Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Busy Thanksgiving

Okay, so I'm about a week late in posting my Thanksgiving summary . . . at least it's still technically November . . .

It was a busy four days. For staying local in the LA area (and not wanting to see the mayhem at LAX), we sure did pack in a lot of miles during the holiday. Over 500 miles in four days. Air Boss did all of the driving. He da man.

No turkey on Turkey Day. Actually, nothing American about our Thanksgiving food. We had Mexican for lunch (okay, I guess burritos, quesadillas, and fish tacos are as "American" here in LA as apple pie is elsewhere in the country) and Japanese for dinner (hot pot, anyone?). 'Shroom was confused.

"Where's the turkey?" he had asked. I'm surprised that his LA public schooling didn't teach about different cultural ways of celebrating the holiday. Then again, he's the only non-white in his class.

We also spent the long weekend with cousins from both sides of my family.

Also celebrated three birthdays in two days.

And discovered the land of Lego where everything from the Taj Mahal to the Empire State Building were constructed of Lego's. Even saw a little Lego guy with his pants pulled down to his ankles in a "public" restroom at Grand Central. All in Lego. Pretty impressive details (the Legos in general - not the restroom scene).

I missed my family back East terribly. It was my first Thanksgiving I've missed with my family since my junior year in college. 'Shroom was missing his Grandma back in Boston and Lolli was wondering if people in Boston were also celebrating Thanksgiving.

Every day was spent outside of the house from the moment we left the house in the morning until we returned at night just in time to put the kids to bed late. Long days . . . which made for a difficult Monday morning when reality settled back in. Not a pretty scene in this Redondo Beach home.

Well, we're pretty much back into the swing of things. Air Boss will be leaving in a few days for a week-long trip to Boston. I with the two kids will be holding down the fort here. Air Boss is hoping for snow while he's back East. We'll see about that.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Seeing the Forrest

Crouching Tiger
Originally uploaded by radioflyer007
Ahh . . . I've just dropped off Lolli at her Tuesday morning preschool and 'Shroom is probably already back into the swing of things at kindergarten after the long holiday weekend. I have the morning (well, the next two hours) totally to myself. Ahh . . .

I have a list of things to do and yet I had to carve out the time to drop a line to say I'm still alive and surviving out here in LA. On some days as it seems of late, that would be barely surviving.

There have been so many thoughts, struggles, really really difficult moments I've wanted to blog about but felt that sharing some of these gut-wrenching emotions on the world wide web would be too revealing. Too exposing. Like I'm posting a naked picture of myself on the internet for the world to see.

Needless to say, I've been struggling these days with being a mom. Being a career-driven person stuck in the body and schedule of a stay-at-home mom. My joys of reading and writing have become practically non-existent -- I just can't seem to do worthwhile writing (or reading for that matter) in 5-10 minute chunks of time.

I've also been feeling totally inadequate as a mom and like a complete and utter failure as a teacher to 'Shroom. He's still struggling to keep one foot in the kindergarten classroom. Despite all the books we read, special activities to help his writing, practice exercises to reinforce what he's (supposed to be) learning in school, he has yet to connect the concept that letters have sounds, sounds make words and words make sentences. Just the other week, he forgot how to write his name. Most typical days with 'Shroom, it's three steps forward, two steps back. Lately, it feels like it's been three steps forward, four or five steps backwards.

Over the years, I've come to realize that I'm a perfectionist. I'm meticulous and anal. And unfortunately, I hold these standards and expectations not only for myself but also for my family and friends. And boy, has it really really been challenging for me to raise a child with special needs. Special needs that have yet to fully be defined and diagnosed.

And it's not all about 'Shroom. I think I'm really struggling to find out who I truly am. What truly gives me joy and fulfillment. Honestly, I'm feeling really selfish right now in thinking of myself and what I want. It seems like it's been so long since I've been able to do what I want when I want that I don't even know what it is anymore.

I know as a "mature adult" I should be able to see the forrest among the trees. On a typical day, I think I can see a tree. On the tougher days, I think I only see something that looks like bark. And it looks pretty rough.