Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Weird Dream

I had a very strange dream last night, and I have this nagging feeling that it means something, but I can't quite figure it out. I was in this arena-type setting, and I was anxious because I didn't have a ticket. That was my goal in the dream, to purchase a ticket. But I couldn't find the ticket office. I rushed around the arena, looking for the ticket office. I'd ask strangers where it was, but when they would give me directions, they led to nowhere.

Just about everyone I've ever known was there, in various seats spread out through the arena. I saw people I knew in high school, but I wasn't interested in talking to them. Nienna and Jessica were sitting together, on the other side of the arena from where I was, and they waved at me. Christina and Sandy were sitting together, in another section, but they didn't notice me. Mom and Jimi were together, with one seat separating them. Aunt Darlene, Uncle John, and Aunt Lindy were together, near Mom and Jimi but not close enough to talk to each other. A boy I was good friends with in high school and a guy I had a crush on when I was 19 were also there, not together, but I saw each of them and couldn't decide whether or not to talk to them.

I passed Aunt Darlene, Uncle John, and Aunt Lindy and promised to sit with them after I purchased my ticket. Then from out of nowhere a woman handed me what she said was a ticket, claiming that she had to leave. Suddenly I was with Mom and Jimi, and I told Mom to give the woman a dollar for her ticket. Mom started stammering that she didn't have a dollar. I rolled my eyes and told the woman I had a dollar in my car, but the woman interrupted me and told me to "keep the damn money." When I looked down at the ticket, it turned into a dollar bill. So I still had to purchase a ticket.

I continued in my hasty pursuit of a ticket, fretting that I was running out of time. I went this way and that, but still couldn't find the ticket office. Then as I was turning a corner, I saw Michael. He was young, like he was when we first met at the skating rink. I called his name and asked what he was doing there. He looked at me blankly and said, "I don't know you."

It was then that the damn alarm clock woke me up, and the dream ended. Weird, huh?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Inspired By Connor's First Day of School

It is on an August evening that the young mother of three steps outside her back door to gaze at the moon. The air is warm and humid, as is typical of the land of magnolia trees and antebellum homes in late summer. There is a slight breeze, however, that foreshadows the coming season, a time filled with hayrides and visits to the pumpkin patch.

The moon hangs low over the trees, a large white orb that brings comfort as it always has, even before she saw it as a symbol of deity. August is a month of change, and she has never liked change, her life being so constantly full of it. She wants things to forever remain the same.

Her oldest child must grow up tomorrow, must leave the nursery, as Wendy told Peter Pan. The first star of the evening twinkles, and she blinks away a tear. She remembers the old rhyme and before she can stop herself, she makes a wish.

She thinks about the story of Thumbalina. What if her child were tiny enough to need her always? What if a wish could make it so? Would she make him a bed from a walnut shell and tuck him in every night? Would he long to fly away, as Thumbalina did with the fairy prince?

"All children must grow up and leave their parents," he would say, and she would know this was true. "But I'll always need you, in some way," he would tell her, and she would know this was true, too.

She leaves her thoughts where they belong and finds him ready for bed. He curls his fingers around her hair as he has always done for comfort, and she pulls him into her lap. She kisses his head and he places it on her shoulder. "I love you," she whispers.

"I love you, too, Mommy."

Monday, August 13, 2007

On Babies and Being Different...

You mustn't hold your baby too much, or you'll spoil them! If you don't let them cry, they'll expect you to pick them up at every whimper! They have to learn to put themselves to sleep in order to become independent! If you let them into your bed once, you'll never get them out of it! You have to control them, or they'll control you!

It makes me want to puke. Can someone please explain to me when we as a society decided that babies are capable of manipulation? Who assigned such a complex thought process to such simple creatures? Why is it so wrong to baby your baby?

A good friend told me today that she's going to have to "de-spoil" her four-month-old son because he wants to be held all the time. If it's possible to smile and nod over the phone, that's what I did. I don't think she was interested in my thoughts on the subject, and since she's a good friend, I don't want to criticize her parenting. She's also a first-time mom and quite sensitive about such things.

She had called me to ask what kind of baby juices she can give. I confessed I had no clue because I've never given my babies juice. I think she took it as a criticism, but I didn't mean for it to be. Who am I to judge? As a first-time mom, I gave Connor baby food at the age of four months on the advice of his (former) pediatrician. I didn't know any better, and neither does my friend.

I've done a 180 since then, and I'm completely confident that this attachment parenting thing works very well for us. I'll also not-so-secretly (since this blog is public) confess that I think attachment parenting is the best way to parent. Oh I know it's politically correct to say that what works for one parent may not work for another and all that bullshit. Come on, let's be honest. We all know that we think the way we parent is the best way, otherwise we'd do things differently.

