Sunday, September 19, 2010

Playing hooky

Who wouldn't want to hang out with this pirate boy?
I've been unschooling myself, since our last Carnival of Natural Parenting, and allowing myself some space. And I've been pondering while I'm goofing off.

  • Part of the reason is we've recently lost a lot of close friends, in the sense of friends we see on a regular basis. So Sam and I have been wallowing and grieving and wondering what the heck's wrong with us. I met with a dear and wise friend (who has not broken up with us, joy) who said the question is not, "What's wrong with me?" (or "with you") but, How is it hard for us to come up against each other in relationship? What are those dynamics? How does that make us uncomfortable? As it turns out, of course, there's not always a fixable solution to these answers.

  • It's strange there's not a clear way to break up with friends, isn't it? There isn't a convention in place, as with romantic relationships.

  • How does a break in friendship affect the children involved? I've lost two aunts to divorce, and it wasn't some super heart-wrenching thing for me, because we weren't close, but it did seem odd. One day, I had an aunt I'd see at family reunions and receive birthday cards from, and the next day she was gone, never to be seen or heard from again. Does it matter that Mikko will not be in these people's lives anymore, or not to the same extent at least? How do I explain why we're not hanging out anymore? At this age, he probably won't remember by next year, but it still feels sad to me.

  • As a break from being depressed, Sam and I enjoyed a marathon of the seventh season of Curb Your Enthusiasm on DVD (we were in line for it from the library). Particularly if you were a Seinfeld fan but less than impressed with the finale, you'll be happy to watch this season. That wasn't a deep thought. It's just what we've been doing.

  • I have a few pieces of intriguing news that I'm not yet at liberty to share. There, that was sufficiently obnoxious.

  • Avast, mateys, it be Talk Like a Pirate Day! Raise a flagon o' rum and dance a jig, me hearties. I was thinking of doing this whole post in pirate lingo but am sparing you.

  • Sam and I dragged poor Mikko around Home Depot yesterday for several hours. He was appeased only by being able to hook the cart to those gates they have on most aisles (for closing them off if they're moving a fork lift in there or whatever); Mikko really liked that part, and watching a fork lift in action, the rest not so much. We also bummed him out at Ikea, where we enticed him into using the free playroom, where we erroneously thought we was having fun; he let us know otherwise when we picked him up 40 minutes later. Sam and I keep wondering about making our place prettier. How much can we reasonably spend on such a goal? If we have the money (and we don't for many of our loftier plans), would it be better to save it for retirement or travel or school fees for some amazing private school? How much is beauty worth? If it's not for resale value (and it's not, because we're planning to park here for years and years), then is it justifiable to spend money on making a home lovelier and more functional just for our own sakes? If so, to what degree? These are the questions we're asking ourselves. Along with things like, How much can we do ourselves, considering putting up a ceiling fan took us two months and a lot of cursing? (I swear, everything was different than the instructions said it should be. Although I do really like it now it's up. Ahhh…cooling breezes…)

  • Today I got out Mikko's breakfast, and he said, "Mama, you're the best!"

  • We barely had a summer, and now it's fall in full swing. It's been raining almost every day. I'm going to have to renew my commitment to play outside in bad weather. That's what jackets and hats are for, right?

  • Sam and I have a usual arrangement where we trade off taking care of Mikko. Our wallowing has meant we've gotten to spend more time together as a family. Despite the fact that this means we've gotten pretty much no work done, it's been nice. More like the old days where Sam and I were always together and people snickered that we were codependent. I like liking his company.

  • I haven't read anything this week online, so I can't do Sunday Surf. Mea culpa.

  • We've once more sworn off soda and are trying our hardest to drink only water and other non-soda goodies. We bought three more of the insulated stainless steel bottles that we like — ice stays frozen overnight (!), and only really cold water is decent to drink, I've decided. In fact, just to demonstrate how much I hate water, when I was at that friend's house I mentioned earlier, she served me four glasses of ice water while I was there. I peed twice. I went out to the car and reached for my water bottle because I felt parched. And honestly, my first thought was, How strange that she didn't give me anything to drink while I was there. And then I remembered I'd had four glasses! Seriously, water doesn't let my taste buds and throat know it's passed by. So, to alleviate the unrelieved water drinking, I made some more of the recipes from the July/August Mothering article (issue 161). I tried out the sweet fruit tea elixir, or whatever it was called, and it pairs really well with seltzer and fruit juice. If you missed the issue, there's a fun video showing you how to make the Rooibos tea mix on We've also been making more smoothies, and offers a homemade Orange Julius alternative. Well, there, that's a little Sunday Surfing for you.

So that's all I've got. We've been drinking, watching TV, reading books, and shopping. For some reason, it was kind of a fun week, despite the wallowing. How has yours been?


Momma Jorje said...

•Losing Friends - I feel I've lost a lot of friends over the past few years. 1) I've divorced. 2) I've remarried & had a new baby. Having children seems to make such a huge difference in your priorities, but I'm still a social creature. It doesn't help that my husband is a home-body.

•Friend Break-ups - so true! I've had an occasional "ugly breakup" with a friend, but generally they just fade away.

