Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Happy 25

I have never understood a person who doesn't like to celebrate his birthday or a woman who is ashamed of her age. Sure, it's just another day - nothing miraculous happens at midnight or anything. Still - it's the one day a year when the people around you are supposed to stop and remember why they are grateful you're here. It's not about celebrating a day; it's about celebrating YOU. And, why the hell should you be ashamed of your age?? At one point did that ever make sense? Especially if you're taking care of yourself - you should be proud to look good and be knowledgeable at whatever age you are.

Well I turn 25 today and I woke up feeling... beautiful... whole... happy.

It's not that I no longer screw up or make mistakes. It's just that I'm capable of receiving criticism (constructive or not). I'm not afraid to take responsibility for my actions and I know how to make a genuine apology.

It's not that my legs grew longer or my boobs got bigger. I've just realized that my body is beautiful as is, so I take care of it and appreciate it. Somewhere along the way small became lovely and short became sexy.

It's not that I've had my novel published and now I feel affirmed. It's just that I have learned that I am a writer, published or not, and I'm confident in submitting my work.

It's not that all of my relationships are smooth and easy. I've just figured out that the ones that are worth it are worthy of dealing with the rough and bumpy parts. And I know now that I'M worth it- I deserve to be loved not just when I do something right, but when I'm struggling too. 

It's not that I think I have a superior relationship with God. It's just that I know that my spirituality cannot be determined by anyone else. There is something I feel beneath my skin in the space that links my heart to my belly button that makes me know I am loved, I am connected... and I am not afraid.

I woke up today feeling beautiful, whole... and happy. Happy birthday to me.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Letter to Wisdom

Wisdom: Apprehending true nature through intuitive understanding: Insight.

My Darling Little Boy, Gavin Wisdom Scott,

    When we first decided to use Wisdom as your middle name, I just thought it was cool. I mean all the time you hear of girls named Faith, Joy, Grace or Hope - yet how often do you meet a guy named Truth, Justice or Trust? 
     Over time I've realized that we could not have chosen a more appropriate name for you. Wisdom is about seeing allll the little details but never losing sight of the big picture... comprehending that life and people really are good at the root of it all. Wisdom is about seeing the motivation and not getting sidetracked by the action.
     Gavin, you are the indisputable raw evidence that at least once in my life I got it right. The moment you looked at me with those intensely alert eyes, my heart stopped - yet I didn't feel like I was about to die, to cease existing. I realized there was so much more to my very being, that I had barely begun to live in the first place.
      Over the last two years you have made my heart stop and made it race on a fairly consistent basis. And I don't mind, because you've put this heart of mine to the best possible use - you have taught it to love without condition. Yup, beyond the crazy heart palpitations is a slow and steady pulse that will never desist. You have taught my heart something it simply cannot unlearn. I can never stop loving you.
      I love that you talk too much and repeat EVERYTHING that I say. I love that heartbreakingly adorable little gap between your front teeth. I adore the way you laugh. I'm crazy about your dance moves and your obvious natural music ability. I love how you think smiling means you're supposed to squint your eyes. It makes me grin how you think a hug is not a hug unless you've been patted on the back. I love your big ole head and that floppy hair - those ocean eyes of yours melt my heart.
     I love the way you say "Mommy"... I love YOU.

    Happy 2nd Birthday, Baby Boy!!!


Thursday, January 13, 2011

No-uh and the Bark

It pretty much sucks when your toddler tells you "No!" (particularly when there are witnesses) but things go to a whole other level when he takes that itty bitty word and puts an extra syllable on it... ya know, something like this:
NO-UUUUUHH! I don't wanna nap!

Gavin, my adorable and normally incredibly sweet 2-year-old, was recently having an "off" day. Maybe we can blame it on cabin fever thanks to the recent freak ice storm in Georgia, but the same scenario played over and over for about a solid 24 hours....

"Mommy, I want a Cheeto please."
Mommy gives in to request. Gavin takes Cheeto happily - THEN, noticing a mild-mannered dog LYING ON THE COUCH a good SIX FEET AWAY, Gavin feels threatened. So threatened in fact that he can't even manage to bring that coveted Cheeto to his lips. Instead he throws his fist into the air and bellows, "NO-UUUUUH dog - MY Cheeto! No-uh!"

This of course gets the dog's attention. So dog stretches, hops off of couch and steps over to sniff the Cheeto. Well, NO-UH, Gavin can't bear the heartache. He gives the Cheeto to the dog, thrusts his body to the ground with a flood of tears - "No-uuuuuuh!"

Well, now the dog is concerned about Gavin's obvious distress. What can a dog do except bark?!
Such a response is not acceptable to my darling toddler, so he gets louder - NOOO-UUUH DOG!!! NOO-UUH!

Eventually he calmed down, until the next round that is. In all fairness, he did mix it up a little bit:

Later, it's a banana in Gavin's hand. He searches throughout the house calling "C'mere kitty cat, c'mere kitty cat." When the cat presents itself, purring and rubbing against his legs, Gavin begins to shriek "NO-UH! My banana, cat. No-uh! Nooooo-uuuuuh!"

Ahhhh, it's all so hilarious now that I'm not trapped in a house with no internet, no phone and too little sleep =)
To sum it up, it was an experience of Biblical proportion... 

Monday, January 3, 2011

Using the Right Kind of Light

The dark can be scary and intimidating. Especially if you're alone. (Then again, maybe it's worse if you're NOT alone... I mean, who wants to be left in the dark with a serial killer??)

Anyway, if you're the one in the dark, it's a big relief for someone to shed some light. The thing is, depending on where you are and what you're doing, the type of light matters significantly. Sometimes plugging in a little night-light is the perfect solution. It brightens the room a bit so you don't have to worry so much about the unknown, but doesn't keep you from resting.

Sometimes a flashlight is the right tool - it lets you see your path without disturbing someone else. And if you feel the need to alert others of what you see, flip the light switch and illuminate the whole room.

Now, there are occasions that demand a spotlight, but those times are sparse - and it's almost NEVER  a good idea to throw a spotlight on someone who's been in the dark. It can be downright cruel. His/her eyes won't have time to adjust... a light so intense won't help him/her, but will only cause pain and panic.
(Really, think about it. What's the first thing a person does when a bright light is suddenly thrown on his face? CLOSES his eyes - now, who does that help? ... And how often does someone flinch when a candle is lit?)

The other thing about putting a spotlight on someone? It leaves YOU in the dark.

Yup, this is all a big metaphor. I like to assume you get it, but just for the record: Don't push so hard for someone else to see things the way you do. Even if you are doing it out of genuine concern... because if you DO sincerely care, you'll want to take the more effective approach. Usually that means "little by little" and not "a lot at once."