. With Love, From The Mother 'Hood: Call Me What You Will

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Call Me What You Will

What someone calls you isn't important, it's what you answer to that matters.
- Anonymous

I read this quote while visiting my sons' school. It was hanging in the hallway for all to read and I found myself wondering how many had read it and understood. I imagined the person that produced such a thought must be an open-minded individual, and likely a great communicator - too bad more people aren't. I'd be willing to bet that person knows how to handle life's curve balls, too.

We have learned to laugh at a lot of what life throws at us - a lot more fun than the alternative, wallowing in self-pity. What we can't laugh at we try to talk through, (Marc and I have made great strides these last few months, as we both have stretched out of our comfort zones, resulting in less fighting and more meaningful communication. An amazing gift not all are capable of giving - the willingness to look within and acknowledge faults and change them to better a relationship - so much easier to point the finger of blame than accept and change your part), but laughter is usually only a knowing look, gesture, or utterance away. It is one of the things I love about us most as a couple - our senses of humor are so in sync and we often use humor to diffuse tension. We jokingly refer to ourselves as "The Griswolds" (that is why "Holiday Road" landed on my playlist) because of all the whacky stuff we seem to attract. Marc and I have found and accepted, if it is going to happen, it usually happens to us. This isn't glass half full, we just come prepared with all of our "life experience". I am thinking about getting vanity plates for the bus I drive: "Griswold". I already have an embosser for gift tags that reads "Happy Holidays, The Griswolds". Cheap thrills carry a lot of weight around here.

Lately, in a round about way, individuals have been calling me, let's say, "chubby". Marley declared, "Mommy, you big butt!" as she, Sam and I were partying in the bathroom. Let me scar you for life, as I paint you a picture of me trying to pee, Sam climbing on my lap and Mars assessing my bare bottom as if it held the meaning of the universe. I fantasize about being able to "go" uninterrupted, in peace and without reference to my apparently big behind. Baby got back. Clearly it is time to call up those old friends, Weight Watchers and the YMCA and schedule some quality time; (as I write this, I remind myself that at one time I had, what I now consider, a very hot bod. In light of all the poor communication from those days of old, I will take confidence and healthy relationships over physical beauty any day, hands down, but since I have the improved communication under my belt, might as well go for the hot bod, too - or at least a new, improved version of the one I've got, right?). Add to Marley's assessment, the fact that my 7 year old keeps asking me if I am having another baby as he eyes my belly mush, and lest I forget, the cherry on top - the guy at the Chinese buffet we frequent, happily asking me "another one soon?" In my defense, I am minus a major abdominal muscle after having a freakish "aggressive and invasive" tumor removed along with the muscle itself in 1996(betcha didn't know Snarky Girl has a little bionic woman in her - a giant piece of mesh replacing the muscle) and it was after I had eaten and I was holding the baby, so the flab-abs were smushing out more than usual, but really? Didn't anyone ever teach buffet boy you NEVER, EVER ask a woman if she is prego unless you either:

A.) are 110% sure she is or
B.) you see a head crowning?

When I said "no" he said "Oh, just kidding." Riiigght. The food wasn't so great that visit either, so I paid for crappy food and being called fat. We haven't been back since, but it was the food, I swear.

"So, are you going for number 6?" is the other thing I keep hearing (these people obviously received the memo that my belly is the result of the 5 kids I already have, not one on the way). I usually laugh and politely say "no" (and I really MEAN it this time - I am, like dinner, DONE!!), but what I am really thinking is, "Are you on crack!?" Some might call me crazy, but I'm not that crazy - I have hit my limit with #5. It isn't that I don't love my kids - anyone that really knows me will tell you, I love them tremendously, and I truly love being called "Mom", but that title is hard earned. "People say we will miss this someday." Marc always says this to me, during the worst moments with our kids, and we both look at each other knowingly and kind of snort - those "people" don't know jack. My kids could scare most mortals into not having children. I have offered them up as natural birth control on more than one occasion -call me if you want to give it a try and we can work something out. (**Warning: Marley can scream at a pitch that may render you temporarily deaf.)

Words can be powerful, but they only hold as much power as you choose to allow them. Sticks and stones and all that (talking adults here - children are another beast entirely; their skin soft, hearts tender - teach and treat them well). Life is short, and there are instances I swear I can hear the whisper of precious time slipping through my fingers, but I remind myself, as I think of the hard year mostly behind us - can't change the past, only move forward on a better path. I look at my beautiful family and all we have overcome, and I know what is important. I am making conscious choices to change or eliminate what doesn't work in my life - I have too much I am juggling not to. Negativity and the people that harbor it will suck the life out of you - Twilight has nothing on these real life vampires that roam the earth, often in the form of miserable narcissists. It is amazing how much better life is for Marc and I with the recent positive changes we have made. Right now I would call myself "Happy, Content" and above all "Confident" - confident in the love I give and receive and especially confident in those whom I choose to call "friend". I have been called many things throughout my life, thankfully, most of them cherished names assigned with love. I will answer to a lot, good or bad, so call me what you will but if the bad outweighs the good, I'll be taking my Griswold self on down the road.


  1. The comment about glass being half full......I always say to just get a smaller glass so that your cup always runneth over.

    My 4 year old loves taking showers with me and one day she pats my thigh and said "Mommy, you have chubby legs". My now chubby legs used to be a size TWO thank you very much.

    My actual advice is to never refer to a woman being pregnant unless there is an arm sticking out and even then just say something along the lines of "Excuse me, but you have something sticking out of your hem"

    My son actually could have been used as birth control. He's been in the OR about 8 times and in about 6 months I'm worried we'll be there again.......ALSO, he screamed his head off the first three months of life..>DAY and NIGHT. He made colic look like a joyful baby.

  2. I just LOVE your writing and your sense of humor.


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