Tuesday, October 17, 2017

I Am Modest. Sort Of.




Today I went bra shopping for the first time in way too long. Supposedly you are supposed to replace your bras every six months, but who the fuck has time to do that? And who the fuck has all that money??  Bras are EXPENSIVE. Maybe just my size is expensive? Target and Wal-Mart cannot help me with this item of clothing.

From the time I was in high school, I have been blessed with my two lady friends. My mom was a stickler for posture, so that made my chest seem even bigger because unlike my friends, I was not allowed to hunch over. Gain weight, lose weight - my friends are still there. They refuse to leave me. It's like they took out a 30 year mortgage, paid it off, and are here to stay. You would think at 40, I would be used to the annoyance that is bra shopping, but I am not.

In high school and college, my mom made me go to a special store that properly fits you. I have PTSD from those experiences. Even with my sailor like mouth, I am super shy about my body. In this special bra store, the sales lady comes into the dressing room WITH you! They stare at your chest, measure you with a measuring tape, and help you properly put your bra on. Are you embarrassed for my 14 year old self?? I am. It was AWFUL. I HATED going there. Ugh. A teenager has enough angst. I did not need the bra ladies adding to mine.

I am super loud. However, ones bra size should not be mentioned loudly enough for all to hear! I still think my mom owes me an apology. I am grateful she helped me have supportive bras and I don't have saggy breasts because of it, but.....for fuck's sake, it was traumatizing.

So here I am today, 40 years old, texting my cousins, aunts, and my mom from the fucking dressing room of Nordstrom's while I stand in shock at my bra size. G-d bless my grandma and her genes, we are all well endowed. Well, we, minus one...sorry Aunt "LACA."  Yes, I sent a group text. Yes, I am still in disbelief. You know what else is shocking? $78 for a damn bra. Sure, the bra is supportive. Sure, my shirts look better, but you need more than one bra!! How the hell can one justify this much money on a fucking bra!!! HOLY SHIT!!!  I need to take out a bank loan when it is time to purchase new bras!!

The Nordstrom's saleswoman saw me with my bras, asked if I needed help and I immediately said no. I don't give a flying rats ass that I am 40 and skinnier than I have been in decades, you bitches are not coming into the dressing room with your molesting measuring tape.

And now the saleswoman is asking if everything is alright since I have been in the dressing room for quite some time. I was in there for awhile partly due to my group text and partly because every bra I pulled gave me double boob, armpit boob, or had so many hooks I thought I was a fucking fisherman.

Damn it. Just come in and measure me. Great, now she wants to assist me in putting on my new bra. I AM FORTY!!! I CAN PUT ON MY OWN DAMN BRA!! Seriously. Is there a training lingerie sales people go through??? I want to run the next training. There IS a way to make this experience less uncomfortable. Perhaps a joke could lighten the mood?

After many different style of bras and more hooks than I can count, I was more than satisfied with what became my new bra.

The best part of the new bra - two hooks! TWO! I am not even sure how that's possible. I haven't seen two hooks since my training bra.

The worst part of the new bra - I had to sing my ABCs to figure out exactly how big my breasts are and that letter my friends: well, it only belongs in the alphabet.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Another Year? I Think Not

Two years ago we left the synagogue I called home for 38 years. For a multitude of reasons it was no longer the right fit for our family of four. So, we "shul shopped."

This year during our shul shop, we decided to pray with our Chabad Rabbi, his wife, their children, and a community we are just starting to get to know. While our daughters attend religious school with these wonderful people, our family had yet to pray with them.
(Make no mistake, at this point "these" and "them" is now an "us.")

During the service, which by the way I enjoyed, the Rabbi delivered his sermons. In years past I have listened to sermons, but not with the concentration I had this year. This year, with a smaller community, my husband on the other side of the mechitza, and my children participating in a meaningful children's program, I was able to truly listen.

The message? A new year or another year? Interesting.

As the Rabbi explained, there is always another year. The Jewish new year happens each year (and I thought so does January 1st). With two chances at a new year, was I really making it a new year or another year? The Rabbi went on to discuss how we all get another year, but it is up to us to make it a new year. Will we change how we react to people, will we change our family dynamics, will we make a conscious decision to have a true new year.

The Jewish new year this year happened right after Hurricane Harvey hit our area. Devastation occurred physically and emotionally for all those involved.

