Anonymous Soccer Mom

Musings from the Mundane to the Marvelous


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Happy Freaking Birthday

photoMy mother used to say, “It’s hell getting old.”

I could never figure out why she said this because my mom was one of those people who seemed to defy the aging process, like Ruby Dee, ruby

or Jaimie Lee Curtiscurtis

or Roger Federer (Yes, this is a cheap way of inserting Roger’s picture in my blog, but hey, he’s awesome!)Roger Federer pumps his fist

But on the morning of my birthday, and I’m not going to tell you which birthday, except to say that I can no longer say I’m in my MID forties, but am now in my LATE forties–I awoke to searing, immobilizing pain in my back. After planning my special day down to the minute, I was forced to spend the entirety of my birthday on the couch, icing my inflamed scapula and the vertebrae in my neck. Oh, joy!

I have always prided myself on my athleticism. I play tennis, I jog, I swim. I also pretend I’m eighteen. On the tennis court, I don’t just swing at the ball. I go for it, racket blazing, stretching, sliding , racing to make the shot. Just like a teenager. But I’m not a teenager any longer. And, from the memo my back received on my birthday, I realize that I can’t behave like a teenager any longer. Not if I want to keep playing.

I’ve never been much of a stretcher. (I could use a stretcher right now, but that’s a different story!) I never did those warm-up things that other people–aka professionals–said I should do before exercising. I just jumped right in. But now, I have to. I never did core exercises, espoused by trainers everywhere, to keep my center in shape (as is evidenced by my protuberant belly.) I never lifted weights to strengthen my muscles and keep my bones healthy.

Guess what? I have to now.

But the thing is, my mom worked hard to maintain her glowing youthful appearance. The older she got, the harder she worked. She worked out with a trainer twice a week into her seventies. She ate right. She took amazing care of her skin, exfoliating every night and creaming her face to within an inch of her life.

So perhaps the “It’s hell getting old” business was about the fact that the older you get, the more damn stuff you have to do to age gracefully.

But since there is only one alternative to aging, and that alternative is not one I’d like to contemplate at this time, I suppose the thing to do is to make the effort.

I guess I better take that Olay Skincare System out of the box, huh? I’ll exfoliate the dead skin cells on my face right after I finish my sit ups, which I’ll do after a half hour of stretching and weight lifting, which will be preceded by a kale and spinach smoothie.

Ah, crap….

I’d like to rephrase my mother’s words: Getting old sucks.

 

 


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As Seen on ScaryMommy…Thanks, Jill!

Mother-and-Child-700x400

 

This week, I was honored to be featured on ScaryMommy.com, Jill Smokler’s amazing blog, of which I’m a huge fan. The following is an excerpt from my guest post. Please visit ScaryMommy for the rest!

THERE’S NO ‘ME’ IN MOTHERHOOD…OR IS THERE?

Something strange and insidious happens when you become a mother. And no, I’m not talking about stretch marks, although those suckers are truly strange and insidious.

The moment a woman becomes a mom — as soon as that screaming, slippery, wonderful, miraculous baby is pushed from her loins — her world suddenly shrinks down to those things that involve her child.

When I was younger, before I had kids, if people asked me about myself, I would tell them all the fantastic things I enjoyed doing, or had done, like singing in clubs around New York City, or jumping out of airplanes from 14,000 feet, or going on national tours with off-Broadway shows.

Now, when people ask me about myself, I talk about my kids. Not that they aren’t worthy of conversation. They are amazing and gorgeous and great and terrific and funny and bright and — oops. See? I did it again.

But sometimes I wonder, what happened to me? The me before kids who parasailed in Florida and closed a club called Tattinger’s in Atlantic City at 7AM, and chased owls and assorted oddly colored bugs in Joshua Tree, and walked on the ruins of the Acropolis.

– See more at: http://www.scarymommy.com/theres-no-me-in-motherhood-or-is-there/#sthash.VMKixKSp.dpuf

 

 

 

 


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The Secret Shameful Sigh of Relief

Summer is almost over and the little darlings are headed back to school in about one hundred and thirteen hours (but who’s counting?).

I consider myself a good mom. Not the Mother Teresa of parenting, but, you know, solid. I don’t let my kids drink Dr.Pepper (which means that I have to drink my own Dr. Pepper whilst hiding in the closet) and I don’t let them juggle knives or watch Friday the 13th Part Gazillion.

