Kids will be Kids

 

 

 

The other day, I was sitting in my car in the driveway,  waiting for it to warm up.  As I sat there, I noticed two kids around the age of 8 years old, walking to school.  I noticed that neither one of them had their hoods on, even though it was very cold outside.  As I sat and watched them, a few things occurred to me.  It seems uncommon to watch children actually walk to school these days.  More often than not, parents are driving their kids to school if the kids aren’t taking the bus. If you live within a certain proximity to the school, your child is assigned as a ‘walker’.  Most of these ‘walkers’ get rides from their parents.  As I watched these two little ones, it felt very refreshing to watch them walk to school together, on their own, without parents hovering.  It made me smile to see something that took me back to my childhood.  How can children learn to become independent if they aren’t even allowed to walk to school alone?  It’s only a block or two away.  In my mind, I find this very sad.  I watch as parents indulge their children at every turn.  It is not abuse to expect your child to walk to school if they are assigned as ‘walkers’.  The simple act of walking to school, or to walk to their friends house seems to be disallowed.  The result of this indulgence by parents will enable a child to grow up and expect even more from those around them.

It’s a bigger issue here than just allowing children to go outside by themselves.  You rarely see children playing with neighborhood kids anymore.  The parents take the kids over to their friends house and pick them up.  God forbid, they require their children to get any physical activity whatsoever.  This is creating a self indulgent society for the future and we wonder why “kids” in their 40’s are still living at home with their parents.

Anyway, as I sat watching these two children, I mentioned that they didn’t have their hoods on even though it was very cold.  At that moment, I watched two 8 year olds actually think for themselves and lift their hoods on because they felt the cold.  Imagine that.  They were capable of making a good decision even without the parents hovering over them.

Being the observer of these kids for just a few moments, gave me great insight.  First, it warmed my heart to see them doing what all kids should be doing and that is walking to school by themselves.  In this society today, we live in fear of everything and we are passing that fear along to the children.  Living in fear will only create hardships.  I would love to see the children living in love, being open to the world around them.  Instead, they are holed up in their homes, playing video games and afraid to talk to people face to face.

The second thing that I realized was that without any prompt from a parent, they instinctively put their hoods on when they felt cold.  Children are smart.  They know when they are cold or not.  Parents have taken away these small lessons of children thinking for themselves and making their own decisions by insighting fear into everything and not allowing these children the space to evolve into full functioning adults, one step at a time.

Two small children gave me a bountiful gift that day.  They gave me great joy by watching children be children.  I smile when I see children playing ball in the street in my neighborhood.  It’s not something you see too often anymore.  It’s so sad to know that kids aren’t being kids anymore.  I’m even more sad to know that it’s happening because of parents’ inability to cope with their own fears and challenges.  It’s creating a cycle of sadness, dependance and self indulgence.  I can only pray that there are still those families that are willing to ‘live on the edge’ and allow the kids to be kids and learn the things that life can teach them in simple daily activities.

We Actually Like Each Other

 

 

I live with my boyfriend and his 19 year old daughter.  We have a nice, small, cohesive family unit.  We are not an exciting bunch but we do know how to laugh and have fun together.  Yesterday, my boyfriend and I went to the diner for dinner.  It’s a local diner that we often go to and everybody knows everybody.  We had an early dinner, as we usually do, so the diner was empty.  We sat and ate our dinner ,as my boyfriend began to tell me stories of his first job, when he was fresh out of high school.  He described the crazy shenanigans that went on.  He worked with his father, uncle,  brother and cousin.  The young ones would torment their boss and anybody that crossed their paths just for a laugh.  As he told me story after story, I laughed my head off.  We were carrying on at the table and having a great old time.  As we were leaving the diner, we stopped at the counter to pay and the owner was asking about my step-daughter.  You know, the typical, “How is she doing?, Is she working”, and surprisingly, “Would she like a waitressing job?”

