TT: My Little Superhero

As you know, yesterday I did 101 things around the house all evening, many out in our back yard.  As I finished setting up the little cookout table, I let Maggie play with it.  She pushed the benches together, stood up on them, and shouted

“I Superhero!”

Boy did we get a laugh out of that!  I have never heard her say that before, and I thought it adorable—and kind of ironic considering “Superheroes” are this week’s Theme Thursday theme.

Then tonight, I was talking to a friend tonight about magic.  I think there is magic everywhere in our lives, some of us are just better at spotting it than others. My friend is one of the great ones.  She is such a creative spirit, she just finds the details others can’t see and can spin a wildly captivating story from dust and crumbs.  I am less good at spotting magic in everyday life, as I have a tendency to take things at face value, even if I do look for “universal” explanations for things when I need them.  But I wish I saw magic like she does, the interwoven connections between people and life and earth and universe.  On that she gave me a bit of advice:

“Look at what [Maggie] sees, instead of just admiring her joy.  See the whole picture.  Maggie sees it [magic].  Take her cues.” (Italics are mine.)

Little did my friend know, Maggie and I had one such moment just earlier tonight.

Mags and I were walking into Rite Aid this evening after school.  I was carrying her and laughing, both at how cute she was all covered in smudges and pink cheeks from hanging out in the garage with daddy, and about how she was saying “bye, mama’s jeep, see you in a minute!”.  I smiled at a woman coming out of the store as we were going in.  Maggie looked intently over my shoulder for a second, and she said:


I looked around, and there was no one else in the parking lot.  I asked her “Did you see a princess?  Is she the princess?”  Maggie said “Yes.  Princess.”  And smiled.  I was stunned… where did she get such an idea?  The woman was dressed in standard issue black Rite Aid polo and pants, looked to be about mid-50s, and had chest-length thick (lovely) gray hair.  And my daughter saw a princess.

Even at the time I thought it was such a beautiful moment.

And now, I’m thinking it might have been more.  Maybe Maggie really is a superhero.  Maybe kids really do see the magic in the world.  Maybe that woman really was a princess.  We’ve all written or read or talked before about how children are born so innocent, with a perfect open view of life and the world.  It is us (and the “they”) that paint lines into that view.  Divisions, rules, restrictions.  Children are limitless in what they can see and imagine, until we give them limits.

I think maybe Maggie is a superhero.  I know she is one to me.  She brings magic and joy to my life, and gives me “magic vision”, so I can begin to see the world through her eyes.  She makes me laugh faster than a speeding bullet, she can scale couches in a single bound, spark a smile on the stoniest face, and I think she can see through to the heart of a person.

And you know what?  She was wearing an adorable shirt with a camping picture on it that I absentmindedly put on her late in the day.  And had I thought about it, I wouldn’t have, opting instead to save it for tomorrow since we are doing a camping theme in school right now.  That shirt was actually a gift from the same friend I was talking to about magic… A shirt Mags hasn’t worn in quite a while, because it was in the bottom of her basket.  It seems like a strange coincidence all this would happen at the same time on its own…. the superhero, the shirt, the princess, the magic conversation…

(This is Mags, wearing the shirt at 12.5 mos old… even then she looks like she’s making magic from dust…)

Maybe I can see a little magic in this world, on my own. And to that lovely Rite Aid employee, I believe you ARE a princess.  Because Maggie said so, and that’s good enough for me.



Friday Five (7/12/13)

This week, there have been lots of ups and down floating around me, swirling and dipping in the air.  Some have been lovely and beautiful, some have been heavy and jagged.  Most didn’t pierce me directly, but I felt the air rustle as they went by, hitting those close to me.

In that light, it’s left me with some sadness for those around me, but mostly filled with hope.  Because the hope does always float up to the top, even in the darkest moments.

So based on that, I am going to share with you a couple of lists this week.

Top 5 Honest Moments of the Week:

  1. Glennon from shared some “Brutiful” truths about how she is really feeling right now on her blog, with some wonderful honesty about depression and how some things are good for us even if we don’t always understand why.
  2. This Vlogger shared her response to some “Fat Girl” hate comments in the BEST kind of response.
  3. Parenting is NOT about perfection.  It is about loving through all the beautiful imperfections.
  4. I internet-know a different someone who, due to an ineffectual change in anti-depressant medications actually posted up to ask for advice on taking themselves to the ER for a 72-hr-psych-hold until the medication was righted, due to thoughts they were having.  Things worked out, but I thought it was so very brave of them to admit this, and to ask for help.
  5. Here’s my more lighthearted bit of honesty about how life often gets in the way of what we really wish we were doing.  Like writing.

To 5 Happy Things this Week:

  1. Theme Thursday this week was Superheroes!  I think Maggie, and all kids, are Superheroes.  And I haven’t stopped thinking about the “Princess” she spotted.
  2. My blog reached over 200 total followers, which is kind of amazing, and THANKS to all of you!
  3. We came across this at a preschool trip to the park this week, and I thought it was kinda beautiful, these chalk drawings someone did and left for us to find.


