Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Seeing red. Not THAT red.

My wife is awesome. I consider myself so lucky to have her. She is funny, smart, kind, and all the things you look for in a spouse. She even does a ton of household chores. She is also generally pretty good at dodging bullets. For example, she always responds to "Do I look fat in this dress" questions by proclaiming her love for me no matter what I am wearing. See? Smart and savvy.

So you can imagine my surprise (and dismay) when she came home from work, looked at me, and asked, "Are you wearing makeup, or is your face just really red?"


(Um, yes, I shamefacedly admit to putting on a dash of makeup today in an attempt to feel just a smidge better about my body image that is at an all time low with a big event looming on the horizon. And yes, I have been watching What Not to Wear. I shouldn't, but I do. There. I have ripped open my very soul to share with you my deepest shame. Maybe shames, since I put on makeup too. It is not something I do often, which was part of my partner's argument when I got rather upset with her. Let's get back to that story now, shall we?)

She tried a few ways to explain herself. 1) I never wear makeup, so even though she thought I was wearing blush, she couldn't imagine that it was really true and that I would tease her for thinking I would put on makeup. ahem.... 2) Who says it is bad to be red? People look healthy and vibrant, a blush on the cheeks, etc.... 3) OK, I don't remember any more, but I am sure there were some while I was busy pitching a fit.

What she meant really wasn't bad. She wasn't calling me a clown faced girl or implying I had hives or acne or was just repulsive in some reddish way. I get that. Now. But my little self conscious ears heard it differently then. You have to admit, the sentence "Are you wearing makeup, or are you just really red" is not one of the recommended top ten pickup lines in Cosmo. It is not Oprah's latest guru's trick to help spice up your marriage. It is not really anything anyone wants to hear. Or maybe that's just me.

She explained herself, I understood. And as I walked out the door, she grinned her winningest grin and said, "Hey honey, you look really pretty. And that shirt makes your face look really red!"

OK, that time it was funny....

Monday, September 29, 2008

The best tummy camouflage ever!

You know how it is. Baby weight melts off when you have your first. The second time is not so easy, apparently. We have a wedding next month. I have to go buy a dress that fits since all my dresses are still too small. I cannot express how much I am dreading this. I don't feel comfortable in my skin these days, and there is nothing like dress shopping to make you feel even more... icky.

But I have a secret weapon. What Not to Wear has nothing on me. It won't matter what I am wearing since the only part of my outfit anyone will notice will be the cutest baby in the world in a sling (strategically placed to cover my "problem area." For the first time I am grateful I carry my weight in my stomach, since I can't imagine who would lend me their baby for the weekend so I could strap it to my other thigh.) All she has to do is smile and flirt, something she just can't help doing, and no one will notice me at all. I am all set. I could probably get away with wearing jeans. If I had any that fit....

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Wanting what isn't.

We are back from a visit to my parent's house. We had a great time. The weekend was awesome. Yet I feel the same let down I always do. Despite the fact that being there is stressful (when is being away from home not stressful?), it is always so wonderful to get to spend time with my mom.

I have this feeling lately that there is only so much time left (for everything... my kids to be young, me to be "young", to get to be with people I love, all of it) and I feel so heartbroken that my relationship with my mom isn't what I would like it to be. She loves me dearly. I know that. But she doesn't call, she doesn't visit, she doesn't really make an effort to have a deep relationship with me.

I know she has reasons. One, she is busier than anyone has a right to be. Two, she has some misguided belief that she shouldn't interfere with her children's lives. Even calling may be too intrusive. I don't get it, and I have begged her over and over to work with me toward a more reciprocal relationship. She just doesn't meet me halfway.

Understand, when we are there, it is like I have never been away. We laugh, we talk, we hug, and she interacts with the kids like any grandchild obsessed grandma would. She is wonderful and fabulous. But when we leave, we are back to the dynamic that any connection there is to make is my responsibility alone.

In my head, I know that her path is her path, and she has reasons for her disconnection. But in my heart, I wonder if it is somehow my failure as a person that she doesn't choose a deeper relationship with me. That thought, no matter how quickly I dismiss it, hurts me more than I can say.

I cherish my time with her. And I want more. How do I let this desire go and accept what is? How do I use this to be a better parent to my own children?

Today I have no answers. Today I just grieve.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Oh, boy...

