I love this. Seventy times seven. It could be any number realistically if you are not into spirituality and all that. I mean it can be just as effective by saying eighty times eight. In fact, you could even say Buddha times ten. It’s all relative in the grand scheme of things.
For all the big private school religion I received and my boys, I never heard seventy times seven other than in Math class. It is pretty powerful if you think about it. It just puts some real big issues into a more comical way of looking at things. It might be really sacrilegious but I kind of look at it as seventy times seven just sort of means have a ton of compassion, forgive immensely, F*it and move on.
Seventy times seven and a million more times. That’s right folks. No amount of harboring the pain and Target store panic attacking will change the bull crap. It won’t matter how many times seventy times seven you plead your case or fight your cause. If one times one didn’t get it done, seventy times seven won’t either. Sometimes you have to approach it as going in at zero and coming out at a negative five hundred.
There is real purpose here. I promise. It’s called forgiveness without the actual forgiving part. Sometimes you just cannot forgive. Sometimes you just have so much pain that the anger rips through your blood like a toxin that will never go away. It’s about acceptance because no amount of forgiveness will change it.
Forgiveness isn’t about thinking they will come to your rescue. Forgiveness isn’t about being repaired, stitched up and not having a scar. The scar remains.
F O R E VE R.
That is just how it goes. Stop giving the power to the people and give it to yourself. There is a fine line between forgiveness and feeling peace. They are not one in the same. Choosing to forgive doesn’t release you from feeling angry. Forgiveness doesn’t remove the emotion of anger for anger cannot realize what happened is now part of the past.
Anger is simply refusing to allow you to heal. You fear letting go of the anger because it will force you to be someone else once the wound closes up. The scar remains. We get it. You want your old skin back. But it is never going to happen. You are forever scarred. No amount of anger is ever going to fix that. Ever.
So forgive, because it is the only way to clean up the destruction. They are not doing it. Forgiving does not necessarily mean you will have a future together or ever fully make amends. Forgiveness does not mean you are laying down and accepting what they did to you. Forgiveness means you are finally done waiting for the person(s) who broke you to put you back together. It is your job to heal you, not theirs.
Forgiveness is about moving forward. Seventy times seven and again and again to infinity and back, forgive and let go. You are scarred and that is your new path now. Start a new journey and become who you are meant to be…in your new skin, with all your scars. All seventy times seven of them.
Happy New Year! Goals started and failed and re-evaluated and started again and then dropped and left for 2017. It happens. Always. Every year. The one constant.
Yet for the boys they hold a very literal and special meaning to the idea of a “do over”. This year was all about their academic goals and being their personal best. As mother, I’m all in!
So, because I fear of the Italian Moliok and superstition of not consuming a pig and fermented cabbage on New Years Day would bring gloom and doom to Camp P, I ventured off bright and early on 1-1-2016 to gather up a piggy and some kraut. If I’m gonna do this, ingest this delicacy and force it onto my kids, I’m at least gonna do it in better quality format.
Whole Foods surely must sell and offer up a cleaner pig? Surely organic sauerkraut would taste better than the Eagles nest pouch of slop. So I decide to leave the boys home alone while I run to the grocer. Ten minutes into the ride and with only freeway cement between them and myself, I freak out.
Source: yahoo images.
I rethink my whole leaving 3 boys alone and no amount of pork or sauerkraut can change my luck. But I proceed on after calling them 3 times and forcing them to stay on speaker phone with my parents who I remind you are 35 minutes away by car. Yet, I guess we would know if the $h*ts gonna hit the fan even if we can’t help.
Anyways, I try to select the best piece of pig $26.99 a pound can buy us and after a stressful attempt to walk away from the garbage, I make my purchase.
The kids survived their Home Alone event and as far as I know there aren’t any burglars having a fake shotgun tear up their minds. I survive the whole ordeal of coming to terms I have to prepare up a pig for health, wealth, prosperity and whatever else legend says.
