Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Knowing Munsters

Our Hawaiian Vacation

The band played until at least eleven. Sirens and other traffic sounds invade the peace of sleep with the doors open and so we slept with the air conditioner on despite our preference for the open air. The air of Hawaii is fragrant with the smell of flowers- it is subtle, but lovely, and very much preferable.

The "Fainting Mother" Story

We caught up with an old friend last night, a perpetual bachelor. The munsters loved him- he swapped story for story with them and got them laughing. He told them his "fainting mother" story. Mr. Bachelor, as a youngster in Georgia, was interested in putting a fire cracker into his cowboy. One evening after a quick dinner, he departed into the bathroom with his pen knife and stood there carving a hole into the back of Cowboy Bob. The knife slipped and cut open his finger. Knowing he was likely to upset his mom, he thought to stick it into the sink. Unfortunately, he turned on the hot water and bled a lot. In a great deal of pain, a sink full of blood, and a pale pallor , his mother walked into the bathroom, took a look at him, and dropped dead away. Wow! To make your mother faint! My children were interested. At least he also told them to keep both feet on the floor when on the balcony.

The Playmobil Army Takes Hawaii

The Moose showed Mr. Bachelor his motley Playmobil army. I am amused by the current king who happens to wear a sunflower crown he 'borrowed' from the Mule. His soldiers are sometimes Roman, Greek, Egyptian, Thai, Chinese, etc. It depends on his battle inspiration such as what we eat for dinner. They have a range of attire from a pink fairy cape to an Eskimo hood to a pirate hat to an American Indian feather head dress. The Moose puts them into various formations- the triangle position is the volcano position, the circle is the coliseum position. They amuse the Moose a great deal and have been all over Hawaii just in case he has some time to play. He happily waited with them while the Mule and I attended our free hula lesson on the hotel lawn. When my husband popped over to meet us, the Mule said, "I know how to hula now Dada. It was the same hula dance as they did at the luau last night." Twice exposed, she is an expert. The Moose's response to the hula lesson, "Why is it over already?"

Accepting Motherhood

Chatting with mothers at the pool, a mom said to me, "You know your children well. I am envious." I was floored and perplexed. It was the first time any one has said that to me besides my husband, who frankly would make the better stay at home parent- he is calmer, cooks better, and has a better sense of humor than me. I'm at present a stay at home mom. How could I not know my children, I wondered.

I can't say I chose to be a stay at home mom, but orders to Japan presented an opportunity to try it out in light of the few tempting job offers. Giving up income, prestigious job titles, and public recognition is not easily done in Washington, D.C. The words of my friend echoed once again in my head, "Let's face it, in this town you are your job." When I arrived in Japan and finally had a chance to break away from that mentality, I let go of a whole lot of stress that I'm not terribly interested in revisiting. I am satisfied with my choice, but it is no easier than for those who work- you are equally busy, tired, drained of energy, in search of quiet time, and frustrated from time to time.

I am more focused and less pulled in too many directions and yet sometimes it feels stifling to stay focused on a small aspects of life- the care taking of home and children. It is all essential, every meal cooked, every schedule kept, every minute you have to play and be silly; whether or not it is paid for or acknowledged. However you do it, home or work, accepting your choices, whether you get to make them or not, is part of the process to make peace with what you do. Success is redefined for the me as a mom that is at home. Yesterday at the pool, I got an Oscar, an acknowledgment of my work by my peer(s).

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