Dude…Where’s My Car?

“No seriously. Where the %$&# is my car?!” – Me while turning in circles in my own damn parking lot in front of my condo.

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“No seriously. Where the %$&# is my car?!” – Me while turning in circles in my own damn parking lot in front of my condo.

*Record Scratch*
*Freeze Frame*

Yep. That’s me. You’re probably wondering how I got into this situation. Or at least that’s how the movie about the last weekend would start if said movie existed outside of my crazy, still in shock mind.

1. No alcohol was involved. No, seriously I swear it.
2. I am still a little ashamed that one of the first things out of my mouth to my boyfriend at that moment was, “Dude…where’s my car?”

Saturday morning the man and I left for our first out of town adult getaway. Adult as in without his son or my daughter, not some hedonistic naked hotel. Well, I guess the idea was pretty much the same except not in public (hopefully) and at some point we were going to be meeting my (fully clothed) best friend and her husband for cocktails and so that they could finally meet the first man I’ve managed not to scare away in 3 years. I mean, look at us.

estelleandtalia

We’re adorable. How much trouble can we really get into? Ok, so we can usually get into a little more than a little trouble but this time we were perfect angels. The good ones even.

We headed down to St. Petersburg, got checked in, got food, and ran through the rain (yes, I had a literal black raincloud following me) to the little bar on our hotel beach to meet up with the bestie. 24 hours later we are headed back home, missing a wallet and his ID, but without any additions to our records, so I’m calling that a win. Well, I would call it a win up until we pulled up to my house.

I walk inside. I walk back outside.

“Dude…where’s my car?!”

Empty. Freaking. Parking. Space.

My first trip out of town with the man to get some quality fun time and I come home and someone jacks my damn car.

From in front of my condo.

I’ve had a few moments in my lifetime where I seriously contemplated if I was a serial killer or a renowned dictator or even a Nickelback fan in a previous lifetime to deserve these things. This was definitely one of them.

If anyone has ever had a car stolen from them, there’s not much you can do. You call the cops, you call your insurance, you freak the *&%# out when you realize you don’t have gap insurance and then you bake cookies. No? Ok, well that’s what I did. And right now, I’m just waiting and hoping to god the asshat who stole a car with a booster seat in the back and a freaking textbook on Race, Gender and Class Issues in the Media in the front seat (which of course I need for a midterm in 4 days) decides to calmly park and leave it somewhere without any damage. Or minimal damage. Or at least less damage than totaling it would be so I don’t have to continue paying on a car that someone else is driving around or cutting up for parts.

Here’s to hoping I was Mother Theresa and not Mommie Dearest in that past life.

 

 

 

It’s Gonna Be OK

Parenting on the best of days is still really really hard. There are days when the sun shines, the house is clean, you have money in the bank and you hear, “Mommy, you are my best friend!” There are the days that you run out of coffee, the dog pukes on the floor, the kid’s socks are “scrunchy”, you walk outside already late and see a flat tire. Then there are the days no parent wants to even consider. Illness, injury, loss of a child.

I lost my sister as an adolescent and saw what it did to my parents. There are no words. There simply aren’t.

Years passed and I became a mother. I will be the first to admit that my early years as a mommy were incredibly stressful. Learning to be a working single parent, dealing with depression and anxiety, and living in a constant state of self-doubt combined to create the epitome of an unhealthy, unhappy woman.

Then things started to change. There are simply too many factors to address today, and I’m sure they will pop up in the blog some other time, but one thing really impacted my mentality on daily living.

I reconnected with a family I had been very close to in my own childhood. We had lost touch over the years and the magic of Facebook jumpstarted the process of reconnecting,…although not in a manner that I would wish on anyone. They lost one of their children. A child I had babysat, binged on pizza with, and learned my first lessons in caregiving from. Simply put, my heart broke.

In the continuing years, we stayed in touch over social media, and I was able to witness possibly the most astounding parenting moments. I saw them band together as a family, mourn loss, yet still celebrate life.

During one of my most trying weeks this past year, they sent me a simple gift that reminds me every single day that hope exists. It will always exist. On our best days and on our absolute worst. They sent me a sticker with a simple acronym. igbok.

It’s gonna be OK.

And it was. And it will be. One day at a time.

 

Strong Enough to Bend

Here’s to strong women.
May we be them.
May we know them.
May we raise them.

The author of this may be unknown, but the message resonates. From the moment my daughter was born, I made it my mommy mission to raise a strong woman. I knew that raising my daughter as a single mother, many times working multiple jobs, and now working AND going to college would demand that I teach her the independence and personal strength she would need in order to adapt to the specific challenges that a kid in her situation would require.

But what makes someone strong?

Aesop’s fable about The Oak and the Reed provides a stunningly simple analogy of what I believe #postmodernparenting really means.

It is better to bend than to break.

I believe strength lies within the ability to adapt and evolve. Strength does not mean being so hard as to be brittle. It means being strong enough to withstand the storms that inevitably happen in life. In parenting, it means adapting to each child’s unique needs and the evolution of your parenting style to best support their continued learning and growth.

 

 

 

 

 

The Postmodern Mantra

Parenting today is not our parents’ parenting.

To be honest, if I had to choose a mantra for my parenting style, it would be, “What the hell am I doing?!”

Parenting today is not our parents’ parenting.

We do not have a template to follow, our lives are no long based on the stereotypical American dream of a white picket fence, our kids’ lives do not even follow the paths of our own childhoods.

We are creating our new normals, one day at a time. Parenting can be inclusive, it can be diverse, parenting today can be a million shades of gray, or green, or blue, or pink. Today, more than any other, our children are members of a global community, with access to information and experiences we could only dream of in our childhood. The only “normal” today, is knowing that there isn’t one. And that’s OK.

Our kids aren’t the only members of a global community. They aren’t the only ones with access to endless reams of data on any subject imaginable. Today, if our lives, if our kids don’t fit the mold we were taught to expect, we can create our own normal based on the experiences of parents the world over.

Postmodern Parenting is simply my take on how I am navigating my new normal, in this crazy, connected, constantly changing world.