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Posts Tagged ‘growing up’

Supersisters posted “25 Things I Know Now as a Parent” and invited other parents to chime in with their own lists. Well all right. I think I’ve learned a few things in the past six years.

1. Sleep deprivation can make parents insane. Count to 10 to avoid going postal on parents who brag about their all-night-sleepers.

2. Sift through grandparents’ advice for the good stuff. Nod and smile and ignore the rest.

3. It’s okay to let kids watch more than one hour of TV on rainy days.

4. If you can, walk your kids to their classrooms on their first day of school every year. It means a lot to them. But when they get old enough to beg you not to, comply.

5. An occasional donut is not poison (for kids or for you). (more…)

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I feel like ruminating on miracles. Anybody experience one? Bet you have…and you might not even know it. Not all miracles are of the “someone in peril snatched from the jaws of death” stripe. There are everyday miracles. Of course, most people would say that they consider their children everyday miracles, but let’s be honest—we think that only when they’re sleeping. The rest of the time we’re usually seriously considering selling them to the circus or sending them off to apprentice with a ship full of pirates or something.

Anyway, to miracles. I’ve got a miracle story. At the time I didn’t think of it as one, of course, but now I recognize it for what it was. This is my personal miracle:

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A friend of mine I’ve known most of my life once told me I tend to live my life in boxes.

She didn’t mean it in an accusatory way—there was no chastisement attached; she was just making an observation. And when I thought about it, I realized she was right: Whatever constitutes my life at any given time, I live in that box and nowhere else. Everything is in there, self contained: job, friends, mindset—all related—and all with sole influence over whoever I am at the time and whatever life lesson I’m learning. I throw myself into that box wholeheartedly, and I don’t look beyond what I’m doing right then.

And when that phase of my life ends, as it always does, I pack up the box, close up the flaps, tape it shut, and shove it away into my memory, which of course bears a remarkable resemblance to the government warehouse in the final scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark. I don’t look back (as far as anybody knows), I don’t get nostalgic; I remember the time fondly (or not so fondly) and move on to my next box, which I throw myself into wholeheartedly once again, with equal intensity to the previous box, soon to be matched in intensity for the following box.

Okay, enough about boxes. You get the idea.

I’ve never had a problem with living my life that way; I’ve always felt that when I’m done with a phase of my life, it’s okay to let it go. I learned whatever I was supposed to learn, or I did whatever job I was supposed to complete, or I helped someone I was supposed to help—I completed whatever task was required of me and I was free to go. You know—kind of like Sam Beckett in Quantum Leap. “I’m done; can I leap out now?” Mmm…Scott Bakula…

Wait. Where was I? Oh yeah.

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I saw a Christmas tree at the curb just the other day. In the middle of February. And it hadn’t emerged from a melted snow mound, either. It had been put out just then. And I thought it was fantastic, especially in our neighborhood.

Let me explain: We have a lot of neighbors who are are very…efficient. Many of them are retirees with a lot of time on their hands, and gods bless ’em, that’s great—more power to ’em. But sometimes that makes them too efficient—and makes the rest of us feel a little inadequate.

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