I’m Gonna Scrub This Year Right Out Of My Hair… And Send It On Its Way!

PEACE OUT 2015… And by peace out I mean, Hate you, F*#K You, See You Never!

lets-never-speak-of-2015-again--8ab88

Okay, maybe that’s a little dramatic, but I truly feel like 2015 was a praying mantis of a year… I was seduced by the promise of great things, momentarily happy, caught in a web of lies, gobbled up, and spit out a broken, shell of myself.  Still too dramatic?

I will be the first to admit, there were some great moments in 2015.  We experienced Disney as a family of five and it was amazing.  We celebrated the third, sixth, and second birthdays of our delicious, beautiful, wild, smart boys.  We enjoyed a few weekend getaways with friends to the Poconos, the Hamptons, and Montauk.  We made new, life-long friendships and solidified old ones (you know who you are!).  We celebrated the birth of a best friend’s baby.  We definitely made some great memories.

But 2015 was a skewed deck of cards.  The difficult, heartbreaking moments darkened the good ones. My happy smile turned complacent.  I succumbed to the torture of 2015 and I will never be the same because of it.

And I am not okay with it.  I am angry to have suffered an irreparable hole in my heart after losing my aunt.  I try on a daily basis to push through, but it weighs on me heavily.  I have no choice other than to smile each day for my children and to make sure not to cry every time they mention her name or when they say goodnight to her and the moon.  I’m left with a void that cannot be filled with all the crafts in the world.  I am angry for the difficult losses and changes my family has endured this year.  I had to face some hard truths about my love and my friendships and my tolerance for people.

But like the odd years in school, 2015 was also a learning year.  I learned how to put another adult’s needs in front of my own.  I learned how to cope.  I learned how to let go.  I learned how to move on.  I learned more about who I am and who I don’t want to be.

I welcome 2016 and the possibility of finding love in my heart again.  Figuring out the type of mother I truly want to be… The woman I want to be… The person I want to be.  2015 taught me so much about what I don’t want in my life.  2016 is a new year for the taking.  A clean slate?  A fresh start?  It’s neither. Forgiving and forgetting isn’t real.  No one ever truly forgets.

In this new year, I’m not going to resolve to lose more weight, eat even healthier, adopt a YOLO attitude, vow to be someone who I am not.

I am focusing on my capabilities.  I am capable of moving forward.  I am capable of trying.  I am capable of rebuilding.  I am capable of loving.

bady year again

I’m making myself a promise.  I am going to take my happiness back. I am going to be stronger. I am going to sing in the shower again. I am hosting more dance parties and costume dinners. I am going to start reading again.  I am going to write more often.  I am going to play again.  I’m weaning myself off of the social media craze and re-immersing myself in my own reality (so, an advance apology if I don’t like all of your pictures and posts every day!)  I’m going to dedicate my energy into meaningful friendships.  I am going to try to let go of the toxicity and embrace the good.  I am going to begin to figure out who I am today and who I want to be tomorrow.

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I am mother, I am wife, I am daughter, I am sister, I am cousin, I am friend, I am woman – HEAR ME ROAR!  2015, you beat me down, but I will rise again.

 So, goodbye 2015… I welcome 2016 with a open arms.

Wishing all of you a very happy, healthy, and peaceful 2016!

2016

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The House of Broken Toys

I can’t find the pieces to my checkers set!

Me no see the top to my Octonaut!

Where my bunny go?

He did it!

I never broke anything in my whole life.

 

The pieces to all of the board games are lost.  Barbie is decapitated.  The Paw Patrol guy is missing the wheel to his truck.  The Lego spaceship didn’t survive its mission.  Welcome to THE HOUSE OF BROKEN TOYS.

Recently, I was at a friend’s house and I marveled at how every toy had its place.  The Magna-Tiles were arranged in their bin.  The little figurines were in a giant tupperware.  The crayons were in a box.  The playroom wasn’t perfectly clean, after-all, it is a child’s playroom, but the toys all had their place.  The kids were able to open up a game and actually play it because all of the pieces were in the box.  I won’t over-exaggerate and say I was in shock, but I was certainly surprised.  I am a type-A personality, extremely organized, yet my playroom never  looks like hers even though I have all the bins and organizers.

