Let your soul be wild and free my little one

I have pondered the nature vs nurture debate quite often when it comes to my anxiety. It always seemed that nurture would win in the cause category until recently. If I were to make a list of MY anxiety, it may still beat out another hypothesis as the root cause, but I am learning, in the parenting game, things are not always what they seem. I know one thing for certain. Someone without anxiety cannot understand another person trying to explain the reasons why and how to them, which make dealing with it quite lonely at times.

I contributed most of my anxiety issues to my grandmother. I learned as an adult, due to multiple tragedies in her life she had much to be anxious about. But when I stayed with her a lot growing up I didn’t understand that. As my anxiety began to take hold, I thought it must be because I was exposed to hers so much. Then I learned my daddy has it too, which would make sense. Except, except I never knew growing up my Daddy had anxiety.?

Now I see my seven year old experience it. She has exhibited signs since a young age and it manifest in different ways. But, I make a very contentious effort NOT to expose her to my anxiety. So much so that I have other family members help rationalize situations for me so I do not let it get the best of me. Believe me, I’ve come a long way since she was an infant! But to see her with it breaks my heart because I know how she feels. Could it be a manipulation at times? Sure, I am aware of that, just as I am aware of what true anxiety looks like on the face of my seven year old.

My husband, as great as he is, is not someone who understands. Oh sure, he understands my anxiety for the super Center and that look I get when I am about to melt down. But he doesn’t understand this gut wrenching, deep breathing anxiety. The kind that has kept me up all night to write this at 4:15 a.m

I only hope she can hold on to the parts of her soul that are wild and carefree. The parts that laugh at everything with a giggle that can warm the coldest of souls. The wander I see in her eyes as she studies something with her mind working on how it may operate. I want her to hold onto the part that operates on stuffed animals with ketchup and gloves and leave the heavy burden of anxiety to me. I’m her mama, her keeper, I can carry the load for us both.


Of course, dreams come true my dear child

As we were taking a bath tonight, I made the water turn purple and the penguin giggled with delight as she said, “Mama! You’ve made all my dreams come true!” For a brief moment I thought not only was this a bit dramatic, for which I smiled because that’s ‘all me’, but also I thought how I wish it would always be that simple. But then she paused and looked up with my blue eyes and asked, “do your dreams always come true mama?” There was no hesitation as I smiled back and said “of course they do my Penguin “. 

The world is not always nice and she will learn on her own sooner than I would like. As long as I can, I will make her dreams come true and more importantly, I will continue to teach her that her dreams will come true.

Turtles & Sewer Pipes, not the kind named after artist

Really, this is a typical morning for us. I truly cannot make this up. My precious Penguin has my active mind that just goes and goes, and this is what she came up with the other morning after using the restroom.

I’m standing in front of the mirror brushing Penelope’s nest on my head as she comes over and we begin this conversation:

P: I figured it out

SB: Figured what out?

P: Where all the water goes when you flush the toilet.

I give a confused look her way….

P: It goes down the drain into the pipes down below where the turtles are.

 So, in my mind I’m thinkin ninja turtles. I don’t mention this thought, I just assume she saw it on tv or talked about it on the playground.

SB: The turtles?

P: Yes, and the wipes you flush too.

SB: Very confused now…What do the turtles do with the wipes?

P: The people that sell them get them out. They get the wipes off of the turtles 

Realizing we have passed Donatello and the pizza at this point..

SB: There is a turtle store down there?

P: Yes, the turtle store is there. And when you go buy them they make sure the wipes aren’t there.

SB: Okay. Smiling on the inside because I just had a conversation with myself. 

We quickly switch stations, keep up!

P: Wow, the sandman visited this eye last night!



My Holiday OCD is having to be tamed

I understand this might not make sense to some. I also understand some people probably don’t see me as having any OCD tendencies seeing the way I live now, with the laundry in piles and all, and I get that. However, those of you that are skeptics would be interested to find I have quite a few quirks that I’m sure a psychologist would love to figure out. Most of these I do keep within some type of ‘control’, or I had to adapt to having a penguin almost seven years ago. 

