Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Very Special Treat

Park on the very top, Mommy.  Go up!  Go Up!  

The maze of loops.  I am lost and dizzy.  I still haven't found my perfect parking spot here.  I wonder if I will ever find it.  It feels distant.  

We find the top.  He is happy.  I am less confused.  

Sunlight and rain.  

I press the automatic door button as to avoid touching the handle and the microbials waiting to infect us.  We enter.  

Holiday music is playing.  Lights.  A frenzy of shoppers.  

We walk past the store with the woman's butt hanging out of her underwear.  It seems so provocative, so inappropriate with a three year old.  I remember when I shopped there...when I could spend fifty dollars on a bra.  Sigh.  I don't even remember the last time I bought underwear.  The sacrifices.  

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when, actually, it looks like this.  
Let's go on the moving stairs, Mommy.



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I'm sure, in his head, it looks like this...

We wander over to the escalator, one of the two reasons he comes here, and I hold my breath as we step on.  Flashes of his shoe getting stuck, him being swallowed by the machine, always haunt me as we ride the few seconds up or down.  It's the time of his life, standing tall and proud, he's a big boy.  I try and breathe, and not fall as we step off. 

We walk past the shops, window browse...look at the clothes, the decorations, the people.

The relief is evident, for both of us, as we merely wave to Santa.  No tortured screaming pictures today.  Santa waves back with a smile.  I wonder when he'll begin to ask why Santa is in the mall, when he should be making toys.  Not today, thank goodness.

We walk past the store with the shutters.  It's so dark in there.  I wonder how it is they can get it to smell so strong of their cologne.  Do they pump it through their air filters?  My eyes water.  

I see my destination, and he sees his.  The negotiation.  If we go to his first, I might have more time...he'll be content.  If we go to mine first, he might be impatient, but I'll have a bit more leverage.  

Mommy!  The cookie place!  

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His excitement is uncontrollable, the second of the two reasons he comes here, he is drooling and pointing to his favorite. I ask the cookie lady for the grab bag of cookies.  Two M&M, one chocolate chip, one cinnamon and sugar.  The cookies are small, the size of a quarter, but with his little hands and big eyes, it's a perfect fit.  

A very special treat.  

We ride the escalator again.  It doesn't seem as thrilling this time, he's distracted with his cookie.  Face already covered in chocolate, the ring of it around his little lips.  

The local toy shop we both love, we wave hello to the manager and her husband.  Surprisingly, he doesn't want to go in today, he's distracted by his second cookie.  Sweetly, he asks for it.  

We stroll past the kiosk selling spa products...the one trying to swipe and resell my gold...the one with Angry Birds.  We stop and point.  He reminds me he loves the one that goes caw and spins back like a boomerang.  Laughter.    

Finally.  My destination.  Clearance racks.  My favorite store.  Let's see if I can wrangle the little guy, his cookies, and find any more fifty-five dollar dresses for seven bucks.  

A very special treat. 


Friday, December 9, 2011

I Used to Want a Car for Christmas...Like in those Commercials

We've all seen them.  Those commercials.  With the romantic surprise and the big red bow.

It's snowing.  There is romantic classical music playing.  Under the frosty finish, people smile, longingly at one another.  You feel all warm and fuzzy, caught mesmerized, longing for your moment to come.  You feel you need it.  The surprise.  The car.  The diamonds.  The big red bow.  The warm and fuzzy acknowledgment that someone loves you.

Remember this one?  I wonder if this one started it all, or if this was just the start of my believing it.  

That notorious Folger's coffee commercial that made so many women cry in the 80's...


This is the one that has makes me cry every time I see it.  I cry for the soldiers.  I cry for the traditions.  I cry for my own family...those moments already passing us and the ones we've missed altogether.  


These commercials, they aren't only selling their products, they're selling the moments...of love...of joy...of holiday spirit.

I used to want a car for Christmas.  Told myself if my husband loved me enough, he'd surprise me like in those commercials.

Sigh.


It is such a blessing that I can live more honestly now. It's not that I don't want the bow or the warm fuzzy moment, I really do.  But I don't want the consumption, or the lie that some external thing means I am loved.