Here I sit, at my parent's house, watching the debate with my very republican parents. I, a devout progressive, sit here. Me, the one that thinks the democrats are freakishly and sadly conservative. I love Obama. He gives me hope. I hope that he is conservative enough to get elected.

Oh, lordy, please help me keep my mouth shut. Please give me the strength to not yell at the TV screen. This family is NOT the place to air political opinions and have honest debate.

Maybe I can go to bed early.

I am breathing....

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Mr. Picassohead

I saw this site on another blog and was so amused I almost forgot to show it to Pablo. I was too busy playing with it myself! I mean, you can create your own Picasso-esque art?! What could be better?

This is fun in a bottle. On the internet. You know what I mean.

Try it, you will like it!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

I guess the babymoon is over...

oops, wait, hang on a sec...

OK, sorry, where was I? Oh yeah. My beautiful baby, the one that for months could serve as a paper weight (if you like torn up paper) is on the move. She has been crawling for a few weeks, but now, she is zooming.

Geez, where did that girl go? Hang on...

Got her. She went in another room again. Anyway, she now moves fast and has an intense desire to explore everything. NOW!

Hang on, she is going for the computer cord again....

OK, sorry about that. What was I talking about? Yeah, I remember... today I have rescued her from (all separate occasions in which I put her on the floor in a safe locale with plenty of toys that she ignored in favor of getting into stuff) : the dog food bowl, the dog water bowl, the one electric cord in the house that isn't protected, the diaper pail, and probably 10 other things I can't remember. Oh yeah. In the 20 seconds it took me to wash my hands after changing her diaper, she pulled up on the toilet and was happily trying to reach the water. She got her hands washed too, after that.

Shoot! Where did she go? OK, I see her, all is well.

I am not even mentioning all the pulling up on various pieces of furniture, getting stuck under my chair in a way that I couldn't get to her for fear of smooshing her, and the (eek!) attempts at walking. For goodness sake, she isn't even 9 months old yet!

She is not napping as much because she WANTS TO PLAY! On an unrelated note, she seems much grumpier after hours of not sleeping. No idea what that's about.

I love my vivacious girl (who happens to be rubbing her eyes and fussing at me right now instead of nursing cause she wants to look around), don't get me wrong. But today marks the day we go into high gear. CONSTANT VIGILANCE and all that. Unlike Pablo as a baby, it seems like she is going to get into everything. There is a high chance she will do all kinds of risky things. She seems like the extroverted, try anything once kind of child I predicted when she was still in utero. Thank the gods Pablo still thinks it's funny when she gets into his stuff.

Oh, baby, bring it on. I am (gulp!) ready. I hope.

And let go of that lamp. No really.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Enlightenment is not nearly as flashy as a good tantrum.

I am trying. I really am. Hard times come, and I try my best not to go down that path in my head where everything is terrible and always has been and nothing will ever be good. I try. Really. And these days when I find myself walking that path, I see that I am doing it, which is honestly a VAST improvement on say, my 20s. But I still do it. To some degree. I still find myself thinking horrible thoughts that seem so real but that happen to be in direct opposition to anything, say... reality based.

Today we had a short rough patch. And I muttered. I was vacuuming, which lends itself to muttering unless you live with someone who reads lips, so I muttered. I thought horrible hopeless thoughts and angry vindictive thoughts. And I muttered about them.

It was all very satisfying except for the fact that I saw myself doing it and saw it for what it was (ie my brain's attempt to a) distract me from my true feelings in favor of bigger, yuckier ones, b) make me think the sky is falling and c) separate myself from those I love for my own (perceived) emotional protection.). I will tell you, muttering is not nearly as satisfying when you are aware that the muttering is (probably) a lie created to (not really) save you from people who you love and who love you and who are making you nuts. I could only keep it up with sheer force of will.

I lost it completely when it occurred to me that my upset had nothing to do with anyone else... it was my reaction to their actions that created my upset.... See how muttering was much more satisfying when I was less self aware?

We happened to get though our rough patch relatively quickly and easily. I am sure it had nothing to do with growing and evolving as people. Just a coincidence, I am sure.

Friday, September 19, 2008

A Birthday Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, there was a girl who wanted to help people and to be a mom. And to find true love, of course. She grew up knowing she wanted these things, but feared that they would never find her. The helping people part came easily, but the true love part was hard. She met people and tried to make it work, but it never did. She all but gave up on all of her dreams, and had found acceptance in the life she thought she would live.

