Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Ours


I never know how, always trapped in these puzzles
The certainty of wanting to is all I have
My resolve to turn away, it all but crumbles
Indeed all this is difficult, this verb called love

All too often we find ourselves enthralled
Intent on caressing the truth beyond recognition
Eyes too exhausted, souls beyond appalled
But this is what we do best, thinking thoughts of love

I’ve sensed, heard, smelled and tasted
The gift of hoping for this dream to be wholly true
Found my spirit completely freed, intoxicated
Inspiring each other’s imagination as we often do

But really what of yours is truly mine
And what of mine weighs upon your universe
Gripped by emotions flowing like a vine[1]
I drown in doubt surrendering to this curse

How much of our lives are truly intertwined
How much reality can we truly claim
At times confusion and isolation are what I find
A certain truth that cuts with unspeakable pain

And just then the soul sees its resurrection
Salvaged yet again by words that ring true
Realizing that this love and unfathomable connection
Though not for all, find their perfection solely in me and you.




                                              








[1] Special thanks to my friend KatNem for supplying this line.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

What Soccer Camp Taught Me

I have resisted the label for years but deep down I knew it was only a matter of time before I truly (and literally) became one.  And last week, I finally did.  But only for a week, at least for now.

Soccer Mom…..that suburban creature whose life is mainly spent driving around her children in her minivan or SUV to go from one activity to another, barely finding time to breathe. 

Well, at least that has been the stereotype and suffice it to say that I have done everything in my power to not fall into this category, no matter how lame my efforts have been.  For instance, I have held on to driving my Toyota Camry instead of our van, but really if I had my way, I would drive a Prius.  But let’s save that for when I win the lottery, shall we?  For now, I still see no point in driving the minivan considering I only have one passenger.  It just doesn’t make sense to me. 

Anyway, last week, my son attended his very first Soccer Camp.  At first I was excited but upon finding out that most of the other kids in the class had either gone through it before or have been playing soccer, I got nervous.  Worst of all, the competitive mother bear in me was roused.  I knew I had to tame it with much effort every single time we showed up last week.  I knew myself well enough to know that I would be spending time trying to see if my son can run fast enough, have enough control with the ball, follow instructions and everything else.  I had to constantly consciously remind myself that we were there to just have fun.  There was no reason to take this too seriously......(yeah right?...me?...not take things too seriously?.....good luck!)


Well, actually, I'm proud to say that I did not pressure my boy to take the activity too seriously.  Yes, I did remind him a lot to pay attention to the coach.  And yes, he got sick of me telling him incessantly, "FOCUS".  But I definitely did not tell him to compete and be aggressive.  I made it a conscious effort to ask him after each session if he had fun, and to commend him for merely wanting to show up everyday despite being so tired and realizing that all that running was kicking his butt.


I have to admit though that watching my son play did not at all stop me from taking it seriously, in the sense that I took it as an opportunity to learn more about him, and my self as well.

For instance, I realized that he still gets distracted a lot.  His preschool teacher had told me that he is mature, can definitely follow multi-step instructions and is attentive.  So I was definitely surprised when I observed that during the soccer games, he had a tendency to look around and get distracted, and in the process, miss instructions.  I had to 'coach' him after the sessions to point out that being clear about the objective of the game is the most necessary ingredient; that if he is not clear about the goal, then there is no chance of winning or finishing successfully.  Case in point:  They were playing this game, similar to playing tag, where if you grab someone's 'tail' (a piece of cloth dangling from their pockets), that person needs to stop running and freeze.  For as long as you have your 'tail', you can still run around and play on.  I realized that Noah thought the objective was to grab as many tails as possible.  I then told him, "NO!  The objective is to KEEP your tail and stay in the game for as long as you could". After that, he realized that the strategy was to run away from the crowd and keep away from those that are chasing him / running after his 'tail'.  When he became clear about this, he finished an entire round as one of five who survived and remained 'unfrozen'.




