Mere Mortals

When I was about 8 months pregnant with Isaac my dad called me to see how I was doing. He said I sounded tired. I was.

(see: 8 months pregnant)

My father said something that has been replaying over in my mind for two days.

“You do know you only get 24-hours a day, right?”

My father was not being condescending. He was poking fun at what he knows to be true about me.

I do not know that I only get 24-hours in a day. Scientifically, I know that certain standards of time exist that are factual and consistent.

  • 60 seconds in a minute
  • 60 minutes in an hour
  • 24 hours in a day
  • 7 days in a week
  • 52 weeks in a year
  • 365 days in a year

Just ask the cast members of Rent.

They’ve got the amount of time in a year down to the minute.

I get it but I am special.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI have three children. One of whom just dropped a bag of shredded cheese on my lap so that I could open it for a snack. Not happening.

“Chips and pretzels are on the counter. If you want something, have that.”

I have a husband who took me on an adventure last night that included a brewery, a casino and a late night steak smothered in cheese and onions. It was a good time.

To recover, I slept in and then we traded. He is now in bed and deservedly so.

I belong to a roller derby team of amazing athletes that challenge me daily. They are also some of the  best friends I have ever had. Which is nice, except six hours of every week is dedicated to practicing the sport, another six hours is dedicated to bouting and that doesn’t include travel time if necessary. Add to that the time we spend laughing, drinking, dancing, going to events, volunteering and just generally being awesome and it gets a bit crazy. Ask them. They will tell you.

“Roller Derby takes over your life.”

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Sweet RV and Me.
She’s really only sweet off the track. #SmallbutMighty

School starts up again in two weeks. I am trying to decide what class to take while I study up for my re-take of the math assessment exam. Spanish II, Film as Art or Technical Writing which sounds as boring as can be but might help me professionally. In two weeks, my life will become a practice in keeping to the schedule. Skipping my study time, being late, sleeping in or going out could blow my grade for the semester. No pressure.

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Isaac fell asleep on the back of my chair watching me finish my homework.

In all of this, I am still trying to write my story. An emotionally draining, mind-boggling memoir that steals time in heaps. It heals me and hurts me at the same time. It’s kind of like physical therapy for The Walking Wounded. I am asking tons of questions and the answers are coming back like boomerangs.

In the end, I am left with just 24-hours in a day. I need more than that and sometimes I really believe that I can bend time to my will. It frustrates me beyond words when I realize that I cannot actually bent time. When I step back and see that I have no special powers and the clock ticks on whether I like it or not, I get anxious.

I get anxiety over something that I never controlled in the first place. I get flustered, messy and half-assed. I forget things places, show up late or on the wrong day, eat like crap and dream when I try to sleep.

I am a hot fire mess. They don’t call me Firecracker for nothin’.

During this holiday season, I have had some time off. I have locked myself away. I have gone out less, chased simple goals like – well, eat, sleep and enjoy.

It has been a peaceful time. As things head back towards pandemonium, I worry. I count and the hours are not adding up. They never do and yet, somehow I still manage to keep up.

Do you see the problem? Do you see why I am so delusional?

Because I manage. I am not so different from so many mothers.

We take out that rolling-pin, stapler, scotch tape and we will those ends to meet. We stretch like elastic around our families and we plug holes with our toes. We make hours out of minutes and days out of hours.

I am special. I am a mother and that brings with it certain miracle-making, magical powers.

And when I get tired. When it gets to be too much and I get frustrated or annoyed with the clock, I will settle into the time that the rest of the world shares. I will work within reality for a little while. I will slow down for a lunch break with mere mortals.

“You do know you only get 24-hours in a day, right?”

Miracles are not meant to be performed every 24-hours.

They’d lose their magic.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Passing time,

Tashmica

PS – To watch this glorious train wreck, LIKE The Mother Flippin’ Facebook Page.

Math Is Hard

Enjoy the first of what I hope to be an ever improving and awkwardly funny vlog series staring yours truly.

If you need me. you’ll likely be able to find me in my office taking math tips from my 9-year-old.

It’s ironic.

Sometimes people jokingly ask me what can’t I do.

I usually answer, “Math.”

I do not lie people!

The ever calculating,

Tashmica

Old School: The College of Mommy Guilt

It has been 11 days since I last posted here.

Maybe you hadn’t noticed.  It has been a crazy week for so many.

It felt like forever for me.

It’s not that I wasn’t writing.  I write constantly.

My job requires well crafted emails, letters, posts, tweets, reports and occasionally the nicely drafted handwritten card.

Add to all of this, school work.

That is right, ladies and gentlemen.  I have just completed my first week of college after a nine-year break.

Have you met my nine-year old son, Isaiah?

I am taking a creative writing course.  I foresee that school commitments will affect my family, derby career and my social life.  Those decisions are already starting to chafe.

This is precisely why I get so irritated when I see advertisements or articles offering women a strategy to having it all.

Here is a strategy you can count on.

If you want it all, you must want very little.

If you are willing to make sacrifices, you can commit your life to deep loves but not much else.

Take it from me.  I am a expert on the topic. :)

I am already a bit tired and hyper vigilant when it comes to my calendar.  Thanks to a coworker, I have my profesh and personal calendars all synced.  I have never been a calendar girl.  No pun intended.

I now live and breathe by Google reminders.

What about my boys?

They start Karate next week.  Two times a week they will learn their hi-yas and ker-chops.  They are both in school and need help with homework.  I have a nightly study partner in Isaiah, who needs as much practice spelling as I do in mathematics.  We are riding the routine struggle bus as we adjust to stupid early mornings and regular friggin’ bedtimes.

