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Archive for March, 2011

I was 28, my boyfriend and I had been living together for the past 8 months of our going on 2 year relationship.  I was ready.  OK… self filter here, I was ready for the blessings of motherhood and a little rosy eyed at the realities of the lifestyle changes ahead.

What did my boyfriend think?  I found in sharing the news of our pregnancy that some (I think many) men are not brought up to naturally consider themselves fathers; they are groomed to be, in my experience, strategic guys with various appetites.  The ones that are keepers, like mine, are also lovers of their women and their shared community (I’ll leave the evaluation of their communication to foreshadowing for now; ahem…Mars vs. Venus)

Sitting together on our chaise four years ago, in our fresh young pad chatting about the future of his clothing line and necessary career moves I looked him clear in the eyes and shared the news… “we’re pregnant!”

While growing up I embraced my future role as mother volunteering in our meeting’s Sunday school, working as a nanny, lots of babysitting along with listening and caring for my friends thorough ups and downs.  I was provided, through these experiences, VIP admission into the realm of care provider, friend to others and especially children; I loved the inclusivity of this role in my community. I don’t think boys growing up alongside of me were fostered in this way.  They were the “wild things” (rude boys as my pops calls them), funny, wily and carefree.

I will compare my boyfriend’s immediate reaction to news of our pregnancy, to the response you may expect of someone being solicited to run for president of a newly formed republic after leaving their career as a fisherman/boxer/lumber jack for instance.  There was amazement mixed with self evaluation.

However, the moment following what amounts to an earthquake of thought, enforced my faith in his ability as a father.  He was collected and pensive; he shared that he had never taken the time to think of himself as a father and then, very purposefully he pulled out a notepad and began mapping out a financial plan to bring us inline as parents!

Then as now in these churning times, I find these qualities of his mind; steadfast, strategic and solutions oriented excessively valuable to me, our daughter and our family. Leading me towered a gratefulness I seldom effectively express (insert Venus vs. Mars).

Together we bring balance to our family in a classic emotional sense.  This is why, in light of my experience I suggest, that these boys, these wild, carefree beings can be exactly the grounding force a woman like me values. I find their greatness is often punctuated in unexpected times and allows the emotional care providing women lessons in balance between the nurturing drive in ourselves and the realities of life and its surprises.

On the day my love and I jointly acknowledged our conception; sauntering nervously toward the light of parenthood, our declaration rang loud in the heart of my subconsciousness… “LET THE WILD RUMPUS START!”

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I am an avid NPR and WAMU listener interested in the diverse, at times edgy and often inspiring news and information their programming provides.  This programming balances my view of what is possible in the world and it continually drives home our common humanity unlike anything I find in daily local news coverage.  I listen daily on my commute into and out of the office, on my lunch break on a run to the bank, even, by accident, on any given Sunday while out to the store. I find my intrigue is like one I share with good strong chocolate which I strategically store in a cool place out of frequent reach, in an attempt to minimize my consumption, only to find that I foray more than usual to my stash in search of one more invigorating bite.

Recently however I have noticed with the routine of my mornings;

waking early,
prepping myself for the day,
prepping lunch for my preschooler,
getting us dressed, breakfasted,
and out the door, on my way  to the office

….before plugging into my team and our customers… I must honor my need for quiet reflection.

It’s as if all the inspiration and information I have received from my public radio listening has reached a tipping point. Over the last few weeks I have honored this need for quiet banning myself from tuning in during my morning commute which mostly follows something like…

Enter the car reach for the dial… remind myself, “Not now, maybe later.”…. I sit quietly, then… I reach again,  “Ok just this once, if the story is not inspiring then I will turn it off,” which results in about five out of ten times that I actively honor my need for quiet.

In this processes of abstaining from the radio I have learned that I do so not because I am overloaded with information but because I am healthily saturated by public radio.  My current need for quiet stems from my need to compress the information received, into my life.  I find that I am inspired and interested in what is happening in the world.  For this information to process I must make a shift from being what was an active listener and passive participant towards striking a balance between active listening and the creative application of the inspiration I receive from public radio to both my work and my community.

In the process my commute has evolved and now sounds something like… “Is this commute with the emissions, time consumption and predictable stresses of the road really in the best interest of the world, my family, my community, my health…?”  “Isn’t being a stake holder in our communities what makes them livable places and should that not include a stronger element from businesses to foster work within their boundaries.  In theory, doing so could free up more time for our quality of life and the life of our families providing more time for us to engage in local activities strengthen our relationships and increase the viability of the places we call home”…

Thoughts, by the way… which remind me of something I once heard on NPR!

Ahhhh the sounds of silence!

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