A new year? Was it possible to take something like the hurricane and find a spiritual connection to it all? Maybe, just maybe for me the hurricane is a reminder to let all the "stuff" wash away in an effort to have this new year.

My girls have a new year. It is almost inevitable. As you grow your desires, needs, expressions, mannerisms mature. As a child, your year is new whether you're in control or not. You learn new things in school, achieve new milestones, make new friends, have new, age appropriate challenges - all of which allow you the courtesy of a new year. I do not believe my children have ever had another year.

But what about us? The adults. Are we blessed with the same unconditional new year? The answer is no. We may have new challenges and new joys, but the majority of us react the same way. We continue to yell at traffic, get pissy with a friend, spouse, sibling for not meeting our expectations, experience frustrations at what could be considered small stuff, while being completely overwhelmed with the big stuff. Yes we laugh and smile, but is it the same laugh and same smile?

At 40, is it possible for me to look inward enough and guarantee myself a new year? I sure hope so. I am self aware enough to know that I have tried (for a long time now) to give myself a new year vs. another year. Some days resemble this new year. A year filled with new hopes, renewed patience, a more genuine smile, and a deeper laugh. And then there are days that resemble another year.

My prayer for this year, my new year, is that each day I remember to have this new year. I want to fulfill that promise to myself, my family, my friends. I want to be able to have a fresh outlook, see the world with a new pair of eyes, and relish in the newness that I may have forgotten. I want to let go of any judgement, anger, or frustration that I am holding onto and let it wash away with the horrific flood waters from a few weeks ago.

Another year? No.

A new year filled with hopes, possibilities, and anything else I dream?  Yes. Yes, indeed.

Thank you Rabbi. Your words are powerful.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Making A Come Back

Wow!

It has been awhile since I last blogged. My last entry was a month ago as I was bracing myself for the emotions that come with sending your last child off to Kindergarten.

Fast forward a month and I cannot even believe what has happened.

We started school! Third grade and Kindergarten! We had a wonderful three days and then school was closed. Cue: Hurricane Harvey.

My family survived Hurricane Harvey and while we did sleep in closets due to tornado warnings and we did evacuate our home, we are very fortunate to not have suffered any physical damage to our property. We have many friends and family that were not so lucky. We did, however, suffer from emotional trauma. I will not go into too much detail but protecting your children in a closet while a tornado tears through the street your friends live on is unimaginable. Evacuating your home at a moment's notice knowing your home town is under water and your current community is taking in flood waters, rips a hole in your heart. The whole experience has left all of us looking for actual blue skies and rainbows.

When we did return to our home, we had play dates with our friends to help their working parents because school was still closed. We collected items for people who lost everything in the hurricane.
As we were trying to emotionally recover from Harvey, The Weather Channel and family group texts were all on again due to Hurricane Irma. We have A LOT of family in Florida.

Again, for the most part my family was spared. We do have family that has some home damage, but we do not the extent as they have been unable to return to their home. We continue to pray for them daily.

Finally school started again (yesterday) and we literally had a SECOND first day of school.

Rosh Hashana (the Jewish New Year) is next week and while I typically get super anxious about The Book of Life and all it represents, I am so grateful to have a holiday that symbolizes a fresh start. It is time for a do over.

This past year was rough, emotionally. The girls had struggles from anxiety to peer pressure to social acceptance to typical growing pains and more. I felt like each week we were on this emotional roller coaster and it was anybody's guess as to which one was going to lose their shit and become hysterical.

Add to that, I really feel like my family has not recovered from my grandma dying. And when I say my family, I am not referring to just us four. My family is my aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, and my parents. Losing our matriarch was devastating. Everything is the first without her and it makes the pain that much worse. Some days are better than others, but we all miss her.

I am so grateful for all we have. I truly am. I am healthy, my girls and husband are healthy, and we are happy. But at the same time, I am actively praying for a better year for all of us.

I am not praying for happiness as that is a choice you make yourself, but rather praying for peace. I am praying the girls have peace in their hearts and in school, I am praying for peace in our home, and praying for peace in my husband's business.

Rosh Hashana begins at sundown September 20th and as my family begins to pray and celebrate this holiday I will keep my eyes on our future.

A new year awaits us and we are ready to make the most of it.



