Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The road less traveled

I have often wondered how any of us end up where we're at and why, and also how many others started down one path, only to find themselves in the thick of the forest with no end in sight? Such is life. A long time ago, I made plans. I was young and such a dreamer. I remember lying in my tiny room (which was a closet) and dreaming of going away to school in a far, far away place where I'd live amongst strangers, learn to speak a foreign language and live a life so grand and extraordinary that I might never return. And then after school, I would a successful career and continue to travel the world and learn all about the places I had only read about in books.

But life has a funny way of throwing fast balls...and sometimes right at your face. At sixteen, everything changed for me. It's a weird feeling to have such a life changing event and also feel so removed from your life all at the same time. I suppose it was too much for my young brain to absorb and process, plus there was so much to do! I was going to be a mom and a wife. Me. The girl who maybe was going to get married after I turned 35, the girl who wasn't going to have any kids and was going to live far, far away from everything she'd ever know. Little did I know then that I was going to move out of my tiny room and directly across the street from where I had lived my whole life. That is where I lived for the next five years, right across the damn street from my family home. And a year later, pack up and leave everything I had ever known behind me and settle in Oregon. It was adventure alright, but not the kind that I had dreamed about when I was little. But oh, one that was just as rich, wonderful and life altering that I wouldn't change one single thing for the world... well, maybe a couple of small things.

Speaking of the world, that would come later. I travel so much for work now that it is just a given that I will gone about a week a month. Funny how life works its self out. I took the road less traveled so many years ago to only find myself traveling all the time now.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Rock Made Me Do It

So, some of you may have heard me tell the story about when Simon was a little boy and threw a rock into the neighbors house as I was standing right next to him asking him not to do it. Delightful parenting moment. We had a stand off for like three minutes....he held the rock and raised his hand a little more each time and the grin on his face got bigger and bigger....and I stood over him asking him to put the rock down and my voice became louder and louder each time he raised his hand higher and his grin grew larger. Well, he threw it and broke the window and as I was dragging him back into the house for a timeout, he keep insisting, "The rock made me do it, the rock made me do it"! And to this day, he swears that the rock possessed him and made him throw it into the neighbors window (who were quite nice about since they adored him).

Fast forward twenty years later, and he is grown man and moving to Hawaii. He quit his job, sold his car, packed up his belongings and said he was going to land on the Big Island and try and make a life for himself there with his girlfriend. As a parent, you need to encourage your children to grow and learn, but at the same time you want to shrink them and tuck them back into bed. How do you do both? How do you let go and at the same time hold them so near? I can tell you it's a challenge and so far I haven't perfected it.

The weeks leading up to his flight were tough on so many different levels but especially because I was faced with that very dilemma. I imagined driving him to the airport and then driving off without letting him out of the car but I figured that wasn't really nice. I imagined he'd change his mind and say he was moving back in with me but even that had it's problems because he's a grown man and not a little boy who needs taking care of anymore (plus I think his girlfriend would have liked that idea very much). The night before he left was especially rough on me. I was lying in bed trying to stop my mind from racing...trying to come to grips that tomorrow my precious, little boy was flying off to Hawaii and things might never be the same. Would he be home for the holidays? His birthday? Mother's Day? Thanksgiving? What if he fell sick? I wouldn't be down the street. I laid there frozen. Not sure how to process the feelings that were flooding my mind and body. And then I remembered I had two rocks of my own. One that I carry when I need to remind myself of strength and courage and one that I found in Hawaii on my honeymoon. My Hawaiian rock seemed fitting and reminded me of the way of life on the island but most of all, at that very moment, of my son and the life that he going to pursue. I figured I should hold both. My strength rock in my right hand and my Hawaiian rock in my left. I finally feel asleep clutching both. I woke up in the morning still clutching the rock in my right hand but somehow let the Hawaiian rock go in sleep. At first I was alarmed and so sad that I had let it go in my sleep, and then it hit me...like a rock....I needed to let it go. I needed to let him go from my clutch so he could soar. A perfect articulation of what I was feeling and what I needed to do. I still miss him like crazy but I am so proud of him and excited about the life he is building.

