Dirty little flowers

I am blessed to be flanked by kids.  Most of the time, they do not belong to me.  I frequently babysit when friends need help, or time off!  While in tow, I freely tell them stories or tell them all about the wonders of the amazing world they live in.

One particular day in August, I had the pleasure of hanging out with two of my favorite kiddos.  We drove to and from around town and I told them all kinds of things that came to mind….including how excited I was that my favorite flowers of all time were in bloom.  I told them that they only bloom for a few weeks in August.  As we drove around town, I would slow down and point them out.

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These beautiful flowers are called a Belladonna Lilly.  However, I told these precious kids the common name that I’m familiar with, “Naked Ladies.”  We would all chuckle and point out, “hey look, there’s some more Naked Ladies!!”  It was a silly little joke all day.

Fast forward a week…

Those precious kiddos were driving along with their parents when one of them spies one of Lori’s favorite flowers.  Instead of saying, “Hey those flowers are called Naked Ladies and are Lori’s favorite!”  It came out like this, “MOM, DAD, look at those NAKED LADIES!  Lori loves NAKED LADIES!!”

AAAhhhhh…..I died when I got the the text asking if those flowers were really called Naked Ladies!

Lesson:

Be extra careful what you say to kids!  LOL

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Hindsight

My daughter asked me a tough question the other day.  “Why did you have us so young?”  I was stumped.  But I eventually mustered up an answer….and it went an little like this:

When I was in high school, I believed I was glorious.   Not only that, but that I was headed to more (personal) glory in the future.  I wasn’t the most internally confident person, but by all outward appearances, I knew that I was certainly a force to be reckon with.  I was assertive and I knew where I was going in life….straight to Broadway.Me1980s

Now, I was still a good girl at heart.  I had dear friends (boys and girls) that I was fiercely loyal to.  I was always the first to help a person out, if I could.  I had a deep conscience.  That would be my saving grace.

In college, I was a volleyball player and a budding thespian.  I knew I had what it would take to “make it big” one day on the stage, on the screen or on TV.  I just knew it.  Again, I was my biggest fan…as most of us are in our late teens and early 20’s. 

To make things a little more interesting…I am a Leo, leo….LEO!  In my early years, I frequently teetered on the brink of a “self-absorbed” Leo and the caring, loving and loyal kind.

By the time I turned 20, I had achieved a great deal…including becoming a mother.  By 22, a mother of two.  I told my oldest daughter (after a looong pause) that I needed to have my children then.  If I had not, I would not have had them at all.  I was on a fast track to self-fulfillment and they became my fortuitous salvation. 

Misa and Nani1My children grounded me….more importantly, they humbled me.  I learned to become self-less.  I learned to love unconditionally.  I learned to see the world around me, through their eyes, rather than seeing only me in the world.misa nani2

Their lives aligned with my own journey.  As I look back now I see that our lives today could not be possible had I not become a mother at the time I did.  I fumbled, cried…..and grew as a US1mother.

As the day to celebrate Mom’s near, I want to begin the celebration by honoring my children, Chamisa and Briana.  I know, without a shadow of  a doubt, that I would not have matured into the person I am today without them.  US2

I read a poem a while back that said, “the love you have in your life is merely a reflection of the love you put out into the world.”  I can honestly say, that my world is filled with happiness, joy and an abundance of love.  Thank you, girls for allowing me to be your mother.Girls2013

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Of youth

I was like most youngster in high school.  I listened to all the latests music.  Watched the matching videos on MTV (back when they played videos).  I also was a pretty good dancer.  Most importantly, I was “cool.”  I came to college and carried on in the same “cool” fashion.  I remember once being asked by an admirer, “where’d you learn to dance like that?”  I just shrugged as I broke into a another fit of rythm.  I took it as a compliment.

But, something happened when I had kids…I stopped dancing.  My inner Material Girl, gave way to Barney, Kidz Bop and Blacklodge Kids’ Pow Wow Jams.  I had stopped feeding the “me” that knew what cool was.  There was point at which I remember thinking “who are you and what did you do to that dance diva named Lori?!”  Yeah, it was bad.

My kids were in middle school when a friend invited me to go dancing with her at a local latin club.  That night, I danced and danced….so good!  It felt wonderful to find “me” again.  I didn’t stop.   I was there twirling and swaying on the dance floor as often as I could…and I looked and felt amazing!

There were times after that re-awakening that I used to try to teach my girls to dance.  Or, I’d tell them about how I used to dance like a maniac in high school.  They’d just giggle.  They didn’t believe me.   I don’t blame them…they hadn’t ever seen me “do” such things.   And they could hardly even imagine it either.

I saw a post card once that had a quote by William Purkey, ““You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching, Love like you’ll never be hurt, Sing like there’s nobody listening, And live like it’s heaven on earth.”   There is only one part missing….make sure your kids see you doing it all….as proof!  haha

I wrote this poem back then about conflicting perceptions:  theirs and mine.  Today, they still giggle when I try to” bust a move”….if they only knew!

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I guess I always thought I’d be cool
down with the latest dances
up with fashion
know the music scene
speak the speak
Apparently, I’ve been slipping a bit…
I step on toes
my wardrobe suffers from time warp
isn’t “Bow Wow” what a dog does?
…and COOL just isn’t cool for me to say anymore!

According to two young hip chicks on the verge of life…
I’m old…I’m outdated…I’m over!

But, little do they know…
when the night matures
I unbutton to please
and slip on my shiny, slick black heels
that move with ease
to the hot latin beat
that melts the years from
my mind…my body…my soul.

