The Truth of Who I Am

"Only the truth of who you are, if realized, will set you free." -Eckhart Tolle

Sips, Gulps and Cheers!

on June 4, 2013

A couple of days ago I came across some old videos of the kids from about a year ago and almost cried at how much they had grown since then. I wondered where the time had gone and how I had missed the thinning of David’s round cheeks and the straightening of Kaya’s hair. I wondered when exactly they had lost the last little signs of toddler-hood and became a boy and a little girl. And immediately I was wracked with guilt over having wanted them to go to bed already. Guilt over how often I had longed for those last three hours of their day to just get here and get by already. Guilt over not getting over my exhaustion during those daily marathons between dinner and dreamland and spending more movie moments with them. I wished life would slow down.

I do want life to slow down. I do want to take sips of life rather than gulps. I want to “savor every moment” and “enjoy the ride” and “go with the flow” as I am often advised to do. I really do strive to do this. It’s on my daily list of Things To Do and I am sincere in my endeavors. And I love it when I can sip on life rather than gulp it down. It’s always so much better that way. But the last leg of the race is hard around here and the idea of sipping on a cocktail instead is very alluring to me.

A good friend just sent me a link to a CNN article about a growing trend with mothers who turn to a glass or two or three of wine every night to wind down. She said it reminded her of me as I have been known to mention cocktails often and most social events I initiate are centered around cocktails. I am aware. I am always aware of the possibility of being perceived as a lush. And to those who judge me based on the number of times I mention cocktails, I have to say that I understand how you might think that. And since I now have a blog dedicated to truths about me, I thought I’d use it as a platform to clarify a truth about me.

The truth is I talk about cocktails far, far more than I actually consume them (which is not as much as I would actually like to consume them). The idea of a cocktail can take me right back to memories of stories and laughs and connecting with good friends around a table with a round of drinks. Sometimes all I need is the mention of margaritas to feel a buzz. Really, I think I just use cocktails as a way to excuse the extreme silliness and wit and giggles that go up several notches when I am in the company of people I love and who love to laugh. The actual drink does little to get me there. Those who know “Drunk Rhina” will vouch for how much fun she is. And by “drunk” I mean a MAXIMUM of two drinks because beyond that and I transition into something else. This should explain why I mention cocktails as often as I do. Some need  Calgon (think tagline “take me away”) … but I’m good with a margarita on my mind.

I do enjoy the company of friends along with a cocktail. In fact, I’m not one to actually enjoy a cocktail or glass of wine when not in the company of friends. I just about never do that…but I do wonder sometimes if it may actually help me during the marathon between 5:30PM-8:30PM that happens every night in this household. Maybe it would be nice to have a little cocktail along the way. Kinda like those lovely people who cheer you on in a running marathon and hand you cups of water. Honestly, I don’t even know what that might be like because I’ve never run any kind of marathon. BUT, I can IMAGINE what that must feel like to a tired runner. Why can’t I have little cups of wine or mojitos handed to me as I run the last 3 hours of my daily marathon of cooking dinner, serving dinner, cleaning up, baths, brushing and then the million requests (from them or us, the parents) until Mr. Sandman wins? Seriously, why not? Summer and being out of school heightens and lengthens the entire experience to a whole new level around here! The requests range from reasonable to ridiculous…

Can I get a drink of water?

Get back in your bed.

Can I sleep in David’s bed?

Get back in your bed.

Can we sleep in your bed?

Get back in your bed.

I scared.

Get back in your bed.

Can I read another book?

Get back in your bed.

Can we watch a show?

Can you come lie down with me?

Get back in your bed.

Will you come check on me?

Get back in your bed.

Kaya put a toy in my fish tank. Can I get it out?

Get back in your bed.

I need to go to the bathroom.

Get back in your bed.

My belly button itches.

Get back in your bed.

I need a haircut.

Get back in your bed.

I’m bleeding.

Get back in your bed.

I forgot to brush my teeth.

Get back in your bed.

You get the idea. They are far more creative in their requests than we are in ours. It’s exactly like Whack-A-Mole! Can’t tell you how many times Brian and I give each other questioning looks for whose turn it is or how long we try to hold out and pretend we can’t hear them in the hopes that the other will deal with it. Our evenings are nothing like the movies and commercials where the parents snuggle up and read book-after-book and have deep conversations and ruffle hair lovingly and leave gentle kisses on foreheads while tucking in their kids. My kids never fall asleep to me reading a book and gentle kisses and hair-ruffling are accompanied by more requests. All that movie stuff (except for the book-reading) happens AFTER they are sound asleep. That’s when I am finally able to slow down my heart and mind and body in the race.

It all happens at the end of the marathon when it finally gets quiet in the house and I go to each of their rooms and stroke their beautiful, vulnerable sleeping faces and breathe in the smell of their hair and gently kiss their soft cheeks and whisper special wishes and blessings into their ears. That’s when some of the most tender moments happen for me and I feel like my heart could burst open because it is so full of gratitude and love. And I don’t mean simply gratitude for the fact that Mr. Sandman, my partner and I won the marathon. It’s the deep, deep gratitude for having the honor of caring for these two little people who are, simply, two of my most prized spiritual teachers.

I do believe that we each engage in some kind of pre-planning with God before we are born as humans. The goal of the pre-planning is simply to become better humans by becoming more of our spiritual selves. So I believe that every person and other living thing I come into contact with are my teachers and very purposefully in my life. Those I am closest to are also my greatest teachers. My children certainly are.  They teach me in their wakeful as well as in their sleeping states, but THANK GOD for the sleeping states. That was an essential part of the plan. I should probably look into setting up little cocktail stations for my marathons just to see if they work. Just to see. Nah…I know this would not work for me. I have learned from experience that my children are a buzz kill for me. They are. Every time. There have been enough times of losing the pleasure of a drink just by the mere approach of one of my children. I’ll have to figure something else out. There may come a day when they are my friends and I can share a cocktail or two with them before bedtime…on their visits…but I’ll hold off on those stations for now. One day they will get it, but not any time soon.

In the meantime – anyone want to gather around a table at Happy Hour with me? And remember….

Truthfully yours,

Rhina

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2 responses to “Sips, Gulps and Cheers!

  1. Happy hour? With you? Yes. Let’s plan it.

    I will say it reads as though you’re drinking in the best parts of your children on a regular basis. If that’s the kind of drinking that happens all day long, it sounds fantastic. I’ll cheers to that any day!

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