Thursday, September 11, 2014

Let's talk about this enormous GRIN on my face

Whew!  What a rush life has been the past month.  Truly.  Big changes. Little changes.  New emotions and honoring the past.  Big stuff.

So, Amy...tell us what's new?  Grab a beverage a pull up a chair and I'll fill ya in.

First...y'all have seen the posts of me and my gentleman caller. 

You may have heard me bellyache about the lack of courting in relationships these days.  Dating has become a "hey how are ya can i suck on your face" kind of routine.  I wondered if anyone really cared to get to know me before sticking their tongue down my throat.  Right?  The Earth is shaking a bit right now from all the single ladies nodding in unity.

With no idea how to remedy this, I thought I'd give the whole dating thing a break for a bit.  And maybe, just maybe I'd get my house clean and organized.

Then I remembered a fellow I'd been chatting with before Christmas.  And how I'd literally LOL by his messages.  And how we seemed to communicate on a different level.  Maybe he'd go on a date once or twice, so I don't have to feel like a total loser...benched by the dating game.

Very quickly it was determined that we'd like to meet for a "pint" and face to face chat.  Three hours into the date, I had a vibe that I was digging this guy.  He walked me to my car.  I drove him to his.  I got out to hug him goodbye and wondered if I'd like his goodnight kiss.

Except...he didn't kiss me.  Odd.  I got what I later described is an affectionate Grandma hug.  You know the one where someone squeezes ya good while rubbing your shoulder blade in a circle pattern and ending with a couple of tap...taps.


Three. Four. Five dates later, the hugs were tighter and longer.  The tap...taps disappeared.  I'd pull away and give him the eye lock.  Send my lips in his direction.  Only to have his head dive back to my shoulder and be pulled tighter.

Holy crap.  I was being courted.  We were getting to know each other.  Laughing hysterically about anything and everything.  Our dialog energized the other into more dialog...more laughing...more getting to know each other.  We met for dinner.  Took long walks eating ice cream.  Sang karaoke.   Played at the park with #3.  Went swing dancing. Sent about a thousand texts.  Talked for hours.

It was the most precious start of a relationship that I could ever imagine.  And finally.  Finally.  Finally on date 7, fueled by Merlot...I grabbed his sweet face and planted a lip lock on him that made my bar stool feel like a magic carpet.  That good.  Of course he kissed me back.  Again and again.  Right there in the middle of a crowded bar of of which was singing a bad rendition of "Bad Medicine".

The bar closed and two hours later, we were still in the parking lot, smooching outside my Mom-mobile.

I love being courted.  Probably a dozen dates later, photos were posted on Facebook.  His name was promoted from gentleman caller to boyfriend.  There are others I might want to use, but my Dad reads this and he has lots of guns and...ya know.

Then...just about the time I thought life couldn't get much better...I got an email from my divorce lawyer asking if I was still interested in talking about a job in her firm.  It had been a casual conversation in the past year or so...


She and her friend have each opened their own law firms and needed a support person. Phone maiden.  Scheduler. Copy machine operator.  Mail expert.  Everything in my life made me competent for all of those tasks...and then some.

Set my own schedule (up to 30 hours/week). Leave anytime the kids need me. Come in after they are on the bus.  Stay home when they are sick. Take long (unpaid) lunches. And all three of us have Costco Memberships.  What more could a girl ask for?

So...yesterday I was taken to my office (SQUEE!)...given two new email addresses...a in the fridge for my snacks...and a welcome to being part of something that is going to be wonderful.

It will be a gradual transition as there are a few things I need to learn.  I can answer a phone, but not one with two extensions and voice mail boxes.  I'll learn.  I'm good at opening mail, but not necessarily sure how to scan it into the right e-file.  I'll learn.  I've learned how to do schedules, but not while juggling two busy lawyer's calendars. I'll learn.  I'm highly skilled at connecting with people, but Judges and opposing counsel sound kinda intimidating.  I'll learn.

And if you're a worried Caribou friend...I'm sticking around for the time being.  Caribou has a piece of my heart.  I'll still be whipping up Turtle Mocha's for a bit.

If you're still reading.  Go get a cookie.  Seriously.  You deserve a reward for sticking with this.  But I felt like I needed to tell everyone why I have such a ridiculous smile plastered on my face these days.

Life is Good.  Especially if you take it One Day at a Time...odaat...

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Giving my kids back to the Village (People)

I can't help but get a little sentimental every new start of a school year.  It is such a marker of the growth of our kids.  Physical, emotional, and brain power.  So many subtle changes happen each day that it takes the passage of a whole year to notice.

These first few days usually leave me a little emotionally bruised.  Was I paying enough attention as they evolved into their own beings?  Did my input even matter?  Can I trust all of the other influences coming at them all day long?

The toughest part of parenting is letting go.  (I'll pause for a bit so you can sing a little "Frozen") Letting your kids go explore the world on their own.  Allowing other adults to teach them what they feel is important to learn.  Encouraging them to seek their own interests...which are usually the direct opposite of our own.  It's exhausting.

I vividly remember #1-4's first day of school.  Patting their head.  Squeezing them tight. And knowing I'd be opening the floodgates of outside influences.  I'd kiss their noses and pray for blessed interactions.

And for the most part...all has been good.

Not perfect.  Not everyday.  But life is about learning to cope with *less than perfect conditions*.  The fancy term i've heard is "resilience".  How do kids bend and flex and twist themselves into shape to succeed in each situation? Can they bounce back from disappointment and try again?  Will they adapt?

I feel like I've given my kids more than a few chances to test drive their resiliency.  I've watched the struggle and then the triumph of success.  I've witnessed the struggle and then defeat.  I've proudly seen them dust themselves off and try again.  Even when deep down, I want to's ok to give up.  But I don't.  And they keep going.

Tough stuff.

And I know I have an entire village to thank for helping to raise my kids.  No joke.  Teachers. Coaches. Paras. Volunteers.  Maybe even a doctor, police officer, construction worker and dancing Native American. At school and church and any activity I drop them off at...and run for coffee.  Deepest gratitude and love.

Thanks for being part of my village...