Monday, May 25, 2009

A weekend at the beach.

Every year for the last four years or so, we have taken a trip to Newport over Memorial Day weekend, as part of our son's birthday celebrations. Almost every year he has liked it--going to the aquarium, playing in the sand, swimming.

I love it because one of my favorite things to do is take long aimless walks on the beach. Of course, it can get rather windy, so during my walks, I had the wind and my back, and my face. My jacket felt like a windsock, and I was the kite.

I think that's part of the reason Austin didn't like Newport so much this year--too windy on the beach. Also we didn't go with another family like we did last year, so he had no other kids to play with. Just us.

He did, however, like taking pictures at the Oregon Coast Aquarium  the Wax Museum, and Ripley's Believe It Or Not.

In the end he was just exhausted. And we were too. 
 I think next year, we'll visit another part of the Oregon Coast, and bring some friends. 

Next up: Austin's birthday and laser tag!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A New Leaf

I was personally touched by a brief,  yet to-the-point, comment my friend Tina made in response to my last post. I received a similar message from my cousin.

In  their honor, I'm starting a quest, and for me it's a big one.

My quest is to henceforth refrain from self-deprecating humor.  It worked for Richard Pryor, but it doesn't work for me.

I still believe humor is good for the soul, but humor should make the recipient feel good, not offended.

I believe anyone who has practiced the humor of self-loathing, has done so as a pre-emptive strike. In other words, a comedian who makes fun of himself is trying to deflect hurtful jokes that someone else may hurl at him. At least that's what I'm trying to do.

But it's time to turn over a new leaf, and respect myself and others.

Today is day one.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Some thoughts on Mother's Day

In past posts, I have used self-deprecating humor to deal with a number of topics, such as my physical appearance, and other things I see as failures on my part.

For this I would like to apologize to my mother.  Yes, my mother.  In my self-pity and self-consciousness, it doesn't occur to me that my self-flagellation might hurt her too. She reads my blog (Hi Mom).

Another person on my mind this Mother's Day is my son's (birth)mother. Sometimes it's hard to find an appropriate card. And although Austin has talked to his birthmother by phone, over the years we've gone through periods where she is hard to reach. Some years he has sent her gifts, and other times nothing at all. We let him decide.

He really wants to see her, and we have made that possible for him  by having an open adoption agreement with her. But so far it hasn't happened, because right now her life is in flux. I will be nervous when they do meet. 

I was seriously hoping I would be a better parent. But it's not like babysitting or playing with baby dolls, nor is it even like spending time with friends and their kids. It's hard work that doesn't stop when the child gets out of diapers.  It's about making critical decisions regarding when, and if, to let the child make his/her own mistakes, and picking just the right consequence(s) to mete out for bad choices.

But my adopted son had no control over who his parents are, any more, or any less, than another child. I am the parent I am, not necessarily the parent my son wants.

As a parent, it is easy to irrationally worry that a bad parenting decision will result in a child turning into a criminal, and conversely, erroneously believe a good parenting decision will automatically turn a child into the next president.

The good news and bad news is my son is human too. I can guide him, but I will not be his only influence, and thus, will not be the sole foundation for the decisions he makes.

But I hope I'm a big one.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Whale Song

Thanks to my nephew for all of his talent!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Friends of Mine

I attend a support group for people with brain tumors. Have been since November 2006. Funny thing about brain tumors--they are most often fatal. I think of friends  of mine in the group who weren't as lucky as I.  I would like to take this time to pay tribute to them:


Meantime I have some people I feel close to, who are very sick. Which brings me to my point and question:  Should we be afraid to get close to someone because we are afraid to lose them?

One of the members of the support group, who has since passed away, stopped going because she was getting personally attached to other members who died.

A dear friend of our family, who passed away from a different type of cancer, also found it hard to go to her support group, lest one of her friends had died.

But I want to keep reminding my brain buddies how much I care for them, and give them whatever support I can. 

They are all good people who have had something really bad happen to them.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Meet the new post...same as the old post.

My condolences to any readers of my blog who may tire of my repeating myself.  It tires me out too. I mean, how many ways can I say cancer sucks, and parenting is hard, and my husband lives in his happy fantasy world. So here are some quick hits about what's happening in my happy fantasy world:

cancer update: No cure for brain cancer, but living with it okay. The human body is truly amazing.

son update: I really hope I don't die before I see him become the success I know he can be. He turns 11 at month-end.

marriage update: Almost 15 fun-filled years of marriage--19 years total in a relationship with the same man.  Hard to say who has needed more strength over the years--me or him. He may be a control freak, but I'm a freaky woman with a brain tumor.

work update: volunteer work keeps me out of trouble, and my son needs my attention.