Sunday, August 19, 2007

My Cub

A toddler’s life is basically in constant peril. I figure that it is my primary job as a mother of a one-year-old to make sure he gets by day to day without running joyously into traffic or jumping into the deep-end without his floaties. I am the safety patrol but even my amazing mommy-powers are occasionally debunked by my wiggly little man-cub.

Case-in-point: Doug is running wildly around the house earlier today when, THWACK, he runs straight in the corner at 5 mph (which is like 35 mph in toddler speed). Ryan is the first on the scene. Doug is screaming. There is a goose egg the size of an actual goose egg accruing on Doug’s forehead, and the mom is panicking. The safety patrol has failed.

I run to the fridge and grab a bag of frozen corn. Ryan is rocking Doug, who is still wailing. Ryan puts the corn on Doug’s head which only aggravates the screaming more. I am still panicking. I call Ryan’s mom who I know will be able to get me through the situation calmly. I ask her if we should take Doug to the ER and she informs me that probably a little Motrin will do the trick.

Ryan jumps into the car to the drugstore and I hold my sweet sobbing baby in my arms. I take him to the bathroom and put a Spiderman band-aid right under his “ouchie.” Doug sees his band-aid in the mirror and immediately stops crying. He is healed. It is a miracle.

I take Doug into the kitchen and get him a cookie and some ice cream. Ryan soon joins us with Motrin, a 20 oz. bottle of sprite, and a bag of skittles… all for the boy. Doug is now considering running into the wall more often.

Barely-Related Side Note: Ryan and Doug were playing later on this evening and Ryan shoved a teddy bear down Doug’s shirt. Doug looked down at his newly protruding belly and said “Ma Ma.”

Friday, August 10, 2007


I have a fear of failure. Maybe it’s not so much a fear but an expectation of failure. Just like everyone I have fallen off the horse a few times. I have brushed myself off and hopped back on. But somewhere along the line I decided that I don’t really like horses anyway, so why bother riding. I talk myself out of trying things because I am sure there is no hope of success. This, obviously, is self-defeating and foolish.

Thing is, I don’t want to become one of those women –women whose identity is lost in that of their husbands and children. I would imagine such a life would be unfulfilling. If I continue expecting failure in my personal endeavors I will surely join the ranks of women who are disoriented when they stand alone.

So I’ve had to ask myself: Who is Bethany? Yes, I am a woman who is proud of her exceptional husband and son (and daughter). But I am also a chef, an entertainer, a musician, a laugher, a taster, a feeler. I am an athlete, a worker, a teacher, a friend, a comedian, a reader and a writer. I am a dancer, a card player, a Saint, a sinner, a person. Yes, I am a failure but I am also a striver and a succeeder. I am a master of my own fate. I have too much to offer the world and myself to allow myself to be swallowed in self doubt.

So I am doing something for the sake of all that is Bethany. And I am not waiting any longer. I should have done it long ago but felt overwhelmed and under-qualified.

I started to write a book this week. As I scribble away I can see my many weaknesses as a writer. It is discouraging, but I can also see my potential. This book will be a long journey. Perhaps I will never even see it in print. But if that is the case, it will not be for a lack of trying. Therefore, I will have succeeded in doing something amazing … becoming a better Bethany.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Grandma Driver

There is always that one car. It is the car that is going slow. It is the car that is making you late for work. It is the car that may cause your bladder to explode. This car is going the speed limit in the fast lane and you can’t get past. This car is driving you crazy.

Further, this car might force you to do things you would not normally do… like initiate the no-no finger or roll down the window and holler “get a move-on grandma!” This car is making you a bad person.

This car is my car. I realize that if I had any cool points left with you, they are now gone.

Ever since I first became a human incubator, suddenly all of my dad’s lectures on defensive driving have kicked in. I am in mommy-mode and if that means a speedometer that peaks at 65 miles an hour, so be it.

Texas drivers punish safe drivers like me. Signaling is a sign of weakness here. If you hint at your intent to change lanes then the car to your right will speed up so you can’t get in. As you take the on-ramp to get on the freeway, just know that the speeding cars will sacrifice their bodies and vehicles so you won't succeed. Texans are hateful vengeful drivers, but very formidable by foot. They also make a mighty good barbeque.