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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Scene on the Street...

This was one of the blog titles I was thinking about writing when I first thought about a blog and the name empathetic mom.   I see people being unkind to each other much more than I would like to admit.  Whether it's a sign of the times, our lives being hectic, pressure filled, overscheduled and stressed, it's no excuse.  It's a disease and it's spreading.

Now that I am a Mom, when I see another Mom being mean, rude or unkind to the cashier, waitress, dry cleaner, fellow Mom or whomever, I think, wow, that's someone's Mother and that's a bummer for that kid.  I really feel for the kid.  Kids learn what they see from their parents and some of these instances I've seen don't bode well for the development of a kind empathetic kid.

Which brings me to my "scene on the street" story.  Unfortunately, this one involved me.   I was able to get to the gym this morning.  The gym I now belong to has child care which is quite nice.  I worked out and then headed back to the kids room to pick up my daughter.  The entrance way into the kids room is made kind of narrow since they put some planters there, so there really isn't much room to pass someone without physically pushing them out of the way.  Keep in mind the entry way is no more than 4 yards, NOT LONG!  I was drinking my water in peace walking in that entry way and got that feeling you get when someone enters your personal space right behind you.  You know that feeling, when you feel the presence of someone so close, you have to turn around.  So I did, and there she was.  Literally, less than 6 inches from my face.  The last time I remember someone I didn't know this close to me was on the dance floor on spring break in Cancun years ago.  Anyhow,  I jumped, I was startled.  It was bizarre.  She didn't say a word, and  I didn't move since we were right at the entrance to the kids zone where you have to turn this key to get in (so the kids don't get out).  She made some weird huffing noise, like I wasn't doing it fast enough.  I chose to bite my tongue and not say anything.  Once in the room, I was signing the clipboard that signs my daughter out which happens to be on top of this cubby where parents leave their diaper bags and stuff.  It's a SMALL space, and this Mom pushes her hand on my leg to move it to get into one of the cubby holes.  This time I looked at her like "REALLY?, did you wet your pants?".  Again, I didn't say a word, then she said, "excuse me" in the shortest angriest tone that had no place in the happy kids zone.  If there were flowers in there, they would have wilted.

I walked into the play area, with the counselors telling me my daughter was a 'delight', 'so sweet', a 'doll baby', 'wonderful with the other children' (of course, this is not always the case).  And this women was greeted by a crying son, who the counselors proceeded to tell her had been fine until he saw her.  I sort of immediately felt better about the situation since I had been debating whether to say something to her or not, but as I have learned so many times in the past, sometimes saying nothing says it all, it catches up in the end.  And,  I didn't give her the platform to vent whatever hostility was pent up in that body of hers and didn't get out during a workout.  I did consider the idea that she might have to poop as excessive exercise does get those catecholamines going, thus the rush, but she was still there after I had left so I ruled that one out.

I don't know what is going on in her life and for all I know, her world could be falling apart around her.  She could be an anxious person, her husband may be cheating with his high school girlfriend he reconnected with on facebook, she could be getting her period, she could have missed her morning coffee, she could just be having a bad day.  The point is, all of the above may be true, but that doesn't give anyone the right to be mean and rude.  And by the way, I'm a Mom too, we're all in the same boat and can show a little more compassion towards each other.  Now that's the kind of modeling behavior that would be beneficial for our kids to witness.  Kids are sponges and they are watching us every minute.  Things you don't think they see or hear, they do.  What they learn from us, they will take to school, to interpersonal and work relationships.   Unlike some people in the public eye who deny their roles as role models, we are parents and we are role models and that is part of the job and it's non-negotiable.  You chose to be a parent, so be one.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Another birthday party...

My husband, daughter and I attended yet another one year old birthday party within the last two weeks.  These parties are sweet,  they really are...cake smashing, oohs, ahhs, countless plastic toys from China, healthy veggies put out by Moms who are sure the other Moms in attendance will judge them by their food selection and opt for, at the very least, a small plate of carrots, cucumbers and peppers in the corner, of course organic and where applicable, locally farmed. It banks good karma, but from whom?  As a Mom and a woman, I am wondering who we are all trying to impress?  Please write in on this one!! The Moms who impress me have wine at their parties.  It says to me, "Yes, it is my child's first birthday and that's freakin' awesome, but I am freakin' stressed and have made it through one of the toughest years of my life, so lift a damn glass and celebrate with me. L'Chiam!".

There was wine at the party which I should tell you to be fair.   There was the potential for the party but one bottle of red and three bottles of white does not bode well for a "party."  Alas, I did not indulge and hit the wine store on the way home searching for a recently released wine that has gotten wonderful reviews.  After calling all over I have yet to find anyone locally carrying this wine.  When I do, I will drink it and talk about it here as I write.  The wine got super reviews in many objective reliable sources and costs around 10 dollars. Now, doesn't that sound promising?

So for now, I am enjoying a glass of Luca 2008 Malbec from Argentina.  This is a great Mendoza Malbec if you enjoy this sort of wine.  It is showing well now in 2011 and can take a few more years; notes of dark fruit, baked fruit, cola, cocoa, coffee/espresso and spice. It is a bit heavier than we have been drinking lately, but delicious.  If you like Malbec, I would pick this up before the weather gets too warm!  Or pick it up to savor sometime next winter on a cold night.

So really, who do you think you need to impress?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Here we go...

It's been a little over a year since my daughter was born, and I promised myself that after a year I would get serious about something that meant something...ah, to me.  I've always been a listener, both in friendships and in my chosen profession, so I thought if this could somehow be a forum for us Mothers, wives, partners, daughters, sisters, women to get some damn empathy then let's do it.

I love my daughter.  That being said, this past year has been like a dissociative fugue, and I am trying to understand...'what the hell just happened to me?!'.  Who am I?  For close to a year I've a described myself as a 'BOOB' and that's all I really was...all else seemed to cease.  Somehow, I got lost in the maze of boob pads, boppy pillows, Glamourmom tops, Avent vs. Dr. Brown's bottles, Swaddler's with the lines because really, you need a litmus test to tell you if your baby is wet?...I did and found comfort in paying the significant extra amount needed for this luxury which, scary enough, I didn't realize until months later.  I feel terrible for saying this and for the record this is the first and last time I will apologize for a feeling...phew, I feel better already, but I feel like I've lost so much of myself, and I know that it's true....with births there are deaths, with losses there are's how it all works, it's life.  I guess what I am saying is that I am essentially mourning the person who I was and trying to gain some sort of understanding about who I am now.  Maybe you can empathize with me on this one?  I want to know....

So here I am, on a Friday in February writing this first entry with glass of vino in hand (Alexander Valley Vineyards, Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley 2007)...which I would recommend although, this does have aging potential. Hoping that you might join me for a glass of wine and some thoughts of your own.