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I had a strange dream the other night. I was receiving boxes full of clown noses. I thought the dream was very odd and when I awoke, I wrote down the dream so I could go to my favorite site (dream moods.com) and analyze what the dream could possibly mean. Being the dream occurred Saturday night and Sunday mornings are very hectic I wasn’t able to get to the computer before walking out the door to go to church. The dream was one of those dreams that haunt you throughout the day. It was not a scary dream just a very odd one. After church, my family and I went for breakfast at Burger King (My dad being the simple man he was, loved breakfast at BK on Sundays and we are keeping the tradition alive.) I was standing at the counter placing my order when I noticed my nephew standing in front of me, his back facing me. He turned around, and I nearly passed out when I saw he was wearing a bright red clown nose. After informing my sister of the dream, she explained that he purchased the clown nose the day before and could not wait to show it off to his cousins. I have always said that I don’t believe in coincidence, but what else could that have been? You would think that I would be creeped out. Instead, I find it very funny and can’t help but laugh when I think of how strange of a coincidence it was.
When you become a mother, you quickly realize that you must start living life at the seat of your pants. Just when you think things are going okay someone accidentally knocks over your steaming cup of coffee onto the newspaper you just sat down to read. There are few constants with motherhood. Life changes day by day and gets more hectic week by week. There is one thing that you can be sure you will always need, a dishtowel.
A dishtowel becomes an important valuable throughout the day. In my house, we can never have enough. The day starts with a quick clean of the kitchen. The dishtowels conveniently wipe down counters, wash stray dishes and dust off tables and chairs. They serve as hot pads when opening the stove because the hot pads never seem to be around. They can act as placemats and napkins in a pinch or tucked into a belt loop in place of an apron. The dishtowel is a handy invention.
There is always at least one episode during the day that a child accidentally knocks the Spaghettios and meatballs off the table and it lays in a giant red heap on the floor. The last paper towel used only seconds prior to the incident. When all else fails, you use a dishtowel.
When the same child that accidentally knocked over their lunch sits looking at you with sauce wrapped around its lip and there is not a napkin in the house, you use a dishtowel.
The dishtowel is a mother’s best friend. Sure, we women would like to think diamonds are our best pals, but, in reality, the only thing we see sparkling are the counters we just wiped up. Thanks to the dishtowel.
Aah the joys of roller-skating, there is nothing like strapping on a pair of shoes with wheels, balancing yourself, then attempting to glide gracefully across a fake wooden floor. Children look adorable wobbling back and forth while adults doing the very same thing look ridiculous.
My daughter and son surprised me with their skating abilities. Watching them zip around the rink brought a proud smile to my face. I was visualizing them as Olympic speed skaters preparing to take the gold and then reality set in. On the rink, my daughter was graceful. It was off the rink that her clumsiness resurfaced. One-step onto the dated paisley carpet and she was on her butt faster than I could say boo. She quickly pointed out that it was the kid in front of her that caused her to fall, if he didn’t move so slow she would have been okay. I smiled and nodded.
When she accidentally spilled a small amount of soda, she advised it was her younger sister who bumped her arm. Once again, I smiled and nodded.
The children gathered around the birthday boy to sing Happy Birthday, my daughter decided to stand next to me. Soon after the candles were blown out, she attempted to grab a handful of Doritos’s from the table. As everyone laughed and congratulated the birthday boy, they had no clue that within seconds the entire bowl of snacks and all drinks in front of it would fly off the table into their laps and onto the floor, compliments of my daughter.
The poor thing was embarrassed,what did she do out of nervousness? Lick her fingers. It would not be so bad except for the fact that those same fingers seconds ago slammed onto the germ-filled floor as she braced her fall.
As the guest looked in horror I swiped her hands from her mouth, smiled, nodded and prayed that she wouldn’t contact any disease.
A speed skater? Maybe. A balancing act-Never!
Birthdays in my family are reason to celebrate. Another excuse to hang with the family, eat some good food, share a lot of laughs and make some silent wishes when blowing out the candles. It is always a given, a birthday does not go past without singing, applause and well wishes. However, for my brother it is a bit different. His birthday is at the tail end of a ton of birthdays so he inadvertently gets the shaft. It might be his unassuming personality that leads others to believe that he wouldn’t mind so much if we didn’t have a big hoorah for him. Men really could care a less about that stuff right?
So, last week when his birthday came, no one thought it was a big deal that there was no cake, no eats and no candles to blow out. A few pecks on the cheek and some lottery tickets thrown into a card seemed appropriate enough. As he walked out of my yard, I saw the light. Maybe, for once he would like to be celebrated, he did do time growing up with four sisters who would have walked out in a storm if their birthdays were not acknowledged.
