About emylibef

I'm a thirtysomething mom of three. This is my blog. I also do social media networking and freelance writing. I can be reached through this website or at emily at emylibef dot com.

A Thursday nothing.

Is it just me, or is anyone else having a really slow go of things this week? Normally the week always gets a little draggy, but this week I woke up on Tuesday convinced that it was Friday.

Yeah, it’s been that kind of week.

The big kids are finishing up with the school year, and they’re spending the week with Dan, which means I have basically spent most of my recent evenings alternating between watching Sofia the First with Lucy and trying to convince myself that I haven’t in fact forgotten my two oldest children in a store somewhere.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m the only person who has such stagnanty stretches of time. I feel like I’m treading water for no real reason. Waiting for something to happen.

I’m probably still becoming accustomed to not having 1590 assignments to stress about.

Also, for the past six months I have maintained a constant cystic pimple. Like not the same one, but I will get one and when it goes away another one comes up.

Not sure what that’s about.

Helpless

I am going to do my best to not come across as petty and whiny in this post. I realize that I am lucky to have a healthy family with a roof over our heads and food in our bellies. I am grateful for this.

Davasurpriseisclaimer over.

For Ava’s birthday on Sunday, we bought her an iPhone. Not a new one, not even the next-new one. But it was perfect for her and it was exactly what she wanted. She was thrilled to be able to look at Facebook and send wi-fi text messages and take pictures.

The surprise was executed flawlessly. She was surprised and thankful.

Then, the next day – Monday – she went to rehearsal at the local community theatre.

Where her phone was stolen.

I found out about this on Tuesday morning, where I proceeded to worry for the entire day. I still haven’t stopped.

I felt powerless. I was – I AM – furious.

How dare they? How dare someone see something that belonged to my daughter – something she had waited for and hinted for and waited for some more – and just TAKE it? Her BIRTHDAY present? Something that had made her so happy?

And I can’t do anything about it. Nothing.

I realize this is a teaching opportunity. A chance to show that the world kind of sucks and things aren’t fair. A chance to enforce that things are JUST THINGS.

But she’s ten. It was a special birthday. There’s nothing wrong with being ten and having something you want, or being happy that you got it.

I was happy that – for once – we had the capacity to give her something we KNEW she would want and enjoy. And that’s okay, too – isn’t it?

Just once I would like to be able to not try to find the bright side. Just to be able to say that my kid is brokenhearted and I can’t fix it and it sucks.

You thought I was done mentioning it

Sunday was my anniversary.IMG_0158

Eight years. Eight years of name calling and furious fights, snuggles and tv shows and approximately 673,000 text messages since we finally decided to make ourselves an us.

I have learned a great deal about myself in the last eight years.

I’ve learned that compromise is an art, and
that loving someone means loving all of them, even when they leave clothes in a pile and don’t throw away empty boxes.

wpid-Photo-Dec-17-2011-1104-AM.jpg

photo credit Addie Talley

Listening to bands you’d rather not.
Eating rice cooker Thai food and pretending it’s not revolting.
Not watching shows alone that you always watch together.
Learning terms that apply to their job so you have something to talk about.
Tolerating the pet they love.
Knowing when to lose.
Wanting their dreams to succeed, even if you feel left behind.
Even when they disappoint you.
Even when you disappoint them.
Always being ready to try again because whatever it is, it’s worth it.
Wanting to be better, because they deserve your best.

To my husband:

You infuriate me. You amaze me. You make me proud. You challenge me. You accept me.

You make me better.

And I love you.

 

A decade of you

Ava, tomorrow you will be ten.

Ten. A decade.wpid-Photo-Apr-28-2011-315-PM.jpgavapark

I remember being ten. It was strange and awkward and I was not a teenager but I SO was not a little girl anymore thank you very much.

You are amazing. You inspire me and worry me and make me so proud all at once.

I’ve said before how when I found out you were a girl I was so worried. Worried because l was so bad at being sure of myself and confident and true to the amazingness I knew I had within myself.

I won’t lie, I see some of that in you sometimes. I see you pause, unsure of your next step and timid about your choices. And in some ways, of course that’s good. You’re supposed to pay attention and question yourself.

But before it becomes too much of a question in your head, let me tell you again:

You are enough.
You are smart and capable.avaagain
You’re a leader.
You’re creative and funny, strong and so sweet.
Of course you’re beautiful, but beauty is the last thing I wish for you.

For you, my first daughter – I wish for you the imagination to find your dreams, the courage to claim them, and the strength to follow them. With every discouragement I wish you a lesson learned and the determination never to give up.

I love you, and I hope beyond hope that I will never see you doubt it.

Happy birthday, my sweet girl. I love you so much and I am lucky to get to know you. I cannot wait to watch who you become.

Hence artistic endeavor

Sunday is my anniversary. You’ll hear more about that soon.

Lately I have been listening to a great deal of artsy fartsy feely music.

Basically just Amanda Palmer and my beloved Neil Gaiman, because they did this fantastic “An Evening with Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer” tour and it was…perfection.

Amanda Palmer is lovely and wonderful and has this song about ukuleles.

About how great they are.
How they make people happy.
The wonder and greatness of the music.
Eating cereal in the dark and how you should just play because you can.

As a matter of fact it is here:

Ukulele Anthem. Amanda Palmer is amazing.

I THEN WANTED A UKULELE.

If you know me you know that I have never – aside from youth choir and chamber choir and various other choiry things – been particularly musical. I played clarinet in junior high but never progressed past Smoke on the Water and Proud Mary. I got a guitar in college and I learned a couple of Jewel songs.

I mentioned to my longsuffering husband that I could totally get into playing the ukulele.