I guess you could say at the end of the day, the rock made me do it too.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


It's very strange....I feel like I've been waiting for this day for so long and now that it's here, it feels too soon. My emotions are mixed with joy and bittersweet happiness. I don't know if I ever really knew what "bittersweet" actually felt like until now. My daughter is going to college! I felt it some when my son left for Hawaii last year, but he was a man and this is my little baby daughter. Of course, she's almost 18, but I still see her as my little baby. In fact, she is my little baby! But she has been accepted into the college of her choice and she done so much to deserve it and in about six months, I will need to drop her off and somehow drive away. I'm not sure how I'm going to do that, but I have six months to try and prepare the best way I can. If not, I'll need to fake it somehow because as much as I joke about it...I can't move into her dorm room with her. Can I?

Friday, May 29, 2009


I've been a parent pretty much my whole life. Ok, maybe more like half my life. Actually, more than half my life. Anyway, it's been a really long time and I've enjoyed every minute of it. Ok, maybe not EVERY minute of it. Being a mom to my son and daughter is all I've ever known. Waking up each day to care, support, worry and love them and then going to sleep focusing my love and energy towards them. I've been doing this for long it's all I know and it's all I've wanted, so now is really the hard part for me. My son is grown and gone for the summer. My daughter is becoming a self-sufficent young woman and I am left wondering what to do. It's a strange, new experience for me this so called "freedom", where not every minute of my life is taken up by caring for children. You might think I'm nuts for missing the madness, but I do, so I find myself in a constant struggle to let it go. The urge to "smother"....that's my term for being an overzealous mother ;-).

Monday, May 4, 2009

Hawaiian Presidency

Big news this weekend! Simon got accepted into a work exchange program in Maui and is leaving for Hawaii on the 13th for three months! He'll be learning all about organic farming and he's totally excited to work on the farm and begin the adventure. And Cheyenne was just voted student body president of her high school for her senior year! She's been the VP of her class the last three years and it was just a matter of time until she took the big title. She's such a go-getter! Needless to say, I am so proud of each of them. They are growing and learning and most of all achieving their goals. Now I just need to work on my own.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


There is a little boy named Pablo and he has cancer. He was the topic of my very first blog. We met him and his family during the summer of 2006. The family has a blog (http://getwellpablo.blogspot.com/) that details their journey with childhood cancer over this past year. I follow their blog pretty regularly and have been happy and saddened by their ups and downs, but I always thought everything would work out for the best. This morning his dad (Jeff) posted the most heart wrenching blog entry to date. Pablo just completed chemo about a week ago and the cancer is already present again... and this time in his lungs. The kid is frickin’ five! How could this be? Why him? Why any of us? I am deeply humbled and reminded how blessed my life has been. I can’t even imagine how you come to grips with losing a child. I am hoping for a miracle. They still exist, don’t they?

Friday, April 3, 2009

Helicopter parenting

I am "helicopter parenting" my grown ass son. For those you know you don't know the term, it refers to the type of parent that attempts to control and be present in every aspect of their kids life, but not in a good way...more like, hyper-involved to point where the kid can't mess up or learn things on their own because the parent is always hovering...hence the term. Today's society is full of "helicopter parents" and I am guilty of it too. I can't help myself at times. I just want to help to the point of helping too much. Setting alarms, making sure they get up, calling to find out if they will be home on time since they need to wake up early for work the next day or trying to give advice whether it's been asked for or not. The list goes on and on. I think I'm being helpful, but it drives them crazy at times and for good reason. They both have been very patient with me and realize it comes from a good place, but they have each asked that I take a down a notch. With my son, it's a little less cute and endearing and according to what he said this morning, slightly insulting. He said he feels like I don't think he's capable of doing things on his own...but I feel like if I don't follow up that one time....then, that will be the day it would have been helpful....I know, I know, I have a problem. BTW, my arms are tired of hovering and I have only myself to blame.