•You're referring to breaks in family as well as friends. My ex-father-in-law divorced and while the family was bad-mouthing his ex-wife, my daughter was still pretending to telephone her. That was a tough situation and we never saw or heard from her again. We did have several friends that became intimately close with our family and were around a LOT and then just seemed to disappear - at least one was due to a move across the country. I don't have a solution, but even my daughter had friends that moved away while she was very young. She really did remember to "miss them" for years. :-( This even happened with a CAR, though! She liked to pretend to give "Fickle Ferrel" snacks and drinks while we were out running errands. She talked about that car for YEARS after we got rid of it.

•Intriguing news - Oh, oh, oh, do spill it! lol I don't think you're obnoxious... just vague, maybe. Keep us wanting more, eh? ;-)

•Good luck with the soda. I got my husband off soda, so long as I keep him in Koolaid. I keep it cold and ready for him. I simply prefer water.

Marita said...

I so agree with you about drinking water. Thank you for the links, most helpful.

Is hard when friends break up. We've had a lot of childless friends drift away since we became parents, that is sad but it just happened slowly and it wasn't until we didn't see them anymore that we realised until after it was over.

Kristin @ Intrepid Murmurings said...

The friend thing is rough, sorry you're feeling bummed! We've had something like that within the family recently and its been hard - especially in relation to the kids - for sure.

I've found becoming a parent definitely affects friendships -- both with people without kids and those with (but who may parent differently, or just have a different family dynamic). We are really bad about keeping in touch with (and making new) friends -- its so easy to hang out together and not put ourselves out there...

Love your 10 things to do in bad weather article! I agree with every single suggestion! I really really want to get my kids outside even in our rainy winters -- just got to motivate and stack up the dry clothes! And rain pants, thats what we need around here!

Tamara said...

*comes out of lurkdom*

Just to touch on the losing/breaking up with friends as im kinda in the thick of that now...i dunno. It IS weird. I have two best friends that im scared to call because ive made up this story in my head of how great their lives are in comparison to mine and how we'd have nothing to talk about. Sometimes i feel like we should just fade away and call it a life. Other times, i miss them terribly. I think it takes a skill to discern when to let go of friends and how to deal with that after. I say, its hard and undefined and most DON'T know how to do it, so dont be hard on yourself.

Oh and even tho i LOVE me some ice water, i have a hard time drinking enough each day, lol. It does make you feel like you havent drunk anything even when you have, lol.

Unknown said...

I liked the entire post. Especially the lost friendship part. Thats a rough issue we all deal with made more complicated by children. Sorry youre going through it but the issue cannot possibly be you because youre the best :)

Dionna @ Code Name: Mama said...

I understand breaking up with friends, although, mine usually isn't so much breaking up as growing apart. Nothing catastrophic ever happens, we just . . . change. It's still hard though, and awkward.

Susana la Banana said...

The friend breakup is really hard. I always feel so awkward when those kinds of situations arise...and then it's even worse when it feels like, hey, why the heck does this happen to ME so much, is it me? But really it's not, obviously, it's just hard to not take it personally.
Whatever reasons you end up breaking up with friends, I think it may be weird for your kids and I can see it being hard when they ask about playing together and so on but I also think there's probably some stress there and maybe a good reason to *not* be around them...good luck and I hope everything works out well for you.
I love that you're thinking about the beauty thing too. We are constantly evaluating that and usually deciding we shouldn't do very much, and then looking at our house and bringing it up again because it's so not beautiful. Sigh.
Cutest picture ever, by the way. I love pirate kids! =)

Lindsay said...

I'm bummed you lost a friend, but also kinda relieved to hear even someone as nice & fun as you has trouble keeping friends. It makes me feel less like there's something wrong with me!

And I'm dying of curiousity now. Are you pregnant? Or hosting an awesome giveaway? Or inherited oodles of money? Lol. Whatever it is, congrats!!

Ms. Latina said...

As one of the first moms in my group of friends to have children I can def. relate to wilting friendships. I will tell you most friends return!

As one returning friend told me, she felt as if I had displaced her because my priorities had changed, so you see it goes both ways. They feel abandoned as well.

Btw, I love that Mikko said "Mama, you're the best!" when you served him breakfast. Those are the memories to cherish!

Melodie said...

My mom and step dad broke up after 20 years just before I got married six years ago. My step dad has basically never been a part of my daughters' lives and yet he was a father figure to me (albeit one I didn't like much). It's very strange. He sends Xmas cards and sometimes birthday cards. He has an educational fund for the girls but they don't know him. For the 1st few years he was Grandpa Andy on cards but since he got remarried he is just Andy. It's very weird. I never quite know what to do or say. I never wanted a relationship with him when he was in my life but now that he isn't I mourn for my girls not knowing someone who was such a big part of my life and of course their grandma's.

Kristen @ My Semi-Crunchy Life said...

Glenn & I have been having the same conversation about friends. It's hard!

And I just got Beanie some rainboots. I'm going to have to get some boots & to learn to puddle jump with her if the last week is any indication of what Fall will be like here. When it's raining I'd rather hold up inside; not so easy with a three year old.

Betsy B. Honest said...

My husband and I both really feel we've "lost" a lot of friends while churning out the babies. I think it's quite normal to feel isolated while parenting small kids -- not necessary or "natural" per se, but normal.

I'm not sure why it is so but I know we're not the only ones who feel this. Hope it helps to know you're not the only one!

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