Then she met D, a wonderful woman who seemed perfect. She was funny and smart and the energy between them was amazing. They quickly fell in love. They waited a few years until the time was right and then they started trying to have a baby. The getting pregnant part was relatively easy, but the pregnancy wasn't. The couple found themselves trying to survive the storm of hormones that came with a difficult pregnancy. Once the baby was born, things became complicated and harder than either expected. A few years later, another child was born, even easier to conceive, but just as difficult to carry.

There were trials and tribulations, disconnections and misunderstandings. They often forgot to look for the magic that started it all. They often forgot just how in love they really were. Sometimes they were angry, sometimes sad. Often they were happy but were too focused on the few negative things to really appreciate all the good.

The truth is, life is infinitely harder than a fairy tale since fairy tales only get you to the end of the beginning. We can't stop ourselves from being who we are. Cinderella probably couldn't stop cleaning the castle even though she was the queen. We all have our own brand of craziness that helps us face the challenges we need to face. We struggle, we resist, and eventually, we evolve.

As hard as it can sometimes be, our challenging, evolving life together is my fairy tale ending. I wouldn't want to live happily ever after with anyone but you. Thank you for the ways you love me, support me, and endure me. I am so grateful for you.

Happy Birthday, my love.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Yes Day

It never fails. Every time I decide to release whatever parenting issue I am having at the time and spend one day without judgment or negativity, we have an awesome day. I don't mean that I do some wonderful parenting job. I mean that Pablo chills out about whatever issue was making me nuts.

This morning before Pablo woke up, I gave myself a peptalk. Despite the late (and zany) going to bed last night and Pablo's lack of sleep, I was going to relax about his revived tendency to ignore me, get easily distracted, and other time wasting practices. I knew we had nowhere we needed to go, and nothing we needed to do. In other words, it was a great day to let things be.

He was more interactive with me than he has been in days. He played in a focused way for hours at a time. He listened, if not perfectly, then at a percentage I would gladly accept. I didn't worry about getting him to do things he didn't want to. We even had friends over spur of the moment this afternoon, and he PLAYED with his friend. He was actually more interactive than the friend, and kept chasing the poor guest around asking him to play more, play more! This was such a thrill to see, since at our last play date he barely talked to his buddy. (I do think how well he knows said kids had something to do with it, but still....)

As I look back, I see things I did differently that created space for him to act differently too. Maybe it wasn't magic. Maybe I did this. Maybe.

Yes days are good days.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I was on....

I was back on track. But as I settle into my new routine, here I am. I just can't escape me. Today I wish I could. I worry about things I can't control. I resist the hell out of things. I feel resentful about things I am able, some days, to release. I want things I will never have. And I blame others for creating that situation. I don't see my loved ones for who they are, but through the lens of who I wish they were.

I feel sad that I am not flowing with my life in a peaceful way. I am back to fighting everything. At least in my head. I want that peace back. I want things to be easier.

I need to let go of my notions of how things "should" be. I need to relax and be with myself as I am rather than expecting myself to be different. Even in trying to let go, I have expectations. I disappoint.

How do you let go of letting go?

How do you sit with being somewhere you do not want to be?

I guess I just will go sit with that and see what happens.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Feeling like you know

For most of my life, I have had an altar. Before I knew what an altar was, I had one. I can remember as a young child arranging and rearranging items of significance to me on a low table and sitting before them, not knowing I was meditating.

I have also always been drawn to things like the IChing or Tarot. I use them to get a clearer sense of where I need to go. I don't think they are divine any more than I am... but then again, I think everything, every person, every particle is divine. It is a way to get in touch with my intuition. To have something to react to, either positively or negatively. Yes, this fits; no, that doesn't. I rarely get any flashes of brand new insight. Most often I get messages that tell me I am on the right path, that I am loved, that I need to follow my intuition. Strangely enough, I feel much more settled about my choices when I have consulted these tools. As if I have confirmation that I am plugged into the universe.

Since having children I have done this all less and less. We had an actual meditation room (still do, I guess) where my altar sat, my yoga mat was always ready, and there was always space. I took down my alter when Pablo started walking. There was just too much breakable (or chokeable) stuff on it. I just didn't know how to make an altar kid friendly, so I let it go.

