I'm listening to Death Cab for Cutie (my adopted teen, Ilana calls it part of my "teen music" collection) and I'm wondering what "farmer chords" are? I know what "bar chords" are. May have to consult the handy-dandy Google. I don't know how I survived before the internet when it comes to looking up information. Atlhough, I did love the library as a kid. And my parents had a few different sets of Encyclopedias which were helpful. In fact, the other day my daughter was playing on Minecraft on her iPad with her friend and I overheard her say, "Oh and look here, I added a library just for my mom so she has her own room in my house. It has floor to ceiling shelves and they are all filled with books. My mom will love it!" Aaaaaaah! So proud of her! She also made a fairy version of me and called it "J - The Math Fairy". =swoon=
I've started a few blog posts over the last few days and haven't finished any of them. I've had a very bad sore throat and fatigue all week so I haven't had much motivation. The girl I babysit has been sick this week too so I've been taking it easy the last few days trying to recover. I always conveniently forget that the start of the school year also means back-to-back colds for awhile. Yuck. One of the posts was about how I had a really nice memory of how whenever I was sick a a kid my dad would always bring a little present home for me after he got off work. Something small like a little toy or a book to read or a puzzle book. That got me really thinking a lot about memory because I had zero recollection of that until I was in the grocery story on Tuesday and it occurred to me I should get a little plant for the girl I babysit because she was sick. Suddenly I had that memory and I immediately felt all warm and cozy. It was very similar to the experience of having a flashback of trauma back in the day when I had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, only it was a happy memory. And of course, because I had had no recollection of it for the past thirty years I called my mom to ask her if it was real and she sighed (like it still bugged her that he would "spoil me" like that) and said yes. Or maybe she sighed because she thought it was silly that I would ask her if it's true because it is so obviously something my dad would do.
That also got me thinking about how I was diagnosed a few years back as "not having Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome anymore" Not even from the most recent serious trauma of a serious car accident twenty years ago that put me in the trauma ward for a week with life-threatening injuries. I have to be careful who I tell that to though because lots of people like to tell me that it is impossible to recover from PTSD and it will come back. What a lovely thought. Gee, thanks for making me feel like shit. Well, I'm here to tell you that none of us will ever get to the point where we're perfectly well adjusted and we all have - and always will have - issues, but that you can recover from PTSD. So there!
Actually, I probably have a bit of mild PTSD from my last employer. Well, not seriously, but it definitely shook my confidence a little bit. But I seem to be coming out of it with the help of my family and friends reminding not to take on her problems as a reflection of who I am. It also helped that while I was lying around the house watching lots of tv on Wednesday I was catching up on one of my current favorite shows, Once Upon a Time and I was amused to realize that the Evil Queen Regina looks and acts just like my old boss in the modern day versions of the story. I think that was the kicker to help me realize that her ideas that I am an incompetent failure were just that - only her ideas.
I haven't had enough time at the barn because of this latest virus and I haven't felt up to working in the gardens like I've wanted to do before it gets too cold and any work I do is a moot point. Hopefully, I can make up on my horse time and gardening time this weekend because that's the stuff that makes me feel really fulfilled. Well, that and my daughter. And I'm really enjoying having her friend over every day after school while her mom works. It fills my need for wanting more kids to be able to be a part of my daughter's friend's lives too. I'm hoping to be that mom who kids feel comfortable coming to with their feelings, thoughts, dreams like they are with their parents. And where their kids want to go if their parents need babysitters. It seems to be working even though I am also the mom who reminds the boys to wear their helmets when they skateboard in the neighborhood and stuff like that. What amazes me is that they actually do go and get their helmets after I tell them! I always frame it as "But if you damage your head you won't be you anymore and then I'll be sad - and imagine how sad your own mom will be!" and that seems to work. Ok, once one of the boys said it wasn't cool to wear helmets and I said that was stupid and it wasn't cool it was just plain stupid not wear a helmet and he said you're not supposed to tell people they're stupid and I said I didn't call him stupid, I said he was acting stupid and if the shoe fits then that's that. I'm good friends with his mom so I knew it was ok. I wouldn't try that in our old neighborhood in Seattle though because chances are some irate dad would end up knocking on my door demanding to know why I told his precious snowflake he was acting stupid. Anyway, the kid went back and put on his helmet. Yay!
Another thing I've been thinking about is how I continue to amazed at how parenting is like a universal sameness with all people. The little girl I've been babysitting was born here but her parents grew up in India in what appears when I talk to them to be a very different culture. And they've only lived here for just over ten years. But at the same time we are so alike and their daughter acts very much like my daughter. Our lives may have different clothes and different food (although not lately -especially since I asked the mom to bring me some blouses when she went to India over the summer and she introduced a good Indian grocery to me) but are otherwise the same. I find it the same with my friends from Nigeria. I'm sure I'd have culture shock going to their home town but at the same time we are so similar - the jokes we tell, the way our kids act, the way we raise them, how we view the world. It just occurred to me the other day that I don't think - while listening to a lot of the commentary on politics during the election year especially - that a lot of people recognize just how much a like people are all over the world. I hear a lot of "Well, you know African-American people (ie: black people - not specifically people who recently moved here from Africa) do this or that or believe this or that ..." and "Muslims are x-y-z" and "Those people" as though "Those" is the big adjective to mean "a group that is TOTALLY different from us". I guess it's really sinking in not just how much the same everyone is regardlessly of the culture they live in, but also how much at least our culture considers people from other countries at THE OTHER.
Romney supporters want a better country for their children and so do Obama supporters. Pentacostals and Unitarians want a spiritual community and a better world for their families. I just don't see why the common reaction is to hate the other when it's so obvious that there is no "other" beyond say criminals and psychopaths. And even the majority of criminals are lost people with serious issues that need to be addressed but in the end are really not that different from any of us. But this time of year and especially presidential election years we are all beseiged by media telling us how the other side or any slight difference is bad, evil, different "we don't want them here" and it's really sad. Another proud moment I had with my daughter the other day was in a writing assignment she was supposed to write a fact about our family and her fact was "We are loving, kind and everyone is welcome." That was awesome!