Friday, September 17, 2010

"Hey, I'll friend you! What's your last name?"

You've heard it, I've heard it, hell, I've SAID it!

Facebook. Before you say anything, I'm not a basher, I'm on Facebook, I love Facebook, I'm a Facebook addict. I am also almost 40 years old.

I predate Facebook, I predate the internet, I predate computers. Okay, before some techy gets on my case about how computers and the internet have been around for longer than we think, blah, blah, blah…. I am talking about computers and internet for the general public, in people's homes, so relax.

When I was in school the "metric system was the way of the future" (hmmm, that conversion never took, huh?) When we went to the library, we looked up book titles and authors in the Card Catalog using the Dewey Decimal System (oh please, you 20-somethings, go Google it!) We made friends in school or in our neighborhoods.

As a person who has lived on both sides of technology, I am able to see and appreciate the irony. I actually enjoy it.

In Grade School, Middle School, High School, even college, I made friends, I lost touch with friends. Friends grew close, friends grew apart, life moved forward. It was the cycle.

Enter computers, enter the internet, enter; FACEBOOK. I joined, I friended family members that I rarely get to see. It was a lot of fun catching up and staying in touch.

Next, some of my friends (and by friend I mean the Friend as defined by Webster's Dictionary- one attached to another by affection, esteem or personal regard.) We would chat and share silly photos and just continue our friendship through an additional medium.

Later friend requests came from "old friends" people I used to know in H.S, College, Middle School and even some from Grade School. People I hadn't seen or talked to in forever, but were friends at some point in time, by the classic definition.

After a while, it got strange. Here come requests from ex-boyfriends and people from my distant past that I never really spoke to much or just flat out didn't care for. As a person who has lived life with the classic definition of "friend", I wasn't sure what was politically correct. Okay, I'll play, accept, accept, accept, accept. No big deal, right?

So, it seems to me that the while the original definition of "friend" remains the same, we may need a definition of "Facebook friend". Here's mine; Facebook friend- a person that you may or may not know, see, talk to, or enjoy the company of; another person on the social network, Facebook that has a pulse and appears on your "friends list". How's that?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a serial "friender"! I can tell you where each one of my "Facebook friends" came from. I may have met them at a party, through a mutual friend, whatever the case may be. I can't help it, I like people! So, I guess that Facebook is the perfect place for me to be!


 


 


 


 


 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Balance

I went to the movies with a friend of mine last night. It was a real girls night. We had a couple of beers and then went to see Eat, Pray, Love. It was a great night with girly bonding moments, Mommy survival stories, a little bit of the we're too old for the high school bullshit chat and the teeniest bit of men can be idiots talk.

We had both read the book, several times, and we both loved it. We were worried that the movie wouldn't do the book justice. We didn't have to worry, it held it's own. We were both impressed considering the ground they had to cover in 2 hours or less.

If you haven't read the book (you should!) it's basically about a woman who is restless and lost and is constantly looking for the person, place or thing that will balance her life, bring her happiness and give her internal peace. It's about me. Well, not literally, but it could have been.

It was hard for me to read the book the first time, because as much as I loved it, all I really took away from it was; "I'm divorced! I've been through more than her! She left her husband because she was bored (I had a more serious reason) and I didn't get to travel to Italy, India and Indonesia!"
I was the proud owner of a "I was married for 10 years and all I got was these 5 kids" tee shirt. In other words, I was bitter.

Now, years later, the message means more to me. I have witnessed pain in other peoples lives that would make your blood run cold, I have accepted the fact that I can't control what other people say and do and feel, and I can't travel the world with six kids.

I think for me, my balance, is beginning to come from the realization that I need to balance myself and not the world around me.

"If you could clear out all that space in your mind, you'd have a doorway. And you know what the universe would do? Rush in. Everything else will take care of itself." -Richard from Texas, Eat, Pray, Love

That quote from the book and the movie, makes more sense to me now than it did before. Before, it was a puzzle to me as to how to "clear out all that space". I have never been still, I have never been quiet, I have never NOT had 10,000 thoughts in my head all at once. I have never been able to "let it be". (again, Richard from Texas)
I am a fix it, solve it, make it go away person by nature. Control freak? Maybe to a degree, but with all the best intentions.