One of the biggest ones has been my holiday OCD issue. Before the penguin was born, I had holiday rules that had to be followed or my mind would just explode. Not just your run of the mill don’t-put-Christmas-out-before Thanksgiving issue either. There were no clothes to be worn except for that holiday, no movies to be watched, no food to be ate. One did not watch “Charlie Brown The Great Pumpkin” outside of the month of October, or occasionally the network would throw me off course and save it for November. All of the sacred Christmas movies were saved for December only! 

Then the penguin was born. As she got old enough to watch movies, one of her favorite groups to watch was “Frosty the Snowman ” and “Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer”. In ANY month. It took me a lot to get used to. I actually tried to talk her out of it. 

Now, I look down and find myself in July wearing Halloween socks. Gasp. What was once unheard of is just pure survival because the Halloween socks are the ones I can find clean. I just find it amusing that I’ve changed that much all because of my penguin. The best thing ever. The love of my life. I am still holding a strong front against wearing Christmas socks though.

Am I the ringmaster or the monkey?

This morning I was trying to take a bath and shave my legs before someone thought I was an extra for a Wookie. The penguin was sitting on the edge of the tub, Tommy was standing at the edge scrolling on his 📱. I asked “when you are in a mental institution, are there this many people watching you all the time?” Of course in my most sarcastic tone. Tommy replied, “yes, especially if you have a razor”. OMG! Somebody please help me. I’m in a cage.





Some days the numbness just takes over. It’s usually when I think things are going better. When I’ve had those “lightbulb” moments in a bathroom and I thought I could see the light. That’s when the light just either just stays in place or fades away again. I continue to function. I continue to love my penguin. But the rest? The rest just doesn’t phase me.

The questions I ask at the end of these days are simple. Does the penguin feel loved? Does the penguin feel secure? Has she been fed, clothed, cared for, and is in bed next to me? If I can answer yes to those questions then when I look around at the other stuff I feel nothing. I am completely numb about my situation. 

I am numb that my husband was used as a scapegoat in a larger corruption case and now he is away from me most of the time. I have no desire to wash clothes. It’s not laziness, it’s really not. I’m not lazy. I go to work at 4:00 am. I just feel nothing else besides taking care of her. My feelings, my needs have all gone away.

Maybe it’s just the mother instinct. Maybe it truly is a problem. I know it is resentment. Resentment that has turned me into a smiling “yes, dear” robot. What else is there? Nothing will change. I’ve talked, cried, screamed, all until I’m blue and his stupid pride wins every time. 

And my numbness just sinks back in…..

Just a thought

 A friend of mine recently shared a blog post from Scissortail Silk titled “Only Good Mommies”. It touched on a subject that I talk about ALL the time amongst my friends and it sort of goes back to one of my earlier blog post, “Being a Woman is Hard Enough“.

I am genuinely overwhelmed by the number of mothers who put on such a show that their mothering skills are above the rest. Maybe they are? Maybe, even as a a southern belle I missed the mark on raising children and these Stepford Wives, as I like to call them, have it all figured out. Seriously? Just because you have four perfectly coiffed children and I’m over here with one child with a tu-tu and rain boots does not make you THE Expert on motherhood.

This is one of those women things that deserves more honesty. Being a mother is hard work. Getting out of the house in one piece with children is an Olympic sport. I’m tired of the mothers who act as if it’s no big deal. Admit you just gave your kid those Oreos instead of the organic apples you want us all to believe. These are the same mothers that leave the house without one ounce of formula or spit up on them or a cheesy finger print. I call BS!! Impossible!! Now, they may care more than I do and turned around and changed, but then how are they always on time? I convinced this is close to the moonwalk conspiracy as far as motherhood is concerned.

Give it up already. Looking that put together all the time with all of those children is not easy. Just be honest. It’s hard work and it’s not for all mothers. But just because I choose not to doesn’t make me any less of a mother. I focus on the here and now. The “hold me” moments that I will not get back instead of mascara. The “mommy chase me” instead of the platforms. That’s what I choose. Just to be a mom. Not a put together one at all. A frenzied, on the verge of a breakdown at any moment, REAL mom.