Monday, December 27, 2010

Animal Farm

Not quite animal farm but certainly animal house! Oh wait...that came out the wrong way. We have very sweet animals living with us. This is T.J.'s Jinx....he is one cozy kitty. He loves to sleep in T.J.'s his feet. Now he is all cozied up on our bed, at our feet. T.J. is not in his room. What a nice surprise to have Jinx sleep at our feet. I'm really not flattered. I know better. He just wants to stay warm on a cold winter night! That's o.k. with me. They are such a big part of our lives. We feed them. We pet them. We walk some. We let them in. We let them out. We stop to pet them. We play with them. We chat with them. We tell them how we feel. We sit side by side with them. We laugh at them. We share our home. They don't ask much of us. Wow, they make a difference in our lives. Everyday.

I AM NOT PERFECT. I AM NOT PERFECT. I AM NOT PERFECT. I AM NOT PERFECT. I AM NOT PREFECT.....funny that I typed that word incorrectly. It's true. That was a mistake. My own mistake. I was typing perfect and prefect showed up.

I have known this for quite some time. Others may be well aware of this fact. Certainly, the cat was out of the bag when Biff and I began was important for me to have him know me...the real me...with no secrets. Talk about scary! 

The good news is that he loved me because of my imperfections. He also loved me because of my honesty.Thankfully, he was just as honest....and he actually had some imperfections as well. Phew!

I know this may come as a surprise to you, but there was a time in my life that I believed it better to work at hiding my little idiosyncrasies and peccadilloes and imperfections and faults and blemishes.

While I shared self deprecating comments with many friends, co workers and acquaintances, I truly believed it was better to hide my flaws. Believe me, that was a full time job...with not many benefits.

Benefits....was there any benefit to donning the hat of perfection. Really? I believe it was once I had children that I no longer felt the need to try to be perfect. It came to me slowly. One imperfect moment at a time. Sure, I could have worked at presenting that perfect image for all of the other moms in playgroup, the other members of The Junior League of Boston, The Newcomers Club members, my college alumnae board and many more. Tempting to pose as perfect, to know it all, to be one of the perceived elite few who know that secret.

Thankfully my beautiful children taught me my greatest lesson of my life. It came to me via simple life moments:
We actually had tired/cranky/sick babies from time to time
Our babies spit up on our favorite clothing en route to a party
We had children with their own personalities who didn't behave like our puppets on display
Our children did not perform on demand
I had a baby at home with mom, Biff, Grace and the fire department
I had planned photo shoots with headstrong toddlers 
We had toddlers who slathered Desitin on other toddlers followed by baby powder which had the affect of being tarred and feathered.
While we had babies who loved church, they did cry.
We had babies who had tantrums, mostly in front of others.
Our babies blew rasberries in church.
Our children liked being barefoot in the snow!
We had children who didn't always warm up to everybody we liked
Sometimes, our children were shy
Our kids went through a phase of avoiding a hair brush.

That's only a snapshot of the things I hadn't been prepared for as a new mom. Until we had our own children, I only had the dream niece that was returned after a day or a weekend.

Surprise. At a certain point I realized I could keep those grosgrain bows tightly affixed in my preschooler's hair or I could let her wear her tiara and be happy. Grace allowed me to choose happy.

With T.J., it was his "wed wubber boots" that changed my outlook on life. He wanted to wear those boots to the pool and to the beach. T.J. helped me to see my soul more clearly....with his soles.

Grace loved wearing her beautiful Christmas dresses.....with her adorable tights and red high top sneakers! She also wore her floral knit Hanna Andersson tights under her bathing suit to the beach mid summer.Some of my greatest memories.

T.J. wore his Red Sox baseball cap everywhere...even to church. Thankfully, the monsignor liked the Red Sox and always worked that hat into his sermon on Sundays. 

Grace wore her purple sequined flapper dress to Montessori on her 5th birthday.

Since T.J. didn't love the barber and had such blonde fluffy curls, we had a friend approach us in church and say, " Look at that head, it's like a flock of gulls!" 

Thankfully. Thankfully and honestly. What freedom! What a gift to be freed from those who want to portray perfect. They bore us! I am so grateful that my sense of humor got me through some of my less than perfect moments. Biff and I are thrilled to be real. One of the greatest gifts in life...being real and being true to ourselves....and our family! Thankfully.


Peace. Quiet. Comfort. All throughout the house. What a wonderful day. I don't remember feeling this peace in quite some time. Yes, I live peacefully. I appreciate having the quiet moments all of the time. We live in a peaceful home. Yet....right at the this minute....I feel as though I have nowhere to be, no pressure to get done, no time constraints, no one left unattended.

Sure, there is plenty to do and there are lots of places to go....but it is a delight not to have to do or be going. That doesn't happen too often no matter how balanced my life may be! Obligations. Discipline. Appointments. Responsibilies. Deadlines. These make life just a tad more busy.
Many times, during a quiet moment on those busy days, I enjoy the time but feel the clock ticking and have the feeling of something or someone waiting....for me.

Just some of the things that need attending:

dust bunnies
dog walk
clean...never ending
e-bay follow up
post office
time for friends
Biff time
volunteer meetings
house outside
Projects I want to do

That's the tip of the iceberg. Not any one thing is a chore. It's just lots of little things. Yes, I do keep lists. Yes, I misplace lists. Thankfully, I'm not alone. Biff called from the grocery store the other day to ask me to review the list....on the refrigerator!

So, excuse me if I end this now. I have to get back to my peace and quiet with no strings attached. I wish you the peace of Christmas.