Time Out

My mom sent me to my room. I am over fifty years old and my mom sent me to my room. I’m not in trouble. (At least I’m pretty sure I’m not!)

We are away for the weekend- my husband, youngest son- Andy, my parents and the two little guys. Kris began a summer job this week so we won’t be seeing much of the middle kid. The little guys’ parents are working. I’ve been on two year old duty since Wednesday and I’m tired. I woke up at 6a.m. and realized at 1:00p.m. that I had not sat down a single time. I ate breakfast, taking bites as I passed the counter while getting the little kids ready. I ate lunch standing at the counter, walking back and forth between the counter and table and refrigerator…..

I’m tired.

And when seven year old C.J. asked me if I could sit and read with him, my mom sent me to my room. She’s a mom and I think she saw that if I had read with C.J. it would have been another 7 hours before I might get a chance to just plain sit.

I had noticed throughout the day, as I went from room to room and task to task, that everyone else was sitting down, reading or watching tv or playing. I glanced at my phone in passing but that was about it. I wanted to sit down and relax. I really did. But I have a difficult time doing that when there are things that could be done….and knowing that if I don’t do them right now, when I’m done sitting down, I will still have to do them. I guess that takes the relaxation part away from my potential sitting. Does that make sense?

And since I was sick for a month and spent that time also picking up, dropping off, picking up another and caring for little guys, I have had no time for myself. Being me, I need down time and quiet time and time when I have no human interaction. I know that this is something that I really need to work on- carving out this much needed time for myself. It’s not a luxury- although others might view it as such. It’s necessary for me.

And so I’m sitting here in my space- my quiet space that I’ve been working on for a few years now, trying to make it into a place where I can write, or read, or sit in silence.

I’m grateful to my mom for knowing what I needed, even if I didn’t. And I’m kind of proud of myself for actually listening to my mom. The truth is, my kids don’t always listen to me when I try to gently push them in the right direction and I’m sure I am still the same with my mom. Maybe I’ve grown up just a little bit more, huh?

So, I’m off to kick my shoes off, put my feet up and watch a little tv.

Happy Saturday!

-Kat

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Y or Z

Here we are at the end of the alphabet! The letters for Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge are Y and Z. These can be tough letters but when you have a 2 year old around it’s not as difficult as you think!

These blocks are always out when little Beej is here. He’s all about letters right now and incorporates them into everything he does. The zebra is actually an older photo from B’s younger days.

And just to round out the post, here are a few more Y and Z photos!

black-white-banner

Have a great day!

-Kat

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: W or X

Www, what begins with w?

Walk- Wheel- Windy

Www

And then there is the tale of four Woodies….Woodys….Woody’s? In order of appearance in our lives- Michael’s Woody, Andrew’s Woody, CJ’s Woody and Beej’s Woody. Michael’s Woody is an original from when Toy Story was first released. It still bears his name on the bottom of the boot. This guy has been “shelved” in my office, needing repair and not up to being subjected to little boys’ rough housing. Andrew’s Woody is slightly smaller than the others, looks brand new and holds a place of honor out of the little nephews’ reach. Woody #3 is CJ’s. His vest and hat have been missing for awhile and his belt has been repaired many times. It’s nice to know that he’s well played with and much loved. And then little Beej’s Woody is a secondhand edition, equivalent to training wheels. He loves his Woody but he really gives him a beating, too, so he will have to wait for his own new Woody.

bw four woodys
Woody, Woody, Woody, and Woody
bw xylophone
X is for Xylophone

These photos are in response to Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: W or X.

Cee's BW Challenge

Have a great day!

-Kat

F is for Fluid

gen·der-flu·id
adjective
adjective: genderfluid
  1. denoting or relating to a person who does not identify themselves as having a fixed gender.

Gender-fluid.

It’s something I’ve talked about, thought about, and most likely written about over the past five plus years.

As Kris has traveled on this journey, discovering who they are and who they aren’t, how they feel and how they don’t, and how they want to be seen and how they see themselves, we have experienced peaks and valleys. The beginning was rough….really rough. Kris struggled to find their true self and I struggled to help.

As Kris has expressed feeling that their gender is more toward the female end than male although not altogether female and that their gender expression is more feminine with definite days of feeling more comfortable in male clothing, we discussed the importance of Kris’s documents being in order and all consistent- something that has been an issue for a while now.

Just over a year ago, Kris told us that they are non-binary or genderqueer and just over a week ago they confirmed that they are mostly gender-fluid (which falls under the non-binary umbrella). I already figured as much. I know my kid pretty well after 24 years of being their parent.