What the playroom looks like when I actually get to organize!

What the playroom looks like when I actually get to organize!

I started to wonder… What am I doing wrong!?  Why are so many of my boys’ toys destroyed, some beyond repair?  Am I raising hooligans?  Disrespectful boys with no grasp of protecting what’s theirs?  

Years ago, I recognized my husband’s own attitude towards his belongings.  As a disorganized man (Where are my keys?  Where’s my watch?  Where’s my ring? Why didn’t I come home from Grandma’s house with both shoes? – I kid you not), his attitude has been something of a, if it’s lost or broken, I can always get a new one.  I, on the other hand, value my belongings to a fault.  I didn’t share clothes with my friends as a teen for fear the clothes would get ruined. I still hold grudges against the girls who broke my Barbies’ heads off (you know who you are — I’ll forgive you one day…).  I cried over spilled breast milk.

Is there a happy medium?  A way to teach my children to respect their things without crying if something accidentally breaks and without thinking they will get a new one if the ruin the one they have?  

I recognize a creativity in their destruction.  The Lego spaceship is repurposed.  The checkers pieces are pirates treasures.  The shoelace string from the children’s sewing kit is the rope used in an invention.  The train tracks are a stabilizer for a tower.  

My oldest is the brains behind the operation.He even tricks his brothers into thinking it’s a fantastic game.    He disassembles everything and I appreciate his innovative mind.  I want to foster his creativity.  But I’d prefer not to foster it with expensive toys that his little brothers could enjoy for years to come.  He’s very much like his daddy in that respect.  What’s the big deal?  We can get a new one.  He’s yet to understand the true value of a dollar and the abundance of gratitude he owes the universe (and his grandparents) for all of his niceties.  If he breaks his toy, it’s fine.  If someone else breaks his toy, fear the wrath (or at least hide from the whining that ensues).

I see the same inventive nature in my two little guys, but they are less destructive with descending birth order.  They share a little of my OCD in regards to taking care of their things.  My middle is happy to destroy and create and rebuild, with building blocks and stacking toys.  He likes to learn about parts and ingredients when baking.  What he doesn’t like are broken toys.  He protects his little guys and trucks.

And the baby, forget about it.  He guards his things with a vengeance.  No, MINE!  MY TOY!  MY TURN!  Yet, I still see his creativity as he pushes a fire truck around my kitchen with a stack of Peanuts characters hitching a ride.

I’d hate to be stifling their creativity as I scream, If I step on one more broken Lego I might lose it!  Legos are meant to be broken.  But there is no excuse for every toy to be dismantled beyond repair.  

A little antecdote.  Last night, as I cleaned up dinner, I sent the three boys down to the playroom with the warning to be nice to one another and not to climb on the top of the toy house (yes, I actually need to reiterate that daily).  For a few minutes, they did play nicely.   But one by one, they trickled upstairs complaining or whining about another brother.  I reminded them of the rules and sent them back to play.  Several minutes went by before the baby came up the stairs saying, “J & B – HOUSE!”  Over and over again.  I figured they kicked him out of the playhouse.  He chose to stay with me while I cleaned.  Later in the evening, my husband went downstairs to turn off the heat.  I heard him screaming a whole slew of expletive as I raced downstairs.

I found him near the staircase.  Look at what the little shits did!  I noticed the room looked different.  The usual blocks were strewn along the floor, but something was missing.  And that’s when I realized, the entire toy sorting bin, among MANY MANY other toys inside their playhouse.  They essentially took the entire basement and shoved it into their house.  

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After we removed the toy bin and the bean bags.IMG_0651

 

My husband started to clean it up and I stopped him.  This is a job for the kids.  They need to learn to clean up after themselves.  We threatened our Jewish kids that Santa wouldn’t come if they continued to be naughty.  But are threats really the answer?

I’m still struggling with the appropriate way to expose my children to a blend of creative thinking and respecting their belongings.  For now, I’ll continue leading by example.  I’ll try not to scream when we go to play a board game and it has no pieces, but I certainly won’t be rushing out to buy them a new one.

 

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