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Sunday, May 19, 2019

WTF - Call Me SAP

If anyone knows my family, they know the McKeon side of the family is full of saps.

Case in point, my grandmother could never get through a greeting card without wiping away a tear or two. Every family gathering was not dry when my grandmother would ask my father to sing Mother Machree. Especially the time he prefaced it with, "I think this is the first time I ever sang this sober."

I tried to keep it together during my sisters wedding and erupted with a sob because, well, I'm a sap.

Cue now trying to hold it together as my first born gets ready to leave the nest. Sure I'm all confident as the announcements come in and excuse myself to the bathroom. Then the Senior pictures come through and I'll retire to the deck. I tell myself to hold it together but the McKeon comes out every time.

Why am I tearing up as I make them a post prom brunch, what the heck?

When someone asks me where Wolfgang is going to college. I have to gulp first before answering.

Writing out graduation announcements.

Hiding behind Jeff as we take Senior Prom pictures.

Because I still see the little kid that would yell from his room at 4 o'clock in the morning, "Start day!"

The kid who's head was too big so he couldn't balance to walk and scooted across the floor. I'm still amazing we never nicknamed him Scooter.

Waiting on the front porch for the bus to come by.


I said to Jeff the other day, "How am I going to handle this? I'm a McKeon and you know all us Irish are total SAPS! I'm not going to make it through graduation.

"Believe me, you won't be the only one crying," is his reply. He's right, I'll be in good company.

I guess I'll just quietly hold it together, watch them grow wings and hope I did a good job. Then let the McKeon side take over.

Friday, May 17, 2019

WTF - Obsession is that bad?

My children came home from school, checked the mailbox and walked in with a package for me.

"Ah! That's my delivery from Scribe Delivery! My new pens and notebooks!" Disclaimer, most writers are obsessed with pens and notebooks, basically all types of office supplies.

They look at my pile of new notebooks, the pens overflowing the holder, and the box of pens by the side of my "writing chair."

"Mom. we need to talk to you." One child says.

I'm thinking, "OK I've been slacking in the lunch department." or, "I'm still not washing your sheets, that's your job."

"What do we need to talk about?" I ask.

They look at each other, "The newest obsession."

"What are you talking about?" I ask. Me? Obsessed? Maybe a few TV series or a few vampire novels, but I'm not obsessed with anything!

"You're into the pen and notebook obsession," one child says.

"Yeah, this was before the coconut oil obsession," another says.

"What do you mean?" I ask.

They explain to me my cycle. I have the obsession, then I move onto the next thing.

There was the healthy smoothie obsession, where I made morning smoothies of chia seeds, beets, veggies, fruits, vinegar, lemon, turmeric, CBD oil whatever I could find. Oh, and of course the collagen for weight loss and hair growth. That lasted a few months.

Then they mentioned the Raramuri runners obsession after reading Born to Run. I was obsessed with salad for breakfast. They didn't like the waking to a breakfast of Spinach salad with a side of Flax seeds..

One of their friends said, "My Mom was obsessed with making chapstick. I walked into the kitchen at 3am and she was making Chapstick. I said 'What are you doing?' she replied, 'Christmas is 6 months away!"'

They counted off another obsession.

"Remember the I'm going to make my own greeting cards obsession," one asked. "We went to Michaels and you bought about 50 stamps, blank cards and told us it was cheaper to make your own card. How many cards did you make?" I wasn't answering three cards and the ink leaked all over my favorite shirt.

"And the painting obsession?" Another asked. Another Michaels trip buying canvases, 200 dollars worth of paint, then trying my best Bob Ross and realizing I really didn't have the talent.

"We like this obsession now," they both say together.

The latest obsession is born out of having one graduating this year from high school. I went from being lazy and throwing the ham and cheese sandwiches into their lunch to ending the school year strong. Years past they'd find a grape halved for their fruit, a moldy piece of brownie for desert then that damn sandwich.