He was understandably skeptical, and when I refused to mime the motions of ukuleleing he had a point and I dropped it.

Then he bought me one because he sometimes caters to whims and also why not, it’s a IMAG0177_1great anniversary present.

So now I have something to learn and hopefully not suck at, and I have had it for a grand total of four hours now and I almost can play “Go Tell Aunt Rhody” which…yeah, don’t ask.

You will probably never hear me play this ukulele, but rest assured that somewhere I am perhaps playing it and looking foolish and being so happy.

Things that piss me off.

wpid-wp-1399951974986.jpegBecause, you know, I’m sure you’ve been wondering.

Dust bunnies and cat litter.

Rosemary’s Baby with Zoe Saldana even though she is insanely elegant because seriously I can’t even. WHAT an apartment, though, right?

The way my fingernails never look like they were done by anything other than a six toed monkey with low blood sugar.

Onions.

Underwires. Because they always come loose no matter how much delicate handwashing goes on and then they conspire to kill me through my ribs.

Grand gestures with no substance.

My hair and the way it just…slumps. Like a sigh on my scalp.

When your ear inside itches in public I mean really how are you supposed to scratch that?

Smug political views that I can’t reason out.

Condescension.

Shailene Woodley and…ugh.

People caring that Miley Cyrus danced around with a huge inflatable penis.

For my mother, whom I love.

Every year I struggle with exactly what to say.

579813_10151075895131439_1330949638_nSometimes I’m sure I’ve disappointed you. My beliefs (or lack of), my foul mouth, my affinity for beer and wine and hard core horror.

But then other times I realize how much I love my kids, and how I would – how I will – no matter.

I think in terms of opposites, like if any of my kids grew up to be churchgoing Evangelical Biblical scholars. I wouldn’t love them any less. I would be happy as long as they were happy and purposeful. I mean, I’m happy with Minecraft and shaggy haircuts even though 207223_4549921913200_2056190641_nthey don’t make sense.

So I know you love me. That you just want me to be happy.

And I am. I am happy with my life. With my accomplishments and my pastimes and my beliefs. I am happy because you taught me to find happiness, to create it, to be grateful and to love for love’s sake.

This Mother’s Day I just want you to know that I’m grateful. I love you, and I love my life because you showed me what it is to be a good person.

Thank you.

Happy Mother’s Day.

To my kids

As a mother, I will never think I’ve done everything right. duo

I will always worry that THIS PARTICULAR choice I’m making is the choice that you will remember in twenty years, facing a nodding voice of reason before you fill prescriptions for Zoloft or Prozac or whatever they have by then.

I will always regret the missed milestones.

I will always fear your next step.

I will forever quake in terror that you have to make your own decisions and live for yourselves.

I will eternally wonder what would have happened if….x,y,z. Fill in whatever scenario, I have wondered about it.

I will always marvel at how smart you are.

photo credit Talley Images

photo credit Addie Talley

I will always want to be your friend.

I will always respond. To letters, to texts, to phone calls.

I will always help you. Even if I’m furious at you.

I will never stop trying to make your world better.smooch

I will never understand your fashion choices.

I will always want you to be happy.

I will do whatever it takes to make your life happy.

I will love you.

Whatever may happen. Whatever you may think.

You are my heart.

Love, Mompark

A change of pace then

Another thing in all the business of neglecting my blog that I did mention once but then quickly pretended to forget it existed – I changed jobs.

I have had lots of jobs in my adulthood. Well, I mean – I’ve worked places and moved on. I haven’t ever job hopped FUTURE EMPLOYERS WHO MIGHT BE READING MY BLOG, but for reasons of whatever time it was, I haven’t just kept one job for the last ten+ years.

I did insurance. I did retail. I worked for God and Jesus and a lovable British man. A cubehospital, attorneys.

I had a great job. I worked for great people and I loved my (only) coworker. Sometimes, though, there are chances you are given that are simply not negotiable. Things you KNOW you will look back on and always wonder if they would have changed your life for the better.

One of those chances wrapped itself around me almost exactly a year ago, and I jumped. I left a job with people I knew and adored at a job I didn’t suck at doing, and I took the chance.

It’s been over a year now.

I have a retirement plan, I have days of paid leave, I have insurance. I have what could qualify as a career, you know? People do jobs like mine for their whole lives.

And maybe I will. I just never thought I’d feel…well, so much like a grown up, if that makes sense. Kids and bills are one thing, but a desk, a cubicle, a time clock? It’s all a little too Dilbert for me, still.

First in the birthday rumble.

I am terrible at being timely with important posts, like birthday posts. My kids’ birthdays all come like ticks on a clock, so I am starting this terribly late.

Lucy. Just a few weeks ago you turned four.

FOUR.
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I would tell you how much we love you, how much joy you bring all of us and how much you shine. But we tell you every day, so I want instead to tell you about a conversation.

You told me not long ago that you had decided you wouldn’t cry anymore, because you were growing up and growing up meant being big. So no crying.
image

Appreciating the sentiment but not wanting you to become a bottle of unspent emotion in your thirties, I tried to reason that line of thought out with you.

“Everyone cries sometimes, Lu. Even big people. Sometimes things are sad, or sometimes you get hurt and need to cry. Sometimes crying is good.”

You pondered this for a moment, swaying in one spot and watching your skirt swish around your scabbed knees.

“Well then mom, we can make a deal. When you need to cry you can tell me and then you can cry. And I won’t tell anybody. Then when I need to cry I can tell you and you won’t tell anybody either. And then we can both still be big.”

Deal. That’s a deal.

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I love you, my four year old. Stay this way.