I fall short all the time, like for example, I really wanted the kids to learn French this summer, planned to start lessons the week after school let out, 30 minutes every day.  However, I only broke the French cds out of the packaging yesterday. (With 113 hours left, no one is going to be parlayvouing any time soon, if you know what I mean.) I wanted to get them on a strict exercise regimen…I think they each may have done 15 minutes on the elliptical machine in June. I thought it would be good for them to read five chapter books this summer, but I had to settle for Ninjago comics instead. So, okay, best laid plans, and all. But, despite what my husband says, I make up for my deficiencies in other ways. Really I do.

The last two and a half months have been terrific. I managed to entertain my kids and stimulate them and offer them all kinds of frolicking fun. The loss of my mom in May made me a little manic about making sure they had a FANTASTIC summer. And they did. They had a great time! And do you know what? I am freaking exhausted!

mom drinkI love my kids, adore them actually. They’re smart and funny and entertaining, but they are also a lot of work! Not only are they physically exhausting (i.e. we were at SeaWorld and Aquatica from opening until closing two days in a row!), but they are also mentally exhausting. Now that they’re older, they argue intelligently. They debate with a canniness that keeps me on my toes (and makes me wish Happy Hour started at about noon).

So while I can say honestly—again—that we had a great summer, the impending start of the school year has me conflicted. Not because I’m not looking forward to sending them off into someone else’s care for seven hours a day, but because I am looking forward to it.

When other moms or dads or anyone, for that matter, ask me if I’m glad that summer’s over, there’s a little voice inside of me that whispers in my ear:

“If you were a really good mom, you’d say ‘Heck, no! I never want school to start again. I’ll miss my kids terribly. I want them home with me 24/7 because they are the best things in my life and I wish summer would last forever!’”

So  I find myself stuttering. “Uh…uh…uh…” thinking that if I say ‘Yes, I can’t wait for the freaking school bell to ring Wednesday morning!’ I’m admitting that I suck as a parent, at least to myself.

I know this is ridiculous. I know that all moms (and dads) have their own personal kid-tolerance level and that by September 1st, every single one of them is ready for an asylum. But it’s that darn voice. The voice of Miss Perfect-Mom who I will never be but who I strive to be and end up continually disappointing myself.

So, by way of answer, I say, “Oh, we’ve had a great summer!” Then I let out a little shameful sigh of relief. And the other parents, the ones who have their own Miss or Mr. Perfect-Parent living inside of them? They understand me perfectly.

But I envy the parents who just lay it all out there and, without hesitation, say, “I wish school started in July.”

September For-Fun Minute


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Come See The Sexist Side of Sears

searsI don’t consider myself a feminist. I’ve never marched with Gloria Steinem or burned my bra or thrown out my pantyhose, although I have been known to ignore (read: misplace) my razor for weeks at a time. On the other hand, I’m not June Cleaver either. I don’t wear a frilly apron and wait on my husband hand and foot. I don’t call him Sire, or anything. I move my own furniture and kill my own bugs—except for spiders, which I remove from the house without causing any bodily harm, and not because I’m superstitious, but because that single spider has about three hundred siblings living right outside my front door who will storm my home and bite the crap out of me if I kill one of their brethren.

So, basically, I’m just an average Jane. I don’t take offense easily. I don’t have to make noises about how women are just as good as men because I secretly know that women are far superior to men and knowing that gives me a sense of peace that need not be shouted from the rooftops.

But, wait, I digress.

The other day, something happened to me that made me angry on behalf of all my sister-housewives across the land. I’d made an appointment with Sears to have one of their contractors come out to my home to give me an estimate on some kitchen remodeling. Let me repeat that. I made the appointment. While I was on the phone with the woman setting up the appointment, she asked for my husband’s name. I didn’t understand why she needed his name. I mean what if I was single? What if I was married, but my husband was in a coma fighting a flesh-eating bacteria? What if I had a wife instead of a husband? Wasn’t asking for my husband’s name somewhat presumptuous on the scheduler’s part?

Anyway, I decided to let that one go and gave up my husband’s name. To which she responded: “And will your husband be present when Sergio comes out?”

“Why, no,” I replied. “He’ll be at work. It’ll just be little ole me.” (That’s irony, folks, because I am neither little nor  ole.)

So, on the day of the appointment, Sergio called to tell me he had been double-booked and we would have to reschedule. He asked me to call him to chat about the kitchen. I did, but got his voicemail. He never called me back.