I want it all back. I love the feeling of having an altar that I care for. It is a way I take care of me, take time for myself. I am still trying to figure out logistics, but it is starting to feel less and less like an option I can disregard and more and more like a necessity. I need this part of me back. I will figure out a way to get it.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


It was a nightmare. The worst I have had in years. And I am prone to some pretty bad ones. I woke up breathing hard, a scream stuck in my throat. Thankfully, it didn't make it all the way out, or I would have woken the kids. My partner and I have a deal that it is OK to wake the other in case of nightmares. This one warranted immediate partner awakening.

She did a great job of seeming coherent. I told her my dream. That is supposed to make me settle down and go back to sleep. That is what usually happens. Sometimes we remake the ending so it is not as dire or find some way to make it funny. We have even been known to wave our imaginary wands and utter, "Riddikulus!" which of course solves everything.

None of that happened. I told her my nightmare and it upset her enough that she couldn't sleep either. We sat there, two adults, with the lights on, scared to leave the room. Scared to talk above a whisper. Way too scared to sleep. I read a book for a couple of hours, she tossed and turned. Finally around 3:30 I turned off all but one light and managed to fall asleep.

When I woke up this morning, I was still scared.

(NOTE: I am not going into detail, since I don't want readers posting angry comments about their newfound insomnia. Also, I am just a tad bit worried that I won't be able to sleep again tonight. Especially if I think about it too much.)

Saturday, September 13, 2008


I stayed on the wagon a couple of weeks, fueled by my new "structure" and "organization" and "all that." But now it has been a while, not long enough to be a routine, certainly not long enough to feel good.

I had decided that Pablo didn't need more structure but I did, so I started planning meals and chores using a Google calendar. I started going to the gym on planned days.

I stuck to it all with verve. I really did.

Then life started happening.

There were interruptions.

And I felt rebellious and purposefully broke the menu plan (oh, the sweet feeling of rebellion!!).

Now I am feeling such resistance to the thought of getting "back on track." I am wondering if "on track" is where I really want to be. Picture the 3 year old with the lower lip poking out, arms crossed, yelling, "I DON'T WANNA!!!!!"

Then I am wondering if I am just fighting something that is really good for me out of sheer stubbornness. That is like me, after all.

The honeymoon is over. Now it is feeling like work rather than pleasure. Discipline. Ewww. But isn't this what I wanted? Structure? Discipline? Focus?

I admit I did feel a lot better while I was doing it. OK, OK, I see what I am saying... I don't have to nag. I will keep on keepin' on.

But I still don't wanna.

Friday, September 12, 2008

How very like me...

Let's get one thing clear. I love my son just as he is. I honestly wouldn't change a thing. AND... I see things in him that are so much like me and that caused me so much pain as a child. He doesn't know how to interact with peers. Neither did I. Sure, he has a few friends that he joins in with now and then, but he is clearly just as happy (if not happier) to do his own thing. I have been trying to broaden his social network and it is SO painful to watch him detach from interacting with others his age in favor of doing his own thing.

Wait a minute. He IS happy doing his own thing. And through all of his idiosyncrasies, even through people close to us judging him for the differences that giftedness brings, I have loved and accepted him. My sad feelings are really about me. I was the one who wasn't accepted by peers and felt hurt by it. I was the one who always felt like the outsider. He plays with others, or not, as he chooses. He doesn't seem to notice being left out. Maybe he will notice when he is older, but what I tried to make into angst for him now is really angst for my own inability to connect. I still often feel like an outsider and like making new friends is hard. I assumed he would feel the same way I feel and I wanted to fix it.

Hmph. How very like me.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ode to JOY!!

I have a confession to make. It might make me sound old. It will probably not gain me any readers in the 3 and under age bracket. But the fact is, Sesame Street is just not what it was back in my day. Phew. I said it. I personally blame it all on Elmo and the dumbing down of America. The concept that programming should appeal to the youngest demographic watching rather than being intelligent enough to have something for everyone. In my personal opinion, Elmo is the poster child for moronic programming.

Now, to bring you an example of the something for everyone category, I bring you Ode to Joy. Hensen style. This is classic.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Clearly I need more sleep.

Beebz is on a nursathon. It makes sense, since she is getting close to 9 months, and just started crawling (and, GULP, standing). In the last 24 hours, she has probably been latched on for... 18 hours or so? I am guessing. It feels like 50 hours. Yes, I know, not possible. I'm just sayin'.

