Last Easter, I Gave You My Heart

And the very next day, you gave it away! I’m in a funny mood this week, quoting Christmas songs and all.

Here’s a non-Christmas song with a SPOILER:

It’s almost like the comedy of the situations. Like when Cassidy didn’t come home from work and I was hungry after feeding the kids, so I decided to try my hand at cooking! We had a Green Chef trial so I decided to make the one dish I knew he wouldn’t mind missing – because it has mushrooms. Not his favorite, or even close. So I cooked! It was almost delicious but I never used salt because our salt shaker was broken. I knew this because Cassidy wound up spilling salt three separate times from the salt shaker top falling off. It was everywhere. I was too afraid to use it! So we were cooking side by side, but he was making bone broth with chicken feet sticking up, and then some snack with canned sardines on top! Never did a mushroom and barley carbonara look as good as it did right then and there, because that’s what I was cooking that night.

In between chicken feet and sardines.

Basically, that was a metaphor for the entire week. The toaster was semi-broken, or at least I thought it was because the outlet needed to be reset. It rained and was unseasonably cold. I was trying to figure out my spring break plans when I found out that I was invited to attend BlogPaws as a sponsored blogger two weeks from now! Listen, I’ve been to maybe 37 out of 50 states, but Missouri is one of the 13. I’m so scared! A hotel by myself for three nights! A flight by myself for the first time in over a decade, and with layovers too. 5:00am flights and new faces and not having a car and being around not one person I know for 72 hours! Basically, it will be awesome. If I can just get over the nerves! A new city with a hotel room to myself.

This is probably the best time to mention the “emotional support animals”, as I’ve taken to calling them.

I was told to wear clothes I didn’t mind pet hair on. There will be barking and meowing during the class sessions. There will be entire rooms and arenas full of animals. And there will be adoptable animals that local shelters are lending out for those of us who don’t live locally and have dogs too big to fly with. And if I really want, I can bring one of those pets home. (Just imagine my family’s face after that! It will be better than chicken feet and sardines) Also, I feel like it’s Hogwarts. You can borrow magical pets to hold or cuddle or get emotional support from, and possibly sleep with. A conference, with pets.

It’s my Candyland. Rooms full of potential clients who will meet me face to face and shake my hand. Maybe they’ll hire me because I can be charming when I want to be, but once they read my blog and see my charming pets, well, that will take the cake. It’s potential work and more-than-potential animals. Everywhere. I. Look. Pinch me, Mommy. I’m coming home.

Now that I’ve gotten THAT out, Easter was awesome! Last Easter was weird. I woke up dizzy?! That only happens to me once a year, if even, and it’s always a combination of dehydration, exhaustion, allergies, and stress. I remember posting about it here and everyone had advice. Have no fear – it didn’t happen again. We had the kids’ Uncle Gabe staying with us for five nights and although he slept through the great Easter Basket unveiling, he was awake on Easter Eve when we filled the baskets. Custom candy, custom toys, happy kids – it was all good. Also, Scarlet finally lost her long-suffering top right front tooth, so the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy got to high-five that night. Passover and Easter were both smashes.

This will have to be for another day, but Cassidy hosted a rock n’ roll Passover Seder for the books!

I mean it. It was incredible. There were ten of us and he made it meaningful and with all sorts of music playlists and pop culture references. I just need to get some photos from the night because I was too captivated to take any myself!

And wouldn’t you know it? No sardines or chicken feet!

This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week’s topic is “This April Fools and/or Easter…” And there’s still time to write yours. Come link up with your spin: HERE. What’s your story?

What would you say?

On Magic and Mysteries

This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week's topic is Anything Previously Written. And there's still time to write yours. Come link up with your spin!

I first published this piece eight years ago!