4.  My girl is learning so many garage words with daddy.  She picked this up, and said “Bolt!”  ♥

5.  We went and checked out a nearby city, one that’s smaller and a bit more “country” than where we live right now, and we all loved it.  I think we may have found where we lay down our (family’s version of) homesteading roots, in a year or two.

My Top 5 Tips for When Things Get Tough:

  1. Admit that you can’t do it all, and even if you can’t ask for help, DON’T turn it down when it arrives.  If you can, ASK for help.
  2. Breathe, and take a moment to remember how it felt when times were good.  This is just a dip in the many curves of life, and things will always turn back up again.  Hold tight to the memory of those happy feelings and know IT WILL COME BACK.
  3. Give yourself a long length of slack.  This moment does not define who you are as a parent/spouse/friend/person, nor will it stand to represent ALL of who you are.  You can get through this, even if it takes 5 gallons of ice cream, or 5 hours of TV a day for your kids, or 5 meals in a row of cereal, or 5 days with no clean laundry.
  4. Talk about it.  Share with someone close to you, blog about it, vlog about it, call someone, meet for coffee, write about it, find a forum/blog/chat room and log in anonymously and talk to them, talk to your cat/dog/bird/ferret/ the spider in your entryway.  Giving the tough times a voice makes YOU stronger, and lightens the weight.
  5. KNOW that you are loved.  There are people who love, you, who need you, who care so very much about you.  More than you could ever count right now.  You WILL come out of the tough times stronger than when you went in, and they will be there every step of the way, in person and in spirit, supporting you and cheering you on.


Sending you all love and wishes for a peaceful weekend!  Next week should be an exciting one, so stay tuned!


On Birthdays

So, I’ve had differing ideas of what I wanted to say today.  Birthdays always put me in a bit of a pensive mood…  Thinking back on the things that have happened, things happening now, things yet to come.  I’ve never been one who is super big on celebrating my birthday… things often tend to go wrong in some way, so I try to keep my expectations low and it never disappoints.

People often have crises on their “0″ birthdays… 30, 40, 50, 60….  But I had mine last year when I turned 35.  It was kinda scary, officially hitting middle 30s, not identifying myself as “young” 30s anymore, feeling that crunch age of trying to decide do I have more kids before I enter the risk-factor-zone, or do I run for president…  and it was overwhelming to me.  I got over it, obviously, and so far have decided on neither.

This year, I am met with a weird sense of calm…  36 is less scary than 35, but not too close to 40 to worry about that crisis.  I feel okay about where my life is.  I have my family of 3 plus 2 dogs, my daughter is almost 2 and still alive, and about to become a “preschooler” instead of a “toddler”.  I have my own business with my preschool, so I get the best of both worlds (theoretically) getting to be home with my girl but also work.

This past year has taught me some about being okay with where I am in life, and I’ve taken steps to try to be happy with who I am, just as I am, not happy with who I could be.  I’ve found a greater sense of honesty, and am starting to come to terms with the fact that I canNOT, in fact, do everything on my own.  I still try, though.  I just still suck at it.  Cupcake is still here, ornery as ever.  I wish I was healthier, and massed less.  I was on a good path to that, though an apparent soy sensitivity derailed that for a while–

–speaking off, who DOES that?  Starts a strict diet plan, only to find it was a bit too strict.  Wanting to uphold the gluten and dairy free thing that brings most people better health, I switched to soymilk in my coffee.  And you know what?  I have had bloating and stomach pain for a week and a half, with a several-times-a-day Pepto habit, until I figured out it was the soymilk.  Stopped it Sunday morning, and the last 2 days have been fine.  WTF??  I’m the only person on the planet who gets sicker when they eat healthier.  If that’s not a huge billboard statement from Cupcake, then I don’t know what is…  luckily chocolate almond milk seems fine, and I’m only medium bitter that I have to avoid Starbucks for a while…–

Oh, and if you were wondering, I had 3 orangesicle cookies for my birthday today, and I feel just fine thankyouverymuch.  I’m also looking forward to takeout sushi for dinner!  Yum.  You’re welcome, Cupcake.


36.  36 years ago Apple incorporated to become Apple, Inc, Star Wars opened in theaters, Elvis died, Voyager 1 was launched, The Food Stamp Act of 1977 was enacted, Harvey Milk was elected, The rings of Uranus were discovered, and I was born.  (Sadly, my birthday was NOT included in Wikipedia’s 1977 summary).

Well, I can’t say I’ve come as far as Apple Inc, or done as much alive as Elvis has done deceased, nor do I have as many rings as Uranus, and I can’t say too much for anything I did in my 20s besides finish college, but I’m still here.  And as a whole, I’m happy.  I guess that’s something, because I couldn’t always say that on my birthday.

Happy Birthday, Cupcake.