Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming...

Willow had her first swim lesson today.

Apparently, my child was born a fish and I didn't even know it. She hides those gills well.

She's in the Baby Swim class and there were about seven other children in her session. I'd say four out of the seven cried and panicked. Two of them had no reaction whatsoever. But my kid? The smile never left her face. Even after she got dunked -- yes, dunked -- about ten times. She giggled and demanded to do it again and again. Willow got the hang of kicking her feet, lying on her back, and blowing bubbles in the water very quickly. Her instructor was super impressed, and surprised that this was her first lesson. That's my girl! I don't think a smile left my face either. The only word to describe how I felt is pride. So, so proud of my baby girl. (Who seems to be leaving more and more of her baby-ness behind. But that's a whole other post. One that I'll never write because I'm in DENIAL.)

The lesson was only a half hour and I think Willow realized this. The second we left the pool, she was not happy. Honestly, I think the time it took for us to change and dry off was longer than the lesson itself. Seriously, getting a wet baby out of her bathing suit, removing the swim diaper, putting a dry diaper on, getting a new outfit on, etc. -- all in a tiny cubicle, might I add -- is kind of a challenge. Then there was this flimsy curtain that any child could open up at any given time (ie: when I'm naked) that had me extremely worried. Especially since there were a plethora of Soccer Dads lurking outside in the hallways. I think we're calling dibs on the bathroom next time.

Naturally, we finished the night with a bath so Willow could get some more splashing out of her system. She was quite pleased.

Oh, you know you want a closer look at those chompers...

All in all, Baby Swim 101 was a success! So glad we signed up for this.

Smile Project

The world seems different from when I was younger. I feel like people are getting more and more self-involved, entitled, and ungrateful. What happened to holding the door for the person walking out behind you so it doesn't slam in their face? Or saying "Thank You" when someone holds the door open for you? Or what about giving that friendly wave when someone lets you into traffic?

I still do these things, but it's hard to want to do these things anymore. I feel like no one cares. But maybe that's everybody's mindset? If it is, then nothing will change. So I can only do my part to make the world a happier place.

I'm going to start putting in more of an effort to be a better person and to spread the love. I'm calling it my "Smile Project". I want to do something nice for someone every day, whether it be something big or something small. I want to make someone smile. And I won't let that one grumpy curmudgeon get me down. (Do people still use the word "curmudgeon"?) I started off my project by buying the person behind me their coffee at the Starbuck's drive-thru. It felt great. Obviously I can't afford to do something like this every day, but kind gestures don't always have to have a price tag. A compliment here, a smile there. A little goes a long way.

I want Willow to grow up to be a good person. I want her to want to be a good person. As her mother, it's my responsibility to guide her in the right direction. I want to set a good example.

What are some of the things you do to put a smile on someone's face? What are some of the things people have done for you?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Other Side

To get the ball rolling, let's talk about something extremely morbid and depressing.


I have a terrifying, unwavering fear of dying.

Death is a pretty crappy fear to have. It's not like having a fear of heights, where you can simply avoid things like roller coasters, hot air balloons, and piggy back rides from Robert Wadlow.

There's no avoiding death. None of us get out of this world alive. Death is imminent. Steve tells me all the time that I shouldn't dwell on something that I can't change, but it's hard not to think about. It's harder now that I have a child I desperately want to see grow up.

I think what scares me the most is the unknown afterlife. Growing up as a Catholic, we were told that if we're "good", we go to Heaven after we die. I must admit, this is a pretty appealing place to go. Who wouldn't want to frolic on marshmallow clouds, eating calorie-less ice cream, listening to Journey's Greatest Hits? (Wait, this isn't everyone's vision of Heaven?) It is also implied that we'll be reunited with our loved ones again. This is obviously the most attractive part of Heaven. Everyone who's lost someone they care about wants nothing more than to see them again. Heaven promises we will. As long as we don't use bad language, have premarital sex, or forget to go to Church.

The idea of Reincarnation is also pretty interesting. The thought of coming back as you, but in another form fascinates me. I've always wanted to come back as a deer. Yes, a deer. Deer are very graceful creatures, and graceful, I am not. I'm kind of a klutz. It would be awesome to be a graceful deer that lives its life relaxing in nature, sipping from streams, and just lounging about under the warm sun (without that nagging worry about possibly getting skin cancer). And if I ever got bored and wanted some thrills, all I would have to do is dart across a busy highway and try to make it to the other side without getting hit. But hey, if I do get hit, I'll just come back as a grasshopper or something.

As great as these options are, there are some pretty unpleasant alternatives. You might go to Hell. No one knows what Hell is like, but it doesn't sound good. (For my version of Hell, just watch "The Human Centipede".) There's also purgatory, having your spirit trapped on Earth and being doomed to haunt a closet forever... and then there's nothing.

When you die, nothing happens. You simply cease to exist. Your light burns out forever. You go to sleep, without the fun dreaming part. You never see the people you love, ever again. Granted, you're dead, and these things don't really matter after the fact. But since I'm currently one with the living, I think about this stuff. I think about the people who have died, who aren't up in Heaven looking down on me like I was always told. What if this really is all we've got? These few precious years to love, live, and learn? This is a scary thought and when you think about it, you want to stop thinking about it. You want to believe that Heaven exists, or that you'll be reborn again one day.

I have no idea what's going to happen after I die. No one does. I want to believe that there is a light at the end of the proverbial tunnel and that no one is truly gone forever. But I just don't know. All I can concentrate on is now and enjoy my life while I have it. Still, I can't escape that nagging fear that death is on my heels. Everything could be taken away from me in a blink of an eye.

And then what?

Blog: Take Three

I want to start blogging again. I miss it. Back when I was a teenager, I had a pretty popular blog and I wrote in it multiple times a day. For years. Granted, it was mostly about television shows and pointless nothingness, but it felt good to write.

Being a new mom, it's hard to find the time to write. Usually when I'm laying in bed, ready to fall asleep, my brain starts thinking up things to write about. Like, "This would make a great blog!" Or "I need to talk about this!" Then I wake up with a demanding toddler and those thoughts are gone forever.

So, here's to a fresh start! I want to update this thing on a regular basis. Writing has always been important to me and I don't want to lose touch with that. I hope I get some readers to come along for the ride!