Summer Vacation Anxiety

I always find my anxiety ramping up a little right before school lets out for the summer. In years past, it was generally from trying to figure out affordable childcare for three small kiddos. Who was the best caregiver? Who was the best caregiver that was NOT going to charge me a gajillion dollars to keep my kids while I worked? What camps were there? Did I do day only? What about lunch? Snack?

SO. MANY. OPTIONS.

SO. MUCH. ANXIETY.

Now…the anxiety is there. But not for those reasons. All of mine are old enough to stay home without any supervision. My husband has a job where he has some days off during the week, so that is helpful. Now the only thing I have to worry about is making sure I have a good chore schedule set up for them so they can help keep the house clean during the day. The will mean my weekends aren’t spent cleaning up the disaster left by untidy teenagers. Now I have to figure out scheduling. Who wants to stay at whose house on what days and are they at their father’s house this week? Is my mother wanting her “Nana” time with the girls? How can I work in a few fun and affordable trips this summer? Do we want to try camping? A roadtrip?

A WHOLE new set of anxieties set in and my mind is swimming.

I think, this summer, other than making sure they have a chore list to complete, I am going to let them be bored. They can take walks. They can lay out in the backyard. They can read or have movie marathons or sleep in and stay up late (so long as they don’t wake me up!). They can color and write and figure out how to entertain themselves. I am not interested in staying anxious this summer. And I need them to learn to self soothe their boredom. Maybe we will take a trip/ Maybe we won’t. But I am not going to stress over it.

I hope everyone has a bit of repreive from the insanities of school being out. I hope everyone can find their happy medium with summer vacation planning!

Here is to a happy summer vacation!

~The Grey

 

I have a sensitive child…and I’m an asshole

When I was younger I always said I didn’t want children. For a multitude of reasons. I was THAT person. The one when you shoved your bundles of joy into my arms I had the “deer in headlights” look plastered on my face. The “what the hell do you want me to do with this squirming, crying thing” girl who hates bodily fluids, shrill noises, and such. Um no thank you.

I avoided baby showers and first birthdays like the plague. Something always came up right before and I would “regrettably” have to cancel. My childhood friends always said I would never have kids. I married my ex husband shortly after turning 23. He, fully aware of this, respected it and married me anyways.

I think a lot of it had to do with the fact I basically raised my younger brothers. My mom suffered a traumatic brain injury when I was 13 and my bio father was a raging, emotionally detached alcoholic. My mother didn’t know who I was for a year and a half, not to mention what the hell was going on day to day. Thankfully she did go through rehab and made a somewhat full recovery. But I spent those formative years being mom and not a typical teenager.

Fast forward to age 27. Financially secure and had recently purchased the first home. I don’t know what happened. The fact that everyone I knew was starting families, biological clock pounding, or maybe the next logical thing on the life checklist. Who knows. But I woke up one December morning, looked at my then husband, and said those words…I think we should have a baby.

Now my ex who had resided to the fact we were never going to have kids was elated. I stopped taking birth control and we stopped using protection. Those two months I didn’t think much about it. One late February night I was on the phone with one of my best friends, drinking my glass of wine as I do most nights, all the sudden I threw my guts up in the bushes. I still remember thinking to myself, oh fuck. What have I done because I knew, I knew at that moment I was pregnant.

And six pregnancy tests later, all positive mind you, I was. What struck me odd is I was excited. Really excited. Then the dread set in. Oh my god what am I going to do? I’m an asshole. No really an asshole. I was terrified that I was going to be an absolutely awful mother. What the hell was I thinking?!?! But okay, seriously I can handle this I told myself.

I had a wonderfully easy pregnancy, worked up to the day before I had my precious son though I was in labor on and off for two weeks but never mind that. When they placed him in my arms everything changed. Those thoughts of self doubt melted away and maternal instincts took over. He was the best baby. He spit up twice, no joke, on my mother both times thank god. Never really drooled, put things in his mouth, and enjoyed being clean.

My son has grown into one of the sweetest, well mannered, and intelligent child a parent could want. Kind to no end, shy, and sensitive. So sensitive. Me being a very tough, rough around the edges, snarky, and sarcastic person I can be one of the least sensitive people I know. I sometimes hurt the feelings of friends unknowingly, absolutely not on purpose but it’s just the way I am. Things come tumbling out before I think of the outcome, mouth diarrhea.

