Santa Explained

A very cool way to explain Santa to your children – I’ll definitely be doing this with my future kiddos 🙂 This made my day.

 

A Peek Into Parenting?

Do you ever think about what kind of parent you will be? Would you be the spoiler, the punisher, the rule-enforcer, or the go-ask-your-father/mother type? Reynold has been home for about a month now, and with that has come this out of body experience of witnessing my (puppy) parenting skills develop.  “Jesus, I sound JUST like my father” is a common thought, and a scary one. If you ask anyone in my family, they’ll quickly tell you that I’m the crazy one; speaking up and correcting any nonsense that is presented to me in any moment, regardless of who you are.

My father was always more strict than my mother, and was the parent you feared if you knew you were up to no good. Don’t get it twisted though! Because mom would surprise you with some rage – if you pushed her too far – that would send you into an instant frenzy as you hustled to get out of dodge. When it comes to Reynold’s training and development, I’m the parent that’s constantly in his ass; making sure he isn’t eating some random rock, chewing on things that aren’t his toys or bones, trying to potty inside, and worrying about things that probably won’t happen. S is the parent who is more relaxed, and zen in all things puppy. “He’s a puppy! He’s fine” is what he tells me when I’m worrying about something as random as Reynold licking the floor, or vanishing behind the couch. “We have to stay on him so he learns… he can’t sleep with us until he’s been sleeping in the crate throughout the entirety of the night with NO accidents, for two months… DON’T FEED HIM TOO MUCH, YOU’LL MAKE HIM FAT!”

All in all we’ve been having a great time raising our first fur child together. Our parenting styles are very balanced, and in the end, we both spoil the crap out of him. I just ordered his Halloween costume… a handmade Yoda-ears hat from Etsy. Another thing I’ve started doing is making him homemade treats; eventually Reynold will be a paleo/low-carb pup, like his daddies. Yes, we’re THOSE dog parents. It’s been a fun preview into what I hope will be a similar experience when we have human children – minus the fact that human children can talk back, and I don’t do well with that, LOL. It’s only been a month, and I already feel like our lil pup is growing up way too fast. Slow down, mister! Your daddies love you.

A Glimpse of Growth

Confidence reborn is a curious thing. Like pine covered in fresh snow, only a flash of my true self is visible when I turn on the bathroom light.  It’s 5:23 AM, and the fluorescent honesty is ruthless as I notice changes in the mirror. The hard work I’ve put into my body is finally starting to show. A smile.  I’ve never really enjoyed looking at myself, underwear only, in the mirror.  Is it true what the magazines say? Those who take care of themselves – mentally and physically – are more successful? At the moment, I’m having a difficult time not believing the notion.

My reflection is more than a health and fitness journey. My freshly buzzed head represents the acceptance I’ve embraced in regards to aging and my traveling hairline. My Beyoncé-blonde fade is gone, but I’m at ease; witnessing firsthand that I can rock a bald head, and harboring an image of Stanley Tucci in my thoughts. My posture is strong and upright, and shows the heights I’ve reached from my days of financial struggle – fighting to pay tuition and to obtain my degree – to present day, where I’m making leaps at a job I enjoy, and sense the opportunity to continue growing professionally.

My confidence reborn is a sure and curious thing, and where it’ll lead me is a fact unknown. I welcome its intended path, however, because life will happen despite any plans I have mapped out. Discovered and learned is the status of the energy that lives within the walls of me. Rather than be nervous and worrisome about whatever annoyance is present in the moment, I let go, do my best, and flourish when the time is right. Is this growing up? Have I entered true grown-up status? I leave you with a quote from HBO’s Sex and the City – one of my all-time-favorite shows:

“The universe may not always play fair, but at least it’s got a hell of a sense of humor.” – Candace Bushnell, Sex and the City

Casualties

Bitter Sweet Symphony by The Verve is one of my favorite songs. “’Cause it’s a bitter sweet symphony this life” is the lyrical line that draws me in every time I hear the song. Back in 1999, the sixth grade or so, I had no clue that line was a lesson I would come to process as a continuing life lesson.  I had no idea then that on my twenty-fourth birthday I would get the lyrics tattooed on my left forearm under a trumpet – my musical weapon and tool – or that I would have to apply this lesson to people I considered quality friends.

Something happens when you enter a serious relationship, particularly with friends within your circle. There’s the process of getting friends warmed up to the new boyfriend – or girlfriend – the amount of time passing in which people in your life realize this new person is going to stick around, and the overall blending of two lives into one.  Most are happy for their friends when love is found, but there are also darker, more sinister feelings felt by some. If you’re lucky you will never encounter this problem, and I use the word “lucky” because the death of a friendship is sad and unfortunate.

If someone isn’t genuinely happy for you and your relationship, there is no reason why that poisonous energy should stick around. People that are jealous and unhappy within their relationship do not have the right to take out their internal struggle on those that have supported them through the ups and downs of their turbulent relationship. S and I are only twenty-eight years old, and have only had to lose one friend over similar nonsense.  Despite the individual’s lies and blatant cries for attention, we and most of our mutual friends – once shared with the ex-friend – remain close and stronger than ever.

I mention our ages because we are only at the rear end of our twenties, and a lot of bullshit goes down with friendships during that time. When you’re younger, the number of friends you have is the most important thing in the world, and as you mature you realize it’s not about the quantity of friends, but the handful of quality friends that strengthen your foundation.   Do people actually mature over time? Or is it similar to when people tell you that all the drama ends after high school… I just do my best to keep the good ones around.