for the record. . .

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

(if you want to listen to music along with this, have to scroll down and click on play first.)
dinner with a dear friend a few weeks ago,
a friend that always initiates fantastic, thought-provoking conversations,
gave me something new and brilliant to think about.
and i've been sitting on it since.
after we'd covered our usual 'catching up' topics,
she asked, "so.  tell me.  what's your record?" 
and since my blogs consist of me foaming blibber blabber from the mouth,
i'll just go ahead. . .
what an interesting question.
"what's my RECORD??"  i knew exactly what she was asking.
and i had to think a second of what it is.
it's consistently playing the same thing.  that is a record, after all.  
playing over, and over,
and over
and over. . .again.
and we all know, like all the songs we've ever LOVED initially and overplay,
until we get sick of them.
they get old.
and so do our own little PERSONAL records that we've got spinnin' on and on in our head,
from our mouth,
from our behavior.
first, it's you.  my definition is your record is sort of what you put out there to others.
what people think when they hear the name, "oh yeah!  liz westerhaus!  she's a. . ."
(insert kind words here, please.)
but how your friends view you, your family.
your record, i think, is what people know they're going to get, EVERY time they talk to you?
how you greet people.  
are you a hugger, a hand-shaker, serious, comforting, do you scream, "HHHHAAAAAYY GIRL!  WHAT'S UP?!"
how do you answer the phone?  how do you say good bye?
how do you listen or talk?
do you let others share or control conversations?  do you interrupt a lot?
do you leave people interested to know more?  bored to tears?
do you know when to shut up and when to pipe in?
i was afraid to answer the question, because i know what i THINK my record is,
and i was a little ashamed of it.
but i had to ask her first, 
"well?  what do you think my record is?"
she replied, "your kids are always crazy."
true dat.
"you love your husband and he's amazing."
yes and yes.
and then i can't remember after that, but the talk continued.
this is the way i typically answer her, "so what's new?  how are you?!"
whenever someone asks me how things are, how the kids are, my first reaction is to act like
my life is crazy and chaotic, with a deep sigh.  (which it is, but not any more than any other mother i know.)
and i don't know why i've started answering like that.  it's a habit i've gotten in to.  and it's my record.
a super annoying record.
but i realized, i have a couple different records going with different people.
when my husband calls to check in during the day,
i don't answer like i do to one of girlfriends calling, excited, loud, a little obnoxious, a voice full of joy.
he usually gets a, "hi.  what's up."  
so, i do know, my records change from person to person.
which i think is ok sometimes but also inconsistent.
and actually, i know why i do that.  if i sense the person who's asking, well, if THEIR life is crazy,
i feel like i have to relate to them in some way, so they know i understand.
which is nice and all, but not always totally honest.
because, although my life is crazy, it's more wonderful, than anything.
why can't i just say, "the kids are awesome!  they suck some days, but overall, they're wonderful!"
that has been my record for sometime.  to downplay my true feelings, my excitement, my joy, my happiness.
God knows i have no problem relaying disappointment, sadness, heartache.
so why be so frugal with the joy?!
if someone is complaining about their husband, i'll feel the need to complain to,
although in that particular moment, i may have absolutely nothing to complain about.
but again, my record.
an ANNOYING habit i've gotten in to.
since our talk, i've become more aware of that old record that's been playing.
trying to change the way i act, answer, greet, chat.
it's damn refreshing.
and isn't it time?
time to dust off an old, but awesome record, 
maybe one from the early 90's?
when you were carefree, content, youthful, naive?
and try that one out?
it could be as simple as changing the way you answer the phone,
sending forth empathy or kindness instead of judgment in your gossip.
SO hard to do.
i tried to not judge for a day, and dear God, it was hard.
it's so easy to pass judgement.
but if that's your record, ditch it for a day.
see how much BETTER you feel, how much more amazing and simple your life is,
when you try a new way of doing things.
summer's here now, a new season, 
like every other, filled with a million different changes.
more than just the intense heat of the sun and the cool comfort of the shade,
school ending.  
vacations starting.
so, enough foaming.
i took some pictures for gracie's preschool class.
like everything in life, the anticipation is so much worse than the actual event.
i took it in stride.  did my job, fought back a few tears.
tried to envision gracie doing this 13 years from now,
running in last (because her last name starts with a W.)
holding her hat down to keep from getting tossed to the wind,
little sundress under her gown, blowing in the spring breeze.