“We should have got him a cake,” I said to his wife. Within minutes, we planned an impromptu birthday party that was held at my parents’ kitchen table to honor my brother. We ordered pizza and his wife ran for a cake. After we inhaled the food, it was time for the cake and candles. When the cake was placed in front of him, his celebration turned comical. His birthday cake had a giant leprechaun sitting upon the icing with the words Happy St. Patrick’s Day written underneath. The only candles we could find were a pack of Hanukah candles my mother purchased from a yard sale. It wouldn’t be half as funny except we are an Italian catholic family. Placing Jewish holiday candles upon a cake with a saint’s name on it seemed a bit out there.
There was something on the kitchen table for every holiday except a birthday; we had the St. Patrick’s Day cake, The Hanukah candles, a Halloween dishcloth (we used to wipe up a spill) and some bunny decorations. It took us a minute to regain our composure and catch our breath from laughing so hard, but somehow we all managed to belt out a great rendition of Happy Birthday.
We are not the Joneses, no one needs to try and keep up with this family but there is no other family I would want to be a part of. My brother did not get a fancy cake or hundreds of guests, but his birthday will forever remain one of my favorite memories. I don’t know what he wished for that night when blowing out his Hanukah/Birthday candles but I know I wished for many more of those happy birthday’s to come, I’ll even take a cake with a leprechaun, after all leprechauns symbolize good luck.
Kids can definitely come up with some clever comebacks. They are full of wit that makes adults envious. I love to see life through their eyes it’s actually pretty funny. My sister and I have daughters in the same grade, same class. Because I am the caretaker of her daughter while she is working, it is usually my duty to take them to school. Friday my sister had the day off so she offered to drive them. I was delighted. Trying to get my son and daughter out the door each morning is sitcom worthy. By the time I finally have them dressed, fed, and hair brushed we have about two minutes to get out the door, hop in the car and drive to school in hopes we get there before they are marked tardy.
My sister came early for them so she could assist me in getting them out the door. She zipped up my son’s coat and he was ready to go. She started to put my daughter’s coat on while I brushed through her hair once more. We were side my side primping her as if she was a model behind the curtains getting a quick wardrobe change before hitting the runway. While I was twisting her hair into a ponytail my sister was straightening the collar of her coat. We gave her a once over and without hesitation simultaneously put our thumbs to our mouths and gave a quick lick. Yes, we were doing what as young girls we swore we never would do, we were going to wipe the toothpaste that outlined my daughter’s lips off with our spit on a finger. We were in a trance and had one thing on our mind; get her out the door so they will not be late. It was what my daughter said that broke the trance. “Not your lick.” My sister and I looked at each other and burst out laughing. My daughter didn’t mind my thumb spit coming at her but she wasn’t going to allow my sisters spit to touch her face. That’s one for the books and a quick witted comeback if I must say.
If you are a girl and you love shoes than we have something in common. For me, it used to be more important for the perfect shoe to look great, than to be comfortable. I have squished my foot into a much too narrow shoe and wore way too high of heals just because the shoes accented my outfit perfectly. The older I get the less I care. Maybe because now, I have children to buy shoes for, this leaves fewer dollars in my account to spend on myself. Recently, I became aware that a shoe fetish could start very early. On a girl’s trip to Target I was amused to see my daughter’s and niece go into the direction of the shoes. They didn’t care they were in the woman’s section. Their eyes lit up and smiles spread across their face quicker than flowing water fills a crack. Expressions of oohs and awes rapidly poured from their mouths. Before I knew it, boxes were being pulled off the shelf and these pint-sized girls were trying on shoes ten sizes too big. Each of them had their own idea of spectacular. My youngest daughter immediately went for something with a bit of bling –bling. A flat shoe with shiny pink sequence and a tiny bow were her favorite pair. She didn’t care that they were strapped together by that impossible piece of plastic. She worked those shoes the best her tiny body could. My oldest daughter opted for the high heel. It was definitely a pair that grabbed my attention. I didn’t know whether to laugh because she had my taste or to cry because she walked better in them than me. Okay, maybe not better but surprisingly well for a seven year old. My niece was a bit more conservative and picked a pair of black ballet flats. Her taste in shoes was very simple, much like herself. You could tell a lot about a person from the shoes they wear. Are they exciting and like to take risks? Perhaps, the risk-takers choose the high heels-it’s about being a head above the rest. To take the heels off means you come down to the average level, and that is not interesting enough. A simple shoe may indicate a laid-back person. The easygoing person who doesn’t need much to be happy. They don’t take life or themselves too seriously. Maybe the person who chooses the shoes decorated in bling- bling wants to be noticed. I am not a psychiatrist but I know the personalities of my daughters and my niece. And they picked the perfect shoes to match their essence. Today, my youngest daughter did something hysterical. Her aunt gave her a brand new pair of boots and she was anxious to get them on. After watching her prance around the kitchen showing her shoes with attitude I noticed something did not look right. I unzipped the boot to find the cardboard insert still tucked inside. She opted for looking great rather than comfort. My girls may never truly walk in my shoes but I see a little bit of me in both of them. I hope the shoes they choose leave footprints to be admired.
