It’s in a Book

My friend wrote a book. This book to be precise.  

I am ridiculously proud of my friend. When her book arrived I cried literal tears of joy. I know how hard she worked on this book. I know that blood, sweat, and tears went into this book. 

But I can’t read it.  

I can’t read any book.  

I used to read all the time. I would crack through a few books per week. I’d have multiple books on the go and switch between stories to read what suited me. I would choose reading over watching tv any day of the week.  

I don’t know what changed. Maybe it’s having kids, maybe it’s my iPhone, maybe it’s cancer and the changes my brain’s gone through on different meds and no thyroid, maybe it’s the lack of sleep, maybe it’s Instagram and the ability to scroll endlessly, maybe it’s the moon. I have no idea. All I know is that I no longer have the attention span to read.  

But I really want to read! I want to read my friend’s book and the other books languishing on my bookshelf. I enjoy listening to audiobooks but there’s something I’m missing by not curling up in a cozy blanket and flipping through the pages of a good book.  

Have you experienced this loss before? How did you retrain your brain to be able to read for longer than 15 seconds at a time? Or am I lost cause?

 

You're Not My Buddy

I check in with Grady every night as we're doing his bedtime routine. We talk about his day. What he did at school. Who he played with. What he ate. What he'd like to eat tomorrow. It's mostly small-talk but I want him to be in the habit of talking to me so when he's faced with bigger stuff down the line he'll know I'm always ready to listen.

Last week he was giving me the rundown of his day (liked the cheese sandwich in his lunchbox, did not like the crackers I gave him for recess, read a couple books at school, tooted about 20 times,) and he told me that a kid on the playground told him he couldn't play with him.

I saw red.

Grady wasn't even upset, he was just relaying the information like all the other tidbits he'd already delivered. I kept my cool in front of him but after he was asleep, I was livid. I was crafting emails to the teacher in my head. I was ranting on Twitter. I was full on mama bear.

And then I took a breath. I decided that if Grady wasn't upset, I wasn't upset. I'd keep an eye on the situation and continue to check in with Grady, but I wouldn't make it a thing.

And it wasn't a thing. It was one random comment from one random kid on the playground.

Yesterday I dropped Grady off at school. He lined up with his class. He waved to a couple friends. And then a classmate said good morning to him. Grady looked him straight in the eye and said, "you're not my buddy."

My heart sunk but the bell rang and the kids filed into the school before I could do anything.

I stewed all day. I asked friends for help. I asked Twitter for book recommendations on friendship and kindness. I carefully thought out what I would say to Grady and how I would approach the situation. He doesn't have to be friends with every kid at school but he does have to be kind. I'm not interested in forcing him to be friends with anyone he doesn't want to be friends with but I will drill kindness into him every day until I die.

Last night I casually asked why he had told that boy he wasn't his buddy. I was expecting tears and defensive stories about rude behaviour (the biggest transgression you can make in Grady's eyes). Grady nonchalantly answered, "because I don't know his name."

The kid isn't Grady's buddy because Grady doesn't know his name. There was no malice in his comment, just pure 5-year-old logic.

Our conversation turned out to be completely different than the one I was expecting to have with him. Which is a good thing. Keeps me on my toes. (And reminds me to stop jumping to conclusions.)

And now Grady knows how to introduce himself to kids he doesn't know. And I now know that I need to take a step back from schoolyard politics before I get an ulcer.

Making Mom Friends

Grady started kindergarten last week (and has yet to attend a full day of school thanks to gradual entry!) which has provided ample time to scope out my potential mom friends. Every morning we head to the playground to get some beans out before heading to class. I've struck up conversation with a few of the other kids' moms and some of them seem really nice. One in particular seems like she's my kind of mom friend.

I want to make her my friend and I want Grady to be friends with her son.

But I don't want to be creepy about it.

So my question is this: how do you make the first move when you encounter someone you want to be friends with? Making friends when you're a kid is easy. Grady already has a handful of new friends based solely on their shared love of superheroes. But I can't really walk up to another mom on the playground and be all "DO YOU LIKE GIN? I LIKE GIN. WANNA PLAY?" (Though to be completely honest, if one of the other moms said this to me I would not think it's weird at all and I would want to be her friend.)

How do you make friends as an adult?

Friday Faff

Before I get faffy, can I be serious for a minute?

It's October. Pinktober. The month of pinkwashing. We're inundated with products that have been slapped with a pink ribbon and we're made to feel like buying these products is "spreading breast cancer awareness" (like we're not all very aware of breast cancer). The reality is that the pink ribbon symbol isn't regulated. Anyone can put a pink ribbon on anything. And they do. And we buy pink ribbon products because we feel helpless against a brutal disease and it makes us feel like we're doing something useful.

Now, I'm not saying that we shouldn't buy pink ribbon products. People choose to show their support in different ways and if pink ribbon shoelaces or toques or buckets of fried chicken (seriously) is your choice, more power to you. What I'm saying is, if you want to contribute directly to breast cancer research, there are better venues. And if you want to contribute directly to breast cancer patients, there are better options.

Which brings me to my friend Colby. Colby is my age. She's a single mom raising two beautiful babies. She's a full-time nursing student who lives on student loans. Colby was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. In the coming weeks she is facing surgery and from there her doctors will decide her chemo/radiation future. She's also writing her final exams.

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I've never seen Colby without a smile on her face. She radiates happiness and kindness. She's stunningly beautiful but not intimidating in the least because her goofy quirks pull you in and make you feel like you're one of the cool kids. She works hard and makes tough choices and doesn't complain. She would never ask for help. So her friends are asking for help on her behalf.

If you've got $5, $10, $100 to spare (hey a girl can dream, right?) will you please consider contributing to Colby's gofundme campaign? Colby needs to focus all her energy on getting well and regaining her strength after treatment. She shouldn't be worried about bill payments or buying groceries to feed her family. Well wishes and healthy vibes are also very welcome.

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Right! Let's faff.

Last weekend I was complaining on Twitter about the cold-that-will-not-die and Gayle from The Soup Solution reached out to offer me some soup. It was totally unexpected and kind, and her soups are so tasty, that I need to gush about it for a minute. Social media can be so noisy and you can get sort of lost in it sometimes, you know? And then someone reaches out and says "hey! I see you!" and reminds you that the community there still exists, you just have to dig through the sponsored posts and ads a little bit. Anyway. If you're local, I totally recommend The Soup Solution. Great soup. Great people. A+.

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Erin Condren is having a huge sale so now is the time to buy your Life Planner if you haven't already. I'm a huge Life Planner fan and don't think I'll ever give up my paper planner. If you use my referral code, I'll earn Erin Condren bucks so *bats eyelashes* please, pretty please use this link to do your Erin Condren shopping and use FRIENDS25 for 25% off your purchase through October 25th.

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My friend Taslim wrote about her definition of success and I keep coming back to it to read it again and again. She's a smart lady and she's definitely got the hamster wheel in my brain spinning this week. How do you define your success?

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We're supposed to have some sun this weekend so I should probably take Grady to the pumpkin patch for some seasonal fun. What are you up to this weekend?