Wednesday, June 16, 2010

How Did I get Here?

The last several months have been rather uneventful outside of Ethan. My life has been as follows: work, family time, school, sleep...repeat. And while it's easy to get sucked into life and let the little things get by, there are 5 things that keep me grounded....and he's all boy.

Of course, I constantly worry that he's going to bite his tongue off one day. Ethan? Please put your tongue back in your mouth before you give me a heart attack, OK? Thank you.

I never thought of myself as a soccer mom...I moms drive mini vans. Why is that I wonder? Before I had E, I had a fantabulous Mustang. Mustangs have magical powers by the way....they make you feel young. Oh wait...I was young. Sorry. That doesn't count. Right before I had him we took the plunge and decided to get a mini van. I must have known that I was going to be a soccer mom. Of course, looking back, I clearly remember bawling when I was turning my keys over. I've decided that moment must have been my rite of passage....crossing over from the young carefree Mikki to the responsible Mikki that has a child.

I love both versions of me for different reasons. The young Mikki moved across the country by herself to experience something new. Well...I say by myself but what I really meant to say is that Mikki and her cat moved across the country. Can we have a side bar for a moment please? Driving 1200 miles with a cat that that has never traveled is enough to put you in a shell shocked fetal position in the corner. I'm not kidding. No, I mean's enough to give you chest pain.

Sorry, I digress. Anyway....the young carefree Mikki was raised by the strongest person I know. The young carefree Mikki was a very self confident girl that had to hit some road blocks and detours before she found her way.

But the moment I traded in my Mustang for a mini van, I knew it was time to adjust my priorities. Don't get me wrong....I wasn't mourning that change, I was more or less preparing myself for the new path I was about to a mini van.

And just between me and you.....part of my sobbing hysteria was quasi because of our salesman. Have you ever been around someone that got on your nerves so bad that you would rather listen to nails on a chalk board? Barney Fife was trying to sell us a vehicle. So I admit....Barney Fife and my hormones made it just a little harder to give up my Mustang.

But when I started to get to know the responsible Mikki, I came to realize that I really liked her. I mean....she does have a shining smile and charismatic personality. What? You mean it's not OK to toot your own horn? No? Sorry...I do that sometimes. Seriously though...I always secretly wondered if I was ever going to be able to put someone else first. Was I ready? My mom always told me that I could never understand unconditional love until I had a child. She told me that I would gladly lay down my life for my child. Young carefree Mikki was never able to wrap her head around that. I always thought that there must be some kind of special club for people like that.

But she was right. The very first time that I set eyes on E, I knew I was admitted to the secret club. The responsible Mikki came forward in such an effortless transition that I never even realized it was happening. I like her though. I don't think that responsible Mikki would be half the person she is today if she hadn't first been young carefree Mikki. I don't feel like I missed out on things because I became a mom before I had the chance to live. I did that. I will never have to wonder what it would have been like to stay out all night dancing with my friends.....I will never have to wonder what it was like to sneak into a club with a fake ID. For the record....knowing what I know about that.....I'm not sure how I'm going to adapt and stay sane when E gets that age. I'll never have to wonder what it would be like to go straight to work with no sleep because me and my friends were out all night...being young.

Yes, I can say with certainty that the phases in my life transitioned with such good timing that I got to know myself and I like who I am. I look back on my life have no regrets. I've been the fun loving teenager that thought of nothing but the next football game....I've been the 20 something young woman that maybe drank a little too much sometimes....and didn't always make the best choices. I've been the 25 year old woman that knew it was time to say goodbye to her Mustang in order to start down the path to that of being a mom.

Are there memories that I look back on and cringe? Sure. Are there memories that I look back on and giggle? Absolutely. Are there memories that I wish I could go back and live again? Of course. But I am who I am today because of who I was yesterday...and the day before. Wow...that started out almost sounding like a wise Mikki. It's been an interesting journey but I had a blast getting here.

Friday, June 11, 2010

**Hot Topic Alert** Manners

Disclaimer: This post is a very hot topic and expresses the opinion and outlook If you are easily offended, excitable, or down right ornery...please quit reading now.

Would you like to know the great thing about having your own blog? Your opinion is the only opinion. While I'm always open to discussing a hot topic, the "awesomeness" about having your own blog, is that words like awesomeness exist. Also, I can say what I want and not have to respond. It's kind of like a passive aggressive way getting your opinion out there. heh...

So, today's topic is manners. It's really rather interesting what the definition of good manners is around the country. My maternal grandmother was the epitome of the southern lady. A lady did not cuss in front of other people. Boys did not wear hats in the house. And people always always addressed their elders as ma'am or sir. It didn't matter if you were 5 or 50, that was just the way that it was done. It was the way that people showed respect to someone that had lived and seen more in their life than you had in yours. Things that only the passing of time as people lived their lives and gained experience could get you. Native Americans naturally treated their elders with grand respect. They had lived.

It was only natural that my mother raised me and Barry that way. By the time we were two years old, ma'am and sir was part of our vocabulary. We didn't know any different. I remember growing up and having some adults say "Honey, you don't have to call me ma'am". My response? "Yes ma'am I do. My mama would have a fit if I didn't".

I can not tell you how many times growing up I would hear my dad say "Take your hat off in the house, boy" to our friends when they came in to our house. My parents told it like it was but hands down were the most popular parents in town. Kids would come over even when we were not home. To this day, many of our childhood friends are still very close to my parents.

Once, when I was in high school, my brother's friend Hugo pulled the chair out from my mom as a joke. My mom fell (and wasn't in great health). Pop blasted Hugo for five minutes....I mean...he cussed Hugo like there was no tomorrow. Barry's friend Brad went in to Barry's room and snuck out of his bedroom window (we still laugh about that today). Hugo, however, went into the bathroom for about 10 minutes....came out and asked "Can I spend the night?"

My point is, manners in my family were always non-negotiable. Even kids that came to our house were expected to mind those same manners. And yet, kids still came around. Ma'am and sir are still part of my vocabulary. It's ingrained in my being. But, I see it dying a slow death. Would you like to know one of the only places that it's still consistent? The military. Isn't that interesting? I can always tell when someone served. It's still ingrained in them too.

I can't change the way that I see this. It makes me absolutely cringe when I hear a child say "what"? or "huh?" or "yeah". It makes me ill. And to be honest, it makes me look at the parent just a little different too. I see how children are behaving in schools. I see how children are acting out in public. Do I look down on people that let their children act like heathens in public? Honestly? OK- warning...if you don't want to be irritated, you might want to quit reading now.

Yes. I do.

I look at ma'am and sir as necessary words just like please and thank you. By God, if Ethan is going to disagree with me (which he is absolutely allowed to do), he's going to say it with respect.

I think that manners start at home.

It's now becoming second nature to Ethan too. We still have to correct him sometimes but we won't come right out and correct him by saying "ma'am or sir" at the end of his answers, but I will say "excuse me?". He knows. I do think it's a little harder in today's society to be consistent since teachers are so limited in their ability to even verbally correct a child. Ma'am and sir are not part of the every day vocabulary in school like it was when I was in the only consistency is at home.

I'm not going to apologize for the way that I feel. I'm not going to make excuses or even try and justify why I feel this way. I just do. It's the only thing I've ever known.

Wanna know another word that is not allowed in our household? Aint.

No, we don't speak redneck in the O'Neal household.

I love my blog.