Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Before I was a mom: My bad teenage poetry

A long time ago, my dear friend and fellow Jersey girl Jaime and I were talking about our bad teenage poems, and she asked me if I'd ever think of posting some on my blog.  At the time, the answer in my head was a resounding NO, but I seem to have lost some of my self consciousness because today I was going through my backup files and found this poem from college and just had to post it.  Why?  I have no idea.  But this is for you Jaime ;)

Ocean City

I like it when the boardwalk
isn’t mine. Pavilions full of locals sit
in the same place every night. Better to be
moving through crowds of mostly strangers
always seeing someone I know, always someone different.
Smells of sand and salt and buttered popcorn
and the faint hope that some perfect summer guy will
approach me with a pick-up line fresher than the popcorn.

Somehow,I tell myself, dragged by friends into the deafening arcade,
It’s still exotic. Iconsent to one game of air hockey
and slide past the “Please No Smoking” sign on
the cigarette machine to change my five dollar bill. I play distracted and the buzzards
who might have gone to high school with me
see me losing and start circling the table.
I yield it to them, and leaving my friends to their shooting games
I slip outside to watch the Shoobies in their
tank tops and black socks moving through the crowds.

Someone drives me home and I sit up for a while.
The smell of boardwalk sticks to my skin
and my hair and my high school sweatshirt and I feel dirty
and alone. The house is quiet but
the arcade rings in my ears. I try to calm myself with
fudge or taffy, and when that fails
I take an hour long cool shower
to wash away the grime and tears
before I sleep.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

In which I get all ranty and bring the hammer down

Okay, it's possible that I'm getting feisty and angry in my old age, but I have a rant in me and it's coming out.

 Bear in mind, what I'm about to say does not apply to situations of outright abuse, or of moms or families who are in acute crisis.

 Moms of the Internet: Stop trying to save other people's kids.

I get it. You had a great breastfeeding experience. You read a fantastic discipline book. You figured out a sleep training method that worked perfectly for your family. And you feel SO GREAT about this that you want to share it with all of those less fortunate moms who have not yet been enlightened by your wisdom. You owe it to their poor children, who are suffering at the hands of someone less talented than you.

 You don't know better. You aren't more right. You were struggling once too. You will be again. And we'll still love you when you are.

Unless it's your child, your bed, your boob, your opinion is just an opinion. And unless you are asked for it, keep it to yourself.

What moms, what all of us, need is support and encouragement not advice. We need to hear as we're muddling through and searching for what's best, that that's what you did too. That we're all just kind of a mess. And that once in a while, we all have a win that makes us feel like the greatest mom in the world.

But we need to have those wins ourselves. You can't give them to us. And our kids are going to be just fine.

Because we are, all of us, good enough parents. So thanks for your advice. But no thanks. I'll take a shoulder if you have one though.