Between Seasons

leaves

I was out walking this morning and this picture made me so happy.   It’s November in Texas and we are still waking up to 74 degree mornings. When I see these leaves scattered on the ground, I know that summer will eventually relinquish its death grip on Texas.   My hair could use a break from the humidity, and we are still seeing mosquitoes, and crickets, and yes, cockroaches scurrying around and snakes swimming in the bayou because that first real cold snap  has not arrived to signal that its time to think about transitioning deep into the ground for winter and joining the rest of the bug community or the other hibernating snakes.

I can identify with that.  Stuck somewhere between having children to raise, and becoming an empty nester in the coming decade, I feel a little lost between seasons sometimes.  And as a result, I’ve lost my community.  Those ladies that I pushed baby joggers with, played Bunko with, chatted at the bus stop with, and  yes, competed with in the mothering department, the volunteering department, the income department, they just aren’t around anymore, or maybe they are and I haven’t noticed.  I went back to work full time,  and now there just isn’t time.  While they were my friends, there was always an edginess to the friendship, and every mom reading this knows what I’m talking about.  But for better or worse, they were my community.

Life is different now.  My most important job right now is to usher my kids into responsible adulthood. It is not an easy task, making sure on a daily basis, that your kids don’t grow up to be jerks.  Raising kind, caring, self-aware, highly functioning individuals who currently can’t seem to cut their own frozen pizza, is not a task for the faint-hearted. What I struggle with, in this season of preparing my kids, is the fact that all of my own peeps have scrambled.  I’m not sure where to head for community.  Like Mother Nature, the leaves are on the ground but it’s still hot outside.  I just don’t want to come up empty handed in a few years when my kids have left home, and not have a strong circle of support.  I’m finding that friends are important to have, no matter what season of life.

Lately, I’ve been trying to take time to cultivate the relationships that pop up in daily life, like with Sani, my 60 year old Chinese friend from work, who is teaching me how to play the stock market or, my daughter’s friends’ moms who agree to exercise at 5 a.m. with me, but aren’t interested in being a size 4 like we all were “back in the day.”  They get it.  They have teenagers, and like me, walk around wondering what hit them.  We meet each other in our busy-ness in an organic way.  We can’t help but cross paths.  Maybe that is God’s way of saying, “Stick with these chicks, they can teach you something.”

The try-hard days of my thirties are over. I’m no longer out to mass market myself to win the “right” friends.  Gone is the desire to be on the invite list for every neighborhood party, or Girl’s Night, or to overcommit to the PTA, just for the sake of being known.  Nowadays, I figure the leaves can fall where they may.   My idea of what a friend is might be a little different now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

College Road Trip!

I packed up the kids for a road trip to the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma last week, so that we could see their big brother.  He is the oldest, my firstborn, the reason I became a mom.  Perfect in his mother’s eyes, the sun rises and sets on the oldest.  Right?  Heh heh.  I’m learning that eventually, even tow headed little angels grow up to be big hairy boys with college dorms and apartments that smell like…well, probably like how John Belushi smelled in Animal House.  876_john_belushi_animal_house_broadway_musicalBut he is my hairy college boy and I was so thrilled to see him, and so excited to take the kids to OU Homecoming, especially since our next oldest is going to be a junior next year. This is us as we waited for the Game Day Shuttle to take us to the game from my son’s apartment.  Norman is small and it basically shuts down on OU game days so driving and parking are difficult. john

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We left in the third quarter because the Sooners were winning by a huge lead and decided to head over to Fuzzy’s Tacos, which is located at Campus Corner at OU. Visiting Fuzzy’s is a must do when you are at OU. The line was backed out the door, but it’s where the kids got the best people watching experience, to say the least!  Pretty girls in boots and game day clothes, clean cut guys, a handful of parents here and there…and a crisp fall evening.

The queso at Fuzzy’s is really unique. Not only does it have the usual cheesy goodness, but it is topped with Feta Cheese.  Yes!  I know, right?  It gives the queso such a great finish.  I’m from Houston, and I can talk queso like it’s wine, just so you know. img_5709

And just in case this post made you wistful for your college years, I’ve posted some pics of my son’s “crash pad,” and the 200 pound dog, Duke, who lives with him and his three roommates. I love how this picture just captures the essence of being a guy:  Xbox, Dog, red Solo cup. I did not even realize those three things were in the same picture until I sat here looking at it.

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And here we have the brothers lounging in the crash pad, with big brother showing them how its done.

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Welcome!

 

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This past year, at the tender age of 44, I applied for my first passport. My husband had a proposal for me:  spend a month with him in the Middle East.  He was living in the Middle East as an expat oil and gas worker, while I was “holding down the fort” in Texas.  I asked myself, why not?  Why not, indeed!  I returned home to my life as the mom of four kids, having satisfied my wanderlust…for a minute or two.  Lately, I’ve just been trying to find the adventure in every stinky sock, late for work, carpool driving day.  There is one, if you look hard enough.  And until the next WORLD TOUR comes along, I’ll be doing my best to find the fun in whatever direction my flip flops take me.

 

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