The past eleven years have been a struggle. I am not that kind, sweet, doting mother that comes to mind for most. I remember when he was about four he fell off his bike, skinned his knee, and crying his poor little eyes out. I calmly walked over, crouched down, checked out the damage and determined it didn’t need stitches, just some alcohol and a bandaid. I calmly and reasonably talked to him and told him to tough it out. No biggie.

My friend looked at me in horror when I walked back over to sit down and said “you aren’t going to kiss his boo-boo?” I looked at her and said “what the hell is that going to do?” Maybe my actions weren’t the right response but hey I’m human and well I am who I am. Nobody’s perfect. And no I have never read any of those “what to do” books. I winged it.

But that incident did make me look at things differently. Perhaps I did have something to learn about sensitivity. Over the years my son has taught me that I too can be sensitive and I like to think that maybe I have taught him how to stand on his own two feet. He has been bullied for years. Not beat up but more of the name calling, mostly nerd, dork, geek. He would come home crying and it would take moving mountains for him to tell me why. One day he finally did, not too long ago.

My first response was “throat punch them”. Oops. He looked at me wide eyed and say “mom I can’t do that it’s not nice”. Well it’s what I did. I was that kid that chose to fight instead of flight. So I refocused and came up with this. I said “you know those kids who say those things to you and make fun of you because you’re smart? Well one they’re jealous and two most likely one day you are going to be their boss. And you know what that scares the hell out of them.”

The satisfying grin on his face told me I had finally reached an understanding with my precious, sensitive little man. His confidence seems to be soaring now which might have brought a tear to my eye when he walked across the stage this morning, beaming a smile ear to ear with his head up, for 5th grade ceremony to accept the excellence in math award. So maybe this asshole has finally gained some sensitivity. Maybe. I guess time will tell.

Snarky Coppertop

You are JUST as F**ked as the rest of us. BE A NICE PERSON!!!

Snark and I were having a conversation the other day regarding traffic. Traffic takes up a lot of our conversations as we chat via our handsfree devices whilst maneuvering through the suburban jungles on their crowded asphalt and concrete trails, encountering dangers at every turn! In otherwords, traffic in the metro Atlanta area is completely jacked. No lie. Anyways, we were talking about traffic and we were talking about using manners in traffic. Like, if we are *all* waiting in an ungodly long line of traffic, is it really gonna hurt to let that person who is turning from the intersecting street to your right in front of you? Is that one car really going to make you later than you were already going to be? No, probably not. And that is the point.

In the case of all these assholes out there, yelling at the inconvenience of life because they have to wait in line or let someone scooch beside them to get some meds at the store or to all those who are so angry about people who don’t speak english living in our country…seriously? Are you really going to let your mouth open up and your ass fall out?

Guess what, people. We are all in this together. We will all eventually breathe the same air on this planet. We will all eventually drink the same water. Eat from the same farm. We are all connected in one way or another, despite the connection not being completely visible to us. We are all, in one way or another, affected by the same events that take place in this world and we are all responsible for being the best people we can be to each other. Doing this could make interactions so much easier.

And when this great big ball of rock decides it’s had enough of us puny humans living on it’s surface, or when we puny humans have done so much damage that this big ball of rock is no longer habitable, then we will all be in the same situation. So, when you think of all of this-and I mean *REALLY* think-then it really does make sense when I say:

“You are JUST as fucked as the rest of us.

Be a nice person!!!

Be Kind to yourself and one another,

The Grey

Deep Thoughts on Depression

Hello everyone. Snarky Coppertop here and ever so present. Though the name insinuates that I am full of snark, sarcasm, and what not today something has hit me hard in the serious sector. I had intended to post something a little more lighthearted and snarky for my introduction but I have to get this out.

 

Something that honestly has been ever present in my life here recently more so than usual. Tough topic for anyone to talk about and most like to sweep under the rug. Depression. At some point in our lives we are all faced with it. Whether it be a friend, family member, significant other or ultimately ourselves.

 

In my family I was raised that it was a taboo. That you just “suck it up buttercup”, the past is the past don’t dwell on it, or the “no ones ever been depressed in our family, doesn’t run in it”. So for years I’ve hid it, buried it deep down and never spoke of that dark place my mind would constantly wander into. Put on my happy face.