So if it seems dated or not like the ME you know now, that’s why. That said, I’m not really changing anything about it, except for formatting, because I apparently didn’t know how to do that when I started my blog! This post was written when Scarlet was just a baby, and Des wasn’t even a twinkle in anyone’s eye! Or a “ghost baby” as he morbidly calls life before birth. And that’s somewhat relevant to this post. I shall stop rambling and let this post do the speaking now. It’s a good one.

magic

Our pediatrician’s office has two waiting rooms – a well patient area and a sick patient area. Recently I had the misfortune to be quarantined in the sick patient area with Scarlet since a nasty virus lingered longer than we were comfortable with. Two adorable blonde sisters waited with us, using the time to question me (and Scarlet) about Santa Claus and whether or not I’d ever seen or heard him and whether or not Scarlet has ever seen or heard him. (She hasn’t) As I played along and tried to answer as best as I could, I noticed that their mother was smiling along and not shooting me warning or apologetic glances. She probably knew I wouldn’t spoil her daughters’ belief in Santa Claus, however, it got me thinking how easy it would be for someone to snatch away years of a family’s beliefs and stories in an instant. How strong are the foundations of the stories we tell our children about magic and religion? Are our own beliefs clear enough to pass down to our children?

I found out the truth about Santa Claus, funnily enough, in the Hebrew school parking lot where we used to have to wait in a traffic jam until all of the kids were safely out of school and in cars. My mom and I had some time to kill and somehow that subject came up. I must have been doubting my beliefs during that time, and I know my older brother and sister had found out before me and had kept the stories alive for me and our younger two siblings. I think my mom explained it well then.

“It’s not that I’m going to tell you that Santa is not real. I believe there really was a good man who brought gifts and whose legend and spirit live on. I believe very much in the spirit of Christmas. And, I also believe in Santa Claus…but …Dad and I fill your stockings.” That actually made perfect sense to me and did not break my heart. It seemed to fit right in with my family’s scattered but present beliefs.

I was raised primarily Jewish but with a tinge of earth-based spirituality – Wiccan/Pagan, etc. We also celebrated Christian holidays but more for the spirit of giving and the fun of Christmas stockings and Easter egg hunts, and not at all for the religious meaning. I went through Hebrew school, a Bat Mitzvah and even a Torah Confirmation at 15. After that, my family dropped out of the temple. It was expensive and we questioned organized religion to begin with. And then we scattered into our own families, ready to start our own traditions or keep the old ones going. What we had then worked for us but it won’t work exactly like it did for my family now. Scarlet is 3/4 Jewish and 1/4 Christian by birth only. Will we be able to find our own solutions/explanations to the questions she will one day ask us about religion and spirituality?

It’s a delicate subject in my house, and in many households, but my husband thinks I’m an atheist and I don’t think I am. I guess that means I’m right. I think I both thoughtfully and thoughtlessly question the barrage of information and stories that sound conveniently like fairy tales (or horror stories) to me. I’m undecided. I can’t tell Scarlet that Santa Claus is fake but that everything she learns in temple or church is real. Many parents can but I don’t necessarily feel right about it.

What can I tell her? How can I pass on my murky and confused background? How can I give her something solid when I don’t have any of the answers? What I do know is the powerful chill I have felt hearing a congregation sing. The joy of singing Hebrew to 200+ whose faces are lit with filtered sunlight through a stained glass window. What I know is that we’ll make our own rock n’ roll Passover Seders and eat apples and honey with her on Rosh Hashanah. I know I have prayed before and that my prayers were answered. Maybe someone was listening. I know that I’ve had a lifetime of truly spiritual and magical moments, each one imploring me to believe, even when I think I can’t anymore. And it happens so often that a little voice inside me says each time, “What about now? You’re crazy not to believe after all of this.” Temple. Church. Somewhere else.

It all means something to nearly everyone and everything to someone.

What I want to tell her is that there is a magic and light in all of us and it propels us to do great things. Whether the source of that magic and light is religious, earth-based spiritual, or even self-caused doesn’t necessarily matter. What matters is that it’s there and it’s powerful and many of us have seen and felt it. And many of us have and will go on to do great things.

I still believe…in something. Is that specific enough to tell her? Are my beliefs enough?

This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week’s topic is Anything Previously Written. And there’s still time to write yours. Come link up with your spin: HERE. What’s your past post?

What would you say?