Now I have to get the boys on board. So naturally I add some white wine to…I don’t know maybe tenderize the meat? Umm no, because wine makes everything fine. And then viola! Piggy on some kraut. I tell the boys it’s a must and put the fear of the Italian superstition wrath into their minds. I also explain their goals won’t be met if they don’t at least try a little. Because working hard for success isn’t enough anymore, we have to eat pig flesh and soiled cabbage to succeed in 2016.
They hold their noses, take a deep Ujjayi breath and bite, chew and swallow. Instant luck for the next 365 days!
Source: yahoo images
So fast forward to February when typically most people, including myself, damn you Starbucks, lose sight of their resolutions. Well not the 3 P’s. Report cards came and the results were as follows:
Peeno – all M’s or E’s with +’s. Or whatever alpha character was assigned to denote above average or excellent or emerging. It’s kindergarten and you know that crazy alpha numeric point system you need a masters degree to figure out. All I need to know is will he be able to read and can I assign him chores?
Noochie – straight A’s oh except for Religion at a B+. So close little fella. He has since spent every night in 3rd Quarter having a one on one with the big guy up above.
Nickelbass – WTF?!? All A’s and B’s. My boy who worked so hard and all the pork and cabbage in the world could not make him perform how he did. This kid worked so incredibly hard and busted his a$$ to achieve the marks he did! Amen to that!
So upon further review and 3 sets of eyes waiting for my reaction to their report cards, I literally jump for joy. I go into the whole Vince Lombardi of what it takes to succeed speech, how incredibly proud I am and always go the extra mile because it’s never crowded talk. They are delighted. I am delighted. And then Peeno chimes in.”Well you know mommy, thank goodness you forced us to eat that sour crouch, because now we became smart!”
Eh! However they want to relate my fear of superstition to, well then, God Bless. They became smart and we don’t have to eat pork and kraut until 2017! And when in doubt my friends, eat the sour crouch!
Awe F*^k goes the too smart for his bridges first grader. And the teacher giggles. But she can’t let the F-bomb drop and dissipate without consequence.
So she summons my then first grader to the podium where she frantically taught art skills to rambunctious little tikes. Perfectionism can be a curse when the tissue paper flower gets saturated with just a wee bit too much Elmer’s.
For my little Nooch is just that, a class-A perfectionist. Don’t start talking about how apples don’t fall far from trees now either.
It was what it was that Spring Day in May. Imperfect. He tried so hard to apply just the right amount of glue to his perfect tissue paper flower to make the perfect Mother’s Day Card. It was cut perfectly with perfect little bubble letters adorned in every color of the rainbow including the pastel palette, bright palette, spring glitter palate and classic color palette. I mean it’s not Crayola if wide tip washable markers don’t come in 50 shades of the original eight.
But it was all perfect and colorful until the glue runneth over and melted the tissue paper flower and made 50 shades of Crayola bleed all over his perfect Mother’s Day poem. He went from Roses are red, light red, deep red, off red to violets are blue, green and with yellow marble hue to what the f*^k is up with this glue.
So the teacher offers him an option. She could penalize him for dropping the F-bomb or leave it up to mom. Now naturally to some, leaving it up to mom might be the harsher of the sentence, while a 63 year old grandmother of 24 might impose the more lenient of penalties. But instead, as a perfectionist has to make the perfect decision, he tells his teacher he needs to think about it.
She is astounded. My what big bridges you have there little fellow. For you just dropped the F Bomb in class and you are telling me you need a moment to think about who will implement your punishment. Yet, she is laughing hysterically on the inside.
She sends me an email followed by a voice message with a giggle in her tone, about the events of the day. She further proceeds to indicate, that after several minutes, a pro and con list and summoning of a few fist grade colleagues, Noochie has decided to allow his mother to administer the punishment.
So as I learn of the daily news and think long and hard as to what would be the appropriate consequence, I accept and relay I will report back tomorrow with his penance.
Later that evening after I’m sure he squirmed all through after school snack, homework, dinner, and baseball practice, I mention to the little guy we need to have a talk.