This year, I'm obsessed with bowls. Putting all my cooking goodness together in one bowl (not mentioning the 3876 dirty pans in the kitchen.) I'm making bowls for dinner, bowls for their lunch. They've had the Asian bowl- teriyaki salmon with coconut rise and sautéed green beans. The Southwestern Bowl - fajita chicken with chili black beans, yellow rise, salsa and sour cream. The Pad Thai bowl of Shrimp, Peppers with egg, pad thai sauce and rice noodles. My most artistic was the sushi bowl-sushi rice, imitation crab, chopped avocado and cucumbers sprinkled with sesame seeds. (I had to steal a few soy packets from the grocery store for that one."

So they are lucky at this obsession, they are eating well and actually looking forward to their lunches on a daily basis. I'm enjoying making the food and feeling the small sense of being in control with all the monumental things happening in my life, one driving, another graduating!

I've been lucky that some obsessions stayed with me, my yoga passion and becoming a teacher. My reading though my husband may differ as he steps over all the books on my reading list. My writing, and you're welcome because you are here reading this. I have been informed by my husband that I cannot have another expensive hobby as I eyed the golf clubs in the Pro Shop of the Beech Mountain Club.

So whatever your obsession is - Chapstick, Bowls, Greeting Cards down to Spirulina Smoothies take it for what is it, some stick and it's a good thing and others end up in the pantry next to the paint supplies and the 16 tubes of Saran Wrap from the "trying to shrink my belly" obsession.

I'll just go ahead and hide the bee keeping supplies in the forest. Making my own honey is healthier right?

Can you name any obsession you can laugh about?

Friday, May 10, 2019

WTF - Mother's Day

Back when my boys were little, they always celebrated Mother's Day.

One year they brought a piece of toast and a Miller Lite for breakfast in Bed.

Another year, they loaded all their compliments on Alexa and let her do all the talking.

Another year, they just crawled into bed with me and declared "no one is moving for the day."

It's special to me celebrating with my children, but there's a small part of me that's sad on Mother's Day. Especially this one with so many monumental things happening this year.

One turning 18.

One getting his Learner's Permit

One Graduating

One moving out to go to college.

It's times like these that make me miss my Mom. To call her and have her help me hold it together as my children celebrate getting older and I'm forced to continue to let go.

If I saw her for Mother's Day, I'd tell her how much Wolfgang looks like Dad. I'd expect her to tell me to pull it together as I get weepy when writing out graduation announcements. Maybe she'd take Max out driving just to save me the heart attack, probably not.

I know she'd be here for the upcoming Graduation, she'd be there at the beach this summer as we celebrate Jeff's 60th birthday. Hell, she'd probably be moving to Beech Mountain for the summer because she'd be retired.

I miss talking to her about kids, about lessons learned, about marriage. I miss not being able to call her and ask, "Is this normal?" as my body changes again - sometimes not for the best!

I'll go back to my email and find that folder of all her emails, re reading them and hearing her voice again. I'll look at pictures and smile remembering when she said we had to "act cool" going into a club we didn't belong to and tripping through the front door. Or smile when she called me from a business trip to California telling me how nice her hotel room was:

"You won't believe it. There's all kind of food and a refrigerator full of beer and liquor. I can't eat all the food, but I went ahead and put most of the refrigerator stuff in my luggage!"

When you lose parents, it's these holidays that make you stop and find gratitude that you had that time with Mom. Then just like all the monumental things happening this year have the courage to let it go and tuck it away in that little box of what you don't want to deal with right now. Smile as the Miller Lite and piece of toast you received when the kids were little are now Eagle Rare Bourbon and Sourdough Toast.

For those Moms out there, enjoy! Enjoy the time with your kids and your time with your Mom because you never realize how fast it goes until you're looking at Graduation announcements saying, "What the hell?"

Happy Mother's Day. I'm going to brunch at Beech Mountain Club because my son is working there and wants "to cook me something."

Holding it together right now, making Mom proud.