Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Forty Seven

I had a birthday on Monday. I also had a gigantic flat tire that required not one but two AAA road service visits. When the first guy drove away with the destroyed tire still stuck on my car I may have cried a little bit, just for a minute or two. The flat tire fiasco reminded me of some important things, most notably that sh*t happens, even on your birthday and what matters is what you make of the day. I think I made a good day, a happy day once the tire was changed.

Things have settled down for The Kid at school. His best friend is once again his friend. I'm not sure if The Kid trusts this. He is still adding "and please let me and T get along and have a good day" to his prayers at night. We are working together to tame his angry outbursts which has been accomplished by (gasp) changing my expectations and demands, particularly in the late afternoon when The Kid seems most volatile. I think he was trying to tell me, "mom, you're expecting too much and I can't cope" and instead of finding some way to teach him to meet my expectations, I have just backed the hell off and things are just fine.(Laura, are you smiling?)

I've been doing a lot of writing which is always a good thing and always makes me a happier human being. Last Friday I started two poems in one day which hasn't happened in years and years.

I have also been thinking about community and how to build one for myself. This is something my introvert nature finds incredibly difficult. But one of the things I've learned this year is that when I am quick to judge other people, I am effectively shutting down any chances of making connections. I am working on keeping my heart and mind open.

Any suggestions about building community? Finding like-minded folks? Making new friends?


  1. Happy, happy birthday! Sorry about the tire.

  2. Happy birthday - we are the same age! I identify with much of what you write about introversion making it difficult to build a circle of support; I like finding bloggers who think like me, but I also have been working for the past few years on just being more accepting, and it is working. I was lucky enough to move into a wonderful neighborhood where there was a ready-made social network all set to accept me as the new neighbor, and even though I have moved away (just a few miles) I have maintained those friendships - not because they are necessarily my best friends ever, but because it is the first time I have belonged to a group of women who get together regularly and have an identity as a GROUP. It's pretty cool. I don't have any ideas on how to find that, though, I stumbled into it quite by accident. Good luck, though - if you are looking for it I feel certain something will show itself.

  3. Happy, happy birthday! I hope you have a great year!

  4. Happy Birthday Week!

    I'm not smiling in my superior wisdom, or anything -- more like a smile of recognition: Oh, yeah -- I learn that one over and over again! All is well. :)

    On community: If you build it, they will come? I like what Karen (OtherKaren?) says about a group of women. I need to think about this as well. Most of my mom friends here are other homeschool moms, ONE unschool mom. Since the boys are older now, I don't think the homeschooling community in Arkansas will be as big a part of our lives. Where will I find my community? Am I expecting community to be something like it was decades ago when moms met for coffee or arranged carpooling? Online community is a very good thing, and I've been reading the blogs of my fellow unschoolers who, over the years, build their community online and at unschooling conferences, then plan trips and visit and send their kids to visit and develop this far-flung network. Pretty cool.

    Oh, oh! (Waving hand) I know the answer: Decide what you want from community. Focus on what you want. Law of Attraction. :)
    xoxoxo -- Birthday Wishes!

  5. Hey, thanks for all the birthday wishes!

    Laura, I knew your smile would be one of recognition, with perhaps a kindly nod of the head thrown in for good measure! I am working the laws of attraction as best I can...

  6. Happy 47! I'm glad things are settling down with the boy.

  7. Happy Birthday! Connecting has always been difficult for me too. My husband and I are 15 years older than most of the other parents (of our kids' peers) which doesn't make us freaks, it's just a different phase of life. In our neighborhood most families have very busy schedules, especially since they all work outside the home too. I found most of my friends through the Unitarian Church that we started going to. It opened up a whole new world for me, especially because this area is very conservative/evangelical and I'm not. MIME

  8. Happy Birthday Laura - you spring chicken you!

    I've been thinking about you and wondering how your boy is doing; so glad to hear things are getting better.

    As for community: I'm kind of a compulsively friendly (and curious, not to say nosey! person), so I connect fairly easily. However I'm in a similar boat with Anonymous (being a much older mom) and I find that isolating.

    Knitting is a great way to meet folks. Our local shops have classes, etc. You might try that.

  9. Happy Birthday Laura! I hope you get a Soultribe for your birthday sometime this year. You already ARE building your community. (Remember the throw pillows.) It's one it's way!



  10. A belated happy birthday, Laura! (Sorry I've been behind--Nathan and I are sick yet again.)

    I'm glad things are going better for the Kid--it's a hard thing, regaining trust.

    I'm always struggling with the community thing--I'd hoped to find it in my neighborhood, but that hasn't happened. (My fellow bloggers [most of whom I've never met] know more about me than my neighbors!) I haven't figured it out yet, though I'm beginning to suspect that it all has to do with (gasp) my own attitude. I think I project a "I know you won't be on the same wavelength so I'm not even going to bother" vibe.

    I was going somewhere with all this, and now I've completely lost my train of thought...oh well...again, Happy Birthday!

  11. Happy Birthday, Laura!

    Glad to hear that you and The Boy are doing better. I can sympathize about those late afternoon hours - I call them "witching hours" and I swear they are a holdover from when E was an infant and he would cry and cry between the hours of 4 and 6 p.m. I've learned (with input from my husband) just to back off after school. And when things are super bad, I just leave it to hub to deal with when he comes home.

    I don't know if you have time, but I find my book group has been a great source of community for me.

  12. Happy birthday, chica. We finally found some AWESOME friends -- she is from TEXAS where you know they grow some nice people. He is Dutch and is very cool and rides his bike everywhere. They have two boys who are our kids' exact ages, and we all play nicely together, as the saying goes.

    This is a rare and beautiful thing, and they're threatening to move now so who knows how long it will last, but i'm taking it while i can get it ;)

    i guess what i'm saying is it's sometimes hard to get the personalities all moving and grooving together, you know?