Instantaneously, I am sure he had visions of a trip to Bath and Body Works. Perhaps they may have bubble gum flavored soap.
“Well my son, I appreciate you wanting to make the perfect Mother’s Day Card for me. I’m sorry the glue took on a mind if it’s own and wouldn’t stop flowing from its BPA laden bottle, but you have to have a sense of self control with your words. Plus curse words, in English, Italian or any other language for that matter must be refrained from,” I declare!
He is just kinda nodding his head, taking it all in and then says, “It’s gonna be fine.” Little dude. It’s not fine my man, you can’t drop F-Bombs.
I proceed to ask how he can be so nonchalant about using this language and he replies, “It’s gonna be fine. I’ve heard and know so because nationwilder is on my side. And if nationwilder, like the whole wide nation is on my side, then mommy it’s gonna be fine!”
Well, there you have it my friends, you can take the F out of the Bomb but you can’t take the bomb out of the kid. Or something like that. And I guess, when you feel like you are down and out, you’ll always have nationwilder on your side. Unless you are my offspring. We use another four letter word to protect us, it starts in E and ends in e.
So the three little monkeys of mine now have swimming lessons. All in one place and for a half an hour every week. For thirty minutes I sit calmly and safely. I sit there and zone out from time to time while cannon balls shatter in the distance. I nod my head every once in a while to acknowledge a water tread, back float or half attempt at a dive. I nod away, they think I’m watching.
Sometimes if I get really animated I yell out, “Great job boys, keep it up.” I feel so free. I know there will be no Sharpie’s upon my walls or gallons of milk dripping from the counters. I know no child has clogged a toilet with a toy screwdriver which would later lead to its demise and removal. I know nobody is putting special bubbly in mommy’s contact case. I know no child is breaking and entering a neighbor’s home for chips in their pantry. I am at peace.
Why in the world didn’t I come up with this sooner? Why? This is the calmest thirty minutes I get each week. I do not care if the instructors pass them. I will pay anything to keep them learning water survival tactics. You’ll see, by the time they are 20, 15 and 13, we will have Olympic hopefuls in the making. I am a perfectionist and I believe, in order to achieve, we must practice, practice, practice. Ah, Namaste.
So by the time Peeno gets out of the pool and I wipe him dry, Noochie is getting out. Then Nickelbass finishes up his last belly flop from the high dive. Now I have regrouped, recharged and didn’t even need alcohol. But as we all know, all good things must come to an end. Now when your children are escorted out of the pool by their instructor, you dry them off and they put their shoes on, you expect them to make their way towards the exit sign. There should be no need to have your guard up or your mommy defense in overdrive. Nobody is getting back into the pool.
But yesterday when I was gathering my belongings, because somehow we always leave with more articles of clothing than we came in with, little Noochie decides to conduct a test. Yes, quite similar to the Emergency Broadcast System. Where it gets your attention until you hear, “This is only a test”. Well I guess over the thirty minutes while I was meditating, when I thought little Noochie was working hard at his breast stroke, he was eyeing up the Lifeguards.
Not in the ‘dude scoping out the chicks’ kind of way, but as in, ‘are they really paying attention kind of way’. Oh yes, you guessed it. He “accidentally” falls in. Of course they do nothing. I hurdle the swim team members, resin chairs and water-logged noodles and practically jump in after him. He says, “Mommy just calm down. I got this.” Then he swims to the ladder and in Baywatch fashion climbs out. I am all like in fight or flight mode and this little $h*t walks up to the Lifeguard and goes,”Hey, I just fell in the pool and you weren’t even paying attention.” I wanted to crack him upside his head. Yet, at the same time, he did have a point. Well at least he proved a point, which is exactly what he set out to do.
The Lifeguards are all apologizing to him, a five-year old, and I was still without words due to a potential drowning shock. But last night as I lay in bed with fury critters (more on that to come) I thought to myself, what a sly little guy. He is five and while he was challenging his instructor to push his limits and watching me to make sure I didn’t miss a stroke, he was also eyeing up the fact that the Lifeguards were not life guarding. The fact that teenagers were shaking in their swimmers for fear of job loss as a result of a five-year old’s test, just awed me.
