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lessons for my daughters

I’ve been watching a lot of Real Housewives lately..don’t know why. Maybe to annoy myself, maybe I’m bored, maybe its just so rainy and crappy out there’s nothing else to do but I did happen across a very important life lesson the other day. “If you’ve not used it/needed it in 2 seasons..throw it out!” So, I am going through purging my life of needless things today. Clothing, dishes, nick knacks, toys ( oh yeah even some of the kids stuff..some of the tough love feedback from last weeks post ..stuck), all slowly decreasing the clutter. I love it. I feel liberated. Then I realize, does this only have to apply to things? What about people? I know that sounds really awful but you know what I mean. Do I really need that FB friend who only really friended me ( in my personal FB not my fan site) to be nosey? I know its true because they’ve never said anything to me except the original “will you be my friend?” If we’ve not genuinely engaged in the last two years, I say I take you off my friends list. It’s fair, right? If you have been my friend over the past 10 years and you don’t know that I have a 5 and 2 year old….then I am eliminating you from my life. See how this works? If we dated a zillion years ago and God knows we absolutely don’t care what’s going on with one another…we shouldn’t be friends. If you don’t return calls consistently and anyone who has not been genuinely involved in my life via conversation or physically (one or the other or both) in the last 2 years, then I think we are not really friends and we should just eliminate one another from our lives.People are in our past for a reason, there’s is usually a good reason they are not part of our present,  so why try to force a future? I know this sounds cold but I have always tried to keep all my friendships going all the time. It is exhausting! There are some people who you can go months without seeing each other and talking but you pick up the phone and time never passed. Those are the exceptions. Those are the real friends! And those people never let 2 years pass without checking in on you. All the other relationships are a lot of work and if they are not doing their part, then what’s the point of trying. It takes two in a friendship. I don’t want to impart upon my daughters that they have to be people pleasers and keep every friend they ever make. Sometimes we just outgrow one another and life takes different directions. There is no wrong doing in that. It is evolution. But sometimes we hold on so tight in relationships that we end up either making ourselves miserable or smothering the other person with our expectations, or both. So, I’ve decided to stop holding on to the past, and concentrate on the future. I am de-cluttering my life and making room for all the wonderful things that are to come, instead of trying to figure out the past. In the spirit of that here is a little something I wrote ( feel free to use it if you’d like);

Ode to a Shitty Friend

Dear shitty friend,
You used to be my closest friend~
But now , after years of friendship thrown down the toilet by you~
You are indeed the shittiest of friends!
We used to be like sisters~
Where there was one, there was the other.
I shared in your happiness,
I was your biggest cheerleader!
Your friendship was more valuable to me than anything else in the world.
Then, the time came when we had to grow up.
The friendship could have evolved, it could have survived, it could have flourished~
But you chose to cut me out of your life.
Returning only on occasions when you felt especially shitty about yourself and you needed me in your cheering section.
You were like some crazy friend version of a booty call.
You’d call when you needed a friend and disappear when you didn’t need it.
But when I needed my cheerleader, you were no where to be found.
When I needed guidance, sisterhood, love,support and friendship,
You turned your back on me;stopped answering your phone.
I kept waiting, even coming back for more.
I figured, you needed my friendship more than I needed my dignity.
Now, the calls have become few and far between.
Maybe once every year or so, you check in~
Just to make sure that I am not perfectly happy, you like to drop in and infuse my life with a little misery.
It’s OK. I don’t get upset and cry anymore,
I barely even care.
In sad reality, I expect nothing of you
And there lies our friendship, on the floor in a million pieces.
I don’t worry about you ever reading this,
I know that you wouldn’t afford yourself the inconvenience.
There is no benefit in it for you.
Thanks for the lifetime, but lets move forward.
I have children of my own now and I can’t keep stroking your ego,
And feeding your narcissism.
I am too tired, too old, and even less interested.
Please don’t call me inebriated, professing love and friendship
and making promises that you have no intentions of keeping in the light of day.
I have endured my last frustration and worry over you.
I wish you nothing but happiness in your life~
But I refuse to any longer try to resuscitate a friendship that is so long dead.
Yours truly,
Someone who is finally coming to their senses

Happy Mothering!

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                                           ( I think the picture speaks for itself!)

Believe it or not my 5 year old, when she wants to, can be an exceptional help. Normally, I am in full on crazy “gotta get it done” mode and just whiz past her when she is offering to help. I know there are lessons to be learned in letting her help but sometimes the mess I get in return is just not worth it to me. I know, awful , awful woman I am. But today, I let my little Cinderella help. She was all into rinsing the dishes until she realized it was kinda gross and not really as much fun as she had apparently previously thought. Right in the middle of all the excitement, Bella: “Umm, Mom! I don’t really care for this!” Me:” Really? Cause it’s my favorite thing to do.” Bella (completely vexed)”REALLY?” Me: “No, not really. Sometimes, in life, we have to do things we don’t like because we are supposed to or have to.” Bella: “Yeah, well , I don’t like that rule!” (Me neither baby, me neither.) Look at that, I did some completely accidental good mothering…”Go Debi Truthful Mommy, its your Birthday!!” Now,  if I could just convince her little sister that its so much fun to put away laundry!

