Sunday, September 23, 2012

This is not good-bye...

It's been a long time coming.

More than three years ago my life was changed for the better by a tiny little plus sign on a test.  During my Claire pregnancy I was working for a law firm that was run by a pile of worthless jerks.  So, when I went on bed rest, they fired me.  "It's not that you aren't a good attorney," they said.  "We think you're great!  It's just that you're pregnant."  ".........(silence)" I said, in response.  We referred to it as medical leave for all intents and purposes, but what had really happened was that they were too stupid to run a successful law firm, but they were smart enough to know that there is this tiny little loophole when it comes to firing pregnant chicks just because they're pregnant.  It says they have to have more than a handful of employees.  They didn't.  I used to be really angry about the whole situation, but now I'm really grateful.  Sadly, the firm closed shortly after they let me go...coincidence? 

So, I went on bed rest and unemployment.  It sucked.  Shortly thereafter I found a great job teaching online.  I just spent the last 2+ years of my life staying home with my babies.  I won't lie, it hasn't been sunshine and roses the whole time.

Now, on the eve of my re-entry into the working world outside my home I am full of emotions.

I'm excited.  I have a big kid corporate job now.  I get to wear all those suits and heels that have been taking up space in my closet. I'll be retiring my yoga pants and using them only for their intended purpose(yoga, not trips to Target, who knew?).

I'm scared.  What if they don't like me?  What if I miss my train?  What if I totally suck at this job?  Clearly this portion is just me being irrational and dramatic.

I'm happy.  I am really looking forward to getting back out there and working with other adults.

Mostly, though, I'm sad.  I am going to miss my daughters so much I can hardly type this through tears.  Tonight I rocked Zora to sleep and told her we would still be best friends.  I kissed Claire on the head and her tiny plea for "more kisses, Mommy," were enough to rip my heart right out.  I'm so sad that I won't be the one picking Claire up to hear about her day at school.  She's always so excited to sing her new songs with me and if I don't sing it correctly she says, "no mommy! No singing!"  I'm sad that when Zora wakes up from her nap, it won't be me that scoops her up and cuddles her while she stretches her little chubby legs.  I'm sad that they probably won't remember these years that I spent at home with them.

These feelings are countered by my knowledge that I am showing them with my actions and not just my words that they can do and be anything.  That they must work hard and that it won't always be easy and fun.  Now, I'm not saying that you, as a mom or dad, can't show your children the same thing through staying home, I'm saying that for me, this is how I am showing my children. 

So, through the tears, I'm taking this first step towards my goals.  But, I know that every step I take tomorrow will be with my girls in my heart.  They are my biggest motivation to achieve my own goals so that I can help them achieve their own, someday. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Dear Claire and Zora,

At the risk of sounding like a country song, I wanted to share with you a few of my hopes and wishes for my daughters.  I've been thinking about this a lot lately.  So, what better place to get it out of my head!

These are mostly just moments when I say to myself, "Man, I really hope Claire and Zora don't do _____."

Here goes:

I hope I don't impose my dislike for things on them.  I didn't like cilantro.  I had the idea that it was gross.  I told people that I didn't like cilantro.  Then I actually ate something with cilantro in it and now I love it.  Can't get enough cilantro.  I didn't like it because a member of my family who shall remain nameless said she didn't like it.  It turns out that she does like it and her dislike of it was based on someone else's dislike of it.  See how this happens people?  I also love brussel sprouts.

I hope that they stand up for others.  Yesterday I was talking with the BFF about my mistrust of Vienna sausages.  They just freak me out.  They might be delicious but they're so off-putting with their gelatinous goo and paleness.  Plus there was a girl that I went to elementary school with who ate them at lunch.  She was overweight as a child and through high school.  People made fun of her.  In hindsight it was awful.  The only thing I know about this girl is what she looked like and what she ate at lunch.  I regret that.  I hope my children don't have the same regrets. 

I hope they never equate self-worth with appearance.  I've talked about this a lot in this blog.  But it might be one of my sincerest hopes.  This country is out of hand.  Little girls don't dress like little girls anymore.  They dress like trussed up ponies to be put on parade.  We are robbing them of a time in their lives when they shouldn't be worrying about being pretty or what brand their jeans are.  I have to say, and I apologize if you're included in this but it has to be said, I was sickened by some of the back-to-school outfits I saw on my Facebook feed.  Why parents?  Why are you dressing your child in something strapless?  Why are you putting them in something that has spaghetti straps so that I, and the rest of FB, can see at least one of your precious daughter's nipples. (I wish I was joking on this one)  Damn it I know tiny versions of grown-up clothes are cute.  But so are pandas and they'll attack the shit out of you given the opportunity.  My point?  Just because it's "cute" doesn't mean it's appropriate.  Why do we have to make our girls look so "sassy" all the time?  Can't they just look like little girls?  Put them in something that they can run and climb and jump in.  What's that you say?  Your daughter picks her own clothes and you can't do anything about it?  Ah, you're right...oh, wait, nope you're the parent.  And seriously, if I see another sassy/sexy pout on a little girl, I'm going to lose my mind.  Sick.

I hope they don't run for student council.  Weird, right?  I think student council is awful.  It's purely a popularity contest.  Maybe things have changed, but at my school that's all it was.  The winners weren't selected because they were good at something(I'm sure they all were but that's not why they were chosen).  They didn't really even do anything for the students. I think they just got to get out of school every once in awhile.  They certainly weren't out there advocating for a cause.  Frankly, some of them weren't even that nice.  Thankfully, later in life, popularity stops being a measure of worth, unless you're running for office.  I hope they don't do that either, honestly.

I hope they choose their affiliations based on their own ideas.  I don't want my girls to pick a side because Rob and I are on it, whether it be politics, religion, or otherwise.  I want them to go out and explore their world and then make their choices based on that exploration.

I hope that they are bold.  My sister and I suffer from an affliction.  We blame our mother.  Yes, mom, we blame you.  We are really weird about calling people.  Not friends or family but anything else, we get anxiety.  My mom was the same way and that's where we get it.  (No, you didn't do it on purpose mom, yes, we love you)  For instance, calling and ordering pizza.  This was a task that was delegated to us at an early age because Mom just didn't want to do.  I think it's her middle child-ness.  Now, as an adult, I cringe when I need to call a student, the Chinese place we order from, my insurance company, or anyone at all.  I just don't want to do it.  I get that weird topsy-turvy feeling in my tummy.  I think it's a form of social anxiety, but only as it relates to phones.  At any rate, I'm not handing this one down to my children.

I hope they do not procrastinate.  When I was in school I put things off until the last minute.  It was silly and pointless and generally made me more stressed and more tired.  Now, as an adult, I am much better with my time.  I know kids have to learn things the hard way, but this lesson, I just want them to skip.

I think I'll end my list there for now and maybe continue it in a later blog.  To be continued...right Sarah?

Well, Claire is officially television obsessed again.  She cries and melts when she doesn't get her daily dose of Mickey Mouse.  It's an addiction and we're about to have an intervention...with Daddy.  Like the sucker that he is, he gives in.  Last night I came home from the gym to find my children eating pancakes for dinner (eh-hem) and glued to The Letter Factory.  I like this particular factory, but Claire had already gotten to watch her one episode of Super Why so she was supposed to be on TV hiatus.  I think we may need to go cold turkey again.  I'll keep you posted.  I smell mutiny.