I began to give all the details of what she’s doing in her life and how proud of her we are.  After a few minutes of my bragging, I said to them, “Look at me going on about my step-daughter.”  They laughed and said that they thought it was great.  They have often seen us together and commented on their admiration of how good we get along.  As the conversation continued, they both mentioned to me that they thought that my boyfriend and I were a cute couple.  I have never considered us a “cute” couple.  We are 64 and 58 years old.  How “cute” could we be?  They went on to say that,  they observed how we laughed together and that we actually seem to like each other.  That just cracked me up.

Their statement made me think about when I was married to my first husband.  We would sit in a restaurant and I would observe other couples eating and conversing and laughing.  I always wondered what they were talking about because we never did such a thing.  I didn’t realize then that, that was the way it was supposed to be.  It’s sad to think,  at that time in my life, that I didn’t know that couples were supposed to have fun together.  Unfortunately, that marriage ended after nine years.  On the upside,  it was an educational period for me.  I am grateful for the lessons learned from that marriage.

As I left the diner last night, I was smiling.  I got in the car and told my boyfriend what our friends had to say.  It is a treasured endowment to realize that my life has changed and evolved into a healthy and satisfying experience.  Gone are the days of constant struggle and strife in a relationship.  We have been together for 14 years and have learned to communicate with one another through good and bad.  That’s why we have so much fun.  We feel free to divulge our thoughts and feelings without judgement from each other.  We’ve learned to work through the distressing times and to respect each other throughout the process.

As a family unit, we engage in silliness and laughter.  We enjoy each others’ company within the home and when the three of us go out together we always have a great time.  Life is good when a person can finally grow and learn to laugh at themselves.  Laughter is the best medicine and although it’s not always time to laugh, it’s always time to enjoy and respect each others’ presence.

I Found the Real Thing

It’s finally January, 2019.  I haven’t written for quite a few weeks now.  That’s what happens when the holidays roll around.  Speaking of the holidays; I was dreading every part of them and much to my surprise things turned out differently than I had expected.

We couldn’t put up a Christmas tree because we have a 9 month old Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy who can easily take down a beautiful pine in the forest let alone a small artificial tree. We also have a no gift exchange policy with our adult children because we don’t need anything and they can’t afford to buy us presents so what’s the point.  But we do buy gifts for the grandchildren and that is where things got interesting.

I have 3 teenage granddaughters, 1 teenage grandson and 2 baby grandsons aging 3 and 4.  My teenage grandson and his 3 year old baby brother live in another state so I had so send them their gifts.  I asked each one of the older kids what they would like for Christmas and they told me that they didn’t want anything.  That kind of warms my heart that they didn’t feel the need to ask me for anything.  They are so sweet and kind.

I live an hour and a half away from my family which includes my siblings, my mom, my son and daughter-in-law and the 4 grandchildren.  Christmas Eve happens to be my mother’s birthday and Christmas day is my son’s birthday.  As you can see, the holidays are just a little bit more than your average celebration, what with birthdays thrown into the  mix.

I made the drive and went to see my grandkids first.  For the three girls, I gave them each a gift bag with a pack of socks from the dollar store and also a gift card.  Each one of them was so excited about the socks that they immediately put them on.  They were thankful for the gift cards but the excitement was really about the socks.  My 4 year old grandson opened his present which was a farm truck that he had to build.  It came with a drill and screws and screwdriver and it could be made into four different types of vehicles.  After playing with it for well over an hour, he came up to me and said, “Gramom, I really love this.”  My heart immediately melted.  The three girls are your typical teenage girls who love dancing and singing to the radio.  They decided to put songs on and they each had a microphone bluetooth device so we all sat there singing our favorite songs.  Then came the dancing.  They put the television on and went to youtube and pulled up some kind of dance video and it began.  All four of us were dancing to the video and laughing and singing every step of the way.  Of course, my daughter-in-law has a video to blackmail me with if I decide to get on her nerves.  HAHA.  After all the fun, we loaded up in the car and went to a farm to see a magnificent light show.  We tuned into the proper radio chanel and listened to Christmas music as we drove through the illuminating extravaganza.

I didn’t need a tree, or presents or anything else.  I felt joy that has been illusive to me for quite some time.  Joy that will last for the rest of my lifetime.  A Christmas miracle you could say.  In all its simplicity, the finest joy a person could feel.  The true meaning of Christmas.

