Learning to Swim

0

Posted on : 22-Mar-2017 | By : Amber | In : adulting, learning to live, parenting brilliance, reflection, Uncategorized, Very Important Things

IMG_3765

 

Live authentic.

I looked at those words, and the only thing I could think was “What the heck does that mean? Is this some new concept that, once again, I’m not going to grasp?” That happens to me a lot; for someone that people keep saying is intelligent, I feel REALLY dumb a lot of the time. It took me forever to not break out in a cold sweat ordering anything but black coffee.  True story.  One day, people are going to figure it out, and they’re going to revoke my adulting card. That might not be so bad, except they’ll probably take my coffee and driver’s license, and then things might get ugly. That’s how fights happen.

I’ll be honest with you; I don’t like that feeling. I’m no brain surgeon, but like I said, I’m generally thought of as a reasonably intelligent person. I have a degree, I have more academic work beyond that. I worked with juvenile sex-offenders in a locked psychiatric facility, and later I taught for many years in the classroom. I then went on to my most important and challenging work: rearing and homeschooling my daughters. I’m a voracious reader, and I write. I write all the time, even if I don’t share it. I write about not having anything to write about, for crying out loud. I write about everything, and yet a two-word philosophical phrase could put me right back in the rear of my college algebra class, struggling to wrap my brain around a concept that just didn’t seem like it wanted to be understood.

I looked at those words, and I was lost at sea, trying not to look like I was drowning.

 

Learning to run

Here I am, 48 years old, and it took watching my two daughters to help me understand what those words meant, and, even more important, to realize that I was, finally, living that meaning myself.

Perhaps the most precious gift we can be given in this lifetime is the opportunity to be a parent. I was given that gift nearly 22 years ago, and I have to say that I’ve learned far more from watching my children become the people that they are than I think I ever managed to teach them. You see – I’ve watched them live authentically.

I’ve been blessed to spend most of every single day with my children. I’ve been more attuned to who they are than I ever was to who I am, and now I see – so much more than I saw before they came. I’ve seen them become THEM. I watch, every day, as they struggle to find their bliss. Their fight. Their WHY. They may not have discovered it completely yet, but they go about it in a way that I wish I’d learned so much sooner.

IMG_3761

You see, they know who they ARE. Not what they will do for the rest of their lives, not who they will marry, not things that we so often look at as being the benchmarks of a successful life. Rather, they know what they stand for. They know what they value. They know the things that make their hearts happy, and that, I think, is what it means to live authentically. They are true to themselves, true to God, and follow what makes their hearts HAPPY. Funnily enough, I think they might argue that with me, tell me that they don’t know what the heck they’re doing and what do I mean, I don’t either? But? I don’t think living authentically means you necessarily know what you’re doing. I think maybe it means remaining true to your core while you figure it out.

In the self-sacrifice that is parenthood, I have had the opportunity to learn what it means to live authentically. Not from some great work of literature, but because I’ve had the chance to live with two souls that are, perhaps, two of the most REAL I have ever known. In fumbling to help them grow, I learned what my fight was. My why. My bliss. I learned that, in order to help them live in a way that was true and right and real, I had to do the same thing myself. I had to discover the things that made my heart happy, and I had to put the effort into cultivating those things. I might not know exactly where I stood on everything, and I might not yet know exactly who I was, but when I put in effort to explore those things, every day? I was living authentically.

IMG_3763

Maybe I’m learning to swim after all.

 

(the photography in the post is by both of my daughters; you can find them on Instagram at @celtaebri and @teacupukulele)

Lifepocalypse

3

Posted on : 20-Jun-2011 | By : Amber | In : Dogs, general complaining, married life, parenting brilliance, Rambling rambles, Teenagers, zombies

So, I’d like to say that the reason I haven’t updated in oh, ever, is because I’ve been doing Really Exciting and Wild Things ™, but in fact, I’ve just been lazy. Sue me – it’s not like I get PAID to write this stuff. Contact me about doing ads on this blog and we’ll talk.