We reached a crossroad this week. It took place at the DMV. When Kris and I entered, we were both anxious. I was doing my best to show a confident and calm demeanor for Kris, who was oozing anxiety. (I’m not sure if I succeeded or not, but in my head I did.) Rose, the DMV employee motioned us up to the first check point. Kris held their driver’s license, physician’s note and envelope with all the documents we might need. I said simply and calmly, “We need to get the gender marker changed on this license,” motioning toward Kris’s license.

IMG_1401After Kris handed Rose the physician’s note and their license, she indicated that she needed to verify that no other identification was needed and walked off. (Kris and I knew that we had what we needed AND that we had just given Rose those items, but I understood that she might not get this request every day and perhaps had not done a gender marker change yet.) She was back quickly, assuring is that this was all we needed.

We were given a number and paperwork and pointed to the next step of the process- the waiting area. Luckily we had arrived during a lull and our number was called before we could even look for seats. At our next check point, Marta, our next DMV employee, took the paperwork and after a few questions, another non-event and we were referred to the cashier’s line.

After paying, we were seated in the section where the pictures are taken and people are given their temporary license, as the official license is mailed to your home. Marta had said that no, Kris would not be taking a new photo, which had made Kris sad. Their license showed a cute boy with buzzed hair and different glasses, looking nothing like Kris did now. I had to remind Kris that we had been down this route before and the important thing was that the gender marker.

As Gus, our final DMV employee, called out “Kristoffer!” a blank look, followed one of complete confusion crossed his face when we walked up. He repeated the name. I said, “YES,” firmly, and he looked down at something. I’ll be honest with you- I don’t know if it was a print out or on his monitor. We stood there while he looked down and then looked up again. He turned to me and indicated that I could take a seat with the others waiting and he directed Kris to the seat where the picture was taken.

I do not know if Marta had been mistaken or if Gus had determined that Kris needed a new picture that matched their appearance but we left the DMV with the paper copy of what will be Kris’s newly revised license complete with May 2017 Kris- hair down to shoulders- and a “F” female gender marker. (The name change will come later.)

I remember the last time we went through this- changing a gender marker from then female to male. We were both anxious then. I was also emotional, and I recall keeping those emotions firmly in check. Kris was so happy when they received their new license with the correct name and gender marker. I was so…. a lot of things. This time once we passed Rose’s check point, I knew that we would have no problems and other than relief, I didn’t feel much anything else. I looked at the F that now appears on Kris’s license and I only feel relief.

And don’t get me wrong— it has nothing to do with what the F stands for because although Kris identifies closer to female than male, my relief is simply because Kris’s ducks are in a row. Their license matches most of their legal documents once more and the ones that need to be changed can be done so quite easily with the license in hand. Kris can apply for a passport and we can proceed with our family trip later this year, which will include a trek into Canada. And if God forbid, Kris should have what is considered a “female’ medical emergency, it will be covered by insurance.

Maybe that crossroad is the end of Kris’s gender journey. Or maybe it is not. Only time will tell. I no longer feel the need to explain Kris’s gender to anyone. If someone should ask, I’m more than happy to respond. Some jump to conclusions but that’s on them, not me.

And even though Kris has that F on their license, I still don’t have a daughter. I have a gender-fluid child and I can say with all certainty that whether I have a child who identifies as a boy or girl or neither or both or flows back and forth depending on the day, I know that I love them and nothing will ever change that.

Thanks for stopping by!

-Kat

#AtoZChallenge U is for Unconditional

U

“Whatever they grow up to be, they are still our children, and the one most important of all the things we can give to them is unconditional love. Not a love that depends on anything at all except that they are our children.” -Rosaleen Dickson

There they were- my three when they were brand new. And below, there they are now- all grown up. I want the same things for them now as I did when they were born- that they are happy, healthy, and loved.

bw kids

Take care-

-Kat

You can read the rest of my A to Z posts- HERE.

 

51 Weeks: 51 Songs from the Past: Week 16: Van McCoy- The Hustle

I think I might have missed a week but I’m back with my song to share for Hugh’s 51 Weeks: 51 Songs from the Past. 

In 1975 Van McCoy and the Soul City Symphony released the disco hit- “The Hustle”.  The song was written after McCoy’s music partner watched people doing the dance by the same name in a New York City nightclub.

A few years ago, CJ who was four at the time, caught us off guard by humming this song. When we questioned where he heard it, he told us that his grandma listened to it all the time. Mystery solved. We showed him a video of what the dance that accompanied the song looked like and he was thoroughly entertained, asking us to play it over and over.

I admit to being a bit of a clutz, so I actually have never done “The Hustle” but if you are interested in learning, here is a video (although a little creepy because the guy’s head is chopped off—-watch it, you’ll see what I mean), it gives you the steps.

And if you haven’t gotten enough of the song yet, here’s an interesting video I came across while looking for one that showed the steps. It’s definitely the 70’s!!!

So, tell me- can you do The Hustle?