30 April 2008

Snakes and alligators and 3-year-olds, oh my!

Isn't it funny the things that you find yourself saying as a mom? I mean, did you ever think you would hear yourself say, "Stop chewing on the cat" or "No, you can't fly to the moon until you eat your peas"?

I find myself having the strangest conversations with my three-year-old lately. Like this morning:

"Why is there a snake on my purse?"

"Because I had to keep him safe from the alligators, Mommy."

"Of course."

"See ... the alligator is in your shoe."

"Of course."

Kid Logic.

Don't worry: No rubber snakes or plastic alligators were harmed in the making of blog.

29 April 2008


It started one day when my son was about 2. I was pregnant with his little brother and not feeling great that day, so we were sitting on the couch watching "Finding Nemo" and playing with some toys.

There is a part in the move when "Crush" the sea turtle and his little son, "Squirt" give each other a head-butt and announce "Noggin, Dude!"

So, my son comes over and puts his forehead against mine and says, "Noggin, Mommy."

And a family tradition is born.

Now, whenever I tuck him in at night, or drop him off at the sitters or even just leave to go to the store, we hug and we kiss and then we gently touch foreheads and look into each other's eyes and whisper "Noggin".

It's such a silly little thing, I know. But it's sweet, and it's ours. And it's made all the more sweet because I know it won't last forever.

He's almost 4 now. And, though his baby brother is now learning the family "noggin" tradition along with how to walk and talk, I know it won't be long before they tell me that "noggin" is silly and they don't want to do it anymore.

I think that's going to be a hard day for mommy.

So, today and everyday until then, I am going to enjoy that special, silly little moment with my boys that just belongs to us.

26 April 2008

Momma Zen

I recently read Momma Zen ...

Because my life philosophy is closely aligned with Buddhism and Taoism, someone recommended it to me. So I got it. And it sat in my "to read" pile for a while before I finally had the time and inclination to pick it up.

I'm so glad I did.

It was great! Truly inspiring and thought-provoking. It really reaffirmed some things for me and made me think about how and why I do and think some things as a mom and as a person.

I honestly think this book is one of those that has the potential to change your thoughts and your life.

I think every mom should read this book - not just Buddhists. Don't let the "Zen" in the title or the fact that the author is a Buddhist priest scare you away. It is worth the read.

11 April 2008

Life and death and life

I ran across a journal this morning about the afterlife. Got me thinking.

The original journal was a vehement fire-and-brimstone mix of Pascal's Wager and your basic "heathens will burn in hell" message. Basically: "It's my way or the highway ... to hell, so stick that in your pipe and smoke it you nasty heathen you". Nice, huh?

Anyway, she made a big point of the fact that no one actually knows for sure what happens after death.

Well, duh. That's been one of mankind's biggest philosophical discussions since we were hanging out in caves with clubs trying to figure out how to control fire.

Of course no one knows for sure what happens after death. I have my personal ideas and so do you.

I might not agree with them, but I respect your right to your views - Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, atheistic, whatever. You are - thankfully - free to believe whatever you'd like. As am I.
I might, personally, find it hard to believe that there is a giant dining hall in the clouds where brave vikings are served mead by buxom wenches ... or that the worlds heroes end up lounging lazily in the Elysian Fields ... but if that is what someone believes to be the case, I'm okay with that.

Caveat: As long as you don't hurt others. Eg: If you think you need to kill people to make it into your heaven or abuse children to please your god or burn things down to ease your transition to a new plane or something like that ... then I'd have a problem.
But as along as your ideas don't hurt others, we're shiny.

As has been pointed out: No one knows. Who am I to say that my ideas are better than theirs? I think I'm right. You think you are right. They think they're right. It's highly unlikely that anyone is going to forcibly change anyone else's mind.

So, what's left?

We could kill each other over it. Or we can accept that my way is not the only way and try to get along like civilized folk.

It would seem that, throughout history, mankind has consistently chosen the first option. I think it's time to give the second one a try.

"There is no conclusive evidence of life after death. But there is no evidence of any sort against it. Soon enough you will know. So why fret about it? " ~ Robert Heinlein
"Life after death is as improbable as sex after marriage." ~ Mrs. White, "Clue"

10 April 2008

Rules for Life

This list has been floating around the Internet for a few while now, attributed to a variety of people. It bounces into my inbox about once a year or so. And I don't mind. Because I think there is a lot of wisdom and a bit of humor to be found in these "rules".

1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
2. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
3. Follow the three Rs: Respect for self, respect for others and responsibility for your actions.
4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
6. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
7. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
8. Spend some time alone every day.
9. Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.
10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
11. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll be able to enjoy it a second time.
12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don't bring up the past.
14. Share your knowledge. It's the only way to achieve immortality.
15. Be gentle with the earth.
16. Once a year, go some place you've never been before.
17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
19. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.
20. Never stop learning.