Now, my life has been busy, so I didn’t call Sears right away to reschedule. I figured I’d get to it when I could, or I’d hear from Sears sooner or later. And I did. Sort of. Wait, no. I didn’t. This is what happened:

Three days after the failed appointment, MY HUSBAND got a brochure in the mail saying: Dear Alex- Thank you for scheduling a free in-home design consultation…blah blah blah…etc.

Three days after that, MY HUSBAND got a post card in the mail saying: Alex, it’s time to reschedule your appointment with Sears Home Services…blah blah blah…etc.

Excuse me? Is it 1950 all over again? I’m sorry, but that is just totally bogus. MY HUSBAND did not make the appointment. MY HUSBAND had nothing to do with calling Sears. Had it been up to him, I never would have called Sears in the first place. And by the way, my husband supports the family, but I’M paying for the kitchen remodel. And do you know who I’M paying to do the kitchen remodel?

NOT SEARS!

Softer side, my ass.


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Radio Not-Love

radio loveI’m driving in my car. I turn on the radio. (No, this is not a Pointer Sisters song. This is really happening.) My kids are in the backseat having an amiable conversation about Club penguin and something called a “Puffle.” The commercial for male pattern-baldness ends and a song starts to play on the station, a song that I am not familiar with, but it sounds good and my daughter, ever the music-lover, says, “Yes! This one!”

The singer is in a groove, making all kinds of proclamations to the object of his affection. The melody is catchy, the beat is snappy enough to make me bob my head back and forth in rhythm and do an impromptu drum solo against my steering wheel. I’m diggin’ it. My daughter’s diggin’ it. Even my son is nodding in time, though ever so subtly, so as not to appear uncool.

Then suddenly, the singer sings the following lyric:

                                                                   Bet I get you naked by the end of this song.

I almost crash my minivan into the center divider.

I was the youngest in a family of four kids. My brother is nine years older than me, so when I was listening to things like  Free to Be, You and Me and the soundtrack from Star Wars, he was listening to Queen and Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd and Cream (think about that for a minute), and all kinds of songs that were probably not appropriate for my virgin ears.  And I turned out all right, at least marginally okay. I never really listened to the lyrics, or if I did, I didn’t intellectualize them, like, for example: “She’s all right? Who’s all right? What kind of a name is Cocaine, anyway?”

Should I worry about the songs that my kids are listening to as we make our way from one event or errand to another? The question plagues me. I was thrilled when McDonald’s came out with KidzBop. Until I popped in a cd and heard the songs the freaking McDonald’s people chose. How on earth could they think that Kryptonite and Girls Just Want to Have Fun are appropriate for little kids? There was something very disturbing about watching my angelic little girl, three at the time, dancing around the house belting out  “Oh Daddy dear you know you’re still number one/ But girls, we want to have fun…”  and my five-year-old son solemnly singing, “You stumbled in and bumped your head/ If not for me then you’d be dead…Yikes. Kidzbop, my ass.

Still, one can only take so much of Mary Poppins soundtracks and Dan Zanes, right? I mean, at one point, after listening to the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang soundtrack 37 times in a row, I almost threw myself out of the minivan on the 405 freeway. Truly scrumptious it was not. Every once in a while, I gotta have my Jagger and Bowie, know what I’m saying? And is it such a bad thing to introduce my kids to music legends like those, regardless of what the subject matter is?

Perhaps I’m worrying too much. I mean, my kids have never asked me what any of the lyrics to any of the songs mean. Do they know what they’re singing about? Probably not. Or maybe they do and I’m totally in denial. I often feel guilty that I am marring them for life, that subconsciously they are taking every single word in, and will need decades of therapy to deal with the fact that someone wore a raspberry beret, and someone else voulez-vous coucher’d, and yet someone else loved the one he was with, that it was raining men, that she was a brick house, that he would never be a beast of burden, that love is a battlefield, that fat-bottomed girls, they make the rockin’ world go round.

Maybe, in twenty or thirty years, when their own kids are screeching in the backseat about “Any way you want it, that’s the way you need it” my kids’ eyes will go wide with the realization that they are accidentally treating their children to an advanced education.

Whatever. I still love Sheena Easton’s “You’ve Got the Look.” And if my kids ask me what “Let’s get to ramming” means, I’m going to start talking about goats.

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