Monday, November 5, 2012

I Am Grateful For My Neighbor's Barking Dog


Did you go see Flight this weekend?! It's been two weeks since I saw it, and I am still thinking about it. I am so proud of Mr. M for his work on it (he edited the plane crash sequence).

I loved the movie - and I would have loved it even if Mr. M had not worked on it (but the fact that he did makes me love it even more). It's about addiction, and anyone who has lived a life addicted or with an addicted person can relate. I guess it's one of those movies you either get or you don't. My family has a long and deep history of alcohol and drug addiction (which is why I don't really drink). I saw so many facets of living that truth played out on-screen.

 It is a really beautiful film, and one that spoke to me on a deeply personal level. Go see it! :-)


I was unloading my camera this morning and noticed that I have an incredible number of photos of the girls at parks. It seems all we ever do is go to parks! Haha!  We go to at least one/day - and sometimes more.

I have sort of a child-induced agoraphobia, which is just to say that I don't like taking all three kids by myself into crowded places. It is super overwhelming to me. So, if we get to a park and it's too crowded, we leave and go to a park that's empty. I don't take my kids to crowded carnivals, etc. by myself - I could do it when we were just one or two, but now that I have three tinies to juggle, it's just too much for ME! :-)

So, needless to say, we have a lot of park dates just the four of us! It works well because the girls rarely have to compete for the swings!


On Friday, we met up at the park with a little girl Ginger made friends with at swimming. The little girl is almost 5, but she and Ginger get along like peas and carrots. ;-) It's so cute to see Ginger making her own friends - she was so excited for her little playdate.


Last week was the Halloween swim party for Paprika's swim team. We skipped it! I know that sounds terrible, because she would have loved to have gone...but it was just one of those things. I could not see how I could take all three kids by myself to a swim party with hundreds of kids, loud music blaring, and how I could possibly keep tabs on Ginger, Violet, and Paprika all at the same time...especially since two out of three would have wanted to swim.

The swim party was at the same time as Paprika's piano lesson (which we had missed the week before because I went to the Flight screening). I didn't want her to miss piano again. But, I had a logistical conundrum because Ginger had her swim lesson on the day of the party, and I didn't want HER to miss her lesson either.

So, I ended up letting Paprika play on the iPad while I waited with her and Violet in the van while Ginger had her swim lesson.   Paprika had no idea the party was even happening. Problem solved. Then, I let Paprika wear her costume to piano lesson and she made her teacher a Halloween treat basket - so she was very excited to give it to her teacher.

The big lesson is that I am learning that I can't do everything. I can do what I can do...but I am just one person. And it's okay. There are some days I can pull it all together and pull off magical feats of childhood, but mostly, I am juggling a lot of balls and just doing the best I can.

The funny thing is that it's really me who sets these high expecations of perfection...the kids are happiest with the simple, little things. Paprika was as happy with taking her little gift to her piano teacher as she would have been with the swim party. It's my own expectations I need to reconcile. ;-)


November is a big month to talk about gratitude and to mark each day with something one is grateful for...the truth is that I am grateful for so much. I am grateful for everything...and I often recount all the obvious blessings in my life. What can I say, I am grateful to be grateful! 

It is easy to say that we are grateful for all the good things in our it such a stretch to look at all the obvious blessings and recount them?

Instead, I am challenging myself this month to be grateful for all the hard things in my life - to be grateful for my challenges, and all the struggles I encounter...the parts of my life I would gladly wipe away.

Just a thought: maybe the most significant lessons come from the challenges...maybe those are the parts of my life that are actually my greatest blessings.

Therefore, I declare that I am grateful for every last thing, right down to my neighbor's constantly barking dog (he teaches me patience) and those darned leaf blowers that always wake Violet up from her nap (they teach me flexibility).  ;-)


It isn't the mountain ahead that wears you out; it's the grain of sand in your shoe. - Robert W. Service

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