Year of the Cat

And so here I am hearing someone tell my 15 year old daughter that she is too old for trick or treating…imagine…the horror…how could any poor deluded and dour person say THAT to my sweet and fantastic daughter? The shocking thing was that the misguided person was me!  Of all people….

It is a good thing that my daughter is wise beyond her years. She informed me in no uncertain terms that no one is too old for trick or treating and suggested the both of us venture out together. Truth be told, she was only in it for the candy, but despite what I said in a previous post my real motivation was the opportunity to dress up like an idiot. (That probably comes as no surprise.)

So what the hell?  I decide to dress up!

I found the wings I wanted but the purple wig from years past was mangled beyond repair. I decided to ditch the butterfly fairy idea and luckily I come across a pair of cute cat ears and a furry tail–A-ha!  How fitting…

The more I think of it, the more I think dressing up is a stellar idea! Halloween has always been my favorite holiday and I will never again be as young as I am now….life is a gift meant to be enjoyed and if this is my personal idea of enjoyment why not?!

Nancy as cat

I spent the entire day dressed as a vampy black cat and had a blast!

Halloween is a fun day. It is the epitome of sweetness and light whimsy with dark twists of wry.

And dressing up like an idiot is fun, it makes normal everyday boring stuff like going to the grocery store to get more candy because the mice ate it even more fun than it already would be!

Sure I got a few stares in the produce section; who doesn’t when they are dressed like a cat?  I amused myself in the seafood section pawing at the poor Lobsters. I regret I do not have any pictures of this adventure but my camera was charging at the time. Here is a pic from a previous visit –(Oh how I yearn to free these guys!)

"Help us!!!!"
“Help us!!!!”

It was all good until I got my long black tail stuck in the ice cream case and then I almost fell when my too-high high heels skidded on the glossy brightly lit floor. The not falling part made it all so much more fun but I do have to say that picking up that extra bag of Reese’s peanut butter cups was the very best part.

This all prepared me for the main event hours later.  I let my daughter take the lead; her fluffy black tail swishing and swaying. She is dressed in Modern American Teen Zebra. She has even come up with a sort of accent for the night; Italian-Irish she calls it and proceeds to use it on everyone she meets. She is an original and has a flair for the dramatic–I wonder where she gets that?

We spent over an hour, going from house to house in the neighborhood, chatting and laughing, shuffling our feet in the October leaves and having a grand time. I kept in the background as always, waiting at the bottom of the stairs, happy just to be able to dress up like a cat and walk around the neighborhood with my daughter on a warmish autumn evening.

Ironically it was the house with the cat in the window that was the first. The cat was a fluffy orange affair that regarded us coolly as we approached. I stood in the back near a bush. My daughter let out with her spiel, the lady who belonged to the cat and who held the candy bowl squinted into the darkness and spied me. “I’m too old for treat or treating!” I said before she could say anything.

“Nonsense.” she replied with a playful smile. I shot a smile back and went up the stairs and upon arrival was instantly handed a Snickers bar.  A full-sized one…wow! What a feeling! It was happy little shot of chocolate goodwill and generosity. I was grateful and thanked her and we went on our way. I put the bar into my pocket and felt a warm glow in my heart.

Two more times this played out; the third time it was my daughter who prompted the person, a guy dressed as a cowboy to dole out a treat to me after she pointed me out matter-of-factly; “That is my mom and she thinks she is too old for trick or treating.” That “confession” landed me a full-sized Kit Kat.

I think we we’re onto something!

These moments get me thinking…

 Life is made up of moments–these moments come at us in their own time, in their own way. Life is too short to get hung up on what we think we cannot do. Cannots waste time.

I am losing this stupid fear of looking foolish in public. “Oh who cares!” I say.   I am taking advantage of moments such as these while I can still get them. It seems like only yesterday I was holding her tiny hand taking her out in the dark on such a night as this…..there are only so many Halloweens–you only get so many.

Nancy and Sara on Halloween 2
The only time I can be taller than her now is when I wear my highest high heels.

