Insane Clown Texts from Dad

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My Dad recently sent a text that said “Soon to be ex manager of Resource Depot driven mad with hopeless longing.” Attached with a picture of him in the scariest clown mask I’ve ever seen. My first thought was, “Oh no. Dad’s gone full serial killer.”

When I called him it turns out he just wanted to quit his job so he could travel more. A strangely mundane story considering it’s my dad and a creepy ass clown mask is involved.

Our conversation continues:

Dad: “You should take it for Augie, it’s a really expensive looking mask.”

Me: “No thanks Dad, I don’t want Augie to grow up to be a murderer or worse an Insane Clown Posse fan.”

Dad*hearing nothing*: “What about for an early birthday present?”

Me: “As much as a four year old wants a used killer clown mask the answer is still no.”

Dad then lists other people he could give the clown mask to, including a pastor at his UU church, so I’m sure this will end well.

I did have some fun with the mask: I put the picture of my dad in the mask on his birthday cake captioned, “Never looked better.” Sooooo I’m sure I’m on some sort watch list at the Stop & Shop bakery. So far I’ve done a Golden Girls, Judge Judy & now scary clown cake, each one promoted more & more concerned looks from the bakers.

Photo cakes might be the best & worst thing that ever happened to me.

 

My deep seated (slightly weird) love of Mr. Rogers

Mr Rogers is everything I wish I could be. He is the wind beneath my wings, my #parentinggoals and my personal hero. I love him in a non ironic, non hipster sort of way. I adore him the way sports people adore their sports idols. He’s my Micky Ruth.

I remember where I was when I heard he had passed. I was in science class my junior(ish) year of college. My science professor & I had worked out a nice mutual ignoring of each other, until she informed the class that he had died. I was immediately shook. My professor and I made rare eye contact and even rarer conversation about how sad we were.

Seriously, if you ever get a chance to go on a deep dive of Mr. Rogers you will not be disappointed. Start with the book: “I’m Proud Of You”  by Tim Madigan, it’s about a guy (Tim) going through a mid life crisis and he forms an unlikely friendship with Mr. Rogers. During his mid life crisis he realizes that he has never heard his father say “I’m proud of you.” and that has a lasting effect on his life. So he asks Mr. Rogers if he’s proud of him and Mr. Rogers tells him he’s very proud of him and then signs every letter they write to each other with I.P.O.Y. (I’m proud of you.). It’s such a great story. Tim also fully realizes the weirdness of a grown man asking another grown man to tell them they are proud of them but it so profoundly effected his life that it didn’t matter.

Honestly, I doubt Mr. Rogers ever thought about the weirdness. He just saw a need, did something wonderful and didn’t care if it was normal. He wasn’t normal. He was better then normal. He was helpful and kind and that’s all that mattered to him.

Also, this book does have a bit of a religious slant to it. As did Mr. Rogers. Truthfully, I don’t have a religious belief system. I don’t have an understanding of Universal Intelligence, higher power, a grasp of heaven or hell. Basically anything existential is above my pay grade. Not having a fully formed answer to the why and the how of the universe can sometimes be a lonely place. Particularly lately when it feel like the world is on fire and the death eaters are winning. When I start to feel pretty bummed about everything I remember Mr. Rogers. He existed. He was good and kind and wanted to help. And there are so many people like him. One of Mr. Rogers most famous quote talks about this need to remember the good:  “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping. To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world.”

The Dalai Lama states, “Our prime purpose in life is to help others, And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.” For me, Mr. Rogers is the best example of a helper. He gave his life to make children feel connected, less scared, and wanted them to know that he loved them just the way they are.

So as I worry for our children’s generation who seem to have so much more turmoil and uncertainty, I am comforted that Mr. Roger’s legacy continues. Our sweet children don’t get him physically but they will damn sure get his messages through the lives he’s so deeply & proundly touched.

So thank you, Mr. Rogers and I know where ever you are you are being the very best neighbor.

When clay figures go wrong

My son recently made a King & Queen clay figures. He wanted everyone to know one was male & one was female, hense the anotomy. I sent the pics to one of best friends.

Me: “Augie made a King & Queen. If you can’t tell who’s who he gave the Queen a HUGE vagina.”

JW: “How does he know what a vagina looks like?”

Me: “Him & Anna bathe together. Plus he’s a huge fan of that kid from Kindergarten Cop. Apparently the Queen is the Queen of India, we all know how she got that job.”

JW: “You’re offensive.”

Me: “I know, I shouldn’t slut shame a clay Queen snowman. With a HUGE vagina.”

JW: “Some of us have to birth humans naturally. Large vaginas happen. And matter.”

Edit to Add: *I fully support the BLM movement and am in no way making fun of it. *I guess I also support large vaginas but am kind of making fun of them.

School Photos round 2. Augie’s perfected the hungover Frat guy look.

Me: “School Photo. Augie looks progressively more hungover. He def. lost his real estate license.”

RE: “You’ll know when he hits rock bottom.’

Me: “Next year’s photo he’ll be shirtless.”

RE: “It’s always spring break in Augie’s book. Does he love wearing newsies caps?”

Me: “YES. And his new favorite thing to say is “Come at me, Bro.” I think I’m in trouble.”

RE: “You should get him shamrock tattoo for his next birthday.”