Last year on vacation, when a stranger said to her sister, “That boy. That boy right there is gonna be somebody. He just has that look about him.” Well, she was talking about Noochie. I guess she was on to something. I hope I survive to see his triumphs.
What recent scare did you almost ___________ your pants from? What about you LifeGuards? Do you pay less attention when parents are around?
Some people decided to drink their St. Patty’s Day away. Others suddenly turned Irish for a day. Some looked to the leprachauns for luck and inspiration. I went broke on my three little clovers. I decided to forego the festivities and spend the day with my little men. We had a great day filled with a mommy workout, a free lunch due to their creative coloring artwork submissions to a local cafe, boys haircuts super pimped out style, a trip to the grocer and an all hands on deck homemade dinner. It was the “Patty’s Day of Perfection”. Well almost.
After it took more of a workout to get out the door Sunday morning to get the kids to my gym than my actual workout, I got dooped by the gym childcare center. Apparently somewhere between a gym name change and last Saturday they now require a key card pass to check the kids into the kiddie zone at the gym. I’m sorry but I seem to have missed that memo. It required all this paperwork, new credit card on file, blood type, shoe size, a photo ID of me with the kids, me separately and then each kid separately. By the time I checked into the workout class they were already 3 towels of sweat into their groove and by the time I busted my first bead, class dismissed. Huh?
Then off we went to gather our free brunch courtesy of childhood doodles. As they each cashed in their lucky leprechaun coloring pics, I was standing in between them and the mob of drunks from the local college who needed a quick carb fix before round two of their Guinness frenzy. Yikes. When you tell children some people just act silly on St. Patty’s day and they look at you with a questionable gleam in their eyes, do know they know. Anyways, we carried on through our brunch while I distracted them by spilling Vitamin Water all over my lap. Oh boys, time to go, mommy made a mess.
Luckily it was a “National Holiday” or something observed for all things Irish and nobody was getting their haircut on a Sunday afternoon. Most people don’t down 10 pints of Guinness and crave a haircut. Most people. So we had the whole place to ourselves. Now let me tell you these boys got the royal sports spa deluxe treatment for free. I’m talking haircut, scalp massage, wash, wax, dry, finish, hot towel facial wrap and neck and shoulder massage. They definitely got the MVP VIP upgrade. I can only imagine how they talked their way into this one.
When I went to the ladies room I didn’t expect to come out and see the three amigos getting massages and wrapped in towels. But I do know what I will do the next time they are getting too wild and crazy. I will institute the mommy hot towel wrap massage session. They were so quiet. I totally would have paid extra for this service and I even inquired how I can pay in advance to secure this MVP VIP treatment in the future. I actually read six uninterrupted pages of my book I downloaded last August. Count them. Six. Six whole pages.
Now with nothing but time and booze free fun ahead of us, we headed to the grocer for a few things. The kids begged and pleaded for each of them to have their own cart. Peeno had a mini me and Noochie and Nickelbass got the express shopper dual basket cart. So we were off. Mama duck and her three little ducklings cruising from aisle to aisle. Now when there is one cart and eight hands, I can usually put things back onto the shelves (a few aisles away of course – and I do apologize in advance for messing up the store). But when there are four carts and three sets of grabby hands, I cannot be responsible for what happens.
So, as they were unloading their carts and I was desperately trying to open a fruit stick for Peeno before he had a major meltdown, the cashier was scanning and scanning and scanning. It wasn’t until my oldest asked, “Umm Mommy, do you have money? Like a lot?” I immediately threw down the fruit stick, well, tried to shake the sticky thing, and peered up at the running total. $170.00 and still scanning. Then the cashier pages Customer Service Baggage Help. Oh no that could never be a good sign. So when all was said and done I had to hand over a card because cash wouldn’t cut it as my total was $182.13. Cha-ching! Now mind you I had just gone grocery shopping three days earlier.
When we got home and I began to unload the groceries, these are some of the items we now have in stock. Two pineapples, a cantaloupe, cherry tomatoes, tomatoes on the vine, hydroponic tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, potatoes in every family to include Idaho, Yukon, Red, Sweet and Yam. We also have every variety of Kids Cliff bars in triples. Three mega size shower gels, deodorant for a five-year old, protein powder for a nine-year old, bananas, more bananas, another pineapple, almond bites, ice cream sandwiches, 4 pints of ice cream and frozen pizza in plain, BBQ chicken, Greek, pepperoni and sausage. We also have sesame sticks, trail mix in everywhere color of the rainbow and I no longer have a pot o’ gold.
But we learned about economics and bartering. We learned that sometimes it takes 4 bags of coffee to get the grinder to explode work and grind the beans. We learned that our grocer has a baggage help person on staff. We learned that coupons are pointless when it comes to keeping hands from getting stuck on a conveyor belt. We learned that mommy cannot just whip out a card when the green stuff runs low. We learned teamwork and most importantly we learned that spending time together, no matter what the cost, is worth it. Even if after $182.13 and my bags didn’t even include mommy juice wine.
After the initial shock of cost and the full stocked pantry, we were able to use our ingredients to prepare a delicious dinner. Like all hands in the cart, we had all hands in the Sunday dinner food prep. It was lovely and if I had to do it again, I wouldn’t get a sitter for two hours at $10.00 bucks a pop for a quiet budget wise trip. Sometimes the most unplanned and out of budget mishaps turn into the best adventures.
So parents, do you bring your children to the grocer? Do you leave them at home with a sitter? What did you do back in the day?
I had this bright idea about three weeks ago for Friday family movie night. I figured I’d light a fire, make some organic popcorn via stove top and put in E.T. It was PG right and the 1980’s were such an innocent time. For instance, I only had to fast forward a few times during the opening scene when the junior high boys and their little siblings were playing poker and smoking cigarettes. It’s all good. Oh and just one other time when one of the characters was calling Elliot “penis breathe.” Such a different time back then. Take note I am still not explaining what “penis breathe” is and oh my goodness the cigarettes and second-hand smoke, what is that they ask? Fast forward. Fast forward. Fast forward.
Well I might have dodged a few bullets and left Google to curious minds (insert website parental block) but I cannot escape from E.T. I cannot escape from the fact that for three weeks E.T. has caused me 21 sleepless nights. The fact that the slimy little alien resides in my three-year olds closet and now he refuses to sleep in his room or own bed. The fact that E.T. will not go home. He has traumatized my parental guidance well-being as well as my three-year old.
Whose fancy idea was it again to watch this during family movie night? Never, ever assume PG in the 1980’s is equivalent to a negative G un-squared rating in the millenia. Just because our parents exposed us to such horror in extra terrestrial beings, fury hairball Gremlins and homes in Amityville does not mean we should be quick to assume these viewings as 1980’s young-ins were safe and in our best interests as children. Perspectives change big time in 30 years. Imaginations are now technologically stimulated. “Penis breathe” is disgusting and microwaves and fury animals should never coincide. I should have researched a 1980’s PG rating. I mean it would have told me rated as such for language and mild thematic elements. Never assume, mommy. Never assume!
Plus as a mother of three boys, it is bad enough I have enough masculine energy in my home to last me a lifetime. I don’t need to stimulate the thoughts of little boys or need fake aliens harassing me. I would be horrified if my son’s kindergarten teacher called me because my little Noochie was in the principal’s office for calling a fellow kindergartener a “penis breathe.” Oh and the thought of my little dog being a test pilot for a Gremlins retake in my stainless steel microwave just sends chills up my spine. Do not give my boys any more ideas. And E.T., please phone your mother and go home already! You are driving me nuts!