She is taller than me now. And this is her last night of being 15. She is in high school and has a boyfriend but for some reason she wants to spent Halloween night scoring candy with her mom. I would have been a fool not to take advantage of this.

I stayed in my catsuit for the rest of the night eating chocolate, sipping hot coffee…and planning for next year…

Have a good one

Strawberryindigo.

NOTE: My thanks to Juan for the mice eating the candy idea. Worked like a charm!

year of the cat-- me and mario

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Halloween: Cat’s Don’t Eat Candy… (mommyhoodtake1.wordpress.com)

A packet of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
A packet of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Advice to new parents: You can never love your child too much

baby-pixie bay
Credit: Pixabay

I’ve been asked to provide some advice to a young couple expecting their first child, a girl, in a few months. I am honored to receive such a request and I thought I’d share my reply with you.

The light of your life

Parenthood changes you in ways you’d never imagine. You are one person one minute, probably sure of yourself and your place in the world with your own wants and desires. This is all you’ve had to worry about before: yourself.  Then suddenly, it is not just you anymore and in that flash of an instant your whole world and the way you view things is altered. From the first moment you hold that tiny fragile body in your arms and look into those big trusting eyes you will never be the same.

When I was a new parent, I scoured endless parenting books and I received tons of solicited and unsolicited advice. I couldn’t get enough. I was never so unsure of myself and never so scared and so careful. This tiny life was depending on me and I swore I’d never this child down.

Nobody can give you wiser advice than yourself.”
~Marcus Tullius Cicero~

The very first thing I learned and I think it was the most important: this resonates to this day. Trust yourself. You know more than you think. You have instincts and you will know your child more than anyone. This will trump anything and whatever anyone will tell you.

As a mom to two teens, one who recently entered adulthood and is about to graduate from high school, I feel a certain pride of accomplishment that both of them still talk to me after all this. They trust me and I trust them. I suppose that is because I never lost sight of the fact that they are human beings with feelings just as valid as anyone else. I think some parents lose sight of this obvious fact.

baby mother hands pixabay

No one is perfect

Never forget how you felt when you were a child. Bring this to the table when you deal with yours. She is her own person and will never quite be what you will expect. The only thing that you can expect is to be surprised…and you will be surprised. No one is perfect, your child not be and don’t expect it..no one is perfect.

As your child ages and her understanding increases share yourself. She will be curious and will want to know about you. Don’t set up your past life as one of perfection. She will feel that she’ll never quite live up to your legend and this will carry over.  She will feel inadequate in some way and will never think she measures up in your eyes or hers..

Your child will value your opinion of them more than anyone else’s. Her self-esteem will be intricately tied up with that. Remember this. You as her parent will be the most important person in her life, especially in the first years when you will be her whole world.

Listen

Another piece of advice I have is to listen. Parents are full of opinions and talk and discipline, all this is vitally important but if your child doesn’t think you will listen and give her a fair shake, she will stop talking to you and once that trust is gone, it is almost impossible to get back.

Say what you mean and mean what you say.

Always follow up on any consequences you may give. Make no exceptions on this. Your child will always be testing you and pushing the limits. This is inevitable, don’t hold this against her. It is not personal, it is only human nature because she is only human….allow her to see your humanity as well. Your child will learn love and compassion from you. Lead by example not just by words. Kids notice more than you think they will and they have excellent memories.

BIG red heart

LOVE

I’d say the most important thing is love. You can never love your child too much. Time passes so quickly, spend time together…you will never get this time back. Savor every moment.

So as you two embark on this journey.  Hold on for the ride of your lives…no matter what difficulties you may encounter; because I won’t sugar coat this, honestly; parenthood is tough. It will be the hardest thing you’ll ever do and it will test you and try you…but nothing will ever be as rewarding…or as worthwhile.