Really don’t know why Bella was so upset, it wasn’t like she had to do dishes in a third world country…like I had the privilege of doing on vacation to visit family in Mexico when I was a kid.This is not a picture of me, but it was how I had to do the dishes when we went to Mexico. Bella has it easy! Maybe I should show her the picture , when she’s a little older to put things into perspective! Happy Mothering!
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I thought this Motherhood gig was all about me shaping, molding, teaching these little, adorable human beings of mine. I knew it would be loads of work, and it is. It is a grueling 24 hour a day job that never stops. I knew (in theory) that was what I was in for but I never expected what I actually got.
As tired as I am most days and holding on for dear life to my last string of sanity, I am always amazed. I never expected to learn anything from my children. Come on, everything they know..I taught them, right? Apparently not. I guess I have to relinquish some of the pride in my nurturing because I have to admit, I’m pretty sure there is a lot of nature in it.
For instance, my 2 year old who is so honest at times that she actually scares me.Many times I have asked her to do something and she will simply say no. Ask her why, she will say because she doesn’t want to.In a world full of excuses, this little girl makes none. She is who she is, and that’s who she is..Deal with it! It used to annoy me that she would just say no she didn’t want to.Let’s be honest, us Mommies, we do a lot of things that we don’t want to. I know for a fact I don’t want to do dishes, fold laundry, cook, run errands, pay bills, keep appointments or obligations but that’s my life. That’s being an adult, right? The more I think of it, why can’t I take a cue from my 2 year old in her infinite wisdom. I mean wouldn’t it be the nicer thing to do then to be insulting and come up with ridiculous excuses why you can’t do things. I appreciate her honesty and her braveness with her integrity is admirable. When my 2 year old does decide to help you, it is whole hearted and it is selfless and it is beautiful. From my 5 year old, I have learned to be fearless. I know where she gets this, I do remember a time when that was me.Since having my girls, I have become much less reckless and more cautious because every day with them is the most important of my life. My Bella will do whatever it takes to achieve her goals. It doesn’t matter if it scares the hell outta her, she will pursue it with a fierceness. There is not much she can’t do. In fact, I don’t think there is anything that she can’t do..if she puts her mind to it. Her spirit is free and her heart is open. She loves with abandon and if you are lucky enough to be one of those who she does love; she will walk through hell to make you happy.
My daughters have reminded me that I can do anything that I set my mind to.They have also reminded me to have integrity and pride. I am embracing love with full abandon. I am learning to be honest with myself, to be fearless and to relish all that life has to offer. They have also taught me that a child’s giggle, their little hand in yours, a snuggle, a kiss goodnight, their true smile..can melt your heart and make you feel more vulnerable then you ever thought possible. They have taught me that the world is a beautiful, miraculous place where everything is possible.
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I’ve been mulling over something that I really want to instill in my children…random acts of kindness. I used to be one of those people who saw the bumper stickers and thought to myself, that’s great but..whatever. I mean really, who has times to run around randomly being kind to one another? And if you do, what do you get out of it? Unappreciative ignorance? That was me, a year ago, sarcastic, jaded, unappreciative me. Today, I am a believer in random acts of kindness.I’m more than a believer , I am a proponent:)
In the past year, my life has changed quite a bit. I have had to put my life in the hands of others and quite literally, be dependent on the kindness of strangers because I had no choice. I was new in town, I was friendless, I was completely out of my element, and what felt like a million miles from everything and everyone I knew. It all started with a Mommy, just like any one of you, who did not know me. We were in a MOPS group I joined. We were talking, first day chit chat, and she knew I was new to town. Asking how I was getting along in a new place, if I’d joined any other activities, etc. In passing, I mentioned that I wanted to join the local Stroller Striders but ,unfortunately, had left my stroller in my house ( we were transitioning, corporate housing and all that). This woman, this complete stranger, offered me one of her strollers.  I was floored.What? Was this really happening? Was someone being generous and kind for no obvious reason other than to be a good human being and help a fellow human being out? What? What? What? That evening, that very same evening, she brought me a gently loved Nordic jogging stroller.I was amazed.
Then I met another friend,one of the most amazing women , I have ever met in my life. The kind of woman who at first glance you may think, who is this broad? Seriously, she was so  “sweet” I kept thinking, is she crazy or is she for real. I had never met anyone like her, and am pretty sure I never will again. She met me, she put 100%into the friendship, and was a walking ball of random acts of kindness. One day I was feeling under the weather, and for no other reason than  the fact that she is an amazing human being, she brought over lunch for my kids. Then dinner for my family that night. My kids were sick, she brought them treats and coloring activities. Random brownies would appear. OH, how we miss those brownies:)LOL These may not sound like big gestures but they were constant, timely, and randomly the kindest thing anyone could do..when I needed them most and expected it the least. This was just a very small amount of what she did for us, what she still does for me. Her kindness parlayed into an amazing sisterhood between the two of us. Because of her random acts of kindness, I now have one of the best friends I could have ever asked for. Her random acts of kindness have inspired me to want to be a better person, and that has to mean something.
Then there was yesterday, my daughter’s preschool teacher (which my daughter no longer attends due to our recent relocation) called us and had the entire class sing Happy Birthday to my 5 year old over her cell phone.This random act of kindness may sound like a very small gesture but to my 5 year old, who has just had to leave all of her amazing friends, school, routine and relocate this meant the world. The joy that gesture made, the effect that simple act of kindness that her teacher , another amazing woman by my standards, had on my daughter.That is something that I can never repay because it is priceless.
These are just a few of the random acts of kindness that I have experienced in the past year; there’s been  chocolate for no reason at all, when I’ve needed it most. A hug when I’ve been sad, smiles when I’ve needed a little sunshine,girl talk and martini’s when I needed a breath, shopping and talking..its all about timing. Someone sitting a little longer with me at a gathering because I arrived late, someone giving me tickets to a concert for my kids that I couldn’t have gotten otherwise, there are so many random acts of kindness that I have been the recipient of that there are too many to  mention. But if you know me, chances are you have perpetrated a random act of kindness in my direction. Thanks for making me a better person. Random acts of kindness are so special because they are selfless and sometimes someone’s small random act of kindness can mean the world to someone who really needs that kindness and love in their life at that moment. Kindness can never hurt , it can only help! So be amazing, save a life; BE KIND!

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