Turn up the music, feel the beat, don’t try to stop yourself just do what comes naturally, Dance! I love to watch people dance. Music produces an electrical current in our bodies which causes our shoulders to raise up and down, our legs to move back and forth and our arms to sway erratically. We groove to the rhythmic sound and allow ourselves to become part of the melody. Our body finds harmony with the beat. Dancing is a beautiful thing, whether you’re good at it or not. It’s a way for children to release their silly’s and adults to get rid of some stress. Even infants who cannot yet walk find themselves swaying their tush back and forth to the music. A dance floor of dancing people is a room of happy people. This past weekend I was at a wedding and I danced my butt off. Well, not actually, but it felt that way the next morning. The dance floor becomes a meet and greet. Strangers dance up to you so they don’t have to dance alone. Friends encourage each other to enter the middle of a circle and show what they got. And Brides step onto the floor wearing their best accessory, their smile.
Reflecting back on my night I realized there are lots of categories dancers could fall in. You got your Woo Hoo’s-the circle of older ladies that dance carefree and loud, shouting out joyful expressions with each groove. They can also be the mothers who are high-fiving each other on the dance floor because they finally got a night out. You have your two sets of Bumps and Grinds- The first set is the younger girls who dance together hoping to show off their sexy side. They use their girlfriends in front of them like a pole a stripper would use to dance. The more their girlfriends cheer them on they sexier they dance. The second set of Bumps and Grinds are the couple that uses dancing as a way to ravish each other, without actually ravishing each other. There are the Elegants- the couple who would never touch each other inappropriately on the dance floor. Their moves are in sync and their eyes stay lovingly fixated on each other. Every move appears to be choreographed and you can bet they have taken some type of ballroom dance class. There are the Awkwards- Their moves are a bit more forced and they lack the ability to really let go and get lost in the music. It is obvious they are concentrating more on how others perceive them than they are on dancing. A dance floor wouldn’t be a dance floor without the Circle About’s-these are the dancers that use every inch of the floor. They circle in and out, maneuvering their way around, oblivious to the other dancers. They are fun to watch and make the people sitting down want to at least give dancing a shot. I love to watch all of these dancers because for a small moment in time I get to witness people enjoying life. Rejoicing and using the flexibility our bodies provide. But this moment can also be bittersweet. While so many of us are laughing, dancing, and using our bodies, their are other people watching, wishing, and remembering how it felt to dance. At some point our bodies will fail us and we will no longer be able to race up to the dance floor and let it all out. We will be forced to watch from afar. On that day we will want to remember that we danced while we could. So, no matter what type of dancer you are embrace it. For there will be a day that we no longer dance but knowing we did will make that day a bit easier.
Thirteen Things about Maribeth
Halloween is quickly approaching and all of the ghosts and goblins are preparing for their favorite night. This week I thought it would be appropriate to write a Thursday thirteen about superstitions. I’m not an overly superstitious person but I have definitely thrown salt over my left shoulder because I accidentally spilled it. I got a lot of great facts at Oversuperstition.com and Sillysuperstitions.com
Have fun; are any of yours on this list?
1…Spilling Salt- Salt was know for its medicinal purposes in the old days. If you weren’t able to have it administered the next best thing would be to throw it over you left shoulder. It has been said that evil spirits lurk over our left shoulder waiting to create havoc. By throwing it over your left shoulder you are throwing it in to the eye of the evil spirit to ward it off.
2… Walking under a ladder- A leaning ladder creates a triangle with the wall and ground. It is said the triangle represents the holy trinity and it is bad luck to violate or break that which is what you do by walking under it. I’ve read that if you cross your fingers while walking under you cancel out the bad luck
3…A black cat crossing your path- It was once believed that black cats were demons and for them to cross your path meant they were putting up a barrier of evil. Once a girl I knew said she would always do a U-turn if that happened in order to reverse the bad luck. And another friend said she heard that a black cat crossing in front of you just indicates that your life is about to go onto a different track.
4…Breaking a mirror —Seven years of bad luck is said to be had if you break a mirror. Some reports state that you can prevent this bad luck from happening if you bury the pieces under the moonlight-I don’t think I would go that far but I would probably say a little prayer asking that I am blessed.
5…Stumbling-If a person stumbles prior to making a journey once or more times it is said to postpone it. Hmm, this one will definitely keep me on my toes
6…Knocking on wood- It has been said that good spirits live in trees and by knocking on anything wood we are calling upon them to assist us
7… If a single woman sleeps with a piece of wedding cake under her pillow she will dream of her future husband. I have a lot of single friends and a wedding coming up I just might have to tell them to give this one a shot.
