time, but, now as I write this in hind sight I find myself a tad horrified.  Bygones.

Then something struck me, #1 was not eating.  And there was food left.  Odd.

"You okay, bud?" I tried to be discreet.

"Yeah", burp..."just a little gas."

How nice.

So, as all good mothers do we then decided to treat ourselves, and our children, to a frozen yogurt desert. Again, seemed like a fine idea. 

We piled into my car, my friend and I in front and 3 kids in the back. And, then, friend's weather alert goes off on her phone.  It may as well have been helter skelter.

"What was that????"  #1 sounded desperate.

"Uh oh!" says friend. "Weather alert!  Oh boy, look at that sky ahead.  Not looking good...."

"Is that a TORNADO????" the child was consumed with panic. My friend realizes this and totally changes her composure. 

"Oh, it's just a warning.  It's fine.  Way far away.  No big deal.  We're gonna get some rain."

But, I could sense the desperation in her tone.  Something wicked was this way coming.

So, we hastened to the yogurt shop, yet another tragic mistake. It was a mere 2 block drive, and, as we turned the corner into the parking lot we heard it.  The unmistakable sound of the launch and landing of vomit.  In the back seat of my car.  Followed almost immediately by the sound of screeching banshees, aka, the two younger boys in the back seat.

"Puke!!!! Oh my god, PUKE!!!!  EWWWWW!!  Grossssss!!" They were literally clamoring on top of one another.  "AAAHHHHH!!!  AHH AHH AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!"

My friend and I looked at each other, dumb founded.

I bee lined it into a parking space where I and my passengers practically fell out of the car. I darted around the car and commenced clean up detail in hopes of beating the oncoming storm. My apologies, by the way, to the owners of the establishment where I deposited my son's, "anxiety relief", in their parking lot. Desperate times, people.

Meanwhile, my friend is trying fruitlessly to calm down son #2 from his epic meltdown with regards to the abrupt ending to our yogurt shop visit.

"But I want frozen yogurrrrrtttttt!! That's NOT FAIR!!!!"  Seriously? Must have his mother's iron gut.

Somehow she managed to calm him down when I heard, "Mom?  Aren't you going to clean me up?"

Again, mother of the year had been diligently ridding the car of any trace of tonight's eruption that I had neglected to clean my poor child up.  And, he certainly needed it.  Poor guy. 

Yogurt shop visit aborted, car relatively cleaned up, we climbed back in and decided to call it a day as all good adventures must come to an end.

We managed to make it home before the storm hit.  And, hit it did.  A doozy as they say.

Turns out, #1 had not been feeling well for most of the day, but didn't want to have to spoil it for anyone else.  He allowed as how "a kid in my class threw up right in front of me yesterday".  Naturally.  I can't believe he made it a full almost 24 hours before he reciprocated.

I share this little story with you mainly because now I do find the humor in it.  That night, not so much.  But, also, because this is just another day in the life.  One many can relate to.  It's not the end of the world, though it felt like it that night.  So, it's just nice to be able to sit back and put things into perspective and have a good laugh at our own expense.  Though, frankly, Puke boy still doesn't seem to think it's quite so funny.  Some day, maybe?!