That night I slept at my mom’s house because the following day was her birthday.  She was so excited to celebrate her 87th birthday.  The evening before, while I was with my grandkids, she decided to bake herself a birthday cake.  She hasn’t baked in years and it was surprising to me that she wanted to, but her exuberance about this birthday was notable.  When I returned to her house that night, I asked her how the cake came out and she said it was a disaster but she managed to “glue” it back together with icing.  I will never forget the laughter that we shared about that cake.

Everything about those two days gave me the extreme joy that a person should feel at Christmastime.  The greatest gift ,as always has been, is the gift of Love.  We don’t need all the fancy wrappings and expensive items to show our love for each other.  An evening of dancing and singing and laughing with a couple of teenagers and a little boy; A day with an elderly woman excited to celebrate another year alive; These are the most passionate and thoughtful gifts a person can recieve.

Where has Christ-mas Gone?

Christmas time.  I dread it every year.  I feel like a mouse trying to escape a trap.  When I go to the store I hear Christmas music, but I know it’s not for my enjoyment.  It’s to put me in a certain frame of mind.  I feel pressured into consumerism.  I feel like I can’t breathe.  I’ve got to get out of the store.  I need peace and quiet.  I want to run from all of this craziness.  Don’t they see what’s happening?  Don’t they know we are being shepherded into a pen?   I know the true meaning and I will not stand for this.  I will not renounce my belief for anyone.  It is Christ- mas time.  It is time to celebrate the birth of Jesus.  Why aren’t we allowed to use his name if it’s his birthday?  If we can’t use it and rejoice in it, what are we celebrating.    Why are we all so blinded by the sparkling lights and the ringing bells.  Get me out of this trap, this rat race.  Take me to the peaceful place within my soul that knows what is real.  We say Christmas is for the children.  We are the children of God.  Let’s rejoice and celebrate accordingly.

Love is a year round action.  I don’t need ringing bells or holly or Santa to feel true love.  Jesus came to show us the way of true love.  That love lives in each and every one of us.  Let’s change things up and celebrate love. We can celebrate by sharing our time with others, laughing, singing, caring and loving.  These are the gifts that matter most.  I have to step back from allowing the commercialism to consume my heart.  I have to return to my source, my God. I open my heart now to receive love and to give love freely.  Now, I can feel the joy of Christmas.  Thank you Jesus!  Amen.

Barrage of Goodness

Here we are, the Monday after Thanksgiving.  Many have mixed emotions today.  Some wake in dread of another Monday of the work week.  Some are just plain exhausted and want a few days to rest before returning to work and some are happy to get back to a normal routine after four days of out of the ordinary stuff.

This year, my boyfriend and I drove to Virginia to share Thanksgiving with my children and grandchildren.  There are a lot of changes just in the fact that we went.  #1:  We never travel on Thanksgiving. #2:  We never leave our state on Thanksgiving.  #3:  We have never actually gone on a road trip together.  #4:  We have never been in one house with 14 people for three straight days.  #5:  We have never spent Thanksgiving with all my kids and grandkids and their spouses and my ex-husband.

That’s a lot of new things to experience in a three day period, especially for my boyfriend who is a homebody.  It was completely out of his comfort zone.  Let’s break this whole thing down step by step.  #1:  I have always heard that the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is the most heavily traveled day of the year.  For the most part, the travel was fine because it was 95% interstate travel but we came upon an accident within the last 50 miles of our 7 hour journey.  The whole dynamic changed at that point due to being tired, cranky, hungry and the disappointment of being almost there but you have to wait a little longer.  The trip back home was awful in a whole new way.  Driving rain followed us from Virginia all the way back to New Jersey along with temperatures hovering around 32 degrees in the mountainous regions.  Visibility was almost non-existent.  On top of that, My boyfriend was having stomach issues and was unable to eat for the two days after Thanksgiving.  So, he was tired, weak, and hungry.  He hates to drive so he’s not the best road trip partner to have.  There was no singing in the rain.  I believe that I have just covered points 1 through 3.

