Posted in food, gifts, know better do better, thoughtfulness

Pretend it’s Thanksgiving

Every winter, there are countless holiday food drives. I’ve donated to some of them. I suspect many of you have as well.

But now is actually the time of year when they need more.

Why?

School is out. (Or it’s getting close.)

Many impoverished kids get two of their daily meals at school. Others get their only two meals at school.

With schools closed, food banks become more necessary to those communities.

I’m not sure if it’s the lack of feel-good or what that has prevented “school’s out” food drives, but I’ve never seen one.

While we’re here and talking about it… I’ve read that donating money to food banks leads to more food availability than donating food itself. The explanation I saw said that because they can buy in bulk or otherwise have cheaper-per-unit powers, giving $1 buys more food than donating a $1 can of something.

There are also issues of fit with the community, of health issues within the community, and of people just plain being jerks and donating expired food.

It’s not an opportunity to clean out your pantry.

So. If you’re a food donating kind of person, take a few bucks to your local food bank and help out your neighborhood youth. They’ll be grateful.

Posted in about me, ebb & flow, gifts, vulnerability

Mother’s Day. It’s complicated.

I’ve written and deleted three fully-written posts for today, each full of different stories and details than the others.

All were true, but none seemed right.

I know that the more I heal from the trauma of my childhood, the more years that go by without choosing the least disingenuous card I can find, the less today hurts. The more I can be happy for people who have great relationships with their moms.

The Kid is usually with The Tall Daddy on Saturdays overnight and on Sundays during the day. I’ve not spent Mother’s Day with him since he was very little.

It’s always been a kind of isolating day.

Add to the mix friends struggling with infertility, friends who are still mourning the loss of their moms, friends who are mourning the loss of their kids, and it’s just a plain old rough day.

A few years ago, a good friend suggested that her family and The Kid and I get dinner together, and thus, a tradition was born. We’ll share a meal tonight for the fifth year in a row.

Yesterday, for early Mother’s Day, The Kid and The Climbing Daddy took me to a local nursery where I got to pick out a desert rose and a pot for it. I have always admired these plants at the Desert Botanical Garden. The Climbing Daddy found out some information about taking care of them, and it’s possible.

I chose the one with the best roots (this one had a tunnel!), because the flowers will come.

 

 

 

Posted in gifts, marriage, mindset, parenting, thoughtfulness

Mother’s Day—advice for the guys

Every year, memes get passed around that say something to the effect of, “For Mother’s Day, I want to sleep in and wake up to a clean house.”

Lots of “ha ha ha” reactions.

But you know what? Based on conversations I’ve had with women in the past couple of year, that would actually be perfect.

So guys, if that’s what she said, that’s what she meant. Do it. Give her a few hours in bed to herself (sleeping? with a book? with her tablet? Mom’s choice…) while you and the kids clean the house.

Don’t farm it out. Do it yourselves.

Then make breakfast (or brunch by then?) for her (if the kids are little, you’ve already fed them at least once), maybe in bed if she’d like that (I personally don’t like eating in bed but for many it’s A Thing) and then clean it all up.

All of it.

As we say at our house, “Use your Mama eyes.” Don’t do a half-assed job that she’s going to need to finish later. Make it better than good enough; make it good.

If she says she wants to sleep in and have the house clean, she means it. (If this isn’t on her wish list, don’t do it. Seriously. Listening isn’t that hard.)

Posted in gifts, know better do better, mindset, thoughtfulness, vulnerability

The Golden Rule, and how we get it wrong

Treat others the way you want to be treated.

We get stuck in the details.

“Well, I like pedicures, but if the person I gift one to doesn’t like pedicures, then they’re not happy even though I treated them how I would like to be treated!”

That’s not what it means.

We want to be respected. We want to be known and heard and understood and loved.

Do that. The process, not the outcome.

(It’s harder than just giving other people things we like.)

Posted in gifts, gratitude

Hands

I’ve been somewhat fascinated with my hands lately.

I have callouses from rock climbing. I love my climbing callouses, which seems odd, but I think they’re just a reminder that I have time and ability to do something I enjoy doing on a regular basis. And maybe a splash of the badass feeling I had making it up that last route last time.

For a while, I’ve sometimes wished I had close up photos of my hand on a hold. It’s often a particular hold; I don’t know why. Usually outside; occasionally inside. I snapped a few using a large rock on the ground once near where we were climbing. My angles were bad, so they didn’t turn out at all as I’d like, but The Climbing Daddy jumped in and we ended up with some that were nice in that way.

My fingers can move in patterns to play songs on a myriad of different instruments. When I play ukulele enough (read: not lately), I have callouses for that, too.

One finger (right hand pinky) changed the course of my college career, which led to so many opportunities that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. Another story for another day.

Of course, I use my fingers to type all of these posts. And emails. And social media posts. And whatever other things I type for work or for play.

And I use some of them to write. My book, so far, has been mostly hand-written, though as of earlier this week, there is also now an electronic copy.

My hands grip weights for lifting.

They hold hands. They rub backs. They tie shoes. They please my lover.

They pull the weeds, push the vacuum, chop the veggies, spread the nut butter, stir all the things.

A long time ago, I learned how to give a good hand massage. I didn’t use that skill, and I’ve forgotten. But I think it would be great for The Climbing Daddy and I to learn it, to be able to give some special lovin’ to these amazing hands that do so much for us every day.

(Every time I’ve read that last sentence, I’ve cringed at what sounds like hyperbole, but I truly am amazed by these things lately.)