Well, last night just like clockwork, little Peeno ventured into our bedroom teary-eyed and horrified. E.T. was screaming and giggling in his closet. As usual, the response was, “E.T. IS NOT REAL! Go to sleep!” Then in the morning little Peeno ran out again in tears because I left him alone in my king size bed and E.T. could have escaped from his closet and taken him. I can’t win. Plus my five-year old chimes in, “So, mommy, is E.T. then fictional or nonfictional?” I literally spit out my coffee laughing. He is so academically literal and if I answered, “He’s not real,” I would have been given a literary lecture. So I answered, “He is fictional. Now please eat your breakfast.”
Now given that my children run circles around me from sun up to sun down and I have no time for searching for E.T., I probably would never have gotten to the bottom of the horror in his closet. But since my hubby is a kid at heart, if you will, he went on an all out search for E.T. with the boys. If I ever credit this man for his childlike behavior, it will be for the finding of E.T.
So while they were on an alien hunt I was getting ready for work, packing lunches, doing laundry, woofing down breakfast and getting ready to make my bed. You know, big kid things. Then there on my bed was an article of clothing and a few accessories that I haven’t seen or touched in many years. It was my wedding slip, veil and tiara head-piece. I come running out to the kitchen where the alien hunt meeting was taking place and start frantically asking who touched this and why is it on my bed and flipping out of sorts. My husband looks at me and says, “Do you want to get to the bottom of the E.T. debacle or what?”
I sure do but not at the expense of my time and secretly hidden garments from the boys. There are certain things that are just off-limits and I purposely hid them in the closet so nobody will touch them. As all eyes are looking at me while I’m holding the garments and accessories, their gazes became blinding. In that moment of darkness I realized I was holding E.T. and I hid him in the closet. Oh my heavens. So, now that I just freaked out on everybody I looked at them and sure enough, my husband says, “THAT, what you are holding, is E.T.” E.T. was hiding in Peeno’s closet after all. In fact the more I looked at it, I could see the slimy alien dressed in a wig and tiara hiding in the closet. I just had a major mommy failure.
Can You See The Resemblance?
So the moral of the situation goes if your three-year old says E.T. is in his closet, he probably is. If more often than not your husband acts like a child, it may just save the day. For as a grown, mature adult, I never would have taken up the hunt for E.T. Like my five-year old, we are too literal. For in our minds E.T. is fictional. It’s black or white and everyone should grasp this concept in my family.
But in the future I will get down like GI-Joe ready to turn into The Hulk if need be to find the 1980’s or equivalent creatures that lurk in the closets of little boys. Now that E.T. is in my closet, I should get a complete night of sleep. Until next time when they stumble upon the clawed pinstripe sweater man, Freddy. Oh and if you sometimes question your sanity, blame it on the movies we were exposed to in the 80’s. It’s all Spielberg’s and the likes fault.
Damn straight Skippy. Don’t think you’re getting away with that broken giraffe figurine lying in pieces under the ottoman. Oh and those candy wrappers neatly tucked in between the couch cushions, I got your number. How about that homework assignment from last weekend you were supposed to complete. You think crumbled in the corner of the pantry behind the paper towels and drink boxes is a conspicuous enough place that it will not be found? Oh boys, you have no clue.
I know all the tricks, all the treats and how to break all the rules. The only difference between mommy and you, boys, is that I never got caught. So wisen up or your busted!
My little guys turn into tornadoes the minute the shower water sputters out its first drop. It’s like a free for all for 11 minutes or so. It is amazing what damage they can do while I breathe in and breathe out as the steam invigorates my mommy senses. Little do they know I have become the woman who hears things the minute I get into the shower.
For example, just the other day while I was on my second lather up I could feel them entering the attic. Something about that muffled sound of creaking wood while the water poured to the shower floor. I was still half soaped up and ran out of the shower and sure enough, the attic door was abruptly closing. Even though they all magically appeared on the sofa singing to Little Einsteins, I knew by their shortness of breathe, they had ventured into off-limits territory.
So boys, take note. Just as your littlest brother has and fearfully admitted to me yesterday, “Mommy’s got Yoda ears.” You have a lot to learn while I’m in the shower young Jedi’s!