I also saw that my son is more about precision (and also strategy) than speed; process and not just result.  This is double-edged of course.  He never finished 'first', but I appreciate that I see him thinking while playing; figuring out how best to 'attack' instead of just mindlessly kicking; giving importance to how something is done instead of just doing it.  I know this is not always recommended and that in sports, speed and agility also count.  The scary thing is that I could see how he tends to over-think things (*cough cough*) and this causes much delay and / or inaction even.  It was both fun and painful to watch, that much I can say.  I couldn't quite decide if I should be proud or feel scared.

He also plays ‘nice’ and is definitely not very assertive.  I can't fault him for this because I understand that much of this is also genetic.  Though I think I am more competitive and assertive than my son (especially when I was a child), I also know that I hate getting physical and rough.  This is why I am getting convinced that non-contact sports might be best for Noah.  Let's think track & field, swimming and of course, tennis!

Lastly, I see that he is adaptable, resilient and not a cry baby.  In a way, I suspect this is related to him not being assertive, such that he tends to just accept situations.  He doesn't complain a lot (at least not publicly) and this is also why I know that I need to teach him when and how to speak up; to teach him about boundaries and rights.  On the last day of camp, he got hit by a ball in the face and yet he still did not cry.  He held it all in and though I saw how scared and in pain he was, he put up a brave front and wanted to act like a 'big boy'.  I was more upset than he was I guess, but I suppose it helped me calm down when he told me that the other boy who kicked the ball apologized after all.  Oh well...

Parenthood does bring out the best and the worst in us.  It can challenge you to deliver more than what you ever thought you were capable of.  But, as I’ve realized, it can also amplify the ugly things about us, or at least the things we want to change or have always wanted to develop but never did.  And as we see these traits in our children, we go through the whole gamut of emotions…from shame, frustration, anger, to feeling challenged, reaching acceptance and finally being truly at peace with what we see.  One thing is certain.  Soccer Mom or not, parenting demands sportsmanship and endurance as we go out and navigate our daily lives with our precious little cargo in tow.  More importantly, soccer mom or not, please remember to 'drive' safely and focus on the journey while having fun.






Thursday, July 12, 2012

Holiday Shocks and Adventures

Our family had a fun July 4th celebration last week as we traveled east towards the Pigeon Forge / Gatlinburg, TN area to explore the Great Smoky Mountains.  It was the three of us, a brother-in-law's family and the main planners of the trip, my sister-in-law and her hubby.  We all stayed at a nice cabin in the mountains and there really isn't anything bad to say about our accommodations.  Everything was wonderful!

The main objective of the trip was for the 'boys' to be able to ride their motorbikes through the well-known Tail of the Dragon.  For those who have not yet heard of this place, this is actually one of the most well-known roads for motorcycle and sports car enthusiasts.  The Tail of the Dragon is an 11-mile stretch of US129 and it has 318 curves. And when I say curves, I mean REAL S-CURVES.  These pictures don't do justice to how crazy scary those 11 miles are but I swear at some point, I thought I was going to throw up.....

There's the hubby on his Harley...


the three 'boys' making that mean turn...my BIL & his beloved Ducati taking the lead



The curving and the turning just never end...


It was Thursday, July 5th, when we headed out on this crazy ride.  Little did we know that what started out like this......
beautiful, clear skies



Would end up like this.......


Severe weather ripped through the mountains that late afternoon and we were terrified....or at least I was!!  I started noticing the thickening and darkening clouds as we began our descent and we all knew it was just a matter of time before rain starts pouring.  But actually, the winds were more terrifying more than anything else.  First, it was just leaves falling.  Then the thin, smaller branches started appearing on the roads before us.  It didn't take too long before the thicker ones started breaking and falling from above us.  We were VERY VERY blessed.  There was one segment during our drive when this really thick branch fell right before us.  Had we driven on that spot 2 seconds earlier, it would have fallen directly on our van, or worse, on one of our guys riding their motorcycles.  My SIL, who was driving the van (with me and five children as passengers), had no choice but to plow through that branch and just hope for the best. 