My prayers and best wishes to the both of you,

Love, Nancy

“Love begins at home”
~Mother Teresa~

Little Bits of Good

Baby B
My son as a baby

The other night I was talking with my son. He has just turned 18 and is thinking about what he wants to do with his life.  He conveyed to me his doubts and fears; his concerns about how the world is.  He told me he sees us humans as parasites and he voiced his concerns about how we are treating our planet and each other.

I listened and kept silent. I thought how much he sounded like myself in the past.  A past not so long ago.  These were things I thought before I decided to have children  It was a choice I considered very carefully. There was a voice in my head that said; how dare I bring another person into this crowded planet? Who was I add another hungry mouth into this already hungry world.

Another side of me: The hopeful part, the ones with dreams, the one that believes in belief, said that it wasn’t up to me to decide. Who was I to discard a potential human life…even and especially, the life of my possible child.?  Who was I to deny life to anyone? Who made me judge, jury and executioner?  If this potential child only had a few years of life…even one year, one month, one second…who was I to deny that?

Who was I to deny his beautiful blue eyes  just one sunset, one hug or one tip toe through the tulips.  Perhaps this child would contribute to the world…perhaps in a way I’d never imagine; maybe this child would be needed.  I thought all of this at the time, almost 20 years ago and all those thoughts and feelings came flooding back to me as I heard the words of my son. I understood his feelings exactly; he is an intelligent and thoughtful young man and he made some very valid points.

I saw the look of defeat in his eyes and a bit of anger too.  I know that anger all too well. The world had already been “screwed up” before either one of us got here. It’s easy to feel hopeless and angry.   I listened carefully to everything he had to say and then it was my turn…

Lately in my life I have found just the right thing to say but I don’t know actually what it will be until it comes out. This is quite new and I think it is all the writing I’ve been doing and I was very grateful for that because I found myself explaining to him much of what I just mentioned,about how I had thought carefully before deciding to have him and I told him how glad I am that he is here now.

002
The proud Mom with child circa 1995

I told him I agreed that the world is going to hell and how we’ve fouled up our seas and skies and land, and how all we humans seem to see is our differences…and how much we fight each other. I also told him how much hope I have for the future and how I believe that we have it in us to make this all right, and how we as a society can change things and how it all starts with one.

I told him how it starts with little changes and how it was up to him to be that change. It is up to him to make a difference in his little corner of the world. To find something near and dear to him and make a difference.  I told him that I thought my writing was like that and if enough people make a small difference…how that could grow and spread.

I talked and talked; a lot  I don’t remember, but I kept talking and as I did I saw the light in his eyes begin to brighten. He was listening and I could sense the lights turning on in his brain.

Then it was my turn again to listen: He told me of his interest in nature and teaching children about nature and sharing his love of it. He told me of his plans and as he did I could see his burden lifting and my heart soared as the corners of his mouth began to curl up into a wide smile.

I’ve never have been prouder of him as I was at that moment… it was very much like the moment when I first held his tiny body in my arms and gazed into his big blue trusting eyes of his; when I knew that I had made the right decision. I have brought another beautiful life into this world who will touch others with his beauty and how wonderful this all is!

baby B nature lover
A Nature advocate in the making

We may be small and insignificant in this world and our actions may seem hopeless; a mere drop in the bucket, but I believe we together…drop by drop by drop, together we are a mighty ocean. Together we can do anything….even save the world! The first step is believing….. and it all starts with you…make your drop count.

water-drop-with-ripple-in public domain
Credit: Public Domain

Thanks for listening,

Strawberryindigo.

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.

~Desmond Tutu~

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Related Articles

I will be a hummingbird (youtube.com)  Very inspirational!  Please watch!

Saving the World (www.savingtheworld.net)

Saving the Planet (www.ideastosavetheplanet.org)

Why I Wear Rose Colored Glasses

rose-colored-glasses

I wear rose-colored glasses. I’ll be happy to admit it. These glasses are relatively new and they perfectly accessorize my colorful wardrobe.

I haven’t always been so optimistic. Most of my life I dwelt in a pessimistic darkness I called realism. I prided myself on my cool demeanor and my tough exterior.  I took life as it came: living for today but not much more. My attitude was let’s party now before the world ends.