I am still waiting for the world to recognize the value of a slow start of 11am.

Vito is confidently sauntering into daycare waving to the drooling toddlers and teachers alike.  He has no fear.  I am not completely comfortable with him having such an independent life.  He is the first of my children to attend daycare.  It is only part-time. Why do I feel like a part-time parent?

My husband is getting emails from me regarding where he can pick up the photo I had printed for Isaiah’s class.  I invited him to view my calendar so that we can also sync.  We are thinking about having a weekly morning coffee date to discuss…whatever the hell we want to when we are not running around like a team of two people out numbered by three children.

Paul has even changed his schedule so that he can be there to pick up our boys at school and help out on days when I work from home.

This week has left my family a cranky, whiny, exhausted mess.

Why, in the name of all things educated, did I need to make things so complicated with my career, my continued education, my roller derby and my friends.

There it is.  There is the millstone around my neck.

Mommy guilt.

The internal belief that I, as the best mother in the world, am responsible for fixing, making right, soothing and coaxing the Pleasantville life I used to see on T.V. for my family.  If my children throw temper tantrums, it must be as a result of my lack of parental focus.  If my husband, can’t find the ketchup, well darn it if I forgot to organize the pantry.  If my mother-in-law shops for our school supplies, it is because I am too busy after partying with the Vixens.

Well that part might be true. :)

Do you know what I remember about the time my mother put herself through college and graduated with a degree after my father died?  I don’t recall substandard meals, missed appointments or her general disorganization.  I can’t remember one spinning plate crashing to the ground even though, I am sure it must have happened.

I boast about the kind of woman who raised me while pursuing that degree.  I am proud.

I have a feeling that in the next 16 weeks and perhaps for the several semesters that follow, I will need to remind myself that I do not have to manage it all to be successful.  I need to remember that my children benefit from my role modeling and the lifestyle I provide for them.  I need to be reminded that their behavior is the result of years of loving discipline and not a few hours I spend away after bedtime.  I may need to be reminded that my children volunteer, do yoga, attend bouts, ride motorcycles and know many trusted and loving adults that are the village I have chosen.

Most importantly, I need to push my monster mommy ego out of my own way.  My family’s life does not need to revolve around me.  I am not at the center of the universe nor am I controlling its balance.  We are a family.  Just like I sacrifice so that I can afford Karate classes my children will more than likely quit before the Olympics, they will sacrifice by reading quietly so mommy can study sometimes.

This week has been difficult.  Sacrifice is difficult.  Seeing those ends you hold together come apart is a humbling experience.  Recognizing that your lifestyle of love, peace and grace has made it possible to stretch those ends through loved ones is humbling.

We can all consider this the first lesson of the semester.

I wonder if my children will ever cease being my greatest teachers. 

Enjoy your weekend,

Tashmica

 

 

We May Have A Tie

Ok.

So yesterday, I reported to all of you that I won Christmas.

While this is mostly true from my perspective, there is definitely more to the story.  As I said before, Paul is the undefeated champion of all gift bearing holidays.  He was not going to go down with out a fight.  And fight he did.

He used that spreadsheet, counted stars and came up with some crazy good gifts.  He told me in advance that one was sure to make me cry.  I started to doubt him when he admitted he forgot to get me any stocking stuffers.

What?  No chocolate?  No Biggby giftcard?  No winter socks?  I have come to expect certain stocking privileges.

In response to my obvious disenchantment with an empty stocking, he changed his tune and put one of my gifts in there along with a school gift from Isaac.

One gift was beautifully wrapped.  It could have been a tiara.  I tried to shake it.  Paul wouldn’t let me.

Harumph.

I had to wait.  I tried to wait.  To prolong the inevitable goodness.  I love gifts and I love surprises.

Christmas is my day.

Well, actually it’s Jesus’s day but let’s try to focus on my story, shall we?

I was certain the pretty box was going to be the winner.  Nope.  It was a tea kettle for my latest addiction to tea.

Really.  According to a friend,

“Tea is a gift to your body.”

I am a new part-time convert.  I still love my coffee. It is brewing now.

Anywho, the kids all hand painted the sweetest pottery.  A heart-shaped platter made complete with a face complimented by wild Emo hair.  It made me giggle.  I have been drinking and eating out of a cup hand painted by my Vito every day since Christmas.  Isaiah painted a snowman that is sitting on my kitchen counter that I imagine will be brought with the Christmas decorations every year.

The boys picked out purple slippers in the UGGs Style.

Do you see what I am doing here?  So much suspense!!  I nearly died.

Wait for it though.  This is gonna be worth it.

Finally, I opened the big box.  I waited as long as I could but finally the boys forced it upon me.

It’s just an amazing Zuca bag.  The bag of all skate bags for my derby.  I immediately  packed it.  Practice is only one week away.  I need to be prepared.

Okay.  Are you ready?

I was allowed to get my stocking before nap time.  Mostly because I am a grown up and mostly because I was dying to know what was going to make me cry more than my beautiful Zuca bag.

Yes, this 31-year-old woman has been stating that she might want to go back to school eventually.  There was never a concrete plan, enough time, enough energy or enough money.  So far, eventualities seem to be failing me.  Apparently, someone wanted to put his money where my mouth was.

Nice move. *sob*

We may have a tie.

Sincerely,

Tashmica

PS – Don’t forget to “like” The Mother Flippin Fan Page!  I will be posting pics of my handmade pottery there.  I am a lucky momma. :)