Suffice it to say that no one got hurt and we all made it out of there in one piece, unscathed.  The next day, we heard in the news that some people were not so lucky.  We did encounter a couple or so of road closures, and countless police and other emergency vehicles during our (what seemed like endless) drive back to our cabin.  Then when we got there, we found that there was no power.  However, in the grand scheme of things, seriously, what's to complain about, right?

The following day, though it would've been our last opportunity to enjoy the mountain scenery and all that is rustic about the area, all the ladies/moms with the kids, decided it was best to stay within 'civilization' and just drive to town.  The men still decided to ride their motorcycles although they weren't able to go that far either due to the road blocks.

On that day, we ended up taking the kids to Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies.  There were a lot of fascinating marine life, of course, but these two tidbits below really surprised me, ESPECIALLY the second one....


This is DEFINITELY something to further blog about.....TO BE CONTINUED....


Now brace yourselves because I've saved the most dreadful for last.  The picture of the storm's devastation is nothing compared to this.  When I saw this, it almost felt as if blood completely drained from my face........
.......................................
..........................................................
..........................................................................................
...........................................................................................................



Do you see that??!!!! Rather, do you see THEM???!!!!.....Those God-forsaken white hairs are indeed showing, aren't they?!  Eeeeeeeeeeeekkkkkkkkkkkkk!!!  Horror of horrors!!!     Could it be that the overwhelming 'excitement' at the Tail of the Dragon aged me that much???  I guess I have to log off now and go get myself a box of hair dye.  *sigh*  


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

What's your Sexy?


The movie Magic Mike is out, and people, or should I say women, a lot of women, are either raving about it or want desperately to see it.  I might get crucified for saying this but I’m probably one of the few who’s just not interested.  Seriously.  Not one bit. 

http://www.justjared.com/2012/06/07/channing-tatum-shirtless-magic-mike-stills/

It’s not that I don’t think the actors starring in it are not attractive.  Sure they have the face and the body that could easily make most women swoon, make your hormones rage (no matter how unbalanced or dormant they’ve been), and maybe produce a devilish smile here and there.  But it’s just not my thing.  I’m sure those of you who really know me aren’t surprised by that at all.  And though my husband would hate what I’m about to say, it definitely won’t be a surprise...


I’m not turned on by youngish guys. 


Nor have I ever been into hunks. 


My kind of thing on the big screen is a character that shows a lot of depth, and yes, of course, one that tickles my cerebral side.  Some of the following may not be entirely gorgeous by common, objective standards.  But to me, their ‘substance’ is sexy.  Think Anthony Hopkins, Gabriel Byrne, Gary Oldman, Ralph Fiennes (most of all), AnthonyBourdain, and perhaps the youngest here, Eric Bana.   

To me sexy is mental.  Though I won’t deny that looks definitely count, the ultimate turn on for me is an amazing mind.  And I’m not talking about plain book smarts, although of course that counts.  What absorbs me is depth.  Real substance is an aphrodisiac like no other.  I’m drawn to Insightful.  Funny. Witty.   Philosophical.  Confident with a hint of shyness.  Poetic.  Articulate.  Mysterious without trying.  These are mostly the things that fascinate me, things that I will never find boring.  And I don’t know about you, but I think it’s pretty damn hard to feel sexy when you’re bored.  ‘Sexy’ and ‘un-stimulated’ don’t really go together, do they?

So as most of you will probably be in the movie theaters enjoying Magic Mike this weekend, I’d probably be happy on my couch watching my recordings of Through the Wormhole.  The cosmos, physics, questions about existence….is there really anything sexier and more inspiring than that???!!!??

What about you?....What tickles your fancy?

P.S.  I posted this on my Facebook page last week and I know it wasn't just me who found this sexy and drooled a bit...