Olfactory recollection

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was sitting in traffic with my windows down on an unusually warm day in January when a passing fragrance gripped my memory.

                       I remembered that scent from my childhood. 

                       In an instant I left the confines of my car and traveled back in time.

I remembered the creak and hum of the tall cottonwoods that surrounded my grandparents farm.  We sat comfortably in their shade and played in the cool damp dirt that we found beneath the hard desert surface.

                      Little hands built hot wheel metropolises that we imagined existed beyond the front gate.

I remembered the sounds of talking and laughter as my mom, aunts and grandma tended to the handmade wire grill that rested atop a circle of river rocks a few feet from our front door.

The smell of the hot sizzling peices of meat trveled to our dirty little noses and hungry tummies as we waited impatiently for dinner.

I remembered the smell of the heavy rain drops that fell on the hot summer ground during monsoon season. 

The storms were slow to swell and quick to leave.  And almost always made me want to eat the dirt that smelled so clean and fresh.

I remembered the smell of my home.

Imaginary or not, it was a welcome respite from the life that I now live in a city hundreds of miles from an inherited existence that always finds ways of calling me back.

A little bit of this…a little bit of that

Let’s see if you can keep up….

My daughter regularly reminds me that I like to “multi-task” too much.  If you’ve taken any of my classes, you probably recall me talking about perception concepts where our brains focus on one stimulus at a time.  In many instances, we alternate between stimuli, sometimes rather quickly.  I also hammer home the point that our brain cannot….CAN NOT focus on two or more things at once.

When my girls were little and one of them would (minorly) hurt themselves, I’d usher them to a safe place and then pinch them. Yes, PINCH them.  Not hard, but just hard enough to distract them from the pain that they were suffering from.  It works, try it.

As I was saying, our brains have to alternate between stimuli.  Here’s a little NPR story to illustrate my point: my brain....Bad at Multitasking?  Blame your Brain.

Ok, back to my daughter…..

She reminds me that I like to stray away from my focus quite a bit. As a kid, I was constantly frustrated. I would start homework and then end up baking a dozen cupcakes! Usually it was from a boxed mix.  I always became super inspired from my algebra word problems that asked how many cupcakes Jan took to her dance class IF, she baked 17 cupcakes and (for some reason) gave John 10 and (like a smart girl) took 6 from Samantha before serving 5 (how sweet) to her little sister’s kindergarten class….AND THEN giving 6 away at the homeless shelter (like a true humanitarian) on her way to her class! Yea….you get my point.

Reading about all those delicious mini-cakes makes a kid want to find a friend like Jan, but in the meantime, make some cupcakes of their own!

Ok, back to my daughter….

She teases me about how quickly my attention can shift.  I really didn’t think it was odd. Remember, I have lived with it for MY WHOLE LIFE!

The other day, we were getting ready to go somewhere.  She had come home to spend the night.  She asked me to wake her up at 10 so that she could shower and get ready by 11.  I woke up early that morning and was just tinkering around (doing a lot of this and that).  Before I knew it, it was 10.  I grabbed a towel (to show intent) and woke her up to tell her what time it was and that I was going to jump in the shower super quick. I ducked into my bedroom for a second…but I forget now for what.  As I was about to head to the bathroom, I just happened to see an old camera in a box on the bottom self of my bookcase.  I remembered how I had wanted to learn how to set my camera to selective focus (look it up).  So, I dug out the camera and start tinkering with all the knobs, dials, buttons.  I went through every one of them…apparently for about 20 minutes!  My daughter came around the corner and said, “I thought you were in the shower?!”  I felt like a kid caught swiping a finger full of frosting off of a daffy duck cake (<- story for another day). Well needless to say, we were late, as usual.

Being late is another problem that I’d like to somehow link to ADD. I have a strict attendance and tardiness policy in my classes. I am happy to say that my innate tendency to be tardy is not a problem in the classroom.  I am never late to teach.  Probably because I love my job.  Not that I don’t love my kid…oh never mind! Lol

Ggrrr…ok, back to my daughter….

She has been a blessing in helping me understand a part of myself that I hadn’t paid much attention to.  I suffer from ADD.  I’ve not been “officially” diagnosed, but I align quite squarely with the symptoms…really, I do.  Have you been reading this logorrhea plagued piece?  I’m here, I’m there I’m everywhere.  What is interesting is not that I skip from one thing to another.  It’s that I jump in to my distractions HEAD first.  I become hyper-focused (reread camera story).

So, my daughter’s playful chides remind me about the coping techniques I’ve devised up to this point in my life.  I’ve been on this earth for a good number of years.  I’m successful.  I’m smart. I’ve obviously learned some tricks along the way.  So much so, that most people…maybe even you…have never.  even.  noticed.

How have I done it, you might ask?

A lot of patience and tons of lists.  I cannot fully accomplish anything without lists.  I purposely did not make a list (outline) for this piece.  I believe I’m two pages in and have to keep scrolling back to the top to make sure I’m still writing about the same I started out writing! So why am I even writing about this?  Well, honestly, I wanted to tell you about my camera story.  It still makes me and my kiddo laugh.  Then I realized that I wouldn’t make sense without understanding a little more about me and my self-diagnosed ADD.

But, most importantly, we have to have remember that people who deal with ADD in their lives, or in the lives of their loved ones need support and understanding.  It’s just as frustrating for them as it is for you (and yes, I’m talking to you Mr./Ms. teacher!).  We’re all in this life together.

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