Pom Pom Status

 

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I’m not into status symbols. I don’t wear a lot of jewelry. I don’t get excited about fancy cars. I like having a nice home but I’ve never dreamt of a mansion. Things were different when I was a child though. When I was a child, it was all about the roller skates…..

Hard to believe I am old enough to remember putting the clanky metal roller skates onto my shoes. Really, they were a splendid investment for our parents, since they could slide and adjust as we grew. And the sound they made as we skated? It was a fabulous tinny sound, that clinked and clanked as each foot hit the pavement. However, I lived in a time when metal skates were going out and very cool boot skates were coming in…..

I had a pair that looked just like the ones in the picture. And that is why I cried myself to sleep most nights. You see, there weren’t enough pom pom choices to match these blue skates. I wanted white ones so I could attach many different colored pom poms!imagesThe new plastic wheels made a very cool smooth gliding sound as we gracefully now slid in our new skates…..but who paid attention to wheel sounds now? The bells, which made a cute little jingle as each foot came down….the bells made you officially cool. Gone were the days of the awkward clanking sound we had loved of metal skates. This….this was the new status of the average 9 year old. Boot skates with a collection of pom poms which one could change to match ones outfit.

I’ve since then gotten over the fact that I never had enough roller skate pom poms. It did cause me some trouble however, as a young child. Out of desperation I started a “silk jacket club,” during recess, because I did have a very cool silk jacket. It ended quickly when the teacher called home because other children without silk jackets weren’t allowed in my club. I’m not proud.

Slow and Sexy

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Sometimes all it takes is a little retail therapy……

Most of us have that one “thing” that makes our heart pitter patter when we walk into a store and see it. We want it, need it, must have it. Sometimes we spend hours window shopping on ebay, just to lay our eyes on our beloved obsession. It may be diamonds, cars, furniture, clothing…..for me it’s dusty, old rotary phones.

If you were born beyond the 70’s you may not appreciate this trip down nostalgia lane. I’m afraid it may create great envy in you.

I remember holding that nice, heavy receiver in my tiny little hand in grade school. Today’s phones can’t compare to it! Ever try resting an iphone on your shoulder while making dinner and chatting with your pal?

My mother had it mastered. Not only could she do anything while talking on the phone, including shooting her children the evil eye at five minute intervals as we constantly interrupted, but also cooking, folding laundry, and whatever task could be reached within her cord’s length. Oh yes, the smart moms knew to buy the longest curly cord available to mankind, so as not to be stuck in the kitchen while discussing world peace on the phone. With the long cord you could cover the kitchen, half of the dining room, and possibly the powder room.

I longed to be as elegant as her as I watched her dial the phone with the eraser tip of a pencil, so as not to break a nail, her Salem cigarette hanging from her lips, which wore frosty pink.

That sound as the numbers went slowly swooshing by….The feeling of dialing those numbers can’t be recreated today. The number 1 was fun because it was quick….the 9 however – oh the nine was slow and sexy.

The rotary dial required a patience that would drive us insane today. Sad, right? We are used to quick and instant everything now!

My favorite was the one that sat in our dining room when I was in grade school. It was a hip robin’s egg blue, perched on an antique sewing machine, surrounded by a jungle of my mother’s meticulous spider plants hanging in macramed plant hangers. (but that’s another story)

I was sometimes allowed to call my young boyfriend after dinner. I’d shyly ask if I could call, and after an affirmed yes and a set time limit, my family would giggle as they left the table, leaving me alone to recite passionate thoughts to my 2nd grade love. Here’s where that slow dial made a difference. With each swoosh, I had to nervously anticipate the call. It wasn’t just ding, ding, ding and you’re done. It was swoosh – swooooosh – swooooooooosh….my heart racing as each tormenting number rolled by. He was so cute with those big blue eyes and blonde hair. Would I have to say hi to his mom or dad? He was expecting my call. I’m sure I told him in a note that my girlfriend gave him.

Finally he’d answer and we’d sit and listen to each other breathe for hours.

Yep, I can still feel it. Now I collect those precious phones that conjure up memories of my first love, my beautiful mother, and my childhood home. I’m on the search for robin’s egg blue. I could order one on ebay I’m sure. But it’s the thrill of the hunt. That moment I see it and my heart goes pitter patter.

Frozen Pizza, Horror Movies, & Other Imperfections

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I’m pretty sure the last time I wrote in a journal I didn’t need reading glasses to see my writing.

As I sit by the fire in quiet solitude, sipping wine, writing in my “Follow Your Dreams” journal, the Jason Mraz iHeart station playing for inspiration…..my angelic children are in the basement watching “Jaws 3.” Excellent viewing choice before bed. Once in a while I hear a scream of terror/joy and I am jolted from my sophisticated mood and reminded I’m wearing pink Old Navy sweats and a well worn Bon Jovi sweatshirt, my wine is rather cheap, and I have yet to clean up dinner…..which by the way consisted of a frozen pizza and leftover spaghetti.

It was one of those days. I had very little sleep the night before; woke up with a stiff neck to boot, which has caused me to turn my head like Frankenstein all day long. My day was filled with phonics, spelling, listening to an early reader read a nail biting book about a dog named Biscuit, figuring out how to find the 3rd root of a number, (for some reason I haven’t needed to use this calculation EVER in my adult life), googling answers to random questions like, “How long is an anaconda?”….. I gave spelling tests for three different grade levels and encouraged my seven year old to count to 500. I told my son, as I do everyday, there will be no video games until all of his school work is done. I had a heart to heart with my 14 year old daughter, about life and how things are going. If you are a home educating mom, you understand my list can go on and on. Meals, laundry, cleaning, etc., all get squeezed in there between raising/educating the next generation. You are welcome, world.

Lately I have wondered if I am doing enough or too little. I wondered if they should go to school….am I improving their lives or ruining them? The pondering stopped as I looked at the clock and realized we had five minutes to get out the door to swimming lessons. And yes, that meant I had no time to change my lovely lounging outfit. But who am I kidding? My pink sweats are always a sign that there is no other clean laundry!

Oh my fellow, dear sweet, homeschooling moms. I am willing to bet you ARE doing enough and so am I. Your child WILL learn to read, write, and memorize his multiplication facts. How can he not when you’ve sat on the couch practicing over and over until you are forced into an afternoon nap? (flashcards and reading are absolute sleep inducers) I now have the benefit of seeing my results in two grown children. Despite my imperfections, and oh my there are many…they turned out quite beautifully! Don’t give up – you know and love your children more than anyone. You were made for this “job.”

My children recently endured some major life changes. In the past few months they’ve experienced the divorce of their parents, moving to a new community, loss of old friends, mom’s new career, and everything else that comes with divorce.

I don’t say this to brag, but to encourage others….my children are doing amazingly well, and I believe continuing to homeschool them has played a big factor in that.

I knew I didn’t want them to experience any more change. They have been through enough. In the back of my mind I have assumed since I am now a single mom, eventually they would need to go to school. After seeing their sweet spirits not broken from divorce, and realizing what a blessing it has been to always be available when they need to talk, I am not so sure sending them away all day is the best thing for them. I may have to, but it won’t be because I think homeschooling isn’t working.

I will come up against other opinions if I do decide to stay on this journey of home education, but that is nothing new. As they say…”The proof is in the pudding.” It’s hard to argue the benefits of this lifestyle.

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My babies who are thriving, despite my imperfections