Breathing is NOT optional

Good heavens. Some days I forget that breathing is NOT optional.

I get overwhelmed some in life. “Some” being a gross understatement, and one to which my dear husband would roll his eyes at. I woke up today remembering that it was family “vacation” week… meaning Hubs/Dad doesn’t have to work third shift. I smiled and rolled over and greeted his morning mug with a kiss. Then I remembered that I had a deadline to meet for my editor, before noon, and fifty thousand other racing reminders quickly flowed in next. I held my breath and didn’t even realize it.

The article was a no brainer. I love doing them, and this one would be easy-pachiesie. All I had to do was turn my motherhood-insanity into a 500 word reality on paper, throwing in a splash of hope, determinism, and maybe a smile or laugh. The rest on my list? Yeah, I’d need to re-read my advice and take it for once!

My daughter, nearing 13, came up to me, glancing at the “MOM is on DEADLINE” note and deciding this was worth disturbing me over. She told me she had been listening to music and came across one that she really loved. It really meant something to her. She said it kinda shy and with an offer of, “do you want to see it?”

It was called, “Just keep breathing.” Hmmm, sounds like one I need to “see”.

It takes some getting used to, but now days, kids often first “see” music while hearing it. Its a YouTube generation.

But with my daughter Allison, she really understands the song if she sees it on a video with the words keeping time to the song. She struggles with ADHD, and while she is not a behavioral sufferer with it, her attention and ability to take information in is a struggle for her. Coupled with her Dyslexia, she’s had a hard road this last year.

It reminds her of what she tries to say to herself when she’s not at the ranch. She volunteers at a local horse ranch,,

Alli leading a therapy horse named Joe during a week of Autism Camp.

Alli leading a therapy horse named Joe during a week of Autism Camp.

that rescues horses and then trains them to minister to the youth of the area. They actually are giving therapy horses to kids who need it… Because they are fully donation supported. They do not charge families who come to the ranch. They have a huge heart and its grown Alli’s soul by an astounding amount.

The best part for Alli is the way the ranch partners with other organizations such as the Autism group and puts on Autism camps for weeks during the summer months. Or how rhey have kids who are in any way touched by cancer to come out and be refreshed and ride with like minded families who understand their exact life struggles.

Out there, she says she can BREATHE. I think it is as much a ministry to her as it is for her to be there ministering to the kids and working with the horses.

So she showed me the song that is weaving itself into her heart. It’s actually reminding her to breathe, and in turn, reminding me to breathe.

Take a moment… watch and listen… and remember, it’s just life. No matter what gets done/goes wrong/doesn’t get done/or does not go right… we will all reach the end of this life at the exact same time we were supposed to. We dont know when that will day will be when breathing is NOT required. While it is, take time to DO it.

Call a friend, grab coffee, plan an afternoon out, go hide in a cubby hole in the library and veg out, and don’t feel guilty for it. The world will keep spinning, and we WILL make it through.


What? We CAN’T eat our young??

polar-bear-5-paul-nicklen-ngsI think it is completely unfair that humans are a species that frowns upon mothers eating their young. I understand those fed up Momma’s-with-the-munchies who say, “nope, this kid’s just one too many for my sanity,” or, “THIS one pushes me too far too often.” Now listen, don’t go all high and mighty on me and assume I am a crazy off-her-rocker kinda Momma. I’m not advocating abuse here… and YES, I love my kids like words cant express. But, that said, there ARE days when… Well, I wont make Mother-of-the- Year. I’ll give you that.

Have you ever had one of those days where anything that can go wrong DID, and just when you thought you’d caught a second wind and a little smidgen of peace it all fell apart AGAIN. This is where parenting goes from really hard, to borderline-crossing, to crossing all the way from one species to another. If you’ve been a parent for oh, say… a week, you probably have enough fodder for a serious melt down day.

Can I be brutally honest? My mom lied to me. She did. So did every other woman who had children before me. Not a single one told me how hard it was going to be to be a Mom. Nobody. They never told me there would be days where I would want to run away because I had no idea what I was doing, that the kids would refuse to fall into rank and would form a coup, often, and that no matter how hard I tried, I’d never be able to get ahead of the laundry pile, the dishes, nor fall into bed at an hour that would allow me to feel like I HADN’T, in fact, been run over by a MAC truck.

Many told me how fast it will go, meaning the years, and the years DO fly by… but the days, the days are long and the nights longer (if your children are but babes in arms!) I don’t want to miss a second of it, and yet there are times I want to run away. I’m just so tired! Know what I mean? I’ll come back, I will, but I just need to run for a minute. Run free, with no one saying, “Hey Mommy, Mom, Momma, Mommy…”

imagesI’m not alone. I can’t be. Honestly, tell me, doesn’t Candied-Campbell-kids sounds swwwweeeeeeet? Oh yeah, right… sigh… we don’t snack on our brat-packs. Well, lucky for my brood I am easily bribed with chocolate. Heck, I’m bribed with a handful of forgotten M&M’s from the bottom of my purse – and THAT is good for everyone.

All kidding aside, Motherhood is hard. There’s no “do-overs” in our job. It’s also the most rewarding job we’ll ever hold. One sweet sticky smile and I was hooked. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Not really. Not even for an obscene amount of FRESH chocolate.

(This was first printed in the printed bi-monthly edition for May-June 2013)

Added for additional information and your learning enjoyment – here are a few animals who DO eat those yapping and annoying offspring!

The polar bear. Yes, they are cute and cuddly – what baby bear isn’t cuddly? The adult polar bears will definitely have a go at eating one of their own babies. Given their natural predatory instinct, eating its own baby probably isn’t that unusual at all.

wolf-desktopThe wolf. Wild dogs are predators, too, and have been known to kill a variety of other, much smaller animals just for food. Just like the polar bear, the wolf will consume its young if given the chance.

The hyena. Native to Africa and Asia, this animal, known for making a laughing sound, is a vicious predator, and will consume the entire kill, including any bones. Well, at least the hyena gets points for neatness and not leaving the remains of dead animals hanging around to attract the maggots. But this guy will eat his own offspring too.

The hippopotamus. This large partial water animal is native to Africa. Related to the whale, the hippo also lived in Europe right before the last Ice Age. Usually portrayed as cute animals, the hippo has another thing that is not very cute: canine teeth that measure twenty inches long and slightly more.(3) Maybe the hippo is not perceived to be an eater of its own because it is an herbivore, but given the chance, an adult hippo will indeed eat its young. Don’t let the hippo’s external appearance fool you: this animal has powerful jaws, can outrun a human with no problem, and can cause immense damage to anyone if provoked.




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