Me: “Done. I need someone in the family to have a tattoo equivalent to my 1998 butterfly tattoo.”

Conversations with Uncle Ryan. Continued…

Me: “Ryan, Do you mind watching Augie & Anna while I pick up Mom & Bob from the airport? Or you could grab them but it’s rush hour.”

Ryan *looking visibly upset*: “Jesus. That’s a tough call.”

Me: “Spending an hour with your niece and nephew or sitting in rush hour traffic?”

Ryan: “Yes…..No idea what’s worse….I guess I’ll choose the kids because you have snacks.”

Me: “Umm thanks…”

Ryan: *mutters under his breath* “You better have ice cream.”

My slightly above average parenting blog turns one.

It’s coming up on a year since I’ve started this blog. I know. Everybody calm down. No need to jump.

A full year. It’s funny because a year in I thought (much like motherhood) I would have a better understanding of what the hell I’m doing. Truth is I know way less now then when I started. Starting something is easy, it’s full of promise and newness. When you have a new baby your so full of love and delaruim, everything is exciting. I have never felt more content when 1st born was about 6 months (once the sleep deprivation faded), everything seemed so easy back then. So new and exciting.

It’s the same with writing or blogging. At first you’ve got a million stories and ideas and you strive to be funny and interesting. But as time wears on you start to start to feel like your just a butt wiper with a computer. How can I be interesting if most of my time is spent trying to negotiate who had which matchbox car first. I recently called my husband because I thought the size of my 2 year old’s poop was ASTONISHING. I contemplated taking a picture but know I am constantly straddling the line of sanity and need to check myself when I’ve gone too far. (But seriously, it was HUGE)

Anyways, how can anyone justify putting them selves out there when they are not living a life that doesn’t seem that interesting. Well, what I learned is; it doesn’t matter what others define as interesting. It matters what you define as interesting.

Truth is everybody has a story and most people want to share it. So let them. Let them share. And share your story. The happiest people in the world are the most connected to other people and writing and sharing is a way of connecting.

There was a very famous Harvard happiness study and that resulted in this : “The clearest message that we get from this 75-year study is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.” Not money. Not power. Not how many blog posts you have (damn it) or how many followers you get.

So have a voice. Share. Write. Connect.  Don’t get caught up in how many page views you got or how many shares an article had because in the end it doesn’t matter. What matters is the the connection you have to your family, friends & community.

Also, it’s never about how much you have but how much you give.

Thanks for reading. ❤️❤️❤️

 

 

Modern Country Music.

What’s happening to country music? Seriously. I have  A LOT of questions. Things have gotten….strange. For example, this song came on and I swear to christ the artist just googled country music, then sang every country cliche and now it’s a song.

From what I can tell this song is called America because OF COURSE. The lyrics are:

It’s a high school prom, it’s a Springsteen song
It’s a welcome home parade, yeah
It’s a man on the moon and fireflies in June and kids sellin’ lemonade
It’s cities and farms, it’s open arms, one nation under God
It’s America! It’s America! Oh, oh yeah, woo!

What. The. Actual. Fuck. America is a high school prom? And why does he have to bring Springsteen into it? You know that mother fucker wanted to write Taylor Swift but the google search said she wasn’t country enough.

Anyways, my kids enjoyed it (as evidenced by the video below), they also like when I tell them I’m going to tell them a secret and push them down and saying the word butt. Soo.

 

Happiness is a Bitch.

Should someone else’s happiness should affect your happiness? The obvious answer is no. Someone else’s successes or failures has nothing to do with you or your life.

I whole heartedly agree with this idea yet….sometimes I struggle.

I find myself scrolling Facebook and when someone I don’t particularly care for or feel inferior to has a positive thing happen it feels like a personal dig at me. Like, who does this person think they are that they can have great things happen and I’m over here watching my third hour of Dance Moms eating non organic peanut butter because I’m too lazy to make a proper sandwich. Assholes, that’s who.

So for me the first step is admitting there is a problem. Admitting that you can’t be happy for someone else’s success is hard because it means that you feel like your in competition with them and you’re losing. That something is going on in your own life making you feel less than or vulnerable and here’s the god’s honest truth: that’s ok. Life is filled with ups and downs, they just aren’t usually shared on social media. Ups only on the ole social media.

Feeling a bit lost or sad or ‘not where you should be’ is a hard place to admit to being. It’s easier to attack the other person: their bragging or  being “fake” or inauthentic. That way one don’t have to examine what’s at the core of a reaction.

So the only thing that I have found to be helpful when I’m feeling this way is to talk about it/write about it/examine it. Get to the core. As my dead boyfriend/hero Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers to those who weren’t pretend dating him) said, “If it is mentionable, it is manageable.” If you can talk about it you can get through it.

I also know that this feeling is a kick in the butt to get working on myself. Focus on the only thing I actually have control over: myself and my happiness. So when I’m feeling a pang of jealousy, it’s a cue to get moving. Not because you are actually in competition with some Facebook bragger (that Facebook bragger is probably not as happy as they want everyone to believe) but because it triggered something in me that’s saying I’m not feeling right about my life. When I’m happy and things are going great, someone else’s happiness or successes is a blip on my radar but when I’m not; an Instagram post will make me rage eat a peanut butter sandwich.

So a gentle reminder: