A Letter To My Son, My sometimes Superhero

My son was selected as a star student and given an assignment by his teacher to build a timeline.  This Star Student Week has something due for each day.

Day 1 was a timeline about his life, with pictures and major events in his 9 years.  In other words, an AMAZING trip down memory lane, looking at little chubby gummy smiles and those fat baby legs with folds and wrinkles that are SO cute when you’re less than 3ft tall, and 2 years old.

Day 2 was Bring your favorite book, then came the parent letter on Day 3.  It took me some time to put this one together.  I wrote it to him, and attached a copy of his lil itty bitty baby footprints. :

“Hey Superhero,

I found out on Valentine’s Day 2009 that we were expecting you, and I knew in that moment that it was going to be something.  On the day you were born, there wasn’t a full moon, but there certainly should have been.  There were women in the halls and every birthing room was FULL.  When I arrived at the hospital, I expected to be there for at least a day, because everything about being pregnant this time around was absolutely stubborn, so I felt labor would be the same way.  I was wrong.  We arrived at 1pm, and at 6:28pm, only 5 1/2 hours later, you arrived in this world SCREAMING.  When they placed you in my arms, I checked you over to count your little fingers and toes, and make sure everything was in order.  The first thing I noticed was that instead of 10 tiny fingers and toes, there were 12 fingers and 10 toes, and a little heart shaped birthmark on your back.  Unlike your sister, you screamed the entire time as they washed you and put your little footprints onto paper.  My immediate thought was that this baby was going to be different.

I have not been wrong.  From day one, you’ve always challenged me to step up my mom game and do greater things.  You’ve inspired us all to be bigger, better, and tougher because that’s the parents you need us to be.  You have ALWAYS wanted to be on the go and are happiest when you’re outside running around.  You’ve always the kid that thinks about the well-being of your siblings and family, from making us a cup of tea to, always thinking about picking up something for your sister on the way home from school.  I hope you NEVER lose that and that you’ll learn to extend that kindness beyond just the people you love, and your choice of words.

You were given the name Terrell because we both liked it and agreed that “Terrell Taylor” sounded a lot like a superhero alter-ego.  Your middle name, Xavier, happens to also be my favorite superhero, Professor X.  The greatest irony is that your names mean stubborn and bright, and I feel like you’re living up to it every day. At times you’re also very mischievous, and it lends a hand to getting you into trouble, but it also adds to your overall creativity.  You’ve always had the natural ability to lead and to envelope a room with your energy, and I can only hope that you use it for great things. Always remember the great words of Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben, “with great power, comes great responsibility”.  That natural ability as well as the great responsibility of being an uncle to Zakai are major, and I hope you take that in kind and be the best version of yourself you can be.

It’s been an amazing journey watching you transform from from that chubby little baby eating sand on the beach, to the soccer and basketball player, and master of all things Lego that you’ve become. I don’t know where any of this will take you, or us, in life,but it’s bound to be an adventure.
Love,

Mommy”

I feel like this letter is even more important these days because 9 has been an interesting age for us, thus far.  He’s already turning into that strange prepubescent kid with a bit of angst simply because I asked him to put his socks on.

We have a LONG ride ahead of us from what I can see.  Wish me luck, and if you’re the praying type, PLEASE do.

 

 

Charlotte Russe Hostage Dress Situation

I saw an article about Charlotte Russe closing many of their stores and I felt a bit cold to it.  It saddens me to see so many “iconic” stores shutting down, but I don’t know about this one.

I lost all love for CR the day I was held hostage by a dress in the fitting room.  YES, I was held hostage. By a dress.  Let me explain….

I was shopping for a wedding that I was going to, because there was no way I was going to wear one of the many dresses in my closet with the tag still on it.  I needed a NEW one that I would also possibly not wear.  In any case, CR was once my go-to for all things party.  In my 20’s, I’d drop in to find my newest “club top” or interview blazer, so it was a natural 1st stop.

I found an array of dresses that were hanger cute, so I took them with me to the fitting rooms so I could pull on a few dresses, awkwardly tug at the length, and over scrutinize it and my body.  I tried on one and it was cute, but didn’t fit the bill for a wedding.  The 2nd dress I decided was going to be THE ONE.  It was a bit more of an A-line dress, with a criss-cross back and subtle stripes that seemed PERFECT.

I put it over my head, and it fit NEARLY like a glove.  I did the spinning, turning, bending, standing on my toes, etc and mentally prepared an outfit. Deciding what shoes I would wear, jewelry, and the whole nine.  Only, this dress felt…..strange.  There was a lacey bit around the arms that felt uncomfortable and I realized that I couldn’t comfortably raise my arms without the rest of the dress rising up. Also, when I raised my arms, it got tighter around them.  At that point, it was a no-go.

Now as I lifted my arms to pull the dress off, it did a weird boa constrictor type movement and tightened further up my arm.  I tried again, and it tightened more as if to say, “We’ve come this far, you’ve gotta buy me now!”.  This is the point, I began to panic.  I now had the dress stuck on my arms and the bottom of it covering most of my face.  I was in the fitting room wedged against the wall, arms stuck in the air and considering buying this dress so I could get it home and cut it off.  I’d even come up with an excuse….”I loved it so much, I’m just going to wear it home!”.   The fitting room attendant must’ve known something was up so she knocked on the door and inquired if I needed anything.  I calmed my voice and told her no, but inside I was in COMPLETE panic mode.

I started bargaining with the dress and trying to coax it off while doing a bear scratch against the wall to pull the bottom further up. I’m pretty sure I looked like that scene in Ace Ventura where Jim Carrey is stuck in the mechanical rhino. I figured, If I can get it over my head, then I’d be able to finagle it down my arms.  I decided, one more try, then I was going to admit defeat and buy the damned dress.  It WORKED, up and over my head, but arms still stuck as if I was wearing handcuffs on my upper biceps.  I basically wedged the dress between my legs and pulled it down little by little until it started to give way.  the dress FINALLY began to move and eventually made its way off of my arms.

I sat in the fitting room in my underclothes for a full 5 minutes just to cool off. I pretty much had a 15 minute cardio workout, and my shoulder was throbbing as if I’d dislocated it and popped it back in place(I’ve done this before, so it’s possible that’s EXACTLY what happened).

After that, I dressed in my regular clothes and went home.  I didn’t even put the offending dress back on the hanger, I just left it draped over the fitting room return rack and left.  The harsh negotiations left my arm bruised and me wearing a 3/4 sleeve dress for the wedding instead.

I haven’t shopped at Charlotte Russe since, and I don’t think I’ll ever go back. Considering how uncertain their future is, it may not even be a possibility.

Meditation and Mindfulness….for kids

Over the past few years I’ve been looking quite a bit into mindfulness, meditation, and overall destressing my life.

It’s been amazing, but a challenge all in the same breath. I’ve always been very “chill” on the surface, but now that chill is deeper. If you knew my full life story, you’d probably be confused as to why I’m not a complete basket case.

The upside to being mindful is that a lot of outer stimuli doesn’t affect me. Stress is not stressful, and I’m able to process and handle stressful situations with ease.

I’ve decided over the past year to introduce my children to this “path” to help them out. My daughter is this tall, gorgeous, strong, and amazing child who happens to be incredibly shy. My son is this strong, confident, social butterfly, who is maybe a little TOO headstrong at times.

Two weeks ago, I got an invite for a kids & teens meditation workshop and JUMPED at the opportunity. We’re here today(I’m writing this from the parent’s waiting area now), and I can’t wait to see how it goes.

Way Back When!

I’ve been wanting to visit this local thrift store that seems like my cup of tea. I took a look on the way back from an interview and I was NOT disappointed.

First off, the owner is amazing! He knows his stuff and has what is possibly the coolest thrift store I’ve ever run across. This place is more like a serious blast from the past, and its appropriately named, “Way Back When”.

I saw so many items that took me back to my childhood. I felt like I literally walked into 1988 and my grandmother’s living room. Visiting was one of the most refreshing experiences ever.

Also, I learned they purchase all of their items, so no consignment is even necessary.

Here are some of my FAVORITES.

I’m planning to visit with a box of good that I don’t plan to keep or display, maybe I can sell them there as well. It’s awesome to have a local source to sell my awesome antique finds.

Message!

After finishing up my most recent trip to the thrift store, I noticed a woman in my rear view mirror with a LARGE tub of shoes. She wheeled her buggy out of the store and was looking a bit perplexed as she opened the back of her SUV while steadying the cart.

I got out of my car and asked if she needed help and she put her hands together and said, “Thank GOD! I bought this thinking I can send it in a barrel to Haiti, but I had no idea how I was going to lift it. I just figured, I’ll buy it, and God will find a way”

I helped her put the container in her car and said, “I guess that’s life. Sometimes you don’t have a plan, but God does”.

She told me how much of a blessing I was to her and we parted ways.

While driving away I had what I can only describe as “a moment”. That moment that makes you catch your breath and really THINK/FEEL the gifts you’ve been given.

I don’t have a solid plan, but great things are coming and that message from The Universe, God, Allah, Jehovah, The Great Being, The Man In The Sky….WHATEVER you choose to call it- was very clear.

Short Trip

I had a few minutes to burn today between my consulting gig that I picked up and running errands, so I stopped at a local thrift store.

I LOVE this store. I’ve found some really great finds that I’ve listed on eBay or kept for myself, or gifted to friends that collect odds and ends.

This particular store has not only a massive selection of clothing, accessories, and home goods, but the entire 2nd floor has furniture. Yes 2 stories of thrifted amazingness. Today I just roamed the furniture, took a few pics of the awesome stuff here:

I actually own these exact chairs.  They’re not purple, they’re “aubergine”, only mine are concealed with black chair covers.

This is definitely haunted.  It looks like that creepy piece of furniture that came with an old house and the reflection of the ghost appears at random.

This is actually a really good price for 5 pieces of furniture.  Maybe it’s old and dated, but the updates could be phenomenal.

I was in….AWE. There are times where I create stories for these pieces. Like where did they live? Who made them? How were they used/decorated/paired, etc? Just imagine the stories some of your own furniture could tell? That one time your son wrote on the table, the spills, the dinners eaten at your table, the holidays and birthdays celebrated….the personal history each piece holds makes it just THAT much more special.

I always think of what stories my family will add. It’s just beautiful!

Eye for the odd…

In my current state of “free time”, I like to roam thrift stores. Who am I kidding? I like to roam thrift stores. Period.

It’s fun, relaxing, destressing, and helps me to clear my mind. It’s like meditation, but walking through a dusty store filled with random people’s throw aways that will make me sneeze.

Each item tells a story. Sometimes I come up with how a particular item came to be, or how it ended up at this particular thrift store. It reminds me of library storytime as a kid. Sometimes the person reading the story would have an old relic of some sort to relate the story to, and make it stick. It was essentially like a history lesson, sometimes completely made up or entirely embellished.

I have an eye for the strange or unusual at thrift stores. Its almost like I’m drawn to these random oddbits by some magnet. For example…

I don’t know what it is, but I love it! It’s like a ceramic sideshow. Miss Tiffani’s Oddity Emporium……has a ring to it….hmmmm….

In any case, I end up buying them because maybe I can sell them in my imaginary antique store(which, as of late, has manifested into eBay). I genuinely have fun finding these odd ones, cleaning them up and texting pics of them to my friends that freak them out.

Maybe I’ll take you along for my next trip? It’ll be fun.