I am a work in progress, but I am learning. I am opening up to possibilities beyond my own dirty laundry pile. I am letting things take care of themselves.

I guess I am realizing that I have come a long way from where I once was. Life is crazy and hectic and unpredictable. Kids get sick, friends disappoint. Life is no different than it's ever been, it's me that's different.

I just might be getting the hang of this "growth" thing after all!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What was your name again???

It's that time of year that I look forward to the least, back to school night. I know, it's sounds horrible. I know I'm supposed to be "so excited" to be meeting my kids teachers. I know the teacher is the person that my child will spend the most hours with for the next 9 months or so, but quite frankly, I'm over it. How can I be "over it", you ask?

My youngest is 4, but he is special needs so he goes to Preschool Disabled in the public school.
He has 1 Special Ed. teacher, 1 Para-professional, 1 Speech/Language Pathologist and 1 Case Manager that I deal with daily.

My second grade twins are in the same class so they have 1 teacher. However, my daughter is also special needs so add in her Special Ed. teacher and her Case Manager. My twins are also in speech.

My fourth grader seems to be my most "normal" kid! He has 1 teacher, no special needs for learning, but does go to Speech.

As a sidenote, I will need to be in all three of the above classrooms simultaneously. Fortunately, my husband will be along for the ride tonight, so I'll put him in Pre-School and I'll run back and forth to the other two grades.

Here's where it gets fun! I have kids in higher grades!

My Seventh grader has 6 teachers and a Guidance Counselor. Lucky for me, he is an Honors student and your classic over-achiever, so I don't have to talk to his teachers much.

My High School Freshman keeps me on my toes! He has 7 teachers, which is to be expected in High School, but he also has ADD so as a result, 2 In Class Support teachers, a case manager and a guidance counselor. He can also be a bit unmotivated at times so I spend many hours in contact with all of his teachers and case manager.

It's a lot of people to keep track of and my brain at almost 40 is not what it was at 20-something!

So as I prepare to go to my first of three back to school nights, I will remember to keep in mind the importance of my children's education, the love that I have for my kids, and the fact that the teachers don't want to be there either!

Hope everyone's Back to School Nights go well! See ya around the halls!

Friday, September 10, 2010

We survived the first week of school!

Wow. It's finally Friday. I didn't think I would make it, but I did!
My kids went back to school on Tuesday. Big years for Michael and Alec. Michael started High School and Alec started Middle school. I was worried for both of them.

My little ones are still doing the grade school thing, and Aidan has one more year of preschool Special Ed. Thankfully, our home school opened up a preschool so at least he doesn't have to be on a bus for 40 minutes each way anymore. Yay!

So, now my day starts at 5:45 am. For many Moms, that's not a big deal, but I AM NOT a morning person, never have been. It doesn't help that in addition to not being a morning person, I am a NIGHT person and a person with insomnia. Not a good combo.

Michael gets up first, then Alec, then the youngest four. Mornings go pretty much as you would expect when there are six children involved. Someone is pokey, someone is cranky, someone is forgetful....kind of like if the 7 dwarfs suddenly woke up with attitude problems.

Everyone managed to get out the door each morning. Most of them got home each afternoon. Yes, I said most. I did get one phone call from my oldest who managed to miss not one, but two late buses. I never did get the whole story.

So it begins; soccer, gymnastics, Cub Scouts, Cross Country, Track and of course the dreaded Religion classes. All that tossed in with homework, tests, projects and science fair, it can be a bit overwhelming for all involved.

So, I try to remember to heed the advice that I give my kids. "One thing at a time." I encourage them to try to focus on one hurdle at a time, while remembering the hurdles ahead. It's the only way to stay sane in a world that is spinning way too fast.

So, we survived the first week!

I am so looking forward to the weekend!