how daddy can just pick up his baby girl still and hold her in his arms,
the only man in her life.
and how in a short time, she'll be just a tad shorter than him, reaching up to kiss him on the cheek and then leave us quickly to go be with her friends.

how exhausting but SO simple this age is.
switching schools and moving on (for them,) ain't no thang.
all she cares about is what kind of ice cream she's going to have after the ceremony.
i watched the slideshow, reliving the day through a mother's eye,
instead of a constantly-critiquing photographer.
and i bawled.
and then i photographed her last dance class.
did my job, stayed in the moment.
tried not to get annoyed, as she was SUPER bossy that class.
(probably because i was there and she knew i wouldn't yell at her in front of everyone.)
can't you just SEE the sass coming off of her?
had to be first at everything, her tight-less little legs in her sassy little walk,
acting out, ignoring the teacher and not paying attention,
i just shot and tried not to lose my schmidt on her for being so naughty.
then watched the slideshow and bawled some more.
as usual, for the years and how TOO DAMN FAST they go.
and how much i hate that about parenting.
and although her attitude and whining and begging drives me bonkers,
it's the best thing about her.  she's persistent, committed and won't back down.
it is SO, SO bittersweet to see these moments as a parent,
these little milestones.
it kills me and breaks my heart a million times over.
but there's no changing this, so we cry, then give thanks for the blessings, and move on to the next.
needless to say, may was a month of great joy and many tears.
and it is the summer of gracie, for me.
because kindergarten is around the bend and i want to savor these summer days
and have an obnoxious birthday party for her,
before that huge change in her life. . .and mine.
other recent goings-on. . .
memorial weekend.  lovely.
(and since we're changing the record, instead of saying, it was long, crazy, sweaty and. . .
i'll say, "the kids had their moments.  so did mommy and daddy.  but it was beautiful.  a beautiful weekend."
and it truly was.
filled with humor.
brian will do anything to get me to laugh.  no matter how disgusting or rude or innappropriate.
why i love him.
so i came outside to find this on the driveway.
if you can't read it, is says, FOR A MODERATELY DECENT TIME, CALL EAW.
that would be me.
thanks, honey.
and i giggled my face off and said, "wow.  that's fu**ing funny."
it was.
i found myself on the floor of the bathroom, my favorite place to photograph,
trying to capture tuna and is hilarious-ness.
he has this sweet little face,
and the voice of a trucker.
low and gruff and scratchy and SO damn funny.

when he comes out of the house in the mornings,
and neighbor friends are at the park, 
he yells, "HEY WADIES!" (ladies.)  in this deep little man voice.
(he hears me yell that a lot.) 
dear God, look at those meat fingers.
he's little (in a 2-year-old kind of way,)
squat and meaty like his mother,
but dense like a potato salad.
he will not be a small man.
and although a little rough around the edges,
he's a sweet as pie and loves him some big brother.
jack is so good to him.

took some pics with daddy.

and sweet Jesus, those damn crocs n' socks.  vomit.
they do that just to mess with me.
and took some pics with a disheveled-holiday-weekend mommy.
to show how tall jack is at 6.
i told him it took me 32 years to get here and he was over halfway there (the height, not the disheveled,) in 6 short ones.
that's crap.
i remember the first time my grandpa held jack when he was a mere 8 lb. sack of potatoes,
my grandpa said, "he's gonna' be a big one."
he's on his way.
and this past weekend,
my squirrely-girl in her momma's new hat.
(sweet, huh?)

so if not ready to change the record, how about a new hat?
something small, but noticeable, just to see how it fits?
it may change your life.:)


Sarah Joanis said...

My friend's son wears Sandal thongs(with the thing between the toe) with socks. I am sure she would love it if he moved to crocs & socks. But I am with you....crocs = vomit. Love Gracie's hat. Helloooooo Gap Model!!

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