Thursday, August 17, 2017

Kindergarten Tears

In an hour E2 has meet the teacher. In an hour E2 will walk into her kindergarten room and begin her official schooling.

In an hour I will cry. I will continue to cry on the first day of school. I will not cry in front of her, but I will continue to wipe my tears as I stare at her in the rear view mirror singing along to Moana, I will wipe my tears as she and her big bow with ponytail bounce towards a play date, and I will wipe my tears when she gets off the bus for the very first time.

I know everyone tells you to enjoy them when they are little and believe me, I did. However, there is nothing enjoyable about teething, potty training, sleep training, and tantrums. Nothing. Did I wish those times away? Hell yes. Do I regret that? Fuck no. Can I still bawl like a child on the first day of kindergarten? Of course.

Whether you enjoyed the newborn stage (I loathed it), toddler stage (love), little kid stage of 3-5 years (fun), you still get to be upset (if you choose) when your baby starts kindergarten. It is the beginning of the end.

Kindergarten begins the "teachers see my kid more than I do" phase of life. And that's why I cry.

I cried when E1 started kinder and her teacher was awesome. I already know E2 has a fantastic teacher and this time around, it is even harder! I am a mess!!!

I cry because E2 will have successes and failures that I will no longer see.
I cry because E2 will learn something new and flash her awesome smile and I will not be there to witness it.
I cry because at some point she will be crying and I won't be there to hug her.
I cry because her future now belongs in someone else's hands.

We are zoned to a wonderful school. I trust the teachers immensely, but I am the ultimate mama bear and letting go of control and letting my baby grow up is tough stuff.

At the present moment I am crying, blogging about crying, and E2 is saying, "Mom! Is it time to meet my teacher? I already love her and kindergarten!"

So to E2's teachers from kindergarten through 12th grade - be kind, be mindful of your words, be generous with your smiles, and know she is an amazing kid.

Kindergarten, elementary school, and to the whole world - watch out, here comes E2! And trailing behind her is me, her mom, wiping away tears.




Sunday, August 13, 2017

Happy 6th Birthday

YOU ARE SIX!

Happy birthday, sugar! 

In the blink of an eye you are another year older and now starting kindergarten. I don't know how we got here so quickly. It is true, the days are long but the years are short. 

From the minute you were born you have had my entire heart wrapped up in your great big smile. No matter what the day brings you, you can find the joy. It is the greatest gift in the world to be able to find happiness in all you do and you, my daughter, smile brightly each and every day.

For six years I have worried. I worried when you wouldn't sleep, you wouldn't eat, you wouldn't talk. On your second birthday you had five words and ate about the same amount of foods. You were happy and content and smiled that smile, but I knew you could do more. And after six years, I still worry but I have also learned NOTHING will hold you back. Your future will be whatever you want it to be.

Your journey to six, which is so young and so old at the same time, has been long. Speech, physical and occupational therapy has been your life for four years. You have worked hard and worked with a smile. Preschool for three years brought challenges as well, and again you faced them with a smile. 

Anything you have accomplished, you have done with a smile. You know the meaning of pride. You know the meaning of hard work. You are an inspiration without even knowing it. 

Last year, when you turned five I said this was going to be "your year." And as you will learn, I am always right. 

This year, you have become a child I never dreamed possible. You squashed every worry as you began to tackle milestones and meet milestones that exceeded your age. You played softball this past year and even with your motor challenges you succeeded and were the most enthusiastic 6U softball player. The other teams would cheer for you when you hit the ball and ran to first. Everyone around you could feel the exhilaration you felt as you accomplished something so great.

Your two greatest challenges this year were learning to swim and learning to read. Learning to swim was a must from me, but I never imagined that this would become your sport. It is incredible to think at age five and half you wouldn't get your face wet and today, on your sixth birthday, you are learning to be a competitive swimmer. There is not a person in your life who is not cheering for you. Your successes have been amazing to watch.

Learning to read is no small feat. Not a day has gone by without you asking me to teach you. You want to learn and your desire to do something is all you have ever needed. Identifying letters and sounds, rhyming, beginning, medial, final sounds you have mastered. You can read small words in BOB books and want to learn more. Kindergarten is going to be a wonderful experience for you. You will take your aspirations into that classroom and become a greater version of yourself. You will learn more than academics and you will teach not only your teacher, but your classmates too how to achieve goals with strong perseverance and a smile.