Last night, she nursed and nursed and nursed as we slept. And for the first time in my almost 4 years of nursing a child while sleeping, I incorporated the nursing into my dream. In my dream, I was in my bed, my room, nothing was the least bit out of place. There was nothing to let me know I was dreaming. Except that 4 1/2 year old Pablo was the one latched on. I woke myself up saying, "NO!" while fumbling to unlatch him. Oops, her. The baby. The now crying baby whom I had just woken up by saying NO loudly in her ear. Sorry, sorry. Latch her back on, and back to sleep we go.

I was apparently getting sore on that side from the now 5 hours of constant nursing since maybe an hour later I woke myself up trying to unlatch her again. Coordination is not my strong suit when I am awake, and even less so when I am 99% asleep. Instead of unlatching her, I poked her in the cheek with my fingers. No idea what the dream was this time. Beebz was thoroughly not amused. And she wanted to inform the world.

I scooped up the screaming baby and stumbled from the room in hopes of keeping everyone else asleep. I made it to the couch where I promptly knocked over a big cup of water I had left sitting on the floor earlier in the evening because Beebz had stolen my coaster from the coffee table. This soaked my pajama bottoms. It also distracted me from coming up with a solution to the (still) screaming baby problem.... oh yeah... nurse on the OTHER side. Got it. She immediately went back to sleep. I sat there in a stupor for a few minutes and was finally able to come up with the genius idea to GO BACK TO BED. Which I did.

So clearly, I need more sleep. And for my milk to increase soon so the marathon nursing sessions slow down!

Monday, September 8, 2008


Pablo is measuring his minuscule, almost Stuart Little height with a tape measure. He started at 1 inch and is growing at an exponential rate (now up to 15 inches, maybe 10 minutes later). But as we were measuring, he told me he was 3 "skepticals." I was confused.

So I asked, "Do you know what skeptical means?" He said, "What?" And I said, "Skeptical is how you feel when you hear or see or read something that you think isn't really true."

There was a pause.

"Mama, that is when you are using it as an adjective. I am using it as a noun. A skeptical is a measurement like you are inside a tape measure. An inch is how old you are in months, and a foot means you can walk or something divisible by 12. Foot is an adjective and a noun. If it's an adjective, it means divisible by 12. As a noun it means I can walk."

Oh. Thanks for clarifying.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Beebz is crawling!!

Technically, she started 2months ago. She went 2 feet with her tummy off the ground. Then she decided crawling really wasn't her style and went for distance rolling instead. She would actually look at the object she desired, turn perpendicular to it, and roll right over. A few days ago she apparently chose to rethink the whole crawling thing, and is doing that totally adorable trick of trying to watch every body part as she moves it. She especially likes to get into a downward dog position to look at her feet. We may end up with a bear crawler on our hands.

Gods help us, she is officially mobile!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

I love my sister. And I am stubborn.

For solstice I am crocheting many presents. I am really excited about it, and have been dying to blog about it, but I have to do it in code in case certain people are reading. ahem. I am making something lovely and tedious for my mom. Because it is so tedious, I thought I would take a quick break and make my sister's ... something (not telling!). I thought it would go pretty fast.


I have ripped the #@*&%@#*$ thing out 4, count them, F-O-U-R times. When I am more than a skein into the pattern. The gauge keeps getting wonky. I can't figure out quite why. All I know is, making things without a pattern seems to me to be WAY easier than making things with one. If I were designing this... thing, I would just hold it up and say, "Yep, looks good" or, "I need it longer here" or whatever. Following a pattern locks me in. I am bound by the rules. I am not a big fan of rules. What? You noticed that about me? You are very observant. Now hush, I am blogging here.

So I am on my LAST try before I give up and make this... something (my code is impenetrable! ha! double ha!) without a stinkin' pattern and with nothing but some yarn, a hook, and my imagination. Ha. That will show 'em.

In other news, I need an opinion, people. Pablo wants to be Stuart Little for Halloween. Yes, I know, AWESOME, right? But we need a suit, a cane, and a fedora in addition to tail whiskers and ears. The suit and cane aren't a problem. However, the fedoras I can find for kids say Indiana Jones all over them. I am sure I could find a super fancy one for a TON of money. For some reason I am not so much into that. So should I crochet him one? It would only take a couple of hours. I think it would look really cute. It would (of course) have mouse ears sticking out the brim. I am leaning towards the crochet idea. Please comment your opinion!! Do I get an Indiana Jones hat and try to rip off the advertising, or do I make him one?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

He is me

Today I was reminded of the beautiful "he is me" meditation. I didn't really use it to meditate as much as to snap myself out of negative thinking. All I did was think to myself, "he is me" when Pablo was running amok, making me crazy. Just those words said silently forced me to connect to that manic part of myself that would love to just do the next thing that appeals to me and sing songs at the top of my lungs. I couldn't hold onto any anger or frustration because I really understood.