Point number 4:  The house we stayed in was an open floor concept with three bedrooms.  There wasn’t any extra beds so we all brought air mattresses.  Bedroom number one was extra big so we fit two queen air mattresses in there to inhabit my daughter and her husband and my son and his wife.  Sounds all fine and good until you get one person who snores enough to activate the richter scale.  Much laughter came from those stories in that room.  There was even video evidence of my daughter-in-law sleeping so deep that she didn’t realize my son was sticking his finger up her nose.  We move on to Bedroom number two where my boyfriend and I slept. That was a master bedroom with a beautiful garden tub in the master bath.  When other people can’t sleep during the night, what’s a person to do but get a bath in that glorious tub.  So, people would come in and out throughout the night as we tried to sleep.  But sleeping on our air mattress was a struggle in itself.  There must have been a slow leak because during the night, I would roll over into this deep dark hole in the middle.  It was like a bad water bed.  But we survived.  Moving on, the living room was sleep central for my son, daughter-in-law and 5 grandchildren with three air mattresses and a couch.  Usually well after I went to bed there were shenanigans in the living room.  The third bedroom is where my ex-husband slept.

As I stated before, the living room, kitchen and dining room are all open concept so there was movement of one form or another throughout the night.

During the day and evenings all kinds of crazy took place and that is where the magic happened.  Silly games, kids shouting, adults laughing and mudslides going down nice and easy.  One night was craft night, so we took over all the tables as we each made our own Christmas wreaths.

Thanksgiving day was amazing.  There were no rules, not just one person cooking.  We each decided to make a specific dish.  Much to my surprise, we each were able to share the kitchen and we worked like a well oiled machine in bringing the meal together.  My two sons were outside frying the turkey in a turkey fryer while the rest of us were working on the ham and side dishes.  We placed the food out on the island in the kitchen and gathered around in a circle to share our individual gratitudes which was followed by such a heartfelt, sincere prayer by my son.  There was one person missing this year and that was my former mother-in-law who passed away in September.  We were in her kitchen, in her home and as we gathered, we knew her spirit was right there with us celebrating a very momentous occasion that she would have loved.

The things that made this gathering extraordinary were the gathering of all the sects of this family.  Being able to have 5 of my grandchildren together.  We came together from all different states.  We all traveled to be together because we wanted to.  Everyone got to meet my daughter’s new husband and my daughter got to spend this time with her father.  After Christmas my daughter will be deployed overseas.  This gathering was a very necessary one, full of love, laughter and joy.  We came together despite differences in circumstances, living proximity and time restraints.  We were one family unit, the support system for my daughter and I believe, the best send off team anyone could ask for.

As we said our goodbyes, we shared our love and prayers with each other.  We shared our blessings with my daughter on her journey.  We bonded as a family to a level that we haven’t reached before.  The word grateful cannot begin to describe the experiences of this holiday.

My heart is so full that I believe it can explode.  The explosion will consist of joy, peace, tranquility and love and my intention for this outburst is to let it all fall on everyone I come in contact with.  I share my explosion with all of you.  Please pass it on.

As far as the mixed emotions regarding this Monday after Thanksgiving; My boyfriend was filled with dread to start another Monday work week.  I am thrilled to be back home and welcome my daily routine.  I also have a sadness in my heart with having to say goodbye to my daughter for an extended period of time as she serves our country away from home.  For the most part, I think everyone was thankful to be back to their own homes and beds.  I think I can speak for everyone when I say that we came away from this Thanksgiving with new love, respect and a stronger bond with each other.

I don’t want to lose this feeling of family joy so I will choose to keep it close in my heart and reignite it each and every day.

 

The Eagle Soars

Yesterday morning I had to make a trip to my hometown which is about an hour and a half away.  Before I left the house, I had my morning coffee while scrolling through facebook.  My memory feed came up first and it contained a memory and pictures from 3 years ago of my sister’s funeral.  I looked at those pictures and the feelings from that day rushed through me.  I remembered every thought, feeling and emotion from that day.  There was so much sadness but in between there was our family joined together with love and laughter, sadness and tears.  I remembered the way everything was laid out at the service and felt my sister’s presence in each item of rememberance. I could see her hands touching each one of those items as she left her imprint to be passed along.