I even thought at one time the world would be better off without us. We humans after all have treated our planet so shabbily. Successful parasites have learned not to kill their host. We humans have not reached that pinnacle…yet, but I am rooting for us.  I believe in us. I have a hope I didn’t have before.

I thought hope was for fools and dreams were for idiots. I had jaded myself intensely at a much too early age. My realism, interests and inquisitive nature has sent me on a lifetime fact-finding truth-seeking mission. I am compelled by thirst for knowledge more than anything. It is probably due to my Asperger’s. It is a trait I would not change for the world but I know It drives those around me a little crazy.

I used to be an avid news watcher, a political junkie and imaginary pundit since the 1976 presidential race when I was 6. I took an immediate and not really age appropriate interest in politics then, and I have always been that way. I abandoned the Sunday comics for the business section and editorial page. Being a media junkie at the time, growing up in the 70’s, I bought in to all that hype about global warming and overpopulation. I’ve been an avid earth watcher and I listened to the predictions. I wish our government had, but nevertheless I knew.  I started hearing and learning more about a great many things.

Ronald Reagan wearing cowboy hat at Rancho del...

The more I learned about the world around me the more I wanted to learn. I have this curse, or I guess a deficit in which I know a little about a lot. Which means I am the perfect example of why a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. At the age of 10, I was convinced Reagan would get us all killed in a nuclear showdown with The Russians.

I would smirk sarcastically at the old “duck and cover” movie bits. I knew there was no real way of surviving that way. I prided myself in my cool realism. I saw “The Day After” I knew what would happen after a nuclear attack, besides I “knew everything” at the time.

Cover of "The Day After"

The odds were grim. I prided myself on my outside show of toughness but inside I was a quivering mess. I was convinced we were all going to die in the dreaded World War Three or worse yet…survive in some radioactive post apocalyptic nightmare. I began to read the works of Nostradamus and this only confirmed my suspicions.

The more I learned the more depressed I became, until I reached a saturation point…

rose colored glasses blue-eye baby

…and life must go on and go on it did and after a number of years I found myself looking into the big beautiful blue eyes of my infant son. So loving…so trusting with such a full life ahead of him. He was depending on me and I had to get it together if only for him, and that is when I donned those rose-colored glasses. I’d be damned if I let him down. I felt I had no other choice but embrace optimism.

I will let Studs explain it…

“With optimism, you look upon the sunny side of things. People say, ‘Studs, you’re an optimist.  I never said I was an optimist. I have hope because what’s the alternative to hope? Despair? If you have despair, you might as well put your head in the oven.”
*Studs Terkel*

As time goes by I see the results of this crazy optimism and it never ceases to amaze me….it works…it really works and I am a testimony to that.

I still have my dark moods, stick around and you’ll discover this, but every black cloud that rolls around in my brooding psyche has a silver lining and it did not just happen that way.

Whenever I see that black cloud sneak up on me I face it and take out my imaginary silver pen and line it with  gusto and I’d like to think a flourish.

So, think me an unrealistic, sunny fool with an unduly cheerful, optimistic, or favorable view of things.

Strawberry Kool-Aid---OH YEAH!
OH YEAH!!!

I am doing something I never thought I’d do–I’m drinking the Kool-Aid of positive thinking; colorful and infused with a certain satisfying sugary goodness that can only come with the belief in belief and it is delicious!

Tell me the world is going to hell in a handbasket–I’ll just smile, put on my rose-colored glasses and partake of the sweet nectar.

Optimism: Drink deeply, my friends.

Strawberryindigo.

red rose

Why the world won’t end in 2012 (www.nasa.gov)

The power of positive thinking (www.naturaltherapypages.com)

How the power of positive thinking won scientific credibility (http://www.theatlantic.com)

The Answer to the Question – Is the glass half empty or half full? (pinkbananashoes.wordpress.com)

Rose Tinted Glasses (365thingstowear.wordpress.com)