 

I think now that’s where the snark and sarcasm truly came to light. It was a mask, a diversion that I could so easily hide behind. Don’t get me wrong it’s not all a masquerade but when I’m am down it is definitively more pronounced. The thing about it though is after years of denial I have finally reached the stage of acceptance.

 

Kicking and screaming the whole way. That willingness to reach out for help and approach it open minded was like climbing Everest without an oxygen tank. But I made it. I have my days still but I am more aware now than ever before that I have to get back off that ledge before I tumble over again for the hundredth time.

 

To my point as to why it has struck such a chord with me today. I have two friends that are themselves over that ledge. Both choosing the same poison as their coping mechanism, alcohol. One recently ended up in an inpatient rehab facility for a week and the other in the ER/ICU with internal bleeding. Neither still seems to have reached the acceptance stage of “I need help” nor the willingness to take it.

 

So here I sit in a quandary. I want to go sit down, smack them upside the head, and have a for lack of better words a “come to Jesus” discussion. But am I honestly strong enough to do so as I myself am just putting the shattered pieces of myself back together? Am I truly the right person to try and talk them back over the ledge? I know that dark place all too well and resist falling into it every damn day.

 

I will percolate on it tonight. And see what resolutions I can discover in my own tortured mind. For those reading if you do suffer from depression or know someone who is please don’t do it alone or allow them to. Find someone, anyone to help. Never be ashamed because as I have learned there are more people out there than you would ever know fighting this battle. Don’t let it beat you and and drag you down. It’s only permanent if you allow it to be so. And remember the first step to the healing path is actually reaching out.

 

Snarky Coppertop

 

The Case For Queso

Today was a day for queso. You know what I mean.

I slept like crap last night. I passed out, but slept fitfully. I got up, fought the urge to burn the world, and proceeded to make my coffee and nag my 12 year old out of bed for school. I drove to the office, got all set up, then realized I needed to be at the warehouse today. Joined by one of our interns, I worked and she worked and then it was time for lunch and my stomach was SCREAMING at me and I just thought:

Q U E S O!!!!!

I had to have it. I *needed* the queso. I wanted to be one with the queso and have it be one with me. SO, I took my intern with me and we went to a local mexican joint and had some delicious food with…you guessed it…QUESO!

The first bite of queso provided that immediate euphoric experience. The cheese was hot, salty, gooey (get your minds OUT of the gutter…this is melted CHEESE I’m describing) and paired perfectly with the corn totilla chip that was delightfully crisp, but sturdy enough not to break in the dip. I dipped my chips in the queso, then in the salsa, and the combo was divine! An explosion of flavored assaulted my sense of taste and smell. The cheese lent relief to the biting spice of the jalepeno. The spiceness of the salsa complimented the mildness of the queso and lent it a livlier flavor than had I just enjoyed the queso alone. Mexican for lunch was SUCH a good idea.

All was right with the world. My irritations ceased. My frustrations fell away. I was simply surrounded by the blissfulness that only eating exactly what I wanted could provide. My days was right again. I don’t even mind the sleepiness I have now from overindulging. Because, as most people will agree:

Queso is life. Go get you some.

~The Grey

Copper Top and the Grey: It’s Been A Long Time Coming

I have an announcement and a little back story. First, the back story.

When I was 17 years old, I met someone that will ALWAYS be in my life. I spent the summer after my highschool graduation essentially living on her couch. I was so much a part of that particular group of people that I had status at the apartment. The couch was my spot (much like Sheldon) and if I wanted to sit or lay down, others had to move. I slept on that couch, cried on that couch, laughed and sang and acted goofy with my friends on that couch. And I spent the majority of my time with that chic. She and I became fast friends and even though life has taken us in different directions at times, we always come back to our friendship as though no time has passed. She is the inspiration for me starting this blog. She is the inspiration for the name of this blog. And now, she is going to be a PART of this blog! <— That was supposed to be the announcement!

I want to extend an extremely warm welcome to my friend, Coppertop. She will be posting, just like me. There will be posts by us individually (We will sign our names to differentiate who wrote what: Her being the Snarky Coppertop and me being The Grey) and then there will be posts that are collaborative and there will be posts that are simply little transcripts of our conversations. We decided last night that our conversations are too ridiculous not to share, so you shall gain some insight into our little corner of crazy. Hopefully you all will cackle like crazy, as we both do.

So hopefully, in the necxt week or two, posting will become more regular again and there will be more entertaining content to enjoy and share.

Smoochies~

The Grey