I watched you this summer  and you literally swam into a different world. A world where you are no longer developmentally delayed. A world you control with that very smile you were born with.  Yes, your world will always have challenges, challenges unique to your learning style, but it is a world with endless possibilities.

It took six years for many people around you to see what I have always known - your heart, your smile, your endless zest for life is what keeps you going and what makes you capable of anything.

My birthday wish for you is your determination never dies and all your hopes and dreams come true. I look forward to seeing your toothless, six year old smile this year. 

Happy birthday, baby girl. I love you. 

Kiss, nose kiss, butterfly kiss.

Love,
Mom



Monday, July 31, 2017

Happy 9th Birthday!

Every year I sit down to write you a letter and every year I cry.
How is it possible the baby who made me a mother is nine years old?
How is it possible the teeny tiny infant weighing under 6 lbs is now a strong, beautiful young lady?

I will never forget the phone call that told me you were mine. I can still remember the weather, where I was, what was said, and the emotions that came over every inch of my body. Your birth was truly a gift from G-d.

This past year has been a roller coaster and you and I rode this ride together, but not willingly. You left the innocence of a child behind and began to experience true worries, frustrations, anger, and disappointment. You had to navigate some tough situations this year and I felt many of your growing pains. You had many struggles.

As you know, in this house we do not focus on the struggles but rather the lessons learned and the positives that have graced your life. And you, my daughter, have a wonderful life.

This year.....

You stopped tennis and found another passion, softball.
You enjoyed being on team sport and learned the joys of competition.
You rocked second grade and proved once again, you are a brilliant child.
You learned responsibility and time management.
You discovered the value of friendship.
You became aware of what a true friend looks like.
You stood up for others when no one else did.
You made positive choices when no one was looking and did not cave into peer pressure.
You experienced the loss of a loved one and were reminded how you treat your family is what is remembered.
You gained independence and started riding your bike 1 mile to the park.
You discovered the power of self reflection.
You became a more patient sister.
You realized you were more sensitive than you thought.
You recognized that others can make an impact on your life.
You embraced your own personality.
You uncovered the necessity for honesty.

On this ninth birthday, I want you to remember that you are the most amazing person. You are beautiful inside and out and even on your worst day, I love you more than the day before. Your heart is huge and you love with all your might. Your eyes are bright with a future that you will achieve because no dream is too big for you to tackle. Your smile lights up your face and makes those around you feel your joy. The loudness in your laughter fills our home and each chuckle reminds me how lucky I truly am.

I thank G-d each day you are mine. Your passion for learning and for your family is like no other. Your devotion to Judaism and G-d is inspiring. It is incredible to me that you, my nine year old, can provide me with such hope. I know you are going to change the world. Anyone that meets you, knows just how special you are in about 15 seconds.

After nine years of being your mom, I still wake up with admiration for you. You start each day anew, fresh, and willing to try things. Your stubbornness to be your best keeps you succeeding even when the odds are stacked against you. You make things happen. You take control. You live the day and pray for a better day if things did not go your way.

I cannot imagine what is in store for you this year as you enter third grade and spend your last year as a single digit.

What I do know about you, my nine year old daughter, is no matter what life throws at you, you will swing and not miss.

Happy 9th Birthday!
I love you more than yesterday,
Mom




Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Tomboys In Tiaras is TWO!




Here are the top ten viewed posts of all time:

10. At What Cost

9. For My Grandma

8. PSA

7. Category 5

6. 15 Years

5. Taking The Last Step

4. 365 Days

3. Real Family

2. Unwanted Membership

And the number one post in the last two years......

1. Because I am A**Hole

Thank you to all my readers and to my family and friends who continue to support my writing and parenting journey.
This blog has been read by people in the United States, Israel, Russia, France, South Africa, Hong Kong, Brazil, Portugal, Ukraine, Canada, Argentina, Indonesia, China, Ukraine, Australia, Switzerland, and India!
Tomboys is definitely becoming a worldwide blog!
(This is so amazing to me!!)

I would like to give a special shout to my grandma in heaven because even though she is no longer calling me after every post and she is no longer commenting, I know what she is thinking and I know I am making her proud. Of everyone who has read this blog, she really was my number one fan.

HAPPY SECOND BIRTHDAY TOMBOYS IN TIARAS!