Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Heart Peelings

I recently had my first night in over 60 days without a little boy in my care. I was overdue for a break. I could feel it.

Now that it's spring break, he is with Grammy and Grammy, and I'm so grateful!

I mean, wow. I needed this!

Here is what I learned this time.

Usually, the first day or two after I'm at home with me, myself and I, I sit in the chair and cry for half a day.

Sounds dramatic, I know. It took me a few years to figure out what was going on.

At first, I was really annoyed by it because, when I do get a break, I have all these projects I want to do.

When that incredibly sweet little boy is here with me, I am always "on." Always in the mode for what is next and what he needs and so on.

That's parenting.

So when he is gone, my body says, "Ahhh. Please take a rest, Amanda. Sit right down. Just relax and let your thoughts settle. You have much within you that you have not been seeing in your whirlwind. Come. Settle down and reflect."

Yeah, and cry my eyes out. Or sometimes just stare blankly and let the visions come.

It really took years of getting stuck in my chair to figure out that that is what I was supposed to be doing. My body would not let me do a project because I finally had the time to look inward and clear my soul. Apparently that was more pressing.

That went on for quite some time, and I accepted it. I even got to the point where I expect that to happen.

So after this latest timespan without time to really settle, I expected it to happen again.

But it did not.

I have been able to move freely about the cabin and work on projects that excite me. It's amazing!!!

Do you know what this means? 

It means that I have scrubbed my soul so much that I am in a good place. I no longer put unrealistic expectations on myself. I am gentle on myself when I used to be hard. I say yes to the things I actually want to do and don't just commit out of guilt. I have curtailed relationships that exhausted me. I have also turned my relationship with my son into us as a magnificent duo instead of a ball and chain.

I also try to take the time, when he is with me, to meditate and assess where I'm at.

I suppose it's working.

The fact that I did not have to cease activity in order to figure out what parts of my life I was ignoring is pretty huge. I'm so grateful for that, and I wanted to share it with you!

I still have plenty to strive for, especially career-wise, but I feel like I'm taking steps in the right direction. 

Consciously clearing out things in my life that made me feel like a victim on any level was one of the best things I have done for myself lately.

I guess I wanted to tell you this, so you can see that any or all of the efforts you put in to peeling away at the happiness of your heart makes a difference.

The acknowledgement of our feelings and emotions is constant, but the energy it takes to reel us out can become less and less once we have a handle on how to deal with them in a positive way.

It's not easy -- especially at first. But, man, it's so worth it!

This is the gist of what my next book is about by the way... whenever I get the time to keep writing it! Wish me luck!

As Down Wind Dan would say,
"It's a great day for a day."

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

And So This Is Springtime

It's ironic that I had a few ideas ready for today, but they got trumped after we went and played in the snow this afternoon. (I suppose I should disclose the fact that often I sit here and look at a blank screen and try to think of what to write about. Therein lies the irony of today. I'll take it!)

Happy Spring, by the way.

Today was a snow day, and school was cancelled.

There's another... irony.

But maybe not for the Keweenaw.

It was a warm snow day, however. And when I shoveled my porch, I realized that we had gotten a 6-7 fresh inches of perfect packing snow.

"Braeds! We're going to build a snowman!" I announced after lunch.

"Okay, Mummy!"

We did a couple runs on the sled. Then I asked him where we should make our snowman. "In a secret spot or for everyone to see?"

"Everyone to see," he replied.

"How about on the roof?!?"

"Let's do it!"

So we climbed on the roof from the snowbank because they are the same height. Ha! I rolled the big boulders and got him packing snow around them to keep him busy. He also enjoyed throwing snowballs into the street.

We actually made two snowmen. And we decorated them with party gear. We were so proud!

Our selfie with our snow partiers

Then we played and played and played.

We sledded. We threw snowballs at each other (not in the face, though). Then I had the idea to strap on my Hok skis and glide around the yard. 

Oh man. It was so fun!