The same went for other people as I used it with them. I was shocked and fascinated, though, to discover how much I wanted to hang onto that sense of separation so that my view was the only one I saw. How invested I was in my need to believe that my view was the only view, my perspective the only perspective.

I was also amazed at how working through letting go of that attachment seemed to make everything shrink until there was really nothing left to get upset about. Nothing bad to attach to. Just feelings, which we all have, desires, which we all have, and generally loving (if self interested) motivations. Which we all have.

Instant compassion. What could be better? Thank you, Sarah, for reminding me. Namaste.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Trying to think big

My existential crisis is in, well, crisis. I keep telling myself that being fundamentally alone in the universe has to be a good thing because ultimately, it IS up to me to have a satisfying life. To achieve the things I want to achieve. To be the person I want to be.

Today that speech isn't working.

It is a sad and well known fact that none of the people that matter the most to me approve of me as I am. My family disapproves of my career, my lesbianism, my choices in life. My partner disapproves of my temper, my frustration, my difficulty with staying calm in hard times. And so much more.

I feel so deeply sad that this turn on the wheel seems to be about me never being enough, never giving enough, never achieving enough. All I know is that me just being me is not enough. Not to the people who matter the most to me.

I wonder what it would be like to be valued as the person I am by these people without the expectation of change or without the bitter taste of lowered expectations. I wonder what it would be like to really be unconditionally loved.

Then I think about how hard it is for me to give this same unconditional love to others. I do want other people to be different. Even if it is just to give me this kind of love.

I know that letting go of this attachment to people (including me) being different is the first step to letting go of all of this sadness. That accepting the WHAT IS comes with such peace. I have been able to do that. I have felt that sense of peace.

But today that speech isn't working.

I know my head tells me many lies. The head's job is to come up with best and worst case scenarios. It is the dreamer that also creates nightmares. I am listening to my head today as if it is real. As if everything it says is true.

So I will try to get into my heart space, my soul space, and feel my connection to the universe. To see past the false limits of physical reality to the universal truths that unite everything in spirit. I will try.

I hope this speech works.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Daily Groove

If you haven't seen this website, you really really should. It may be the best peaceful parenting daily out there. I can't speak for his coaching or anything like that, but I get a daily email that makes me think deep thoughts about parenting. It makes me be more aware. It (hopefully) makes me a better parent.

Now go read it since I am exhausted from being up half the night with a sick baby (AGAIN).

Monday, September 1, 2008

Talk Less, Listen More. Dammit.

Yes, I see how when I get stressed out or emotional it comes out as verbal diarrhea. I see how I should "sit with" my emotions rather than exploding them all over everyone else, so to speak. I know I need to work on closing my mouth, asking more questions, generally breathing into the stressor, etc. Dammit. I don't wanna. I want yell and scream and freak out and have no responsibility for my actions.

OK, not none. But not ALL.

I mean, when your kid is almost a block away and running for the street and then you can't see him anymore, you should get to freak out a little. Or a lot. You should get to yell his name and then lecture him mercilessly. Right? I mean, asking him questions and exploring his motivation for his action would get you further and deepen the trust level between parent and child, but then where would I put my freak out? Where would I shove those feelings, or maybe what would I transmute them into?!

I know I need to listen more and talk less. When my partner is upset about something, I tend to point out the patterns I see, talk to her about similar issues I have, and do other completely well intentioned things that piss her off to no end. She wants me to just listen. And I try, I really do (before I say my stuff), but somehow it is not enough.

I have thought about creating the habit of taking a deep breath before I speak. Not between sentences, but before the start of any paragraph I say. It sounds like such a good idea, with such a peaceful intention. I could take a moment to be mindful of my words, my intentions, my reactions. I haven't done it because I feel SUCH resistance to it. I feel like after 10 minutes I would look like a cartoon character who had eaten a really hot pepper... all red in the face, with steam pouring out my ears, jumping around yelling words you type only using the shift and the number keys.

But I think I am going to try. 'Cause as much as I DON'T want to have to take full responsibility for my words when I am uber-stressed, I can't find anyone else who is willing to do it. Dammit.