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Wisdom of Pooh

7 Feb

For the Superbowl, we gathered with a few neighbors for the ritual of football and too much food. As the game began we noticed the men had congregated on one side of the room and the women were on the other side. When one woman commented about our “middle school party” situation one of the husbands who clearly had one ear on our conversation said “That is because we are at a Superbowl party…..to watch the Superbowl.”

Yea, yea we caught the high-points – men yell during football – so we knew when to look. And we paused to watch the commercials and half time show.

My daughter had just texted me that her sort of boyfriend (she says they broke up but he seems around a lot) and his friends didn’t show for the Superbowl party he had requested and now had way to much pizza and was annoyed. I am ready for this guy to hit the road – he is very nice – but he is his own obstacle. I commented to my neighbor “I think my daughter is trying to fix him.” My neighbor commented she tried to fix several boyfriends before she met her husband. Then she asked which Winnie The Pooh character I liked as a kid. Both she and I had an Eeyore. We both had hoped to love Eeyore enough to get him to smile. We wanted to ‘fix’ poor Eeyore.

My neighbor said “Now I wouldn’t have patience for Eeyore. Get over yourself Eeyore!” I commented “Hey you would be in a bad mood too if you walked around with a tack in your ass. Let go of the tail Eeyore – move on with your life and forget about the tail!” He was seriously obsessed with the perfect tail, constantly losing his tail, looking for his tail and enduring a painful reattachment of the tail! Another neighbor looked at both of us and said “It was Winnie The Pooh all the way.”

Not sure we actually hit on some deep wisdom or too much wine.

When to cut ties…..

2 Feb

All this week and perhaps a bit longer I have been pondering a friendship.
When do you have to throw in the towel and “break up”?

I do not like to consider myself a friend whom quits others when they are down. But lately this friend feels like she is pulling me down along side her. Does it make me a bad person to determine I can no longer be her source of support?

I think she and I became friends because others had dropped her. One woman told me she felt this person was “toxic”. I am seeing what she was saying now.

If I put myself in this person’s shoes……would I be a little bit like her? Or is she in her shoes in spite of herself?
She has called me on occasion “tell me the truth” when her husband has said she is a bully. I wouldn’t have said a bully, but once she has a thought, a feeling, a cause, she cannot let it go. We all must believe in her thought and cause.

So I wonder….what is better……to be too busy when she calls? Is it kinder to be honest.

You Need Four For Fore

13 Sep

Who knew guys need friends just as women need friends? I know my husband likes to have a round of golf with a buddy. He is really kind of a golf slut – he will play a round with anyone. He will go to the golf course and pick up a round with whomever he can. He isn’t alone. Sometimes it will be my husband, myself and my oldest and a lone guy will be assigned to play with our group.

I hate when that happens, because I suck at golf. I don’t care that I hit 80 on the front nine. But I do hate to duff shot after shot in front of a stranger. He has no idea that I play golf once or twice a year. He has no idea, that while I cannot golf well, I am master of my own kitchen and can wield a mighty whisk. But I digress………..

This past weekend three of his favorite golf guys arrived from Texas. I’ve seen two of them off and on in the past decade since we moved from Texas. I haven’t seen the other at all. And, I certainly haven’t been around the foursome all together. What struck me the most was their camaraderie. They haven’t missed a beat. One of them informed me the apocalypse was near as evidenced by one of the others whose golf swing had immensely improved.
Women’s magazines consistently have articles on the importance of friends. Sex and The City was an incredibly successful multi media project centering around the lives on 4 women and their friendship. But I see now, men need friends too. A round of golf is their mani-pedi lunch and shopping day.

Which reminds me…… I need one of those days.

The Fierce Foreseome

Cobblestones in the path.

11 Aug

An empty nest is a tough transition.  A strong marriage, good friends, are tools that help the transition to the new phase in life. Lately,  I have been talking to a couple friends, whose transition is absolutely tougher.  One’s son unexpectedly decided to live with dad, and told his mother it was better for him not to live with her.  The other will be moving when her oldest turns 18(in a few months) to be near her younger son who has been living with her ex-husband in another state.  With both of their transitions a lack of direction or career is an evident roadblock.  (and soon to be a lack of child support)

Neither have a plan and really don’t seem to be making a plan anytime soon. Financially, they have to get a plan together.  Apparently they both attended the Scarlett O’Hara School of planning and are going to think about it another day.

It is hard when you are entering the big “5-0” decade,  hot flashes are brightening the day  to think about starting a career  or a new path.  But both friends seem to avoid the obvious.  I saw this website today:

http://www.wehelpwomen.com/courses

It is for women making transitions and helping them make the transition.  I think I will email the site to them. Maybe it will trigger at least an interest in making plan. Or maybe they will act like my kids – roll the eyes and ignore me. If they do that – no biggie – I’m used to it!!

For a stay at home parent – it is hard to transfer all the planning advice we have given to our kids to ourselves.  But the short term, long term goal setting has to become part of the plan to make the transition.  What companies are good for hiring women who have been stay at home parents?  How do I help?

To have a friend, be a friend.

10 Aug

I’m still stuck thinking about the friendship issue. What makes someone a good friend ?  What makes us gravitate to certain people .

The phenomena of Facebook has really changed what we consider friendship.  Occasionally people “friend” me whom I have no idea who they are. We are connected by others we are friends with, but I don’t know who they are – which makes me wonder ….do they know who I am? And, why do they want “friend” me?

I have one neighbor who always has my back.  I have another neighbor who has for reasons unknown to me, doesn’t care for me – or at least takes opportunities to say less than flattering statements about me. And, she has made the repeated mistake of repeating her opinions to my other neighbor. She holds no punches as she corrects the other neighbor.  That is a loyal friend indeed – she confronts what she perceives as an injustice to someone she cares about.