Instead of doing R.E.&W.T. ™ , I’ve been doing stuff like the following:

Threw a ball for Archer the Wonder Dog to catch, but instead he hit it with his nose and it flew back and clobbered me in the head.

Watched my eldest go to her first prom, and nearly died because (a) she’s gorgeous and (b) I’m old.

I am in so much trouble, being this one\’s mother…

 

Still not feeling better about my parenting chances here…

Wrote not nearly enough about zombies and way too many tweets.

Became addicted to The Glee Project, because not only do I watch Glee with the sort of rabid intensity I usually save for scifi and chocolate, I am apparently a sucker for people younger and prettier than myself who have so much talent it hurts. If you’re wondering, I’m pulling for Damian McGinty.

Damian McGinty

Yeah, I wanna see this guy on GLEE.

Realized that all the shows I usually watch are now in hiatus, got very sad, and then realized that Eureka is about to come back for the summer, and got glad again.

Remembered that the next installment of Gail Garriger’s The Parasol Protectorate series is due out very, very soon, and became rather giddy.

Bought Argent Vite by my dear friend Kaye and devoured it in a day. It’s available via Lulu and iBooks, and you should all go out and read it. Right now. Go on. I’ll wait.

Planted growing things in my gardens, realized I hadn’t bought enough of them to do the job, and since I’d already cleared out the OLD things for the NEW things, my flowerbeds look like they have alopecia. I guess that’s ok, though, since that matches my lawn. I rock so hard.

Tried to convince my guy that I could use a pet dryer for things other than drying Archer the Wonder Dog after his bath. The thing is, I actually COULD, but he’s not buying it – the story or the dryer. Why did I ever think practicality was an attractive quality in a man?? It’s a good thing he’s hot, that’s all I’m sayin’.

So – yeah. How did this become my life again?

P.S. – after proofing this for me, Patrick thinks everyone will believe that all I do is watch television and that our life stinks. Ya’ll know better than that – I eat and bathe occasionally, too. Take that, Patrick.

P.P.S. – if you’re just leaving a comment here because it’ll get you more traffic and better ratings with Google, then you need to go away. I actually READ the comments before I approve them, and if you’re putting up things like “this article had great informations can you tell me more?” while coding 482 links to Russian porn into the comment, you’re not going to get approved. Don’t try to sell stuff on my blog, ya’ll. I don’t even do that.

I totally get Mom-Of-The-Year, ya’ll

3

Posted on : 17-Sep-2010 | By : Amber | In : married life, parenting brilliance, Rambling rambles, Teenagers

I mean it. I totally rock as a mom. Listen to this:

So, my oldest daughter and I are giving the baby (that we babysit, not that I actually HAD, ’cause the last baby I had is now eight, and that would be weird) a bath, and she informs me that she needs a big brain bleach, because she couldn’t get to sleep last night because of MY BED CREAKING.

I got busted by my kid. Oops.

Ok, so I’m not gonna apologize, ’cause, really, why should I apologize for having a good, um, intimate relationship with my guy, and I’m caught between being embarrassed and being sorta smug, and yeah, smug wins out. Which, to my mind, makes me mom-of-the-year.

Look at how many people have screwed-up ideas on how marriages and intimate relations work, and I’m showing my daughter, showing, mind you, in an INDIRECT and totally UNKNOWING way, that after a long time that part of my life is still active and good. I think that is a pretty awesome thing for her to know, that monogamy doesn’t mean boring or monotonous and that as a couple her dad and I have a relationship that’s strong and vital and pretty darn good.

To continue the lesson, I will be attaching one of these to the bottom of my bed:

Cowbell

Cowbell – for all your noise-making needs

P.S. I just remembered that my parents read this, too. Oh, well – did they think their grandkids came from the cabbage patch??