My Cheating Heart

When (if ever) is it okay to cheat?

It’s okay to cheat if you are sure you’ll get away with it and no one will ever find out, especially and in particular, your mother.

I cheat at solitaire.  And scrabble.  And if it wasn’t for the internet ‘cheats’ for Angry Birds Rio I’d have discovered way fewer golden bananas. As it is I only have seven out of fifteen.  Obviously I’m not cheating hard enough.

It’s okay to cheat death.  And cheat like a mad thing when playing the card game Cheat.  Cheating a cheater is fair game too.  And cheating on your diet if you’re reasonably sure the guilt won’t kill you.

Somebody told me once that every good rule has an exception.  Otherwise it’s just not a very good rule.  So if you follow ALL of the rules MOST of the time, it’s pretty easy to avoid detection if you break one or two small ones here and there.  Because you’re normally such a goody two shoes that no one would ever suspect you of being a devious little shit.

It’s not okay to cheat if you’ve made a solemn promise.  Unless you had your fingers crossed behind your back.  And it’s really not okay to cheat if it’s going to seriously hurt someone else.

But if you’re cheating just because you want to win at any cost, I say go for it.  Bend the rules.  Beat the system.  Find a way.

But keep your mother completely in the dark about it.  I really cannot emphasize that enough.

Name Game

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose

By any other name would smell as sweet.”

Doesn’t everybody go through a stage in their lives where they think that having a different name would somehow make everything better?

Thankfully that passes. Because a sixty year old named “Summer Moonbeam” is somehow just not right.

My mother named me Linda Mae. Born in May, maternal grandmother always known as Mae; aunt who raised my father and his brothers after his mother died – you guessed it – May. Three strikes and you’re out.

Linda was only the most popular name on the face of the earth in the decade in which I was born. I went from grade one through grade seven with another Linda May, and countless other Lynns and Lindas all through school. My husband is the one who started calling me Lin, so I suppose that’s why I like it. It’s simple and easy to remember, and doesn’t necessarily make you think immediately of Daisy Mae and Elly Mae and Sadie Hawkins day and ceee-ment ponds.

Okay, I’m really dating myself, never mind that my name does that for me without any extra help. I tried to give my daughter a name that she wouldn’t hate. And even if she did I prayed she’d realize her mother gave it to her with the best intentions and no shortage of love.

My mother named me, and I loved my mother. So the name stays.

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What Keeps Me Up at Night?

 

Sleeping

Sleeping (Photo credit: soylentgreen23)

Sometimes a book I can’t put down, or a computer or DS game I’m playing, or a painting or some other project that’s just this close to being finished. And now of course this Plinky site with all its damned compelling questions!Other than that, nothing really, I’m happy to say. I can sleep through thunder storms and ringing phones and sirens that wail. Barking dogs, midnight snacking husbands, wild parties on our street, or maybe even in our house, for all I know. I am little Miss Oblivious with a head full of nothing.

When I had babies one after the other (they were eighteen months apart in age) there was a long stretch of years where eight hours of uninterrupted sleep was a rare luxury. Then when they hit their teens I don’t know how they could have survived without such a sleep deprived worry wart for a mother.

So now maybe I’m making up for those lost nights when slumberland eluded me. I experience a wildly superior quality state of dormancy, where nothing short of the house catching fire can disturb me.

Or I’m going deaf. That’s also a possibility.

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Having Babies

Having Babies: Part One

Okay,  where was I?  Brand new parents to a baby girl with more character than either of us put together – from day one she had an attitude.  And great lungs and a temper.  We knew lots about parenting, but nothing about actually BEING parents.   Any child is a challenge, but in hindsight I know D. was more than the usual handful.  Our spirited child.  Isn’t that a lovely way to describe it?

W. had another year of university to complete.  I had to go right back to work in a mere four weeks.  My mom came to stay with us for a few days after D. was born.  After she left, I stood staring at my sleeping daughter and was overcome with the enormity of the responsibility we were taking on.  This little life in MY hands?   What was God thinking?  All the pent up emotions from the past months welled up and poured out.  I crawled into bed and refused to get up.  Poor W.  He put up with this emotional wreck of a new mom, bringing me food and my daughter when she got hungry, and blabbering away about post-partem depression, sounding like he was trying to convince himself more than me that we could get ourselves through this.  Two days of being a drama queen was about all even I could stand.  And that’s when we made one of the two most asinine decisions we’ve ever come up with, and packed up ourselves and our newborn and took a two-day car trip to visit W.’s parents.  They were thrilled to meet their first grandchild.  I was exhausted, mentally and physically and spent the entire time there in some kind of zombie state.  So D. was at our island and a little camper practically from day one.

As much as my mother-in-law bugs the living shit out of me most of the time, I must give her credit for loving her grandchildren in her own strange way.  And she did help me realize a very important thing.  My daughter would not cease to exist if she was out of my sight.  She would not die if I left her with someone else for an hour or two.  MIL forced me to go fishing with W.  There was no heart to heart little talk about anything – that’s never been her style.  But one morning she just said that I needed to get out, and W. needed to take me, and to get the hell out of here, D. will be just fine.  It’s the closest I’ve ever come to having a panic attack.  Leave my baby?  W. didn’t have to drag me kicking and screaming to the dock, but it came close.  We lasted almost an hour with me constantly freaked out that D. might be hungry, or screaming, or in whatever state it is babies might get themselves into when their mothers aren’t around – I couldn’t even imagine.  And with W., thoroughly exasperated, saying JEEZUS Lin, my mother had three kids.  I think she knows what she’s doing.  We got back to find D. peacefully sleeping, exactly how we had left her.  How freaking amazing is that?  I know my MIL was trying to help me get out from under the enormous weight of the pressure I was putting on myself, to let me breathe and trust someone else to help.  I had to do it when I went back to work, like it or not.

We were incredibly lucky to find a babysitter that I felt I could trust.  She had six kids of her own, all in school, and she was missing the baby thing.  Her name was Mrs. White.  Isn’t it funny that I don’t even remember her first name?  She looked after my daughter Monday to Friday, 8 to 5, for the first year of her life.  It was kind of nice to have someone else to blame for how spoiled she was.  I often wonder what effect this all had on D.  Sometimes when we picked her up she would look at us with that little frown of hers, as if to say, ‘who the heck are you guys again?’  It was not an easy thing to do.  I probably missed a whole lot of her “firsts”, although Mrs. White was very kind and never said anything about D. doing something new until I mentioned it first.  D. never slept longer than a six hour stretch, from midnight to 6 a.m. that first year.  Her naps were short, few and far between.  She was active, curious, easily frustrated, loud, demanding.  We just assumed that was normal, having not much to compare it with.  We did have some friends who came over with their little Rebecca, who was a month younger than D. although bigger, and a child that they could plunk on the floor and she would actually stay in one spot.  I remember we thought there must be something wrong with that kid.

It was a hectic year.  We were all sleep deprived.  I don’t know if that’s a good enough reason for being lax with the birth control.  I recall having vague thoughts about not wanting D. to be an only child, and that if I ever had to make a conscious decision to get pregnant again, I didn’t know if I’d ever be able to do it.  So I did it unconsciously.  W. finished his year and applied for a gazillion jobs.  He got two good offers.  One was a teaching position in Lindsay, Ontario.  The other was as a Wildlife Officer with the government of the NWT in Cambridge Bay.  And there you have the second most asinine decision we ever made.  How different might our lives have been, if we had gone left instead of right at that big fork in the road.  At the end of the summer, following D.’s first birthday, we headed north.  L & W’s Big Adventure begins.