Making decisions is not always my strong suit; so naturally, when I found it, I knew that I had to buy it. It has become one of my favorite things to keep around when I feel like doing absolutely nothing at all and sometimes even when I go out. It has become my one, my only, favorite white tank top with the most wonderful phrase that sums me up perfectly, “PRETTY GOOD AT MAKING BAD DECISIONS.”
Bad decision number one, buying a white shirt. Seriously, do I not even know myself anymore? I have spilled ink, paint, chocolate, and soda on this shirt. This amazing shirt has spent more time soaking than on my body. Now do you understand why I almost always wear black? It is so much easier to hide stains on a black shirt.
Bad decision number two, getting half way to the truck before realizing that I had on a black bra with my coveted white shirt. It is a good thing that I had a jacket on. Otherwise, I would have gotten more stares than what I had. Hey, at least I even had a bra on! By the way, did I tell you it is an acid washed material? No bra could have been absolutely catastrophic.
Bad decision number three, hugging Killer while wearing a white shirt. Killer has really soft fluffy black fur, so now, I have a really soft fluffy black fur shirt that is supposed to be white. Oh, my! The lint screen is going to be completely full on this shirt alone. It is almost as bad as hugging Princess when I wear black. Princess is my son’s Siamese cat.
Bad decision number four, knowing that my shirt has spent most of its life soaking, I decided to wear it tonight completely aware that I was going to be chowing down on Buffalo Wings and pizza. Yep, you guessed it. My shirt only got to be worn for a few hours before going back into the soak, where it sits now. The worst part is that all the guys were here tonight, and not one of them let me know that I had a streak of wing sauce just below my breasts all the way to the bottom of the shirt. It has been a couple of hours since the bright orange wing sauce decorated my awesome shirt, and the sauce ended up stiffening up the material. I really hope the cleanser works wonders. Oxygen to the rescue!
Although these are only four bad decisions, three of them are decisions that I made just after five this evening. Can you imagine what a full day must be like, let alone a week, month, or year? Hey, the way I see it is that bad decisions lead to learning experiences. Learning experiences lead to better choices. And, better choices lead to a happier life. Come on bad decisions! I can take you on.
The matriarch of my family, Mary Frances White Bartley Kierepka, has moved on from this world, and I still see her each and every day. Over the last several weeks since her passing, the smallest things remind me of my beautiful grandmother. Although I have come to realize that I mention her more than once a day, people have told me that I have always done that. Maybe I just notice it more now because she has stayed continually on my mind. I will truly miss the influence that she has always had on both my boys and me.
When I see Grandma, it is in the little things that many people take for granted in their daily lives. However, she is the one that taught me those little things are the most important things that you will always have. So, it is those little things that I will never let go of.
I see her when I see my youngest son dance a silly dance with me as the stereo blares. My grandmother taught me to Jitterbug and Swing Dance at a young age. I always looked forward to overnight stays where the TV was often turned off and the music danced through the air. Children’s laughter could be heard through the halls of the house, as Grandma grabbed a tiny hand and twirled her babies around. I have had the opportunity to hold on to some of those precious memories with my children due to modern technology, and they are now some of my most prized possessions.
I see her in my oldest son as he tames the feral kittens that live in our neighborhood. I think that the people of Haskell, Texas just knew that if they dropped a kitten off in front of Grandma’s house, it would be taken care of. As the years passed, more and more kittens were born, and my grandmother made sure they had a warm place to sleep and food in their bellies. Over my lifetime, I watched my grandma handle the wildest of kittens, who were completely calm when she neared. They did not bite or scratch. They surrounded her just for that moment of a warm embrace or a gentle back rub.
I see her in the wild flowers that grow almost all seasons in Texas. Grandma had the most wonderful green thumb. She could take a limp plant that was barely clinging to life and nurse it back to health. She would pinch off a bit of a wild ivy to grow in her garden, and every single one of her plants would thrive. She had the sweetest most unique flavored tomatoes that grew in her garden, and I have yet to find a tomato that I loved as much as the ones that I would spend my days with her harvesting. What most of us saw as weeds, she saw as a valuable staple and refused to cut down. Whether it was dandelion greens, lambs quarter, prickly pear, or wild garlic, it was all used by her. She taught my children that they could live off of the vegetation of the land if they just new what to look for.
I see her in the birds that most people find annoying and a nuisance. The memories of her special bird feeders, and the boys begging her to let them feed the birds flood my mind. This was something that they loved to do with her every time that that visited. Even though they often overfilled the feeders and ended up spilling more seed on the ground than in the feeders, she indulged them in that little pleasure. She taught all of us that nature is a thing to be treasured and enjoyed. We loved the visits to her home where we could take in the solitude and smell the crisp fresh air. It was a place away from the blaring lights and noisy city that we have come accustomed to. So now, when I see a Blue Jay or a Cardinal, those feelings of peace and contentment wash over me, and my heart is filled with joy.