As we age, friends are harder to find.  When our kids are young, there are the immediate relationships formed by playdates, school, dance classes and sports.  As the kids age, we find the opportunities to make friends lessens. I moved to a new state at age 40. My kids were just old enough that I wasn’t able to recreate the wide net of friendships I had in Texas.  But, while I have fewer friends, my friendships are incredibly strong.

My 86 year old mother is losing friendships. Some have died, some are in nursing homes and it makes it difficult at times.  She has rekindled a childhood friendship and speaks regularly with her friend.  She still talks to her closest friend from college.  Those are bonds that make us who we are.

Today my daughter’s closest friend is flying out to visit her. They have just graduated High School. My daughter spent a good part of her high school pursuing her dream of working as an actor in Hollywood.  The two haven’t gone to school together since 5thgrade, yet there is something about both girls that has allowed them to stay close.  They are amazing girls – both have determination to succeed, both have strong values.  They are lucky to have each other and they definitely have each other’s back.  I envy their weekend and the laughter and joy that always accompanies their time together.

Friends

Ashleigh & Sarah

A Friend in need………

8 Aug

stylin' friends

Lately I found the importance of friendship at the center of my attention. It seems more a “girl” thing than a “guy” thing. Or is it? Perhaps it isn’t more important to one sex or the other, but that women’s friendships are just different.

This past week I had a friend that truly needed some emotional support. Her family had failed her. She has one child, a teenage boy and a husband whom has long abandoned the vows of marriage. She kept saying “I don’t know what I would have done if you hadn’t…….” My response was “that is what friends are for”.  And I meant that – I wasn’t doing anything more than what a friend should do.

During that crisis, I was trying to figure out how to help my friend, but I also had a flight back home to catch. I called another friend to change my flight. My first words to her were “Hey I need a favor.” Her response was “OK, just tell me what you need.”  That is a friend. She didn’t wait to hear what I needed or to see if it would fit her schedule. She was ready to jump in to help me.  And she has always been that way.

I returned home late on Thursday evening. The next morning I remembered it was another friend’s birthday. She had commented on Facebook that she and her daughter were up in Breckenridge but her husband and sons were working. I looked at the stacks on my desk, and the pile of laundry. I had been gone a week and had a lot to do. So I called her and asked would they like to go to lunch. My husband actually said “Go!” I am so glad I did.

Friends are important while we raise our children. Most of us do not live in multigenerational households. Most of us don’t even live in the same cities as our parents. Friends are important sources of support through all phases of our life. As my life becomes less occupied with my children’s lives, I think they are even more important.  For my kids, it is their social network and source of fun. For my mother, friends are her way of staying connected with the world.

My lunch turned in to a 24 hour laughter session. Yep – 24 hours. And, we still have lots more to talk about! Indeed I am blessed with wonderful friends.  Occasionally I think we have to look at friendships and weed the garden. I look at who I really love to talk to and be with and those women are strong, positive women.

It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.
Ralph Waldo Emerson 

A Father’s Day

19 May

Mother’s Day was a wonderful day. It was a day of no schedules. It was a day spent with all of my kids. My daughter started the day, with a fabulous breakfast of homemade waffles and a Monte Cristo Frittata (thank you Rachel Ray) I simply enjoyed being with the kids all day.  I felt incredibly blessed.

Today, I received a phone call from an old friend. He is the father of 4 boys. He adopted the 2 oldest and the youngest 2 are his biologically. There is no mother involved for any of the boys.  But he has enough heart for a mom and dad and fiercely loves all of his children.

He was operating his skidster on his property. He had placed the older boys in charge of keeping an eye on the younger boys and keeping them in the house. He checked before backing the 7000 lbs of machinery.  But, we all know how fast a 3 year old can dart. Before he knew it, he had driven over his youngest child.  He jumped out of the cab and raced to his son. His head was dented in and blood was coming out of his ear. The boy’s eyes rolled back and he stopped breathing.

He began screaming for his phone gathered his child, begging him to breath and began the 20 minute drive into town and to the hospital. He made it in 5 minutes that day, passing a state patrol whom waved him on, having heard the situation by 911 operators.  During the drive, while he continued to beg his son to live, he heard him take a gasp and start breathing again and screaming in pain.

His son was transported by helicopter to Denver Children’s Hospital.  A team of neurosurgeons awaited the boy.  His skull was fractured in 3 spots. The artery providing blood flow to the brain was compromised. The sac holding fluid surrounding the brain was leaking. The father arrived soon and was told the prognosis was grim and what surgeries in what order they would perform.

The father had called his neighbors to get help for his other kids. They not only helped but put out the word within the small community. Prayers went out and requests for prayers went out across the nation.  The boy woke up and held on to his father.  He felt blessed that his boy wasn’t afraid of him.  He begged for forgiveness and told his son how sorry he was.  He thanked God for allowing him the opportunity to tell his son how sorry he was.

The artery that was providing blood to his brain, opened up.  The blood clot that had formed in his lung disappeared.  Each surgery that was to be performed continued to be cancelled.  The sack stopped leaking fluid around his brain. While his skull is fractured, you can no longer visibly see the injury.

The boy is home with his brothers, with his father. My friend is thankful for his miracle. He is thankful for the hand of God reaching down to his son. While he always took his sons to church, he personally had always had a jiggle of doubt resting in his soul.  If you knew his life’s story, you would understand the doubt. He always seemed to have a rain cloud hovering about his head. His childhood was anything but storybook.  But he is nothing but thankful for this miracle. He believes in the power of prayer and is thankful so many believed and prayed for his child.