This Christmas, is the first one, that my husband and I aren't buying anything for one another.  But you have to give each other something!   We are.  We are not buying anything for one another, but we are giving each other a lot.

We are giving the gift of time.
Time.  For the family to have a vacation.
Time.  To listen.  To share.  To not be in a rush.
Time.  To bake cookies.
Time.  To sing Jingle Bells (new words created daily...involving the word poop--thanks to our little guy!)
Time.  To visit with family and friends.
Time.  To embrace the love we share in our lives.
Time.  For those surprise moments that don't need a bow (or a hefty price tag).

You see, those moments we spend wishing we had what those commercials are offering, are the same moments we are not present to embracing the gifts we do have.  Give your loved ones the gift of you.  Give them the gift of time, of staying present to each moment.   





Thursday, December 1, 2011

Healing of My Soul

WriteOnEdge writing prompt got me thinking this week.  Here is my response to the request to "take us into the moment your favorite photograph of yourself was taken, to show us who you were then and what the photograph means–in 300 words."


Moment of Creation  
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(This photo is meant to depict the moment of creation of a soul  and a body.)

This is my favorite photo because it captures the moment my soul chose this body; acting as a mindful reminder that I have the power to choose my life, my experiences.  I chose my parents, the life I would have, the joy I would know.  I am here for my soul’s yearning to heal, meant to have the experiences I do, for some larger spiritual purpose…some larger spiritual purpose that I will not always understand, but often humbly explore, searching for meaning, enlightenment and peace. 

This is my favorite photo because it captures the idea that my son chose us as parents.  That any future children we may have will also choose us, the journey here, the healing of their souls.  I embrace the idea that my son is an old soul, full of grace, dignity, and power, he lives life to its fullest, and reminds my guarded soul to love, to feel, to explore. 

This is my favorite photo because I can find such meaning in Embracing This Moment, this moment of creation, these moments of perfection and imperfection, experienced parallel to one another.  This moment of vulnerability, the one we are both allowing right now, allowing our hearts to open, for peace to be known, I see it in this photo.  This moment. 

This is my favorite photo because I can know that my soul has healed, that the death of loved ones, the struggles and suffering, the joy and happiness, all encompass the soul, the human being that I am today.  That I am only simply a moment, at any given moment, it's all our existence allows.  That we are our purest and most authentic, in integrity and truth, in each moment…demonstrated in this photo, in the moment of my creation, when my soul choose my body. 




Won't you join me in reading some other "Photograph of Yourself" blog entries and check out Write On Edge? Enjoy...and thanks for reading and sharing.  

Getting Tested

I sat there, waiting for the doctor to come in.  Wondering why it takes so long, so long to hurry up and wait.  Move from waiting in the waiting room to waiting in the sterile white fluorescent lighted box.  Half naked, waiting to be poked, prodded, and examined, I was more nervous this time.

Lost in thought, I am startled when there's a knock at the door.

Yes, please come in. I say.

Her smile.  Always warm and generous.  Her time with me is always focused, genuine, sweet.

We are going to start trying to have children.  I say.

I want to get all the precautionary tests done in advance.  I say.

I want to have an HIV test too.  I say.

The moment.  It's there.  I said it.

Her response, unabated, unflinching, nonchalantly she replies, Sure, it is all really simple.  Blood test.  Discrete.  Private.

I can feel my arm pits sweating through the paper gown.  Anticipation.  Nervousness.

It's AIDS.  It's HIV.

I had unprotected sex in monogamous relationships.

You never know.

I don't want to find out when I give birth to a child that has HIV.  It's worth the anxiety.  It's worth the worry.  It's worth knowing, for sure.

Knowing.

The test was negative.


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"1 in 5 people living with HIV are unaware of their infection." Elizabeth McSpiritt, MD, PhD, "World AIDS Day: Getting to Zero"

Get informed.  Get tested.
Let's get to zero--zero new infections, zero deaths, and zero discrimination.

"The beginning of the end of AIDS starts with you."






For more information about HIV and AIDS, or where to get tested, please go to www.cdc.gov/hiv.