I finshed my coffee and proceeded to get ready for the trip without any more thought to the symbolism of the day.  As I ventured out on the road, something happened.  A bald eagle flew over my car, circled back around and flew alongside my car as I drove the highway.  He was flying very low so I didn’t have to look up in the sky as it were to see him.  He was traveling with me.

My sister had grown spiritually  in the environment of the Native American Community.  Her beliefs were grounded in the Great spirit and Creator of us all.  Although being raised Catholic, she found her home in the Native American Way.  She welcomed me and our family to share in her spiritual journey on this path.  I accepted with open heart and mind and have found much growth, love and peace along the way.

On that morning, my sister’s spirit visited me as that eagle came in my path for a quick hello.  I knew immediately that it was her.  I didn’t hesitate to say hi to her as she let me know once again that she is flying with the Great Spirit and she is very near to me always.  An incredible comfort and peace,  along with excitement came to me at that moment.

When I got to my destination, I visited with my mom and brother and sister-in-law and shared the happenings of the morning.  Every one of them knew it was our beloved making a quick, unmistakable appearance and it lifted us all in joy.  At this time of year, it seems that out of the blue, friends and family are all having their own eagle sightings.  It is clear to us that our spirit guides, our friends and family from our heavenly home are with us always.

I find peace in knowing that our dearly departed haven’t left us at all.  I believe they walk with us and give us signs that they are near.  I am grateful today for this visit from my sister.  It seems that just last week, she visited her daughter and our dear friend in Michigan.  She once again comforts us and tells us that we are never alone.

Shine Brighter

The other day I was out and about running errands and I had this experience where I felt like I was standing outside myself, observing my surroundings and the people moving about.  It was kind of weird and pretty cool at the same time.  Throughout my self-awareness journey, I have heard countless teachers mention that you have to be the observer of your own life.  When in that state, you are not operating in the egoic mind.  Does that mean that I have achieved something on that day?

Although it was an interesting experience, it only lasted for a short moment and I continued on with my day.  But, the experience itself stayed with me and I stayed conscious of the fact that it did happen.  I ask myself, ” What could the meaning of that moment be?”  I am finding that more and more people are becoming awakened to the spirit of the universe.  In my mind, I consider that to be the Holy Spirit.  As I have mentioned before, I’ve read so many books, taken classes and watched videos about self awareness.  Ever since I started Blogging, I’ve noticed that  I am encountering more and more like-minded souls out there.  This demonstrates the fact that the world is awakening from an abysmal slumber where people operated on a level of puppetry.  We have been wandering around aimlessly and willingly accepting interpretations of what life’s purpose should be from generations upon generations of pain and suffering.  The sins of the father seem to pass down and through lifetimes of willing recipients.  There are cycles of conditioning that move through us and so we share that dysfunction with our children and grandchildren and so on.

On this day, in the year 2018, things are changing.  Cycles are being broken and new thought patterns are being wired into the physical brain because somewhere along the line of generations, someone had a form of insight that maybe things were not what they were being conveyed as.  Someone decided to question certain attributes of their religion or their culture or their family.  All it takes is one person to change the dynamics of any situation imaginable.  Just one different thought pattern, just one simple question at a time, just one tiny difference can jolt us out of our dormancy and bring us into a light that we’ve never experienced before.

I believe that I may have experienced that light.   My awareness in that moment expanded to a different level.  I had a glimpse of clarity and it changed the dynamic of my thought process.  I can only imagine what would happen if this experience I had,  moved from one moment to several and so forth.

Imagine the result of  my tiny, little moment of consciousness being magnified by millions of people.  It only takes a spark to get a fire going.  We are on a path of awakening and I can feel the acceleration of awareness around me.

I am on this journey along with so many others.  We are all at different levels of consciousness.  As we journey together, the light is beginning to shine brighter and brighter and I believe that it is becoming impossible to ignore such a bright light.