B got the idea to practice pretend calling for 9-1-1. (Remember when I had to teach him that after my concussion? He's getting it!)

"Mummy, you crash and die," he suggested. I know it sounds morbid, but we only call when someone is unresponsive.

So I crashed and laid there with my tongue hanging out while he called for the ambulance on his mitten phone. Then he made the siren sound and trudged his way over to me and assured me everything would be alright.

I thanked him for saving my life. We hugged.

"Okay, now I die!" he announced. And we switched roles.

Like I said, it's kind of a morbid game, but it's functional. And we were outside! We must have played for two hours in the wet snow. 

Finally after we were absolutely soaked, we went inside. I also found it ironic that it is now spring, but that was the most fun we had outside in the yard all... winter. I tried to wrap my brain around that fact, but I think it's because it was warm. 35 degrees is a balmy day. And the snow was so packy that we could build with it. Another plus.

Although we were wet, we were warm. And we had fun. And learned. And, hopefully made some people smile when they saw our snowmen partying on the roof.

Wednesday, March 16, 2022


I kind of have a confession...

I guess it's pretty embarrassing to admit from a mom point of view.

Brady P is just learning how to spit.

Like, within the last week.

Spitting seems so normal, right? Can't we all just spit naturally?

I guess not.

He thinks spitting is cool, though. When I brush my teeth, he shouts, "Mummy! Spit!"

Because I can.

And he couldn't.

So, a week or so ago, I realized that I can't just have him swallow his toothpaste every time he brushes (not the fluoride kind until he learns how to spit consistently).

The boy needs to learn how to spit.

So we moved the toothbrushing routine to the bathroom, so he can stand on his stool by the sink, use the water, rinse with his cup and... SPIT!

He loves it! He really tries so hard. He practices several times each brushing.

I was one of those people who thought that people should just know how to spit, so I am having a rough time teaching him. However, phrases like, "Oh, don't swallow it" and "Just hold it in your mouth" seem to help.

But even more than the progress we are making, I love the way he looks at me when we brush together. The look on his face says, "That is my Mom and I love her and she is good at brushing her teeth and I want to do it just like her."


I am seriously enamored with him all over again. We look at each other and brush gazily while we exchange glances in the mirror and giggle.

I watch him turn his toothbrush around when I do. I notice how he likes to rinse his brush after I do. I enjoy how he likes to mock my grotesque spitting sounds for effect.

That learning experience (for us both) has really made me realize how much children look up to, learn from and model adults. Even when we think they might not be watching, we are wrong. They are taking it alllll in.

And secretly, they love it. And truthfully, that's how they think things are supposed to be done.

I know because I used to be a kid!

For the last part of this confession, I will admit that I was hoping a man would teach him how to spit because it seems like a fun guy thing to do together -- with his dad or an uncle or a grampy or a friend -- anyone!

But nope.

I am with him the most, so it's me.

And I am enjoying every moment of our wet, splattery, giggly adventure.

I probably won't be able to capture the moment while we are brushing together, so here is a pic from the day he learned to snowboard a couple weeks ago!

My little shredder!

Keep calm, and remember to spit when appropriate!

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

This Smile

I need to show you this smile.

This infectious smile, that I am so fortunate to relish in a few dozen times each day.

What if you got to see this smile that often?

This fully-in-the-moment smile erupting from pure, unfiltered joy.

If you don't already get to see a smile like this thirty times a day, then let me advise that it changes you.

It shifts your priorities. It quells your fears. It forces you to be in the moment. It quickens gratitude. It makes you believe in the seemingly impossible. It strengthens your spirit. It softens your heart.

And, most of all, it makes you smile too.

If it doesn't make you smile, you just might have a few things to learn still. I understand. I used to be that way.

But now I am melted and strengthened at the same time by this smile.

Brady P is here to help change the world for the better.

He is already changing mine. My hope is that we can infiltrate yours just enough to make your smile contagious too.