That said, it's hard to be an AP mom around here. Come to think of it, it's much like being Pagan...which I also am. Strike two on the freak-o-meter. On the rare occasion I meet someone who calls themselves an attachment parent, thoughts of playdates in the park race through my head. Reality quickly sets in; I always meet these parents in Columbia, and I live too far away to make friendship a likely possibility.

I'll admit to being disappointed that my friend doesn't share my parenting views. We have so many things in common, including being Pagan, that maybe I assumed we would be alike in that regard as well. Another friend of mine just found out she's pregnant, and I already find myself hoping to find that commonality with her. Hey, her sister considers herself AP, so it could happen. ;)

I look back and try to pinpoint when exactly I started wandering off the beaten path. It's not like I consciously set out to be different from everyone else. Attachment parenting, like the Pagan path I follow, just seem to fit me. It makes sense, feels right, and all that jazz. Maybe I've always felt a little different. When I look around, I have to admit that I don't always think that's such a bad thing.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Good Weekend!

A little bit of "me" time makes for a happy mommy. :)

Jess and I went to karaoke Saturday night, and even though I got home way too late, I had a lot of fun. We met this guy from Greece who bought us drinks and taught us some interesting things about his culture and religion. And this guy hit on Jess, which is always good for the ego, lol. I totally blew the Dixie Chicks song I sang, but oh well.

Yesterday I took Addison swimming at Heather's. Jess and Eric had Cameron there, and Olivia and Jackson were there, as well as a couple of friends of Jess'. It was a relaxing afternoon, and Addi loved the pool. Afterwards, Jess and I went to Once Upon a Child, where I bought Addi cute clothes that she doesn't need. Heehee! I also found Connor a Beatles shirt for $2.50, so that was cool.

Michael also got time for himself this weekend. He went to a party at his co-worker's house on Friday night, and yesterday before I went swimming, he and his dad went to see The Bourne Ultimatum. It worked out really well this weekend; there was no fighting over who was stuck at home and no pissing contests about who gets more time to him/herself. Now if we could only manage for things to go so smoothly every weekend. LOL

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

About My Name...

Am I too old to change my name? Most people in real life know me as Lorri, but I began using the name Wren when I started posting to parenting message boards on AOL. Me being the paranoid mommy that I am, I didn't want some weird freak lurking about to be able to find me or my child, so I decided not to use my real name online. Well, that was four years ago, and over time, I've become more Wren and less Lorri. I know that doesn't appear to make sense, but bear with me...

Lorri is from a broken home. She is too poor to shop at the mall, and she sometimes has to carry milk jugs to her neighbors and ask to have them filled with water because her mother couldn't afford to pay the bill and the water was turned off. She has crooked teeth and is painfully shy. She has never kissed a boy. She cries in her room alone because her mother never apologizes first, and she turns up the radio when her brother and sister get yelled at. She dreams of becoming a famous actress when she grows up because it's the most opposite she can think of from the life she now lives. She sneaks a pack of crackers into the library for lunch every day of her senior year because she can't bear the humiliation of eating in the cafeteria alone. She hates her mother for moving her away from her friends and into low-income apartments. She quits school three months shy of graduation because she has missed too many days and will fail the year anyway. She misses her friends at Airport and wonders how everything got so screwed up. She can't afford college, so she gets a job. She doesn't have a car, and neither does her mother, so she takes the job at Merry Maids because it's within walking distance. Three years later what little self-esteem she had is gone because she has gotten used to being treated as "the maid" and has come to believe she's nothing more than that. She goes to church with Christina because she desperately needs a friend, but most of the time she feels as though she's just pretending. She wonders if maybe some people simply aren't meant to be happy.

Wren has found herself through being a wife and mother, something her inner feminist finds hilariously ironic. She is loved by her husband and idolized by her children. She has stopped waiting for the other shoe to drop because she is finally able to believe that this really is her life. She is no longer afraid to trust a man, and she has never felt more beautiful than when her husband looks at her in awe after the births of each of their three children. She is afraid of screwing up as a mother because she knows that it's the most important thing she'll ever do and she wants more than anything to get it right. She isn't afraid to admit to herself that she's doing a pretty damned good job. She is affectionate and kisses her kids often because she doesn't ever want them to wonder if she really does love them. She holds them "too much" when they're babies, she breastfeeds in public with confidence, and she doesn't care what anyone else thinks about her parenting style. She sometimes feels she has lost who she is as a woman, but she also feels like being a mother gives her a purpose in life. She is happier than she ever thought she could be.

I feel like I'm two sides of a coin. Wren couldn't exist without Lorri, but I feel as though I've left that girl behind. She's not who I am now. So while I know some people won't get it and will still call me Lorri, those closest to me—the ones who know the inner depths of my soul—will understand why, at the age of 31, I want to change my name and be called Wren.