I hear her in the words that I speak to my children when they are upset with one another. “Things can be replaced, people cannot.” These words of wisdom are words that I have come to live by, and I have tried to teach my children to live by. I know that they have heard her when I see them give up what little they have to make sure that those less fortunate have more. I know that they have been influenced by her when their hearts break for people that they do not even know. When life becomes tough and overwhelming, I remind myself, “God only gives you what you can handle.” Those words are the words that got me through raising a son with autism. In my self-pity, I would remind myself that if my widowed grandmother could raise three girls and a disabled son on her own, I definitely could do it with my husband’s help. I have learned from her not to sweat the little things, and I have taught my boys, “You can handle this,” because I know that they can.
Although her words of wisdom hang in my mind, and I carry so much of her with me; I still wish I had more time with her. I wish for that moment when she became overjoyed and filled the room with laughter, and the thought that I will never hear that again breaks my heart. I wish for those peaceful mornings filled with the smell of biscuits cooking in the oven and the smell of International Delights filling the air. I wish to hold her once again, my arms wrapped tightly round her as the smell of rose scented perfume dances about. I wish for one moment to do all of the things that I used to do with her, but I know in my heart that moment will not come, and the sorrow weighs down my soul, and the tears sting my eyes. But, I can handle this.
Although my precious grandma has moved on from this world, through the little things, joy, compassion, nature, and wisdom, I do feel her presence enveloping me every single day.
“We’re pregnant!” I am going to take this one head on. Call me ‘old school,’ or call me whatever you will, but this phrase makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever. No honey, my husband and I, aka we, were never pregnant. I was pregnant, not him. For a matter-of-fact, we did not get pregnant twice, I did.
I know we are getting to a point in modern society to where everyone needs to feel included in everything, but let’s just hash out the facts on this one. In the most simplistic terms, pregnancy is defined as follows: Of a woman or female animal having a child or young developing in the uterus. Sorry people, no uterus, no pregnancy. Only the female can get and be pregnant, sans the test tubes, experimental scientific artificial wombs, or a seahorse or other non-heterogamous animal species where parthenogenesis may occur. Therefore, a human male who was born a human male cannot get pregnant without scientific intervention. She is pregnant!
However, if you are are a father, I would like to take this time to congratulate you on providing your female counterpart the means of becoming pregnant. But, you did not become pregnant; did you? You took a few minutes (and I am sure I am being generous for allowing a few minutes for some of you) of your 24 hour day, danced your little dance, and voila, your partner is pregnant. Now, I know it is tough listening to her talk about being pregnant every day for 280 days minus the few weeks before she even realizes she is carrying a child, but that does not make you pregnant. It makes her pregnant.
Never once did DJ wake up vomiting because his body just did not want to pass his dinner on to his unborn child, or just because that is just what his body felt like doing at the time. He did not have to wake up with tears in his eyes because he rolled over on his swollen breasts which shot nauseating pain through his upper torso. DJ never had to worry about not being able to see his feet because his belly protruded out three times what it did before conception. He did not receive stretch marks from the skin being pulled so tight that it felt as if it were going to split. Not once did he have to deal with the pain of swollen feet and ankles, nor did he cry at the drop of a hat. I never saw DJ waddling from room to room, and girls, you know what I am talking about. As much as we don’t want it, all pregnant women waddle. Also, I never remember DJ having to be put on bed-rest because something was just a little out of whack. He still got to work! He still got to drive, walk, go to the store, and play with our child. I am sorry to disappoint. DJ did not become pregnant. I did.
I do realize that it must be hard for the significant other to sit and wait for their child to be born, but that does not make you pregnant. I know, because I have heard it from many of them, that they feel it is unfair that they do not get to feel the first flutters of life or feel the first full on kick. Hey did you know there are devices that can mimic that now? Anyway, that does not make you pregnant.
DJ and I got me pregnant together, and we were in the pregnancy together; but I was the only one who was pregnant. I am not trying, nor would I ever try, to minimize his role in the situation. My body needed for him not to be pregnant, and his role was a great role, as I needed a provider. I needed him to make sure that I had the food to feed my unborn child. I needed him to rub my back because the extra weight was wearing me down. I needed him to make me feel better when I would cry uncontrollably over Keebler’s Grasshoppers or Three’s Company. I needed him to help me bathe and prop up my swollen feet, and I needed him to hold my hair while I dry heaved over the toilet.
So, non-gestational partners believe me, you are not pregnant; nor do you want to be. You need to be what your partner needs you to be. Be the steadfast partner, and take responsibility by showing her that you will take care of her when she is feeling absolutely miserable. Provide for her. Love her, and hold her. She is the one who is pregnant; and although, millions of women have been doing it since the beginning of time, pregnancy is never easy. Do not minimize the process by saying you are pregnant too.