8… A wish will come true if you make it while burning onions. Next time I’m cooking with onions I will be sure to make a wish
9…Pencil- If you use the same pencil for taking a test that you used for studying it the pencil will remember the answers. Sounds good enough to pass along- Hey when taking a test I would try anything
10…Crickets-A cricket in the house is a sign of good luck
11…Foot Itch- If the bottom of your right foot itches you may find yourself taking a trip
12…Birthday Cake- If all the candles are blown out with one breath while you make a silent wish it will come true. From this point on I am requesting that only one candle be placed on my cake
13…Never take a broom along when you move. Throw it out and get a new one. This one sounds interesting. I guess whatever you swept away (figuratively speaking)with it in the previous living space could still linger on the bristles and be taken with you to your new place
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In the last two days I have been reflecting. Stepping outside of my comfort zone and peeking in at myself from an outsider’s point of view. I have had a few good laughs at my own expense. I saw myself dancing around a circle, with toddlers and their mothers, banging a tambourine while having no clue my zipper was down. I watched as I approached parents of my children’s friends, embarrassed by the white dish detergent splashed against my thighs and knees. It wasn’t until the other day in the dollar store that I realized I have a problem. I am oblivious to the obvious and only become aware when it’s too late to correct the way I look. We took a family trip to the dollar store to purchase some Halloween decorations and see if there were any items that would help perfect the kids’ costumes. Standing in the hair accessory aisle I was beginning to become frazzled. My two year old was begging to be taken out of the cart while my six years old was pleading for ten different toys he had piled into the cart. I attempted to have two separate conversations at the same time. “Sweetie, you cannot get out of the cart until Daddy gets back. And for you little man I said only five things.” I turned to see if my husband was coming and I saw a woman staring at me. At first I just thought we caught each other’s eye at the exact moment and she wasn’t actually staring it just seemed that way. But then I saw her go to say something then stopped. Now I was curious and my facial expressions showed it. She put her hand to her mouth. I could tell she was uncomfortable and a bit apprehensive. “Do you know your sweater is on inside out?” she asked.
I’m worried, because I think I’m passing along my unawareness to my children. My kids have played for hours with shoes on the wrong feet before I realized they put them on the wrong feet. My two oldest are at the point that they want to do everything by themselves. No help from mommy is needed or wanted. My son got his first taste in how it feels to be me. Sunday mornings are always hectic. We wake up early for church, usually twenty minutes before we are supposed to be there. We have learned to get ready quickly. I wake up get myself dressed, run a comb through my hair, and throw on a pair of shoes. I wake up both of my daughters and get them presentable as speedily as possible while my husband helps my son get dressed. This past week we were running very late, so there wasn’t time for a fast check over before running out the door. It wasn’t until after mass at breakfast that I noticed my son’s pants. He was standing in front of me leaning on the counter. I looked at his little tush in his brand new pants and knew something looked amiss. There were no pockets and I was sure they had them in the back. I gasped when I realized it was because they were on backwards. The zipper was outlining his cheeks and the button poked into his back. I tried to tell him through tears and laughter that he accidentally put his pants on wrong. He could care a less and thought it was funny. Watching him laugh at himself made me proud. Yes, maybe I unintentionally passed along an unfortunate trait but I also passed along something else. A sense of humor is a wonderful thing to have. When you possess the ability to laugh at yourself you come to the realization that life is much funnier than a lot of people believe it to be. And sometimes your shortcomings provide the best comedic relief.
“Mar, are you serious?” The sound of my husband’s voice once again woke me from my dream like state. Our two years-old was in the middle of us. She has been sleeping with us because she has a tendency to fall off her toddler bed onto the hardwood floor. Despite the fact there are railings on each side of the bed which are supposed to help prevent that.
After hearing the disgust in his voice or should I say disbelief, I opened my eyes and saw my cupped hand raised to my daughter’s mouth. What was I doing? Handing her a cup of invisible juice. Apparently she awoke from her own deep sleep and loudly started requesting juice. In my comatose stupor I actually believed that tricking her into thinking I was giving her juice would work. What my husband saw was my daughter swatting at my cupped empty hand. Crying because I was not giving her what she so badly wanted. I mustered up the energy to pull myself up and out of the bed and trekked downstairs to get her a glass of juice. This morning when she woke, my husband greeted her with an empty cupped hand and asked if she was thirsty. He thought she could go for a nice glass of… invisible juice. It was one of those moments in life that I will never escape. When my son asked my husband if they needed money for their pumpkin patch field trip my husband responded, “Nah, I’m sure mommy will pack us some invisible money.”