Sunday, December 9, 2007

December Letter

I hope you can take a break from your busy holiday activities to help me out. I have been experiencing some strange goings on and I have questions. I've been driving for quite a few years, but lately in my travels I have been seeing something unusual on the side of the road - a single shoe. Now I've seen an occasional shoe before along a freeway, but I've seen at least five shoes in the last two months, just in town! They are all different styles (not flip flops) and I would have to say all mens. Five shoes in two months in Temecula: Maybe that doesn't sound like much but that isn't even the kicker (pun intended). On the way home from Ontario last weekend I saw eight shoes on the side of the road, all in a row, all singles, and all different.

My first question to you is this: How does that shoe get there? Here's one idea. I'm picturing a guy leaving his house barefoot or in socks carrying his precious shoes for whatever reason, he puts them on the roof of his car, gets in and drives away forgetting the shoes, and they fall off. But why is there only one shoe on the roadside? Where is the other one? Are there a group of animals living in the second shoe like in some Jan Brett story? Okay, here's another possible scenario. Two people in a car are driving down the street. The passenger, feeling warm, sticks his feet out the window to capture a cool breeze. Oh no! One of his shoes isn't fastened properly and it flies off.

He would've had to notice and bring it to the driver's attention right? What kind of a friend would not stop an let you get your other shoe? We're not talking about one friend, remember I saw thirteen separate shoes (well I guess the eight in a row could of have come from a terrible fight with footwear or something) but there are at least five mean drivers and five people who need to learn to tie better out there if this is indeed what happened. I'm not convinced, but let's move on.

The second question I must ask: Is this a sign or just a shoe by the road? Signs, I suppose, come to people in various ways. We could now, of course, get into a very long discussion of whether signs exist or not, their meanings if they exist and what one should do with all this knowledge. Let me just save a little time and say I don't know, but I'm a worrier. As a worrier I like to cover all the bases so let's just say the shoe does have a meaning, at least for me. Using the two scenarios above and a dose of holiday spirit I have come up with the following meanings. In the first story the shoe is telling me I need to take good care of my precious things and not take them for granted, they may not always be around. In the second story, I think I am being told to be the kind of friend who would pull over and retrieve someone's shoe even if he or she did have it hanging out of my car and not tied securely.

I will try my best to listen to the shoe. Happy Holidays.

P.S. Oh, even if it was just a shoe by the road it still has a message, Don't Litter.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

October Letter

I need a day off. I don't mean just a day in front of the T.V. or with a good book, because while I'm doing that it's all piling up. I mean a day when I don't have anything to do. It would be tricky. First the house would have to sparkle from top to bottom, inside and out, yard included. All laundry would have to be washed, dried and put away and no more laundry could be produced. This means none of us could wear clothes, so we would, of course, have to stay home. In order to stay home it could not be a Monday thru Saturday, too many commitments, okay it's narrowed down to a Sunday. There is one big problem, if my husband and children are staying home the house would not sparkle for very long. So there they are, standing in one place all day, while I enjoy a day off. Not going to happen. The guilt alone messes up the day. So no days off. Welcome to motherhood you say. Yeah, I know.

It has been suggested that maybe with a few less commitments, I might get certain things done in a more timely manner. I don't know about anyone else but for me it's not about “Hey look at me, look at all the things I can juggle” it's about fairness. I should probably explain. You start out with your first child. You send her to preschool. It's Pals so you have to be involved. You have time, and you like it, so you become really involved. Then there's soccer in the fall and softball in the spring. They're good for her so you put her in them. There's practice once a week and a game on Saturday. Oh, and your friend is putting her daughter in a Daisy Troop. The girls don't see each other as much as they used to, they meet every other week, so okay, your daughter will do that too. There's a few commitments, but not something everyday.

Then the next year rolls around. The second child is ready for preschool. She has to go (her sister did) and it's Pals and you like it so no big deal. The older one is in regular school, she's still doing sports and now Brownies. The next year comes, the older daughter is still doing the same stuff, haven't added anything but now the second daughter is old enough to do sports. You have to put her in, it's only fair because her sister did it and you sign her up and now you have another weekly practice and another game on Saturday. Another year comes in, the second daughter is in regular school and in sports like her older sister but she also wants to be in girls scouts like her sister so you find her a troop, one that meets every other week. Now your life is pretty crazy and that's not mentioning all the birthday parties and school events you have to go to. And just when you think you have it all under control the next year your third child starts preschool. So you probably get the idea. I'm going to be busy for at least the next fourteen years.

I know my girls don't have to do all this stuff. They really don't have to do anything besides school, but they enjoy it (and believe me they tell me when they don't enjoy something). We manage. We are also not special. All the people I know with kids have them in activities, some have them in more things then I do. I know my kids get something out of the things they do that is what motivates me to keep juggling. As far as fairness or evenness goes that is something else I can do for them. Life isn't fair, we hear that all the time and truly it isn't (just ask me about trying to buy Motrin Cold after 9pm) so I figure I should try my best to make things fair in our little world called home. I've been warned about making my kids soft. But I just think if the outside world is a hard place and your parents don't make things a little soft for you, who else will?